Techstars / Giant Thinkwell for Seattle Met

I thought it high time to finally chat about a shoot I did earlier this year with the crew of TechstarsGiant Thinkwell for Seattle Met magazine carried by a great article written by James Ross Gardner.

This project was my final colab with then Design Director Benjamen Purvis who left earlier this year to helm the Creative Director spot at Men’s Journal.

Our collective spitballin’ ultimately led to going toward the direction of re-interpreted business stock photos — those cheesy images of dudes carrying briefcases talking on cellphones mid-gutbusting laugh.

When I read a synopsis of the story and somehow (luckily) mis-read that Kyle Kesterson of Giant Thinkwell had given a presentation in the nude, it set me off on the sketches above. Of course this wasn’t your father’s business, but a super cool startup interested in cultivating a following for their project with the aid of social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, so it held that the images were going to be a little left-of-center.

Above is my favorite image from the series where I re-invented the popular trope of “businessmen talking around water cooler.”

All the companies were super helpful and onboard with doing whatever it took to make the images shine. All of it coming together rather quickly, Kyle quickly became my right hand on the project. He said “you know I’ve got a giant slug that I sculpted” OR “you know, I’ve got this dog if you need one” (I was contemplating putting a big labrador in a suit shaking hands with a “colleague”).

Seen above are the gents from World Blender having a giant cup of coffee and talking shop alongside the impeccable hair of Kareem Amin of The Shared Web as he talks on his wireless keyboard. For me though, the real high point of the project was the boardroom shot above.

Kyle and I had been talking about how best to pull it off, and after some back and forth, we finally decided that adding one of Kyle’s giant nose sculptures was the way to go.

With the generous support of Josh Mullineaux — founder of Highlighter – and his hands, we transformed the scene into a giant talking head (or nose rather) drilling in quarterly sales performance or something of the sort.

Had a great time working on this and look forward to shedding more light on some other fun projects for Seattle Met and their current Design Director, Andre Mora and his right-hand man, Chris Skiles.

The image above was one of many great BTS shots from the Techstars project, but I like it for it’s symbology about the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012. What does the future hold? How will I get there?  How will I turn random thing “X” on it’s ear?

One project I’m very excited about is a colab (kind of a theme with me: collaboration) with the very talented man mentioned above, Mr. Kyle Kesterson and his new venture EW Awesome. Their first offering, called Marc and Marvin, is currently tearing up the startup battle scene. While my involvement in the project is growing, guess I could share with you one sketch that will get your inquisitive minds churning.

2011 has rocked! Going to try and get a few more posts in the tubes here, but stay tuned for what should be a banner 2012 year! More always loyal readership!

Yours in the war,



See full post here: The Office of Michael Clinard, General Photography BLOG2011-12-10.