At GumCo, we’re a little weird. Our portraits attract some attention in their bizarre nature within the reveal. From a giant bass and discarded furniture to settings in outer space, we creatively direct these photos to portray something a little bit stranger each time.

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Gif created by Wonderful Machine

The most recent addition to our team, Heather made her debut at GumCo in June as an eager intern straight out of school. By the time fall rolled in, she decided to stick around and earn her place on our website’s roster.

We don’t know exactly remember how the idea came about. But we decided a cardboard cut-out would be a pretty wacky place to start. Matt took photos of Heather against a white office wall, and a week later, the photo was edited and sent off to return as a life-sized two-dimensional version.


Once the cut-out arrived, we had to decide how to direct the photo. We checked out several locations: a second-hand book store, the alley way behind our building. Should she sit beside it? Hide behind it? Carry it across the frame? For location, we settled for Zurchers Party & Wedding Store, located in South Salt Lake off of Brickyard Road, a place that might just live up to the absurdity of this project. We crossed our fingers that they would be comfortable with us borrowing some of their movie cut-outs to set up a photoshoot right in the middle of their stationary department.

With a manager’s blessing, we selected Chris Farley, C3PO, and Harry Potter to be featured in our shoot. We confused more than a few shoppers but made it out in under an hour with more than a few quirky shots.

For the style of our staff photos, the trick is to arrange the portrait with enough head room so that the concealed version shows the face and looks somewhat realistic. We had to arrange the cut-outs in the lower portion of the photo so that they fit within the frame without looking like a bad photoshop job or infringing on the focus, Heather and her cardboard self.


The result was pretty fantastic. And hey, now she’s just as weird as the rest of us. And the cardboard Heather continues to reside in our office, startling guests and serving a noble purpose of a stand-in usher at our agency’s front doors.