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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.firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Sean Murphy. Sean is tenacious at living. He is vibrant, happy with an eye of the finest artist. Each of his takes makes me say AH! and I am an artist, so that’s not always an easy thing. He goes anywhere and traveling in his giant truck, he becomes part of the culture of what he is shooting and it shows.
How many years have you been in business?
Well, I got out of college in 1993. It was around 1995 that I started getting my first jobs, which at that time were mostly editorial. I knew a lot of bands, so I also ended up shooting rock and roll and album covers. I didn’t get my first advertising job until 1999, but by 2000 it became and remains the primary work that I do. I still do shoot music and editorial and I love the creative freedom it brings, but I don’t focus my energy on acquiring that work so much anymore. So, that’s the “too long” answer…it’s been about 20 years. :)
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
School. I spent a lot of time painting and sculpting while I was growing up. I had a girlfriend with an old Pentax that she loaned me and, on a whim, I signed up for a photo class at a community college in Orlando, Florida. I got the bug immediately, quit mid-semester, and moved to Boston to go to the New England School of Photography. I graduated Valedictorian in 1993.
Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Before I went to Boston, I attended that photography class in Orlando. The teacher was a retired Time-Life photographer. His hands were gnarled from years of working with the chemicals. Cool guy. He said to me, “I never say this, but you have something special. If I were you, I’d leave here and go to Boston or New York.” So I did. Within a month, I was gone.
How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Well, for starters, I’m shooting ALL the time. I surround myself with uber-talented people. I get fueled by their vibes. And I have a crew of crazy, crazy-talented friends. They’re always keeping me laughing and I’m always inspired. So ultimately, I’m just photographing my life. I’m just grateful that who and what’s around me happens to be interesting.
Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Hmm, I don’t know if I really get that direct input from the client. The creatives are acting as the intermediary.
I present my work as I see fit on my website and on social media.
Frequently, I’ll be asked by the creatives to put together a selection of work or a special presentation that they can show to the clients. If the client approves, I guess I get hired. Lately, I’m having the most fun in my career I’ve ever had. I’m getting hired to shoot exactly what I love to shoot. :)
What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
As far as the internet is concerned: website/blog, Facebook, and Instagram. The usual suspects.
My primary engagement from the buying audience comes from my website, with Facebook coming a close second.
I travel a great deal. When I do, I always make arrangements to meet art buyers and creatives all across the country.
I’ll do a mailer a few times a year, and I also have books made of my work that I’ll bring with me to show to prospective clients.
Lately, I’ve been getting more attention for some of my rock and roll photography from years past, which is now going to be shown in some galleries, so that is also another new avenue that is exposing my work.
What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
You need to show a cohesive body of work. I’ve found that that’s more impressive to the buyer than trying to show your entire bag of tricks. You want to create a relation of your name to the type of work you are selling yourself to do. You want them to say “Sean” or “this guy” can do this type of work. You don’t want to show a thousand styles.
Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Non-stop. I shoot everyday. I don’t leave the house without my camera strapped around my back. I’m not doing it on purpose to keep myself fresh. I’m doing it because I love it so much.
How often are you shooting new work?
Pretty much all the time. If I’m not shooting paid work, I’m busy lining up pro-bono shoots for companies that I find interesting, working with new super creative art directors, working on collaborations with other artists, or shooting new material for stock with Getty. So my time is always busy. I’m not motivated by the money. I’m just motivated by shooting cool stuff all the time. :)
Over a decade later, Sean is now internationally known for creating influential, diverse award-winning campaigns for clients such as Ford, Chevy, Old Navy, Playstation, Wal-Mart and Hard Rock Café – and he’s always on time and within budgets, even when they seem unrealistic. He has also shot album covers for bands like Weezer and Tenacious D. Sean is universally recognized for his approachability with his subjects. From kids to celebrities, businessmen to bikers, everyone is at home with Sean’s larger-than-life personality, and that comfort level brings out the best in people.
Represented by Tom Zumpano 310-409-0249 email@example.com
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information. Follow her@SuzanneSease.
Buying a new website?
APhotoFolio.com builds portfolio websites for photographers.
Have a look (here).
Once Instagram disappears, and it will, what’s next? I’m already getting bored of it. I think it has served its purpose. We need to find another outlet, especially since in a couple of years we’ll all be on a level playing field in terms of the number of followers, so we’ll have to look at something else.
The maker of popular Wi-Fi SD cards has launched Eyefi Cloud, a private photo-centric cloud service that makes photos instantly available on a smartphone, tablet, PC or smart TV. Once users send images from their camera to mobile device using the Eyefi Mobi SD memory card and updated iOS and Android Eyefi apps, images can now be transferred to Eyefi Cloud for viewing on any browser-enabled device. Learn more
Nikon's latest in a series of behind the scenes videos features photographer Joe McNally. An off-camera lighting wizard, McNally shares some useful tips from three different flash scenarios. No diffusion panel? No worries, McNally explains you can get the same results by placing a bed sheet between the flash and the subject. And as natural light began flowing through his studio, like any good photographer, McNally moved his model to make some pictures — without flash, this time. See video
Getty Images has announced a call for entries for its Getty Grants, a series of photographic grants for editorial and portrait photographers totaling $130,000 (~£77,737). To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its grant program, Getty Images is offering six prizes for editorial photography, three creative grants for non-profits and individual photographers, and one for portrait photographers. Learn more
The 2014 ACM Awards honored Merle Haggard with the Crystal Milestone Award and he remains one of the most influential artists of all-time! As an influential artist, his musical style has helped shape the various sounds of Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road. On this new track, you can hear the award-winning bluegrass band doing some fast pickin,' while singing beautiful harmonies!
Please share this video on your website, facebook, twitter, and any other social media site! Great music is universal and speaks to listeners and fans! Help spread the word of this new video, and you'll both influence and inspire both older and newer generations of bluegrass fans!
Bluegrass crowd-pleasers, Carolina Road recently released their self-titled cd, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, their highly anticipated album with Pinecastle Records. Their previous release, Back To My Roots, achieved commercial and critical success, charting on Bluegrass Music Profiles TOP 30 SINGLES, and TOP 10 ALBUM Chart and reaching #1 on the Bluegrass Unlimited Charts.
The band’s distinct sound and old time flair can be attributed to the bluegrass-rich area of North Carolina from which they hail and borrow their name. As the founding member and band leader for Carolina Road, Lorraine Jordan’s showmanship and chemistry with the audience makes the group one of the most popular bands among bluegrass fans today.
Lorraine, who has garnered two IBMA Awards, has fronted Carolina Road for over a decade and has eleven national recordings to her credit. The band has earned a reputation as one of the hardest working bands in bluegrass. Carolina Road plays worldwide and headlines two National Blue Grass festivals, Christmas in the Smokies and Cherokee. They have hosted the Canadian Bluegrass Awards, toured Europe and played twelve Blue Grass cruises.
Carolina Road’s performance is a traditional sound with a fresh approach which includes invigorating instrumentals, smooth blending vocals, and all the energy that you can stand.
Out in the Pacific Northwest they brew their bluegrass a little differently! Sure, the mandolin, fiddle, and banjo are all there, but they’re not afraid to toss in influences from raggedy pop songwriting to punk instrumental aggression. High-energy Seattle stringband The Warren G. Hardings pour a long tall pint of this Cascadian brewgrass on their new album, Get A Life. Inspired by the greats of American roots music, they’re all hardcore pickers on their instruments, casually tossing solos back and forth on stage. Though the music they create has obvious nods to a rural American past, the songwriting here owes more to the fierce politics of the Northwest than any kind of old-timey nostalgia. Or maybe more to the helter-skelter lifestyle of young men trying to make their names in an overloaded city, for many of the songs here speak to the stresses of building a life and a job on your own.
Known as a raging performance band, The Warren G. Hardings have been playing to hungry crowds all over the Northwest for the past few years, ever since meeting at underground bluegrass jams. When they went into the studio to record the new album, they were able to present some of the brash energy of their stage show, but also to draw back to more introspective and thoughtful songs. It’s a beautifully balanced album, and a snapshot of just how hard Northwest rootsgrass can rock.
CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF THE WARREN G. HARDINGS BELOW :
Recorded in Seattle at Empty Sea Studios, Get A Life features original songs and rapid-fire machine-gun picking from this quintet of next-gen roots musicians. Lead singer and principal songwriterDave Zelonka comes out the gate like a thoroughbred on the opening song “Treehouse,” channeling some of the punk rock he grew up with. Mandolinist, vocalist and fellow songwriter Gabriel Marowitz leads off the next song, “High & Low,” with righteous fury and saw-toothed vocals.
A theme of love and longing runs throughout the album, interspersed with poetic odes (“my girl is cool as water/warm as brandy wine”) and tongue-in-cheek humor (as in “Cannibal Lies”). Songs like “Drifting,” recount the feeling of one’s life spinning out of control, while “Anonymous Waltz,” pines for a lost loved-one. The Warren G. Hardings are at the forefront of a fresh wave of Cascadian newgrass. There’s an abandon to their music that unites the carefree folk music of a time long gone with the red-hot roots music movement that’s sweeping the nation.
Bristol, VA/TN -- At Wednesday’s press conference, Believe in Bristol, alongside community partners Birthplace of Country Music®, revealed plans for a summer packed with free live music and family fun on State Street and beyond. Border Bash, the twice-monthly free concert series held annually May through August, celebrates its 15th anniversary as a roving mini-fest that has grown to include children’s activities and vendors in addition to live music and much more. Border Bash will take place on the first and third Fridays, May through August.
“We are always excited when it’s time for Border Bash. It is an opportunity for Birthplace of Country Music® and Believe in Bristol to work together to bring great music to our downtown. We are proud of the growth of the event and the community support that we receive for all that we do,” stated Leah Ross, Executive Director, Birthplace of Country Music®.
“Celebrate Bristol is proud to partner with Border Bash on Friday, July 4th to celebrate Independence Day, “ states Vicie Dotson, Believe in Bristol Promotions Committee Chairwoman and Celebrate Bristol organizer.
“As a small community, our resources are limited – community partnerships are key in allowing us to offer quality, free family-oriented activities including music, children’s activities, and fireworks!”
“Border Bash has definitely been a boom to the downtown Bristol experience,” said Matt Bolas, Executive Director of the Bristol Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Since Border Bash started several years ago, there’s been a significant increase in the number of people who come into town for our live music. And these aren’t just locals, they’re people from outside the area too so it’s played a key role in increasing visitor expenditures, particularly in downtown Bristol.”
The band line-up for this event consists mainly of artists slated to play Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in September. The Border Bash line-up for 2014 is:
Border Bash is hosted by Believe in Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music® and the Cities of Bristol. Border Bash would not be possible without our community sponsors. Our sponsors in 2014 include Along Come Mary Interior Design – Mary Jane Miller, Alpha Natural Resources, Ann & John Tickle, Bank of Tennessee, Benjamin Walls Gallery, Blackbird Bakery, Blakley Mitchell Co., Brenda & John Fincher, Bristol Herald Courier, Bristol Virginia Utilities, Campbell Printing, Celebrate Bristol, Coca-Cola, Commonwealth Coal Corp., Cranberry Lane, Dent K. Burk CPA Firm, Doug & Amy Williams, Dr. and Ms. Bennett Cowan, Jr., Edward Jones Investments – Robert Hollo, Rob Simis, Brad Baker and Greg Fahn, Electric 94.9 FM, Express AV Productions, First Bank of Virginia, First Tennessee Foundation, Joe & Pam Kerr – Kerr Boswell Inc., Kil’n Time, Mary Landrum, Merrill-Lynch, Renasant Bank, Revolution Curbside Recycling, Sarah Hull – Serendipity, Spiegler Blevins & Company CPAs, State Line Bar & Grille, Strongwell, The Homer A. and Ida S. Jones Trust, The Williams Company, Tom & Barbara Smith, Tri-City Tent & Event, Walling Distributing, WCYB News 5, Wells Fargo Foundation, WXBQ 96.6 FM and Z-Rock 99.3.dd
Boston, MA, April 16, 2014. Berklee College of Music hosts its first American Roots Weekend, June 20-22, for acoustic musicians who perform bluegrass, blues, folk, country, acoustic jazz, and swing on instruments such as violin, viola, cello, bass, mandolin, guitar, and harp. Berklee string instructor Joe Walsh, a mandolin player who has performed with Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck and others, will lead the weekend.
The American Roots Weekend is part of Berklee’s popular summer programs. To apply, please visit berklee.edu/summer/berklee-american-roots-weekend.
Leading roots musicians and educators will teach the program, including bassist Viktor Krauss, who has worked with Bill Frisell and Lyle Lovett; Matt Munisteri, who has toured with Mark O’Connor and Madeleine Peyroux; Grammy Award-winning banjo player Alison Brown; Mark Simos, who has written songs for Alison Krauss; and renowned violinist Matt Glaser, director of Berklee’s American Roots Program.
“We’ll also have Darol Anger, Paul Rishell, Annie Raines, and Maeve Gilchrist,” said Walsh. “These are some of the most influential roots musicians in the world.”
This is the first summer session for the American Roots Program since its creation five years ago. “The program has been a huge success. All over the country people ask me about who’s teaching and how the students are doing,” said Walsh. “There’s clearly a lot of excitement about roots music at Berklee now. The camp comes as a response to this, giving people a way to be a part of the scene for a weekend, and a way to check out Berklee.”
Students will participate in ensembles, master classes, and lectures. Participants will also choose from a host of classes including Variations on a Simple Melody as an Intro to Improvisation for Folk Musicians, Country Blues Guitar, Music Theory, and Intro to Ear Training. The evenings will feature faculty concerts and jams.
Berklee’s American Roots Program:
The artistic validity of a wide range of American roots styles—including blues, gospel, folk, early country music, bluegrass, old-time, cajun, western swing, polka, Tex-Mex, and others—is beyond dispute. This music is the lifeblood of America’s cultural heritage. The expressive urgency and depth of these styles is supported by strong fundamental musical values. Berklee has created the American Roots Music Program in recognition of the richness of these idioms, and the ways that they fuse with contemporary elements.
The American Roots Music Program produces concerts, hosts visiting artists, designs and implements curriculum, creates and hosts faculty development sessions, and designs and implements symposiums and seminars. Also, using a broader definition of the term "roots," the program examines the core of what it means to be a musician in all idioms, and contemplates the roots of our western musical traditions, ranging from Bach to traditional African music. The artistic director for the program is Matt Glaser, who served as chair of Berklee’s String Department for 28 years.
Berklee College of Music was founded on the revolutionary principle that the best way to prepare students for careers in music is through the study and practice of contemporary music. For more than 65 years, the college has evolved to reflect the current state of the music industry, leading the way with baccalaureate studies in performance, music business/management, songwriting, music therapy, film scoring, and more. With a focus on global learning, Berklee in Valencia, a new campus in Spain, is hosting the college’s first graduate programs, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degreegranting programs. The Berklee City Music Network provides afterschool programming for underserved teens in 45 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a student body representing nearly 100 countries and alumni and faculty that have won more than 310 Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Berklee is the world's premier learning lab for the music of today—and tomorrow.
[by Tom Kennedy]
Among other things, team management is about alignment, coordination, and developing the strengths of those around you by understanding individual aspirations.
A wise manager ignites personal passions and makes developing team chemistry a high priority. This starts with having a vision for each person’s role on the team, and making that vision a jointly shared responsibility. A manager who is passionate about developing the skills of others on the team is more likely to gain useful support than one who is solely focused on achieving results for clients. While the latter is essential, it can only be accomplished if people contributing to a group effort feel good about their own position.
It is important to put people on a team in a position to succeed individually by understanding their own view of their talents and career goals. Those can be very important as clues when trying to gain maximum creative effort from others. Ideally, a good manager is able at every moment to reflect back to a team member how he or she is performing and how individual skills might be further developed.
Inevitably, team management requires the alignment of individual efforts to accomplish a group goal. To do that effectively, one needs to be able to understand the business objective being sought by a client and the why behind “the ask.” If that isn’t clear to all on the team at the outset of any project, it will be very difficult to harness everyone’s full efforts. The team leader must be able to articulate the objective to be accomplished, as well as explain how each team member’s efforts will contribute to the total effort. It is also important to make each team member feel valued for his or her contribution.
To do that effectively, a good manager asks for input, particularly at the outset of a project or assignment, and then examines fully the “why” behind what is being brought to the table by all team members. All inputs need to be considered as variables and understood for their meaning. For example, if someone is negative because they are anxious about their individual performance contribution, that needs to be understood. Surfacing underlying issues and varying perspectives is crucial to full communication. Listening purposefully and paying attention to underlying meaning builds trust in a team.
In turn, trust and confidence produce the optimal performance that makes a team and a manager successful.
Tom Kennedy is an independent consultant coaching and mentoring individual photographers, while also working with various organizations to train individuals and teams on multimedia story creation, production, publication and distribution strategies for digital platforms, and enhancing creativity. He also regularly teaches at Universities and multimedia conferences. He has created, directed, and edited visual journalism projects that have earned Pulitzer Prizes, as well as EMMY, Peabody, and Edward R. Murrow awards. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org