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Former Photography Director Rob Haggart
Updated: 19 min 6 sec ago

The Daily Edit – Variety: Andrew Hetherington

8 hours 1 min ago

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

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

The Best Work I saw at the Filter Festival: Part 2

Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:04am

 

This might seem like a long story, but bear with me.

Back in the Spring, as I walked across Central Park with Patrice, a gray-robed Chinese monk stepped into my path, reached out, grabbed my hand, and put a wooden-beaded bracelet on it.

He was quick, like a Kung fu monk, before I could think to refuse.

So I said thanks, reached into my pocket and gave him a dollar. I turned to walk away, but in highly broken English, he pointed to his list, and showed me the previous person had given him $20.

I looked at him, he pointed at the list.

I said, “You want more money?”

He nodded yes.

I reached into my pocket, took out 2 more dollars, gave them to him, and then he blessed me. I bowed back, and moved on, not sure exactly how that had come about.

It felt really deep.

Later, downtown, my friend Felt mocked me, saying the whole thing was a scam, but it felt real to me.

Turns out, I wear that bracelet all the time. I’ve really come to like it. And I began to feel bad that I’d only paid $3, as it’s worth more than that to me.

Had I shortchanged a monk?
Isn’t that bad karma?

I swore the next time I saw a monk like that, I’d give him some more money instead, to make sure I was all good with the powers that be.

And sure enough, as I walked towards the lake in Chicago late last month, just up the street from the Art Institute, (with my friend Kyohei in tow,) who do I see but another gray-robed monk with a handful of bracelets.

I show him mine, thank him, and give him a few dollars. Again, like the last time, he asks for more, so I give it to him. But as I don’t need a bracelet, as I’m simply paying into the cause, he gives me a Bodhisattva blessing card that says “Work Smoothly Lifetime Peace.”

Then he bows in blessing, and we’re back about our business.

But since my spiritual moment slowed us down 2 minutes, by the time I got back to that very same spot, (after getting my press ticket,) I bumped into a photographer I knew in Santa Fe, 7 years ago.

I’d recommended she go to Chicago for her MFA, as I’d heard such good things about Columbia College, and she did. We said hello, and once she told me she was now the collection manager in the photo department, I jumped into journalist mode, and asked what the special places were to see?

It was she who gave up the intel on the secret Japanese galleries, and who later arranged to have the photography curator, Elizabeth Siegel, come meet us in the gallery to give us a little talk about Hugh Edwards.

How random, or coincidental, or meant-to-be is that?

Because I stop to give money to a Buddhist monk, because of my Jewish guilt, I get the inside scoop on some amazing Buddhist art inside the museum?

These are the things that keep happening to me when I’m in Chicago, and why I really can’t wait to go back. I’m sure different cities do this for different people. but I’m so comfortable there that I end up talking to everyone.

Inside the gallery in the Hugh Edwards show, (a terrific exhibition inspired by the Art Institute’s legendary former curator,) I started chatting up an African-American security guard.

She admitted she found the show boring, and I asked if it was because there were so many rectangular, black and white pictures in black frames with white matte boards, and she said, “Yeah, that’s it.”

I said I understood, and as my friend and I were both artists and professors, we were able to get excited for all sorts of geeky reasons.

I told her I’d give her one tip, and she could see for herself if it opened anything up about photography.

There is, in the exhibition, an amazing suite of about 10 Robert Frank prints from “The Americans.” (Hugh Edwards was the first curator in America to show the work.)

I told her about my favorite diptych, maybe in the History of Photography: on the left, a fancy car in Los Angeles, covered, shimmering in the fancy light, with the swaying palm trees. On the right, a dead body, covered by a dirty blanket, lying by the wintry side of Route 66 in Arizona.

Two strong pictures, yes, but the context supercharges them.

I said my goodbye, and walked deeper into the show to see work by Eugène Atget, and Duane Michals. There were daguerreotypes in the exhibit, and more.

Kyohei and I ended up talking about the show with an African-American couple around our own age, and some Asian-American schoolgirls.

Random, in-public discussion.
Yet again.

By the time we were ready to leave, the security guard walked up to me and said, “I went and looked at those pictures, and you’re right. That’s powerful right there.”

We all get off on photography, or you wouldn’t be reading this. (Except for you, Mom and Dad.) And when it leads to discussion, to dialogue, to a deeper understanding of the world we inhabit, then I’d argue the art form has done its job well.

So today, I’m glad to share the second batch of work from the the 2017 Filter Photo Festival.

Donna Pinckley, based in Arkansas, had work that I was sure I had seen somewhere, but I couldn’t say where for sure. The project had gone viral, she said, so it could have been any number of places.

Donna has strong, large format black and white images made of inter-racial couples, and includes text written on the bottom of each print. (Racist, nasty comments that people have made before.) It’s really strong work.

It reminded me of Jim Goldberg’s “Rich and Poor,” but Donna and I agreed that just because someone else had written on pictures, (as Duane Michals did also,) then it’s no reason not to do it, if the situation is right.

Mayumi Lake works at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she went to school, and showed me a couple of projects that weren’t quite right, for me. But art is subjective, and she clearly knows what she’s doing.

As is often the case, we might resonate with something else, in a different box, and that’s what happened here. Mayumi is Japanese, and these flowers she makes out of scanned bits of vintage kimonos are so cool.

Sleek and colorful, vibrant and personal. I liked them very much, and think you will too.

Kaylin Hadon, a graduate student at Columbia College, showed me a project about bingo hall culture in Southern Illinois, as she grew up around such places. (We discussed the bingo hall sub-plot in “Better Call Saul,” and both agreed it’s stellar.)

I thought her strongest images were really tight, as they walked the line between being respectful, and showing a vision that might in some ways be perceived as pejorative.

It’s the hard part of doing a story from the inside, knowing you want people to appreciate what you do, and share your respect for the subject, while also being aware of the visual elements people are sure to find compelling or salacious.

Adam Davies was in from Baltimore, where he is an Artist in Residence at Creative Alliance. He presented a project of large format, urban, structural, architectural photographs that featured subtle use of graffiti. (Found, not made.)

There were certain perspectives that felt dangerous, like, “how the hell did he get up there?,” and overall I found them to be striking. I mentioned the few that I thought looked too much like other people’s images, but in general, think the work is excellent.

I met Susan Keiser, and showed her work here, after Filter in 2015. (She’s the first Filter alum to make it back into the post-festival round up.)

Her exploration of dolls fascinates me, as that would be a subject on my “cliché/don’t do this” list of things I’d give to students, if I had such a list. (I don’t.)

But I always challenge students to see if they can bring a fresh take to well-trod terrain, because who doesn’t like a good challenge?

This time out, Susan is shooting through ice, using vintage dolls from the 40’s and 50’s that she collects on Ebay. Even better, they’re small, so she has to use a macro lens to capture the scenes that she renders with the dolls.

Susan is also a painter, so the use of color and composition is right, leading to an overall creepy-but-not-too creepy vibe I really like. Crazy pictures.

Finally we have Allen Wheatcroft. Here, we return to that question of when are pictures appropriate or when are they exploitative? Or is it OK to be exploitative anyway?

Allen had street photographs from around the world that often (but not always) featured a lone figure in a crowd. Someone Allen described as off, or not-quite-right, but not hardcore junkies or homeless folks.

We discussed whether these people weren’t proxies for him? Whether he didn’t see himself as awkward or uncomfortable, unable to easily connect? Allen agreed that he did, and it was a really interesting way for me to understand the pictures.

He asked me if I thought they were too Bruce Gilden, or inappropriate towards the people in the images?

I don’t think so myself. I find them a bit intimate, and strange, and more endearing than critical. A bus driver in Stockholm? A guy on the beach in Chicago? More odd than off-putting.

We’ll end here today, with a group of pictures that represents some of the best the street has to offer…

Synchronicity.

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Categories: Business

The Art Of the Personal Project: Coco Amardeil

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 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: Coco Amardeil

Crazy Mummy is a creative, photographic project, initiated in August 2014 with my 11 yeas old daughter. The concept was to realize a series of photos of Zhan in quirky, joyful situations, much like my work as a professional photographer. I proposed ideas of situations to Zhan; she then gave her point of view.. she for example refused to have an octopus on her head. I can say that we have done this project as collaboration. I wanted to share creative moments with my daughter whilst having fun. It is different view on mother-daughter complicity, on love and maternal love. Images full of humor and spontaneity.  After our first session in Greece, we continued the story during our various trips.  The  “snapshot” effect is voluntary..A Mom’s vision, simple and pure emphasized with the usage of grain and vignetting.

– How did you (or your daughter) come up with the idea? I wanted to do my first movie, and as i filmed i posted images on Instagram ..we got amazing feedback which motivated Zhan to keep going

– Who has the ideas for the photos?/How do you get the ideas? I prepared the ideas before our trip and took a suitcase full of styling accessories..we also improvised as we went along

– How do you work together? it is mostly fun but sometimes it is tough for Zhan…being buried in the sand, getting pricked by a cactus, kilos of bread wrapped around the waist ;

– How is the situation, when you take the photos? It looks so funny :-) Are you alone with your daughter? We are always alone…except the Kappla photo where her babysitter helped us. Where do you take the photos? In which situations? In Greece, on trips, at home

– How would you describe your daughter? How old is she? She is you adoptive daughter? She is joyful, positive, courageous and loves to laugh..she is 11 and adopted from Kazakhstan

– Has the project changed your relationship? Yes, even more complicity..and she gets my job as a photographer more.

– Do you still go on with the project?…we took a break but are planning on some new ones…I didn’t want to force her…but now she is asking for more..

To see more of this project, click here.

https://www.instagram.com/cocoamardeil/

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: Hiring Crew for Photo Shoots

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:08am

Julia Hanley, Wonderful Machine

Here at Wonderful Machine, we pride ourselves on being experts on all things photography and production. When working on a big shoot, one of the first steps towards a successful outcome (right after you’ve been awarded the project) is sourcing and booking a solid crew. How does one accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task you may wonder? Let us be your guide!

As a photographer, your crew is a group of hand-selected individuals who will help you with aspects of your shoot you cannot do yourself. Your crew can range anywhere from one to more than twenty people.

There’s no secret formula for sourcing the perfect crew, but you do need access to the right information and resources to get the ball rolling. Your approach to sourcing the perfect crew will vary based on the individual project you’re producing, but it should always include these steps:

BUDGETING

Before you get started, figuring out how you want to distribute your budget is key. Even though the budget can be restricting, you’ll want to be sensitive to not sacrifice the creative in any way. This should all be discussed during negotiations. Depending on the size of the project and the resources you have available, you’ll have to decide the size of your crew as well as if you want to hire people that specialize in certain areas or a couple of folks who can handle multiple tasks. For instance, you could find a stylist who can take care of both hair and makeup, but if the production is large and you have the budget for it, you might need specialists for each. Location can also play a big part in determining crew size. For example, if you’re shooting outside in multiple locations throughout the day, you may want to opt for a smaller footprint production versus when shooting in a studio. Other variables to consider are cancellation policies, insurance, and markups. Some crew will charge if you don’t cancel within a certain window, so be aware of that possibility given weather disruptions and other potential interferences. Insurance is vital, too. If anyone is injured on set, who’s going to cover the medical bill? Be sure to keep these things in mind as you plan your shoot and research potential crew.

RESEARCH

Once you have a rough idea of how you’ll be allocating your budget, you can start researching crew who would be a good fit for the assignment. This will depend mainly on how many people the shoot requires, what types of crew you need, and the location of the production. Aside from looking to folks you’ve worked with in the past, Wonderful Machine’s Find Crew page is an excellent place to start. We’ve built and maintained this database over the course of ten years, and we’re constantly updating it as people join and leave the industry. Covering 27 different crew specialties, it includes everything from animal agencies to set designers, and lists crew from all over the U.S. and beyond.

Expert Advice, Find Crew, Hiring Crew for Photo Shoots, Wonderful Machine 1

Once you’ve wrapped your head around our crew page and determined what’s required for your shoot, it’s time to start using this resource to search for your team! It’s a good idea to make a list of your top choices and then choose some additional crew members you can use as backups in case things don’t go exactly to plan (hint: they never do). Your pre-production timeline will determine if you’ll have this luxury, as various factors can affect your shoot dates. If you’re shooting outside and on-location, the weather can change. If the client suddenly needs to push back a date due to issues on their end, you need to be ready. If the scope of the project changes and you have to add an additional shoot day, will you have the right crew in place? Because there are so many factors that can lead to a date change, it’s important to have a backup plan that accounts for unforeseen circumstances. Flexibility and being able to turn on a dime is key!

Expert Advice, Find Crew, Hiring Crew for Photo Shoots, MGM, Wonderful Machine 1

Behind the scenes of our shoot with MGM 

Having backups in place really came in handy during a recent shoot Wonderful Machine produced for MGM National Harbor. We were shooting a wide variety of commercial spaces before construction had even been completed at the casino and hotel. We had initially planned the shoot for nine consecutive days, but due to unmet construction deadlines, we needed to split the project in half and return to the location twice. We were already a few days into the production when we learned of the construction snafu, but I was still able to quickly adjust our shoot schedule. Between the two assistants I’d booked for the original shoot dates, I lost one due to a scheduling conflict. All of a sudden, I was short an assistant!

My first move was to ask the remaining assistant if he had any recommendations for locals whom he’d worked with previously. I sometimes take this approach because the remaining assistant will usually recommend someone they’re used to working with, making the shoot run smoother. When this failed, my backup plan sprang into action. I was able to contact an assistant I had on hold, who was thankfully still available to fill in. If that ended up being a no-go, I would have referred back to our robust crew database and began calling and emailing assistants in the Baltimore area. If I had not found a local via the database, my next step would’ve been to expand my search to either the D.C. or the Philadelphia metro areas.

Expert Advice, Find Crew, Hiring Crew for Photo Shoots, Charles & Colvard, Wonderful Machine 1
Behind the scenes shot of wardrobe stylist Christie Proud for a shoot that I line produced for Charles & Colvard.

OUTREACH

So! You’ve done your research, found crew members who’ll be a good fit for your production, and established backup plans B, C, and D. What’s next?

As long as you have the signed estimate or bid from the client in hand, it’s outreach time! My personal preference is to start with a phone call, complete with a follow-up email. This is especially important if they didn’t answer the initial call and I left a message. I personally feel like no one talks on the phone anymore and that conversation is rarely held outside of email and text messages. I like to keep it old school and give someone a good old fashioned phone call to get to know them. This also gives me the opportunity to ask questions if I need to speak with them about something specific like lighting techniques, hair & makeup direction, or wardrobe specs — things like that. I like to use phrases like “potential project” and “checking your availability” and “tentative hold.” I’ve found this sort of language is polite and precise but doesn’t make specific promises just in case things don’t pan out. Once you’ve checked that they’re available on the shoot days, go ahead and put them on hold.

PLANNING

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that specific types of crew are going to require different levels of planning and coordination.

When the shoot calls for catering, for example, I make it a point to ask if the crew and talent have any food allergies or restrictions in my initial phone and email. Although most shoots don’t require catering, it can be one of the most difficult aspects of crew to get right because you need to account for many different food preferences and expectations. Trust me, I’ve been on shoots where the catering has been a nightmare. I like to make sure there are always a few protein and vegetarian options and I always bring a few craft trays (food the crew can munch on all day instead of at a specific meal time) to each shoot as a backup. I also like to keep the meals light so that the crew isn’t falling asleep halfway through the day. Another crucial trick to keep people awake is to have lots of fresh hot coffee (or cold brews) on set at all times!

We recently worked with an amazing caterer in Denver for a job that we produced last summer with the local agency Karsh Hagan. This was a major production with a large crew and a lot of talent. We were shooting outdoors and in multiple locations each day, and thank goodness the weather was in our favor the whole time (even though it was unseasonably hot). With a few calls and a lot of Yelp reviews, we stumbled upon All Love Catering. Their team was amazing; they managed everyone’s food allergies, had multiple options at each meal, and provided different menus throughout the shoot. I did send them a copy of the production book, which we reviewed over a phone call so that they knew when and where we were shooting each day and could anticipate timing for set-up and break down.

Expert Advice, Find Crew, Hiring Crew for Photo Shoots, Karsh Hagan, Wonderful Machine
Our shoot in Denver for Karsh Hagan

Expert Advice, Find Crew, Hiring Crew for Photo Shoots, Charles & Colvard, Wonderful Machine 2
Dave Albanese, Peter Grill, Denny Henry, and photographer David Aaron Troy working on the set of our shoot with Charles & Colvard.

FINISHING TOUCHES

A few days before the shoot, when we are ready to move forward with securing the final crew, I send another email confirming dates and then release any crew that I had in reserve as a hold. I usually leave it up to the hair and makeup stylists, wardrobe stylists and prop stylists to hire their own assistants; they tend to work with regular assistants and have established relationships. After all of the details are finalized, I will send the crew a copy of the production book that includes location information, call times, shoot schedule, and creative brief (if applicable). Some shoots require a pre-production call with the photographer and crew in order to review the production book together. Others don’t necessitate a call, like if you’re familiar with the crew and have worked with them before. It all depends on the scope of the project and the personal preferences of those involved.

Expert Advice, Find Crew, Hiring Crew for Photo Shoots, Wonderful Machine 2
Yours truly, smoothing out all the details! Get It?

FOLLOW UP

So hopefully your shoot went smoothly!

Now it’s time to follow up! This might seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people I’ve encountered who don’t send a thank you message or some kind of debriefing about the shoot to the crew. This lets them know they did a good job and you were happy to work with them. Apart from being a common courtesy and the polite thing to do, this will give your crew members a more positive feeling when they remember the production and they’ll be more likely to want to work with you in the future. And of course, once they send an invoice, please do pay it in a timely manner.

So there you have it! This article is by no means comprehensive, but we hope it gives you a rough outline of the crew booking process.

As I mentioned earlier, Wonderful Machine’s database covers multiple crew specialties, so when you’re in a pinch to find a caterer, studio space, prop stylists, or location scout, feel free to use our shoot production services! Putting it all together can be daunting, especially with all of the moving parts and scheduling concerns associated with a high production photo shoot, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like some assistance. I’ll more than happy to help!

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Categories: Business

Dawoud Bey | 2017 MacArthur Fellow

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 10:39am

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – Zach Gross

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:00am

 

New York Times Digital

Photo Editor: Sara Barrett
Photographer: Zach Gross


Heidi: Can you give me a little back story on the project?

Zach: I started to show my newly edited portfolio around to photo editors. I reached out to Sara; we were originally in contact about a year earlier when The New York Times wanted to publish a photograph of Kalief Browder that I made a few years ago. 

She agreed to meet and review my new portfolio, we chatted about my work and the various projects she was working on with photographers. I wanted to experiment with blending multiple exposures in color. I followed up with her and I asked if I could explore that technique on assignment, and she came up with the idea of working on it at Penn Station.

What was their direction?
Since there is increasing conversation about renovating Penn Station, she wanted to convey the idea of hope for a better station, and to illustrate possible improvements, as I explored this idea I had trouble trying to literally show potential additions to the station. I ended up wandering around the station and noticed vintage photographs hanging around, I was drawn to how beautiful the old station was before it was demolished in 1963. I started making double exposures of the vintage photographs and moments that were going on around me.

Where will these images run?
A selection of the images ran in the Opinions Section on the New York Times website.  I’d love for the photographs to be exhibited in the new Penn Station, hopefully that will happen one day.

The passage of time is a big part of it and to create a completely different perspective of the station. I like that what you are looking at doesn’t exist outside of the photograph, and it brings a good part of the past forward, and highlights how the current state of the station is not ideal.

What did this creative process underscore for you?
I enjoy working with photo editors, its nice to have some parameters and guidance, and at the same time have room to experiment and explore.

 

Some outtakes

 

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Lisa Linke

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 9:01am

Lisa Linke now represented by Picture Matters

Regarding the promo:

https://www.prodpi.com/ printed the promos. Their quality is great and I also order the prints for my portfolio book there.

I designed the promo myself, I wanted to make a simple and cost-effective mailer, that the receiver wants to open right away. After making a really involved promo about a year ago, I felt like this was the right idea. Cards are always nice, because you can share a specific image with another creative that caught your eye. Each card has my contact info on it, so that whoever ends up looking at it, can reach out. I didn’t want to show a specific car as an opening image, instead I chose something environmental, that gives an indication on what is inside the envelope, but doesn’t tell too much. To me it was important to not only show the car, but also the surroundings. A car brings you to places and I often forgot to capture where it brought me to, so this time I wanted to show this and make it be part of my mailer.

The shoot itself was really fun and I was excited to share these images with creatives and agencies. But who doesn’t like jumping a truck in the desert?! To me this shoot was more like an adventure than work, an experience I was able to share during portfolio reviews. This adventure included me almost getting bit by a snake, a lot of dust and the most beautiful sunrise I had seen in a long while.

I actually made two different mailers, one with the off-road car and one with a performance car showing the capability of the vehicle to be used on streets as well as on a race track. Not every agency or client does shoots that involve off-roading, so I wanted to make two mailers I could send out to the right people. I made about 30 of each, so 60 total. The ones I had left I used to hand out during meetings.

This is the second mailer I made. I’m trying to send out mailers at least twice a year, simply to remind people of me and keep them posted about special projects.

I think print promos can be really effective. I personally love seeing my work printed, it shows the quality of your work. Even if it doesn’t get you a job right away, people remember you and your work and maybe at some point they get back to you.

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Categories: Business

The Best Work I Saw at the Filter Photo Festival: Part 1

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 11:14am

 

I get lonely, sitting out here by myself in the middle of a pasture.

It’s very quiet.

Right now, as I look outside, heavy clouds are blocking half the mountain, as we’ve had atypical weather since I got back from Chicago.

Cold. Wet. Damp. Gray.

No thank you.

If I wanted to live in Portland, I’d move to Portland.
Even worse, when I left Chicago last week, it was in the mid 80’s each day.

Pure summer weather.

Now, I’m wearing my heavy hoodie everywhere, and sulking because I miss the sun.

Such problems.

Thankfully, they’re not the kind of troubles that require the President of the United States to pretend-foul-shoot paper towel rolls at my head.

Remember, no matter how glum you feel, things can likely get worse. And the man who’s supposed to save us, to inspire us, to console us, is seemingly as deranged as peak-nutter-Muammar Gaddafi.

Hell, when I was in Chicago, I couldn’t even look at his fancy building; the one I admired two years ago. Now, (other than giving it the middle finger on Instagram, like a gringo Ai Weiwei,) I found my Trump denial was pretty consistent.

Nobody wanted to talk about him. Except for a moment, on the subway back to the airport, as I was finishing up a half hour chat with a middle-aged African-American guy on his way to his first day on the job in a mail room somewhere.

We met on the platform, when he asked me if the train I was awaiting was right for him. I always like it, (secretly) when people take me for a local somewhere, so I told him what I knew, and that seemed enough.

We chatted easily, my new friend an I, and I told him about New Mexico, and he caught me up on Chicago. As we approached the end of the line, I told him about the time I filmed a movie in Donald Trump’s apartment on top of Trump Tower, back in 1996, and the walls were plated in gold.

Randomly, another guy, halfway down the subway car, chimed in, “‘The Devil’s Advocate,’ I loved that movie.” And before you know it, several of us, all strangers, were conversing, only minutes before we broke up forever.

(We didn’t bother trading names, much less business cards.)

Last week, I told you about Chicago in the abstract, but this stuff just keeps happening to me, whenever I visit. I attribute it to the local culture, which is of course true, but it might also have something to do with the fact that I’m lonely out here.

Working by myself.
Tapping away at the keyboard, like a white-collar jackhammer operator.

Tap tap tap.
Tap tap.

Spacebar.

Festivals like Filter are special because they allow us to confer with our own kind.

Our tribe.

It’s so powerful, in fact, that when I suggested one of my Antidote students attend Filter, (which she did,) she had a look on her face like she’d found her long-lost birth parents.

That feeling of belonging, of being understood, is powerful. It helps us all, as working in a creative field can be isolating, each of us in his or her own box.

Conversely, it also explains why this country has striated to the degree it has. In a world that is increasingly uncertain, and fraught, people take comfort sticking with their own. (Speaking which, do yourself a favor and read this brilliant Andrew Sullivan long-read on tribalism in American politics. It’s grim, but genius.)

When I’m reviewing at an event like Filter, I love feeling the rush of energy as the photographers all come in the room. The quiet gives way to a loud buzz in the span of one second.

Quiet.
Then roar.

And I get to sit there and look at people’s art, their personal secrets, and learn things about the world I wouldn’t otherwise know.

How great is that?

Over time, I’ve learned how to be critical without being harsh, so these days, all the conversations are positive, and I no longer make people cry. (Yes, it’s happened before, but not anymore.)

The next few weeks, I’m going to share the best work I saw at the 2017 Filter Photo Festival, so you can get as sense of what’s going on out there. As usual, the artists are in no particular order, and I’ll share details of our conversations as well.

I met Sara Silks towards the end of the event, which was fortuitous, as I’d already been to the Art Institute of Chicago, and could tell her about what I’d seen. As it happens, Sara and I are both inspired by Japanese art, and I gave her a suggestion about some Japanese galleries, deep in the bowels of the museum.

I’d only learned about them by happenstance, as I bumped into someone on the street in front of the museum, (a colleague I used to know in Santa Fe,) and as she works at the AIC, she gave me a tip on what the tourists never get to see.

In this case, I viewed some ridiculously gorgeous woodblock prints by Kawase Hasui, from the early 20th Century, that I was then able to recommend to Sara. Turns out, she makes Japanese-inspired, Zen-beautiful inkjet prints on special, Japanese paper.

They’re lovely, and the paper texture conflicts with the images, occasionally, in a way that evokes Wabi Sabi, the concept that roughly symbolizes the balance between perfection and imperfection. I’m sure you’ll appreciate the selection here.

Sarah Pollman made work that I noticed during the portfolio walk, but didn’t have time to check out. She’s based in New England, and suffered a tragedy she wasn’t comfortable talking about. Not surprisingly, she ended up making work that is based in cemeteries, as a way of processing grief.

Her first set, in color, focused on a garden cemetery designed in the suburbs of Boston by Frederick Law Olmstead. Each picture features an anonymous Mother and Father gravestone, like a weird Cotton-Mather-Ghost-story come to life.

Speaking of ghost stories, they’re the literal inspiration behind Bill Vaccaro’s excellent series “The Magic Hedge.” Bill’s a long time Chicago guy who makes Ziatypes, a style of alternative process printing that was invented by New Mexico’s Bostwick and Sullivan.

Though we can’t see it on the jpegs, each print had a patterned brush stroke on the outside of the image, where he painted on the emulsion with a Japanese brush, that was absolutely dynamite.

The pictures are of a spot near Lake Michigan that used to be a US military missile site. There’s an old story about the hedges being haunted, so Bill conjured just the right amount of creepy energy. Great stuff.

Ari Neiditz is trying to walk the line between travel and documentary photography. We discussed the way he could develop thematic series, as he’s interested in Asia, where these pictures originate. I suggested he try to tackle the entire continent, because how insanely ambitious would that be?

But in general, his best images had a cohesive color palette, and a sharp sense of observation.

Vera Miljkovic is Serbian, but moved to the US years ago. Her work stems from a more metaphorical vision, as she discussed her feelings of in-between, as she waited for a visa many years ago, and how she wanted to convey that uncertainty in her work.

One or two images were too derivative of Cindy Sherman, I thought, but most of the rest had a weird, kooky sensibility that I really appreciated. The worst images were kitschy in a way that referenced Eastern-European awkwardness without irony, so we discussed how she could push that further, intentionally, in the future.

Finally, for today, we have the duo of Paal Williams and Marissa Dembkowski. (Known as PWMD) I saw their work at the portfolio walk, and immediately fell in love. All the more so when they assured me the images were straight, unmanipulated photographs.

Turns out, the prints are real pictures of elements of photoshop, and digital reality, that they summon from the computer world into 3 dimensions. Rather than give away their technical secrets, I’ll ask that you view them as what they are: images of artifacts from the ghostly machine, rather than digital creations themselves.

Picture 001

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Picture 002

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Picture 005

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: John Kealey

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 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: John Kealey

Jai Alai originated in the Basque country of Northern Spain almost four centuries ago. The sport was first played professionally in Miami around 1926. The Miami fronton is still active and often referred to as the Yankee stadium of Jai Alai.

Fronton Blvd is a personal photo study on the sport of Jai Alai in the U.S. The sport is very much overlooked and probably in it’s final years of existence with the exception of Dania Beach. Personally I wanted the project to serve as a testament to the beauty of the sport, players, courts (concha), stadiums (frontons) and makers currently surrounding Jai Alai in the Florida.

A trip to the Pyrenees is in the works to photograph where it all started.

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 Promo – Carmen Chan

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 9:47am

Carmen Chan

Who printed it?
It was printed by FLASH Reproductions in Toronto. The designer found the printer and FLASH mailed us physical proofs to check color and quality before going to print. We went with them because they were able to accommodate the special binding for a reasonable rate.

Who designed it?
Kati Forner (katiforner.com)
I became a fan of her work via the print spreads she designed for other clients, and felt as though our styles aligned. She also has experience creating photographer’s pieces – coming up with a design language and format that speaks to each photographer’s work is a passion of hers. She started by presenting me with four design concepts (some of which I didn’t choose, she’s shared on her instagram) and explored cover layouts for one of them and then she went ahead with the layout.

Tell me about the images?
The images are an edit of my commercial, editorial, and personal work from the last 1-2 years for clients including WWD, Cereal Magazine, and Marriott Hotels. I sent Kati a wide edit of my favorite work and gave her free reign to make the first edit for the layout. We swapped out a few images after receiving input from a few close friends who are familiar with my body of work. I really liked the pairings we ended up with and the variety in scale and space throughout the piece.

How many did you make?
500. Half of them have been mailed to prospective clients. The rest will go to current clients, friends, and I’ll keep the rest as leave-behinds.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Last year, I sent out my first promos – a variety of double sided 5×7 postcards. This year, I’m only sending this one. Moving forward, I’ll be sending them once a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
It’s nice to be able to share your work in a print piece that is designed in a way that compliments your work, and this piece in particular acts as a mini-portfolio. So I think they can be effective in conjunction with your work being seen elsewhere. A good example of this is a photo rep I recently met with who first saw my work in a magazine, then received my printed promo, then received my e-newsletter and responded to the newsletter asking for a meeting. Then there’s serendipity – the postcard promos that were sent last year were graciously shared on your instagram feed (@aphotoeditor) and John Cogan from GOODNOISE (goodnoisephoto.com) saw it and reached out. We worked on a commercial job together last month that wouldn’t otherwise had come about had I not shared that promo with you. Thank you so much for sharing it!

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – UCLA Magazine: Charlie Hess

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:00am

 

UCLA Magazine

Design Director: Charlie Hess
Art Director: Suzannah Mathur
Photographer: Stephanie Gonot


Heidi: Did you plan on the double entendres of music and academics (majors and minors?)

Charlie: At first blush this seemed like a pretty rote story about UCLA offering students minors as well as majors. But as our Art Director Suzannah Mathur and I dug deeper it turned out that many of the minors programs were pretty rad. And what the kids wound up pursuing after college anyway. The double entendres was a happy accident.

What about Stephaines style made you choose her for this project and what was your direction?
I had been looking for an opportunity to work with photographer Stephanie Gonot and this seemed like the perfect assignment – conceptual, fun, and eye catching, so this seemingly academic story wouldn’t get lost.
Stephanie and I brainstormed some ideas and settled on an approach. Tight portraits, each with their own color palette, and matching props.

What was the criteria for casting and did you hire models?
With public university budgets we can’t hire models. Shooting students is the right price, and generally creates a more authentic visual approach. We picked students from the fields discussed in the story, gave them their color schemes, and prepped coordinated props. Luckily the kids turned out on set enthusiastic and up for anything.

At some point in our careers we take stock and self reflect, what has this job taught you?
Working for a university is complicated, but Suzannah and I have learned how to make great work despite the limitations of cost, and an art staff of just us two. I love the challenges. And I love working with brilliant, dedicated students and faculty who are making a difference in the world. I can’t imagine going back to all the years of celebrity shoots, publicists, and entourages!

Previously this year I interviewed you about your Agency called 20 Over Twenty, what’s the update on this?
It started strong. I put together a great team of six talented photographers, each with their own aesthetic. We got some great shoots with USC, AFI, LACMA, SCI ART, LAPHIL, GET LIT, ELLE… My concept was for us to shoot cultural institutions, nonprofits and academic institutions, where I saw a gap in the market between the high end commercial clients, and the bottom feeders who wanted us to work for nearly free. I was working with marketing departments which used to have sizable staffs, and now had been whittled down to one or two people giving them no time to plan ahead. My business model was for us to book multiple shoots over a year, creating the content the clients needed. I had dreamed of a photo utopia where we would all help each other, but in reality, I think the concept of a photographic collective has its challenges and I didn’t have the bandwidth to make it viable in the long run. Consequently, I’m shutting the agency down at the end of the year. It’s hard to say that out loud but my hope is others can learn from my mistakes. I have no regrets for trying something new. We learn from our failures.

 

 

 

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Categories: Business

This Week in Photography Books: Sara J. Winston

Fri, 09/29/2017 - 10:14am

 

I just flew in from Chicago, and boy, are my arms…

Tired.

Sorry.
Couldn’t resist.

It might be the worst joke in the 6 year history of this column, but you’ll have to forgive me. I pulled 18 hour days at the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago, talking the entire time.

Then, I came home to a full week of cooking, cleaning, driving, parenting, kung fu, and lots and lots of work.

My brain is so mushy, in fact, that I actually tried to get away with a joke so old, it makes the mottled flesh on Donald Trump’s belly look like baby skin.

Moving on, I must say, yet again, how much I like Chicago. I go to a lot of these photo festivals, (as you know,) and it allows me to show you a big slice of what’s going on out there in the American photo community.

But for all the cities I visit, Chicago is just a bit different. It fits me, like my favorite T-shirt, and allows me to feel relaxed, and understood, in a way no other city does.

It’s the little things, really, in particular the general Operating System of the local culture; the way people interact with each other. There is a friendly, grounded, openness that so many embody, and I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

(Insert random cliché about the Midwest here.)

Yeah, I hear you. Everyone says that about the Midwest. The people are just so darn nice.

My goodness!
Gosh!

But that’s not what I’m talking about. Rather, it means that random conversations come about, on the subway, on the street, in a museum, that don’t happen other places.

It happens again and again, and I find myself chatting up strangers in ways that are thrilling and comfortable at the same time. I know Chicago has all the problems of other megalopoli, what with the violence and segregation, which is what makes that openness all the more surprising.

It allows for the type of cross-cultural, cross-gender communication that this country, (and the world, I’d argue,) needs more of.

Not less.

For instance, this column is now based almost exclusively on submissions, as you know. (I can request the odd publication from PR folks, but it doesn’t happen often.)

Just the other day, on Twitter, I was discussing with my friend and colleague Patrice Helmar the sad truth that almost all of my submissions come from men. (White dudes in particular.)

We traded 140 character sentiments on why that might be, as the preponderance of people I review at these events are women. Lots of women are making art these days, but the books don’t turn up in the mail in anywhere near a representative sample.

Patrice wondered if it was confidence and/or aggression? I speculated that perhaps female artists still aren’t getting as many publishing opportunities?

What to do?

Well, in this case, I’m mentioning it specifically, in the hope that some of our female readers might send in books, or nudge their friends to submit. It’s really important for all of us to see a broader viewpoint, and I hope this helps get the ball rolling.

Because, like a random conversation with a stranger, while watching the world’s best street blues, (true story,) hearing and seeing things outside our own bubble makes us smarter, healthier, more empathetic, and better at what we do.

Luckily, when I was at Filter, Sara J. Winston gave me a book to take home, called “Homesick,” published by Zatara Press. We had a review together, and she was honest about the fact she’d been diagnosed with MS, and was using her current project to process those emotions.

She admitted to coming from a family with health issues, and how she hoped to escape the curse.

Alas…

The review was only tricky in that she showed me two discrete projects, but they were a bit jumbled in her presentation. Both had become books, so I struggled to differentiate between the two styles, and subject matters, so I could wrap my mind around her art practice.

“Homesick,” which is not directly “about” her illness, is a poetic, very-well-observed take on Sara’s home and family, I believe.

I say “I believe” because this excellent book hints, but does not state. It has a languid, referential style of making connections, in a way that seems… dare I say it… more female than male.

Patrice and I each made guesses about why I get more books from women than men, and neither of us suggested it was because our audience demo skews towards the penis.

Does it?

I don’t know.

But this beautiful, lyrical, slightly abstracted book feels like exactly the sort of thing a man might not make.

The first photograph, with a tub of margarine and a plate of bologna, is just so metaphorical. We get that food will be prominent, and the items she has chosen to represent her story have cultural baggage. (Not exactly bougie.)

Food is a recurring theme, but so is a wilted sort of sadness. A cat with a torn-up ear. Dirty dishes. A large man with electrodes attached to his chest.

Bananas in a bag.
The imprint of sheet on skin.

It ends with a wonderfully written story.
At first, as it uses the first person, I thought, “Damn, she can write too?”

But then it shifts to another perspective.
A lesbian lover from college?
Visiting the family homestead?

It seems so.
But each is written in the first person, so eventually, I had to ask myself, is this even true?

Is it?
True?

There is no direct answer until the final credits, which suggest a writer, Ani Katz, created both characters in the story.

It is made-up?
Or based upon interviews?
Does it matter?

I may well be accused of sexism for calling a book like this feminine. But then, I don’t see that word as pejorative. I’ve previously established my feminist street cred, and therefore I like this book so much BECAUSE it comes from another vantage entirely.

It treats book-viewing, or book-reading, as an experiential process, which is my favorite kind of photo-book. It tells a story, in pictures and words, and for a few brief moments, I couldn’t put it down.

Bottom Line: A lyrical, gorgeous book about going home

To purchase “Homesick” click here

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

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Categories: Business

Personal Project: Todd Burandt

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 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: Todd Burandt

ARTIST STATEMENT

I’ve been photographing rodeos as a personal project, for the last six years.  When I heard about a rodeo that was held inside of a maximum security prison, in which the inmates are the participants, I had to go.  It seemed like the perfect capstone to this obsession of mine.  After a lot of cold calls, and lengthy emails, I was finally granted access to photograph the event known as The Angola Prison Rodeo.

The Rodeo started in 1965, and has grown in size each year.  The general public originally sat on apple crates, and the hood of their cars.  Now, they sit comfortably inside a 10,000 seat covered arena.  Due to increasing popularity, the inmates are now allowed to sell their artwork, furniture, and jewelry to the public.  All of the funds go directly to the artist’s families on the outside.

Many people are torn on the thought of inmates with no prior experience riding bulls, and roping broncos, participating in this event.  But, the truth of the matter is that this is completely voluntary.  My goal was to depict them as ordinary citizens, in an extraordinary place.  But when the sun sets on the Rodeo, the reality of it all sets back in place.

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: Releases and Permits

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 9:09am

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

It’s my job to love paperwork. From estimates to production books to invoices, I’m responsible for creating, organizing and understanding all of the documentation needed to manage a production. Three of the most important pieces of that paperwork puzzle are model releases, property releases, and permits. No matter how big or small a production is, proper documentation is essential to not only obtain formal permission to shoot in a specific place, but to also ensure your ability to make use of the images you capture that feature people and certain locations for a commercial project.

Generally speaking, a model or property release is a contract that documents the consent of the subject(s) or property owner(s) to allow their likeness or the likeness of a property to be used in a certain way. It’s important to understand that using a person’s likeness to promote a company for commercial gain can be incredibly valuable to that company, and the people featured in those images should understand this value. The formal documentation of consent is therefore very important, and releases protect the photographer and their client should a disagreement arise over the use of an image that includes any person or property.

Let’s start with model releases. Here is a run down on when you typically do and do not need a model release:

You DO need a model release if the subject is identifiable and the images will be used commercially (to promote a particular product, service, company, or cause). That includes (but is not limited to) paid advertising use of the images in print ads, web ads or billboards, as well as collateral use in brochures, direct mail pieces or a client maintained website and/or their social media outlets, to name a few. Additionally, while this is often overlooked, you should acquire a model release from anyone featured in an image within your print/online portfolio.

You DO NOT need a model release if the images will be used editorially (for the purpose of educating and/or conveying news or opinion). That includes placement in a magazine, newspaper or media outlet available for sale or viewing to the general public, which does not seek or accept sponsorship to, or in itself, promote a particular product, service or company. Additionally, you do not need a model release if the subject is not identifiable, even for commercial use. That being said, you should be aware that a subject’s face is not the only thing that might make them identifiable.

I should note that while a release isn’t needed for most editorial uses of an image, many (but not all) publishing companies do have clauses in their agreements requiring the photographer to obtain a model release from the subject. In my experience, this clause covers the publishing company from a liability perspective, but in most cases, both parties often ignore it unless the shoot features hired talent, kids, or if the subject matter of the article is controversial in any way. If an editorial contract states that releases are required, a discussion about this should take place, and I’d recommend asking the publishing company to provide the release they want to be signed.

So, what’s the best release to use? Well, there are a lot of forms available online (like these from ASMP and Getty) as well as many different apps (like Releases or Easy Release), many of them aren’t applicable in all situations or are a bit too broad (also, since releases are formal contracts, they are subject to state law, and it’s important to find out if there are any peculiarities that may require adjustment). For our purposes, we are typically working with professional talent (and/or their agents) who we negotiate specific usage with, for a specific fee, and therefore want to note such information on the release. Here is our model release:

Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer, Model Releases, Property Releases, Do I need a Model Release, Best Model Release Template, Best Property Release Template, Wonderful Machine, WM Estimating & Production, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice

You’ll notice we include a space for an image of the talent for reference. Since we often work with casting directors and hire professional talent, I’ll have their digital headshot and can drop that image on the release before getting them to sign it. Alternatively, using a Polaroid or other instant-print camera is a good option as you can staple the picture to the release after you have the talent sign it. Another method for other releases that don’t have a field for visual reference would be to take a picture of the person holding the signed release after signing it, so you can have both that image and the scanned release on file to identify the person.

Ok, you have a signed model release, so you are ready to go, right? Well, not necessarily. Property needs to be released too, and the basic rules detailed above for when you do and don’t need a release can be similarly applied to properties. You don’t need a release if the usage is editorial, but you do need a release if the property is easily identifiable and for commercial use, most of the time…

It’s understandably not always black and white, and there are a few key points to note about locations and releases. First, you need a release to include trademarks or copyright protected artworks in an image for commercial use. That includes logos on the facades of the buildings, murals, statues, and public art. Also, it’s important to know that certain architectural or design elements incorporated into a building can be trademarked. For instance, you can photograph the Eiffel Tower during the day without the need for a release, but the lights that appear in the evening are a trademarked design. You would, therefore, need to seek permission to use the image for commercial purposes if the image was taken at night when the lights are displayed.

Additionally, if you photograph a space that has art displayed, you would need a release from whoever owns the copyright to that piece of art, as well as, a release from the owner of the property in which the piece of art is displayed (if the location is identifiable) in order to use the image for commercial purposes. If you are unsure of whether or not there are any restrictions or limitations on a certain building or public work of art, you can contact your local film office, and they should be able to provide guidance on popular destinations or areas within your city.

As with model releases, there are forms you can find online from ASMP and Getty. On nearly every production I’ve worked on, our client has had location releases that they’ve asked us to use, however, we have our own as well. Here it is:

Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer, Model Releases, Property Releases, Do I need a Model Release, Best Model Release Template, Best Property Release Template, Wonderful Machine, WM Estimating & Production, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice

You’ll notice on our release that usage is not something we call out in the same way as we do on the model release, as usage typically isn’t a factor for locations (meaning, it typically just includes unlimited use). We do state that the release would cover unlimited use in all media, but it’s not displayed in the same way as we have it on the model release. That being said, location fees might differ based on the type of production (stills vs. video) and how big the production footprint is.

It’s also important to know the difference between a permit and a release. A permit allows you to be in a certain space at a certain time to take a photo, and a release allows you to use that image for commercial purposes. Permits are typically applied for and distributed by film offices or local government agencies, and each city typically has different rules for when you do and don’t need a permit.

Generally, it comes down to the size of the production footprint, and in many cases, a photographer acting alone with very minimal equipment does not need a permit. On the other hand, in almost all instances, if the production involves multiple people, production RVs, street closures and any lighting/grip equipment, a permit is needed. Most film offices and government agencies will tell you that if the shoot is for any commercial use, that you need a permit, although the fees will likely be less if the shoot has a minimal production footprint. The permitting process in most cities can be time intensive and almost always has fees associated with it, so it’s important to do your research and figure out the cost and turnaround time for a permit before embarking on a production.

Here are two examples of permits I applied for and was provided by the New York City Film Office and the US Department of the Interior:

Given the preparation and hard work that goes into capturing images on a production of any size, it’s incredibly important to cover your bases and make sure all the people, places and things in the images are appropriately released in order to avoid legal trouble when the images are actually used.

*Legal Disclaimer* – Please consult with an attorney to discuss legal documents pertaining to your business before putting them in use. I’d like to extend a thank you to Adam G. Garson of the firm Lipton, Weinberger and Husick for his contribution to this article. If you need professional legal counseling, please contact Adam at agarson@garson-law.com or by phone at (610) 565-7630. If you need help estimating or producing a shoot, please email me at craig@wonderfulmachine.com, or you can reach me on the phone at (610) 260-0200.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – John Huet: The Olympics

Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:15pm

Olympic Games

Photographer: John Huet
2016 Rio Olympic Galleries

Equestrian

Table Tennis

Basketball

Weight Lifting

Beach Volleyball

Field Hockey

Rugby

Wrestling

Steeplechase

Diving

Boxing

 

This summer and fall the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland is hosting several exhibitions and events related to sports photography.

One of the exhibitions, Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to The Present, opened at the Brooklyn Museum last summer and has since been traveling around the U.S. and Europe, making a six-month stop at the Olympic Museum before it returns to the U.S. next May.

A second show, Rio 2016 Seen Through the Lens of Four Photographers, is comprised of a series of images that were made at the 2016 Summer Olympics by four participating photographers.

John Huet’s iconic sports photography is included in both shows, as well as in the book, “Who Shot Sports”. This terrific book by Gail Buckland accompanies the exhibition and chronicles the history of sports photography from 1843 to the present.

I got a chance to connect with John about this work, his affinity for #theartofsportsphotography and the genesis of his Olympic odyssey.

Heidi: I haven’t seen much of your work on Instagram, and it’s been such a treat to see all the images you’ve been posting recently.
John: Thanks, Heidi. Part of my thinking behind the posts I’ve been doing was to share my enthusiasm for having my work in the two shows at the Olympic Museum and in the book “Who Shot Sports”, which are all part of the museum’s celebration of sports photography this year.

I wasn’t going to get to Lausanne for the opening of the exhibits in May because I was somewhere else on the planet so I thought I would bring the show to people via Instagram. That’s sort of where the thought process started. Because the show was running through the summer, I thought I’d make this “The Summer of Sports Photography.” I started posting daily on the Summer Solstice and continued until the Fall Equinox. The hashtag #theartofsportsphotography is actually the overall name of what’s going on at the Olympic Museum right now.

I noticed that # on your feed actually, so that’s why I was really curious about this new initiative.
I don’t think it was for any purpose other than I really like the idea of “the art of sports photography”. I’ve always liked the idea, without having put a name to it. I don’t think that sports photography gets the recognition it should.  Of course, that’s coming from a person who shoots a lot of sports, but it’s funny to me that sports photography is rarely a category in photo competitions, and God forbid that there would ever be a museum show featuring the work of a sports photographer. It just doesn’t happen, and yet sports photography is an art in which the “decisive moment” is captured in a nano-second, and I can’t think of any other area in photography where the general population, the media and advertisers/brands alike rely so heavily on imagery. It’s a multi-billion dollar-industry that’s basically been created by the images that photographers have made over the years, and still it somehow isn’t recognized in the same way as other genres of photography.

So, when Gail Buckland decided to do the Who Shot Sports exhibition and accompanying book, I thought it was the greatest thing ever! Finally! And what she curated is just fantastic, I can’t recommend the show more highly. You don’t even have to be a sports fan, there’s just so much there to see. Photographs that you can look at and just enjoy as a photograph and not because it’s of a basketball game, or some sporting event, or a portrait of an athlete. It’s just beautiful photography and that led me to want to show more of my own work using #theartofsportsphotography. To be honest, I was hoping that other photographers would join in, using the hashtag on their images. There are so many great photographers out there shooting beautiful sports stuff, and it would be cool to have a collection of images on Instagram from a lot of different people using the hashtag. A few people joined in but not as many as I’d hoped.

Instagram is a funny thing; it’s timing, and repeatability is very important. If this hashtag is something that you really want people to use, you can just suggest it to people, I think there’s always a camaraderie in creative people. I suspect people didn’t use it simple because they’re not reading. Everybody is looking when they should be understanding the context as well.
At the beginning, I actually wrote more about the photographs themselves, and then when I’d talk to people about it, they’d be like, “Oh, you wrote that?”

I read all your captions because I think it’s what sets people apart, when there’s more content.
I agree. I definitely wanted to point out what cameras I was using, where the image was shot, and who it was for. I use a ton of different equipment, and I try not to get too repetitive, if I can help it, so it was good for me to look back and think, okay how did I shoot this? What did I shoot this with? It was a great exercise for me.

It was also good for me to go back and look at photographs that I hadn’t seen in a long time. And it’s been really nice to read comments from photographers whose work I really respect. We work in such a vacuum, which makes me really appreciate the acknowledgement and respect of my peers.

You have deep roots with the Olympics with your first assignment coming from the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in 2002. Can you tell us how that materialized?
The Salt Lake Olympics, that came about like many things for me – in a random phone call. The Director of Creative Services for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) saw a few images in the Communication Arts Photo Annual and called to ask if I would be interested in doing some work for them. Little did they know I’m a closet Olympic freak and have loved everything about the Olympics since I was a kid. I don’t know why, I just couldn’t watch enough of it growing up.

They flew me out to Salt Lake the next week, and we talked about what they were looking for as the run up to the games, which is basically how an Olympic city is decorated for the games. Each Olympics has a color theme and slogan; theirs was “Fire and Ice,” and we came up with the idea to decorate the city in a particular way, so that when NBC had that opening shot of the city at night, the audience would see the skyline of Salt Lake City with those beautiful mountains in the background.

We decided to wrap the 17 biggest buildings in the city in photographs. We spent two years working on computer models to help us make all of our creative decisions. We finally decided to use 17 different images, based on each discipline at the Olympics, ultimately giving each discipline its own photographic logo. The images had a similar tone, color palette and background. In addition to the building wraps, the images were all over Salt Lake and Park City – in the airport terminal hallways, at baggage claim, on the city buses, on the light posts, and at the Olympic venues, of course. It was incredible.

But things didn’t stop there, SLOC wanted me to shoot the games themselves, and they asked me to shoot the commemorative book for Salt Lake, “The Fire Within”.  The host city for each Olympics produces an annual report after the games are over. It breaks down every detail about how the games were put together: the venues, the costs, the attendance. Everything right down to how many plastic spoons and napkins were used. The amount of information that’s generated for the Olympics is staggering.

It was obvious that one photographer couldn’t possibly cover everything that would be happening, so we discussed involving several photographers, and that’s when I came with that idea that I would bring in photographers who may have never shot sports or been to the Olympics. I thought it would be cool to work collectively with a diverse group to shoot the commemorative book.

When all was said and done, we had a broad spectrum of 12 photographers, ranging from a 19 or 20-year-old photographer to Shelia Metzner, a fine art and fashion photographer who had never shot a sporting event in her life.

David Burnett was the only photographer with experience at the Olympics, and we knew that he would deliver great images in the way that only he can. Michael Siemans, a photojournalist from the Boston Globe, was someone I struck up a conversation with during a rain delay at a Red Sox game, and he became part of the team.

What was SLOC’s direction for “The Fire Within”?
For us, for me, the direction was to create a commemorative book that would show the Olympics in a completely different way. They did not want straight up sports journalism; they wanted Olympic images that had never been seen before. They wanted art, and the only way we could deliver what they were looking for was by having access to areas that were off-limits to press photographers.

During the project, we had four photographers with the kind of unprecedented access that hadn’t been granted since Leni Riefenstahl shot the 1936 Olympics in Berlin for Adolph Hitler. There was one point when I was photographing the start of the luge, and the NBC cameraman was behind me. I heard him say, “there’s some photographer in front of me. I can’t go down any lower. No, we can’t move him. They told us he’s allowed to be there.” I had to smile at that point.

The experience itself was great. Working with all of the different photographers, it was awesome, and everyone was extremely happy. Some of us were working with large format antiquated cameras, hauling them up the side of a mountain and having photojournalists just shake their heads at us like we were crazy.  Some of us were shooting Polaroid negatives. Holgas were being used. Raymond Meeks, who is an incredible fine art photographer, set up in the Olympic Village and was photographing the athletes using hand-coated glass plate negatives. They are some of the most haunting and beautiful images I’ve ever seen. It was an incredible adventure, and I can think of no better way to start my Olympic odyssey.

So then, how did your relationship with the games grow and develop after that?
The next Olympics was in Athens in 2004. This was my first summer Olympics, and I was hired directly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). I covered the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino for ESPN the Magazine, and I’ve been shooting for the IOC since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  Shooting in Torino for ESPN was a whole different world. I went as a straight-up photojournalist with a straight-up photojournalist credential. That’s an interesting thing.

Interesting how?
Mainly because of the limitations that come with those credentials. In Salt Lake and Athens, I pretty much had full access to anything. That had been my experience, then all of a sudden, I had restricted access. It required a shift in my approach. That said, working with the photo managers was so helpful. Before then, I never worked with the photojournalists or the photo managers at the Olympics. I was on my own; and now, working with these guys, it was great because they did such a great job with getting the press what we needed.

At this point, you’ve shot the Olympics in the U.S., Athens, Torino, Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio. What are some of the cultural differences that you experience, and how do they inform you?

The culture of each host country is very much represented at the Olympics, particularly in the Opening Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony. I’m always interested to see what a country will showcase at the ceremonies, but so much of the experience for me comes down to the local people. The volunteers that work at the games are just so happy that the Olympics are there, and they’re very proud of the fact that they’re a part of it. They’re proud of their country; they want to show it to you, and they want to help you. Overall the experience has been amazing, and the people have been awesome. That’s saying a lot, as I’m about to go to my ninth Olympics.

So speaking of your ninth games, what are you– how do you stay engaged in it, and what are you hoping is going to be different? Or what can you tell us about the upcoming games in PyeongChang?
Each place is different both culturally and visually, and each event has been unique. Just being in a foreign city can make something that you’d think would seem similar feel entirely different. And while the Olympics are the same event to a certain extent, the actors and the stage are always different. I try to tell the broadest story I possibly can, and what gets me excited about PyeongChang is thinking about the stories that are waiting to be told, the ones that haven’t happened yet.

There are surprises at every Olympics; the story of what’s happening changes all the time. Sometimes the weather creates a scenario that you can never predict, but you have to always be prepared for, sometimes it’s the emotion of a particular country having an athlete cross the finish line for the first time in its history, or it can be that an athlete who isn’t on anyone’s radar ends up winning a medal. There’s always a new story to tell.

I was covering the Australia vs New Zealand finals of the first ever women’s Rugby sevens in Rio. I had done setup rugby shots for advertising in the past, but I had no idea what the rules of Rugby Sevens were. Luckily I was given a great introduction by the South African coach who took the time to explain everything to me when I photographed a training session with his team the week before.

So I had a new story to tell.  Not only was this the first event of its kind at the Olympics, but everything about it was new to me, and this game is just non-stop, fast action with teams made up of seven players playing seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40 minute halves. It’s impossible to not be fully engaged when shooting a game like this. Before I even start shooting – I’ve got to decide where to position myself, and I’m constantly accessing what’s going on with this game that’s not familiar to me. Then, if I’m not getting the images that I want, I need to move to another spot where I can get them, and I need to do this as fast as possible.

This particular game was really intense. There was a controversial call in favor of Australia which swung the momentum of the game, and in the end, Australia won. The New Zealand team broke down in tears. The emotion was just overwhelming.

Fast forward 10 minutes, and the losing team in any final competition at the Olympics is expected to be at the podium to receive their medal for losing a game that they’ve trained for for years. I know it’s not really thought about that way, but I’ve watched this so many times, and I just see how hard it is for these teams to play with everything they’ve got up to the last second, and when they lose, there’s no time for them to process that before they have to be on the medal podium. At that time they usually don’t see it as, “We won the silver medal, that’s good.” They see it as, “We lost the gold. That sucks.”

So after the game was over, all of the photographers, all of the press photographers – got lined up, and there were probably 200 Olympic staffers there getting ready for the medal ceremony. Both teams had entered the field, and they were looking out to where the podiums were being put up. The Australian team was milling around, and the New Zealand team was doing the same, but they were all in tears. They were just heartbroken. As I walked over to stand behind them, all of a sudden, the crowd in the stands started to chant the haka, the traditional war cry from the Māori people of New Zealand. There’s a lot of cultural meaning and symbolism to the haka, and the “All Blacks”, New Zealand’s rugby union team, have been performing it before games to intimidate their opponent since the early 1900s.

This is one of those times when the story of what was happening, the medal ceremony, changed completely. I turned around, and I saw all of these big dudes in the stands, all standing up with their shirts off. They were sounding off this tribal chant that I’ve seen on television, but now I was 10 feet away from it. I started taking pictures of them, and I was turning and taking pictures of the New Zealand women’s team reacting to the men in the stands, and back and forth, and then the women just formed into this group. There was no gesture or comment or anything. They just formed this group and started to do the haka back to the people in the stands.

So there these women were with tears coming down, and they were doing this chant with these intensely aggressive eyes, and I couldn’t pull cameras up fast enough to take pictures; close ones, wide ones. I was doing everything I possibly could, as all photographers do, to capture those moments as fast as I could, and I kept looking out of the corner of my eye wondering, “Is anybody else taking pictures of this? Am I the only person taking pictures of this? This is awesome.”

That was a gift, and it was just incredible to be standing where I was and to be able to capture that experience.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo – Kelsey McClellan

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 10:00am

Kelsey Mcclellan

 
Who printed it? 
Ryan Dempsey at West Camp Press in Columbus, Ohio.

Who designed it? 
Blake Roberts. He also designed our logo!

Who edited the images?
I did.

How many did you make?
Only 75.

How many times a year do you send out promos? 
This is our first promo as Terrence Caviar. We hope to send one out every year or as we have work that is exciting.

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Categories: Business

This Week in Photography Books: Ed Eckstein

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 9:44am

 

My son just saw “Airplane” for the first time. (Thanks, Dad.)

He’s turning 10, so I guess he was ready. I certainly remember watching it as a kid, laughing so hard that my stomach hurt. But that was back when the movie was fresh, and the references made sense.

Not surprisingly, as it’s 2017, Theo felt uncomfortable with the “jive turkey” scenes, as what was acceptable in 1980 is considered highly racist today.

He also didn’t know what to make of the Hare Krishna’s. I mean, how do you explain that to the Internet generation? It’s not like we’ve got bald, dancing hippies at airports anymore.

(Instead, we have bomb-sniffing dogs, and lots of smelly bare feet.)

In a weird way, I miss some elements of the monoculture: the pop references, and films, that everyone got.

Where’s the Beef.
Joe Isuzu.
Eddie Murphy doing Gumby.

The comedic movies from the 70’s and 80’s, in particular, stand out as cultural icons that have not really been replaced. (Well, I guess Alec Baldwin doing Trump comes close.)

If you ask anyone between 30-50 about the funniest movie of all time, the odds are they’re going to say something with Bill Murray in it.

“Caddyshack,” most likely.

The fact it had peak-funny Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield makes it hard to pick anything else. But I could just as easily say that about “Stripes.”

It featured peak-funny Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and John Candy, with a scary/funny performance by Warren Oates to boot. (How sad is it that three of those guys are dead now?)

“Stripes” gets pushed down the list a bit, for many, because it was really two movies in one. The first part, with all the classic lines, (“You call me Francis, I’ll kill ya,”) was set in basic training.

Show me something funnier than John Candy mud-wrestling.
I dare you.

But the second part, which morphed into an Anti-Soviet action movie, is a bit harder to defend. Completely different tone, and seeing Warren Oates become a good guy was hard for my young brain to process. (Ah, such a simpler time, the 20th Century. Our good guys were good, our bad guys were bad, and it was OK to chant “USA” without irony.)

Seriously, I think my entire understanding of basic training comes from “Stripes,” and I guess that says a lot about me. I don’t have any family members in the military, I never considered joining up, and I was born just after the end of the draft.

For me, “The Draft” means 20 hours of ESPN each Spring, watching heavily-made-up former football players dissecting clips of college footballers whose names they can barely pronounce. (Yet still I watch…)

It’s hard for most people to relate to a world in which the government could force you to fight, and often die, no matter what you thought about the situation. We are so far removed from that time, it’s hard to imagine a world in which that many Americans had skin in the game.

These days, a small minority of American families do the heavy lifting for all of us. And, most of the time, it’s lower income kids, from rural areas lacking job opportunities, that end up dying for our “freedom.” (Yes, I’m putting quotes around the word, b/c with Trump around, it seems like a much shakier proposition.)

Thankfully, (and not unexpectedly, if you know this column,) a photo book turned up in the mail the other day that puts this issue before our eyes, straight outta the early 70’s.

“Grunts: The Last US Draft, 1972” is a new book by Ed Eckstein, published by Schiffer Publishing in Pennsylvania, and it provides a glimpse into the last draft class in American History. (This time I don’t mean the NFL.)

This photo book shows us a set of pictures that Ed Eckstein made in 1972, when he embedded with a group of draftees, and followed them from Philly down to basic training in South Carolina. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get “Stripes” out of my head, when I was looking at this book. (Yes, I’m a weirdo.)

But the thing about a documentary photo project is that it shows us the unvarnished situation, in clean black and white, and eventually, I was able to see these young men as people, rather than stand in’s for John Winger and crew.

While this book gives us something we otherwise wouldn’t get to see, (a surefire way to get reviewed,) I wouldn’t say the pictures are dynamite. They’re good, and in some cases very good, but in general, I don’t think they’re terribly visceral or emotion-grabbing.

Rather, they feel historical to me.
And important, as such.

There are little bits of humor, like the little tags on the uniforms, made “For Soldiers of Distinction.”

How great is that?

Even better is the promotional poster, featuring Richard Nixon, that promises “Equal Employment Opportunity” from the Federal Government.

Let that sink in for a moment.

In one little advertisement, Richard Nixon is presented as less of a racist/sexist than our current President. Nixon, the past poster-child for how to be a terrible President, in retrospect looks like a balanced statesman compared to our current Asshole-in-Chief.

Then we get a signs that says, “When you fire think “BRAS”: Breathe/Relax/Aim/Squeeze.” No f-ing way something like that passes muster in 2017. Misogyny may still be alive and well, but with a now-partially-female military, tacky puns like that would never cut it.

And how about the guy in full karate-chop mode? How much you want to bet he’s making a Bruce Lee-esque karate-chop cry? Hiiiii-yah!

It’s true I’m making light of a situation that demands a bit more respect. It’s likely that some of the guys in this book went on to die in Vietnam.

Nothing funny about that.

But that’s kind of my point. As the military burden shifted from almost-all-of-us to a select demographic in this country, the reality of War, and its costs, has become buffeted, to a dangerous degree.

Which is why I’m glad Ed Eckstein sent this book along to remind us, in this time of “Rocket Man,” that none of this is a laughing matter.

Bottom Line: Vintage, black and white documents of the last draft class

To Purchase “Grunts,” click here

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

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Categories: Business

Personal Project: Joey L

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:20am

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: Joey L

Overview: WE CAME FROM FIRE: Portraits of Kurdistan’s Armed Struggle Against ISIS

The ancient Kurdish homeland is partitioned between modern-day Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Oppression by state powers led Kurds to embrace armed struggle, yet failed to produce a lasting resolution. As the new war against ISIS dismantle nation-state borders, the once persecuted have risen to secure the power vacuum.

 Artist Statement:

WE CAME FROM FIRE: Portraits of Kurdistan’s Armed Struggle Against ISIS is an independent and self-funded portrait photography series that transformed into a book project. It observes a controversial ideological guerrilla movement that has manifested itself into a sophisticated army in response to a crisis threatening the existence of an ethnic minority.

After a ruthless and exhausting 6 years of war in Syria, only the most ideologically strong militias have flourished, absorbing various fragmented factions and uniting them under strict philosophies. The statistics flooding our daily news cycles rarely capture the mental convictions that can turn the tide of war, often surprising analysts with years of experience observing from afar.

When one crosses into the North East of war-torn Syria, and is catapulted into a worldview crafted by the Kurdish guerrilla. Conversations often drift to conspiracy theories. It seems ISIS is just the beginning of a long list of culprits plotting to destroy the Kurdish identity. Oddly, the conspiracies begin to make sense. The militia’s secretive hierarchy vanishes due to its compartmentalization, and you find yourself among individuals who left their families with the intention of defending their culture and way of life.
 
I have never felt comfortable calling myself a “war photographer.” In the past, I have photographed projects highlighting the plight of minority groups, but never in a war environment. When finally approaching a project on the Kurds, despite my lack of experience in a war zone, it became necessary to focus on their fighters—the armed defenders of a language and distinct cultural practices outlawed by every state the Kurds live.

Portrait photography is an external medium that can remind us of our shared humanity, but it is also the best device for the nearly impossible goal of depicting the inner ideology which has fueled the Kurdish movement to rise to such a position of power.

To see more of this project, click here.

Purchase the book in pre-order: https://joeylshop.com/products/guerrilla-fighters-of-kurdistan-fine-art-photography-book

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/232453075

The full film can be viewed for free here:  www.BornFromUrgency.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 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

Pricing & Negotiating: Lifestyle Shoot for Technology Company

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 9:02am

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Lifestyle images of professional talent using a mobile application.

Licensing: Web Collateral and Web Advertising use of up to 15 images in perpetuity.

Location: A residential property

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Lifestyle specialist

Client: A technology company

Here is the estimate:

pricing and negotiating, lifestyle shoot, production, photography production, wonderful machine, estimating, photographer pricing, craig oppenheimer

Job Description and Fees: The client was a relatively new player in the mobile app space, and while they weren’t quite a startup, they were young in the industry and about to make a big marketing push. The concept for the shoot focused on two people using the app and accompanying accessories on various mobile devices within a house, and they also needed environmental still life images of those devices as well. The usage was entirely web-based, and they planned to primarily use the images on their website, and potentially run web ads with a handful of them as well. While the requested usage included a perpetual duration, the devices themselves and the technology used would limit the shelf life of the images to about a year, as they’d quickly become outdated with new product launches (by the client and by third party retailers).

I priced the first image at $2,000, images #2-3 at $1,000 each, images #4-6 at $500 each and images #7-15 at $100 each. That totaled $6,400, which I rounded up to an even $6,500. I’d typically extrapolate this number to account for the perpetual duration, but the shelf life in addition to the fact that the client was handling the majority of the production (which meant that it wouldn’t be a huge time/energy commitment for the photographer) helped justify leaving the fee right at $6,500. Speaking of the production elements, I made sure to note everything that the client would be providing which included the location, casting/talent, hair/makeup/wardrobe/prop styling, production coordination and catering.

Photographer Scout/Pre-Production Day(s): I included one day for the photographer to go scout the property with the client. I’d typically include $1,000 for this, but we were trying to keep the estimate as lean as possible, and based on the time crunch, it was apparent that the scout day would likely be limited to just a few hours, which helped justify bringing the fee down a bit.

Assistants: Despite a request from the client to limit the crew to just one assistant, I included two for the shoot day as we anticipated the need to move a decent amount of equipment around through the house (and potentially outside) throughout the day. Based on the market, this rate was appropriate to bring on the necessary team.

Digital Tech: I included a tech for the shoot day who would help to display the images to the client as they were being captured. I included the expense of their laptop workstation in the subsequent equipment fee.

Equipment: This accounted for $800 in cameras/lenses and $700 in grip/lighting rentals, in addition to $500 for a laptop workstation.

Mileage, Parking, Misc.: Since the client was providing the majority of the production coordination, there wasn’t much else that needed to be included, however we did add a couple hundred dollars to account for minor miscellaneous expenses that might arise.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: While the digital tech would be organizing the files during the shoot, I included $250 for the photographer to go through all of the images after the shoot to remove any that they felt weren’t appropriate and create a web gallery of a reasonable number of photos for the client to consider.

Color Correction/File Cleanup/Delivery of 15 Selects: The agency wasn’t looking for any major retouching or compositing from the photographer, and only requested that they adjust color and apply very basic processing to the images prior to sending the high resolution selects back to the agency. I included $100 per image to accomplish this.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Hindsight: We’ve estimated many projects previously where the client informs us that they are coordinating the majority of the production elements, and sometimes it doesn’t always go smoothly. If there’s an agency involved with an internal producer, that typically increases our confidence in their ability to line up a successful shoot day, but when an agency isn’t involved, and when a client is seemingly inexperienced, that definitely gives us pause, and it’s hard to reflect that feeling in the estimate. Fortunately, this particular client did a great job and streamlined the production with ease and professionalism, which was a huge relief. The shoot went well, and the images reflected the preparedness of the client.

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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