Posts by: A Photo Editor

I Take Photographs To Make Discoveries For Myself

- - Blog News

I am interested in ideas. I am not interested in doing the same thing over and over again. The reason I take photographs is to make discoveries for myself. Always trying to piece together the puzzle, that’s where I get my rush. Once I find the answer I am looking for that’s usually it for a project, the excitement and energy is gone. I move onto something else, or away from that subject matter until I can view it with fresh eyes again.

via An interview with Trent Parke – Try Hard Magazine.

This Week In Photography Books: Brad Wilson

- - Photography Books

by Jonathan Blaustein

I was riding in the passenger seat of a Volvo SUV. Headed North. My father was driving; my young son in the back seat.

We were going to Red River to ride some go-karts. A classic summertime ritual. The mountains were to the East, and out the driver side, we saw the great American desert, rolling all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

The western sky was dark and ominous, as there were massive rainstorms approaching us faster than an unarmed man can raise his hands at the sight of a loaded gun. It had been raining for weeks, so the deluge was clearly imminent.

Which made our go-karting endeavor look a tad futile.

My son asked whether we would make it in time. My father replied that he was an optimist, so we’d plow forward. My son, clever, but not omniscient, asked what an optimist was.

My Dad explained an optimist was a person who looked on the bright side, and expected things to work out well. A pessimist, he countered, tended to fear the worst, and assume it would come to pass.

“Which are you, Daddy,” the boy asked me?

“I’m neither, I said. I’m the third thing. A realist. I think sometimes things work out, and sometimes they don’t.”

“OK. You’re a realist. So will we get to ride the go karts,” he asked?

“That storm is coming really fast. If we get a ride in, I’d say we were lucky. I doubt we’ll get there before the track is too wet to be safe.”

Not that my predictive qualities are always spot on, but that day, it was not to be. The heavens opened, and we had to settle for raiding the candy store, and then getting back in the Swedish Tank to go home.

C’est la vie.

It’s easy, these days, to succumb to the belief that the world is coming to an end. The militarized mess in the St. Louis suburbs. Another war in the Holy Land. ISIS gobbling up territory in Mesopotamia. Planes shot out of the sky by a newly voracious and expanding Russia. (Forgive me, I meant Putin’s proxies in Eastern Ukraine.)

And then there are the stories about elephants being massacred for their ivory. Tigers killed for fake Chinese medicine. Or Rhinos slaughtered for horn to make some old guy’s penis hard.

Onward we march towards oblivion, it seems.

What sayeth the realist? Well, it is hard to be optimistic these days. But what choice do we have? If you’ve bred children, it’s far too sad to assume the world will die around them. Better to hope we’ll figure it out, but I’m not so sure.

Just in case, it might be wise to record nature’s bounty while it’s here. To embed likeness in paper, and safe keep it for future generations. (Sample conversation in 2114, “Daddy, what’s an elephant look like? Why did they go extinct?”)

Fortunately, the Santa Fe-based photographer Brad Wilson had done it for us. Even better, for posterity, he used a super-badass-high-end-digital camera, so the details are there in their hyper-real glory. (Eyelashes and all.)

I know this, because I went to photo-eye this week to pick up a new stack of books, as promised. And there the photos were on the wall, staring me down like an angry drunk mad-dogging you outside the movie theater at 9:45pm on a Friday night. (Speaking of Fridays, the exhibition opens tonight, if you happen to be in town.)

The prints are big, black and gorgeous. (Insert random inappropriate joke here.) If you have a chance to go see them, I’d highly recommend it. If not, of course, we always have the book, “Wild Life,” recently published by Prestel.

According to a promotional video they showed me at the store, the artist hired animal trainers to bring the creatures to a studio in LA. And the book says other pictures were shot at a raptor sanctuary in Española, a zoo in Albuquerque, and, of course, a location in St Louis, Missouri. (Wouldn’t be one of my reviews if the snake didn’t eat its tail.)

The pictures manage to be beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. The chimps are so clearly sentient. The big cats so fierce. The eagles so mesmerizing. In fairness, the owl photos are trapped in full bleed in the book, so their impact is muted, compared to the prints.

But this book oozes “future-historical-importance.” I think I brought up some of these concepts when I reviewed Sebastião Salgado’s “Genesis” a while back. I prefer this book, though.

That one seemed a tad emotionally manipulative. This feels more clean. More objective, if I might use a taboo word, for once. He threw up a black backdrop, brought in some rapidly disappearing animals, got really close with a great camera, and made the pictures.

Here. Look.

For now, the photographs are representations of living creatures. If we don’t change course, however, they will be all we have left. So says the realist.

Bottom Line: Fantastic record of the animal kingdom, while we have it

To Purchase “Wild Life” Visit Photo-Eye

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

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

The Costly Business of Photo Book Publishing

- - Blog News

Founder and publisher Daniel Power says that as long as they believe they can sell a minimum quantity—a good portion of a 1,000- or 1,500-print run—they don’t ask the photographer to subsidize production costs.

Yet if the house sees potential in a project, “but not enough to pay for everything the artist wants—to make it really big or deluxe,” they will ask the artist to contribute to cover those costs.

via PDNonline.com.

True Professionals Will Adapt And Find Ways To Work Within The New Visual Environment

- - Blog News

Mobile photography is photography. Though if you say that mobile photography is only photography it’s like saying there’s no difference between driving a car or catching a bus, it’s just transport, right? Yet the actual experiences are vastly different. No one questioned the name “mobile phone” when it was used compared to a fixed line phone.

[...]A generation of professional photographers will appear from the impact of mobile photography, and true professionals will adapt and find ways to work within the new visual environment.

via #LightBoxFF: Oliver Lang’s Crash Course on Adapting to Instagram – LightBox.

Art Producers Speak: Erik Umphery

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 Erik Umphery. I love him not only as an artist, but as a person. He has an unique style and was great to work with.

Michelle Williams single art work for "Say Yes"

Michelle Williams single art work for “Say Yes”

Personal work shot in London

Personal work shot in London

Personal work shot in Barstow, CA

Personal work shot in Barstow, CA

Editoral shot for 360 Magazine

Editoral shot for 360 Magazine

Editoral shot for 360 Magazine

Editoral shot for 360 Magazine

Personal work shot in Tijanna, Mexico

Personal work shot in Tijanna, Mexico

Personal work shot in Barstow, CA

Personal work shot in Barstow, CA

Personal work shot in London

Personal work shot in London

Personal work shot in Malibu, CA

Personal work shot in Malibu, CA

Personal work shot in Palms Springs, CA

Personal work shot in Palms Springs, CA

Usher Raymond shot for BET Networks Image Campaign

Usher Raymond shot for BET Networks Image Campaign

Adesuwa shot for Essence Magazine denim Story

Adesuwa shot for Essence Magazine denim Story

Personal work shot in Downtown Los Angeles

Personal work shot in Downtown Los Angeles

Erykah Badu shot for Essence Magazine

Erykah Badu shot for Essence Magazine

How many years have you been in business?
3yrs 3months

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Self-Taught

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I worked in corporate America for 9 years prior to becoming a professional photographer, and when the recession hit a lot of my friends lost their jobs and decided to pursue their passions. I was doing extremely well in my career, receiving accolades and a level of financial success that I had not believed I would have achieved at a young age, but I was unhappy. And the more friends I saw doing what they loved, even with the stress of booking that next job or knowing how everything was going to work out, the more I desired to pursue my passion. I guess it was like one of my favorite quote’s from Marianne Williamson, ”As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others the permission to do the same.” For me, my friend’s light gave me the permission to leave my comfort zone and being really living and pursuing something I love.

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?
Traveling is a big part of my life and it influences how I create. I think the biggest thing for me is being visually stimulated, so when I’m given the opportunity to go somewhere new I always jump at the chance. Living in Los Angeles, is the perfect place for me, because California has so much visually to offer, and it is accessible. I can hop in my car and in a few hrs, I can be on a mountain, in the desert, at the beach, on a cliff, etc…, so I’m always traveling being inspired and recently I’ve developed an appreciation for other types of arts (writing, acting, illustration) which has opened my eyes to an entirely new world of inspiration. The way I translate all of that into my own creativity is by taking everything that I see or read, and I try to do my best to translate that to my own experiences, to create something how I see it from my own perspective, so if I read something that inspires me I say how does that look in my mind, or if it’s a location I’ll ask myself what would be something I could see happening here.

Pushing the envelope creatively for me is always about doing something that I feel uncomfortable with. When I have butterflies in my stomach about something or I start hearing that little voice in my head questioning what I’m doing it let’s me know that I’m pushing myself to refine my true vision and creating something truly unique and from my perspective. I look for those feelings in everything I shoot.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I’ve been really fortunate that the assignments I’ve received early in my career the clients have given me a lot of flexibility, I’ve heard that isn’t always the case in this industry. I learned early on that you should focus on accomplishing what the client is looking for first then push the envelop with your creativity and typically the images that I find myself pushing the envelop on are the clients favorites, so it’s a win-win, I give the client what they want and I’m able to use the resources/production they have to create something I love.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I make it a point to travel to NY once a month and meet with agencies and magazines. I’ve been doing this for about a year now and it’s really been paying off. I do not have a rep, so I have to beat the pavement myself, but for me it is fun. I get to travel to an amazing city and meet so many interesting creative people. Not starting my career in this industry I look at as a positive and negative when it comes to reaching my buying audience. The positive is I don’t know how people in the industry reach their buying audiences so I’m not restricting myself to any industry norms that may exist, so I’m not tied to doing things a certain way because “that’s how things are done traditionally”. The negative is since I did not go to arts school, I do not have the network already of art directors and producers that I would have attended school with, but that’s ok I just have to work harder to build that network now.

Outside of face to face meetings, I attend Adhesive as often as I can to connect with creatives and sending personalized emails vs the typical email blast have help tremendously in starting a dialogue that will ultimately lead to new opportunities down the road.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I know about this all to well, simply don’t do it. When I started I knew I wanted to shoot campaigns, so I’d shoot what I though art directors wanted to see. That did not get me far at all, and luckily I had a decent relationship with an art director that helped guide me as far away from that as possible. People want to see something different than what they have already seen and we all have the ability to create something different if we show things from our own experiences and perspective. You want the work you create to represent you, and to be work you are passionate about, which ultimately leads to you booking work that falls into your sweet spot vs work that you are not passionate about, and it definitely has away of showing.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I try to shoot for myself several times a month. At times when I’m really busy it can be challenging but, in order for me to continue growing and developing my vision/style it requires shooting a lot. Even though shooting jobs is great and required to sustain a living, there is nothing better than being able to create something that you have full creative control over. I plan to continue shooting for myself several times a month, 5, 10, and 20 years from now, because I love photography as a medium to create.

How often are you shooting new work?
This year has been really great for me both commercially and personally. I’ve been able to create new work that I’m extremely proud of every month, both personal and commercial.

—————–

I’m originally from Baltimore, MD. I was introduced to photography by my Mother at a young age and developed my love for it. She passed when I was 11 and I stopped shooting. As I got older I had the desire to get back into photography, and even signed up for a course when I was in college, but you had to purchase a SLR camera and I could not afford it at the time. I graduated with a degree in Finance and went of to work in corporate America, several years into my career a friend posted on facebook, “who wants to take a photography class with me”, I went out purchased a camera and signed up for the 6 week class. This pretty much sums up my life now:
Running shoes, check. Camera, check. iPhone, check. I’m good. Gave up suits & ties for a camera and a hell-of-a-life.
 My mantra is to live, love, travel, eat and along the way capture these moments.

Erik Umphery
www.erikumphery.com
erik@erikumphery.com
310.387.1715

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.

My Photo Went Viral, And Nothing Could Have Prepared Me For What Happened After

- - Blog News

the media attention, coverage, and money was and continues to be great. I loved it all. But what’s even cooler is that I have been contacted by people, companies, and organizations that I never expected that I’d be in touch with. Airports, local and abroad, have contacted me with an interest in hiring me to do work for them. Airplane manufacturers and leasing companies have been in touch…

This image truly has created opportunities that I never thought possible.

via fstoppers.com.

I am just a guy with an iPhone who likes taking pictures.

- - Blog News

Being a commercial photographer is not my goal, nor will it ever will be. I don’t have the training, or the experience to compete with established professionals. I believe I am part of a photography movement that is based on capturing experiences, experiences from a viewpoint of someone that isn’t a traditional commercial or editorial photographer. Clients aren’t providing me with a set shot list, but rather giving me the freedom to capture the moments as I see them from behind my lens, both mobile and DSLR. I see value in the ability to offer a client both tools to suit their needs, access to my audience and vision through my mobile device, as well as the more versatile, larger image size of my DSLR work.

via Scott Rankin’s Portfolio – Blog.

Things I Learned After My Photo Hit #1 on Reddit, and Why I Probably Shouldn’t Have Posted It

- - Blog News

Outstanding! 20,000 people visited my site! Some people even messaged me asking if they could buy a print!… I have not heard anything more. I did not sell anything.

Oh well, at least my other images got exposure…? Not really. As you can see, nearly everyone who visited my site came for the original image, maybe scrolled once or twice through others in that set, then left. The shop page didn’t even make it into the top ten most-visited.

via petapixel.com.

Art Producers Speak: John Fulton

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 John Fulton.

"Wrong Tools" campaign for Three Atlanta and CPA Global.

“Wrong Tools” campaign for Three Atlanta and CPA Global.

A young farmer/rancher burns some time after breakfast with a curious audience standing by. Part of a personal series featuring contemporary scenes in the South.

A young farmer/rancher burns some time after breakfast with a curious audience standing by. Part of a personal series featuring contemporary scenes in the South.

"Dirt Wave" motocross in the deep south. Part of a personal series featuring contemporary scenes in the South.

“Dirt Wave” motocross in the deep south. Part of a personal series featuring contemporary scenes in the South.

"Quail Hunting". Part of a personal series featuring contemporary scenes in the South.

“Quail Hunting”. Part of a personal series featuring contemporary scenes in the South.

"Fiddler Over Paris", a lone fiddler bares his soul to the denizens of the 7th arrondissement. Shot for an int'l travel company.

“Fiddler Over Paris”, a lone fiddler bares his soul to the denizens of the 7th arrondissement. Shot for an int’l travel company.

Pro bono series for my home town fire department. Hazmat crew takes one for the team as fire plane dumps it's payload.

Pro bono series for my home town fire department. Hazmat crew takes one for the team as fire plane dumps it’s payload.

"On The Way to Saturday". Campaign featuring college football mega-fans for BBDO.

“On The Way to Saturday”. Campaign featuring college football mega-fans for BBDO.

"Wrong Tools" campaign for Three Atlanta and CPA Global.

“Wrong Tools” campaign for Three Atlanta and CPA Global.

Campaign for Harley Davidson featuring real owners enjoying the thrill of the open road.

Campaign for Harley Davidson featuring real owners enjoying the thrill of the open road.

 "Lake of the Clouds Valley". Personal work captured on a trip to the high Rocky Mountains.


“Lake of the Clouds Valley”. Personal work captured on a trip to the high Rocky Mountains.

Firefighters photographed for South Magazine.

Firefighters photographed for South Magazine.

"We're there for you 24/7/365". Campaign for Georgia Power.

“We’re there for you 24/7/365″. Campaign for Georgia Power.

"For the longest lasting truck on the road". Campaign commissioned for Eaton Global.

“For the longest lasting truck on the road”. Campaign commissioned for Eaton Global.

Recent commission featuring speedo-clad mechanics to illustrate the client's heat generating product.

Recent commission featuring speedo-clad mechanics to illustrate the client’s heat generating product.

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

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Both but I did the photo degree route. It was a good jumping board but, like most people, I learned more in just the 1st year working in San Francisco about the industry and my own work than I did during all of school.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I was a skater kid in high school and a lackadaisical student, which took its toll on my studies. I took art classes because I thought they would be easy A’s. I connected with the creative arts immediately and felt myself come alive. Originally I wanted to be a sculptor and I worked diligently towards that goal but eventually I found myself sitting in a photography class. Seeing my first image appear in the developing tray was what set the hook. It’s a cliché’ sentiment at this point, but it was like magic. I was also exposed to the work of the great street photographers, especially the masters of composition and light; Cartier-Bresson and Harry Callahan among others. I worked at my local camera store talking with working photographers every day and developing their images late into the evening. It was an exhilarating feeling to see their work before they did and when talking with them about their assignments at pick up time, it became clear to me that this was the life I wanted. I was also able to work with Jim Erickson and Erik Almas through out my first year after school, which was also instrumental.

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?
It’s important to me to find inspiration from things other than photography whether that be other visual arts, travel, history, and simply conversing with people who are very different than myself. A lot of photographers choose to keep their exposure to other’s work at a minimal, I do the opposite. I look at an immense amount of images and I keep the ones that speak to me in an archive that goes back over 10 years. They cover the spectrum from photography, design, 3D, and fine arts and I often sift through them making mental notes of the things I like, don’t like, and want to experiment with before my next project.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
It varies widely from project to project but limitations can be a blessing. I’ve been studying film making lately and I read something from a feature director awhile back saying that often times he’ll limit himself to just one or two lenses for a whole movie because with every option available for every shot, it can be overwhelming and the images end up being too disjointed. I look at constraints that clients give in that way and it forces me to push my work and grow in a direction that I might not have taken on my own and I walk away with more tools in my creative arsenal.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
All the usual things but the most important to me is face-to-face exposure. The path of least resistance is always the most overrun and that right now is doing everything digitally. My reps are also paramount in connecting with buyers.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Showing what you think buyers want to see is a loosing strategy if that’s your main motivation. Even if you’re scoring some projects, you won’t be shooting what you love and the work won’t be as affective as it should be. Ultimately, you’ll end up spending your career working on things that don’t inspire you and that’s not good for you or your clients.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Not as much as I’d like, but I’m working on that. It takes the willingness to say no to paying projects usually but I think it’s a good investment for one’s creative soul. Story telling in still frame, painting, modeling, motion, and writing is always on my mind from when I wake up until I finally go to bed. Lately, I’ve been spending the majority of my non-working time learning 3D modeling which has been a very captivating creative outlet and has already helped land some of my favorite projects to date.

How often are you shooting new work?
It varies from every couple weeks to a month. I prefer to do my own post work whenever possible and if it’s a series of multi-image composites that typically turns a 3 day shoot into a 3 week process from beginning to end but it’s an integral part of what I love about my job and what makes the images I deliver to my clients unique and impactful.

—————–

John is an America photographer born and raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. His work is often described as rich, fresh, and authentic. Clients recognize his consistent vision and adamant drive to deliver impactful and affective images through a broad range of subjects.

John is honored to have been included in Luerzer’s Archive Top 200 Advertising Photographers Worldwide and his work has been recognized by PDN, Communication Arts, Hasselblad Masters, Int’l Photography Awards, Prix de la Photographie Paris, American Photographic Artists, Int’l Loupe Awards, and Color Awards. His clients include AT&T, Harley Davidson, Captain Morgan, Airstream, Westin and Hyatt Int’l among others.

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.

Do’s And Don’ts For Finding A Commercial Photography Agent

This guest re-post comes from Mark Winer at The Gren Group. The original post appeared here.

We’ve added some new talent to our roster recently, and with that often comes questions from photographers about how to find representation. So this is for you, the aspiring photographer searching for that perfect relationship with an agency representative. There is (as of this writing) no match.com for the photography industry – so we are are going to summon up 18 years of experience and give you the tools for your big search.

Rather than writing a long dissertation on the process of finding a rep, we’ve decided to give you a Cliffs Notes version – a handy, tried and true list to follow throughout your search. Please keep in mind this is aimed at photographers who are interested in working with agents who have mostly commercial clients. The TOP TEN Do’s and Don’ts below will vary based on your objective.

Here goes:

DO’S!

DO know that we get between 15 and 20 unique photographer requests each month. We may add just one new photographer a year, so you really need to stand out.
DO your research. Personalize your message to the rep you’re reaching out to and reference something worthwhile and specific. Find some common ground.
DO prove your business model. Show us that your own photography skills and marketing efforts have gotten you enough work where you need a business partner to help manage your growing business.
DO know thyself. What kind of photographer are you? Fashion? Lifestyle? Conceptual? Still Life? You should come to us already with a strong brand and self identity. We should be able to ‘know’ you in 90 seconds or less.
DO support the US Postal Service (before they close your branch)! Mail us samples of the great promos you’ve been sending to clients.
DO share your most recent commercial success stories – recognizable brands really get our attention. This is kind of a ‘what have you done lately’ business.
DO tell us about the industry trade shows you’ve attended and the Art Producers or Creative Directors you’ve met with recently. Feel free to name drop – we may have connections in common!
DO be respectful, appreciative and humble. A good personality goes a long way.
DO be patient and realistic. This is a relationship business. It can take years for the rep to build relationships with both clients and photographers.
DO have a reasonable advertising & promotion budget. Attracting the attention of ad agency clients, and building relationships with them, can require an extensive financial commitment.

DON’TS

DON’T email us generic comments like “new website!” or “just want to take my photography to the next level”. Be creative – include the whats, whens and whys. First impressions are important!
DON’T worry if we don’t get back to you right away. We make every effort to respond to all requests – which can sometimes take several days or weeks, depending on our workload.
DON’T be a beauty, fashion, conceptual or product photographer if you’re reaching out to us. Nothing personal, just not our area of expertise. Do your research first, and know the agent – there are plenty of great reps who market celebrity & automotive work.
DON’T be lazy. Success in this business requires a ton of ambition, passion, and a positive outlook. Enthusiasm is contagious – clients and reps can feed off your energy.
DON’T worry if most of the projects come from your leads in the first year or two. That’s to be expected. After all, you’ve been promoting your own commercial work for the last 5-10 years, and we’ve just gotten started.
DON’T send us a personal Facebook request after just one email. We’re big fans of social media, so show us you know the difference between networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc …
DON’T be a photographer with only personal, fine art or wedding work. It may be beautiful, but we are advertising assignment reps – the work must be commercially viable and contain high production value.
DON’T be a prima donna. Character is very important – we prefer humble, appreciative, collaborative and genuine.
DON’T get bogged down into thinking that you must have a rep to build your business! Plenty of great photographers have achieved commercial success without representation.
DON’T get frustrated if you have no luck getting a rep in the first few months (or years) of trying. Take that as a sign that you have to continue working harder and smarter to appeal to an agent.

Hope this helps a little. The right photographer/agent partnership can be a great thing – creative, challenging, lucrative, rewarding and fun. It’s also a lot like a marriage, whose success relies on mutual understanding, respect and communication. And like a marriage, know your partner well – maybe even consider living together for awhile first – the goal is to be together for a long time.

Good luck in your search!

Part Of Being A Great Photographer Is An Innate Gift For The Drive To Do It

- - Blog News

I think that part of this (being a great photographer) is an innate gift. I think that all artists, whatever the medium, have some genetic luck. That gives them the drive for whatever the talent is, painter, writer, musician, photographer. There’s something that’s deep within their soul.

I use to tell photographers that I believe great photographers, artists, whomever have a third eye. Many decades ago I was weaving and doing rugs I remember looking down at my hands and being in wonder of what they were doing. I’d say to myself, just stay out of their way. Get out of the way and let them do what they do. I think the same thing is true with photographers.

When they are really good it’s intuitive. This is what happens when they don’t over think it. That is what Bresson says.

via Karen Mullarkey – An Interview Part Two.

In The World We Find Ourselves In Today, Hard Work Isn’t Enough

- - Blog News

…you’d better understand how to deploy those design skills in a way that helps solve business problems for your clients.

…the select few who are going to thrive in the months and years to come are going to be the ones who can tell a complex story across a range of media in a simple, clear and elegant way.

via AIGA | Apple’s Creative Director Alan Dye on Why Great Design Skills Aren’t Enough.

This Week In Photography Books: Motohiko Hasui

by Jonathan Blaustein

We’re approaching high summer here in the US. Which is the time to relax, soak up some sun, and drink Belgian beer to cool you down. Or ice water. Or lemonade. (You get the point.)

To all the readers in the Southern Hemisphere, however, you have my condolences. Winter isn’t as much fun as summer, unless you get to ski every day, and who really lives like that? So we’ll try to have all the fun for you, unless you’ve got the whole Equatorial-life-style thing going. (And that comes with requisite mosquitos.)

Where was I? Summer. What’s the next word that follows summer, like rty follows que? That’s right. Vacation.

I’m not taking one this year, though. As I live in a vacation destination, all I need is a change of attitude, the gumption to shut off the Internet, and my staycation will be just fine.

What about you? Are going anywhere fun? Have you planned your own ClarkGriswoldian adventure?

If not, I have a solution. Let’s pretend we WE’RE taking a trip. Where would you go? A Greek beach on the Mediterranean? Watch a World Cup game in the Amazonian jungles of Manaus. (Where you can imagine yourself a latter-day Klaus Kinski.) Spelunking in Mexico?

We could pretend to do all sorts of things. Volcano-hopping in Guatemala? The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam? What about Japan? Have you been? I’ve always wanted to go there. Who doesn’t have their own little “Lost in Translation” fantasy?

What if we just invaded some Japanese photographer’s travel journal? Would that work? The black, rounded-edges kind, with some elastic on the outside? (For holding your thoughts in place.) Motohiko Hasui’s new book “Personal Matters,” published by Bemojake, allows us just this opportunity.

Some of pictures have timestamps on them, from April of 2012, or around Christmas time. It varies. There’s no mention of where, but you know/suspect you’re in Japan. Are they real snapshots, taken for no other reason than recording a personal history? Who knows?

But you get the voyeuristic pleasure of seeing someone else’s memories of weirdos, flowers, parking lots, cute girls, trees, funny moments, fur coats, a ridiculous-looking dog monster wearing fake horns, a stark mattress in an empty room, a skyline, some woman eating sushi, that sort of thing.

I opened it up, unsure of what would be inside, and I got a fake, free, virtual vacation. As I don’t get to keep the book, I didn’t have to pay a dime. And as you don’t have to pay to utilize this website, we’re all in the same boat. (Alas, it’s not a yacht rounding the Cap d’Antibes…)

Bottom Line: A cool little photo diary for summer “reading”

To Purchase “Personal Matters” Visit Photo-Eye

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

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

Photography With A Voice Has A Better Chance Of Breaking Through The Clutter

- - Blog News

“It’s always been true, I guess, that the uniqueness of a photogra- pher and the photographer’s voice … is what got people hired, it’s just more true now,” he explains. Davis finds the old idea that a photographer should be an impartial observer of events no longer applies. Instead, he believes the photographers whose work is sought after today “are powerful in what they say [and] in how they take a photograph.

via Picture Editor Mike Davis On Clarity of Voice in Today's Media Landscape.

Art Producers Speak: Misha Taylor

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 Misha Taylor. He is probably my favorite my favorite, he has an incredible eye and always perfectly captures that specific mood in his photos.

I love these images of Jamie Foxx, these are outtakes from ad campaign we did together. He is the ultimate entertainer, it didn't just start when the camera was on him either. He sang and danced and ruled the room. These images really tell that story to me.

I love these images of Jamie Foxx, these are outtakes from ad campaign we did together. He is the ultimate entertainer, it didn’t just start when the camera was on him either. He sang and danced and ruled the room. These images really tell that story to me.

I was asked to conceptualize and shoot the Kisua Campaign, I really wanted to do something contemporary and pop yet still African.. I love how the image comes to life. Its almost a still life, but somehow really jumps around the page.

I was asked to conceptualize and shoot the Kisua Campaign, I really wanted to do something contemporary and pop yet still African.. I love how the image comes to life. Its almost a still life, but somehow really jumps around the page.

This is one of my favorite images, I find the similarities between his face and Johannesburg cityscape really moving. His eyes and scarred face tells the story of the beauty, pain, struggle, and resilience of the still young S. Africa. something about it really gives me hope.

This is one of my favorite images, I find the similarities between his face and Johannesburg cityscape really moving. His eyes and scarred face tells the story of the beauty, pain, struggle, and resilience of the still young S. Africa. something about it really gives me hope.

the way the ice-cream drips through his fingers give the picture a strange desperation, yet reminds me of slow summer days. There is something magical about that parallel that really draws me in.

the way the ice-cream drips through his fingers give the picture a strange desperation, yet reminds me of slow summer days. There is something magical about that parallel that really draws me in.

This was one of the most fun shoot I have ever done, I got a good number of my friends together for an underwear special for Selfridges.  I love this moment, it reminds me of that reckless abandon of long summer days. My friends and I sneaking into pools that weren't ours, jumping off roofs, basically being a kid.

This was one of the most fun shoot I have ever done, I got a good number of my friends together for an underwear special for Selfridges. I love this moment, it reminds me of that reckless abandon of long summer days. My friends and I sneaking into pools that weren’t ours, jumping off roofs, basically being a kid.

This image of Diane Pernet was taking in Paris. She is one of that last  true eccentric fashion icons and working with people like her make portraiture such an incredible experience. I love that you can almost see her eyes, but cant quite see where she is looking.

This image of Diane Pernet was taking in Paris. She is one of that last true eccentric fashion icons and working with people like her make portraiture such an incredible experience. I love that you can almost see her eyes, but cant quite see where she is looking.

This image was featured on Nowness and was taken on the pan African Rovos rail. I love the starkness of the Karoo as it glides by behind her, and how she bisects it in quite a violent way. I find this image quite jarring in the end, even though at first glance its so peaceful

This image was featured on Nowness and was taken on the pan African Rovos rail. I love the starkness of the Karoo as it glides by behind her, and how she bisects it in quite a violent way. I find this image quite jarring in the end, even though at first glance its so peaceful

This image has such a wonderful stillness, I almost find myself holding my breath when I look over it, I never really find peace as far as a place to settle my eyes. I love when pictures have have little lives of their own.

This image has such a wonderful stillness, I almost find myself holding my breath when I look over it, I never really find peace as far as a place to settle my eyes. I love when pictures have have little lives of their own.

These two images were taken in Johannesburg, I cant help but feel that I am in the middle of them as they look at each other.

These two images were taken in Johannesburg, I cant help but feel that I am in the middle of them as they look at each other.

This was taken in Paris, the intensity of the photo is odd  as I find it quite weightless. They seem to counter balance each other. Its beautiful but as their faces come together quite bizarre as well. I really enjoy all these little permutations

This was taken in Paris, the intensity of the photo is odd as I find it quite weightless. They seem to counter balance each other. Its beautiful but as their faces come together quite bizarre as well. I really enjoy all these little permutations

This is one of my favorite places in the world, fitting to its' name; "Natures Valley".  A giant indian ocean on one side and this view inland up the river on the other. The air there has a weight to it. I was really pleased with this image as I can feel that weight when I look at it.

This is one of my favorite places in the world, fitting to its’ name; “Natures Valley”. A giant indian ocean on one side and this view inland up the river on the other. The air there has a weight to it. I was really pleased with this image as I can feel that weight when I look at it.

How many years have you been in business?
This question is a little different for me as some of my earliest memories are from film sets, my father, and award winning director and photographer used to let me look through the lens or operate the camera before I was even a teenager. He also had his crews work me to the absolute bone as soon as I was old enough to hold my own. I worked 22-hour days fetching water and carrying stands. Driving Trucks, writing treatments, setting up lights and loading cameras. But I suppose the question you are after is as far as me being in creative control, to be safe lets say 8 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I learned on the sets of my father and his friends, I tried taking a few classes in university but realized quickly that technically speaking what you learn through work experience and life far surpasses what you learn at school. Something also has to be said from seeing how the best in the world operate creatively, how they deal with clients, and how they stay true to their vision. However as far as theory goes, school was invaluable.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
First and foremost my parents, both artists filled our lives with art and travel. These memories dance their way through almost all of my creative process. Sitting on the front of small rubber boat in the deep Okovango delta and being charged by a giant bull elephant to beautiful girls in a studio.

When there wasn’t an adventure we made our own, seeing so many things allowed for me to see the world through my own lens. I was given the chance to allow my imagination to run wild, and this business gave me the incentive to want to tell stories beyond our day-to-day lives.

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 really try to live my pictures, I try to see myself in my work, the wonderful and the mundane the challenging, the obscure, the loss the gain. We all share a common emotive process, and I hope that what brings my imagination to life will have the same effect on others.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Part of the process is reinvention to make old ideas new, to make bad ideas good, to make complex ideas simple. Of course there are moments in the bureaucracy of this business where the opposite seems to destine to happen, good ideas turn bad, the simple becomes complicated. In the end the fight for what we as creatives believe to be the best execution is best done with the image itself.

To show this image and let the story be right rather than the artist. However there are always the few that need convincing beyond the image, and this is as much an art as the work itself.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I personally believe my work is better off for me concentrating on the art itself, rather than the propaganda and PR. Just to keep making art to keep shooting and experiencing and the reach of that is unmeasurable.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Some people are better at this than others, if done correctly I think someone could do quite well. But in the end to live and love your work, you must do what it is that you want, and produce what it is you want to see.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
It’s important to constantly want to tell stories, even if this is done by other means than photography. To keep new ideas rolling off your tongue or your pen or out of your camera.

How often are you shooting new work?
This question is a bit convoluted, as we seem to be measured in quantity so often. I work everyday, and take a picture everyday. But I suppose I can only roll out new projects when they are finished. This can take less than a week from the birth of an idea to full realization. And there are other projects that I feel I will be working on forever.

But as I see an absolutely binding bond between work and life. I feel like I am working even when I am walking through town or lying watching the rain.

—————–

I was Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in the early 80’s, My Parents both Artists did their best to distract my sister and myself from the Politics at the time by taking us to the people, to the country, to what was real in a place plagued by misunderstanding and misinformation. We traveled feverishly, by all means and to some of the most remote and wonderful places in the world. Before my father’s career took us to the United States, they would pack us and our yellow dog in the back of our Landrover and drive for weeks on end.

When we moved to Los Angeles, in 1989 our lives changed somewhat. But our lust for adventure didn’t. They would pull us out of school and proclaim a fly-fishing trips to Montana or hikes through Monument Valley.

School in the United States was, incredible. I was able to be exactly who I was, and who I wanted to be. I grasped onto the contagious American mindset that allowed you to pursue your dreams and I was off.

I left California in 2000 and began my travels home and beyond. I wanted to see how much of my childhood imagination had painted of memories of Africa, I was desperate to be part of the new hope and new democracy. I fell in love with Africa all over again. And was able to see my life there through balanced eyes,

My love for travel however soon pushed me on my way. I wanted to live Italy and walk through the ruins of the Roman Empire, to live in France and read and drink wine in the same bars as my literary heroes. To Dance in the famous techno clubs of Berlin and ride bicycles down massively wide streets.

I did all this and more, everyday I wake up wanting to keep living, to keep watching all the serendipitous fortunes the world has to offer. I am quite young but have lived a life full to the brim. This is why I feel comfortable telling stories. Because I have so many to tell and the world has so many more to give us.

Check out more of Misha’s work www.assignmentagency.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.