MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.
Heidi: How did this project evolve?
Mitch: I have a wonderful relationship with Marie Claire. It is one of the few American fashion magazines that treat fashion still life pages as an opportunity to advance passionate editorial views on accessories and not simply as a vehicle to please advertisers. Their Market and Accessories Director Kyle Anderson, Fashion Director Nina Garcia and Editor and Chief Anne Fulenwider all take a direct interest in demanding that the pages are strong and fresh. For a still life photographer, this is a thrilling context in which to make new work.
Months before a final art due date, Kyle sends me jpegs of the next accessories story. The story subject might be based on a color, a design direction, materials or a cultural reference. It’s usually my responsibility to come up with a visual solution, although occasionally he or someone else will have a few suggestions. I pitch just one idea, including swipes from industrial sites or stores that refer to the environments I want to create. I do not like to make drawings or send “finished” images — it is better to keep things loose so that I have room for spontaneity. Once I send the pitch everyone weighs in and we go from there.
For the Haute Tech story, Kyle mentioned that he had a fine jewelry December story in search of an idea. Fine jewelry can be a tedious editorial subject because designs generally do not evolve much from year to year and diamonds are unforgiving in poor lighting conditions — a tough subject to make fresh.
I have been involved with a couple of technology projects and developed an appreciation for a well-designed circuit board. Apple’s boards, in particular, are very fine, all black, with an absolute, maniacal fidelity to minimalism. I immediately thought of making boards that in some way reflected or enhanced the design direction of the jewelry. Kyle worked hard to find pieces that would mesh well with the concept — no animals or organic designs, for example.
How long did the project take and tell us about your process with the engineer?
The editors loved the idea and I got to work in July. We all figured no one had done this, at least not at this scale. My original intention was to design and order the prototype boards myself. I spent a day or so learning the nomenclature and general design principles. I already knew that board design can be devilishly difficult in the details, but straightforward designs are fairly easily to execute. There is a very large community of amateur board designers associated with platforms like Arduino, as well as many foundries that specialize in prototyping. I downloaded one of the popular free software packages and set to work. I started with a good drawing I had already made in Photoshop for the first design – the black Chopard board. Then I hit an unexpected wall. Circuit board software is designed to make circuit boards, not pretty patterns. Duh. A user first builds a schematic with all the components and only then moves on to “routing”, finding the shortest, most efficient paths to lay the “wires” between all the components. Clearly, I was not going to easily figure out how to build a schematic that would allow me to “route” the wires in a predetermined pattern.
Help was needed. I spent a considerable amount of time on tech blogs and the Web looking for an engineer that had both an aesthetic view on the world and the technical skills required. I came across one man, a fellow in England named Saar Drimer, who had a circuit board design company called Boldport. He had gone so far as to write a program that allowed him to import illustrator files into a circuit board-friendly design environment. I emailed him almost immediately. He quickly understood my project. I had found my guy.
I’d imagine the sketches were fairly in-depth in order to create the final “working boards,” tell us about that exchange.
We encountered many technical difficulties. I had to visit the jewelers and carefully measure the dimensions so that the jewelry would fit perfectly into the designs. This was very difficult to figure out, as cutouts also had to be drawn up for the rings and earrings. The magazine was extraordinarily helpful in opening doors, and we were lucky none of the pieces were sold before the shoot. Saar started with my drawings but soon added his own special sauce, making the boards more credible. By the end, we were going back and forth with very rough drawings and he took it from there. It was a lot of work for him, as he also had to design and solder functioning boards with the LEDs. I was also lucky he had a very good foundry in the UK that was willing to work hard on the quality and color of the shadow masks (the non-metallic surface of the boards). We spent about six weeks start to finish. The shoot took just two days, up in my Connecticut studio. There is almost no retouching, just a little cleaning up. I’m old school, I like my images real. We both feel that we executed something new, perhaps opening the door to new designs with circuit boards as a functional, aesthetic material.
How do your ideas manifest?
I wish I knew. they just pop in unexpectedly. On a long walk, in the shower, at an exhibition, anywhere, really. I read a lot, I look at design blogs, magazines, many non-photographic sources. Unless there is a specific request I stay away from my colleagues’ Websites; too many voices in a photographer’s head can be deafening.
What was your break, meaning how did you get started? Everyone has a breakthrough project though we all see you as superstar out of the womb.
Thank you. I do not know if I was a superstar out of the womb; I’ve been told that I produced a lot of spit up in my early years. Unless you are Guy Bourdin, many years of work will be required before you find a strong voice. That might be daunting to hear, but I think the best photographers love the process of making photographs. Your voice will come, sometime soon, hopefully. In the meantime, I suggest you make images simply for the joy of it. I have always felt that way, even during the years when my career was uncertain. As in all creative endeavors, this is a tough business. Do it because you love it. Still life photography has always felt like the best way to express myself, I have enjoyed a lifetime exploring how that happens.
What is another creative outlet for you?
Three years ago my wife and I moved to a small farm in Connecticut. I have learned a lot about fencing (not the epee kind), black bears (don’t run), and wild turkeys (not happy when challenged). More than enough new outlets for a guy who spent 28 years in Paris.
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[by Francis Zera]
Photographer’s block, aka “I don’t know what the hell to make photographs of anymore,” is a perennial problem for we creatives. We buy books of other photographers’ works, we attend inspirational seminars, maybe even start to think we’ve complely lost our creative spark.
Happens to everyone, right? Perhaps. But here are seven tips to either recover that missing creative mojo or, even better, to avoid losing it in the first place.
Francis Zera is a Seattle-based architectural and commercial photographer. He currently serves as education chair at ASMP Seattle/NW, teaches architectural photography and business at the Art Institute of Seattle, and holds an M.A. Ed. in adult education and training. You can check out his work at zeraphoto.com and follow him on twitter and on instagram.
Who printed it?
4 x 6.com
Who designed it?
I did. The back is an image of the backdrop from the front image. So if the sweep had some subtle gradient it would be the same. The design formed once I had the images. I just kept it simple really.
Who edited the images?
On the shoot day stylist Chuck Luter and I knew the ones that worked, so that was the initial edit. After that i whittled it down myself.
How many did you make?
About 250 sets. There are different ones also. I printed 7 of the series so some people have different sets. Maybe you can play swapsies one day . Ha!
How many times a year do you send out promos?
Two or three times a year.
How did the idea come about?
The initial idea came from seeing a maintenance man painting a ledge in a park. He walked past me with paint covering his roller, his hand and going up his wrist. He had just dunked everything in a massive bucket of paint, he didn’t care! Awesome.
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[by Todd Joyce]
Yes, we creative types are a bit bipolar in the area of confidence, so staying inspired can be constant a struggle. Here are three simple concepts to keep your inspiration fires burning:
It rarely happens this fast, but within a day of posting the farmer images to my site, I was contacted by a large agricultural company, to photograph farmers in the same style. Showing what you love doing is how you get people to pay you to do the work you want to do. And, doing what I love, keeps me inspired.
Todd Joyce has recently been seen propositioning men on tractors, but has not been charged with any crimes… yet. See more at joycephotography.com
Even the most passionate, dedicated, innovative photographers can find themselves struggling with creative stagnation or worse, a creative block. This week and next, our contributors share their experiences, tips and advice on invigorating and igniting your creative spark.
My daughter loves pink. (Big surprise.) She’s a 3 year old girl, so it goes with the territory.
Just yesterday, we were in a little market near the mountains. She was wearing pink boots, pink pants, a pink shirt, a pink jacket, and her new pink glasses.
She made quite the impression on her fellow shoppers. One of them even asked, “Do you like pink, by any chance?”
“Yes,” she said. “Pink and purple and blue.”
We associate pink with little girls. With innocence and youth. It’s a happy and flippant color.
Well, that’s what I was thinking when I picked up “Sumimasen,” a new pink book by the IPG project, recently published by Editions du LIC.
Wait, you say. What are you doing? You can’t move on to the book review that quickly. Where’s your unexpected and witty transition? Are you mailing it in because it’s a holiday week? (Thanksgiving, here in the US.)
Fair point. It may seem like I’ve cheated you out of my trademark writerly aikido. And yet…
This week marks the 4th anniversary of the column in which I developed my now-signature style. I still remember the moment when my mother-in-law rapped on our door at night, brandishing a rather large gun, as there were trespassers in our field on Thanksgiving.
Somehow, the drama filtered down into my consciousness, and the next day, this column was born. I respect history, and appreciate that I might not have a job right now, had that gun not scared me shitless.
So do you really think I’m going to mail it in on the Thanksgiving column?
I don’t think so.
But then again, this little pink book is so adorable. With anime-like characters on the cover. So inviting. It makes me think of Hello Kitty, and crayons, and the little Winter stockings my daughter wears to pre-school.
Kittens and daydreams and Candyland!
You know what I don’t think of?
A Hello Kitty-mask-wearing, naked, Japanese porn actress whose entire life is captured on four webcams embedded around her small apartment.
(Dramatic pause.) What now?
That’s right. This cute pink book is actually a weird-as-hell meditation on the way Japanese culture forces people to offer two faces to the world: their true selves, which remain hidden, and the public mask, which shrouds the interior reality.
Let me say it again: What now?
Nothing could be less Thanksgiving-y than this book. It’s got plenty of boobs, and screen shots of lady parts. (As I’ve said 1000 times before, Boobs Sell Books℠) Yes, this is nobody’s idea of a children’s book.
(This is Mayura. Hi Mayura. See Mayura make breakfast. See Mayura clean the dishes. See Mayura masturbate with her large and intimidating vibrator.)
Normally, if I showed an edgy book like this, you’d just roll your eyes and say, “Blaustein’s keeping it real today.” But on Thanksgiving, it has to be more than that.
Let’s just say I wanted to bring the rhetoric down a notch from last week’s impassioned screed. True. But in this time of global strife, I think it’s always good to be reminded that the weird shit is what separates us from the Apes.
Anyone can put on a suit every day, punch the clock, make the donuts, and then drink away their misery in a big bottle of vodka. That’s called life. (For too many people.)
So this week, while you’re eating obscene amounts of turkey, laughing at your uncle’s inappropriate jokes, and restraining yourself from killing your obnoxious younger brother, remember this odd little pink book.
Because if this bit of naughty Japanese insanity can’t help you lighten up, maybe nothing can?
Bottom Line: Pornographic Japanese book in a nice little package
To Purchase “Sumimasen” Visit Photo-Eye
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Since 1944, ASMP’s mission has focused on protecting and promoting the interests of professional photographers through information, education and advocacy. We invite you to learn more about our upcoming webinar on direct marketing, an exciting update on copyright reform from Tom Kennedy and $160 in free offers for those who join or renew their membership!
“Social media is just one more touch point. So don’t forget the other methods of promotion!”
~Kat Dalager, As Ye Social, Social Ye Reap
As our very own Kat Dalager so aptly pointed out last week, there is more to marketing than just social media. Direct marketing via print and/or email campaigns can be an invaluable tool for connecting with clients and prospects.
ASMP’s December Business as unUsual webinar will help you learn how to use direct marketing to successfully promote your business.
Who should be on your list? How can you get them to open that envelope or e-blast? How often should you send something? What visuals should you feature? What copy should you include? What should you do differently if you’re promoting motion or still and motion projects? Get the answers to all these questions and more!
Join ASMP’s FREE webinar with Angee Murray and Andrea Maurio:
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
1:00 – 2:00 pm eastern
(aka 12:00 – 1:00 pm central, 11:00 – 12:00 pm mountain, 10:00 – 11:00 am pacific.
On November 18, ASMP Executive Director Tom Kennedy joined host Judy Herrmann for a lively update on Copyright Modernization. We invite you to listen to the recorded webinar – FREE! Get it at: http://asmp.adobeconnect.com/e3wscad1nv2/event/registration.html
Want even more details on copyright reform? Check out the series of 6 short but informative recordings featuring IP Attorney Nancy Wolf and June Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School. Available for FREE from: https://vimeo.com/channels/980328
Join or Renew Your ASMP Membership and get 2 great offers!
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Note: To qualify for the Sage One offer, you must renew your membership through at least 12/31/2016 and you must be one of the first 1000 people to request and activate an account. Offer not valid for existing Sage One customers and cannot be combined with other discounts or offers. Learn more at asmp.org/SageOne.
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Renew your ASMP membership and get a FREE lifetime single user “Pro Photographer” license for one song from Triple Scoop Music. Use your licensed song for unlimited slideshows, videos and galleries/portfolios promoting your work on your website, blog and social media channels as well as unlimited personal slideshows and videos for your consumer clients.
Note: To qualify for the Triple Scoop offer, you must renew your membership through at least 12/31/2016. This single user license does not cover slideshows or videos for business clients, corporate/commercial or non-profit projects. Click here to learn more.
Join or renew your ASMP membership today at www.asmp.org/join!
Heidi: How long is a typical aerial shoot?
Cameron: It depends upon the project and location. When shooting over New York City or London, we plot out the times and sun path to maximize our shoot times or to catch the quality of light that the assignment calls for. Usually about one and half to two hours.
Have you even been both pilot and photographer?
In my early days of aerial photography, right after I earned my pilots license, I would shoot and fly at the same time. Problem was, for me, the altimeter tended to spin left, which meant I was descending. I know two fixed wing pilots that are superb aerial photographers and also a Gyro pilot who have mastered the ability to fly and shoot at the same time. If I was to try it again, I would shoot from an ultralight aircraft.
The key thing to remember about aerials, is, safety comes first. I fly with a fairly elite group of pilots who know how to fly for the camera and primarily fly for the film industry. There are a few photographers who have the same or higher level of experience that I have, all of us, are focused on flying safely. My goal is always safety of the crew, client and myself. Since I am also a pilot, (although inactive at the moment) I know and speak the same language as the pilots flying the ship. I tend to fly in turbine helicopters and often in twin-turbine ships. There’s a lot of planning that goes into these flights and we always have a pre and post mission brief. I never bring unnecessary people along for a joy ride. That comes from the mantra of “more people equals more weight, more weight in the helicopter equals less power.” Power is your friend.
What was the genesis for this body of work?
In early 2009, I was on assignment for Vanity Fair in New York City. The shoot called for recreating the views from the cockpit of US Airways Flight 1549 that crash-landed into the Hudson River. After I finished the shoot, we flew back to the heliport, I asked the pilot if we could schedule a second flight for sunset and into early evening. His schedule was open, so we went for it. I shot at sunset and since it was fall, dusk came quickly. In 2009, DSLR cameras were not especially good at high ISO and low-light photography. I decided to keep shooting and cranked the ISO up and see if I could create a usable image. I did and it became a best seller for one of my stock agencies.
I’ve always been drawn to the intersection of mankind and water. My work is fairly graphic and the hard lines with dark and light of the city is similar in form and tone to my aerial landscapes of marshes, river and settlements along watersheds.
So far, I’ve published six books and one iPad app on aerials. My last book, Chesapeake, was a twenty-year love affair with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that was the University of Virginia Press distributed.
My aerial assignment work is a mix of editorial, annual reports and advertising. Earlier this year I shot a campaign for a automotive company. The first shot was Manhattan from 9500 feet on a very cold 16 degree day. The temperature in the cabin, at altitude, was minus three degrees. Add about sixty knots of forward airspeed and we were a wee bit chilled. The same project took me to the edge of the Everglades, where I shot as low at forty feet above the water. I’ve shot aerials in over thirty countries.
Discovery Channel assigned me to shoot shoot 360 immersive aerials for the Nik Wallenda walk websites his walk across the Grand Canyon and Chicago River.
That was very much a collaborative approach with their in-house graphics team, specialized software with quite a lot of testing and several pre-flight mission and weather briefs. We had a half-hour window for these shots due to waiting for light to reach into into the canyons and before the winds picked up. I have flown for so long, that fear does not enter into my mindset. I fly with good people in solid aircraft and everyone goes in with a safety first frame of mind. I do say a prayer before every flight and ask for the safe return for all on board.
Is there a particular time of day you like to shoot these?
My favorite time of day to shoot is O’Dark early and O’Dark late. I like working the edges of light. The first and last light of the day is a challenge and a joy to work with: shadows hide and help create form with structure. I rarely shoot aerials in the middle of the day. I can only think of a couple of times in the past few years that I have. One was in Haiti just after the January 2010 earthquake. The only time I could schedule the helicopter was between NGO medical missions and that was 2:00 in the afternoon. Recently I shot a series of B&W aerials of Manhattan in the middle of the day. I wanted to embrace the hard cold light of late October. I think it worked.
Are there scouting missions for project like this?
Sometimes, I scout by fixed wing. Most often, I travel to the location and scout on the ground. I take sun path plots, gps readings, look at shadow lengths and figure out the obstacles and opportunities. I also use topographic maps plus satellite images via Google and Bing.
You’re a pioneer in this field, how did the love for aerial develop?
It came to me quite naturally. I started off as a bird photographer. I was working on a project for National Geographic Magazine in southern Maryland and I saw a Yellow Piper Cub behind a barn alongside a country road. I asked the farmer who owned the Cub if he would fly me over the Heron Rookery I was photographing. He did, for all of $15 to cover expenses. I was hooked from that point forward. It was the perfect viewpoint for how I like to shoot. Graphic landscapes, targets of opportunities and hopefully, a unique image that challenges the viewer.
However, the real pioneers of aerial photography are William Garnett and Bradford Washburn. Mr. Washburn was also an explorer, and mountaineer. He photographed remote mountain ranges in Alaska with an 8×10 camera at, 12,000 feet without oxygen. I met Mr. Garnett and his wife a few years before he passed away. In my office, I have a signed print of one of his favorite aerials, an image of Death Valley with rolling dunes and hard morning light. Mr. Garnett is considered by many, to be the grandfather of American aerial photography.
What has been the most surprising/innovative application for this type of imagery that you’ve seen?
Outside of books and magazine stories, I’ve started shooting images that were intended of the movie poster market. Two of my New York City images have been made into the lead poster for the Spiderman movies. The U.S. Post Office chose an aerial of Blackwater Refuge from my Chesapeake Book project as the image to show marshes in the Earthscapes series of stamps.
Quadopter/Octacopters (drones) have brought a raft of new uses and some of them are incredibly exciting and useful. Everything from tower safety inspections to mapping, to wildlife counts and of course, aerials from a slower and lower altitude, which I might add, is significantly safer than flying a helicopter at 200 feet.
I have a long relationship with the good folks at Corbis and you can see many of my aerials there. Also, I launched my own stock library, titled, AerialStock.
[by Pascal Depuhl]
How much more productive would you be, if you could…
…automatically answer every online contact request with a branded, personalized email from your company and get an alert to new inquiries via text, email and SMS from the cloud?
…enter each business card you’re handed into your cloud based address book and automatically pull in data from the card owner’s LinkedIn profile?
…see the last activity you had scheduled with that person, the client account associated with him or her and have the personal contact info from your cloud based client database on your screen whenever you look up a client on LinkedIn?
…automatically trigger the creation of a digital job folder, add a customized to-do list (based on how you go from prospect to client) to your calendar and create an blank production book in the cloud when a client sends you a job request?
…store all emails, call notes, marketing efforts, past invoices, payments and briefs pertaining to a client account in the cloud, accessible from anywhere in the world?
…control image delivery to your client from your smart phone?
…create an expense report in the cloud just by photographing a receipt?
Sound too good to be true? Welcome to your business in the cloud.
There are lots of systems you can choose from. Here’s how I use mine…
My day begins with my head in the cloud (literally)
The first tab that opens in my web browser is my SalesForce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System: the heart of my cloud business. It aggregates all client info – some automatically, some from other applications or web services – into one place.
More than just a calendar and address book app, it links everything together, so my client’s personal cell phone number from last year is at my fingertips and I can easily see the last estimate I sent them while I’m on the phone talking about our upcoming project. The digital documents don’t have to be stored in SalesForce – in my case, I use Evernote.
SalesForce – the center of my cloud universe
Here are three channels I use to capture new leads into my SalesForce client database:
The contact form on my website.
When a prospective client fills out the contact form on my website, they are actually entering their data into SalesForce, which then sends them an automated personalized email response and notifies me that I have a new lead. All this info is accessible via the web interface or an app on my phone (Read more about it on this Strictly Business article: Quick Tip – Automate).
The subscription button on my blog.
I use a MailChimp plugin on my WordPress blog to send all subscriber information straight to SalesForce. That plugin also sends email updates to my subscribers when I publish a new blog post and maintains my mailing list. All day, every day. Don’t have to think about it.
I take a photo of the card and Scannable reads the card, saves it to the address book on my phone (pulling in any information that’s not printed on the card from the person’s LinkedIn profile) and adds my new contact to SalesForce. All in about 30 seconds. Don’t believe that’s possible? Watch a video of a card read in real time.
A low-tech look at cloud based business
My Moleskine notebook goes everywhere with me. It’s full of notes, sketches, location info, phone numbers–the list goes on and on. Paper is still incredibly convenient, it’s fast, needs no power and there are studies that show you remember you handwritten notes better than those you type.
Actually this picture of my Moleskine lives in the cloud in an Evernote digital notebook, which makes the text on the page searchable even though it’s in my handwriting. That’s the power of using the cloud.
These tips barely scratch the surface, but I hope they give you an idea what’s possible when you run your business from the cloud.
Pascal has been using cloud based business apps for the past 7 years. If you want to learn more about how SalesForce works together with other apps like, Evernote, Asana, MailChimp, Zappier, IFTTT, and many others, subscribe to Pascal’s newest blog series “Solving the Productivity Puzzle.”
Who printed it?
Who designed it?
My good friend Craig Wheat did my logo a while back but I designed the cards myself.
Who edited the images?
I edited these 5 down from my current 20 image printed portfolio.
How many did you make?
I made a short run of 20 cards for each image as this was my first go at a promo. Some people received all 5 cards, some got 3 and then I also sent out a few singles. There was 33 total recipients of the promo.
How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’m really not sure yet. This was my first run and it was very small so I’m curious to see what happens if I send out 400. I’d like to do at least 4 promos a year but doing 12 small runs sounds fun too!
What have you learned from sending out promos?
As I mentioned before, this was my first run at any sort of promo. I had sent out a few emails prior to these postcards but this was my first attempt at getting my name out there without taking much of a financial hit. The month before sending these out I decided to go freelance. So you can say this was my attempt at getting me out of the “ohh crap” moment and getting my hustle on. Shortly after sending these out, I got booked for a couple jobs with local agencies. None of them had received the promos yet. I do feel that getting the cards out there had something to do with getting these jobs. I have learned a lot from this first mailer, for example how they can reach a bigger audience just by sending one to Rob. Also, sending good photos and vibes out into the universe can never hurt.
[by Harry C. Thomas]
ASMP member Harry Thomas recently contacted ASMP after discovering how limited the protections offered to photographers accepting credit cards really are. He shares his experiences in this post in the hopes that it may help others avoid getting burned.
I accepted an assignment from a Fortune 100 company with whom I had no prior business relationship. Lured by their last minute need for a photographer, I hoped this would be the start of a long-term relationship.
The assignment seemed straightforward: the client needed a photographer to shoot portraits of the key customers with a celebrity PGA golfer during their golf invitational event. Since this was a shot gun start with everyone beginning at 12:00 pm, the PGA golfer and I would have to capture from hole to hole to capture him with each foursome. The biggest challenge was the client’s need to have 120 prints ready for distribution before their banquet commenced at 5:00 pm.
To achieve their goals, I told them I would have to connect my printer and laptop to the Wi-Fi network in the Club House and hire a Digital Tech to help manage the files so everything could be completed in time.
To minimize my risk, I amended my usual contract to limit my liability in the event of circumstances beyond my control that would prevent me from completing the job. I also told the client I would need to set up my equipment in advance of the event to make sure everything worked properly. I was fairly comfortable that I had covered all key elements of the assignment including being paid in full upfront by credit card.
Unfortunately, the client rejected my request for early access, assuring me that they had Wi-Fi and the staff to cover any eventuality, but when the Wi-Fi network connection in the Club House disabled my printer during the shoot, despite my best efforts there was no way I could deliver the prints on time.
The client demanded a full refund. All of my attempts at diplomacy fell on deaf ears. I finally had no choice but to leave it that since I could prove that the failure stemmed from circumstances beyond my control as stipulated in my contract, there would be no refund and I considered the matter closed.
E-Commerce and the fine print
Shortly thereafter, my financial service card processor informed me that the card issuer reversed the entire payment amount in favor of the card member, my client. I was offered the opportunity to challenge the dispute if I could provide supporting documentation.
This is when I learned how the dispute process really works. The credit card company/issuer and the credit card processor have a symbiotic relationship; they benefit financially from doing business together. The card processor assigns all resolution decisions to the card issuer and only represents the merchant (me) in presenting his or her case. It is up to the card issuer to resolve the dispute and their decision is final.
This process offers no objective incentive to award a decision in favor of the merchant regardless of the weight of evidence presented. Not only does the process itself invite favoritism to the benefit of the card holder, but the card issuer also offers more lenient conditions for their card member to dispute the challenge:
1. Card members are given a variety of options to use as a dispute.
2. If the dispute is settled in favor of the merchant, card members have the option to re-open the dispute with a different challenge after 60 days., Decisions awarded in favor of the card member, on the other hand, are final.
Moving forward, I’ve decided to accept credit cards only for low risk over-the-counter type of business and not for more complex production assignments. This may inconvenience some potential clients, but I feel it’s worth the effort to follow best practices for the benefit of your business, your client and our industry. Trying new ways of conducting business in this internet consumer playing field can yield benefits and should be embraced. However, convenience is not a substitute for solid old fashion best business practices.
Harry Thomas is a Philadelphia based photographer, educator and writer. He aims to use light as a paintbrush to reflect both reality and drama, to capture the surreal and warmth of a portrait, to reveal the beauty of a building and its interior, to change night to day, clouds to sunshine and freeze time.
On Thursday and Friday, those of us in the United States celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday and our contributors will take a well-deserved long-weekend. During this short week, we celebrate the spirit of giving that is one of the defining tenets of ASMP by sharing lessons learned from photographers doing business in the cloud.
I’m sitting in a silent room, over-looking a lilting snowman.
Is there anything more beautiful than a snow-covered field? The sunlight reflects into your eyes, and the blue sky looms above, like an approving grandma.
It’s odd to feel tranquil and safe, in this week when illusions of such phenomena were shattered like the outer layer a frozen puddle, when you crunch it with your boot.
As this is an opinion column, it’s hard not to comment on the miserable situation that played out on Friday, November 13. (OMG, I’m only now realizing those assholes did it on Friday the 13th. Sick bastards.)
But what do you say? How can I add anything to the discussion that hasn’t been said already, or isn’t so blindingly obvious that it need not be said?
I will say this: my heart goes out to all the innocent people who lost their lives. To their loved ones, whose time on Earth will never be the same. To the residents of all the cities out there who now feel so threatened. Who grapple with an underlying level of fear and anxiety that will not go away any time soon.
But I also think about all the people, tens of millions really, who live that way already. Who reside in places like Iraq, Syria, Mali, Yemen, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Israel, Ukraine, etc.
There are so many who live in situations where bombings, assassinations, destruction and mayhem are a part of daily life. Yet we collectively lose our minds when it happens in a place like Paris. In the West. With all the beauty and historic architecture.
I may not be a real journalist, (the jury’s out,) but I did write in this very column, not too long ago, about the banlieues in Paris. We looked at “Dédale,” by Laurent Chardon, and how he implied that the bleak, miserable surroundings in the Parisian suburbs must be wreaking havoc on the mentality of their inhabitants.
We are humans, and therefore flawed. Society, made up of humans on a mass scale, is therefore flawed as well. Should our species survive as long into the future as it has into the past, it will never lack for violence and misery.
But when chaos hits close to home, it feels that much worse. That’s how terrorism works. And lest you think I’m excusing anyone, I’ve already written on multiple occasions that ISIS are **the worst people on Earth**.
But the appeal of their recruitment pitch is not hard to discern.
They find young men, troublemakers already, who are of the lowest status in their home (or adopted) countries. They have no girlfriend, no job prospects, no future to speak of. These men most often live in the kind of miserable neighborhoods you might see in a Dardenne brothers film. (Brussels anyone?)
To these young men, they offer the chance to be heroes, to a certain audience.
These recruits will get to play war, cops and robbers, spy vs spy, whatever clichéd story-book narrative you’d like to use. They will be famous, lauded by a crowd of social media well-wishers. And then, when it all goes wrong, as it always does, they won’t have to spend their lives in jail, tortured daily, nor confined to the hell of solitary confinement.
No, they will not.
Instead of facing decades of potential rape behind bars, with the push of a button, these sociopaths get to go to heaven, attended by 72 virgins. Permanent blowjobs, forever.
Which is to say that as long as there are oppressed, disturbed, and under-employed young men in the world, (and occasionally women) then this message will find fertile soil.
These ISIS killers don’t respect life, so it’s easy for them to take it from others. I may hope we wipe them all from the face of the Earth, but the ideas that motivate them are much harder to eradicate. (See Neal Stephenson’s seminal “Snow Crash,” for the best prediction on the power of viral information.)
It takes books and medical care and job opportunities to defeat that sort of nihilism.
Because you can’t explode an idea.
In so many cities, here in the US, after 9/11, people did live in fear. Always looking over their shoulders. Is that backpack sitting by itself? Does that Muslim guy look shifty to you? If you see something, say something.
Eventually, those fears receded.
Cities without people feel scary. Emptiness, devoid of light, takes on a type of menace with which most of us are familiar. That’s why these assholes attacked social gatherings. They want to scare people away from drinking and fun. (Remember: no booze under Sharia law.)
Empty cities project a palpable energy, and the camera loves nothing so much as a cinematic scene. Which is why people have been so receptive to “Dark Cities, Urban America at Night,” a project by Lynn Saville, just released in book form by Damiani.
(Even today, I managed to make it back around to a photo-book.)
I have to admit, I like, but don’t really love these pictures. I’ve seen so many of them before, and I’ve even made some myself. (Haven’t we all?) But as a collection, it makes for a very attractive publication.
The pictures are moody without being outright scary. Taken at dawn and dusk, (dubbed the magic hours for a reason,) the images resonate calm and quiet, rather than “a bomb is about to go off” anxiety. As the artist is a New Yorker, I not-surprisingly appreciated the pictures taken out of town, when her discovery-meter was dialed up a little higher.
Upon second viewing, I became more aware of the construction metaphor. People are building, always building, whether it’s a pyramid or a skyscraper. And the empty storefronts, turning over, being re-energized, gives a temporal marker of American cities coming back after the wreckage of the Great Recession.
There’s one picture with a mural in it that says, “This is happening in your city right now.” I considered opening today’s column with that very quote, as Parisians, Londoners, Berliners, New Yorkers and Madrilenos are all worried more today than they were before. (The end notes credit Michael Conlin and William Butler for the Albany mural.)
Unless you’re reading this in Aleppo, or Mosul, or Donetsk, your city is likely safe enough to explore. You can go out for a coffee, and likely not have to worry about getting killed. So in this time of global sadness, let’s remember to appreciate the freedoms we often take for granted.
Bottom Line: Beautiful photos of American cities at night
[by Anna Dickson]
I’ve spent several days trying to figure out how to boil down social media from a buyer’s perspective to 400 words. In the past I’ve talked on various subjects from the frustration that photographers have with copyright and decreasing fees for image rights to marketing strategies on social and new avenues for revenue via social for photographers. I don’t think any of those things are really what we should be talking about.
Social Media isn’t just another place to post your work and market your business. It’s not simply a way to connect with friends or family and share your personal stories. Social Media, hand in hand with mobile, have fundamentally changed the way we produce, consume and distribute content. What that means is that now, understanding social media, is no different than understanding media.
We, as photography professionals have to understand that our role within the industry is changing. In order to be successful in this world of new media, be it social, digital, mobile, virtual reality or something we haven’t discovered yet, we need to do more than figure out how to market our existing services to these platforms. It’s helpful to understand the bigger role visuals play in the media.
In publishing, photos have almost always been there to support the story. The job of the image has been to pull the reader into the story and/or support the text. With so many things floating around the social mediasphere publishers started to look at social to find stories. In a world where everyone is connected all the time, regardless of where you are, one of the only things that transcends language are images. Trending photos, like the migrant boy on the beach, become important images that help change the way we see the world. You also have stories built out of photos that are less serious, trends people participate in or stories built out of a single event and posted to social. The signifigance is that all of these stories are built from images and they’ve been consumed through social media. In fact, some have actually stemmed from social media.
In 2013 there was an eye-opening image comparison between the 2003 introduction of Pope Benedict and the 2013 election of Pope Francis. Unlike in the past, the photos became the entire story and the words were simply there to support the image.
So, what does this mean for photography professionals? It means that the world is communicating visually. Yes, there are cameras everywhere. Yes, clients are looking for a different style of photography to help tell their stories. And yes, people aren’t paying as much as they did 10 years ago for a photo shoot. As publishers and advertisers try to figure out how to navigate this world where we’re no longer just pushing content to users but instead pushing AND pulling content, we need to consider the publishers’, advertisers’ and audiences’ needs a bit more. There are no quick or easy answers. Visuals are becoming more important than ever before and our job as photo professionals is to be experts in that language.
Anna Dickson is currently the Photo Lead for the Content & Community within Google. Her previous experience includes The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, iHeartRadio, Rolling Stone and Popular Photography.
As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.
Today’s featured photographer is: Rhea Anna
How long have you been shooting?
I’m trying to remember the first time I picked up a camera. Grade school… maybe. I’ve been obsessed with photography forever, and this obsession still burns bright in me to this day. My brain just thinks in images. I remember in pictures. In my head, I’m constantly framing flashes of moments and thoughts.
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
My journey in photography started in college but was in no way a direct route. I received a BFA in photography from SUNY College in Buffalo NY and then took a detour and found myself as a first mate on a sailboat in the Caribbean. After 5 years of traveling the seas, I made my way back north and started freelance assisting for photographers in the Rochester area (think RIT, Kodak, IBM…). With some perspective and a new sense of direction, assisting helped me pick up where I left off with my education. I consider assisting the most important part of my education. It was here that I combined the theoretical piece from my fine arts background with the technical insights learned in studios across Rochester that I really started to shift from exploring photography to being a photographer. My love for learning the craft has never stopped and I still enjoy taking weekend workshops and seminars whenever I can.
With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
Throughout my career, there’s been a piece of advice that seems to come up over and over again. Find your Voice. Find your point of view. Now express it in your work. I’ve been working with this in mind for years, I think that’s what makes my lifestyle work consistent. This advice is something every successful commercial photographer pulls into their process, and rightfully so because it’s helped develop a lot successful careers. That said, I’ve also found that it can be a bit confining at times. With inspiration hitting me from every direction, there are so many ways of seeing, so many ways for me to interpret those images swirling around in my head.
For this project, I gave myself the gift of releasing myself from those boundaries. The inspiration was to go out and push myself to shoot this work without feeling like the images needed to fit into the portfolio or speak to a particular audience. I wanted to be that little girl obsessed with photography, but before she learned to be a commercial photographer.
How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
Taking on a personal project these days is a particularly complex task for me. My business has morphed into two (photography and directorial/dp work) and I’m the mom of two school age girls. At a certain point something’s gotta give and for me that’s the long term personal project. This work was one month in planning and was shot in 6 days.
How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Personal projects can mean so many things. I’ve always admired photographers dedicated to an idea or a cause so much so that they’ve committed to shooting the project for years. In my case, my personal project was more like creative play, a push to experiment, less about a well thought out idea and more like an investigation into something raw and unexplored. You can’t really over think this kind of personal project. ‘Anything goes’ was the philosophy here, as long as it felt like I was listening to my own voice. Of course, it didn’t always go like that though. The first day I was constantly trying to shake off my lifestyle hat, which took some time and was really uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I love that lifestyle hat, but I just needed to try on something different here; something that felt like risk. I needed a change in my photographic energy, so I could continue to be excited about creating imagery. Sometimes your work grows the most when you see an edge and you walk right up to it, maybe even jump.
In the end, there are some images I really love, and they will help pave new directions for my future work, both personal and professional.
Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
When shooting for my book, I’m always thinking about that imaginary client or brand. My goal is to create images that emotionally connect with a client. I want to show them I can capture a moment that will resonate with their customers. My personal project didn’t have a product in mind. In most of the shots, I wasn’t even thinking about what market would find it appealing. So the work looks different, and it taps into a side of my work that’s a bit more introspective and edgy, and sometimes intentionally more somber than lifestyle imagery typically wants to be.
Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I do post personal work on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter albeit somewhat sporadically. I post to Instagram a whole lot more regularly, mainly because it’s more about the pictures and less about the commentary. Recently I’ve gotten most eyes on my work by posting on storytelling platforms like Storehouse and Shocase, and then publishing theose links on the aforementioned social media sites.
If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I’m still in love with print, and in the past I have traditionally hand printed my promos, cutting and assembling them in very small runs in my studio. The ‘small and select’ mailing has always been my m.o. Even though I’m not really able to be as hands on with it now, I do still regularly send personal work out in beautifully crafted print promos. Just now I’ve just finished reviewing design ideas for a promo with this body of work. It will go out to a very small group of creatives very soon.
Visão de Portugal
Visão translates to vision, and this project was about rediscovering my own vision. It was about getting lost and finding a new way; it was about being out of my element.
Rhea is a creative collaborator, a commercial photographer, director, and DP.
She is best known for bringing a ‘zest for life’ to everyday lifestyle moments. With a close eye on style and design in her work and in her life, the images she captures are fun and carefree. Clients are drawn to Rhea because she is able to connect a deep sense of optimism and a love of life to the campaign’s concept.
Through Rhea’s lens, a road trip or an afternoon playing in the backyard becomes a modern day milestone… one of those moments that are forever etched in your memory as simply “the perfect day”.
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.
[by Pascal Depuhl]
“Photographers have a huge advantage on Instagram. You already have the most important thing for great Instagram content: awesome photos!”
~Sue B. Zimmerman
Last week I got to interview Sue B Zimmerman (@theinstagramexpert) after listening to her on a webinar put on by productivity guru Steve Dotto (@dottotech). Their discussion made me rethink how much attention I pay to my Instagram account.
In case you’ve lived under a rock for the past 5 years, Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service and, as a visual content creator, it’s basically made for photographers. If you’re not utilizing it, well, let’s just say your missing out on a large market segment. I wrote about the importance of Instagram in getting hired last December on Strictly Business: Why a Strong Brand Online is Worth More Than Your Skill Set.
Within 5 years of its launch Instagram celebrated 400 million users, placing it in the top 5 US Social Media networks; that is a little misleading, since it’s owned by Facebook. Since Instagram does only one thing, it’s simple to use – but that simplicity can be difficult to use well.
Sue talked to me about the 5 mistakes you can’t afford to make on Instagram:
Mistake #1: Setting your Instagram account to private ensures that no one, but your followers can see what you post.
I made this mistake when I started. Social Media is social so don’t keep your account to yourself.
Sue does recommend that you keep your account set to private, until you write your bio (see mistake #3), post a minimum of 9 fantastic images and/or videos (see mistake #4) and come up with a strong Call to Action (see mistake #5). Once you’ve populated your profile – open your Instagram (IG) to the world! Interact with people, reply to tags, @mentions and shares.
Mistake #2: Using the generic Instagram avatar, will make sure that everyone knows you’re an IG newbie.
Ah, the profile picture. Mistake number 2 is uploading one that has nothing to do with your business. The only way you can do worse is by not uploading anything. Then you get this beauty:
Sue says you should put your smiling face on your account. People want to know who you are (and that they’re following the right instagram account). Make it specific to your brand – it can be your logo, but I agree with Sue, I like to have my face up there. The same goes for your IG your username in your brand. Make it the same as your twitter handle (mine is @photosbydepuhl) or your brand name or your own name. The good news is you can change the username on Instagram.
Mistake #3: Leaving your bio blank. Or writing a bad one.
Your bio, is the first thing people see on Instagram, so make it easy and tell them something about yourself. Don’t leave it blank or write something completely irrelevant. (You should set your account to private, until you have a strong bio written.)
True, it’s not easy to write an effective bio in 150 characters. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. Don’t forget you need to include your call to action in here as well (more about that in Mistake #5). This bio is the first impression your making on IG. Make it count.
Mistake #4: Posting photos of everything. Or posting underexposed, blurry, badly composed photos.
The Instagram feed for your business should be just that: photos and videos about your business (not breakfast – unless you’re a food photographer; not cats – unless you’re a pet photographer; not cute kids – unless [say it with me] you create portraits of kids). If you want to post those images, create a personal Instagram account.
Keep your account focused. Sue says that you should show only the images and posts that build your brand. When someone clicks on your IG feed, your brand should be immediately clear. Remember you can post videos on Instagram, as long as they are under 15 seconds long, like this one:
Wanna get a sneak peek of what I shot in New York and Miami over the last few days? Check out our celebration of 25 years of making world-class artists and designers in one of the best #PublicSchools in @miamischools! #DASH consistently produces Top Talent in #architecture #IndustrialDesign #fashion #film and #graphicdesign @dashschool
A video posted by Pascal Depuhl (@photosbydepuhl) on Nov 10, 2015 at 8:47am PST
Include finished photos and behind the scene shots, Sue says it’s important to humanize your IG account.
Mistake #5: Not writing a strong Call to Action for your link. Not including a link at all is the only way you can make this mistake worse.
You get one link on Instagram and one link only. It’s in your bio, so choose it wisely. Once you’ve decided what your want to feature – your website, your blog, your newsletter, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts – don’t just say “Click here.” instead include a strong Call to Action.
Read my blog. Join my mailing list. Watch my video. Make that sole, lonely link that IG gives you count! The one saving grace is that this link – like your username – can be changed.
Pascal Depuhl’s Instagram account is @photosbydepuhl. Tell me which image/video is your favorite in the comments on Instagram. Read “How to build an engaged Instagram audience with hashtags, @mentions and likes” on Pascal’s blog, which incidentally is his one IG link.
Every still photographer I know is struggling. But every still photographer I know that also does video is really busy. I love still photography. It’s the root of my whole career and I’m never going to abandon it. But it’s not enough by itself.
Source: The New York Times
[by Chris Winton-Stahle]
Social media marketing for artists can be so much more than just promoting yourself; it offers a great opportunity to connect with others by showcasing work that inspires you. Pick several artists that you admire, reach out to them, become friends and, from time to time, share fun projects they’re doing with your social network. Several of my long-time mentors in photography have come to me through social media connections.
With social media, you can literally reach across the world and connect with people in a way that’s not threatening. Reach out to those who you truly admire and discover that artists will embrace you as artists have always embraced and mentored other artists across time. Connecting with master artists will help you elevate yourself to the next level.
“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”
~ Salvador Dali
For example, I’ve been inspired for years by Colin Anderson, a digital artist and photographer from Melbourne, Australia. His unique approach to production, the subject matter he chooses and his stylistic approach have influenced my own evolution as an artist.
Colin’s work has served as the inspiration behind a project I’m working on with a very talented, Emmy nominated actress, singer and voice talent named Kera O’Bryon. In her 25+ years in the business, she’s appeared in everything from feature films to TV and radio commercials, and corporate videos. Many photographers might recognize her as the voice of Canon’s automated tech support line.
I’ve worked with Kera several times and when I approached her about starring in a personally produced series of narrative adventure images, she agreed to come on board because she thought it would be a fun and interesting project that would let us both step up our game, show some personality and produce some great, inspiring images. This kind of creative energy gets people excited.
We’ve had a great time working together and have started posting some of the work we’re doing along with some behind the scenes images on social media. Kera has a pretty vast network of pretty relevant people – art buyers, producers, directors – and when I post these images and tag her, they show up on her page. Now people in her network are saying, “Wow, what are you doing?” She literally just told me that a creative director saw one of our images and asked her who the photographer is.
“The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.”
~ Piet Mondrian
When you’re working on independently produced projects, put the models and actresses on a pedestal and help to promote their talents. Showcase other people’s talents before your own. Show some class by thanking them and helping them get a little recognition from your network for the great work they’ve done. Commercial photography is a team sport and it’s very important to take care of the team that takes care of you.
Using social media to celebrate work you find exciting, inspire others and build cross-promotional relationships lets you promote yourself and your work in a way that’s not blatantly “me, me, me – hire me, hire me.” Instead, it’s about showing how you can work and have fun with people in our industry while elevating your brand and inspiring everyone around you. Who doesn’t want to be part of that?
Chris Winton-Stahle is an award-winning photographer and accomplished photo illustration artist who sees the camera as only half of his process in creating great imagery. Chris often pulls components from multiple images and CGI when creating his work for clients in advertising, magazines and entertainment.
Heidi: How did the SHOWSTOPPER JPG project come about?
Isamu: In October 2014, the famous French couturier was bringing his retrospective exhibition ‘The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk’ to Melbourne Australia to be held at the National Gallery of Victoria. To coincide with the event, Mercedes Benz who was the Principal Partner of the exhibition wanted to run an editorial in their magazine and commission a photographer that could handle two disciplines; that of portraiture and automotive photography together. Collaborating with Mercedes Benz, Jean Paul Gaultier had created a unique one-off design of a Mercedes SL-Class exclusively for the exhibition and images were required of him and the car for the editorial.
Editor Helen Kaiser approached me and commissioned the photo shoot. Helen knew my capabilities as both a portrait and automotive photographer. She also knew that I was comfortable shooting high profile celebrities; we worked together previously when she entrusted me to photograph famous Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.An ad campaign was realized by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne to promote the exhibition and I was subsequently commissioned to shoot that as well.
Have you shot for Merc Benz Magazine before?
Yes, a while ago though. If memory serves me right it would have been over 10 years ago when I was still shooting film.
What was the direction from the magazine?
The brief was to capture Jean Paul Gaultier with his uniquely designed Mercedes in the studio; covering off three to four different angles within a very limited time frame of no more than an hour.
Helen Kaiser initially sent me illustrations of the unique vehicle design by Jean Paul Gaultier with his signature stripes; we subsequently discussed shooting against a plain background due to the graphic nature of his design. The main issue however was the limited time allocated with the fashion designer. It would not have been possible to pre-light for multiple angles of the car together with the designer and achieve the sort of result that would do the story and publication justice. After a few days of brain storming I emailed Helen with the idea of shooting his portrait and the car separately…
“…in essence my idea based on the very limited time we have with JPG is to shoot him and the car separately and try to make up nice graphic images. So I suggest we do very graphic portraits of him and make up ‘double-exposed look’ collages of him around the car. I also like the idea of having him and the car in black and white apart from the blue stripes…I think this idea would make it more ‘editorial looking’ rather than looking like a typical advertising shot…”
With the concept approved, we shot multiple angles of the car on the first day in the studio and concentrated on just the portraits of Jean Paul Gaultier the following day.
How difficult was it too keep the cyc clean and do they roll the car in?
Keeping the cyc clean was not an issue. We laid carpet down to avoid tire marks when driving the car into the studio and onto a revolving floor; once it was on the turntable it was quite easy to turn the car around for the specific angles we needed. The assistants wore protective plastic covers around their shoes when moving around the studio.
Is the car engine ever running at some point?
Yes but only when we initially drive the car in.
What is the biggest challenge with shooting a car, I’d imagine reflections?
Reflections are ‘one’ of the main challenges when shooting cars in the studio. In this instance however we had the added difficulty of shooting a white car in a white studio; so the main challenge was to create enough light and shade in the bodywork to bring out the unique contours of the vehicle without losing definition against the background; at the same time highlighting the design created by Jean Paul Gaultier.
Was their any wardrobe direction for JPG?
We asked his management to bring some dark plain tops, ideally black and perhaps a jacket for some texture. We didn’t want to be too prescriptive; especially given his line of work, but emphasized that we needed something plain and dark for the ‘double’ exposure idea to work…
I see you have a signed print. Do you often have people sign your prints?
A few days after the shoot I was printing out some proofs of the retouched images and had a wild idea about having them signed by Jean Paul Gaultier. With nothing to lose I contacted his personal assistant via email to see if there was any chance that I could have him sign a set of prints for my personal collection. She replied that, “in the ideal world it would be easy to organize” but she couldn’t promise anything as he had such a busy schedule including a talk and book signing that evening. She suggested trying to catch him at the book signing; which was easier said than done because the evening was booked out. I attended anyway and talked my way into the event and with the help of his personal assistant Jelka, managed to get one print signed. I waited for over two hours but it was worth it. The image hangs proudly in my studio.
I don’t often have prints signed especially these days when we hardly print anything but I do have a set of prints signed by famous Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and a poster by one of Australia’s most famous bands Hunters & Collectors.