Photographer’s Handmade Promo Mailer is Beyond Impressive

Photographer Clint Davis doesn’t do simple. Featured on PetaPixel almost four years ago when he created an unforgettable promotional mailer, his second attempt at the same is even more impressive.

The idea for his new mailer came from his original “Give Me a Shot” campaign, but he aspired for something more refined this time around. With his work and client-base having dramatically matured over the past four years, Davis wanted to make sure his new marketing strategy reflected his higher-end clientele. So, he got to work.

Here are the various components that went into each mailer:


In a nod to his original campaign, this mailer also capitalizes on the “shot” entendre, but in a completely different light. Rather than asking his client base to give him a shot, he’s now showing them what it is he’s shot by drilling ‘bullet holes’ into the portfolio prints.

The clever wordplay doesn’t stop there though. Davis also enlisted the help of painter Christina Ramsey to paint no less than 50 empty ammunition shells to look like the iconic Canon 70–200mm.

Below are a collection of BTS images of the mailer that Davis was kind enough to share with us:


























The amount of time, thought and meticulous detail that went into these mailers is nothing short of astounding. For a more thorough explanation behind every detail — and there are a lot of them — head on over to his blog post after you check out the photos and video in this post.

And if this mailer makes you want to hire him, you can find out more about the photographer on his website where you’ll also find links to all his social networks.

Image credits: Photographs by Clint Davis and used with permission.

  • AList_AL

    files this to the “Why didn’t I think of that?” collection. Except maybe the bullets in the mail part.

  • MMielech

    Hmmmmm……..seems like somebody has a lot of time and money to kill on self promotion. I think that, in this day and age, if I received that in the mail, I’d wonder where my agency’s money was really going for the quality of work I was getting.

    Wonder what the final cost to successful job creation ratio was?

  • Woody ONeal

    If I received that in the mail, I’d be inclined to give him a shot. Who care’s what the cost / job creation ratio was?

    I bet ONE job from that client list more than paid for the sweat equity involved. It’s all about being remembered now, OR later.

  • Chang He

    What is smart about this is that the “making of” video is as much an advertisement as the mailers themselves. Bravo.

  • Mr Hogwallop

    There is a disconnect in your statement, if you received it the guy is pitching you for work so your agency has no money involved until you hire him. So what do you mean about the “quality of work that you are getting” when you haven’t gotten any work…Call me confused ¯_(ツ)_/¯
    9 out of 10 ADs or CDs would say WTF is this?!! This is really cool!

    I am pretty sure he targeted his mailing list very tight and the promo will pay for itself shortly.

  • Donte Tidwell


  • Gannon Burgett

    I was going to put this in the article, but figured it was a bit more of an opinion, so I kept it out. I did some rough napkin math and pending a few variables that would affect the price by no more than a couple hundred dollars, the estimated cost for all of this was around $2500, plus however many man-hours he put into it. From the photographs provided, it looks like he has around 50 of these to send out.

    On his blog he states that he has worked for the likes of companies such as BMW, Pepsi and Porsche. Thus, even if one of the fifty clients he sends these to hires him for only one shoot, odds are he’s going to be easily making his money back on this endeavor.

    The ROI on this sort of thing is worth it almost every single time, especially when you have already worked with the clients he has.

  • Alex Tardif

    Way more awesome than that other self-promo mailer of the guy from few months back who was sending his own action-figure thingie. Kudos for creativity and quality. Plus… one can never have too many Pelican cases :)

  • Brandon Rechten

    Curious what the ROI is…

  • Clint Davis

    You’re absolutely right Hogwallop (lol). An immense amount of time was spent researching exactly who to send them to. I took a quality over quantity approach when sending them out. It’s not uncommon for photographers to send out 100s, 1000s of mailers to potential clients. 50 is a scant drop in the bucket when considering all of the prominent agencies/magazines available.

  • Lukas Prochazka

    I guess you are not running couple million dollar company because I think this is more than professional…and that’s what those company wants exclusivity and professionality…with brand comes image of that brand and companies accentuate on image of brand.

  • snappyuk

    With a name like “Clint Davis” I’d expected him to send out CDs.

  • Mr Hogwallop

    I remember Ian Summers saying that if you have a $4000 promo budget you can spend $1 of 4000 people or $40 on 100 or $400 on ten. I think the sweet spot is in the middle.
    You need to choose your targets carefully.

  • Jon Akbar


  • stevodotorg

    What model is that pelican case?

  • Noel Kerns

    Wouldn’t really high-quality work really be the best calling card for a commercial photographer?

    Not saying Mr. Davis isn’t a good photographer – I’m sure he is – but as a prospective client, I’d be much more interested in seeing what I’m looking for in his photography than in clever marketing gimmicks.

  • Clint Davis

    That’s why I put 20 5×8″ prints in there. The pelican case and supporting elements were basically increasing the chances that they open it, illustrate that it took time and thought to piece these together, and above all, remember me. That was my strategy.

  • Clint Davis

    1065… good luck finding any, I think they’re all sold out now!! lol jk… but really, it took about a month to receive them since they were apparently on backorder.

  • Clint Davis

    Then I’d have to supply a CD player!… who has those things anymore? :)

  • Carrie Caposello

    I find that the concept, creativity and artistic talent combine to show how this particular photographer is the “total package”. Instead of looking at his presentation as a “gimmick” , credit the guy for taking the reigns in showing why he is the best man for the job. I applaud you sir, for making a stand out presentation as well as a lot of other artists look at their own self marketing. There is never an excuse to not try and make yourself better. Thank you for raising the bar!

  • Melissa Caposello

    I have been in advertising for over 14 years. You have less that 10 seconds to capture your audiences attention. It also takes an average of seeing a product four times before a consumer will seek more information and/or purchase a product. Most media packets do not work, however, this is fabulous! I have seen and created many different marketing strategies and this is an excellent example of what works! Great job and very creative!

  • Cliff Workman

    Return on Investment

  • Matija Fudurić

    2:49 photo by Douglas Sonders?

  • Fullstop

    First off, nice materials.
    Unfortunately the promo video above is using very popular music (which was used for several commercials during the olympics) which undoubtedly has not been licensed and is being used for commercial use here.
    With PetaPixel pumping this post out, Mr Davis may get more attention that he wished for if EMI gets wind of this.
    His insurance should cover it though.

  • ceethreedom

    Good question! Clint has it on his site and then there’s this:

    Disregard! I just saw that Clint did the edit. The photo is credited to Douglas.

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    It’s an empty casing. In some countries like Malaysia though being found with a single bullet can get you the death sentence.

  • Clive Rowland

    Yup, exactly what I thought, send intricate and expensive mailers to 50 real life contacts and get free promotion on endless photography related blogs.

  • Renato Murakami

    Very impressive stuff that does more than “high quality photos portfolio” would do. This shows creativity, dedication, flexibility into other crafts and very strong branding accepting risks to put money and time in a worthwhile advertisign campaign for the right clients. Kudos to Clint Davis.

  • cardmaverick

    Really cool promo! My only constructive criticism though is the message “give me a shot”. It sounds too begging to me. “Let’s shoot” would work just as well with the theme and sound more confidant. Other than that, I’m diggin it! The bullet casing lenses, so cool. What was th

  • cardmaverick

    I had a lunch meeting recently with an AD at the biggest ad agency in my state. I asked them what really matters to them the most, the work or past clients. He told me… past clients. It makes sense, you’re only being considered if the work is good enough to begin with. After that point, it’s personality and work history.

  • cardmaverick

    Packages do get opened more. The only downside though is there is no instant message they can’t ignore, unless you do custom packaging… something I’m looking into ;)

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    You did great work. I’m amazed at your attention to detail and from what I can tell in the video, you’re an amazing photographer.

  • Ryan Dunne

    just as
    Michelle said I’m stunned that any one can profit $9518 in four weeks on the
    internet . More Info >>>>> W­o­r­k­s­7­7­.­C­O­M­

  • Adam Cross

    I really don’t understand the point of the bullet case 70-200

  • Adam Cross

    looks like the i1065cc Hardback

  • Brandon Rechten

    Heh, I’m curious what the RIO is. Not what RIO is.

  • Christopher McRae

    Bloody Brilliant. I am absolutely envious.

  • Matija Fudurić

    Well,then it’s ok. :)

  • Jim Johnson

    It’s statements like this that remind me how old I am.

    I mean I know it’s true (I don’t even have one), but to be reminded the big thing of my youth is irrelevant…

  • Chang He

    Like Peng said, it isn’t a bullet.

  • NiagaraTim

    it may apply only if the bullet still has the gunpowder and the bullet head still attached to it

  • NiagaraTim

    many still have cd players.. i have one on my 2011 iMac.. usb thumb drives and cd’s are still the top choice in media formats. it was brilliant to send them a free iPad case though you could have sent them the bullet casings and made them into usb thumbdrive keychains containing more examples of your work ;-)

  • Peng Tuck Kwok

    And that is why I said bullet instead of empty casing.

  • james

    Its a place in Brazil

  • james

    False,the video would just be muted by the host on there request. It may be pulled down but thats as far as it’ll ever get

  • jkantor267

    He wants to get hired as a photographer? He obviously doesn’t need the money.

  • Michael Craig Dunn

    I just have to say Casing, Bullet and Round.
    Casing= what the gunpowder and bullet goes in to.
    Bullet= the thing that moves when the primer in the bottom of the casing is struck and ignites the gun powder.
    Round= all components put together.
    Just saying.