Finish Line: Why Lookbook Marketing Has Stopping Power

Finish Line: Why Lookbook Marketing Has Stopping Power

Photographer Matt Hawthorne’s imagery freezes athletes in motion, capturing beautiful moments of physicality. He made Perfect Bound Booklets part of his lookbook marketing strategy with his recent promotional mailer, featuring studio and location images shot for BlenderBottle. It stopped recipients in their tracks.

Lookbook marketing

Hawthorne uses flashes to capture fast-paced action

Custom lookbooks



Throughout school, skateboarding was Matt Hawthorne‘s top priority. He began documenting himself skating with a 35mm camera, shooting action with flashes and learning to love the creative process. This led to a photography degree and his professional concentration on capturing fast-paced action sports images.


“Success with capturing a moment is knowing when and where the moment is,” Matt explained. “The key is finding the right angle and composition that showcases the exercise, the action, the moment in the best way possible.”

“Success with capturing a moment is knowing when and where the moment is.”

Based in Dallas, Hawthorne has worked professionally for over a decade and has been recognized with numerous awards. He has shot campaigns and catalogs for global brands that include Gatorade, Target, Adidas, New Balance, Fitbit, Nike, Fila, Gold’s Gym, FedEx and JCPenney.


His recent custom lookbook featured images he shot in the studio and on location for BlenderBottle. Founded in 2000 as a way for athletes to mix and consume supplements, BlenderBottle has been recognized as one of the hottest products on the fitness market.

A Lens into the Process

Hawthorne’s carefully-strobed studio lighting captures athletic models in motion, pastel lighting reflected off their glistening skin. These shots pair with scenes of models in urban settings which have color palettes that complement the studio compositions. “Shooting the BlenderBottle project was particularly challenging and satisfying, given the number of shots and versions we were able to deliver in two days of shooting,” recalls Hawthorne.


For this online printing piece, Hawthorne wanted to take recipients inside the production shoot. “When I laid out the lookbook, I added text about what the client wanted, how we executed it and where and why we shot in certain places.” The final product gives viewers a clear sense of how Hawthorne works and his team’s creative process for lookbook marketing.


Typically, he sends printed promotional pieces two or three times annually to a mailing list of 3,000 creatives at agencies and brands. “Sometimes it’s a set of cards that cover mixed themes, sometimes it’s a tri-fold with images from a single story. Other times, it’s a larger book or newspaper that showcases a series of related images,” he explains.


And all of which, are online printing services Smartpress provides, making is easy to streamline your direct mail marketing strategy.

Promotional mailers

Text about the client brief and creative execution gives recipients a sense of Hawthorne’s process

Going for Gold

After wrapping any shoot, Hawthorne is eager to get back into the studio, start making personal selections and begin retouching for the client. “I’m super picky about everything,” he admits.


For the 8-1/2˝ x 11˝, 16-page BlenderBottle promo, Hawthorne chose 100# coated matte cover and text pages. “While I’m not a designer, I wanted this to be a high-concept piece that packed power and grabbed attention.” Smartpress’ custom booklet printing puts the process in your hands, with paper stocks and full-color ink, even mailing options, to choose from.


Hawthorne concludes, “After all, no one knows you exist unless you create promos that stop you in your tracks.”

Print Details

Perfect Bound Book

100# Coated Matte White Cover, 100# Text Uncoated Smooth White Pages, Flat Matte U/V Coating on Cover, 8.5 x 11 Portrait

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