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The Importance of an Electronic Press Kit

Lesson 29 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

The Importance of an Electronic Press Kit

Lesson 29 from: Becoming a Travel Photographer

Laura Grier

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Lesson Info

29. The Importance of an Electronic Press Kit


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


How to Break Into Travel & Destination Wedding Photography


How Are You Perceived as a Photographer?


Brand Yourself Before Others Brand You


Activity: What Are Your Photography Goals?


Owning Your Own Style


Preparing for a Photoshoot


The Importance of Research


Lesson Info

The Importance of an Electronic Press Kit

and the first thing that I did was create an e p case. I'm actually gonna show you an example and tell you what that is. First, it will switch over to my e p k. There's a website called issue dot com. I s s u u dot com, and you can create what they call an electronic press kit. I'm lucky that I have a roommate who is a celebrity vegan chef and who has been on television and been in front of the cameras so many times that when I started telling her that I was kind of pitching myself for media jobs, she was like, Well, are you sending them your e p K? And I'm like, What is that that English like? I don't even know what that was. And she told me it's an electronic press kit Back in the day, they would just send a normal press kit for you. You would have a publicist, and if you want to be any type of media personality or anything, he would send out a press kit about yourself and your services and what you do. But let's be honest. Most of us don't have publicists, and most of us are not alw...

ays looking to be in front of the camera were usually behind it. So in this case, I didn't understand why I needed any PK because I was like, Well, I mean, maybe one day I'll get on a TV show. But right now I'm just pitching myself to write articles for people like Why do I need this? And in the world of media, their brands in and companies are used to receiving E. P. K's, it's a really snazzy kind of cool way to showcase who you are and what you dio without giving them a bunch of links and disjointed information to have to click on and look here, you could have everything all together, and I'll explain it as I flipped their mind. So it was weird as a photographer to I'm hearing. I'm trying to write articles and get press, but what they want to know about you is not necessarily your work. They want to know what press you have. And so that was a weird concept for me because normally I would just send a website link to my to my site and show them like Here's my beautiful work and and this is what I want to do for you and it doesn't even work that way now. Now they want to know. Are you an influencer? What things are you working on? What projects are you into giving example? Articles or things you've written? And he press about you as a person or a journalist as a photographer? And they want to know all those things, whether or not they're gonna hire those air your credentials. Okay, so I have never needed credentials before. I always just showed my work. So now I had to think of myself as a brand because we talked about earlier yesterday and branding yourself Now you really do have to think of yourself as a media brand and pull together anything that's press related about you. So this is a bizarre but yet fun exercise that I had to do when I finally put together my e p k. I had to go and find any press that had ever been written about me. So when I told you in the last segment, having people guest blogged about you having yourself out there and written about is really important. All of those things will go into your press kit. If you want a showcase, anytime you've been published in the magazine or, um, any shows that you've had, all these things will go in here. So it basically I don't show my work in my electronic press kit. I'll show an article that may feature my work, but I'm literally showing any type of press that's out there that I've either written gotten about myself or where I've ever have been published. And the cool thing about 80 p K's exactly that. It's an electronic press kit, so it lives online. It's a magazine style format, So this is the opening page to my press kit. When someone I give them the link, it's like issue dot com ford slash Laura Grier. This will pop up, and I wanted the front page to be my title. It's and so they said, OK, you like your job titles there, and I'm like, I don't know how to write my job title. I do a lot of different things. So I said adventure photographer, photo anthropologist and travel writer. I made it really short and sweet. Give myself three titles this picture I took, I realized really quickly. I didn't have a normal photo of myself when I mean normal. It wasn't like me jumping and macho peachy or swimming in the Amazon. I was like, Oh, crap, I don't have like a normal speaker picture. So I just put up a white sheet and my sisters living room because I was putting this together over Christmas, like at her house a couple years ago or last year. And so I just really quickly took a clean picture of me and White Porter good lighting and just made this the cover image. So as people click, it literally flips through like a magazine, which is cool. So I did a bio of myself on the Left, and I had won a contest for in 2011 National Geographic for best Travel picture. And so I wanted to showcase with that because any accolades or awards, you've gotten a really great and so as you flip through your magazine, I showed I wanted to show pictures of me around the world, and I just did it in a really fun way. This is the magazine style format, so I just kind of showed myself like, adventurous on location. Then I started showing and put the top travel writer, and I just showed example articles and, like I've written so many articles for all these in publications. But I just picked one, and the cool thing about it is when you click on one of these guys, you click on it and literally it will take you straight to where that article lives on the Internet. And so it's actually an interactive magazine that you're sending these people. So instead, I don't have to send every article ever written. I could just send a screenshot of one, have a hyperlink to it, and it will take them directly. So so sometimes they're just flipping through. They just want to see what you've done. But maybe something will grab them. They want to read more, and then they can actually click on it and read more, which is pretty cool. So I went through and showed helping impose something. Impose travel. The honeymoon ist have written for onto Reese, my destination Travel blog's. I did a whole series, but I only showed really one example of each, and I don't want to overwhelm. You don't want this to be like a 50 page magazine that you're sending out, But you want to show examples that I've been published many times, and these are the different publications. Then I showed covers that I done in public and all the published magazines had been in for my weddings, and I just did. I didn't get into showing all those publications and making it clickable. I just I didn't want to like, you know, I'm not really trying to get in to shooting covers per se. I'm really doing this E P came or as a press travel photographer writer, So I just wanted to show that I've done this without overwhelming them with that, So I didn't yet another fun way of showing on my covers. I was featured as wedding photographer a few times on the Hallmark Channel for weddings that were featured on the home and family show, and they had a TV interview of me. So showing me on camera like I'm sure I'll use creative live on Dad that to me BK when I'm done with this show so you can actually click on this and it will take them to a place on YouTube. I put this video in my YouTube channel that I created, and then they can actually click on it and seeing me on camera because you don't know this can now be something that you could be. You can use the center a travel brand, and let's say they want you to host a travel segment or a weapon, a webisode or something like that. It's really great to show yourself on camera, even if you're just doing a wonder less Wednesday video, and it's it's your own little personal thing. It's great to show that Novica I talked about my Novica experience and I show and I do a link to the video where in that video I really explain My This is a different video that I did for Novica, where I explained my purpose there and what my mission is working with Novica so they can choose to click on it and read more or not. Yes, quick question. This is looking really beautiful, by the way, this is really on. How often do you update this? I updated anytime I really oppress, and I had to update it recently because I changed some of my handles on Twitter and social Media in the last few months. So all my my contact information on back page wasn't current. And that's what's so great about issue to is that you can go in and you can, like, make changes and update things really easily. So I put this together a couple years ago, initially, but then I've been changing and adding to it along the way. So here's an example. Having someone guest blogged about me, my girlfriend Dana. She's She has a block called the Tao of Dana, and she did two or three amazing features on me and my photography. I had done some volunteering for the Women's Global Education Project, and it was really before I was writing for Huffington Post. And so I wanted to get some press for this project, had work done, so I reached out to my girlfriend. Can you please blogged about this amazing project? I didn't Senegal, and so it started her guest blogging a few for me, and I mean, the article shoot were amazing, and she's got a pretty high following on her block. But that was something that I included in here and again, Every single one of these things are clickable. If somebody clicks on this article, it'll take them straight to it. F stoppers. So if Stoppers wrote an article about building a destination wedding photography business again, you can click on that video and see that stingray video and all these things. And so a lot of this, sometimes people will just flip through just to see what I've been featured in. And sometimes people actually going to spend time and look through it. But I was interviewed. Have you ever been interviewed for something? Are asked to be interviewed? Maybe there's a women's Photographers Association or something like that. I've, you know, offered services to be like I would love to do an interview for you or do a gas block post. And a lot of times you can turn that interview into press like I did here with LTTE daily, and lt means living the dream. So there's a whole block about living the dreams. I was like, I love to talk on that long. So this was a whole magazine that I wrote a lot for, and basically they're called L. A centric, and this guy. It was an L. A. Like a local L. A magazine. It didn't get a lot of of press, but he gave me, like, 10 page spreads in his magazine to do whatever I want to travel related. And so when I first was starting out, it was amazing, like I and he didn't pay me. I just You just offered me 10 page spread, which was, for me, so exciting to see my work all published. I flipped through one hole article that he did, and I basically did a list. A lawyer's list of going to South Africa, Cape Town, South Africa. And what was cool about it was that I had free rein to right as long as I wanted whatever I wanted and submitting pictures. So here I was able to do a very lengthy article and really have created rain. So I did a series of a bunch of articles in the ones once every few months, and I did a whole story in Panama. And so the 1st 1 I showed the whole story and then a 2nd 1 on the 3rd 1 I just there clickable. So there was someone really wants the flip through the rest of the story. They can click on it and flip through it. And then finally I put in speaking engagements and I just listed the brands I've spoken for and showed that, and then on the right, I kind of listed some gallery shows that I had been featured in. And then the final page is all my contact information where you can find me. It's all again clickable. They click on it, takes you straight to my email on my website Instagram, Twitter, all of that. So sending something like this out, we can switch back to slides. But this is an E p. K. And for me, putting this together was so strange to and I had never really gathered all that other information like, as people would interview me or something I would probably posted on Facebook and be like, Isn't it's cool. I just got featured, and then it would just kind of like die somewhere, you know? So it's really rad toe actually create press and collect it and keep it together in one place, and then you can always change and add to it and take things out. Yeah, so people are loving this and they want to know if there's a place that they can find your PK online. So if you go to issue dot com is I s s u u dot com board slash Laura Greer It should come right up and then issue dot com is the website where you can create your own. So Okay, so this is really this was really helpful. It also makes you look super professional. Makes you look like you have a lot of experience, whether you do or not. It's just a really nice, fun way for people to flip through and see everything about you without writing a whole long email. And then then I do this and I do this and I do this and it's just a lot. So just say usually when I send something out and I'll get to the pitch letter, I send this link and just let you know here are my credit. Here's my credentials and you can find me here. So what should be in your pitch letter? So many people have asked me this, and it's not like this is the only way to write it, but I just wanted. I just didn't example when just so I can kind of tell you certain things you shouldn't shouldn't dio in your pitch letter, I wrote dear. So and so I wanted to introduce myself over email and hopefully can chat at some point about a story idea. I have my fellow travel writer, photographer and blogger. I will be covering an adventure article in the Huffington Post Travel and for Destination Weddings and Honeymoons magazine about Alaska. So before I go further on that, I didn't have Haven't done it yet. I haven't done a trip to Alaska and I didn't have a destination. Weddings and honeymoons guaranteed that they're going to cover this yet, but I have written for all of them. So it doesn't matter, because at this point, this is just a pitch. You're not saying this is definite bullet by You're asking for them. So mentioning it and saying I am doing these things isn't untrue, but you should speak in the present tense like I will be. I want to. You don't want to use that kind of language in the pitch letter. So I said, and how? And I said, I want to write for them about Alaska and how you can do a leisurely and adventurous trip simultaneously. And I wanted to give the best possible view of Alaska to our millions of readers, So I then used the clouds of huffingtonpost. Not that my articles get millions of readers, but the having imposed does. So I put that in there. It's really important to put in there mentioning your press and your outreach. So you're not guaranteeing that millions of people read your article. You're not even guaranteeing that you can get these articles, but you're telling them this is what is possible. This is what I can offer you for this trip to Alaska. So I mentioned. But I didn't. I didn't do it in a kind of a weird gross wages. I didn't know, like a really fun way like I could do. This is my idea. This is what I want. Tokyo. Right after I mentioned my outreach, I wrote it has been a bucket list item for my 77 year old father to see Alaska and the glaciers before they all melt, and he's always felt like at his old age and adventure trip type of other but adventure trip to Alaska is not a possibility anymore. Since I write a column about adventure travel and I'm always into adrenaline activities, I thought it would be an amazing story to do a piece on taking my dad to Alaska and how we could design a trip that encompasses both of what we're looking for adventure and leisure for both the physically fit and the elderly. And before I go any further. So I mentioned my That's my pitch right there. And the reason I mentioned that pitch was the cruise line's air. Not having great press like they've had a lot of weird things happen. They've had, like, people disappear and Cruz like, you know, accidents and things in the press. I was reading cruise lines or, you know, they're needing press and some good PR right now. So I knew that if I reached out to them like I might be able Teoh, I have probably a better chance of getting something like this covered, but it was really true, and I'll tell you the whole story of how this how this pitch came to be after the slide. But I just told them. This is my idea. I want to showcase that. You can do it all that you can have an adventure trip even if you're old and even if you're young and have fun doing it both at the same time. So I'm not bored and everything. So basically, I wrote it has been a bucket list for us to see the glaciers. So I said after researching princess cruises and what all you have to offer. So I'm pitching this to Princess Cruises. I'm excited to talk to you about giving me ideas on a creative out of the box type of itinerary so you can notice that I'm mentioning that I know them in their brand because sometimes people right mass letters like this and send it to a lot of people. So it's important to mention who you're talking to you. So they know that this is tailored to them and that this isn't just a mass thing that you're sending out, but also you should do your research about the brand and know things that know what they offer and, you know, maybe types of activities that they do. You should be tailoring your pitch to the brand writing to. And then I said at the end, I asked for research. Help, not a handout. You never say I really want you to pay for my trip. To come here and do that like that's they will most likely offer to help you. But you can't assume that. And it's sort of a little gross to just like right, Ask for freebies. You always want Teoh align yourself with people by offering something. So what I do is I always offered This is my press, these air, my amazing photos. I'm offering you something. And instead of asking for a freebie, I say, you know, I would love for you to help me put together an amazing itinerary for my trip. At the very least, they will help you put together a really amazing itinerary for your trip. But they are, you know, it's great to start the dialogue like that. Then I wrote Marcia Alaska Board of Tourism. So then I made it personal, and at this Marcia I met at The New York Times Travel Show. So she was a real human that I met with, um with the Border tourism of Alaska, which is not the same as Princess Cruises, but the Board of Tourism of Alaska. When I had reached out to them, we did a whole conference call and Skype call on. I pitched him the idea and they love the pitch, but they were like, So oil prices are really low right now, and we don't really have a budget like until the oil prices bounce back up. We just had a meeting and we kind of are slowing down our media budget until things pick up. So you never know in situations like that they may or may not have a budget, but what got her attention is what I'm gonna show you in the next slide of what I did. And she was like, I Marcia was like, I know the person that Princess cruises. They have a budget. You should probably directly approach the cruise line about this. I got this person's information from the Board of Tourism. I had the connection through the Board of Tourism, so I wasn't just cold calling Princess cruises and writings, and I'm I was writings and via the Border tourism of Alaska. So it's always good to have sort of a personal connections I wrote. Marsha said you might be able to help me put together the best experience. So with that sentence right there, I wasn't like Marshall said, you pay for this trip. But Marsha, by putting her name in there in the connection there, Dana have had a dialogue with the border tourism. And there, you know, like Marshall wouldn't have given me her personal email if or this person personal email if they didn't think that I had credentials or could do something. So by the time I'm reaching this person, most likely they're gonna they're gonna help me. So then I just wrote I'm also photographer Novica National Geographics Artisan Catalogue. I've been more than happy to share my images with you as well as giving written press in numerous publications. I would love your help in any way with organizing this trip for me. So here I am offering something again. I'm not saying please give me something free, but it's sort of insinuated. They're like, Hey, I'm gonna do this for you, like, what can you do for me? So But it's nice to freeze that as this is what I'm going to give to you. Then I say here my bio credentials so you can see what I dio. Thank you. Look forward to hearing from you soon and I put two things in there. In this particular case, my biggest caught that I mentioned was helping imposed. So I put the link in there that if you click on this link for having imposed, it shows every article I've ever written for the happen imposed. And then I put my E p K link there that shows everything else. So it's It's simple, like I'm not putting my bio in this email. I'm not putting anything else. I'm really just organizing it this way. I'm offering a story idea. I am attaching press and showing them who I could attach to it and mentioning the amount of people I could reach through this press. I'm referencing their brand and showing them that I know about them. I've spent my studying. I am asking for research, not a handout, and then I'm ending it with my credentials. So this is a good way sort of formula. T do a pitch letter, but you can. I mean, there's a lot of ways this isn't like the perfect writing. Like I even just found the type of just now. So obviously I would go through, make sure no time before sending us out. But this is just an example of what I would send out. So I'm gonna tell you how this story came to be. The importance of creating an E. P. K. Going back to that before I tell you about my Alaska idea is that you are showing these brands like when you do a pitch letter like that and you send them your e p k. You are showing that you're an influencer. So let's start thinking of ourselves as influencers. Now. I love that word. I now and like, OK on their social media influencers. There's photography, influence, travel, influencers. I like to think of myself as a travel influencer because I do offer lots of different ways to get my stories out there. So in influencers is someone that has a large outreach, and so we need to start thinking of ourselves as had having an audience and having outreach, and some of us may have more than others, but that's something that you can grow organically and But you just have to think of yourself as having an audience no matter what you're doing, because this will help you so create a buzz or guest blogged. We talked about that a lot, So definitely a lot of those pieces that I put in my e p. K were like articles and interviews and things like that that were written about me that I initiated. I initiated, like reaching out and being like, I'd love to do a guest poster. Would you like to do an interview of me? Or like, maybe I could do a how to article. So I created a lot of that press so I could have more stuff to put in, like you PK again gathering all the press about you. That's something all of you guys conduce today, start doing today. It takes a little time to just start gathering everything in anything, and I'd for gotten about a lot of that stuff. I some of it I didn't even think of as press listing where I'd had gallery shows before. I didn't think of that as important to put in there, and I didn't think of showcasing a bunch of covers of magazines I done. I didn't think that was really important at the time was up to me. I just was like, Well, I don't know. I'm not really pitching wedding stuff. But there's, You know, there's a lot of things that tell a lot about you as a person, and you're you know, all the experience you've had and there's really creative ways to show it. So started thinking out of the box and gathering anything that you think would be really interesting to show and then showcase you and not just your work. So that was a tough thing for me to understand that, like, these people don't actually want to see my portfolio. They don't They don't want to see my portfolio of work and they don't want to necessarily. Not that it's not important, like the photos and it being super valuable to them. But in the initial phases, when people getting pitches, they're looking for ideas. They're looking for press. They want to know, like the nuts and bolts they want to know. All right, What can you offer me like? Okay, this is how much it's gonna be. They want to know what kind of logistics like all the fun, artsy creative stuff that comes later on. So this is the beginning where you're showing, like, what can you do for them And what have you done for other people on like how badass you are pretty much like that's that's what your E p. K. Is. And that's what your pitch letter early is about. Like I didn't actually put a link to my website in that pitch later. I don't know if you noticed that, So I didn't say, Hey, check out my work. I said, Here are my credentials and here articles are written for helping imposed. Yeah, okay, so the overwhelming question we're getting that maybe you can touch a little bit more on it. What do you put in an E p k again? If if maybe you're just getting started with this, So can you hate the fact that you're just getting starting and you haven't e p k? You're already winning because I don't. I take me like years and even know what you PK waas So it doesn't matter to be honest, having less pages in your e p K is more valuable than more I have so much stuff because I it took me like 15 years of put one together that my E p k is how many pages? 35 pages. My growth. My roommate using vegan chef. She's like, Oh, this shouldn't be more than like 12 or 15 pages. I was like, Well, that's not gonna happen like I don't like I can't even There's no way so mine because I have so much visual work, kind of like let it slide. But honestly, your e p k should not be as long as mine. It should be like 15 pages, the best of the best, even if there's three articles about you. And, um, right now you could reach out difference and have them write a few more and include those like you could get a really nice 10 page 15. Paging easy. I mean, tool pages of that is their contact information. One whole page of that is your is your just your description of yourself in the title of what you dio So you know, and one whole pages, the bio. So that's four pages right there out of your 15 so you don't really need to have a lot of stuff to have any PK like a great maybe opportunity for a partnership. You said get a friend to write something for you. Oh, yeah, I'm always about helping each other out and doing, you know, brand alliances, I call it. It's a theme that runs through everything. I mean, I did it from the time I was young and had new money as a photographer, and I would meet, you know, models and makeup artist and asked to, like, help each other out and do a fund shoot and share the photos with them. And that same theme went through with what I did. A styled shoot in the desert with Kristin Banta, and we're all like trying to help each other out. And and we're gonna talk about that later in the segment to about how writers and photographers consort of have that, like some bio sis to help each other out. Okay, 11 last question about pitching. So Marla is saying, Do you pitch one spot and wait for responses before pitching another location? Or do you send several pitches at the same time? Also several pitches, but this pitch is super specific, and I mean, it would be kind of I mean, I could pitched a different cruise lines, I guess. But I had a relationship with this particular one and you'll see in a second that I had a very tailored creative pitch that I sent along with that letter to them for Princess Cruises. So it was like I wouldn't have sent that to anyone else. I would have weight because I was getting a personal recommendation from the Alaska border Tourism. It's sort of taboo to pitch the same idea to multiple people, so usually I would wait to hear back from them before moving on to somebody else.

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Travel Gear List

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Art, Life, and Business Discount Code
Writing & SEO Guide for Travel Magazines
Sammy's Photo School Discount Code
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Ratings and Reviews


I've been listening for, like, two hours. OMG. Like, I could, like, you know, get more from this if, like, she stopped jibbering and get to, like, you know, the topic? She sounds more like a rambling stream-of-thought teenager than a mature adult giving a succinct organized presentation. In two hours, I have, like, learned about two or three things I can, like, use. Like, Ehhhh...? It's like, bor-ing! Like, whutttt? Is she, like, 15 or what? Sheesh.

a Creativelive Student

I have to start by saying that I was lucky enough to be part of the live audience in this class! What Laura has shared this 2 days, is something that will have taken me a few years to learn. Thank you for remanding me that we create our own opportunities and we have to go for what we want instead of waiting for it to happened and will these tips your share in this class, will make it a lot easier to approach editors or potential clients to be able to conquer my goals! Thanks you very much Laura and Creative Live for making all these possible for the photo community all around the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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