Riding the Promo Wave

Once upon a time I was an art buyer. And with that title came emails and post cards - from photographers sharing new work .This part of my job was actually fun. Seeing what projects people are working on and constantly being showered visually with new and inspiring work (kind of like Instagram but not). But unlike Instagram, I had no choice who would share with me. That's when it got annoying. Photogs sharing work not relevant to the types of accounts the agency had started to become spam. That's when I took mental notes.

There were always 1 or 2 mailed promos that would stand out each year and as a young aspiring photographer, these promos blew my mind. The one I always remember was from a photographer that shot a major campaign for Frito Lay. It was so beautifully designed but it also helped that inside was a small bag of Fritos! Genius! That's the kind of impression I could only dream of with this promo for Urban Surfers. 

With the help of a couple  talent friends, (Adam Garcia and Dustin Kemper) I finally put together my promo. I designed a 26 page 7"x7" book and acting as my business card, a puck of surfboard wax with my own custom label. (Adam designed the Urban Surfers logo and Dustin designed the surfboard was label)

There are always a couple goals with these things: keep costs low, be visually interesting and make it so great that it would be difficult to throw out. 

I'll end with one email I got recently from an art buyer who was on the receiving end of this mailer: "... just got your promo (the wax will come in very handy for me!  8' longboard owner!)  

Goal achieved! 




Bottling up Summer.

Happy Friday! 

Although the weather is beautiful, the birds are still chirping, and the sky is a perfect blue, I'm sad. Summer as we know it has come and is leaving the building.

In my blog I talk about waking up at 5am every available morning to shoot Urban Surfers and how the smell of marshy New Jersey reminds me of childhood. It's been a season of shooting what inspires me and sharing those experiences. Here's my attempt at capturing my Summer experiences in just a few images. 

Hope you had months worth of warm sun and late night cookouts with family. Here's to a healthy and productive Fall. 


BTS with Karma

Last week was fun, and long... like 12-14 hour days long. But judging from the smiles and the bts photos, no one seemed to care.

Last week Karma Agency hired me to shoot their upcoming print campaign for Main Line Health which had us on location in Jamison, PA and along the banks of Lake Nockamixon (near Doylestown). My team and I were shooting in tandem alongside Neighborhood Film Co. who were shooting the TV campaign. The images will dominate 30th Street Station here in Philly starting in September along with bus backs and commuter rail posters. 

Once the campaign hits the public, I'll be sharing some of the images via Instagram (@csembrot

Thanks again Tracy, Mike, Ford and Heather. Can't wait to see that huge banner!! 


Phoenix for British Guardian Guide

Recently I had the opportunity to photograph the band, Phoenix for the British magazine, Guardian Guide. The project had us shooting in NYC at the East Village Standard Hotel. With overcast skies, the penthouse location offered 365 degree panoramic views of the city and soft diffused light. The large floor to ceiling windows did most of the work lighting the guys, while some fill was provided to open up shadows. 

I gave each a veto for the playlist I had going and they only executed one song: "I Can Make You Famous" by Spank Rock. Needless to say I was a little mad at them for the rest of the shoot, kind of.. :) 


AP29 - American Photography 29

I had to sit on this news for a while now but I am finally able to share - I had two images chosen to be included in the AP29 this year! The link to see all images chosen hasn’t been released yet (end of May) so stay tuned. 

These images were shot for the cover of the September 22nd edition of the UK’s Guardian Guide. Thanks so much to photo director Nikki Hatchet for calling on me from across the pond. Also thanks to Wonderful Machine (where Nikki says she found me) :) 

Stay tuned for more work that I recently shot for The Guide and some new motion work.