How one photographer turned himself into an action figure


posted Friday, November 22, 2013 at 1:44 PM EST


If you're a photographer trying to get your name out there, it can be hard to differentiate yourself from the crowd. But in the arms race of photographer advertising, one man may have developed the equivalent of a nuclear bomb. Photographer Jens Lennartsson got a series of 400 action figures modeled after himself to send out to prospective clients, in a move he dubbed "the most epic self-promotion ever made in the history of photography".

Surprisingly, the GI Jen (as he called it) isn't a 3D scan and print, but is instead made from a custom model. Lennartsson put a job listing on Alibaba, and chose a Chinese manufacturer for the project. Based on a series of photos of him, and a few rounds of revision, a custom made model was constructed of Lennartsson, then mass produced, hand-painted, and mailed off.

He also designed a box for the figure, and an insert of his work to go along with it. The packages were assembled, and sent out to a number of organizations:

Most of the figures was going to inspiring, cool and interesting people that we wanted to get in touch with people, in agencies and magazines in Malmö, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Copenhagen. Many days were spent to complete a list of all the agencies and people that was doing awesome things and whome we thought we could help out.

Inge, the virtual assistant from Zirtual, helped us get all the contact information – including name, e-mail, addresses and such. A bunch of the figures was also going out to magazines, editors, agencies and companies in the rest of the world. All recipients have one thing in common; they are doing awesome stuff and we want to help making it even more epic!

Lennartsson doesn't reveal how much the whole thing cost — but does say that making the prototype was fully half of the budget, and we imagine it wouldn't have been a frugal endeavor.

But how many people can lay claim to an action figure of themselves?

(via ISO 1200)