New York Portfolio Review – Part 2

I’ve got a joke for you. You might have heard it before.

A black guy and a white guy walk into a bar in Alabama in 1955. The bartender looks at the black guy and says, “If you don’t walk right out of here this second I’ll blow your f-cking head off with this here shotgun.”

So the black guy leaves, with no recourse but to step out the door ass first, to ensure he doesn’t end up with a back full of pellets.

What’s that you say? That joke’s not funny? It’s tragic? Oh. OK. You got me.

It was actually just another one of my ridiculous intros, in which I try to make a point by not talking about what I’m talking about. Which in this case is race, a difficult topic in the best of circumstances.

To be fair, today I’m talking about “diversity.” Which includes such sub-topics as age, gender, gender orientation, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and class. All get cooked together in this melting pot we like to call America. (Or do I mean the Internet?)

I grew up in a fancy, former farming-community-nyc-suburb in New Jersey. I’m a white male, from a good family, so I’ve been afforded opportunities many others have not. But I’m also Jewish, and my people have been enslaved and exterminated, so I’ve got that going for me.

My town in Jersey had a large population of Asian-Americans, as a since-closed-legendary-Bell-Labs facility had many engineers on staff. We had Jewish/Italian/Irish Americans too, but that was about it. Non-ethnic-Caucasian-Americans from lower income brackets lived in other towns, like Union Beach. (There were no African-Americans or Latinos to be found.)

Here in Taos, we’re lucky to be a mountain community that has any diversity at all. So many ski towns are as white as the snow on their famed jagged hills. Here, we have Native Americans, Hispanic folks, and us gringos. That’s a lot, for the American West. Highly limited, though, compared to you urban dwellers.

But New York? Fuhgedaboudit.

Everyone on Earth rubs shoulders. It is one of my favorite feelings. Walking around amongst humans from all countries, skin colors, sexual orientations. You name it. (Well, perhaps not walking around. Sitting or standing on a train. Underground. Pressed up against a lot of strangers.)

Being around other types of people is good for the soul. It imprints deeply that we are so much alike. Personified, the other begins to seem like a neighbor. And it’s cool to like your neighbors.

In-person-contact subverts racism.

Too often, in our photography world, we hear that it’s too white. Or too male. Right? How many times have you read a blog post about a contest jury that was all white. Or an art exhibition that was 90% male. Right? I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. Why is it like that, when all smart people know diversity is a good thing?

Inertia. That’s my answer. A lot of people assume things will come to them. That communities grow naturally, and it will slowly get better over time.

That’s one way to go about it.

It’s another to actually call/email/text/FB/tweet/snapchat your contacts about an event, and ask them to do the same with theirs: to reach out and tap up large networks that are different than yours, with the belief that the spiders crawling around various webs will make beautifully diverse babies.

You saw from the title that this article was meant to be about the NYT Portfolio Review, and so it shall be. The above paragraph describes the strategy invoked by David Gonzalez and James Estrin, the NYT Lens blog co-editors who facilitated the review.

Like a lot of people, they believe getting various voices to the table is inherently good. So when they announced the 2nd New York Portfolio review, rather than wait around for whatever submissions came in, they did extensive outreach. “The goal was to make sure we had applicants of all kinds,” Mr. Estrin said. “So we did a special reach-out to make sure that we had the photographers. I know the photographers are out there, both in the documentary world and the art world, so we made special effort to have them apply.”

He shouted out En Foco, among other organizations, for helping to encourage photographers of color to send in their work. Mr. Estrin also stressed that they are interested in including people across class divides as well. “The core of this was the free aspect,” he added. “We wouldn’t do it otherwise. Plain and simple. We just wouldn’t do it.”

I report here that these guys succeeded in creating one hell of an integrated crowd.

As I thought about how to approach a second article, after dropping the fire alarm story last week, the thing that stuck with me was how amazing it was to be surrounded by talented, passionate people from so many backgrounds. I personally reviewed male and female photographers from Japan, China, Norway, Germany, Ecuador, and Brooklyn. (And then had beers at the Half King with a Japanese-Korean guy from Germany, a German guy living in Estonia, and a long-haired Mexican dude who shoots for Sports Illustrated in New York.)

The Lens team needs to be commended, and I’d suggest others follow this model. (They walked the walk, as it were.) Mr. Estrin stressed that his colleague, Mr. Gonzalez, as a person of color, was particularly adept at handling these issues.

“I once asked the editor-in-chief of a publishing house why one of their survey books had so few Latino or African-American photographers,” Mr. Gonzalez chimed in, via email. “He was refreshingly honest in his response: curators and editors often stick to whom they know. Well, I know lot of different people.”

“In fact, I would argue that I might know more people than some of the more noted editors out there. This is not a boast, but a reflection of my cultural/social roots and experiences: as a Puerto Rican, New Yorker, Yalie, Times-man, I’m aware of photographers, journalists and issues that might go unnoticed by others who do not have that sensitivity.”

Beyond diversity, though, there has to be great photography. The second part of the strategy, I was told, was to have enough diversity in the applicants to ensure they could make individual yes/no decisions based strictly upon the quality of the work.

Last year, some of what I saw was not very good. This year, every photographer had work worth showing. So let’s get to it then.

Motohiro Takeda showed me his pictures on Saturday. I’d heard about the project in the grapevine at Review Santa Fe last summer. The prints are very dark, and he hands you a flashlight to view them. They’re insanely gorgeous, but don’t deliver the same experience on the web at present. I wanted you to see them anyway.

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Holger Keifel was there on Saturday as well, and showed me a series on Boxing that was subsequently published on Lens. I loved six images of donated organs, in transit to be transplanted. He claimed to have 7 seconds each time to get the shot, and wanted us to know “the idea of this series is not about death. It’s about saving lives.”

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I also met Linda Bournane Engelberth the first day, when Mary Virginia Swanson grabbed me and said, “You have to look at this,” before handing me a laptop. The Norwegian photographer explores disaffected youth in Latvia, where the opportunities are few, and an Empire-hungry Putin is looking over their shoulders.

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Evan Ortiz grew up in Brooklyn, and is a journalism student at RIT. He showed me the project with headphones in video form, which I thought was strange, as it meant we couldn’t talk. But I liked the video piece very much, so he was right to do it that way. The powerful series focuses on a fellow student who overcame addiction and depression when she came out as a lesbian.

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Gina Pollack showed me images of women in their underwear. They’re accompanied by audio about the project “Bikini Season,” which examines how women view having their private areas waxed. It’s a smart subject, as the audio manages to be hilarious and poignant at the same time, which is a difficult mix to conjure.

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I first met Kayle Schnell on top of a mountain. Honestly. While hiking to Kachina Peak at Taos Ski Valley this winter, I stopped to talk to someone because she carried a heavy, pro camera up a very steep mountain. Not an amateur move. It was Kayle, who’s a journalism graduate student at CUNY. Her long term project focuses on a recovering drug addict on methadone. (And nicotine, apparently.)

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Santiago Arcos Veintimilla is a from Ecuador, and was recently awarded a Fellowship to work with the Magnum Foundation. His project, “La Cienega,” depicts the only town in Ecuador that has no children. That snake photo is going to haunt my nightmares for years.

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James Lawler Duggan is a young photojournalist who’s worked all over the “Arab Spring” territory in the Middle East, and in Syria as well. He described asking the Syrian man to take off his shirt so he could make the photograph, and how hard it was to do that, not knowing what was underneath.

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Grant Hindsley is currently based in Provo, Utah. I liked some of his single images, and a project on same-sex youth couples as well. The Mizzou Pride picture was one of my favorites of the weekend, and it felt proper to end today with Al Sharpton, straight outta NYC.

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Be Yourself Because Everyone Else Is Taken

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Be yourself – There’s a great quote – “be yourself because everyone else is taken” Many folks say that you need to have your own vision but I really don’t like this phrase because it is overused and is not really specific or clear – to the point that most of us get frustrated if we don’t feel we have “a vision”. Your gut will let you know when you’re “on purpose”.

via 10 Tips for Sustaining a Long Career as a Professional Photographer | Journeys of a Hybrid.

Art Producers Speak: Cedric Angeles

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 Cedric Angeles. His images of food and travel always have an angle or composition that makes you see things from a different perspective, resulting in an a-ha moment.

A boy jumping into the Black Sea in the coastal town of Batumi, Republic of Georgia. This was my first assignment for Travel and Leisure Magazine.

A boy jumping into the Black Sea in the coastal town of Batumi, Republic of Georgia. This was my first assignment for Travel and Leisure Magazine.

Portrait of poet Marilyn Nelson at the Soul Mountain Retreat, a writer’s colony she started in East Haddam, Connecticut. Commissioned by Oprah Magazine.

Portrait of poet Marilyn Nelson at the Soul Mountain Retreat, a writer’s colony she started in East Haddam, Connecticut. Commissioned by Oprah Magazine.

Portrait of a mento band, the Jolly Boys. Photographed at their favorite bar in Port Antonio, Jamaica for British Airways High Life Magazine. The band is experiencing a resurgence in popularity after releasing a cover af Amy Winehouse’s song, Rehab, in 2010.

Portrait of a mento band, the Jolly Boys. Photographed at their favorite bar in Port Antonio, Jamaica for British Airways High Life Magazine. The band is experiencing a resurgence in popularity after releasing a cover af Amy Winehouse’s song, Rehab, in 2010.

Publix 2013 Milestone 1:00 Spot. Publix wanted to show the significant milestones in our lives such as a birth of a baby, a birthday, graduation and getting married. The production and filming were done in Tampa, Florida. In conjunction with the video, I also shot print ads for this campaign. This is a great example of the blurring of lines for photographers being asked to be directors as well.
This is part of an entertaining story for Bon Appetit Magazine with musician Jack Johnson and his friends,  shot in the North Shore, Oahu in Hawaii.

This is part of an entertaining story for Bon Appetit Magazine with musician Jack Johnson and his friends, shot in the North Shore, Oahu in Hawaii.

A fashion story in Mazatlan, Mexico for Travel and Leisure Magazine.

A fashion story in Mazatlan, Mexico for Travel and Leisure Magazine.

Part of an Ad campaign for ARUBA.

Part of an Ad campaign for ARUBA.

Personal. My wife as the artist Frida Kahlo with our youngest daughter, Gala. Photographed in our living room.

Personal. My wife as the artist Frida Kahlo with our youngest daughter, Gala. Photographed in our living room.

Portrait of writer Malcolm Gladwell for RED Magazine. Photographed in his apartment in Manhattan.

Portrait of writer Malcolm Gladwell for RED Magazine. Photographed in his apartment in Manhattan.

A video portrait of Jody Meche, a frogger living in Henderson, Louisiana. Commissioned by Garden and Gun Magazine.
Backstage at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow during a performance of Swan Lake. A story about Moscow for Conde Nast Traveller UK.

Backstage at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow during a performance of Swan Lake. A story about Moscow for Conde Nast Traveller UK.

School children playing along the Indian Ocean in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Commissioned by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

School children playing along the Indian Ocean in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Commissioned by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

A shepherd in Madagascar. Part of my on-going project on animal herders around the world called Milk and Blood.

A shepherd in Madagascar. Part of my on-going project on animal herders around the world called Milk and Blood.

How many years have you been in business?
I would say that it officially started when I moved to New York from Los Angeles in 2000, so this is my 14th year.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
My “on-the-job” training started when I lived in Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating High School, I worked as a Grip in commercial shoots, music videos, and films. I learned lighting and cameras from the directors and cinematographers that I worked with on set. I wanted to be a filmmaker but my desire to travel and take pictures took precedent and I left the film world and formally studied photography at the Art Center College of Design.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My love for photography began with my father. He was an amateur photographer and would share his photos with me. He subscribed to National Geographic magazine and I would spend hours reading and fixating on images of faraway places. I think that the urge to see these places began my interest for telling stories through images. And I knew that photography was my ticket to travel the world. I grew up in the Philippines, from a small town and becoming a photographer was the least likely thing to happen. I immigrated to the United States and lived in Los Angeles. I found work in the film industry and this was when I discovered the works of cinematographers and photographers that pushed me to pursue image making. I watched films shot by Michael Chapman, Raoul Coutard, Janusz Kaminski, Georgi Rerberg, Sven Nykvist, Vittorio Storaro, Christopher Doyle and devoured photography books by Danny Lyon, Robert Capa, Larry Clark, Miguel Rio Branco, William Klein, Richard Avedon, Werner Bishchof, Jim Goldberg, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Nan Goldin, Malick Sidibe, Josef Koudelka, to name a few.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
It is important for me to take a break from taking pictures. My wife is an artist, a painter and sculptor, creating gigantic sculptures made out of steel. Watching her create works in steel that weigh thousands of pounds is a revelation. She has been a source of inspiration for me. We have 2 daughters and I don’t need to say how kids can light a fire under your ass when it comes to creativity. I read a lot, listen to music, watch films constantly, maybe a little too much.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Once I am awarded a job, I know everything about the shoot. Creative calls have happened, layouts have been shared and I become part of the team with the creatives and the client. The creatives I have worked with have been supportive of ideas I bring to the project I would say being held back meant that I was not awarded the project as the clients may have found another photographer’s work more fitting. Commissioned work always comes with a shoot list or a layout to follow and obviously, there is always more freedom in editorial projects. Clients hire you for your aesthetic and wants you to bring your vision to the their project. I have done editorial travel stories where I am not given a shoot list, no leads, no contacts. Just a general sense on what the story would be about. Complete freedom, dream shoot, right? Not for me. I actually like directions from my editors, to be given a specific story to follow. It gives me more freedom to shoot things that are not on the list but at least I would know that I am telling a more cohesive story. I would probably not say “holding me back” – it is more a collaboration between myself, the creatives and the clients and it is one aspect of commercial photography that I truly enjoy.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Since partnering with MONACO REPS, I haven’t had to think much about designing and distributing promotional pieces for commercial work because they do an excellent job as my representatives. So instead, I think about ways to promote my work as I personally see it. For instance, I redesigned my website to focus primarily on storytelling, to include more images surrounding a piece that illustrate it in detail. I have a Tumblr page that I update with outtakes from shoots or to share new ideas, and I have a Facebook page for my photography that shares recent work and favorite images from my archive.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Be careful of trends. Only show work that you love. Create work that is personal. I mean, these are advice that have become cliche but very important to heed.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, I am working on several projects at the moment. My projects are long term in nature and involve a lot of travel. I don’t believe in shooting everyday. I like shooting projects in chunks of time and taking breaks in between. A big part of nurturing my personal voice comes from functioning as a husband and a father. It is fairly easy to be consumed by photography and the time I spend with my wife and my two daughters plays a big part of making sure I stay honest with my work.

How often are you shooting new work?
My work keeps me busy three out of four weeks every month. I plan it out so that I have enough time in between to edit and decompress after days of non-stop shooting. But my wife says I am shooting new work in my head all of the time

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Cedric’s brand of lifestyle photography is simultaneously joyful and moving. When viewing Cedric’s Lifestyle photography, one cannot resist an instant sense of longing to join the scene. He is a man constantly on the move, photographing places and cultures with the goal of understanding how other people live. He approaches photography with an interest in narrative and the spirit of a documentarian. Photo District News (PDN) named him as one of the 30 Under 30 Young Photographers to Watch. He is a Co-Founder of INTERSECTION PHOTOS, a boutique photo stock agency that deals with high end travel imagery. He is represented by MONACO REPS.

Clients Include: Aruba / GQ / Travel+Leisure / Food&Wine / Bon Appetit / Gourmet / Vogue / GLAMOUR / W / Men’s Journal / Men’s Health / Self / Real Simple / Publix / Sarabeth’s / Conde Nast Traveler UK / British Airways High Life / Martha Stewart Living / Departures / Royal Caribbean / O Magazine / Discover / Lifetime / Time Inc. / Los Angeles Times Magazine / Four Seasons Magazine / Rolling Stone 

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.

Taking the picture might in fact be the easiest part of the entire process

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If photography is a visual language, the picture is only an expression of an idea. So, you need to have that message, that idea, concept, or proposal that you want to share with others. Then, the context in which that message is presented is highly important in understanding how the message will be received: a Facebook post, a photo book, a print on a gallery wall, will all have a different impact and will be received and understood differently.

via Hatje Cantz | fotoblog.

Sherpas Fund

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On April 18, an avalanche on Mount Everest swept through a line of Sherpas preparing the climbing route for their commercial clients. Sixteen men were killed, making it the deadliest day in the mountain’s history.

We are a group of ten photographers who have worked extensively with the Sherpa people and are devastated by this tragedy. For us, this is a moment to ask how we can help our Sherpa friends—both in this time of crisis and in the years to come. As a first step, we are donating the prints you see here, a selection of our photographs of the Everest region and its people, curated by our editors, National Geographic’s Sadie Quarrier and Outside’s Amy Silverman. One-hundred percent of proceeds from this sale (after the cost of printing) will go to the Sherpa community via the nonprofit Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, which has been working with Sherpa climbers in the Khumbu since 2003.

Go here to purchase a print: http://www.sherpasfund.org/

Sale ends midnight tonight PST

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Making Your Images Seen And Noticed Are More Important Than Taking Pictures

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if a photographer has a clear point he or she wants to make, and is able to make that point through the images, finding the audience is not so hard anymore. This way of thinking will allow a photographer to address not the people within their own circle, but actually attract an audience that is concerned by the message that is being delivered.

via Hatje Cantz | fotoblog.

The Weekly Edit- FHM: Emily Shur

- - The Daily Edit

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Picture Editor: Rachael Clark
Art Director:
Will Jack
Photographer: Emily Shur

Heidi: What was it like to direct the talent, I’d imagine it’s like flipping a switch, and he’s on. How much interaction did you two have?  
Emily: We had a good amount of interaction.  It’s true that photographing someone at Will’s level is a lot like flipping a switch, but there has to be a good relationship between photographer and subject regardless.  He doesn’t need much direction from me, but I do think that he (and most talent) is relying on me to let him know if something isn’t working.  I think a thumbs up, a thumbs down, or a suggestion on how to make the picture better is always appreciated, and that’s part of the trust one builds as a photographer.  The concepts had been approved ahead of time so we were all aware of the different shots.  We would shoot a little, and then sometimes Will would want to see the pictures.  Sometimes he would make adjustments after he looked at a few.  We’d go back to shooting and he would slightly change his face or body language.  I think of subjects like Will as a gift.  It’s so amazing to photograph someone who is so naturally talented as a performer.  The trick is to make sure the end result is worthy of such a generous gift.

Since he’s been so heavily photographed was there pressure to try and make this shoot stand out?  
There’s always pressure to make a shoot stand out.  Always.  One thing I had going for me with this one was that this shoot was in character as Ron Burgundy which hadn’t been done that much (at least in the past 10 years or so) at the time.  I LOVE Anchorman and was beyond excited to shoot Ron Burgundy in all of his glory.  I mean, Baxter was there and everything.  I was admittedly very nervous before the shoot which is pretty normal for me.  I hate that I get so nervous, but I suppose that means I care a lot.

What sort of direction did the magazine give you?  
The magazine actually gave quite a bit of direction, which I like.  They came up with most of the shots we did ahead of time.  The general idea was to do an old school “At Home With…” shoot you might have seen in past issues of Life Magazine with someone like Frank Sinatra.  The shoot would be Frank, or in this case Ron, going about his daily business at home being effortlessly cool, but of course with a sense of humor.  They sent a pretty detailed PDF with reference images and a shot list.  I loved all of it which made me even more excited about the shoot.

A lot of your work has a sparkle of humor, but I wouldn’t call you overtly animated / funny. How does your own personality transcend your work?
Hey, I am funny!  It’s true that I’m not overly animated, loud, or hyper….I’m pretty mellow, but I am funny and more importantly, I think I can recognize funny in photographic form.  I don’t take pictures because I aspire to be a comedian or an actor or a model.  I take pictures because I want to be the best photographer I can be.  Photographing a joke is very different than hearing a joke or seeing a sequence of events that results in a laugh.  The viewer is seeing a single frame and that’s it.  So, the joke needs to be readable in that one frame.  It’s not easy, and not even all funny people are good at being funny in still photographs.  So, it’s especially awesome when I have the opportunity to photograph someone who gets the process of still photography.

You regularly update your blog, with long written entries as well which I enjoy. Describe this creative outlet for you, do you update on a schedule or when it strikes you?
I really only write when the mood strikes.  I used to do it more than I do now, but I try to keep up with it as much as I can.  It’s pretty time consuming because I don’t just write stream of consciousness style.  I go back re-read things like 4-5 times and make little changes each time.  If I don’t have time to write I’ll just post images – outtakes, published images, and personal work.  I post images that I like and see which ones other people respond to the most.  I think blogs are a good sounding board for new work.

Do Not Describe Your Photographs, Do Not Explain Your Photographs

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What to do, though? How to approach writing? As I noted, you don’t want to start at the very end, trying to add some words to a finished project. Start writing while you’re in the middle. Every photographer should write (and read – a lot). The act of committing thoughts to paper – or hacking them into a computer – is more liberating than you’d imagine. You are probably only going to use a small fraction of all the writing, but you will be surprised what your subconsciousness can come up with – the same subconsciousness that’s responsible for so much in your photographs.

via How to write about your photographs | Conscientious Photography Magazine.

New York Portfolio Review – Part 1

The fire alarm chirped voraciously, like a cricket in a bad mood. Immediately, every eye in the room was focused on me, the idiot that opened the fire door.

I saw them staring.

Rather than hide, which was my natural instinct, I raised my hand and waved it around. “It was me,” I said. “I did it. I’m the idiot.” That done, people went back about their business. As I’d made fun of myself, it made no sense for them to bother.

I stood in the middle of the lobby in the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, awaiting the beginning of the second day of the New York Times Portfolio Review, and I’d just made a fool of myself. (Albeit briefly.)

The day before, as everyone filed out after Saturday’s review, I was instructed to use the Fire Exit by the gruff-yet-friendly security guard behind the desk. So I approached her, after my faux pas, and said, “You told me it was OK to use the Fire Exit yesterday.”

“That was yesterday,” she said, glaring at me sardonically. “Today is today.” Is that not the perfect incarnation of New York City herself? Take nothing for granted. Make no assumptions. Or you’ll end up looking like a schmuck.

I only mention this to you, as it seems like every time I head out on the road, something embarrassing happens. Last year, at the same event, I mocked a dude in a Mexican wrestling mask only to find out I knew him. Poor form.

But I was there for a reason, which was to review portfolios and then share work with you, our loyal readers. In so doing, we at APE get the chance to give a boost to deserving young photographers, and also show you what is being made by the next generation. (In the 21st Century, we call that a win-win.)

This was the second year of the event, and it is free, which is rare. It’s announced via a Lens blog post, and then the photographers are selected from applicants all over the world. Even the application process is free, so you might consider applying next year.

As is often the case with start up ventures, the second year was definitely smoother than the first. Last year was fun, but this year was more efficient. I reviewed a few portfolios on Saturday, as a rover, but mostly focused my attention on the younger photographers who were invited to Sunday’s event.

Last year, we showed the work of two photographers. This year, everyone I reviewed had something worth sharing with you. As is often the case with younger artists, the work was inconsistent. Great images would be followed by clunkers, like the end of the batting order on a bad baseball team.

But all of them had a voice, and showed me at least one picture I found worth publishing here. The only problem, such as it is, is that I ended up seeing more than 10 artists, which can make for a muddled viewing experience below.

So we’re going to break it up into two articles. This week, I’ll show you half of the artists, and next week…the rest. I was genuinely impressed by the passion and talent in the room both days, so I can only hope you’ll respond to some of what you see over the next two weeks.

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I reviewed Andi Schreiber’s work on Saturday, and we met briefly in Santa Fe last summer. She’s a photographer, and mother, based in Scarsdale. Andi makes pictures with an honest-but-not-quite-pitiless view of family and aging in America.

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Wenxin Zhang is an artist based in San Francisco. She describes her photo series as novels, and hopes to figure out innovative ways to present the work in book form. Her portraits were my favorites.

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Arno De Pooter is a painter, photographer and digital artist from Belgium. Most of his work was pretty good, but one series in particular, called “Bleach,” was really terrific. His symbol choices were perfectly now, and the desert mirage aesthetic heightened the futurism.

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Cassandra Giraldo showed me a portfolio of images made of “Gentle Punks” in St. Petersburg, Russia. As opposed to Skull-crushing-Aryan-racist Punks. She shoots mostly editorial, but is also pursuing photography as art.

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Patrick McNabb, from NYU, was working in a theatrical, stage-it all-and-go-big-on-drama, kind of style. Some felt heavy-handed, but a few were really smart, strange, cinematic and believable.

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Mark Dorf is based in Bushwick, and is working on some fresh digital images that manage to feel relevant without being too Geeky. Some, but not all of his work, is also somewhat photographic in nature.

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Art Producers Speak: Lance Koudele

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 Lance Koudele because in a large project he was able to handle every aspect with grace under fire. He was able to handle the unexpected and somehow found a way to capture the true essence of the project. His eye for beauty was something I have only had the pleasure of witnessing a few times in my career.

Shot from a campaign for Sensi Graves Bikinis. All of the ladies were professional athletes… awesome to work with females who have not only beauty but an incredibly powerful presence.

Shot from a campaign for Sensi Graves Bikinis. All of the ladies were professional athletes… awesome to work with females who have not only beauty but an incredibly powerful presence.

Photo of Phil Sullivan in Boston for a Life Is Good rebranding I recently shot with Straub Collaborative. Always awesome to work with a brand to help them redefine themselves.

Photo of Phil Sullivan in Boston for a Life Is Good rebranding I recently shot with Straub Collaborative. Always awesome to work with a brand to help them redefine themselves.

Ryan Huggins atop Illumination Rock on Mt Hood, shot for Native Eyewear. The snowboard descent under starlight and sliver of moon was magical.

Ryan Huggins atop Illumination Rock on Mt Hood, shot for Native Eyewear. The snowboard descent under starlight and sliver of moon was magical.

Cloud break in Tengboche Nepal. This portrait for WEND magazine is of TREW clothing co-founder Chris Pew, it was one of the only cloud breaks we enjoyed on our 3 week trip there.

Cloud break in Tengboche Nepal. This portrait for WEND magazine is of TREW clothing co-founder Chris Pew, it was one of the only cloud breaks we enjoyed on our 3 week trip there.

Owen Leeper launches- Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The mountains have been the source of my creativity for the last 25 years. Nothing gives me more stoke than a steep canvas of untracked snow. “Snow Spoken” a self published photo journal will be released this fall.

Owen Leeper launches- Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The mountains have been the source of my creativity for the last 25 years. Nothing gives me more stoke than a steep canvas of untracked snow. “Snow Spoken” a self published photo journal will be released this fall.

Taken from Beach Life. A self produced project.

Taken from Beach Life. A self produced project.

Stand Up Paddle-boarder shot for Slingshot SUP. I am a fan of the underside of bridges. So many people never take the time to explore what lies under them. Each bridge is an opportunity for adventure.

Stand Up Paddle-boarder shot for Slingshot SUP. I am a fan of the underside of bridges. So many people never take the time to explore what lies under them. Each bridge is an opportunity for adventure.

Mountain Biker. Taken from a series of portraits of downhill racers.

Mountain Biker. Taken from a series of portraits of downhill racers.

Dutch Red Bull athlete Ruben Lenten. Like herding cats this one… very enjoyable and one of my dearest friends in the world of kiteboarding, something I’ve shot a lot of over the years.

Dutch Red Bull athlete Ruben Lenten. Like herding cats this one… very enjoyable and one of my dearest friends in the world of kiteboarding, something I’ve shot a lot of over the years.

Friendship Glacier British Columbia. Campaign for HydroFlask. We were airlifted to a remote hut for a week without running water or electricity to self access ski tour the surrounding mountains.

Friendship Glacier British Columbia. Campaign for HydroFlask. We were airlifted to a remote hut for a week without running water or electricity to self access ski tour the surrounding mountains.

Travel piece shot for Men’s Journal- Isabella Caves, Puerto Rico.

Travel piece shot for Men’s Journal- Isabella Caves, Puerto Rico.

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

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Well, both… I went to the Art Institute of Portland and studied Digital Media. I really twisted the curriculum to study the things I wanted- sound, photography, especially film. After graduation I soon found doors kept opening for photography so I rolled with it. When issues arose along the way I problem solved, and figured it out myself.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I think initially it was the people that truly live the subject they shoot- the Buddhist Matthieu Ricard, adventure work of Jimmy Chin and the mountain culture of Jordan Manley. It also was the people that capture the lifestyle- Daniel Blom, Chris Burkard. Lately I’ve been inspired by the more fashion travel lifestyle work of Misha Taylor.

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 never set the intention to do something to be noticed. I want the subject to be noticed, it’s not about me. I want people to experience a place and moment that they normally never would. I want them to be inspired to explore. I also want a sense of fun to radiate into the viewer… a sense of empowerment that there is a life much deeper than the one they are told of on TV.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Sometimes, but like any collaboration there is give and take. I always push the boundaries when I think it necessary, it always seems to be appreciated in the end.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I recently enlisted the help of Amanda Sosa Stone and a brilliant boutique marketing agency based out of Portland Oregon called Owen Jones and Partners. We just rolled out a new website and I’ll be following it up with a direct marketing campaign this summer.

What I am finding is when I fly out to Boston, LA or NYC to work people instantly notice my vibe is different. I live in Jackson Wyoming in the winter and Hood River Oregon in the summer and that’s refreshing to them. New bookings happen with them as a result. I really like meeting face to face with people and hope to do more of that once the summer shooting season slows to show my work.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I think it’s important to show what you want to shoot. Show what you like. Show the story of who you are. Those authentic images hold the most magic.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, I find the more I shoot the more creatively inspired I am to shoot. It goes hand in hand. Living in two locations keeps me going and grounded as well. The Pacific Ocean and Teton Mountains are powerful places.

How often are you shooting new work?
Weekly.

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Lance Koudele is an American photographer born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His early adult years were shaped by his experiences as an extreme snowboard athlete, traveling and riding mountain regions and deserted surf breaks across the globe.

Those that know him will tell you he is naturally full of peace and compassion. It was no accident that his ease of connecting personally compelled him to begin to combine people and place. His talent for capturing the magic that happens when the two come together form the foundation of his growing career.

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.

I Let The Life Come To The Picture: The Accidents, The Things That Happen By Chance

- - Blog News

When I’m having a shoot, in the morning the model is arriving from the hotel, the hairdresser is coming from London, a lot of different moods – one is happy, one is crying, one is angry, one is – I don’t know what – sleeping. And even if you have a precise idea of what you want to do, you can’t. Everyone is coming in with all this different energy and you have to deal with them. So you never know what you’ll do in the end. And this I like. I like the accidents, the things that happen by chance. I let the life come to the picture and the creativity flow.

via Paolo Roversi Interview | The Talks.

The Weekly Edit – Women’s Health: Sarah Rozen

- - The Daily Edit

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Women’s Health

Photo Director: Sarah Rozen

Fashion Director: Jacqueline Azria

Creative Director: Theresa Griggs

Photographers: Williams + Hirakawa

Heidi: What made you choose Palm Springs for location? East coast long winter?
Sarah: We wanted something dramatic and a little Mad Max feel so we originally looked into this cool dam but couldn’t permit that. Then our Fashion Director, Jacqueline Azria, who is French happened to remember always loving the windmills on the drive to Palm Springs.

Did you have a studio day and location day for this?
We actually set up a little studio in the Parking Lot. We shot the on location shots first and then the studio stuff. 

What about W+H made you choose them for this shoot?
I have shot a fashion story with Williams and Hirakawa almost a year before in Alaska and had loved the photos. And had been waiting for the right story to use them again for. I liked this one for them  because it was completely different than the previous fashion story. They are really good to work with and the results are always stunning.

What makes you stick a mailed promo on your wall? I’m sure you get a flurry?
Something has to grab me. Usually it is different or drama in the narrative. Can’t just be the same old same old. 

Are you partial to female photographers? Meaning does gender ever play a role for your projects?
It depends on the story and depends on the subject. I really just try to match the right photographer for each story.

This Week In Photography Books: William Christenberry

by Jonathan Blaustein

Colin looked away, unable to meet her eye. Shame has many tells, and this one was screaming louder than an infant at the witching hour. He’d wanted to tell her the truth for months, of course, but couldn’t bring himself to speak the words.

Now, it was too late.

Maddy had opened a letter addressed to him. She’d never done that before, but he understood why she’d done it. They’d been married for nigh on 30 years, and he was sure she’d noticed the change in his behavior.

First, he started drinking more heavily. When they could afford the extra whiskey, it hadn’t been so noticeable. But as fortunes faded, it became more obvious that $5 a week mattered elsewhere.

Colin thought he’d be able to pick up some extra day labor, but, honestly, he knew it was as illusory as magic. The economy in rural Alabama, such as it was, did not allow for extra anything, much less work or money.

Soon enough, his sex drive began to abate. Men need confidence to feel good about themselves, and a no-job-having, no-money-making, lie-around-the-house-and-drink type of man doesn’t feel desire like he used to. When he was younger, and the future held promise instead of a slow decline into ruin.

That’s the part they always gloss over in the history books. For all the talk of progress, and ideas building to the future, like the march from horses to trains to automobiles. That’s what people like to talk about.

It’s easier to forget forgotten places. They die slowly, like a malnourished child. There’s no bloody mess, and no one there to hear you scream. Though most lack the energy at the end, for screaming.

No, Colin wasn’t surprised that Maddy opened the letter from the bank. If anything, he was embarrassed not to have the guts to tell her to her face. But if he couldn’t meet her eye these days, how was he to summon such courage?

They were to be out in 30 days, even though no one in their right mind would want the house. It was falling apart as it was, and wouldn’t be standing for long, without some money and TLC. Outside of him and Maddy, there was no one who’d care about one more slanting shack. No one at all.

Except for William Christenberry, of course. Thankfully, he’s been out and about, cruising the back roads and dirt lanes of Alabama for many, many years. I’ve always loved his work, dramatic and subtle at the same time.

If you’re unaware, Mr. Christenberry has visited and revisited the types of falling down, incredibly nostalgic, romantic little shotgun shacks, and taken their pictures over many years, as they slowly succumb to entropy. Books are great for these sorts of projects. All you need to do is turn the page, and another year, or 5, has passed. No need to wait.

Should you care to see such work in a beautifully made book, you’ve come to the right place. The Fundacion Mapfre in Spain has just released an eponymous monograph, in conjunction with a pair of major exhibitions there. I will show it to you in the snapshots below, because that is what I do.

I was unaware, actually, that Mr. Christenberry also made sculptures. It’s very common in the art world, for artists to work in multiple media, but less so among more traditional photographers. I’ve been encouraging experimentation for years, as my long-time readers know, and this work can provide inspiration.

The photos of these churches and BBQ joints are amazing, but then, rendered in miniature as sculpture, the feeling changes. It must. Expressing similar, important ideas in varying ways is the sign of a genuinely engaged mind. Brilliant stuff.

Bottom line: Big, beautiful monograph by a deserving legend

To Purchase William Christenberry Visit Photo-Eye

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

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

Art Producers Speak: Sean Murphy

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 Sean Murphy. Sean is tenacious at living. He is vibrant, happy with an eye of the finest artist. Each of his takes makes me say AH! and I am an artist, so that’s not always an easy thing. He goes anywhere and traveling in his giant truck, he becomes part of the culture of what he is shooting and it shows.

Monterey Tourism / Cramer-Kresselt

Monterey Tourism / Cramer-Kresselt

47 Brand / The Fantastical

47 Brand / The Fantastical

Personal trip to Nicaragua

Personal trip to Nicaragua

SRT / The Richards Group

SRT / The Richards Group

Tosin Abasi / Guitar World

Tosin Abasi / Guitar World

Stock shoot for Image Source

Stock shoot for Image Source

Cedar Fair / Cramer-Kresselt

Cedar Fair / Cramer-Kresselt

Evan Seinfeld

Evan Seinfeld

Nature's Recipe / Draft

Nature’s Recipe / Draft

AAA / The Richards Group

AAA / The Richards Group

How many years have you been in business?
Well, I got out of college in 1993. It was around 1995 that I started getting my first jobs, which at that time were mostly editorial. I knew a lot of bands, so I also ended up shooting rock and roll and album covers. I didn’t get my first advertising job until 1999, but by 2000 it became and remains the primary work that I do. I still do shoot music and editorial and I love the creative freedom it brings, but I don’t focus my energy on acquiring that work so much anymore. So, that’s the “too long” answer…it’s been about 20 years. :)

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
School. I spent a lot of time painting and sculpting while I was growing up. I had a girlfriend with an old Pentax that she loaned me and, on a whim, I signed up for a photo class at a community college in Orlando, Florida. I got the bug immediately, quit mid-semester, and moved to Boston to go to the New England School of Photography. I graduated Valedictorian in 1993.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Before I went to Boston, I attended that photography class in Orlando. The teacher was a retired Time-Life photographer. His hands were gnarled from years of working with the chemicals. Cool guy. He said to me, “I never say this, but you have something special. If I were you, I’d leave here and go to Boston or New York.” So I did. Within a month, I was gone.

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?
Well, for starters, I’m shooting ALL the time. I surround myself with uber-talented people. I get fueled by their vibes. And I have a crew of crazy, crazy-talented friends. They’re always keeping me laughing and I’m always inspired. So ultimately, I’m just photographing my life. I’m just grateful that who and what’s around me happens to be interesting.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Hmm, I don’t know if I really get that direct input from the client. The creatives are acting as the intermediary.

I present my work as I see fit on my website and on social media.

Frequently, I’ll be asked by the creatives to put together a selection of work or a special presentation that they can show to the clients. If the client approves, I guess I get hired. Lately, I’m having the most fun in my career I’ve ever had. I’m getting hired to shoot exactly what I love to shoot. :)

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
As far as the internet is concerned: website/blog, Facebook, and Instagram. The usual suspects.

My primary engagement from the buying audience comes from my website, with Facebook coming a close second.

I travel a great deal. When I do, I always make arrangements to meet art buyers and creatives all across the country.

I’ll do a mailer a few times a year, and I also have books made of my work that I’ll bring with me to show to prospective clients.

Lately, I’ve been getting more attention for some of my rock and roll photography from years past, which is now going to be shown in some galleries, so that is also another new avenue that is exposing my work.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
You need to show a cohesive body of work. I’ve found that that’s more impressive to the buyer than trying to show your entire bag of tricks. You want to create a relation of your name to the type of work you are selling yourself to do. You want them to say “Sean” or “this guy” can do this type of work. You don’t want to show a thousand styles.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Non-stop. I shoot everyday. I don’t leave the house without my camera strapped around my back. I’m not doing it on purpose to keep myself fresh. I’m doing it because I love it so much.

How often are you shooting new work?
Pretty much all the time. If I’m not shooting paid work, I’m busy lining up pro-bono shoots for companies that I find interesting, working with new super creative art directors, working on collaborations with other artists, or shooting new material for stock with Getty. So my time is always busy. I’m not motivated by the money. I’m just motivated by shooting cool stuff all the time. :)

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Over a decade later, Sean is now internationally known for creating influential, diverse award-winning campaigns for clients such as Ford, Chevy, Old Navy, Playstation, Wal-Mart and Hard Rock Café – and he’s always on time and within budgets, even when they seem unrealistic. He has also shot album covers for bands like Weezer and Tenacious D. Sean is universally recognized for his approachability with his subjects. From kids to celebrities, businessmen to bikers, everyone is at home with Sean’s larger-than-life personality, and that comfort level brings out the best in people.

www.seanmurphyphoto.com
Represented by Tom Zumpano 310-409-0249 tom@zumpanos.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.