Art Producers Speak: Lance Koudele

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 Lance Koudele because in a large project he was able to handle every aspect with grace under fire. He was able to handle the unexpected and somehow found a way to capture the true essence of the project. His eye for beauty was something I have only had the pleasure of witnessing a few times in my career.

Shot from a campaign for Sensi Graves Bikinis. All of the ladies were professional athletes… awesome to work with females who have not only beauty but an incredibly powerful presence.

Shot from a campaign for Sensi Graves Bikinis. All of the ladies were professional athletes… awesome to work with females who have not only beauty but an incredibly powerful presence.

Photo of Phil Sullivan in Boston for a Life Is Good rebranding I recently shot with Straub Collaborative. Always awesome to work with a brand to help them redefine themselves.

Photo of Phil Sullivan in Boston for a Life Is Good rebranding I recently shot with Straub Collaborative. Always awesome to work with a brand to help them redefine themselves.

Ryan Huggins atop Illumination Rock on Mt Hood, shot for Native Eyewear. The snowboard descent under starlight and sliver of moon was magical.

Ryan Huggins atop Illumination Rock on Mt Hood, shot for Native Eyewear. The snowboard descent under starlight and sliver of moon was magical.

Cloud break in Tengboche Nepal. This portrait for WEND magazine is of TREW clothing co-founder Chris Pew, it was one of the only cloud breaks we enjoyed on our 3 week trip there.

Cloud break in Tengboche Nepal. This portrait for WEND magazine is of TREW clothing co-founder Chris Pew, it was one of the only cloud breaks we enjoyed on our 3 week trip there.

Owen Leeper launches- Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The mountains have been the source of my creativity for the last 25 years. Nothing gives me more stoke than a steep canvas of untracked snow. “Snow Spoken” a self published photo journal will be released this fall.

Owen Leeper launches- Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The mountains have been the source of my creativity for the last 25 years. Nothing gives me more stoke than a steep canvas of untracked snow. “Snow Spoken” a self published photo journal will be released this fall.

Taken from Beach Life. A self produced project.

Taken from Beach Life. A self produced project.

Stand Up Paddle-boarder shot for Slingshot SUP. I am a fan of the underside of bridges. So many people never take the time to explore what lies under them. Each bridge is an opportunity for adventure.

Stand Up Paddle-boarder shot for Slingshot SUP. I am a fan of the underside of bridges. So many people never take the time to explore what lies under them. Each bridge is an opportunity for adventure.

Mountain Biker. Taken from a series of portraits of downhill racers.

Mountain Biker. Taken from a series of portraits of downhill racers.

Dutch Red Bull athlete Ruben Lenten. Like herding cats this one… very enjoyable and one of my dearest friends in the world of kiteboarding, something I’ve shot a lot of over the years.

Dutch Red Bull athlete Ruben Lenten. Like herding cats this one… very enjoyable and one of my dearest friends in the world of kiteboarding, something I’ve shot a lot of over the years.

Friendship Glacier British Columbia. Campaign for HydroFlask. We were airlifted to a remote hut for a week without running water or electricity to self access ski tour the surrounding mountains.

Friendship Glacier British Columbia. Campaign for HydroFlask. We were airlifted to a remote hut for a week without running water or electricity to self access ski tour the surrounding mountains.

Travel piece shot for Men’s Journal- Isabella Caves, Puerto Rico.

Travel piece shot for Men’s Journal- Isabella Caves, Puerto Rico.

How many years have you been in business?
8 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Well, both… I went to the Art Institute of Portland and studied Digital Media. I really twisted the curriculum to study the things I wanted- sound, photography, especially film. After graduation I soon found doors kept opening for photography so I rolled with it. When issues arose along the way I problem solved, and figured it out myself.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I think initially it was the people that truly live the subject they shoot- the Buddhist Matthieu Ricard, adventure work of Jimmy Chin and the mountain culture of Jordan Manley. It also was the people that capture the lifestyle- Daniel Blom, Chris Burkard. Lately I’ve been inspired by the more fashion travel lifestyle work of Misha Taylor.

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 never set the intention to do something to be noticed. I want the subject to be noticed, it’s not about me. I want people to experience a place and moment that they normally never would. I want them to be inspired to explore. I also want a sense of fun to radiate into the viewer… a sense of empowerment that there is a life much deeper than the one they are told of on TV.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Sometimes, but like any collaboration there is give and take. I always push the boundaries when I think it necessary, it always seems to be appreciated in the end.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I recently enlisted the help of Amanda Sosa Stone and a brilliant boutique marketing agency based out of Portland Oregon called Owen Jones and Partners. We just rolled out a new website and I’ll be following it up with a direct marketing campaign this summer.

What I am finding is when I fly out to Boston, LA or NYC to work people instantly notice my vibe is different. I live in Jackson Wyoming in the winter and Hood River Oregon in the summer and that’s refreshing to them. New bookings happen with them as a result. I really like meeting face to face with people and hope to do more of that once the summer shooting season slows to show my work.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I think it’s important to show what you want to shoot. Show what you like. Show the story of who you are. Those authentic images hold the most magic.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, I find the more I shoot the more creatively inspired I am to shoot. It goes hand in hand. Living in two locations keeps me going and grounded as well. The Pacific Ocean and Teton Mountains are powerful places.

How often are you shooting new work?
Weekly.

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Lance Koudele is an American photographer born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His early adult years were shaped by his experiences as an extreme snowboard athlete, traveling and riding mountain regions and deserted surf breaks across the globe.

Those that know him will tell you he is naturally full of peace and compassion. It was no accident that his ease of connecting personally compelled him to begin to combine people and place. His talent for capturing the magic that happens when the two come together form the foundation of his growing career.

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.

There Are 5 Comments On This Article.

    • Thanks Jason. I have enjoyed checking out your travels as well. Stoked! Way to get after it and explore. I am inspired.

  1. That gentleness and compassion as well as a deep sense of spirituality come through in the photos- amazing!

  2. Lance is one of a kind, always upbeat and seeing the positive side in any situation. Ripping snow rider as well. Nice work Lance!