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Former Photography Director Rob Haggart
Updated: 5 min 43 sec ago

The Daily Promo: Jordan Pay

Mon, 05/23/2016 - 9:20am

 

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Jordan Pay

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

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

Who edited the images?
I edited the images

How many did you make?
400 printed

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

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Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Magda Biernat

Fri, 05/20/2016 - 10:11am

by Jonathan Blaustein

In England, Northerners mock Southern Londoners for being soft. Here in Northern New Mexico, people scoff at the Southern part of the State, and often refer to it as Texas.

Ted Cruz, a Texan, and former Republican Presidential candidate, recently derided “New York” values. (By which people assumed he meant liberal, gay-loving, and probably Jewish.)

“Those New Yorkers,” Ted thinks, “with their diversity and heathen practices. Repent, I say. Repent! The rapture is upon is!”

(Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)

No, North vs South is a powerful cultural motif around the world. (The Italians all nod their heads.) And wasn’t there some big war fought over those divisions?

Polar opposites are powerful. I’m not sure exactly why, though we so often define ourselves by what we are not. And homo sapiens tribal affiliations allowed the species to propagate.

My people good.
Other people bad.
Fire scary.

And what of our poles, North and South? How are they faring in these days of rampant Climate Change? I interviewed a Finnish photographer for the NYT earlier this year, and she’d spoken to indigenous people in Greenland who insisted the ice was melting fast.

How fast it melts, and how much rejoins the ocean, has dire consequences for the future of humanity, and all the other living creatures with whom we share our planet. (Except for the cockroaches. Fuck you, cockroaches. Everybody hates you.)

Back on point, I just looked at “Adrift,” a new book by Magda Biernat, published by Ink & Bellows. This is a lovely little production, and I do mean production. It’s not built like most books, as the text is pasted tight to the inside cover, and the images unfold accordion style.

The writing gives us the background, though I couldn’t help look at the pictures first.

Diptychs?

Blue icebergs in blue water, contrasted with white buildings on white landscape. They’re aesthetically pleasing, wonderful to look at, but definitely have a bit of a weird vibe as well. Particular the buildings.

As it doesn’t take long to flip through, I immediately re-flip, and realize the compositions of the icebergs and buildings ape each other formally. (It’s not exact, but close enough to get the point.)

So we know we’re certainly meant to see them as pairs, and I begin to wonder what that relationship implies?

On to the text, and some essay-parsing delivers this: the icebergs are melting pieces from Antartica, and the structures are abandoned indigenous hunting cabins in Alaska. Ms. Biernat covered the world, from Pole to Pole, and the book reflects two global warming stories she witnessed.

There is a proliferation of such imagery these days. The icebergs in particular. I don’t know if frequency alone, with respect to delivering the message, will get the job done. People simply can’t tune out until it’s too late, as the alternative is CATACLYSM.

Full stop.

Perhaps more metaphorical, lyrical ways of telling the story will become vital? (Like this book.)

It’s small, gray and sleek, like a baby seal. It’s delicate, like our ecosphere. Quiet, like the snow.

Basically, this is a cool book. Will it, by itself, defeat Climate Change?

Of course not.
Ridiculous question.

But if there are hundreds and hordes of people are out there, each trying to make an impact as storytellers, artists, consumers, conservationists, then perhaps we stand a chance after all.

Bottom Line: A meditation on Climate Change

To Purchase “Adrift” Visit Photo-Eye

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Amanda Hibbert

Thu, 05/19/2016 - 10:21am

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Amanda Hibbert

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How long have you been shooting?
I’ve been pursing a career in photography for 5 years, however I received my first camera my senior year of high school and started shooting then.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A little bit of both. Photography is my second career so when I made the change in 2011 from Aerospace Engineering I really examined going back to school full time. I had already completed a certificate program from the Washington School of Photography while working as an engineer, but I felt like I needed a more in-depth focus on lighting.

On my first assisting job I was the second assistant. The first assistant had graduated a few years earlier from photography school. She told me she had learned more on the job than from school, so I decided not to go into debt and learn what I didn’t know while assisting and digital teching.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I played rugby in college and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was an experience that shaped who I am today, my values, work ethic and confidence.

I wanted to share a rather unknown sport with people. The photos are the tip of the iceberg for this project, this series is part of a larger documentary film project I am working on about women’s rugby in the United States.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
These particular images are from the 2011 spring season in the Washington DC area, however I am still working on the overall documentary project. Initially this was going to be a photo essay, then I wanted it to be a multi-media project to include players talking about their experiences. In 2012 I decided it was a documentary film and started filming for that purpose in 2013.

I will be adding portraits of the players and I would like to eventually get the entire collection into a gallery show as part of promotion for the film.

But the short answer is, I’m still working on it.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I am a very detailed planner and I do a lot of pre-visualization prior to a project. If the concept is not coming together in the planning stages I’ll table it and work on another. For me it’s not the time or effort already put in but more of a creative fulfillment quota that needs to be met. I have a book full of ideas that I want to work on so I’ll move onto the next idea if it’s not working for me.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Currently I find that a lot of what ends up in my portfolio is my personal work, so I wold not say it’s different for me. Since majority of my images are my ideas and personal shoots when I shoot personal work, I’m shooting for my portfolio.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Always! My current social media marketing plan starts with my Instagram account @amandahibbert. I use that as the starting point, and then it pushes out to all other outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.). My Instagram account is treated as an extension of my brand so when I post to Instagram it’s like being on my website, but more immediate like a blog. I’m currently curating my feed now to more closely align with my brand.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not viral yet, but hopefully with this wonderful interview. There has been interest in the women’s rugby project and film but nothing so extensive as to make it “viral”.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes. My leave behind when showing my portfolio includes several images. The rugby photos are actual some of my images that get the most responses when showing my book, it’s a great conversation starter.

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Amanda Hibbert is a San Francisco based photographer and director who believes in the power of story telling.

Her unique combination of technical expertise and creative vision provide an exceptional experience. A true collaborator, Amanda creates a successful partnership with her clients to express their visual aesthetic through photography and video.

She has been selected and exhibited in three APA group shows, the 2013 & 2014 “Off The Clock” Exhibition and in the 2014 “Something Personal Show”.

Visit www.amandahibbert.com or follow in Instagram @amandahibbert


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

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Categories: Business

Competition is not your biggest problem

Wed, 05/18/2016 - 10:25am

If your focus is on what’s wrong with the marketplace, and you’re caught up in the illusion that there’s no way you can succeed because of an overcrowded market, that’s full of young people who don’t know photography, then that is the reality that you create. You will live inside of that fantasy and your business will suffer.

If your focus however, is on developing the most competitive body of work you can produce and you then take the necessary steps needed to consistently sell and market your work, then you are laying the groundwork for the success that you seek.

Source: Selina Maitreya

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit: Trevor and Ty Paulhus

Tue, 05/17/2016 - 10:11am

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Photographer: Trevor Paulhus
Illustrator: Ty Paulhus
Creative Director: Paul Scirecalabrisotto

 

Trevor: ( the photographer )

Do you and your brother Ty often collaborate as a team?
We have talked about doing things together for years, but didn’t actually follow through with it until recently. He works a full-time job as a creative director and has a family, etc… and I live half-way across the country from him and am always busy as well, so it continually got put on the back burner.
But last year I got asked to shoot a fashion editorial for a publication’s “Art Issue” and I figured it was the perfect opportunity to pull in my brother. They gave us the freedom to run with our own concept, so we had a lot of fun figuring it all out together. I added some of the work from that series to my printed portfolio, did a little marketing push of the series online with social media and email blasts, etc… and people seemed to really dig the combination of our styles. Since then, he and I have been fortunate enough to get asked to collaborate on quite a few things as a team.
How did the concept come about? 
Paul from SLAM reached out to me directly with tears from the first fashion spreads Ty and I did. And simply asked if we would be interested in doing something similar for their upcoming cover/feature with Russell Westbrook. I have worked with SLAM for many years on many past assignments, so for me, it was rather standard in terms of my role behind the camera. And again, Ty and I were given pretty amazing creative freedom to simply work together as a team like we had on previous projects. I was asked to capture a few specific static portraits as well as some specific poses to help the flow of the illustrations and Ty was given some loose direction of them wanting things to feel a certain way, but besides that, Paul pretty much just let us do our thing.
Was Slam his client or your client?
SLAM was my my long-time client. It was really great to get to mix it up and do something different this time around.  I’m a huge basketball fan and the people at SLAM are all top-notch folks; have consistently been one of those clients that I feel really fortunate to have a long-standing connection with.
Growing up did you two always draw and take photographs?
Yeah. Absolutely. We used to draw together all the time, but Ty was always more into it than I was, and way better at it. My father is a graphic designer and used to take us to his studio after school. We would sit there for hours playing with his markers and pens while he worked. Ty and I both eventually went to college for illustration, but I ended up changing my major, I just didn’t have the passion for drawing. Eventually, I found photography after years of searching for a medium I connected with.
What was your first collaboration with your brother?
Our first collaboration was a series titled SCHIZOPHRENIC for a fashion editorial (mentioned above). Still one of my favorite things we have done together.

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Ty ( the illustrator )

What collaborative skills have you learned or better developed working with your brother?
Getting a chance to work with Trevor has been really great, we’ve talked about collaborating on a project like this for a long time. We already knew that we’ve got similar tastes as far as art & design goes, so I felt pretty comfortable going into the project. Being more open to feedback & change was definitely one of the skills I developed more while working on this project. Typically, I think about how an illustration works by itself, but in this case, the drawings needed to work as one with the photography, so finding that balance needed some back & forth which wasn’t always as easy as we wanted because we both have strong opinions on how we think it should be. Having those conversations with Trevor was alot of fun though, I value his opinion.
How many sketches did you go through for each final piece and what is your process?
My process for this project was a bit different than normal for me. Because I have a really loose, organic style that makes use of mistakes, ink bleed, drips, splatters, etc, I kept my sketches to thumbnails to get a sense of placement and a general outline of the page. Once I had an idea of how the photos & drawings were going to work together, it was a lot of iteration to get the lettering and drawings just right. I would use a lightbox to paint over the photos, building up textures & drawings, then I’d take all of the drawings and scan them in, putting it all together in Photoshop. By the end of the project, I had a huge pile of sketches & drawings for each illustration (around 20 each. I must have drawn each of the words 50x each until I thought it was just right.
Are you illustrating full time for your full time job?
No, I’m an Art Director at a company in RI that does web & app design. Outside of design, most of my art has been paintings and personal side projects that rarely saw the light of day. I went to school for illustration (Massachusetts College of Art), and after college I focused more on graphic & web design, only pursuing illustration work when fun projects like this one come up, but lately I have made more of an effort to get more regular illustration work.
How did you know at such a young age, illustration was your passion?  
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist, even when I was much younger, making artwork was the only thing I ever wanted to do. Trevor & I have a lot of artists in our family (our dad & grandfather are both graphic designers & artists), so it seemed natural. We were always encouraged in whatever we were doing. I grew up with a nonstop barrage of comics, video games, skateboarding, graffiti and music. The unconventional creativity that permeates skateboarding & graffiti is massively inspiring to me, and really helped to shape the way I look at art, and life in general. I’d be destined for failure if I were to try to do anything else.

 

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo: Jason Evans

Mon, 05/16/2016 - 9:38am

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Who printed it?
I looked at many different printers, some local and some of the larger mass production places.  In the end, I went with Agency Access as the printer as I was able to bundle many services together and their printing for this type of promo was perfect.  Since I was adding to my marketing list through their database, it made sense for them to print and mail.

Who designed it?
It was designed by Sara Jane Kaminski, a wonderful designer in Boston.  She had been recommended to me by several different business associates, and we’d been talking for several years trying to find the right opportunity to work together.  This was the first project that we worked on together and I was very happy with the results.  Sara came up with the template for emails and these printed bi-fold promos and I switch out the images and type.

I used to send promos in the clear plastic/cellophane envelopes that everyone uses now.  An art buyer in Florida emailed me to say that he had loved the images, but he had thrown the promo in the trash because of the plastic sleeve, as was his practice, and he hoped that the trend of using these envelopes would soon end. I am an environmentalist at heart, and that really stuck with me.  Since then, it has been very important in the mailer design, that they can ship without an envelope.  Sometimes, they are damaged, but I think that is a fair trade to avoid decorative plastic trash.

Who edited the images?
A great photo editor in Los Angeles, named Kathleen Clark, was recommended to me several months ago when I was looking to re-edit my website. We are in the process of finishing up the edit and redesign, and the site will be launched soon. Since she was so familiar with my work at that point, she was able to pull together these 5 images together very quickly.

How many did you make?
I am printing 1000 of each mailer and sending them to agencies, magazines, and photo agents

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I am sending out these mailers 6 times this year and am designing a larger promotional piece to coincide with the Olympics in Rio.

What project did the promo images come from?
This was a promo that went out in the winter and used images that I shot at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. I was working there for the International Olympic Committee. One of the images was selected for the the American Photography 31 Annual Book.  This was the first promo that went out for this year and was the first to go out with Sara’s design.

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Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Zora J Murff

Fri, 05/13/2016 - 10:59am

by Jonathan Blaustein

How do you know you’re having a really bad day?

When you make a pregnant woman cry.
That’s always a good way to gauge when everything’s gone wrong.

If you’re not perfectly sure, having her young husband scream in your face, in public, will carry the point home.

Yes, you’re having a really bad day.

For sure.

That was a part of my yesterday, when two of my Art History students had simultaneous meltdowns. On the last day of class. Of course a year that has pushed me harder than a crowd of Walmart shoppers on Black Friday would end on such a note.

Pure. Bloody. Chaos.

It was my first time teaching this demographic before. And this class as well. (Intro to Art) So I needed to suss out the capabilities of my students, over the course of the term. Stunned, I found that half the class failed a mid-term I felt was pretty easy.

Then I heard most teachers resorted to doing open-book-open-notes tests all the time. My wife suggested I pivot to a final presentation, rather than a test, to avoid causing further stress upon them. (Some left entire pages blank, in pure freak out mode. I had to curve the thing 16 points, in the end.)

Cue yesterday, when the shit really hit the fan. Their presentations were so bad that pure plagiarism from the Internet, read aloud with many mispronunciations, became good work by comparison.

One student did a presentation on Michael Angelo. (Tony Angelo’s older brother?)

I suppose I ought to take some of the blame, as an instructor. I could have been more clear about my expectations.

But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get through to people.

Other times, though, you can see Art make a difference in someone’s live. As a form of communication, it is something to behold. You witness it, and are reminded why this work is so important, poor pay be damned.

I had two photo students this semester who both used a photography project to conquer some deeply held fears. Both reconciled themselves; succeeding in ways our class simply couldn’t believe. One regained the ability to drive, after making pictures about a terrible car accident; the other confronted PTSD.

Art works because it allows people to take control over how they release their energy into the world. Instead of repressing rage, which eventually surfaces in violence and/or misery, we can transform it into a beautiful or ugly piece of art.

Making things is a transformative process: it takes what’s inside us, and births it into the world.

It allows for catharsis.

I saw it so many times, in the decade I worked with at-risk teenagers in Taos. It’s inspiring, the way they embrace creativity so easily at that age.

Their intelligence is there. They’re as smart as adults. They just don’t have the life experience to know what the world is about, nor the emotional maturity, and often have strong triggers from coming up hard.

I once had a student who would walk home 4 miles from work, getting in after 1am, just to wake up at 6 to get ready for high school again.

Kids who had nothing handed to them in life.

Kids like that often end up in the juvenile justice system, at some point. And what exactly does that look like?

I just put down “Corrections,” by Zora J Murff, recently published by Ain’t Bad Press, with a foreword by Pete Brook, noted expert about America’s Prison System, and author of the blog Prison Photography.

The object is genuinely beautiful, with a turquoise cover that makes me think of the Four Corners, and a graphic icon, meant to evoke the panopticon, that looks like a distorted Zia from there as well. (Navajo Nation, for the uninitiated.)

Pete’s intro suggests, but does not declare, that Mr. Murff worked inside the corrections system, in Iowa, minding the tracking devices placed on teenagers within “the system.” Kids who’d committed offenses, obviously, but not so bad they had to be in juvenile detention. (Jail.)

Apparently, GPS accuracy means the government really can know where ankle-tagged people are at any given time. How degrading is that? Is it not 1000 times better than being locked up?

Well, we get to see and feel what it’s like, in these exceedingly well-made photographs. We’ve seen this book type before, maybe the Christian Patterson-style of mixing up all different sub-genres: historical, paper documents, still lives, portraits. (Surely, there were people who did it before CP, but you know what I’m talking about.)

The ankle bracelet, followed by a blurred portrait, and then all the other people are shot with faces obscured. Not by big blocks or dots, but by gesture. A hood, an arm, a turned body. They don’t want us to know who they are, but they want us to know their stories.

Fair enough.

The clean graphic design on this book, the high quality of the pictures, the substantial feel, create a platform for emotions to translate.

Sadness chief among them.

There’s a document on page 53. (See photo below.) An orientation pod assignment. Sample questions? I am at my best when: never. I feel proud when: never. The happiest day in my life was: hasn’t happened.

Heartbreaking stuff.

I really felt it. I look at so many books, as you well know, but few get under my skin.

You could say that these kids are lucky. It’s much better than being in jail. But the vibe here is that they’re not lucky at all. They’re caught in a feedback-loop incarceration system that is ruining millions of lives and costing billions of dollars.

How often do we REALLY contemplate that our governments send billions of tax dollars to private corporations to incarcerate people for profit? Or that the failed drug war is enriching corporations, while devastating countless communities on both sides of the US-Mexico border. (Who gets rich off of opioid epidemics? Cartels, pharmaceutical companies and private prisons.)

A book like this can make you think about such things.

The epilogue states that Mr. Murff in fact worked as a “Tracker” in Iowa for 3 years, 2012-15. He worked within this corrections system, and was likely in charge of many of the young people in this book. (Unless the pictures are staged.) He had to go on the trauma rides with them, and presumably it was a stressful experience. (The very-well written statement confirms as much.)

One could easily see this art project, making the pictures for the book, even the book itself, as the product of one artist’s personal catharsis.

Composting stress into beauty. Getting our attention, and turning it towards larger issues plaguing this great country of ours.

Bottom Line: Beautiful book about life inside the system

To Purchase “Corrections” Visit Photo-Eye

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Sandra Salvas

Thu, 05/12/2016 - 10:31am

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Sandra Salvas

Sunrise in Mae Ann over Love Animal House

Sunrise in Mae Ann over Love Animal House

Hero taking it all in. Marianne found Hero just after he was hit with a machette in his face. While he lost sight in his one eye, he still has a loving spirit and now a forever home where he is safe.

Hero taking it all in. Marianne found Hero just after he was hit with a machette in his face. While he lost sight in his one eye, he still has a loving spirit and now a forever home where he is safe.

Yod and Lung (pronounced Loon) unloading  the daily cut grass for the cows at Holy Cow Farm, the cow extension of Love Animal House.

Yod and Lung (pronounced Loon) unloading the daily cut grass for the cows at Holy Cow Farm, the cow extension of Love Animal House.

Zoe getting her lunch at Holy Cow Farm.

Zoe getting her lunch at Holy Cow Farm.

Tain (Tahn) and Miso. Tain lives at and takes care of the animals at Holy Cow Farm.

Tain (Tahn) and Miso. Tain lives at and takes care of the animals at Holy Cow Farm.

Nin is the last surviving dog at the Wat Ban Oi temple. Recently there was a mass poisoning of 20 dogs here, but Nin was spared. She's been at this Temple for 10 years. She is 12 years old. Pictured with Luang Poh

Nin is the last surviving dog at the Wat Ban Oi temple. Recently there was a mass poisoning of 20 dogs here, but Nin was spared. She’s been at this Temple for 10 years. She is 12 years old. Pictured with Luang Poh

Caramel, not so sure about the giant lens in front of him.

Caramel, not so sure about the giant lens in front of him.

Monty,  watching the sunrise from the top of Love Animal House. Monty is the newest dog here. He kept finding trouble in the villages with chickens running loose. Marianne feared he would be poisoned, so she brought him home.

Monty, watching the sunrise from the top of Love Animal House. Monty is the newest dog here. He kept finding trouble in the villages with chickens running loose. Marianne feared he would be poisoned, so she brought him home.

Mali and her brother Mumbo (not pictured) are defintitely the most wild, most skeptical of the dogs here. They were the only pups that were completely uninterested in getting attention from people.

Mali and her brother Mumbo (not pictured) are defintitely the most wild, most skeptical of the dogs here. They were the only pups that were completely uninterested in getting attention from people.

Ping prepares dinner for the dogs. Ping prepares meals for the dogs 5 days a week using fresh ingredients from the local markets.

Ping prepares dinner for the dogs. Ping prepares meals for the dogs 5 days a week using fresh ingredients from the local markets.

Marianne gives Wolfie a bath. Wolfie was hit by a car and paralyzed in one leg so he now drags it behind him. this leads to scrapes and cuts, so he gets baths to keep the potential for infection down.

Marianne gives Wolfie a bath. Wolfie was hit by a car and paralyzed in one leg so he now drags it behind him. this leads to scrapes and cuts, so he gets baths to keep the potential for infection down.

Charlie is at Wat Pa Tiew. This Temple is off the main highway in Mae Rim. He was hit by a car and had to have surgery on his hips and leg. Marianne is hoping to place him in a home environment sooner than later.

Charlie is at Wat Pa Tiew. This Temple is off the main highway in Mae Rim. He was hit by a car and had to have surgery on his hips and leg. Marianne is hoping to place him in a home environment sooner than later.

Tun feeding the cows at Holy Cow Farm.

Tun feeding the cows at Holy Cow Farm.

The water buffalos enjoying the water on a 90 degree day in Mae Rim.

The water buffalos enjoying the water on a 90 degree day in Mae Rim.

The dogs of Wat Hua Fai. These dogs have it pretty good. The monk here cooks for them daily. Originally there were only 3 dogs here, but the monk allowed other dogs to come in because they were not safe. Now there are 14 here. The Temple sits up high on a hill and against the forest.

The dogs of Wat Hua Fai. These dogs have it pretty good. The monk here cooks for them daily. Originally there were only 3 dogs here, but the monk allowed other dogs to come in because they were not safe. Now there are 14 here. The Temple sits up high on a hill and against the forest.

The dogs of Wat Nah Hoerk. This is one of the safesty temples I've seen. The monk has built the dogs an enclosure for when he is not around to keep them safe. Otherwise they all follow him around and do not wander too far. There are lots of dogs here and it's amazing they all seem to get along in this enclosure.

The dogs of Wat Nah Hoerk. This is one of the safesty temples I’ve seen. The monk has built the dogs an enclosure for when he is not around to keep them safe. Otherwise they all follow him around and do not wander too far. There are lots of dogs here and it’s amazing they all seem to get along in this enclosure.

Bobo the cow at Holy Cow Farm.

Bobo the cow at Holy Cow Farm.

The dogs of Wat Nong Pla Mann happily greet a young monk.

The dogs of Wat Nong Pla Mann happily greet a young monk.

How long have you been shooting?
Technically, since high school…which is about 18 years ago now…yikes.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to the School of Visual Arts in NYC. I wanted to learn not just how to take photos, but how to market myself and sell my work commercially.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I am an animal lover and have worked with several local dog rescues in Utah over the past 5 years. Yes, I’m a crazy dog lady.

I had just been laid off from a full time job as a photo editor, and was completely burnt out. I wanted to work on something bigger than marketing objectives, and for someone who was actually making a difference. I perused the interwebs for volunteer photography projects and found the site Photographers Without Borders. They are a non-profit organization who work with NGOs in developing countries. They partner photographers with causes in order to raise awareness through visual story telling. I read their Mission & Vision statement and immediately applied for an opportunity to work with an animal rescue. After an interview and a couple months, they asked if I’d like to partner with Love Animal House in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I raised money for my airfare and stay, as well as some additional money I was able to donate to Love Animal House.

I wanted this to be pure journalism. I followed Maryanne, her dogs, her cows, cats, and her employees around for 2 weeks just watching, observing, and learning.

Animal welfare is low on the totem pole for most people in Thailand. They don’t understand spaying and neutering pets is the way to control an overpopulation of cats and dogs. Sadly, they result in poisoning their pets to “get a hold of the situation.” Slaughter houses are violent and inhumane, and farm animals are often left suffering and unattended to. The sanctuary was founded over 21 years ago to change this; to offer a place of equality for all living animals, and to educate the community in animal welfare. The organization is currently developing their bovine shelter for rescued cows and water buffalo to be developed into a free energy plant by turning their waste into gas to run generators and provide electricity to their project site and neighborhood. 

I wanted the opportunity to tell this story. The project focuses on the animals she’s rescued, as well as the monks who protect the animals in the local temples of Mae Rim. It really goes beyond Chiang Mai, so I feel like this is just one door that has opened to a much bigger project.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This was a 2 week project, but I want to go back. There’s so much more to tell.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
It depends on the depth of the project. Some projects only last 1 day, some I spend years on. If it’s a real story, with progression and substance, it usually only takes a day to realize that and then I try to go back within a reasonable time and continue it over a year. Sometimes I just have random ideas that are more conceptual and it’s just a one day shoot and done.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I actually consider all of it portfolio work. Part of being a photographer is being personally creative but also having the ability to adapt your style for a clients needs. I like the challenge of making it all cohesive. My personal work comes from what I am most passionate about, and I like to think that clients consider those things before they hire me for an assignment. “Oh, she loves dogs. She must be patient and understanding.” Haha!

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I only post personal work on Instagram. I have rules for this platform,

Rule 1 is iphone only. What’s more challenging than taking a great photo? Taking a great photo with your optically challenged iphone. Funnily enough, I broke this rule twice during promotion of this trip to Thailand, but that was it. I’ve stayed true before and since.

Rule 2 is only 1 post a day. No one wants to see the progression of me “getting the shot” Just post the best one.

As for Tumblr and Facebook, anything goes. I use Tumblr to promote photos before I add them to my website galleries, or will throw up an image with Facebook. Honestly I’m not the best social media promoter.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet, but maybe one of these days. I’m optimistic.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I do it all the time. It’s not like a lot of people are going to have the opportunity to see my personal work unless I’m on their radar. By printing and mailing pieces out, I only hope it doesn’t just go from the mail box to the recycling bin. I don’t over print or over send. I really try to target the audience of the mailer so I’m not wasting paper or anyone’s time.

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I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, moved to NYC for college, and after graduating quickly traded in the concrete jungle for the mountains. After a 5 year stint in Boulder, CO, I moved to Park City, UT where I currently reside with my husband and 2 fur kids.

I am inspired by real moments, real people, bad dogs, being outside, and all kinds of adventure. I love projects with depth and process that keep you wanting to go back for more: to learn, see, and experience it all as much as you can.

I love…
documenting activities
unexpected moments
the outdoors
dogs
my family
nature
mountains
snow
sun
water
whiskey
a cold beer
skiing
running
cartwheels
great friends
dancing


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

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Categories: Business

Pricing and Negotiating: Ingredients for Food Packaging

Wed, 05/11/2016 - 10:44am

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Still life images of ingredients on white

Licensing: Unlimited use of four images in perpetuity

Location: A studio in New York

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Food/still life specialist

Agency: Medium-sized, based in the Northeast

Client: Packaged food manufacturer

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: The agency kicked off the project by describing a need for isolated close-up ingredient shots with “high appetite appeal” based on new variations of their flagship product. They had four new products, each of which required a unique image featuring ingredients of the flavors. The ingredients would be shot on white, and they’d ultimately be composited together with a textured background and a few other design elements.

The intended use for these images would be for product packaging, and there was a very limited chance they would end up in advertisements, although the products themselves (with the images on the packaging) could end up being integrated into other marketing pieces. It was apparent that the shelf life of the images would likely be a year or so as they refresh their product’s packaging somewhat frequently, but despite the intended use, the agency/client requested unlimited use of the four images in perpetuity.

With the intended use in mind, I wanted to price each image between $1,500-$3,000 based on previous experience with similar projects/clients. In this instance, we were given a budget of around $13,000, and given the potential expenses, I knew that would force us to tighten up the creative/licensing fee. After fleshing out the rest of the estimate, we ended up coming in at $6,500, which based upon the straightforward nature of the project and the photographer’s experience level, still seemed appropriate.

Assistant and Digital Tech: We included the cost for one assistant to lend a hand with grip/lighting, and also added a digital tech to ingest and display the files for approval on-site. The digital tech’s rate included his time at $500 for the day, plus a workstation rental at $600/day.

Food Stylist and Assistant: In addition to the food stylist’s time on set, she would also need a day beforehand to shop for the ingredients, and she’d have an assistant with her on the shoot day to prepare and organize the food. We included a few hundred dollars to source plenty of options, and this included a bit of a buffer in case any items needed to be special ordered and/or shipped in.

Studio Rental and Equipment: This rate afforded a studio with a kitchen and plenty of space to prep and shoot the ingredients. The photographer would be using all of her own equipment, rather than renting gear, and was comfortable waiving any equipment fees in order to stay within the client’s budget.

Lunch Catering: We anticipated 2 client/agency representatives to be on set, as well as the 5 crew members, and included $50 per person for lunch catering.

Mileage, Parking, Meals, Misc.: The photographer would be traveling from a few hours away, and we wanted to make sure we included supplemental funds for transportation to/from the studio, as well as parking and unanticipated expenses that might arise.

Color Correction, File Cleanup, Clipping and Delivery of 4 Selects by FTP: The agency would be handling the compositing of the images with the other design elements and backgrounds, but they needed the photographer to do some basic processing and create the clipping paths for each shot. I felt $150/image would be appropriate for this work.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project. Right before the shoot, the scope of the project changed a bit, and there was a need to bring on a prop stylist (at $800/day) to source a few surfaces, plates, bowls and utensils. The agency also ended up needing more help with the post processing than originally anticipated, and the photographer hired a retoucher who worked through 4 rounds of processing, clipping and color alterations, which added about $3,000 to the final invoice.

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

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Categories: Business

The Daily Edit – Jeremy Samuelson: Darling Magazine

Tue, 05/10/2016 - 9:27am

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Darling Magazine


Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director: Sarah Dubbeldam

Photo Editor: Rebekah Shannon
Photographer: Jeremy Samuelson

Do you scout your spaces prior to the shoot?
I only scout when it is a commercial job and there are prior expectations for the shots, furniture placement and so on; but when it is an editorial shoot, I like to experience it spontaneously and respond. I always do a walk through with a compass to check the travel of light during the day.

If there’s no time to scout, do you have a punch list of questions regarding available or natural light?
I look for trees, foliage, things that might influence the light. Also in LA, most of the buildings are not multi story unlike NYC where I have to be a little more careful if I want the streaming light look.

What type of creative influences surface in your work? 
I am really interested in still life in painting and photography. That is another facet of my work but I do see interiors as giant still life images.

What changes have you seen in interior photography?
Interior design is not seen a distinct  or separate category but part of a whole lifestyle, what you surround yourself with is like what you choose to wear.

If the space is giving you a challenge what are your go to solutions to create an interesting space?
One way is to break up the space and treat it as a series of vignettes.

How often do you work with Darling Magazine and where are they based?
This is my second assignment for Darling, they are based out of LA but maintain an international presence.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
We talked about where we would shoot the portraits, they left the depiction of the space up to me. I like to include people in the interior when I can, for scale and interest. I will often use motion just to lighten the sense of human presence. We also talked about the mix of verticals and spreads they wanted.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo: Rob Hammer

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 9:17am

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Rob Hammer 

Who printed it?
Agency Access

Who designed it?
Agency Access

Who edited the images?
Me

How many did you make?
100

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’ll send out 2 promos like the hoops project book every year, which are more involved (usually some type of small book) and go to much more targeted list. And then I’ll send out about 6 other smaller promos to a much larger list.

How did this project start?
I’ve always been a basketball fan, but this project started years ago during my extensive road trips around the USA while working on my Barbershop project ( I photographed old barbershops in all 50 states of the USA, and later published that body of work into a book). Since that project ended, this project has picked up, and has been the focus of my never ending road trips.

How do you find the courts?
I drive cross country a lot to work on personal projects, and this has been my focus for the last couple years. Staying off highways and taking back roads has been the key. Small towns in the middle of nowhere. Never do any research. Just sniff them out.

Do you have bigger plans for this body of work?
Yes, I’m currently working on a few gallery shows. A big one for the beginning of next year, that I shouldn’t talk about yet, but really excited for it. Also trying to get them licensed commercially for ad campaigns with companies like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. I’ll probably shoot this project for a few more years, and might think about doing a book as well.

Where was the hoops with the horns shot?
That hoop with the antlers is in Idaho.

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Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Sara Terry

Fri, 05/06/2016 - 9:27am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I am blessed.

We all are, actually. If you’re reading this, I feel confident stating that you have a good life.

Or good enough.

The fact that you have Internet access, the proper device, and an interest in photography means you’re doing OK. You most certainly have challenges in your life.

We all do.

But in general, we, the global photography community, are doing pretty well for ourselves.

That much is true.

It’s often said we grow through struggle. Difficulty forces change, promotes wisdom. In my own life experience, I’d have to agree. How we handle adversity becomes a marker of our character, and the adversity itself becomes a guide.

As lovely as my children are, for example, when my son was born, 8.5 years ago, I was unprepared. He was difficult, perhaps, and I was stressed out, for sure.

But I felt more misery than joy during the first 6 months of his life. I did not feel blessed, despite my good fortune.

There were only a few times, in half a year, when Theo and I both felt at peace. My wife had recently gotten me an Ipod for my birthday, which we couldn’t afford, but it turned out to be a godsend.

I’d put on music by the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars, take Theo in my arms, and we would dance. Again and again, to the same songs, which spoke tales of faraway places I’d likely never see. (Sample lyric: “When two elephants are fighting, the grass they must suffer.”)

The songs, which spoke of misery and the abuse of power, contained a joy that was infectious. We danced, my son and I, and for those few moments, everything was OK. The music healed us, temporarily, and I can still see it in my mind’s eye, as if I were a spirit, looming below the ceiling, watching it all unfold.

That is what I know of Sierra Leone. It is one of many countries in Africa that have a history of war, bloodshed, and graphic violence that we frankly can’t understand, here in the West. We have no context; no frame of reference to comprehend gang rapes, and hands hacked off with machetes.

Thank god for that.

But other people in this world, people who had the misfortune of being born to different parents, they have lived through such things. Day after day.

They say life is not fair, but I’d suggest aphorisms have no place in the discussion of such tragedy.

Art, on the other hand, can communicate reality in a way that opens our imaginations up to places otherwise unattainable. Art, I’ve seen with my own eyes, can make a difference.

In this particular case, I’m thinking of “Chapter Four,” a recent newsprint publication by Sara Terry, which showed up in my mailbox the other week.

Wow, is this thing powerful.

I met Sara at FotoFest in March, at a dinner party thrown by a mutual friend. She was clearly a force-of-nature type person, and I have a soft spot for such folks. When I claimed to be grounded and secure with myself, she immediately asked if I that meant I was in therapy?

I calmly said yes, as I was not embarrassed to admit it.

But it was a telling moment. She was confident in her query, unafraid to risk offense. There was a strength in her gaze, and though I knew little about her art practice, (but I had heard her name before,) I had no doubt she was good at what she did.

Turns out, Sara is a filmmaker, a Guggenheim fellow, a former journalist, a photographer, and the founder of the Aftermath Project. She has spent more time in Africa than I’ve spent writing these columns over the last 5 years, and that’s saying something.

The newspaper tells stories of a forgiveness and reconciliation project, called Fambul Tok, that she worked on in Sierra Leone, after the country’s long civil war came to a close. It speaks of atrocity, yes, but focuses on redemption and love.

It is a treatise on the power of forgiveness, and the magical healing that comes from offering apology, admitting wrongdoing, and submitting to the judgement of one’s community.

Holy shit, is this an amazing story. Apparently, in village after village, perpetrators of violence were welcomed back into the fold, such was the power of these ceremonies.

Sara is a good writer, and manages to share tidbits of other people’s tales, dripping with empathy, embedded within her own first-person narrative. Under the guidance of a local activist named John Caulker, she helped to build a forgiveness project based around communal bonfires in far-flung villages across the country.

The photographs, far from serving as illustration, give us a way to connect to what we’re reading. It’s simply a lovely publication, one rife with inspiration, and something I think I’ll turn to when I’m feeling really low, going forward.

It feels like it might become a totem, the equivalent of those Refugee Allstars songs that saved me once, when I was drowning in misery, rather than basking in joy.

I’m not sure if these newspapers are readily available, so this might be one review where you get all you can from me, rather than being able to put your hands on it yourself.

As such, I’m writing about it as a proxy. I’d hope that you’ll take a minute, over your coffee, your lunch break, or even on the subway, and remember that no matter how bad your day is going, you are extremely fortunate.

And to the many of you out there, working on your own stories of redemption, starting your own NGO’s, and devoting yourself to the downtrodden: we salute you.

Bottom Line: Striking, almost magical publication about the power of forgiveness

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Categories: Business

Art Producers Speak: Lou Mora

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 8:57am

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Lou Mora. He is one of our most trusted and creative photographers. He brought a beautiful light and style to all of work he did for us even when some of the subjects and places were bland. He goes beyond the call to get to get the perfect shot even scaling telephone poles, rooftops and crawling under things. His work has evolved beautifully.

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How many years have you been in business?
I assisted for 4.5 years and launched my company around 7 years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to photography school, but I’d say at this point I’m just as much self-taught.  I’ve learned so much since I graduated that it feels like my formal education covered the basics but that I had so much more to learn.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I fell in love with photography before I fully understood that it could be a livelihood, so I’d have to say it was the many photographers I assisted who showed me the ropes and exactly how I could turn what I loved into a business (you know who you are, thank you!) 

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I find inspiration in all the usual places- but I’m most inspired by people; mannerisms, style, idiosyncrasies, where they live, how they live- it all fascinates me.  As far as pushing myself and staying true to myself, that comes from a determination to keep growing, bettering my work and refining my vision.  I trust that if I’m doing that work, the rest will fall into place.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
My number one goal on set is to give the client more than what they are asking for. That can mean different things at different times but it’s all a collaboration. If the client has a comp and they know that that’s what they want, I’ll shoot it but time permitting I’ll also give them different variations. I’ve found that most if not all clients are open to seeing what’s possible when the approach is right! 

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
HUSTLING! I’m always working on personal projects, marketing is a constant (mailers, social media, emails, etc.).  Building relationships is critical, so I try to stay in touch in a genuine way and I’m always trying to book meetings- not only do I think it’s incredibly helpful for buyers to be able to get a feel for my personality but I’ve gotten to a point where I think they’re fun!  It’s great meeting people who love the same things I do and it’s fun to meet people whose careers I’ve followed in the ad world.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I say, no one sees the world quite the same way you do, so take advantage of that and figure out how to make your unique perspective the strongest it can be.  All other work will fall just short, and ultimately won’t be as satisfying.  

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Always!  At the end of the day I’m a photographer because I’m happiest when I’m shooting.  I love being on set, but in the time I’m not, I keep myself going by tackling the personal projects that bring me so much inspiration.  Right now I’m working on several: Portraits of Artists, Small Businesses, and Car People. 

How often are you shooting new work?
If I’m not shooting for clients I’m trying to shoot something for myself once a week- even if it means just heading out with my camera and driving around looking for ANYTHING that strikes a chord.  I’ve found that with two of my great loves- surfing and photography, I am happiest when they’re a part of my weekly life, but it’s easy to get busy and neglect them.  This year I’ve committed to scheduling shoots at least once a week when I’m not on set and on the occasion when they fall through I’m out the door with my camera looking for an opportunity. 

—————-

Lou Mora is a surfer, husband, traveler, and chocolate chip cookie connoisseur. Professionally he’s a lifestyle and portrait photographer who’s favorite place to be is on set surrounded by the talented and spirited crew he’s been working with for years.
Lou works on both large and small-scale projects, tackling both with the same objective: to produce relatable images that tell stories, that are approachable, intimate and unaffected. His secondary objective is simple, have a great time with like-minded creatives doing what they love to do.

Contact:
Lou Mora
310.721.1979
lou@loumora.com
http://www.loumora.com/
Instagram: @loumora

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

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Categories: Business

Photographers Quarterly Issue no. 4

Wed, 05/04/2016 - 9:24am

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When you name your magazine Photographer’s Quarterly, there’s an implicit promise of 4 issues a year.

I get it.

But I’m famous for my honesty, so here comes a dose. When I first pitched Rob on the idea for PQ, I had a lot more time on my hands. Back then, hours might fly by, unaccounted for.

But my life changed.

I took on a new job, with more responsibility than I could reasonably handle. As a result, I’ve been constantly behind this school year.

I apologize. Mea culpa. Je regrette.

This issue was edited with Winter in mind, as I expected to have it ready in February. That’s the truth.

Now it’s May, and many of us are thinking of Summer. Will we squeeze in three more issues in 2016? Perhaps. I guess. (But it’s not bloody likely.)

That said, the last four weeks here in Taos have been a bombardment of snow. Winter, which took a hiatus in a beautiful run of March and February weather, came at us hard this Spring.

I write this not two days after our most recent snow storm, on May fucking first, when flakes fell from the sky like dollars raining down at an Atlanta strip joint. (Random reference, yes, but you get the point.)

Speaking of getting to the point, I’d like to introduce the artists we’re highlighting in this, the Spring issue of Photographer’s Quarterly. As usual, we’ve aggregated cool photo projects for your perusal. Though they were originally envisioned as being elegies to, or respites from, Winter’s icy gaze, now they’ll have to stand in for rebirth, renewal, and all the good juju Spring has to offer.

Not that we favor the famous here at PQ, but today, we’ll start off with a small sample of pictures from the legendary Emmet Gowin.

Though he’s super-well-known for his family pictures from the 60’s, and his environmental, aerial work later on, this particular group of photos, from early this millennium, has not been widely seen.

It includes butterflies, made in Central America, and images of his lovely wife Edith, who has aged along with Emmet. Though Nick Nixon is more renown for giving us proof of the ravages of time on flesh, by photographing Edith later in life, Emmet has produced a counterpoint to the vision of his sassy beloved, pissing on a barn-wood floor in Virginia.

I’ve seen Paula McCartney’s work around the web a lot in the last few years. Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen it on the wall. But her project “A Field Guide to Snow and Ice” is simply beautiful. Not much explication needed here, but I suspect you’ll dig the pictures.

I met Chris Kleighe at the Filter Festival in Chicago last Fall. Such a great guy. He showed me a book of his photographs taken at Caral, an ancient site in Peru that’s recently been proved the oldest in the Americas. Its 5000 year old society changes the historical narrative, as we now know that the Western Hemisphere had a major settlement as old as Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia.

The pictures are pretty excellent, as they document the ruins in various types of light, and mashup closeups of art objects with sky shots of geoglyphs made from a hot air balloon. Chris is passionate about spreading the word, as archaeological knowledge often takes a long time to codify, and Caral has only been understood in the last decade or so.

I also met Laura Husar Garcia at Filter, though not during the reviews. (We threw back a few drinks at a party.) Luckily, I got to see some of her work when I judged the Critical Mass competition last year. Her project about aging Nuns is obviously poignant. Rarely does the choice of black and white end up being this crucial, but it works perfectly here.

Niko J. Kallianiotis emailed me to check out his work late last year. We try to include viewer submissions here in PQ when possible, I really liked his pictures from his native Greece, though he’s currently based in the US. All year long, we’ve heard about the migrant crisis in Europe, and how it’s affecting Greece. (Unless the stories focus on Greece’s nightmare economy.)

Furthermore, when most people are jonesing for Summer, they dream of perfect Aegean beaches, cold beer, and salty spanakopita. (At least I do.) So I thought this group of pictures, which presents a more mundane reality, was a cool thing to show you guys.

We’ll thank Critical Mass again for introducing me to the work of Cheryl Medow. Her project photographing exotic birds is not something I’d normally show, as it lacks that edgy, weird vibe I like to highlight here at PQ. But man, are these pictures compelling.

I think it’s predominantly the hyperreal aesthetic, as the creatures look like they were birthed in Maya, or some other rendering software, rather than coming out of eggs kept warm by their mother’s bottoms. And thinking of Tropics might just get us through the last few cold snaps, before Summer is here in earnest.

Last, but of course not least, we have the work of Caleb Cain Marcus. I’ve reviewed two of his books in APE already, and am officially bringing the first project back here, as a long-form photo essay, because I like it so much.

These pictures depict real glaciers. Mountains of ice on which the artist actually walked. But his manipulation of scale, and savvy digital skills, have rendered the subjects as hyperreal as Ms. Medow’s birds.

We’re killing this planet because people are so disconnected from the natural world, and from the consequences of their actions. These photographs, which make real nature look so discomfiting and artificial, are the perfect way to honor the vulnerable victims of our collective appetite for consumption.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo: Pixsy Copyright and Image Protection

Tue, 05/03/2016 - 9:27am

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Pixsy

Founder: Daniel Foster

Pixsy is one of the leading reverse image search platforms that helps photographers get compensation for their stolen work.  Daniel had reached out to me after I tweeted to a company that used one of my images without my permission; I had hashed tagged the tweet:  #copyrightinfringement #photographyrights #copyright. His tweet was a welcome surprise.

Tell us how this project evolved for you.
A friend found one of her best photos used on a website selling holistic healing services. She’s been photographing professionally for twenty years and didn’t know what to do.

I thought it was very unfair that a business was profiting from her work while she was debating whether or not to cancel her health insurance to pay the rent, and realized that photographers need tools to address this problem.

What images were getting stolen from you?
I had a self-portrait used in an online advertisement without permission several years ago, and then observed a few of my architecture photos used without authorization later on.

How do you source the stolen images?
We use reverse image search to find copies, including manipulations, of a photo. From there it is up to the photographer to determine if a displayed use is authorized and if not, what action he or she wishes to take.

How does company sustain itself? Is the income from shared proceeds on the legal cases?
We receive a success-based commission for all payments we collect on behalf of photographers. The vast majority of our platform is free, and we also receive some subscription revenue from premium services such as our DMCA takedown feature.

Are you seeing a trend in stolen information or any particular area? 
Image theft occurs in every industry. We’ve noticed that music and concert photographers see their work stolen at a higher rate. Unlicensed use also appears to be a significant problem in the real estate industry.

What is the approx range for cases you’ve settled, lowest and highest?
Various factors influence the amount of compensation we request, including your previous sales history, local law, and the nature of the use. When we pursue a legal settlement, this has ranged from the thousands up to six-figure settlements.

How do I sign up and how much is it?
You can import and track up to 5,000 photos for free. Plans that give you up to 10,000 photos and our DMCA takedown feature start at $9.99 a month. Our service is invitation-only. You can request an invitation on our homepage.

Are there any free resources or is there a subscription plan?
There is a free plan to search up to 5,000 photos.

Can I batch export my photo library and have you scour the internet for usage?
We support one-click import from Flickr, 500px, Tumblr, Photoshelter, Instagram, SmugMug and Dropbox. You can also upload photos or import from a website. We’re adding new import sources on a regular basis.

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Walk us through the process of how this works.
Once you sign up and import photos, we begin the search process. Matches typically begin appearing immediately. From there you can browse through your matches. If you find a use of a photo you did not authorize and it is commercial in nature, you can use our “Submit case” feature to send it to our team to review. Depending on the situation and your wishes, we can take steps to secure a license fee for you or refer the matter to one of our law firms around the world.

We’re currently resolving cases in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Denmark.

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Categories: Business

The Daily Promo: Luke Copping

Mon, 05/02/2016 - 9:42am

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Luke Copping

Who printed it? Who designed it?
It was both printed and designed  by Agency Access, I recently moved my printing to them because of the extremely high quality and their ability to offer some objective insight into the layouts and flow of the work.

Who edited the images?
In this case I did, but in past efforts I have worked with designer Emilie Lamoreaux, as well and consultants Karen DSilva and Angee Murray to help with my editing and image selection. This collection was primarily focused on sharing some of my more recent projects and features subjects like Buffalo Bills Quarterback EJ Manuel, violinist and recording artist Yuki Numata Resnick, labor attorney Ginger Schröder. US Marine and endurance runner Tony Nash, and Guy William Gane — a historical reenactor who provides period accurate casting and costuming for a number of television shows and feature films.

How many did you make?
I printed 250 of them, I used to send out a much larger batch, but I have condensed and focused my list to primarily focus on editorial clients and a few selects agencies. A few are also earmarked to go out to existing clients that I like to keep updated with my projects.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Of these tri-folds I generally send out about 4 mailings a year. However, I do send some other promotions throughout the year that go out to a list of key clients. These tend to be larger in scale and scope, and are often often designed by Shauna Haider of We Are Branch. Currently I’m sending out a 24 page newsprint style zine printed by Newspaper Club. I love newsprint promos because of the feel of them and there is something perfectly imperfect and lo-fi about the way the images end up looking. I also have some other promos that are aimed at acquiring new corporate clients, these tend to be a little more service oriented and currently take the form of small booklets that go out to potential clients in this space.

Tell us how the gap between personal work and commissioned work is becoming more narrow.
In the promos I’ve been sending out in the last year or two I’ve found that my personal work, which often features artisans and entrepreneurs from the Rust Belt (and specially the Western New York/Buffalo area) has become more prominent. Mostly, this is because the gap between my commissioned work and my personal projects is getting narrower — in that I am often getting hired for assignments that are more aligned with the personal projects I have been producing. I also feel that the compelling stories behind these projects have a wide appeal, a hook which is helpful to me in appealing to many different kind of clients that run the gamut from local small businesses to newsstand magazines.

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Categories: Business

This Week In Photography Books: Emma Phillips

Fri, 04/29/2016 - 9:27am

by Jonathan Blaustein

My kids love yogurt pretzels.

I do too.

For some reason, they seem better-for-you than other kinds of dessert. Maybe it’s the word yogurt in the title? Makes them seem like a health food, rather than sugar-covered-salty-snacks.

Maybe if their official name was “sugar-covered-salty-snacks,” I wouldn’t buy them. I’d stick with 80% dark chocolate, or some other sweet snack that makes you feel bougie and special.

Like fruit.

We all love the yogurt pretzels because the combination of salty and sweet makes your tongue feel like it’s on a vacation in the Bahamas. The palm trees are swaying gently in the breeze. Island music bellows in the background, with plenty of steel drum.

Wait. Where was I?

Right.
Yogurt pretzels.

We expect our sweets to be sweet, but when you throw in the element of salt, your taste buds get a bit confused. But they like it. They really like it.

Our bodies have a taste for a salt for a very good reason. If we don’t get enough, we die.

Say what now?

That’s right. Without enough salt, we die. Humans need it. We may see it primarily as a flavor enhancer for our food, but it’s actually a vital, essential mineral, necessary for survival.

Who knew?

I did, mostly because I made friends with a salt merchant back in 2014. His name is Frank, and I really owe him a visit. (He has a store in Santa Fe called Olive Grove.)

I met Frank a couple of summers ago, and fell in love with the beauty and mystery surrounding his high-end salt crystals. Expensive stuff from Iran, Australia, Korea, that sort of thing. (Fancy food in Santa Fe? Quelle surprise!)

With Frank’s input, I learned that salt used to be the world’s most precious commodity, because of the whole life-or-death thing. It was traded around the world, worth more than gold, and was actually used as money.

Yet most of us see it as a processed, Morton-sponsored food item that causes hypertension if you eat too much of it. We love it on our chips, in our guacamole, and on just about everything you can imagine.

But rarely do we see it decontextualized. Which is odd, given its potential symbolic resonance. If you don’t eat enough, you die. If you eat too much, you die.

How’s that for a symbol?

Needless to say, I was very intrigued when I reached into my book stack, and pulled out an oversized, light-cream-colored offering. There was no name on it, and nothing to speak of, beyond one word: salt.

I opened it up, and missed the title page. All I saw were beautiful, slightly oversaturated pictures of a salt mine.

Somewhere.

I’ll always have a soft-spot for minimalism, and admitted last week, for the 100th time, that I love to see things I haven’t seen before. So I enjoyed these pictures almost as much as…
a yogurt pretzel?

Page after page shows us different visions of what I assume is one salt mine, somewhere. We get a picture of a camper parked on some salt flats.

Nevada?

I have no idea, because as I turned, page after page, I found no supporting material at all. I actually had to start over, and be very careful, just to find the artist’s name on the first page: Emma Phillips.

There are no titles, no statements, no captions. Nothing but salt, in its natural form, and the trucks used to move it around.

Hell, I don’t even know who published the damn thing. But I like the book a lot. It’s beautiful, and graceful, and even soft, in a way. (Are the pictures just a tad soft-focus? It’s hard to tell…)

Unlike its subject, there is nothing vital about this book. It feels like a luxury item. Well-made, understated, and in no great hurry to brag about itself. (Like Frank’s expensive salt in Santa Fe.)

This one is very cool, and I wish I could tell you more about it. But Emma Phillips thought her pictures spoke for themselves, and who am I to argue?

Bottom Line: Beautiful book about a salt mine, somewhere…

To Purchase “Salt” visit Photo-Eye

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Categories: Business

The Art of the Personal Project: Bob O’Connor

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 10:37am

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Bob O’Connor

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How long have you been shooting?
15 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to school for architecture, but took a lot of photo classes while I was there. That said, I learned more from assisting photographers in the real world than I ever did in school.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I was interested in the sparse landscapes and ever changing weather that exists in Iceland.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This project is from a single, two week, trip to Iceland. It was presented as soon as I got the film scanned and retouched.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I tend to think about and plan things for so long that by the time I get around to photographing them I’m pretty confident they’re going to work. If it’s gotten to the point that I’m getting on a plane and going somewhere, I know I have a project that’ll work.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I don’t think they’re that different. I make a conscious effort to keep all the work I show in my portfolio/website, whether from personal or commercial projects, feeling that same. The goal is to get hired for projects that I would’ve done for myself even if someone wasn’t paying me. I try not to dilute my aesthetic with images that are overly commercial looking, solely there to attract a client.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I’m a regular Instagram user @oconbo I’d say I post the early stages of projects and/or process images there and save the final images for my website.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
This project slowly made its way around to a lot of design and photo blogs. It wasn’t a single day viral hit. I did a limited edition print of the horse image with Jen Bekman’s 20×200 project that did sell out in less than a day.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes. A postcard with an image from this project that was sent to an art buyer resulted directly in me getting an advertising job to take a similar style image for their project.

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Bob O’Connor is a Boston based photographer interested in the places that people live and work. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including, The New York Times Magazine, Fast Company, Technology Review, Dwell, and Fortune magazines. O’Connor’s work has also been shown at The Photographic Resource Center, The Griffin Museum of Photography, and Jen Bekman Gallery. He was named one of “30 Emerging Photographers to Watch” by PDN in 2006 and one of Resource Magazine’s “10 Best 10” in 2009.


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

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Categories: Business

Penelope Umbrico Interview

Wed, 04/27/2016 - 9:10am

Penelope Umbrico is one of the most forward-thinking, successful photographic artists working today. I heard her speak at the Filter Festival in Chicago last year, and she was kind enough to agree to an extensive interview earlier this year. You can see her work on the wall at the Mark Moore Gallery in LA, April 16-June 18, and at the Milwaukee Art Museum, May 5-August 7.

Jonathan Blaustein: How did you get started as an artist? Are you a lifer? Were you making things when you were four?

Penelope Umbrico: I was making things when I was four, yes.

JB: What was your four-year-old art like? Were your stick figures particularly dynamic?

PU: I can’t really remember. There are a few things I do remember having made. A set of bookmarks which featured tiny, little, extremely detailed marks with watercolors. Repeated marks, over and over again, which is oddly relevant to the work that I do now.

JB: Prophetic.

PU: And a dollhouse that I made out of found objects. Which is also relevant, actually, as it was all repurposing stuff. Things like spools and matchboxes. Things that I could find became the furniture, and I also remember a set of figurines that I made out of bobby-pins. So I guess I’ve always been repurposing things.

JB: Have you always made stuff, or did you do it like all kids do, move on, and then re-find it later. That’s what I meant to ask…

PU: No, I’ve always made stuff. I remember, as a kid, my family would be downstairs watching television, and I’d be up in my room making stuff.

JB: I saw in your bio that you went to art school in Canada.

PU: Yeah.

JB: That doesn’t seem to be a common phenomenon, for Americans, so it struck me that there’s this whole SCTV, subversive comedy thing. Countless Canadians to who came to America with this skewed, almost twisted perspective that seemed to do well here.

Given that your work is subversive and edgy, I wondered if you thought that stepping out of America like that had anything to do with your evolution? Maybe that’s random?

PU: That’s interesting, because I actually grew up in Toronto, Canada.

JB: You did? Ok, I wondered, but Wikipedia said you were born in Philly.

PU: I was born while my parents were going to music school at Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. They got jobs in the Toronto Symphony so I grew up in Toronto.

But I’ve never made that connection before- that there’s a subversive, Canadian element in the work of Canadians who move to the States. It’s a healthy outsider skepticism of corporate culture, maybe?

I would guess most American artists are skeptical of corporate culture as well, but maybe Canadians are more so (laughing.) Canadians definitely have a skepticism of America.

JB: What was your work like before the Internet? Your art is so connected to digital reality…

PU: Well, I moved to the states in ’86. But before that I went to Ontario College of Art, as it was called when I was there. My major was Experimental Art – which I guess was the equivalent of new media today – but we also had to do conventional stuff like life-drawing, printmaking, dark-room photography. I think my final project was a grid of dried peas that I hung, at eye level – ha ha, all round things in a grid.

JB: Organization and structure. I love it.

PU: Yeah. I also made a project, I remember, that was a total failure. I wanted to suspend glycerin in oil, so I made this plastic cube. I thought if I filled the thing with oil, and then injected glycerin into the center of it, because the glycerin and the oil are the same weight, the glycerin would create a perfect sphere in this cube. I tried it, and it didn’t work at all.

JB: Sounds cool.

PU: But “Experimental Arts” then was mostly video. It’s interesting, one of the things I remember most about the video class was the first half concentrated on how to organize cords. How they needed to be organized and wrapped properly. And at around that time, one of the instructors asked me to draw a computer, because I had done a lot of illustration and drawing. He needed it for something, and I thought, “What does a computer look like?” This was 1978, ’79, and he kind of sketched out one of those early Apple 512k machines.

JB: When did you start working with Photography?

PU: Not seriously until I was doing my MFA in Painting at SVA.

The earliest photographs were really looking at consumer culture, moving through it in a virtual way. I think all of the photographs that I‘ve made deal with ‘virtually’ occupying another space.

I’ve never been interested in going out on the street and taking photographs. I’ve always been interested in the illusionary spaces that we, as a culture, create for ourselves.

Does that make sense?

JB: It speaks to the way you see your through-line. But I’d love to talk about appropriation for a moment, which is another constant in your work.

I appropriated images from the Internet for a project in 2006–7, and I remember when I first started, it felt kind of naughty.
For you, did it ever feel improper?

PU: No.

JB: There was never a moment for you where you thought what you were doing was transgressive, as opposed to natural?

PU: I think it depends upon how one defines transgressive, and in what context is it transgressive.

JB: OK.

PU: I actually think all art is, or should be, to a certain degree, transgressive. I take that as a given and don’t think very much about it.

For me, what drives me to make work is stuff that affects me, and makes me question why it’s there. I’m seeing things on the web that, and whether it would be transgressive or not, I have to work with them because they’re asking questions of me that I can’t ignore.

I’m thinking, “What is going on here?” And then I have to look at it closer. And since I’m finding something going on there that is not the original intent of the images, I feel I have absolutely every right to use them.

The simplest example of this is a set of canvases that I had printed at places like Costco and Kinkos of that iconic image of the sun rays coming down in Grand Central Station. You know that photograph?

JB: OK.

PU: If you do a web-search of it, there are four versions of it that nobody really knows who the photographer is. If you look for the attributions for these four images, a multitude of different titles, names, dates, licenses, copyright-holders claim title. Poster companies, photo-stock sites, souvenir manufacturers etc.

And often, the image will have a company’s logo right across it claiming copyright. In my mind, this ungrounded claim to ownership, which would have most people believe the corporate entity actually does have the right to ask you to pay to use the image, begs to be tested.

The fact is, that image is in the public domain – it’s old enough that nobody owns it. Everyone has, or should have, the right to use it. I’m appropriating, yes, but those copyrighters are also appropriating. And they are hindering creative fair-use, I am not.

JB: To me, you’re the edge of this, in how much of it you do, and the way in which the digital universe is subsuming reality in many ways. I was curious how you got started, and it sounds like you never felt wrong, from day one.

But do you think that copyright is an outmoded concept? Should it exist anymore?

PU: I think it needs to exist in certain contexts, for sure, but I think within the art world, no. (pause.) That’s a very simplistic answer.

I think authorship is a given in an artist’s work. There’s an element of a work of art that has an inherent sense of having been authored to it. It has the signature of the artist… without actually being signed – I mean, this can register in the work’s form or style, or its concept, or they way it engages a context… but it’s there.

Copyright in relationship to an artist is a different issue than to a photographer who is hired to make photographs, for instance, in service to an industry, and the livelihood of the photographer is dependent on that industry.

The difference between those two photographies is so great that to lump them together and ask does copyright apply is an almost impossible question to answer. There are so many fields within it, and they have such different structures and markets.

Does that make sense?

JB: Let’s be honest. It’s a tricky subject. The reason I asked is that you’re sitting on the edge of what can be done with it. With respect to your famous project about the Suns from Flickr, I haven’t yet gotten to see the installation, but I look forward to it.

You’re also speaking about aggregating and searching with that project. I’d think some people think it’s cool as hell that their Suns ended up in your work, and nobody will ever know. But it is a touchstone topic. Not everybody thinks it’s OK to take that.

Maybe I do, and you do, but we’re speaking for the purpose of an audience that’s going to have some skeptics in it. That’s why I wanted to ask these questions.

You always thought it was OK to take the Suns, and in so doing, you made a piece of contemporary art that is highly relevant to the way we live today.

PU: But I’m also not just taking the Suns. What I’m doing is, I have multiple levels of…

JB: I know. It’s crazy. Here’s how I remember it, from your lecture at the Filter Festival in Chicago: You showed images of the Suns, the installation of the Suns, then you found pictures of people standing in front of the installation, as if they were standing in front of a sunset backdrop, and THEN, if I remember correctly, you found pictures of people taking pictures of the people who were photographed in front of the installation.

PU: But you’re jumping ahead.

JB: OK.

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This is a project I started when I found 541,795 pictures of sunsets searching the word “sunset” on the image hosting website, Flickr. I cropped just the suns from these pictures and uploaded them to Kodak, making 4″ x 6″ machine prints from them.

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This is a project I started when I found 541,795 pictures of sunsets searching the word “sunset” on the image hosting website, Flickr. I cropped just the suns from these pictures and uploaded them to Kodak, making 4″ x 6″ machine prints from them.

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Taken from stock photography sites, Copyrighted Suns / Screengrabs, points to the absurdity in trying to “own” the image of the sun. The work also summarizes the collective narratives we weave around it’s setting – I used the descriptive tags of each of the images for the titles of each “water-marked” sun.

PU: That’s true. There are multiple iterations of the work. One has sort of come from another, but before we even get there, there are multiple filters that I’m using in my own conceptual framework that will allow me to use an image, or not.

JB: Sorry to have interrupted. We’d love to hear about it.

PU: On Flickr, I search for sunset. There are millions of them. So the images are fairly large, and they have lots going on in them.

One of the filter criteria for me is the sun has to be able to be decontextualized on its own – I need to be able to crop it out of the picture without anything from the Earth interjecting into it – in order to get a lack of subject in the image. In my cropping, it’s just the Sun that’s being depicted, with no reference to where the subject who’s taking the photograph is standing.

Number 2, the sunset image has to be iconic. Not a purple sun with black clouds, or a black-and-white-filter arty pic. I’m not interested in other photographer’s idiosyncratic, individualistic points of view of what a sunset is.

What I’m looking for are those kinds of collective, iconic ideas of what a sunset is. Right now, we can picture what that is, right?

JB: Yes.

PU: Orange-y yellow, with the sun hovering just above the horizon. That was the other filter: it had to look like a script.

JB: A cliché?

PU: A cliché, yes. I think that cliché is a really interesting word. It’s something that we all know. For me, the word scripted is maybe more how I would describe that cliché, I guess.

I think of it as kind of a script, rather than a cliché, because it’s following a certain set of patterns.

You get the camera. You see that the sky getting a little darker. You imagine there might be color in the sky. You might go to the place where you could see more sky, and everybody’s doing this at this moment. And instead of sitting there, and really enjoying that sunset, you’re snapping it.
The snapping, the whole act of it, is kind of a scripted behavior that we’ve followed for years and years.

JB: But you wouldn’t call it Universal?

PU: I would call it Universal on a certain level, although I don’t like the word.

JB: (laughing) You don’t like the words I’m using.

PU: Well, the reason I wouldn’t call it Universal is I don’t assume anything is Universal. It’s certainly collective. Universal seems too over-arching.

JB: How about this, I’ve got a real short word: Why? Are you interested in why people feel compelled to do this, collectively?

PU: (pause.) I think at the beginning of this project, I was kind of shocked. We have one sun up there in the universe. One Sun – warm, singular, life-giving – and the first search I did in 2006 found 554,000 images of it… in this digital, electronic, blue-light virtual space. That in itself was odd and strange. It was something I couldn’t ignore.

JB: We both know that underlying the entire digital reality, is just string of ones and zeroes. An endless, unimaginable block of binary code. Just like you said, there’s one Sun in the Universe, it’s one star of billions.

If one were to have that Gods-eye-view of stars in the Universe, it would look like just a pattern of dots.

This idea of pattern and structure underlying all of the things that you photograph, it seems pretty connected to the way you use organization, structure and rigor to comment on it. It’s all just one big structural metaphor, no?

I wanted to throw that “Why” at you, because when I heard your lecture, it was all about what you were doing. Everyone has a different perspective. I like to dig into the “Why.”

What is the meaning of these metaphors? Why do they make so much sense, and why do they speak to so many other people?

PU: The “Why” of it does speak to, is a kind of exploration of, what it means to be digital, or to feel digital; to be a number in the world; the sense of the subject-less-ness of existence in this kind of a consumer web context.

In the act of making, sharing, and consuming images, it seem like the more one shares images of oneself, the less one exists in the world. This sharing seems like a manifestation of an anxiety or fear of disappearance.

You started to point towards the “Why” when you were raising the issue of the iterations of this work. For me, the project of the suns was about erasing the individual.

In the project with the sun, I am using an image that speaks to the intended individualized position of those photographers, but I am erasing the subjectivity I find in the image to point to the subjects’ inadvertent, unintended, participation in a collective process.

JB: OK.

PU: The second part of the project, with people in front of the sunsets themselves, further extends this questioning of individual agency. Here technology is erasing the subject because the camera technology is exposing for the sun.

And in witnessing thousands of these silhouetted subjects, the individual disappears. When you see a big installation of this work, you can identify with those disappeared people because you yourself have been in this exact situation.

Perhaps the next time you stand in front of a sunset and have your picture taken, you’ll better understand that sense of disappearance…. Or you’ll be more aware of it. For me, that’s the why of it. If that makes sense.

JB: That’s kind of what I’m getting at. You chose a symbol, this powerful orb that represents our ephemerality in so many ways.

People look at a sunset, and they think it’s beautiful, and the colors are pretty, but you’re really staring at a star from the face of a planet. And your time on this planet is almost a statistical anomaly. None of us is here at all, relative to Deep
Time, so we can talk about Flickr, and collective behavior, and I think that’s all true.

But it also seems that there’s a reason people do it, and a reason why your piece was so powerful. That’s because it’s also connecting to a perfect symbol of Deep Time. When you say we’re disappearing, I agree, but I think there’s a double-meaning there that’s interesting.

PU: That’s a really interesting way of putting it. I never thought of the notion of Deep Time in relation to those people clicking away, taking photographs. I think the consideration of Deep Time you’re talking about may actually concern people who AREN’T taking pictures of the sunset – the possibility of sitting in front of the sunset without actually taking a photograph – it’s pretty rare now, right?

I’m wondering if taking the photograph is to deny yourself the sense of Deep Time: “I got the picture. I got the sun.” It’s a way of owning an object that you actually can’t own – the photo trophy thing.

JB: It seems to be a pretty powerful impulse. Because the easier it’s become, and the more cameras are in everyone’s pocket, the more global the obsession has become. I have photographed in the real world, as well as doing conceptual stuff, and I know that joy.

It’s probably futile, but I think it comes from a deep desire to stand up to time. To freeze it. To capture it. Keep it. Hold it.

PU: Yeah. And in the manic sense that we’re experiencing it now, it actually presents itself as an anxiety, I think.

JB: An impediment.

PU: Yeah, sure. And I also participate in this capture, keep, hold, by the way. I photograph all the time, and I also make photographs that I’m not appropriating for my work. But in general, the photographs I take are the same as everyone else’s.

JB: Do you feel guilty about it? Or conflicted?

PU: No, not at all. But I don’t share them. (laughing.)

JB: (laughing.) OK.

PU: As soon as you put something on the web, you’re crossing a threshold from the personal to the collective. No matter how personal an image is, if there’s another image somewhere that shares the same subject and approach, it becomes part of a phenomenon.

The other side of it is people who won’t put pictures online for fear of being exploited. I know someone who won’t put pics of her kids on Facebook because she’s afraid of pedophiles, or something.

JB: Weirdos. Right.

PU: For sure. And there are those who’s kids are definitely going to be embarrassed by their parent’s Facebook posts later in life. Two sides of the equation – of the severity of what it means to do either – participate or abstain.

JB: When you first did this, Flickr was a big deal.

PU: Yeah.

JB: So as your project has aged, the way people read it changes. Does anybody still use Flickr?

PU: Yeah, in 2006, it was where everybody was putting stuff. And it was a useful platform to find all kinds of different photographs by a large cross section of users. I think it was mostly family photo-sharing. Now, if I’m looking for sunset images, all I get are stock-like photographs. People do use it, but they’re all photo geeks.

I’ve got a story for you. My sister came and visited me a couple of months ago, from Canada, and we were sitting outside. It was a full moon, and she had her iPhone out, and asked, “Why I can’t take a picture of the moon the way I see it with my eyes?”

I explained you need a good camera with long lens and got my 5D, took some pics and showed them to her on the camera display. She was impressed, thinking I was an exceptional photographer, until I proved not by suggesting a search on Flickr – I had no idea, but I imagined there would be thousands there.

Typing in “Full Moon,” resulted in the most incredible thing. Thousands upon thousands of full moon images came up. The relationship to the Suns from Sunsets from Flickr project was striking, because anybody, really, can take a picture of a sunset and have it look great, but you can’t take a detailed picture of the Full Moon unless you have pretty good camera equipment.

I started to dig in to the Flickr posts, and read them, and it was fascinating because there were more than 1 million of these full moons, with descriptions about how the photographers took the photograph – “I used this camera, and this lens at this F-stop.” and you have the sense it’s really about getting the picture. Right? I got it.

JB: Sure.

PU: But the face of the Moon never changes for us. All the images are essentially the same. And, this is the other amazing thing – half of them are licensed as rights reserved. Which means these photographers see their images as exceptionally different from the rest, and therefor worthy of licensing protection. And this is based solely on access to equipment, since the form or concept of these photographs is not exceptional in any way.

For the project at Bruce Silverstein Gallery, I contacted 654 of the rights reserved Flickr photographers, through Flickr, and asked for permission to use their rights reserved images of Full Moons. I wanted to create a wall of them in the gallery.
If they agreed to the conditions, they gave me their name for a credit, and agreed to the pricing structure if the installation was sold – that is: the gallery gets half, I get half, and in this case, they would get a quarter, and I would get a quarter of the percentage of their image in the entire installation: one 654th.

JB: We can pretend to do the math, and just keep going.

PU: Yeah, yeah. So of the 654, I got 84 replies with permission granted, plus a few no’s. One guy said yes, and then wrote back retracting his permission after looking at my website. And the rest I didn’t hear back from. I replaced all the images from people who didn’t respond with full moon images that had Creative Commons licenses. So there is a wall of 654 full moons of various sizes – in all cases, I downloaded the highest res file that was available on Flickr and this determined the scale.
So your question about Flickr. It really has changed since I started using it – it has become a stock-photo site.

JB: So the meaning of the work changes. Let’s say you’d never done this, but nobody else had done it, and you got the idea in 2016, you would use Instagram.

PU: Exactly.

JB: The way the format ages, and these things have such short shelf lives, becomes a part of the project. For example, anybody who’s in the industry at all heard years ago that Facebook claims ownership of everything you post, so nobody puts their artwork up.

Some people are going to get angry at you, but what you’re doing is no different from what Facebook is doing, and they’re the most popular communication platform on the planet.

PU: It’s a trade. Facebook is offering something to you in an exchange. You get to use the platform, in exchange for letting them use your images.

JB: Which they’re never going to do anyway, realistically.

PU: Actually, I heard, I forget where, that someone saw their image in an ad for something. I think what you’re raising is a really important point.

One of the things I think about a lot is making something concrete at a moment when you know it’s going to change in a year, or five years, or a week. Using Flickr for me right now is kind of amazing. It becomes a kind of record of a very specific time.

And the whole project is in some ways about recording time.

JB: Craigslist. Ebay. These things too have aged. I’ve got a really cheesy segue, and I’m going to go for it, but you’re either going to giggle, or you’re going to think, “Oh my god, why am I talking to this dude?”

You talk about Full Moons. You brought it up. But you showed work in Chicago in which you found photographs of television screens that were being sold on Craigslist. And you have screens with reflections in them of naked people. Hence the Full Moon segue. You’ve got pictures with naked people reflected in the TV screens.

PU: (laughing) That is pretty cheesy.

JB: It is. And yet, as an interviewer, sometimes you have to segue. You know?

PU: Weirdly, I did not find any butt pics among the Full Moons images on Flickr. Nor reflected in the screens of TVs on Craigslist.

JB: You only found boobies and vajayjays? You can tell I have a 3 year old, because I say the word vajayjay.

PU: (laughing)

JB: I found it to be so ridiculous and absurd and funny. Your talk was very serious, and your ideas are rigorous, but that is ridiculous. That A, it exists, B, you found out it exists, and C, you made high art out of it.

But people might not know about this project.

PU: The project itself is not about that, right? It’s about how people are selling objects they don’t want anymore – objects that used to be the height of entertainment technology, and are now like dead bodies in their homes. They’re really useless, lifeless things.

Part of it is thinking about attachment to objects – why not just stick it out on the street. You have to imagine that the object could have value to someone else. But where does the value lie in that equation?

And in this scenario, the people who are selling these objects get caught in them. In the last photograph of these objects, the reflections of people, living-rooms, bedrooms, beds…

JB: But why would any sane person take that picture stark naked? It’s crazy.

PU: First of all, you have to know there are not that many of them. Over the past 7 years I’ve gone to every city on Craigslist, and searched though every “TV for sale” listing in those cities, and every once in a while I’ll find something like that.

JB: Because you’re looking for it.

PU: Because I’m looking for it, and I’m hoping to find it.

JB: Right. But as far as human behavior goes…

PU: Well another part of it is that the technology of smartphone cameras used to be 1 or 2mp when I first started finding images on Craigslist. There would be a very small photo of a television, and when I downloaded it and enlarged it, it would be very pixelated.

But now with 5mp, 6mp smartphone cameras, people are taking the same pictures, in their bedrooms, and uploading what looks to be the same size file, because Craigslist takes it, and puts it in the same little image field as a 1mp image.

JB: Compressing it.

PU: Well, when I download it, I get this 5mp image. I’m not sure if they’re actually compressing it. I guess they must be to some extent. You probably know people who have cameras that can take very big files, and they have no idea.

Someone will send you an image that’s like, 20mb, of their cute dog for you to look at on your iPhone, when a 1mb file will do.
I think there is that aspect of it. And also, people don’t see themselves in the images. They’re not looking for it. They’re selling their TVs and they’re not thinking about anything else. What I find are unintended, inadvertent reflections.

JB: I found it to be ridiculously amusing and interesting that such things ever happen, much less that in your obsessive searching…

PU: You live in a place where it snows in the Winter, but some people live where it’s 90 degrees in the Winter. And 120 in the Summer. Maybe they’re just walking around with no clothes on?

JB: I guess we’ll never know. That’s the beauty of it, right? That degree of anonymity? But you’re also photographing broken armoires, and useless remote controls, and screens.

The Sun, and the Sun installation, are so completely aesthetic. That’s why you’re choosing it. It’s the most scripted symbol of perfect aesthetics. But then these things, like the broken-down furniture, they’re so anti-aesthetic.

They’re not beautiful, but they’re interesting. Sometimes, pure aesthetics are important to you, and other times, they appear not to be. What do you think about that?

PU: I don’t think of the Suns as being pure aesthetic. I guess some people do, because that’s why they take the photographs.

JB: Almost everybody. You may not, but that would be a very common way to describe a sunset.

PU: A sunset might be purely aesthetic, but you talked about the depth, and the Deep Time relationship to it.

JB: I think your piece is beautiful. Most people would.

PU: But part of what you think is beautiful is what it means to stand in front of that many images. It’s conceptual, not aesthetic.

JB: It’s conceptual, but it’s also about pattern and repetition and color.

PU: Of a particular subject.

JB: The repetition of a circle, in that many ways, with the variation of powerful digital hues. I don’t want to disagree with you…

PU: If they were paintings, I could agree with you that it’s pure aesthetic. But because they come from this many different photographers, who are asserting an insistence of presence, in this context, I feel like it’s first and foremost a conceptual work. That just happens to be aesthetically interesting.

JB: That’s what I’m saying. That piece is aesthetically interesting, along with its conceptual rigor, while others almost go 180 degrees in the other direction.

PU: Yeah.

JB: That was the crux of the question. What does it mean to you that some of the projects utilize aesthetics, and others give a middle finger to it?

PU: I actually think that all of them utilize aspects of aesthetics. I think the desk project, or the television project, with the flashes, are incredibly beautiful. But because you don’t…(laughing)

JB: Well, I haven’t seen them in person. But I don’t want to get caught up in semantics.

PU: (laughing) I know, I know.

JB: And I certainly don’t want to insult you.

PU: No, no. It’s just that the conversation about aesthetics, to me, maybe it’s more about taste and style, that we’re talking about.

I mean, I get really excited when I see all those little remote controls – or “universal remotes” as they are often sold as. I really love them. I think they’re kind of amazing. And I love that someone has gone to the trouble of arranging these remote controls into a kind of little box of a photograph. The fact that I could find these, that they exist, was enough for me to think about them as a work.

So though the idea of used universal remotes– the almost ontological condition of the term in relation to digital communication and being – is what drove that work, when I put them all together there was something tantalizing and delectable about these tiny little arrangements people are making.

For me, it’s conceptual, and formal. They function on the same level. It’s a different kind of form than the aesthetic you are talking about with the suns, but I am thinking about the form in the work. I just don’t get excited or feel the motivation to work with something unless there’s more to it than that.

JB: That, I totally get. I guess where I was going, and then we can shift, it’s almost like looking at Robert Rauschenberg vs Mark Rothko. To me, the tradition of anti-aesthetic is strong, in the history of Art. Ugly-beauty, there are so many words for it.

PU: Yeah.

JB: They wouldn’t call it ugly-beauty if it was just ugly. Using anti-aesthetic is a powerful way to communicate.

There are so many Rauschenberg pieces where you’re not going to feel that sense of calm sublime that you might feel in front of a Rothko. But then again, Rothko went and killed himself, so it’s not as if he was such a calm dude.

But let me use that as another segue. I would love to talk forever, and ask about all your inspirations, but one of the artists that came to me, preparing for this interview, was Gerhard Richter.

Are you a fan? Or if not, who are some of the giants that really inspired you?

PU: (pause) I love Richter. I think the Atlas Project is great. The Baader Meinhof paintings are brilliant. His relationship to photography, history and time is more interesting to me than the multiple aspect, if that’s where your question was going.

JB: It was instinctual curiosity. It struck me that he might have been someone that influenced you.

PU: It’s interesting about influence. People always ask, and I can never narrow it down. I could almost say everybody. I know that’s way too general. But I don’t think there is any one artist who influenced me more than anyone else.

JB: Sure. When we’re looking, there are many. But when I’m thinking about where someone is coming from, it’s fun to be less obvious. With all the categorization, and repetition, we could say Ed Ruscha. He’s someone who also crosses boundaries, and is forward thinking. He utilizes anti-aesthetics as well as aesthetics.

PU: Maybe Ruscha would be better. Definitely West Coast Conceptualism was a huge influence. It’s interesting, raising the question of anti-aesthetics. I think it comes back to your first question about being from Canada. West Coast to East Coast is a little like Canada to US.

JB: We’ve covered so much. Maybe end with an advice question? Now that you’re in a place where your work is ubiquitous, and so well-received, it seems like you’ve “made it.” Do you feel that way? Do you feel like people are always looking for more, or have you reached a point in your career where you feel satisfied with your success, and critical reception?

PU: It’s kind of strange. I’ve been making this work since 1986. That’s a long time. The fact that it is being well-received now is kind of a shock to me. Especially in the Photo World, because for so many years, I was considered not-relevant – i.e, not a photographer by photography-world standards.

And so maybe now that actual photographers are also using digital media, and art is on the web, the relevancy of my work is being understood in a different way. But I haven’t gotten used to it yet.

So I don’t perceive myself as having ‘made it’. I’m not really sure that exists. I don’t really know what that means.

JB: Of course it’s an abstracted phrase. I do think in a world, with social media, everybody always sees what everyone else is doing.

You can’t go on Facebook or Twitter without being bombarded by people saying, “Hey, look at me. Look what I’ve achieved. I’ve had this show, or that book.”

I feel like it almost creates an endless loop of ambition. That’s why I asked that question. Even if it seemed random.
Does anyone ever reach a point where they’re satisfied?

PU: To me, being satisfied that way is not why I do it. I’m not really concerned with that. It’s great that my work is selling a bit now. That means that I don’t have to teach so much. You know? That’s what it means to me, really. I’m not doing it for that kind of notoriety, so it’s not something I think about.

JB: Fantastic.

PU: I don’t know if that makes sense.

JB: Of course it does. It’s actually a lovely ending. You’re doing this for your own reasons, and however one defines success, it’s not driving your creative practice.

PU: The reasons are more about being in dialogue with the other things that are going on. I’m always a bit cautious about the idea of the insular artist, who doesn’t care what other people think – the idea that you’re just doing it because you have to do it.

Of course, there’s got to be a necessity in what you’re doing, or you shouldn’t be doing it. But at the same time, if you’re not in dialogue with everything else that’s going on – socio-cultural/socio-political conditions, other artists, other photographers – it isn’t very relevant.

For me, the dialogue is what makes it worthwhile. And the idea of success in terms of “having made it” isn’t part of that dialogue.

 

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Universal Remotes (eBay), 2008-ongoing

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For Sale/TVs From Craigslist

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Beautiful Armoire – Perfect Condition

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Categories: Business

The Edit Daily – Joseph Heroun: Shape

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 10:06am


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Shape

Creative Director: Joseph Heroun
Photo Director: Toni Ann Loggia
Art Director: Andrea Legge
Photo/Bookings Editor: David Baratta
Photo Editor: Erica Meneses
Associate Art Directors: Alan Boccadoro, Lisa Stem
Intern: Grace Barretti

As Creative and Design Director of Shape, one of the nation’s biggest magazines with more than 2.6 million circulation, Heroun has transformed it into a photographer’s publication, an unusual attribute for its category. The challenge and mission are to rock a mix of topics equally well: Fitness, style, beauty, health, and food.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Joseph for almost 20 years now, he had a tremendous influence on me as an art director and photo editor. I was lucky enough to work under him for one of my first national magazine jobs.

In a nutshell, he’s a branding specialist. Heroun’s background spans a wide range of titles including Sportswear International, Sports Illustrated, Mirabella, Newsweek, The Boston Globe, Boston magazine, Best Life, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, The New Republic, National Journal, and Men’s Fitness, the latter of which landed on Adweek’s Hot List six months after his 2013 redesign. I caught up with him about some of his thinking behind Shape’s new sex appeal.

What parts of the magazine have had the biggest impact on your watch and why?
All of it, not one thing has been overlooked. The brand was acquired by Meredith Corporation a year ago, culminating with an editorial and design refresh last summer that has evolved nicely. We built upon ideas and directions from the previous year, with evolutionary changes; and concentrated our efforts on sharpening everything. Our new reality included a significant budget cut that mandated better strategies and smarter decisions. We could not allow that hit to reflect negatively on the product, and, in fact, it had the opposite effect. Over time; we figured out what worked and what doesn’t and our A-Team is now firmly in place with all our shooters delivering consistently exceptional work, and a newly refocused editorial framework to hang it on. Huge props are due my stellar photo staff, Toni Loggia, Dave Baratta, and Erica Meneses.

Who, if any one photographer, has helped you create the signature look of your covers? I know this is always a goal for publications, to own a “cover look.”
Our covers have improved most significantly since assigning the amazing Arthur Belebeau as our primary shooter. We’ve worked together previously on fashion and beauty features, and progressed to covers and celebrity features only since the March 2016 issue. Despite not being considered a cover shooter, in the brief time that Arthur has done them the response has been overwhelming. His cool, hard-edged light is exceptional, modern and dimensional in a way that stands apart from our competitive set. It provides Shape with a distinctive look that evokes the sensation of warm sunlight and an active, outdoor lifestyle.

That carries over inside, whereBelebeau shoots cover celebs as fashion or beauty features, often with a bit of camp, and a free-spirited, playfully sexy vibe. In our previous incarnation at American Media, we were required to include cover celebs doing workouts, which was dreadful, effectively diminishing their star power. It’s like discovering an esteemed actor in sweats at the supermarket.

What other elements of the magazine have thrived under your watch?
Food is another core topic that has come into its own with a unique look, featuring images photographed predominantly by Sang An and Ted Cavanaugh. Again, with strong, directional, light and crisp, open shadows that express the upbeat emotion associated with clear daylight. Our look is growing more distinct from the dedicated food mags. Though they do beautiful work, obviously, we just need to assert a unique identity. Recently, we’ve consolidated feature recipes to the last spread, allowing for unobstructed full-page hero shots, which look spectacular. They also shoot our front-of-book sections, so there’s a nice consistency that comes through and carries over into our beauty and style product photography, handled by the criminally talented Claire Benoist. Our studio and location fitness/lifestyle shots share the same sensibility, so everyone is pulling in the same direction and I’m proud to say that the magazine has found its stride.

Describe the thinking behind your approach to fitness photography.
Our fitness features have evolved greatly over the past year and a half. We cut way back on the mechanics of exercising, which can be more effectively delivered online, in favor of an elegant, aspirational experience that celebrates the female figure and which doubles as fitness style. For those features we rotate in various shooters including Martin Rusch, Dustin Snipes, Warwick Saint, and Sarah Kehoe.

What is your policy on retouching, (always a point of interest for in women’s fitness publications).
Since my time at Men’s Health and other celebrity titles it’s been important to me to uphold a policy of integrity on this. To skeptical readers that will sound hopelessly high-minded, but I firmly believe it’s in a brand’s best interest to be as honest and restrained as possible with depictions of people, celebrity or otherwise. It can easily go too far if you are not diligent in holding the line. No one wants to see a blemish and nearly any photograph requires some refinement. But I seriously loathe images overly-perfected in post. To me, it ceases to be a photograph, morphing into something closer to illustration. And the prevalence of that tars us all with a broad brush. Shape’s new platform and tagline, Love Your Shape, affirms our commitment to authenticity. And our belief that it’s a big tent, with many interpretations of what is fit and what is beautiful.

Talk about your typography.
Our typography is intentionally understated to place emphasis on the images, which is what resonates with readers. In my view, design is best when there is nothing left to take out. In terms of delivering service content, over-ambitious design hijinx that neither elevates nor instructs is misplaced. It works against the grounded, well-crafted elegance and precision we want the brand to be identified with.

Where do you see Shape, and yourself, in 5 years?
Me: Traveling abroad somewhere, shooting my own images. As for Shape, it’s at the top of its game in one of the hottest categories that will only get hotter. We are being swept up into a wave of a new-found confidence in print. You see it everywhere with fashion mags and others placing a premium on production, with better stock and larger formats. It’s a complete reversal of what was happening just a short time ago during the panic years. Everyone seems to have come to the conclusion that magazines deliver an unrivaled visual experience and that it’s time to leverage that unique strength. Which is good news for photographers. Though budgets are more restrained, the demand for photographic excellence is only getting louder. And, as always, smart design is smart business.

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