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Joe Riis stuggles to find the balance when work takes over your life

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 06/15/2016 - 12:34pm

The short film “Joe” highlights Riis’s work in the Yellowstone ecosystem, but it also exposes a much more relatable side of him—the struggle to find balance between life and a job that has basically become his life. “Is my work worth spending more time on my work than my girlfriend?” he asks in the film. “Is my work worth essentially dedicating my life to it? And that changes from time to time. Sometimes I think that, and other times I think: You know, I should just pack it in. I should just go into town and get a job, and actually have a real relationship.”

Source: adventure journal – Joe and the Pronghorns

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 06/14/2016 - 10:53am

 
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Marie Claire

Creative Director: Nina Garcia
Design Director: Clare Ferguson
Photo Director: James Morris
Photo Editor: Fiona Lennon
Art Director: Wanyi Jiang
Associate Art Director: Melanie Springhetti Teppich
Photographers: Keirnan and Theo

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
We definitely do our best work when clients let us do our own art/creative direction. Collaboration is fun, but it can sometimes lead to too many compromises. True creatives trust their artists. James (Photo Director) allowed us to be ourselves. He was a pleasure to work with.

What background is this particular shot and what was the through line with the styling and overall look to this story?
Our thread for this story was to create a loose social narrative. We try not to get too literal. We also like to give context, so that images aren’t just product shots. We usually find materials we think are beautiful and exciting, and see what works.

How did you overcome the reflections in this shot?
We don’t try to overcome reflections too often. In the case of mirrored objects, we just try to make it work in our favor.

Do you have a lead food stylist you collaborate with?  Is it typically Maggie Ruggiero? I love her work! I see you both work on Gather.
We work mainly with Maggie Ruggiero, and Victoria Granof. They are both absolute pro’s.

Do you both shoot the assignments?
Yes, we are truly a team. We also both do set styling, though Theo is really the Eleanor to my Steve Zissou.

What are each other’s strengths?
I suppose that Theo is a little more left brain to my right brain… but that can switch depending on the circumstance. Either way, we even each other out.

How did you two meet and tell us how your working relationship unfolded.
We met in college, and started living together soon after. We got married in 2009. The thought if working together dawned on us early, though we weren’t sure it could work. However, after almost two years now (and a few tears), it’s been a wonderful collaboration. We definitely overlap in so many ways.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Steve Simko

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 06/13/2016 - 9:07am

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Steve Simko

 

Who printed it?
I sourced it through FOXTONE PACKING in New York City. He’s a print broker and is known for his foil stamping expertise.

Who designed it?
Myself and longtime friend/designer Peter Scherrer at STUDIO MOUSETRAP here in Los Angeles.

Who edited it?
Myself. I had originally chosen a different image but felt it like I might have missed something in the first edit and went back a couple weeks later and found this timeless image.

How many did you print?
500 total with 300 for the mailing and 200 for hand outs.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
2-3 times a year with a very specific target of photo editors and art buyers.

Tell us about this image.
This image is from a personal project I photographed with Michael Wilkinson (Oscar nominated costume designer) and his husband Tim Martin. I had shot Michael a couple of years ago and they came to me with an idea for a project they were working on for their new branding company and asking if I had any interest in shooting some Haute Couture clothing. Yes, please !

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Categories: Business

Getty Images v. Walter A. Kowalczuk

Photo Business Forum - Fri, 06/10/2016 - 5:04pm
Getty Images today notified contributors that on June 8th, 2016 it filed a lawsuit against Walter A. Kowalczuk because they allege he "downloaded thousands of images without authorization from Getty Images and profited from those downloads.  In addition, Getty Images believes that Mr. Kowalczuk was not acting alone, and the company is actively pursuing other possible infringers."

Getty Images has been the subject of many criticisms online for their aggressive handling of copyright infringement claims, and just two days ago Geekwire published "Getty Images rights claim against Seattle startup raises ‘phishing scam’ concerns", however, the article notes that the infringer (Aaron Bird) in this case "...will end up paying the settlement fee..."because, well, he infringed. Bird's concern centered around the question of a phishing scam and not whether or not he actually infringed on the work.

It is obvious that, with a reported 80,000,000 images in their archives, even a one-tenth-of-one-percent (.01%) number of infringements in a year that's still 8,000 copyright infringement cases. As such there has to be a system to handle that many infringements.  In 2013, in an effort to resolve what was likely massive infringement issues with Pinterest, Getty entered a deal with Pinterest, which PBN reported on here - Deception? Getty Images & The Pinterest Deal (12/13/13) and again PBN reported here - Monetizing Getty's 35M Image Archive via FREE Editorial Uses - about Getty offering a solution to reduce infringements through free use of the work they represent. While PBN wrote critically about both undertakings, and questions remain about the success of each, the question remains as to whether or not Getty Images contributors are receiving a portion of the revenue from these efforts, however, Getty is trying to find ways to reduce infringement and monetize the content they represent.

Getty Images should continue to aggressively pursue any theft of the intellectual property that they own wholly, or which they are charged with protecting on behalf of their contributors.

The Getty 2011 Contributor Agreement specifies:
1.11 Right to Control Claims. Getty Images shall have the right to determine, using its best commercial judgment, whether and to what extent to proceed against any third party for any unauthorized use of Accepted Content. You authorize Getty Images and Distributors at their expense the exclusive right to make, control, settle and defend any claims related to infringement of copyright in the Accepted Content and any associated intellectual property rights (“Claims”). You agree to provide reasonable cooperation to Getty Images and Distributors and not to unreasonably withhold or delay your cooperation in these Claims. Getty Images will not enter into any settlement that will compromise your ownership of the copyright in Accepted Content or that prohibits your future conduct with respect to Accepted Content without your prior written consent. Getty Images will pay you Royalties on any settlements it receives from Claims. If Getty Images elects not to pursue a Claim, you will have the right to pursue it.
Infringers don't like getting caught stealing, and so many claim innocence or ignorance, or attempt to fall back on a faulty fair-use claim. When those don't work, they begin to try to characterize Getty's efforts - wrongfully - as "extortion".  "The Art Law Journal" is a blog that is masquerading as a storied institution of art law journalism, but is nothing more than a facade - a week attempt by it's parent company, Orangenius, to appear to be supportive of creators and their rights. Their article "How to Respond to a Getty Images Extortion Letter"  includes the characterization that Getty "has created an entire business around sending letters to suspected copyright infringers and demanding exorbitant payments in return for not being dues [sic]." What Getty's business is built around, is the lawful licensing of intellectual property, so the author is flawed in his characterization of Getty's "entire business".  The author offers the defense of his writings by noting of his tips on how to respond to Getty "This response letter is not designed to alleviate anyone’s responsibility if they are infringing on Getty Images copyrights." It's pretty clear, if you downloaded an image and did not obtain permission to use the image in a non-fair-use situation and you did not pay a fee for said use, you're infringing. 


In August of 2009, PBN published a post titled Obama Image Copyright Infringement Issues  where Getty was also pursing the infringer of works Getty was representing.




The case is not currently listed in the online records database, which can sometimes take several days to update. When it does, we will update the story with the case number and formal "plaintiff v. defendant" title.


(entire statement after the jump)


Statement from Getty Images regarding the Kowalczuk case

As you know, we take copyright infringement and the protection of your rights very seriously and work hard to ensure that your work is properly licensed. Getty Images is continually pursuing a high number of copyright infringements, usually with the aim of turning individual infringers into customers. 

However, we want to let you know about an unusually serious and organized infringement case which you may see reported by the press [as it is in the public domain].

Getty Images has taken action against a serious copyright infringer who was discovered to have improperly accessed, downloaded and distributed Getty Images content through social media. 

In early March 2016, Getty Images received a report from one of its customers alerting us to suspected copyright infringements that were taking place via a private group hosted on Facebook.  

The ensuing investigation revealed the Facebook group was being used by some members as a forum for unlawfully trading and/or selling sports photographic imagery owned by or exclusively licensed to Getty Images.  As alleged in the lawsuit filed on June 8th 2016, defendant Walter A. Kowalczuk was an active member of this forum and used it to offer for sale, high resolution Getty Images images, and images belonging to other photo companies, for as little as $0.75 per image, using code names to hide the true source of content and to conceal his unauthorized sales.

While Getty Images’ investigation thus far has revealed significant infringement, it believes that further investigation will reveal that Mr. Kowalczuk downloaded thousands of images without authorization from Getty Images and profited from those downloads.  In addition, Getty Images believes that Mr. Kowalczuk was not acting alone, and the company is actively pursuing other possible infringers.  Getty Images filed a complaint against Mr. Kowalczuk for copyright infringement, violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and other claims.  That complaint was filed in the United States District Court in Cleveland, Ohio.

Getty Images strongly supports a robust and fair industry that recognizes and remunerates our contributors whose expertise, time and livelihood is adversely affected by copyright infringements such as those incurred by Mr. Kowalczuk. 

We intend to hold Mr. Kowalczuk and any others involved in this illegal marketplace accountable for their infringements.
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Categories: Business

“Collected” at Pier 24

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 06/10/2016 - 9:36am

by Jonathan Blaustein

You know me by now.

Opinions typically flow from my mind to my keyboard faster than OJ Simpson running through an airport to catch a plane.

It’s rarely hard for me to write, and by the time I’ve finished an article, I don’t even know how long it’s taken me. I live and die by the flow, and normally it’s all about the living.

But not today.

Today, I’m struggling to gather my thoughts, like a chef who just can’t figure out the final ingredient to give his soup the proper complexity. (Thyme? Red Chile? Oregano? Paprika? Help!)

I guess it was bound to happen, as the end of my crazy academic year dove-tailed perfectly with my recent trip to San Francisco, and an over-abundance of writing projects.

Basically, I’m burned out, yet finally staring at a summer schedule that will give me a chance to recharge, and summon new ideas with which to bombard you every Friday. I’m only human, and muscling through a column every now and again is not the worst thing in the world.

The problem is that, like last week, I’m trying to figure out a way to write about a small, brilliant part of a larger, still- interesting exhibition. I get the feeling that SFMOMA did not exactly appreciate my efforts last week, as the PR folks there have suspiciously ignored my emails since.

Those guys gave me swag, which was a first, but likely didn’t realize that I speak my mind, and am not afraid to offend. Similarly, Pier 24, the free photo exhibition space on the Bay in San Francisco, also welcomed me graciously.

They arranged for me to visit in-between slots, (there are 3 per day,) and then Associate Director Allie Haeusslein met me for an impromptu interview as well. I felt special, which is one way that organizations encourage journalists to dull the blades of their metaphorical rapiers.

So let me state the obvious here: Pier 24 is pretty amazing. It is a 20,000 square foot exhibition space that is free, open to the public by reservation, and devoted to crafting an unparalleled viewer experience. They only let in 30 people at a time, (excluding the rare journalistic privilege,) so you never have to worry about tripping over your neighbors.

Their current show, “Collected,” is devoted to the collectors who support the Bay Area scene, as is the new “California and the West” show at SFMOMA. It is hard for me to write that, and still tame my sarcasm, but it is simply the reality in America 2016.

We all know about the 1%, and the 1% of the 1%. We know that America is literally, TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, and that China has overtaken us as the most dynamic, if not largest, economy in the world.

Oil-rich kingdoms may drip black gold, but everyone in the US is busy trying to cleave off a slice of some billionaire’s cake. And as art has not been deemed particularly necessary in a STEM-obsessed world, museums and artists alike are now extremely beholden to the contemporary patrons. (Everything old is new again, right?)

The stark truth is that the degree of wealth concentration has only increased the power of those with mega-resources. And the Bay Area art scene was proof positive: pride of place goes to the capitalists, right now, not the content creators.

There was no gallery guide at Pier 24, when I visited, as it had yet to be printed. But there was a little catalogue devoted to the collectors, each of whom had a room displaying their treasures. And we’re talking about “World Class” work here, including luminaries like Robert Frank, (who gets his own gallery,) Gerhard Richter, and Cindy Sherman.

There was an excellent room filled with the F.64 female artists: Alma Lavenson, Connie Kanaga, and Dorothea Lange. Irving Penn popped up, unannounced, with a wicked portrait of Georgia O’Keefe, and contemporary work sat beside mug shots of anonymous 1950’s women, whose sorrow will never be properly revealed.

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Pier 24 rocks, and we should all be thankful that the Pilara Foundation chose to turn its necessary storage space into a cutting-edge exhibition facility. (Gleaned that little tidbit from my interview with Allie.)

Basically, the first 1.5 hours of my visit there were spent looking, thinking, and occasionally trying to guess who made the work. (Unless it was blindingly obvious, like the Frank room.) Allie also said they were intentionally challenging viewers by denying them wall text, so that the pictures could drive conversation, rather than the artist’s name.

Point taken.

But at the end of my visit, I bumped right up against the kind of “Spectacular Artistic Vision” that reminds you why you got into this business to begin with. (Courtesy of William Eggleston, the god of color photography.)

This show, “Collected,” features two rooms filled with nothing but images from the artist’s seminal “Los Alamos” series. If color photography had an ur-text, this would likely be it.

All around me, I saw snazzy old cars, burger stands, Coca Colas, and saturated skies. I saw a naive America, one packed with racial tension, as we are today, but with a chest puffed up with its sense of destiny.

I saw an America that was united in its favorite color: Coca Cola red. Again and again, Eggleston utilizes it, often distinct from Coke itself. Matthew Weiner, another great artist, chose to close his seminal “Mad Men” with a coke and a smile, and we all know that Coke is a powerful, wealthy, publicly traded corporation, selling toxic sugar-water.

But back in the 60s, I think it represented more than that. It was American entrepreneurship, sugar and caffeine married together, bubbles of effervescence, and a depth of color that we now associate with Target.

Coke was America, as it saw itself. Energetic, world-beating, sweet, earthy, and endlessly satisfying. It was America’s mega-export, before McDonalds.

I always tell my students that light creates color, and color creates mood. These pictures, stacked with deep Red, White and Blue, are as romantic as it gets, in particular because they make sure to balance with loneliness and ennui, rather than veering towards boosterism and propaganda.

(I asked last week when exactly Donald Trump thinks America was great, and I suspect this is what he has in mind.)

I’d bet anything that Mr. Eggleston never thought of this work as a paean to America at the height of its power, with undercurrents of controversy and violence. But a country built on violence and controversy can not begrudge, if it remains deeply embedded in its national character.

He’d probably just say he was out taking pictures, because that’s what you do when you’re a photographer.

Part of why I do get burned out sometimes, in the dual role of artist and critic, is that I yearn to see work this good more often. When Eggleston was out there shooting all the time, (because he apparently didn’t need a day job,) there were dozens of photographers chasing the same desire.

Now, there are tens of thousands of us. And greatness does not go around in that type of supply.

If you want to get better, I’m always telling you, go look at the best stuff. If you’re lucky, you don’t even have to get on an airplane to do it. (I do.)

But if you live anywhere near the Bay Area, hit up the Pier 24 website and book a place to see this show. You might well be seduced by the beautiful-if-veneerish Richard Learoyd room, or the dazzling music-industry gallery featuring the collection of Nion McEvoy.

There are millions of dollars worth of work on the wall, and even rooms that challenge what you think you know about photo history. (In particular two galleries teeming with lesser-known, feminist photographs from the 70s. Yes, there were a lot of boobs.)

For me, spending twenty uninterrupted minutes with Eggleston’s genius was a blessing. It reminded me that finding your own voice is necessary for true cultural impact, and that we’re living in a time when our culture is so striated that almost no one can touch all of America at once. (Good luck, Beyoncé. Have fun, Disney.)

But when we get the chance to steep ourselves in the vestiges of innovation, and the color palette of a once-dominant Empire, it normally costs more than what Pier 24 is charging.

Nothing.
Nothing at all.

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Charles Schiller

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 06/09/2016 - 10:41am

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Charles Schiller

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How long have you been shooting?
30 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Pratt graduate with degree in photography.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
The challenge was to make food look good out of the bag as purchased.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This project was originally shot over 4 months and then presented 2014. A second installment was added approximately 6 months later.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
That greatly depends on the project. Generally 2 or 3 days of test shooting.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes, my work is posted on Facebook, instagram and tumbler.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I did get some internet response from out of the bag but nothing viral.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?

Yes

Statement:
out of the bag was a self assigned personal project. the goal was to produce beautiful appetizing images of purchased prepared food with no food stylist or props, just what came out of the bag. all the food in the original series was from the old chelsea studio neighborhood. the plan is to continue the series with food purchased in downtown jc. it should be out some time this fall.

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Charles Schiller has been a new york based photographer for 30 years. specializing in food and beverages but also with extensive experience shooting still life and products. the studio recently moved from nyc to the powerhouse arts district in downtown jersey city. the new studio is located at 150 bay street just 2 blocks from the grove street path station.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

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Categories: Business

Pricing & Negotiating: Environmental Portraits of Client Employees

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 9:16am

Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Individual and small group environmental portraits of client employees

Licensing: Collateral and Publicity use of up to 34 images for three years

Location: Client offices

Shoot Days: Three

Photographer: Portrait specialist

Agency: N/A—Client direct

Client: A mid-sized regional financial services company

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: We recently helped a photographer bid on a project for which he was the only photographer being considered. He’d shot a similar project for the same client, a mid-sized financial services company, years earlier, so we had some sense of the budget and production expectations (you can’t ask for a better bidding situation!). Though the concept was straightforward, environmental employee portraits at the client’s headquarters, the photographer’s stylized approach would elevate the portraits from a corporate feel to more of an ad campaign feel. This is something that the client was interested in, and it would ultimately drive the value up toward the top end of the range for this kind of project and usage.

Though we generally try to avoid pricing on a day-rate basis, we’ve noticed a trend in corporate collateral budgets. Depending on the deliverables and specific licensing, we’re often negotiating corporate collateral shoots in the neighborhood of 3,500.00/day plus expenses. For the average deliverables (10-15 images per day) and time-limited collateral usage, this is a middle of the road rate for corporate portraits/lifestyle work. We’re occasionally, if not often, seeing budgets around 3,500.00 flat, inclusive of usage, expenses and processing, which is on the lower end of reasonable. Try as we might to push back in those cases, it will often boil down to a take it or leave it situation. Thankfully, we had a bit more leeway in this case.

For this project, we were able to push the creative and licensing fee up to 18,150.00. Having insight into previous budgets for this client, knowing that this photographer was the only one being considered and factoring in the value of his unique, stylized approach, we felt comfortable pushing the envelope. Additionally, the client’s request for advertising usage options (which we set at 2,000.00 per image due to the limited duration and geography) indicated that the photographer’s stylized approach would be all the more important—and valuable—to the client. Pricing this out on a per-image basis, we would set the value for the first image at 2,000.00, 1,000.00/image for images 2-4, 500.00/image for images 5-24 and 350.00/image for images 26+.

Client Provisions: We made sure to indicate that the client would provide locations, subjects, requisite releases and catering (from their cafeteria). This client also happened to have a video production team on staff and a small production studio. To save on the production costs, they offered to provide grip equipment, their usual groomer and a second assistant for the project.

Tech/Scout Days: We included a tech/scout day to walk through the office and determine the best locations to shoot the various individual and group portraits the day before the shoot.

First Assistant: We included a first assistant to attend the tech scout day and all three shoot days.

Equipment: We estimated 1,200.00/day for two DSLR bodies, a handful of lenses, enough portable strobes for two sets and a few odds and ends that the client’s internal video team couldn’t supply.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: This covers the time, equipment and costs for the initial import, edit, batch color correction and upload of the images via FTP (or similar) for client review.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: We included basic color correction and file cleanup as a lump sum (based on 75.00/image in this case), which protects the processing fee in the event the client ultimately selects fewer than 34 images.

File Transfer: This covers the cost of two hard drives and the shipping of one of those drives (containing all hi-res processed selects) to the client.

Miles, Meals, Misc.: We included a healthy miscellaneous line to cover breakfasts for the crew, local transportation and any other unexpected expenses that may pop up throughout the shoot.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project and shot it a few weeks later. The client has not yet decided to exercise any of the additional usage options.

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

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit: Miller Mobly

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 06/07/2016 - 9:35am

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The Hollywood Reporter


Director of Photography: Jennifer Laski
Photo Editor: Carrie Smith / Jennifer Sargent
Creative Director: Shanti Marlar
Photographer: Miller Mobly

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Writer: Libby Peterson

The photograph for the Rangefinder cover was originally commissioned by The Hollywood Reporter.
I think it’s important when great images get a second life and I enjoy the fact they chose this cover image to honor Miller’s career.

You have a portfolio chock-full of celebrity portraits, what made this one unique?
I think there’s a lot of simplicity in this photograph that makes it beautiful. The lighting is simple and understated, the clothing is dark and not distracting. The warms colors of the highlights go in hand with the blues and greens in the shadows. And of course, the subject. Walken was one of my dream subjects (probably one of most photographer’s dream subjects), so to be able to have a portrait of him that I’m proud of is special.

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Do you have a process or narrative for your cover shoots that you try to build from?
Every cover shoot is different. Sometimes there’s a narrative or concept and sometimes it’s just about getting a moment in an uncontrolled environment. I go into every photo shoot with a plan, but also let the “happy accidents” happen. There’s only so much you can control in the type of photography I do.  It’s in my nature to have a strategy when there’s pressure on the line and not a lot of time. With that said, you have to leave room for the un-expected moments.

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Have you ever become starstruck and if so, how did you overcome that?
I will always remember the moment, when my team and I were waiting to photograph President Obama and the First Lady. We had been invited to the White House to photograph them for a cover. We had set up all of our lighting, tested, and were now waiting for them to arrive. I’ll never forget when the doors opened and I overheard from the secret service that the President was about to enter. That was probably one of the most surreal moments in my career. It has nothing to do with politics, but more with the honor of being invited to the White House and having 5 minutes of time with the most powerful man in the country. Once they walked through the doors to greet myself and my team, I remember thinking to myself I can’t believe this moment is happening. It was pretty cool.

How much time did you have for this session?
Unfortunately, only about 15 minutes. As I mentioned, this image was originally commissioned by Jen Laski at The Hollywood Reporter. I was photographing Walken because one his films, “A Late Quartet” was about to hit the screens. I was only given 15 minutes and we had to shoot this in an office building in Manhattan. These are not rare circumstances for me. I thought using a background and doing some simple lighting would justify a classic portrait. Sometimes it’s just good to stay simple.

What type of direction did you get for this project?
Jennifer Laski, the DP at The Hollywood Reporter, who originally commissioned this photograph, told me to get something that feels timeless and iconic. Jen and team at THR are very good about giving the photographer an idea about what they’re looking for, but also leaving room for the photographer to bring back something that’s authentic to his/her style and taste.

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What advice to do you have for anyone that has no experience with talent agents and publicists?
Be kind and easy to work with.  It’s obvious advice, but goes a long way. The entertainment industry is small and very connected. Word gets around if you’re a good photographer to work with or if you’re a difficult prick. That’s not to say that photographs need to be a pushover or a people pleaser on set. I think it’s important to push the limit and get memorable images. At the end of the day, photography is a people business and clients/publicists/agents/actors/musicians/etc. want to work with someone who is enjoyable. That’s just my take on things.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo: Ryan Geraghty

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 10:22am


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 Ryan Geraghty


Who printed it?
I had my promos printed though Moo. I made test prints through a couple different vendors, but Moo seemed to have the best color and paper quality.

Who designed it?
The promos were designed by me. It’s important to me to keep a simple design that focuses on the images and my style of work. I like to shoot food clean and messy, and I wanted to keep the theme of the promo consistent from front to back.    

Who edited the images?
I did the editing myself, but I always have my girlfriend look over most of the work I send out. Having a second opinion is invaluable when looking at my own images for a long amount of time, and she is incredible at catching any small detail I may have missed. In my personal work editing is very light, mostly color correction and contrast adjustments. The bulk of the work is done with styling and lighting before the camera is even turned on.      

How many did you make?
I had about 30 promos printed up but only sent out 12 in total. This is actually my first time sending out any kind of promotional material, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of feedback I would receive.      

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Going back to the last question, this is my first time sending physical copies of promotional material to anyone. I mostly promoted myself online while getting my degree. Now that I’m beginning my career, I’ve talked to established professionals I respect who advised me to get my work out there. I’m hoping it will land on the right desk.     

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Categories: Business

“About Time: Photography in a Moment of Change” at SFMOMA

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 06/03/2016 - 9:31am

by Jonathan Blaustein

Trump. Trump. Trump.

I promised I wouldn’t talk about him anymore, yet here I am. The man is simply inescapable.

With all the fear about Trump being the Republican Presidential nominee, I’m sure you’ve looked at an electoral map in the last day/week/month, right?

Of course you have.

The map, with it’s massive blocks of red and blue, tells a story that we all-too-conveniently forget. This nation of ours, the United States of America, has not always been United.

No sir.

Back in the 1860’s, all hell broke loose. America was cleaved in two, and bodies piled up higher than Dr. Dre during an all-night recording session. (Yes, that’s pretty high.)

But you know that as well, because you learned about it in history class. We all did. Civil War. Slavery. Abe Lincoln good, Jefferson Davis bad.

That’s the narrative we’ve all been told, again and again. But I suppose I ought to clarify who the “we” is here. I grew up in New Jersey, in the heart of Yankee country. (Though parts of NJ did have slavery, unfortunately.)

There was never any question as to who the “us” was, as opposed to the “them.” Southerners. Rednecks. Racists. KKK lovers.

They deserved what they got. Right?

While you’ll never catch me questioning the validity of the Civil War, it’s easy to side with blue, 150 years later. And wouldn’t you know it, but that “blue” team’s map lines up pretty neatly with the current “blue” crew as well.

The South is united in its support for Donald J Trump, and most artsy/liberal/creative types, (meaning you and me,) have a very hard time understanding the mass appeal. The man is an orange, braggadocious prevaricator, and I’m being kind.

So why would so many people, across so much terrain, see this lunatic as a potential savior? Why would they trust him to “make America great again,” and when exactly was America great?

I’m glad you asked.

I had the chance to visit the new SFMOMA when I was in San Francisco, as I mentioned in last week’s column. The museum has more than doubled in size, after a 3 year, $305 million renovation. As San Francisco has arrived, so has its most prominent art institution. (Though the deYoung Museum might quibble with me on that.)

I had the good fortune to spend almost 3 hours in the museum, looking looking looking. Paintings, sculptures, photos: the new museum has it all. You might have even heard they now have 15,000 square feet of exhibition space in the Pritzker Center of Photography. (It made the rounds on social media a few weeks ago.)

To say that I saw a lot of art in my time there is a simple understatement. I saw hundreds of images and objects, as I flitted from one wall to another.

Look, think, step to the side.
Repeat.

I wanted to see the “California and the West” show, as I’m writing about it. But there are two major photo shows occupying all that choice real estate, and the other was just as good: “About Time: Photography in a Moment of Change,” curated by Corey Keller. (through September 25th)

No matter how good the art is, there’s only so much our brains can absorb, in a marathon session. So I like to give myself a little test, and just focus on the things that really grab me. It’s fun to have excellence radar, or in my case, a “things I’ve never seen before” gauge.

The more you see, the harder it is to send that meter into the red, but it does happen.

The first time was essentially by accident, as I was standing in front of some images by the LA artist Phil Chang, and the lady behind me made a loud, unhappy snort, like a horse that hates its supper.

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“Excuse me,” I said, “but did I step into your viewing path? If so, I apologize.”

“No, she replied. Her voice became inaudible, as she was clearly distressed, and she finished with “Emperor’s new clothes.”

“If it wasn’t me, is it the art?”

“Yes. I don’t get it. It’s making me angry.”

Before you knew it, I was right back in art professor territory, and tried to explain to the woman what there was to “get.” Apparently, Mr. Chang makes gelatin silver prints, like many photographers, but he chooses not to fix the images.

He invites people, like the curator, Ms. Keller, to watch the images as they slowly fade to black. It’s meant to be performative, I suppose, and it’s possible no one has ever thought to do that on purpose, or to turn it into a concept.

That’s what I told this grumpy stranger, who nodded, accepting that there was more to the work than met the eye. (Simple, all black images, the photo equivalent of Ad Reinhardt.) She walked away, determined to find something of which she approved. (And I Googled Phil Chang when I got home. He’s a part of the super-trendy “Photography is Magic” clique, so I understood things in that context.)

Will I remember his work now? Absolutely. Am I surprised that a concept as simple as not fixing your work has gotten this dude famous? Not really.

I understand the way the world works. I might be obnoxious, but they don’t call me stupid.

That work stuck out because of its concept, as it was meant to. Paul Graham had a diptych in the show that was hung just above the floor. Again, you could call it a gimmick, or you could say it’s challenging orthodoxy, and both would be right.

(But I don’t remember the images as clearly as where they were hung.)

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So many pictures, so little brain space. It’s an excellent show, that much is clear, and you should go see it if you can. But nothing really shook me inside and out until I got to the very last room in the exhibition.

There I stood face to face with a suite of images by George N. Barnard, a photographer of whom I hadn’t heard before. Not surprising, given he’s been dead for more than a century. (There was no Facebook to promote yourself in the 19th Century, unfortunately.)

His images were a part of a series, “Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign,” that looked at the South, during and after the Civil War. It focused on locations that had been wrecked, destroyed, annihilated, by the famed march of William Tecumseh Sherman. And I had never, ever seen pictures quite like this before.

Sure, we’ve all seen a Matthew Brady or two, and if you read regularly, you know I have a soft spot for Roger Fenton. But this was something different, for me at least.

The prints just felt so real. So lived. So ancient. And there were so many of them.

The photographs were obviously well-made, with terrific compositions and excellent tonal range. You can almost see this man, living in an unrecognizable world, standing among smoldering ruins with a big camera.

Looking.

You don’t have to imagine what defensive Earthworks look like, if you don’t want to. These pictures show you quite well. Bulwarks, bastions, who the hell knows what these are called, but the spiked wooden fences were pretty hardcore, if you ask me.

There’s an image of a soldier in a stove-pipe hat, sitting on top of some ramparts outside Atlanta. (Are they ramparts?) I stared at that picture for a few minutes, my brain trying desperately to comprehend it was real.

That’s one of the true curses of our digital age: we are all so ready to accept the digital world is “real” that it can make us question reality as it actually transpired. If everything can be faked, how are our eyes to recognize lived history?

Sure, I know who won the Civil War. And yes, we’ll always condemn slavery wholeheartedly, even when the Donald equivocates. (I need more info before I disavow the KKK, OK? I want to have an informed opinion, you losers.)

But these pictures, more than any I’ve ever seen, helped me understand that aforementioned electoral map. Half of our country was conquered by the other half. Its landscape was altered, it’s soul diminished, but its pride remains in tact.

Perhaps we ought not blame the Southerners who feel ruled by outsiders, and wittingly join leaders who promise a return to prominence. But empathy is hard, especially with a bloc of people known for a dark, exploitative history.

I get it.

But I went into an art show, and came out with a different perspective. That’s about as much as I ask of any museum, or any photographer for that matter.

SFMOMA was kind enough to provide an entire set of Mr. Barnard’s images, as jpegs, of course, so you can view them on your screen of choice. (Phone, tablet, computer, TV…)

That’s right. Some albumen prints, made before any human being alive today, have been digitized, for our pleasure. (Bringing the Civil War into the 21st C.)

So next time you make a crack about the hicks in South Carolina who just don’t know any better, just remember that they’re likely carrying grievances we really can’t understand. And the best photographs help us see the world from someone else’s perspective, even if that person has returned to dust.

George N. Barnard, Whiteside Valley below the Bridge, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 x 13 15/16 in. (25.4 x 35.4 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Whiteside Valley below the Bridge, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 x 13 15/16 in. (25.4 x 35.4 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Ruins of the Railroad Depot, Charleston, South Carolina, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1865; albumen print; 10 1/8 x 14 1/4 in. (25.72 x 36.2 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Ruins of the Railroad Depot, Charleston, South Carolina, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1865; albumen print; 10 1/8 x 14 1/4 in. (25.72 x 36.2 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Ruins of the Pinckney Mansion, Charleston, South Carolina, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1865; albumen print; 10 x 14 in. (25.4 x 35.56 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Ruins of the Pinckney Mansion, Charleston, South Carolina, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1865; albumen print; 10 x 14 in. (25.4 x 35.56 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Ruins in Charleston, South Carolina, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1865 or 1866; albumen print; 10 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (25.72 x 35.88 cm); Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, fractional gift of Paul Sack, and collection of the Sack Photographic Trust of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

George N. Barnard, Ruins in Charleston, South Carolina, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1865 or 1866; albumen print; 10 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (25.72 x 35.88 cm); Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, fractional gift of Paul Sack, and collection of the Sack Photographic Trust of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

George N. Barnard, Rebel Works in Front of Atlanta, Georgia, No. 4, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 x 14 1/8 in. (25.4 x 35.88 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Rebel Works in Front of Atlanta, Georgia, No. 4, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 x 14 1/8 in. (25.4 x 35.88 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Rebel Works in Front of Atlanta, Georgia, No. 1, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (25.72 x 35.88 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Rebel Works in Front of Atlanta, Georgia, No. 1, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (25.72 x 35.88 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Nashville from the Capitol, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (25.72 x 35.88 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Nashville from the Capitol, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 1/8 x 14 1/8 in. (25.72 x 35.88 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Destruction of Hood's Ordnance Train, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 1/16 x 14 1/16 in. (25.56 x 35.72 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Destruction of Hood’s Ordnance Train, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1864; albumen print; 10 1/16 x 14 1/16 in. (25.56 x 35.72 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Defenses of the Etawah Bridge, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 1/16 x 14 1/16 in. (25.56 x 35.72 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Defenses of the Etawah Bridge, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 1/16 x 14 1/16 in. (25.56 x 35.72 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, City of Atlanta, Georgia, No. 2, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 1/16 x 14 3/16 in. (25.56 x 36.04 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, City of Atlanta, Georgia, No. 2, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 1/16 x 14 3/16 in. (25.56 x 36.04 cm); Collection of the Sack Photographic Trust

 George N. Barnard, Chattanooga Valley from Lookout Mountain, No. 2, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1864 or 1866; albumen print; 10 1/16 x 14 3/8 in. (25.56 x 36.51 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust


George N. Barnard, Chattanooga Valley from Lookout Mountain, No. 2, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1864 or 1866; albumen print; 10 1/16 x 14 3/8 in. (25.56 x 36.51 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Buzzard Roost, Georgia, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 x 14 1/8 in. (25.4 x 35.88 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Buzzard Roost, Georgia, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 x 14 1/8 in. (25.4 x 35.88 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Battle Ground of Resaca, Georgia, No. 2, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 x 14 1/8 in. (25.4 x 35.88 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust

George N. Barnard, Battle Ground of Resaca, Georgia, No. 2, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 x 14 1/8 in. (25.4 x 35.88 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust

 George N. Barnard, Battle Field of New Hope Church, Georgia, No. 1, from Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 x 14 1/8 in. (25.4 x 35.88 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust


George N. Barnard, Battle Field of New Hope Church, Georgia, No. 1, from Photographic Views of Sherman’s Campaign, 1866; albumen print; 10 x 14 1/8 in. (25.4 x 35.88 cm); Promised gift of Paul Sack to the Sack Photographic Trust

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Gabriela Hasbun

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 10:55am

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Gabriela Hasbun

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How long have you been shooting?
11 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Although I went to photo school, some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned were from assisting other photographers.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
A friend approached me about collaborating with her on a project. After a while, she lost interest, but I’ve been pursuing it ever since! The Mission neighborhood was, and is, my hang out. It’s a project I continually revisit over time.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
Not long— maybe a year after I started shooting my Mission series, I got asked to be part of a group show at a gallery in San Francisco. Soon after that, I started sharing the collection with photo editors as part of my portfolio. In fact, it was the primary body of work that got me my first assignment work.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
If I don’t feel passionate about it or if it isn’t working out in my head, a personal project never gets shot.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
For me. there is no difference between portfolio work and personal work. They are one and the same. I choose subject matters that I’m interested in learning more about or have a true connection to.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
My strength isn’t self-promotion online and I don’t usually put much energy into posting these projects there. However, three years ago, Feature Shoot picked up my Fat Series and it went viral.

http://www.featureshoot.com/2013/07/fat-happy-and-healthy-women-photographed-by-gabriela-hasbun/

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
When my Fat Series went viral, a lot of media outlets picked it up. I am definitely protective of that particular series because people on the internet love to body shame and I have a lot of affection for those subjects— I consider many of them my friends. Each time the work was published, the online comments started to spiral out of control. It was an odd balance between feeling excited to see the series published in so many media outlets but I also wanted to shield my subjects from negativity.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, in the past, I’ve sent some personal work as marketing promos and I also try to show personal work to clients every time I see them in person. Those photographs always seems to be what interests them most and what we end up connecting over more deeply.

Artist Statement:
In 2002, I decided to document some of the Mission’s most colorful patrons. San Francisco’s Mission District has long been the home of the working-class retailer. Between the 1906 earthquake and World War II, Mission Street was proudly known as the “Mission Miracle Mile.” Second only to San Francisco’s Union Square shopping district, Mission Street provided a shopping haven for goods and services of high quality. As a symbol and testament to its name, there were two decorative bridges on each end of Mission Street, beginning on 16th street and ending on Cesar Chavez.

The Mission has historically been a neighborhood for the immigrant. Jewish, Irish, Italian and Hispanic families have all resided and worked in this area for decades. Currently, the neighborhood is in the midst of dramatic changes. Since the early 2000’s the area has seen an explosion in popularity with the Bay Area’s young tech entrepreneurs, resulting in an influx of upscale retail outlets and trendy eateries, often pricing out the residents and small businesses who’ve made the area so special.

This series of images hopes to capture the essence of the small businesses and the owners who have been in the neighborhood for over 30 years before the neighborhood is completely gentrified. JJ O’Connor Florists, an establishment that came to Mission street over a hundred years ago, was among the oldest in this tradition and one of the many I’ve been lucky to photograph. Sadly, it shut down, as have many of the others that are documented in this series.

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Gabriela Hasbun lives in San Francisco with her husband, Nick, and their little boy, Matteo. Gabriela comes from a large and vibrant family in El Salvador. Even though she hails from warm and humid lands, she’s adapted well to the air conditioned climate of the Bay Area.
 
Gabriela loves shooting for editorial and commercial clients, specializing in environmental portraits. ‘Bold’, ‘colorful’, and ‘quirky’ are common descriptions of the work she produces. Her portraits have been featured in numerous magazines including Fortune, Sunset, WIRED and The Wall Street Journal. She has several portrait series based on cultural issues that document change and gentrification in the Mission and Polk street districts of San Francisco which have also been exhibited at San Francisco galleries including Southern Exposure and San Francisco Arts Commission.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – ESPN: John Huet, Karen Frank, Kristen Schaefer Geisler and Bill May

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 06/01/2016 - 10:05am

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ESPN Magazine


Photography Director: Karen Frank
Project Photo Editor: Kristen Schaefer Geisler

Creative Director, Digital and Print Media: Chin Wang
Art Director: Heather Donahue
Senior Designer: Linda Pouder
Photographer: John Huet

Karen Frank
Kristen Schaefer Geisler

This story comes with such gravity for the sport, how did that added layer of importance influence your edit? It’s not often one gets editing opportunities like this.
Karen Frank: 
John’s images beautifully capture Bill’s athleticism, grace, and optimistic spirit.  The poetry of the underwater images speak to Bill’s quest for excellence and his ability to succeed as a male in a female dominated sport, and evolve the sport in doing so.

What was your biggest challenge logistically?
Kristen Schaefer Geisler:
 Our biggest challenge was getting this shot before the swimmers left for Russia to compete in the World Synchronized Swim Championships; finding time when the three swimmers’ schedules could overlap in between busy lives and schedules.

What type of direction did you give John for this?
KSG: I assigned the shoot to photographer JOHN HUET after noticing on his website that he had shot syncronized swimming before. I talked a lot with the writer of the story Taffy Akner, who had just spent days with Bill and could describe in great descriptive detail Bill’s personality, which helped us conceptualize direction and a shot list. We asked John to capture beautiful underwater synchro swim pictures with his duet partners, above water portraits, as well as a-day-in-the-life of Bill May backstage at his Cirque du Soleil O show. We got access to photograph him teaching an abs class to his fellow Cirque dancers and putting on his show makeup before going onstage.

I know it’s unprecedented for ESPN to devote this many pages to a story, what moved the needle for the team to green light this?
KF: There is a strong commitment to long form journalism at ESPN.  Taffy’s story about Bill was so compelling, and John’s images were so strong, that we all felt it was necessary to give this story lots of room in print as well as digitally.

What made this project a stand out for you?
KSG:  This story is visual and theatrical; both in the synchronized swim choreography as well as the Cirque O show – we needed a photographer who could capture Bill’s personality and bring artistry and point of view to the pictures.

In a few words what is the most rewarding part of your job at ESPN and how has this title impacted your career?
KF: There are so many stories that can be told through the prism of sports.  ESPN recognizes the power of visual storytelling and the rich opportunities to do so across all its platforms.  Working across those platforms has broadened my vision of how photography can be leveraged and sharpened my ideas about how the story is told in each medium.

 

John Huet

Heidi: Did you do have to adjust your shooting style at all for something this unique?
John: 
I don’t really adjust my style for different projects, nor can I really define my own style.

This simple story sum things up nicely – Alfred Eisenstaedt was hired to shoot our college portraits. He came into my class of 20 kids, and he asked everyone, “What kind of photographer do you want to be?” I was one of the last kids to be asked, when it was my turn, I replied, “fashion photographer.” He asked why. He’d not asked any of the other kids this follow up question. I panicked and blurted out, “Because I like girls!” Everyone in class had a good laugh, and then Alfred later explained that being a fashion photographer is no different than being any other type of photographer. You have a subject in front of you, treat that subject in front of you the same as you would a gown on a hanger.  It becomes a portrait of a gown, just as if a person was standing there.

So, I don’t look at myself or categorize myself as a sports photographer, I see myself as a photographer, and I see the subject in front of me as a subject. At the end of day, all photographs are solved with the same notes, regardless of the subject matter.

Was this pool designed as a viewing room?
No, I’m a certified diver. I was underwater.

You have a long running history with the Olympics, what spoke to you as a photographer about this project?

Synchronized swimming is really beautiful. It’s very similar to figure skating, especially in pairs. The artistry, the incredible athleticism. Most people don’t understand the caliber of these athletes. My prior experience with shooting synchronized swimming had been at the Olympics. In Athens and London, I shot from an underwater window, and in Beijing, I shot from above the window. So much of the SS routine and so much of what is going on happens underwater, so I wanted to be under the water to capture this experience.

If I had more control for this ESPN project, I may have done things differently, maybe picked a different pool. What you have to keep in mind is I’m working with world class athletes, training for a World Championship a month before their event, so I can’t do anything to screw up their routine or throw them out of whack. I have a deep understanding that athletes have rituals and patterns, everything needs to follow their well-laid-out plans. I had about 1/2 hr to do the deck images. They do a series of poses before entering the water, then I captured what I could capture while they were doing their routine underwater. Practice was about 3 hrs. I was allowed to be in the pool, only to watch and, of course, not get in their way.

For the out of the water shots, how if at all did you direct them and how much time did you have?
I didn’t have to direct them at all. It was awesome to have their coach right there directing them, perfecting their moves while I was shooting. I got another 1/2 hr at the end of practice; talked with them for about a minute above water, then we went underwater. We communicated via hand signals, and I tried to direct them to where the light was best.

Did you propose the variety of color and BW to the magazine or simply turn in the images?
I proposed this, along with running the images upside down. I sent in about 80 images, which I shot over three days, but it was more like a  2 day shoot since it was so broken up.

I scouted, shot some of the scout, then the next day shot all of the images in the water, then I went back to their practice, even though this wasn’t part of my schedule; I did that for me. Bill had a big send-off party at O, the Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas, which I also photographed. He and the two women in the photographs, Kristina Lum and Christina Jones, were doing a performance at O. I shot Bill getting ready for the show and shot the first portion of the show under the window, which was really tough because it was so dark. Bill would come over to the window, mug for the camera and then swim off.

With every job, I have the same process. I do an edit after looking at everything. Once I have my edit, I’ll retouch the images and then send in only my retouched files. For this particular project I ended up going back to review the shoot, and over the course of 2-3 days, I sent in small batches of additional images because I kept changing things, looking at images differently.

How did the idea of these surreal, upside down images develop?
I first did this with the Athens SS Olympic images and then with London, presented them upside down. Underwater, everything is upside down for the swimmers, so this a play on the mind’s eye of the viewer. Underwater, they look like they are standing there, with no restrictions of gravity, so they appear relaxed, standing on top of the water. I wanted to use the pool light to signal this was the surface of the water (again to reinforce the mind’s eye play), to always have the pool light acting as the surface of the water or the “ground.”

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Faces of Choice

John Huet_ESPN_Bill May-26

Bill May

You’ve been photographed many times, what was different about shooting with John?
Bill May: 
The difference between John and many other photo shoots was that John had a very clear idea of what he was looking for and what would create the most beautiful images through a collaboration between us as the athletes and him as the photographer. Many times a photographer will come in and shoot solely a stale image of only part of what we are trying to represent as synchronized swimmers. John truly showcased the athleticism of a sport that, unfortunately, often has a reputation as simply just a show sport.

Did you free form poses for John, or did he direct you when you were out of the pool?
John was our eyes, so we would begin by free-forming poses, and John would take what we presented and elevate it to something amazing.

Tell us about having your dream taken away or shelved for almost a decade, and then re-present itself.
I would never say that my dream was taken away from me because my career in Synchronized Swimming was much bigger for me than a few competitions. I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t taken the path I chose to take. However, I believe that timing is everything. I was very lucky to continue to train and be involved in synchronized swimming in a show, so when the opportunity arose, I wanted the challenge. I think the interest is much greater for men in synchronized swimming today than it was a decade ago. There is a possibility that if it had been added to the World Championships 10 years ago, it might have fizzled due to lack of participation. Now I am once again in full training, hoping they will create an Olympic Synchronized Swimming event for the Mixed Duet.

What advice do you have for any athlete who has the seemingly impossible dream in a mostly female sport?
The advice I have for any athlete is to do the sport that you love, first and foremost, before worrying where it will take you. Everything else will fall in line, and the rewards will be much greater than when relying on a what is and might not be possible. We cannot all write our future, so I truly believe that the happiness we create for ourselves today is what gives us our happiest memories in years to come.

What impact do you hope this story has for the sport?
The Mixed Duet is a brand new event at the World Championships and major international competitions, and I think through John’s pictures it shows as a beautiful, and more importantly, an athletic event. We are in a big push to get this Mixed Duet event into the Olympics, and I think his photos have created an interest that makes people want to see more. I truly believe he has helped our sport, and above all, the Mixed Duet in so many ways, and I am forever grateful. It was such an honor to work with John. His professionalism and talent are unrivaled. He was so respectful of our time and photographed with ours and our sport’s best interest in mind.



 

 

 



 

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Categories: Business

Establishing A Unique Brand

ASMP's Strictly Business - Tue, 05/31/2016 - 8:38pm

[by Chris Winton-Stahle]

It’s often the case that finding yourself as an artist is difficult with all the distracting noise out there in the business. It is a difficult thing to look within, find that inner clarity, listen to that voice within and THEN build a strong brand-name around that vision. But, as artists, this is what we must do to succeed.

WintonStahleHorseFor me, developing my brand as a photographer has never been a lightbulb kind of moment, but more of an illuminated path I’ve followed towards finding myself.  I’ve always been inspired by Eckhart Tolle’s famous quote, “In seeing who we are not, the reality of who we are will emerge by itself”. Looking within and being honest with myself is what had to come first but I didn’t do it alone! It has taken several years of advice from a refined group of talented consultants, designers, colleagues, friends, and even family to help me to the point that I am now in my career.

There is a lot to say about this subject but here are 5 basic strategies that I have followed in creating the work that has been responsible for establishing this brand and getting it out into the world.

#1 Always Have Fun Don’t stop having fun!

If you’re not excited about what you’re doing, then who will be? Creating personal work, refining your style and how it fits into the marketplace is the first step to refining a brand. It should always be a fun process! I always set aside time each month to talk with my consultant or stock editor and decide on interesting concepts and discuss implementation. This has always kept my portfolio fresh and keeps me continuously working toward the goal of refining my particular brand.

#2: Collaborate with others who inspire you.

WintonStahleWomanLook at the industry on an international level and find the artists that are doing work that you relate to. Ask yourself questions like, “Why do I like their work?”, “Why have they been successful at creating this work?”, and “How can I use their work to inspire me to create my own original work?”. Reach out to these people and introduce yourself and ask questions. People throughout the advertising industry want to collaborate on conceptual projects that are good for their portfolio. Art directors often like to work on personal projects geared towards contests such as the Communication Arts Advertising Annual. This becomes great practice for real-world projects; it keeps the mind sharp and innovative. It’s a great opportunity to try out new team members or collaborate with other creative individuals in your community that you may want to work with.

#3: Practice, Experiment and be Bold!

This is a “go big or go home” kind of business. Through experimentation I’ve learned how to produce complex images both technically and conceptually that have, over time, become more cohesive and aligned with a particular brand of work I’ve envisioned. I’ve developed effective methods in my signature style that are not only faster, but require less production and are therefore cost-effective. The brand of work that I’ve created has not only been aesthetically unique but there has been a practical business model developed around it.

#4: Never stop evolving.

Push yourself outside of those comfortable boundaries. Don’t give in to a fear of failure with the work that represents your unique style. WintonStahleWallCreate personal work that gives you the liberty to create freely without the pressure of pleasing a client’s vision. Take advantage of that freedom! You may often find that the work you create through independent projects is some of the most interesting in your portfolio and well received by potential clients.

#5 Hire the Professionals.

If you’ve been in the business long enough then you’ve most likely heard the advice, ‘hire professionals to do the jobs you’re not great at’. After years of managing everything myself, I can vouch for how true this statement is. As small business owners, we often think we have to do everything ourselves but I’ve found that it’s important to align yourself in business with professionals that are the best at what they do including, but not limited to, designers, copywriters, web designers, and printing companies. Once you’ve established your particular brand of photography then it’s time to find a company that understands how to build a branding campaign around what you do as an artist and get on board with them! I have chosen to work with Agency Access for the last 3 years and they have handled all of my design, branding, and marketing needs. This has been a key ingredient for the evolution of my career and has allowed me to step out onto a larger stage.

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

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

The Daily Promo: Kyle Johnson

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 05/31/2016 - 10:12am

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Kyle Johnson

Who printed it?
This piece was printed by the incredible team at Blanchette Press in Vancouver B.C. This promo is the second piece I have printed with them, going with well respected offset printers sets a high bar for quality.  I had the pleasure of going up to B.C and directly working with owner Kim Blanchette on our press day. It was interesting to see exactly how the analog process works and the subtle changes Kim would make to get the best images possible. He told us “Our goal is to create 3 dimensions existing within 2d space”. I truly think the difference in offset vs digital quality is worth the extra cost and most professionals in the industry appreciate the print quality when looking at the piece.

Who designed it?
I teamed up with the designers at Shore (www.madebyshore.com) for this promo. We had worked on a similar print promo last year together and decided to keep the design similar referencing last years piece yet changing some things on size, color, etc.. Joe & Julian have become close friends over the years and they have a good feel for my aesthetic as a photographer.  I like how they use design elements that feel consistent with my style. It’s not “over designed” and allows the photography to be the focus.

Their passion for design and creating a quality print piece is another reason our collaborations have been successful. They know that although I might not be their biggest client, I share a love for quality and the final piece will be one we are both proud of and that I am willing to invest in. I have to thank them for also finding the interesting paper stock we used on the “faux cover” as well as the addition of white foil lettering for such a clean finish.

Who edited the images?
The initial edit was done myself. I had some favorite images that I knew I wanted in there. I did however work with my agent Maria Bianco before finalizing the piece. I really enjoy the editing process with her. I think personal promotion is a great chance to re-visit shoots from the past year and find some hidden outtakes that may of not made the final story. Pairing unrelated things you wouldn’t expect can make a great overall piece. Maria has a real talent for editing and helped me pair of some of my favorite spreads. I also think its important to mix some personal work with things from jobs. It shows photo editors and art buyers the images you truly love to make.

How many did you make?
I decided on making 500 for this piece. The price for offset printing isn’t cheap and you often do save money if you get a lot made, however for a special piece like this, I wanted it to be limited and directed at specific clients. I didn’t need to spend too much money sending it to tons of people who don’t make sense for my work.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to do one special high quality promo book piece like this one, as well as a few smaller postcard type mailers throughout one year.

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Categories: Business

500px, ImageBrief - The Crowdsourcing Scoundrels of The Internet

Photo Business Forum - Sat, 05/28/2016 - 2:42pm
What camera slinging aspiring pro photographer wouldn't want to be a part of a "Photo Quest" these days? A "quest" conjures up Indiana Jones-esque expeditions for the perfect picture - explorers searching for just the right photo to satisfy the "photo gods of exposure." Who could be so ignorant or desperate? Apparently quite a few, like the natives worshipping a false sun god because of a solar eclipse. Some 840 clueless photographers submitted 6,000 images for the chance at winning the "great honor" of having their creative work product commercially exploited along with 50 others whose work was selected for a FOR PROFIT Lonely Planet book, according to MobileMarketingDaily - "500px Launches Photo Quests, Allows Brands To Crowdsource Original Content" (5/23/16).

 We've written extensively here at Photo Business News about the seriously flawed "SPEC" business model, yet, these models continue to proliferate,  counting on photographers (pro and amateur alike) to line up like lemmings and mindlessly follow each other over the cliff of unsustainability. In February of 2015 we wrote "ImageBrief: A scourge on the photographic industry" yet photographers continue to ask questions in various photography forums. Advertising agencies and design firms are using predatory content resellers like Image Brief to source free ideas and content for their pitches, before they even are awarded the projects. One photographer on the STOCKPHOTO listserv reported watching 50 different briefs and none of them were awarded. According to that same poster, Image Brief is now charging photographers to make a submission for the "privilege" of consideration.

Photographers following these models are destined for failure or otherwise are ignorant to the realities of being in business. According to the MobileMarketDaily article, "...it allows photographers a chance to have exposure on a much larger scale than they may readily have access to." What is especially troubling is that the article cites Canon as one of the brands that has run a "Photo Quest", and had thousands of submissions.
(Continued after the Jump)
Jim Pickerell, over at Selling Stock (subscription required) reported back in April "Drastic Royalty Cuts Change Photogs View Of 500px" reports that photographers are now only getting a 30% royalty on licensing of non-exclusive images.  Consider the concept of "agents" in other businesses, like actors, book agents, and musicians, for example. Their commissions hover around 20%. The idea that organizations like these can take 70% (or more) and leave the creating artist with a pittance, is just abhorrent.  Especially when you're one of several participating in the "quest" and standing a one-in-many chance of winning the gross, and then having to take a pittance of income as your paltry percentage. 

Less than a year ago, Visual China Group led a $13,000,000 round of funding (source) and Visual China Group is most recently known for acquiring the assets of Corbis Images and then folding them into their other investment - Getty Images, as we reported here (Corbis Sale to Unity Glory (and Getty)).  This money must be being used to buy servers and hard drives for all the hopeful photographers, as well as the overpaid sales agents - Glassdoor reports (here) that a Product Marketing Manager earns over $80,000. How is that reasonable at a company which has, according to LinkedIn "51-200" employees and Glassdoor currently has 18 job openings?  It seems everybody is earning a very nice living on the backs of the starving-artist photographer.

These organizations will eventually find that the crowdsourcing/"Photo Quest"/ImageBrief model is not a viable solution, but by then the hopes and dreams of photographers will have even been further dashed, and content consumers like ad agencies and design firms will be further down the line of devaluing photography.

500px is apparently intent upon flushing the photography business down the toilet while reaping profits from their deals with large corporations seeking content and ideas for pennies on the dollar, if not free.
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Categories: Business

Impressions From The Bay Area

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 05/27/2016 - 9:21am

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by Jonathan Blaustein

I’m sitting in a black vinyl seat in the Oakland Airport, staring out at the San Francisco Bay. Puffy white cumulus clouds hang in the air, like loiterers in the pale blue sky. All around me, people stare at screens, or shove their faces with over-priced food.

(Stay classy, Oaktown.)

The last time I was here, they sold hand-made sweet potato pies at a stand run by Black Muslim gangsters, and you had to take a grungy shuttle bus to get to the BART station at Oakland Colosseum.

Now, there are expensive wine bars, trendy sunglass stores, endless Warriors T-shirt shops, and a gleaming new, space-age, elevated monorail to get you to the train.

If you hadn’t heard, the Bay Area is booming these days. It’s the Gold Rush all over again, only this time they’re mining data, and selling your personal information instead of picks and shovels.

Times have changed indeed.

It’s Thursday afternoon, and this column is due tonight. (Hence my last-minute airport musings.) But while I normally wait a while to download my details for your amusement, this time, I thought I’d try something different, and share stories while they’re fresh.

It’s hard to concentrate, I admit, as directly to my right, a grouchy-looking, middle-aged woman stabs some grilled-chicken salad out of a tupperware, while playing “Words with Friends” on her Ipad. (But I’ll do my best, because that’s how I roll.)

We last gave you a scoop on the San Francisco scene back in 2012, when the city was just emerging from the Great Recession. Now it’s 2016, and this place is in the news constantly, as there is more money flowing into the metropolitan area than I can rationally comprehend. News stories are rampant about “regular” people getting displaced, smash and grab burglaries being de rigeur, and shiny new buildings popping up like my back-yard gophers checking whether the coast is clear.

(Damn gophers. I’ll get you yet!)

I was invited out to SF by the Academy of Art University to review portfolios on Monday, so I did my duty for a day, and was then free to pack my brain with art, and my stomach with food.

Shanghai soup dumplings, Thai green curry, Salvadoran pupusas, Ahi Guacamole tacos, Palestinian Chicken, Vietnamese Bahn Mi.

Yummy.

As for the art, I have to say, all the resources here seem to have elevated this place to the “World Class Level.” SFMOMA just underwent a huge and expensive renovation, in which they built grafted an entire new structure onto the host, and the sleek white halls shine like my daughter’s rosy cheeks.

The museum is pretty fantastic, but suffers a bit from the obvious temptation to put lots of big pictures on the big walls. Because big pictures represent big ambition. Right? (Think ginormous early-century Gursky and Struth, which were exhibited alongside a magnificent room of Becher grids.)

I visited Pier 24 again, the amazing, free museum/gallery/exhibition space that juts into the Bay, and saw some genuinely brilliant photography there. (I promise a specific article on that show, because it really was worth it.)

Bruce Davidson at the deYoung Museum, Ken Josephson at Robert Koch, Christian Marclay at Fraenkel, Ai Weiwei at Haines. Heavy hitters all. (And men, if you haven’t noticed. Though Pier 24 did have 2 galleries dedicated to feminist art from the 70’s.)

Just this morning, I saw 6 Google buses and a $150,000 Mercedes driving through the Mission District, which was incongruous with the city I once knew. The homelessness issue is heartbreaking and tragic, as vulnerable, mentally ill people are sleeping on the streets EVERYWHERE.

Frankly, I’ve never seen anything like it.

I had drinks at a photo-world Ladies night on Tuesday, while the Warriors were getting dismantled by the Thunder, and someone compared modern-day-SF to Calcutta. Last night, I saw a similar comment on Twitter as well.

Though I haven’t been to India, I get the point, as the wealth disparity here has reached 3rd World Proportions. Just yesterday, when I got off BART at Civic Center, the entire station smelled so pungently of piss that I had to cover my nostrils with my hand.

Welcome to San Francisco in the 21st Century.

If you can’t tell, I’m genuinely conflicted about my time here. I enjoyed myself immensely, living like a glutton, and then walking it all off. (20 miles in 4 days. Not bad.)

There is still diversity everywhere, thankfully, but it seems as if San Francisco’s famous liberalism won’t be able to hold out for another decade of rampant growth. This amazing city is on the Manhattan trajectory, and I only hope something short of another economic crash is able to arrest the situation.

The photography community, and the institutions supporting it, are clearly thriving. (Though a handful of galleries were forced out of the famed 49 Geary St building, due to rising rents.) Guggenheim fellowships are being handed out like candy corn on Halloween, and there are tens of thousands of square feet of exhibition space where the best pictures can hang.

From what I gather, the local collector scene has also never been broader or deeper, with pockets as big as my current headache. (The lady next to me finished her salad, but just took out a bag of apple chunks. Each time she crunches, a small part of my soul descends to Hell.)

Anyway, I’ve got to board my plane in a few minutes, so I best wrap this up.

I don’t think I’ve witnessed a more fascinating photo scene in years. (Maybe ever.) My mega-Texas road trip this Spring was rad, sure, but I didn’t encounter much that really made me think.

This time, almost every conversation I had centered around photography, politics, social issues, and the seeming impossibility of curing some of the Great Ills of our Time. The photo people here are special: creative, liberal, nice, thoughtful, smart, and in many cases, funny.

I was constantly reminded how much I loved San Francisco when I lived here, back in my 20’s, which made its confusing present that much harder to process.

Case in point: back when I was a local, just off 24th St. in the Mission, my beautiful Edwardian building was populated with artists. Now my friends, (and former landlords,) told me everyone living there commutes to Palo Alto.

Enough said.

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Zave Smith

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 9:44am

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Zave Smith

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How long have you been shooting?
I have been a professional photographer all my adult life.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to a very unique school that unfortunately did not survive very long, The Milwaukee Center for Photography. It was a very hard, very in-depth program. I was there two years and then did two years and graduated from The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design with a degree in Photography and Print Making.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
The Philly Music Makers has two strong roots. I have photographed a couple of events where I set up a white seamless studio and shot a 30-75 B&W portraits of the attendees over a couple of hours. I then took those portraits and did a video mash-up.

I have also had been thinking of shooting musicians portraits in backstage in the ready or green rooms.

About two months ago, I was talking with a friend of mine, Ron Bauman. Ron has deep ties with the Philly music scene. We somehow combined the dressing room portrait idea with the shooting speed and style of the white seamless event work and decided that it would be cool create a video mash-up of Philly area musicians. That is how that project started.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I have been sharing the work as I go. Each time we do a shoot, we add these new portraits to our gallery. We are presently doing one to two shoots each month where we shoot 10-20 portraits.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
For the last decade, all my personal projects have been of the one or two shoot variety. The Philly Music Makers is the first project that is going to go on for a while. I am just having a lot of fun with it and finding it fascinating from a sociological and aesthetic perspective. Two currents have got me jazzed. One, how do you create 10-20 interesting portraits in one green room the size of a small child’s bedroom in the space of a couple of hours and two, why do people do what they do? Why is music so important to us as a species?

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
In my mind, commercial art is all about the answers, “ our butt cream will make your life better.” Whereas fine art, and I think that personal work has the same motivated as fine art, is all about questions. I find that questions are a lot more interesting than answers.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
For me, personal work is all about communicating. Today that means Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet but this project is starting to get buzz.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I just used one of the photos from the Music Makers on a postcard promotion.

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Exuberant and poignant, philosophical and passionate, Zave Smith’s photographs capture the tangible pleasures and tactile experiences of life. Zave has a special feeling for personality that suffuses his work.

Clients include:
Bristol Meyer Squibb
Capital One
Campbell Mithun
Comcast
Digitas
GMc Advertising
J.P. Morgan
Shire
Vanguard

Represented by,
W.S.W Creative


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

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Categories: Business

The Wall Street Journal Magazine: Jennifer Pastore

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 05/24/2016 - 11:15am

 

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June 2016 Issue  |   Walk on the Wild Side  | Photography by Mikael Jansson Styling by George Cortina

June 2016 cover story: Click Here

 

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The Wall Street Journal Magazine

Editor in Chief: Kristina O’Neill
Creative Director: Magnus Berger
Photo Director: Jennifer Pastore
Senior Photo Editor: Damian Prado
Assistant Photo Editor: Meghan Benson
Photo Assistant: Amanda Webster
 Design Director: Pierre Tardif
Art Director: Tanya Moskowitz
Art + Production Assistant: Caroline Newton

Instagram: @wsjmag #wsjmagazine

Location projects always seem to have unique challenges. The Kenya shoot looks flawless but were there obstacles or triumphs along the way that you can share?
It’s true, location shoots are always challenging. It takes a lot to move a large crew into the middle of a 7000-acre conservancy in a remote corner of Kenya. For this particular story in our upcoming June 2016 issue, out on May 28th, photographer Mikael Jansson and stylist George Cortina brought their enthusiasm for the environment and the culture of the area with them to Kenya, which helped to smooth out any bumps along the way. It also resulted in 34 pages of fashion and landscape photographs that I think capture the romance and wildness of this dramatic location. Also, for the first time in the magazine’s history, we had two different covers. One features Anna Ewers and the other Edie Campbell. Some of my favorite photos from the story are of Edie riding a horse through a herd of zebras and Anna in the afternoon light walking through the bush.

When we last spoke in 2014 the magazine had just begun dipping into the celebrity territory. How much has that shifted since then, and is this now a regular cover theme?
We have definitely expanded our coverage of celebrities in the magazine, but we still approach our subjects (celebrity or not) with a light hand in the way that we photograph and style them. We try to capture their essence in the most natural way possible, which usually means making the shoot experience as comfortable as possible for everyone. We spend a lot of time before the shoot thinking about the creative approach that we want to take as well the interpersonal dynamic of the photography team that we assemble and how it will all work together on the day of the shoot. Hopefully this consideration leads to a feeling of ease on set that allows for moments of surprise and alchemy during the shoot.

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November 2015 / Innovators Issue  | Angelina Jolie Pitt  |   Photography by Peter Lindbergh Styling by Anastasia Barbieri

 

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For the innovators issue with Angelina Jolie on the cover, why did the magazine choose to celebrate her?
It was a natural fit for us to honor Angelina Jolie Pitt in our November 2015 issue with an Innovator Award for so many reasons. She wears many hats – not only is she a Hollywood icon as an actress and director but she is also a notable humanitarian and has managed to blend these two worlds in a very powerful and innovative way. When it came time to photograph Angelina, Peter Lindbergh was an easy choice for us. Everyone involved with the shoot shared the same goal to create images that were both intimate and very strong. Peter had expressed a desire to photograph Angelina so when the opportunity arose, it was exciting to be able to commission him to photograph her – there was so much respect between them on set which I think comes through in the photographs.

 

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February 2016 Issue  |  What’s Upon a Time in Antarctica   |  Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

 

 

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Jamie Hawkesworth is primarily a fashion photographer, what was it about his work that you assigned him the landscapes?
I first came across Jamie’s work after seeing his Preston Bus Station project so my first impression of him was as a portrait and landscape photographer, not so much fashion. I think Jamie’s photographic aesthetic is so distinctive, it almost doesn’t matter what he photographs. I know any images that we commission from him will be very clearly him – his palette, his printing (he prints everything by hand himself) and his voice. Knowing that, it is exciting to send him to these far-flung places such as Azerbaijan, Lagos, Kashmir and, most recently (for our February 2016 cover story), Antarctica to see what he will come back with. (Note: we have another very exciting destination coming up this fall so keep an eye out.) There is always a give and take when it comes time to edit which goes with the territory when sending a photographer off on these very special, un-boundaried projects. There is a thrill in seeing where it all lands and of course, seeing it in the magazine. We are incredibly fortunate to have the freedom to publish these types of open-ended travel stories at WSJ.

Are you working with a core group of photographers now?
We have tried to strike a balance between working with a core group of photographers in order to establish the visual point of view of the magazine and the need and desire to bring in new talent.

 

What are you looking to do with the photography in the next two years?
I hope to continue to nurture our existing relationships with photographers and to continue to find exciting assignments for them. At the same time, I want to push things, bring in new photographers and continually refresh my own eye so I can bring more ideas to the magazine. I work very closely with our editor-in-chief Kristina O’Neill and creative director Magnus Berger and we have a continuous brainstorming conversation going, which never ceases to inspire and motivate me.

Where are you sourcing photographers?
I look at everything: museum and gallery shows, books, magazines, blogs, social media, photo fairs – you name it. I also rely heavily on our incredible photo team Damian Prado, Meghan Benson and Amanda Webster who are out there pounding the pavement looking at work, finding new talent, pitching ideas and generally bringing their enthusiasm and passion to WSJ. Ideas can come from anyone at the magazine; all of our editors are out in the world digesting imagery and ideas so it is always welcome when someone brings something new back to the fold.

Are you on the lookout for emerging talent as well? 
Absolutely, identifying and nurturing emerging talent is a one of the primary joys of this job for me.

 

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May 2016 Issue |   A Sense of Order  |    Photography by Zoe Ghertner Styling by Brian Molloy

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March Men’s 2016 Issue   |   Who the &%!#@ is James Corden?  |  Photography by Inez & Vinoodh Styling by David Vandewal



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November 2015  |   Innovators Issue Karl Ove Knausgaard  | Photography by Juergen Teller

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November 2015  |  Innovators Issue  |  Thomas Heatherwick  |  Photography by David Bailey

 

 

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo: Jordan Pay

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 9:20am

 

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Jordan Pay

Who printed it?
Peczah in Salt Lake City Utah printed it.

Who designed it?
Sam Rodgers designed it ( samsonrodgers@gmail.com )

Who edited the images?
I edited the images

How many did you make?
400 printed

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Send out once a year. I am putting out promos of personal work hoping to attract work that would fit what I love to shoot. Shooting personal work feels more inspiring, rather than putting in stuff that was shot for someone.

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Categories: Business

What Photographers Can Learn From Brands

ASMP's Strictly Business - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 7:36am

[by Jan Klier]

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Cross-post from LinkedIn.

On the heels of my recent post on a different way of thinking of pricing, this email newsletter by Don Giannatti, and a conversation in my braintrust group last night, made me think of a pertinent analogy to the headwinds photographers are facing: The change in power between the brand and consumer relationship.

In the post on pricing, I had written that photographers no longer have the leverage they used to have. And Don writes about pervasive lack of client focus in the debate about the changes in the photography industry. There are major precedents to this, and our industry could save themselves a lot of painful lessons by learning from those before us.

The Age of Transparency

The Internet is among many other things credited with one thing: Full transparency in all matters of life, chief among them in retail. In the pre-Internet days, information accessible to mass audiences was tightly controlled and was relatively slow. Most consumers’ only information about a product and its price was limited to what the brand and retailer offered. There was little independent information available, even less in real time. The brand and the retailer of course are not neutral. They have the agenda to sell you products at the highest price and margin possible, while still maintaining customer loyalty.

That all changed with Amazon.com and many other parts of the Internet. Suddenly, information was plentiful and real-time. And much of the information didn’t come from the brand and retailer, but other consumers that also bought the product and immediately shared their experiences, good or bad.

Pricing comparisons became trivial for consumers. Brands and retailers lost their leverage on pricing first. It started a race to the bottom. And retailers with lower operating costs, primarily e-commerce, quickly gained the upper hand. Along came concepts like showrooming and webrooming where consumers research a product in one place and then buy somewhere else.

Product reviews quickly forced brands to also be more honest about their product’s quality and features. In the past, brands could make a lot of claims about a product, or skimp on quality, and the risk of being called out was pretty low. The barriers to a consumer finding out prior to purchase or taking action were high, and reserved to the most severe misdeeds. Today, brands have to be super transparent and forthright or risk being called out by consumers at lightning speed.

In today’s world, the conversation between brands, retail, and the consumer has made a 180 degree turn in terms of who is in charge and who drives the conversation. Where brands used to drive the conversation in the past, today it is 100% a consumer dominated conversation. Brands are just along for the ride.

Apart from retail that can also be seen in the sea change of fashion runway shows which have changed from industry insider events, where magazines would find out what to tell the consumer they should expect to wear next season, to everything showing up on Instagram in real-time and NYFW transforming itself into a consumer showcase instead.

Back To Photography

So why does that matter to photographers?

As Don pointed out, much of the conversation among professional photographers primarily centers on the photographer. We seem to blame the client (whether B2C or B2B). We defend our status quo, we lament that photography is expensive to do, and that professionals ought to be paid premium fees and treated with respect.

Ask a long list of brands that have gone down that road. From Blockbuster to physical music stores selling LPs and CDs. Ask retailers like Circuit City and many others, or even just your average Mall Developer. Read the news on many fashion brands, such as most teen brands fighting for survival. The list of bankruptcies is never ending. All victims of change that tried to fight unsuccessfully. Failure to adapt.

So for photographers, that means – stop blaming the clients for what is changing. They ultimately don’t care in today’s market, they feel empowered, and they will ultimately win the argument. Photographers no longer have the upper hand in this conversation, we’re just along for the ride.

A perfect example is the recurring theme of clients pushing back on usage license fees. Today’s client is willing to pay, but he will not pay if he feels taken advantage off, if there is no transparency or logic in the price. Our usage license pricing is a dinosaur from the past. In most cases where we try to explain it, rarely does the client go ‘oh, that makes total sense’ and pulls out his proverbial checkbook. They just look at how much time you took to create those images and how much gear you needed to show up with. They don’t understand why the same task is worth so much more in some cases than others? Retailers lost that battle years ago. Photographers are losing it increasingly as well. So let’s not burn any more bridges.

Who has power right now: People with an audience they can bring to the table as an amplifier. See yesterday’s news coverage of Kylie Jenner buying a $6M home at 18 years of age, all earned on building a powerful audience.

Photography isn’t dead. But to survive, photographers need to invest in the power of the personal brand, whichever way that works for them. And they need to follow the lessons of retail and focus on customer service and full transparency.

Brands can still demand premium prices if they are perceived as providing a premium product. Elon Musk and Tesla is a great example. Create a product and deliver it in a way that the client is happy to pay a premium for, because it is more than just filling a need, it also fills an aspiration.

Above all, stop being a cocky and entitled professional photographer.

Disclaimer: In a prior career I worked for 5 years in corporate at Amazon.com. I’ve lived the life of the retail revolution. I follow industry news on the topic with an interest of digital marketing and e-commerce, as well as my client’s industry; the fashion retailers, and in proxy the designers, are adapting to these realities.

Jan Klier is a New York based fashion photographer and director of photography. His work can be viewed at janklier.com and motion.janklier.com.

Categories: Business, Photo Industry

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