Posts by: Suzanne Sease

Art Producers Speak: Dustin Chambers

- - 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 Dustin Chambers. This kid is legit. Slowly getting more and more National work.  Love to see him get some press.

A woman's disguise photographed at a carnival.

A woman’s disguise photographed at a carnival.

The silhouette of a blow up doll floats above the crowd at a music festival in Texas.

The silhouette of a blow up doll floats above the crowd at a music festival in Texas.

A roll of paper towels sits on the wall in a bathroom in Texas.

A roll of paper towels sits on the wall in a bathroom in Texas.

Children play in a lake during a hot air balloon festival.

Children play in a lake during a hot air balloon festival.

A woman sleeps on the B train on an early, rainy morning in Chinatown, New York City.

A woman sleeps on the B train on an early, rainy morning in Chinatown, New York City.

A woman opens a window on the set of a music video.

A woman opens a window on the set of a music video.

An empty swimming pool on the fringe of the Las Vegas Strip.

An empty swimming pool on the fringe of the Las Vegas Strip.

A man dressed as a bunny stands outside at Frolicon, a BDSM/erotica convention.

A man dressed as a bunny stands outside at Frolicon, a BDSM/erotica convention.

A woman gets her hair dyed at the Bronner Brothers Hair Care Convention.

A woman gets her hair dyed at the Bronner Brothers Hair Care Convention.

A troupe of ballerinas wait for the curtain to rise before their first dance recital.

A troupe of ballerinas wait for the curtain to rise before their first dance recital.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been shooting professionally since I got out of school, so since 2009.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I am self-taught, I studied film as an English concentration and minored in French.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My father was an advertising photographer, so growing up I spent many afternoons after school in his studio. I didn’t really pick up a still camera until high school. I remember being taken by the work of Bresson and Arbus from a young age.

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’m still figuring that out. Life feels non-stop a lot of the time, so I’m just evolving with the work I do and hoping my photography gets better in that process. There are a lot of photographs I’d like to make, but ultimately I make photographs that I’m moved to make and hope for the best.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I work mainly with newspaper and editorial work, which is creatively a little more free. They hire you to do what you do in relation to the rest of the world. There’s no art director, no stylist, it’s just you. Ideally you work with creatives who can turn into clients.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Even learning to think of myself as an artist has been a big step. This year I’ll be one of 12 artists in Dashboard Co-Op in Atlanta, as well as showing work in the Art Papers auction. I also participated in a Flash Powder retreat where I learned a ton about the fine art side of the business.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I guess that’s good as long as you’re staying true to your vision.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Not recently, no. It’s hard!  But I’m also on staff at Creative Loafing, an alt-weekly in Atlanta, that allows me to shoot my art for their stories, which is really a blessing. I do find that I am most prodding and curious and inspired when I’m somewhere out of my element, away from my city. It doesn’t have to be some fantastic journey across the seas, but if I drove to Florida or Mobile, Alabama, I’d certainly be more taken with more mundane stuff, as I tend to be.

How often are you shooting new work?
Every week for the paper or freelance. For myself solely? Rarely. Every month maybe.

Dustin Chambers is a editorial and documentary photography born, raised, and living in Atlanta, GA. He is a staff photographer at Creative Loafing, Atlanta’s alt-weekly paper, and has freelanced for New York Times, LA Times, AARP, and Chronicle for Higher Education, among others. He loves the American South and the odd cultural dichotomy that exists particularly in Atlanta.

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.

 

Art Producers Speak: Guy Neveling

- - 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 Guy Neveling. His work is unique in a way that it has never lost the soulfulness of pure image making and certainly translates to art. So much so, that he was approached by a gallery in Paris for some of his commercial pieces.

Argentine Polar Station in the Antarctic.

Argentine Polar Station in the Antarctic.

I grabbed this shot of a young father playing with his kids while we were doing a tech recce for an up coming car shoot.

I grabbed this shot of a young father playing with his kids while we were doing a tech recce for an up coming car shoot.

Campaign for the VWR32 illustrating the speed of the car.

Campaign for the VWR32 illustrating the speed of the car.

Campaign advertising the VW Eos glass top car.

Campaign advertising the VW Eos glass top car.

Dead calm in Ushuaia on the southerly tip of Patagonia.

Dead calm in Ushuaia on the southerly tip of Patagonia.

Laundry day on Tristan da Cunha island in the South Atlantic.

Laundry day on Tristan da Cunha island in the South Atlantic.

‘Step and repeat’ shoot we did for The Times newspaper. We did two ads back to back in just under a 24hr day. More info on this shoot can be seen on the F-Stop blog  http://www.thefstopmag.com/?p=460

‘Step and repeat’ shoot we did for The Times newspaper. We did two ads back to back in just under a 24hr day. More info on this shoot can be seen on the F-Stop blog http://www.thefstopmag.com/?p=460

New personal project here in Cape Town.

New personal project here in Cape Town.

Midday snooze in Cape Town.

Midday snooze in Cape Town.

Sadly, due to the last pro film lab shutting down in Cape Town, one of my last commercial shoots done on film.

Sadly, due to the last pro film lab shutting down in Cape Town, one of my last commercial shoots done on film.

Personal shot.

Personal shot.

Grabbed this shot passing time while waiting to attend a book launch.

Grabbed this shot passing time while waiting to attend a book launch.

I shot this dilapidated house on Deception Island off the Antarctic Peninsula.

I shot this dilapidated house on Deception Island off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Part of a new personal collaboration, Main Road Chronicles.

Part of a new personal collaboration, Main Road Chronicles.

Part of a three shot campaign for Bovril

Part of a three shot campaign for Bovril

How many years have you been in business?
All in all counting early press days before advertising, for around 25 years.

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

After spending a little over two years on submarines while completing my mandatory national service, I managed to sweet talk my way into the naval photo department for my remaining year. I waxed the perfect B&W print on government time. About a year later I would be chased out of the darkroom by an irate editor of a top Johannesburg newspaper wanting a picture for his 8 o’clock deadline, lesson two; no time for Ansel Adams type printing in a busy big city newsroom.
During the day I would cover all the chaos of the dying apartheid system with its many township riots and inner city bomb blasts, and by night head home to my apartment and practice my lighting on bowls of apples. By the end of most days I would have B&W contact sheets of utter mayhem alongside colorful 4/5 trannies of bowls of fruit. It was an insane way to learn photography. Learning is a never-ending process, Cartier-Bresson wasn’t mincing his words when he said one’s first 10 000 pictures would be your worst.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Into photography itself there are many influences ranging from vintage to present day. Julia Margaret Cameron, Clarence White to mid century Edward Weston and Robert Capa etc.

Strong influences for getting into advertising would be John Claridge and Harry DeZitter as well as directors such as Tony Kaye and Tarsem.

Much closer to home, I owe a huge amount to Shahn Rowe. He pushed and encouraged me to hit the pavements with my first ad portfolio (remember the bowls of fruit?). Shahn also sold me my first 4/5 camera and a studio light and let me pay it off over a period of one-year. I was officially open for business.

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 try turn left while others are going right, meaning I try not get caught up in the latest Photoshop trend or look. I think that’s a dangerous path to go down for self-preservation and longevity for maintaining a love of creating pictures. It may sound a bit lame but there’s always a voice in my head that asks ‘how would I shoot it?’ before I hit the release.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I’ve never really heard of that with the agency’s I usually work with. The clients trust the agency’s creative selection process. On big jobs there could be anywhere between 5 to 10 photographers being called in to do a treatment. The agency’s creative then chooses their preferred guy and presents their choice to the client along with a rational as to why they have selected a particular photographer.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
After years of A3 printed books I tried the IPad portfolio and wasn’t wild about it. The thing is too small to make any lasting impression. I think it was a novelty with its swiping screen and I got the impression the viewers were getting a kick out of the swiping (finger prints and all) than actually concentrating on the work. An A3 print is in your face and I think that alone slows down the viewing process, which is a good thing.

I’m sort of new to social media, I don’t think I have utilized it’s full potential but I think it’s a great way to get pictures out there to an audience one never knew existed. At times it’s interesting chatting with a total stranger sitting on the other side of the globe about pictures.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I spent too much of my earlier years thinking I need more of this or more of that in my book in order to get the phone ringing, with a result that my personal work may have suffered. I think I also spent too much time worrying about getting printed ads in my book. One needs printed material to prove your worth, but maybe I chased that side a little too hard. Now I advise anyone starting out to shoot what he or she absolutely loves, work on the thumbprint first the rest will follow. Embrace everything, become a strong photographer in all sense of the meaning. The direction will eventually find itself.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes the older I’m getting the more I’m concentrating on personal work. It gets more important as time moves on.

How often are you shooting new work?
I try keep a few things on the go simultaneously, that way when I hit a wall or something isn’t possible at the time on one project I skip to the other, it also serves as the ‘over night test’, meaning shots always look different with fresh eyes in the morning.

Guy set out as a press photographer in the mid 80s, covering South Africa’s transition to a fully democratic society. A chance meeting with fellow photographer Shahn Rowe exposed him to the possibilities of commercial photography. Guy swopped riots, tear gas and rubber bullets for the more relaxed atmosphere of a photographic studio with its coffee on tap and piped music. A move to Cape Town in ’91 had Guy open his own studio where he worked for a number of years before handing it back to the landlord: the open road and the challenge of location work beckoned.

Guy has won numerous awards at the various international advertising festivals that include D&AD and Cannes Lions. He’s also served on the Loerie’s print craft judging panel for the past number of years.

His work has been selected for the Lurzers Archive Special, ‘200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide’.

Guy has always believed great ad photography worthy of galleries; an ambition recently realized when a gallery in Paris selected a number of his works, one of which was a picture commissioned for a financial institute.

www.guyneveling.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.

Art Producers Speak: Patrick Ecclesine

- - 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 Patrick Ecclesine. I like working with Patrick because he has a vision that elevates anything I have ever had in my mind when approaching a shoot. He has a bank of knowledge and creativity that allows me obtain more than I anticipated and more concepts and ideas I haven’t even thought of.

Tim Roth

Tim Roth

Isabel Lucas

Isabel Lucas

Shia Labeouf

Shia Labeouf

Jessica Pare

Jessica Pare

Blair Underwood

Blair Underwood

The Blacklist for NBC. This is an example of my commercial work.

The Blacklist for NBC. This is an example of my commercial work.

Slow Kiss - Plate 19. This is an example of my personal work. Slow Kiss is a four year collaboration with Director/Producer Daniel Sackheim. We're creating a neo-noir narrative told in the still format.

Slow Kiss – Plate 19. This is an example of my personal work. Slow Kiss is a four year collaboration with Director/Producer Daniel Sackheim. We’re creating a neo-noir narrative told in the still format.

Slow Kiss - Plate 25

Slow Kiss – Plate 25

Slow Kiss - Plate 26

Slow Kiss – Plate 26

Slow Kiss - Plate 29

Slow Kiss – Plate 29

Slow Kiss - Plate 33

Slow Kiss – Plate 33

Slow Kiss - Plate 14

Slow Kiss – Plate 14

How many years have you been in business?
Twelve years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I did two semesters of photography in high school and then quit when classes got into color printing, which, for some reason, I had little interest in at the time. That was the extent of my formal training.

Who was you greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
A rock and roll photographer named Barry Schultz. He’s a great guy originally from LA’s San Fernando Valley, who spent years traveling with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and a bunch of other legendary rock groups of the ’70s. My dad met Barry in the waiting room of the Hollywood hospital where Barry’s daughter and I were both born and our families became intertwined. Because Barry’s wife is Dutch, they decided to live in Holland where they built a very successful stock footage company.

During my freshman year in college I went to Europe. In Amsterdam Barry gave me a dozen rolls of positive film that he wanted to test and, for six weeks, I traveled through Europe documenting the trip with my Pentax. Later, Barry developed the film, which was nice, because I was broke and probably would never have got around to it. I still remember the serious look on his face when he called me into his office. With all the slides spread out on a light table, he said, “This work is excellent. Really, every frame could be a postcard. You could do this professionally. I mean it.”

I don’t know if he meant it, but I believed him. Later, when I came up against a lot of resistance, I’d go back to that moment and it gave me the courage to push through all the naysayers. That one moment gave me the confidence I needed. Sometimes all you need is someone to believe in you so you can believe in yourself.

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?
Personal work. It is an absolute must. It is how you develop a point of view and find your visual integrity.

Do you find that some creative love your work but the client holds you back?
The key word in this equation is client. If you’re taking a job, then your responsibility is to the client. Period. You may be hired for your personal vision, but if you’re selling a product, whether it’s an entertainment property or toothpaste, you have to frame that product according to the client’s needs. Granted, you have to bring your point of view to the work, but it’s not about your ego. It’s about servicing the needs of the job.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
The entertainment community is tight-knit and difficult to break into. Once you’re in the door and people see you’re not leaving, word spreads on its own. Thankfully I have some great clients who have been incredibly supportive of me throughout the years, which has allowed me to focus on my personal work. I keep tap dancing around social media but, outside of Instagram, I’ve had trouble truly embracing it. I’d much rather spend my time with real people in person. I go to New York quite a bit where I’ll meet with anyone and everyone. I’ve been reaching out to other markets because I’d like to spread my wings and collaborate with people in other fields, but it’s tricky because I’m labeled a celebrity shooter. I never thought that could work against me, but sometimes it does. Mind you I’m not complaining. Lately I’ve been shooting for Vanity Fair. It was always a dream of mine to contribute to Vanity Fair so I’m really proud and grateful for this.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Buyers need to see that you are capable of executing the sort of work they’re hiring for. They’d be putting their jobs on the line to take chances on unproven talent. On the other hand, if you’re chasing the ever-changing landscape of shifting desires and tastes by replicating the current climate of what’s popular now, then you’re sacrificing the one thing you have of value as an artist: your point of view.

The issue this question raises is one of art and commerce. You need the commercial jobs to finance your art, and you need the art to stay inspired, create fresh work, and get the commercial jobs. It doesn’t matter if you’re an art director, a designer, a musician, a painter, a filmmaker or a photographer, the reality that any artist working in the commercial medium has to face is that they must fight for their creative every step of the way. It is disheartening to see your best work get quashed and never see the light of day. The only way to prevent getting jaded or turning bitter is to create work that speaks to you individually. Personal work is essential because it transcends words, salesmanship, or any attempts at imitation. It is the spark that ignites the connection between creative people and is your greatest currency as an artist.

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

How often are you shooting new work?
As much as possible. I’ve always been intrigued by the gap between stills and motion. I believe there’s a lot of ground to break in this arena and I’ve been testing, experimenting, and refining. Recently I’ve been mounting RED cameras to drones that I’ve had custom built. The technology is mesmerizing, allowing for spectacular visuals. I’ve also been collaborating with director and executive producer Daniel Sackheim. We’re working on a neo-noir narrative in stills that we call Slow Kiss. It features lavish production values, recognizable actors, and unfolds like a movie within a book. We recently hit a wall with financing, but I expect the project will soon regain traction because it’s truly unique and ambitious.

For me, images are all about telling a story, and every good story has some mystery to it. Like life itself, you can never say with certainty where it’s headed. All you can do is your best work and hope that people take notice.

PATRICK ECCLESINE has lensed over 100 publicity and advertising campaigns for the film and television industry. A frequent contributor to Vanity Fair Magazine, Patrick is an award-winning photographer, director, avid surfer, and ten-year member of the I.A.T.S.E. International Cinematographer’s Guild.

His 2009 book, Faces of Sunset Boulevard, tied for first place with Annie Leibovitz’s book, Work, to win the prestigious 2009 SCIBA Book Award for Arts & Architecture.

Patrick was born and raised in Hollywood, California, earning his B.A. from the University of California Santa Barbara.

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.

 

Art Producers Speak: Christian Kozowyk

- - 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 Christian Kozowyk because I loved working with him and thought other art producers might like to learning more about him.

This was a fun one that we shot before a rowdy night out on the town.

This was on a shoot for Ford. Halfway through hanging out with this guy he tells me he can do a backflip and then proceeds to breakdance—probably the most spontaneous thing that worked out during a shoot.

Outtake from a night off during a production in Portugal. This guy was looking for his friends. I didn’t speak Portuguese.

Outtake from a shoot. Still finding that prickly grass in my black Nikes.

Second time in a convertible on the PCH.

This is a seaside town I happened upon while traveling through Europe.

First time with a water housing. I got a black eye from it.

The pier was so icy this day that I almost slipped into the lake. Loved this family.

Kids are so easy to photograph.

Genuine as you can get. Real is real.

I used to skate with Perry when he was 2 years old. His dad and I built a concrete skate park together in New Hampshire. Now he’s all grown up and traveling the world.

Hairdoo. You meet a lot of people in this world and sometimes you just have to use nicknames. He had amazing energy—the day after the shoot he drove his motorcycle from LA to NYC.

Family dynamics are always fun. We had packed up the cameras and were getting ready to leave when this just happened. It was worth taking them back out.

Double vision.

Military salute. This guy wasn’t looking at the camera; he was looking through the camera. It was cold.

I’ve lost track of the number of sunsets I’ve caught on the Williamsburg Bridge. Whenever I’m in town I ride my bike there every night.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been using a camera since I was 18, shooting professionally for five, and with my agent Candace Gelman for three.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

A little bit of both—I went to college for art, but I think school can only teach you so much about being a working photographer, and I’ve definitely learned a lot more out there experiencing things and meeting new people.

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

Honestly for me it is more of a what. It will sound cliché but there is no shortage of inspirational photographers that are committed to the process, and people who have been amazing mentors to me. They have all inspired, supported and taught me over the years, but at the end of the day the real draw for me to get into the business was a basic need and drive to learn more about myself and the world around me. I am all about leaving a positive mark with my life and I believe that through photography I have the opportunity to work towards that goal. The process of photography is my life. It is a way for me to be constantly growing and evolving. It allows me to live with an open heart and to give back in a way that hopefully inspires other people. When it’s all coming together, it’s an amazing feeling and one that is endlessly motivating. How could you not get hooked on that?

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?

For me, it’s about the people and how the moment fits into that scenario. I am constantly re-discovering myself through my work and I’ve learned that following your heart trumps all. I’d like to think my work stays fresh because the people I shoot make it so, and my role is more about creating a space to allow that authenticity to unfold, finding stories that exist and becoming part of them. Trends come and go and most ideas are not necessarily new ones, so it’s really about being able to sit with someone and capture their spirit and energy in a frame. That’s always fresh. Real just does not get old in my opinion. It’s about keeping things authentic by just being authentic—and finding a team of creatives that are working with a brand that have that same vision and energy to put into a project.

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

Naturally every situation and client is different. We all have our specific job to do as part of the creative process, but sure, there are times when you’ve got the creatives in line with your vision, but the client is hesitant—it’s a trust thing and a comfort level. I like to be very involved in the pre-production and I love to collaborate from the beginning to the end. Our approach and strategy are honed in to a ‘T’, so there are no questions in the client or agency’s mind before the shoot starts about what to expect as the outcome. Again, my work is all about that real look and feel, capturing the essence of people in a way that only happens when people are comfortable. I’m not typically amped on things being overly mapped out with no room to breathe, but it’s important to find balance with the client’s needs and expectations. I think the goal with the client’s expectations would be to take away that sort of focus group mentality and get down to what really matters in telling the story—finding people that are authentic and that everyone can relate to. Gearing our productions this way allows for those real moments to happen. I enjoy encouraging clients to let go a bit and am inspired to help brands connect with their audiences in a real way.

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

Building a strong web presence is important. I update my website whenever I have new work to show, keep up with social networking and my Tumblr. Staying in touch with the folks I have collaborated with over the years is something that’s important too.

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

Follow your heart. Find out what you’re good at within the medium and go for it. It’s about what you believe in and what you love, and that’s a journey in itself. Before you go and sell something, you have to have a mission statement; a mantra that you will live and die by—you have to know what you’re selling. The rest will follow.

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

Every time I pick up the camera I am shooting for myself, whether it’s for a commercial job or not. It’s that simple. The thing about photography that never gets old is its ability to keep me present, grounded, in the here and now, and to appreciate people. It’s an opportunity to sit with new friends and old, to document life, enjoy it, and participate in it. It’s beyond the aesthetic. You have to know yourself in order for that complete package to unveil itself, whether it’s knowing when to direct and when not to, or disarming a situation despite the cameras, the layouts, or the shot lists so that you can focus on people and their emotions. Whether I am capturing a group of friends or a family dynamic, I try to create space for things to happen in a natural, unforced way for myself and for everyone involved. Photography is an exploration, an experience, a record—both personal and shared—a reminder for us all to stop and smell the roses.

How often are you shooting new work?

I am always working on ideas when I’m not in production—we always have something cooking. We have been shooting about two to three big commissioned projects every few months.

Christian lives his work. For him, it’s less about documenting a subject than truly getting inside the subject matter and living it. He specializes in capturing real moments in a unique way. His distinctive, consistent style and creative approach have helped brands define themselves, while earning Christian many industry awards, including: Communication Arts (advertising and photography), One Show, Addys, American Photography and PDN (photo annual) to name a few. He has been selected for Archive Magazines-”200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide” since its inception and highlighted in the Communication Arts Advertising Annual in the “Fresh Section”.

Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Christian and his team collaborate with creative teams worldwide on award winning advertising campaigns and slice of life projects. When he’s not on location or shooting personal projects you can find him hanging with “Peu Peu” – his French speaking cat, yelling at the bird that lives on the piano to stop screaming, working on his usually not running vintage Harley, playing the guitar, or wave hunting for ‘not close outs’ while avoiding broken glass, dirty trash bags, needles and ice storms at Rockaway Beach, usually at 67th Street.

Christian Kozowyk
www.christiankozowyk.com
christian@christiankozowyk.com
718-916-5510
Candace Gelman & Associates
www.candacegelman.com
415-897-0808

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.

Art Producers Speak: William Anthony

- - 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 Associate Creative Director: I nominate William Anthony. I’ve floated past him in the industry circles for the past eight years or so and have had the pleasure of getting to see his career evolve. He’s an amazingly talented dude.

Georgetown’s legendary Hat ‘n Boots used to be a roadside gas station in South Seattle. The boots were the bathrooms. (I didn’t notice the MS13 gang tags until after I got my film back.)

Male burlesque dancer shot for Portland Monthly magazine. I won my first journalism award for this shot. Not sure how I feel about that. (Before you ask: gaff tape.)

The legendary Burnside skate park in Portland, OR. I had my 4x5 camera that day to take photos of the park itself when I met two train kids from Georgia. This guy was shredding—barefoot.

My good friend Daniel G. Harmann in the recording studio.

I was recently commissioned to photograph production stills for Duff McKagan’s forthcoming documentary It’s So Easy and Other Lies. This was backstage before rehearsals of the live-reading show at the legendary Moore Theatre in Seattle. Duff’s seen here with his guitar tech Rob.

This little guy’s facial expression perfectly fit the sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge from Vista House just outside Portland, OR.

Boston Marathon bombing icon Bill Iffrig for Runner’s World magazine. In addition to the shot list from RW, I just had to get a shot of him from behind, matching the perspective of the now-infamous Sports Illustrated cover photo of him on the ground with Boston PD officers over him.

Impromptu portraits, shot with my iPhone and posted to Instagram.

Jimmy from the now-defunct Seattle band The Divorce, from KEXP.org’s First Annual BBQ. They couldn’t afford a rental stage so they used a flatbed truck. The results were EPIC.

At the end of 2012 (and the WORLD), I was commissioned by Marie Claire UK magazine to meet and photograph two female “preppers.” The subject in Spokane, WA had weapons all over the house. Some hidden, some in plain sight.

Farmer and activist Ramsey McPhillips on his property in McMinnville, OR. In the background looms a growing landfill threatening his crops. Shot for Portland Monthly magazine.

Brian Aubert, lead singer/songwriter from the Los Angeles band Silversun Pickups. Their breakout single was a song titled “Lazy Eye.” Brian didn’t hide his. For KEXP.org

Portland Fire & Rescue, Search & Recovery Diver Lt. Rich Tyler for Portland Monthly.

How many years have you been in business?
As a photographer, almost 10 years. But I have been a creative professional for 17 years now. I started out as a graphic designer in ‘96 and then moved over to the advertising world as a studio manager for an award-winning boutique in Del Mar, CA called Big Bang Idea Engineering around 2000. I transferred up to Seattle with them and soon moved to another agency as an Art Director. It was the ad world that really opened my eyes to professional photography. I saw so much good work cross my desk. I ended up being that art director shooting black and white set photos while on agency shoots that I processed myself. Around 2004 I thought I would try shooting as a career. I gave myself one year. If I was in the black after 12 months, I said to myself, I’ll stick with it. And here I am, almost ten years later.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Self-taught. I did, however, take a Photo 100 class with darkroom lab. That’s kind of what bit me. It was an elective for a graphic design degree (that I never finished), but I was hooked the first day in the darkroom.

The steepest part of my learning curve, however, came when I got my first DSLR in ’03. Around the same time I started volunteering my time as a photographer at the amazing public radio station here in Seattle, KEXP 90.3 FM. They were relaunching their (now-revolutionary) web site and needed photography content. Since I had virtually no money to donate at the time, I gave them my time and they gave me an endless stream of incredible subject matter and the creative freedom to try new things. I wanted to be to KEXP what Charles Peterson was to Sub Pop. I shot for them for three years straight and still do to this day. The station is now a world leader in online radio and their YouTube channel is incredible. So proud to have been a part of that station.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My good friend Catherine Ledner. Back when I was an art director, I found her on Getty and hired her for a job in Los Angeles in 2001. We became instant friends and still are. Her sense of humor, talent and unending encouragement are probably my most consistent motivator.

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 try to stay as open-minded as possible. I see myself as an assignment photographer in the truest sense of the term. When I get calls, especially cold calls, on the other end of the line is an experience I may or may not have any history or knowledge of. Whether an editorial assignment of a story or a commercial assignment where my responsibility is to help craft a predetermined narrative, I approach each assignment/job with fresh eyes. I’ve been doing this long enough to have the confidence in my skill set that I know my personal style will come through in the end. And ultimately, that’s why I like to think I get hired, for my perspective.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Not really. It depends on the client—and the agency. As I mentioned before, I’ve been on the other end of the phone before, and have had to have those conversations with clients as part of the creative team. So I understand the responsibilities creative agencies have to their clients. The good agencies know how to not only get amazing creative work, but satisfy the creative brief, strategist, media buyer, etc. It’s a juggling act but what I think separates the good agencies from the legendary ones is the ability to manage all those moving parts like a surgical team. By the time I come into the picture, (post-awarding), the process has begun and I’ve already been chosen for my aesthetic. So there’s rarely a request to “be” something else other than myself.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
In addition to the usual gamut of mailers, e-mails, phonecalls and agency visits, social media has helped me enormously. I can’t stress it enough. I have a very active and robust Instagram feed. But I am really careful to handle it like a visual diary and not a portfolio. (I make that clear in my profile.) I stick to iPhone photos as much as possible and when I post non-iPhone work, I make it very clear. Instagram fits my personality perfectly. I have adult ADHD, so things tend to catch my attention for just a moment or two. Tops. My feed is made up of anything that catches my eye. That said, I do curate it carefully. Editing is still important even in something so casual. My feed gives potential art buyers and photo editors not only a glimpse of my unfettered eye, but also my personality. A client once likened me to the slow food movement and called me a “slow artist.” Someone whose holistic vision really can’t be accurately seen unless you spend some time with it. I like that. I’ll take it. Also, if a client follows me for a while, and I follow them, we begin building a rapport early so that should we be lucky enough to work together, we kind of already know each other. It really does prime the pump. Lastly, and importantly, Instagram has led to actual, real jobs. Jobs I wouldn’t have had otherwise. So it’s not just a diversion for me. It’s a necessary tool. It’s not for everyone, but I am glad it’s available because it’s a perfect fit for me.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Show “yourself,” not just a body random of work. I remember the days when the only ways to find new shooters were the annuals and directories. There are so many other avenues now. Avenues that can give a deeper view into you as an artist and as a professional that were simply unavailable in the past. I work with a lot of musicians and seeing their business model transform from one of major distributors (major labels) to self-publishing ended up being a blueprint for the commercial visual arts. I love my Tumblr feed. I follow a few curated feeds that show me new artist everyday. (Don’t forget to credit the artist, Tumblrs. I need to find them somehow!) My advice is to get your vision out to as many of these curators and tastemakers as possible. But make sure it’s YOUR vision. It’s really the only thing separating photographers these days. Lighting styles, color-palettes and unique camera tricks are all great, but what separated Hemingway from Huxley wasn’t their typing techniques. It was what they were writing.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Always. It’s the art director in me. Finish one campaign, on to the next campaign. The next adventure. The only way to hone your vision is to do the leg work. If something interests me, personally, I always try to find a way to get to shoot it. I maintain a “Personal Work” section on my web site for just this purpose.) Commisioned work is important, but personal work is raw. There’s no outside influence so you are seeing EXACTLY what I want you to see.

I am in pre-pro on two personal projects now. One that will definitely happen and one that I really hope happens. (The green light depends on a lot of unknowns at this point.)

How often are you shooting new work?
Constantly. I couldn’t stop if I tried. (See also: ADHD)

William Anthony is a former advertising art director, commercial & editorial photographer, husband, eternal optimist and annoying grammar cop. West-coast based, but well-traveled, William has become expert at photographing people, places influenced by people and animals acting like people.

He currently lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and two cats despite being a “dog person.”

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.

Art Producers Speak: Philip Habib

- - 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 Philip Habib. Philip is a well-established photographer in New York, who has created iconic ad campaigns throughout his career as well as many amazing personal series. His latest “tip of New York” series is my current fave. It’s poppy and graphic and was totally appropriate this summer in New York with his sherbet colored backgrounds. Philip is a consummate pro: an iconic image-maker, a fantastic problem solver and an overall great guy!

How many years have you been in business?

I don’t consider photography a business. It’s my love and passion and sometimes I am lucky enough to get paid for it. I started shooting when I was sixteen so, a long time ago!

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I attended Mallinson’s School of photography on the Isle of Wight In England and then continued at the New England School of Photography in Boston. I discovered Photoshop when it was first Introduced and taught myself how to use it.

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

I wasn’t inspired by any one person – I was inspired by a generation of artists who could express themselves through their art. Many were musicians, artists, filmmakers and photographers, themselves. I suppose, like them, I was just looking for a way to express myself, and photography came very naturally to me. Many years ago, I discovered that my great-grandfather was a photographer in Florence and my grandfather was a photographer in Paris. My parents didn’t share this information until I was well into my career. I found out years later that my parents were actually surprised by my choice of career, and didn’t want to encourage it, nor let my grandfathers’ be my influence.

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 try not to over think my inspiration. Everything around me is an inspiration, and everything around me changes daily, I just keep photographing to stay fresh. The day I stop is the day it isn’t new and fresh for me. Like a French Baguette, it’s only fresh for one day!

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

Rarely, my work seems to appeal to both. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Most of the issues arise on the shoot, and to resolve these, I cover as many versions as possible so that they can carry on the discussion in post-production.

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

I use all the social network platforms. I send regular email blasts to Client’s and I distribute a mailing when I’m working on a new project and want art buyers to visit my site to see it. I also have very supportive agents, Matt Coogan & Darren Jordan at Anyway Mgmt. They are ‘live’ social net-workers, they do regular portfolio reviews, have probably met most art buyers for lunch and, as an added bonus, have a wonderful gallery in Brooklyn where they have had showings of all their photographers. These are always well attended and a lot of fun.

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

The market has changed so much in the past 10 years, but one thing remains constant-people. You need to show them your vision, and something that stands out. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Really the simpler, the better. Especially when you are showing an art director. You hope that in someway your can inspire them.

When I first started out, I just showed 12 images of erasers, pencil shavings and pencils. Yes, a little scary, but people remembered, because nobody else was showing such a limited portfolio. When I lived in Paris, I showed a personal series on fruit, and the art director gave me a huge campaign for the then-new Renault Megane. I didn’t have a single car shot in my book! That was France. It rarely happens here in the US, as clients are more involved. You need to get an adrenaline kick out of showing your work, otherwise it’s no fun.

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

I would say most of my work is personal work, and that’s what propels my commercial work. My personal work is really what pushes me artistically to break new ground, and my commercial work is more about the production aspect of how to create an image in a short period of time that will have my sense of aesthetics and fulfill the vision of both the client-and the Creative Director. I actually love that challenge.

How often are you shooting new work?

Well, not including my i-Phone, weekly.

Philip Habib, of Anglo-French heritage, was educated in London, Paris and Milan. He has been shooting commercially for over twenty years in Europe and the United States. His distinctive still-Life style has earned him industry acclaim numerous prestigious awards on both sides of the Atlantic. Advertising campaigns include Absolut, Smirnoff, Master Card, Canon, Sony, and Renault among others. Philip has lived and worked in New York since 1996, with his wife and three sons.

Contact: www.philiphabib.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.


 

Art Producers Speak: Will Adler

- - Photographers

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 Photo Editor: I nominate Will Adler. His take on the surfing lifestyle/man on wave is unusual in our world here of surf photography.

This is Katie, who I’ve shot a lot. We were in Maui, and I have always wanted to shoot nudes up at the Haliakala crater. What you can’t tell from this picture is how cold it is up there- she was a very good sport about it.

This is from a series I shot at Waikiki Beach in Oahu. I love shooting at crowded beaches- there is so much going on.

This is a pair I did for an art show last year. I really like to find images that play off each other, it can totally change the way an image works.

These are my friends Eric and Jenny, who I shoot and travel with often. This shot was taken on a remote Island, which we sailed to. It has the most amazing beaches, with not a soul around. Anytime I get the chance to go here I jump on it.

This was from a Roxy swimwear campaign. We spent a week near Cabo San Lucas, surfing and hanging out on the beach. Not a bad work situation.

Both these photos are from a series I did called Bamboozled, which was published by Kaugummi books (now Shelter Press) in 2010. The photo on the left was also used by Hixept for their t shirt series. The photo on the right is my brother. Whenever I need a stunt man, he is the first person I go to- he’s willing to launch himself off almost anything.

This is photographer/director Dewey Nicks. It was taken for Apolis Apparel, who I work with quite a bit. This was a fun collaboration all around.

The photo on the right is from a Simple Shoes photo shoot. It was a fun shoot because most of the models were my friends. We basically cruised around, doing what we normally do. Nothing was forced, it made for a very natural series.

This is Tori. She is a great model and also makes some pretty impressive head-dresses and costumes; a good girl to know if you’re a photographer.

The photo on the right was for Surfer Magazine. They called me saying they needed a portrait of Dane Reynolds, but he was leaving in an hour to go on a surf trip. So, I grabbed my camera and hopped in the car. I only had about 15 minutes to take some photos. It’s always fun to have things like this happen- it keeps you on your toes.

This was taken while I was surfing at Rincon. I have a small waterproof camera that I tuck inside my wetsuit. It’s my way of multi-tasking work and pleasure.

The photo on the left is Randy. He is always styled out in the most ridiculous outfits, hanging out at the beach. Here he is surfing in his 1980’s shades, with zinc on his nose and cut off jean shorts. Not to mention he’s on a 12’ board. The photo on the right was shot for Roxy in San Clemente. This was the first big job I had, and was a pretty ideal way to start.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been shooting for 8 years but only working in a professional way for the past 3.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I’m self-taught—I didn’t study photography in school—but that’s not to say I haven’t learned a lot from all kinds of people along the way, most notably, Bruce Weber; assisting him, watching him work up close, has been invaluable.

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

My influences, in addition to Bruce, are all over the map: from Stephen Shore, Henry Wessel, William Eggleston, and Wolfgang Tillmans to Masao Yamamoto. But one person who’s really inspired me from the very beginning is my uncle, Tom Alder. He’s a celebrated art director, publisher, and designer deeply rooted in surf culture. I’m a surfer myself, so when I started taking photos surf culture was the direction I naturally pointed my camera; and that became my entrance to the business side of photography. But Tom was there from the beginning.

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 always try to pay attention to ideas that pop into my head without deliberation, even when they may seem somewhat insignificant. Those are often the ideas that surprise you and wind up having enduring power. But nothing is more important than actively shooting every week (if not every day). I love looking for new subjects and locations. I get most of my inspiration from my surroundings, and I try to keep my surroundings a little outside of the normal.

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

Every situation is different, but generally speaking I’ve been very fortunate to work with great people. Something that I learned from assisting is how important a good crew can be when it comes to getting work done. If everyone is into it and enjoying themselves, it really doesn’t feel like work at all. But when you’re in a situation where you feel limited, I think it’s important to voice your opinion while at the same time remaining open to other people’s ideas—because in the end, commercial work really is a collaborative process.

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

There are so many good ways to get your work out there these days, all of them totally viable and legitimate. I think the important thing is to choose an approach that feels natural and not forced in any way. But personally, I continue to believe in the tangible print over the digital screen. (I realize this exchange and my images are being published online! Thank you, APE.) Printing has always been an important part of my practice, and I think that in our digital age it’s something that gets overlooked by a lot of young photographers. I also think there’s no substitute for meeting with editors and art buyers in person. And having an inspired rep. I recently signed up with Massif Management, which has been incredible. Massif has opened up doors that probably wouldn’t have opened for me otherwise.

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

Believe in your work, and pay close attention to how you present it.

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

Whether it’s for a client or myself, I’m always taking photos that interest me. I try to be mindful of the importance of unconscious inspiration and let things come together.

How often are you shooting new work?

I try and shoot something every week, as well as review my work. Editing is a very important, if unglamorous, part of my practice.

Will Adler’s seemingly off-the-cuff photographs—typically of friends at play—betray a poignancy that can be hard to reconcile with their breezy surfaces. His photographs have appeared in Juxtapoz, Neon, Surfer, The Surfers Journal, WAX, The New Yorker, Rankin’s Hunger TV, and Paper; commercial clients include Quiksilver, Patagonia, Nike, and Hixsept. His newsprint folio “Bummerland” was recently republished in a second, limited edition by Fourteen-Nineteen books. Will lives in Santa Barbara, California. He is represented by Massif Management [http://massifmanagement.com].

Will Adler
Willadler.com
wadler@me.com

Massif Management
http://massifmanagement.com
jonathan@massifmanagement.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.

 

Art Producers Speak: Mathew Scott

- - 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 Mathew Scott with Hello Artist.  He is brilliant and has worked with us on several projects.

From the series "Jerkin Crews, Los Angeles" photographed for XLR8R Magazine

Sonia Boyjian, photographed for Russian Vogue

Toro y Moi, photographed for Nylon

Seu Jorge, photographed for Now and Again Record.

Adam "Doseone" Drucker, photographed for Anticon Records

Heather Fedewa, of Wax Idols, photographed for Self Titled.

I shot this while on an assignment, using Coachella as the theme for the shoot... This was a pretty hectic three days.

This is from a few days of shooting for myself, while exploring parts of California I had not yet been to. This image was taken in Palm Desert, CA.

Out-take from a shoot in Mission Beach, San Diego.

This was shot in the farm lands of Illinois, while working on one of my first advertising assignments.

From a shoot in San Francisco featuring Wildfox swimwear.

How many years have you been in business?

I have been shooting for about 6 years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I studied photography at the Academy of Art, in San Francisco. I also feel like I learned a lot from actual experience, especially those first few years out of school. I’d say it’s a good mix of both.

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

I have had many different influences through the years, when I was in school, I was motivated by the creative environment I was in, seeing what everyone else was creating, and really getting an idea of what was possible. After school, I had the opportunity to assist some very busy, and talented photographers. That really helped ease the uncertainty I was feeling about being a freelancer, and motivated me to stay focused, and keep working. A few of my early influences, and people who’s work I still admire would be Arnold Newman, Larry Sultan, Jim Goldberg, Joel Sternfeld, and William Eggleston… Just to name a few.

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?

My inspiration comes from the fact that I do what I love for a living. Every assignment presents new challenges, and I really enjoy that. The feeling you get when you work through an idea, trying different things that might not be working, then you get that moment where everything comes together… That feeling never gets old. I am always trying to one up myself, trying to make each image my new favorite photograph. It can be a little unhealthy at times, but it’s what keeps me going.

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

That has not been an issue as of yet. I feel the assignments I get allow me to be creative, but I also go into a shoot knowing that I am there to create images for someone who has specific needs. Sometimes I get the chance to shoot my own variations, and they end up working out, sometimes I don’t. Either way, I get to bring someone’s idea to life, which is something I really enjoy doing.

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

I use social media quite a bit, mainly Tumblr. It’s a really easy and effective way to get your work in front of a lot of people. I also send out the standard emails, promo cards and booklets, as well as face-to-face meetings. I try to use as many methods as I can, and stick with the ones that work.

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

I’ve always thought that trying to cater to everyone sounded impossible, so just show what you truly enjoy shooting, and keep your edit tight. I feel that showing personal work can be a great way for people to get an idea of who you are, so I always try to show personal projects that I have shot, or am working on.

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

I am. I just finished up a few shoots with a friend of mine, who is a great stylist. We both had some down time, and decided to work together on a few ideas. I also have a couple other personal projects I am working on. I don’t tend to force those, as there is never really a deadline, so when it feels right, I will head out and shoot for a while.

How often are you shooting new work?

I try and shoot as often as possible, on average, probably once or twice a week. I don’t really like sitting around, so when I get the chance to work on something new, it’s always welcomed.

Mathew Scott was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. At age 21 he moved to San Francisco, where he studied photography at the Academy of Art. Mathew currently splits his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles, working on a variety of commercial, editorial, and personal projects.

www.mathewscott.com

represented by Hello Artists-  www.helloartists.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.

Art Producers Speak: ioulex

- - 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 Director: I nominate ioulex and have been a fan since they first started shooting. They bring such craft and care to the photos they take and you can see this in the work they do. The photos are unique and beautiful. It’s been great working with them and watching their career grow. I don’t say this about a lot of people but I do think they are iconic for our generation and will continue to get bigger and bigger.

Portrait of Diane Pernet in Paris

Annie Morton in Pennsylvania

Choreographer Benjamin Millepied for The New Yorker

Actor Adam Driver for Flaunt magazine

Young actress Odeya Rush for Flaunt magazine

Portrait of Mykki Blanco for Flaunt magazine

a still life from our installation at Audio Visual Arts gallery in New York

from a fashion story featuring Iris van Herpen couture collection for Big magazine

Costume designer Christian Joy in her studio, for The New York Times T magazine

Painter Damian Loeb in his studio for The Block magazine

Designer Thom Browne for Standard magazine

Designer Thom Browne for Standard magazine

How many years have you been in business?
We’ve been shooting as a duo for about 7 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
We both graduated from Parsons School of Design, majoring in graphic design. We studied in Paris and New York. We took a couple photography classes, but nothing extensive. We are basically self-taught in photography.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
We are mostly influenced by cinematography – the work of our favorite DP’s — Sven Nykvsit, Sasha Vierny, and Raoul Coutard. Also the films of Cassavetes and Fassbinder. As far as actual “working photographers”, we are very much in awe of some of the inexhaustible Magnum members – Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Steve McCurry. The thought of them continuously producing brilliant work over a long period of time is very inspiring.

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?
We never feel like we’ve exhausted all the possibilities, there is so much you can experiment within image making. Whenever we see a new beautiful film, a dance performance, visual art exhibition, it makes us excited about photography again, thinking how we could translate or evoke something we saw using our tools, in two dimensions, for an editorial shoot or a personal project.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
No, we haven’t been in a situation like this. Maybe because we don’t shy away from talking to the client, communicating what we’re trying to accomplish. Of course it’s crucial to work with creatives who are confident and passionate about what they do and, very importantly, choose us for the right project.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
We update our website regularly, and share specific new projects with individual art buyers and creatives.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Nobody wants to see anything, they are bombarded from all directions. The only way is to share specifically on an individual basis, to be aware what clients the art buyer is working with, what their background is, what their taste might be like.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
We really feel like you can only shoot for yourself, whether you’re getting paid or not. We always have something in the works.

How often are you shooting new work?
In addition to editorial projects, we have on-going personal series, and some spontaneous little projects that we make up every day.

Photography duo ioulex is Julia Koteliansky and Alexander Kerr. They graduated from Parsons School of Design, and live and work together between New York and Paris. Their images appeared in the New York Times T magazine, New Yorker, Die Zeit, Big, Flaunt, and Dossier Journal. Ioulex’s work was exhibited at Audio Visual Arts gallery in New York, Colette in Paris, and Diesel Art Gallery in Tokyo among others. Advertising clients include Helmut Lang, Bloomberg, and Zara.

http://ioulex.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.

Art Producers Speak: Eugenie Frerichs

- - 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 producer: I nominate Eugenie Frerichs. She is a Portland, OR based photographer. She has several sites worth looking at. She most recently documented people behind Chilean Patagonia National Park and farmer’s in Colorado. Her work is visually stunning, filled with such emotion and hope.

Emily on the phone. From the series North Fork Valley, a study of farm life in Western Colorado, 2012.

Chicken. From North Fork Valley, 2012.

Buckley, Kebler Pass, 2012.

Corey, Fern Gully, 2012.

True Grain Farm, Kispiox, BC. From the photo series for Modern Farmer, 2013.

Rémy, Pemberton, BC. From Modern Farmer series, 2013.

Pinot Meunier. From North Fork Valley, 2012.

Jano. From series of portraits of the people building the future Patagonia National Park in Valle Chacabuco, Chile, 2012.

Britta. Valle Chacabuco, 2012.

Corey and the radio. Alaska, 2013.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve worked in the photo industry in one form or another since 2005, mostly as a photo editor, then art director and art producer. I started focusing on my own photography in earnest about three years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Somewhere in between. I have a degree in art history, and assisted a photographer during college, but mostly I’ve learned from the industry itself, having worked on set in so many different roles. A lot of observation, getting in over my head, and learning by doing. I also have very generous photographer friends who have helped me tremendously over the years.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I saw Alec Soth give a talk recently where he said he had two artists hunkered on his shoulders, Robert Adams on one side, Weegee on the other, opposing forces influencing his work in equal parts. I liked that image, though mine would be with Dorothea Lange and Taryn Simon. They are both truth seekers making work in the realm of nonfiction, but they go (or in Lange’s case, went) about it in very different ways – a bit of editorial, a bit of fine art, one from the hip, the other very conceptual and calculated. I have been working to strike a balance between these two ways of shooting in my own projects, and try to channel the wisdoms of Lange and Simon to make better, smarter work.

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?
Nothing inspires me more than hitting the road, truck packed up with gear and dog, maybe a loose schedule but ideally a lot of room for the unpredictable. Most recently my work’s been focusing on farm life and what I’ve been calling the “modern wild”, which requires that I head into far off places, rural communities, mountains, deserts, coastal areas – epicenters of ways of life that fascinate and inspire me. Finding stories in these zones, and attempting to tell them best I can, keeps me fresh and feeds my curiosity (which never seems to be satiated). I save my pennies to make these trips possible, and as for turning them into paid work, well, I just have to trust that as long as I keep doing this – pursuing stories that are interesting to me, and shooting them in a way that feels true to my style – then eventually it will resonate with the right someone at the right time. This could mean a long life of dirtbagging in my truck! But an example of this did just happen, when a road trip I’d been planning from Portland to Alaska turned into a month-long online series for the magazine Modern Farmer. It’s a very cool new publication out of the Hudson River Valley, with a smart team of writers and editors. It’s been exciting to work with a publication that is so aligned with what I’ve been pursuing on my own.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I can’t say I’ve experienced this as a photographer, but I’ve definitely seen it play out when on set in other roles. The creatives want one thing, the clients want another. I have a friend who says she treats every client job like an art school assignment – creative challenges that keep her brain in shape. That’s a smart way to look at it – turn the potential tension into a teachable moment.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I am still very much in the realm of just shooting and sharing what I’m up to with peers via the usual digital channels. For longer-term projects, grants and residencies become important, and eventually exhibitions – all things that can drum up great PR. I also find a lot of value in being part of the audience, not just needing things from it; stepping outside of my own work, and engaging with the art community when I can. Last year I joined the board of the Portland arts org Photolucida, and have made so many more connections that way, just by showing up and getting exposed to new work and an inspiring community of artists, curators, and editors. Making real human contact – I like that stuff. It goes a long way.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
From my experience as an art producer in the ad industry, I’ve seen that often an artist’s personal work is the work that gets the job. Not always, but often enough to take notice. So I guess the advice I’d give is what I’ve been telling myself, too: Just pursue what you love and be genuinely psyched about it. Sounds trite but I really believe it. Set your own course and boldly stick to it. No apologizing for the weird things you love, this will yield better work in the end. I think art buyers recognize this, and appreciate originality and authenticity far more than knowing that you’re technically able to shoot what you think they want you to shoot.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, always. For example, I’m writing this from Alaska, wrapping up two months of work on a new series.

How often are you shooting new work?
As often as I can. I learn something new every time I head out, so I’m kind of hooked.

Eugénie Frerichs lives and works in Portland, Ore. though travels often in search of stories on farm life and the modern wild.
www.eugeniefrerichs.com
http://nonsurveillee.tumblr.com/
http://instagram.com/elfrerichs
hello@eugeniefrerichs.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.

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 producer: I nominate I nominate Carissa and Andrew Gallo. I have really enjoyed working with Carissa and Andrew, they are an amazing husband and wife team based in Portland, OR. I discovered their work through Kinfolk Magazine.

Branding Campaign for Fred Water, shot in LA

Branding Campaign for Fred Water, shot in LA

Branding Campaign for Fred Water, shot in LA

Documentary Work - Uganda

Ode to Summer, for Kinfolk Magazine

Travels in Iceland, 2012

Travels in Iceland, 2012

Travels in Iceland, 2012

Original Series for Kinfolk Magazine

Lost Lake - Portland, OR

Lost Lake - Portland, OR

 

How many years have you been in business?

Andrew and I started working together over 4 years ago. Our business has morphed and taken on new shapes, as things tend to with time… Its latest shape is called Sea Chant- and it combines our practice of photography and video to tell and create stories.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

Self-taught, with the investment and guidance of many different minds, along the way.

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

My grandfather, primarily. He walked through life with a camera at his side, documenting all things that fell before him. From my dad’s first birthday, to time in Japan during WWII. It wasn’t his business, it was his passion, which he passed on to me- as he gave me all his old film cameras and shared with me these intimate glimpses into his life.

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?

We just try to keep ourselves occupied by the things that naturally inspire us- travel, nature, music, books, stories… The Internet is a great place to be inspired, but we feel the most filled up, creatively, as we see things face to face.

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

Sometimes- but we’ve been blessed enough to work with a lot of great clients who value our work and creativity and push us to pursue it.

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

Just creating things and putting them out there, through all the various ways allowed us. We love meeting with people face to face- I think that’s the most valuable way to share and show a vision. We also love and use instagram and the new VSCO Grid almost each and every day.

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

I am not so inclined to encourage someone to do work that you think others want to see. Obviously, there is a place for it, somewhere/sometime. But I’ve found it best to show the work that you love and are inspired to do- I think whether its a buyer, a potential client, or just a fellow creative soul, people always value and appreciate genuineness in this regard!

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

Yes, for sure! Without that, we tend to lose our own sense of artistry. It pushes us to try new things and be inspired in new ways.

How often are you shooting new work?

A few times a week.

www.carissagallo.com
www.andrewgallo.com

Sea Chant is the storytelling outfit of Andrew & Carissa Gallo, a photography/directing duo based in Portland, Oregon. Together they write and direct films, each delivered alongside of a anesthetically complementing photo set.

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.

 

Art Producers Speak: Nick Ruechel

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 Producer: I nominate: Nick Ruechel. “I love his work, it has a lot of soul, his lighting is beautiful. He is a perfectionist and the connection he gets with subjects shows lovely in his portraits.”

‘Maximo & Agustin, Brooklyn, 2012’

‘India, Chinatown,NYC, 2011’

‘Rooz, Brooklyn, 2007’

‘Reggie Watts, Comedian, NYC, 2009’

‘Sahr Ngaujah, (FELA!), NYC, 2009’

‘Chico Hamilton, Musician, NYC, 2008’

‘Philip Glass, NYC, 2008’

‘Children in a rickshaw on their way to school, Mysore, India, 2012’

‘Visitors, Coney Island, Memorial Day, 2012’

‘Satmar Hasidim, East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2012’

How many years have you been in business?

11 Years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

My first encounter with cameras was in high school in Germany as a member of the photography club. We’d get access to Nikon F’s and B/W film and would be sent out on little photojournalistic assignments. I remember once covering the demolition of an historic building which had caused great upheaval in the local community. I had no idea what I was doing apart from rotating shutter and f-stop dials in such as way as to keep the light meter in a viable range of exposure. I felt accomplished because the resulting negatives were actually printable. The club dissolved a couple of semesters later which turned into a 10-year hiatus from taking pictures.

After moving to New York City and graduating from NYU in the late 90’s, I took a job as a freelance talent scout for a record company but I soon realized that I loved music too much to become involved with selling it: I was bored out of my mind. During that time, I purchased an old Nikon F3 with a 50mm lens and a couple of books on basic photographic technique. I began to experiment again: trial and error, roll-by-roll. I would get one or two contact sheets made per week and reviewed my mistakes. Luckily, I soon came across a couple of working photographers who were either sympathetic to my autodidactic plight or plain crazy to give someone a job who had no practical experience at all. I started as a 3rd assistant on German fashion catalogue shoots and worked part-time in the equipment room of a major rental studio in Manhattan. I didn’t do much else; it was a full-immersion crash course.

After freelancing for a number of renowned portrait and fashion photographers for about 18 months, I wound up becoming Annie Leibovitz’s full-time first assistant for two years which seemed like transitioning from weekend outings in the National Guard to full-out warfare in the Marine Corps. It was the best finishing school I could have hoped for. After my tenure, I quit assisting and to went out on my own. It was time.

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

As cliché as it may sound, Irving Penn probably is a central figure in my photographic development. The discipline and integrity of his photographs have always fascinated me. He was a true innovator across so many genres of photography. Penn’s approach to taking portraits still seems to be the basic blueprint from which so many of us operate, knowingly or unknowingly. Arnold Newman, Jeff Wall and William Eggleston are others who subsequently informed and influenced my ideas about the color environmental portrait. The list is long and always evolving.

Not surprisingly, I have always loved film and cinematography ever since I was old enough to be admitted to a Sunday matinée. But it isn’t photography or visual art per sé which motivated me to choose this profession: it’s more the idea that you can bring something fresh and new into existence every day, meet complete strangers through an “instrument” and learn something about their condition, even if it’s just within the span of a brief moment. It enables you to develop a point of view about the constant sensory impingement that is life. That’s my inspiration. I think that’s what aesthetics are, ultimately.

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?

In my opinion, staying true to yourself implies that you trust and follow your creative instinct. That is ultimately what clients hire you for. Contemplating too much what ‘others’ may like, can be dangerous to one’s process. This is not to say that you shouldn’t follow direction in the commercial realm: that is what you are getting compensated for. In the ideal case, a client will trust/expect you to bring your personal vision and ideas to the project so it becomes synergetic: a collaboration.

There are lots of good “technicians” in this business. Executing decent lighting and any other part of photographic technique is a function of practice; even a part of the so-called “eye” is part of that. A way of looking at the world in photographic terms (such as composition) can be learned but it doesn’t replace raw talent: it merely supports it. Once you master technique, you should ‘forget’ it and pay attention to what is really going on around you. Creatives want to see a tangible point of view; images which reflect a sense of identity – a thread of sorts that permeates your work. Some people call that ‘style’, although I think that term is a bit limiting (Maybe it’s necessary to be categorizable in order to be successful in this new environment). In the end, it’s externalizing some of what’s inside of you.

By contrast, it’s also very important to be content to do absolutely nothing sometimes. Putting all your emphasis on being prolific can often come at the expense of producing mediocre work. There is a new theory in the field of Quantum Physics which examines how the creative process really works in humans. The first stage is information gathering, the second stage, a state of inertia or ‘incubation’, as it were, where we permit ideas and concepts to proliferate within our mind. It all sounds pretty haughty and theoretical but it does make sense to me. Then again, everyone’s different. If you can produce 20 good pictures each day, good for you. Charles Bukowski most likely wasn’t too involved with physics and he once said: “This is very important — to take leisure time. Pace is the essence. Without stopping entirely and doing nothing at all for great periods, you’re gonna lose everything…just to do nothing at all, very, very important. And how many people do this in modern society? Very few. That’s why they’re all totally mad, frustrated, angry and hateful.” Ironically, he was a very “prolific” writer so go figure.

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

It depends what shop you are working with: some agencies represent more traditional clients and have to be a bit more conservative in their creative approach. If time permits and it’s feasible, I try to shoot things in a number of different ways from ‘safe’ to a bit more towards the proverbial ‘edge’. Every situation is different and you generally get a good idea at the outset as to how flexible the client is when it comes to creative concepts and their execution. There is a time and place for everything.

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

Websites and iPads have replaced much of the physical portfolios photographers were circulating in large numbers only a few years ago. Not having to constantly update ten or more books with prints and sleeves is a bit of a blessing in disguise. Creatives can now pre-screen your work on the web to determine whether your work is consistent and appropriate for their purposes. It’s more productive and time-saving for everyone involved.

Nonetheless, I feel that a face-to-face meeting with a client and showing physical prints is more important than ever before. Nowadays, personal meetings are also an examination of your personality: we live in a world with far fewer jobs and a lot more photographers than ever before. There are thousands of talented artists out there who can execute any given project well. An individual in a position to award you a job will want to make sure you are a nice person and a team player. Nobody wants to work with a Diva/Ego-tripper.

I email images to art buyers and photo editors on a regular basis but I personalize every message rather than ‘mass-blasting’ 5000 potential clients. I think that invites immediate deletion. It seems better to develop a relationship with a select number of people than carpet-bombing the entire industry. Keep it short and sweet. If an art buyer or creative director takes time out of their crazed schedule to click on your message, they most likely want to see one image and a brief message, rather than your life story and half your website. If you have the time, check out the agencies you’re targeting and what accounts they are servicing. Is your work applicable to any of their accounts?

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

As mentioned before, I think in quite a few cases, this approach can put you on the road to confusion and failure: you’ll never truly know what creatives are looking for and things are always changing. You’ll pose that question to 15 people and you will most likely get 15 different answers. Portfolio reviews are a good indicator of this: some people will respond to certain images, others will react differently. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be open to criticism and input: some people might be better editors of your work than you are. I have good friends in the industry who have pointed out things to me that were of great value.

One’s relationship with art is quite personal and subjective. I follow my intuition but regularly get feedback from my agent, peers, and other individuals whose judgment and experience I trust. One can sometimes be too close to one’s own work: others have more distance and that can be conducive to a better edit. No one book is right for all occasions; every possible job you bid on might require a modification of your portfolio, i.e., the addition or subtraction of images which might or might not be relevant to the project at hand.

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

Always. Personal work is essential to my mental health. I always feel compelled to self-assign to pursue ideas that I find exciting and relevant. Coincidentally, that is the work that creatives seem to respond to most enthusiastically. To me, it’s the most accurate reflection of who you are as a photographer. I constantly write down new ideas for new images in a small journal I carry. I refer back to it, re-edit, modify and delete things until I select something to work on.

How often are you shooting new work?

Apart from using my iPhone and Instagram, I try to shoot something once or twice a week, depending on how busy I get with editorial and commercial assignments. It’s not a compulsive thing; I try to relax as much as possible which paves the way for being inspired to go out and putting a good idea into a better photograph.

Nick Ruechel was born in Berlin, Germany and moved to New York City in the mid-1990’s. His photographs have appeared in many editorial publications such as: Vogue, Vanity Fair, Esquire, New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, Men’s Journal, VIBE, Interview, Wired, Fast Company and others. Notable commercial clients include: NBC/Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, CNN, Bravo and Showtime Networks, AVAYA, Sun America Banking, Hyperion Books, Discovery Channel and others Some of Ruechel’s recent work has been selected to appear in AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY’s AP29 annual, to be published in May of 2013. Besides editorial and commercial assignments, Ruechel has been working on a large portrait retrospective of Jazz musicians since 2004, entitled, ‘I can’t get started’ , a new series of close-up video portraits, entitled ‘Padartha’ and a documentary short film, entitiled “Las Piezas Que Faltan (“Missing Pieces”) He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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.

Art Producers Speak: Kyle Alexander

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 Producer: I nominate: Kyle Alexander.

Dustin, Nate, Bummy & Fabio Santa Fe 2013 Fort Marcy Overlook We wrapped a shoot up in the mountains behind Santa Fe and my friends/crew and I were driving down into town and it was one of those amazing desert sunsets. I knew this place that overlooked the whole town because my Mom and I used to go there every year for thanksgiving. So we drove right to this beautiful spot and took it all in. I know it looks like a band photo but as far as I know only one of those guys plays an instrument and that’s the skin flute.

the Band “Courrier” Gruene, Texas Feb. 2013 This was for a Rolling Stone magazine/Texas Tourism feature that wanted to capture an Austin band in a location that was close to Austin but that had not been a lot of times before and really said Texas. I had a suggestion that worked out perfect, I went to college 15 minutes away from this place, Gruene Hall which is the oldest continually running dance hall in Texas. They have been open and host to live music since 1878.

the Band “Courrier” Gruene, Texas Feb. 2013

the Band “Courrier” Gruene, Texas Feb. 2013

This is Dale, Red and Berkley at the 6666 Ranch in Guthrie Texas taken in March 2013. This was taken at lunch for an ad shoot, I snuck away for ten minutes and got these wonderful portraits of this fascinating man. One of the thing I always liked about photography is you get to meet so many interesting people and hear so many great life stories, Dale did not disappoint in that regard.

Red and Berkley at the 6666 Ranch in Guthrie Texas

Chris, BILLYKIRK Bags NYC 2012 Started in 1999 by brothers Chris and Kirk Bray, Billykirk is a leather and canvas design company which was founded on the desire to make lasting items that get better with age. I hope my photos age as good as their leather 

Alex - Austin, Texas 2013 Alex was a friend of a friend. I was in town on a shoot for Rolling Stone magazine and had a late flight out so I had a couple of hours to kill and I called my friend Jamie and said who can we shoot and she said her friend Alex who worked at a vintage store called Feathers, so we grabbed some clothes of the racks and walked around the neighborhood and got some great shots.

Dan and Alex 2012 These guys make beautiful custom bikes in the LA area

Personal work 2012 Getting loose in the desert

last one had to eat a live tarantula Personal work 2012

Kassi 2012

 

How many years have you been in business?
Hmmmm…more than a couple…..not an easy answer for that one, after college I moved from Austin, Texas to Hawaii to shoot surfing on the north shore of Oahu which was really fun and amazing but I couldn’t really make a living over there. At that time it was shooting film, you got 36 images and then have to swim in and change film in your waterhousing, go out shoot another roll, swim in and then run to the lab, have it developed and fed-exed overnight to the magazines in Southern California and by that time you were exhausted and broke. I worked crappy side jobs and tried to make it work for a while but never really go ahead.

Then one day I got lucky and got a job on a tv show in Hawaii and worked on that for a couple of years and along the way met some guys who said if you ever get out to LA give us a call. So I looked at my options at that point and said I better move to LA. I was penniless with not much hope of ever making it out there in Hawaii. That was in 2001 and I got lucky again because I hooked up with some steady work on feature films and commercials. It was then I met someone who also produced photo shoots and needed some help so I worked with her for a bit. The first real photo shoot I worked on was a huge budget Tommy Hilfiger shoot, 2 weeks on the Paramount Studios backlot. Patrick Demarchelier was the photographer and it was a amazing and humbling experience to watch him work. This experience inspired me and I began shooting as much as I could when not assisting. However that was not too often, I assisted for about 7 years for dozens of different photographers.

One of the first things I did after I was in LA made a few bucks was buy a computer and because of that someone asked me to do some callsheets and light pre-production work so I ended up producing some editorial stories for Mens Journal and Marie Claire magazine. That introduced me to some photographers who later on hired me to produce some ad shoots, which was great because with all the producing money I could do more test shoots. So my first real break was an ad shoot for Roxy/Quiksilver in 2008. So I did that shoot but then still had to assist and produce and digital tech to make ends meet. So I would get a couple of ad and editorial jobs here and there but not enough to break away.

Finally in 2011 I got enough shooting work that I was able to turn down producing and teching and assisting gigs. So long story short, taking pics- 20+ years, working in the business-10 + years, making my living as a full time photographer- 2+ years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I have a BA in English literature and minored in photography and film but I felt like everything I really “learned” about photography was by trial and error, happy accidents, shooting tests and by assisting other photographers.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I have always had a passion for (borderline OCD) documenting and capturing all of the things around me, people, places, things by taking photos. When I first saw Robert Frank’s book, “The Americans”, it blew me away and made me want to make a career out of photography. However I didn’t really know what an advertising photographer was, I just wanted someone to pay me so I could keep doing what I loved doing, capturing organic defining moments.

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 it’s more about staying inspired yourself and creating work and pictures that you care about. If you create something extraordinary and love what you are doing then that is what counts. If the work is wonderful, and the world sees it, the creatives will seek you out.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
No, In my experience, most of the creatives I have worked with want to push the same direction I am usually going and the client has been appreciative of that.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Direct personalized faxes, just kidding………reality is probably not enough. That’s the toughest part, and I have had this conversation with a few of my peers, we feel like as photographers we get so busy involved in planning a shoot, shooting, editing or retouching a shoot that there is hardly any hours left in the day to market ourselves, but in reality that should be one of the most important things you do. I try to do meetings whenever I am in NYC or a town that has some agencies or magazines. I did an email blast this year and my Agent VAUGHAN+HANNIGAN has done a few and we do the Le BOOK shows. Working on something now that will go out in the mail soon, hopefully.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I think you are chasing your own tail in a circle. Buyers will react to work better if you are showing your own distinct personal vision and they connect with it.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, I am constantly shooting personal projects. Currently photographing a series I’m having a lot of fun shooting titled Made in the USA about people that craft and create in America. I feel like there is this really cool resurgence to our grandfather’s generation of people that really made things by hand and care about what they are doing, not just trying to make a buck. I shot a pair of brothers that own a leather bag and belt company in New York, a former ad agency graphic designer turned screen printer/ motorcycle builder in Minnesota and a couple of buddies that created a company that repurposes old wood scrap and industrial age machinery into retail spaces in NYC.

Another personal shoot I really had enjoyed I just did a couple of weeks ago, we were shooting an ad job for a truck company at a crazy 180,000 acre ranch in Texas and our guide was this intriguing man named Dale who was also the county deputy and drove around in a huge red truck with two dogs riding shotgun. This guy was the real deal, Chuck Norris would step aside for this guy. He was very a kind man but you could tell he had seen some tough times. I took a couple of snaps of him during our tech scout and then during lunch of my actual shoot the next day Dale and I jumped in his truck and went up the road and shot for ten minutes, he wanted some photos of his dogs, and I was more than happy to do that. They ended up being some of my favourite photos I have taken for quite some time and when I sent over the pictures later he said he really loved them and would share with his kids. That was just a cool thing to hear and is the magic that happens when you are on the road with an open mind.

How often are you shooting new work?
2 times a month in between jobs

My website is www.kylealexander.com Represented by VAUGHAN + HANNIGAN Reps which is www.vh-artists.com.

My Chocolate lab, Princess Leia and I at my favourite beach, San Onofre

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.

Art Producers Speak: Kenji Aoki

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 Producer: I nominate Kenji Aoki. “Kenji has amazing work. I particularly liked the NY Times piece he illustrated with a tuna fish.”

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v magazine: indulgences a story on indulgences of celebrities (musicians, actors, etc), this represents a vinyl collection.

Psychology Today: the brainiac-billionaire connection concept: a genius that is 1 in a million

New York magazine The truth on drugs images shot for a story about laws on drugs

New York magazine The truth on drugs images shot for a story about laws on drugs

Time magazine the truth about oil images shot for an article about crude oil resources-- their reality and where its heading

Time magazine the truth about oil images shot for an article about crude oil resources-- their reality and where its heading

Time magazine Coal, Hard truths image for an article about coal and it’s relationship to political campaign (obama vs. romney)

New York Times Magazine Tuna's end image for an article exploring the extinction of the blue fin tuna

Bloomberg Pursuits story about making cocktails using liquid Nitrogen

How many years have you been in the business?
I started my career in Tokyo 22 years ago and moved to NY 2 years ago. I began to only accept still life assignments 15 years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I studied design and photography at Kuwasa Design School in Tokyo. Their curriculum is heavily influenced by the aesthetics of Bauhaus.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
There is an opening scene in a movie directed by Alejandro Jodorwsky called EL TOPO, where a tree standing in the dessert, casts a long, bold shadow–I think it was this that made me a photographer.

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?
All of my inspiration comes from geometry. When you have an object that needs to be photographed with a certain concept, you always come across complex visual problems that need to be solved. By thinking of the object as a pure geometric shape such as a circle or square, the speed required to visually communicate the concept of the image and the object itself is accelerated. The space that it’s in, the color, the shadows — balancing all of these elements allow these sensations to penetrate a deeper place.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Understanding the restrictions of any project is the most important factor. Making the effort to face these restrictions means there is a necessity to create work that is beyond my personal aesthetic sensibilities and to provide a better answer. It’s confronting the self and at times an opportunity to rediscover my own uniqueness.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I think the only way to do this is to believe in your own work. Also my agent, Michael Ash has been making sure my work gets out there. His effort to do so has been beyond simply getting the job done.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
There are all kinds of photographers out there, which I think is a good thing for art buyers but my advice would be to avoid being swayed or influenced by technology too much, since this may dilute a photographer’s individuality as well as their pursuit for it. I believe it’s necessary to be very careful of this.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
As of now, I do not shoot separate work for myself. The reason is, I want to keep commissioned work true to my vision and as close to my own work as possible. If I were to create work that satiates this desire in my personal life, there is the danger that my commissioned work would be completely different.

How often are you shooting new work?
I shoot commissioned new work about once a week, if not more. In the future, I would like to meet a publisher and produce an archive of my work as a book.

Born in Tokyo, Kenji Aoki spent his formative years studying variousdesign disciplines at Kuwasa Design School. After 20 successful years inTokyo, Aoki moved to NY permanently in 2009. He has worked with many clients in the U.S. and Europe and was included in a comprehensivearchive of more than 30 years of the finest commissioned imagespublished in The New York Times Magazine. He has received awards from SPD, The Art Directors Club, Communication Arts, American Photography,The New York Times Magazine, and Lurzer’s Archive. Today, Kenji Aoki continues to produce comprehensive visual images.

He is represented by Michael Ash ash@michaelashpartners.com, 212-206-0661
351 West Broadway 2nd Fl.NY, NY 10013

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.

 

Art Producers Speak: David Tsay

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 Producer: I nominate David Tsay

 

This image is from a recent test shoot. I used to get overwhelmed and stressed about doing tests, but my agent Kate said to me: Even if you only get one great image out of that test, it’s a success.

I like to set up situations or scenes and just let the people play around in it, and then shoot around them like I'm doing documentary photography.

I didn't shoot interiors until a bit later in my career. We had a big remodeling project of our home and it got me looking at interior spaces more carefully. Interior photography is very similar to fashion in terms of layering colors and textures and can look just as sexy and expensive.

Here's another fun shoot where the models had to jump for like 10 minutes and look like they're doing it for the first time every time.

A lot of my assignments are entertaining stories with tons of production and models and food and décor. But in reality, I hardly do any entertaining in my personal life. These photo shoot ones are more fun for me because my “guests” MUST love it and they HAVE TO have fun, Lol.

One of my favorite photographers is Herbert List. I just love the way he used hard, unfiltered sunlight. I've heard people say, "Don't shoot food in hard sunlight." Hearing that just made me want to do it.

This shot was inspired by David Hockney’s pool paintings from the ‘60s. It wasn’t even anything conscious, I just felt that vibe when I met the family and their home. It’s important to constantly feed your head with images that you emotionally respond to because it improves your on-set instinct. Then when you respond to it, it’s more natural and true to yourself, rather than forced. Also, I think when you ground your work in art history, you automatically create a relatability with your viewers.

Growing up in Southern California, we get mostly blank blue sky or smoggy sky. So, whenever I travel, I always look up to look at the clouds. I take pictures of them thinking one day I'll try and paint them.

I'm after pictures that seem like something that you saw in the corner of your eye, but when you turn your head to look for it, it's gone. They are not always big events--just poetic, sweet little moments like this one.

The objective was to photograph the living room with the amazing pool and view to show indoor-outdoor living. We were working just in the living room, but then I took a few steps back and the shot revealed itself to me.

I did many surf apparel jobs at the beginning of my career. So, even now, when I get an assignment to go back into that world, it's so natural and feels like home--even though I've never surfed in my life.

The sky can be just as perfect as a "seamless" backdrop for a graphic picture.

It's important for me capture a warm, relatable, and believable feel to the homes I photograph no matter how amazing they are.

Doing a shot where everything looks completely gorgeous and "thrown together” without looking fake and set-up-y can take a long time and a lot of people. When I do still lifes I start on the tripod for everyone to compose for their departments. After we are happy with what we’ve got, I come off the tripod and shoot around it as if I’m seeing it for the very first time. Often, those are the ones that turn out the best.

I love photographing food that's messy and real and fresh and sexy. I want my food pictures to make me want to dive right in and eat it all up! The funny part about this picture is out of the frame-- the assistant holding up the reflector behind the models really really hates seafood, I think he was gagging the whole time.

How many years have you been in business?

About 15 years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

Photography school taught. I prefer structure and discipline when I am learning things. “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively”. So true.

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

A lot of my influences were from writers and artists: Jean Genet’s work is so dreamy and atmospheric, Robert Longo’s juxtaposition of imagery, Eric Fischl’s paintings of odd lifestyle moments with amazing light and composition, and Jack Stauffaucher’s graphic experimental letterpress work. I wanted to be a writer but suck at it so badly. I was lucky to find photography as a way for me to tell stories.

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?

Staying true to yourself is important, but also be aware of what’s going on and don’t get stuck recycling your own best shots. Trust your instinct so you’ll always find your sweet spot in any difficult situation. I also have a great, honest, support system from my agency. They really keep me grounded and keep me focused.

It’s important to balance catalog and adverting work with editorial shoots and tests. Getting editorial assignments is a good reminder that what you are doing is current.

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

I’m sure most creative people in any field feels that way. But I work well with rules. It’s like, if you tell me how big my sandbox is and how much sand I get and in what colors, it becomes a fun challenge to see what crazy amazing sand castles I can make out of it. The challenges and limitations make it like a game.

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

I was doing email promos but didn’t get the results I wanted. So just recently I went old-school and sent out a snail-mail promo. I am getting really great, positive feedback (http://pdnpromoswekept.tumblr.com/post/42025738335/this-promo-i-received-from-photographer-david-tsay).

I have a portfolio website, and I just started some social media things too–a Tumblr page where I blog, Instagram, a Twitter account. I used to be shy about involving my business in social media, but now I really enjoy it.

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

Don’t do it. I did that and it didn’t work. At some point years ago I started shooting and showing work in response to jobs that I didn’t get–therefore showing work that I thought buyers wanted to see. It really ended up hurting me and setting me back. When you are not inspired with your own work, it shows. I always say to shoot what you love and are passionate about, and other people will love it too. It sounds so corny and naive, but it’s so true.

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

I started shooting jobs while still in school. After I graduated, I really wasn’t shooting personal work and just focused on jobs. But about a year into my relationship with my current agency, Kate told me she really needed to see personal work from me to know what I’m passionate about and what jobs to go after for me. I used to think testing is for photographers that weren’t working, but I’ve since learned that you need to do those to stay creatively fit–like how an athlete would in between games.

How often are you shooting new work?

For personal projects? I go thru phases… Having said what I said above, some months I’m more inspired/motivated than others. But for me, it doesn’t have to be a shoot. I’ll make my collages or artwork and it might spark an inspiration for a shoot.

My family moved to the U.S. when I was 9 years old and raised me in the suburbs of Pasadena, California. I first picked up a camera as an Psychology undergrad at UCSB and then transferred and studied photography at Art Center in Pasadena. I am now based in Los Angeles and represented by Kate Ryan Inc.

David Tsay:  www.davidtsay.com

Kate Ryan Represents:  www.kateryaninc.com/ 212-929-5399

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.

Art Producers Speak: Young and Hungry: Anais & Dax

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 Producer: I nominate Young and Hungry: Anais & Dax

Community - Alexandra Grant. 2010

Zucchini Flowers. 2011

North - Redwoods. 2011

North - Montana. 2011

Kinfolk Vol.2 - Cozy. 2011

Kinfolk Vol.2 - Cozy. 2011

Kinfolk Vol.2 - Cozy. 2011

Kinfolk Vol.4 - Cover (An Ode to Summer). 2012

Kinfolk Vol.4 - An Ode to Summer. 2012

Every Day With Rachael Ray - For The Love of Food. Feb. 2013

Every Day With Rachael Ray - For The Love of Food. Feb. 2013

Huntington Beach. 2012

Community - Rod Hunt. 2012

Ashley Neese, Life Coach. 2012

TOMS - Spring 2013 LookBook

How many years have you been in business?

It will be two years in April since we started working together under the name Young & Hungry. We are starting 2013 with two exciting changes. First we are close to signing with an amazing rep and second we are going to change our name from “Young & Hungry” to “Anais & Dax”. When we started working together Young & Hungry was a good fit what we wanted to shoot and how we felt about it, but our work has grown ever since and we feel that just using our actual first names is more appropriate and honest.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

Dax: As a kid, my mother and uncle were into photography as a hobby, and I picked it up from them. When my uncle passed I inherited his Asahi Pentax and took it to college with me, and it inspired me to start shooting more. After receiving a BFA in photography from the University of MT, I moved to Los Angeles and started working as a photo assistant. Photo assisting was probably the best education I’ve ever had, there’s nothing like learning by doing and problem solving on a day-to-day basis.

Anais: I taught myself photography after I borrowed a Canon Nikkormat camera from my mom in highschool and never returned it. I would then spend hours in my neighbor’s dark room. After years of working in the fine art photography business in LA, I decided to treat myself to a photo education and went to ICP in New York. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. My photography education was then enhanced by working as a retoucher for Norman Jean Roy for almost 2 years, before I decided to go on my own.

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

Dax: The photographers I worked for over the years. They shaped my eye and taught me how to think on my feet and problem solve. They trusted me to help them with their work and that gave me the confidence to become a photographer. It was extremely hard at times being a photo assistant; it really is a humbling job. But it was those relationships good or bad that inspired to want to be in this business.

Anais: If I had to pick one person it would be my grandfather. He passed away when I was 10, but I was very close to him. He was a painter and ceramist, and I grew up spending part of my summer vacations with him and my grandmother, smelling the turpentine in his studio and looking at his charcoal drawings of voluptuous women. He loved what he did, and he dedicated his life to it. I spent 5 years in law school, and then 4 years in the fine art business. After almost 10 years I decided that it was finally time for me to start doing what I love, full time.

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?

Dax: I find inspiration from looking at other peoples work, but working with Anais has been the greatest gift for my work. I feel incredibly lucky to have such an amazing partner to bounce ideas off of. We push each other when we shoot. The best feeling in the world is the moment you find the angle, the light, the subject and every frame is looking better than the last. As far as staying true to ourselves we show our work to clients who inspire us and hope we land a job with them. But we are always happy to work with new ideas and new people, as being challenged is always a great way to grow.

Anais: Ha, do I have to say Dax too?! It is greatly helpful to have a partner who can support, but also help me think outside of my own head. I really think that what makes the work fresh is that we do it for ourselves, not for others. It might sound selfish, but in the end it is what helps us be who we are, and that honesty transpires in the images we make. We’re also constantly looking at other people’s work, whether it is editorial, advertising or fine art. But most likely our greatest influence since we have started working together is the city of Los Angeles and more precisely the neighborhood we live in, Venice Beach. It is filled with beautiful and inspiring people, the light is just glorious, the ocean is close and there’s such a great vibe!

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

A & D: Each job is a different challenge, with a different set of creative needs that all need to come together to make a final image, and so we need to learn to be flexible. The creatives help translate the client’s vision and our task is to come up with visual solutions but also technical answers to practical issues. It really is about team work and collective brainstorming. So as long as the client is open to us about his or her concerns, we are there to respond to it along with other creatives. Of course it’s not always easy, but isn’t it the whole point?

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

A & D: Editorial exposure has been great for increasing our name recognition. Kinfolk Magazine was coming out with its first issue at the same time we were just starting to build our portfolio and that collaboration has opened many doors for us. It’s a beautiful quarterly publication with originally curated images and layouts. Additionally, we’ve been hired by many of the top mainstream magazines that have wide appeal to the audience. We also take advantage of social media outlets by keeping a Tumblr blog and using Instagram. It gives us a chance to keep showing the work we do, but also our work in progress. We love how blogging and instagramming allows our viewers and followers to get a better sense of who we are, what it takes us to make an image and where we get our inspiration from. It also makes us more accessible, and reminds us of how it is all about human exchange.

We’ve also had great success with face to face meetings. We go to New York twice a year to meet with editors and art buyers, and every time we have a job away from our home base, we always try to squeeze in a meeting or two with local creatives. That’s how we got to meet with art buyers at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland while shooting an editorial there. Our work is a reflection of who we are, so I think it’s been helpful for people to meet us and get a chance to know us.

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

A & D: If you are looking at the art buyers’ past work to try and cater to what they have done before you should stop. In our experience art buyers are looking for something new and fresh. So if you are trying to please them with similar work they are not going to really see your talent and your voice. And of course, shoot a lot, show a lot. Keep in touch. Show that you care, and that you are passionate. Shoot more, accept failure and learn from it. Communicate and be enthusiastic. And above all, just be yourself.

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

A & D: Yes, we need to shoot for ourselves, otherwise we loose sight of why we started shooting in the first place. It is what keeps our ideas and photography alive. It is how we started our portfolio by traveling and shooting in California, Oregon, Montana where one of us is from (Dax), and then in France where the other one is from (Anais). In total, we shot for three months, slept in cheap hotels, stayed at friend’s places. It was exhausting, our bank accounts were pretty much empty (hence the name Young & Hungry!) but at the end we had our first portfolio that we were so proud of. And the response to it was amazing! Aside from traveling to more distant destinations, we also create new work by photographing people from our neighborhood, and stories around California that translate what we appreciate the most in life: travel, good meals with friends and nature.

How often are you shooting new work?

A & D: At least once a month, but it is not always easy to get our idea off the ground while managing our business day to day, but those failed attempts lead to another idea. New work can just be an afternoon portrait session with a friend or model, or a self assigned story and fully produced day or two of shooting concepts that we are passionate about and that we think could appeal to new clients. We also carry film cameras with us on a day-to-day basis, and shoot whatever catches our eye.

 

Dax Henry and Anais Wade started collaborating under the name Young & Hungry at the end of 2010 when they began to document what they loved most: food, destinations and good friend’s gatherings. After over 2 years of working together, they decided to work under their names as their work had expanded to a wider range of subjects.

Dax was born in Chicago and raised in California and Montana, and graduated with a BFA from the University of Missoula, MT. Anais was born and raised in France and Italy, and graduated from the General Studies Program at the International Center of Photography. They met in Los Angeles, and instantly shared their passion for photography.

They are inspired by California’s visual diversity, enjoy a community based life and love having meals with friends around a simple table. With 4 languages (English, Spanish, French and Italian) and a longstanding experience in the photographic industry, they’re always ready for the next challenge, whether it is at home or abroad. www.anaisdax.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.

Art Producers Speak: Jeff Luker

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 Producer: I nominate Jeff Luker.

This was from the Levi's Go Forth campaign I shot. This was one of my favorite photos from the campaign. We shot at this at sunrise, there is a certain wild feeling when you are racing to get a shot at dawn.

A photo from a road trip in Montana. It was such a calming place, it felt like the edge of the world.

This was part of a look book shoot for the fashion line Dust. We were shooting out in these abandoned ghost towns, as we were leaving I saw this fence where farmers had hung up coyote corpses to warn other farmers in the area.

From the same Levi's shoot. This was a fun day, we had stunt riggers build the perfect rope swing into this lake. The kid in the photo is my friend Zach. This whole shoot was really fun because I got to bring a lot of my friends along.

This lake is in Oregon, it was so remote when we were camping here, not a soul around except for serious mosquito hordes, so swimming was a nice escape from them.

This is one of my best friends. I like photographing my friends, not just because they are so important to me, but because a lot of my work is about appreciating this life and everyone you get to meet in it. So for me it makes sense to photograph those who I am close to and let the photos reflect our relationship.

A photo from an Urban Outfitters shoot I did. I was in the back of a little truck with a bunch of people, driving through a wilderness area and out of nowhere she stood up and I snapped this photo. Most of my favorite photos I have ever taken were just in moments like this, one frame, one decisive moment.

A wild horse by the side of the road. Another road trip image. I have become sort of addicted to traveling throughout the American West, there is so much to see.

Grand Canyon. I know it is a very touristy place, but I have gone several times and every time I am awe-struck, it's just that kind of place.Great Smoky Mountains. When I look at this photograph I can still remember everything about this moment, the air, the smells, the breeze, the setting sun...which reminds me the whole reason I take photos in the first place.

Great Smoky Mountains. When I look at this photograph I can still remember everything about this moment, the air, the smells, the breeze, the setting sun...which reminds me the whole reason I take photos in the first place.

How many years have you been in business?

That is sort of a hard question to answer for me, I have been taking photographs as long as I can remember, and I think every photo I have taken has in some way shaped my current path. But as far as considering it as a “business”, I guess I would have to say that within the last couple of years I have made the transition to “professional” photographer, which to me means that my main source of income now comes from photography, and I am no longer working another job to afford my photography pursuits.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I am self-taught by and large, I had a few photo courses in college, but I was studying filmmaking in school. Which is not to say that studying cinema did not have a great influence on my photography.

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

Probably William Eggleston. After I finished school, I was really dabbling in all different things, I was really into taking photos but was also writing, playing music, and trying to pursue a film career and this was on top of working whatever menial jobs I had at the time. So it was difficult to have the time and energy for everything.

Then I moved to New York and the first week I was there I saw the Eggleston retrospective at the Whitney. And something really changed inside me. I remember walking around the city after the show and just feeling like for the first time I really understood something about photography I previously hadn’t. And from then on that was it, my love affair with photography was all-consuming and said this is it, this is all I want to do.

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?

My philosophy towards making photos has always been to make the photographs that I want to see in the world. So that is what I have always done, at the end of the day regardless if other people like them at least I can be happy knowing I made the images that I wanted to see. And now these photographs exist and other people can see them too. That is really what I value, the photograph itself, there is so much that goes into one image: time, light, intention…it is really a magical thing.The fact that creative folks want to hire me was is really just a fluke, people see what I make and want to help me make more of these kinds of images and for that I will be forever grateful.

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

It is truly different in every situation. But yes the client and creative relationship can either be a hindrance or a blessing. Sometimes the client and creatives don’t see eye to eye and you end up doing this balancing act where the work can suffer. The best kind of client has faith in the creatives as well at the photographer and realizes they are just there to hang out, have fun and let everyone do their thing.

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

I try and keep my website and tumblr pages pretty recent, so a lot of people share my photographs on the internet on some social media platform or another. That is really my favorite way to share things because it feels democratic, if people like your photo they can post it to pinterest or something.

I also like making little books or small prints and sending them out. I really enjoy getting stuff like that in the mail myself, if a friend sends me a photo book or zine it really makes my day. So I try to make nice things for people, and make the thing in itself have intrinsic value, so it is not like “here’s my marketing brochure, it’s like “hey here is a nice little thing I made for you that I hope will inspire or uplift you regardless,” That way if it ends up getting you a job or not it is cool to think someone might be having a better day because they got something they enjoyed in the mail.

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

It seems like more and more people are just making portfolios of work to get certain kinds of jobs. My advice to them would be, “just be honest with yourself, are you making this work because you think it will get you jobs or because you are truly passionate about it? “If you truly love it and it feels like it is your voice than you have nothing to worry about.
I think everyone wants to see the same thing in art, and that is honesty. People enjoy looking at things that feel like they came from somebody’s heart and soul, that is just human nature.

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

I have been working on some personal projects as well as doing commissioned work. But I have plans to refocus my energy on some larger scale personal projects in the very near future.

How often are you shooting new work?

I have commissioned jobs with some frequency and then have been trying to keep personal projects going as well. I have also been trying to actually slow down a bit and be more mindful in my process. There seems to be this manic pace in the industry right now with everyone constantly posting new work, blogging, instagramming and what have you, I think everyone needs to just chill out a bit and think about what they are making and why.

Jeff Luker is an American photographer born in 1985. Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest he now calls New York home. Luker’s work explores themes inherent to the American experience and while primarily a fine art/documentary photographer he has in the past shot commercial projects for companies including Levi’s, Urban Outfitters, Nike and Chrysler. He has shown his work in galleries both domestic and abroad and has had his photographs published in magazines such as Beautiful/Decay, Foam, Oxford American and Neon. He continually travels and photographs the small towns, back roads and wilds of America seeking out adventure. He is represented by Friend + Johnson.

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.

 

Still Images in Great Advertising- Tom Nagy

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

I wanted to finish my series of my favorites from CA Photo Annual with the work of Tom Nagy and his award winning campaign for Swiss. One of things I love about this campaign is how many ads they did which is something we don’t see that much anymore.



Suzanne: Tell me a little more about this campaign. How many concepts were there and I see in the “Making of” it required a lot of crew and some plane to plane communication.

Tom: The art director Swen Murath saw the personal series I did 3 years ago and wanted me to shoot the whole campaign exactly this way. At the end, we produced approximately 20 ads within 10 days of production. The key to get the shots we wanted was the incredible support we received from the airport authority in Zurich and the fact that we got the time we needed to produce the right quality. We had the green card to do almost whatever we wanted on the entire airport. It was a little bit like playing God. We have been on the runway, getting rid of 30 disturbing carts in the shot was just a call. We rerouted flights, moved around on cherry-picker, moved a lot of planes. Overall a photographers dream….

Suzanne: I like “Making of” verses behind the scenes because you show more technical aspects which I think is nice. Tell me more about that and also what’s it like to make snow in Los Angeles?

Tom: It was great to make snow in downtown LA. Many pedestrians came closer and touched the snow and asked us if it was really snow. Some of these people had never touched snow before. We have had a lot of fun making jokes with these guys. The fake snow we used is absolutely amazing. It has all features real snow has. You can make snowballs which look absolutely authentic. Just the cold is missing. One thing I really love on my job, is to create my own world which often is a little bit “ better than life “

Suzanne: I see when you are doing personal projects, you like to shoot more people in the images. Do you wish clients would consider for more projects with people because you are good with landscapes and people.

Tom: I prefer to have people in my pictures and I´m always happy when clients book me for projects where people are involved. Shooting pure landscapes is a big luxury less and less clients go for it.

Suzanne: What is so nice about your advertising work is that you are hired to large campaigns not just one ad. Do you like to be a part of the collaboration process?

Tom: I always try to be as involved as possible in every detail of the concept. Pushing for the locations, talents and other details I´d like to see in my pictures is important to get the results I´d like to deliver. I´m always grateful when creatives ask me for my input to what could be an exciting approach for a campaign.

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Born in Germany, Tom started with photography at the age of 15, when his father gave him his old Minolta camera. After highschool he opened his first studio and has been assisting for 5 years before he went to Hamburg and officially started his career.

During the last 15 years he traveled around the world for his global clients. He won numerous awards like ADC, AOP, PDN, ONE SHOW, GRAPHYS, COMMUNICATION ARTS, BFF, LÜRZERS 200 BEST and many others. His work has been shown in several group and single exhibitions. He has given lectures in several different universitys and has been the chairman for the BFF, the association of german photographers.

He is member of ADC New York AOP in London and BFF in Germany.

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.