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Former Photography Director Rob Haggart
Updated: 4 min 41 sec ago

This Week In Photography Books: William Christenberry

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:30am

by Jonathan Blaustein

Colin looked away, unable to meet her eye. Shame has many tells, and this one was screaming louder than an infant at the witching hour. He’d wanted to tell her the truth for months, of course, but couldn’t bring himself to speak the words.

Now, it was too late.

Maddy had opened a letter addressed to him. She’d never done that before, but he understood why she’d done it. They’d been married for nigh on 30 years, and he was sure she’d noticed the change in his behavior.

First, he started drinking more heavily. When they could afford the extra whiskey, it hadn’t been so noticeable. But as fortunes faded, it became more obvious that $5 a week mattered elsewhere.

Colin thought he’d be able to pick up some extra day labor, but, honestly, he knew it was as illusory as magic. The economy in rural Alabama, such as it was, did not allow for extra anything, much less work or money.

Soon enough, his sex drive began to abate. Men need confidence to feel good about themselves, and a no-job-having, no-money-making, lie-around-the-house-and-drink type of man doesn’t feel desire like he used to. When he was younger, and the future held promise instead of a slow decline into ruin.

That’s the part they always gloss over in the history books. For all the talk of progress, and ideas building to the future, like the march from horses to trains to automobiles. That’s what people like to talk about.

It’s easier to forget forgotten places. They die slowly, like a malnourished child. There’s no bloody mess, and no one there to hear you scream. Though most lack the energy at the end, for screaming.

No, Colin wasn’t surprised that Maddy opened the letter from the bank. If anything, he was embarrassed not to have the guts to tell her to her face. But if he couldn’t meet her eye these days, how was he to summon such courage?

They were to be out in 30 days, even though no one in their right mind would want the house. It was falling apart as it was, and wouldn’t be standing for long, without some money and TLC. Outside of him and Maddy, there was no one who’d care about one more slanting shack. No one at all.

Except for William Christenberry, of course. Thankfully, he’s been out and about, cruising the back roads and dirt lanes of Alabama for many, many years. I’ve always loved his work, dramatic and subtle at the same time.

If you’re unaware, Mr. Christenberry has visited and revisited the types of falling down, incredibly nostalgic, romantic little shotgun shacks, and taken their pictures over many years, as they slowly succumb to entropy. Books are great for these sorts of projects. All you need to do is turn the page, and another year, or 5, has passed. No need to wait.

Should you care to see such work in a beautifully made book, you’ve come to the right place. The Fundacion Mapfre in Spain has just released an eponymous monograph, in conjunction with a pair of major exhibitions there. I will show it to you in the snapshots below, because that is what I do.

I was unaware, actually, that Mr. Christenberry also made sculptures. It’s very common in the art world, for artists to work in multiple media, but less so among more traditional photographers. I’ve been encouraging experimentation for years, as my long-time readers know, and this work can provide inspiration.

The photos of these churches and BBQ joints are amazing, but then, rendered in miniature as sculpture, the feeling changes. It must. Expressing similar, important ideas in varying ways is the sign of a genuinely engaged mind. Brilliant stuff.

Bottom line: Big, beautiful monograph by a deserving legend

To Purchase William Christenberry Visit Photo-Eye

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

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

Categories: Business

Paolo Roversi: My Life Is Full Of Pictures I Didn’t Take

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 7:00am

I’m not the kind of photographer who always has a camera around his neck, always taking pictures of everything, with the fear of losing the moment. My life is full of pictures I didn’t take, or that I just took with my mind because I wasn’t fast enough with the camera. Maybe one day I’ll write a book about the pictures I didn’t take.

via Paolo Roversi Interview | The Talks.

Categories: Business

Art Producers Speak: Sean Murphy

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:11am

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Sean Murphy. Sean is tenacious at living. He is vibrant, happy with an eye of the finest artist. Each of his takes makes me say AH! and I am an artist, so that’s not always an easy thing. He goes anywhere and traveling in his giant truck, he becomes part of the culture of what he is shooting and it shows.

Monterey Tourism / Cramer-Kresselt

Monterey Tourism / Cramer-Kresselt

47 Brand / The Fantastical

47 Brand / The Fantastical

Personal trip to Nicaragua

Personal trip to Nicaragua

SRT / The Richards Group

SRT / The Richards Group

Tosin Abasi / Guitar World

Tosin Abasi / Guitar World

Stock shoot for Image Source

Stock shoot for Image Source

Cedar Fair / Cramer-Kresselt

Cedar Fair / Cramer-Kresselt

Evan Seinfeld

Evan Seinfeld

Nature's Recipe / Draft

Nature’s Recipe / Draft

AAA / The Richards Group

AAA / The Richards Group

How many years have you been in business?
Well, I got out of college in 1993. It was around 1995 that I started getting my first jobs, which at that time were mostly editorial. I knew a lot of bands, so I also ended up shooting rock and roll and album covers. I didn’t get my first advertising job until 1999, but by 2000 it became and remains the primary work that I do. I still do shoot music and editorial and I love the creative freedom it brings, but I don’t focus my energy on acquiring that work so much anymore. So, that’s the “too long” answer…it’s been about 20 years. :)

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
School. I spent a lot of time painting and sculpting while I was growing up. I had a girlfriend with an old Pentax that she loaned me and, on a whim, I signed up for a photo class at a community college in Orlando, Florida. I got the bug immediately, quit mid-semester, and moved to Boston to go to the New England School of Photography. I graduated Valedictorian in 1993.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Before I went to Boston, I attended that photography class in Orlando. The teacher was a retired Time-Life photographer. His hands were gnarled from years of working with the chemicals. Cool guy. He said to me, “I never say this, but you have something special. If I were you, I’d leave here and go to Boston or New York.” So I did. Within a month, I was gone.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Well, for starters, I’m shooting ALL the time. I surround myself with uber-talented people. I get fueled by their vibes. And I have a crew of crazy, crazy-talented friends. They’re always keeping me laughing and I’m always inspired. So ultimately, I’m just photographing my life. I’m just grateful that who and what’s around me happens to be interesting.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Hmm, I don’t know if I really get that direct input from the client. The creatives are acting as the intermediary.

I present my work as I see fit on my website and on social media.

Frequently, I’ll be asked by the creatives to put together a selection of work or a special presentation that they can show to the clients. If the client approves, I guess I get hired. Lately, I’m having the most fun in my career I’ve ever had. I’m getting hired to shoot exactly what I love to shoot. :)

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
As far as the internet is concerned: website/blog, Facebook, and Instagram. The usual suspects.

My primary engagement from the buying audience comes from my website, with Facebook coming a close second.

I travel a great deal. When I do, I always make arrangements to meet art buyers and creatives all across the country.

I’ll do a mailer a few times a year, and I also have books made of my work that I’ll bring with me to show to prospective clients.

Lately, I’ve been getting more attention for some of my rock and roll photography from years past, which is now going to be shown in some galleries, so that is also another new avenue that is exposing my work.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
You need to show a cohesive body of work. I’ve found that that’s more impressive to the buyer than trying to show your entire bag of tricks. You want to create a relation of your name to the type of work you are selling yourself to do. You want them to say “Sean” or “this guy” can do this type of work. You don’t want to show a thousand styles.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Non-stop. I shoot everyday. I don’t leave the house without my camera strapped around my back. I’m not doing it on purpose to keep myself fresh. I’m doing it because I love it so much.

How often are you shooting new work?
Pretty much all the time. If I’m not shooting paid work, I’m busy lining up pro-bono shoots for companies that I find interesting, working with new super creative art directors, working on collaborations with other artists, or shooting new material for stock with Getty. So my time is always busy. I’m not motivated by the money. I’m just motivated by shooting cool stuff all the time. :)

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Over a decade later, Sean is now internationally known for creating influential, diverse award-winning campaigns for clients such as Ford, Chevy, Old Navy, Playstation, Wal-Mart and Hard Rock Café – and he’s always on time and within budgets, even when they seem unrealistic. He has also shot album covers for bands like Weezer and Tenacious D. Sean is universally recognized for his approachability with his subjects. From kids to celebrities, businessmen to bikers, everyone is at home with Sean’s larger-than-life personality, and that comfort level brings out the best in people.

www.seanmurphyphoto.com
Represented by Tom Zumpano 310-409-0249 tom@zumpanos.com

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

 

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

Categories: Business

Once Instagram Disappears What’s Next?

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:00am

Once Instagram disappears, and it will, what’s next? I’m already getting bored of it. I think it has served its purpose. We need to find another outlet, especially since in a couple of years we’ll all be on a level playing field in terms of the number of followers, so we’ll have to look at something else.

via Benjamin Lowy: “The end of Instagram?” » FLTR.

Categories: Business

Frere-Jones and Hoefler

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 9:45am

Sadly, found this amazing video because of this:

In January, Frere-Jones filed a lawsuit against Hoefler, saying that their company was not actually a partnership, but a long con in which Hoefler had tricked him into signing over the rights to all of his work, cheating Frere-Jones out of his half of the business. “In the most profound treachery and sustained exploitation of friendship, trust and confidence, Hoefler accepted all the benefits provided by Frere-Jones while repeatedly promising Frere-Jones that he would give him the agreed equity, only to refuse to do so when finally demanded,” the complaint charges. Frere-Jones is asking a court to grant him $20 million.

via, spd.org.

Categories: Business

Cindy Sherman on James Franco: ‘I Don’t Know That I Can Say It’s Art’

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 8:45am

James Franco’s recent appropriation of her acclaimed “Untitled Film Stills” series, which raised more than a few eyebrows when it debuted at Pace Gallery a few days earlier. “I was flattered, I can only be flattered,” she said with a slight sigh. “I don’t know that I can say it’s art, but I think it’s weirder that Pace would show them than that he would make them.”

via Cindy Sherman on James Franco: ‘I Don’t Know That I Can Say It’s Art’ | Gallerist.

Categories: Business

New York Times Wins Two Photography Pulitzers

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:11am

The New York Times has swept the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes for photography. The staff photographer Tyler Hicks won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography for his coverage of a terrorist attack at an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that left more than 60 people dead. Josh Haner was awarded the Pulitzer in feature photography for his images of the slow and painful recovery process for a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.

via New York Times Wins Two Photography Pulitzers.

Categories: Business

The Weekly Edit: Ethan Pines: Forbes Magazine

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:59am

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Forbes

Art and Design Director:  Robert Mansfield
Photo Editor: Meredith Nicholson
Photographer: Ethan Pines
Retouchers: Rebecca Bausher and Gretchen Hilmers

Heidi: You were shooting some of the wealthiest people in the US, what sort of production perks came with this? Besides simple things like Formula One cars and NASCAR as a back up?

Ethan: You’d think there would be loads of perks, right? This was a DIY production, like so many editorial shoots. But the benefit of shooting venture capitalists is, they’re the guys with the money. Sequoia Capital (subject of the article, stars of the race-car shot) paid for the Formula One and NASCAR cars, the props to round it out, extra lighting / grip, and my favorite prop stylist Shannon Amos. And the nice people at the Bay Area Discovery Center let us use the location in exchange for, I believe, a fine bottle of Bourbon.

As for the large gathering of company founders, we shot it quickly on the floor of the Tesla Motors factory. The perks were (1) someone brought me BBQ chips and a vitamin water; (2) high ceilings and plenty of shooting space; (3) getting to explore the Tesla factory, which is this amazing confluence of people, technology and robots reminiscent of dinosaurs.

You mentioned this was an ad-scale production. Did you produce this alone or did the magazine help you?
I typically produce my own shoots for Forbes, once they secure the subject. Since I’m the one who insisted the pit-crew shot wouldn’t be too over-the-top, it pretty much fell to me to produce this one.

In this case, I and Andrew Kovacs at Sequoia essentially co-produced it. Andrew and Forbes coordinated the company founders for the cover, all of whom were originally backed by Sequoia as start-ups. Andrew organized the race cars, secured pit-crew wardrobe and props, and helped with various details. I spent three days texting, emailing and phone-calling my brains out to get everything in place. Sequoia was extremely excited about the pit-crew shot, but I don’t think they realized what it takes to produce a photo shoot. All those details — locations, access, parking, power, water, food, shade, props, restrooms, being able to see at 4 a.m., directions, permission, weather, wind — you can’t take anything for granted. Then there’s the actual shoot, when you’re asking business guys to act and inhabit roles — and do it for an hour or so.
The magazine was available for whatever help I needed, from approving locations to using their pull to make things happen. The entire crew helped by working hard and passionately as always. I have to recognize my assistants Brad Wenner and Podbereski, who did a great job on too little sleep.

Scheduling billionaires is no small feat. What was the biggest challenge?
Fortunately it was not me but the the good people of Sequoia who scheduled that group. I’m sure there were scores of challenges I never heard about; all these major company founders were rearranging their schedules and flying in just for the shoot. I did, however, field a lot of questions about what people should wear.

My tough moment came at the shoot when Doug Leone, the head of Sequoia Capital, refused to be out in front of everyone on the cover as Forbes had planned. He wanted this to be about the founders, not about himself. Which is understandable. I’m standing there at the shoot, in front of 14 billionaires who are giving us 30 minutes, thinking, OK, what now? Do I argue on behalf of my client and jeopardize the good vibe at the shoot? No, but maybe there’s a middle ground. We compromised on having him second row, somewhere just off center. I scrapped my pre-laid plan for arranging everyone and did it on the fly.

How many days was this project?
All told, probably seven to eight days. A day of pre-production emails and phone calls from L.A. Two days of scouting and prepro in the Bay Area. Two days of shooting. Two days in post. Not to mention two days roundtrip driving to the Bay Area and back.

What sort of monkey wrench did running out of gas on the freeway do to your productivity?
I’m often overextended and pushing the fuel gauge to E, but this had never happened before. When emails, texts and phone calls are coming and going, it’s easy to forget about gas. I got rescued pretty quickly by the roaming Metro guys who patrol freeways looking for stalled cars during rush hour. What an incredible service. They’re like traffic guardian angels.

The episode actually didn’t hurt my schedule that badly. I was a bit shaken after sitting on the freeway with cars rushing by on both sides. And it made me realize that I need to take a breath.

How much time did you get with the subjects?
For the cover shot we had 30 minutes, which of course just flew by. At the end we yanked away the grey seamless, formed them into a loose line and used the factory as background for another eight minutes or so. For the race-car shoot, we set up from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., then had about an hour with all the Sequoia guys. I tend to ask for as much time as I can get.

For the race-car shoot, we set up from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., then had about an hour with all the Sequoia guys. I tend to ask for as much time as I can get.

Were you nervous prior/during the shoot?
Oh, sure. Before, during and after. How the hell do you arrange a large group vertically on a plain background, without furniture or a room to rely on? Would they be on time and easy to work with? What do you do with them once they’re arranged? How do you light and shoot two large group setups (grey background, factory background) in 30-40 minutes? I planned a lot of this during the drive to San Francisco. And it’s always amazing how even the busiest, wealthiest people will listen to and grant control to the photographer. You just have to take charge (in a friendly way) and ask for what you want. I told them that they could all go out and destroy each other’s companies if they wanted to when this was over, but here they were all buddies, and I wanted some good loose interaction among the group.

For the race-car shot, we didn’t have a location finalized until the day before. And there were so many moving parts to put together. Makes you really appreciate what producers do. Once I was on board for these shoots, they consumed my days and my thoughts until they were done. I think that nervousness helps you be prepared.

How difficult was it to get your cover shot?
Not easy, but not torturous either. My crew and I showed up three hours early to load in and set up lighting, so I could focus on the subjects when we started shooting. Once we got everyone up on apple boxes and did some positioning and re-positioning, I mostly worked on creating an atmosphere where people felt at ease and trusted me. We got some straight shots, like the one that ultimately ran, some lighter ones, and some with everyone interacting. There were only supposed to be 12 people in the cover shot. And suddenly that night I was counting 14 on the set! That was a little surprise.

The toughest parts were the time limit — I was working like a madman for those 30 minutes — arranging 14 people vertically, watching 14 people at once in the viewfinder, and trying to get quality moments from everyone.
I also try to monitor the small details, like the woman in front placing her hand on her hip. All that being said, the shot on the cover is a single capture. No mixing and matching of faces. No one even blinking in that shot.

What about your work struck the magazine to award you this job?
I think they like the way that I always bring back surprises. And I try to make the business world as colorful and unusual as I can. 

Most interesting thing you learned on set with such game changers?
Due to the short time frame, not a lot. You know what I loved seeing? The variety among them. A group of billionaire company founders is no longer a group of middle-aged white guys. They were also very human, easygoing and funny. I’d love to hang out with that group again.

Who’s in the driver seat?
The “driver” in the F1 car is a woman from Sequoia. We even gave her extensions so her hair could be flowing out of the helmet. The location is a walkway in a kids-oriented museum in the Bay Area. We had a NASCAR car as backup, trucked all the way up from L.A. We never even got to fire them up. That F1 car is 16 feet long. It’s a monstrous beauty in person.

 

 

 

Categories: Business

I Can’t Do One Damn Thing Without The Love And Support Of My Wife

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:01am

I’m just a dude taking pictures. I appreciate the amazing opportunities that come my way but I don’t really enjoy being in the spotlight. I’m not trying to be anyone’s idol. That’s for sure. The fact of the matter is I can’t do one damn thing without the love and support of my wife. She is my better 7/8ths. When I’m sitting at a table listening to Joe McNally tell stories and share his experiences, she’s at home folding laundry. When I’m hoping and praying that I get an upgrade to business class, she’s getting four kids to four different schools in the morning. When I’m out with a camera in my hand, her piano sits dormant.

via GPP Shootout :: A Story For My Wife · DEDPXL.

Categories: Business

Pricing & Negotiating: Industrial Lifestyle Shoot

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:58am

by Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Industrial lifestyle shoot

Licensing: North American collateral use of all images in perpetuity (15 per day)

Location: Manufacturing facility

Shoot Days: Up to 20

Photographer: Lifestyle and portrait specialist

Agency: Client direct

Client: Not a household name, but well known within it’s industry

One of our west coast-based photographers was approached by a fairly large industrial manufacturer and asked to shoot industrial lifestyle images of their employees at work, manufacturing a variety of products in a number of different locations in North America. They were mostly interested in using the images on their website and in a self-published coffee table book that would be given out to investors, executives and employees. Their products are generally larger than a semi-truck and manufactured in facilities on the scale of an airplane hanger. Think big.

The client wasn’t accustomed to hiring photographers (it’d been nearly 20 years since they’d hired a professional). Thankfully, they thought it was wise to get us involved pretty early on before they firmly established their needs, so that they didn’t develop a creative concept and plan that would break the bank. Their initial thought was to shoot 10-15 different locations, 1-2 shoot days at each, for a total of approximately 20 shoot days. This presents a bit of a dilemma. Because we were in the planning stage and they wouldn’t commit to 20 days or any specific number of images (although as usual, they were expecting a deal because of all of the potential work), we couldn’t approach the presentation of the fees for this project in our typical way. We had to present an estimate that was scalable from a single day on up, but also factored in a discount for a volume that the client was unwilling to commit to. Also unknown was the number of scout and travel days. Here’s how we addressed all the issue:

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We needed to create a fee structure that the photographer would be happy with if the client only booked one day and that the client would be happy with if they booked 20. I’m sure just about every photographer has had this same experience— a client asks for a quote and pushes back on the numbers saying something along the lines of  “if there’s a lot of work down the road, can you be flexible on your rate/fees?” It’s not an unreasonable request, however the work down the road almost never materializes. The approach we took here protects the photographer’s interest, keeps the client honest and gives them a break for the volume.

We based the day rate on the typical collateral library rate we’ve negotiated with other industrial clients. The rate usually varies from 2500.00-3500.00 depending on the size of the client and scale of the project. In this case, we started a bit higher because of the self-publishing use requested, though if the client did ultimately book the photographer for 20 days, the fee would average out to just over 3500/day. Although we didn’t explicitly limit the number of scenarios or images, in the course of our conversations we determined that the photographer would probably be able to shoot in five different scenarios per shoot day and that the client could expect 2-3 variations of images per scenario. We didn’t want to commit to a specific number in the estimate because certain factories may be easier or harder to shoot in than others, which would seriously impact how much could be accomplished in a given day.

The client signed the proposal and requested a detailed estimate for the first leg of the shoot – one-day, local to the photographer. We extrapolated a one-day version which the client approved. During the course of the pre-production, the client requested a certificate of insurance. Since we hadn’t been asked to provide any sort of unusual coverage, and the photographer carries a fairly standard business liability policy year round, we’d opted not to charge a fee for the insurance in the estimate (however, like equipment, it would not be unusual to charge the client a fee for the use of your insurance policy). As it turned out, the client’s legal team was requiring the photographer to provide workman’s comp insurance and specialty insurance specific to their industry. I’ve seen this a lot lately and it’s getting old. The client presents a project, approves the estimate, then comes back with unusually high insurance coverage requirements. If the client requires you to provide coverage that substantially exceeds a standard business liability policy (ie workman’s comp, weather, specialty, etc.) and they don’t tell you about it beforehand, it’s considered a change in the scope of work and the cost should be approved as an overage. In this case, we gave the client two options – pay for the insurance or waive the requirement. They opted to pay for the insurance, so we resubmitted the one-day estimate. Here’s the final version:

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Tech/Scout Day: We included a half tech/scout day for the photographer and agency to walk through the location, determine the ideal scenarios and try to nail down a shot list.

Assistant Days: The photographer wanted two assistants for this shoot. Although there wouldn’t be much in the way of equipment, the size of the space and materials was daunting, so the photographer wanted an extra set of hands.

Equipment: This covered the one day rental costs for a DSLR, a backup DSLR, grip equipment and a small portable strobe kit, all of which the photographer owned and would be renting to the production.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: This covered the time, equipment and costs to handle the initial edit, batch color correction and upload of the images to an FTP for client selection.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: This covered color correction and basic touch-up of the 15 selects. Any necessary retouching would be estimated and billed separately.

File Transfer: This covers the cost to deliver the 15 selects via hard drive, including overnight shipping.

Miles, Expendables, FTP, and Misc: This covered the basic out of pocket expenses the photographer would accrue between mileage, FTP costs, lunch for him and his assistants on the shoot day, and any other miscellaneous expenses that may arise.

Insurance: We included the cost to provide the specialty insurance the client required.

Housekeeping (see the project description): I noted all of the production elements the client would be providing: Location, releases, subjects, escorts and safety equipment.

Results, Hindsight and Feedback: The photographer is in the midst of the project and has already shot two additional days.

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

Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Paul D’Amato

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 9:13am

by Jonathan Blaustein

Last week I claimed I was tired and listless. Poor Blaustein, you must have thought. All worn out from galavanting around the mountains. Crying because it’s gray a few days a year. Boo hoo.

You’re probably hoping I’ll come back strong this week, and write one of those columns that starts out like a story. (“Colin looked away, unable to meet her eye. Shame has many tells, and this one was screaming louder than an infant at the witching hour.”)

Sorry to tease, but it’s not going to happen. I spent most of the last week running around New York City like a miner headed towards the claims office with a hunk of gold. It was intense, but worth it. Especially as I was able to see some genuinely excellent photography at the NY Times Portfolio Review, which I will share with you in the coming weeks. (As always, I am but your almost-humble proxy.)

One of my favorite things about plugging into the NYC nuclear reactor is how much you can get done in short amount of time. It’s the adrenal equivalent of paying it forward. Extra juice, so you can pull insanely productive 18 hour days, but then…

That’s the part you always forget about while you’re living in the glory. The crash. All that extra juice had to come from somewhere. NYC may inspire activity, but it doesn’t actually fill your blood with surplus protein and such. It has to come from somewhere: your future self.

So here I sit, my muscles twitching like a horse in labor. Wondering if I fell from ten feet into a pile of rocks. Cursing the city for its seductive qualities. Among them, the chance to hang with people from all over the world, and to revel in ethnic diversity. It’s a drug of its own sort.

On the flip side, no sooner did I get on the A train in Howard Beach than I realized it was only running in sections, so I’d have take 3 trains instead of 1. (If you’re counting, that’s a bus to a train to a train to a train to a train to get from JFK to Upper Manhattan. 2.5 hours to go what, 10 miles?)

And that was just the ride into the city, after taking a 3.5 hour redeye from ABQ to NYC. Which is to say, given how I’m feeling, it’s time to segue to the book.

Here we go.

As soon as I got home, still vibrating with NYC pollution on my skin, a friend who was raised in Brooklyn Heights said on Facebook that he likes Chicago better than New York these days.

What now? Chicago?

I was only there once, coincidentally with this same guy, nearly 20 years ago. I don’t know anything about the place, as that quick trip was a blur for many reasons. It’s almost like I wasn’t there.

And he up and says Chicago is the better town? Big words.

Wouldn’t you know the first book I picked up off the pile was of African-American culture in Chicago: “We Shall,” photographs by Paul D’Amato. (Another Guggenheim winner. Two in a row. And wouldn’t you know the 2014 Fellowship winners were announced today. Co-incidence, or Taos Hippie Juju? By the way, let’s give a shout out to a really, really great photographers list this year.)

This book of photos is excellent. No two ways about it. Or three ways, I should say, as the artist uses the technique of multiple images more viscerally than his contemporary Paul Graham. The triptych pictures in particular, which show delicately how different a few similar photographs can be, based upon the subtle energy in a set of eyes.

But my word count is getting higher than my IQ, which means it’s time to wrap it up. I implied in the beginning that I wasn’t planning to bring it this week. Maybe I pulled one out in the end, but I don’t have as much to say about the book itself as I ought, what with all the whining and pontificating.

Let’s summarize. I like this book very much. I suspect you would too. Despite the fact that I live in the hinterlands, I’m glad the great cities are out there, attracting people and ideas, thriving and allowing folks to live in any style they’d like. Bastions of creativity. Long may they prosper.

Bottom line: Taut book of African-American stories in the Windy city

To Purchase “We Shall” Visit Photo-Eye

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

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

Categories: Business

Art Producers Speak: Therese + Joel

Thu, 04/10/2014 - 9:45am

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Therese + Joel as they are a great team and the one’s to keep an eye on!

Portrait of pop singer Betty Who for Out Magazine's "The Young and Restless" Musician Portfolio.

Portrait of pop singer Betty Who for Out Magazine’s “The Young and Restless” Musician Portfolio.

Victoria's Secret Model Elsa Hosk channeling Nancy Sinatra for Galore Mag's "Women Who Rock" issue.

Victoria’s Secret Model Elsa Hosk channeling Nancy Sinatra for Galore Mag’s “Women Who Rock” issue.

Campaign for FLKLR Surf, shot at Rockaway Beach, New York.

Campaign for FLKLR Surf, shot at Rockaway Beach, New York.

Portrait of the actress and filmmaker Greta Gerwig shot for TIME Magazine. It was also named one of TIME's Best Portraits of 2013

Portrait of the actress and filmmaker Greta Gerwig shot for TIME Magazine.
It was also named one of TIME’s Best Portraits of 2013

We were commissioned by TIME Magazine to document New York Fashion week. This is one of our favorite photographs, shot at the Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2013 show. The image depicts models walking towards a large indoor "sun" installed at the venue, referencing artist Ólafur Elíasson's weather project.

We were commissioned by TIME Magazine to document New York Fashion week. This is one of our favorite photographs, shot at the Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2013 show. The image depicts models walking towards a large indoor “sun” installed at the venue, referencing artist Ólafur Elíasson’s weather project.

One of our favorite photographs of model Sara Blomqvist, included in our personal series "On Leaving".

One of our favorite photographs of model Sara Blomqvist, included in our personal series “On Leaving”.

Fashion editorial for Revs Magazine, shot in Lidingö, Sweden.

Fashion editorial for Revs Magazine, shot in Lidingö, Sweden.

 B-list horror movies, The Cramps and goths at the beach.

Campaign for womenswear label Skotison. We absolutely loved the concept of the collection: B-list horror movies, The Cramps and goths at the beach.

Personal work, from the series "Three Graces", photographed in Sweden.

Personal work, from the series “Three Graces”, photographed in Sweden.

A very recent portrait of director Woody Allen, together with theatre director and choreographer Susan Stroman for TIME Magazine, shot at the St. James Theatre in New York City.

A very recent portrait of director Woody Allen, together with theatre director and choreographer Susan Stroman for TIME Magazine, shot at the St. James Theatre in New York City.

How many years have you been in business?
About four years now. 

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
We met while both studying at Parsons in Paris and later transferred over to Parsons the New School of Design in New York, from where we graduated.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Therese was very influenced by her mother, who is a photographer. Joel doesn’t have one exact source of inspiration; the fascination for storytelling has been there as far as he can remember – it has just perhaps changed mediums over the range of years from written to visual. However, the greatest inspiration for both of us must be film - early European cinema, great minds like Ingmar Bergman, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Douglas Sirk, the melodrama of film noir, our similar taste in music (power ballads, italo disco), as well as 90s masterpieces like Twin Peaks, and Tim Burton’s Catwoman – tragic pop culture icons.

We were also heavily influenced by our Nordic surroundings – Therese grew up in Stockholm, Sweden, and Joel in Finnish Lapland. Even if a bit of a cliché, the pitch-black, arctic surroundings have definitely played a great influence on us. 

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Perhaps it’s not so much about staying fresh and/or following trends – we rather try to do what we find interesting, inspiring and beautiful. 

Since we are two it is important for us to discuss and communicate our ideas with one another. It is helpful though that we share a lot of interests, but also important to disagree at times to challenge each other. Usually one of us comes up with something they find inspiring, and the other one takes it to another level. In that way, we complete each other’s sentences. 

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Communication is truly key, as well as staying true to your vision and doing what you do best – not trying to mimic something else to become more accessible. That being said, it is of course important to stay flexible. And occasionally art buyers or creatives find our darker work the most interesting, but have a difficult time to convince the client to go for something less mainstream. 

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Editorial work has been very important for us in approaching different and larger audiences.

We find social media to be extremely helpful: Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. Not only just to get our work out there, but also for other reasons like casting for example. We also find that social media makes us more accessible; it’s a great way to interact, as well as to show our process.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Understand your audience. Taste varies, but it’s really hard to get away from bad editing – sequencing your book appropriately is a crucial step in storytelling. 

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
We work when we are not working: personal projects are incredibly important to us. We find it very helpful to our creative process to constantly produce new work – not only to try out new things, but also keep exceeding at what we do.

How often are you shooting new work?
As often as possible - commissioned work keeps us very busy, but we try to shoot at least one new personal project every month.

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Therese Öhrvall and Joel Jägerroos are a Swedish-Finnish photography team. They live and work in New York City.

Therese + Joel’s work has been exhibited internationally, including The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia, Krasnoyarsk State Museum in Siberia, Milk Gallery & F.L.O.A.T. Gallery in New York City, Gallery S. Bensimon in Paris, France and Ricoh Ring Cube Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.

Their clients include TIME Magazine, Wired, REVS, The Wall Street Journal, The Times, S Magazine, Out Magazine, FLATT Magazine, Milk Made, Galore Mag, IVANAHelsinki, Bullett Magazine and New York Post, amongst others.

Therese + Joel were selected as one of the 30 emerging photographers to watch in 2011 by Photo District News. Their photo of Greta Gerwig was named as one of TIME’s Best Portraits of 2013.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Categories: Business

The Daily Edit: Ian Spanier

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 9:54am

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Photographer/Creative Director: Ian Spanier
Art Director/Design: Warren Mason
Editor: Brian Dawson

Heidi: What compelled you to do your own magazine?
Ian: Last summer I met with Creative Director Warren Mason to discuss ideas on what together we could create as a promotional piece. Being someone that shoots a wide variety of work it is always a challenge to show all the areas that I work, especially in one place. Initially we thought about making a poster from a personal shoot I did but the more we looked at my notebook of the past year’s shoots the more the idea of making a multipage piece came to light. Warren being a seasoned veteran of magazines, it seemed like a no-brainer to just make our own magazine.

I know you were formally a PD, would you say it’s easy for you to edit your own work? For this project, do you give edited images to design or is this a collaboration?
I’ve always been fairly good at removing myself from the fact that I shot the same photographs that I am editing, so I am able to provide Warren with a very edited version of a story, and/or only a few additional options to consider when I need input. Ultimately I can change an image if he chooses one and I think a different one is better, but he and I have always worked well together- having worked together at one magazine and as well on a coffee table book. I wanted to collaborate with someone on this- which I think it a very important thing to do, particularly when you have a lot of respect for that person. I’ve seen Warren make some amazing layouts so I trust his opinion…and he likes my work- which helps! I was also able to enlist Brian Dawson, a great editor whom I had also worked with in the past. Brian is able to take my medicore copy and turn it into much more concise and clear thoughts. His input on the look of the magazine is also helpful as his years of experience provides one more checkpoint in the process of the magazine as a whole.

Tell me about the process of putting this together? You have an editor and a CD?
I basically create an issue by collecting options for cover, features and “ads” by going through my Lightroom catalogs. Since I made a feature from a personal shoot in the first issue, I now make a point to do a personal shoot for each issue. Personal work of course is important for all photographers and having a place to show it has been great. In many ways I owe that first personal shoot credit for giving us the idea to make a magazine. Now I basically come up with a new mini project for each issue.

From there I create some lores folders and send that to Warren. We have a quick conversation about what what works together. I am trying to keep the variety up, and at the same time make sure that there’s some cohesiveness to the magazine. I also contact one of my clients to get a quote from them about what it is like to work with me. As a whole, the point of the magazine is to give the viewer a glimpse about what I bring to to the table as a photographer, who I am as a person and what it is like to work with me. I think people loose sight that the photography part of being a photographer is just a small piece of the puzzle. Not to discount the ability it takes, but talent in many ways is the given, we are hired for jobs based on the prospect that we can shoot, so getting across how you are to be on set with, what your presentation level is, and how you run your business is what I believe really builds you up as a successful photographer.Brian, as I mentioned is the editor and Warren is the CD.

Do you have a printer version?
Initially I only thought this would be for iPad and issuu.com which is a great site Suzanne Sease turned me on to. As timing was, Blurb offered a printed magazine and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to print out a few copies for meetings and whatnot. I ordered about 20 copies and was amazed at the quality, and as well, the members of Team Braveheart (subjects in the first issue personal project) all wanted copies as well. I was able to send them the link to Blurb and there they could order their own copy. It’s not cheap, but it is very nice.

What other promo materials do you send out?
I send out one-off electronic promo cards regularly to all my contacts as well as to potential clients about every 5 weeks. I also utilize social media a ton, I don’t post personal stuff, minus a comment about the Yankees or Bruce Springsteen from time to time. I don’t believe people care about pictures of my food, so I try to keep it to what I am working on, behind-the-scenes shots and interesting articles or great images from other photographers that I like. I also push to have a lot of meetings. I feel the personal contact is extremely important. Getting meetings is hard, but I am always trying for a few minutes of face time. I do have printed promo cards and such, but the cost of mailing then out doesn’t seem worthwhile to me, I’d rather hand them to potential clients face-to face.

What sort of response have you gotten from art buyers fellow PE, clients?
So far response from art buyers and photo editors, creatives, etc. has been great, recently I switched to showing my portfolio on my iPad, and having a printed piece to show people I think really drives home the right message- I like people to see that my work holds up when ink gets to paper. As well, having a copy on set has been very nicely received, it’s a great conversation piece.

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

Categories: Business

Emotionally I want to try and stop the theft, but logically I think it is probably better for one’s career to go for the visibility.

Tue, 04/08/2014 - 8:01am

…when your images are stolen, I suspect there really isn’t that much damage done financially to individual photographers (hey…don’t flame me for saying that), though collectively there sure is a lot of money being left on the table! Ultimately, if someone steals the image I get nothing, if they don’t steal I get nothing, but if they share it there may be profit for me in increased links, web traffic and visibility.

via The Stock Photo Guy – John Lund Stock Photographer: Watermarks, Theft And Visibility.

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

Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Osamu James Nakagawa

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 9:22am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I could never live in Portland. (No offense.)

Setting aside my distaste for humorless hipsters, it would never happen: there’s just not enough sun. I don’t care if they have the best coffee in the world, and a beautiful girl in chunky glasses fitted me with an IV drip that dosed me with caffeine, constantly, day in and day out.

It just wouldn’t work.

Why? Because I’m addicted to sunshine. Without a near-daily fix of Vitamin D, I become as surly and listless as a drunk walrus. Like today, for instance.

We get 330 days of sunshine a year here in Northern New Mexico, but come April, the high clouds move in and the wind whips more fiercely than Harrison Ford practicing for Indiana Jones Part 5. (Note to Mr. Ford: ditch the silly earring, and we might take you seriously again.) As I write this, it’s actually snowing outside, and my bones are colder than Han Solo’s blood when he shoots Greedo in the Star Wars bar scene.

As such, I would not have fared well in the old days. I mean the very, very old days, when humans lived in caves, taking protection wherever they could find it. Bears, saber-toothed tigers, homicidal assholes from other tribes, all could cause trouble, if you weren’t careful. So the dark became associated with safety. Dank air was precious, as it represented home.

Occasionally, fast forwarding millennia, there comes a time when people retreat back to those old ways. Deep within natural fissures in the Earth, one can hide for a long while, provided food and water are stockpiled, or, at least, available. (Fresh water in underground streams, and plenty of barbecued rats. Deeee-licious.)

Such a situation occurred during World War II, on the island of Okinawa, in Japan. We’ve seen photos of the place in this very column, as I reviewed a book by Daido Moriyama a couple of years ago. (Yes, that was the book where I mistakenly called him a woman. I only bring it up so you don’t have to.)

Then, we saw things above ground, and witnessed the remnants of American occupation. Burger joints, in particular. (As cows undoubtedly taste better than rodents, when cooked carefully above an open flame.)

Today, though, we’ll burrow beneath the island cliffs, and enter a world not meant to be seen by cameras, which so dearly love the light. Osamu James Nakagawa is our guide, and his book, “Gama Caves,” published by Akaaka, is our opportunity.

I didn’t intend to go on a run of Pacific Rim photo books, but there you have it. Like I said last week, show me something I’ve never seen before, and I’m likely to pontificate here and now.

The caves were utilized during the War, and many civilians called the Gama home, along with military types. I can’t imagine anyone had any fun down there, and according to the text, Americans used all sorts of killing techniques to either root the people out, or destroy them where they were. Flame throwers, bombs, all sorts of nasty endings for the people who fled to the seeming safety of stalactites and mites. (Never could keep those two words straight.)

These pictures are haunting and beautiful and horrific and awesome. My favorite kind of art, the type that hits all notes together. Ironically, they were on the wall in Houston when I visited FotoFest in 2012, but I didn’t know they were there, as I was holed up in the metaphorical cave known as a portfolio review.

I’m fairly certain you’ll like these pictures, though my snapshots don’t do the subtlety justice. The writing within, in Japanese and English, is uniformly excellent. There’s a poem with the obligatory reference to pubic hair, and a few essays, including one by the legendary MFA,H curator Anne Wilkes Tucker. I believe the artist received a Guggenheim fellowship to support the project, so the high-art-street-cred will likely back up the value of your purchase, should you choose to buy the book.

To continue with all the cinematic references, I heard they’re re-making Mad Max with a less racist, homophobic, Anti-Semitic protagonist. That’s the big fear we all have, right? (Especially when you have kids.) That we’re ruining the world, and our descendants will live in a post-apocalyptic nightmare, where many will be forced underground again.

I’m guessing the artist is smart enough to know that metaphor will pop up in your mind, as it has in mine. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. OK?

Bottom Line: Creepy photos inside Okinawan caves

To Purchase ”Gama Caves” Visit Photo-Eye

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

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

Categories: Business

Art Producers Speak: Josh DeHonney

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 9:10am

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Josh DeHonney. I’m a big fan of his work. One of our favorite portrait photographers who is exceedingly nice guy who I praise his humbleness when he is praised for his craft.

I love radio, and I love New York.  So shooting Ty Bentli of CBS 92.3 all around the city was a great commission.  Ty was new to the city but felt very at home there, and we wanted to convey that.  We had planned to take that standard picture of him waiting for the train as it rushed by, shutter open.  As we waited, I turned the camera away from him and for a moment he relaxed and leaned on the pole naturally.

I love radio, and I love New York.  So shooting Ty Bentli of CBS 92.3 all around the city was a great commission.  Ty was new to the city but felt very at home there, and we wanted to convey that.  We had planned to take that standard picture of him waiting for the train as it rushed by, shutter open.  As we waited, I turned the camera away from him and for a moment he relaxed and leaned on the pole naturally.

The London Souls, a rock band from New York, used this image as the cover art for their sophomore record, Here Come The Girls.  We had great chemistry, like we went to high school together.  The album looks -- and sounds -- great.

The London Souls, a rock band from New York, used this image as the cover art for their sophomore record, Here Come The Girls.  We had great chemistry, like we went to high school together.  The album looks — and sounds — great.

I took this shot on the train tracks behind the client’s warehouse … without permission.  I lost my wallet making this one happen.  Two weeks later, I get a call from the Kearny Rail Police.  The good news was, they found my wallet.  The bad news was, they weren’t happy I was on the tracks.  Luckily the ad had printed by then, so I had more than a business card to back up my story.  I got away with it this time.  But next time, I’m told it’s going to cost me $10,000! 

I took this shot on the train tracks behind the client’s warehouse … without permission.  I lost my wallet making this one happen.  Two weeks later, I get a call from the Kearny Rail Police.  The good news was, they found my wallet.  The bad news was, they weren’t happy I was on the tracks.  Luckily the ad had printed by then, so I had more than a business card to back up my story.  I got away with it this time.  But next time, I’m told it’s going to cost me $10,000! 

Bucks Life magazine sent me to cover a young new DJ (then still in high school). He was making some cool events happen, all for charity.  We met at the Jersey shore in the summer and got this great shot in a matter of minutes.

Bucks Life magazine sent me to cover a young new DJ (then still in high school). He was making some cool events happen, all for charity.  We met at the Jersey shore in the summer and got this great shot in a matter of minutes.

I met Mac Miller by Union Square.  We walked over to Irving Plaza together, where he was performing that night.  As we got close to the venue, I noticed Mac getting his game face on.  He turned his hat around, zipped his jacket, and pulled up his pants.  When we rounded the corner, there were a dozen fans waiting for him, as he knew there would be.  The kids went crazy for him.  He was cool as hell.  He took the time to take pictures with each kid.  It was great to capture that.

I met Mac Miller by Union Square.  We walked over to Irving Plaza together, where he was performing that night.  As we got close to the venue, I noticed Mac getting his game face on.  He turned his hat around, zipped his jacket, and pulled up his pants.  When we rounded the corner, there were a dozen fans waiting for him, as he knew there would be.  The kids went crazy for him.  He was cool as hell.  He took the time to take pictures with each kid.  It was great to capture that.

This image is another good example of an instant where the subject feels totally comfortable.  In this case, Director Ulysses Terrero was standing behind me, where the director normally stands.  Although I had my camera metered for the strobes in the background, there was enough ambient light available to cut the wizard and still get a great exposure when I turned to grab this shot.

This image is another good example of an instant where the subject feels totally comfortable.  In this case, Director Ulysses Terrero was standing behind me, where the director normally stands.  Although I had my camera metered for the strobes in the background, there was enough ambient light available to cut the wizard and still get a great exposure when I turned to grab this shot.

This commission took me all the way to Hawaii to shoot a look book and some ads.  Beautiful girl, cool clothes, and a tropical island.  You can't miss.

This commission took me all the way to Hawaii to shoot a look book and some ads.  Beautiful girl, cool clothes, and a tropical island.  You can’t miss.

I have contributed to Urban Latino magazine for years.  I love making awesome images happen for them.  When John Leguizamo came up as a cover option, I was extra excited.  One of my favorite actors, John was a total pleasure to photograph and could not have been more humble.

I have contributed to Urban Latino magazine for years.  I love making awesome images happen for them.  When John Leguizamo came up as a cover option, I was extra excited.  One of my favorite actors, John was a total pleasure to photograph and could not have been more humble.

When I left NYC in 2011, I couldn't help noticing the growing number of vacant properties around me.  This is from a series of images of massive abandoned buildings within ten miles from my house.

When I left NYC in 2011, I couldn’t help noticing the growing number of vacant properties around me.  This is from a series of images of massive abandoned buildings within ten miles from my house.

This is one of my good friends taking a break while we were shooting on location in LaQuinta, California.

This is one of my good friends taking a break while we were shooting on location in LaQuinta, California.

Before linking up with the band Brother to shoot a portrait for YRB magazine, I checked out their video for "Darling Buds of May."  I was really impressed.  I chose a location that was inspired by the video, hoping to keep the band’s image consistent while shooting with a style that comes naturally to me.

Before linking up with the band Brother to shoot a portrait for YRB magazine, I checked out their video for “Darling Buds of May.”  I was really impressed.  I chose a location that was inspired by the video, hoping to keep the band’s image consistent while shooting with a style that comes naturally to me.

Spike Lee was my first professional portrait assignment in NYC.  He’s a legend, of course.  So no pressure.  We shot this at NYU, where he’s a film professor.  The story I shot the pictures for was about sneakers.  So that made the experience that much more fun.

Spike Lee was my first professional portrait assignment in NYC.  He’s a legend, of course.  So no pressure.  We shot this at NYU, where he’s a film professor.  The story I shot the pictures for was about sneakers.  So that made the experience that much more fun.

As a big fan of Bobbito Garcia, this early shoot for Kicksclusive magazine really stands out for me.  Bob is one the coolest dudes ever and also a photographer.  I can't front for one second.  This shot was all his idea.  I simply executed.

As a big fan of Bobbito Garcia, this early shoot for Kicksclusive magazine really stands out for me.  Bob is one the coolest dudes ever and also a photographer.  I can’t front for one second.  This shot was all his idea.  I simply executed.

This is a selection from a series called Watching.  I aimed to capture the presence of the growing number of security cameras in the public space.  I had no intention of photographing the guy who blocked his face from my camera … the irony.

This is a selection from a series called Watching.  I aimed to capture the presence of the growing number of security cameras in the public space.  I had no intention of photographing the guy who blocked his face from my camera … the irony.

As far as easy and amazing assignments go, The Ting Tings take the cake.

As far as easy and amazing assignments go, The Ting Tings take the cake.

I was so thrilled to photograph Esperanza Spalding.  She was very cool, easy to work with, and personifies Jazz.

I was so thrilled to photograph Esperanza Spalding.  She was very cool, easy to work with, and personifies Jazz.

When Natalia Kills showed up at the studio for a portrait session, I knew we were going to make some cool images happen.  We had instant chemistry and came up with a few solid concepts right away.  Narrowing the edits down was as tough as expected.  This image didn't make the print book.  But it really stood out.

When Natalia Kills showed up at the studio for a portrait session, I knew we were going to make some cool images happen.  We had instant chemistry and came up with a few solid concepts right away.  Narrowing the edits down was as tough as expected.  This image didn’t make the print book.  But it really stood out.

How many years have you been in business?
For years I worked as an assistant and at Pier 59 Studios in New York while simultaneously building my brand. But in 2010, I quit assisting and have since focused on my own work full time. As much as I loved assisting and working at the Pier as a side hustle, it’s great to be shooting on my own.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A little of both. School gave me the fundamentals. But I also learned a lot on the job and by being around world-class photographers on a near-daily basis at the Pier. Also, the Pier used to let employees test once a month for free. I took full — and I mean full — advantage of that deal. Between that and my assisting work, I was able to shoot and test a ton. Studio photography is amazing. It’s an important skill to develop. All of the techniques and lighting tricks you learn are universally applied when you don’t have the luxury of a fully-stocked equipment room.

Also, packing jobs for remote locations, where there are no stores, let alone EQ rooms, teaches you the importance of triple-checking. You can never take anyone’s word on equipment that you didn’t see. And sometimes going without it is not an option. No art school can teach you pragmatic things like that.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My mom always stressed the importance of doing what you love, no matter what. She travelled the world taking pictures for fun. Though she chose a stable career as a dental hygienist, her pictures covered the walls. She is also a long-time subscriber and avid collector of National Geographic. Those magazines were major influences. And for years I assisted Kip Meyer, who is an awesome photographer. I really admire the way he interacts with clients and models as well as his general approach to projects.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Inspiration is the easy part. Being inspired is a prerequisite for the job. I get ideas for pictures from the imagery I see all around me. I drive a lot, ride my bike a lot. I find inspiration in that. I can’t help but notice amazing landscapes, or an interesting building, even if I can’t shoot them. Then I imagine what I see as context for a subject. So when I arrive at a location for a client sight unseen and have to make an interesting image happen no matter what, I have a whole catalog of ideas in my mind to draw on.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
It seems the work that gets the best response from creatives and peers isn’t always what appeals to a client’s target audience. Just because an image or series of work is cool on tumblr, or gets a bunch of Likes, doesn’t mean it will sell.  The most important thing about photography is being creative.  But with commercial work, you have to consider the client’s goals.  I am providing a service, and incorporating what the client has in mind is the most important thing. I still try to be sure you can see my thumbprint on the final product, since the client chose me to make the image, after all.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I have a show at the end of April to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Urban Latino magazine. I’m the photo editor of ULM. I’ve worked with them for years. The show will highlight the work I have done for the magazine. I also stay up on social media as much as I can. And I’ve been known to cold call brands that I love and want to work with. I also love to make new connections through editorial work. But what usually works best is sticking with the network I know.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Being a photographer is a lot like being a writer. Great writers have a very clear voice. That’s how you distinguish yourself from the crowd. I love looking at other photographer’s work, taking in as many photo books, blogs, and magazines as I can. This process helps me find my voice. So look at as many pictures you can. Know the landscape. Look at your own work all the time, too. Be sure your images speak to your vision. Know what you want to shoot. Be very clear in your mind what it is you want to see before you make it happen. As with all other art forms, there are lots of trends, but honesty never gets old.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Always. One of my favorite things about location shooting is that you have to get an idea of where you are shooting by walking around, and of course you are going to bring your camera. So at that moment, it’s nice to relax and imagine that you are just out in the park, shooting pictures with no pressure, and there is no art director 10 yards away stressing because it’s overcast or the model is late.

Also, I have two young children who are changing by the second — it’s amazing to see them grow. I want make sure that I am changing and developing, too. I don’t want to take the same pictures my whole life. That just doesn’t make sense.

How often are you shooting new work?
At least 3 times a week. In the summer, almost every day. Photography is built into my life. There is always a camera in arm’s reach.

Josh was born in Toronto and grew up in nearby Oshawa. He relocated to New York in 2000, where he was on the grind until 2011. Josh now resides just outside of the city with his wife, Melissa, and their two photo assistants-in-training, Jalen (3) and Janessa (1).

http://joshdehonney.com
jd@joshdehonney.com

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Categories: Business

Reuters maintains dogged silence on allegations of ‘staged images’

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 8:10am

When contacted by BJP, Reuters refused, numerous times, to share the specific details of the internal investigation it says it conducted after The New York Times first contacted the news agency three months ago. It also declined to clarify when that investigation took place and who took part in it.

When asked whether Khatib still worked for Reuters, the news agency refused to comment.

When asked whether the recent allegations had resulted in a change in Reuters’ news-gathering practices in Syria, the news agency refused to comment.

When asked whether Reuters would consider opening another investigation following the recent and specific allegations against its news operations in Syria, the news agency refused to comment.

And, more importantly, when asked why Reuters had been using Syrian activists as freelance photographers without informing its clients, the news agency again refused to comment.

via British Journal of Photography.

Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – Gabriela Herman: Conde Nast Traveler

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 10:21am

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Conde Nast Traveler

Creative Director: Yolanda Edwards
Photo Director: Nancy Jo Iacoi
Photo Editor: Leonor Mamanna Photographer: Gabriela Herman

Heidi: How did you break into travel photography?How you do you describe yourself: travel/lifestyle?
Gabriela: I’ve always been a traveler. When I was just 10-days old, I was already on a boat headed to the island of Martha’s Vineyard. My mom is Brazilian and we went down every other year for the holidays. In college, I managed to study abroad for three semesters (and they subsequently made a rule limiting students to two semesters only, which I like to think was because of my travel). I never set out to be a travel photographer, but perhaps I was always destined to be one?

Starting out, I used to say that I was a portrait photographer. That I loved the interaction with people and that connection was what it was all about. But then, I started shooting a friend who is a chef and a farmer and ended up with a portfolio of food photography. So I started getting hired, and sent around the country, to shoot outdoorsy food scenes. Now I still get hired to shoot portraits and food, but also travel stories.

Travel photography is actually a perfect mix of everything I love to shoot because you need to have great portraits, great food shots, landscapes, tell stories… basically a bit of everything. I’m still shocked that I get paid to travel. I was in Hawaii in December on a shoot and I thought to myself, ‘wow, I’m actually living me dream.’ I realize how fortunate I am to be able to say that.

When you are on personal travel, are you always shooting? Can you actually turn off work mode?
I am never not working! Even if I don’t have my camera with me, my eyes are always looking for a shot (or, more likely, editing photos, or updating my website, or networking or one of the other million tasks it takes to be a photographer) . And these days with my iPhone, I always have a camera with me and have become hopelessly addicted to instagram. I was recently on vacation in Istanbul and even though I had my DSLR with me, I ended up taking far more shots with my iPhone than with it.

What sort of direction/shot list did you get from the magazine?
This was one of my favorite assignments from last year. I have a great relationship with the editors at Conde Nast Traveler. Many on the team came from Martha Stewart Living, a publication for whom I was already a frequent shooter.

Going into this assignment, I had already worked with the writer, Stephen Orr, and the editors knew my style so everything was very organic. Stephen had previously taken this road trip and had written up notes on each location, so I had those as a guideline. I knew the hotels where I would be sleeping and the restaurants where I should be eating, but there was a lot of freedom to also just shoot what looked interesting along the way. These are my favorite kinds of assignments, where I really get to spend time and explore a place, versus the kind of assignments where there is already an image in mind that needs to be executed.

Do you typically travel with the writer?
It depends on the shoot and the location and the scheduling. I had a travel story here in Brooklyn for French Glamour where the writer came from Paris and the two of us explored the neighborhood of Red Hook together. In Hawaii, the writer happened to be living there at the time, so I was able to meet up with him for one of the days and he showed me some of his favorite spots off the beaten path.

Whether in person or just over the phone, its very beneficial to connect with the writer beforehand, and even be able to reach them throughout the trip as they have usually already done the exact same itinerary and thus can give you tips and reconditions to make your job go smoothly.

How many days was this shoot?
I think it was four or five days. I was actually already in Marfa the weekend prior to attend a wedding, so I was able to shoot some images that I knew were on my shot list ahead of when the job officially started.

What do you love about being a wandered armed with a camera?
I love how photography can take me to the oddest places, ones I would never imagining visiting were it not for photography. Marfa is a great example — it’s a strange little gem of a city located in the middle of nowhere in west Texas. This trip was the second time that photography took me to Marfa. I had been there once before for Phoot Camp, a creative retreat for photographers, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to be back there shooting on assignment.

After Phoot Camp, I stuck around and went on a little road trip with a few friends. We ended up driving through Big Bend park, arriving in the ghost town of Terlingua and randomly spending the night with a middle- aged man who opened up his gorgeous home to five total strangers. I never thought I would be back there but, lo and behold, guess which ghost town was on my shot list for this assignment? I remembered where his house was and drove by. He wasn’t home, but I left him a note and memories flew back of the morning dance party on his patio.

Categories: Business

Let’s Dispel The Notion That Commercial Photographers Have A Camera In Their Hands Every Day

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 8:24am

First, let’s dispel the notion that commercial photographers have a camera in their hands every day. This will vary for individuals, and by season, but I would guess that I spend a good 75-80% of my working hours in front of a computer – not out shooting. I consider that to be a pretty successful ratio. No one starting out really thinks about it, but digital workflow, retouching, billing, marketing, pre-production, post-production, accounting, taxes, etc… and the plethora of general business paperwork takes up a ton of time.

via The Definitive Guide to Starting a Successful Photography Business – Houston Tx Advertising Photographer Robert Seale.

Categories: Business

For Me Shooting Still Images And Motion Simultaneously Changes Everything

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 9:53am

Guest post by Scott Pommier

Until recently I had no interest in the convergence of stills and motion. I bought a Canon 5d mark II well after the surge of photographer-made videos, and owned that camera for more than a year before I switched it to video mode. That was at the urging of my agent who had been telling me that it was becoming important to have some examples of moving-image to show clients. I shot one crummy video and went back to using my 35mm film SLR. I’d heard that photographers of the future would be shooting with magical hybrid cameras, but it didn’t seem relevant to my process (my camera of choice when shooting a portrait or a fashion story is still a Pentax 67 or maybe a Mamiya RZ). I knew that some photographers had been extracting stills from RED footage, but that was all purely academic, something that the Steven Kliens of the world were doing that made little sense for the way that I worked.

November of last year a friend let me know that RED was selling off their old Red One cameras at shockingly affordable price. These were cameras that company had taken as traded-in, and they’d been outfitted with a new sensor. Bigger and heavier than RED’s current models, but still fully capable of shooting a Hollywood feature. It seemed like an amazing opportunity and without nearly enough thought, I launched into a whole new dimension for my career. It’s now been a year since my first small moving-image production, and looking back it’s amazing to see how my mindset and how my way of working has changed. I thought I would share my understanding of what the latest breakthrough in cameras means for me.

I was looking to upgrade to a newer cinema camera, having outgrown the Red One. RED had recently announced an entirely new sensor. Current owners of the RED Epic could have their camera-bodies upgraded with the new 6k Dragon sensor (The Dragon camera is also available new, but, well, it’s complicated.

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RED has sort of tiered approach to ownership, which is a topic for another day.) I bought a camera from a guy who was already waiting in the upgrade line, he had quite a good spot as it turned out, so once my camera had gone through the process I ended up with the latest and greatest in digital cinema equipment.

Red has been claiming that their cameras were capable of producing a usable still image for some time now, and to be fair that was sorta true. With the best resources it was possible and there are Vogue covers to prove it, but, having pulled stills from both Red One and Epic cameras I have to say, the results were, well, maybe not underwhelming, but not exactly overwhelming either, maybe just whelming? But for anyone tempted to dismiss the latest hype about the Dragon camera as nothing more than the same predictable public relations blast, I will tell you, for me, this camera changes everything. The Dragon allows you to shoot still images and motion images simultaneously.

A few numbers, for the uninitiated: RED’s new Epic ‘Dragon’ is capable of producing 6k files. What that means is that each frame can be up to 19.4 megapixel or 6144 x 3160 which gives you a 20.48” x 10.53” image at 300dpi. The sensor boasts a 16.5 stop dynamic range. Where the original Epic had a native ISO of 800, the Dragon performs well between 200 and 2000. Less impressive than the latest 35mm DSLRs but far more forgiving than current medium-format offerings (it is worth noting that DSLRs make use of ‘in-camera’ noise reduction, and which still results in significant loss of detail at high ISO settings.)

There are all kind of color-charts and controlled tests that plot one camera or film or digital back against another. I leave that kind of testing to people who are a good deal more thorough than I am, I just mash the buttons remember? But after taking this thing out for a spin the difference was obvious. Shooting under the hot-noon sun yielded very similar results to print film, in terms of color rendering and contrast. There is also a sharp yet smooth quality to the images, like a high-resolution scan of medium-format film. In fact this ‘movie camera’ produces the best digital stills I’ve ever seen. I include in that list the Arri Alexa, any and all DSLRs, Leica’s M9 and S2, The new Phase One back and even the Hasselblad that looks like a Ferrari, all of them. The Dragon is the first digital camera that has made me hopeful that I will be able to continue shooting images that match the look and feel of my current work even with the impending demise of film.

What does this all mean? Potentially it could mean a lot of things. One thing it could mean is that in many cases, photographers could be replaced. Talented DP’s who shoot day-in-day-out, use the sharpest lenses known to man and have a team of people to light a scene, they know how to take pictures, really good pictures. Now extracting those pictures is easier than ever, and the resolution of those pictures is greater than ever. Why bring in a photographer who’s going to disrupt the workflow when you could just reset, change your shutterspeed/ISO. Imagine a 1st A.D. yelling out “Capturing for print! Okay, moving on.” Scary right?

Alternatively… say you’re hired to shoot stills but you end up with broadcast-quality footage, footage that you could license to the client. Exciting right?

It’s what Homer Simpson might call a “crisi-tunity.” You can make of it what you will, but there’s every chance the world will change a little bit, for better or for worse, or perhaps for better and for worse.

Thrilled as I am with my new camera and all that it does, I will be the first to tell you that having your still camera wrapped up in a movie camera creates some difficulties. Here are a few things to consider:

Cost
Crisis: Expensive, buying the camera is just the start

Opportunity: Two cameras for the price of one. As expensive as the Dragon is, when is the last time Canon or Nikon allowed you to swap out your sensor rather than simply selling you a new camera? Or offered a factory trade-in program? The fact is for a camera that shoots capital M Movies the Dragon comparatively cheap. Red has also kept the same form factor, despite criticisms (believe it or not) that the camera is too small. The advantage there is that accessories carry over between models, even after upgrades. There are also a number of third-party manufacturers such as Wooden Camera that make some very clever and affordable components.

Storage
Crisis: You’ll need lots of it, backed up even. See above.

Opportunity: N/A

Workflow
Crisis: If you like the chimp in the field, it’s not nearly so quick to review footage, especially slow motion to double-check that you’ve got the shot.

Opportunity: When you’re editing you have the opportunity to find moments you hadn’t considered during capture. On slow-motion takes you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact timing you’re after. Also, programs like Premiere Pro 6 handle the native RAW files in a really interesting way, allowing your to review and edit the footage at a lower resolution, if you edit at say ¼ resolution, the footage is still sharp (HD sharp actually) but even a laptop is often able to play everything in real time. This is a huge leap forward from the old days of RED footage, the memory of which still haunts a lot of people who will tell you that the post workflow with RED cameras is cumbersome. These are the people who thought that Elvis’ pelvic gyrations on the Ed Sullivan show were too obscene for the viewing public. Feel free to ignore these people.

Lenses
Crisis: Cinema lenses are expensive and heavy.

Opportunity: Interchangeable mounts allow you to use your ‘still’ lenses, also cinema lenses can be incredibly sharp.

Weight
Crisis: Heavy! Lighter than they were, definitely hand holdable, but flying with this stuff is a drag. Lugging it around a set is a drag.

Opportunity: Solidly built, steadier than your 7d footage. The system is modular and can be configured in all kinds of ways, from a fairly portable one all the way to a Hollywood technocrane setup.

Learning Curve
Crisis: Lots to learn, from the gear to the workflow, to the jargon.

Opportunity: Lots of support to help you learn. Learning is fun. Mashing buttons is learning!

The Dragon is just the first of many cameras will further blur the line between still and motion capture. No matter how you feel about that, this is not the time stick your head in the sand, or to wait for the storm to pass, or to hope that the genie will go back in the bottle. Quite the opposite, which I guess means that, it’s time to emerge from the sand during a storm and fight a genie? What I’m trying to say is that sooner or later this kind of technology will become commonplace, and you should think about what that will mean for how you work and how you market your talents.

Sample Images:

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Categories: Business

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