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Business

The Daily Edit – AFAR: Celine

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 09/27/2016 - 10:57am

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AFAR

Director of Photography: Tara Guertin
Art Director: Jason Seldon
Associate Photo Editor: Alex Palomino
Photographer: Celine Clanet

Heidi: I read that Creuset translates to cauldron or crucible. In this image the iron is heated  5,184°F (2,862°C) how close could you get to the iron before the heat became too much to bear?
Celine: Well, pretty close actually, but not for too long, that was the thing.

Did you wear special clothing and did it affect your gear?
I just wore regular safety equipment (shoes, glasses). It didn’t affect my gear, but there was just some black dust covering it, covering all of us actually.

How many days did you spend at the factory?
Two full days.

How long did you spend at each assembly line station?
It depended on the visual interest of each one. I remember spending much time on the sanding line: the guys – it’s a guys-only line – were wearing special breathing helmets, moving like robots, grabbing pots, sanding and throwing them out in a beautiful collective ballet. The industrial world is such a ballet.

When you were developing the narrative arc of the story, how did you keep track of big sweeping environmentals, portraits and tight shots to make for a dynamic story?
You have to think of every details that will make the viewer feel the experience of a place, which is basically the point of a magazine assignment. Photography is limited: no sounds, smells, nor movements, therefore every detail possible matters, and I just have this in mind when I shoot. I always try to step back, and ask myself what did I miss to shoot in what I see right now?

Did you review the shoot and then go back to visit anything you feel you may have missed?
No, two days were enough to stick to Afar’s expectations for this assignment.

Which part of the factory drew you in as a photographer?
The foundry. It was such a show.

How did this story come about? Did you pitch this idea to the magazine?
No, they thought of me first, as I do a lot of industrial photographic assignments, outside of my personal work and other kind of assignments.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Janelle Jones

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 09/26/2016 - 10:22am

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Janelle Jones

Who printed it?
Modern Postcard

Who designed it?
Me

Who edited the images?
Me

How many did you make?
250

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This was the second mail promo I’ve done, I’m aiming to send out promos four times per year.

If there is some sort of interesting backstory please feel free to share.
This photo of phrosties is from a series about summer drinks commissioned by Vice MUNCHIES.

 

 

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Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Jason Langer

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 09/23/2016 - 9:46am

by Jonathan Blaustein

He was handsome.

That was the first thing the barkeep noticed. Handsome in a country kind of way.

This was no twink.

The young man in the cowboy hat couldn’t have been more than twenty-five; more likely he was just past the legal drinking age. He’d come in about ten minutes before, walked up to the bar with a bow-legged gait, and asked for a Bud draft.

He paid with a five, left a dollar tip, then retreated to a table with a good view of the ladies.

The barkeep was certain he’d kept the last buck to give to one of the girls, so he wouldn’t feel too bad about hunkering down. You’ve got to give them SOMETHING if you want to stare at their tits, and a dollar is something, as opposed to nothing at all.

If this were another bar, in another part of town, the barkeep would have hit on the cowboy. That beer would have been free, so too the next. He was good-looking enough for five free beers, if we’re being honest, but only in another story.

In this one, the cowboy was clearly straight, so the barkeep could do nothing but cop the occasional stare.

The music was too loud, just like every other night. Some sailor just walked in with a handful of buddies, only this one looked like he was trying to fit in. A more promising candidate, that’s for sure.

The barkeep was actually ogling the sailor when the cowboy came back to the bar.

“Excuse me, sir,” he said.

“What can I do for you, cowboy?”

“Well, sir, I find myself in a bit of a predicament, you might say.”

“How’s that?”

“Well, sir, you see, the problem is, I’m not exactly supposed to be here.”

“You don’t say?”

“No, sir. I just came up here to town to arrange the sale of my family’s almond crop. We’ve got a farm out there in the Central Valley.”

“I never would have known.”

“Well, that’s kind of you to say, sir. But my Pa, he don’t take kindly to me frequenting these types of establishment. He thinks it’s a waste of money.”

“It takes all kinds.”

“Well, that’s how I feel about it, but my Pa don’t exactly agree. You see, the reason I came up here to talk to you is that I’m supposed to be home right about now, but here I am.”

“You’re right here in front of me, handsome.”

“Like I said, I’m supposed be home, and here I am. As to the problem I mentioned, well, I’ve got to call home and tell my Pa that I had a flat tire, and I’m a couple hours behind.”

“Sounds reasonable.”

“Well, I hope that’s true. But the problem I keep mentioning is that I just spent my last five dollars on this here beer, your tip, and a buck for the lovely lady over there. I think her name’s Lexus.”

“How can I help you, cowboy?”

“Well, sir, I feel right bad asking you this, but I need 25 cents to call home on that there pay phone, but I don’t have a dime. Is there any chance you might spot me a quarter, and I can pay you back next time I come in?”

“Well, cowboy, that’s no trouble at all. Normally, I’d just give you the quarter. But since you’re so cute, how about you give me a little peck on the cheek, and we’ll call it even,” said the barkeep, now extending a quarter in his right hand.

The cowboy looked sheepish, or at least pretended to, then took the quarter, leaned in, and kissed the barkeep on the left cheek. It was over before it started, then he sauntered to the pay phone in back, lit up by Miller High Life neon, dropped the coin into the slot, and began to dial.

The light glowed off of his cowboy hat, as he leaned towards the payphone, to better hear over the noise, and in that one half second, the barkeep knew he’d give that young man anything, if only he’d ask.

And… scene.

In photo class, I sometimes talk about implied narrative. The idea that a story is right there, practically suggested, if only we have the creativity to fill in the blanks.

A great photograph might walk you so far down the path that you’re lazy if you don’t bother to connect the dots.

The image in question comes from “Jason Langer: Twenty Years,” a book released by Radius earlier this Spring. It sat in my pile forever, and now that I’ve opened it up, I’m glad I did.

Another writer might have been seduced by the cowboy, but I was hooked by the payphone. It’s SO fucking 20th Century. (And the Miller High Life sign was pretty great too.)

I interviewed Jason Langer a few years ago, and I enjoy his work, though I wouldn’t say I love it. As with the review a couple of weeks ago, one particular picture made this book worth writing about.

Jason shoots in black and white, and his style fits in the center of three Venn diagrams marked “moody,” “set in the past,” and “overtly strange.” Most of his pictures look like they could have been shot in any decade between 1880 and 1960.

They’re much more “hat wearing” Don Draper than “Esalen-era” Don, if you catch my drift. Old fashioned, but in a way that reveres gray-scale, rather than mocking it. There’s just not much irony to be seen.

I found, oddly, that the pictures in the book from the last century had a stronger impact on me than the more recent work. But for once, it didn’t seem that the artist had been less successful.

Rather, and more subtly, my brain seemed to accept that the 90’s, that last pre-internet decade, really did belong to another temporal universe than ours. Almost like, after Y2K, or 9/11, we all jumped tracks to another reality. The continuity strings between the 19’s and the 20’s were cut, and we’ve all been making it up as we go along.

That’s why the payphone grabbed me so much. How quaint, how antiquated, and yet, 20 years really isn’t that long ago. (Or 18, as this photo was shot in ’98.) At first, it felt like New York, but Pacific Bell was a West Coast thing, right?

Then I thought of all those go-go bars in San Francisco; the ones near North Beach. I think there are a gaggle of them on Broadway, but honestly, I wouldn’t know. I was with my wife by the time I lived there, so the strip club phase was already in my personal rearview.

There are many excellent photographs in this book. Jason is a pro, understands his own vision, and as I’ve seen his work before, I think they did a great job creating a smooth edit. If you like this sort of photography, the book will be for you.

But I’m just glad I had my moment, pretending to be a cowboy, hoping a gay bartender might do me a solid. I’ve got almonds to move, goddammit, and they’re not going to sell themselves.

Bottom Line: Classy book where the 19th, 20th and 21st C’s collide

To Purchase “Jason Langer: Twenty Years” Visit PhotoEye

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Sabrina Helas

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 09/22/2016 - 10:21am

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.

“Rock-rock, Rockaway Beach
Rock-rock, Rockaway Beach
Rock-rock, Rockaway Beach
We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach”

Today’s featured photographer is: Sabrina Helas

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How long have you been shooting?
I have been shooting since 2005, I started off as a pet photographer.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Mostly self-taught, the funny part is I had always dreamed of being photographer, but for some strange reason I went to film school instead. It wasn’t until I had been working in that industry for a few years that I woke up and picked up a camera. I had taken photography classes in high school and college but I still had everything to learn.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
The Ramones song “Rockaway Beach”. I just couldn’t get it out of my head! I have a friend who lives in Rockaway and he was raving about it. He suggested I should take a trip out, so I did and I loved it! We started planning a shoot around the location that day. I am pretty sure that on a subconscious level we pulled from that song’s energy for the entire shoot.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I moved to NY in the middle of winter of this year so as soon as the weather warmed up we took a little trip to Rockaway and shot it 2 weeks later.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
This was an easy one, I knew right away. The shoot came together perfectly. The energy of the boardwalk was fantastic, the kids were super fun, Michelle Zapata (Photo Producer) made sure everything went smoothly and thanks to Heather Rome (Wardrobe stylist) the clothes matched the vibe. It was a blast!

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I love the freedom of a personal project and how it is allowed to organically grow and deviate from the intended concept.
You can plan a shoot as meticulously as you want but once you’re on set with all the different personalities and elements
it has the ability to take on a life of it’s own and you have the permission to just go with it.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Sadly I am a bit of a grandma when it comes to social media. I have only recently started to embrace it. I do post some of my work, but until recently, all of my settings have been “private”. I’m working on it…

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I am actually doing that right now.
I just signed with Kim Knight Represents and I am getting my promos ready to share with the world! (Fingers crossed they like it). LOL

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Sabrina Helas is a NY based lifestyle photographer.
She specializes in all things kids.

She recently moved to NYC from Los Angeles and is loving every second of it!
She is represented by: Kim Knight Represents 

www.sabrinahelas.com


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.

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Categories: Business

Webb’s pictures offer a soothing antidote of high quality craftsmanship

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 09/21/2016 - 10:27am

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For those that worry that the iPhone-toting hordes will soon overrun photography, Webb’s pictures offer a soothing antidote of high quality craftsmanship. As I passed from image to image, my head was continually nodding, acknowledging the real pleasure that is derived from smartly built photographs.

More here: Alex Webb: La Calle, Photographs from Mexico @Aperture – Collector Daily

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Categories: Business

The Farce of Creative Commons

Photo Business Forum - Tue, 09/20/2016 - 10:19am
Creative Commons is a well intentioned idea gone bad, and finally their existence will be put to the test, in a lawsuit brought that challenges the notion of what is "commercial" versus "noncommercial" use of an image.

Ars Technica reports, in "Creative Commons licenses under scrutiny—what does “noncommercial” mean?" (here, 9/18/16) that an educational company, Great Minds, is suing FedEx because their company (in the form of the former Kinkos that makes photo copies) is charging money for photocopies of this material. The basics are that "print shops, like FedEx, negotiate a license and pay a royalty to Great Minds if they wish to reproduce the Materials for commercial purposes—i.e., their own profit—at the request of their customers."

Now, it would be one thing if FedEx had binders of the material in one corner of their stores and that if a customer took the binder to the front desk and paid just for the photocopies, you might be able to skirt the issue here, but that doesn't seem to be the issue. FedEx needs to be paid for things to be photocopied, so why not have things worth printing/photocopying available for free? but the question becomes one of defining "commercial" versus non-commercial.
(Continued after the Jump)

Commercial use is not easily defined. Selling a t-shirt with an image/graphic on it. Making a print and selling the print. Using the photograph in an ad for an organization.But what about  Using an image in a blog? Using an image in social media?

Frankly, all of the above could be argued either way by a skilled attorney.

The Creative Commons wiki notes (here)  NonCommercial turns on the use, not the identity of the re-user. So a high school student and a multi-national corporation like Nike are equal. The definition of NonCommercial depends on the primary purpose for which the work is used, not on the category or class of reuser. So if Nike was printing t-shirts with a CC-licensed image/graphic on it, provided they were not charging a fee for the t-shirt and giving it away for free , it could be considered non-commercial. But there would be significant value in Nike doing this - they give away t-shirts all the time because people become walking billboards for their brand, so there is a commercial value to them doing so, even if the shirt is given away for free.

What about a cc-licensed photo of a skateboarder doing a trick? It could be printed and handed out for free at skate parks as the skateboarder, sponsored by Nike, goes on a tour promoting Nike as cool and hip. It's a free print, but there is value to the skateboarder and Nike in doing this.  How about a frame shop giving away free prints to people who pay the frame shop to frame the photograph? It's clear the print is free, but the frame shop makes a good profit from all the framing they sell.

In the above examples, the CC element notes "“NonCommercial means not primarily intended for or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary compensation.”"

Here the "commercial advantage" element could easily apply. Consider this case - using photos on a blog - but does the blog sell ad space? Even so, does the blog owner earn money from writing the blog post that the photo is used in, or gain notoriety they exploit elsewhere for compensation? In these cases, the "primarily" applies, but still, it's a commercial use.

Even if the blog post were for a non-profit dedicated to eradicating a disease or the suffering of others, it's still possibly commercial. Someone is going to monetarily benefit. Consider the charity that promotes the inclusion of cancer medications for children in various insurance plans - seems like an altruistic thing to do, as many children are dying from cancers because medication can't be prescribed to them like they are for adults. Yet, when you find out that the organization funding the efforts to make this happen are the pharmaceutical companies that stand to make hundreds of millions of dollars because now insurance must cover their brands of medication, is it commercial now?

What about social media? If a brand is instagramming images out and the feed is free, is there commercial advantage? Sure - the person doing the posting/curating of the images being posted is getting paid and doesn't have to commission artists to create content nor to license them from rights-managed libraries, and instead can just mine the millions of CC images from Flickr. They are getting paid to curate, and the Instagram feed is benefiting from being a cool/cutting-edge organization that then can intersperse advertising in other posts adjacent to that, or after building a critical mass of followers from CC content, switch to paid content/advertising.

I think most people would agree that non-commercial comes into play when a high school or college student does a paper with a photo in it that is CC, but beyond that, most any argument could be made that a use is commercial.

It will only take a few litigation cases and after a few years insurers who underwrite liability will begin excluding copyright claims on creative commons licensing protections, and this will shut down corporate use of creative commons materials across the board. When edicts come down from the legal department that no departments can use creative commons material, companies will stop relying on them in place of material the company pays to produce.

Creative Commons had the chance to define non-commercial use when they first started out. They surveyed stakeholders around the country over a period of months.  The decided against defining that term.

So beware, photographers who use a creative commons non-commercial license are placing their copyright and their work at risk, and are devaluing their work by forfeiting the right to ever issue an exclusive license to any client.
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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – ESPN: Zachary Bako

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 09/20/2016 - 10:08am

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Creative Director ESPN Print & Digital: Chin Wang
Director of Photography: Karen Frank
Senior Photo Editor: Kristine LaManna
Associate Art Director: Linda Pouder
Photographer: Zachary Bako

Heidi: Was this originally a studio shoot which transformed into a roof top option?
Zachary: This was a two-day shoot in Los Angeles. On the first day, we captured the Bennett Brothers working out in Hollywood at Jay Glazer’s Unbreakable Performance Center. Followed by lunch at Stir Market then at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios where Martellus is creating a stop-motion television show. The second day we were at DSR Studios in DTLA, where the rooftop image was created.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine for this section and how many different set ups were you asked to provide?
Kristine placed emphasis on the roof option. Finding a real moment between Michael and Martellus. This would be the most important option for the magazine. I was asked to do a grey seamless and a roof option.

How much time did you have with them?
ESPN’s E:60 film crew was with us for the two days conducting interviews so once they wrapped their set, I was given five minutes as they made camera changes to capture what I needed.
Michael had a meeting across town when the outdoor option had to be shot, so time was extremely limited for this setup.
Initially, the plan was to have them for an hour and a half to shoot singles and doubles on a black and grey set then head to the roof for an outdoor option. In the end, we were given five minutes here and there throughout the day with Michael and Martellus to cover what we needed.

Was it hard to shoot on such a severe slant?
No, it was not. I have been known to hang out of passenger side windows of moving cars to get the shot. This slant was pretty easy.

Did you have them crouching because they were different heights or it just naturally unfolded that way?
It was through direction. When I ran up the slant, I started to slip and my assistant pushed my shoulder into the roof to hold me in place. Martellus commented that my crew really did have my back. We all had a laugh and that is when this image was captured.

Congratulations, I see you have consistency in your “Awards,” can you share your submissions with us for 2016?
Thank you. American Photography is always beautifully curated, here is what I submitted for AP 33.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Mark Peterman

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 09/19/2016 - 9:26am

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Mark Peterman

Who printed it?
Next Day Flyers

Who designed it?
I designed it myself. I have a background in design and that was my major in art school. Having experience in layout and a design sensibility has become quite useful for my promotional efforts over the years as a photographer.

Who edited the images?
I edited the content myself although I do have a small group of photo industry friends who I consult on a regular basis regarding promo pieces and editing on projects.

How many did you make?
This last postcard was a run of 750. I sent out 650 and usually keep the remaining stock for leave-behinds for in-person meetings.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to send out a minimum of 3 printed pieces a year and 4-5 email promos a year.

What was the postcard based on?
This postcard was based on an editorial assignment that I shot for The Atlantic. It was a great assignment where I traveled around the country to photograph a cover story that would find the ‘American Futures’ that tell an alternate, positive story to the message put out by mainstream news today. The story appeared in the March 2016 edition of the magazine.

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Shortly after the story appeared in the magazine I knew that I wanted to create a promo piece from the project. Because the content was sprawling, I had a lot of material to edit down and wanted to tell the story of the editorial project but also feature everything that I do well: constructing narratives with portraiture, landscapes and reportage. There were several different layouts that I tried, drawing on past promo pieces but didn’t seem to work. I kept reworking the design while looking for a new way to present the material that was unique to the diverse content. After numerous revisions I finally I settled on a gridded layout where the images could play off each other to create an overall feel that supported the images in the right way.

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Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: William Eggleston

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 09/16/2016 - 10:57am

by Jonathan Blaustein

It all began when I forgot my cell phone.
(Which is rare.)

It’s a strange feeling, like being naked except for your socks. There’s a discomfiting sense of incompleteness when our devices are left behind.

I was driving Theo home from soccer practice last night, when we’d normally be eating dinner. Instead, we began our ascent of Blueberry Hill, just as the sky turned crazy.

As photographers, we know how crucial light is to our end product. No matter how hard I stress the point, my students still don’t get it, as appreciating illumination is a life-long endeavor, and they’ve only just begun.

But last night… any fool could see things were special.

Climbing in 2nd gear, right behind two big pick-up trucks, I looked to East to Taos Mountain, which was glowing amber. When green trees turn gold, every photographer reaches for the camera.

So I did.
But it wasn’t there.

Instead, I’d been given an opportunity to really look. I often feel that photography, while freezing time for the future, actually makes it more difficult to revel in the present.

Thinking about taking pictures leaves less RAM for appreciating what’s in front of you.

By the time we’d crested the hill, it had begun to rain lightly, even though the sun was beaming in the West as it dropped towards the horizon.

We cut across the Taos valley, everything before us shining like a swarm of lightning bugs in July. I turned to Theo and said, “We’re definitely getting a rainbow out of this.”

As the car sped North, there it was. Not one rainbow but TWO! (The Double-Rainbow being a New Mexico speciality.)

We call it walking rain, out here, when you can see curtains of moisture, from the clouds to the ground. It is beautiful, of course, but you get used to it.

Nothing could have prepared us, though, for the massive mist of walking rain, gleaming copper, enveloping the mountains, slashed in two by the double-rainbow. The ROYGBIV colors were so intense, reality became a hyper-real touch-screen.

Air, something you normally can’t see, was multi-hued, and it was so luscious that I wanted to reach right through the silver Hyundai’s window and touch it.

Theo kept saying, “Take a picture, Dad. Take a picture.”

But I couldn’t.

Then, and I swear this is true, a huge lightning bolt rent the sky, right between the two rainbows. Theo and I screamed aloud, as words failed us. (Today he said, “It was magic, Dad. Actual magic.”)

Four cars pulled off the road rapidly, as if they’d blown a tire, so the drivers could snap the perfect Instagram square.
I kept reaching for my phone, like a phantom limb, but it was futile.

We lived those 15 minutes, and I can recall so much more now than if I’d tried to capture it. It’s a paradox, especially for an audience of photographers.

It it ever a good idea to just put the camera down and watch?

I ask you, now that I’ve just finished with “William Eggleston: Portraits,” a new book that turned up in the mail from the National Portrait Gallery in London. (Thanks guys!) I’ve been meaning to show you this one, and today’s the right time.

It’s a perfect foil for the Diane Arbus book we reviewed two weeks ago, as this also introduces a black and white vision that pre-dates what we know of Eggleston’s masterworks. (You might recall I reviewed his brilliant “Los Alamos” project earlier this summer.)

As I wrote then, William Eggleson’s mature work, his rambling American color photographs from the late 60’s and early 70’s, is as good as anything that’s been made. He owns color; a certain saturated palette in particular, and you’ll have to claw it out of his cold dead hands.

So what was this black and white then?

Unlike Ms. Arbus’ early 35mm photographs, which contained the tension inherent in her later work, these early pictures look like they could have been made by any number of people. They’re exploratory, rather than resolved.

They’re good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a big chasm between good and historically great. There’s even a photo that looks suspiciously like a Robert Frank picture from “The Americans.” (You’ll know it when you see it.)

Once he shifts to color, the work takes off, but the book still has a continuity problem. We see several of his seminal images, which are inter-mixed with portraits of his family, and pictures of famous people. (What I wouldn’t give to have sat in the back seat as he shot a peak-talent Dennis Hopper, in the early 70s, on the very same road I drove through Taos last night.)

The portraits, and several proto-selfies, are all strong of course, and it wouldn’t be complete without Eggleston naked in a red room, his penis hanging out for all to see. (I said red room. Not red rum.)

The exhibition was organized by the NPG, which is a terrific museum. I saw a cool Man Ray portrait show there a few years ago, which I reviewed here, and recall having a similar problem.

When you decontextualize an artist’s work, you break the narrative that projects create. Pictures are designed to go together so themes can emerge, and symbols repeat. I spent 10 freaking minutes analyzing his use of Coca-Cola Red at Pier 24 in May, because I was so interested in how he had achieved this kind of greatness.

But here, for the sake of an exhibition-constructed narrative, the spell was broken. All fine pictures, yes. But they didn’t take my breath away, despite Sofia Coppola’s implicit promise that they would. (She wrote a brief introduction.)

I’d guess most people would still want this book, as it brings together a chunk of excellent photographs, while giving you a glimpse into the artist’s private life. In 2016, no one can seem to get enough of the backstory. (It includes an extensive Q&A with the artist as well.)

But it reminded me that sometimes, when you’re looking at perfect light on your daughter’s cheek, or a day-dream happy expression in your wife’s eyes, you need to fight off the urge to take a picture.

Just enjoy, until the moment is gone.

Bottom Line: Fascinating yet flawed look at Eggleston’s portraits

To Purchase “William Eggleston: Portraits” Visit the National Portrait Gallery in London

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Cade Martin

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 09/15/2016 - 10:20am

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: Cade Martin

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How long have you been shooting?
I first picked up a camera half way through my sophomore year in college. Which was long enough ago. Truthfully, I almost didn’t pursue photography at all. I hated working in the darkroom – all the running water made me have to use the bathroom. Early in college, I contemplated a career in computer programming but shelved that and here I am today.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A little bit of both. I grew up at the ankles, knees and hips of a community of artists – my father was an art professor – so I believe in some ways I obtained a visual education through my everyday environment. In college I focused on photography and art history with a non-traditional, general studies degree. After school, I was an assistant/apprentice for a few years before striking out on my own, 24 years ago.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve been reading and collecting comics as well as going to comic book conventions since I was a little boy, comics are a big part who I am. I’m an only child, and I, like a lot of only children, grew up surrounded by adults and invented my own worlds in my head. I’ve always been a daydreamer and my primary school years were often filled with my mind wandering to what I’d found and expanded upon in movies and comic books. Sister Charlotte, I’m not sorry. Tintin, created by Herge, is my favorite fictional character of all time and Tintin adventures are what I always wanted to have.

Comics took me everywhere – different countries, different worlds, super heroes, secret identities, romance, war and evil lairs (who doesn’t love an evil lair) to name a few. Colors, sights, sounds – different artists, different genres, nothing was too outlandish and anything was possible – the lack of boundaries was and has been very inspirational.

I’d envisioned a super hero project for a while now and the how or where escaped me. A few years ago I was hired for an editorial project to create portraits at a Civil War reenactment, here we set up a photo studio off to the side of a battlefield so we could strip these re-enactor’s of their environment. I sort of had an aha, duh! moment and thought, in regards to a Comic-Con – why don’t I do this there.

My approach for Comic-Con (and others since) has been to set up a photo booth, and embed myself in the environment. I’ve rented a space for a couple years now at different conventions and built a “studio.” Once set up, I approach people walking around that are interesting to me. It’s performance art and it has it all – creativity, execution, passion, commitment, celebration, voyeurism, exhibitionism and sex. You can see a BTS peek into how this works by going here: https://vimeo.com/182563518

This personal project is no small part nostalgia, married with a visual bonanza, and a captive audience. The people who dress up and take so much time to prepare for Comic-Con have stories to tell, with their costumes and with what’s behind them. I want to show these people in the best light. I found a real affection for these characters – fascinating and interesting people who are expressing themselves through a genre that had always spoken to me. I am always amazed by the amount of commitment and passion the people put into their costumes and make-up for these events. In a way, this is their personal project, which I find admirable and I’d like to think it’s been a creative partnership. I have found it fascinating and it’s been an honor to capture how people bring their favorite characters and vivid imagery to life.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I’ve been working on the project on and off for approximately two years. I’ve photographed at three separate events, one Comic-Con and two Awesome-Cons. What you see here represents just some of my favorites out of the 325 that I’ve photographed. I know that a project is ready to show when I’ve made something that I’m proud of or when I feel like I’ve got the right balance of content. I’ve been showing a few of these images here and there and have gotten a great response so far. I have loved the reactions and expressions when people see the images but at the same time I have also wanted to push the series a little further. Maybe it is as much about me, wanting to continue to have the experiences and interactions with these people in these environments.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Each personal project is different and sometimes it works right away, sometimes it doesn’t, but for me, busy creates busy.

Time-wise, it’s difficult to say because so often one thing leads to another, and the kernel of one personal project can inspire and inform the next. I file all of it under my continuing education and when I find a subject that I want to know more about, I jump in and see where it will take me, what I will learn about myself and from those that I meet along the way. From Comic-Con, I have started a Tattoo portrait project and from the Tattoo convention I went to a Blues Musician festival in the Mississippi Delta. Most recently I started working on a Vietnam fighter pilot portrait project. Maybe it’s fair to say a personal project never dies or stops working, it just feeds the next.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Creating an image that works and has aesthetic value feels good no matter what. And having the result of a good photograph or series be different from what I may have already done is exciting. You have to keep innovating. I want different, to push my boundaries and be surprised by where my photography takes me. I love this quote by John Cage “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas, I’m frightened by the old ones.” Personal work gives me the space to try new things and react to inspiration. And, work that is different from my existing portfolio can be a gateway to new commissioned projects. Work I’ve self-assigned is sometimes stuff I’d love to do in a commercial capacity, and it has ended up being a case of do the work to get the work.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes. I post different mixes of my work on Tumblr, Instagram & Facebook as well as on Twitter. I use these platforms differently but all as spaces that allow me to play in a sandbox that I might not otherwise; to share my projects with these communities, both the commercial and personal work, the feedback sometimes strengthens and influences me in different ways.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Nothing has blown up Gangnam Style but a few of my projects have been pinged around online through various outlets. I worked on a personal Day of the Dead project in Mexico last year and it appeared in the Huffington Post Travel section as well as PDN, Workbook & Altpick.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoff-livingston/the-wonderful-day-of-the-_b_6089658.html

While going viral and having eyes on the work is great, I try not to get too caught up in keeping count. It’s certainly great to get the images out in the world and wonderful if the response is favorable but I’m really doing these personal projects primarily for myself.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Definitely. I love printed promos. For this superhero portrait project we had a lot of fun exploring designs and ended up going with an 18”x24” poster, 2000 of which will soon be mailed out in clear tubes. I’m really excited to get these out in the world, to have these characters inspire others as much as they do me.

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Cade’s work can be seen at www.cademartin.com and http://cademartin.tumblr.com/.

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The only child of a university art professor and a freethinking mother, Cade Martin grew up immersed in a creative community in Richmond, VA. The foundation for his love of art and composition was laid in museum halls, movie theaters and art studios, and at home around a dinner table inhabited by an eclectic cast of characters who shaped his appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life. Cade has been chasing characters ever since. He seeks their stories – through their faces, their bodies and sometimes their costumes – in a common thread from his commercial work to his personal projects – characters are the heroes in his pictures.

Cade splits his time between the East and West Coasts with his wife and two kids. He creates images for editorial, advertising, fashion and lifestyle clients that include Marriott, Merrill Lynch, The NY Philharmonic, Neenah Paper, Proctor & Gamble, The Smithsonian, Starbucks, Tommy Hilfiger, United States Postal Service, Volkswagen and Washington Ballet.


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.

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Categories: Business

Expert Advice: Print Portfolios

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 09/14/2016 - 10:18am

I’ve been in this industry for a few years now and am still surprised at how many photographers think print is dead, that it’s not worth it, or that clients just aren’t interested in seeing actual portfolios when you can simply email a URL or attach a pdf. That couldn’t be further from the truth. While we certainly live in a digital age and a commercial photographer’s web presence is the main introductory platform to their work and brand, it’s important not to overlook the benefits of having a professionally printed portfolio and using it as part of a complete marketing agenda.

The website is important, very important, but your brand shouldn’t stop there. Clients still like to see books, and they like to see great books that solidly represent a photographer’s brand and showcase their capabilities. Your book should be an extension of the work on your site, not a mere repetition of it. It should be well considered, show off your strongest, most commercially viable work, and present it all in a thoughtfully curated manner.

Why Print:

There are few reasons, actually:

1) While your website appeals to the widest audience of possible clients, simply because anyone can view it, your print portfolio is going to be the best way to tailor your work to suit an individual client’s needs. You can also bring along an iPad with additional content that will easily allow you to elaborate on a conversation or project that resonates with that particular client.

2) A print portfolio is a conversation piece. You can’t walk into a meeting empty-handed, or with just a few promo cards. Your printed portfolio is a chance to show the client something that they can’t see on their own. It’s an opportunity to share something tangible and reveal the experiences and backstories to your work.

3) The printed portfolio is the best way to escape the illuminated, back lit screen of digital media and make your work more tangible, accessible, and closer to reality. It’s a great way to show off your attention to detail, your commitment to your craft, and just how much you value your work. Most of all, it enforces your unique vision and style as a photographer—you know, those things that make you stand out from thousands of other photographers and help to define your brand.

Even if you’re not yet ready to schedule meetings and sit face to face with creatives at the agency you’re aspiring to work for, you can consider starting with portfolio review events like FotoWorks or Palm Springs Photo Festival (PSPF) Portfolio Reviews. At events like these, you can pay one price to get feedback from a wide array of industry professionals (and get picked up for a job if you’re lucky).

Selecting Images:

Your print portfolio should offer a decisive and concise collection of work that addresses the following key questions: What are your goals? What type of work would you like to be doing more of? And what type of clients would you like to work for? All of these answers should help you determine the work that you include in your book. And just like you pay attention to the way your website is organized and which work is emphasized there, you need to pay attention to the way your print book is sequenced and how it flows from one image to the next.

When it comes to selecting and composing the images in your edit, always start with your strongest, most commercially viable work. Then, focus on telling a story with the photos you choose and how they interact with each other. Maybe the narrative is literal and tells a story with lifestyle and adventure images sequenced according to the different seasons, or maybe it’s a visual story based on thematics like color, composition, or mood that play off from one image to the next. Just like any good edit (whether web or print), make sure there is a strong push and pull between images. In other words, make sure the depiction of space within each frame does not feel repetitive across multiple images in a sequence. You’ll also want to make sure that if you’re printing double-sided pages, your book spreads actually work as spreads and that those images make sense being placed next to each other. Lastly, only show what you need to. Be decisive about the work you include, and tailor it to the client’s needs when possible (screw post portfolios are great for this).

Below is a sample section from a print edit done for food photographer, Stephanie Mullins. Notice how the images placed next to each other work as full spreads:

Stephanie decided to have her portfolio printed on demand via AdoramaPix and chose a bright yellow linen for the cover, along with glossy, lay flat pages:

Your book does not need to be configured in the same way as your site, nor should it show off the exact same work.  Show variety and images that coincide with one another. For example, maybe your site has the wide shot of the runner lacing up his sneakers for a marathon, while the print edit has the shallow close-up of the sun glistening off the sweat on his forehead. Or maybe your site has the overhead version of the table setting from a food shoot, and your print edit includes a pairing of a 30 degree and straight-on shot from the same set.

As a general industry rule, try to keep the book close to 30 spreads or less so that clients can comfortably view your book without having to rush through. If they like your work, and want to see more, they’ll be prompted to take another look at your site. Again, this is why it’s important that your print edit is an extension of your website, not merely a repetition of it.

Materials Matter:

When it comes to portfolios, there’s nothing worse than viewing strong work that is poorly printed. I’ve been to enough portfolio reviews and have seen enough books to tell you that the paper you’re using can make or break the strength of your work. Whether you’re printing on-demand books or inkjet prints from home, choose a paper with a wide color gamut, minimal tooth, and the right degree of brightness for your work. Also, think about the surface of the paper, and whether matte, luster, or glossy is going to be the best option for the style of your work. Keep in mind that while glossy paper may increase contrast and sharpness of your images, it’s also going to impart a reflective element that can oftentimes interrupt the viewing experience (much like plastic sleeves do). Whatever option you choose, just make sure it is in line with making your images look the best they possibly can.

You’ll also want to consider the size of your portfolio (think comfortable, practical, and easy to manage) and make sure that the size and orientation are conducive to the work you’ll be showing. Is the work primarily vertical? Horizontal? Are you going to pair up your verticals or keep them on separate pages? Will images be printed full-bleed or with borders? And if you’re going to be investing in a custom screw post book, you’ll want to make sure your paper can be printed double-sided and your materials (including the book itself) are acid-free for long term storage and stability. If you’re interested in simply using a presentation box, continue to pay attention to your edit, but also think about using a paper with a heavier weight that’s more rigid and suitable for hand viewing. Borders are also necessary with this type of presentation in order to prevent fingerprints from forming on the actual printed areas.

Here’s a look at Inti St. Clair’s screwpost book that she ordered from Pina Zangaro:

And Shawn Hubbard’s custom made portfolio and slipcase from Mullenberg:

Doing your research:

As you might have guessed, printing a portfolio can be quite an expense depending on the materials and vendors you choose to work with.  And like most things in life, you get what you pay for. While it’s important to do your research and budget when it comes to investing in a portfolio, you should remember that it is an investment and should be treated as such. If you choose to have a print portfolio, it will be a key part of your brand and should be held to the same quality standards as all of your marketing materials. And because your portfolio is part of your marketing collateral, you should be looking at your marketing budget to finance it. It doesn’t have to cost you your entire marketing budget, but that’s where you should be looking to figure out your appropriate spending amount.

Recources to get started:

When photographers approach me looking for input on where to get started with printing a portfolio, I typically send over a list of resources I’m familiar with, along with a few recommendations and suggestions based on the style of the work they do. This last part is important because the book needs to be an extension of the photographer’s brand and fit well with the work inside of it. We have a list of resources listed on our site, but here are some of my primary suggestions to get you started:

For printed, on demand portfolios:

Asuka: Well established industry level printer, offering great quality for retail and commercial photography books

Adoramapix: Best for price and ease of use, plus they have a fast turn-around time and rush shipping options available

Artifact Uprising: A VSCO company that makes artful hardcover and softcover books – WM members have raved about them

Edition One Books: Great for truly custom books in single or multiple editions, printed at any size and page count

My Publisher: Offers larger sizes up to 15×11.5 and has great printing, with excellent dynamic range

Paper Chase Press: I’ve heard good things about them from other WM members

Blurb: At the forefront of the on-demand printing industry, and offers a wide range of paper choices for books and zines

Magclud: Originally owned by HP, now Blurb, great for zines and digest style books/promos

For custom, screw post style portfolios, we typically recommend these sources:

Mullenberg: By far the most beautiful, well-made books out there

Pina Zangaro: Affordable and customizable portfolios and boxes

Lost Luggage: Mid-level to high-end portfolios and presentation cases

Klo Portfolios: Rather new in the game, offering a wide selection of material and treatment options

IRIS Portfolios: A boutique company, used by quite a few of our members, with a modern approach to portfolio cases

If you’re familiar with any other resources and would like to chime in with your experience, feel free to continue the conversation in the comments section below, or shoot me an email. And stay tuned for Part 2 of this Expert Advice on print portfolio production, where we’ll be going over size and quality comparisons with pricing from the vendors mentioned in today’s article.

Want help editing and designing your portfolio? Give me a shout!

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Sean Klingelhoefer

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 09/13/2016 - 9:29am

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Sean Klingelhoefer

 

Who printed it?
I had it printed through Ken at Continental Colorcraft in Monterey Park, CA but it ended up being outsourced to another print shop because they no longer had the HP Indigo printer I’ve grown to love when I have to do digital offset.

Who designed it?
Yours truly. In this case there really isn’t much designing going on but as they say, “no design is good design.”

Who edited the images?
All of the editing was done by myself although there really isn’t much going on aside from a color shift. I wanted to keep this project more abstract and simply in an effort to make a different statement than my usual “car ad work” does.

How many did you make?
I made 500 sets of 4 8×13″ cards.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
It depends on the year but at least 3-6 times a year. I think in the coming years I’m going to start making more of an effort to get more creative with promos.

How did this images series develop?
The photo series was kind of a mistake in general.  I had planned to shoot my friend’s incredible Alfa at El Mirage dry lake bed but as soon I finished paying for a day pass I realized that the lake was actually closed to vehicles. After a two-and-a-half-hour drive from LA and a non-refundable $20 pass ,I figured there was no sense in going home. We decided to cruise around in the Joshua Trees for a while to find something inspiring. It was hot, irritating but I had some prisms, a beautiful car and an open dirt road; I just decided to do some experiments. I tried to capture the feeling of the desert in a story of a mirage which never quite clears and the moment of disillusionment never arrives. When I showed the images to my rep Paige at Fox Creative she was immediately on-board to do something special and targeted with the series.  The result was the lowest count, highest resolution I’ve ever done on a promo. Hopefully the people that receive them will feel the same sort of nervous excitement I had when I made them.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit: Tiny Atlas Update

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 09/12/2016 - 10:41am
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bag_11Tiny Atlas Quarterly


Founder/Creative Director: Emily Nathan
Photo Editor: Deb Hearey
Executive Editor: Jennifer Rodrigue.
Recent rebrand (new logo and Solas logo/branding): Mark Sloan who is also Director of Design at Chiat Day

 

Heidi: We know you are looking into different ways to support Tiny Atlas moving forward. If you were to start your business plan over, what would you have done differently?
Emily: Tiny Atlas is always evolving — we are constantly trying out different ways to bring revenue in. Our team is steeped in creative energy, so the challenge is the business side of TAQ – creating revenue and managing operations. Maybe I should have gone to B-school for an MBA? That would have helped! All joking aside, I’m not sure that we would do anything differently but we would definitely like to expand our relationships and find more like minded brands or entities that are a natural fit and make good partners. When we integrate well fitting partners, it’s very organic and helps the brand thrive versus being too commercial.  We’ve worked with travel destinations, properties, art galleries, art and craft fairs, and fashion brands.  Having more of these relationships to help underwrite the cost of printing another annual is something that would be very positive for us. In addition to the Solas bag with Alite Designs, we have recently teamed up with AllSwell Creative and Earth Missions to create our first  Tiny Atlas Adventure trips. We’re heading to Tofino, BC (October 6 -11 , 2016) and Tahiti (November 9 – 15) with local guides and the promise of lots of photo training opportunities and lots of water.  Not just for surfers, we’ve planned these for anyone who loves the ocean and arts, all levels are welcome.  Since TAQ is all about experience of place, we want connect with like minded folks off our of screens, in real life, and are really looking forward to these trips.  We’d love to have a few “aphotoeditor” readers join us. 

How did the bag idea come about and how did you determine your money goals?
Tae Kim of Alite Designs graciously designed a limited edition bag as a reward for TAQ’s first Kickstarter campaign we held to help fund the printed annual we published in 2013.  The bag was a great success, so we started talking about collaborating on another one. Since a good camera bag is hard to find, we focused on fulfilling that need. The revenue goal for the Solas Kickstarter has been to keep it low and reach it early, which we did.  This means, we will definitely be making the bag – yay! but the more pre-orders we receive, the less expensive the manufacturing becomes. This is important because we’re trying to generate a little profit in order to help move forward as a whole. At this point, it’s challenging to stay ahead of operating expenses, and we’re hoping to reach more people interested in supporting our campaign. If anyone is interested in Tiny Atlas, now is the time to express it!
Was your goal to create a stylish camera bag ?
Yes! Today, so many women are photographers and when you around, most bags are heavy, bulky and masculine.  Solas isn’t just for women but it’s designed with style (simple, easy) and comfort in mind.
What is the concept behind this particular bag and what makes it so different?
The idea was to make a bag we love that also hold a camera. No photographers I know love their camera bags. They put them in a corner and take them out when they need to. When they go out for the day, and don’t want to bring a camera bag, most people just defer to their phones now. Camera bags usually hold some very small non-pro something, or they are huge, bulky, and heavy to start with (or all of the above). We wanted to make something lightweight to start (since cameras add a lot of weight) but that would just carry what we really needed, which is one DSLR w a lens on it, and a second lens. That is it. Except then there are the things that go with your camera and your life for example, a laptop or a sweater. We designed Solas with the essentials in mind.  We made the right number of zippered pockets, and some padded zipper pockets for your phone and sunglasses or filters, a key leash, and a protective sleeve to store a laptop. I have been beta testing these bags with friends for a year and they’ve helped with R&D — we think we have the perfect balance of light -weight, durable and safely holds the gear we really need. [When I go to the airport, my id goes in the little zippered phone pocket on top, my laptop slips easily out and the camera stays safe in the integrated foam compartment at the base of the bag. If I have a bulky sweater, I use the leather buckle to expand the top section of the bag. ]
How did the relationship develop with Atlite Designs and why them?
When we created our first Kickstarter, Alite backed the project to support us because they liked what we were up to. Afterwards we connected with them to see if there was a project to collaborate on or some such. We put together our first #mytinyatlas show, #lovemytinyatlas, at their shop in the Mission, at the Alite Outpost. The call for entries was a wild success. Tae Kim, the founder of Alite, asked up if we wanted to make a  limited edition bag for the opening. We said, hell yes! Tae designed a really lovely bag, and my sister, who is a painter and illustrator, made a special print just for the bag, it was a great success.  Next, somehow, Tae and I started to talk about a  camera bag. We brought in photographers and went through a design process around how they carried their cameras and any issues they had. Then we made prototypes and tested them. I brought different prototypes on shoots with additional photographers to Baja, Hawaii, all over the US and Macao. Finally, we worked on color and the fabric. We wanted something natural and beautiful, but as light as possible.
Along with the online show you are having a show you have another show coming up next Thursday  Sept. 15th from 6-8pm as a preview for the new Independent Art Book Fair in Greenpoint.
What are you goals for this and how do you see that supporting the magazine financially?
The September 15th show is bringing the #mytinyatlasSOLAS selections I made alongside curator Cory Jacobs to New York City. NYC has the largest percentage of the @tinyatlasquarterly Instagram community is the world (likely thanks to some nice early support from Design Sponge and Refinery 29 – thanks to both!) and we have not had a show in the city yet. I wanted to bring the beautiful work to the community that supports us. In addition, we will have the bags on hand so people can check them out in person before buying them online. The new fair has an incredible array of independent artists works, as well, so we are hoping to connect both our magazine and our bag with such a perfect audience.
#mytinyatlas has over 1.7 million posts, why do you think it has become viral?
I think #mytinyatlas became viral for a few reasons. One, it is a good name, and easy to write. Two, Tiny Atlas has not really been a commercial venture, so people felt comfortable adding our tag to their personal lives. The mission of the magazine (as a commercial endeavor) as well is to highlight personal stories. Tiny Atlas has a different perspective. We are not principally sharing images that look like postcards, or perceived “perfect” shots. We are looking for unique moments, and personal vision, just like in the magazine. The other reason is because I edit the tag. I am not an inexperienced starter employee, I’m an experienced photographer and editor which helps.

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Your online show had 9K submissions. How did you go about photo editing that and how did you manage all that imagery?
It takes a lot of time; I look through them all and select the ones that resonate most. Then, I take screenshot and then upload the screenshots to a web gallery. We have tried ways to facilitate this online and there are not any tools that are faster than scrolling directly on instagram or on iconosquare and  taking screenshots. Then editing bridge. Adobe Creative Cloud is useful as well.

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Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Dana Lixenberg

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 09/09/2016 - 10:38am

by Jonathan Blaustein

In the early days of the Great Recession, Barack Obama signed a stimulus bill injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the American economy.

Little ol’ Kit Carson Electric Cooperative here in Taos was given 64 MILLION DOLLARS! The goal was to wire up homes in our rural area, providing fiber-optic cable directly to every house that requested it.

The program put people to work, laying cable and digging trenches, but also provided much needed affordable high-speed internet to residents locked into high prices for very little service.

I was stuck in that situation, paying evil CenturyLink $45/month for a promised 1.5 mb/ second. (It was always slower than that.)

No higher speed was offered.
Period.

Seven years later, I finally got my 30mb/second for $40/month. As of last week, I’ve officially joined the 21st Century. (Insert government efficiency joke here.)

My first move, after telling CenturyLink to fuck off, was to set up Netflix. All those shows you’ve been watching were finally in my grasp, like a handful of lollypops fresh from the piñata.

I began with “House of Cards” since it came first; Netflix’s big debut. My wife and I sat down on the couch, and were immersed in a fleshed-out universe of power, greed, desire, betrayal, and, ultimately, murder.

Jessie pulled out near the end of the first season, realizing this was not a redemptive story. She had no interest in filling her brain with negative, Machiavellian schemes, once she realized there would be no light at the end of the tunnel. (I made a similar choice with “Breaking Bad,” and never regretted it.)

So now I’m on my own, pressing the “next episode” button like a rat begging for pellets. Please sir, may I have some more?

More drama. More pain. More controversy. More emotional escape into the fictive lives of others.

We’re all voyeurs at this point. We peek in on our high school friends in bikinis on Instagram, read salacious tidbits about politicians on nytimes.com, or perhaps binge-watch “The Wire” to fool ourselves into thinking we could possibly know how hard some people have it, on the other side of the tracks.

As photographers, and photo-book lovers, we often get our “virtual” reality as we turn the pages of someone else’s story. Photographer X goes to visit Culture Y, and the resulting Z images hold our attention for a little while.

No harm done.

But occasionally, you pick up a book that might not deviate from that pattern, but it renders others’ lives in such emotionally wrought detail that you don’t feel like a snoop. Rather, you have the sense that your understanding of the human condition has ratcheted up one notch, and you’re the better for it.

“Imperial Courts, 1993-2015” a photo-book by Dana Lixenberg, released by Roma last year, is such a book. Frankly, this one is about as good as it gets.

There’s little text to guide at the beginning, but it’s clear the photographer visited some African-American projects, beginning in 1993. The portraits are exceptional, and I didn’t need the end notes to confirm they were made with a large format camera.

You don’t get pimple detail like this without breaking out the large-scale hardware. (Certainly not in 1993. Maybe these days you can swing it, if you have 80 Grand to spare.)

The photo of criss-crossing highways on the cover suggests SoCal, but it’s not until we see a California license plate, maybe 1/4 of the way in, that I was sure this was LA. (I might have guessed, but that’s different from knowing.)

Two well-written essays at the back confirm what you slowly piece together for yourself. Imperial Courts is a housing project in Watts, and Ms. Lixenberg returned multiple times over the decades to revisit the work.

Unlike Nick Nixon’s “The Brown Sisters,” which is categorical in its dissection of the aging process, skin decaying before our eyes, this project relishes its gaps. Apparently, the artist stayed away for 15 years at one point, the series always simmering in the back of her mind.

People grow up. They have kids. Their kids have kids.

Some die.

Hair styles change. Fashions evolve. But according to the pictures and the words, life in Imperial Courts more or less stays the same.

Poverty. Violence. Lack of opportunity. Resilience. Strength. Community.

The book reminds us that most of these people have likely never seen Malibu. Perhaps not even put their feet in the sand in Santa Monica. Places like this may sit adjacent to LA wealth, but for all practical purposes, they’re living in another world.

The back section serves as a visual index, showing family connections between subjects, and printing images that were not afforded enlarged status in the plates. (The B-sides, if you will, but they’re all excellent.)

Ms. Lixenberg was drawn to LA to photograph the Rodney King riots in 1992, and one assignment begat a project that has carried her into middle age. I was a senior in high school that year. I’d barely even been to California.

Now I’m 42, and was cruising the 405 just this summer. But I didn’t drive through South Central.

No sir.

A book like this does everything right. The pictures are amazing. The cultural history is respected. The subjects received prints, and became friends with the photographer. Relationships were built, and some broken, as residents passed on.

I’m not sure that any photo-book, even this one, can fundamentally change who you are. Is it anything more than entertainment? Maybe. If it inspires you to create more, to strengthen community bonds, to strive for greatness, then perhaps art has more power than we realize.

Bottom Line: Brilliant, in-depth photo series shot in Watts

To Purchase “Imperial Courts, 1993-2015” Visit PhotoEye

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project:

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 09/08/2016 - 10:14am

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: Eric Frazier

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How long have you been shooting?
I finished school 20 years ago, but I’d say I’ve been pursuing it full time for about 15. I spent awhile messing around, doing odd jobs, and generally slacking off after college. Once I came back to photography, I was fully committed.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
BA in Photography from Webster University in St Louis. Sometimes I wish I had a BFA so I seemed more arty, but I always gravitated more to the commercial side. I don’t think I was ever quite cool enough for the art crowd anyway!

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve spent some time on the water and love boats and the last few years I’ve gotten into woodworking. Recently a colleague, Bobbi Wendt, connected me with the owner of woodyboater.com Matt Smith, who graciously connected me with the woody boat community in Algonac, MI, the birthplace of Chris Craft. I already had some interest in these boats, so when the chance arose to photograph several along with the owners, I jumped at it.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This was my first shoot with woody boats. I spent 3 days up there and came back with about 5500 shots. It’s a great start, but I’d like to get up there again, as well as other hotbeds of woody boating, like Lake Tahoe. Being a personal project, it usually takes a backseat to paying gigs and family stuff, so I’ll probably come back to it a few more times in the coming years.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I think you know pretty quick. If I like the images, then it’s working. If the images aren’t quite there yet, but I’m enjoying the process and think there’s more to explore, then I’ll keep going. Sometimes, I’ll like the shots and enjoy working on it, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re good enough for public consumption. I’ll be glad I did it and will have learned something, or grown in some way, but it can’t work every time, photographically speaking. That’s where good, honest editing comes into play. And these projects may still have a life on social media too.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Portfolio shoots tend to be a little more focused and planned out. I have a clearer vision of what I want for my book, whereas personal work is a little more exploratory. For me, this is the point of personal work – to mess around, take chances, see where it takes you. If you’re always boxed in to a particular outcome, like on a paying shoot, you can’t really go places your creativity or curiosity takes you. I think curiosity is a big deal in this profession, and should be nurtured.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
This is one of the best things about social media. It’s the perfect place to show personal work. It’s ok to be a little less polished or produced and gives people a better idea of your personality and interests outside of your professional work.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Ha, no, I haven’t gone viral yet. Maybe my next project will: “Celebrities who change their names, move to Texas, and become professional rodeo clowns.” Still trying to find some though, so let me know if you hear of any.

The images did appeal to Matt at woodyboater.com though – once he saw them he loved the look and feel, especially the ones showing the real owners on their boats. He decided to use them as ads for his website in other magazines. The ads turned out great, so it was a win for everyone involved.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I’ve had a few hundred printed to send out – just this month in fact. Also shots from other personal projects, like my Track Racer series. I try to be very specific about what photos I send to who. I think some of these are better for editorial clients than commercial ones, but it depends.

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I don’t know what Pokemon Go is, but I’m ok with it.
I’m happier behind a camera than in front of a computer.
I have a Cairn Terrier named Willy who thinks he’s six feet tall.
I live with the love of my life and her two daughters.
I’m never (completely) satisfied with my work.
I love food, especially meat, gluten, and refined sugar.
I don’t like slackers, parking tickets, or cold without snow.
Sometimes I’m a slacker.
I try to experience everything because life is short.
I can do it on my own, but I prefer to collaborate.
Bikes are practical works of art and I want to ride them all.
Making clients happy makes me happy.
I’m a happy guy.


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.

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Categories: Business

Pricing & Negotiating: Still Life for Print and Out of Home Advertising

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 09/07/2016 - 9:55am

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Images of a single product against a white background

Licensing: Advertising use (including Out of Home) of all images captured for 1 year

Location: A studio in the Northeast

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Food and product still life specialist

Agency: Large, based in the Northeast

Client: Large Food/Beverage Company

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: The concept for the shoot was straightforward. The agency/client hoped to photograph their new product against a white background with minor props alongside of it. The agency planned to composite the final image on a different background, and they had plans to use the images for print ads in magazines, as well as placement on bus shelters and other out-of-home applications. While the agency requested for the licensing to include all images captured, we’d be photographing one product and the usage would incorporate one final image, so I therefore priced the creative/licensing fee to be more in line with their intended use of one image. Based on previous experience with similar projects and clients, I knew that creative/licensing fees for this type of usage and straightforward nature of the project typically fell between $10,000 to $15,000, and I ended up landing roughly in the middle at $13,000.

Assistants: The photographer preferred to manage a workstation for client review rather than hiring a digital tech, and we included two assistants to help manage grip and lighting throughout the day.

Producer: While the concept was straightforward, there would still be a decent amount of pre-production work to coordinate crew, styling, scheduling and catering, and the agency specifically asked for a producer to be on site to manage the day and make sure everything stayed on track.

Food/Prop Styling: I included one prep day and one shoot day for a food/prop stylist, as well as one shoot day for their assistant. While I’d typically include an additional day for a stylist to return the unused items, it was not a cost efficient option given the limited budget needed for the food/props (which included the cost to buy a few versions of the product to be shot, along with a few minor food items). The stylist we wanted to work with charged $1,200/day plus 20% for their agent, and their assistant worked for $300/day.

Studio Rental and Equipment: A studio in this market could range from $1,500-$3,000 depending on availability, plus equipment charges of an equal amount for lighting, grip, a workstation and a medium format camera rental.  A few specialty studios charge flat fees and wrap everything up in one fee, and I felt $4,000 total would cover any of these options for studio and equipment depending on space availability.

Catering: I included $70 per person for a nice breakfast, lunch and craft services throughout the day for up to ten people (6 crew and 4 agency/client).

Parking, Expendables, Misc.: I included $100 for general unanticipated expenses throughout the day, plus $100 for meals/transportation during our stylist’s shopping day, plus $100 for transportation to/from the shoot for the crew.

Insurance: We included $500 to cover a general liability insurance policy, which the studio would need proof of, as would any equipment rental house we used.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: This covered the time to do an initial edit of all the images, back them up, and provide a gallery for the client to choose from.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: While the agency would handle the final compositing, we were warned that the image of the product would likely require a substantial amount of work to remove/add certain labels. We therefore included 6 hours of retouching (including one round of revisions after the initial processing took place) based on a rate of $150/hr, and then rounded up to an even $1,000.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and the ads are due to roll out in the coming months.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at (610) 260-0200. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – Josh Schadel: Good Magazine

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 09/06/2016 - 10:08am

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Good Magazine

Art Director:  Tyler Hoehne
Managing Editor: Caroline Pham
Photographer: Joshua Schaedel

 

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Josh: Art Director Tyler Hoehne, the writer Stacey Leasca and myself talked a little about the direction of the piece and the type of emotion that was needed conceptually. Luckily, I have worked with Tyler on a few assignments before; he mentioned certain pictures that I had made in the past for Good, and how to pull some of those moments into this project. The communication was great so I had a pretty good idea what I was after prior to arriving on site.

Did you pitch them this story or was it assigned?
No the assignment was based on the writer Stacey Leasca’s story that she pitched to the magazine after doing a related story on the female prison that is located directly across the street from the men’s facility. Stacey wrote, “The existence of a cosmetology school inside of Valley State Prison is a coincidence of history. The program launched in the mid-‘90s when Valley State opened as a women’s facility. … In 2011, the Public Safety Realignment Act enabled the early release of thousands of low-level offenders across the state. Many of these offenders were women and the decision was made to convert the under populated facility to house men. When these inmates arrived, the California Department of corrections and Rehabilitation chose to maintain the cosmetology program. It currently boasts a near-100 percent graduation rate—one of the highest of any prison education program in the country.”

Did you send promos to the art/photo director?  (here you can tell us about Tyler ) How did you meet Tyler? How did your creative relationship develop?
No, Tyler came to my studio in Pasadena to hang out with my studio mate and business partner Ben Sanders. We ended up talked a little bit about our photo-illustration business “Those People” and I think he eventually hired us to shoot a food related concept for Good Magazine. Tyler was on set that entire shoot and played with props and lights with us. We really had fun and hit it off. A couple of months later he reached out and said he had a cool assignment that he thought my documentary style would fit for. I had such a great experience on that next assignment and myself and everyone involved just hit it off. After that, Tyler just continued to send me on really interesting assignments.

How many days were you at the prison?
I just went in for a single day. Stacey and myself were allowed in after the inmates were settled in for the day at the Cosmetology school. We went through a normal day of their routine and then just before their day was over we had to go back. In all, I think we spent about five hours with the guys.

Were you able to interact with the inmates without supervision?
There was a Lieutenant that escorted us around but for the most part but once we were in the class we were allowed to walk around the salon pretty freely. If I am correct, to be in this particular program most of the men are exceptionally well behaved. From my perspective, everyone that I met in the cosmetology school really wanted to be there and I never once felt like I wasn’t in a salon.

Were you able to connect enough with the inmates to ask why they pursued this?
I definitely was able to connect with some of them. I have even received a few letters from a couple of the guys that I met. I never really asked them that specific question but for the most part the guys that I talked to said that their ambitions were to take the skills that they learned while they were in this program and find a job. One guys told me, “ It doesn’t matter what you did as long as you make a proper cut.” Some of the guys told me that they had dreams of opening their own Barbershops and Salons when they got out. One gentleman told me that his biggest goal was to get out and cut his daughter’s hair, that one really stuck with me the most.

At any time on this project did your mind ever wander to thinking about why crimes they committed?
During the time I was there I definitely thought about all the stupid things I have done in the past and how lucky I wasn’t on the other side of the lens. I was cornered by a guy on the street, and in defense, I got in a stupid fight near my apartment in Hollywood. I beat the guy so bad I thought I might have well,  don’t even want to say. I waited with bloody hands for hours for the police to come get me but they never did. I went down stairs and it was like nothing had happened. No cars, no cops, no guy, nothing. It was a big wake up call, I got help for my issues, and it changed the entire course of my life for the positive. I have only told a few close friends that story but it was essential for me while shooting this assignment. I went into the assignment knowing I was no better than them and I think they somehow knew that.

I know you are a recent Art Center Grad and have had success with your personal work as well, tell us about your publishing company.
Well, the publishing company, The Fulcrum Press, grew out of my relationship with my business partner Rebecca King. I met Rebecca King after she moved back to LA after graduating from SVA in New York. We hit it off pretty quickly and we started working on a series of publications for a few art shows that I had. It has really become a labor of love, not a day goes by that I don’t think about our publishing company and all the decisions that we are making.

I really love it and love the people that we are working with. We are luck enough to have some really good friends over at The Ice Plant who has really helped us out a lot. Right now, we are pretty excited about the two publications that we are working on and are trying to finish up before the end of 2016.We are not really rushing anything and are just taking our time and enjoying the process of collaborating with our friends, making cool publications that we emotionally and conceptually are attached to. I’m  really fortunate to have such an amazing, like-minded business partner in Rebecca King.

What has been the biggest surprise for you after graduating in terms of commercializing your images?
Ha-ha, that I know nothing. You can only learn so much in school and no matter how much you work on your craft the only way to see what works for you is just trying different things outside your comfort zone. For me the biggest surprise that I learned is how much I really love collaborating with so many different kinds of people. It may sound cheesy but it’s true; it is all about the people that you work with that determines how your day is going to go and how good the images are going to turn out. Good collaborations makes photography so enjoyable. In addition to that, how much you need a good set of friends who will help you along your way. Everyone needs help and having other good friends in the photo industry is such a valuable asset.When a client asks you a question and you can turn to a friend who has been there and they can give you sound advice that makes all the difference in the world. I was really surprised by how many unexpected people really helped me out and supported me and it has motivated me to do the same and pay it forward.

Was there anything that you wish your education prepared you for?
This is hard question for me because I really have no complaints now that I have some distance and perspective. I think every school is different and they have their strengths and weaknesses. I felt like I got a great education at Art Center. I was lucky because I had to paint houses for extra money all the way through school and because of that most of my teachers went out of their way to help me. I still maintain very close relationships with some really great teachers who I still turn to for advice. It’s funny, now that I am teacher, I am asking all of them for teaching advice.

I personally don’t think you are really ever prepared enough till you have to make real life decisions. Balancing life and work and art is difficult after school and getting over that hump and transitioning into a professional practice from an educational practice is tough and you have to learn to forgive yourself for making mistakes. It takes time, which seems like is different for everyone. It’s just one of those things where you have to find your own way of doing things that makes you happy and just don’t stop making pictures. How you act and how you treat people while you are in school will dictate most of your young professional life. It is kind of silly but I wish someone had said that to me.

I think I got really fortunate; I was lucky to have some really great teachers/ mentors while I was going there. I made a lot of really good life-long friends and I don’t know where I would be without the relationships that I made while I was in school. To be honest, nearly every opportunity that has come my way has been a direct connection through some friendship that I made while I was in school. Anything I didn’t learn from my teachers I learned from my friends. Hindsight is always 20/20 but I really can’t complain, I am really happy these days.

 

To see some more of Josh’s work, 
NowSpace is presenting YIELD, a joint exhibition by Josh Schaedel + Aaron Farley  both are artist in residence there.

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Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Pascal Amoyel

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 09/02/2016 - 9:32am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I’ve got good news.

School started up last week, and now that I’m teaching two classes, rather than trying to run an entire dysfunctional art department, my life has gotten much better.

Hard as is to believe, teaching is actually fun again.

How does that affect you? Well, it means you won’t have to put up with my whining and complaining each Friday. These columns might just get funny again, rather than being storehouses for my misery and distress.

Speaking of funny, did you hear that Donald Trump is taking a trip to Mexico today? Can you believe that’s actually happening? Just imagine it:

“Hey, Ivanka, get me a Piña Colada and make it snappy, OK?

“Sure thing Boss. I mean Dad.”

“You know what. Forget it. I changed my mind. Now I want a Corona.”

“OK. Corona it is. Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer to have one of the assistants get it, because I’m kind of busy, you know, running your companies.”

“No. No. You do it. Nobody gets the beer cold like you do. Honestly, (to the room,) I don’t know how she does it. It’s like she has magic fingers, and as long as she hands me the beer, it’s so freakin’ cold.”

—Ivanka leaves room, returns with a Corona.

“What the hell is this? Where’s the lime? Lots of people are talking, and they all say that you can’t drink a Mexican beer without a lime.”

“Sorry, Dad. I’ll have someone get you a lime.”

“Limes. How weird are they? They’re really green on the outside, but not so green on the inside? How does that even work?”

“I don’t know, Dad. But it’s just fruit. Not nearly as important as going over our notes for today’s meeting with President Peña Nieto.”

“Peña Nieto? That sounds like Piña Colada. You know, I think I’d really like a Piña Colada. Ivanka, honey, run out and get me a Piña Colada, OK? And be quick about it. Somehow I have a beer in my hand, but I really want a Piña Colada.”

And scene…

That’s the thing about visiting foreign countries: we go with all sorts of expectations, and so often they actually determine our experience. If you expect Mexico to be filled with rapists, and you’re suspicious of everyone you see, you likely won’t have such a good time on Spring Break in Cabo. (Or on your trip to meet the President.)

Or if you expect the American South, for example, to be mysterious and poetic, then you’re likely to have that kind of experience as well. Right?

I only ask having just put down “Not All,” a new book by Pascal Amoyel, published by Poursuite Editions in France. I’ve reviewed a few of their books in the past, enthusiastically, and recall they were all shot in Europe.

Not this one.

From what I gather, the French artist spent two months in the American South in the Spring of 2014, photographing away, and this book was the result. It’s a pretty simple narrative, all things considered, and we know how many photographers take a crack at depicting this photogenic region.

(Seriously, are all trees in the South strange and/or creepy, or just the ones that get photographed?)

The short version is that this book is nice, but not exceptional. As I flipped through the pages, I couldn’t help thinking this was a generic version of a place I’ve seen in books many times before. It is not compelling, though the pictures are certainly well-made-enough.

And then, I turned a page, and saw a photograph unlike any I’ve seen before. A decrepit, paint-stripped, white shotgun house, set against a couple of hedgerows, with a red brick chimney jutting into the blue sky. Normal enough, I suppose. But affixed to the clapboard siding is a sign that says “CHIROPRACTOR.”

Holy shit. I laughed so hard. What a picture.

If Walker Evans were alive today, he’d make that image.

I came down off my photo-high, and kept flipping away. The book was underwhelming again, until I came upon a picture of a woman’s slightly distended belly, and her very small pink bikini bottom. Strange angle. All tight.

Is it a woman? Or a girl? If it’s a girl, isn’t this picture really inappropriate? And if it’s a woman, is she pregnant? Or does she just have a little pot belly, like that weird French chick in “Pulp Fiction?”

The next photo, of a purple scarf spread over the green grass, makes for a cool little diptych.

Nicely done.

But two stellar pictures do not constitute a great book.

This is one of those reviews where I like something about a book, and it spurs me to write, (always my chief criterion,) but I do wonder if it isn’t a good example of what happens when every photographer wants a book for each project.

Pascal, I appreciate you sending this along, and I mean no disrespect. But if you want to be a great artist, I think every picture in the book, or certainly 90% of them, needs to be as original and stellar as those two shots.

And of course, I’m speaking to all of you here, not just Pascal. The truth is we live in a world where some publishers make a lot of money each time you sign a contract. (To be clear, I’m not saying this about Poursuite, as I’ve found their other books to be really tight, and not overly-produced.)

But it’s the truth. If you really want a book, and are willing to pony up your own money, or hit up the “crowd” to pay for it, you can have a book.

But is that enough of a reason?

Last piece of advice, people: next time you’re hankering for a taste of the South, but you can’t afford the plane ticket, just hit up the video store, or Netflix, and rent “Hustle and Flow.” Because it’s hard out here for a pimp…

Bottom Line: Nice book about the South with 2 knockout pictures inside

To Purchase “Not All” Visit PhotoEye
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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Neil DaCosta

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 09/01/2016 - 9:34am

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: Neil DaCosta

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Looking for a longer term personal project, I came across a local news article about a man carrying a fully loaded AR15 assault rifle down the street in an Oregon city. And it was 100% legal for him to do so! What he was doing is termed “Open Carry”. Although laws differ state by state, in some states it is legal to carry visible loaded guns without permits, as long as you are legally allowed to own the gun.

With “This is Open Carry”, an ongoing project, I am traveling to different states that allow open carry and photographing the actual act of open carrying. This project does not focus on people’s reactions, but is more of a portrait of the act itself.

The goal is to leave my personal beliefs out of the images and present them without any pre conceived agenda. By doing so I hope it opens up a conversation between the 2 opposing sides of gun control instead of the same old rhetoric of “I am right, you are wrong”.

When approaching subjects I let them know that this piece is neither pro or anti gun rights. I want to keep politics out of it and so far they have been fairly receptive. We then talk about what their experiences with open carry have been and why they choose to exercise their rights in this area. From that conversation, we decide a good location to photograph in, something that has meaning to their story. A preacher in his church, a coffee shop that allows customers to open carry, the front yard where one subject was arrested on firearm possession charges and later found not-guilty, and so on.

How long have you been shooting?
Since high school!

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A little bit of both. I have a degree in applied photography from RIT. That taught me the basic technical side of photography, but I continue to learn on my own still.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
This is Open Carry is a non-biased look at the act of carrying a loaded gun legally, where it applies.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I am about a year into this project and would like to continue working on into the future.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I liked the first few images I got from this project and new it would work right away. However, I have not done a long term project before so it is exciting to keep adding to the series. I feel like every time I photograph a new subject it helps the project evolve.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I actually like to incorporate my personal work into my portfolio. It helps people give a sense of your creativity. With this work specifically being in my portfolio, the images make it easy for a conversation with the viewer. It is hard to pass up a photo of a guy on a motorcycle with an assault rifle on his back without asking “what is this all about?!?!”

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
This project I have been slowly posting images on Instagram with some lines about what is going on. It definitely gets people commenting, some for guns, some against. I have not done a release of the full project on any social media sites yet, as I still think it is evolving.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
On an individual level, the image of the man on his motorcycle with the rifle on his back was easily the most commented on Instagram post I have ever made. Again, with people on both sides of gun control commenting

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Not yet with this project. I hope to eventually make it into a book. Supplement the images with a quick fact about open carry laws. Such as “In Michigan, you can legally own/carry a rifle at 18, but must be 21 do own/carry a handgun”

Held & Associates
cynthia@cynthiaheld.com
+1 (323) 655 2979

Neil DaCosta
neil@neildacosta.com

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 decided to be a consultant in 1999.  She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information in the belief that marketing should be brand driven and not by specialty.  Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

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Categories: Business

Creative Calls Are Crucial

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 08/31/2016 - 9:35am

Creative calls are a crucial part of the process and can shape opinions along the way. I go into each bidding process knowing that we could end up with any of the three shooters. Work alone probably won’t get the award; it’s very much about what you bring to the table on the creative calls & development, and of course how the numbers fall. I don’t think it would be doing anyone any favors to say they’re recommended shooter only to have a job potentially award to one of the other photographers also being considered.

Read More: Anonymous Art Producer Offers Tips on Estimating | Notes From A Rep’s Journal

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Categories: Business

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