Photographer Matt Hawthorne’s imagery freezes athletes in motion, capturing beautiful moments of physicality. His recent promo mailer featured studio and location images shot for BlenderBottle and stopped recipients in their tracks.
Throughout school, skateboarding was Matt Hawthorne‘s top priority. He began documenting himself skating with a 35mm camera, shooting action with flashes and learning to love the creative process. This led to a photography degree and his professional concentration on capturing fast-paced action sports images.
“Success with capturing a moment is knowing when and where the moment is,” Matt explained. “The key is finding the right angle and composition that showcases the exercise, the action, the moment in the best way possible.”
A Lens into the Process
Hawthorne’s carefully strobed studio lighting captures athletic models in motion, pastel lighting reflected off their glistening skin. These shots pair with scenes of models in urban settings which have color palettes that complement the studio compositions. “Shooting the BlenderBottle project was particularly challenging and satisfying, given the number of shots and versions we were able to deliver in two days of shooting,” recalls Hawthorne.
For this promotional piece, Hawthorne wanted to take recipients inside the production shoot. “When I laid out the lookbook, I added text about what the client wanted, how we executed it, and where and why we shot in certain places.” The final product gives viewers a clear sense of how Hawthorne works and of his team’s creative process.
Typically, he sends printed promotional pieces two or three times annually to a mailing list of 3,000 creatives at agencies and brands. “Sometimes it’s a set of cards that cover mixed themes, sometimes it’s a tri-fold with images from a single story. Other times, it’s a larger book or newspaper that showcases a series of related images,” he explains.
Going for Gold
After wrapping any shoot, Hawthorne is eager to get back into the studio, start making personal selections, and begin retouching for the client. “I’m super picky about everything,” he admits.
For the 8-1/2˝ x 11˝, 16-page BlenderBottle promo, Hawthorne chose 100# coated matte cover and text pages. “While I’m not a designer, I wanted this to be a high-concept piece that packed power and grabbed attention.”
Hawthorne concludes, “After all, no one knows you exist unless you create promos that stop you in your tracks.”