Magazine Article


Digital Surrealism

When he subsequently teamed up with a designer from Salmon Design, the two decided to create an interesting promotion that reflected the same concept.

"It was a pretty elaborate fold-out piece. For the images, we used quotations from various sourcessongs, writings, novelspairing up each image with a quote on the front page."

The large shots were taken with a Toyo G 4x5. For the smaller objects, they used a Mamiya RZ 67. "It went over really well," remembers Zapp. "Ideas don't always translate directly into jobs, but I know people really liked the promo and that it definitely increased our exposure."

Zapp now relies mostly on his website for that marketing presence. He has been in the Workbook forever and does other direct-mail pieces, but it is from his website that he has derived the most feedback and assignments.

A shoot Zapp really loved was for a nicotine-free cigarette. "They did this whole campaign about breaking the nicotine habit, escaping from it. We shot about 12 different ads and they involved model-making and a lot of digital work. It was like a dream job because they came to me for exactly what I do, which is always the greatest thing.

"They wanted each image to be a single unit, like an icon, and that's really what I'm best atworking more with single subjects than groups of things, and just making them look interesting and special."

What's the Buzz?

He and Satoshi haven't modified their business strategy in these leaner times, other than by becoming more competitive pricewise. "We're obviously willing to work with people on budgets. The way we have things arranged, given that there are two of us here, it really helps to keep the overhead down. So it only follows that it also helps to make it easier for us to ride out the less busy times."

Recently, to get some buzz going, Zapp and Satoshi threw a huge party at their new studio. They used the invitation as a powerful promotional tool, adorning it with their fabulous images.

"We probably had over 400 people here. Obviously, not everyone was an art director, but it's good to get people down here just the same so they can see what we've got going."

For as Zapp will tell you, the best thing you can do is get people thinking about you.

For more of Zapp's images, visit: