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This Week In Photography Books: Oscar Palacio

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:03am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I was watching “The Lone Ranger” on TV yesterday. It’s possible I’m the only person in America who saw the whole damn thing. Major bomb, it was. (Who knew Jerry Bruckheimer could fail at anything?)

The movie wasn’t half as bad as I expected. (And boy, is that Armie Hammer a handsome man.) It was clear they spent more money filming than Roman Abramovich drops on soccer talent. Wow, did Disney waste some cash on that ridiculous runaway train sequence.

I wasn’t surprised at the movie’s lack of mass appeal, though. They focused on the dark underbelly of American history: the theft of Native American land in the name of progress. (Sorry, I meant greed.) In particular, they made sure to demonstrate that treaties were made, and then broken, under dubious circumstances.

Does anyone really think that’s a good idea to hammer home, in the name of mass-market-summertainment? Who green-lit that premise, Noam Chomsky?

They even had poor Barry Pepper dressed up like George Custer, playing a military sap who unwittingly massacred a heap Comanche for the RailRoad Conglomerate, and then went full-scale denial when he learned the truth. Wonder who that little metaphor might be referencing? Oh. That’s right.

Us.

On Twitter, I was recently accused of being a closeted Englishman. But of course that’s not true. I love my FREEDOM/DEMOCRACY/FOOTBALL/BLACK PRESIDENT as much as anyone.

Go USA.

I just had the good fortune to learn the truth about our past from some stellar teachers in High School and College. And it is far easier to pretend our wealth was not built up on stolen land, resource annihilation, and free slave labor.

I think that’s the main reason Americans are so ahistorical. It’s not that we’re stupider than the rest of the world. Just that we function better as a forward-looking society. (Land ho.)

That’s why so many artists love to mine history. To spend days in dusty archives, combing through crusty books to find out who said what to whom. We love us some primary sources. (Wait. You mean George Washington wasn’t really named George Washington Blaustein, as my young son suggested this week? Quelle Surprise.)

The other method is to get out on the road and see what things look like now. Is there really a Plymouth rock? And why did they name it after Plymouth, from whence those grouchy Puritans came?

I can answer in the affirmative, that such a piece of stone exists, having just seen it in Colombian artist Oscar Palacio’s new book, “American Places.” (Published by the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.)

The book is fascinating, in that it mashes up the historically important with the constructedly banal. What could be more American than that?

Gettysburg battlefields, Underground railroad sites, the Lower 9th Ward, Manzanar, the Wounded Knee Memorial, and chopped trees protruding through fences. Concrete covered with grass. White banisters, defenestrated, rotting in the dirt.

The book is quiet the way a library is quiet. It helps to focus the mind. BTW, you know I’m going to respect anyone who goes to Mt. Rushmore and comes back with a photo that blocks the money shot. That takes guts.

Perhaps it’s easier for an outsider to admit that our society is built upon shaky foundations, like the Sunset district in San Francisco. (Sand dunes sit beneath the sleepy beach community.)

I love this country. We’ve given the world airplanes, cars, and the Internet. But also nuclear bombs, NSA spy software, and a legacy of misery that is felt in Native American and African-American communities to this day.

This book manages to blend the poignantly beautiful and the boringly sublime. Which are both stand-ins for the the glory and gore we’ve managed to produce since the Pilgrims landed more than 400 years ago.

Long may we prosper.

Bottom Line: Surprising, quiet, classy book that reminds us of a history we’d rather forget

To Purchase “American Places” 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

The Dirty, Little Secret of Building a Network

ASMP's Strictly Business - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 12:01am

[by Pascal Depuhl]

A few weeks ago, we talked about finding an audience.  The real challenge is to take those casual relationships and build them into a network that is strong, solid, sound and sympathetic. How do you get from a lukewarm like to a raving endorsement?

Wanna know the secret of building such a network?

Make it about others. Share other people’s stories. Promote other people’s projects. Volunteer for other people’s visions. Assist other people’s ambition. Tell other people “Thank You.”

I know it sounds counter intuitive, but trust me, not making your network about you will grow your network. Here are some examples of how my network has benefited from putting others first:

  • Bought a guy on twitter breakfast – gained access to his 125,000 twitter followers.
  • Made a new friend in church – was asked to speak at a national blogging conference.
  • Produced a 1 minute video for free – built a relationship with a film gear manufacturer.
  • Liked a companies Facebook page – was hired to shoot a 5 figure video job.

This list goes on and on. I bet you see that the actions on the left are relatively small, compared to the results on the right. Plus these results are exponential and ongoing, as long as you keep caring for the others in your network:

  • The access to twitter followers led to being hired to produce video workshops for one of the top filmmakers in the world.
  • The blogging conference led to a brand new audience.
  • The relationship with the film gear manufacturer led to their sponsorship of my move2motion workshops.
  • The like on Facebook has turned into one of my best clients (for video and still work).

In the end it’s not about how many followers you have on Twitter, how many business cards are in your Rolodex, how many hands you’ve shaken at networking events, workshops and other gatherings… it’s about the relationships behind those numbers. I’d rather have a dozen enthusiastic people in my network, who are real and strong relationships, than ten thousand likes on Facebook, that don’t care about me or my work.

Building a network at WordCamp Miami. © Pascal Depuhl

Building a network at WordCamp Miami. © Pascal Depuhl


Pascal Depuhl loves to build his network, by putting others first. Contact him on twitter @photosbydepuhl and ask him to help you to promote your passion, to assist you in acquiring your aspiration, to share your story. You’d be surprised what can happen …

Want to learn more? Check out Pascal’s blog this all week, he’s sharing 5 secrets of building your network.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Art Producers Speak: Jonathan Kozowyk

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:26am

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 Jonathan Kozowyk. Not only is he very talented, he is very easy to work with.

I told you I took pictures of my dog. — this was the first time she paid attention to her friends barking across the street. I guess it is a good example that I always have a camera close by.

I told you I took pictures of my dog. — this was the first time she paid attention to her friends barking across the street. I guess it is a good example that I always have a camera close by.

Part of an ongoing personal project, I try to work on something everyday.

Part of an ongoing personal project, I try to work on something everyday.

Austin Dorr, I wanted to photograph this man the very first day I saw him, years later I did in a personal project about the marina where I was living in at that time in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He wrote his name on everything he owned on the dock. On the door to his workshop right in between the American Flag and the Jolly Rodger, he wrote in sharpie, “If a man is too busy to go fishing, he is too damn busy.”

Austin Dorr, I wanted to photograph this man the very first day I saw him, years later I did in a personal project about the marina where I was living in at that time in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He wrote his name on everything he owned on the dock. On the door to his workshop right in between the American Flag and the Jolly Rodger, he wrote in sharpie, “If a man is too busy to go fishing, he is too damn busy.”

From an ongoing personal project on humans and their relationship with flight. I was interested in it, so I pursued it. I love learning about what gets people out of bed at 5am on their day off — it is not just hobbies at that point.

From an ongoing personal project on humans and their relationship with flight. I was interested in it, so I pursued it. I love learning about what gets people out of bed at 5am on their day off — it is not just hobbies at that point.

From an ongoing personal project on humans and their relationship with flight. I was interested in it, so I pursued it. I love learning about what gets people out of bed at 5am on their day off — it is not just hobbies at that point.

From an ongoing personal project on humans and their relationship with flight. I was interested in it, so I pursued it. I love learning about what gets people out of bed at 5am on their day off — it is not just hobbies at that point.

Commission for a Community Sailing Program in Boston.  I actually hopped into Boston Harbor against my better judgement to get this one, happy I did though… they tell me the water is totally safe these days…

Commission for a Community Sailing Program in Boston. I actually hopped into Boston Harbor against my better judgement to get this one, happy I did though… they tell me the water is totally safe these days…

The Rev. Edward Sunderland from a commission for Saatchi Wellness and Crossroads Community Services in Manhattan. He is a social worker that works with people in need and the people who volunteer in shelters and food pantries. This was a pretty moving project that I was proud to be a part of.

The Rev. Edward Sunderland from a commission for Saatchi Wellness and Crossroads Community Services in Manhattan. He is a social worker that works with people in need and the people who volunteer in shelters and food pantries. This was a pretty moving project that I was proud to be a part of.

Johnny L. Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. Commission for Forbes, we went fishing at sunrise.

Johnny L. Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. Commission for Forbes, we went fishing at sunrise.

More personal work that I believe in. I have been photographing police officers and their K-9s for the past 3 years.

More personal work that I believe in. I have been photographing police officers and their K-9s for the past 3 years.

Farmer from a recent editorial commission.

Farmer from a recent editorial commission.

Personal project on Rally Racing in America, later the project got picked up by Maine Magazine, and I got to go finish up the project with a home town hero story about a local racer that just got sponsored by SCION.

Personal project on Rally Racing in America, later the project got picked up by Maine Magazine, and I got to go finish up the project with a home town hero story about a local racer that just got sponsored by SCION.

Personal work. A man after a plunge in a frozen lake in February in New England.

Personal work. A man after a plunge in a frozen lake in February in New England.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been working in the industry for a little over 12 years. I started out assisting, and have been shooting on my own for about 3 years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to Massachusetts College of Art for Graphic Design, but knew I wanted to make photographs. After I graduated I pursued my passion for photography and I was really lucky to apprentice some talented folks.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I learned a ton from assisting Tibor Nemeth, Jason Grow, and Michael Prince.


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?
Really I find inspiration in everything around me. Sometimes it is from the creative people I work with, people I am photographing, or places I travel to. I try to absorb it all and then reinterpret it to show how I see the world. Within my work there is an element of timelessness, which I also feel is important. I always try to infuse that into whatever I am doing. I want my work to feel genuine.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

Of course, that can happen, but I believe there is always a nice middle ground that can be reached, I am not a diva, I know that I got hired for a reason. When I am shooting I have a good understanding of what the agency and client need to walk away with at the end of the shoot. But I always try to get a something that I personally love out of each job.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Lately I have been making a ton of little small run books and send them to creatives I want to collaborate with. Also visiting agencies and magazines to share my latest projects.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I guess that approach can work. But I have been really trying to push myself to show work that I love as well. I try to pepper in some of what they may need to see, but I think it’s important for people to know that you bring something to the table.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Yes. I try to make pictures everyday, even if I am stuck in front of the computer doing post work, bidding on projects, or even while on phone calls. Sometimes they are just pictures of my dog or of people around the neighborhood.


How often are you shooting new work?
As much as possible. I have a few personal projects always going on. It ‘s a great way to stay loose and get motivated. I used to get caught up in thinking that I needed to “finish” a project, but lately I’ve been allowing myself the freedom to start a project and just let it take it’s course.

—————–

Jonathan Kozowyk is a commercial advertising and editorial photographer. He was formally trained at Massachusetts College of Art and Design where he received his BFA in Graphic Design. After graduation he set out to pursue his passion of photography.

Today Jonathan is based in New York City and is lucky to travel often for commissions all over the world. Jonathan enjoys collaborating with creatives to capture genuine moments big and small.

In his down time he likes to surf, ride his skateboard, look at maps, and spend time with his beautiful girlfriend and his furry dog.

Contact:

 
+1 347 901 2427 
jonathan@jonathankozowyk.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 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

Making Connections

ASMP's Strictly Business - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:01am

[by Gail Mooney]

The best way to build a professional network is to approach it organically. Most of us have a variety of networks in our life, made up of family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or people we are connected with by common interest. But for some reason, many of us draw a line between our business and personal relationships instead of bridging those connections, for mutual benefit.

Over my lifetime, I’ve made connections with an eclectic array of people-not just with people who are inside my industry, but with people I’ve shared a variety of experiences. Some examples of my own networks:

Social Networks: A few years ago, I built an audience online, by blogging about my journey around the world, with my daughter Erin, creating a feature length documentary film. I didn’t know at the time, that this following would later help us fund the postproduction of our film through Kickstarter.

I also belong to several LinkedIn Discussion Groups where people share information. For example: I do work in the corporate “social responsibility” sector and I‘ve made several connections through an online discussion group that have led to non-virtual relationships.

Trade Associations and other Groups – I am a member of the ASMP and the SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) an association of photographers and writers,specifically related to the travel industry. The relationships I have formed through these two groups have been invaluable to my business. As I find myself working on more and more collaborative jobs, I draw upon my colleagues when I need to form a team for an assignment.

Events/Conferences – I attend a lot of conferences. While I do enjoy the ease of online learning, in person conferences offer the extra added value of interaction and networking. In particular, I try not to miss PPE (Photo Plus Expo) held in NYC in late fall and the NAB Show (National Association of Broadcasters), held in Las Vegas in April. NAB includes several mini-conferences such as Post Production World and the annual SuperMeet where producers, shooters and editors come together.

Volunteering –When I want to learn more about a particular craft or skill set, or meet people who are involved in a particular area of my industry, I will volunteer at conferences that will connect me with the right people. For example, by volunteering at events organized by the IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project), I’ve learned a lot, and it’s been a great way to meet other filmmakers.

I also give back – I’m on the photographer advisory boards of YPA (Young Photographer Alliance) as well as my alma mater Brooks Institute. I’m also on the board of my local public access TV station. This keeps me in touch with “emerging photographers” as well as what’s happening in my own community.

Ultimately, I try to network with a variety of people from different backgrounds and personality types. I hang with the idealists that I can dream with, and the realists that keep me in check. And the visionaries that are willing to help me come up with a plan to fulfill my dreams – instead of trying to talk me out of them. The bottom line is that life is about relationships and connections. It’s why I became a photographer… I wanted access to a life that would be enriched by an amazing array of people who were a part of it.

Gail Mooney is Chair of the National Board of ASMP. She is a partner of Kelly/Mooney Productions.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

By 1905 A Third Of American Households Possessed A Camera

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:28pm

Professional photographers were repelled by the weird, ungainly, often out-of-focus shots that amateurs produced. “Photography as a fad is well nigh on its last legs,” prayed the art photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Other pundits bemoaned “Kodak fiends,” camera obsessives who carried their device everywhere and were apparently so constantly taking pictures that they would space out and miss their trains.

via The Invention of the “Snapshot” Changed the Way We Viewed the World | Smithsonian.

Categories: Business

On Making and Publishing a Book – For Photographers

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 9:46am

Guest Post by Carl Corey

PASSION, PURPOSE and PERSEVERANCE

“Passion and Purpose” – The credo put forth by Robert Frank as the necessary ingredients to creating successful and meaningful photography. I would add to that another, “Perseverance”. In any endeavor it would be impossible to attain true success without Passion and Purpose. Many photographers exhibit either passion, purpose or perseverance but the ones that succeed exhibit all three.

To create a successful photography book you must exhibit these three traits. Your work must have a purpose, it must communicate and strike a chord with the audience. This will be impossible if you are not passionate about your pictures and it will not get done if you can not persevere through some failure. Good work requires one to take risks and everyone who takes risks occasionally fails, however those failures can and will make you stronger if you allow them to.

RESEARCH

I strongly recommend you research the work which has preceded you. Look at the masters’ books and then look some more. Determine what it is about these books that makes them successful. You’ll see lots of passion on those pages, the work will have a purpose and clearly exhibit such. It will strike a chord with the viewer and hopefully initiate a creative or intellectual a response from them. If you wish to have some of that limited shelf space allotted picture books then your work must elicit a strong response.

EDITING

Assuming you have a strong body of work it needs to be edited into a stronger body of work to meet this publishing criteria. Editing is a very important component to creating a cohesive and strong book. It is also a very difficult process. We all know how hard it is to toss a picture we love because it just doesn’t fit. We all become infatuated with the newness of recent pictures or those that proved technically difficult. Unfortunately no one cares how hard it was technically for you to complete, or how fresh the picture is to you. It is the content that matters and good editing will assure that your content is as strong as it can be. Many of us tend to work in a vacuum, focused on the task at hand while completing a series of pictures. Once photography is completed it is very helpful to get a second or even third opinion on the book edit. You may find you need to create some new pictures to round out the book. I appreciate working with a good picture editor and find that their contribution manifests itself in the success of the book. If you are serious about your project I encourage you to solicit the help of an experienced picture editor working in your genre.

Keeping the work as simple and honest as possible works best. This does not mean you need to make simple pictures but rather should strive to eliminate any element that does not contribute to the purpose of the picture and subsequently also the book. Adhere to the credo that you are only as good as your weakest link. Show less but stronger pictures that engage the audience, don’t over tell the story. Leave a little open to interpretation for the audience to connect with.

DESIGN

Work with the best designer you can and be sure they are as passionate about the book as you are. It’s their work on those pages that will show yours in the best light possible. I like simple design. I adhere to the Bauhaus principle of “less is more”. I believe good design is unobtrusive and efficient but also compelling. Remember you are making a picture book and it is about the pictures. No amount of flashy design can mask poor picture content.

PUBLISHING

The decision to self publish or work with a publisher can only be made by you. It’s your book and your career. The same goes for ebook vs ink-book. The ebook has made it easy for anyone to put together a “book”. I use ebook format as a e-maquette editing tool. It helps to see content in order and adjust accordingly. While I am not affiliated with any companies I find the new version of Lightroom® 5. to be very accommodating in this regard. If you are not familiar with the Lightroom® book options you may wish to investigate it.

Publishing is a business. Businesses need to turn a profit and while some publishers are quite passionate about their titles and authors they never loose sight of the bottom line. This is responsible business practice and necessary for success. A first time author is a big risk. Picture books present even more risk as they are very expensive to produce. Publishing is also a tough business and getting tougher therefore the risk allowance is diminishing. Many publishers will ask a first time author to guarantee a return on investment. Requesting the author either purchase a quantity of books or contribute financially to the volumes production costs. It’s not unheard of to request a first time author pay all costs associated with producing the book.This is in addition to the cost of producing the original photography for the book. Adding up all these associated expenses makes it apparent that publishing a book can become quite an expensive endeavor. This will test your passion.

Be prepared for non appropriate deals to come your way from publishers and have the strength to say no to them. You have no negotiating power if you are not prepared to walk away from a deal. I encourage the first time author to be patient and wait for the right deal, to persevere. It took 7 years to get the right deal for my first book. It was frustrating at times but I am very pleased I waited for the right publisher to work with. Beware the vanity press that exists solely to profit from production of your book. Once they have delivered your book you will find yourself all on your own. I consider producing a book a partnership with the publisher, a joint effort with mutual benefit.

The advantages of working with a publisher are many and beyond the scope of this essay to allow for me to detail each. The most important benefit you gain by working with a publisher is credibility. Self publishing and vanity presses fall short on the credibility front. However vanity books can be viewed as promotional pieces and work within that venue for the assignment photographer, but only if done very well. However as an author credibility is very important and quite frankly the best return you will find from publishing a book is the credibility it affords you, the author. What you will get with a good book is a piece that, if used properly, will open doors for career growth.

Unfortunately as previously outlined there is no substantial author income to be had from your book. This is true whether you self publish or work with a publisher. If you are making a book with the intent of generating an income you will be disappointed. If income is your only goal invest the money and time elsewhere. You make a book because you have to, you are passionate about doing so. In my workshops and seminars I break down the associated costs of book making, the business of publishing and the ways you can use your book to help generate a livelihood. Remember the credibility associated with authoring a good book tops the list for opening doors to further opportunity.

Some of the advantages to working with a publisher are less or no financial risk, distribution and warehousing services ( you don’t want a garage full of 5000 books and be running to the Post office for every order ), guidance in editing, quality book design, production expertise and solid marketing. I cant stress this enough. Publishers want your book to succeed. Remember it’s all about the bottom line for them and sales of your books make a better bottom line. In addition more sales of your book means more credibility for you.

Self publishing has some merits as well. If you should be fortunate enough to create a best selling book your profits will be substantially better. You may actually recoup all the original photography and book production expenses and break even. That is a big “IF” however, and quite hard to almost impossible to do with out a publishers expertise behind it. Another advantage, if you view it as such, is that you will have complete control over the edit, design, production specs, warehousing, distribution, marketing and PR. However you will also have the expenses and responsibilities associated with the above. I am biased to working with a publisher. I am a photographer. I focus upon making pictures and let others more experienced than I in book production deal with the publishing aspects of making books.

WORKING WITH A PUBLISHER

If you decide to approach publishers here are several key items you need to know to assure your book receives the best possible opportunity to get published. I have outlined these below.

Define your goal with the book.
What is it you want from the book? Write down your goals think about them and be specific.

Select a topic that has a purpose.
Research is very helpful here. Look at where there are gaps in the medium. Does there need to be more coverage of a certain genre.

Select a topic you are passionate about.
People can feel if you are passionate about your pictures. Passion is conveyed by your demeanor but even more so from your pictures. If you are not passionate about what you are working on stop working and find something you are passionate about to do.

Be sure the book engages the audience.
Tell the story in your voice. Lead don’t follow, but never loose sight of who your audience is or you will loose them.

Estimate production costs of photography.
Be sure you can complete the book before you start. Find funding if needed through grants or corporate sponsorship.

Edit.
Remember you are only as good as your weakest link. A great picture diminishes when in the company of mediocrity.

Edit again.
You never get it perfect the first time.

Go ahead and edit a third time.
And rarely on the second.

Create a maquette or book dummy (these are the same thing but “maquette” sounds smarter).
“Maquette” is French defined as a sculptor’s rough test sculpture done before hitting the marble or casting the bronze. The maquette is very important in bookmaking. It is a rough of the book made prior to publishing. It’s also a very tricky item to get right as you want it to be rough but also enticing. Too finished and the publisher may feel pigeonholed and limited in input. Too loose and they may not be enticed to investigate further. I recommend you share a few pages from the book as a maquette, a “this is what I was thinking” sample and follow up with a color corrected and detailed PDF of just pictures. You may find other avenues better suited to specific publishers. Read the publisher’s submission criteria and adhere to it.

Research publishers that are appropriate for your work.
Like photographers publishers specialize. Fashion, documentary, landscape, reportage, narrative are all genres that some publishers limit themselves to. Be sure the publishers you contact are appropriate for your book. They like knowing you do your research as well.

Respectfully approach publishers with the maquette.
Publishers are dedicated hard working people trying to survive in a dwindling and ever more competitive marketplace. It’s a tough job, be nice to them.

Negotiate a favorable contract for all.
Be sure you are happy with the deal you make. You will live with it. I assure you the publisher will be comfortable with any deal they make. You want a pleasant and honest partnership surrounding your book.

Be realistic in negotiations and prepared to walk away.
What are you getting from the publisher in exchange for all your hard work, original photography financial investment and passion? Be sure they have a finely tuned operation capable of supporting you and your book. Design, production quality, warehousing, distribution, marketing, PR, and payment are the areas you should be concerned with. Ask other authors about the publisher. Bring up these areas when negotiating with the publisher. If you are a first time author it’s a tougher go negotiating.

Persevere.
I doubt the first publisher who sees your book maquette will publish it. Probably not the second, third, fourth, fifth….. You can not let rejection be a reflection upon the merit of your book or more importantly you. There are many publishers and most won’t be right for your book. When your book is rejected politely ask what it that the publisher is looking for. If you see a common denominator from publishers possibly adjust your book to eliminate the problem.

I hope this brief and opinionated synopsis proves beneficial to those of you wishing to publish a picture book. While extremely difficult, authoring a picture book is a rewarding, satisfying undertaking. Your book can serve as the instrument to inform, elicit response, effect positive social change and open doors for you to continue to do even more with your pictures. Just remember these three words and you’ll be off to a good start: Passion, Purpose and Perseverance.

Carl Corey is the author of three books; “Rancher” – Bunker Hill 2007, “Tavern League” – WHS Press 2011 and “For Love and Money” – WHS Press 2014. He is the recipient of over 100 awards from the photographic and publishing communities including the Crystal Book Award for Best Photography Book 2012, National Best Sellers Award 2012, INDIE Publishers Award of Excellence 2014, Pub West Gold 2012 and Foreward Top Ten. He presents group seminars and teaches one on one workshops.

Categories: Business

Start the Conversation – Connecting with Colleagues

ASMP's Strictly Business - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 12:01am

[by Lynn Kyle]

My grandfather was a farmer. On days when he was not in the field, he would drive into town to go to the local coffee shop.

Parking himself on the bar stool next to the other farmers, he’d talk over current agricultural issues and the business of farming. From the newest fertilizer to changes in insurance rates, this was where he listened and shared experiences, frustrations and successes. These conversations with fellow farmers were invaluable to his business.

So how do we get back to basics, back to the art of conversation?

These days we have amazing resources available to us. Social networking, organizations, seminars and events all need to be a part of your business model to better your business and to continue to keep up with our ever-changing industry.

Social networking is a great tool to start the conversation. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — these are all good ways to connect and show people your personal side. Tailor social networking to your style and personality, and only participate in the networks you are interested in (and that you will keep updated). My rule of thumb is, if you are not excited about what you are posting, then no one else will be either. Explore what works for you, and conversation will follow.

LinkedIn Group discussions are another great way to connect with industry colleagues. You’ll not only find yourself talking to peers, but also to potential clients. Check out the group directory search and jump in!

Social media is great, but how do we get to the real conversations? The ones you walk away from saying: “wow that was super helpful.”

The answer is industry events, seminars, and organizations. Join your local ASMP chapter and attend one of their industry meet and greets. Check out your local Apple store for seminars on retouching and presentations from photographers and production people. Rental houses even sometimes have demonstrations on the latest and greatest camera gear. Sit in on a demo and learn something while you’re networking!

Once connected with people in your industry as friends and colleagues, they become part of your support team. You can reach out and ask advice on more specific things such as recommendations for crew members in certain cities, thoughts on fees to charge for a unique project, where to locate special rigging equipment, or even where to obtain a family of llamas.

The further you dive into networking, the more you will get out of it. Being a part of the community will give you the extra edge and support you need. So grab a cup of coffee, sit down wherever you are, and have a great chat with a colleague today!

Lynn Kyle brings a unique combination of agency and production experience to her role of creative consultant at Agency Access. She’s intimately familiar with the business end of commercial photography and illustration and has, over the last two decades, worked with high-profile artists as an Art Buyer, Producer and Artist Rep at top firms including Leo Burnett Chicago.

 

 

 

 
Categories: Business, Photo Industry

I Take Photographs To Make Discoveries For Myself

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:51am

I am interested in ideas. I am not interested in doing the same thing over and over again. The reason I take photographs is to make discoveries for myself. Always trying to piece together the puzzle, that’s where I get my rush. Once I find the answer I am looking for that’s usually it for a project, the excitement and energy is gone. I move onto something else, or away from that subject matter until I can view it with fresh eyes again.

via An interview with Trent Parke – Try Hard Magazine.

Categories: Business

Steven Lippman: Husband/Father/Athlete/Artist/Humanitarian

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 10:12am
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Self portrait in a back side tube
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Layback.  Photo: Justin Mehren
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Tube time. Photo: Evan Conway
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Hand plant 13 years old  Photo:  Bill Sharp
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Carve. Photo: Bill Sharp… Now

 

Steven Lippman

Personal Site: Steven Lippman Print + Film
Agency Site: Stockland Martel
Instagram: stevenlippman

Heidi: Once and athlete always an athlete. You were a competitive skater and surfer on a pro level for most of your life. How often do you currently train?

Steven: I’ve been skating since I was 9 and I still skate pools and half pipes. I’ve been surfing since I was 16, still love surfing here in Malibu whenever I can, and I surf remote waves all around the world.
My training time varies because of family and work of course. I have an amazing wife and two children that I love spending time with. My daughter is 22 and my son is 6, I’m so proud. My daughter is about to enter the working world with the same ethics I’m teaching my son. Be respectful of your surroundings, be the best person you can, be active and do the things you love. My son and I ride BMX, surf, he takes karate, he’s so full of life! I mountain bike and surf with my daughter. Anyone in my position knows that you are at the mercy of spontaneous moments, family is dynamic, and they come before my love of sport. My wife is an amazing cook, we eat healthy, I’m so lucky. It’s important for me to stay healthy and limber. All of those assets transcend into my personal and work life.

I know you are a dedicated father and husband, do home and work life blend? How does  it all fit in?
As I mentioned it’s about seizing pockets of time and being able to roll with them. Yes, my home and work life blend, they have to. My studio/office is part of my home and I chose that situation so I’m not away from my family any more then I have to be. When I have a break in work, we can be together and if they need me, I’m right here. It’s the best of both worlds and a juggling act to fit it all in, but it’s about making time for everything in life that’s important to you and designing your environment around that.
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Family Portrait in Costa Rica.
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Ryder and Reilley morning time.
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Mountain biking with my daughter
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My son, Ryder
I know you’ve been busy with work, what are you up to these days?
I just finished  big projects with Leo Burnett, Showtime, Fry Boots and I’m doing a TV commercial for Griffith products. I feel so grateful when clients hire me for my entire skill set and are open to ideas/collaborating. Unfortunately I don’t have any creative I can share from those just yet, though here’s a selection of my editorial, advertising and directing work.
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ESPN BODY ISSUE
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James Pearse
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Ed Hardy
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Lifestyle
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Lifestyle
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No Bad Days
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Surfing as a form of healing and therapy is a running theme in your life of giving back. I see you are Vice President of Operations for A Walk on Water (their primary goal is to share the therapeutic powers of the ocean through surf therapy for special needs children and their families) How do you organize your time to accomplish all of this?
I handle this the same way I do my work/family life. I flow with it and I’m dedicated. It’s organic and I make it all fit.
My love of surfing and skating shaped my career, they are intertwined. Prior to my photography and directing I was a model and surf/skate competitor documenting my friends and my life on the road, this is where I developed my eye.
I have so much to be grateful for from my surf/skate life. Once I focused more on my photography/directing career, I wanted to maintain the connection to my roots. For A Walk on Water I can transcend all my directing skills into producing big events, it’s a natural segway for me.
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Photo: Cat Gergory

My son Ryder, and our friend Sully whose father is Pat Notaro, founder of A Walk on Water.

You are also part of the The Blue Project (a nonprofit looking to  preserve the world’s oceans by rallying like minded people and educating the public) as well as an Ambassador for Surf Aid International, Life Rolls On, (a program dedicated to improving the life of kids with spinal cord injuries)  on Surfer’s Healing which specializes in autistic children. It takes a special type of person to volunteer and be such a giving ambassador, what speaks to you about these projects and how does this surface in your commercial and personal work?

It’s a constant reminder of how grateful I am for the life I’ve enjoyed and created for myself and family. Being able to see that same joy in a parents eye when their child catches a wave or simply enjoys the freedom of the ocean is an amazing experience for me. These projects bring me joy, ground me, and always drive me to the search for the truest meaning of reaching one’s potential.  To be 100% honest, I had founded the Blue Project, as time passed I simply couldn’t do it all, so that is currently on hold for the moment, there’s only so much I can do alone. There’s simply not enough time for me to do all I’d like to do, and do it well. What’s great about these interviews is that I have an opportunity to inspire people to get involved in the programs and events in the hopes they gain momentum and succeed.


Categories: Business

The New Networking

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:02am

[by Paul Oemig]

Cocktail parties. Crowded conferences. Brief business card exchanges — the tenets of traditional networking. While all those things certainly have their place, they are seldom a good method by which to build a solid network.

Unfortunately, in such environments there is rarely time to form relationships in earnest and of those in attendance, mentalities akin to the hunter are sometimes seen. Like fishermen casting nets, you may even witness some individuals impersonally rushing to collect as many contacts as possible or egotistically boasting only of their own accomplishments in an imprudent effort to be seen as desirable to work with.

But the intent of meeting someone should not be to simply pass off a job title. To build a strong network, one full of people who you know, trust, care about, and collaborate with, it is essential to both listen and share something worthwhile. As Scott Belsky of Behance put it: “Sharing is the new networking.”

The truth is, if you make great things and you have the guts to share them, and share the great things other people are making, great people will find you. In my experience, the best people, people I have later worked with, have been individuals I met while making things together — working on art councils and community volunteer projects. And when you find those individuals, share with each other meaningful things — what inspires you, your aspirations, and the things you’ve learned along the way.

Where do you share? Anywhere. Over coffee. Over drinks. In-person. Online. Sitting next to a stranger. It’s not the forum that matters, it’s the conversation that’s important.

Start sharing.

Paul Oemig is a Milwaukee-based photographer who is launching a breakfast lecture series to let creative communities share. He welcomes your stories and comments at paul@pauloemig.com and @pauloemig

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Building Your Network

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:01am

In today’s hyper-connected digital world, it’s easy to assume that social networking platforms are all you need.  But if you’re looking for connections that go deeper than the occasional “like,” social media alone isn’t enough.  This week, our contributors focus on how to build a network of relationships that will truly support your business and your goals. ~ Judy Herrmann, editor

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Pricing And Negotiating: Directing Video For A TV Commercial

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 10:06am

by Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Video of a restaurant interior

Licensing: Use of all video content captured in multiple broadcast television commercials

Location: A single restaurant location

Shoot Days: One

Director: Architectural and portraiture specialist

Agency: Medium-sized, based in the Northeast

Client: Large restaurant chain

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: A few months ago I worked with a photographer to successfully estimate an exterior architectural shoot that you can read about here. Within a week of delivering those files, the agency wanted to add on an extension to the project, and this time they needed video content to integrate into their commercial along with the stills. The concept was to capture video of the interior of one of their restaurants and stage a scene of professional talent interacting within the environment in the evening after the restaurant closed to the public. The final video would ultimately be edited down to just a few seconds, and the agency/client would be providing the location, casting, talent, wardrobe, styling and all of the video editing.

The photographer did not specialize in video, but based on his previous successful execution of the stills and the scope of this portion of the project, the client and agency were very comfortable with him taking on a directorial role, as opposed to being the man behind the camera. Therefore, rather than including a combined creative/licensing fee for the photographer, we simply labeled it as a “Director Fee” (hereafter I’ll refer to the photographer as “director”).

My first approach to determine the director fee was based on the previous estimate for the still photography. You can read how we arrived at a $50,000 fee in my previous article, but when analyzed in a pro-rated manner (which is how many agencies view estimates), it broke down to $2,500 per location or around $10,000 per day for 5 days of shooting (which is ultimately how long it took). Based on this information I felt that $6,000 was appropriate for a director fee, taking into account what the director had ultimately made as an effective fee on the previous shoot. I did, however, want to double-check this rate against other resources, and found that Getty charges around $4,200 for a 15-second clip for national broadcast TV use. Similarly, Corbis charges $4,500 for a clip with these specs. Based on my research I was confident that we were in the right ballpark.

I should also note that the format of our estimate in which we present the creative/licensing fee and the following expenses may be atypical for a video project. Since this was an extension of a still photo shoot, and since we were working with a print producer at the agency, the presentation and formatting of our document was appropriate. However, much larger video productions may warrant different formatting, and there are even industry standard documents (like theAICP bid form) that video production companies are accustomed to working with and are well received on the agency/client end.

Test Shoots: Prior to the actual shoot date, the agency and director agreed that a day was needed to not only scout the location, but to do a very rough test shoot using minimal gear to capture naturally lit video of the restaurant interior. It was an opportunity to give the agency a feel for the how the location actually looked, while also allowing the director to test out gear with the camera operator that would be working on the actual shoot. The fee included $1,500 for the director, $1,000 for the producer, $300 for an assistant and $750 for the camera operator, along with mileage, parking, meals and equipment expenses.

Director of Photography: The director was very proficient in lighting still images, but the level of production the agency required for the video meant bringing in an expert to help guide the grip and gaffer to set up the lights. We were shooting at night, but the interior needed to look like daylight was flowing in through the windows, and the DP would help to accomplish this while the director could primarily focus his attention on the overall concept and execution.

Camera Operator: While the director would be managing the talent and determining the primary camera settings, we accounted for the camera operator to be the one who would actually manipulate the camera while capturing the content. The rate we included accounted for a very experienced camera operator who would also be able to provide monitors/feeds for live client review.

Producer: The producer would be responsible for wrangling the crew, compiling a production book and handling pre-production arrangements. Additionally, the producer would make sure the shoot day goes according to schedule while ensuring the project stayed within budget.

First and Second Assistants: I accounted for two extra sets of hands to help out with gear on the shoot day, and to support the producer and all of the crew members throughout the day with miscellaneous tasks.

Digital Tech: While the camera operator would be providing equipment for the client to see the video on monitors in real time, the digital tech would be able to quickly process the video content for the client/agency to watch repeatedly in order to approve the content. This included $500 for their day, and $750 for a workstation. On a larger scale video shoot, this role might be labeled as DIT (digital image technician), but as I mentioned earlier, we were integrating formatting and terminology more in line with a still photo shoot.

Grip, Gaffer and Grip Truck: The DP would give lighting direction to the grip and gaffer who would then be responsible for setting up and adjusting all of the lights. Both the grip and gaffer that I corresponded with about the project worked for an equipment rental company, and they would be bringing the gear with them in a truck. Given the last minute nature of the project, we weren’t quite sure what exact equipment would be needed, so I included the cost for a very well stocked grip truck. In addition to the truck rental (which would cost $675), this included a long list of HMI lights and generators, as well as an even longer list of stands, modifiers and grip equipment.

Additional Equipment Rental: This accounted for all equipment other than lights/grip, including two 5D Mark III camera bodies, multiple lenses, extra large memory cards and a buffer for any other last minute gear the photographer would need once he scouted the location. Some of the gear he owned, and some he would need to rent or buy.

Delivery of Video by Hard Drive: The digital tech would dump all of the video onto a drive after the shoot, and this included the cost of purchasing a drive large enough to hold the video content and the shipping fees to send it to the agency.

Catering: There would be about 20 people on set including the crew, talent and client/agency representatives, and I included $50 per person for dinner and snacks throughout the evening. Typically, I’d figure a client like this would provide meals, but since the shoot was happening after business hours, the restaurant wouldn’t be able to provide food.

Miles, Misc: The restaurant wasn’t located in a very convenient place, and I expected to pay the crew mileage to get out and back. I included $200 for mileage, and then added $300 to help cover any additional unexpected expenses that might arise.

Results: After submitting our estimate, the art buyer told us they had a budget of $20,000, and asked us to see what we could do to reduce the price. I knew we wouldn’t be able to come down by that much, but revised the estimate by removing the tech’s workstation (she’d just be providing a laptop which the client was ok with), reducing the assistant rates to $250/day (the director had a few assistants that were willing to work for this rate) reducing the fee for the grip and gaffer (which they confirmed they’d be able to be flexible on) and reducing the catering to $35 per person (and noted that it wouldn’t be quite as an elaborate spread). Those changes reduced our bottom line by $1,500. Even though we weren’t able to get under $20k, our estimate was approved and I produced the shoot a few days later. Here was the final estimate:

Blinkbid

Hindsight: As the still photography and video worlds merge, it’s inevitable that clients will soon expect all photographers to offer video services (or at least expect to get stills and video from a single production). However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a photographer has to have experience shooting video. As in this case, photographers can take on the role of a director without actually being the one to light the scene or operate the camera. The director role still comes with great responsibility and pressure, but it’s ok for photographers to rely on lighting experts and experienced video crews to collectively get the job done.

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 big ad campaigns.

Categories: Business

Gearing up for Fall

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:01am

Fall is fast approaching and ASMP is here to help you gear up with fantastic online educational events and discounts on in-person programming.  Take advantage of these great opportunities to gain new sills and grow your business!

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: 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!
• • •
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 $20 when you register by July 25.

• • •

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.

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

Turning Smartphone Photography Into Physical Prints Is An Important Step

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 10:56am

Despite Jacobson’s enthusiasm for smartphone photography, he believes that turning these images into physical prints and displaying them in a gallery context was an important step. “It not only verifies smartphone photography but also allows viewers to consider their relationship with the images,” he said.

via Redefining Smartphone Photography – The New Yorker.

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

Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Brad Wilson

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 10:26am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I was riding in the passenger seat of a Volvo SUV. Headed North. My father was driving; my young son in the back seat.

We were going to Red River to ride some go-karts. A classic summertime ritual. The mountains were to the East, and out the driver side, we saw the great American desert, rolling all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

The western sky was dark and ominous, as there were massive rainstorms approaching us faster than an unarmed man can raise his hands at the sight of a loaded gun. It had been raining for weeks, so the deluge was clearly imminent.

Which made our go-karting endeavor look a tad futile.

My son asked whether we would make it in time. My father replied that he was an optimist, so we’d plow forward. My son, clever, but not omniscient, asked what an optimist was.

My Dad explained an optimist was a person who looked on the bright side, and expected things to work out well. A pessimist, he countered, tended to fear the worst, and assume it would come to pass.

“Which are you, Daddy,” the boy asked me?

“I’m neither, I said. I’m the third thing. A realist. I think sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t.”

“OK. You’re a realist. So will we get to ride the go karts,” he asked?

“That storm is coming really fast. If we get a ride in, I’d say we were lucky. I doubt we’ll get there before the track is too wet to be safe.”

Not that my predictive qualities are always spot on, but that day, it was not to be. The heavens opened, and we had to settle for raiding the candy store, and then getting back in the Swedish Tank to go home.

C’est la vie.

It’s easy, these days, to succumb to the belief that the world is coming to an end. The militarized mess in the St. Louis suburbs. Another war in the Holy Land. ISIS gobbling up territory in Mesopotamia. Planes shot out of the sky by a newly voracious and expanding Russia. (Forgive me, I meant Putin’s proxies in Eastern Ukraine.)

And then there are the stories about elephants being massacred for their ivory. Tigers killed for fake Chinese medicine. Or Rhinos slaughtered for horn to make some old guy’s penis hard.

Onward we march towards oblivion, it seems.

What sayeth the realist? Well, it is hard to be optimistic these days. But what choice do we have? If you’ve bred children, it’s far too sad to assume the world will die around them. Better to hope we’ll figure it out, but I’m not so sure.

Just in case, it might be wise to record nature’s bounty while it’s here. To embed likeness in paper, and safe keep it for future generations. (Sample conversation in 2114, “Daddy, what’s an elephant look like? Why did they go extinct?”)

Fortunately, the Santa Fe-based photographer Brad Wilson had done it for us. Even better, for posterity, he used a super-badass-high-end-digital camera, so the details are there in their hyper-real glory. (Eyelashes and all.)

I know this, because I went to photo-eye this week to pick up a new stack of books, as promised. And there the photos were on the wall, staring me down like an angry drunk mad-dogging you outside the movie theater at 9:45pm on a Friday night. (Speaking of Fridays, the exhibition opens tonight, if you happen to be in town.)

The prints are big, black and gorgeous. (Insert random inappropriate joke here.) If you have a chance to go see them, I’d highly recommend it. If not, of course, we always have the book, “Wild Life,” recently published by Prestel.

According to a promotional video they showed me at the store, the artist hired animal trainers to bring the creatures to a studio in LA. And the book says other pictures were shot at a raptor sanctuary in Española, a zoo in Albuquerque, and, of course, a location in St Louis, Missouri. (Wouldn’t be one of my reviews if the snake didn’t eat its tail.)

The pictures manage to be beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. The chimps are so clearly sentient. The big cats so fierce. The eagles so mesmerizing. In fairness, the owl photos are trapped in full bleed in the book, so their impact is muted, compared to the prints.

But this book oozes “future-historical-importance.” I think I brought up some of these concepts when I reviewed Sebastião Salgado’s “Genesis” a while back. I prefer this book, though.

That one seemed a tad emotionally manipulative. This feels more clean. More objective, if I might use a taboo word, for once. He threw up a black backdrop, brought in some rapidly disappearing animals, got really close with a great camera, and made the pictures.

Here. Look.

For now, the photographs are representations of living creatures. If we don’t change course, however, they will be all we have left. So says the realist.

Bottom Line: Fantastic record of the animal kingdom, while we have it

To Purchase “Wild Life” 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

A Quick Shot of Inspiration

ASMP's Strictly Business - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:01am

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. ~Winston Churchill

There are good days, bad months, great years and unforeseen setbacks. Occasionally, you may ask yourself why you got into this profession in the first place. Now and then this is a good question to ask. If the answer is because there’s nothing else you would rather do, then quitting will accomplish far less than failure. Success often comes on the heels of disaster, because to survive disaster one needs to take risks, adapt and change. If you know that being a photographer is what you’re meant to do, the best tool you can have at your side is the ability to persevere.

Jenna Close quickly learned to persevere during her career as an actor. It was one of the most important things she took with her when she became a photographer. 

 

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

Art Producers Speak: Kristyna Archer

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:56am

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 Kristyna Archer. Aside from her obvious talent as a shooter, she is personable, fun, able to roll with the punches and goes to the max to make people happy. We used her and my creatives are as smitten with her as I am. We are all excited about what the future holds for her.

This is part of a personal series I shot in 2012 called "Donut Doppelgängers." It seemed so nonsensical at the time, but I had to get out of my mind.  A 'stream-of-consciousness' later, I started comparing them to people.

This is part of a personal series I shot in 2012 called “Donut Doppelgängers.” It seemed so nonsensical at the time, but I had to get out of my mind.  A ‘stream-of-consciousness’ later, I started comparing them to people.

This image was inspired by Cast of Vices, an amazing Los Angeles designer who created these high end luxury versions of your average bodega bag (on right).  It struck a chord with me and I wanted to create a juxtaposition of the "faux" middle class trying so hard to uphold appearances, next to poverty level.  They are both still riding the bus ironically- not so far apart…

This image was inspired by Cast of Vices, an amazing Los Angeles designer who created these high end luxury versions of your average bodega bag (on right).  It struck a chord with me and I wanted to create a juxtaposition of the “faux” middle class trying so hard to uphold appearances, next to poverty level.  They are both still riding the bus ironically- not so far apart…

This image started with the phrase "We're all kids at heart" where I was using childlike props pairing them with adults showing vulnerability.  Yet this shot soon became about something entirely different when you pair a speedo next to a lollipop.  So I changed my crop and decided to get in your face about it.  I love how things can develop into something so much weirder and more vulgar- the subconscious at its best I guess?

This image started with the phrase “We’re all kids at heart” where I was using childlike props pairing them with adults showing vulnerability.  Yet this shot soon became about something entirely different when you pair a speedo next to a lollipop.  So I changed my crop and decided to get in your face about it.  I love how things can develop into something so much weirder and more vulgar- the subconscious at its best I guess?

Campaign I shot for Canon with GREY visually illustrating a sensory experience of the theme "baseball."

Campaign I shot for Canon with GREY visually illustrating a sensory experience of the theme “baseball.”

Campaign I shot for Oxxford Menswear.

Campaign I shot for Oxxford Menswear.

This is a personal project where I wanted it to feel like film stills, because the story is loaded with emotion.  The less purposeful and pulled back you are, the more honest it feels.

This is a personal project where I wanted it to feel like film stills, because the story is loaded with emotion.  The less purposeful and pulled back you are, the more honest it feels.

I do love denim- all kinds. And I wanted to celebrate it.

I do love denim- all kinds. And I wanted to celebrate it.

If you've grown up somewhere where you've never seen snow and freaked out when you saw it for the first time- thats how I felt when I saw an abundance of lemon trees in LA.  I was trying every possible way to make use.

If you’ve grown up somewhere where you’ve never seen snow and freaked out when you saw it for the first time- thats how I felt when I saw an abundance of lemon trees in LA.  I was trying every possible way to make use.

I like to document those people that have had an impact on my life.  Maren is one of them.

I like to document those people that have had an impact on my life.  Maren is one of them.

This happened randomly and all you can do is be ready to capture.  I thought for sure he would never smoke inside his beautiful "Restoration Hardware" home.  But I once I said it he was up for the challenge.

This happened randomly and all you can do is be ready to capture.  I thought for sure he would never smoke inside his beautiful “Restoration Hardware” home.  But I once I said it he was up for the challenge.

How many years have you been in business?
I went out on my own as a photographer 3 years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to Columbia College in Chicago and received a BFA in Photography. The camaraderie I experienced from both faculty and classmates during my time there was electric. Then you work your first day on set and you realize you know nothing about how this industry works. A formal education was a great foundation, but only scratched the surface.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I mean there’s a plethora of who, what, and whens that all culminated into “I don’t see how I could not do this everyday.” But specifically I had some amazing professors that would just rip apart your work in critique, which challenged me and pushed me to become a thorough and intentional artist. Linda Levy believed in me and pushed me out the door when I was afraid to make the leap from assisting to shooting. And of course there are those specific artists, directors, writers, cinematographers, that I am constantly inspired by and in awe of- Diane Arbus, Erwin Olaf, Wes Anderson, Anton Corbijn, Sagmiester, Larry David, Thom Yorke.

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 think the easiest way to answer this question is to “be random.” Put yourself in totally random places and situations, with different people all the time, and you will have a plethora of ideas to let bake until they are ready to hatch. That’s sort of what I do. Embrace the spontaneity in life. Also being present in the moment and in tune with all the hilarious human behavior that is happening constantly around you for great entertainment value. People are weird but we all try really hard not to show it. Yet the quirky parts of us are the best parts of us.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Ok, I am not trying to be a “goodie-two-shoes,” but honestly every client I have had thus far has had a respect for what I am bringing to the table and has allowed me to do what I do best. And vice versa, I respect what they need to make their client and team happy. You get exactly what they want, and then you give them a different perspective that sometimes you are unable to see from being too close to a project. It’s the perfect balance and a great collaboration. Everyone wants the best results for the most reasonable cost. You problem solve and think ‘out of the box’ to make something look expensive in a “bogo” kind of way.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
There’s nothing better than meeting someone in person, getting to know them, and seeing what work strikes a chord most for them personally. Yet meetings are hard to get, so I try to make sure my personality comes thru in the marketing materials that I put out into the world. Business is personal, so I love to write notes or make ironic statements on my printed promos. And as much as I wasn’t fond of social media before, now I’ve truly accepted it’s essential and a great tool for business. There are those that abuse it, but I think the power of the potential networking outweighs it.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
It’s over before its even started. That might be a little harsh on my part, but one thing about this industry is you must have a thick skin, strong sense of self, and succinct vision to get anywhere. Who really wants someone to spoon-feed what you think they want? It seems so disingenuous and unattractive. I suppose I relate it to dating. Stop trying so hard and just be yourself. Whatever you are passionate about the most will be the most obvious anyway.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Constantly. That’s the only thing you can do to perfect your craft, develop your style, and find your voice. You can’t be afraid of bad ideas. I think there’s a lot more to lose by not getting it down on paper, or further, creating and being afraid to share. What’s the point? It’s just a discussion or conversation I am trying to start, and there’s no right or wrong. I understand being vulnerable can be scary, but how can you be an artist and not put yourself out there and literally leave your heart on the page. It’s always your best stuff, even if it’s too revealing. The process of discovery and evolution of a concept will help cause a breakthrough. The more you create the higher your chances of making your best work all the time.

How often are you shooting new work?
All the time. Once a week to once a month I’m working on personal projects depending on how busy I get with client work.

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Kristyna is an advertising and editorial photographer who specializes in storytelling.  Her work focuses on conceptual narrative and portraiture. Her clients range from Canon, to Inc. Magazine, to the New York Times.  After growing up blocks from 8 Mile Road and traveling all over the Asia-Pacific as an on-location retoucher, she’s capable of finding a common denominator regardless of upbringing, culture, or language.  She is inspired by her own paradoxical observations, the idiosyncrasies of human behavior, and an inherent love for fashion and design. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Chicago. Kristyna is represented by Friend + Johnson.

www.kristynaarcher.com
www.friendandjohnson.com

Say hello at me@kristynaarcher.com
Follow her antics:
Instagram @kristynaarcher
Twitter @kristynaarcher

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

Don’t just do something—sit there!

ASMP's Strictly Business - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 12:01am

[by Colleen Wainwright]

Searching for the thing that has significantly changed my work life, I was surprised to find that it was not a tip or a tool or a tip on finding a tool, but a slow-acting, time-consuming, complete game-changer: sitting meditation. I started out using a guided meditation; then, two years ago, I got instruction in a meditation practice developed for civilians—i.e., folks with jobs and families, not “holy people”.

While meditating has made me neither rich nor famous, it has made me okay with not being either. I’m able to enjoy myself despite external circumstances in work life or life in general—both of which, if you haven’t noticed, can get pretty crazy these days!

Colleen Wainwright writes about approaching your work—and the marketing of it—in a different way. (And a very different way since she studied with her Vedic meditation teacher two years ago!)

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Daily Edit – Max Gerber iPhone Promo

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:28am

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iPhone  Promo

18×18” square, printed on uncoated text stock

Photographer:  Max Gerber
Instagram: @msgphoto

How difficult was it to edit down to 81 images of the 700 you shot?
Actually, I stopped counting after 700, so I’m guessing I’m near 800 by now. But yes, the editing and selection was difficult. From the beginning the important thing for me was that it not seem to be about any one picture, or about any one individual. That goes for putting the promo together and also for the project as a whole. Anyone I come across under the right circumstances – that is, the light and environment – I’ll ask if I can take a photo of them,  over time it became rather democratic.

The promo poster is a 9×9 grid of 81 portraits in total. Since I caption each individual image with the person’s first name and occupation only, when trying to get an edit that represents an overview of the larger project, who the people are mattered to me a lot. To edit them I just went through and picked out the shots that either had special meaning to me because of my relationships with the people in the photos, or I chose people who just had remarkable faces. Unfortunately that didn’t narrow it down altogether too much. Nearly everyone’s face is fascinating, depending on what you’re looking for. I think my initial edit had something around 150 images, and then was further narrowed down from there. I built it like a jigsaw puzzle. It was a lot of shuffling things around at first, but then I worked out of anchor points. The corners were important. The middle edges were important. The center of the poster was important.

When approaching the layout of the grid I wanted mostly to make sure that no one area drew too much attention. This thing is not about any one person. You should be able to look at it and focus on something – someone – different each time. Also, to be honest, I’m very aware of the potential to be messing with things indefinitely. At a certain point you have to just call it done and move on with your life. With any promo I’m absolutely certain I’m agonizing over details far more than anyone who will actually receive it.

How did you decide what images were edited into each row? Was there a mix you were looking for?
Yes, definitely. I wanted a good mix of male and female, and a good mix of different visual types of people and different occupations. I have everything from students and laborers, kids to CEOs, actors and even a Nobel prize winner. Like I said, the primary goal was to make it so that no one person, regardless of who they are or what they do, took precedence over another. Of course, everyone’s eye settles somewhere at first and I’m always interested to see which pictures stand out to people. It’s always different.

In laying out each row I just had to attempt not to cluster similar types. For example, I like that the Nobel prize winner is sandwiched between a PA and a security guard. It’s an equalizer.

How long had you been working on this series and is it still ongoing?
I took the first picture that could arguably be said to be part of the series in the early summer of 2012. I was introduced to instagram by Charlie Hess, an art director here in LA, and did the standard thing that people did at the beginning of instagram – pictures of my wife, my cat, my lunch, etc. It was great fun and taking snapshots was very liberating at first. After I took the first real portrait using this processing method, I looked at it in the overall instagram grid of what I was doing previously and thought it might be cool to try to get a whole row to match up. So I did a couple more and liked it. Then, of course, I thought it would look cooler if I could get the whole screen of thumbnails to match, and it kind of took off from there. Honestly, I didn’t expect it to continue for so long and I didn’t expect people to respond to it. At the time I was doing a lot of corporate photography that I wasn’t very invested in personally. The instagram portraits became something I could do for myself under my own parameters that reminded me what I love about portrait photography.

The project is definitely still ongoing. After 50 portraits I found myself actively looking for people every day. After 100 I started to get a good idea of what types of things would work – what environments, what light, what clothing, what type of people. After 200 portraits I started to appreciate the sheer scope of the people I’d encounter. I assume that one day I’ll stop doing these portraits – that I’ll either get bored of them, or the various apps I use to process them will cease to be supported. Every time I consider moving on to something else, though, I find someone with such a remarkable face that I’m sucked right back in.

Carmelo, doorman

Carmelo, doorman

Kyle, auto body tech

Kyle, auto body tech

Sharky, student

Sharky, student

Sergio, shop foreman

Sergio, shop foreman

Daniel, carpenter

Daniel, carpenter

Jose, carpenter

Jose, carpenter

Dwain, neuroscientist

Dwain, neuroscientist

I heard your filters are proprietary, do you have plans to develop and license this?
Ha! I suppose it says a lot about my business acumen that this has never occurred to me before.
Short answer: No. Long answer: No, because focusing on the how distracts from the why. From the beginning the most common question I heard was “Hey, man, what filter is that?” and right away that distracted from the point for me. When I look at all the portraits together it’s not the commonality of processing that’s interesting to me, it’s the commonality of people. The specific parameters of the style I chose to spit them out into the world hopefully makes them seem nifty enough to look at closer, and democratizes them. Everyone treated the same way – same crop, same process, similar light. Everyone as a group.

All the photos are shot and edited fully in the iPhone. I think if people knew how straightforward it really was they’d be disappointed. In truth it’s not one filter, it’s a combination of things through a handful of different apps. It’s just a process I stumbled upon accidentally and sort of liked enough to try again. Photography seems to suffer somewhat from being an inherently technical medium. Everyone looks for the trick rather than for the intent. Tricks come and go, and ultimately trends fade and shift and blend into each other. But I totally get it. I understand that feeling of seeing a picture and being struck by the wizardry of it and wanting to know how it’s done. That’s part of the wonder that a technically based medium affords. It’s great, when it doesn’t overtake the intention of the photo. I see this from photo students a lot. They figure out Photoshop, or they learn to crank the clarity slider all the way up to 100, or they figure out how to use edge lights.  All. The. Time. Rather than taking pictures that have emotional meaning or strive for connection they instead have . . . a look. That said, I completely understant. There’s a lot of noise out there and it’s incredibly difficult to get noticed in this business. Having a look gets you in the door, but then there’s got to be something else.

Then again, maybe you’re right? Maybe I should reveal the trick and license it, perhaps that would free me to go on to the next thing. I think I’d miss doing it, though.

How did you select your subjects?
One of the nice things about the instagram portraits is that they’re truly not for anyone but myself. I didn’t start taking them with an eye toward making a promo, toward impressing an art director, toward pleasing a client, toward satisfying a subject. I just liked straightforward portraits, found a process that worked for me, and wanted to pay more attention to the people in my life. That’s really what it boils down to now, after so many. Photography has long been used as a tool for memory, and it’s been really wonderful having this record of all the people I encounter. I remember things better this way. I remember names. I remember where we were. I remember what we talked about. Without being vigilant for the next face I worry that sometimes the days would just blend into each other too much, if that makes any sense.

In terms of selecting subjects. . .well. . . first of all, any person that comes to my house during daylight hours is pretty much fair game, as far as I’m concerned. That’s why I’ve got so many pictures of handymen and contractors and cable installers and plumbers and such. My wife is very patient with me doubling back into a store or down a street to ask a stranger if I could take their picture while she waits. Someone on my feed recently commented “I love how you collect people”, and I hadn’t really thought of it like that, but maybe that’s what it is. Charlie Hess refers to it as my Family of Man, though that seems fairly lofty to me. I just like taking portraits with my phone. It’s great fun, even when other aspects of photography are not great fun.

How long did each portrait take, describe the process please.
I have a very low rate of refusal. Out of 800 or so subjects I think I’ve been turned down maybe 20-30 times. I consider that quite good. The actual process is very simple, and usually takes only around 30 seconds to a few minutes, depending on how chatty we’re all feeling. Some open shade or a good window, and a plain white wall, that’s it. I try to keep it as simple as possible so that the person can be the interesting thing. I don’t want it to be about the light or the environment.

We live in an age where people are hyper aware of the power of their image, of what it can be used for and how far it can travel away from them. People are cautious, and rightly so. Still, I think the fact that I’m shooting on my phone negates some of people’s suspicions. Certainly if I were walking around with a Canon and a 24-70mm lens trying to do the same thing I’d get shut down far more often. Everyone has an iPhone and everyone takes pictures with it all the time. It’s perceived as no big deal. I have a grid of about 30 of the photos on my phone’s lock screen and if someone asks why I want to take their picture I usually just show them my phone and say “Oh, I’ve done about 700 of these.” Which, of course, is not a reason at all, but that usually is all it takes. I think that because there are so many, and I tell potential subjects that there are so many, it both relieves them of the pressure and also gives them just enough attention that it’s incentive to proceed. That is, sure, it’s a little momentary ego boost, and then they can get lost in the crowd if they’re not thrilled with the result. At least, I think so. It probably also helps that i’m a short, scrawny man who seems vaguely non-threatening.

How did you take your portrait?
I took that on my birthday in 2012. Honestly I don’t know why I did a profile that day, maybe just to accent my out of control bedhead. In terms of using it on the reverse of the promo poster, that was a somewhat last minute decision. Initially I wanted to do a grid of silhouettes with captions to mimic the grid on the front of the poster. That proved to be too difficult in light of my limited Photoshop skills, low patience level and also because I was afraid it would bleed through too much once the final piece was printed. Ultimately in deciding to just put one larger photo and captions on the back it always seemed like it would be a self portrait. If I chose just one of the random 800 to make larger it would give that one person too much weight and it didn’t really make sense. Then again, now that i’m talking about it, it sure does seem egotistical to make my own head the biggest thing there, doesn’t it? I think I chose that one because I wanted it to be decidedly different from the main group. That profile makes me laugh, reminds me that I should get a haircut more often, and hopefully doesn’t seem too serious.

Has this promo been well received and gotten you some work?
I’ve printed 1000 pieces. I printed so many because separate even from photo editors and art directors/buyers/whatnot, I want to make sure that the people who actually like this series of pictures have the opportunity to get a poster. Therefore a lot of my first run of mailing was to non-potential-clients, some of whom I know personally, some not, who I just thought would enjoy having it. I plan to mail out approximately 600-800 or so. I’ve already sent out about 75 and gotten a pretty good response, mostly from people I already know. I’m in the process of addressing and sending out the remainder – which I’m doing by hand, therefore it’s taking a long time. Probably not the best plan, now that I think about it, but it feels so much better. Again, little details that nobody cares about except me. I still maintain that the survival rate of all of these promo pieces that photographers send out is so abysmally low that unless you’re doing something almost entirely for yourself because you want it to exist in the world as an object somewhere, then there’s really no point. I’m fully aware that 90% of them are destined for the trash. Life is an impermanent thing. I would be sending them out a whole lot faster, but at the moment I’ve been distracted by a week old infant. These portraits are at @msgphoto – The cutest newborn the world has ever seen is at @miloandclark.

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What are you typically shooting these days?
Most recently portraiture. I’ve photographed Frank Gehry for El Semenal, the largest Sunday magazine in Spain. Earlier this week I photographed a trauma surgeon in a specially configured operating room partially funded by the DOD for a hospital research magazine here in Los Angeles. Unfortunately those publications haven’t yet gone to print so I can’t share the photos. Most of my clients have long publication cycles, but here are a couple of relatively recent things.

Nicholas, 29 year old stomach cancer patient, for Discoveries Magazine

Nicholas, 29 year old stomach cancer patient, for Discoveries Magazine

Dr. Arieh Warshel, 2013 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, photographed for USC

Dr. Arieh Warshel, 2013 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, photographed for USC

DL Hughley for New Wave Entertainment/DVD Cover (out-take)

DL Hughley for New Wave Entertainment/DVD Cover (out-take)

 
Dan Curry, Visual Effects Supervisor for the Star Trek TV shows, photographed for Middlebury College.

Dan Curry, Visual Effects Supervisor for the Star Trek TV shows, photographed for Middlebury College.

Categories: Business

Quick Tip: Automate

ASMP's Strictly Business - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 12:01am

[by Pascal Depuhl]

I use technology wherever possible to help me be more efficient, accurate and responsive. Case in point – the contact form on my website. Looks like a couple of simple data fields, but under the hood it’s linked directly into my CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

© Pascal Depuhl

© Pascal Depuhl

As soon as the submit button is hit, a personalized email is sent automatically thanking the person for their interest in working with Photography by Depuhl, at the same time all data is entered into my cloud based CRM database, which emails me, letting me know that someone just contacted me via my website. This lets me get as close to the moment of relevance in a search as I know how to get. My clients love it.

Pascal Depuhl just was interviewed for the recent ASMP sponsored online course, Build Your Network, about how he uses SalesForce to manage his contacts, keep track of his schedule and how Salesforce helps in producing his projects.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

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