I Can. And I Will.

Photography & Copywriting by Paul Cotter

Design by Jean Schweikhard

Last Fall, I was blessed (pardon the pun) with the opportunity to develop a marketing campaign for a Catholic school for girls in California's East Bay area.  I provided the photography, campaign concept and writing, while my friend Jean Schweikhard designed the graphic look.  Jean is a superb freelance art director living in Buffalo, and our creative collaboration goes back many years.

Our assignment:  Attract top-quality admissions candidates to Carondelet High School, a well-respected independent school that's celebrating its 50th anniversary.  The campaign should show that Carondelet gives young women the confidence to excel, thanks to a strong college prep curriculum and a commitment to character development and spiritual growth.

ABOVE:  These are the fronts of three postcards we created.  The theme “I Can. And I Will” conveys the confidence that the school instills.  “That’s the Spirit” salutes the can-do attitude and also affirms the school's Catholic values -- the religious spirit of Carondelet.

BELOW:  The three posters on the left were displayed in local middle schools.  The tall vertical poster on the right was featured at the school's booth at admission fairs. 

The campaign also included print ads, web banners, a radio commercial and an information packet that was handed out at the Open House.


From a photography standpoint, this was great fun because I got to shoot so many things:  cool classroom activities ... competitive sports ... joyful Masses celebrating faith ... candid moments of laughter and friendship.  I provided Carondelet with a large library of images that can be used for the school magazine, newsletter and other communications vehicles.

I’d like to thank Jean for making the campaign look terrific, as she always does.  And I’d like to tip my hat to the marketing staff at Carondelet.  They provided all the information, inspiration and support a creative team could ask for – and they gave many helpful suggestions which made our ideas even stronger.  Can I express my appreciation to this wonderful client?  I can. And I will.  Thank you, Carondelet.

Want to see more sports photos?

To see the wide range of sports that I've photographed for schools, click on this sports gallery image.

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  • undefined

    on April 20, 2016

    What a persuasive campaign! Your photographic vision and eloquent, expressive copy is outstanding, and is a perfect fit with Jean's refined graphics and layout. Carondelet must be extraordinarily pleased at the response.

  • Teresa Karlson

    on February 18, 2016

    Beautiful photos and beautiful message. Thank you for sharing. Your work is always amazing.

  • paulcotterphotography

    on February 12, 2016

    Thanks for the comments posted here -- and to those of you who sent emails. It's good to hear from you.

  • samuel scaduto

    on February 5, 2016

    A great collaborative effort to create an effective recruiting campaign Paul. The photos were inspiring. Thanks for sharing your work.

  • Beverly Cotter

    on February 4, 2016

    Paul, you continue to amaze me with your originality and talent! These are fantastic! If I were looking to put my young daughter into a private school, these would certainly put Carondelet at the top of my list! Kudos to you and Jean!

  • Ron Koscinski

    on February 1, 2016

    Brilliant on all fronts from concept, writing, photography, and design execution. Somethings happily never change... Great work, remains great work. Wishing you tremendous success on this 'angel' of a campaign.

  • Don Toothman

    on February 1, 2016

    Beautiful images, fantastic marketing theme and execution. What a great message to young women, our future leaders. Very well done!

  • Bonnie Cotter

    on January 31, 2016

    Paul, this continues to be a great campaign for the school....and represents a great partnership that brought talent, excellent listening and understanding together giving birth to a campaign that is creative, beautiful and spot on!