Simple was re-vamping its mission statement and internal purpose campaign. I ended up photographing real customers all over Portland, as well as the employees at work.
The final piece that the team unveiled was so beautiful. The words were so moving, and it was really cool seeing how the photos I took complemented those words. Working with Paul, Val, Nicolas and the Simple marketing squad was a real treat. The whole shoot was really inspiring to me because there was freedom to find my own meaning and subjects in their message. Plus, they trusted me to shoot the whole thing on film, which is always a bonus.
It's rare that you get to sit in the room where everyone in a company watches the piece you were a part of being screened, and employees are moved to tears and tell you so. It was probably one of the coolest moments of being a photographer!
Simple started as a reaction to the financial collapse and is a bank that eschews all the traditional "bank-ish" things: there are no overdrafts, no hidden fees, no weird regulations and rules that bite you later on. They have a built-in system kind of like Mint, where you can set goals and allocate money with a "safe to spend" option. It gives the power to the people using the bank instead of the other way around. People of all ages can actually, step-by-step, save for and build their futures--even struggling college students. It's a really cool company and I love working with them.
I'll never forget living in Chicago as a film student barely making rent on minimum wage at a sandwich shop, and the horror of accidentally over-drafting my account by $1 trying to get on the train after a late shift. That $1 snowballed into a tear-filled saga of every pending transaction coming through and being charged $35 for each one. I ended up about $500 in the hole...basically a whole month's worth of food and rent gone. I begged the bank to help and understand, and Paul even came to try to plead my case. But, they wouldn't budge. I worked overtime while going to class full time and barely sleeping for 3 months while I tried to lift myself out of that debt.
I'll never forget that feeling of betrayal by my bank, and it makes Simple that much more amazing in my book. They're making working outside the system work for customers, and I 100% get behind their mission statement. It was such an honor to be a part of this project!
Thanks so much Simple! Keep on being radical!