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Art Producers Speak: Patrick Fraser

A Photo Editor's Blog - 5 hours 12 min ago

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Patrick Fraser. I worked with him on extremely complicated projects and he always over delivered. Understanding vision of agency creative, suggesting solution for unusual concepts, delivering beautiful photography and always under budget. What else can an art buyer want from the photographer.

Carla Korbes is a principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  I wanted to photograph her in a raw setting with very simple styling so I picked Long Beach WA in the early morning wearing this very simple black leotard.

Carla Korbes is a principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  I wanted to photograph her in a raw setting with very simple styling so I picked Long Beach WA in the early morning wearing this very simple black leotard.

Here is an example of my magazine portrait work.  Don Cheadle and Chloe Sevigny photographed for two different magazine features. The magazine ended up using color images for the features but I like to offer up some black and white.  For Don I used a 4x5 with BW film.  Chloe pictured in the window of a studio in New York was also taken with a roll of grainy BW medium format film.

Here is an example of my magazine portrait work.  Don Cheadle and Chloe Sevigny photographed for two different magazine features. The magazine ended up using color images for the features but I like to offer up some black and white.  For Don I used a 4×5 with BW film.  Chloe pictured in the window of a studio in New York was also taken with a roll of grainy BW medium format film.

My friends daughter Jane was taken with a disposable underwater camera.  Everything is working for me, her hair, the colors, the grainy real quality and her gaze.

My friends daughter Jane was taken with a disposable underwater camera.  Everything is working for me, her hair, the colors, the grainy real quality and her gaze.

I was walking the streets of Paris when I spotted these boys playing Rugby.  I walked up to them with my Leica M6 and started to shoot and they did'nt mind at all they just kept on playing.  I love the faces here and all that muddy skin. 

I was walking the streets of Paris when I spotted these boys playing Rugby.  I walked up to them with my Leica M6 and started to shoot and they did’nt mind at all they just kept on playing.  I love the faces here and all that muddy skin. 

I shot this lookbook all at night in Silver Lake CA.  The story was called Into the Night.

I shot this lookbook all at night in Silver Lake CA.  The story was called Into the Night.

One of those real moments caught between a friend Ceara and her dog.

One of those real moments caught between a friend Ceara and her dog.

This was taken for an editorial men's fashion story about night surfers in San Diego.  The art director wanted it as real as possible. I started the shoot by getting on my wetsuit and shooting the guys in the water with a flash. Shooting surfing at night is a challenge but the images came out great!

This was taken for an editorial men’s fashion story about night surfers in San Diego.  The art director wanted it as real as possible. I started the shoot by getting on my wetsuit and shooting the guys in the water with a flash. Shooting surfing at night is a challenge but the images came out great!

I love the spontaneous energy in this shot of two actors from TV show Nashville.  It shows my studio work and was photographed for Nylon Magazine's TV special issue.

I love the spontaneous energy in this shot of two actors from TV show Nashville.  It shows my studio work and was photographed for Nylon Magazine’s TV special issue.

This is a still from a music video I directed with musician Marissa Nadler.  I chose Lake Erie in Ohio for the location as a cold frozen lake spoke to me in her song Rosary.  I love this location and luckily it was the middle of winter so the lake was frozen which ads to the drama.

This is a still from a music video I directed with musician Marissa Nadler.  I chose Lake Erie in Ohio for the location as a cold frozen lake spoke to me in her song Rosary.  I love this location and luckily it was the middle of winter so the lake was frozen which ads to the drama.

This is one of the shots I took at Vail International Dance Festival in August 2014. It pictures Tiler Peck and Robbie Fairchild of New York City Ballet doing a pose from the Jerome Robbins ballet  "Afternoon of a Faun".  I love to shoot dancers as they know how to move.

This is one of the shots I took at Vail International Dance Festival in August 2014. It pictures Tiler Peck and Robbie Fairchild of New York City Ballet doing a pose from the Jerome Robbins ballet  “Afternoon of a Faun”.  I love to shoot dancers as they know how to move.

One of my all time favorite editorial shoots here with David Lynch.  I arrived at his home and his assistant told me he was in his art studio.  I carefully asked her if there was any way I could go up there and take pictures of him working.   She asked him and he agreed.  It really felt personal, like taking a look into an artists private space.  The result is I have a wonderful series of him working on his fine art.  

One of my all time favorite editorial shoots here with David Lynch.  I arrived at his home and his assistant told me he was in his art studio.  I carefully asked her if there was any way I could go up there and take pictures of him working.  
She asked him and he agreed.  It really felt personal, like taking a look into an artists private space.  The result is I have a wonderful series of him working on his fine art.  

How many years have you been in business?
My first magazine assignment was 16 years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I didn’t go to photography school I actually studied fine art majoring in painting at University in England. Before that I took a foundation course in art & design in my hometown, which had a few photo classes. My father was a documentary filmmaker and gave me my first SLR at age 8. He taught me a lot about photography and showed me how to do black & white printing in the darkroom we had at our home.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I used to collect photography monographs from a really young age and pore over new issues of The Face and Arena magazines as a teen. If it came down to one photographer I’d have to say Avedon. What inspired me about his work was his range of subject matter. He mixed fashion and celebrity in the studio with everyday American workers outdoors in the American West series.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I’m always shooting editorial which keeps me on my toes and keeps a constant feed of new work rolling in. Editorial gives me the creative freedom to experiment whilst collaborating with a photo editor or art director. I like how it sharpens my problem solving skills, which can be invaluable on advertising shoots. Editorial is a good way to experiment with new lighting set ups and keep visually exploring. It’s also a good way to keep your name out there.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I’ve been lucky, as I can’t say I have had that experience. Once I have been selected for a project I like to keep up a level of communication, which makes it hard for this to happen. If the communication is clear from the word go and the collaborators are all working well together then the client is usually more than happy with the results.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
You never can market yourself enough and I should be more aggressive in this department. My marketing plan is multi layered and consists of personal printed pieces, e-mails, alongside my editorial credits. My agent also sends out marketing and they do showings of my portfolio.

I was skeptical at first of social networking for marketing and promo, I felt like it weakened the work. Now I have started to post more images that I love and behind the scenes shots on Instagram and have begun to use it more, like an online portfolio. I feel like Instagram is the best social network tool for photographers and a good way to get one’s work in front of creative minded people. You can see my posts @patchypics

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Photography trends come in waves. You’ll see a photographer being used all over for a couple of years, their style of shooting might start to get copied and then the market for that imagery gets saturated. One must always stay true to one’s own vision and continue to grow and evolve. Shoot what comes naturally to you. Following trends is the kiss of death.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes always. I’m always out there shooting a test, making a film or thrashing out an idea I had driving or even in my sleep! Just this past week I was up in Vail at a dance festival for a few days and then I started asking the dancers if they had some spare time for a session. I came back with some really strong new images and that started an idea for a new series for me.

How often are you shooting new work?
I have a constant flow of new work. I get excited when there is a gap in commercial or magazine assignments where I can just go off and make images for myself both stills and motion. That is the time to explore what you love and usually that’s when you come back with strong images which were self motivated.

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10 FACTS ABOUT PATRICK
1) When he was 18 he rode an Enfield 350 Bullet Motorbike around Northern India.
2) He is renovating a 1948 Homesteader cabin in Joshua Tree, CA.

3) Is reading The 100-Year-Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

4) Made his first piece of furniture in 2012, a bench for his garden

5) Is restoring a 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV

6) Loves to sketch

7) He is big on roasting and using the BBQ for slow cooking

8) Rents a production office near Abbott Kinney in Venice, CA

9) 2014 completed a documentary about the art of Taxidermy called Skin Movers

10) He Plays the French horn

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Categories: Business

The Value of Being a DAM Smart Photographer

ASMP's Strictly Business - 15 hours 41 min ago

[by Adam Hunter]

Great! You have a kick-ass asset organizational system built into your workflow. You rock! But what about your clients? Do they have their own asset organization strategies? Do they leverage a digital asset management (DAM) tool? How do your practices help or hinder their systems?

From experience, I will tell you that knowing the answers to these questions can be good for your business.

Aside from being an in-house photographer for a design firm, I’m also their digital asset manager. Because of the volume of work we produce, we have to depend on a number of contributing photographers to document our work and create assets for our library (47K assets and growing), which are key to our marketing efforts.

Quickly organizing, tagging and ingesting assets into our system, and making them searchable for our marketing team and to the office, is one of my main priorities. (Aside from contributing to that library myself!) This straight-forward task can easily become painful if a photographer delivers asset that are a), not organized as specified or b), contain excessive or unnecessary metadata that, once ingested into our DAM system, can muddy up search results and negatively affect user experience.

On the other side of the spectrum, there exists a whole different level of respect for photographers who make the effort to understand our needs, and then deliver assets organized and tagged to our specifications. If you haven’t already, read Jan Klier’s post on photographers as visual experts. Among the excellent points he makes is to the role of the photographer as a team member in asset creation. The culture of collaboration is growing and, if you’re looking for way to enrich your relationship with a client, one way could be to imprint yourself as a team player by getting to know your client’s processes and how they relate to your product.

I’m not saying you need to be an expert in the inner workings of every client’s DAM systems, but I am simply proposing that you ask about your client’s DAM needs pre-delivery. The inquiry will set you apart from your competition, and it can allow you another avenue to provide value to your client. And if you really are a rock star organizer who happens to have a client who is not, who knows, you might open up a whole new revenue stream for yourself.

Adam Hunter is a Photographer, DAM Project Manager and Digital Imaging Specialist for one the Pacific Northwest’s leading architecture and design firms. He is also a member of DAM Guru Program. Contact Adam via LinkedIn or email.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

21st Century Book Deal Hustle

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 10:23am

Every era gets the catch phrase it deserves. Just think about “Where’s the beef?” Remember that cranky old lady on the Wendy’s commercials? Of course you do. That it happened during the 80’s, when actors like Stallone and Schwarzenegger were beef-caking up the movie theaters?

Not a coincidence.

By now, you know my own catchphrase like you know the pixel count on your new iPhone. I always talk about the 21st Century Hustle. Hustle this, hustle that. I might as well be Huggy Bear strutting down the street in Starsky and Hutch, for all I talk about hustling.

What does it look like in real life though? I could tell you about how many different jobs I do in a given day, or a given week. But that would sound like complaining. Which I don’t want to do.

It just so happens that I bumped into the perfect embodiment of the 21st Century Hustle a couple of weeks ago, in Santa Fe. I was standing there, minding my own business, when WHAM, a hustler’s moment cracked me in the head like a steroidal cop’s blackjack.

I was at an after-party for a friend’s art opening. I’d already done 5 errands in 2 hours, including a futile search for a hoodie at Target. So I was pretty burnt, by evenings end.

There I was, loading up my plate full of vegetarian goodies, getting ready to drink up a half a margarita. (I had a 2 hour drive home afterwards, so no Tequila buzz for me.) I looked up, and who did I see but Jamey Stillings, the unofficial mayor of the Santa Fe photo scene, and Brad Wilson, whose excellent photo book I’d just reviewed the week before.

Not such huge coincidence, as it’s a small town, but still. I was there, they were there, so we started talking. I’d met Brad briefly at Review Santa Fe in 2009, but not seen him since. I’ve bumped into Jamey 50 times since then, but we rarely chat at length.

Here was our moment.

Brad began telling us what it was like to go viral, and have his work everywhere, as it is now. Jamey and I had each had similar experiences, so we offered up our own coping strategies.

We kept talking. That’s what you do at parties.

But then, ten minutes or so into the chat, the guys both started talking about how they got their most recent book deals. And neither of them had to put up any money for the production. They were giving me serious details. Inside information.

BAM.

My brain switched into journalist mode quicker than Obama would punch Vlad Putin flush in the face, if given the opportunity. It happened so quickly, I wasn’t even aware of it at first. But it wasn’t on the record…we were just chatting. The 21st Century Hustle says you don’t care. You go for the story. Period. (Everyone’s got to get paid.)

So I asked a bunch of more specific questions, and at the end, right before I had to head to my car, I asked the guys if we could consider the chat on the record. Could I write it up, so that you, the audience, could get the benefit of their accrued wisdom?

Classy guys, they both said yes.

Here we go.

Jamey had his first book published by Nazraeli Press a few years ago. They did a great job, and Jamey didn’t have to put in any of his own funds. How did it come about?

Turns out, Jamey first met Chris Pichler, the publisher, at Photo LA a while back. He was encouraged to go hand him a MagCloud booklet of his popular project, “The Bridge at Hoover Dam,” in which he had documented the creation of a major American infrastructure project.

Jamey didn’t want to hand it off like that, as it seemed too forward, but he was strongly encouraged to do it. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Pichler told Jamey he had never, ever published a book from someone who approached him randomly like that. Jamey, who is typically very diplomatic, made a rare faux pas and said something rude in return.

Bridge burned, he assumed. (Pun intended.)

Fast forward a couple of years, and he had a portfolio review with Mr. Pichler in Palm Springs early in the morning of the last review day. Luckily, the first meeting, brief as it was, had been forgotten. Jamey put Mr. Pichler at ease by saying that he knew he chose his books based upon a personalized set of criteria, so he was not looking to be published. Just wanted some feedback.

If you don’t know, letting people know you don’t want something from them is a great way to chill them out. It worked here, and Mr. Pichler offered to publish the project in short order. They also worked out an agreement where the funding Jamey sought and received from the Bridge’s chief engineering firm was used to create a special edition of the book for the company. They got to give out the “special edition” books as gifts. (The win-win is such a feature of the 21st C, I’ve found.)

When it came time for his second book, a series about the massive Ivanpah solar field in California, Jamey first approached Nazraeli Press about its interest. Though now good friends, Chris Pichler took a pass on the new project. Jamey also pitched another publisher he respected, but they also passed. (Which was fortunate, as they’re known for requiring photographers to spend a very large sum to get a book published.)

He did receive interest from another relatively new publisher, but the deal would also have necessitated significant funding. This seemed counter-intuitive to Jamey, based on his initial book publishing experience, and his belief in the new body of work.

Jamey felt he could do better.

He decided to give it a shot with Steidl, the gold standard of the photo book publishing world. As it transpired at the party, Brad knew the ending of this story, but I didn’t. So I got to express my surprise in real time.

Jamey hired a very reputable book designer to help him make a BLAD, an industry term for a mockup. Once done, they made a digital version as well. Jamey then set up a series of digital download incarnations, including Dropbox and WeTransfer. He was meticulous, he told me, and made sure it was absolutely perfect.

Then, having invested time and money into the potential book, he emailed it directly to Gerhard Steidl. How did he get the email address, I asked? It’s right on the website, apparently.

Jamey got an automated response the next day saying that they don’t accept digital submissions, so could he please submit a traditional paper version. But the next day, he got notification that the digital submission had been downloaded by Mr. Steidl. (Thank god for notifications, I suppose, which are normally annoying as hell.)

An hour later, he got an email saying that they wanted to publish the book. WTF? I bet he hollered louder than a drunk Texan skiing fresh powder, when he read that note.

Now, before I paint a picture that the book is free, so he’s the big winner of 2014, hold tight. Jamey told me he books helicopter time in massive amounts to get the aerial photos he seeks. He is a successful commercial photographer, but still, that shit costs money. So he invested in the work itself, and then in the preparations for a book, in order to get the end result he wanted.

“It takes money to make money” is a tenet of business for a reason.

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Brad’s story is similar. He spent a bunch of his own resources hiring animal trainers, and traveling the country, as I speculated in the book review a few weeks ago. It was money he earned in his day job as a commercial photographer, but he chose to reinvest it in his art. This was a project he had to make, and it took three years.

At some point, a gallery in London had heard of his work, and bookmarked his website. They were negotiating with another fine-art animal photographer for gallery representation, but the deal fell through. They happened to go back to Brad’s website, saw that he had the new “Affinity” project up, and they offered him a contract and subsequent exhibition forthwith.

Brad decided to go all in, and made the prints 40×60, framed in museum glass, for the London exhibition. The cost was steep. But the show was a big hit, and the gallery hired a PR firm to get the word out. Brad specifically asked them to target book publishers, as he was hoping to make a book out of the project. And he knew he was putting his best foot forward.

Sure enough, a representative from Prestel came to the show, was smitten, and offered Brad a book deal. Like Steidl, they don’t ask the artist for any contributions. And they even gave Brad an advance. Very unlike the stories we’ve been warning you about, where less reputable publishers will take your $30,000-$50,000, as long as you have it.

Image from the Affinity series

Image from the Affinity series

Image from the Affinity series

Image from the Affinity series

Image from the Affinity series

Each artist stressed to me that they felt like this happened to them because they’d been working towards it for a long time. Separately, they each spoke of talent alone as an over-rated concept. You have to buckle down and be patient, if you’re going to get anything achieved.

They both put themselves in a position for good things to happen, they said, rather than feeling like they got lucky.

Each project was done out of passion and necessity. They invested their resources in themselves, because they believed if they were interested in the stories they were telling, others might be too. They had faith in themselves, but also told me they weren’t worried about outcomes while they were making the work.

Both guys were making photographic projects based upon major changes being wrought during the early stages of the 21st C. (Disappearing wildlife, emerging alternative technology.) They both found that things worked out in the end. (What? I’m American. I like happy endings.)

The moral here, though, is that nobody gets off for free. I accept that. When we make art, we invest time, money, psychic energy, and sometimes more than that. There are no guarantees.

Brad and Jamey both echoed each other, with respect to their attention to detail, serious preparation for when the moment was right, and a willingness to bet on themselves. I think we can all learn from that.

Don’t you?

Categories: Business

Using the PLUS Registry for Always-Current Embedded Metadata

ASMP's Strictly Business - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 12:01am

[by David Riecks]

If you’ve loaned out a book, you’ve learned the lesson that if you expect to see it back, write your name in it. If you don’t know the borrower well, including contact info is a good practice too. Many bibliophiles will go so far as to have their own stamp or bookplate made so they can permanently mark their acquisition.

And acquisition is an apt term, as the book is probably not your work; yet you own that particular copy. If it works for books, why not make it a point to “mark” things that you create, like your photos? We are professionals, right?

In the “old” days of film, prints and slides, it was easy to include your name, copyright notice and contact info by writing or stamping it on the back of print or slide mount. In the digital age, you can embed this same information, and much more, using software like Photo Mechanic, Photoshop, Bridge and Lightroom. See the PhotoMetadata.org site for tutorials.

Digital photos are much more mobile, and so are many of us. Yet, once a digital file leaves your control, you can’t easily update the information embedded, some of which is bound to change if you move, or change your phone or email address. So maybe it’s time to take it to the next level and register at the PLUS Registry?

You’ve probably heard of the Picture Licensing Universal System* (“PLUS” for short), but you may not be aware of the PLUS Registry. A collaboration between photographers, illustrators, reps, ad agencies, design firms, publishers, museums, libraries, educational institutions and others in 140 countries, the PLUS Registry will connect images to rights holders and rights information, on a global scale.

The PLUS Registry is designed to serve as a hub for image rights information, connecting registries and other image information resources in all countries, so that any image can be correctly attributed to its creator and owner, and so that comprehensive rights and descriptive metadata is readily available, and always current. The core of the PLUS Registry is an Application Programming Interface (API) allowing DAM systems, licensing platforms, search engines and all manner of systems and applications to connect to register images and licenses, and to perform searches using unique identifiers or image recognition.

It’s in Beta now, with additional features to be introduced this year and next. You will soon be able to register images individually or using a free batch uploader tool. The PLUS Registry will later add license registration, allowing image users to more easily manage licensed images.

To check out the Registry and learn more, visit www.PLUSregistry.org

*The PLUS Coalition (and PLUS Registry) has been funded with contributions from ASMP, APA, NPPA, GAG and other members worldwide.

David Riecks is a well-known correspondent on digital subjects, and a working assignment and stock photographer. He was the only working photographer involved with the IPTC4XMP working group, which developed the IPTC Core metadata schema. He runs the ControlledVocabulary.com and PhotoMetada.org websites. Riecks was awarded the “Pioneer of Digital Preservation” by the Library of Congress in 2009. Contact him at his website

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Portfolio Events May Not Be Worth It For Established Photographers

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:44am

What advice would you give to established photographers who are “on the fence” about attending a networking event?

To be honest, I’m not sure it’s worth it for established photographers who have a presence in NY already.  It’s expensive and it’s probably more worth their while to put that money towards promos or testing.  I would, however, suggest it for photographers who are trying to break into the scene and meet reps and art buyers.

via Notes From A Rep's Journal.

Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – Flaunt: Scott Pommier

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 9:40am

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                                       Some additional  images from the shoot.

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FLAUNT

Editor in Chief: Luis Barajas
Creative Director: Jim Turner
Photo Editor: Mui-Hai Chu

Photographer and Director: Scott Pommier
Director of Photography ( video ): Greg Hunt

Heidi: How did this story come about?
Scott: I really wanted to shoot something for Flaunt so I  photo editor and set up a meeting. Pitching a fashion story can be tricky as magazines have their own agenda and their own style. In the past I’ve had magazines interested in my ideas but they just didn’t fit with what they had planned for the foreseeable future and the concepts would wither on the vine. When I met with the photo editor at Flaunt, I brought some work to show, but instead of presenting a specific story, I described my approach to shooting fashion and then we talked about what themed issues they had on the horizon. I told the photo editor that I would put something together for her, and a couple of days later, after meeting up with some stylists  I had a treatment to show. Flaunt was starting to schedule their fall denim issue, they called it ‘The Distress Issue.’ Denim is a very practical material, and you see a lot of streetwear-inspired shoots, or vaguely 1950s styling, but I wanted to shoot something that was both dramatic, and cinematic, something with movement. I sat with it for a while, and then started to sketch some thoughts. I had a picture in my head, that ultimately became one of the teaser films, of a woman hanging upside-down from a galloping horse. I’m not sure where I’d seen this stunt but I knew it was common enough amongst rodeo trick-riders. I wanted to change the context a little bit, so that it was less a tick or a stunt but rather a strange and beautiful image.

 
Did the magazine help cast these beautiful girls who also know how to ride?
Once I decided to focus on trick riding, my producer set about finding the talent and location. She found an amazing team of trick riders called “The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls”, we looked at having them make the trip to LA, but decided that it would be better for the crew to travel as their property was just amazing. It’s at the foot of the Sierras and they had quite a few acres of pretty wild terrain. It was perfect. This meant the crew driving a little over three hours from LA, and staying overnight, but it was worth it.

The stunts were all performed by incredibly experienced riders, some of the best in the world. We added two agency models that we thought could fit with the trick riders.
I love those Peter Lindbergh or Steven Klein shoots that create a whole world. It’s become increasingly common to plunk a pretty lady is placed alongside or in front of something novel. Sometimes that can feel like models are simply decoration. In this case, didn’t want there to be such a separation, so I tried plan shots and sequences that would allow the audience to think of all the characters together. Models and horses are a common elements in fashion stories, but it’s usually just a model gently patting a horse’s nose, or standing beside a horse, maybe sitting on a stationary horse, but I wanted to create a sense of familiarity. My producer and I did an extensive search for models. We reached out to a number of agencies, NEXT really got behind the idea and sent us some great options. One of the gals actually flew in to do the shoot. Neither of the models had experience with horses, but the trick riders did a great job getting them up to speed. My producer is a long-time equestrian, which was a tremendous advantage. In the end, we were able to shoot one of the models as she laid out flat on her back on one of the horses, her hair draped down meshing with the horse’s tail. In another shot, a model curled up with a horse that had been trained to lay down on his side. The models and the stunt riders were all really brave, and the result is images that go above and beyond what you normally see with this kind of shoot. It would have been a waste to have this kind of access to some of the most talented riders and highly-trained animals on the planet and shoot something that you could have set up in a petting zoo.

How did you capture the footage?
Most of the footage was shot on a tripod or with a 3-way gimbal. I worked with a DP that I knew from my days shooting for skateboarding magazines. Greg Hunt and he’s very talented. I needed someone who understood shooting action someone whom I shared a common visual language. A friend had put me in touch with a company called PMG Multi-Rotors that had a prototype of a 3-way brushless gimbal called a TYTO. It’s a handheld version of the stabilizer that’s used for drone-helicopter footage. The TYTO is able to handle a RED epic. For the sequence where the camera tracks along with the rider as she hangs upside down from the horse, a maneuver called the ’suicide drag’ we shot from a mini-van. We paced the horse, and Greg shot out of the side door using the gimbal. Normally these stunts are performed inside a ring, but for the sake of the story we asked if it would be possible to shoot in a field. The field was really bumpy and the minivan was bouncing almost to the point of catching air but the gimbal did an amazing job of stabilizing the shot. The final result is something that until very recently you just wouldn’t have been able to shoot without heroic efforts and huge expense.

How much footage did you shoot in order to get these videos?
Greg was rolling the whole time I was shooting, and in a few cases we broke into two units, as we were starting to run out of time. With fashion shoots you have to expect that hair and makeup and clothing changes can take a very long time so even though we shot all day, the amount of time we could spend on each setup was minimal.

What was the most challenging part of this shoot for either the still or motion?
There were a lot of moving parts. We had a small crew and we were trying to get a tremendous amount done in a very short time. Even though the horses are extremely well trained, they’re still animals and are very nervous by their nature. They were dealing with new people, unfamiliar equipment and they were being asked to do things that they don’t normally do. These horses aren’t normally paired with novice riders, they are very responsive and are always waiting for queues from the rider. The hardest thing was to be able to adapt to what the animals were doing. I shot a lot of the story with a Pentax 67, so trying to focus and frame shots up where the models looked natural and in control while the horse below them was reacting to their environment was difficult. But even at it’s most challenging I knew that this is exactly how I wanted to be shooting.

Why is that?
I’ve always had this idea that there’s a value in doing things the hard way, with photography that value is a little more apparent. We are exposed to so many images that it’s become increasingly important to me to shoot images that stand out. Whether it’s the location, the action, the art direction or the subject, there has to be something compelling, something out of the ordinary.  Naturally there are times when I tread on ground that others have already covered, but I’m trying to elevate what I do, and add a layer of complexity. I’m not interested in stacking accessories on a static model as if they are mannequins, or in shooting someone doing jump kicks on a seamless. I don’t say that to sound superior, it’s just not for me. I’m interested in fashion as a means to an end, the clothing conveys style, but to me the style is more important than the clothing. I like fashion as fantasy and less as commerce.

 

 

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I know you started out shooting skateboarding, was it a natural segue to shoot athletes?
The first pictures I ever shot were action photos. Very early on I was interested in shooting pictures that were like those you saw in skateboarding magazines. So yeah, that was something that I got very comfortable with. The photograph of Usain Bolt draws heavily on that experience. I was asked to get a shot of Usain taking off out of the blocks, but was told that I could only have five attempts at the shot. Sprinters put everything they’ve got into their starts and with such a hectic schedule leading up to the Olympics his people were really trying to protect him from any injuries. One of the conversations that I’d had with the agency was about the images having their own look and not feeling like a Nike ad. Of course there isn’t any one Nike look, they produce a tremendous amount of work with a wide-range of artist, but I think what they meant was to avoid a very contrasty, very crisp, hyper-real image where you could see every drop of sweat. Having shot a lot of action I was able to set up a lighting scheme that plays with the flash duration, freezing the areas that need to be sharp and allowing the motion to slightly blur others. The first frame I shot was admittedly terrible, I wasn’t used to the timing of the shutter on the camera. The second frame was a success, but I felt we could do a little better,  the third frame is the one you see here.  Plenty of other photographers have shot this exact moment, but it was a fairly high pressure situation, Puma built a campaign around the image and we had about a five minutes to light it, and three minutes to capture it. When you’re shooting something like that you have to be able to see it in your head before you shoot it.
The other thing that skateboarding taught me  was to tread very lightly in other people’s worlds. Every time I’d see a photograph or read a story about skateboarding that an outsider had done they’d always get it wrong, every single time. They’d get the terminology wrong, or they’d have someone holding their board in some goofy way, or they’d shoot someone doing a trick that they clearly hadn’t landed. I found that very frustrating, so now I do everything I can not to get it wrong when someone shares their world with me. Authenticity is a word that creatives use a lot in reference to my work, and I think part of the reason is that I have a certain level of reverence for what I shoot.

 

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I know you’re doing more directing and motion work, are you trying to get that depth and movement by layering your still images?
I guess depth has multiple meanings when you’re talking about pictures, I’m interested in creating images that have visual depth and that have substance. I don’t do much post production work on my images, I still shoot on film whenever I’m allowed to, so more or less all of my personal work and about a quarter of the commissions, all of the multiple exposures the like are done in camera. I like happy accidents as much as the next guy, but I tend to plan those out fairly carefully. I’ll shoot test polaroids and sometimes mark things on the viewfinder. At the very least, I’ll take mental note of the highlights and shadows in the two scenes I’m capturing.

I see you’ve split with your agent Webber Represents and who are you with now?
I’m looking for representation in U.S. at the moment. Webber was great, there’s certainly no animosity on either side. It’s just like any relationship, you have to want to grow in the same direction at the same time. Even with the best intentions, that doesn’t always happen. I think a lot of my work fits in between categories, or blurs the lines a bit. The fashion stuff that I shoot borders on portraiture, a lot of the action photos have a fashion influence, overall there’s a bit of an editorial feel to my body of work, but most of my photos are either commercial or personal. I feel that if you look at all my pictures together they make sense, but I can also appreciate that my work is spread across a few different genres. Perhaps it’s easier to sell someone when it’s very clear what they do, like the capital “L” lifestyle photographer who’s going to whip the talent into a frenzy, and shoot them sticking their tongues out, or climbing fences, or pushing one another in shopping carts. I’ve done those kinds of shoots but they’re not what I want to chase. I’ve been busy producing new work, and what I need is an agent who can see where my photography fits in the commercial world. In the meantime I’m certainly not going at it alone. I have a terrific agent in Toronto (Lisa Bonnici) and I just signed with a production company in the U.K. called Mad Cow films, who are representing me for motion work. Sometimes you have to follow your instincts and trust that you’ll be happy with where you end up.

 

Categories: Business

Why You Should Care About DAM

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 12:01am

[by William Moritz]

Everyone has likely heard of Digital Asset Management by now; however, a large number of users we encounter do not use a DAM system, or fail to take full advantage of the system they do use. The most common thing we hear is, “Why do I need to invest time and effort into a new system when what I have now works?”

Your digital assets are your livelihood. Being able to locate, access, distribute and back them up quickly and efficiently is crucial to being profitable.

Prior to digital, we really didn’t have much choice but to file originals in archival sleeves and store them in a filing system. This worked well and many of us merely duplicated the same system when we went digital. We have all seen stacks of hard drives, DVDs, CDs and, if you have been at this long enough, Jaz, Zip, SyQuest, Bernoulli or Magneto Optical disks—all containing digital assets in varying states of work.

Having perfect backup copies of images wasn’t feasible before digital. Now that we can make an exact duplicate of an original, working or final image, we have even more assets to track and store.

And of course with the ever increasing file sizes of images, distributing assets these days can be an issue.

This is where a well implemented Digital Asset Management system comes into play. The benefits of a well-designed DAM system are as follows:

  • Faster and easier retrieval of assets
  • Version tracking
  • Easier and more complete backups
  • Faster and easier distribution of assets to stakeholders

When we first sit down to discuss implementing a DAM system, we often see users get overwhelmed. They invariably say something along the lines of “I don’t have enough time as it is, how is adding all of this work up front going to help?” The answer is simple: A well-designed DAM system will not only save you time on the backend, it can increase your revenue by giving you quick easy access to all of your assets. A little bit of organizing up front will save you a huge amount of time and frustration on the backend.

Your current system may be working; however, as with all things in business, is it really the best way to do it?

William Moritz is the owner of Exactly Photo in Columbus, Ohio. He has worked in the photography industry for over 25 years as a commercial, portrait and fine art photographer. Exactly Photo provides studio design, management, and workflow services to the photography industry. Contact William at his website or via email.

 

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Three Quick and Dirty DAM Tools to Enhance Productivity and Professionalism

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:02am

[by Corey Chimko]

As a photographer, chances are you want to maximize your time taking great photos and producing great images. But then there’s all that DAM stuff—best practices, metadata management and application, vocabulary standardization. You know it’s important, but it’s so DAM boring, right? Well here are some simple tools to appease the guilt. And they won’t just help your clients and digital posterity, they’ll help your business workflows and image too.

1. Iron-Clad Filenames

So you followed standards and practices, and implemented a non-repeating numbering system for your images. But now a client has contacted you with a high res or print image request and, when you ask them for the filename, it’s something you don’t recognize. It is frustrating and time-consuming to find it using only your memory. With an indispensable little Adobe Bridge plugin that embeds your filenames into the IPTC Title field with a single click, you will never have that problem again. Clients can rename away; but with a digital copy of the file you, will always be able to get back to the original filename. Pick it up for free here

2. Build Your Own Metadata Set

IPTC and other standards adopt a top-down approach that does not always fill your specific metadata needs. Did you know that you can build your own enhanced metadata set, either based on IPTC, XMP or another standard, or construct a completely customized one for mapping to a DAM system or stock site, from scratch? No more trying to fit your desired fields into their templates. All you need to do is to copy some code and move around some files. (Or know how to write and edit XML). Check out a great pre-Creative Cloud tutorial here and updated for Creative Cloud.

3. Digital Contact Sheets and Embeddable Slideshows

Showing your content without giving it away digitally is always a major concern for any Creative. Trade a bunch of attachments or a huge Dropbox-delivered zip file of digital proofs for a digital contact sheet or web-based slideshow—no coding required. If you’ve never played around with Bridge’s Output tab, do yourself a favor and try it. It can produce customizable, professional-looking PDF contact sheets and embeddable slideshows that can be tweaked to provide high-res thumbnails that your clients can zoom in on.

Corey Chimko is the Digital Resources Coordinator for Cornell University Photography, part of the University Communications Marketing Group. He is a full-time DAM administrator with over 15 years’ experience in all aspects of digital media management and preservation. Contact Corey via email

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

That DAM Stuff

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:01am

Digital Asset Management is becoming increasingly critical for all businesses – yours and your clients’.  This week, members of the DAM Guru Program, a free service that connects digital asset management experts with those who need their help, share insights, tips and tricks that every photographer should know.

 

 

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

This Week In Photography Books: Lucas Foglia

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 9:47am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I went for a little walkabout this morning, with three of my students. (Making pictures, of course.) The ladies are all in High School, and were born and raised here in Taos. None has left town very often, from what I can gather.

One went to visit some family in California this Summer. But it was only San Bernardino, which is kind of depressing. (Unless you love smog so thick that it makes mountains invisible. In which case, you might love it there.)

I tried to explain to the young photographers that when you’ve never left a place, or had the context of other cultures flashed before your eyes, you have to work a little harder to understand what makes a place unique. No sooner than I’d said that, we passed an old house that was cracked in two, with a rickety outhouse behind it.

I remind you, this is 2014.

I asked, “Do you think someone would find a functioning outhouse interesting in New York City? Or LA?” They agreed it was likely, but didn’t find an outhouse so unusual in their own lives. And then there was the broken-down-blue-school-bus on someone’s front lawn, which sported a giant rusted saw blade on the back, as an ornament.

We soon found ourselves at an old chapel, Nuestra Senora de Dolores, from 1873. That, they agreed, would be interesting to folks in the outside world too. I investigated the backyard, and found a well-preserved headstone. The woman buried beneath my feet had been born in 1845, when the land was still called Mexico.

“Can you believe it,” I wondered? They could, in fact, believe it. So much so that only one could be bothered to come take a look. Things like that aren’t so special here, though I’m sure they reek of American West authenticity, to you.

People have always been, and I venture will always be fascinated with the Frontier culture out here. It’s drawn dropouts from elsewhere, like me, and camera-toting tourists on day trips for as long as there have been cameras. It never gets old, but it does change. (Like Taos going from Native American territory, to New Spain, to Mexico, to America in short order.)

Given my confidence in your expected interest, how could I not review Lucas Foglia’s new book, “Frontcountry,” recently published by Nazraeli. The answer is, I could, and I will.
So let’s get to it.

Truth be told, I saw a show of some of this work in a gallery I’d never heard of, when I visited NYC last April. Speaking of change, Chelsea stays the same, but the names of the spaces are in constant rotation. This one, Fredericks & Freiser, was new, so I hope it’s still around.

I didn’t love the prints on the wall. They didn’t have a lot of pop. And I didn’t have a lot of time. But as I’ve learned, and have tried to share with you, a book is a completely different experience than a gallery exhibition. It’s in your hands, in your home, and there are often many more pictures to peruse, at your leisure.

Mr. Foglia does come across as a wandering, wondering, researching photographer. His first book, which I also reviewed, looked at a subculture of people who have returned to living in the wild. This one focuses on a much larger population of people who live off the land, but have always done so. Cowboys. Ranchers. Western types.

I give him props for his technical ability, and for his dogged desire to paint a holistic picture of life out in the West. The book leans heavily on Nevada and Wyoming in particular, so the world looks a little different from the one I inhabit. (A lot whiter, that is.) There are more natural resources around those parts, so mining and extraction make their way inside the pages as well.

Co-incidentally, there is a picture made here in Taos, yet it feels like a bit of a throw-in. But the rest of the book is seamless. Guns, cow entrails, exploded homes, mounds of garbage bags full of beer cans, soccer players juxtaposed against staggering mountains, a dude balancing on a fence post waiting to shoot coyotes. Basically, life for many in the mountainous fly-over states.

I don’t mean to impugn Mr. Foglia for not being “one of us.” That’s a freedom the West allows. You come out here, try to fit in, and before you know it, you speak with a twang, under certain circumstances. He’s a good enough artist that the thoroughness will win you over. (Though I do wonder if a tad more emotional resonance might have pushed the project over the top.)

These are some very well executed large format pictures. There’s a shot of a bulldozer roaming over coal mounds that’s so sharp, it looks like a model. Not real at all. I wondered, did he hit it with a big flash, or has he switched over to using a digital camera? Doesn’t matter. Great shot.

There are maps at the end, to orient you, which further amps up the anthropological bent. It’s not the West of Wenders, or Shore, who bottled up nostalgia and emotion, despite themselves.

It’s more the West as Gursky might do it. Clean. Clinical. And very much a project that represents what it sees, as best it can.

Like I said before, people will always eat this shit up. And photographers will always come out this way to take their shot. Like the suckers who keep trying to beat Jon Jones. They can’t help themselves.

This book, at the very least, will clue you in to a reality that you normally have to see for yourself. It’s excellent, and I heartily recommend it. Adios, partner.

Much obliged.

Bottom Line: Excellent, clinical view of the contemporary Wild West

To Purchase “Frontcountry” Visit Photo-Eye

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Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.

Categories: Business

What is the Difference Between Online and In-Person Networking?

ASMP's Strictly Business - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:01am

[by Rosh Sillars]

I’m often asked what is the difference between attending a networking event and networking using social media. The answer is not much.

Yes, it’s true. At the former, you need to dress for success; the latter can be done in your pajamas. Otherwise, it’s all about the same. Whether you are online or offline, remember to be a connector. Keep the conversation about them, not you. Be sure to follow up to keep your network strong.

The people who succeed in networking are those who build a community by connecting other people. Introduce people whom you feel will benefit from knowing each other. If a relationship develops, you might benefit, too. The more people who talk about you as someone they trust and helped to grow their business, the more success you will earn as a professional.

When networking, focus on everyone’s favorite subject: themselves. Ask questions. We all like that person who shows genuine interest in us. Be that person and you will receive the same rewards. Make sure you have your elevator pitch ready so you can share it when the time is right. Remember, the less you talk about yourself, the better the conversation seems to others.

Follow-up is the most important factor in networking. Most people don’t. To keep your network growing and strong, you must keep in touch. People are busy and don’t take the time to keep in touch. Take the initiative to call, stop by or send an email. (Emails are not as strong as the other two). It makes a big difference in strengthening your network.

Rosh Sillars is a photographer and the owner of Image 3 Marketing. Specializing in AdWords, SEO, remarketing and social media support

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Art Producers Speak: Q. Sakamaki

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 10:11am

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Q. Sakamaki. I always find myself lingering over Q’s dreamlike images. Even though many images in his mailers were taken with Instagram, they have a nostalgic vibe, especially the double exposures. Work on his site is classic, news journalism. He is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects, although it may be difficult to find commercial applications for his work.

 A small boy exploring the ancient time of Egypt, trying to look into the bottom of a more than 2300 year old sarcophagus of Wennefer. 2013.

Self-Metaphors Series: A small boy exploring the ancient time of Egypt, trying to look into the bottom of a more than 2300 year old sarcophagus of Wennefer. 2013.

A newly arrived Georgian refugee. Tbisili, Georgia, 2008.

A newly arrived Georgian refugee. Tbisili, Georgia, 2008.

Nearly burned out wedding album remained at a tsunami destroyed and burned down area in Kesennuma, Miyagi, where many people inside the cars and ships were washed out and trapped and killed due to the tsunami. And survivors could hear the crying all the night. Japan, 2011.

Nearly burned out wedding album remained at a tsunami destroyed and burned down area in Kesennuma, Miyagi, where many people inside the cars and ships were washed out and trapped and killed due to the tsunami. And survivors could hear the crying all the night. Japan, 2011.

 Radiation-contaminated crop supporters remain at no man land in Iitate village in Fukushima, on the 3rd anniversary of Japan’s 2011 monster quake and tsunami. Fukushima, Japan, 2014.

Fukushima series: Radiation-contaminated crop supporters remain at no man land in Iitate village in Fukushima, on the 3rd anniversary of Japan’s 2011 monster quake and tsunami. Fukushima, Japan, 2014.

 A broken, dead sunflower in winter’s morning light. 2014.

Flower series: A broken, dead sunflower in winter’s morning light. 2014.

 A baby swallow at an abandoned elementary school in Ukedo, a highly restricted area in Fukushima, due to the radiation caused by the 2011 Fukushima nuke power plant disaster. Fukushima, Japan, 2014.

Fukushima series: A baby swallow at an abandoned elementary school in Ukedo, a highly restricted area in Fukushima, due to the radiation caused by the 2011 Fukushima nuke power plant disaster. Fukushima, Japan, 2014.

 Coney Island before the summer frenzy. New York, 2013.

Self-Metaphors series: Coney Island before the summer frenzy. New York, 2013.

 Harlem security guard. New York, 2013.

Self-Metaphors series: Harlem security guard. New York, 2013.

 A girl in Osaka, one of my home towns. Osaka, Japan, 2014.

Self-Metaphors series: A girl in Osaka, one of my home towns. Osaka, Japan, 2014.

 A businessman with an arrow head, in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan, 2013.

Self-Metaphors series: A businessman with an arrow head, in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan, 2013.

 A small Japanese Korean girl in Kyoto shows an extremely tiny fish, as the city, as well as Japan, has a very tense relationship between Japanese and Korean communities. Kyoto, Japan, 2013.

Self-Metaphors Series: A small Japanese Korean girl in Kyoto shows an extremely tiny fish, as the city, as well as Japan, has a very tense relationship between Japanese and Korean communities. Kyoto, Japan, 2013.

How many years have you been in business?
More than 25 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I think both. I went to a photo school in New York, but the curriculum was very short (9 months or so). Indeed, for many parts of photography, I learned by myself.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Deborah Turbeville and Sara Moon. And Yukio Mishima might have given a big influence to me even for the question, though he was a novelist.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
By checking, feeling, reading and listening to any kind of great art. Also lately I have been dong Instagram through which I can get inspiration, especially when I encounter great, yet different type of photos.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Yes. It is natural in this industry, but also one of the most disappointing things, especially after committing lots of energy and time.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Recently I have found that Instagram would help for the purpose, though still on the way of the experiment. Also my agency Redux helps. Though the best way is to directly communicate with those in face to face.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Thinking too much about what they want to see is not good. It makes less originality. Any great art comes from the artist’s original vision, not from others.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, I often shoot for such a purpose somehow or to make myself grow more.

How often are you shooting new work?
In recent years, I have started to shoot New York again, very often, most time purposely by iPhone. Though I may restart using more other cameras, too.

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Q. Sakamaki is a documentary photographer, covering war to socio-economy in the world, as well as many other social issues, combining the journalistic views and the story-telling with aestheticism. In recent years, his works also contain many of personal matters and views. Actually by dong so, he is exploring and shooting his own self-metaphors. His photographs have appeared in books and magazines worldwide including Time, Newsweek, and Stern, and have been exhibited in solo shows in New York and Tokyo. He has received many international awards, including World Press Photo and Olivier Rebbot of Overseas Press Club. Sakamaki holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York. He has published several books, including “Tompkins Square Park” – photo essay of New York Lower Eastside’s anti-gentrification movement, by Power House Books. Sakamaki is represented by Redux Pictures.

Contact Info:
Q. Sakamaki
info@qsakamaki.com
qsakamaki@yahoo.co.jp
www.qsakamaki.com
http://instagram.com/qsakamaki

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Categories: Business

Building Your Network

ASMP's Strictly Business - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 12:01am

[by Chris Winton-Stahle]

Building your network is an exercise in finding the people whom you click with. Social media has been an incredibly useful tool for me, so let’s talk about using it to build a strong and effective network. First, you will need to think about being someone that people want to connect with. It’s of vital importance to establish your online presence, and to make it genuine. This is not limited to the look of your work. Consider how you are presenting yourself to the world. Are your Facebook posts positive or negative? Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? If you have a blog, is it current and interesting?

Networking, be it locally or internationally, is all about connecting. People recognize fake, so it has to be done with honest intent. Using social media, I start by putting what I love out into the world and, at the same time, searching for those with similar interests. Using the many outlets available (Facebook, Instagram, etc), I begin to build a positive foundation upon which a friendship can grow. This includes potential consumers, directors, agencies and artists- the sky is the limit!

As much as I love to invite someone out and get to know them over a cup of coffee or lunch, I keep in mind that we are in the age of the virtually established relationships. While folks may not have room in their schedule for a meeting, they always appreciate a thoughtful email or an encouraging comment. Take a real interest in people for who they are, not just for their job title.

When reaching out, don’t just look for future clients. Some of my best friendships have been built with other photographers! I am always looking for people to collaborate with, to bounce ideas off of, and to lean on during times of struggle. It is easy to dismiss others in your field as competition, but you could be missing out on some of your strongest allies. Reach out to your industry peers- you may be surprised at how well you connect.

After establishing a presence with someone you can move communications to emails and then after some time, request a meeting. Keep it casual and quick. Don’t go in expecting them to look at your book and tell you how awesome you are. Be a fountain, not a drain- what can you offer that will help them? Research their company, their cause and, to some extent, their careers and personalities. Rather than going in with the mindset of “how can this get me to where I want to go,” approach your meetings with the intent of “How may I help you to find success with what you’re doing?”

In short, keep your motives authentic and your attitude pleasant. If you pour into your networking efforts honesty, consideration and positivity, that is just what you will receive in return!

Chris Winton-Stahle is an award-winning photographer and accomplished photo illustration artist who sees the camera as only half of his process in creating great imagery. Chris often pulls components from multiple images and CGI when creating his work for clients in advertising, magazines and entertainment.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Daily Edit – Michele Romero: Entertainment Weekly

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 10:04am

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Entertainment Weekly

Editor: Matt Bean
Director of Photography: Lisa Berman
Design Director: Tim Leong
Picture Editor: Michele Romero
Photographer: Dylan Coutler

Heidi: Why the split cover run for this issue?
Michele: Magazines do split-run covers whenever the subject can yield a series of photos to communicate a single topic.  So, ESPN’s Body Issue, for example, or GQ’s Coolest Athlete’s of All Time.  EW has done split-run covers for a variety of shows and this is the magazine’s 3rd time doing a split-run series for The Walking Dead.  Single images always make better cover photographs than group shots and fans like the idea of “collecting them all”.

What photo direction where you looking for that made you choose Dylan Coulter?
I had liked Dylan’s multiple image photography on athletes and he did some covers on Footballers for The New York Times Magazine for The World Cup.  I admired the videos he did for that cover story.  It reminded me to try and use him.

This was my third time working on Walking Dead covers and I’ve had to become an expert on what fans like about this show.  I realized that zombie kills were a type of physical/athletic sport.  The actors are archers and baseball batters and shovel bashers and epic swordsmen/women and they are a team whose goal is to stay alive. These survivors are athletes in the game of knock the head off the zombie.

  Screen shot 2014-09-09 at 8.17.46 PMHere’s a few of the many multiple images works I used when I was  putting Dylan forward to my bosses.  Edward Muybridge was someone whose work I had in my initial pitch along with some Jazz Musicians that shot this way in the 50s…

 

When you’re photo directing the talent, are you directing the character, the person or both?
Depends on the story.  If we’re shooting Meryl Streep, we’re photographing the actor.  If we are doing a piece on a character, we let the actor do their thing and create that other being.  In some cases, an artist, is a character, you would talk to Paul Reubens about where you want PeeWee Herman to stand, etc.

Did you experience both roles with interacting with the Walking Dead actors?
I communicate to the actors and then we watch as they create the characters.  In this case the actors REALLY get into their rolls and it is thrilling and intense to watch the energy that goes into creating that persona.

Here’s my reference for each actor. I had studied their movements before shoot day and did some sketches because each cover had to vary. These were notes that I had taped to the inside of the “studio” space where we were shooting that day.

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Was this a challenging edit, getting the pieces for each cover?
Dylan and I communicated that we’d need what we called a “money shot” for the main image for the cover and that this moment would be fully opaque while the series evolved in varying ghostings behind this main shot.  It was certainly a larger editing process than usual but my boss, Lisa Berman, reminded me that we were producing four covers that week.  I did not leave the office for a month before 10pm.

Was it predetermined where the cover lines would fall so you could use the full cover space?
No, type is never predetermined before a shoot comes in, but I have learned to always leave room for it.  Tim Leong, our Design Director, made the handwritten type himself for this cover.

There’s a lot of energy ( and blood ) on these covers, describe the mood on set. ( music and so on… )
This was my third time on a Walking Dead set and we were on location in Atlanta where the new season takes place.  We set up shop in a warehouse on a gorgeous wreck of a broken train repair yard from the previous turn of the century.  It was creepy and dark and so freaking hot.  The great thing about this show is everyone wants to give Entertainment Weekly 1000 percent.  The actors work harder than anyone and that energy was definitely captured by Dylan on film (well, digital pixels).  Norman Reedus played Mötörhead for his setup.  Andrew Lincoln cranked Metallica and the duo of Steven Yeun and Lauren Cohan were moving to The Black Keys new record.  The only noise during Dania Gurira’s shoot was the sound of her blade slicing through the air.  It was thrilling to watch them all in action.

You deal with celebrities all the time, when’s the last time you’ve been star struck? ( if ever ).
I get excited to work with people and have been privileged to have experiences that are meaningful to me.  You treasure these moments.  If I like someone’s work I am grateful that I get to tell them this fact.  Sometimes I’ve had artists make music in front of me and I definitely “OMG” to myself quietly.  Oh who am I trying to kid, I WORKED WITH DAVID BOWIE.  Yep, he struck me as a star.  When he walked into the studio it was like the sun lit up the whole room.  He was an A+ professional and ate lunch with the crew.  I stole the napkin he used to wipe chicken off his hands so in the future I could make a genetic copy of David Bowie.  I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

What’s the most challenging aspect of your job aside from the schedule.
Working with uncooperative people.

Did you choose that warehouse location because the crew had shot there before and they were familiar?
The location is Terminus on the show.  AMC happened to be shooting there and we got our own spot on that lot as well. AMC shot their ad campaign and Gallery Art/Specials on the same weekend we got time with the cast in Atlanta.

Tell me about the gallery feel you created on set, I know Dylan found this very helpful to set the tone.
Photographer, Art Streiber and my boss Lisa Berman actually taught me about having references up on the day of a shoot.  I sketch cover concepts sometimes and get these pitches to the talent or the network/record label when we’re in concept discussions.  Since we don’t have talent for very long it helps if you can quickly show them what you’re up to.  There is no way to explain a multiple exposure to someone but as soon as they see it they get excited.  I had a pretty great (and decrepit) gallery space.  Dylan and I joked that it would be a great loft space someday.  It was a Dylan Coulter show in a Zombie Apocalypse setting.  No wine and cheese thought, but lots of zombie blood.

 Screen shot 2014-09-09 at 8.17.08 PMThis is a wall  of Dylan’s work.  It was great to get to show everyone from Norman Reedus to Exec Producer Greg Nicotero what we were up to–once people saw Dylan’s work they gave us more ideas and toys to play with.

Why did you chose a concept cover for The Walking Dead?
For a show like The Walking Dead I didn’t want to repeat a “hero pose” so Dylan’s work was a great way to make this action show dimensional.  It was something new to get to fans and it worked out really well.

Categories: Business

Listen & Learn

ASMP's Strictly Business - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 12:01am

[by Tom Kennedy]                 

I believe any networking effort is best undertaken as an exercise in learning first about others’ needs. In order to be of value with your own work, you have to understand how your capabilities and interests might align with a need that others have in their life. Understanding that need and assessing whether you can meet it is crucial to getting business and keeping clients.   Too many make the mistake of seeing networking solely through the prism of what it can accomplish for them rather than what they can do for others.

One type of networking also involves looking for information that can be useful for skill development. That too involves learning. It pays to be curious and open-minded, but curiosity can mean different things. It can mean being curious to gain specific information to address a specific need at a particular moment for your business. It can mean being curious to acquire knowledge that can help you grow in your visual skills and business acumen. It could also mean a more generalized curiosity about learning how others think and act in relation to their own life needs. The latter can be very valuable in helping to develop a capacity for “deep listening.”   Such listening means learning to listen in a way that helps one to spot unmet needs that others may be having, but are also having trouble articulating. That is the basis for good communication and effective business development.

Networking can occur in a variety of arenas ranging from interpersonal face-to-face contact to various social media platforms that enable participation in text conversations. In my experience, it pays to listen first in either case, before jumping in to participate.  Face-to-face communication enables more immediate access the emotional temperature of others in the conversation, and reading of body language as part of the communication. That is harder to do in social network communication which is why I advocate reading and thinking about the consequence of possible responses, before leaping in.

While many social networks encourage a kind of informality and structural looseness that mimics verbal conversation, I advocate being as thorough, precise, and transparent as possible in writing responses to social network conversation. I like to offer my thoughts as helpful responses to things being discussed, but also convey the “back story” to my responses as an act of transparency that builds trust and shows my respect for others in the conversation. In other words, I want others to understand always why I am responding as I am.

I think that is a good rule of thumb for networking in verbal conversations too.

Tom Kennedy is an independent consultant coaching and mentoring individual photographers, while also working with various organizations to train individuals and teams on multimedia story creation, production, publication and distribution strategies for digital platforms, and enhancing creativity. He also regularly teaches at Universities and multimedia conferences. He has created, directed, and edited visual journalism projects that have earned Pulitzer Prizes, as well as EMMY, Peabody, and Edward R. Murrow awards.  He can be reached at kennedymedia@gmail.com.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Guilt Of The People He Couldn’t Save

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 11:15am

Carter’s daily ritual included cocaine and other drug use, which would help him cope with his occupation’s horrors. He often confided in his friend Judith Matloff, a war correspondent. She said he would “talk about the guilt of the people he couldn’t save because he photographed them as they were being killed.”

via How Photojournalism Killed Kevin Carter.

Buying a new website?
APhotoFolio.com builds portfolio websites for photographers.
Have a look (here).

Categories: Business

Collecting People

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 12:03am

[by Richard Kelly]

I’m a people person. Always have been. My grandmother told me when I was “twenty-something” that she always knew I would be a portrait photographer because as a child, I always asked people what they did and why. Apparently, I even had an imaginary friend named Bob. Like many “Bob’s” in pop culture he represented everyone – he was elastic and could be anyone on a given day.

I like people and am never shy about introducing myself and asking people who they are and what they do. My wife, Jennifer, says I collect people. I do have a lot of “friends,” probably more than is realistic.  Through my process of “collecting people,” I have made some great connections and, more importantly, built interesting relationships. In my experience, the relationships are why people continue to work with me. I hope they like the work I produce and the team I bring to a project, but it is the chemistry of relationships that builds solid and continuing work.

The nice thing about Facebook and Instagram is that I get a sense of what’s going on with the “friends” I have – what they are doing, reading, thinking about and working on. Whether it’s for fun or work, I know what is happening. It is easy to assume that these online connections and status updates are a replacement for in person get togethers, but in my experience there is no such replacement – we are social creatures. Instead, I’ve found that the virtual and the real social networks complement each other. It’s like when you see good friends after a long absence and you just keep on with the same conversation like a day/month/year hasn’t gone by.

Lately, I’ve realized that rather than collecting people, I am really connecting people (which I enjoy even more). Introducing so and so to you know who, so that they aren’t just names in a Rolodex on my desk anymore but new relationships built on previous connections leading to something even better. I tell my students and assistants that the person who may help you the most in your career may be someone who you hardly know. I know this because it happens all the time to me.

Always be networking. Hey who are you and what do you do?

Richard Kelly is a photographer and educator based in Pittsburgh, he is collecting and connecting people online and in person. You can connect with him @richardkellyphoto on Instagram and https://www.facebook.com/RichardKellyPhoto

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Keep Building Your Network

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 12:01am

Building your network is such a critical part of growing your business that dedicating one week to it just isn’t enough.  This week our contributors share more insights into how you can build a supportive network that will help you achieve your business and creative goals. ~ Judy Herrmann, editor

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Reach New Heights

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 12:01am

This Fall, ASMP helps you reach new heights as a professional still & motion photographer through in-depth e-learning classes, informative webinars and exclusive member discounts on classes, conferences and portfolio reviews.  Join us:

e-Learning_eNewsFREE introductory class:

Is UAV Photography Right for You?
Monday, September 15, 2014
1:00 – 2:00 pm EDT / 10:00 – 11:00 PDT

Commonly referred to as “drones”, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) let you capture stunning images from previously impossible elevations and angles. In this free, no obligation introductory class, UAV builder, pilot and photographer, Parker Gyokeres, dispels the myths surrounding UAV photography so you can decide if it’s a good fit for your business. Special guest, Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel for NPPA, provides an important update on the legal and legislative side of UAV photography.

Register for this free class and learn more about the full e-learning course, Reaching New Heights as a UAV Photographer: www.asmp.org/e-learning/UAV.

• • •

BaU_logo4blogPhotoshop® & Lightroom® Tips & Tricks
with Adobe Evangelist, Julieanne Kost
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
1:00 – 2:00 pm EDT / 10:00 – 11:00 am PDT

Adobe_standard_logo_CMYKASMP launches the 2014/2015 Business as unUsual webinar series with Adobe Evangelist Julieanne Kost sharing her favorite Photoshop® and Lightroom® tips and tricks! If you have ever heard Julieanne speak, you know you’re in for a fast-paced, entertaining and inspiring ride. If you’ve never heard her speak, don’t miss this rare opportunity to interact with one of the top post-production experts in the world. Take your skills to the next level – don’t miss this exciting interactive online webinar.

This informative webinar is free for all live attendees.

Join us Wednesday, September 17 — REGISTER TODAY!

Save the date: ASMP’s October Business as unUsual features fashion photographer Cristopher Lapp on estimating and budgeting a large scale production shoot. Join us Wednesday, October 15  from 1:00 – 2:00 pm eastern.
• • •
CuttingEdgeLogo_300px
The Cutting Edge
Post-Production Tour

with Saturday Night Live
Film Unit Editor
, Adam Epstein
Tour ends September 23

The Cutting Edge Post-Production Tour with Saturday Night Live Film Unit Editor, Adam Epstein, covers everything you need to know to edit a high-quality, ready-for-broadcast piece. With technique, theory and editorial insights into what makes a great story this workshop will increase your sped and story-telling effectiveness.  Learn more at cuttingedge.mzed.com.

ASMP Members:
click here to save $15 on all registration levels.

• • •

PPE_LOGOPhoto Plus Expo
October 30 – November 1
Javits Convention Center, New York

With over 80 seminars, keynote presentations featuring Martin Parr, Ben Folds and several prominent photojournalists working with A Day Without News, intensive Master Classes, Photo Walks and a huge trade expo, you won’t want to miss Photo Plus Expo this year! Register before July 31st and take advantage of their great early bird pricing. Learn more about Photo Plus at photoplusexpo.com.

Don’t miss these fabulous ASMP sponsored seminars:
Growing Your Business when Everyone has a Camera with Judy Herrmann
Road to Seeing: Nurturing Your Creative Sensibility with Dan Winters

ASMP members:
click here to save $150 on a Full Conference Pass

• • •

PSPF_REVIEWS
The Official Portfolio Reviews at Photo Plus

October 30 – November 1
Javits Convention Center, New York

The Official Portfolio Review at PhotoPlus Expo is America’s premier review event for emerging and professional photographers. Organized by the Palm Springs Photo Festival in conjunction with Photo District News and The Photo Group, this event offers a fabulous opportunity to meet and present your work for critique, feedback and advice. At no other time can a photographer see such a cross-section of potential clients/representatives from both the commercial and fine art arenas in a three-day period.

ASMP members:
click here to save 15% on your registration – the best discount available!

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

This Week In Photography Books: Vincent Delbrouck

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 09/05/2014 - 9:45am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I was talking today with Marcie, my new Native American friend. She’s from the Taos Pueblo, and we really enjoy chatting about art, culture, religion. Stuff like that.

No matter how much you might feel a spiritual connection with Native American views on the sacred nature of Earth, it feels trite when you’re not raised in that culture. (If you’re white, I mean.) Which lends a certain frisson to the conversation.

To be frank, Marcie doesn’t give off the vibe that I’m a poseur. Just the opposite. She’s open, honest, and nonjudgmental. Rather, the voices in my head are self-generated. Too many hours digesting post-modern theory in graduate school, I suppose.

Of course, the Native Americans are not the ones who believe that Nature is sacred. There are strains of Buddhist tradition that teach of Inter-connectedness, or Inter-being. We are all one. I am the rocks. You are the trees. We are all made up of the particles of the Universe.

It’s profound.

In the course of our conversation, Marcie asked if I was actually Jewish? I replied that of course I was, because in my religion, you are born that way. (If your mother is Jewish, you’re a Jew.) She pushed forward, asking if I actually practiced? Did I believe?

“That’s a tougher question,” I replied. I’m like a religious version of the aforementioned Post-Modernism: a pastiche. A little of this, a little of that. So many of us are, these days.

But I do like to meditate, when I have the time, and believe that the silent absence of something can be just as powerful as presence. I’d rather have a clear, empty mind than an over-driven, neurotic, Woody-Allen-inner-monologue any day of the week.

Given that, and my oft-professed love of seeing something I’ve never seen before in a photo book, how could I not review “Some Windy Trees,” a new self-published soft-cover book by Vincent Delbrouck in Belgium?

Open it up, and after the requisite blank page, you find yourself looking at a solitary, windblown tree. The book contains several such images. Trees you want to stare at for a while. They’re so lonely. And beautiful. Mountains in the background too.

Turn the page, and you see nothing. Just more blank white paper. (As I once titled a photograph of my own, paper comes from trees.)

As I flipped through, I did a triple take. He keeps interspersing emptiness. At one point, you actually flip twice before you come to the next photo. I have definitely never seen that before. Empty pages on purpose. Who does that?

This guy, apparently.

There is a random insert of a scribbled drawing in bright red. Not blood red. Candy-cane red. Santa Claus red. Christmas-time red.

The back page tells us the pictures were made in high, windy valley in Nepal. (I suppose the cover image hints at the Himalayas.) A portion of the proceeds from each book will go to a foundation that supports the preservation of this particular region, called Mustang.

That same red repeats on the back cover, which is where we find the title. (That, I have seen before, as you regular readers will well know.)

I’m more than sure that some of you will think me crazy for celebrating someone for leaving photos out of a photo book. But what does it do? It focuses the mind. It draws attention to what is there. And it also gives off the whiff of enlightenment, that ephemeral state which the Himalayan Buddhists eternally seek.

Bottom Line: Strange, zen pictures of Himalayan trees from a Belgian

To Purchase “Some Windy Trees” Visit Photo-Eye

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Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.

Categories: Business

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