Colleen Duffley has been shooting people, places and things around the globe for 30 years. She shoots, directs, produces, and formulates conceptual thinking into reality for magazines, commercials and ad campaigns.
At the onset of any project, Colleen Duffley, photographer, creative director and producer, asks what message you, the client, want to convey. She keeps asking it of herself from beginning to end and at every juncture in between. Instinctively, the Pittsburgh native conceptualizes a “story” in her mind’s eye and develops a visual strategy. She outlines her plan of action long before she shops for props or mounts her camera to its tripod. She believes that brands – yes, people are brands too – are built from that first glimpse.
Duffley says, “The brain takes snapshot after snapshot in a span that’s measured in milliseconds. The mind downloads and processes the information in the blink of an eye.”
She explains, “My imagery maximizes that limited amount of time we have to plant the seed, to tell the beginning of a story, to capture a consumer’s attention.”
GO WITH THE FLOW ONE CASE STUDY: EDGE AERODYNAMIX
As creative director and brand manager for the research and development branch of Edge Aerodynamix, Duffley conceived of and trademarked Go with the Flow, an epigrammatic descriptive of the company’s specialization: wing aerodynamics that produce marked fuel efficiency. Offering a 7% savings on fuel and improved safety, Edge Aerodynamics is in the business of transport aircraft optimization.
Not only did Duffley shoot video and stills of test flights demonstrating Edge’s effectiveness, she acted as a liaison between the company’s engineers who developed the unique wing dynamic and its marketing department. By combining clever and concise language with the client’s disruptive technology, Duffley produced presentations and other collateral materials that Edge used to demonstrate its suitability and safety to the FAA, and to market its uniqueness to United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines, among others.
Using recycled billboards, Duffley also designed and produced packaging for the fuel-saving technology company. The messaging about wing aerodynamics that reduces carbon footprinting – save fuel, save money, save the environment – is an important part of Edge’s marketing DNA. Duffley used recognizable aeronautical iconography in the package design cleverly crafting it from the shape of a pilot helmet bag. “Smart, resonant, cost-effective branding should be part of every company’s fabric,” says Duffley.
~ Eddie Nunns VP / Creative Director – Nieman Marcus
Duffley’s work embodies the words of noted editor, newspaperman and public relations pro, Arthur Brisbane, who said, “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” And her pictures do just that and more. Duffley’s imagery entices, cajoles, and draws the viewer in; it induces interest. Her persuasive photography coupled with effective storytelling and/or cleverly worded branding that unearths a client’s niche trigger the reader or consumer to take action, an advertiser’s dream.
Think Outside the Box? What Box?
As a former staff photographer for Time Warner’s food and shelter magazine portfolio, including Southern Progress, Southern Accents, Coastal Living and Cooking Light, in addition to freelance work for Traditional Home, British Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, Metropolitan Home, Elle Decor and many others, Duffley became keenly aware early in her career of how crucial imagery is to the creation of a compelling story.
Set the stage visually. By showcasing a person, a product or a place as unique in its market or in an unusual and creative context, Duffley compels the viewer with a glimpse into a person’s life, a peek at interesting merchandise, a tempting gander at food or a prevue of a longed-for destination. Anyone who sees her work ends up wanting to know more, buying what the client’s selling, dining on undeniably delicious cuisine and booking that trip. Duffley’s 30-year transcendent editorial career has since evolved to the establishment of a full-service boutique advertising agency that provides art direction, design and brand development. Her company, Colleen Duffley Productions, cultivates ideas, and advances them from concept to reality. The companies she has branded are as diverse as the skill set in which she uses to grow them. From food, fashion, interior design, resort and travel to technology, Duffley shoots the works!
“Her ability to photograph our signature entrées and our handcrafted cocktails in a way that is uniquely branded and differentiates us from our competition is second to none. She truly can take the simple egg and make it a work of art that drives profitable sales for our cafes and increases ‘crave appeal’ for our brand.”
~ Jan Barnett Chief Marketing Officer – Another Broken Egg
Stories Aren’t Just for Books and Magazines While she continued to shoot for magazines, Duffley morphed her editorial experiences into commercial photography, advertising, and the world of catalogue phography, design and production. Included among her catalogue clients is Neiman Marcus, Soft Surroundings, Horchow, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Williams & Sonoma, Verterra Dinnerware, Alamwar and J. Crew.
Upending traditional catalogue presentation, the prescient Duffley brought an editorial eye to the table and her photography and art direction resulted in catalogues that have the look and feel of beautiful magazines. Duffley was the first to sit in on Neiman Marcus merchandising meetings as the catalogue photographer for the wildly successful luxury department store. Not one to stick to the then-popular studio-lit single product photography, she began shooting on location in relatable places. She staged products such that a consumer could envision them in their home. By illustrating a lifestyle through story to a catalogue’s clients, instead of buying just a chair or just a table, they decorated their homes based on what they saw in the catalogues she produced and photographed in a way that the customers were enticed to buy entire rooms not just a chair.
Rockin’ Roster Duffley’s commercial work over the years has included photography and design for websites, collateral marketing materials, cookbooks and design books. Among her long roster of clients is Volkswagen, James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz of Michael’s Genuine in Miami, cheese legend, Paula Lambert of Mozzarella Cheese Co., critically-acclaimed chef Emeril Lagasse; style icon and jewelry and home fashions designer, India Hicks; musicians Emily Robison and Martie Maguire of Dixie Chicks and Courtyard Hound fame, filmmaker Shannon Plumb, designer Johnathan Adler, world-renowned Lake Austin Spa and other artists, designers, architects, authors, businesses and filmmakers. In the intimate environment that a photo shoot affords a photographer and her subject, Duffley enchants us with images that exhibit that side of a person, place or thing that we want to know more about.
downtime is UPTIME
A former competitive cyclist who competed in two Olypmic trials for long-distance road cycling, Duffley enjoys the physical challenges of ultra-marathoning, paddle-boarding, cycling, triathlons, swimming, climbing, skydiving. In conjunction with her training, she maintains a personal photographic journal that she calls On the Run.
Duffley founded the former Studio b., a modern-day cultural salon and art gallery in Alys Beach, Florida. With a passion for her work, Duffley wanted to share the experiences she was having on location or in studio with the many creative people she encountered in her professional career. In the span of three years, Studio b. garnered the attention of Garden & Gun Magazine, which referred to its classes, demonstrations, participatory dinners, art exhibits, house concerts and figure-drawing sessions as the “Soul of the New South.” The New York Daily News called Studio b. “the 21st century’s answer to the Parisian salon,” referencing Duffley as the Gertrude Stein of our time. Duffley is also the author of Light Impressions On Tour, a unique iPad-displayed iPhone art photography, a showcase of creativity wed to technology launched ahead of its time. Light Impressions has been invited to show at Art Basel and other acclaimed art galleries around the country.
Let’s Create Something Awesome Together!
email@example.com | 214.415.0476 | www.colleenduffleyproductions.com
“I hire Colleen because she can take a sugar cube and make it look like art.”
~ Eddie Nunns VP & Creative Director – Neiman Marcus