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BTS: Viral REFLECT Portraits of Convicts Turned Into Creative Promotional Mailers



It wasn’t long ago that we shared Trent Bell‘s viral photo series REFLECT with you. But while the photo series itself was an inspiring and beautiful collection of work that made its mark online, it actually started its life as an idea for a creative promotional mailer.

The thought originally struck Bell and his team while they were discussing marketing ideas at a coffee shop. After a few ideas were thrown out and ultimately rejected, the idea of photographing prisoners and attaching the resulting prints to a clipboard came up. Thus, the REFLECT project was born.

Rather than a simple photo series for a promotional mailer, the REFLECT portraits of convicts and the letters they wrote to their younger selves ended up receiving worldwide recognition, with people all across the globe seeing and sharing these images and the touching life lessons within them.

Now, almost a year later, Bell and his team have finally pieced together the REFLECT project as it was originally conceived, turning the photographs into a promotional mailer that’s sure to grab the attention of one of the many advertising agencies Bell sent them out to:












Bell notes that it took a great deal of trial and error when it came to creating these marketing materials, but eventually, we’d say he ended up with one of the more unique mailers these advertising agencies will probably ever come across.

To read more on the process and get a step-by-step breakdown of how these materials came together, head over to Bells blog here. And if you’re not familiar with REFLECT or you’d like to see more of Bell’s work, be sure to visit his main website as well.

Image credits: Photographs by Trent Bell and used with permission