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The Daily Promo – Brian Kaldorf

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 10:58am

Brian Kaldorf

Who printed it?
The postcards were printed by www.4by6.com. I really like their finishes and variety. The boxes were printed by www.packlane.com– super easy to upload a design and excellent service. The tissue paper was done by digiwrapit.com, again, a huge variety of the types and textures of paper that they offer. Last and certainly not least, the mini growler was made by this wonderful company sigilandgrowler.com. They do a variety of custom growler configurations, really awesome stuff.

Who designed it?
I did all of the design work myself, I worked with a designer on my initial branding years ago and I’ve been slowly rolling out these hyper-targeted mailers.

Tell me about the images?
I had the concept for this particular promo long before I even had a full body of beverage work. I discovered the sigil and growler website and the idea for a personalized promo evolved from that. I wanted something that felt a little more personal than just the standard postcard. The imagery has been an ongoing evolution to produce a new beverage portfolio with the hopes of attracting some new beverage clients. My primary background is in product photography and I worked for about a year on this new book (you can view the new portfolio here). I wanted to produce images that were dynamic, graphic, and clean.

How many did you make?
So far I have only created half a dozen due to the expense. Because of the cost, I am hyper-targeting who they go out to- mainly dream clients or those who have really, legitimately shown an interest in this new body of work.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Right now I send printed promos in the form of 6 postcards spaced out throughout the year. I also do an email blast that goes out every month that the printed promo doesn’t go out. Larger promos ( like this growler box) aren’t based on a timetable, but rather go out based on interest level in my work and potential client interaction.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think it’s a “fire on all fronts” kind of thing with promotional material. I think for the most effective return on your efforts you need to be doing all you can to get and keep your name and work out there. It can’t just be printed promos, it needs to be email blasts, face to face meetings, phone calls, etc., anything that keeps you top of mind with our client base.

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Categories: Business

This Week in Photography Books: Misty Keasler

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:16am

 

Think back to your earliest memories.

They’re always the same, no?

We have so few memories of our youth, and it’s not like we can make more. There is what there is, and we re-scan them from time to time, like popping your favorite DVD into the machine.

(For those of you under the age of 20, DVDs are round, plastic discs that play movies and music. I know you’ve never heard of them before, but until recently, they were good tech, and Netflix used to send them in the mail.)

The few memories we do retain have an outsized role in representing our childhoods. All my memories, until I went to college, probably tab up to a few seconds of brain time; less than .000000000001% of what actually transpired.

So our memories become the Mt. Rushmore of our childhood.

One of my favorites is about the time my Uncle Keith, (who’s due to visit this weekend from New Jersey) came to pick me up at Oakhurst Day Camp, down the shore.

I must have been 5 or 6.

Our big plan was go to the Haunted House nearby at the Long Branch boardwalk. It was open part of the year, jutting well over the Atlantic Ocean.

We were so fired up.

“Those guys, Uncle Keith, they don’t know what’s coming. I’m not scared of them. No way.”

“That’s right, Buddy,” he replied. “You’re not scared of them.”

We’d talked about doing this for a while, and the day had finally arrived. It was a big thing for him to pick me up, so I was super-psyched.

We got the boardwalk, and my anticipation only grew. He was carrying me on his shoulders, so I could see above the crowd, and it felt safe and secure.

Until we got within 100 feet of our destination, when I saw some scary, made-up Frankenstein’s bride standing in front of the door. Really, were not that close. There’s no way I could remember what she actually looked like, now, at 43.

But it scared me shitless.

“Stop,” I yelled.
“Uncle Keith, stop!”

He stopped.

“No way,” I said. “I can’t go in there.”
“But you were so confident,” he replied. “So sure of yourself. You said you weren’t scared.”

“I am. I am scared. We can’t get any closer to that place. We have to leave now.”

“Are you sure,” he asked.

“Yes, please. Maybe when I’m older I can take it. But not now. We have to get out of here.”

So he took me for a Stromboli instead, which was delicious, and I never went back. The entire boardwalk burned down, within a year or two, so I never had the chance to confront the fear.

Instead, I grew up to be someone who doesn’t like horror movies, or being scared. (Sci-fi stuff like “Stranger Things” is the limit of what I can handle.)

So maybe that’s why I don’t love Halloween?

Lots of grownups can’t wait to design their costumes. They go all out, dressing up at work, at parties, or when they take their kids trick or treating.

You know the type.
And there are a lot of people like that.

Probably more than there are Halloween grinches like me.

But this time of year, the cultural aesthetic is so specific.

Ghouls and skeletons.
Monsters and witches.
Guts and blood.

Some people eat that shit up. They love to be scared, and watch faux-killers and dastardly demons tear through high school kids like a Ginsu knife through aluminum. They’ll watch every “SAW” movie, in a marathon, and then go hang out in a graveyard at 3am.

Those people might, realistically, open a Haunted House somewhere, because they still exist.

And someone has to be in charge of organizing the rush of the macabre. The feeling of being awake, in a nightmare. What does it look like, when rendered in plastic, makeup and ketchup?

I’m glad you asked.

Because if this isn’t the perfect week to take a look at Misty Keasler’s new book “Haunt,” published by Archon Projects, then I’m a one-eyed-one-horned-flying-purple-people-eater. (The book accompanies a solo show at the Ft. Worth Modern through November 26)

The first thing this book makes me wonder: what kind of person is Misty?

Does she like to be scared? Was tracking down these places a way to use her art practice to connect with an existing passion?

Did she name her kid after Wes Craven? (To be honest, I met Misty at a brunch in Dallas last year, and don’t think her baby was called Freddy or Jason.)

Or is she really repelled by these places, but wanted to conquer a deep fear, like driving into a hurricane?

(To use a “Stranger Things 2” reference, spoiler alert, I’d ask if she was like Will, taking Sean Astin’s advice to stand tall and confront the Shadow Monster in the upside-down.)

Because the pictures are unsparing. They stare right into this stuff.

Scary clowns. Dead chickens. Oozing viscera.

These are the things we want OUT of our heads, not in them. Looking at the pictures, I fear, is embedding these photographs
in my subconscious, where they might turn up later, in the night.

(Damn, you, Misty!)

But what is it like, for the aficionados? They must relish the fear, the adrenaline drops, the sense of being alive.

Because people pay money for the feeling. And now that I think about it, anyone who buys one of Misty’s prints will be choosing to have it on the wall at all times.

No thank you.

But as art, I have to give her serious credit. The pictures are well made, and let the subject matter do most of the talking.

(Cue scary music.)

(End scene.)

Bottom Line: Methodical, chilling look at the Haunted House industry

To purchase “Haunt,” click here

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Callie Lipkin

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:00am

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Callie Lipkin

After first discovering one of Chicago’s oldest and longest-running smokehouses, I immediately knew I wanted to create a project about it. Established on the South Side in 1928, Calumet Fisheries is one of only two smokehouses in the city still allowed to smoke fish and seafood over an open flame. The history of the place is something that can be felt the minute you begin walking up to the rather unassuming red and white hut. Their smokehouse is right on site, beside the Calumet River and the 95th Street bridge. And it’s a beautiful thing — covered in layers upon layers of char from decades of smoking fish and seafood. We’ve created both stills and a motion piece, including interviews with the current manager and their most experienced smoker. This cash-only, take-out restaurant is a James Beard award-winning cultural icon, and something not to miss.

Callie Lipkin is a commercial and editorial photographer specializing in creating beautiful lifestyle narratives. She started her career as a newspaper photojournalist shooting everything from state fairs to celebrities. She lives just North of Chicago with her husband and three sons.

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

 

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Categories: Business

Expert Advice: Wireless Tethering with CamRanger

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 9:47am

Alex Subers, Wonderful Machine

Tethering can be quite the nuisance. Limited mobility, minimal space on set, crashing laptops, and fickle cables to name a couple of reasons why.  Now depending on the scale of the shoot, tethering with cables and a digital tech station is necessary. But what about those shoots that don’t have the budget, space, or time to allow for an on-site digital tech and station? That’s where the CamRanger comes into play. It takes all of 2 minutes to connect to your iPhone, iPad, and camera, and but will save you hours on every shoot.

Alex Subers, Expert Advice, Tethering with CamRanger, Wonderful Machine, Photography, Photographer, How to tether using CamRanger, Best CamRanger Strategies, Professional CamRanger Advice, Expert Advice on Using CamRanger, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice

What does it do?

The CamRanger can work in multiple capacities:

  • Remote Shutter Release/Camera Adjustments
  • Wireless Downloading of Images (great for pumping out real-time social media posts)
  • Live View
  • Time Lapse/Bracketing

Alex Subers, Expert Advice, Tethering with CamRanger, Wonderful Machine, Photography, Photographer, How to tether using CamRanger, Best CamRanger Strategies, Professional CamRanger Advice, Expert Advice on Using CamRanger, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice
Remote Shutter Release/Camera Adjustments

After linking the CamRanger with your phone or tablet, you will be able to wirelessly trigger your shutter straight from the app, along with being able to control the majority of the camera settings you need while shooting, such as exposure, aperture, ISO, white balance, etc. The main benefit of this comes when you’re shooting photos that prohibit you from touching the camera, such as low shutter speeds, multiple exposures, or cameras out of reach (architecture, time lapses/long exposures, and any other photos requiring compositing).

Wireless Downloading of Images

This is the feature I tend to use the most due to the timely nature of the images I’m shooting. When I’m shooting games for the Sixers, getting the team photos throughout the game for their social media platforms is extremely important. One of the challenges has always been trying to beat out the competition, Getty Images. Since Getty photographers have a proprietary wireless software built-in to their cameras, they can get photos out real time. The CamRanger has leveled the playing field by creating a wireless network between the device and your phone, giving you the capability of browsing through your CF card straight from your phone and downloading high res images right on the spot. Although it’s not quite as quick as the Getty software, it’s 100x faster than walking to the press room after every quarter and uploading/exporting images. Here are a couple of popular photos I’ve been able to deliver real time.

Alex Subers, Expert Advice, Tethering with CamRanger, Wonderful Machine, Photography, Photographer, How to tether using CamRanger, Best CamRanger Strategies, Professional CamRanger Advice, Expert Advice on Using CamRanger, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice

Alex Subers, Expert Advice, Tethering with CamRanger, Wonderful Machine, Photography, Photographer, How to tether using CamRanger, Best CamRanger Strategies, Professional CamRanger Advice, Expert Advice on Using CamRanger, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice

Live View/Time Lapse/Bracketing 

These features are pretty straightforward. The live view capability is beneficial when the camera is out of reach, such as, in high or overhead angles, when you need to adjust the placement of items within the shot (particularly useful in food and still life shoots). The time-lapse feature is essentially a built-in intervalometer, allowing you to choose how many frames you want to shoot with how much time in-between. The bracketing feature, as you can see in the image to the right, allows you to set your initial shutter speed, the size of the incremental bracketing steps, and how many shots you want to take.

Here is an architectural photo that I used the CamRanger for when bracketing and triggering the shutter.

Alex Subers, Expert Advice, Tethering with CamRanger, Wonderful Machine, Photography, Photographer, How to tether using CamRanger, Best CamRanger Strategies, Professional CamRanger Advice, Expert Advice on Using CamRanger, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice

It wasn’t an ideal environment, but as you can see, I was able to change exposures straight from my phone, without having to touch the camera, making the post-processing a breeze to piece together.

The CamRanger is essentially a $300 investment that turns your phone/tablet into a portable digital tech station time and time again, without fail. In my opinion, this product is a MUST in any photographers camera bag. Check out the CamRanger website here, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – Ray Lego: Project 16

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:00am

 

 

Vice Sports / Project 16

Design Director: Adam Mignanelli
Writer: Jeff Harder
Sports Editor: Eric Nusbaum
Guest Editor: Drew Millard
Photographer: Ray Lego

 

How did this series idea come about?
Jeff Harder a writer that I worked with in the past (Triathlete and Vice Fightland) recommended me for the 16 Project. We make a great team! Our first project was a story on John “Bloodclot” Joseph of the “CRO-MAGS” for Triathlete Magazine.

 

Our second project was for Vice Fightland on madman “Benny Bodda” and third is the 16 Project! Jeff went down week before and wrote the story I followed shortly after so we both shared the same experience: people, places and things.

 

What was the goal for Project 16?
The project goal was to talk about being Sixteen. Sixteen is a transformative age for anybody. You learn to drive. You see freedom and the real world out there just beyond your grasp. But for an athlete, sixteen can be something bigger. It can be the time you separate yourself—the time you take the leap from high school hero to international superstar in the making. How does a sixteen-year-old juggle the pressure of competition, failure, success, on top of the everyday struggles of being a teenager?

What type of direction did they give you?
After a few phone calls with Vice creative team I was set to start production.I wanted it to be “Loose” and “candid” and limit equipment to bare bones so I could be mobile considering the area I’d be in. My direction was to capture him in his element in the GYM and in his HOOD, but most of all do my thing. I’ve been to Baltimore a lot working and know the zones can be sketchy with gangs, car jacking etc.  Once I got off of i-95 and started to get closer to the location (Upton Gym center) the scenery changed, bombed out blocks, dealers and young white junkies begging on every block.

Tell us about the environment and the shoot day.
I’ve traveled the world and that feeling I get when I see/go something NEW (country or town or neighborhood) is very fluid with excitement. West Baltimore reminded me more like a war-torn country in the middle east more so than the Bronx in the 70s. I arrived at the gym 1/2 hour early and it was closed, the area wasn’t that bad but I was still on high alert, with my foot injury I was a sitting duck.

LS showed up with an arm full of sneaker boxes and it took a good 20 minutes to pick the right one for the shoot! We all jumped into 3 cars and headed to where he grew up 15 min away, I grabbed 1 camera and left everything in the gym. We pulled up to his house and the whole block seemed to be boarded up with plywood and overgrown weeds. Drug dealers on every corner and kids racing around in golf carts, darting down alley ways and then reappearing with a new set of kids. At one point I wanted to get him walking down the block to the corner and his Mom screams No! It just wasn’t safe. Gang infested /drug infested makes it very dangerous even if you’ve lived on the block.

Arriving back at the gym I had him change into his work out clothing and had his coach go through his daily routine. The lighting was never wrong and worked in any direction. If I want to change the light direction or quality of it was as simple as moving it towards the subject. I love using one light and using angles to get what I want. I also love moving the subject into the light rather than the opposite. I did 5-7 set ups and then we went into the ring where I acted as his sparing partner and had him “box” me and the camera. I looked for quirky vignettes that screamed “Lego” mono chromatic colors, strange angles and catching the moment in between the real moment.

What was the biggest challenge with this shoot?
Besides having a medical walking boot on with multiple torn ligaments in my foot from skating a local pool, there were drug deals going on, stick-up kids, gangs around me, this was always an issue and walking down a block could become trouble. Luckily we had security and a guide but we still needed to be careful and stay close. Preproduction was easy because LS was already a name in the boxing world and there was a bunch of images of him as well as text. The Locations where very loose and I went with the flow, the gym was empty for us but there where still over 20 friends, family, fans hanging out. I decided to be very loose and use as little equipment as possible to keep me mobile, shooting from the hip and giving no direction.

How is this shaping you creatively?
I’m much more in the moment, not worrying about getting the “Best” shot. Its much more about other things like personality and making people feel comfortable + going with flow and staying in the “pocket” rather than lens, f-stop etc. I look at the back of screen once and then that’s it, after 25 years you don’t need a light meter and can tell the f-stop of a strobe by the sound it makes. I never say “this is the last one” or “one more” I stop when they get bored or lose focus. I’d rather have a good 10 minutes with someone than half a day. Most of my favorite work is within the first few captures, or the very last. I love when there’s no time and the pressure is on, I love when u need to rely on your skills and not a technique.

What are you plans for the work once it’s complete.
The first shoot of Lorenzo Simpson will run on Vice Sports as part of a 16-part series. I also shot Cole Anthony a top ranked high school basket ball player. The images will make their way to my website where I will show the “Heroes” as well as random outtakes. And the final push will be a printed piece for promotion.

You’ve always been involved in youth culture, sports, giving back, highlighting the underdog, why?
I broke into the photo world by shooting portraits of Hardcore/punk bands and then that turned into Major label then turned into Advertising and so on. I grew up skateboarding and youth culture was just a part of life. I always carried a camera/Leica or point and shoot and photographed anything and everything. From Pro Karting and Pee Wee football to kids slam dancing and stage diving to skating pools at the end of the season before they cleaned and painted them. I have always been on the fray of the next big thing or trying to bring something back to life, 25 years later and I’m still right there in the mix and most of the time with a camera. I met my best and favorite assistant when I was in a “Low Rider Bicyle club” in Lower East Side one random day. The kids I hung out with where all into graffiti, skating, drinking, drugging and every day was like a scene in a movie. I turned them into assistants and them a few of them went on to shoot their own stuff.

Youth culture was always about Art/Graffiti and the streets. I was always into street culture and my work at time reflects that raw energy that come from the independence and the celebration of multi class dynamics. Photographing artists was always a recurring theme, too. That’s why I feel so at home photographing Hip Hop/street culture and Fashion I was right in the middle of it when the first XGAMES started and shot promos for the first one! As well as MMA, I was right there!

Ray also founded Slot Care Kidz a charity he founded which is dedicated to making the lives of children in specialized care hospitals happier and healthier through the activity of slot car racing. Slot Care Kidz is a wonderful charity that brings a normal activity to kids in a “not-so-normal” environment.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Lauryn Ishak

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 11:46am

Lauryn Ishak

Who printed it?
It was printed by Ilitho in Indonesia (http://www.ilitho.co.id/). Brownfox uses them frequently and their quality is great and they’re one of the few able to do offset printing, with certain stock papers at a smaller print run and also at a reasonable cost.

Who designed it?
Brownfox Studio (http://brownfoxstudio.com/). I was introduced to Brownfox Studio by an art director friend of mine and really liked their work. They have a superb portfolio, most of it for brands and F&B outlets but are experienced in photography, as well, as they design the feature stories of the Indonesian-based travel magazine DestinAsian (http://www.destinasian.com/). Brownfox also redesigned my website (www.laurynishak.com).
We went through very minimal revisions as their ideas were pretty spot on. It was minimalist and practical but striking and beautiful at the same time.

Tell me about the images?
I worked with Stacy Swiderski at Wonderful Machine on the selection. We went through a couple of revisions on the selects as they had to be somewhat equal in representation (portrait, lifestyle, food, hospitality, travel, etc) and new work kept coming into the fold. In the end, we picked 60 images. This meant that I was able to curate a set of 8 (each envelope contains 8) for a specific client or industry. Having that breadth of 60 also means that I am able to make many different “general” versions for leave-behinds.

How many did you make?
I printed 60 images at 50 counts each. I have 200 of the green envelopes and 200 of the fabric pouches. We figured we could make more if we needed to. More than half has been mailed out or left behind after meetings with clients.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Living in Asia and working with quite a few regional clients, promos aren’t quite as common as they are in the US. It’s just a different way of working out here. I had done a promo a long time ago when I first started shooting but didn’t think it was much needed. Then luckily things got busy over the years and the thought of making a proper promo, truthfully, fell by the wayside. But last year, I figured it was finally time to make one so I got cracking and designed these ones with Brownfox Studio. And from now on, I’ll do them once a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I’ve received very positive feedback on these so far and in the short time these have been circulating, some editors have gotten in touch with queries and needs which have led to collaboration. However, having said that, since this is my first one in a long time, I think I need to give it a little bit more time to make a proper assessment.

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Categories: Business

This Week in Photography Books: Kevin O’Connell

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 10:06am

 

I’m going to keep it brief today.

No, really.
It’s true.

After a month of long, intense articles about my experience in Chicago, I kind of need a breather.

Frankly, we all do.

There is an ocean of underlying anxiety that we’re all passing around these days. It’s like a twisted, evil game of hot potato, in which we’re all bouncing our fears off each other. (“I don’t want to feel like shit. Here. You take it.”)

And social media is the perfect vehicle for our existential angst. Just now, I tweeted a Guardian article I’d just read that confirmed what I know in my daily life: there is less and less money flowing through our normal economies, as so much of it has been hoovered up by the Billionaire class.

So not only do we have to worry about working harder for less money, or watching our jobs in the creative industries disappear, but it’s all happening while a heartless, idiot man-child runs around with his finger on the “kill everyone” button at all times.

Everything just feels so… tumultuous.
Chaotic.

Every day, we tap into the swirling current of our collective discontent. (And if you happen to waste your time on Twitter or Facebook, the effect is amplified exponentially.)

But we have so little recourse, beyond just getting on with it all. Stiff upper lip. That sort of thing.

As artists, of course, we can make our work, and allow our emotional reality to become sublimated into the images and objects we create. I’ve always argued, here, that it’s the best possible response.

And I’m not sure if it’s the motivation behind “Inundation,” a new self-published artist book by Kevin O’Connell that turned up in the mail recently, but it’s certainly how I responded to the work.

The entire object, near as I can tell, is made from images of the roiling sea. (As Kevin is based in Denver, I can appreciate the attraction. Being 1000 miles from the ocean can mess with your head.)

But then again, about half-way through my viewing experience, I began to wonder if I weren’t seeing a few aerial shots of snow-covered peaks mixed in?

Is that crashing-wave-froth, or fresh powder deposited on a monumental, jutting rock?

Hard to tell.

The only text is on the back cover; an excerpt from a smart poem, written by the artist, or more likely someone else. But it speaks of the ocean, and makes no mention of mountains, so I still don’t know. (Googling would take all the fun out of the guessing-game.)

Regardless, as so many of the images are visually similar, I came away impressed by that sense of motion. By the churning juice in my stomach, and the way it reminded me of how I feel each day, in this, the first year of the Trump era.

Ironically, I was originally planning to review a little ‘zine given to me by Lindsay Lochman and Barbara Ciurej in Chicago. A small, constructed poke at Trump directly. But as I reached for the keyboard, I felt a wave of exhaustion coming over me.

Do I really have to talk about Trump again?

So instead, I grabbed Kevin’s book off the bottom of the book stack. And still, I thought of Trump. But this time, it was through metaphor, and it came from my own reaction. I’d bet that in Kevin’s mind, this series has nothing to do with politics.

But it’s called “Inundation,” and that’s what we’re all dealing with: the wall of shared anxiety we have to climb each day just to get out of bed, and make breakfast for the kids.

Life is messy, and we’re reminded of that too often. So I’ll end with a positive message: we’re all creators, so create. Make things that help you feel better, and share them with others.

And for God’s sake, lay off the Facebook now and again.

You’ll thank me.

Bottom Line: Cool, experiential book about raging seas

To purchase “Inundation,” click here

If you’d like to submit a book for review, please email me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com

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Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 9 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world.

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Conor Nickerson

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 10/26/2017 - 10:00am

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Conor Nickerson

I got the idea to do this project when I was home from University on spring break this year. I was looking through some old photos albums and a few stood out to me because they were nice photos. I did a project last year called Then & Now where I recreated historical photographs of Montreal, so I think that was in the back of my head when I was looking through these photos. I thought it could be an interesting project to put myself in these old photos, and it was also a personal challenge to see if I could pull it off!

 

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

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Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 9 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world.

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Categories: Business

Pricing & Negotiating: Licensing Extension

A Photo Editor's Blog - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 9:17am

Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Licensing extension

Licensing: Unlimited use of 36 images for two additional years

Photographer: Lifestyle and portrait specialist

Agency: Mid-sized agency based in the Midwest

Client: One of the largest manufacturers you’ve probably never heard of

Here is the estimate:

pricing and negotiating, wonderful machine, estimates for shoot production, shoot production estimates, executive producers who do estimates, estimates for photographers, wonderful machine production company, examples of photographer contracts, Jess Dudley, executive producer

I wanted to take this opportunity to make the case, yet again, for limiting licensing. As many of you have surely experienced, clients are increasingly expecting unlimited use, by default, regardless of the intended use. Nevertheless, it is important to press against that default request whenever you face it.

A lot of times, you’ll get the canned, CYA response – “it’s going to end up in a lawless, Wild West of an asset library and our people can’t be trusted to read the metadata or attached restrictions.”

I don’t blame clients for taking this protective stance. If an intern inadvertently pulls an image for a use beyond the scope of its licensing restrictions, the client could get dinged with an unexpected licensing fee, talent fee and/or infringement claim. However, acceptance of an unlimited usage agreement eliminates the opportunity to generate future revenue for a given image or set of images, which is crucial to sustaining and growing any photography business.

Unfortunately, the request/expectation/demand for unlimited use has become so ubiquitous that we have defined the term in our standard terms and conditions. In some cases, when the client asks for a buyout or unlimited use, they mean it and plan to fully utilize the extensive license (price at-will in those cases). But in many cases, they don’t, so it is important to do your due diligence to find out exactly what the client means by “unlimited.”  “Unlimited,” like “Buyout,” means different things to different people, so it’s important to run through the gamut of potential uses and mediums with the client to figure out exactly how they plan to use the images. Do they really need international use? Are they really planning to put billboards up in El Paso? Do they really plan to use the images after 2024? It could be that they mean an “unlimited” or unknown quantity of emailers, postcards or brochures. “Unlimited” collateral use is far less valuable for most clients than “unlimited” advertising use. Or they may be referring to the duration of use or the number of images from the shoot, expecting a “library” of content instead of a set number.

The point is, it is important to press for more info so that you can create the opportunity to generate licensing fees down the road. Once you narrow the scope to precisely what the need is, push hard to cap the duration for as brief a window as tolerable, even if that means giving up imagery. In many cases, there’s real potential for the client to extend the duration of use, even by a few months, while they wind down a particular placement.

Last year I wrote a post about a project I negotiated for a Trade Ad campaign. The client came to us with a broad scope of use (Unlimited), but was willing to limit the duration of use, and also requested pricing options for licensing extensions. This allowed us the opportunity to create the potential for future revenue. Just as the license was set to expire at the end of last year, I followed up with the client to find out if they were still using the images, and/or if they planned on extending the licensing through 2017 or 2018. (side note – get in the habit of adding license expirations to your calendar or using license tracking software like Blinkbid to remind you when licenses are set to expire so you can follow up about continued use).

The client was still using the images and planned to continue doing so through 2018. On the approved shoot estimate, we’d quoted the 2018 duration extension at $26,750.00 That represented the minimum licensing fee we would be proposing. I say minimum because our standard terms note that any licensing options presented are only valid for 15 days from original file delivery. It’s written this way because the leverage shifts dramatically after the images are created and as time wears on. In a perfect world, the expiration of the licensing option pricing would be the day before the shoot, but that may be a little too aggressive. The value of the imagery changes (generally increasing) as you move from estimating to delivery to first use.

If a client comes back to extend usage, it could simply mean that they now have funds that they didn’t initially, or that something that was unknown and unproven is now known and proven, essentially giving us leverage to push for higher fees based on the new perceived value. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Once those numbers hit the page on the initial estimate, in normal circumstances, you’ll be hard pressed to increase the fees in any substantial way without potentially impacting your relationship with the client (particularly if there is additional work on the horizon, which in this case there was… more on that in a future post). Also, in this instance, we felt like the fees were healthy enough, to begin with, so there wasn’t much need to even consider higher fees. Accordingly, we sent the above quote, which was quickly approved by the client to allow for the uninterrupted use of the imagery.

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 – Peter Bohler: The New York Times Sunday Magazine

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 10:10am

The New York Times Sunday Magazine

 

Design Director: Gail Bichler
Director of Photography: Katherine Ryan
Art Director: Matt Willey
Deputy Photo Editor: Jessica Dimson
Associate Photo Editors: Stacey Baker, Amy Kellner, Christine Walsh
Photographer: Peter Bohler

 

Heidi: What were some of the challenges shooting these female firefighters?
Peter: Fires are obviously unpredictable and dangerous, so this story was difficult to shoot. I started shooting in September of 2016, and I spent much of that October watching for a fire that would involve the Malibu Camp 13 crews. It was an unexpectedly quiet fall, so I wasn’t able to shoot on a fire. Jamie Lowe, the writer, kept working on the story, and this summer I got lucky (if you can say that in regard to wildfires) while shooting Rainbow Camp–they got called out to two small fires while I was there. About half the story was shot on that day. Later on, I was also able to accompany the Malibu crews on the Detwiler fire near Mariposa, CA, and spent an entire 24 hour shift with them, which was an amazing experience. Each day required access to be coordinated through California Department of Corrections and the LA Fire Department or CAL FIRE, and then there is the double-edged sword of fire, which needed to be present but not too dangerous. It was rare for circumstances to align just right.

How much interaction/conversation did you have with them women?
There were some quiet moments in camp or while we were hiking when I was able to have some pretty deep conversations with the women. I was intensely curious about their experiences, and I think the women sensed that and opened up–after all, this was a radically new and different life for most of them too. Most of the women justifiably take a lot of pride in their work and were happy to have me there. I was moved by many of their stories. I could have kept shooting this story forever.

How much support did you get in order to track the fires?
None of it would have been possible without a lot of legwork by Christine Walsh and Karen Hanley at the New York Times Magazine, along with a ton of support from Bill Sessa at CDCR and Chief Stukey at LAFD, who helped us with access. Many people at CDCR, LAFD, and CAL FIRE went out of their way to get me access, and I was blown away by the care and respect they showed for the inmates. Jamie Lowe wrote a powerful story and laid the foundation for the photos. And finally, the women themselves welcomed me into their lives and gave me tremendous access. I’m so thankful to everyone.

Did you pitch this story to the NYT?
No, the New York Times Magazine came to me with this story, for which I am tremendously grateful. A couple of years ago, I spent a year or two working with the National Interagency Fire Center, trying to get access to shoot hotshot crews, and I had pitched the story to the NY Times Magazine. While that story never went anywhere, I think it planted the seed that I was interested in wildfire fighters. My discussions with the NIFC were also useful when it came to understanding what would be required to get onto the fire ground for this story.

How has your love of the outdoors influenced your work and your ability to get adventure assignments.
The outdoors are a huge part of my life–I grew up hiking and camping, and after college it was a toss up whether I would go into photography or outdoor education (or engineering but that’s another story). On a practical level, the foundation of skills I have has really helped me in my work–you need to be comfortable in these environments to keep up with your subjects. In this story, for example, we were hiking off-trail in 100 degree heat wearing 50 pounds of safety gear, and I was glad it wasn’t my first experience with that sort of thing.

But more important, I think, is the connection I feel with nature. I love being in these places and hope that brings a richness to the pictures. Being outdoors is at the center of my life. It’s hard to overestimate the impact it has on my work.

How if at all did your upbringing influence your creativity?
My mother grew up in Switzerland, and I spent many summers there as a kid. I love Switzerland very much, but I neither felt completely at home there or in New Jersey, where I grew up. It is hard to say exactly how these experiences influence us, but I think I’ve always been searching for my place in the world, and I’m very interested in how place influences culture. I feel like this story is very much a part of that thread–the lives of these women are completely shaped by the work they do in the rugged and fire-prone California landscape.

How has cooking shaped you?
I’ve gotten really into baking sourdough bread over the last year or so, and I’ve always liked to cook. I think there’s a real need for me to focus on something tangible and process oriented to balance out a photography career, which can be so unpredictable and ephemeral. I’ve noticed a lot of photographers are drawn to these sorts of crafts and activities–I’m sure road bikes and woodworking are in my future somewhere. After I’ve been traveling a lot, cooking and baking grounds me. I don’t feel like I’m really home until I’ve cooked a meal.

Do you make it a point to practice outdoor skills?
Yes, when there is time. For example, I’m a rock climber but I don’t specialize in climbing photography, so before I shot rock climber Alex Honnold for the NY Times Magazine, I spent a day on the rock practicing my rigging and systems. That kind of formal practice is unusual, but when I have free time, I’m up in the mountains.

Did you feel any pressure after being noted as an emerging photographer?
I don’t think pressure is the right word–I always feel a lot of pressure to make good work. But it was strange to achieve so many goals relatively quickly after a decade of trying to get any work at all. For better or worse, the first part of this year was really slow, which gave me time to focus on where I want my work to go, and to concentrate on a few projects I really believe in, like this one.

 

Sandra Rojas

Crew 13-4 on a lunch break at Nicholas County Beach in Malibu

Sara Roche leads inmates in yoga

Inmates preparing to cross over from California Department of Corrections to the fire side of Rainbow Camp

Rainbow crew 4 cutting line on a small fire near Hemet

Dionne Davis, Rainbow crew 1 or 4

Sarah Meenahan, Rainbow Crew 1

Marquet Jones, a sawyer with Rainbow crew 4, cutting line on a small fire near Hemet.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Winnie Au

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 11:12am

Winnie Au

Who printed it?
Kirkwood Printing – they’re a great place based a little outside of Boston, MA. They have been in the business forever and were really easy to work with. I previously have done a lot of digital printing/printing through the internet for my promos so it was nice to do something that involved person to person contact. I went to the press check, and I really enjoyed touring their space, seeing the CMYK plates, and meeting people who know their colors, machines and craft so well.

Who designed it?
Suzanne McKenzie. I was very lucky to have someone as talented as Suzanne working on my promo. We’ve known each other for many years, and I’ve done several shoots for her company Ablemade, so it was a natural fit to have her design something for me. She has an amazing vision and understands the type of people I am trying to reach, so it was great to have her insight and eye on both the edit and design.

Tell me about the images?
We spent a lot of time working on the edit of this zine. I do a lot of shoots of various subjects, which is generally a great thing, except when it comes time to edit. I think that a huge part of what defines you as a photographer comes down to your edit, especially in this age of digital photography where we tend to [as photographers] shoot way more frames than film photographers did. So sifting through the past year’s work to tell a coherent story can take some time. As my other photographer friends have advised me in the past, you have to only show work that you want to get. A lot of my work is environmental portraiture, so I wanted this zine to be a window into the lives of the people I am lucky enough to photograph, as well as showcase diversity of age, gender, and race. I always find my subjects and their lives/homes/workplaces to be inspiring, so hopefully, others who see the images in my zine will also find inspiration in them.

How many did you make?
An edition of 1000 – we mailed out 750 copies to art buyers, photo editors and to past/current/prospective clients. I retained the rest for my rep to hand out in person and for my own in-person meetings.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Not enough! Usually, I manage to do 2 print promos a year – one larger mailer and then a more focused holiday mailer. And then I do email newsletters in between, more frequently throughout the year. I think the strategy of doing smaller mailers or postcards (vs a 52-page zine) more frequently could be effective, but I haven’t figured out how to make that work with my brain and schedule.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, definitely. I guess a huge part of me just enjoys printing things and so selfishly I like to tell myself that of course, it’s effective and worth the time and money.

But on a less emotional and more logical side, I think that if you can make print pieces that stand out, they are extremely effective. I know art buyers/editors do receive a lot of promos, but at the same time, I think people still enjoy receiving old-fashioned snail mail and packages that are thoughtfully executed. Hopefully, someone will keep it at their desk or on their shelf as a reference. But basically, if just one person gives you a job after seeing your promo or remembers your name who didn’t know it before, it all becomes worth it.

This year a few of the people I sent promos to did Instagram stories of the inside of it, which was a nice way to get instant feedback from the promo and know that it made it into my intended audience’s hands and that they were enjoying it. I think all marketing is still a numbers game. If you can reach someone via snail mail, great. If you can reach some via an email newsletter, also great. You really just need to be reaching people through various methods so that at the end of they day, they know you exist or are aware of your recent work.

Tell me about the title?
The title “Without Words” is part of an ongoing theme in my print promos. The first zine promo I did was named “Wander Over With”. The second one I did was named “Way Over Where”.

The connecting thread is that each title loosely is an acrostic spelling out “WOW” in it (which refers back to my website winniewow.com, which happens to be a phonetic spelling of my full name, Winnie W Au). It’s a bit convoluted and I don’t think anyone will ever notice, but it helps me creatively to have this structure to work around when naming my promos. Or…is it a really effective subliminal message?! Ok, probably not, but one can hope.

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Categories: Business

The Best Work I Saw at the Filter Photo Festival: Part 3

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 10:05am

 

It’s a tough week to be a man.

My gender has not come off well recently, what with the “me too” movement proving that almost every woman in America has been groped, molested, raped, or abused in some way during her lifetime.

Totally disgraceful.

As my own wife typed those words into Facebook, in conjunction with so many friends and colleagues, there’s not much I can do but shake my head and wonder how we got here.

Because where we are is pretty fucked up. (I should also mention the recent, horrifying news about the murder and dismemberment of Swedish photojournalist Kim Wall, which is the worst story I’ve heard this year.)

Then today, in the very same week, Women Photograph came out with a set of statistics that show just how few gigs at the major news organizations are going to women.

The numbers are awful.

I’ve said many times I’m a strong feminist, as my wife went to Vassar and Smith, and educated me since I was 23 on the ways of the patriarchy. As I’m now 43, you can imagine how many times I’ve been schooled on the depth of misogyny here in America.

I may have morphed into a super-liberal, highly conscious male in 2017, but I grew up a suburban-Jersey-boy, obsessed with sports and girls, so it was no given that I’d get where I am.

It took a lot of intervention from the Smith posse, and I’m forever grateful.

In fact, I can still remember what it was like, visiting Northampton back in 1998, partying with all those lesbians. I knew nothing of “butch” and “femme,” or “top” and “bottom,” and was seriously insecure to be in a crowd I didn’t understand.

In the beginning, I struggled with how to handle it. Frankly, I was uncomfortable, and out of my depth. But there was also something thrilling about encountering worlds so different from my own.

Then we moved to San Francisco, and were hanging out with the Bernal Heights lesbian crew all the time, and soon what had seemed strange became a part of my normal life. (In particular because these women, soon-to-become social workers, were such kind, impressive, intelligent people.)

Over time, my repeated exposure allowed me to relax, and begin to appreciate that these ladies were remarkable. Sure, they were different than I was, but at some point, we’re all people.

Now it’s 20 years later, and I am a much healthier, more grounded and accepting person, in particular because I had exposure to people of different races, classes, and sexual orientations in the ensuing years.

That opportunity to mesh with people, outside my Taos bubble, was one of my favorite things about my visit to Chicago, at the Filter Photo Festival last month. (This will be our final post on the subject.)

Because this last bit of synchronicity may be the best of all, and it was directly connected to who sat down at my portfolio reviewing table, ready to show me some work.

It began with the last review of Saturday afternoon, when I was pretty fried from all the looking and talking. A young man took a seat, introduced himself as Matt Storm, and began telling me a bit about his background.

From the first moment, I thought, “It appears he’s transgender. Like he used to be a woman. I hope it will come up in a natural way, so I don’t end up looking like an asshole.”

I gently made some further observations, and asked a few appropriate, polite questions, and it turned out I was correct, that Matt was cool with discussing it, and that I managed not to make a fool of myself.

The work is pretty genius, and I don’t use that word flippantly. Turns out, Matt’s grandfather passed away earlier this year, and they were close. So Matt came up with a project in which he impersonates his grandfather, while wearing the dead man’s clothes.

Even better, the pictures are hilarious, absurd, subversive, and perfect. In fact, in some of the photographs, Matt has posed in front of family pictures in the background that include him, as a young girl, if you know where to look.

I can’t imagine a smarter investigation of gender in America, and the fact that it is funny, rather than strident, is not coincidental.

The next day, in the morning, Kris Sanford sat down across the table, and also had a project looking at issues in Gay America. Kris had made black and white portraits of gay Americans in their homes, back in 2000, (before Will and Grace,) before there was even a widespread discussion of gay issues in our broader culture.

Then, she went back, found the same people, and re-photographed them 16 years later, in color, as symbolic representations of change over time. (Those are my words. She’d probably say they’re just portraits.)

But as Matt is in his 20’s, and his pictures represent a certain of-the-moment-ness, Kris is in her 30’s, and the project seems to have a different vibe reflective, perhaps, of a different generation.

Finally, right after Kris, Zoe Perry-Wood met with me, and she’s also a lesbian artist making work about gay rights issues, but  of an older generation than Matt and Kris. In Zoe’s case, she’s been photographing Boston’s gay youth prom for 10 years, making studio portraits of young people celebrating in an inclusive environment where they can joyously be themselves in public.

Zoe mentioned that over time, she’s seen changes in the demographic. In particular, the students have started coming out younger, and there are now more transgender students than their used to be.

Through the pictures, we can see the way changes in the culture at large are reflected in the bodies and spirits of these young people. And the photographs are technically strong as well.

So as strange is it may sound to some of you, I’m now in the process of curating a 3-person show by these excellent artists. I think it’s important for people to look at, and experience, different perspectives, and even though I’m just a straight white guy, I’m hoping to use my energy and effort to help get the message out there.

Moving on, I saw Jim VanBibber’s work out of the corner of my eye at the portfolio walk. Someone had mentioned it to me, so I headed his way to see for myself. Pictures like this need little introduction, as Jim is making wet plate collodion portraits of Lucha libra wrestler toys.

So. damn. cool.

Alice Hargrave had a review with me, and I needed to focus, as there were some pretty heavy conceptual strains pulsing through the pictures. One set was actually a visual, abstracted representation of birds, made by color-coding the sound waves of their calls. (Trippy, yo!)

She also had pictures she made at night, of verdant spots in cities, primarily, and I thought they were lovely. Really great use of color, texture and mood, so that’s what we’re showing here.

Next, we have the work of Julie Pawlowski, who spent several years living in Shanghai. (Her husband worked for Smuckers, of all places.) Though she was only a temporary resident, Julie was impacted by the rampant development in her adopted city.

In particular, she noticed that as traditional neighborhoods were razed, brick walls were put up to block out peeping eyes, or curious feet. So Julie has made a photo series that examines the changes in the urban landscapes, and uses those bricks as a repeating motif.

Finally, yes finally, we end with a small artist book by Kevin Miyazaki. I met him at Review Santa Fe back in 2009, and have been an admirer since. (Kevin was one of the first people to organize a print-for-charity process, with his collect.give program.)

In this case, Kevin gave me his book, about taking a trip to Japan as a Japanese-American who doesn’t speak Japanese. It’s a hard situation to imagine, though it affects many Asian-Americans. Looking like you belong, yet being marked as outsider because of your dress, language, or inability to understand certain rituals or traditions.

The book is beautiful, and seems an appropriate place to end this month-long look into what I saw, and who I met, in the coolest city in America. (Chicago, in case you’ve forgotten.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Adam Moran

A Photo Editor's Blog - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 10:00am

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Adam Moran

the last 1/4

In March of 2015 I had been traveling non stop for almost 3 months shooting snowboarding and was getting a little burnt out.  No matter how beautiful the scenery I was in, it was all starting to blend after so many years working in the snow sports industry.  I was starting to get the itch to get out and shoot other things but my work schedule at the time had me going non stop. At the time I was living in Venice CA and finally home for a weekend. When I woke up to go walk for a coffee I realized that the LA Marathon was going on, and finishing just up the road from my house.   So I took my coffee, went home and grabbed a small camera bag and my bike and cruised up towards the finish line.  I had no plan, just the itch to get out and shoot something different.  I remember locking my bike up and thinking what am I doing here?, is this wasting time I could be home with my wife after I’d been traveling for weeks on end?  It honestly stressed me out at first, till I started shooting.  With no plan or goal I was able to just keep my eyes wide open and feel out the whole scene.  I only hung out at the last 1/4 mile of the marathon and quickly was taken by the energy of the scene.  People were cheering for everyone coming through, and you could see it lift their spirits as they finally had the end in sight.   What amazed me the most was the age range of people finishing, it truly made me feel I needed to get in better shape as people twice my age were finishing a run 8 times further than I thought I could make it.  As I kept shooting my focus started to narrow and I was drawn to the emotion on people as they were about to finish.  There was such a mix of pain, exhaustion, and elation all at once, with a huge crowd cheering so loud to make sure they made it to the end.  When I shoot action sports it’s common to frame in the whole scene, and this allowed me to depart from that and focus in on the elements I was missing in my normal work, close up emotion.  I’ve always loved the feeling of gritty b/w photos and wanted to keep it that way so the loud colors of running gear and bibs wouldn’t distract from feeling in the shot.  This was one of the first times I shot running and fitness work and it sparked something in me that I keeps me wanting to shoot more and more of it these days.  In the end after being burnt out on work, I came home from the race and spent my first Saturday at home editing photos, feeling inspired again.  So here it is, the last 1/4.

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

 

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – Variety: Andrew Hetherington

A Photo Editor's Blog - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:27am

Variety

Design Director: Chris Mihal
Director of Photography: Bailey Bernard
Art Director: Cheyne Gateley
Photographer: Andrew Hetherington

Heidi: Can you talk us through your process preparing for a celebrity shoot like this?
Andrew: After the initial email from Variety PD Bailey Franklin confirming subject, date and location I checked in with him to see if they had any specific creative direction in mind so I could start wrapping my head around what I needed to do to get the ball rolling my end. If I recall we only had 5 days to pull it together, two of them being the weekend so things needed to happen swiftly. Variety were looking at a cover, a TOC image, an opener for the feature and 1 or 2 more images for secondary art. It was for their Emmy issue and Colbert was hosting the show so I started to brainstorm ideas and put together a creative deck. The location was The Ed Sullivan Theatre in NYC where The Late Show is taped. I wanted to give the impression that we were at the Emmys itself so didn’t want to shoot on the set per se so began thinking of ideas for front and back stage and researched images of previous Emmys awards shows to see if there was anything that caught my eye and would help shape some fun concepts. Also had a creative call with Bailey and CD Chris Mihal to flush out ideas before we sent the deck to Colbert’s PR for concept approvals. I knew Stephen should be wearing a tux too for it all to make sense and we made that request from the git go.

It’s a challenge to come up with original ideas for Colbert as he has been photographed pretty much every which way at this stage. But having a theme like the Emmys helped focus the concepting for me. I also asked and got to scout the location two days before the shoot which was great as we were able to walk through creative, technical and logistic scenarios with Colbert’s people and the crew at the studio; which can be a bit of a minefield in itself making sure you adhere to the house rules. On this shoot I used battery-powered strobes so we didn’t have to have a union electrician on hand to plug everything in. Usually helps gain some good will with the studio manager.

What tools to do you have to deal with the time pressure?
It’s all in the preparation. I like to have as much time to set up as possible and in this case we had two hours (which always goes so much quicker then you think). Each member of my crew was clearly aware of what our work flow was and what their responsibilities were. We discuss all possible scenarios that might play out creatively and technically. It’s important for everyone on my team to be in a cool calm zone during the shoot itself and we discuss who will do what should there be any hiccups so the experience is as seamless as can be.

What gets eliminated due to time constraints?
We were scheduled to have an hour to shoot with Stephen but in the end we had 20 minutes. I had 3 different set ups dialed in and in this case we stuck to that plan so nothing was eliminated.

Was this before the taping of a show?
Yes the scheduling was pretty tight. Shoot time was 12 noon – 1pm, when the studio crew were at lunch. We had a hard stop at 1pm as the band Beirut began a sound check and camera rehearsal on the set for their performance that evening. Let me say that the band did start playing at 1pm on the dot.

Did you shoot more than two locations?
We did the first set up in front of house which one assistant wrapped as we went back stage for the other two set ups. We needed to have all our gear out-of-the-way for the Beirut sound check.

Was it a collaborative effort with Colbert or did he simply want to be directed.
I had actually photographed Stephen at the Sundance Film Festival way back in 2005 when he was there promoting the Strangers with Candy movie. It was part of a portfolio I was shooting of festival attendees for Premiere magazine. I still remember the session with Colbert fondly because he and co-stars Amy Sedaris and Paul Dinello brought so much energy, dynamism and authenticity to the set. This was right before the Colbert Report started on Comedy Central and he was relatively unknown still. I had no idea who he was at the time. I mentioned this to Stephen right before the shoot.

A subject like Colbert is a photographers dream. He’s a total pro and brings so much energy and enthusiasm. He’s also incredibly gifted physically and has an amazing sense of himself and the camera. I would say it was very collaborative with a bit of direction and a tweak here and there from me. Everyone was on board with concepts and how to execute at this stage so it allowed for spontaneity and ad libbing for each scenario.

The cover shot with his glam squad (hair/make-up/stylist) was my idea. The lip stick was all Stephen and we were given the heads up that it was something he wanted to try before the shoot. We did this shot last as we knew his make up would be toast once the lip stick was applied and we didn’t have time to be re applying for another set up.

What’s the best part about shoots like this? (where time is restricted)
The great thing in this instance was that 20 minutes was more than enough to get what we did. No time to over think each scenario, no time for the subject to become bored and uninterested. Helps of course that Colbert is a total pro!!!

What’s the most useful advice you would give your creative younger self about situations like this?
Friend, inspirator and mentor Platon once gave my younger creative self some advice that still holds true on shoots like these “Be yourself. But be prepared. Be prepared. Be prepared. Be technically prepared. Make sure nothing will go wrong technically and if it does, make sure you have a backup to the backup to the backup.  So be prepared, be yourself and most importantly you must make an Andrew Hetherington photograph. Oh and enjoy the moment.”

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Elysa Weitala

A Photo Editor's Blog - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:07am

Elysa Weitala

Who printed it?
HH Imaging in San Francisco printed the photo cards. I’ve worked with them on a few other projects and they are wonderful! Great quality prints and awesome people! The custom blue box was printed by Packlane and the branded wrapping paper was from Spoonflower.

Who designed it?
Last year I went through a full rebranding with a team at Wonderful Machine. This promo was the final piece to my new brand! Karen Yee was my amazing designer throughout the entire rebranding and created the design and concept for this promo. Stacy Swiderski was my editor and helped me select just the right images.

Tell me about the images?
My editor, Stacy and I wanted to make sure that my first large promo showcased the range and variety of my work. With a cohesive style that reaches across my primary disciplines, Food and Still Life / Product Photography, we opted to send each contact a set of both food and lifestyle cards. The images are a mix of personal and commissioned work from the past few years. The images chosen worked well together but could also stand strong on their own.

How many did you make?
100 Complete Box Sets and 20 Individual Card Sets

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is my first promo! I plan to send one intricate or large promo each year followed by one (or two) smaller promos throughout the year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Yes, very much so! It is a break from the constant stream of digital media present in this industry. It also gives me the chance to bring elements and materials into my branding that is not possible with a website, blog, or email campaigns.

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Categories: Business

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