Epic Self-Promotion: Photographer Has 400 Action Figures of Himself Made

Self-promotion is a tricky thing. We all know that marketing is probably more than half the battle when it comes to getting great clients (after all, no matter how good you are, they can’t hire you if they don’t know you exist) these days.

And now, as the photography market is becoming more and more saturated, the name of the game is “make an impression.” There are tens if not hundreds of photographers available pitching your client… how are you going to stand out?

We’ve seen fancy model car hard drives and flash drive, we’ve seen 35mm slide film business cards, but photographer Jens Lennartsson just took the cake (and did it with gusto): he created 400 ‘GI Jens’ action figures of himself to send out as promotional materials.




Yep, photographer action figures that, we have a feeling, will make a very distinct impression on his clients. If they have 100 portfolios to look through to decide who gets to shoot the next big project, do you really think they’ll skip over the one that comes attached to an action figure? We think not.

Here’s a snippet from a blog post by Lennartsson in which he answers the question “why and action figure?”:

Well, first of all: why the hell not!? Many photographers spend a lot of cash to design the perfect portfolio, print it and send to the people they want to work for. Just to have it disappear among hundreds of similar mailings.

If you’ve ever been in touch with an art director, art buyer or owner of an ad agency, you’ll know that they have a zillion things to do and as many people to meet. Unless you make an epic impression, you’ll be forgotten. I needed more than a paper folder to stand out. Besides showing my work, the marketing piece we were going to produce had to be something that:

  1. People would like to keep on their desk
  2. The owner would like to show to others
  3. In a second would present what Jens Lennartsson Photography is all about: raw and natural lifestyle and travel photography, without too much gear and Photoshop.




You can read all about the process of creating the action figure over on Lennartsson’s blog here. He basically outlines the steps necessary to do this all yourself.

For what it’s worth, though we’re sure at least a few people will see this as kitschy or tacky, the idea gets results. After all, we ARE talking about him aren’t we? And we have a feeling we won’t be the last photo blog to pick this story up.

(via ISO 1200)

Image credits: Photographs by Jens Lennartsson