I want to be an expert cool hunter. Some may call it an addiction to the Internet, but I call it curiosity. I love getting lost in a rabbit hole and showing others what I find. To be a cool hunter, you must have patience, determination, and be willing to throw yourself out of your comfort zone.
Yesterday while I was on my lunch break scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw that one of my favorite photographers, Matt Crump, was going to be speaking at an event that night. It was a cool hunting serendipity! I had never heard of anything like the Adobe Creative Jam, but it sounded right up my alley. I texted one of my friends, RSVP’d to the free event, and told Marcus how excited I was to attend. He even let me leave early to make the trek to Austin for this educational experience.
My stomach was in knots the whole drive. I am a complete Instagram dork, obsessed with who and what I find via cool hunting on my feed. Would I have the confidence to network with some talented photographers and videographers including THE MATT CRUMP?! Side note: I’m such a millennial cliché—only a 23-year-old weirdo like myself would be thrilled at the idea of meeting someone “Instagram famous.”
Once we got there, I gathered up the confidence to introduce myself to Matt Crump and Jackie Lee Young before they went on to give their speeches to the audience. My friend and I were bewildered—the event was practically empty. That’s when I knew it was a cool hunting success because we were two of the few people who had discovered it.
Matt walked us through his colorful process. He has worked with clients including Old Navy and a personal favorite, H-E-B. He showed us how he made the animated GIFs you’ll see if you click on those two links, and he shared techniques I had never considered. He also walked us through the evolution of his style and the importance of being willing to break the mold. This was incredibly inspiring to me. Content creation for HEBFF’s social media feeds is one of my favorite parts of my job, and I can’t wait to test out some GIFs for @llyouthcamp and @laitylodgefamilycamp!
Jackie Lee Young manages the social media for Bunkhouse Group in Austin: the company that owns Jo’s Coffee (i love you so much mural), Hotel Havana in San Antonio, and El Cosmico in Marfa amongst other properties. In her spare time, she photographs music festivals. What I loved about Jackie was her approach to shooting portraits at festivals and of music artists. She walked us through the system she devised which allowed her to create amazing photos and build the confidence to take portraits of strangers. This taught me how to capture photojournalism portraits in scenarios that feel out of my comfort zone.
At the very end of the night, we viewed work from different local creatives who had been given a prompt and had 12 hours to create either a photo or a video. We then voted on the work we liked the best. This sparked an idea within me for the Comms team: a single day or half day we dedicate to using our individual skills to quickly come up with a product related to the Foundation. Perhaps Marcus would write a collection of poems, Patton would write an article, Paul would draw something, and I would create a series of social posts. Many organizations, Google for example, have days like this to help keep their creative juices flowing and to increase regular productivity.
With all that said, keep your eyes out for some of our future work and you just might see some hints of Matt Crump and Jackie Lee Young. Check out some of their work below.
Courtesy of www.mattcrump.com
Courtesy of www.jackielyoung.com