Studio 3, Inc.

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Show Don’t Tell: How Commercial Photography Changes the Game

Posted on May 18, 2018

We have a mantra here at Studio 3 Inc: Beautiful Photography Sells Product.


Yes, stock photos are easy to get in today’s culture of immediacy.
Yes, it’s also easy to take your own photos due to the evolution of smartphone cameras. What’s not easy is making the decision to invest in advertising photography for your company. But let’s face it – you will absolutely use ALL those professional photos. Commercial photography – complete with a photography studio, lighting, styling, and retouching- legitimizes your business and propels your online exposure. Here’s why…

Nike Features  — Studio 3, Inc.
YOU GET AND KEEP THEIR ATTENTION: Did you know that posts with featured images are 120%-180% more visible online? That means simply having a photo available TRIPLES your clientele and sales. If you are trying to hook clients without photos, you’re doing it wrong. And if you’re trying to hook buyers with amateaur photos, again – you’re doing it wrong. You want your photos to reflect your kick-ass products, right? Well then it might be time to turn to a kick-ass studio – shameless plug.

We are all subject to the algorithm. Social media platforms measure how long visitors stay on a website, and if it’s less than a minute, your links drop to the bottom of the feed. Make sure you’re fostering customer relationships and enticing shoppers to click “add to cart.” Having stellar product photography drives sales up by 60%, and allowing shoppers to see a life sized image of the product – or at least zoomed in – again DOUBLES the purchase potential of the client. The more they know the more they buy. A great photography studio like Studio 3 can tell the story of your product from beginning to end.

Screen Shot 2018 05 16 at 12.28.07 PM  — Studio 3, Inc.

YOU’RE EDUCATIONAL: SHOW your clients, and then TELL them what they’re seeing. Process photos are all the rage. To be honest, it’s probably because reading is NOT all the rage. We don’t want to follow instructions, we want to follow a picture. We don’t want to read a menu, we want to see a picture of what could shortly be on steaming plates in front of us. Well give the people what they want! Create a video of your product in use or a photo menu for your restaurant with killer food photography. Photo stories allow people to envision themselves using your product, visiting your location, eating your food, or feeling the emotion of your models. Clients need the reassurance that you are supporting their need to understand the process. Seeing a product “in-action” solidifies client trust and increases purchase percentage. Building your customer’s confidence in their ability to utilize your product is a necessary step in brand evangelism. SHOW them it’s not too good to be true.

YOUR IMAGES ARE VARIED AND INTERESTING – YET CONSISTENT.
E-commerce and Instagram business accounts are looking more and more like twins these days. Have you noticed? Both are feeds of new products with a consistent tone, lighting, colors – Brand Identity. If a product image looks out of place in the feed, it stands out as a flaw. Clients view branding inconsistencies as a lack of quality and could lose trust in the website. ONE IN FOUR clients are lost because of brand inconsistency. Having consistent and quality branding practices make companies 20% more successful than companies who make their clients unsure or untrusting of their brand.

Danner  — Studio 3, Inc.What does this mean for you? In order to consistently provide impactful branding and quality content for your clients you must be consistent in the look of your products. Working with Studio 3 Inc means working with photographers and designers who are dedicated to your brand identity and consistency, ensuring that your products always look amazing. Because Beautiful Photography Sells Product – and Consistent Quality Builds a Brand Empire, my friends. It’s as simple as that.

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Content Eats: 5 Photography Tips to Creating Online Content in 2018

Posted on December 29, 2017

It’s Social Media’s world, we’re just living in it.

As the Social Media Manager for a Photography Studio you would think I’d be set; photos and video content for dayyyz. I wish it were that easy. The truth is everyone works hard at creating enough content to keep the social media beast happy and fed.

Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of your content game.

  1. Production Stills The Studio 3 Team lives for the details of a shoot. Our production team can often be found scouring Hollywood Vintage, in line for Sandwiches at Whole Foods or on set with our sleeves rolled up. These moments are content gold!! Going out to location scout for an upcoming shoot? You know what to do; bring that camera. There are so many moving pieces to a photo shoot, capture them.

 

 DSC0285  — Studio 3, Inc. 

  1. Sunny Day List Much like a rainy day list… but for when you live in the PNW. Have a list of Test* ideas at the ready so that if you find an hour or two of free time, your photographers are out creating content!

 

Keen Boots 094  — Studio 3, Inc. 

  1. Plan Ahead Scrambling for content is not fun. Identify your top performing platforms and plan the content for them for the next month. That may seem daunting but before you know it you may have the next 3 months planned (guilty). We use an internal calendar and Microsoft Excel, but this could easily be done with Google docs as well. This allows you to plan internal shoots for specific themes, categories, and special events.

 

9663T  — Studio 3, Inc.

  1. Inspiration Pages Creative block prevention 101. Keep a folder of inspiration images on your desktop, or create a page on Pinterest so when your not feeling at the top of your game you can rely on past-you’s creative genius.

Screen Shot 2017 12 13 at 10.19.10 AM  — Studio 3, Inc.

  1. Company Culture Make content a part of your company culture. Outside of work, it’s hard to get through a meal without someone pulling out their phone to “get one for Instagram.” Why not utilize that in the work place? Designate a company phone as the “social media phone” so that everyone can participate in your company’s story.

 RAZ SIMONE 9075T (20 of 38)  — Studio 3, Inc.

 

*Testing, testing, one, two, three. When we are not delivering smiles and beautiful photography to clients, we are out creating it for ourselves. You heard me right; we are constantly flexing our creativity—keeping our portfolio fresh and artist souls happy.

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Steaming Cup of Tea and Open Book

Tis The Season For Client Comfort

Posted on December 18, 2017

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season; To-do lists unroll to the floor, coffee is taken through IV drips, and the studio always vaguely smells of cookies.

Tray Of Cookies  — Studio 3, Inc.

During the holiday season we understand you would rather be at home with a book and warm cup of Stash Tea, so we have done what we can to bring the cozy here.

Cue the elves (aka Studio 3, Inc.’s production team,) sit back, relax, and let us make your photographic dreams come true.

Holiday2  — Studio 3, Inc.

We have decked the halls, strung the ornaments, and lit the client area with holiday cheer.

The Studio 3 Inc. creative team not only does whatever it takes to make your project a success, we do it while feeding you cookies and telling you jokes.

…We have even been known to have Fashion Santa drop by every now and then (We know him!)

Production Stills 9024VL 197  — Studio 3, Inc.

Our studio is equipped with ample snacks, coffee as strong as our wifi connection, tea, any magazine you could dream of, and a crazy amount of crayons for the kid in you.

There are multiple conference rooms available for those times when you just need to be alone. Client meeting, business call, or impromptu dance party; We’ve got you covered.

Production Stills 9024VL 178  — Studio 3, Inc.

We pride ourselves in providing a comprehensive client experience. Not only can you expect top of the line photography but also a welcoming work environment, great food, and even better company.

Drop us a line, let’s talk photography! We’re here 24 hours a day, it feels like, but let’s say 9-5. We can’t wait to work with you.

Happy Holidays!!

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Photographers Assistant reaching into on location lighting kit

Let’s Unpack This: A Look Inside Studio 3’s Location Lighting Kit

Posted on November 16, 2017

When shooting lifestyle or product photography on location in the Pacific Northwest you rarely know what you’re going to get. The rain gods in our home states of Oregon and Washington are prevalent and powerful. Deluge or mist, the Studio 3 team arrives on location prepared for anything.

How do we juggle variously lit environments, keep a tight timetable and budget, and still exceed our client expectations? Experience. We have perfected our method in the madness that is this glorious industry.  Now, thanks to the Internet and the power of social media marketing, we are able to share some of that wisdom with you.

What does the Studio 3, Inc. team need to create beautiful photography on location, you ask?

Be it a location shoot for Danner Boots, ShedRain Umbrellas, Amazon, or Kaiser Permenante our fail-safe location lighting kit includes;

  • Radio Slaves
  • 3 Lighting Stands
  • 3 ft. Soft box
  • Medium Umbrella
  • AA Batteries
  • CTB Gel
  • CTO Gel
  • Light Meter

This minimalistic kit is best used for atmospheric, lifestyle, and commercial work.

“[This lighting kit] is best used in situations where your key light is the light already available. When working on location you’re supplementing available light with the strobes you bring with you. An important part of that is to match the color temperature of that available light—we do this using gels [CTB or CTO]. This allows you to separate your subject from the background and really focus the viewer’s attention on the product. ” – Joshua Romberg, Photographer

In need new lifestyle photography for your next campaign? Give us a shout; we’ll get the gear.

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Carousel Horses abandoning their post

Digital Retouching, Can you Didg’ it?

Posted on October 17, 2017

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
― Mark Twain

The million dollar question: What sets us apart from all of the other photography studios in the PNW? Well, quite a few things. But it’s hard to talk about them all in 500 words, so I am going to focus on our in-house digital department.

Not only are our digital artists pixel-perfect, they have the ability to turn photos around faster than I can type this sentence. No, we’re not a marketing agency, but we love working with them. We are photography pioneers. We look past the norm and find answers to questions you have yet to ask. How? Magic. Or Intuition, as they call it nowadays.

DA Seaplane red dress fragments digital art 1500  — Studio 3, Inc.

Our award-winning photographers work closely with clients and the digital artists who render our images flawless. Communication is our biggest secret for success.

“Without each other, the quality standards we achieve here would not be possible.” -Craig Wagner, Photographer

 — Studio 3, Inc.
 — Studio 3, Inc.

“Having an in-house [digital department] allows me to have face-to-face conversation before, during, and after a shoot. Whether we’re discussing how we should approach a job, or what my intention was in how I shot it, I have the asset of having a digital team that feels like an extension of myself.”

Craig Wagner, Photographer

Our digital team not only makes photos look better in post, they help the photographers shoot more efficiently. It’s photography plus.

“I have the opportunity to talk directly with clients, nipping problems in the bud, saving everyone time and money. We remove a step for the client without compromising the photos.” –Michelle Smith, Lead Digital Artist

 — Studio 3, Inc.
 — Studio 3, Inc.

Working with a vast array of clients, we have shot some behemoths over the years; trains, planes, and automobiles to name a few. That’s a lot of surface area to make drop-dead gorgeous, which is why we keep stylists on the ready to spot check, scrub out smudges, and make sure each vehicle’s best side is showing. But we don’t have favorites. Whether it be a fleet for Freightliner, or a detailed shot of a Leatherman tool, each job gets the same level of attentiveness and digital mastery.

“It all breaks down to textures and tones. Fifteen minutes of proper styling and lighting prep during a shoot can save an hour of digital retouching.” –Michelle Smith

So what’s next? We are dreaming up bigger and better ways to make you look fabulous. Stay tuned, we’re 40 years young and constantly evolving.

 — Studio 3, Inc.
 — Studio 3, Inc.

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Who Runs Our World (Liz)

Posted on September 8, 2017

Studio 3, Inc. Producer, Liz Swales, is the driving force behind our photography magic. It’s truly amazing what all she can get done in a day. In order for all of you to get to know a little bit more about our Top Boss, I sat down with her at the Portland studio’s neighborhood tea spot, The Jasmine Pearl Tea Co.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  — Studio 3, Inc.

What do you look for in a photo?

“Overall composition; different angles, dimensions, lighting—something out of the ordinary. I always check highlights, styling, and color tonality but ultimately if a photo makes me feel, its good. ”

What is one thing from your Interior design training that has stuck creatively?

“Everything in design should be odd numbers. Always go odd.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  — Studio 3, Inc.

What is your favorite thing about your role as Producer?

“Seeing the result of everyone’s work… from beginning to end. It is a cool process and one that only I get to see [come to fruition], whereas everyone else just plays their specific roles. I love delivering the final images to the client and getting their positive feedback— “Awesome! You guys are awesome!” or “Thank you so much Liz, your crew is great to work with.”

Marquis shoots are really fun to produce. Showing up to the shoot and realizing Oh! I did that. I got the forklift, the model has arrived, the crew is working hard, the set is beautiful and the props look amazing. Seeing it all happen from beginning to end is a rewarding process.”

Read more about the production behind a Marquis Spa commercial here.

Liz On Set with Marquis Spa  — Studio 3, Inc.

“Our top boss, Liz Swales! She oversees and schedules the organized chaos and somehow (probably magic) is able to orchestrate the entire production seamlessly.”

What is one difficulty in your current role that you did not expect?

“I have an eye for design and how things should be placed and layered, so when I was told I would be doing a lot of propping and styling, I thought, cool this will be fun and easy! But it’s not. Propping for the camera is completely different than interior propping. Things look like they are touching when they aren’t, colors don’t look good together, and balance can sometimes be hard to accomplish. Oh, and prop shopping is whole different kind of shopping. Let’s just say get 5-6 options of each item that you think you will need. Over shop, because you never know what the perfect item will be for the perfect image.”

What Studio 3, Inc. Image are you the most proud of this year?

“The top-down drink photography shot of GT’s Kombucha that I made with [Photographer] David Bell. Its something I would see in a magazine and think, “That’s beautiful.”

DB 9043T Kombucha Drink Test c FD 1500  — Studio 3, Inc.

What is your favorite problem-solving tool?

“There’s a lot to be said for just a note pad and pen. I write things out, make diagrams. Before I do estimates I draw out how the job would go to make sure it makes sense or see if there is another way that would be better.”

How do you unwind?

“At the beginning of this year I realized I work a lot. At all hours of the day and night. All I was doing was working.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my work, but I needed to catch up on all the movies and TV shows my friends were watching. Just kidding, but I decided to make a change.

So at the beginning of the year I started doing yoga and Nia. It relieves stress and provides a physical break in my day. I go every day after work and afterwards I do not work any more. ”

LIZ 01  — Studio 3, Inc.

What do you predict will be the biggest change in photography over the next 10 years?

“Virtual reality. People will want to interact with a product virtually before buying it. I think it will become a role within the studio, like our in-house digital team.”

Evolving with the photography, videography, and retouching business over the past 40 years we have picked up a few tricks. Possessing studios in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR, our ability to meet the needs of our clientele is second to none, especially when you factor in our in-house digital team, producers, stylists and assistants at the ready. We take care of it all, so you can kick back, relax, and watch as we make your creative ambitions come to life.

 

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Brand Identity; Telling YOUR Story Through Photography and Video

Posted on August 11, 2017

In an era of constant online noise, brand identity becomes quintessential. Customers are seeking not only quality, but also an authentic buying experience; the real people behind the business. They are seeking companies with similar values and lifestyles as their own.

How do you build an unmistakable brand identity? How do you tell your story? Whether you are creating a new ad campaign, or updating your catalogue’s product photography, every image should speak to your customers.

Once you have defined your brand, you can begin to effectively market it. That’s where we come in. Studio 3, Inc. works with you to create personal visual solutions. We show the world how awesome you are.

Let’s take a closer look at how different photos craft different emotional responses. In other words, what your photography is saying about your brand.

1.   Your Colorways; Cool vs. Warm

View over Side of Boat  — Studio 3, Inc.

Colors evoke emotion. Cool colors calm, while warm colors educe action—like this photo for Nike that encourages me to get out of this chair and go for a run.

Nike Athlete Running  — Studio 3, Inc.

2.   Your Lighting; Studio vs. Natural

Whether your image is sun-soaked or sleekly structured, the quality can’t be compromised.

Glass of Whiskey with Ice Dropped In  — Studio 3, Inc.

This beautiful cocktail shot for Seattle Magazine is captured with a splash! Inspiring thought on what a customer should do next (hint: buy some whiskey). Need help deciding? Here are Five new Washington Whiskeys to Try.

Two Smiling Women Drinking Coca Cola  — Studio 3, Inc.

Embracing the brand identity of Coca-Cola, natural lighting was used to flood the scene with a sense of summer. Now that’s affective lifestyle photography.

3.   Your Audience; Outdoor vs. Luxury

Who is your target market? What do they value? Creating environments for your product takes target market research.

Hiker Wearing Danner Boots  — Studio 3, Inc.

What better way to appeal to Danner Boot’s outdoor customer, while staying true to the Brand’s value of craftsmanship, than to put their boots to the test in the Pacific Northwest.

“Hold a Danner boot in your hand and you’ll notice the hand crafted precision. Try it on and you’ll feel the difference. Test it against the elements and you’ll appreciate the value of a product that is built to last.”   -Danner, Since 1932

Jimmy Choo Red Shoes  — Studio 3, Inc.

However, when your marketing luxury like Jimmy Choo, the environment changes with the contrasting brand identity.

“A 21st Century Luxury Accessories Brand, with shoes at its heart, offering an empowered sense of glamour and a playfully daring Spirit.”   – Jimmy Choo

4.   Your Appearance; Organic vs. Styled

Cook Making Pasta  — Studio 3, Inc.

Are you showing a process or presenting it’s end result? As brands and agencies move towards targeting the holistic customer, we see the shift manifest in an increase of lifestyle photography… And that’s in addition to the perfect product shot, 360-degree spin, and detail so good you can almost feel it. It’s a comprehensive marketing approach. You are your brand, and we are your people for all things photography, videography, and retouching.

Plate of Pasta  — Studio 3, Inc.

5.   Your Quality; iPhone vs. Professional Photographer

If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur… said a brilliant person. After meeting with a client, and doing a little research on their product, we stumbled upon this brilliant blog post that couldn’t say it any better.

“It’s amazing how big of a difference having really nice pictures of your space can make. A few months ago I ran an informal experiment (as research for another project) where I listed my apartment for rent on craigslist. They were both the same price, in the same area. One listing had really nice pictures taken with a high quality dslr and wide angel lens and the other had badly lit pictures taken with my iPhone. The listing with the nice pictures got 10x the emails.”   – Jon Wheatley of Need/Want

Maybe it’s obvious, but maybe not. In today’s digital age everyone has a camera in their pocket, and iPhone 7s are promoted as so good they can be used for magazine covers and advertising (We won’t name names). We are bombarded with mediocre images… like this production still that I took versus Craig Wagner’s beautiful image masterfully finished by digital artist Michelle Smith. See the difference?

 — Studio 3, Inc.
 — Studio 3, Inc.

Regardless of the project or scope, Studio 3, Inc. works with our clients, building relationships and crafting the perfect image for their brand. If you have yet to work with us, what are you waiting for? Drop us a line, let’s put our heads together to create something beautiful.

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I Have a Therapist, Her Name Is Nature

Posted on July 7, 2017

Studio 3, Inc. has commissioned a new tourist attraction in the shadow of the Space Needle. When we’re not moving mountains for clients, we are painting them. With artist and mountain-man Trace Gough’s mural, we have brought a bit of the PNW beauty to our own backyard. How is that for the highest quality visual solutions? Come by, check it out, and while you’re here let’s talk photography, videography and retouching.

“The mural is my interpretation of a photo taken while climbing in the Cascade Mountain Range. The photo was taken very early in the morning, from a high camp near the Neve Glacier in North Cascades National Park.  I’ve been all over the Cascades, and this is hands-down one of the prettiest places, though laborious to get to. There was a layer of haze hanging in the valleys to the north.  “ – Trace Gough, Artist

10540694 861590417184306 9110136454327137472 o (1)  — Studio 3, Inc.

Inspiration Image photographed and painted by Trace Gough @Studio 3, Inc.

 

Transforming a storage container into a mural in 7 easy steps:

Step 1: Power washing and prepping the storage container, or “the can” as we at Studio 3, Inc. fondly refer to it.

pressure washer  — Studio 3, Inc.

Step 2: Use the Grid Method to enlarge the reference image onto the scale of your surface.

Outlining Mountains  — Studio 3, Inc.

Step 3: Outline the mural in sharpie or paint.

Mountains Outlined  — Studio 3, Inc.

Step 4: Start from the back, painting first the sky, then the mountains.

IMG 6119  — Studio 3, Inc.

Step 5: Gradually get darker as you paint your way forward, creating depth of field.

IMG 6123  — Studio 3, Inc.

Step 6: Save the details for last, enhancing the “wow” factor with textured ridges and moody clouds.

IMG 6219  — Studio 3, Inc.

Step 7: Step back and admire your work, you’ve just created a masterpiece.  (Now if only we could paint that house in the background).

Trace Gough and Mural  — Studio 3, Inc.

Finished Mural  — Studio 3, Inc.

 

 

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Something Only an ’80s Kid Would Remember- Studio 3, Inc.’s First Digital Camera

Posted on June 12, 2017

 

Digital Photography in 1993 = Big, Ugly, and Awesome… and boy did we think we were cool. Before the digital camera was the norm, it was enormous!

David Bell  — Studio 3, Inc.

 

Take a Hasselblad, attach a HUGE digital back, and add cooling fans, a dehumidifying unit, and a large filter wheel, then you can start to imagine our first digital camera. The digital back was a Scitex Leaf DCB, it was 4 megapixels, and it cost $36,000. All of this was attached to a computer slower than molasses, packing a whopping 8 megabytes of RAM.

To take a picture, you would trigger the camera at the computer. The filter would rotate in front of lens to red and shoot. Then green and shoot. Then blue and shoot. One million years later, you would see the image come up on the computer. By aligning the three layers in the camera software, you got to finally see the finished photograph. Piece of cake, really.

This software really was sophisticated. The early versions had a button that was labeled “Guess”… we didn’t like to click that, but it worked. Later versions changed the label to “Auto,” a little easier to stomach.

The thing they must have hidden in the fine print was how much the lenses would be used. Every time you took a shot, it was actually three shots. Due to the fact that our equipment was being used three times as often we had a lot of lenses going in for repair and rebuild. The local shop got to know us pretty well and would give us the heads up when it were time to retire a lens.

This was the beginning of digital photography in the commercial world. It was a huge investment for the studio, and we where the first to take the plunge. It brings back a lot of fun and crazy memories, not to mention the price!  $2000.00 for a 2gig hard drive… and that was a Deal!

What a ride it has been.

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Meet the Marketers

Posted on May 5, 2017

Studio 3, Inc. has added new members to our close-knit team, and we would like to introduce them to you. Jack Biehn has an impressive resume for his young age. He is already fast at work developing client relationships in the Portland and Seattle markets in his role as Ambassador of Accounts. If you haven’t already met him, stop in, or give us a call. We have a feeling you will like him, it’s hard not to.

Studio Portraits  — Studio 3, Inc.

“Born and raised in Portland, OR, I am a Portlandian down to my very core. Being raised in a family where advertising and the arts were important, I was fortunate enough to know what I wanted to do from an early age. My other passion besides the arts growing up was sports. Playing football in high school and some in college, I learned the discipline that helped me succeed in whatever venture I decided to go into! Being everything from a Market Research Analyst to an Assistant Manager at Voodoo Doughnuts, I never knew quite where life was going to take me, until one day Account Management chose me.

After being in a creative space, and being part of so many amazing campaigns, there is no looking back. You can find me on my days off traveling to the coast, in the tattoo parlor, getting my ink touched up, or on adventures to parts unknown!”

Jackson Biehn on location in Seattle  — Studio 3, Inc.   Eva Goldfarb on Location in Portland  — Studio 3, Inc.

Eva Goldfarb has already put on a few hats at Studio 3, Inc. She is busy creating social media campaigns for our photography studios Portland and Seattle as well as assisting on the Portland production team. Let’s get social! Check out what Eva has been up to on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and gain an inside view of what it’s like to work with Studio 3, Inc.

Studio Portraits  — Studio 3, Inc.

“I slay in the kitchen and in the studio. My artistic eye and word witticism keep my marketing material funky fresh. Stereotypes of the solitude writer aside, I love people and am quick to pick up a quirky conversation with just about anyone. Moving to the PNW after an epic six-month cross-country trip, Portland glistened as the best city to be a creative, foodie, and adventure seeker.

After receiving my degree in Arts Management, I served my time in the service industry and traveled as much as I could—gaining insight into the global art sector and collecting ideas. Having finally found my idiosyncratic home, it’s time to flex my marketing muscles.”

 

 

 

 

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