Columbia Missouri #GeekLunch

It only seemed appropriate that I made my 1,600th post on the blog something relevant, important and fun.  And that would be #GeekLunch, a phenomenon not unique to Columbia but still kick ass.

Several weeks ago I joined my new, social-media-addict friends Colby (@ColbyWG) and Sam (@SJOgborn) at Main Squeeze Cafe (@MainSqueezed) for a nerd lunch.  We chit chatted about social media, new media, media media, technology, marketing, etc etc.  It’s been something I have wanted to do for the last couple of years and I finally have friends here that are as obsessed as I am.

Oh and now that Colby has a sweet new digital camera, we have yet another thing to nerd out over.

Last week we met up at Shakespeare’s Pizza (@ShakesPizza) adding Zach (@DJ_Z), Zack Luye (@ZackLuye), Amy DiFrancesco (@adifran) Zoey Larson (@ZoeyLarsen) and Adam (@artvandelay300) to the meet up.

There, I got to touch, and play with, my very first Google Nexus One, thanks Adam!

Conversation ranged from Colby nearly face planting on Elm Street to the, at the time, upcoming SXSW in Austin to Google, the iPad and who knows what else anymore.  I do remember that the pizza was great and the company awesome.

It’s simple events like this that make living in Columbia feel not quite as isolating, especially compared to when I lived in the new media mecca of San Francisco.  I look forward to the next #GeekLunch, hoping to expand not only the number of people who join but also how often we meet up.

If you live in Columbia and want to join in on the fun, send me a message on twitter or leave a comment on the blog.  We’d love to have ya!

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Lady Gaga, Marketing Genius?

Lady Gaga isn’t shy about much anything.  Her sexuality, her body, her style and even her desire to, as Missy Elliot would say, “make more paper.”  It was probably R&B/Rap music that first popularized product placement in their music videos, typically showing off a particular car or alcohol.  Though, in these videos, more often than not, the placement was more for the rapper than it was for the company behind the product.

In Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s latest video, Telephone, I counted something like fifteen product placements and I think I might have missed a few like a Coors Light spot that appeared a few times during a dance sequence.  Check out the screenshots for an illustration.

(Diet Coke, Chanel, DOOM , GISM – Anarchy&Violence, Monster Heartbeats by Lady Gaga, LG cell phone, VirginMobile, HP, Plenty of Fish, Monster Beats by Dre, Polaroid, Kraft Miracle Whip, Wonder Bread, Kill Bill Vol 1, Chevrolet SS Truck)

See if you can find more than I did.

Leave your finds in the comments, would love to see what I missed!

I can’t decide if Lady Gaga is a genius or a case example of tasteless, superfluous, obnoxious marketing.  So far this 9:33 minute video has gotten 17,000,000 views on YouTube and many of the placements happen more than once.  It adds up to a minimum 25,000,000 product placements as of this posting.  That is insane.

Any guesses on how effective it might be?  Do product placements like this bother you?  Did you notice them?  Do you think it takes away from the artist with products conspicuously appearing in videos like this or is this just the way things are going anymore?

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Adorama Continues to Impress

I wrote a few weeks back that “Adorama Makes Amazing Photo Books” and they really do.  But what might be better than their books is their customer service.  I remarked in my review that some of my prints came out with a pink hue to them.  @AdoramaPix read the blog post and quickly started their own investigation to the problem and found the solution.

Today I was surprised with a package at my front door.  Inside was my new photo book and the prints are absolutely brilliant.  The colors are spot on, no pink hue whatsoever.  So here is a thanks to Adorama for taking it on themselves to fix this problem.  The new book looks great, I can’t wait to show it my fellow photo students!

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Sessions with Joey L

Sessions with Joey L

Sessions with Joey L

Wow, he’s everyone I want to be.  Smart, funny, talented, adorable, successful and a photographer doing what he loves and inspiring the pros around him.

Did I mention he’s like 19 years old?  Did I mention he’s the guy that shot the infamous and oft impersonated Twilight poster?

Sessions With Joey L – Tutorial Preview from Joey L on Vimeo.

Joey has a couple of DVDs out with his tips, tricks and techniques and as with most photography tools, these videos are incredibly expensive.  And yet, I’m tempted to scrounge around for the money to buy them.  The two DVDs together will cost around $500!  That’s pretty incredible.

Imagine an Annie Leibovitz that’s guy, that’s 19 years old but nearly every bit as important and successful in his field of photography.  His is the style I’ve wanted to do since I got into art photography.  Real winners are rare between while the market is flooded with fluff photographers not work the equipment they are carrying.

I hope to someday do the work of Joey, to be as successful, humble and passionate.  I also hope that my current trip into architectural fine art photography isn’t a mistake.  That my critique of educational institution isn’t a handicap for my art’s success.

Click photo to visit my photography site

Click photo to visit my photography site

I hope my love for the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf style of photography such as the works of Candida Höfer and Andreas Gursky can actively be incorporated with my adoration of Joey’s and Annie’s works.

This post started as a small plea for things to come together for me to arrive at having a set of Joey’s DVDs and wouldn’t you know it, now I’m questioning my recent vein of photography for the bigger picture.

On the internet and in business I market myself as a social media/marketing/PR guy.  It’s what I do to pay the bills while simultaneously teaching photography both at the University and in my spare time at coffee shops, photo studios and over the Internet.  But perhaps I’m not so off base.  Joey does something similar.  Perhaps I should look towards him as my inspiration in both my business and creative energies.

Would love your thoughts on all this, any of this.  This blog is as much a teaching engine for me, as a vent for the good and bad and a tool for me to learn from my readers and contributors.  Thanks for all you do for me.

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I Want to Work for Pure

Ryan showed me a Vimeo video this morning from a company called Pure Marketing & Media. I’ll embed it below this so you can get idea of why I want to work for them.

Pure/Arable Demo Reel Fall 2009 from Pure Marketing & Media on Vimeo.

This is coming out of Columbia Missouri.  Seriously.  It looks like something from an agency out of LA or New York. The HD video is delicious.  I just cannot get over the cinematography and how it fused with the music.

This agency managed to make Shakespeare’s Pizza and Les Bourgeois Vineyards look better than anything I’d imagine coming out of Columbia, or really anywhere else.

What’s kinda crazy is I just came across them, accidentally, in the Columbia Business Times and didn’t even make the connection until just now.

My rambling here is largely due to the awe with which I am currently struck.  This is what I have wanted to do all my life.  Beautiful, creative marketing.  What refreshing marketing and from a city overflowing with horrendous television advertisements, cheesy print ads and simple-minded outreach.

Pure Marketing & Media… If you’re reading this and say need a social marketing guy, an art photographer (food, architecture, portrait, landscape, event…) perhaps a future videographer… hell, I’ll settle as the guy who gets to take out the trash…  Call me.

I have worked in marketing since I was in junior high, no joke.  I currently work for a firm based out of Texas specializing in food, wine and hospitality.  I specialize in converging and streamlining new-media with traditional marketing campaigns.

If I got to work for a company putting out the type of product Pure Marketing & Media is putting out… Maybe I wouldn’t feel the need to get the hell out of Columbia to move back to San Francisco.

Did I mention I’m a college student who is graduating in May? Fresh meat! 😛

Oh and the music and beautiful music video? I presume it was a local Columbia band, I am sure @clettenberg or @coreyschmidt could enlighten me.  I’d buy their album based on this demo reel.

Ok, enough gushing.  Catch you guys later.  Pure… your work is amazing.  Hope you have a Google Alert setup :-O

UPDATE: Days after writing this blog post, I was given a job at Pure which I maintained until November 2010 when I moved back to San Francisco. Social media and Google Alerts really do work. As it is right now, June 2011, this is the number 2 ranked post on Google regarding Pure.

Why I Hate Chase Bank

Remember when our economy failed?  Like overnight, banks just disappeared?  Well, one of those banks that disappeared, though not overnight, was Washington Mutual.  Now, we’ve had our ups and downs with WaMu but for the most part, they were a really standup-kinda company and I really had no complaints.

Until Chase Bank purchased them.  Ever since things have been hell.

My payments scheduled through Bank of America, which I was told would have no trouble continuing to work as usual, stopped working.  No statements were being sent to my house so I didn’t even know something was wrong.  A few weeks before I found out anything was wrong, I called Chase because my cards weren’t working.  They had been flagged as being stolen, all three, even though I’d only been using one for international  travel accommodations.  I got that sorted out, asked if anything else was screwy and they said nope.

Came back to Missouri with phone calls from a collections agency!  My accounts were all late by a month.  One month and I’m in collections? WTF?!

I paid the accounts, explained what had happened, or what I presumed had happened.  They took it off my record, setup auto-pay from my checking account, all was good.

Until the next week when I got an email letter/phone call that I was still over due.  The last payments didn’t go through on two of the cards because she had transposed two numbers incorrectly from my Bank of America account… but only on two of the three cards.

They charged me $39×4… Basically $160 for their mistake.  That was refunded, they apologized, fixed it, done.

Two weeks later, letter in the mail. I’m overdue, no payments for two months.


I call, they say, oops, yeah that account number was written in wrong, waive the fees, apologize, setup auto-pay, get confirmation the account codes are working.

Today. Get a letter, payments rejected.  “Your bank states the account does not exist”.

Yes it does.

Call Chase.  They see no problem, states online that I paid the amounts required and they are not sure why I’m getting charged for return payments fees of $39 and $15 on each account.  Refund those charges and again state that this will never hit my credit report.  Apologies, etc etc.

Oops.  Not so fast,  payment of $210 is still pending, floating around.  Their solution?  Wait a month.

Why? So I can get ANOTHER $39 fee on that card?

Solution?  As soon as these three cards are paid off, they are going into the paper shredder.  Goodbye Chase Bank.  You have sucked enough life out of me, and I’ve only had you as my card since February or March.  Congratulations on the fastest piss-Justin-off time ever.

The Potential is Boundless

I started an account with BoundlessGallery today.  This site will allow me to sell my photography in a really unique and simple way.

They handle the money aspect, allowing shopping carts and I just set the price and printing options for the pictures, figure shipping and they do the tax and setup the gallery.

There are a ton of options out there but this one seemed to be the best one for me.  Plus I found a coupon that made it even cheaper.  I’ll post my affiliate coupon here soon.  My account is still being certified but should be finished within 72 hours.  Once certified you can browse the artwork, which is all available for your viewing and commenting pleasure, at PiczarPhoto.

As I move pictures availability for purchase to BorderlyGallery, I will create a link on the PiczarPhoto page of each work.

I’m very excited at the prospect of actually making money from my photography, now that I have the professional tools to capture, edit and print the pictures.

Once my account is certified, you will be able to view my profile at and my porfolio at

I look forward to fulfilling the requests I’ve gotten for prints!  Yay for monetizing something I love.

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