Calumet Sets the Bar With Photo of the Week

By Jacqui Palumbo

"Fax," winning image from February 11th, 2013.

For the past 70+ years, Calumet Photographic has been one of the leading, international rental and retail centers of photography equipment. Calumet is a brand that is more than just their stores: its employees are passionate about photography and have formed a connection with their customers. Through its online Photo of the Week contest and social media, Calumet gives exposure to photographers whose work shows the skill and creativity that Calumet is proud to celebrate. Web Manager Zane Davis says, “We have an ever-growing presence on social media, and it is the highlight of my week to share a photographer's image and portfolio with our entire community.”

There are no strict guidelines for the Photo of the Week, but Davis says that Calumet strives to keep the winning images diverse. “Our customers represent the full spectrum of the photo world,” he says. “We just want to be sure we’re always choosing photos from photographers at the peak of their expertise, whatever that expertise may be.” Recent wins include portraiture, music, product, landscape, sports and events, so next week they will be looking for something that represents a different genre. The winning images are shown on the Calumet homepage, across their social media accounts, Calumet’s blog and through email blasts.

Photographer John Gessner has won Photo of the Week three times and has seen noticeable results from the extra exposure. In April of 2009, his image “Mana” was selected. Shortly after, writer Vicky Moon saw the image at Calumet Los Angeles and contacted Gessner, looking for a photographer to shoot for a coffee table book project she was finishing up. She hired him immediately after viewing the rest of his work. In February of 2012, Gessner won again for his architectural image “Three Feet Down.” He saw a substantial increase in the number of advertising agencies contacting him for architectural projects. Gessner has won a third time this past month, the week of February 11th, 2013, and he is honored to have been selected once again.

© John Gessner
"Three Feet Down"

© John Gessner

Gessner’s winning images are from completely different genres and styles, and he thinks the Calumet Photo of the Week is a great outlet to showcase work that he is not typically associated with. He also finds that it is especially great for photographers, like himself, who do not have a marketing engine behind him. “I have to be creative to get my name and images out there,” he says. “I feel that winning this type of contest is a tremendous way to get exposure and great publicity as a photographer.” 

Calumet has launched a new blog, Parallax, which will incorporate the Photo of the Week and expand it to an interview with each winning photographer. Each image will include insight on how it was created, more information on the photographer and why they love photography.  “We can’t wait to get more in depth with the winning photographers and transform our Photo of the Week contest into a ongoing dialogue,” says Davis. 

To learn more about Calumet’s Photo of the Week, visit their Web site.
For more of John Gessner's work, visit his Web site.



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