Posts by: A Photo Editor

John Stanmeyer, 2013 World Press Photo of the Year

- - Blog News

SIGNAL
26 February 2013

African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia—a tenuous link to relatives abroad. Djibouti is a common stop-off point for migrants in transit from such countries as Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, seeking a better life in Europe and the Middle East.

via, World Press Photo

On Assignment: A Photo Op, More Like a Photo Hop

- - Blog News

The “pool,” a White House staffer once told me, is a “thing.” If the thing is sitting in the briefing room for hours or in vans outside a restaurant, it doesn’t matter. It’s a thing, like the Secret Service or the Truman balcony. Give the thing a picture or two each day, preferably scripted. If the president is meeting with a head of state, the pool is part of the ceremony.

via Lens Blog.

Tale of 2 Crispins: There Won’t Be Another Agency of Decade

- - Blog News

Burned by the recession, clients are loath to greenlight risky work and bottom-line pressures are driving them to wring costs from their shops. To grow, independents are selling to public holding companies and succumbing to the balance-sheet demands that can dull a free-spirited culture. Often, the result is chasing business they might once have scorned while private.

via Agency News – Advertising Age.

Professional Photographer Webcast Live: Sustaining A Career In Photography

Professional Photographer Webcast Episode 7
Topic: Sustaining A Career In Photography
When: Today at 2:00 EST
Where: Here on aphotoeditor.com and Google +

Suzanne Sease and I will be joined by Commercial and Editorial Photographer Andy Anderson. Suzanne as you may know comes from the Art Buying side of the business with many years of experience working at Advertising Agencies. Andy is a well known Commercial and Editorial photographer with a career that would make most of us green with envy. Andy claims it’s “not rocket science” so we’ll talk with him about how relationships, small towns, personal projects, passion, DNA and the fundamentals of business all combine to put him at the top of the game.

If you have any questions you can email me before the webcast rob@aphotoeditor.com (Note: you will remain anonymous on the webcast, I will not share your identity with anyone) or during the webcast you can ask them on Google+.

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

Show Notes:

Visit our show sponsor:
http://aphotofolio.com/

Suzanne Sease can be reached at:
http://suzannesease.com/
https://twitter.com/SuzanneSease

Our special guest, Andy Anderson can be reached at:
http://andyandersonphoto.com
http://www.andyandersonstock.com

We will both be in conversation at:

http://www.texasphotoroundup.com

Photographers mentioned by Andy:

http://hunterfreeman.com/
http://www.larryfinkphotography.com/
http://www.erikalmas.com/
http://kevintwomey.com/

Former assistants:

http://www.matthewturley.com/
http://shaunfenn.com/

More links:

http://ianspanier.com/Personal-Work/Long-Beach-Heroes/1/
http://lookbook.adage.com

Looking Good Doesn’t Mean It’s A Good Picture

- - Blog News

Most actors are hard to take good portraits of. You have access to the biggest actors and think, great, a chance to do an intimate portrait. Then you look at the contact sheet and you realize that they totally played you. They are aware of the camera in each single frame. They raise an eyebrow just so. They are very good at making it look natural, but then you look back and nothing is off-guard.

via Martin Schoeller’s Tips on How to Take the Perfect Portrait – WSJ.com.

The Difference Between Photographers And Photo Editors

- - Blog News

Editor’s have to think beyond themselves. Their primary motivation has to be to help others grow, to tell stories and make systems work – outside of their egos. Editors have to be able to conceive of and communicate ideas that are about things outside themselves. Photographers, on the other hand, for the most part have to be so self involved that they can envelop what they photograph from a completely personal perspective. The more dimensional a person who makes pictures is, the more dimensional her photographs will be, the more they will connect with a subject. We are the photographs we make, they are us.

via APAD blog.

Instagram Made Us All Huge Fucking Liars

- - Blog News

While it’s a magnificent outlet for all of us to share the way we see the world and all that, Instagram is mostly a gigantic contest to see who’s the best at being a lying liar pants. If you can make a dog look good in Mayfair, if you can make a sunset look like a Picasso when it’s doused in Brannan, all of a sudden, you’re a professional fucking photographer. And that’s really, really insulting to photographers.

via The Reality Behind Instagram Feeds – The Bold Italic.

Texas Photo Roundup – Interview With Andy Anderson

- - Working

I’m excited to be attending the Texas Photo Roundup this year to interview Andy Anderson about his career and moderate a panel on social media for photographers. Andy’s also leading a workshop if you want to get even more insight from him. Information below:

In Conversation: Andy Anderson and Rob Haggart

Saturday, March 1 / 10:30am – 12:00pm Location: Long Center Kodosky Donor Lounge Join Rob Haggart, award-winning photo editor and founder of popular photography blog APhotoEditor.com, and Andy Anderson, acclaimed commercial and editorial photographer, for a frank one-on-one conversation. Andy and Rob will talk about Andy’s career, how he got his start, the challenges he’s faced, how he stays true to his vision and more. Q&A to follow. REGISTER HERE   Or purchase an All Access Pass to all the morning talks and presentations

Andy Anderson Workshop: Keeping your Personal Vision Under the Demands of a Commercial Market

  Thursday, February 27 / 9-6pm Friday, February 28 / 9-5pm Location: Whitebox Studio REGISTER HERE Join commercial and editorial photographer Andy Anderson for a unique 2-day workshop. One of the hardest situations a photographer can experience is staying true to one’s own personal style in the face of a commercial assignment where photo editors, art directors or account planners are all focusing on their objectives for a shoot. Making sure you are not just taking orders from these people — but instead bringing your own personal style and vision to life in the context of the assignment — is the ultimate goal. This is what we will work together to achieve over the course of this workshop.

Suddenly everyone is fluent in the language of photography

- - Blog News

Social media is impacting our work in so many ways it’s hard to know how to pinpoint any single aspect of the changes that we’re experiencing. But fundamentally, everything has changed with the emergence of a visually sophisticated population that uses imagery as easily as conversation to exchange ideas and to express themselves.

via Photo Expert Stephen Mayes on the Changing Future of Photography.

Professional Photographer Webcast Live: Social Media Marketing

Professional Photographer Webcast Episode 6
Topic: Using Social Media To Market Your Photography
When: Today at 2:00 EST
Where: Here on aphotoeditor.com and Google +

Suzanne Sease and I will be joined by Mat Szwajkos who is the Associate Director of Content Production at Possible.  Suzanne as you may know comes from the Art Buying side of the business with many years of experience working at Advertising Agencies. Mat is a professional photographer who now works with brands on social media campaigns that are visual. He’ll help us understand how you can market your work to agencies with social media and how brands need influencers who can make great pictures.

If you have any questions you can email me before the webcast rob@aphotoeditor.com (Note: you will remain anonymous on the webcast, I will not share your identity with anyone) or during the webcast you can ask them on Google+.

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

Resources:

Visit our show sponsor:
http://aphotofolio.com/

Suzanne Sease can be reached at:
http://suzannesease.com/
https://twitter.com/SuzanneSease

Our special guest, Mat Szwajkos can be reached at:
mat@swigsocial.com
https://twitter.com/swigsocial
http://swigproductions.com
http://www.possible.com/
http://www.linkedin.com/in/matszwajkos

Social@Ogilvy’s ACD: Pro Photogs Are Key to Mobile Ads, Branded Content:
http://www.pdnonline.com/features/Social@Ogilvys-ACD-9327.shtml

Link to the deck we talked about:
http://aphotoeditor.com/EdCalPlanning_WEB.pdf

Webinar talking about the deck:
https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/9273/87237

Social photographers mentioned by Mat:
http://wearetherhoads.com/
http://www.day19.com/
http://www.benlowy.com/
http://www.chasejarvis.com/

Other links:
http://www.demilked.com/double-self-portraits-chino-otsuka/
http://imgur.com/a/mvggl

Confessions Of A Gallery Girl

- - Blog News

“Every artist here has 5 year careers,” a dealer told me, “These galleries are plucking kids straight out of art school and forcing work out of them like a Chinese labor camp. The next thing you know: they’re not hot anymore. They reach the age of thirty and no one wants to work with them. This is why grad school got invented: to give ‘has-beens’ a thing to do.”

via Artparasites

Why Do Photographers Charge So Much?

- - Working

I’m reposting this from our sister blog Photography and Architecture, because I think Joshua Dool has such smart answers to the question Why do architectural photographers charge so much?

Joshua Dool, Blue Planet

Blue Planet Aquarium, Copenhagen. Designed by Danish architects 3XN. All images © Joshua Dool

Joshua Dool is an award-winning architectural and industrial photographer based in Vancouver, Canada. Joshua was interested in both architecture and photography from a young age but photography won out. We wanted to hear about the skills required to properly photograph a building, the costs to the architect, and how a photographer can be creative in meeting budgets – he was kindly most forthcoming.

Q: What justifies the cost of strong architectural imagery?
JD: Photography isn’t much different than anything else. Fast and cheap doesn’t equal good. With architecture photography, it takes time to get the perfect angle and the perfect lighting, so the fast category doesn’t really even apply to it. So then, we are left with either cheap or good, and you probably aren’t going to get both.

My experience has been: the cheaper the photographer, the poorer the image looks, and in a society that is becoming increasingly visually literate, thanks to social media and the internet, fantastic photos are a must! Strong images strengthen a brand, weak images diminish a brand. This is true for all advertising, and it is especially true for architecture. Great projects deserve great photos to represent them, because at the end of the day, for the vast majority of an architect’s future clients, this will be the only way they ever get to interact with that design!

This doesn’t mean the more expensive the better, but it does mean that good imagery comes at a justified price. Half-rate images can make a fantastic project look crappy, and fantastic images can make an average project really stick out. The strength of the imagery is going to define whether the local paper or national magazine features it; it will affect how professional your website looks; it’s going to be the face of that project for awards consideration, and it’s going to determine whether the project images get onto social media which can generate A LOT of buzz and flow to your website.

Q: Why do architecture photographers charge so much, and what is associated with the cost?
JD: Several things are associated with producing professional images. In order to produce great architecture photos, you need a decent amount of gear, and a lot of knowledge specific to the field of architecture photography.

It takes time to scout locations, find angles, and map the sun through the course of the day in order to show up and capture great images on the day of production. Most shoots require one day of scouting, and one or two days of actual capture, but then the images are not ready out of the camera either, and can often take another one to three hours per photo in postproduction. So, there is a considerable time investment in photographing architecture properly.

Professional camera equipment and lighting is not cheap either. I arrive on a shoot with usually $20k+ worth of my own gear. I have pro-camera systems, tilt shift lenses, a few strobe kits, large reflectors, multiple tripods, and then a swath of gear at home for editing the photos in post production. It’s an incredibly expensive form of photography. And then, in order for me to hone my craft and get proficient at using all the cameras, lighting, and reflector systems I use, I’ve put my time in assisting other photographers, doing lighting on movie sets, and in photo school. Architecture photography is a very specialized form of photography, and isn’t something that just anyone can do, especially if you want quality results.

Q: Do you find that a lot of clients are suprised at the cost of photography?
JD: Price is often a big factor, especially for smaller/newer firms. I am cognizant of this, and I am always happy to try to meet a price point where I can in order to build a relationship with a new firm.

I’ve had a specific scenario happen a few times this last year, where a firm has contacted me requesting a quote for me to photograph several of their projects. After collecting bids from a few different photographers, they called me back to see if I could budge my rate, basically saying that they wanted me as their photographer, but at the other guy’s price. So, I did my best to make something work, but they ended up going for the cheapest quote they’d received. In both of these instances, they didn’t end up posting any of the photographs from the other photographer on their website because they were unhappy with the results.

It’s a common practice for newer, less experienced photographers to try to compete on price point instead of on quality of imagery. The truth is, in order to work at some of these cut-throat prices, these photographers have to be either jet-set trust fund kids who are doing it as a passion and not for the money, or they are photographers who don’t have the same level of expertise and quality of equipment, and who probably won’t be around in another year to photograph your next project. That is, if you would even want them to!

I’m a big fan of architecture so it saddens me to see great projects end up being captured poorly.

Q: Is there a way that architects can keep the costs down or operate within a budget?
JD: YES! There are a few ways:
They can let the photographer know the budget they are working with, and see if the photographer has any suggestions. Personally, the best way to lower the price for me is to book me for two or more projects, as I offer discounts to firms when they package together a few commissions.

Or perhaps the photographer has a month with nothing booked they could move the shoot to, and offer a reduced rate. Here in Vancouver, it rains from November to March, so I would be more inclined to offer a discount on an interior shoot if it took place in the months I’m not busy shooting exteriors in the sunshine!

Another way is to perhaps shave a couple images off the wishlist, and make it a one day shoot instead of a two or three day shoot. Would you rather have image 12 images that look great, or have all 18 and run the risk of the discount photographer messing it up?

Q: What gets you excited about architecture photography?
JD: I am especially intrigued by the human interaction with architecture. Architecture is after all designed for people. So I try to include a human element in my photographs. Early on, I noticed that most renderings the architects had included people, because this is how they sell the functionality of the design, but most photographs I was seeing were empty spaces devoid of human life. Being around great architecture is exciting, and seeing how structure are utilized, how they shape peoples daily experiences, and how they serve there intended purpose is one area I’m especially fascinated with in my photography.

Joshua Dool Location:  Specialties: ;.

Joshua Dool, Blue Planet
Blue Planet Aquarium.

Joshua Dool, Peace Bridge

Peace Bridge, Calgary. Santiago Calatrava.

Joshua Dool, 8 House

8 House, Copenhagen.  Bjarke Ingels.

Joshua Dool, UBC Pharmaceutical

UBC Pharmaceutical, Vancouver. Saucier + Perrote.

Joshua Dool, Bella Sky Hotel

Bella Sky Hotel, Copenhagen. 3XN.

Joshua Dool, Private apartment

Private apartment.

Read about the cost of hiring an architectural photographer.

Read about how to hire an architectural photographer, from a rep’s perspective.

Read about how to hire an architectural photographer, from an architect’s perspective.

Art Producers Speak: Brendan Meadows

- - 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 Brendan Meadows.  I love the way his images show the drive and determination that young girls possess while still maintaining the light, fun spirit of youth.  Fantastic work!

Broncolor had approached me about producing a shoot to help bring some attention the their lighting equipment. This was shot in Vancouver at Bryan Adams's studio last spring.

Broncolor had approached me about producing a shoot to help bring some attention the their lighting equipment. This was shot in Vancouver at Bryan Adams’s studio last spring.

Real Housewives of Vancouver Season II key art. A game changer for me here on the West coast.

Real Housewives of Vancouver Season II key art. A game changer for me here on the West coast.

My daughter back from Miami and having some professional make-up applied. This would later become the album cover for Fur Trade.

My daughter back from Miami and having some professional make-up applied. This would later become the album cover for Fur Trade.

A personal studio still.

A personal studio still.

Publicity portrait for a friend turning the children's book into a motion picture.

Publicity portrait for a friend turning the children’s book into a motion picture.

Album publicity for Last Gang Records. Zero photoshop here. C-Print images sent down to Chicago to be made into puzzles, then frozen in blocks of ice and reshot in their organic natural state. 8 months of work.

Album publicity for Last Gang Records. Zero photoshop here. C-Print images sent down to Chicago to be made into puzzles, then frozen in blocks of ice and reshot in their organic natural state. 8 months of work.

Personal body of work using the Spanish Civil war as inspiration, primarily the work of Robert Capa and the first real 'media war'

Personal body of work using the Spanish Civil war as inspiration, primarily the work of Robert Capa and the first real ‘media war’

Killing Season III publicity for AMC

Killing Season III publicity for AMC

Pilot publicity for CW network. My first big US job, and big deal for me and even bigger deal with Frank Ockenfels III shooting the hands portion in LA a few months later. Retouching done by John Crawford who brought all elements together. First billboard....stoked.

Pilot publicity for CW network. My first big US job, and big deal for me and even bigger deal with Frank Ockenfels III shooting the hands portion in LA a few months later. Retouching done by John Crawford who brought all elements together. First billboard….stoked.

 Publicity work for Lab Magazine, shot this before a show in Portland last fall on Type 55 Polaroid.


Publicity work for Lab Magazine, shot this before a show in Portland last fall on Type 55 Polaroid.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been in the industry now for just over a decade, but only started calling myself a photographer with conviction for the last four years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?  

I held my first camera at the age of ten and my first Polaroid was of Lady Diana at Expo 86. I still have that picture. I got my feet wet scholastically at Ryerson University taking darkroom and theory classes. It wasn’t until a fortuitous opportunity came along at Westside Studio to ‘first’ under Chris Gordaneer that things really began to take shape. I did almost three years there under his wing really learning the business, production and direction first hand. After that I kept my training going and started assisting with Frank W. Ockenfells III, Nigel Parry, Andrew Eccles and Kevin Lynch.

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

Frank (fwo3.com) has and continues to be a constant source of drive and inspiration. At the beginning I was all over the place and trying to weave in between different arenas to stay versatile and fresh. My book was everywhere and filled with music, portrait, advertising, fashion and personal work…a nightmare to get in front of an art director or potential client. Some of the best advice he gave me early on was remove myself from thinking I was going to change the market in any regard. This was in Toronto at the time and he told me to create a book that was clean and on brand, the rest would come, but don’t think by pushing your vision that the work will come your way.

This was also at a time when I was unsure of my place in the industry. There was no money in music, didn’t want to stray into the fashion, advertising wasn’t my biggest draw and felt somewhat lost as to the direction I should be heading. Staying close to a classic portrait foundation was essential and wanted to still work with actors and musicians who brought something personal to the table. Staying inside the entertainment industry was a perfect fit and now my primary drive for work and finding new clients.

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 think that should come naturally to any artist. Motivations are a huge catalyst for any creative endeavor. You wake up, get out of bed each day and push yourself with the only a reward being reached once the project/piece has fully been realized. Getting noticed is part of the territory that falls into the tasks column of this profession and can sometimes cloud efforts I find.

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

Not at this point in my career. The biggest struggle I have with clients at present is primarily budgetary. They go through my book with big eyes and seem frustrated they cannot get this look for a quarter of the budget.

I got a call from an East coast record label this year and he said to me; ‘We hear you’re the guy to call when we want an amazing shoot with zero money.” Flattering and insulting at the same time. And yes I bust my ass for every production and have done so since the beginning…..some of that has crossed over from the start and I still look at every opportunity to be shooting as a gift. It’s very lucky to love what you do. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing because we’re all peppered with a little production, post-production, lighting and skill sets that we have had to earn along the journey to get into that professional realm. You’re getting the full combo package having me on set.

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

Always looked at traditional means of exposure from the other side of the river bank. I could not really afford to get my work into annual submissions and thought staying original was a better means of getting noticed.

The first of which was an event I created and co-founded called Drawn to Develop. It worked directly with Street Kids International who supplied drawings from street kids around the world that I then allocated to the best Canadian photographers working at that time who had to render the drawing into a finished photographic piece that we auctioned off at a gala event in Toronto during the fall of 2008. It did 4 strong years and has raised over $140,000 for Street Kids International since its conception. That gained a ton of attention due the ambitious amount of work involved and curious nature of the project.

“Who are you exactly?” Got that a lot of that, but getting Floria Sigismondi to create an image from a drawing was worth every hang up.

From there I did a few curated shows; tried to stay relevant as best I could before moving out to Vancouver in the fall of 2010. Then I went back to square one on the ol’ rolodex and the phone went from ringing every once in a while to almost never.

Covet was started to make my presence known in Vancouver. It was also me throwing a wrench into a photographer’s inspiration to see what comes up. Bring 30 photographers to the mix who supply a subject and location that they themselves hold dear. At random each of us chose from the two groups and went out and created an original piece for the show. Did that two years in a row, got on the map and earned the attention of one of my biggest clients of my career.

Is there a formula for any of it? Not a chance. Everything I do inside the professional circuit is based upon working hard and knowing that there is someone younger and hungrier out there behind me.

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

Eventually these efforts will run themselves short and just be in vain.  Staying true to you audience and finding your stride is key. With the tireless dedication this craft demands it crucial to make your efforts worthwhile and garnish a return.

Would you plant a garden for your neighbors?

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

Constantly. My ambitious cup is always brimming over with ideas and creative ventures. Have been slowing down the project scopes as of late and asking myself more questions than just running out into the night with a burning spear, full of rum and generally running amok as I did in my 20’s. Trying to embrace a fully realized project from conception to hanging have become important lately, while still keeping content and intention at hand.

Having my commercial work grow into what I’m now showing now is starting to allow those questions relevance.

I’ve been failing upward for years and am really excited for the next couple of years.

How often are you shooting new work?

As often as possible.

I’m just now getting serious with all the extra work I shot this year and getting ready to rotate the portfolio, the website and putting together a small promo from some recent time in Japan.

————————————————————

Brendan Meadows is a photographer based in Vancouver, Canada.

He began his professional training at Westside Studio in Toronto. Today, after a decade of experience in advertising, publicity, editorial, music and portrait photography, Brendan has developed into a versatile professional, known for his ability to comfortably weave through many different arenas. His professional travels have taken him from the Swiss Alps, to the Arizona desert, to the high Arctic and the Caribbean, shooting everywhere from grand hotels to gritty slums.

The dominant thread in Brendan’s signature style is his strong interest in photographing people. He considers this focus to be his greatest strength and concentrates the bulk of his creative efforts towards creating images that celebrate all aspects of humanity. Brendan has produced pictures that brim with conviction, demonstrating a vision that is both raw and precise.

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.

The Contradictory Nature Of Photography

- - Blog News

The wrapped bodies of two dead people hang from an overpass as three more dead bodies lie on the ground in Saltillo, Mexico, March 8, 2013. Reuters.

For me, pictures like this are so troubling because they ask core questions about the contradictory nature of photography. On the one hand, the photo is a tremendously disturbing representation of evil and chaos. On the other, it is such a perfect and unique example of this evil that it transcends the constant, predictable, numbing pictorial representations of equal or greater violence that usually just slip away unseen. These are such troubling thoughts to think. Ten years ago, I would have felt some of the violence before I could acknowledge my respect for the photograph. Now I feel them both simultaneously. Perhaps that’s the great achievement of the photograph. But what do I know anymore? I guess I’m in too deep.

—Peter van Agtmael

via 2013 in Photojournalism : The New Yorker.