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Maybe It’s Time to Explain This Codeword Thing

On January 1st, 2016, we shared our first codeword with the world on our social media accounts. We also posted a vague explanation of the concept on our website. Since then, quite a few people have figured out the magic that happens when they find a codeword and use it. But, way way more are still clueless. After much deliberation, we’ve decided to make things just a little clearer.

So what is this codeword thing?


The codeword is for our fans—the folks who follow us, like us, tell their friends about us, and most of all, pay attention. At least once a week, we share a certain kind of photo to social media. It’s often abstract, or a close up of something, or a landscape, or otherwise just a pretty picture. It’s always something and never someone. Hidden within or around the edges of that photo, there are always hidden two alliterating words (e.g., “Cash Cow” or “Hamstrung Hamster”). Whatever those words are, make up the current codeword.

You have to pay attention though, because whenever the codeword changes, the last one becomes useless. The codeword always changes on Fridays, but sometimes changes mid-week, too!

That’s all well and good, you might be thinking, but why does any of that matter to you?

Here’s what happens when you use the codeword

Sorry, I can’t tell you because I don’t know. It’s still a mystery until you use the codeword. “That is pretty unhelpful”, you may have just uttered out-loud, drawing confused looks from your dog. And, you’d be right about that. So, lets look at a few true stories from last year instead.

In late 2016, we delivered Kelly’s family photos. She used the codeword in her email confirming she’d received them. A few weeks later, a framed print arrived at her door unannounced.

During the spring of 2017, Jeremy used the codeword when he called to say he wanted to book our services. When he received the contract, he found that the session was costing him about 10% less than he expected.

In the fall of 2017, Bryan sent us an email to thank us for the headshots we’d made for him. He casually used the codeword in his closing email, and about a month later, he was surprised to get a notification that someone had made a donation in his name to a charity he supports.

Angela and her new Husband Greg used the codeword in a text message while they were proofing their wedding album at the very beginning of 2018. To their surprise, the 5×5” album that was included with their wedding package arrived as a bigger 8×8” album.

The codeword is ever changing and nebulous—it’s impossible to predict the results, and that’s what makes it fun. It’s a game we play with our clients, and it’s a way for us to say thank you for playing the game. But what are the rules, you may wonder…

This is how you use the codeword

The game only works for those who are or will be engaged in a working agreement with us, but the rules to this game are simple and few.

  1. All you have to do is speak or write the codeword in some communication with us.
  2. We cannot tell you the codeword directly, or specifically explain how it works.
  3. Wait and see what happens.

That’s it.

What are you waiting for?

The codeword is a game, and we’d love to play it with you. So, if you’re planning to get new portraits, hire a wedding photographer, or otherwise wishing to work with us for any reason, go ahead and use the codeword and see what comes out of it!