May 28 2015

WebVisions PDX: Design is about People

I got to drop in on the WebVisions Portland conference earlier this month with a longtime collaborator, Jen Barth of Big Small Brands. The conference was a multi-day affair, but even a one-day peek felt like time well spent!

The two talks I attended on Friday morning weren’t especially similar, but they had one very important thing in common: they were people-centered. A design can be the most aesthetically pleasing thing in the world, but it won’t be successful if it doesn’t consider the people involved in making it, and the people who will be using it.

It’s All About The Interface.

Sarah Hall talks at WebVisions about how design affects people, and how people can inspire design.

Sarah Hall talks at WebVisions about how design affects people, and how people can inspire design.

Sarah Hall talked about “The Science of Art,” and got nerdy about the way our brains work, and how we can use that to make better design. The human brain has a variety of ways to perceive and interact with the world, and good design considers how people will respond to it.
Why are we so obsessed with Web Design and UI? Hall summed it up wonderfully: “Your interface affects how you understand and process the world around you.” So, if you want your work to be understood, you need design that helps the people you want to reach understand what you do, and reach out to you.

How You Connect People and Ideas Can Make You Memorable.

Ultimately, design is about connecting, and connecting isn’t just about person-to-person, either–it’s about how our brains connect and relate things together. Sometimes, things that might otherwise be completely unrelated feel like a natural connection, in your own mind. One of the roots of creativity, as Sarah Hall put it, “is divergent thinking, and how you make connections between disparate things.” When we consider how the people we want to reach will link one idea to another, we can make design that’s easier to understand, or design that catches the user’s attention and becomes more memorable.

Good Design Means Working Together.

Adam Connor’s talk, “Working Better Together: Characteristics of Productive, Creative Organization” was focused on the creative team, rather than the end user, but the people-centered approach still rang true. He talked about how each person’s role in a project can overlap, and stressed the importance of understanding each person’s role, looking for shared values, and building trust within the team and with the client.
One thing we do a lot of at Upswept is encourage our clients to give good, honest feedback, and Connor’s approach is similar: he encouraged everyone to be involved in the design process. Each person is important to making the end product Awesome, and having everyone–even the client–involved makes that final result even better.

Good Design Thinks About The Next Step.

Another comment from Adam Connor that really hit home for me is that, “real design does not have an end point. It is infinite; it is iterative.” It makes perfect sense for our clients, too, in my mind: your business is always growing, changing, and evolving, so your design should grow and change with it.
Don’t get me wrong: this doesn’t mean having a web site that’s constantly under construction, or ordering new promotional flyers every other day. But, the web site or branding that’s perfect for you today probably won’t fit you so perfectly a few years from now. Your business depends on how people respond to it, and your design should reflect that.
So, when you’re thinking about the next steps for your business, think about how that might affect your design needs, and plan for it. Even a great design can be improved, whether it’s right now, or sometime in the future.

May 19 2015

Catching up with jewelry designer Fresh Tangerine


from one of our early lookbook photoshoots with Fresh Tangerine

It’s been a busy Portland May, but we’re excited we got a chance to catch up with our friend Kimberlee Kogane at Fresh Tangerine! Fresh Tangerine makes beautiful handmade jewelry with a Pacific-NW-inspired feel, and has grown from a one-woman show to a team of makers.

We were fortunate enough to connect with Kimberlee and get to know her work during the early stages of her business, and her combination of bold colors and shapes with delicate details was fashionable, wearable, and memorable. She came to each shoot with a bold statement piece at the ready, and left our studio feeling a little extra-sparkly by the end. And we do mean literally–the glitter on our floors was a daily delight for weeks afterwards. ;)

Kimberlee first gave birth to Fresh Tangerine here in Portland, and she has since moved northward–if you’re in Seattle, pay them a visit to see their gorgeous work up close!

Can you sum up Fresh Tangerine for us, in a sentence or two?

Kimberlee working in the studio

Kimberlee working in the studio

Kimberlee Kogane: “Fresh Tangerine is first and foremost a jewelry brand that aspires to create beautiful and unique pieces that are affordable and can be worn every day. We also want to inspire people to be creative, take risks, and pursue their dreams.”

What was it like starting Fresh Tangerine? What parts of it did you love, and what were your struggles?

KK: In the beginning it was all about putting the hours in. It was hard at first to make the choice to stay home and work instead going out with friends, but I had a goal in mind, and knew that I wanted to make my business succeed. Now I’m transitioning from doing everything myself, to trying to lead a team of people which presents a whole new set of challenges.

What has Fresh Tangerine taught you – personally, or businesswise?

KK: One thing that I never expected was just how much owning a business challenges you as a person. I feel like I’ve had to face so many fears, and you have to accept those things that you might not be so good at. I’ve learned a lot about myself and a lot about business along the way.
Creating beuatiful jewlery is a team effort!

Creating beautiful jewelry is a team effort!

Where do you think Fresh Tangerine will go next?

KK: I would love to see Fresh Tangerine carried by a larger retailer. I want to grow our team, get our name out there, and continue create jewelry that is affordable and well made.

Thank you Kimberlee! We look forward to seeing you continue to grow!

May 06 2015

Don’t Get Left Behind – Get Your Web Site Mobile-Friendly for Google!

Upswept Creative is Mobile Friendly!

Upswept Creative is Mobile Friendly! Are you?

What’s invisible, super powerful, and affects us in Portland as much as people on the other side of the planet? Climate change? No, it’s the Google search algorithm. The most powerful search engine in the world is doing it again: changing the way sites get ranked! Not as bad as climate change by a long shot, but hugely impactful for everyone who relies on search traffic, especially from mobile devices. Roughly 1/3rd of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices (including tablets), so it was already a good idea to have a mobile-friendly site, but with this announcement, it’s even more important.

What It’s About

On April 21st, a Google algorithm change was announced for mobile users, meaning that, when we use Google search on our phones, we’ll see different search engine results on mobile than when we use Google on desktop devices.

How are these results different? Well, for searches coming from mobile devices, Google is now making “mobile-responsiveness” a ranking factor. If a site is mobile-responsive (also known as mobile-friendly), it’ll show up higher in a search performed on a mobile device than a site that isn’t, even if all other factors are the same. As of right now, this doesn’t make a difference when searches are made from desktop and laptop devices, but this may come in the foreseeable future.

What It Means

This is great news for many of our clients who’ve already invested mobile-friendly sites: it means they’ll rank higher than any competitors. But, if you’re concerned that you might not be among them, you can run it through Google’s mobile friendly test, which takes only a couple of minutes. If your site is not mobile friendly, you’ll want to make sure it is before you see a dip in revenue. Even if you’re not yet working with us, we can help you sail through this change. We’ll adapt your existing site to keep you up-to-date and running smoothly!

Learn More »


Apr 29 2015

Athletes into Superheroes: Conceptual Photography

Photography is a powerful way to make an impression, and creating unique conceptual art is just one way of doing it! A couple of years ago, I absentmindedly scribbled down the idea of shooting skaters from the Rose City Rollers’ all-star team, the Wheels of Justice, in superhero-inspired poses and settings. Seeing these people as heroes wasn’t much of a stretch, in my mind: at that time, I was a Fresh Meat skater without a team to call home, and I’d go positively starry-eyed watching these top-tier athletes do amazing, powerful, even gravity-defying things on skates.

So, when the team announced a “Heroes’ Ball” Fundraiser Party and Art Auction, it felt like the perfect opportunity to donate my time to support this team of inspiring women, and bring a concept to life. Over the course of two short weeks, we photographed four different Wheels of Justice skaters in unique Portland settings, and then edited and designed them into posters inspired by movie posters and superheroes. I researched and scouted locations all over Portland, recruited helping hands for lightning-fast lighting setup, and made the shots happen in record time. Together, we explored rooftops, busy downtown streets, and deserted industrial neighborhoods, and each skater brought grace and enthusiasm to the set.

We printed out the final posters at 18″x24″, framed them and had them autographed (both by the skaters and the artist), and they were then put up for as one-of-a-kind auction items at the fundraiser. The super-excellent DJ Agent Meow even queued up the appropriate superhero theme music as the posters were unveiled! I was excited to learn that the posters raised ~$1000 for the team at the fundraiser party and art auction, and I’m SO happy to help them on their way to becoming world champions.

The Wheels of Justice will be showing the world what they have to offer at The Big O tournament in Eugene this weekend, and I’ll be cheering my face off for them from Portland! We owe a big thank you to each of these skaters, for inspiring us and for making time to work with us. Now go get that Hydra! ;)

Chestnut #127 as Batman

Chestnut #127 as Batman

Scald Eagle #50 as Captain America

Scald Eagle #50 as Captain America

Moffatt #2 as the Incredible Hulk

Moffatt #2 as the Incredible Hulk

Gaither #26 as Superman

Gaither #26 as Superman

Apr 22 2015

Upswept Creative at the ACT-W Conference in Portland!

Conference Sticker from ACT-W

ACT-W: Disrupting Tech with Diversity

Last weekend, we had the awesome opportunity to attend the ACT-W (Advancing the Careers of Technical Women)  conference in Portland and we had a great time! As I wrote about fairly recently, the gender gap in tech is pervasive, and ACT-W is doing its part to help support women entering into and working in tech positions. Now in its third year, the conference is growing rapidly, as the Portland tech industry continues to flourish. Here’s a run down of what happened this past weekend!


Friday Night was the kickoff to the event, and featured a rad kick off party at Smarsh – with awesome catered food from Nicholas’ Restaurant, an open bar and plenty of engaged conversation. I arrived fairly late to the game, but still got a chance to sample some fine food, have a relaxing beer and check out the new Smarsh headquarters while reconnecting with friends who were also attending the conference.


Saturday began bright and early at 8:30am – (but not as early as the conference organizers, who were up and running at 7!). We made it downtown for the limited seating breakfast keynote, which touched on being a minority in big tech companies, strategies to interrupt sexism and work, and encouraging diversity in a homogenous industry. The main floor keynote, delivered by Kristin Toth Smith, CEO of Code Fellows, was a great talk on how unconscious biases come in to play in tech workplaces, and offered ideas about how we can all make tech more inclusive!

Upswept Creative on the roster!

Upswept Creative on the roster!

After the keynote, it was time for the lightning talks – a series of 5 minute mini talks on different topics. The talks ranged from UX design to transphobia at work, and were all super compelling, and quite diverse. I was excited to be presenting a lightning talk myself – a short introduction to  the 1960’s, which was the era when my mother got into tech, as a computer operator on an IBM 360/30 mainframe with no prior experience in tech. The audience was super supportive, and I got a ton of great feedback after my presentation!

The rest of the day featured a ton of great workshops on leadership, freelancing, Open Source,  and more, as well as a popular tabling/booth area complete staffed by companies such as CDK global, Simple and Appnexus, as well as organizations like Chicktech, and Lesbians Who Tech with mock interviews. This is the area where Sarah spent most of her Saturday, as Upswept Creative was on hand to offer free headshots to conference attendees!

After Saturdays’ jam-packed schedule, Esri hosted a limited space after party – unfortunately I was unable to attend this or the Sunday workshops, but I am sure they were an awesome experience!

Overall, the conference was a great way to spend a weekend and an important resource for women and girls to be exposed to tech, as well as fostering diversity in a collaborative and meaningful way. Until next year!






Apr 06 2015

Pro Tips: Making the Most of professional services

Professional level work means professional level attention to detail.

Professional level work means professional level attention to detail.

It’s spring in Portland! And what says spring more than flowers and hayfever? Spring cleaning. Now is the time to dust off your website, or start that business you have been dreaming of. And when you do so, these Pro Tips will make make sure you have the best experience you can possibly have.

While this isn’t the first time we’ve touched upon how you can make the most of the services you pay for, for the rest of spring we’ll be focusing on bringing you more pro tips and real-life case studies from those who made it work! We’ll tell you exactly how to plan out your first steps towards a successful website (especially if you’re new to the game), what to expect from a branding or website redesign, secret tips on having an (even better) headshot experience, and more!

Getting Ready to Pro-Level It

Many of our clients’ businesses started small – a hobby, a desire to break out of corporate culture, to become a successful model, real estate agent or actress, or to work independently. If your business is only just starting out, you may be hesitant to make an investment in getting a professional to design your logo, create your website, or photograph your product.

Many of us know a friend who takes “pretty good” photographs, has a printer that will print business cards just fine, or a buddy who built a website for his band back in the day. Why spend money when you don’t know if your venture will be successful – especially if money is thin on the ground? Once you start making money, then you’ll hire someone to do the logo, the design, and the business cards.

This logic is flawed – and much less likely to lead to success. Let me tell you why!

The trouble with hiring “friends” who will work for free or very little is that while intentions are often good, time is often hard to come by. You may find that if a lucrative job offer comes along, or the baby gets sick, it’s your project that ends up at the bottom of the to-do pile, leaving your business stuck in the starting blocks while others already finished the race.

A professional photographer, designer or social media manager does this for a living, and will do what they can to make sure your product is delivered on time and on budget.


The colourless green logo went through many different revisions until we and the client were happy with the final version.

Good design takes time! The Colourless Green logo went through several revisions, until both we and client were happy with the final version.

Additionally, if your talented friend delivers a less-than-stellar product, or even just something that’s very different than you expected, you may find yourself in an awkward situation: now you’re stuck with something you got for “free”, but isn’t what you wanted or expected. Maybe you don’t even want to use it at all! All of a sudden, your relationship is affected, and things feel hard to reconcile, and “Free” is no longer “free of trouble”.

A professional is there to do her job – and that job is to make you, paying customer, happy with the final result. We expect revisions, and we expect critique. No hard feelings!


Professional Headshots don't necessarily mean dull and serious

Professional Headshots don’t necessarily mean dull and serious.

Having a hobby that you want to turn into a professional business is a wonderful place to be – you have passion for a specific idea, you know the market, you know your future clients. But, transforming a side business into a sustainable, viable, thriving business needs more than just passion and some inside knowledge – it requires the ability to evaluate things critically,  and to make decisions that are less driven by emotion, and more by what is good for business.

Any successful professional will give you their feedback on what they think you need to be successful, where your brand direction is on point and where it is lacking. Your success is our success.


If you are about to invest your time and energy into a project, your project is much more likely to be successful if supported by professional level branding, design, and marketing. Investing in the services of a professional means taking your business seriously, and giving it the best possible chance at success.

Ready to talk about making your passion project a success? Get in touch with us!

Apr 02 2015

When April Fool’s Jokes Become Smart Branding

I’ve never been one for pulling pranks, but I can’t help appreciating the creativity that April Fool’s Day seems to bring out in some parts of the internet–especially now that businesses are taking part in clever ways. Instead of being a terror-inducing and mean-spirited occasion, it can become a neat project for the business and a smart move for their brand to have some harmless fun with an April Fool’s Day joke.

Because we love Portland businesses here at Upswept, I’m taking a look at a few local, independent businesses who had a bit of extra fun with their April Fool’s Day.

Ground Kontrol “Artisanal Artcade”


This April Fool’s Day homepage shows what Ground Kontrol might be like if it got a makeover from the staff of Portlandia.

Portland’s own “barcade” Ground Kontrol, normally offers you pints after 5pm, plenty of classic arcade games to keep you entertained, and a dramatic interior with gaming-inspired details. You’ll see sleek seating and tables with lighting elements inside, Pac-Man tiling in the bathroom, and a general atmosphere that makes you wonder if you’ve stumbled onto the set of TRON.

On April Fool’s Day, however, Ground Kontrol unveiled a parody version of their web site with a sharp change in direction: “Ground Kontrol Artisanal Artcade” traded contrast-y, retro-modern design for wood grain textures and old-timey type, and their homepage copy boasted a fancy new menu and craft cocktail menu, and a “de-modeled” interior that rolled back their futuristic look to its original, 1900s-era architecture.

Why it works for their brand: Ground Kontrol is one of the places that makes Portland unique, but much of what the world thinks of when they think of Portland is the opposite of what Ground Kontrol offers: people in flannel shirts, riding fixies, eating an artisanal vegan/gluten-free lunch from a food cart you probably haven’t heard of. ;) Any good parody is born from a love of the thing being parodied, though, so this ends up being a clever way for GK to say, “no, really, Portland, we like being here.”

Fort George Looks to Purchase Anheuser-Busch InBev

I couldn’t help but giggle when we saw this April Fool’s Day press release from local beer crafters at Fort George Brewery. When Anheuser-Busch InBev recently purchased Elysian, another local brewery, there were plenty of alarmed and horrified reactions. With that in our recent collective memory, Fort George’s April Fool’s Day announcement that they were looking purchase InBev made an amusingly perfect response to the buyout of Elysian. The announcement shared quotable lines about their proposed buyout, such as, “‘Bud Light Lime-A-Rita would definitely fill a niche Fort George does not serve,’ explains Jack Harris, co-owner and brew master at Fort George.”

Why it works for their brand: I’ve sampled many a Fort George brew in the past, and uniquely-delicious beers like their Hellcat Trippel prove their far-from-macro approach to brewing. With this fake announcement, Fort George gets to poke some fun at big corporate beers, and remind us that they’re happy being a smaller brewery, and committed to creating beers the best way they know how.

Powell’s Discovers an Exciting New Author

A look at Blue, Minnesota--a made-up book release from Powell's Books.

A look at Blue, Minnesota–a made-up book release from Powell’s Books.

The folks at the world’s largest bookstore definitely planned ahead for this April Fool’s Day: if you were following Powell’s Books on social media yesterday, you saw multiple postings creating buzz and excitement surrounding a new book called Blue, Minnesota: reportedly the first novel ever written by an exciting new author, Todd Furlong.

The team at Powell’s gradually unveiled the joke throughout the day, sharing photos of their staff enjoying the book, and even a Q&A with the author. As the day went on, things got weirder–the author photo featured a suit-and-bowtied body with a cat’s head, and pages of the book were revealed as being nothing but a series of meows. Finally, in the late-afternoon, the Powell’s Facebook page announced, “BREAKING: We’ve been catfished. Todd Furlong’s new novel Blue, Minnesota is in fact just a series of meows transcribed by his overzealous owner.”

Why it works for their brand: Powell’s had a chance to play with the online buzz machine, by generating excitement about something goofy, silly, and 100% made-up. It’s a cute reminder of how easily we can get swept up in the “hottest” new Thing Of The Moment, but underneath that, Powell’s is also reminding us: they’re excited about books, and they want you to be excited about them, too. Even when they’re written by cats. ;)

If you parked near Sizzle Pie, you may have gotten a parking ticket with a surprise inside: it's a couple for a free slice of pizza!

These parking tickets held a surprise inside: a coupon for a free slice at Sizzle Pie!

Sizzle Pie: Parking Tickets with a Surprise

Portland purveyors of pizza deliciousness Sizzle Pie did a great job of taking a shocking prank and turning it into a happy ending. Little yellow envelopes that look nearly identical to the ones the City of Portland uses for parking citations appeared on cars parked near Sizzle Pie locations.

Upon closer inspection, however, there are telltale signs that this is no ordinary parking ticket–like the, “Pizza Alert System Headquarters” address on the front. Pranked victims then pull out the citation, and see a slip of paper formatted like a City of Portland parking citation… but it’s actually a coupon for a free slice of pizza!

Why it works for their brand: This might be my favorite prank of the day: it’s good exposure that will stick in the memories of locals, and it works because what looks to be bad luck turns out to be a good gift. Sizzle Pie won’t shy away from a bit of mischief, but really, they just want Portlanders to enjoy delicious pizza. The down side? We seriously hope those who were hit by this prank took the time to look at the ticket, rather than throwing it away in anger and missing out on the payoff.

Mar 05 2015

Lessons from the Lesbians Who Tech Summit!

Repping Upswept at the 2nd annual Lesbians Who Tech conference!

Repping Upswept at the 2nd annual Lesbians Who Tech conference in 2015!

If you are a woman in the tech industry and feel your most recent Portland tech conference was mostly populated by white, 25-35 year old men, you wouldn’t be incorrect. A recent survey by Bloomberg shows that silicone valley big hitters such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter are all failing to get above the 30% women mark, globally, across the board! If you are a lesbian or queer person, and even more so if you are a lesbian or queer person of color, the numbers are even more dire.

We at Upswept Creative are excited and proud, however, to have better diversity numbers than our competition! I myself have been openly gay since I was a teen, and we openly embrace diversity in our team. After hearing about the local Portland chapter of Lesbians Who Tech, I was excited to attend the Lesbians Who Tech Summit from February 26th-March 1st in San Francisco. Over 1200 women attended from all over the US, and the agenda was packed with amazing workshops and presentations regarding diversity issues, making smart career choices, and who technology can support social justice efforts. Here are some notes from the summit!

Diversity is important because it leads to more success.

Companies with female board members tend to be more successful than companies without. But while females comprise roughly 50% of the adult population, there are more male CEO’s called John in the United States than there are CEOs who are female! Companies with diverse employees tend to be more successful because they can appeal to a broader market. Diversity is more than just hiring women – it also means hiring older people, younger people, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, gay, queer and transgendered people, people who are differently able, and people who have non-traditional backgrounds.

Takeaway: Make your company appeal to a diverse audience by putting diverse people in your offices – not just in your advertising. If you are not in a position to affect hiring decisions: actively support diversity goals by joining interest groups, fostering connections, and supporting local diversity initiatives.

Support Women by providing work environments that are pregnancy/child friendly.

There are plenty of techy women available for hire :)  Photo by: Evelyn Rios @evelynriossf

There are plenty of techy women available :)
Photo by: Evelyn Rios

According to an article published by the New York Times a few days ago, there are more male CEO’s called John in the United States than there are CEOs who are female! A big reason for this is motherhood. Not all women will become mothers, but for those that do, working full or even part time can be a challenge. Work with your employees and colleagues to find solutions that allow for a more flexible schedule, including working remotely. Accommodate breastfeeding mothers by providing a private area to pump milk. Hire women who are trying to get back into working after taking maternity leave.

Takeaway: Mothers are amazing multitaskers, mature communicators and driven problem solvers by necessity – a real asset to any project team.

Strengthen relationships to empower your community to success.

For me, it was an amazing experience to attend a tech conference that was geared towards Lesbians and Queer women. It allowed me to relax and be myself, while also allowing me to network extensively with sympathetic peers. Lesbians Who Tech was an amazing opportunity for mutually beneficial connections to form, all while supporting a community that needs to empower itself to manifest change. Even if you do not belong to any specific minority group, connecting with a community of likeminded peers can provide you with the support to reach your own personal goals, which in turn can inspire others to take the first step.

Takeaway: Get connected to others with whom you share common ground. Let’s keep supporting each other!


Portland professional photographer | Portland branding agency | Upswept Creative

Feb 19 2015

Brand Exposure, The Old-Fashioned Way

Are you a small Portland business, a local start-up, a one woman (or man) band with an innovative product or a new idea? You’re not alone! Learn how to get your brand noticed the old fashioned way!

The outset is familiar: Many of us who own and run small businesses are looking to connect with others and tell our story in order to solidify our brand, broaden our reach, and gain new customers. But, even if you have a great website, a killer social media presence, a professional headshot and some really neat business cards (ideally designed by us),  sometimes you need to branch out a little in order to reach new customers and clients. Sometimes – heaven forbid – we need to get out of the office into the fray! Here are some fresh new ideas to help you get connected – outside of the walls that are your studio, your home office, or your production site.

1.) Meet the competition


Don’t be afraid to seek out others who share your dream! Healthy competition can motivate you to improve and stand out.

Regardless of whether you run a niche business or have a unique take on something, there are like-minded people who work in your field – even if their approach is different. Some may be way ahead of you on their path, others might be starting out. Competition does not have to be a your bad thing, but can instead inspire you to work smarter, learn new skills, and identify both the strengths and weaknesses of your brand and your business. Check out a trade show if one exists for your area, stop by some boutiques in a different part of town or in a different city, check out the web and design projects other people have been working on. The key here is to be confident in your own abilities and not too easily discouraged, you are not there to compare, but to identify! Take notes on what you like and what you dislike as you evaluate others work – understanding yourself is the key to building an authentic brand that represents you well and connects with others. Let others know who you are and what you are working on – a great opportunity to collaborate may present itself.

2.) Connect with your personal interests

It’s not all business, nor should it be. For many of us, our motivations stem from a personal passion, interest, or identity! Being part of a community that considers you an insider will make it easier for you to approach and be approached for work. Upswept is closely connected to Roller Derby and local fashion producers – its no wonder people know us from these communities and solicit us for work based on our involvement! This can happen for you, too – make sure your communities, whatever they may be, know about your brand and your business. This can be through contributing to message board or website dedicated to certain interest, or attending conferences, events, and summits for like-minded folks. On that note: I’m super stoked to be attending the Lesbians Who Tech Summit in San Francisco this year, in fact I’ll be live blogging it while I’m there from the 26th-1st!

Connecting with the communities you are involved in can help your brand get noticed.

Connecting with the communities you are involved in can help your brand get noticed.

3.) Give back to get more

Another way to get yourself out there, to meet new people and get more attention on your brand is to consider giving back. In December of last year, I posted about how organizing a fundraiser can help generate new buzz for your business – a great example is our own Bowlful of Heart Pet Food Drive. There are many other ways to give back and strengthen your brand. You can volunteer for a local cause or event. Sponsoring a cause or sports team that resonates with you is another great option. (Upswept Creative is excited to be sponsoring the Portland Roller Derby team the High Rollers this year!), or offer your products as prizes for a benefit or fundraisers. People will be more likely to recognize you and your brand if they connect you to a positive experience! Be sure to promote your efforts on your blog and social media!

How have you been able to connect with new customers and clients in the past? If you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share, please let us know!

Jan 28 2015

Saddling Up for a Fun Social Media Campaign

We launched a five-day social media campaign last week, and we had some, ahem, unique personalities stopping by the studio to be a part of it, earlier in the month.

professional photography - Venus de Mileage, a.k.a. "Frank from Jersey," helps a fellow bachelor complete the look.

Venus de Mileage, a.k.a. “Frank from Jersey,” helps a fellow bachelor complete the look.

We’re sponsoring the High Rollers in their 2015 roller derby season, and this past weekend, they threw The High Rollers Showdown Throwdown, a fundraiser party to support the team, and keep them outfitted with the gear, uniforms, and training opportunities they need for a winning season. One of the planned events of the evening was a Bachelor Auction with a twist: the “Bachelors” were female skaters, taking on male drag personas, complete with western outfits to match the old-timey saloon theme of the party.

We were able to coax these five skaters down to Upswept HQ, to be transformed into their Bachelor personas in front of our camera. For some of our Bachelors, this wasn’t their first trip to the rodeo–they came prepared with authentic-looking mustaches and swagger to spare!–but some of these skaters weren’t fully prepared to see themselves as their Bachelor personas.

“Oh my god, it looks REAL! Like a real beard! How does it look so real?”

Social media campaign graphics - Just one of the five "Bachelors" auctioned off at the fundraiser!

Just one of the five “Bachelors” auctioned off at the fundraiser!

Fortunately, the supporting each other is one of the core values of the roller derby community, so the skaters pitched in with their makeup skills and drag king secrets, to help each other look their dude-liest for the auction.

Once they were dressed and ready, we did a quick photoshoot with each Bachelor, and then worked up the photos into five different poster-style graphics, which we blasted out via the High Rollers’ social media channels. We used a heavier hand with the styling, and took inspiration from the saloon theme of the party, resulting in posters that were two parts Old West “Wanted” Poster, and one part Magazine Cover.

The results? The Bachelor Auction was a hotly anticipated highlight of the fundraiser, and we even turned the graphics into framed and autographed posters, that turned out to be popular raffle prizes! The party was even hailed by some alumni skaters as the best in High Rollers history, and the team is kicking off the early season with full pockets and even fuller hearts.

We had way too much fun putting this project together, and re excited to have played even a small role in making their fundraiser more successful.

Interested in a poster of your own?

Only a few lucky people could win the one-of-a-kind framed and autographed prints of the Showdown Throwdown Bachelors, but after all the wonderful feedback we got from this campaign, we’re offering a limited run of Bachelor Auction prints! You can now order a print of your favorite bachelor online, or even a set of ALL FIVE, with every order benefitting the High Rollers.

View/Order Bachelor Auction Prints! >


Portland professional photographer | Portland branding agency | Upswept Creative