Posts by: Suzanne Sease

Art Producers Speak: Joseph Puhy

- - 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 Joseph Puhy because he is absolutely darling.

The Duke Boys!! It was a dream come true working with my childhood heroes during this project for Doner and autotrader.com

The Duke Boys!! It was a dream come true working with my childhood heroes during this project for Doner and autotrader.com

While documenting the chaos of running a mud bog on the set of the Animal Planet series, Mud Lovin’ Rednecks, I caught this tender moment between father and son.

While documenting the chaos of running a mud bog on the set of the Animal Planet series, Mud Lovin’ Rednecks, I caught this tender moment between father and son.

A personal project, inspired by one of my favorite dirt bike riding locations, created this late afternoon situation for a great image.

A personal project, inspired by one of my favorite dirt bike riding locations, created this late afternoon situation for a great image.

For Dry Kounty’s look-book shoot, we decided to use actors as models in vignettes to embody the personality of the brand.

For Dry Kounty’s look-book shoot, we decided to use actors as models in vignettes to embody the personality of the brand.

In collaboration with the model, my original concept morphed into this quirky portrait.

In collaboration with the model, my original concept morphed into this quirky portrait.

Using the model from the above (image 5), I highlighted his versatility in relation to our location. I love environmental portraits.

Using the model from the above (image 5), I highlighted his versatility in relation to our location. I love environmental portraits.

Reflective of my personal style, this is one of six ads shot for the Woo Agency and Lenovo.

Reflective of my personal style, this is one of six ads shot for the Woo Agency and Lenovo.

As with the above (image 7), there was an easy rapport with the Art Director for this Lowe CE agency Ghirardelli Chocolate ad.

As with the above (image 7), there was an easy rapport with the Art Director for this Lowe CE agency Ghirardelli Chocolate ad.

Kip Thorne, Theoretical Physicist. Photographed for science magazine, Newton.

Kip Thorne, Theoretical Physicist. Photographed for science magazine, Newton.

Dude. Running. Location. Epic.

Dude. Running. Location. Epic.

How many years have you been in business?
19 years total, including assisting which started in high school, but shooting consistently the last seven years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, back in the days of film and Polaroid. I’ve taught myself everything digital since my days in the darkroom.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
First off, my father was a Creative Director, so there was endless reference material at home to get lost in; art, photography books, art publications like Zoom and Lurzer’s Archive. Also, he’d take me out on shoots during the summers. Next, it was the photographers I worked for on summer breaks in high school and first years at college. They introduced me to the craft of photography, lens choice, lighting, processing, film stocks, and how it all tied together. There was a real sense of alchemy that I couldn’t figure out but was drawn to. That’s the reason I decided to go to Brooks and learn the technical aspects of photography.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
It’s a balance that I’m constantly refining. Luckily, now I have a body of work where I can throw a few curve balls into a commercial book. A balance between execution, observation, and subject matter.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Yes, to a certain extent. Not so much when shooting the job, because at that point it’s a collaboration, more in trying to get the job. I’ve found that having great relationships with creatives, buyers and producers has gotten me to the table to bid on some amazing projects but often lose out to a “bigger name photographer” based on the client’s recommendation. In the end it’s their money, and they need to make the decision that’s best for them. I just keep pushing forward to the next opportunity.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
First, I try to meet face-to-face with agencies where I might be a good fit. That can be a difficult process, but I think that when meeting someone in person, they can get a better sense of what I’m about. I participate on many marketing sites, and was recently invited to be a part of At-Edge.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
You better like it too. You have to show work that you want to produce.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, I do personal projects for promos. If there is time on jobs and the situation allows for it I try to do a version for myself.

How often are you shooting new work?
Every month.

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I am a Los Angeles photographer that works with a wide range of clients from commercial to editorial. My style has a natural aesthetic with a cinematic approach. I capture moments of people and things relating to their environment, either in harmony or discord. That relationship tells stories worth sharing.

Website: www.puhy.com
E-mail: Joseph@puhy.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 Fraser

- - 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 Fraser. I worked with him on extremely complicated projects and he always over delivered. Understanding vision of agency creative, suggesting solution for unusual concepts, delivering beautiful photography and always under budget. What else can an art buyer want from the photographer.

Carla Korbes is a principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  I wanted to photograph her in a raw setting with very simple styling so I picked Long Beach WA in the early morning wearing this very simple black leotard.

Carla Korbes is a principal dancer with the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  I wanted to photograph her in a raw setting with very simple styling so I picked Long Beach WA in the early morning wearing this very simple black leotard.

Here is an example of my magazine portrait work.  Don Cheadle and Chloe Sevigny photographed for two different magazine features. The magazine ended up using color images for the features but I like to offer up some black and white.  For Don I used a 4x5 with BW film.  Chloe pictured in the window of a studio in New York was also taken with a roll of grainy BW medium format film.

Here is an example of my magazine portrait work.  Don Cheadle and Chloe Sevigny photographed for two different magazine features. The magazine ended up using color images for the features but I like to offer up some black and white.  For Don I used a 4×5 with BW film.  Chloe pictured in the window of a studio in New York was also taken with a roll of grainy BW medium format film.

My friends daughter Jane was taken with a disposable underwater camera.  Everything is working for me, her hair, the colors, the grainy real quality and her gaze.

My friends daughter Jane was taken with a disposable underwater camera.  Everything is working for me, her hair, the colors, the grainy real quality and her gaze.

I was walking the streets of Paris when I spotted these boys playing Rugby.  I walked up to them with my Leica M6 and started to shoot and they did'nt mind at all they just kept on playing.  I love the faces here and all that muddy skin. 

I was walking the streets of Paris when I spotted these boys playing Rugby.  I walked up to them with my Leica M6 and started to shoot and they did’nt mind at all they just kept on playing.  I love the faces here and all that muddy skin. 

I shot this lookbook all at night in Silver Lake CA.  The story was called Into the Night.

I shot this lookbook all at night in Silver Lake CA.  The story was called Into the Night.

One of those real moments caught between a friend Ceara and her dog.

One of those real moments caught between a friend Ceara and her dog.

This was taken for an editorial men's fashion story about night surfers in San Diego.  The art director wanted it as real as possible. I started the shoot by getting on my wetsuit and shooting the guys in the water with a flash. Shooting surfing at night is a challenge but the images came out great!

This was taken for an editorial men’s fashion story about night surfers in San Diego.  The art director wanted it as real as possible. I started the shoot by getting on my wetsuit and shooting the guys in the water with a flash. Shooting surfing at night is a challenge but the images came out great!

I love the spontaneous energy in this shot of two actors from TV show Nashville.  It shows my studio work and was photographed for Nylon Magazine's TV special issue.

I love the spontaneous energy in this shot of two actors from TV show Nashville.  It shows my studio work and was photographed for Nylon Magazine’s TV special issue.

This is a still from a music video I directed with musician Marissa Nadler.  I chose Lake Erie in Ohio for the location as a cold frozen lake spoke to me in her song Rosary.  I love this location and luckily it was the middle of winter so the lake was frozen which ads to the drama.

This is a still from a music video I directed with musician Marissa Nadler.  I chose Lake Erie in Ohio for the location as a cold frozen lake spoke to me in her song Rosary.  I love this location and luckily it was the middle of winter so the lake was frozen which ads to the drama.

This is one of the shots I took at Vail International Dance Festival in August 2014. It pictures Tiler Peck and Robbie Fairchild of New York City Ballet doing a pose from the Jerome Robbins ballet  "Afternoon of a Faun".  I love to shoot dancers as they know how to move.

This is one of the shots I took at Vail International Dance Festival in August 2014. It pictures Tiler Peck and Robbie Fairchild of New York City Ballet doing a pose from the Jerome Robbins ballet  “Afternoon of a Faun”.  I love to shoot dancers as they know how to move.

One of my all time favorite editorial shoots here with David Lynch.  I arrived at his home and his assistant told me he was in his art studio.  I carefully asked her if there was any way I could go up there and take pictures of him working.   She asked him and he agreed.  It really felt personal, like taking a look into an artists private space.  The result is I have a wonderful series of him working on his fine art.  

One of my all time favorite editorial shoots here with David Lynch.  I arrived at his home and his assistant told me he was in his art studio.  I carefully asked her if there was any way I could go up there and take pictures of him working.  
She asked him and he agreed.  It really felt personal, like taking a look into an artists private space.  The result is I have a wonderful series of him working on his fine art.  

How many years have you been in business?
My first magazine assignment was 16 years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I didn’t go to photography school I actually studied fine art majoring in painting at University in England. Before that I took a foundation course in art & design in my hometown, which had a few photo classes. My father was a documentary filmmaker and gave me my first SLR at age 8. He taught me a lot about photography and showed me how to do black & white printing in the darkroom we had at our home.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I used to collect photography monographs from a really young age and pore over new issues of The Face and Arena magazines as a teen. If it came down to one photographer I’d have to say Avedon. What inspired me about his work was his range of subject matter. He mixed fashion and celebrity in the studio with everyday American workers outdoors in the American West series.

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 always shooting editorial which keeps me on my toes and keeps a constant feed of new work rolling in. Editorial gives me the creative freedom to experiment whilst collaborating with a photo editor or art director. I like how it sharpens my problem solving skills, which can be invaluable on advertising shoots. Editorial is a good way to experiment with new lighting set ups and keep visually exploring. It’s also a good way to keep your name out there.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I’ve been lucky, as I can’t say I have had that experience. Once I have been selected for a project I like to keep up a level of communication, which makes it hard for this to happen. If the communication is clear from the word go and the collaborators are all working well together then the client is usually more than happy with the results.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
You never can market yourself enough and I should be more aggressive in this department. My marketing plan is multi layered and consists of personal printed pieces, e-mails, alongside my editorial credits. My agent also sends out marketing and they do showings of my portfolio.

I was skeptical at first of social networking for marketing and promo, I felt like it weakened the work. Now I have started to post more images that I love and behind the scenes shots on Instagram and have begun to use it more, like an online portfolio. I feel like Instagram is the best social network tool for photographers and a good way to get one’s work in front of creative minded people. You can see my posts @patchypics

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Photography trends come in waves. You’ll see a photographer being used all over for a couple of years, their style of shooting might start to get copied and then the market for that imagery gets saturated. One must always stay true to one’s own vision and continue to grow and evolve. Shoot what comes naturally to you. Following trends is the kiss of death.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes always. I’m always out there shooting a test, making a film or thrashing out an idea I had driving or even in my sleep! Just this past week I was up in Vail at a dance festival for a few days and then I started asking the dancers if they had some spare time for a session. I came back with some really strong new images and that started an idea for a new series for me.

How often are you shooting new work?
I have a constant flow of new work. I get excited when there is a gap in commercial or magazine assignments where I can just go off and make images for myself both stills and motion. That is the time to explore what you love and usually that’s when you come back with strong images which were self motivated.

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10 FACTS ABOUT PATRICK
1) When he was 18 he rode an Enfield 350 Bullet Motorbike around Northern India.
2) He is renovating a 1948 Homesteader cabin in Joshua Tree, CA.

3) Is reading The 100-Year-Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

4) Made his first piece of furniture in 2012, a bench for his garden

5) Is restoring a 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV

6) Loves to sketch

7) He is big on roasting and using the BBQ for slow cooking

8) Rents a production office near Abbott Kinney in Venice, CA

9) 2014 completed a documentary about the art of Taxidermy called Skin Movers

10) He Plays the French horn

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: Q. Sakamaki

- - 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 Q. Sakamaki. I always find myself lingering over Q’s dreamlike images. Even though many images in his mailers were taken with Instagram, they have a nostalgic vibe, especially the double exposures. Work on his site is classic, news journalism. He is not afraid to tackle difficult subjects, although it may be difficult to find commercial applications for his work.

Self-Metaphors Series: A small boy exploring the ancient time of Egypt, trying to look into the bottom of a more than 2300 year old sarcophagus of Wennefer. 2013.

Self-Metaphors Series: A small boy exploring the ancient time of Egypt, trying to look into the bottom of a more than 2300 year old sarcophagus of Wennefer. 2013.

A newly arrived Georgian refugee. Tbisili, Georgia, 2008.

A newly arrived Georgian refugee. Tbisili, Georgia, 2008.

Nearly burned out wedding album remained at a tsunami destroyed and burned down area in Kesennuma, Miyagi, where many people inside the cars and ships were washed out and trapped and killed due to the tsunami. And survivors could hear the crying all the night. Japan, 2011.

Nearly burned out wedding album remained at a tsunami destroyed and burned down area in Kesennuma, Miyagi, where many people inside the cars and ships were washed out and trapped and killed due to the tsunami. And survivors could hear the crying all the night. Japan, 2011.

Fukushima series: Radiation-contaminated crop supporters remain at no man land in Iitate village in Fukushima, on the 3rd anniversary of Japan’s 2011 monster quake and tsunami. Fukushima, Japan, 2014.

Fukushima series: Radiation-contaminated crop supporters remain at no man land in Iitate village in Fukushima, on the 3rd anniversary of Japan’s 2011 monster quake and tsunami. Fukushima, Japan, 2014.

Flower series: A broken, dead sunflower in winter’s morning light. 2014.

Flower series: A broken, dead sunflower in winter’s morning light. 2014.

Fukushima series: A baby swallow at an abandoned elementary school in Ukedo, a highly restricted area in Fukushima, due to the radiation caused by the 2011 Fukushima nuke power plant disaster. Fukushima, Japan, 2014.

Fukushima series: A baby swallow at an abandoned elementary school in Ukedo, a highly restricted area in Fukushima, due to the radiation caused by the 2011 Fukushima nuke power plant disaster. Fukushima, Japan, 2014.

Self-Metaphors series: Coney Island before the summer frenzy. New York, 2013.

Self-Metaphors series: Coney Island before the summer frenzy. New York, 2013.

Self-Metaphors series: Harlem security guard. New York, 2013.

Self-Metaphors series: Harlem security guard. New York, 2013.

Self-Metaphors series: A girl in Osaka, one of my home towns. Osaka, Japan, 2014.

Self-Metaphors series: A girl in Osaka, one of my home towns. Osaka, Japan, 2014.

Self-Metaphors series: A businessman with an arrow head, in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan, 2013.

Self-Metaphors series: A businessman with an arrow head, in Marunouchi, Tokyo, Japan, 2013.

Self-Metaphors Series: A small Japanese Korean girl in Kyoto shows an extremely tiny fish, as the city, as well as Japan, has a very tense relationship between Japanese and Korean communities. Kyoto, Japan, 2013.

Self-Metaphors Series: A small Japanese Korean girl in Kyoto shows an extremely tiny fish, as the city, as well as Japan, has a very tense relationship between Japanese and Korean communities. Kyoto, Japan, 2013.

How many years have you been in business?
More than 25 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I think both. I went to a photo school in New York, but the curriculum was very short (9 months or so). Indeed, for many parts of photography, I learned by myself.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Deborah Turbeville and Sara Moon. And Yukio Mishima might have given a big influence to me even for the question, though he was a novelist.

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?
By checking, feeling, reading and listening to any kind of great art. Also lately I have been dong Instagram through which I can get inspiration, especially when I encounter great, yet different type of photos.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Yes. It is natural in this industry, but also one of the most disappointing things, especially after committing lots of energy and time.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Recently I have found that Instagram would help for the purpose, though still on the way of the experiment. Also my agency Redux helps. Though the best way is to directly communicate with those in face to face.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Thinking too much about what they want to see is not good. It makes less originality. Any great art comes from the artist’s original vision, not from others.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, I often shoot for such a purpose somehow or to make myself grow more.

How often are you shooting new work?
In recent years, I have started to shoot New York again, very often, most time purposely by iPhone. Though I may restart using more other cameras, too.

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Q. Sakamaki is a documentary photographer, covering war to socio-economy in the world, as well as many other social issues, combining the journalistic views and the story-telling with aestheticism. In recent years, his works also contain many of personal matters and views. Actually by dong so, he is exploring and shooting his own self-metaphors. His photographs have appeared in books and magazines worldwide including Time, Newsweek, and Stern, and have been exhibited in solo shows in New York and Tokyo. He has received many international awards, including World Press Photo and Olivier Rebbot of Overseas Press Club. Sakamaki holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York. He has published several books, including “Tompkins Square Park” – photo essay of New York Lower Eastside’s anti-gentrification movement, by Power House Books. Sakamaki is represented by Redux Pictures.

Contact Info:
Q. Sakamaki
info@qsakamaki.com
qsakamaki@yahoo.co.jp
www.qsakamaki.com
http://instagram.com/qsakamaki

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: Anthony Blasko

- - 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 Anthony Blasko. I’m keeping a close watch on him. There is a current of quiet drama flowing through Blasko’s photographs that harkens back to the works of 20th Century painter, George Bellows. I especially love Blasko’s “Jon Jones” series for Victory Journal.

This was part of a shoot for Nike with Doubleday & Cartwright. During the scout we joked about how amazing it would be if it snowed, and it ended up snowing 4–5 inches while we shot. We were very lucky.

This was part of a shoot for Nike with Doubleday & Cartwright. During the scout we joked about how amazing it would be if it snowed, and it ended up snowing 4–5 inches while we shot. We were very lucky.

This was shot in Las Vegas for Nike. I like that it’s just a simple portrait.

This was shot in Las Vegas for Nike. I like that it’s just a simple portrait.

I shot this at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio for Victory Journal 7.  This is part of an ongoing project about bodybuilding.

I shot this at the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio for Victory Journal 7.
This is part of an ongoing project about bodybuilding.

 This was also shot for Victory Journal. It was part of a story we shot at the Saratoga Race Track.

This was also shot for Victory Journal. It was part of a story we shot at the Saratoga Race Track.

This is from a shoot I did for Levi’s Commuter.

This is from a shoot I did for Levi’s Commuter.

I shot a series of outdoor courts and fields in Brooklyn for Nike Air Force 1 right after Hurricane Sandy. We ended up biking around for 3 days because of the gas shortage. It was strange because almost no one was out, but it worked well for the shoot. There isn’t a single person in any of the images.

I shot a series of outdoor courts and fields in Brooklyn for Nike Air Force 1 right after Hurricane Sandy. We ended up biking around for 3 days because of the gas shortage. It was strange because almost no one was out, but it worked well for the shoot. There isn’t a single person in any of the images.

A cliff diver I shot at a competition in Boston for Victory Journal.

A cliff diver I shot at a competition in Boston for Victory Journal.

A portrait of a cattleman and his kids in Florida. This is part of a long-term project I working on in the South.

A portrait of a cattleman and his kids in Florida. This is part of a long-term project I working on in the South.

Another image from the same project, shot at a river in Mississippi.

Another image from the same project, shot at a river in Mississippi.

This is one of my favorite shots of my cousin Amber from another ongoing project. I’ve been shooting my father’s side of my family for around 8 years now. The first 5 years are in the book The Way Things Are, Volume I.

This is one of my favorite shots of my cousin Amber from another ongoing project. I’ve been shooting my father’s side of my family for around 8 years now. The first 5 years are in the book The Way Things Are, Volume I.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been shooting professionally for about 3 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I have a BFA. But that’s not a road I would take again.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
It’s hard to cite one influence. Robert Frank, Bruce Davidson, Mark Cohen, Sally Mann and Garry Winogrand have all had a large impact on how I look at things.

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?
Being fresh isn’t something I ever think about but I do try to push myself with every project and try to make it my own. What drives me is looking at the work of others, there’s a lot of great work out there that sets the bar really high.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I know this happens, but I haven’t had much experience with it. But I understand that when you’re working with bigger brands other things need to be considered, and that might be limiting. But at that point you work with the creative to come up with something interesting.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I find people really love books. I like to print books or magazines of my personal work to send out. Right now I have 4 projects that are close to being done that will become printed pieces in some form. I’ve also worked on a number of projects with Victory Journal, which has allowed me to shoot some interesting stories, as well as get my work in front of a lot of people.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I’m sure it works for some, but I think in the long run you’ll probably enjoy your work more if you’re making it for yourself. In return you’ll probably work more because of it. I also think that if you’re not shooting work that’s your own, people will notice.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I’m always shooting personal work. At the moment I’m working on numerous projects, the largest is titled The South. I’m spending 3–4 weeks shooting in each Southern state with another photographer, Chadwick Tyler. We’ll publish books for each state. I’m also finishing up a project on competitive bodybuilding, which will also be a book.

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Anthony Blasko is a NYC based photographer. Represented by McDermott Management.

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: Kristyna Archer

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 Kristyna Archer. Aside from her obvious talent as a shooter, she is personable, fun, able to roll with the punches and goes to the max to make people happy. We used her and my creatives are as smitten with her as I am. We are all excited about what the future holds for her.

This is part of a personal series I shot in 2012 called "Donut Doppelgängers." It seemed so nonsensical at the time, but I had to get out of my mind.  A 'stream-of-consciousness' later, I started comparing them to people.

This is part of a personal series I shot in 2012 called “Donut Doppelgängers.” It seemed so nonsensical at the time, but I had to get out of my mind.  A ‘stream-of-consciousness’ later, I started comparing them to people.

This image was inspired by Cast of Vices, an amazing Los Angeles designer who created these high end luxury versions of your average bodega bag (on right).  It struck a chord with me and I wanted to create a juxtaposition of the "faux" middle class trying so hard to uphold appearances, next to poverty level.  They are both still riding the bus ironically- not so far apart…

This image was inspired by Cast of Vices, an amazing Los Angeles designer who created these high end luxury versions of your average bodega bag (on right).  It struck a chord with me and I wanted to create a juxtaposition of the “faux” middle class trying so hard to uphold appearances, next to poverty level.  They are both still riding the bus ironically- not so far apart…

This image started with the phrase "We're all kids at heart" where I was using childlike props pairing them with adults showing vulnerability.  Yet this shot soon became about something entirely different when you pair a speedo next to a lollipop.  So I changed my crop and decided to get in your face about it.  I love how things can develop into something so much weirder and more vulgar- the subconscious at its best I guess?

This image started with the phrase “We’re all kids at heart” where I was using childlike props pairing them with adults showing vulnerability.  Yet this shot soon became about something entirely different when you pair a speedo next to a lollipop.  So I changed my crop and decided to get in your face about it.  I love how things can develop into something so much weirder and more vulgar- the subconscious at its best I guess?

Campaign I shot for Canon with GREY visually illustrating a sensory experience of the theme "baseball."

Campaign I shot for Canon with GREY visually illustrating a sensory experience of the theme “baseball.”

Campaign I shot for Oxxford Menswear.

Campaign I shot for Oxxford Menswear.

This is a personal project where I wanted it to feel like film stills, because the story is loaded with emotion.  The less purposeful and pulled back you are, the more honest it feels.

This is a personal project where I wanted it to feel like film stills, because the story is loaded with emotion.  The less purposeful and pulled back you are, the more honest it feels.

I do love denim- all kinds. And I wanted to celebrate it.

I do love denim- all kinds. And I wanted to celebrate it.

If you've grown up somewhere where you've never seen snow and freaked out when you saw it for the first time- thats how I felt when I saw an abundance of lemon trees in LA.  I was trying every possible way to make use.

If you’ve grown up somewhere where you’ve never seen snow and freaked out when you saw it for the first time- thats how I felt when I saw an abundance of lemon trees in LA.  I was trying every possible way to make use.

I like to document those people that have had an impact on my life.  Maren is one of them.

I like to document those people that have had an impact on my life.  Maren is one of them.

This happened randomly and all you can do is be ready to capture.  I thought for sure he would never smoke inside his beautiful "Restoration Hardware" home.  But I once I said it he was up for the challenge.

This happened randomly and all you can do is be ready to capture.  I thought for sure he would never smoke inside his beautiful “Restoration Hardware” home.  But I once I said it he was up for the challenge.

How many years have you been in business?
I went out on my own as a photographer 3 years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to Columbia College in Chicago and received a BFA in Photography. The camaraderie I experienced from both faculty and classmates during my time there was electric. Then you work your first day on set and you realize you know nothing about how this industry works. A formal education was a great foundation, but only scratched the surface.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I mean there’s a plethora of who, what, and whens that all culminated into “I don’t see how I could not do this everyday.” But specifically I had some amazing professors that would just rip apart your work in critique, which challenged me and pushed me to become a thorough and intentional artist. Linda Levy believed in me and pushed me out the door when I was afraid to make the leap from assisting to shooting. And of course there are those specific artists, directors, writers, cinematographers, that I am constantly inspired by and in awe of- Diane Arbus, Erwin Olaf, Wes Anderson, Anton Corbijn, Sagmiester, Larry David, Thom Yorke.

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 the easiest way to answer this question is to “be random.” Put yourself in totally random places and situations, with different people all the time, and you will have a plethora of ideas to let bake until they are ready to hatch. That’s sort of what I do. Embrace the spontaneity in life. Also being present in the moment and in tune with all the hilarious human behavior that is happening constantly around you for great entertainment value. People are weird but we all try really hard not to show it. Yet the quirky parts of us are the best parts of us.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Ok, I am not trying to be a “goodie-two-shoes,” but honestly every client I have had thus far has had a respect for what I am bringing to the table and has allowed me to do what I do best. And vice versa, I respect what they need to make their client and team happy. You get exactly what they want, and then you give them a different perspective that sometimes you are unable to see from being too close to a project. It’s the perfect balance and a great collaboration. Everyone wants the best results for the most reasonable cost. You problem solve and think ‘out of the box’ to make something look expensive in a “bogo” kind of way.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
There’s nothing better than meeting someone in person, getting to know them, and seeing what work strikes a chord most for them personally. Yet meetings are hard to get, so I try to make sure my personality comes thru in the marketing materials that I put out into the world. Business is personal, so I love to write notes or make ironic statements on my printed promos. And as much as I wasn’t fond of social media before, now I’ve truly accepted it’s essential and a great tool for business. There are those that abuse it, but I think the power of the potential networking outweighs it.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
It’s over before its even started. That might be a little harsh on my part, but one thing about this industry is you must have a thick skin, strong sense of self, and succinct vision to get anywhere. Who really wants someone to spoon-feed what you think they want? It seems so disingenuous and unattractive. I suppose I relate it to dating. Stop trying so hard and just be yourself. Whatever you are passionate about the most will be the most obvious anyway.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Constantly. That’s the only thing you can do to perfect your craft, develop your style, and find your voice. You can’t be afraid of bad ideas. I think there’s a lot more to lose by not getting it down on paper, or further, creating and being afraid to share. What’s the point? It’s just a discussion or conversation I am trying to start, and there’s no right or wrong. I understand being vulnerable can be scary, but how can you be an artist and not put yourself out there and literally leave your heart on the page. It’s always your best stuff, even if it’s too revealing. The process of discovery and evolution of a concept will help cause a breakthrough. The more you create the higher your chances of making your best work all the time.

How often are you shooting new work?
All the time. Once a week to once a month I’m working on personal projects depending on how busy I get with client work.

——————

Kristyna is an advertising and editorial photographer who specializes in storytelling.  Her work focuses on conceptual narrative and portraiture. Her clients range from Canon, to Inc. Magazine, to the New York Times.  After growing up blocks from 8 Mile Road and traveling all over the Asia-Pacific as an on-location retoucher, she’s capable of finding a common denominator regardless of upbringing, culture, or language.  She is inspired by her own paradoxical observations, the idiosyncrasies of human behavior, and an inherent love for fashion and design. She currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Chicago. Kristyna is represented by Friend + Johnson.

www.kristynaarcher.com
www.friendandjohnson.com

Say hello at me@kristynaarcher.com
Follow her antics:
Instagram @kristynaarcher
Twitter @kristynaarcher

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: Chris Sembrot

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

Personal work and having fun with a new underwater housing.

Personal work and having fun with a new underwater housing.

Part of an ongoing personal project on androgyny.

Part of an ongoing personal project on androgyny.

Personal work from a mid-summer tri in Asbury Park, NJ 2013.

Personal work from a mid-summer tri in Asbury Park, NJ 2013.

Personal work from a mid-summer tri in Asbury Park, NJ 2013.

Personal work from a mid-summer tri in Asbury Park, NJ 2013.

I love shooting friends especially on the first warm day after a long Winter.

I love shooting friends especially on the first warm day after a long Winter.

Cover assignment featuring Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and David Byrne for the Guardian Guide. Was shot on location in David Byrne's studio in NYC.

Cover assignment featuring Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and David Byrne for the Guardian Guide. Was shot on location in David Byrne’s studio in NYC.

Music feature assignment for Billboard Magazine with DJ Martin Garrix, shot in Atlantic City, NJ.

Music feature assignment for Billboard Magazine with DJ Martin Garrix, shot in Atlantic City, NJ.

Ad campaign for Mississippi Gulf Tourism. We shot 14 locations and activities over the course of 4 days.

Ad campaign for Mississippi Gulf Tourism. We shot 14 locations and activities over the course of 4 days.

Ad campaign for Mississippi Gulf Tourism. We shot 14 locations and activities over the course of 4 days.

Ad campaign for Mississippi Gulf Tourism. We shot 14 locations and activities over the course of 4 days.

Cover assignment featuring the band Phoenix. Shot on location at the East Village Standard hotel in NYC.

Cover assignment featuring the band Phoenix. Shot on location at the East Village Standard hotel in NYC.

Cover assignment featuring the band Phoenix. Shot on location at the East Village Standard hotel in NYC.

Cover assignment featuring the band Phoenix. Shot on location at the East Village Standard hotel in NYC.

Part of an ongoing personal project on androgyny.

Part of an ongoing personal project on androgyny.

Cover assignment featuring Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and David Byrne for the Guardian Guide. Was shot on location in David Byrne's studio in NYC

Cover assignment featuring Annie Clark (St. Vincent) and David Byrne for the Guardian Guide. Was shot on location in David Byrne’s studio in NYC

Feature for Running Times highlighting an elite women's high school cross country team in Pennsylvania.

Feature for Running Times highlighting an elite women’s high school cross country team in Pennsylvania.

Feature for Running Times highlighting an elite women's high school cross country team in Pennsylvania.

Feature for Running Times highlighting an elite women’s high school cross country team in Pennsylvania.

Personal work and having fun with a new underwater housing.

Personal work and having fun with a new underwater housing.

Part of my ongoing personal project titled "Urban Surfers." Each portrait was shot around sunrise (the coldest months reserved for only those dedicated to Winter surfing), and within a 2 block radious of the subject's home.

Part of my ongoing personal project titled “Urban Surfers.” Each portrait was shot around sunrise (the coldest months reserved for only those dedicated to Winter surfing), and within a 2 block radious of the subject’s home.

Part of my ongoing personal project titled "Urban Surfers." Each portrait was shot around sunrise (the coldest months reserved for only those dedicated to Winter surfing), and within a 2 block radious of the subject's home.

Part of my ongoing personal project titled “Urban Surfers.” Each portrait was shot around sunrise (the coldest months reserved for only those dedicated to Winter surfing), and within a 2 block radious of the subject’s home.

Part of my ongoing personal project titled "Urban Surfers." Each portrait was shot around sunrise (the coldest months reserved for only those dedicated to Winter surfing), and within a 2 block radious of the subject's home.

Part of my ongoing personal project titled “Urban Surfers.” Each portrait was shot around sunrise (the coldest months reserved for only those dedicated to Winter surfing), and within a 2 block radious of the subject’s home.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been on my own professionally for the past four years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A combination of both. But, the best part of my education came after I left school. Working as an art buyer for five years really allowed me to learn the business of commercial photography from the inside out. Plus it gave me direct access to art/creative directors on a daily basis. It helped forge relationships with people I work with today.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
It had to be my mom. When we were growing up, she’s the one who always had a camera in her hand, capturing whatever moments she could. When referring to my eye, she always says, “You got that from me.” Hearing her say that always makes me smile!

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 and shoot personal projects that have a different look and feel than my “normal” work. My biggest goal whenever I concept a project idea is to somehow bring out my personality. I stay in the moment and enjoy the freedom of capturing something that strikes me on that day, hour, minute. I don’t shoot nearly as many tests shoots as I do personal projects, because I want my personal work to stand on its own.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I think the honest answer is sometimes, yes. However, recently (more often than not) I have had the good fortune of creative freedom. Working with creative and account teams who trust that my creative vision will ultimately fill the needs of our client makes all the difference in a shoot. It’s not always easy but when you communicate with each other and collaborate as a team, it makes all the difference.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
When I’m not sending out my quarterly mailers, and personal emails, I’m meeting face to face. If I’m given 15 minutes of a busy art producer’s time, you better believe I’m giving it my all. Social media is also huge. I blog 2-3 times a month and am consistently reaching out on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Don’t. Show what moves you – what you’re proud of. Show work that is inspiring for a creative to see and hopefully he/she can envision it in a campaign or editorial spread. Be bold and show what you’re passionate about.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I am always keeping notes on ideas when they strike. I cull through them constantly and pursue the ideas that keep me inspired. I think many of my Facebook or Instagram friends would agree that I like to utilize both as creative outlets.

How often are you shooting new work?
I’m shooting every week. And when I’m not shooting, I’m thinking about it. New ideas fill my head constantly.

——————

Chris first cut his teeth in the commercial photography world while working as an agency art buyer and producer. He consciously chose the agency route because it offered him experience on the business side and allowed him to shoot and build his first professional portfolio.

Chris now works and lives in his hometown of Philadelphia where he is channeling his love for photojournalism into commercial work. His work has been featured in Communication Arts, Graphis, PDN, American Photography and OneEyeland. His clients include Converse, Reebok, Fuse Network, Guardian Guide, Red Bull Majestic Athletic and Nylon Magazine.

In his spare time, Chris enjoys surfing, building furniture, brewing beer and developing ideas for his next adventure.

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: Victoria Will

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 Victoria Will. She was a pleasure to work with, ever gregarious and an all- around rockstar on set. Difficult weather conditions, challenging directors and limited time with the cast did not hinder her talents. I can’t wait to work with her again.

This is an image I shot for a Miller High Life Project. I had previously seen a sign like that and always wanted to find a way to incorporate it into my work.

This is an image I shot for a Miller High Life Project. I had previously seen a sign like that and always wanted to find a way to incorporate it into my work.

Who doesn’t love jumping on a bed? I hadn’t done it in years until I suggested it for this shoot. It seems to bring out the kid in anyone.

Who doesn’t love jumping on a bed? I hadn’t done it in years until I suggested it for this shoot. It seems to bring out the kid in anyone.

This image is from a shoot for Dasani Water and it still makes me smile! I love the color palette and the energy.

This image is from a shoot for Dasani Water and it still makes me smile! I love the color palette and the energy.

One of my favorite places to visit is a beautiful farmhouse in upstate New York. Its the location of the Eddie Adams Workshop. I volunteer for EAW every October, but there is a lot of prep that goes in to it so I visit the farm often throughout the summer. I have walked past this tree swing a million times, but one weekend I was at the farm and a friend of a friend jumped on it and I made this. Now it reminds me of a perfect summer day.

One of my favorite places to visit is a beautiful farmhouse in upstate New York. Its the location of the Eddie Adams Workshop. I volunteer for EAW every October, but there is a lot of prep that goes in to it so I visit the farm often throughout the summer. I have walked past this tree swing a million times, but one weekend I was at the farm and a friend of a friend jumped on it and I made this. Now it reminds me of a perfect summer day.

I love creating moments for a shoot, but I also love when I catch a quiet scene like this.

I love creating moments for a shoot, but I also love when I catch a quiet scene like this.

I do a lot of work backstage during fashion month and its always great to find moments like these. This was shot while on assignment for Vogue at the Lavin show in Paris.

I do a lot of work backstage during fashion month and its always great to find moments like these. This was shot while on assignment for Vogue at the Lavin show in Paris.

It’s always refreshing when you can collaborate with a subject like Brad Pitt. He is the consummate professional who also happens to be an avid photographer — the perfect combination for a portrait subject.

It’s always refreshing when you can collaborate with a subject like Brad Pitt. He is the consummate professional who also happens to be an avid photographer — the perfect combination for a portrait subject.

This was shot on assignment for Vogue backstage at the Tommy Hilfiger in New York.

This was shot on assignment for Vogue backstage at the Tommy Hilfiger in New York.

I love using the existing environment to make a mood and in this case it was neon lights in Las Vegas. The juxtaposition of a busy Las Vegas Blvd with a thoughtful glance out the window creates its own narrative.

I love using the existing environment to make a mood and in this case it was neon lights in Las Vegas. The juxtaposition of a busy Las Vegas Blvd with a thoughtful glance out the window creates its own narrative.

When I was on a road trip with some friends our truck overheated and we had to pull over at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. I saw this image through the window as we waited. It captures that moment in time just as I remember experiencing it.

When I was on a road trip with some friends our truck overheated and we had to pull over at a gas station in the middle of nowhere. I saw this image through the window as we waited. It captures that moment in time just as I remember experiencing it.

I married into a family of cowboys and I take every opportunity I can to go out and ride with them. They never cease to amaze me. This is a lunch break after 6 hours of being in the saddle.

I married into a family of cowboys and I take every opportunity I can to go out and ride with them. They never cease to amaze me. This is a lunch break after 6 hours of being in the saddle.

On a trip to Mt. Hood, Oregon I was standing on the balcony of a cabin when the car pulled in. It gives an unique perspective to a familiar brand.  I loved the vantage point — and of course the paw prints.

On a trip to Mt. Hood, Oregon I was standing on the balcony of a cabin when the car pulled in. It gives an unique perspective to a familiar brand. I loved the vantage point — and of course the paw prints.

This image and next are part of a series where I used a music festival as a backdrop to tell an experimental narrative through the energy and shared experience of the people there.

This image and next are part of a series where I used a music festival as a backdrop to tell an experimental narrative through the energy and shared experience of the people there.

JackP11

How many years have you been in business?
10 years ago I started working as a photojournalist in New York City. That gave me the background that allowed me to go freelance 4 years ago to focus on the parts of photography I enjoy most.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I suppose I’m a little bit of both. I didn’t go to a photo school, but was lucky enough to study with Emmet Gowin and Andrew Moore at Princeton.

When I was transitioning from photojournalism, I took a portrait workshop in Santa Fe with Platon. It blew my mind and changed my life. From him, I learned what I don’t think I could have learned in a classroom. I saw just how powerful a collaborative effort between a subject and photographer can be and how you need to trust your vision — it’s something that can’t be forced, but has to be felt.

That workshop wasn’t my last. I find those environments recharge me creatively and I am always hungry to learn.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Looking back, it’s so clear that I was always a visual person. I learned and expressed myself that way best. My mother even saved portraits of dolls that I made with her polaroid camera when I was 6, but it took me awhile to figure out. It wasn’t until college that I starting to think about photography as something I could actually pursue. I stumbled into a history of photography class with Peter Bunnell and immediately fell in love. After that I couldn’t read fast enough and spent a lot of time devouring the work of Lillian Bassman, David Bailey, Larry Sultan, and the paintings of Andrew Wyeth and John Singer Sargent. At that point, photography became more than just an artistic expression, it became a sort of language for me that I could really understand.

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 find inspiration in the usual suspects — photo books, music and movies, but also in the strangest places. Its not always visual, sometimes its a sound, or a feeling, or an experience that I want to recreate in a visual way. For example, the first time you get to jump in a pool at the beginning of the summer — thats the way I want a photograph to feel. I think it should have an emotion attached to it.

I’ve spent a lot of time observing the people around me—and I was always struck by how beautiful a simple and natural human gesture can be. Those little moments can tell a much larger story. Ultimately, I love creating narratives that allow a story to unfold. My goal is to create work that takes you on the same sort of journey.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I’d like to think that the creatives and the client ultimately choose me because they believe that my point of view will help bring their ideas to life. That being said, I love collaborating, with anyone that will have me. Luckily, every part of a shoot is a collaboration whether its with the client, the subject of the shoot, or the crew. That’s where being flexible becomes a crucial part of the job and you have to be willing to make adjustments. Working as a photojournalist really helped teach me that it is possible to adapt to any situation without having to compromise my vision or the clients needs.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I love to send out work that I think is successful and what better way is there to promote yourself than creating work you feel has a piece of you in it. At heart though I am a people person so I try to meet as many people as I can — face to face. Sitting down with someone helps to give them a better idea of who I am and who they would be hiring. To me making a connection and having someone trust that I will execute their vision is just as important as the work.

On the other hand, I don’t do it alone. I am lucky to have people in my life like my photojournalist husband, and my agent, Paige Long, who I am constantly brainstorming with and bouncing ideas off of. Paige has an incredibly creative eye and great institutional knowledge that has helped define my voice. Having that close network of support is invaluable.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I give the same advice someone gave me — shoot what you want to be hired to shoot. If you are inspired by your subject, it will show. If you aren’t, and you are doing it for the wrong reason, it comes from the wrong place and I think that shows as well.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
There was a time when I didn’t shoot for myself enough. That sometimes made it difficult to have a connection to the work. Now I shoot for myself as often as I can, experimenting and looking at things with new eyes. That’s how a recent project with tintypes happened. I saw one and became obsessed with making them work for me. Its not so much about trying to push the envelope, but about trying to evolve creatively. If I’m making the same safe images all the time, there is no room to grow.

How often are you shooting new work?
Whenever I am inspired! I have a list where I write down images I someday want to make that I’ve imagined and I’m slowly making my way through. Its feels like a rolodex of pictures in my head. But as fast as I cross them off, I seem to write more down.

——————

VICTORIA began her career at the New York Post where she was a staff photographer. In a news environment responsible for headlines like “Headless Body in Topless Bar,” Victoria honed her skills and sense of humor. With a focus on commercial and editorial portraiture, her photographs appear in newspapers and magazines worldwide, from the Associated Press to W magazine, The New York Times to Vogue. A graduate from Princeton University, she hails from Washington, D.C., but now resides in New York with her two French Bulldogs and photojournalist husband.

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: Reed Young

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 Reed Young. He is an editorial photographer whose work has so much story in it that I always stop and spend time with it. He really deserves some exposure for being interesting, thoughtful in the topics he covers and insightful in the compositions he depicts.

NOTE: Reed was nominated twice by two Art Producers from different agencies that have great reputations.

Angelo Maggi, the Italian voice actor for Tom Hanks

Angelo Maggi, the Italian voice actor for Tom Hanks

“Goldie” crossed the border when she was 16 and started dancing at a topless bar where most of the dancers were illegal immigrants from Juarez. She soon left that life behind, and now she owns Goldie’s Bar, a tiny cantina in an industrial section of south central El Paso. The walls of Goldie’s Bar are littered with pictures of her hero, Marilyn Monroe: “I like that she often said that women should be liberated, that men shouldn’t limit them, that a woman should be the way she wants to be.”

“Goldie” crossed the border when she was 16 and started dancing at a topless bar where most of the dancers were illegal immigrants from Juarez. She soon left that life behind, and now she owns Goldie’s Bar, a tiny cantina in an industrial section of south central El Paso. The walls of Goldie’s Bar are littered with pictures of her hero, Marilyn Monroe: “I like that she often said that women should be liberated, that men shouldn’t limit them, that a woman should be the way she wants to be.”

Bryan Toovak is a 7-year-old living in Barrow, Alaska. He goes to this playground from spring to fall despite the below-zero temperatures. On this rather mild spring day in early May, temperatures rose to almost 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius).

Bryan Toovak is a 7-year-old living in Barrow, Alaska. He goes to this playground from spring to fall despite the below-zero temperatures. On this rather mild spring day in early May, temperatures rose to almost 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius).

Konishiki Yasokichi is a 45-year-old one of Japan’s most recognizable celebrities. Now that he’s retired from Sumo Wrestling, the sport that made him so popular, he’s become a hip-hop artist and host of his own children’s television show. He was the heaviest sumo wrestler of all time weighing 580 pounds(264 kg). Two years ago he underwent gastric bypass surgery and has lost much of the weight that previously threatened his good health.

Konishiki Yasokichi is a 45-year-old one of Japan’s most recognizable celebrities. Now that he’s retired from Sumo Wrestling, the sport that made him so popular, he’s become a hip-hop artist and host of his own children’s television show. He was the heaviest sumo wrestler of all time weighing 580 pounds(264 kg). Two years ago he underwent gastric bypass surgery and has lost much of the weight that previously threatened his good health.

Felicia raises three of her grandchildren in small community deep in the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic. The family was supported by her husband’s pension until three months ago when he passed away. She lives in one of the few barracks that survived Hurricane George. She believes that the Lord will sustain her during this difficult time in her life.

Felicia raises three of her grandchildren in small community deep in the sugar cane fields of the Dominican Republic. The family was supported by her husband’s pension until three months ago when he passed away. She lives in one of the few barracks that survived Hurricane George. She believes that the Lord will sustain her during this difficult time in her life.

Seven days a week, 23-year-old Galson Mgaya rides from his remote village of Mtwango to the nearest city of Makambako, Tanzania. He straps 20 chickens to the back of his bicycle and then sells them in the city for twice what they’d go for in his small town. The trip takes him 3.5 hours each way, but it’s worthwhile because he makes about $8 each day. His daily profit helps support his parents and two sisters.

Seven days a week, 23-year-old Galson Mgaya rides from his remote village of Mtwango to the nearest city of Makambako, Tanzania. He straps 20 chickens to the back of his bicycle and then sells them in the city for twice what they’d go for in his small town. The trip takes him 3.5 hours each way, but it’s worthwhile because he makes about $8 each day. His daily profit helps support his parents and two sisters.

Many Brownsville residents say the area has more sneaker stores than after-school programs. Brownsville Brooklyn has only three sneaker stores. A few years ago, Penny began hosting an informal after-school program so that children in her building would have a safe place to go after school.

Many Brownsville residents say the area has more sneaker stores than after-school programs. Brownsville Brooklyn has only three sneaker stores. A few years ago, Penny began hosting an informal after-school program so that children in her building would have a safe place to go after school.

Minh Le is an unofficial spokesman for the Vietnamese community in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. Approximately one-third of the town’s population is of Asian descent, and of those, most are Vietnamese. Adopted by an American serviceman during the 1960s, Minh returned to his native Vietnam in the ’70s to act as an advisor to the US Navy. When he retired from the Navy, he moved to Bayou La Batre and bought several shrimp boats, including The Sunrise, pictured here. After the BP oil spill, Minh outfitted his boats to help with the cleanup efforts.

Minh Le is an unofficial spokesman for the Vietnamese community in Bayou La Batre, Alabama. Approximately one-third of the town’s population is of Asian descent, and of those, most are Vietnamese. Adopted by an American serviceman during the 1960s, Minh returned to his native Vietnam in the ’70s to act as an advisor to the US Navy. When he retired from the Navy, he moved to Bayou La Batre and bought several shrimp boats, including The Sunrise, pictured here. After the BP oil spill, Minh outfitted his boats to help with the cleanup efforts.

Comedian John Oliver for The Guardian.

Comedian John Oliver for The Guardian.

An advertisement for Dixan, an Italian laundry detergent.

An advertisement for Dixan, an Italian laundry detergent.

Bomb dog training school for Smithsonian Magazine.

Bomb dog training school for Smithsonian Magazine.

Inside the offices of Etsy for Inc. Magazine.

Inside the offices of Etsy for Inc. Magazine.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been doing freelance assignment work for 7 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I graduated from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
There are many. I’ve always been inspired by the work of Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. When I was in photography school, Steven Meisel and Steven Klein inspired me to try and become a fashion photographer. But I learned early on that it wasn’t fashion I loved but the stylistic use of lighting. So I applied it to what I was most interested in –- portraiture.

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 was never a good writer, so photography became an excuse to be a storyteller in a different way. I shoot at least two personal projects each year on subjects that interest me. For example I lived in Italy from 2006 to 2009, and while I was there I became fascinated with how American films are always dubbed into the Italian language instead of subtitled. After some research I learned that Italians have grown attached to the voices they associate with each Hollywood actor – so much that they’ve come to expect the voice of someone like Tom Hanks to always be the same person. This inspired me to spend a month in Rome photographing the dubbers in recreated scenes from their characters most iconic roles. Last month The New Yorker featured the story, which has already led to some exciting new opportunities.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
When it comes to advertising, I look at every assignment as the intersection of the creative, the client and me. It’s my job to bridge everyone’s goals into one successful outcome of which everybody can be proud. I shoot a lot of magazine assignments as well and they allow for a bit more freedom. The photo editor usually has ideas in mind, and they encourage me to interpret their ideas in a way that works best with my style.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
My first job out of college was in the art production department at McCann here in New York. I learned more in 10 months than in all three years of college. The experience allowed me to learn the business from the inside, instead of the usual perspective of a photo assistant. I learned that art buyers are drawn to work even if it isn’t what they are producing on a daily basis. Art buyers and photo editors receive hundreds of promos each week, and they basically look at them only long enough to throw them in the trash or delete them from their inbox. I learned quickly that it’s important to have a consistent style and to show work that’s hard to forget.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I’ve realized my best work comes from the heart. The beauty of doing personal projects is that I can market myself with the type of work I want to be assigned.

—————————-

Reed Young is an American photographer born in 1982. He grew up in Minneapolis and now calls New York City home. He shoots assignment work for magazines including Time, The Guardian Weekend, Fortune, Fast Company , Popular Mechanics and Runner’s World. Young’s work has taken him all over the world in search of stories that focus on the human perspective.

www.reedyoung.com +1 917.821.4449 me@reedyoung.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: Pip

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 Pip. We collaborated with him to shoot for one of our clients. He was a pleasure to work with and his photography is outstanding. He’s only 25 and he’s already short listed for the AOP awards and he made it into the Creative Review annual this year. Added to all this, he’s also self-taught.

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen

Lawson – Album artwork

Lawson – Album artwork

Freerunner project – with world parkour champion, Tim Shieff. See the rest on www.bypip.co.uk

Freerunner project – with world parkour champion, Tim Shieff. See the rest on www.bypip.co.uk

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Benjamin Francis Leftwich

The Novellos

The Novellos

Ellie Goulding in the rain

Ellie Goulding in the rain

Scottish actress Freya Mavor

Scottish actress Freya Mavor

Track & Field project – see the rest of www.bypip.co.uk

Track & Field project – see the rest of www.bypip.co.uk

Ben Khan

Ben Khan

British actor Jack Laskey

British actor Jack Laskey

Richard E Grant

Richard E Grant

Track & Field project – see the rest of www.bypip.co.uk

Track & Field project – see the rest of www.bypip.co.uk

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been working professionally for 6 years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’m self- taught, I didn’t go to college or university. I already had a solid technical understanding before I left school, and I’d never been particularly interested with conceptual analysis or the history of photography, so it didn’t make sense for me to go. I just wanted to get out into the world and start shooting without the limitations of working to a course project brief. Not having any qualifications has never inhibited me though – it’s important to remember that even with a first class degree from a top university, in the eyes of the client, you’re just as inexperienced as the day you enrolled. Portfolio is everything.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I was always a big fan of people like Ansel Adams, Anton Corbijn and Kevin Cummings when I was growing up. Their cinematic, black & white vision was something that really spoke to me. They also all had a graceful way of combining landscape scenes with portraiture – something else I’ve always loved. I think the romance of their work is what drove me to pick up a camera in the first place and the business side of things developed naturally as I continued to create work I was proud of.

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?
Following on from my last point, the most important thing is to be shooting things that excite you. As primarily a portrait photographer, my work is about storytelling, so humans are my first love and my main inspiration. I love meeting interesting people, learning about their lives and the way they perceive the world – everyone has a different story.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I’ve been generally pretty lucky with clients – I can’t think of many times I’ve been held back or asked shoot in a way I wasn’t comfortable with. When shooting commercially there always has to be compromises from each party, but I’ve found the best clients are good communicators – ones who lay down a thorough brief then take a step back and let the photographer approach it in their own way. The best results usually come out of a mutual trust between photographer, creative and client.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I love doing editorial work – although budgets are small and turnaround times are nearly always tight, there’s more of a creative freedom to experience, compared to commercial work. It’s still one of the best ways to get noticed, having your work in print. Social media is also a big part of the game these days – twitter, instagram and tumblr are all great platforms for sharing your work and telling the world about what you’re up to. A massive percentage of the creative buying community now regularly use these networks to source new talent, get inspiration and keep up with the latest trends – embrace technology, get involved and get noticed.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
It’s never good to try and second-guess what people want to see, because half the time they don’t even know what they want to see, until they see it. From experience, you can win clients and jobs from the most unlikely places and you can fail to get something you feel like you were born for. The best thing you can do is shoot what you love in a style you love, and your work will have integrity. Passion resonates and is highly infectious.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Whenever I’m not shooting editorial or commercial work, I always try and get stuck in to personal projects. Because most of my work is portrait based, I try and mix things up when shooting for myself. Lately I’ve been doing a bit of landscape work – it’s a totally different experience to shooting people, but its nice to have the time and space to really consider the shots I’m taking.

How often are you shooting new work?
I prefer to shoot sets of images in the form of a personal project, rather than odd shots here and there. I usually do something big every couple of months if I can fit it in, but working regularly with clients tends to take up most of my time.

CONTACT

Name: Pip
Website: www.bypip.co.uk
Twitter: @bypip
Instagram: @bypip

BIOGRAPHY

Pip is a self-taught photographer from Yorkshire, Northern England. Avoiding conventional paths into the industry, he exchanged University and assisting for a start in professional work at the exceptionally young age of 19, when he was signed by London agency Shoot Group. Since then, Pip has worked internationally with a dizzying range of people, from the freshest bands and emerging acting talent to international pop stars and Hollywood greats. Recent subjects have included Ellie Goulding, London Grammar, Lawson, Professor Green, Conor Maynard, Jeremy Irvine, Harry Treadaway, James Nesbitt, Russell Brand, The Inbetweeners, Richard E Grant, Helen McCrory and Sir Ian McKellen. Last year saw him become the youngest ever cover photographer for ‘Photo Pro’, the largest professional photography magazine in the UK, and be featured in the prestigious Creative Review Photography Annual. With an extensive range of editorial clients and advertising commissions from Royal Opera House, Barclaycard, Waitrose, Channel 4, NASA, BBC Worldwide and Topman under his belt, at just 25 years old, Pip is currently one of London’s more exciting young portrait photographers.

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: Evan Lane

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 Evan Lane. He is a fantastic photographer that can work in any environment. He is really professional, flexible and has a great attitude. He and his crew are a pleasure to work with.

Part of a personal series called Ambien. Those late night moments that feel like a waking dream. Los Angeles CA, 2014

Part of a personal series called Ambien. Those late night moments that feel like a waking dream.
Los Angeles CA, 2014

The beautiful Heather. I have shot her with long hair and with short hair and I’d shoot her any which way.

The beautiful Heather. I have shot her with long hair and with short hair and I’d shoot her any which way.

Calisthenics, with my friend Chelsea

Calisthenics, with my friend Chelsea

And I also love capturing those in between moments, the subject never thinks you are going to use.

And I also love capturing those in between moments, the subject never thinks you are going to use.

Nighttime conjures magic.

Nighttime conjures magic.

Best shots are the ones where they never even knew you were there.

Best shots are the ones where they never even knew you were there.

From an editorial I shot last month for Bright Ideas Magazine.

From an editorial I shot last month for Bright Ideas Magazine.

From an editorial I shot last month for Bright Ideas Magazine.

From an editorial I shot last month for Bright Ideas Magazine.

This is from a Toyota Prius campaign I shot for Saatchi.

This is from a Toyota Prius campaign I shot for Saatchi.

True love in Lake Havasu.

True love in Lake Havasu.

Lake Havasu, Arizona, 2014

Lake Havasu, Arizona, 2014

Lake Havasu, Arizona, 2014

Lake Havasu, Arizona, 2014

This is another one from the Toyota Prius campaign I shot for Saatchi.

This is another one from the Toyota Prius campaign I shot for Saatchi.

Set still from a music video for Artist, Emily Sundblad

Set still from a music video for Artist, Emily Sundblad

Artist, Emily Sundblad

Artist, Emily Sundblad

This tortoise was just chilling in the middle of the desert during my editorial shoot for Bright Ideas Magazine.

This tortoise was just chilling in the middle of the desert during my editorial shoot for Bright Ideas Magazine.

This is a print ad for the company I started, Langly Camera Bags. www.langly.co

This is a print ad for the company I started, Langly Camera Bags. www.langly.co

How many years have you been in business?
I have been shooting about 4 years professionally.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to Emerson College for film. Photography was self-taught out of necessity for instant gratification. Filmmaking is such a lengthy and layered process from start to finish.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I’d say it was a culmination of things. After my parents split when I was 4, my mom dated artists and scientists. These people influenced and strengthened my natural curiosity. My dad was a film editor and taught me how to be frame accurate. My grandparents exposed me to cultural experiences and would take me to tons of galleries and museums. From those experiences I was able to learn how to form my own subjectivity for art, the composition, textures, color palates and subject matter. I think narrative film has had a huge impact on the way I approach photography and see it as another form of story telling.

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 will never stop leaning or evolving as an artist and foremost as a human being. I think it is important to stay excited about what interests me. On many levels I am a documentarian and I approach photography as a window into my life.   I think I get hired for this unique perspective as result.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I think it just depends on the client. A lot of the times there are really pragmatic reasons for a client to intervene, the nature of a forcing ideas for practical reasons can definitely cause the final product to deviate from the personal vision they hired you for to begin with.

I think it just depends on the client. A lot of the times there are really pragmatic reasons for a client to intervene, the nature of a forcing ideas for practical reasons can definitely cause the final product to deviate from the personal vision they hired you for. I personally like the challenge of thinking outside of the box, inside of a box.
 
Other clients have less pressure from a large chain of command and hand over the reins. Those are usually the best shoots because the best relationships are ones built on trust. They want what they saw in your portfolio.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Of course there is the conventional way of getting out there, meeting art buyers and showing my book. I think it’s all about continually shooting new work, paid or not and then pushing that through social media. I have met a bunch of art buyers and art directors through Instagram. It’s a live-streamed portfolio that people are selectively subscribing to. It allows me to see how people react to my photos in an instant and on an almost subconscious level.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
If you stay true to your own personal vision, the ones who notice you are the ones who understand your work and see a place for it. You don’t find your audience, your audience finds you.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I am always shooting for myself.

How often are you shooting new work?
2-3 days a week and I always have my camera on me.

——————

The work of LA-based photographer, Evan Lane, is unapologetically honest. His photography takes the form of a visual diary, documenting organic and relatable moments. The photos maintain that inherent effortlessness – breaths of life on pause. In 2012, Evan launched Langly to bridge the fashion and functionality of camera bags. Today, Langly can be seen on photographers on 5 continents and Evan can still be found on the road chasing down shots. If you need to get a hold of him, contact Dara at I Heart Reps.

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: Kris Davidson

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 Kris Davidson as one of our art directors really like her and she seems so great.

Returning to Sweden (my homeland), I spent 5 days traveling with migrating reindeer. It was very cold – but cathartic and utterly magical. In this image I was drawn to how the reindeer antlers resembled braches of the distant tree line.

Returning to Sweden (my homeland), I spent 5 days traveling with migrating reindeer. It was very cold – but cathartic and utterly magical. In this image I was drawn to how the reindeer antlers resembled braches of the distant tree line.

These two maniacs are in a “safe” naturally formed pocket at the top Victoria Falls in Zambia – near the Devil’s Pool. I still get dizzy just looking at this.

These two maniacs are in a “safe” naturally formed pocket at the top Victoria Falls in Zambia – near the Devil’s Pool. I still get dizzy just looking at this.

Sunrise somewhere in the Atlantic -- sailing with Semester At Sea as a staff photographer early on in photography career helped me build a beginning travel portfolio.

Sunrise somewhere in the Atlantic — sailing with Semester At Sea as a staff photographer early on in photography career helped me build a beginning travel portfolio.

On assignment for National Geographic Traveler in Key West – this wonderful mystic read my fortune as I photographed him – and he kept the details of my future to himself at my request!

On assignment for National Geographic Traveler in Key West – this wonderful mystic read my fortune as I photographed him – and he kept the details of my future to himself at my request!

Photographing Cochise County, Arizona for National Geographic Traveler has been one of my favorite assignments to date. Such a strange, wild place where history and the modern day converge. These cowboy actors relaxing in a saloon before their daily gun battle at the OK Corral in Tombstone.

Photographing Cochise County, Arizona for National Geographic Traveler has been one of my favorite assignments to date. Such a strange, wild place where history and the modern day converge. These cowboy actors relaxing in a saloon before their daily gun battle at the OK Corral in Tombstone.

I danced on the bayou with the inimitable “Wild Man” while on assignment for Lonely Planet Traveller in the Louisiana swamps.

I danced on the bayou with the inimitable “Wild Man” while on assignment for Lonely Planet Traveller in the Louisiana swamps.

The Cajun version of Mardi Gras (called Courier de Mardi Gras) is absolutely surreal. I found myself running after brightly dressed men (some on horseback) who were chasing after chickens (traditionally destined for communal gumbo) through miles of bayou wetlands.

The Cajun version of Mardi Gras (called Courier de Mardi Gras) is absolutely surreal. I found myself running after brightly dressed men (some on horseback) who were chasing after chickens (traditionally destined for communal gumbo) through miles of bayou wetlands.

In Key West again, for Lonely Planet Traveller. The egg and cheese sandwiches are delicious at the Cuban Coffee Queen.

In Key West again, for Lonely Planet Traveller. The egg and cheese sandwiches are delicious at the Cuban Coffee Queen.

This is the very first image I made for In the Southern Garden. Here is Walter in Glendora, Mississippi holding up an old Nat King Cole album titled “Love Is the Thing.”

This is the very first image I made for In the Southern Garden. Here is Walter in Glendora, Mississippi holding up an old Nat King Cole album titled “Love Is the Thing.”

Also for In the Southern Garden -- Swamp Thing is a street performer in the French Quarter.

Also for In the Southern Garden — Swamp Thing is a street performer in the French Quarter.

For my in-progress American Macondo project I am experimenting with mixed media – this is actually a photograph of a print that includes paint, pencil and gold specks. The image is a Mexican born US border patrol agent in what they refer to as “no man’s land.” Tijuana on the other side of the fence.

For my in-progress American Macondo project I am experimenting with mixed media – this is actually a photograph of a print that includes paint, pencil and gold specks. The image is a Mexican born US border patrol agent in what they refer to as “no man’s land.” Tijuana on the other side of the fence.

How many years have you been in business?
Full time, about 6 years – I gradually transitioned from a branding/marketing career into being a photographer and educator.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
After taking every single photography course at Loyola University in New Orleans I immediately enrolled at Brooks Institute for an MFA program. Beyond that, I feel compelled to credit the invaluable non-formal education I have received over the years as well – my career began in the San Francisco during the dot com boom in as a branding project manager. The time I spent learning how to dissect a brand was priceless. I owe a huge debt to my branding guides Renee Sheppard and Rita Damore. Also, photographer Catherine Karnow, who showed me how to really see people through a lens, demonstrating that it, is possible to make a living celebrating humanity.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Two people: Dr. Leslie Parr, a photography professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. She is a wonderful photo historian with a focus on the documentary genre. Her classes were always the most delightful refuge for me. Also, Michael Sustendal, a commercial photographer who I assisted during my college days in New Orleans. A Southerner to the core, he is the most entertaining storyteller I have ever met. I could listen to him talk all day! He remains a life mentor and dear friend.

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?
Honestly, I don’t think too much about ways to stay fresh. Maybe I should! In truth, I just indulge my own curiosity — I feel most alive when traveling and telling/interpreting stories (whether in a far away land or just down the street). Curiosity drives pretty much all the work I do, from commercial work (branding IS a form of story-telling, after all) to editorial travel assignments and my personal work. I have come to regard the camera as a magical key that allows me to open doors into worlds that I have no reason to be in otherwise.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I tend not to look at it that way. In my previous branding career incarnation I was privy to a topographical view of the branding landscape far before anyone ever paid me a dime to shoot a single frame. With my hands in everything from initial client meetings — including the occasional hellish moment of having to tell a new client that “their baby is ugly” as one of my first branding mentors wryly phrased it — to the end resolution/plan for moving a brand forward in a dynamic, collaborative way. The photography portion of a brand can be very important, but it is always a part of a larger effort. As such, I don’t view client pushback as a rejection of my own creativity — I view it as part of a larger conversation about an organic brand. My goal is to be creative — of course — but I always want to be in tune with how the rest of the brand is emerging and evolving. The collaboration itself is the creative challenge.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Well, I am a people-person! I try to meet with creatives with my printed portfolio whenever possible – there is nothing that compares to a beautiful printed portfolio and eye contact. Other than that, I don’t like being too heavy-handed. I send a small set of promos of current/new work out a few times a year, along with short, personal hand-written notes — although I wonder if that is a good idea since my handwriting is questionable. Beyond that, a clean, focused tightly-edited website is my primary marketing tool – I update it about ever year with the help of my marketing consultant. I also blog — I like to write with the intent of providing a deeper insight into my photographic approach and who I am as a person.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Be honest with yourself about what kind of work you really want to do (often easier said than done). Then, with that defined, make every effort to understand the business side the specific market you are interested in. It is not the sexiest area of study (and you may need to devise your own education here to some extent), but it is essential. The consumer, editorial, commercial and art markets are all unique, and nuanced within themselves. I personally find it very useful to partner with industry experts/consultants to help organize and present my work. Just like I have an accountant who does my taxes (thank god), I have a consultant who helps me manage my portfolios/marketing strategy, a printer who makes my prints and a bookbinder for my portfolio book exteriors. It is an investment, but worth it. For me it is a huge stress relief not to have shoulder the weight of all that work by myself.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes. Being an immigrant to the United States, my current personal projects explore what it means to become and be an American. There are so many varying interpretations. I am working on two separate projects that explore this question. Currently, I am focused on American Macondo, which looks at migration in the US/Mexico borderlands through a magical realism filter (I am interested in navigating a line between a documentary aesthetic and the often fictional/constructed landscape of memory). And, being based in New Orleans for the time being, I am also working on a project titled In the Southern Garden, which considers how individual identity and collective social memory continue to unfold in the American South in the wake of the Civil War.

How often are you shooting new work?
Commercial and editorial gigs — as often as they come! Beyond that, I am almost always working on a personal project in some capacity. But I am not someone who shoots every day or carries a camera everywhere. Rather, my process tends to involve a lot of pre-shoot thinking and cross-disciplinary reading/research for inspiration. Right now for my American Macondo project I am reading three very different books: Being America: Liberty, Commerce and Violence in an American World (by Jedediah Purdy); Thirteen Crime Stories from Latin America (A McSweeny short story collection); and St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (another collection of surrealist/magical short stories by Karen Russell). I also have a standing coffee date with a friend who is a Mexican economist and we just chat about art, Latin America and his impressions of the US. Later this year I’ll head back down to the borderlands to shoot – and see what transpires.

—————-

Kris Davidson is a freelance photographer and educator based in San Francisco and New Orleans. Her specialties include travel/lifestyle and portraiture for editorial, commercial and corporate clients. Kris has an MFA from Brooks Institute and a BA (Communication Arts) from Loyola University in New Orleans. Prior to becoming a photographer, Kris worked as a marketing/branding professional for 8 years.

As a photographer, Kris has worked with various clients including Lonely Planet Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Travesías Magazine, The Discovery Channel, MTV Networks, The Institute for Shipboard Education, Kimpton Hotels to name a few. She has been recognized for her work in PDN Magazine, American Photo Magazine and in the International Photo Awards.

Kris is also faculty at the Academy of Art University based in San Francisco, teaching several courses online in the photography school; additionally, she also teaches for the National Geographic Expeditions Photography Workshops.

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: Michael Weschler

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 Michael Weschler. His signature style remains defined and he is collaborative, supporting and enhancing the creative vision of any project he participates in. His numerous awards, active participation in industry activities and charitable initiatives, coupled with his passion for mentoring are a testament to what propel photography as an industry and an art.

The Compost Wizard

The Compost Wizard

The Cast of Tattoo Rescue

The Cast of Tattoo Rescue

Family at Stoneridge, Malibu

Family at Stoneridge, Malibu

Richard Gere at His Restaurant, The Bedford Post

Richard Gere at His Restaurant, The Bedford Post

The Antiquarians, Brooklyn

The Antiquarians, Brooklyn

Wine and Conversation

Wine and Conversation

Prepping Vegetables at Dinner Party, Chicago

Prepping Vegetables at Dinner Party, Chicago

The Pod Hotel, NYC

The Pod Hotel, NYC

Liev Schreiber at Home

Liev Schreiber at Home

Liev Schreiber at Home

Liev Schreiber at Home

Liam Neeson at Home

Liam Neeson at Home

Kelly Ripa at ABC Studios

Kelly Ripa at ABC Studios

The Family Meal

The Family Meal

Couple in the Kitchen, Chicago

Couple in the Kitchen, Chicago

Chuck Close in His Studio, NYC

Chuck Close in His Studio, NYC

The Big Hair Girls

The Big Hair Girls

Alicia Silverstone at The Farmers Market, Los Angeles

Alicia Silverstone at The Farmers Market, Los Angeles

Alexander Wang at Balenciaga, NYC

Alexander Wang at Balenciaga, NYC

Kids in the Kitchen, Chicago

Kids in the Kitchen, Chicago

Father and Son in the Kitchen

Father and Son in the Kitchen

Rob Lowe at His New Home, Montecito

Rob Lowe at His New Home, Montecito

How many years have you been in business?
16 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Well, I started shooting portraits of my friends when I was 8 and was always the kid with the camera. Later I learned to use photography as a tool to draw better, while studying architecture in college. When I switched majors to fine art, I also started working in a gallery, a photo lab, a camera store, and that all led to assisting professional photographers and shooting for them as an associate.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My mentor was Jerry Burchfield, who used to hang out with Garry Winogrand & Robert Heineken. He helped to create the World’s Largest Photograph, by converting an airplane hanger into a pinhole camera, so he was a historical figure. Anyway, he introduced me to lots of people in the Arts, which opened a lot of doors for me, like shooting with the 20×24 Polaroid camera. He taught me how to make Photograms, which are camera-less photographs made by painting with light on Cibachrome in complete darkness. A couple of years before he died, we took a trip to the Amazon with the same boat Captain for the National Geographic expedition, and he always encouraged me to go further with my 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?
Because everyone is a photographer these days, in a way, I focus on making signature images that cut through the noise. Of course, that is easier said than done, but I’m always trying to raise the bar, so that I’m creating something fresh. When I recently shot Chuck Close for Architectural Digest, I knew I couldn’t do a picture of him anything like what he might do, close-up. My portrait of him in his studio was recently selected for the Communication Arts 2014 Photography Annual, so that was very validating. Trust your gut.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
It would be easy to say that, but the constraints you find working for others offer new challenges. With personal work, an artist can be selfish, and not be so concerned about pleasing other people’s tastes. However, making a marketable image that millions of people like is quite hard, so any informed input is often helpful to get you there. In the end, photography is very collaborative, whether it is yourself and one person, place or thing before your lens, or a team of sixty people helping produce a compelling campaign image.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
It’s hard to keep things under wraps these days, and one thing often leads to another. My agents and I share our updates often, so there’s continuous conversation. While some clients’ projects can be confidential, I’m always testing and shooting outtakes whenever I can. The way we share images has changed and we’re always concerned about the value and integrity of the work. We try to unveil a new image each month, one way or another.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Buyers want to see that you can produce what they need, at a bare minimum, and then they want to see your personal work. They’re not going out on a limb for somebody who shoots a bunch of grainy black & white nudes, or just because they’re cool. You’ve got to learn how to show a balance of marketable pictures, as well.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
As my career progresses, I find myself shooting more for others, and less just for me. Because the level of production has increased, it becomes harder to let go, and just make a simple image that still fits with the larger body of work. When I’m able to just shoot and let go, I’m reminded of why I got into Photography in the first place. While these pictures often don’t become part of my portfolio, they are all part of the creative process and keep me in tune.

How often are you shooting new work?
Almost every day. Otherwise, I’m sorting out the details for the next project or the last one.

Michael Weschler Bio:

Michael Weschler started doing portraits of his friends at the age of seven with a Kodak 110 camera. After studying Architecture, he switched to Fine Art Photography at Cal State University & began showing his photographs, installations, and 20×24 Polaroids in galleries. Gaining experience assisting alongside high-profile photographers like Peggy Sirota, the larger assignments gave him the confidence to quickly rise as a renowned photographer in his own right. Known for capturing the detail, personality, and moment that make a photograph unforgettable, Michael is highly sought after to collaborate with other talented creatives. His Portrait work includes notable personalities: Richard Gere, Liam Neeson, Donatella Versace, Liev Schreiber, Don Cheadle, Isaac Mizrahi, LeAnn Rimes, Meredith Vieira, Carrie Underwood, Wolfgang Puck, John McEnroe, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus to name a few. His Editorial work has run in magazines such as GQ, Vogue, Architectural Digest, Oprah, Allure, Life, Newsweek, Stern, Men’s Health, Dwell, Food & Wine and more. He has worked collaboratively on many books and his pictures have been included in Photography textbooks, most notably, “Photography in Focus”. Michael has captured interiors for Giorgio Armani, Ferragammo, and Frederic Fekkai as well as The Gramercy Park Hotel, Grand Hyatt, Liberty Hotel & Hotel Carlton. His Portrait & Lifestyle work has also graced over 20 covers of magazines such as U.S. News & World Report, and he works frequently for such high profile newspapers as The New York Times. Recent Ad campaigns include Nestle, Johnson & Johnson, Marriot, Bank of America, The National Pork Board, National Car Rental, etc. His personal work has been exhibited in art galleries and museums from LA to NY to Paris, and he is a national board member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). Recent photography awards include Communication Arts 2014 Photography Annual Winner, American Photography 2014, 6 Honorable Mentions in The International Photography Awards and Archive’s Top 200 Ad Photographers. He’s received grants to teach Photography from The California Arts Commission, and is currently a mentor for the Young Photographers Alliance. Michael also works with 2 charities in New York City that improve the lives of foster children: (HeartgalleryNYC.org & WeDeserveLoveToo.org) Michael has a studio in New York City, but travels frequently for shoots in Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and around the world. Since he believes “getting the shot” requires fitness & movement, Michael trains as a triathlete managing to get 4 triathlons under his belt, while also enjoying tennis, hiking and yoga.

Represented by:

WSWcreative
212.431.4480

Anne Albrecht Artist Agents
312.315.0056

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

 

The Power of Social Media – Grace Chon and JJ Miller

- - Social Media

by Suzanne Sease

In full disclosure, Grace and JJ are former clients, who I still keep in touch with to see how they are doing. I always want my clients to do personal projects from their heart and it can create an amazing path you never expected. I am an avid Redditor, I think it is a great venue to get your work out there as well as many other ones.

Here are their stories of the “Power of Social Media”

Grace Chon “Zoey and Jasper”

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I started out sharing the “Zoey and Jasper” tumblr page with the editorial contacts I already had, reaching out to magazines I had worked with in the past. I really pushed the tumblr page and instagram with the media, since everyone seems to be complaining these days about the functionality of Facebook Pages, but Facebook was also a huge in helping this go viral.

On Thursday April 10th I shared the tumblr page with a huge dog magazine I’ve worked with regularly called The Bark. By Friday morning, it had 4,700 likes and 1,080 shares. I also sent the link out to a magazine called Koream Magazine, and on Friday they started to publicize it. All all the other huge Asian American media channels started to pick it up – like Hyphen, Angry Asian Man, Audrey Magazine, and more.

The Korean American founder and curator of a My Modern Met saw it on Saturday and immediately reached out to me for an interview that afternoon. Within the hour she had it up on the site and she told me that all the major news sites follow the site like The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, The Today Show, and Good Morning America, just to name a few.

Within a few minutes of it being up on My Modern Met I had an email from The Daily Mail and they had it up by Sunday.

Come Monday morning on April 14th, my inbox was jam packed with media requests! Suzanne also very wisely recommended that I upload the link to Reddit, and it was picked up by users and made it onto the front page. The images also ran on The Huffington Post, Yahoo, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Buzzfeed, Mashable, People, PetaPixel, and Bored Panda, along with countless international websites in countries like China, Taiwan, Brazil, Germany, Finland, Italy, France, Peru, Colombia, Serbia and Portugal.

On Friday April 18th, the images aired on The Today Show during the 4th hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda. They closed out the segment while discussing (and giggling!) over all the images.

http://www.today.com/video/today/54983983

The dust has now settled a bit, and now I have 18,500 followers on instagram (started at 550) and 18,000 followers on tumblr (started at 0!). My rep Kim Knight has been going on portfolio shows and she’s finding that the creatives are already familiar with the series. Zoey’s original rescuer in Taiwan also miraculously found us, after waiting 7 years to find out what happened to the tiny puppy she took care of. All I can say is wow! The power of social media.

JJ Miller #wewillrun

The #wewillrun was originally pitched as an idea to a client and after their decision not use it, I couldn’t stop thinking about the story and the uplifting message. The project became personal for me and I needed to film it instead of letting it play in my head.

I reached out to the team members of my production company and colleagues that I had collaborated with in the past. They all signed on enthusiastically once they heard the message. The crew included: DP, Jeff Melanson, First Assistant Camera, Nolan Ball, Co-writer and Narrator, Rich DiMare and Produced by Alexandra Bettencourt.

I uploaded the #wewillrun video on Vimeo, and the posted a link to it on Facebook and Twitter. We also sent out a press release through PR Web. The first day it got around 1,000 hits and then there was a write up on the website Boston.com and soon got about 24,000 hits. The same day the BDCwire post it on Readit. I’ve worked with Reddit before on other projects. However, this experience has only strengthened my understanding of how much impact sites like Reddit can have. 

The next morning my email blew up with multiple interview requests, and #wewillrun was trending on top of Facebook and Twitter. That helped the video get shared on a global level, generating nearly 160,000 views on that Thursday. In the following days, it got national press appearing on Fox News, CNN international, and many write ups from sites like the Hollywood reporter, Buzzfeed, ESPN, Elitedaily, Bleacherreport, NESN and many more.

In three weeks on the day of the marathon #wewillrun had been played 449,000 times. When Rich and I sat down to write the script, we wanted to create a message about moving forward. When we read it over, something just felt right gooesbumps. Most of all, it’s been very humbling to have people feel similar emotions. 

http://jjmillerphotography.com

Art Producers Speak: Willem Vrey

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 Willem Vrey. He is a Namibian photographer who has an exceptional eye when it comes to photography.

I took this picture at a fish market in a small town close to Cape Town in South Africa, a few weeks after I bought my first camera. I'm not sure why, but I still really like it – especially the way your eye is drawn towards the center.

I took this picture at a fish market in a small town close to Cape Town in South Africa, a few weeks after I bought my first camera. I’m not sure why, but I still really like it – especially the way your eye is drawn towards the center.

I took this during my first week of working on the cruise ship, in a town called Colón in Panama. This was one of those moments that I love in photography where my instincts took over as soon as I saw the bird flying. I brought the camera to my eye, snapped one photo and new that I had caught it at just the right moment – another early image I am still very proud of.

I took this during my first week of working on the cruise ship, in a town called Colón in Panama. This was one of those moments that I love in photography where my instincts took over as soon as I saw the bird flying. I brought the camera to my eye, snapped one photo and new that I had caught it at just the right moment – another early image I am still very proud of.

Still from my time on the ship – we were docked in Auckland, New Zealand overnight and I spent most of the evening walking around the city. It was very misty and with the lights of the city made the sky glow. I got a number of great images of the city by placing my camera on it's back on the ground to keep it steady and doing some long exposures to capture the colours. This is one of my favorites from that night.

Still from my time on the ship – we were docked in Auckland, New Zealand overnight and I spent most of the evening walking around the city. It was very misty and with the lights of the city made the sky glow. I got a number of great images of the city by placing my camera on it’s back on the ground to keep it steady and doing some long exposures to capture the colours. This is one of my favorites from that night.

This was taken soon after I got back home from my stint on the ship. It's a 30 second exposure with two cars driving past (streaks of lights in the foreground) and a dancer friend who I asked to run and jump in front of the camera. While she was in the air I hit her with a speedlight I was holding in my hand... Just one of those images where everything works out even better than I could have hoped.

This was taken soon after I got back home from my stint on the ship. It’s a 30 second exposure with two cars driving past (streaks of lights in the foreground) and a dancer friend who I asked to run and jump in front of the camera. While she was in the air I hit her with a speedlight I was holding in my hand… Just one of those images where everything works out even better than I could have hoped.

This is from a series of aerial photographs of the Namib desert. It's truly one of the most beautiful places in the world and looks especially spectacular from the air. The prints from this series are still some of my best sellers.

This is from a series of aerial photographs of the Namib desert. It’s truly one of the most beautiful places in the world and looks especially spectacular from the air. The prints from this series are still some of my best sellers.

This was taken at a place called Dead Vlei, in the Namib desert in Namibia. The dead trees in front of the huge red sand dunes (the highest dunes in the world) made for a number of very surreal looking images.

This was taken at a place called Dead Vlei, in the Namib desert in Namibia. The dead trees in front of the huge red sand dunes (the highest dunes in the world) made for a number of very surreal looking images.

Just an image I like of one of my portrait client. The sun was going down, everything was working, and I just love how well she is engaging with the camera.

Just an image I like of one of my portrait client. The sun was going down, everything was working, and I just love how well she is engaging with the camera.

Another portrait I like from a portrait shoot outside the city – beautiful model, beautiful hair and one of my favorite portraits – even though the sun was already down and the light was fading.

Another portrait I like from a portrait shoot outside the city – beautiful model, beautiful hair and one of my favorite portraits – even though the sun was already down and the light was fading.

This was taken late one night in the informal settlement on the outskirts of the city where I live. It was part of a series to show what the area looks like at night where the people don't have electricity. People streaming to the city from the more rural regions are building these small corrugated metal houses faster than the municipality can supply services – so here are thousands of people living with now running water, sewage or electricity. It's a very early place to be because there where almost no people about, but inside every house you walk past, you can hear people talking, radios playing and children laughing. Despite the poverty, it's actually quite a clean and orderly society with every little crime and social problems one would usually equate with such conditions.

This was taken late one night in the informal settlement on the outskirts of the city where I live. It was part of a series to show what the area looks like at night where the people don’t have electricity. People streaming to the city from the more rural regions are building these small corrugated metal houses faster than the municipality can supply services – so here are thousands of people living with now running water, sewage or electricity. It’s a very early place to be because there where almost no people about, but inside every house you walk past, you can hear people talking, radios playing and children laughing. Despite the poverty, it’s actually quite a clean and orderly society with every little crime and social problems one would usually equate with such conditions.

This is from a portrait session I did in the informal settlement. I love her attitude and the colours.

This is from a portrait session I did in the informal settlement. I love her attitude and the colours.

This was casual photo I took while exploring an old rock quarry with a friend. She was wading through the water when she found a rock to stand on that was just below the surface, making for a very surreal moment.

This was casual photo I took while exploring an old rock quarry with a friend. She was wading through the water when she found a rock to stand on that was just below the surface, making for a very surreal moment.

This is a friend of mine who I like to shoot. She has the most beautiful long hair and a very natural look. She is looking down, yet still engaging with the viewer.

This is a friend of mine who I like to shoot. She has the most beautiful long hair and a very natural look. She is looking down, yet still engaging with the viewer.

This was during a boat trip in large bay on Namibia's coast. It was very misty, with only 50 meters or so of visibility. I loved the calmness of the water in the bay and waited for ages for a bird to fly into the frame to break the pattern a bit.

This was during a boat trip in large bay on Namibia’s coast. It was very misty, with only 50 meters or so of visibility. I loved the calmness of the water in the bay and waited for ages for a bird to fly into the frame to break the pattern a bit.

A few months ago I wanted to get out of the city and bit and decided to try and drive a 125cc motorcycle about 6000 miles from Namibia to Zanzibar and back. I ended up not taking as many photos as I would have liked, but I did get some great images walking around Stone Town (Zanzibar). I am proud of this one because I managed to time it just right with the guy on the scooter driving past me at high speed – just as he was level with the woman walking ahead of me. I like the contrast between the traditional and the modern.

A few months ago I wanted to get out of the city and bit and decided to try and drive a 125cc motorcycle about 6000 miles from Namibia to Zanzibar and back. I ended up not taking as many photos as I would have liked, but I did get some great images walking around Stone Town (Zanzibar). I am proud of this one because I managed to time it just right with the guy on the scooter driving past me at high speed – just as he was level with the woman walking ahead of me. I like the contrast between the traditional and the modern.

This is from an amazing contemporary dance piece that I was involved in as the stills photographer. There were many images from that job that I liked, but this is one of my favorites. The show is called Anima, and it was put together by the talented people from First Rain Dance Theater – a contemporary dance company based in Namibia.

This is from an amazing contemporary dance piece that I was involved in as the stills photographer. There were many images from that job that I liked, but this is one of my favorites. The show is called Anima, and it was put together by the talented people from First Rain Dance Theater – a contemporary dance company based in Namibia.

How many years have you been in business?
The first time I asked for, and received a bit of money for a freelance job was in 2010, and things just sort of grew from there. Word got around and more and more people began to call me and I eventually had to register my business and make it official.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
At the start of 2009 I felt like I had to make some changes in my life and just get away from everything for a while. I went to into the Namib Desert for a few days for some peace and quiet and space to think clearly. I decided I just needed to get out of the country for a while and simplify things. After a few weeks of narrowing down my options, I decided to apply for a job on a cruise ship. I (literally) threw a dart at a list of jobs I might qualify for, and it hit “on-board photographer”. I applied, got a camera and some lenses and immediately started reading books and blogs and watching YouTube tutorials all day. I also forced myself to shoot in manual mode right from the start, which I feel is probably the one of best habits that a new photographer can have – even if you end up messing up 60% of your shots in the beginning. 

I got the job and soon I was boarding a large ship in Miami, on which I worked for the next 6 months.

It turns out that cruise ship photography is one of the worst jobs out there. I was shooting, printing and selling for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. The pay is terrible and there is absolutely no scope for expression or creativity, BUT: I was taking 1500 – 3000 pictures a day with manual controls and every photo I took was printed and put up on a wall for everyone to see. Tie this to the fact that my boss on the ship was one of the most uncompromising people I have ever met, I was forced to become very good with my gear very quickly.

After 6 months I left the ship in Australia, flew home and, being broke, started to turn to my photography for an income. The rest of my education came from reading and learning diligently every day, shooting a lot, spending time with other experienced photographers and business people, and making an effort to be honestly critical of my own work.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
There are many great photographers and other people who inspire me on a daily basis, but I think getting into the photo game was simply a combination of providence and a lack of other opportunities at the time. It’s funny where life takes us sometimes.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
It can be difficult sometimes, especially for someone as hard on himself as I am, but when I feel uninspired and unmotivated I find that the best thing to do is to simply start and do SOMETHING – even if it’s bad. I don’t have a team of creatives to draw on, and my clients always expect me to come up with something new and fresh every time.. so when I can’t think of anything, I often have to force myself to go out and begin shooting anything to see what develops, or to sit down and begin writing down anything that comes to my mind. 99% of what I produce during these sessions is usually pretty bad, but that other 1% has very often turned out to be where my best work has come from.

And then, when you have created something worthwhile, you have to make sure that as many people as possible see it and know where to reach you.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
When someone is paying me for something, I try to keep in mind what would be best for the client and how I would feel in their shoes. I have had to learn to curb my arrogance and ego if I am going to make it in business. Having said that though, I do believe that that it is very important to only put out work that you are happy to be associated with, and those two ideals can sometimes be in conflict. When that happens, I try to think about the situation reasonably and figure out how the decision is going to affect me in the long term. Sometimes that has meant saying no to work when I couldn’t really afford to say no to, and sometimes I have had to swallow my pride, take the money and let it go.

I also try to keep a separation between the commercial and the fine art parts of my operation and to only compromise when it makes sense to me.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I have been lucky enough, and work in a market that is small enough, to be able to rely mostly on word-of-mouth and repeat clients. I try to keep my social media updated and to keep my website in order, but generally I prefer to be shooting, printing and editing. I have found that as long as my work is good enough, most jobs will lead to further business.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Invest in a good printed portfolio. Yes, have a website, have Facebook, have an iPad with a portfolio app… but remember that the buyers often get thousands of electronic portfolios sent to them by email – sometimes from people who are better than you are. What stands out these days is something physical like a high quality portfolio book, or even a collection of loose prints in a nice box. Spend the money to have it done by someone who knows what they are doing, and print it on fine art paper. You can show it to them in person, or ship it to their offices with a note saying it will be picked up again after a week or two. I’ve also found that including a pair of white cotton gloves in the package makes the prints immediately seem more impressive and will make them last longer. If you want to replace a print in your portfolio, and it was handled carefully by the people who saw it, you can always frame and try to sell it, or give it away as a gift.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I try to always be working on some sort of series or project during my spare time. I also find walking around the city with my camera has a very therapeutic effect on me. Often great images can come from these excursions. To be honest though, I do find that the more of a business the photography becomes, the less often I think about grabbing my camera as I head out somewhere… something I should maybe work on.

How often are you shooting new work?
That’s a difficult question to answer – I’d have to say that it depends on what I am working on. I would guess that on average I am actually out shooting for profit for about 2 days per week, with the rest taken up with post-processing, seeing clients, making and framing prints, teaching and running the business.

About the Photographer:

Born and bred in Namibia, Willem’s interest in photography started relatively late at the age of 23. However, his eye was developed from an early age through his love and proficiency in fine art. In 2005 Willem graduated and immediately embarked on several successful business ventures, but changes in outlook and values in his early twenties finally led him to discover photography as a way to satisfy, develop and share both the creative and the analytical parts of his mind in a fulfilling and meaningful way.

Mostly self-taught, Willem has approached the subject with diligence, constant self-assessment and high personal standards and over the course of only four years, the scope and nuance of the construction and composition of his work have increased exponentially. Today, he is a force to be reckoned with in the world of photography.

Willem is one of Namibia’s most avant-garde and exciting photographers whose talent for shooting movement is unparalleled. In the commercial realm too, Willem has experienced much success and is in high demand as a portrait and fine-art photographer. He is known for his technical skill and knowledge, his versatility and ability to work equally well with both controlled and natural light.

Contact details:
Email: willem@willemvrey.com
Phone: +264 81 238 7654
Website: www.willemvrey.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/willemvreyphoto

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: 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.