Posts by: A Photo Editor

Art Producers Speak: Timothy Archibald

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 Timothy Archibald

Editorial Photo Illustration shot for Bloomberg Business Week ,  4/2013 for a story about the Matchbox company.

Editorial Photo Illustration shot for Bloomberg Business Week ,
4/2013 for a story about the Matchbox company.

Image from a self promotional series from 2010 titled “Babes In The Woods”

Image from a self promotional series from 2010 titled “Babes In The Woods”

Portrait of a Mother and Son for a story in Scientific American about strides in Autism research. 8/2013

Portrait of a Mother and Son for a story in Scientific American about strides in Autism research. 8/2013

Photo Illustration for a story in Family Circle magazine about pre-teens and compulsive eating disorders. 4/2013

Photo Illustration for a story in Family Circle magazine about pre-teens and compulsive eating disorders. 4/2013

 Portrait of the Wear Twins for UCLA Magazine, 2012

Portrait of the Wear Twins for UCLA Magazine, 2012

 Self promotional image created with stylist Shannon Amos 9/2007

Self promotional image created with stylist Shannon Amos 9/2007

Photo illustration for Family Circle magazine about Mother / Daughter relationships. 5/2013

Photo illustration for Family Circle magazine about Mother / Daughter relationships. 5/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Portrait for TIME for a story on Attachment Parenting. 2/2012

Portrait for TIME for a story on Attachment Parenting. 2/2012

Portrait for On Earth Magazine for a story on Salmon Fishing 9/2013

Portrait for On Earth Magazine for a story on Salmon Fishing 9/2013

Portrait of Tiny House Architect Jay Shafer 3/201

Portrait of Tiny House Architect Jay Shafer 3/201

Portrait of Jessica Mah for Silicon Valley Bank. 2/2013

Portrait of Jessica Mah for Silicon Valley Bank. 2/2013

Image from book ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder.

Image from book ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder.

Image from book ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder.

Image from book ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been doing Timothy Archibald as a commercial and editorial photographer since 1999. Previous to that I spent 8 years as a newspaper photographer for The Phoenix New Times. It was the golden era of the alternative press: 1991-1999. The paper hired me to do all the photography for a weekly paper- two picture heavy stories a week as well as restaurant review photographs and live music photos. I worked all in black and white, shooting TMax and processing the stuff at my apartment. It was myself and 9 writers, and I really learned the power of storytelling from those writers. That job taught me how to tell a story, develop a voice, yet still package it to look like something that would fit in a newspaper. A very important 5 years in terms of figuring out how to make a living. Before that job I was just kind of a guy who took cool arty photographs. After that job, I felt I had something that just might sustain me.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I had the greatest education I could really ever hope for I think. As a teenager I was allowed to take college photography classes taught by Martin Benjamin at Union College in Schenectady N.Y. That was four solid years, ages 14 – 18, and then continued working for him on my summers home from college. He teaches photography as expression- he introduces it to the students as a tool to learn about the world and to let the world learn about them. Powerful stuff from the very start….and at an age where I wanted it badly. After high school I went to college at Penn State and was an Art major, really just wallowing in all of the arts…something I had no inherent talent in at all! But it was a small enough art department that simply by taking it seriously, I was able to define myself. If I did attend some big art school at that time, I know I would have been crushed like a bug.

I am a big believer in that lesson I learned there in college: you may not be the best at something, but if you find a place where you can thrive, or be comfortable, it will allow you to be your best. And sometimes that place is left of center, or small, or corporate, or not what you were expecting. And it’s not really about competing, or being the best, but it’s about being able to create a space to be able to grow, to nurture your skills.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

Well, I always thought of myself as someone who had a long relationship with photography, rather than someone who really “got into this business”, but of course I am in the business.

I have a really vivid memory of being a senior in college and standing at a newsstand looking and being riveted by the work of photographer Brian Smale. He was working in only black and white at the time, had a hard flash in his images that suggested darkness of a sort, and his people…the vibe from the people in his pictures was just really emotionally three dimensional. I felt I knew these people, and Smale’s style packaged it all for maximum effect. I remember looking at that work and saying “ Wow…he is doing it all, and it looks like it’s his job too…!”

I’m sure that moment led me to see the editorial market as one that would reward you for having a strong voice. Now at didn’t have that voice myself at the time, but I felt that if I could cultivate one, there would be a market that would appreciate it.

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 am a big believer in the idea that your photographs should grow with you, they should mature with you, and they should reflect you like any art you’d create would.
Our work, commercial or not , is something that if you do it right, and listen closely, your work can grow as you grow…and recede as you recede as well. Right now I’m a big believer in trying to listen to the shift that work may need to take, and I think it is evident in the work we show to the market place. But it did take a while to reach that point of making something, creating some product out of all that “listening”.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

For me, if I am brought in on a commercial job, corporate job, editorial job, anything really, it seems that it’s already past the point of everyone accepting the quirky nature of the work. That fight has already been fought. The tricky part, of course, is delivering the image with all of the unique human qualities everyone is expecting, but amidst the confines of this commercial production. Because of course, you want everyone to get what they are hoping and dreaming of from your work. By the time the photographer is called in on a project, the creative have lived this thing for months. I think it’s my job then to bring their dreams to life in a way, get them excited about this thing that was exciting in the beginning, but may have gotten a little stale to them in the process. And of course, if your work is a little bit off base, you tend to view your supporters, clients, anyone really, with such a strong sense of loyality…you want to really bring them what they hoped for from your work in the first place…you want to let them have the magic.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

My personal projects really are the things that seem to resonate with the creatives. Now it doesn’t mean they can really hire me to do work that looks like that…but it is the thing that gives me some traction. And really at this point, I wish it was my commercial work that everyone was gaga over…but that really doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards…or stars…or anywhere really. But with that knowledge, it does allow you to abandon some markets and try to passionately pursue other markets. I am a big believer for setting yourself up for success- getting yourself in the position to do the work that just flows out of you, whatever that is.

But for me, the large personal projects have been the things people always want to see and discuss: Sex Machines: Photographs and Interviews (2005 ) and ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I Wonder ( 2010) are the bigger ones that have become books, but I’m always working on smaller ones that never get beyond my website and spam mail, but they do give people something to grab on to, something to follow.

Now we have, of course, the free social networks at our disposal. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr…and what is next? Though I laugh about these things, I do embrace them and really think they have allowed me to extend into an audience in a way I never was able to before. Via my blog and the various social networks, I’ve tried to create and maintain a persona that gives people a good feeling for what it’s like to work with me. I’m a true photo geek, I totally love sharing other people’s work, I’m fascinated by the history of photography ( and it’s seemingly diminished importance) and I like to be a busy working photographer and a curious Dad to my two boys. I want these concerns to come through in my online persona and I feel they help others relate to me as well. Now this is a lot to communicate, but over time online, it can come to the forefront. In the past our attempts at sharing anything from our life was so few and far between, it just wouldn’t happen. It was then all about the work, but the barriers between creatives and photographers were immense. Now, it’s a bit more slippery, in a good way.

All that said, we just were offered the opportunity of spending a week “taking over” the Smithsonian Magazine Instagram page. It was my first shot at playing the Instagram game, and I gotta say it was a manic constant and total blast.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

Oh, well that is the million dollar question that will haunt photographers to the day they die…or the day photography itself dies! Work needs to speak the language of the marketplace, that is true, but then it also needs to be GREAT and unique as well. Add super consistency to that, and a nice personality, let’s say some physical attractiveness maybe…and well…maybe that it the key to success? Really, anyone who answers that question with confidence I’d be immediately suspicious of. But we do see people who have cracked that code: their work is intellectual and visceral and they are still doing massive campaigns and printing money. Now…some people may say my work has those first two elements, but those last two points have been elusive to me. But I’m always working on something, so I really can not complain.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

I go in phases: each super serious personal project seemed to take 3 years of shooting and then two years of blowing it up into the media stratosphere. Then after those periods I seem to put the self expression aside and focus on my career with a bit more intention. Right now I’m putting a lot of energy into shifting the work into this new phase that is just a bit more human and less ironic. I wanted to find a way to tap into the raw energy people responded to in the ECHOLILIA work, but try to speak that language in my assignment work. And only now, three years past the book publication, does it seem like I learned how to do that. And even that is like…oh, trying to tap into some emotional rawness that is kind of an intangible. It’s not like you can just rely on a technique. But I’m 46, I’ve been doing this for a while now. I think I can tap into this stuff I searching for, but I really couldn’t have done it earlier.

How often are you shooting new work?

This summer I had an intern, first time ever, and her marching order was to produce commercial looking work with me using her energy and enthusiasm…and a tiny non existent budget. Summer’s coming to a close and it is exciting for both of us to see these images blossom. So here a little structure did help it all come to fruition and most likely was more productive for everyone then some make work project like working on a data base or something that we’d all rather not do.

Now I should note that this first ever intern is a mom of 3 pre school kids and went to NYU as well. She’s got as real a life as anyone and talked her way into creating an internship that didn’t exist at all. So there was a drive there, and it would have been silly to not think that she would bring something startling to the mix. I knew there was something there. One of our first pictures from this internship is included here.

But the point I’m trying to make here is don’t stop listening to life. Don’t feel you’ve heard it all before, you’re bored and jaded, there is nothing new and you can’t get out of a pattern. When I was younger I feel like I needed my work to shout and be extreme, to find things people have never seen before. Now I feel there is a lot to come from simply listening and seeing the wonder that sometimes comes out of what is right in front of you.

——————————————————————————————-

Timothy Archibald ( b. 1967, Schenectady, N.Y.) is a commercial and editorial photographer living and working in San Francisco, CA.

His commercial clients include Crispin Porter Bogusky, TBWA Chiat Day, American Express, Skittles, TIME, National Geographic, and Scientific American.

Archibald’s personal projects have appeared in the collections of Videotage in Hong Kong, The Australian Center for Photography, The Museum of Sex, NY and The Catskill Center for Photography in Woodstock N.Y. He is the author of Sex Machines : Photographs and Interviews ( Process, 2005 ) and ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder ( Echo Press, 2010 )

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.

Hiring An Architectural Photographer

- - Working

Over on our sister blog, Photography & Architecture, we have an excellent post up informing Architects how to go about hiring a photographer. Julia Sabot interviewed Redeye Reps founder Maren Levinson about the process. You may find some good info in there or you may want to pass some advice onto potential clients:

There should be a cancellation policy or weather provision set up in advance, especially if there are multiple exterior shots on the list. Professional photographers are freelance. If they take your job, it is likely they are saying no to another. If you cancel without any notice due to weather or scheduling, they will want some sort of compensation for the day they did not accept another job. Mostly photographers will be reasonable about this and if they are local, could be ok with waiving it, but it should be discussed in advance.

pandainterview

Photographer Holiday Cards

- - Working

Who better to keep the Holiday Card tradition alive than professional photographers… this is in your wheelhouse folks. Here’s a few to get started, post links in the comments to your holiday card and I’ll add them to the list. Here’s to a happy and successful 2014 for everyone.

01Martin_Schoeller

More here: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/photobooth/2013/12/a-merry-photographer-christmas.html

20131118194923-e1387469216180

http://thomasleetruewest.com/2013/12/19/best-wishes/

xmas2013

http://www.shanekislack.com/xmas/

Personal Photos

http://www.portergifford.com/studium/?p=1964

LiveMusicalExperience-with-Image

http://jeffsingerphotography.com/promo/201312-livemusic/

052_Image_002-1-Edit

http://laurengrabelle.blogspot.com/2013/12/happy-holidays-montana-editorial-fine.html

http://www.tedweinstein.com/pics/2013/

postcard_template_us

http://sethlowephoto.tumblr.com/post/70507348230/merry-christmas-shot-this-photo-in-my-hometown

canvas copy

http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/2013/12/christmas-card-of-year.html

2013_holiday_promo1

http://robertolding.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/happy-holidays/

20131116_MCG0032_Christmas-Edit

http://matthewginn.com/happy-holidays/

BcB-GysCIAA-VdI

https://twitter.com/Don_Johnston/status/414469820860473344/photo/1

5"x7" Post Card Template

http://klikphotographic.com/newsletter/dec2013/5X7%20copy%20low%20res.jpg

santa

http://www.mikepinches.com/santa

tumblr_my8ixyrHgr1qca6b2o1_r2_1280

http://johnkealey.tumblr.com/

xmas2013

http://www.johnzillioux.com/Clientarea/Cards2.html

davehutchinson

http://davehutchinson.photoshelter.com/image/I0000URntjP8WJbM

cassonxmas2013

http://casson.com.au/cassonxmas2013.jpg

1508191_10151795770581951_1436661311_n

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151795770581951&set=a.10151665444596951.1073741825.82326371950&type=1&theater

wendy_carrig_photography

http://wendycarrig.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/joyeux-noel/

santa

http://www.srobertsphoto.com/happy-holidays

tumblr_my0mrgvKZb1qzpo12o1_1280

http://dwphoto.tumblr.com/post/70911266023/happy-holidays

Petition Reuters To Take accountability on the murder of Molhem Baraka

- - Blog News

Molhem Barakat, a 17-year-old Syrian photographer who took pictures for Reuters as freelancer, was  killed Friday, December 20th as he took photographs of a battle over a hospital between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo.

Why is Reuters paying an unexperienced 17-year-old kid to photograph for them in one of the bloodiest civil wars in modern history?

via Petition | Change.org.

Art Producers Speak: Henrique Plantikow

- - Art Producers Speak

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 Henrique Plantikow. I’ve been keeping my eye on him and feel he is prolific and fresh.

This guy is showing us his lip tattoo.

This guy is showing us his lip tattoo.

This is part of a series I photographed called "The Trestle". I had heard of this location; the only way to get there was by swimming or walking on the broken bridge and jumping in.

This is part of a series I photographed called “The Trestle”. I had heard of this location; the only way to get there was by swimming or walking on the broken bridge and jumping in.

I took this photo at the swimming pool where I used to live.

I took this photo at the swimming pool where I used to live.

I met these siblings in New Hampshire; they were traveling from California with nothing but a backpack each. We shot these at a local laundry mat.

I met these siblings in New Hampshire; they were traveling from California with nothing but a backpack each. We shot these at a local laundry mat.

I prefer not to comment on this one.

I prefer not to comment on this one.

I think what makes this portrait interesting are the New England fall/winter colors, everything is so muted.

I think what makes this portrait interesting are the New England fall/winter colors, everything is so muted.

Kids have so much energy and life; it's always a fun experience working with them.

Kids have so much energy and life; it’s always a fun experience working with them.

This is one of the photographs I stumbled on. The power of photography, is the ability to capture a moment that's gone forever in a fraction of a second.

This is one of the photographs I stumbled on. The power of photography, is the ability to capture a moment that’s gone forever in a fraction of a second.

I love improvising and making it up on the spot; this was photographed in an apartment in Boston.

I love improvising and making it up on the spot; this was photographed in an apartment in Boston.

This is from a recent library of images I took for Samsonite's back to college campaign.

This is from a recent library of images I took for Samsonite’s back to college campaign.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been shooting professionally for about 2 years, before that I stayed busy building my portfolio.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’m mostly self-taught. I studied graphic design in school, and learned things like composition and color theory, that also apply to photography. I learn by doing; I got a piece of advice from Kurt Markus that I’ve taken to heart. He said to me “if you’re curious about how photography works, just go out and try it”. I did, and photography became a process of self-discovery, I started going out and finding what was interesting to me.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
The reason I got into this business was because I fell in love with telling stories and creating moments. I was also inspired by the work of Bruce Weber and certain independent films like “Y Tu Mamá También”. What inspired me was the freedom to create something original.

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?
This might sound cliché but I find inspiration in the people around me. One of the things I enjoy doing is street casting; going to an unknown place with strangers and getting them to open up in front of the camera. The process is one of the rewards for me. I’ve made many friends because of photography.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
It depends on the client; some are more conservative than others. At the end of the day, I’m there to bring the art director’s vision to life; it can be tough for them when they have good ideas turned down by clients. That’s why I keep creating personal work, I’m in control.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I focus most of my attention on creating new work. I’ve also relied on in-person meetings and referrals. Meeting someone in person is important for me; I’ve been told that I look much different than what they expected. I started blogging recently; it gives me a chance to talk about my work. I also signed with an agent that has been showing my portfolio all over.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
The biggest decision you make when you decide to become a photographer is: what will I shoot? I think there are two schools when it comes to this. One way is to pick a category of commercial photography, and build a body of work around that category. This is easier in the short term because you have a map to follow. But you’re second-guessing and copying what’s already been done.

The 2nd way is to develop your personal voice. This is harder in the beginning, and will take longer to get noticed. But in the long run you’ll create work that’s authentic to you.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
All the time. That’s when I’m having the most fun…

How often are you shooting new work?
It depends on the week; I like to keep it spontaneous. One thing I do is, go on a sprint of shooting, then I take some time to review and edit what I got.

Born in a small Brazilian town, Henrique grew up a very free spirit. His earliest memories include walking around his neighborhood hanging out with his friends getting in to trouble. He believes that from this time on he was subconsciously drawn to street culture, an ever present theme in his photography today. However, photography was not Henrique’s first love or foray in to the commercial world, he actually began as a graphic designer, a skill he believes informed his overall aesthetic. After 7 yrs of staring at a computer screen for 9+ hrs a day, a tired Henrique picked up a camera and has yet to put it down. His images have graced the pages of Dazed & Confused, Flaunt, Paper, and Out. Clients love his raw, authentic style, energetic work ethic, and desire to tell stories through his images.

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.

 

How Ted Koppel and ABC TV Tried to Steal my Life Work

- - copyright

By Nate Thayer

December 8, 2013

I am banned by legal agreement to write the following: ABC Television/ Disney Corporation, after seven years in court, where they attempted to bankrupt me and ruin my reputation for objecting to them stealing fifteen years of my life work, buckled and paid me. They have the legal right to take back the money they finally paid me–which actually all went to lawyers and taxes–if I open my mouth.

Fuck them.

Good luck getting blood from a stone while trying to attempt to muzzle a free person in a free society while claiming you are an icon of the free press and free speech

So here goes…..

http://natethayer.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/how-ted-koppel-and-abc-tv-tried-to-steal-my-life-work/

Thx, Julian

Art Start

- - Blog News

Art Start & Gerstein Fisher present
The Family Portrait Project
Portraits & Stories Celebrating the Strength of New York City Families Navigating Challenging Times
Opening Reception Thursday December 19, 6 – 10 PM
West Chelsea Arts Building 508 West 26th Street, Loft 5G, New York City

artstart_invite

Criticism Can Help Us Appreciate Photography

- - Blog News

The role of the critic in fact is not be to berate “the masses” for their choices. That would indeed be a bad form of elitism. Instead, the critic’s role consists of talking about artistic merit, in particular how it can be determined. A good critic is more like an educator who helps us when we have to make our choices, who help us see photographs with a fresh set of eyes. If I like the pictures by this particular artist, maybe there is something to them that makes me appreciate them even more? Or if I don’t like the pictures by that other artist, maybe I can revisit them and look at something I haven’t seen, to build an appreciation?

via In Defense of Merit | Conscientious Photography Magazine.

When people put millions on the table, they want to know what they’re getting.

- - Blog News

The clients are in a different space today. They don’t want to take risks. They want to see the advertising campaign before it is shot. It’s not like 10 years ago. That’s finished. You have to bring the clients so many references. So everyone’s work is referenced. There is not one picture that is new, let me tell you this. And the clients don’t want a new picture.

via The Image Chaser – NYTimes.com.

Professional Photographer Webcast Live: Working With Agents

Professional Photographer Webcast Episode 5
Topic: Working with an agent
When: Today at 2:00 EST
Where: Here on aphotoeditor.com and Google +

Suzanne Sease and I will be joined by artist rep Heather Elder. Suzanne as you may know comes from the Art Buying side of the business with many years of experience working at Advertising Agencies. Heather is an agent for 8 top commercial and editorial photographers several of whom also shoot motion. In addition to repping she has a must read blog called “Notes From A Rep’s Journal” where she shares the inside dope on working with Art Buyers, Estimating and all things concerning photographers and reps. She’s not afraid to tell it how it is, so I’m really excited to have her on the webcast Wednesday.

I know you will have lots of questions for her so fire away by email rob@aphotoeditor.com (Note: you will remain anonymous on the webcast, I will not share your identity with anyone) or during the webcast on Google+.

You can see our previous episodes over on the APE Google+ page (here).

Show Notes:

Heather: http://www.heatherelder.com
Rob: http://aphotofolio.com
Suzanne: http://suzannesease.com

Finding an Agent: http://theagentlist.com

Letter from a photographers agent: http://elderrep.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/dear-photographer-an-open-letter-from-a-photographers-agent/