Photographers’ Rep Julian Richards on Why He Abruptly Quit the Business

- - Working

PDN: What kinds of changes to the industry had the biggest impact on your work as an agent?

JR: Before I answer, I should say that the governing principles remain the same. It’s a timeless dynamic, going door-to-door flogging stuff. There’s all sorts of nuance, but it only takes one bout of sitting in an advertising agency’s reception area surrounded by portfolios—waiting for the assistant art buyer to totter out and escort you to a conference room—to allay any doubt that there’s something fundamentally Willy Loman about the whole gig. That hasn’t changed. Nor has the fact that we need them more than they need us.

There were times I’d take some conference call, having stepped away from the dinner table at home; I’d be pacing about on the porch, gesticulating like a spastic cranefly, snorting, laughing too loud, spouting platitudes about “authenticity” and “shooting from the inside out.” Then I’d come back in and there’d be [my family] Juliette, Winnie and Dusty staring at me with half eaten meals and that collective “who the fuck are you?” look. Like the girls had just watched their dad dance on a bar in a Speedo for nachos.

Digital changed the landscape. Before the pixel, craft was still an elemental component of the narrative. A process that involved trusting strips of cellulose in a mysterious dark box was replaced by instant, impeccable rendering, in situ on vast monitors. The photographer’s role as sorcerer and custodian of the vision was diminished: The question “have we got it?” became redundant. Now it was the photographer asking the art director asking the client. Which is a big deal. Because the previous dialectic was that you engaged people who brought something to the party you couldn’t provide yourself. Like Magi, the “creatives” brought creativity; photographers, vision. By abdicating those responsibilities to the guy who’s paying, you’re undergoing a sort of self-inflicted castration. A culture of fear and sycophancy develops. Self-worth diminishes, because nobody really likes being a eunuch, even a well-paid one. There’s less currency in having a viewpoint. The answer to the question “What have you got to say?” drifts towards “What do you want me to say?” There’s reward in being generic, keeping one’s vision in one’s pocket. Trouble is, when your vision has spent too long in your pocket, sometimes you reach for it and it’s not there any more. Something Pavlovian sets in: the bell rings when it’s kibble-time and you drool on cue. Suddenly many jobs can be done by many people, photographers become more interchangeable, the question of “Why him over her?” shifts to ancillary aspects of the process; personality, speed, stamina, flexibility. And there’s profit in mutability; being able to gather several photographers under a single umbrella with a shared mandate makes you more flexible and attractive. But the corrosive byproduct is that the unique sniper’s eye of a Greg Miller, Chris Buck, James Smolka, Sian Kennedy becomes not only less relevant, but actually an obstacle. In shifting ground to garner a larger share of the mainstream, you risk losing identity, licking the hand that feeds you.

There were other strands that played into this shift. The “make it look like my niece could have shot it” esthetic; the bespoke corporate stock library with its emphasis on bulk delivery of cliché; endless emphasis on “aspirational” as a reaction to difficult economic times. Oh, and how about the Death of Print? Half the industry getting fired in a month and no sign of a magazine this side of Bulgaria. Loop back to the top. Add decimation and fear.

Read More: PDN Online.

The Daily Edit – Gabriela Herman : Rodeo Queens/Cosmopolitan

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Rodeo Queens - August 2014

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Promo

Photographer: Gabriela Herman
Text and reporting: Kelly Williams Brown
Design: Tyson Evans

Cosmopolitan

Art Director: Mariana Tuma ( freelance )
Photo Director:
Alix Campbell
Photo Editor: Allie Kircher

Heidi: Did Cosmopolitan commission this project or did you bring this idea forward?

Gabriela: This was a commissioned assignment for Cosmo and my first assignment for them. They contacted me in the summer of last year after seeing a story I had shot for Martha Stewart Living on the Kutztown Folk Festival. The first part of the rodeo shoot had a sort of similar, small-town fair vibe, which I think was a parallel. I was very fortunate to be teamed up with a writer, Kelly Williams Brown, who pitched the story to Cosmo and who became a good friend throughout the process.

How many days/weeks did it take to shoot this?

The shoot was split into three trips out West over five months. For the first trip, we went to Corvallis, OR, to the home of Nicole Schrock, who was Miss Rodeo Oregon and the main character of the story. We followed her around at home, on her family’s farm and the local county fair. The second trip started in Portland, OR, where Nicole was joined by five other state queens and we toured around Oregon for a week before arriving at the Pendleton Rodeo, one of the largest and most historic in the country. (Fun fact: At Pendleton, press is required to be in ‘rodeo wear’ meaning cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and appropriate western shirt, so I actually got a budget from Cosmo to purchase these items!) This was probably my favorite trip as it felt like I was just tagging along on a vacation with a group of awesome girls, plus I loved the reactions from walking around town with a gaggle of rodeo queens in tow. Lastly, we travelled to Las Vegas where the Miss Rodeo American competition takes place during the National Rodeo Finals, which is a huge event, cowboys everywhere!

What specifically does “expanded from an assignment” mean?

The story ran in the July issue this summer.  Due to editorial constraints Kelly’s article was condensed into an intro for the photo essay and they published only a tiny portion the material that I had shot. Cosmo’s edit, understandably, was also very different than what I would show. Kelly and I talked a few weeks after it published and realized that we both had so much good material that we didn’t want it to go to waste and discussed how we could expand it. I knew I wanted to make a physical piece as a promo and I wanted for Kelly to share her full story in the way that she originally intended. The result was twofold: this promo book that highlights the photos with Kelly’s reporting interspersed throughout and a post on Medium with her full article and my photos. This was my first time working with Medium and while its geared toward text over imagery, it feels like it was the perfect place for our story to live. It was promoted by Medium, along with our outreach, and has been viewed over 21,000 times.

Was this promo a difficult edit? How many images were considered? 

Yes! Isn’t every project difficult to edit? I shot over 4,000 images and there were probably around 250 that I handed into Cosmo and about 70 I was considering for the promo. One of the tricky things for me was choosing an image on the strength of the image versus the strength of the story. Unfortunately the last trip in Vegas, which was the grand culmination of everything — especially all the amazing sequined outfits — took place entirely under the fluorescent lights of the MGM Grand conference rooms. I had the least access to the girls, who were under constant chaperoned supervision. I knew it was important to show this in the story, but I didn’t feel they were the strongest images, so I only included two at the end to round out the story with the final shot of the newly crowned Miss Rodeo America. It’s not my favorite, but I felt like I needed that conclusion. There were also a few days on the second Oregon trip where the girls weren’t on queening duty and were just dressed in regular jeans and t-shirts. We shot guns, visited a saw mill and a cheese factory, went on a boat ride, and frolicked on Haystack Beach. A lot of the material I shot on those days just didn’t fit into the narrative, despite being some of my favorite shots.

The body of work has a great narrative arc, I loved the quote vs. captions. What made you decide to publish quotes?

I knew absolutely nothing about rodeo queens going into this story. I didn’t even know there was such an honor! The booklet was certainly to showcase the images and I knew it wasn’t the place where people would read a full article. But, I felt it would really enhance the experience by including a bit of context to the images that explains what its like being a rodeo queen for those who, like me, might not even understand the culture. I think this is a story that really benefits from hearing from the girls themselves.

Why the booklet, and not a foldout, magazine or cards…?

I’ve done post cards many times and recently did a promo poster this spring, but had never done a booklet. This might be the first body of work I have that falls nicely into such a linear narrative that making a book seemed logical. I have zero design background though and the idea of tackling a book project seemed very daunting.  Luckily my husband is a designer and was immensely helpful in putting this together and it was an added bonus to be able to collaborate with him on this project. It was also a chance to try on-demand printing. We tried MagCloud and ultimately went with Smartpress, as they had better paper options. Both were great because I could order exact quantities, and can always order more.

Before you approach a multi day project, do you have an idea of it’s development or is it more organic ?  

After the first trip out to Oregon, I came home so excited about the images. Nicole, the lead subject, was just wonderful to work with, as was her family who supported her all the way to Vegas. We had no idea if she was going to win the competition or not but she was perfect to be our main character in that she seemed to get along with everyone, certainly was considered a top contender and photographically was great in front of the lens. We actually got lucky in picking Nicole — the decision was mostly driven by Kelly, who lived in Oregon — because she ended up in third place out of twenty-seven girls in the competition . Projects definitely form more organically for me. I rarely set out with specific images I want to make. With so much material after only that first trip, I had a feeling I would end up with a body of work that I could develop beyond the assignment.

Are you constantly referring to images you’ve already shot and then looking for what needs to be added?

Not really. I usually just shoot and shoot and shoot and then pull out from there. I do wish I had been able to gain more access to the girls during the competition to round out the final stages of the story better, but I think I got enough. Were I to continue pursuing this project, of course I have in mind certain elements that I’d want to add. For example, there were talks at one point of shooting a seamstresses working on the gowns. With any project you could shoot forever and ever, but I think I’m done with this project for now. It was a wonderful opportunity to have all the access I received, and I feel like I told the story I want to tell.

What was your overall creative direction for this ( in your own body of work ) and from the magazine?

For the kind of stories I shoot, the type of direction I usually get is very broad and has me shooting a bit of everything. I love that kind of direction, or non-direction if you will, in that it leads me to shoot what I find most interesting. I rarely receive the type of assignment where there’s a shot already mapped out in someone’s mind and I’m there to execute it. This was no different. Of course there’s the schedule of events to follow but, outside of that, I was free to shoot anything and everything that caught my eye.

Are all the images in the promo unpublished?

There’s only one image (detail shot of Nicole’s Miss Rodeo Oregon chaps) from the promo booklet that was also used by Cosmo.

What was the most surprising element of this project?

Perhaps the fact that I was opened up to this whole new world that I didn’t even know existed. Did you know ‘queening,’ is used as a verb? And that hair curlers are an essential item to being a rodeo queen? This was a total cultural immersions for me from seeing parts of the country I’d never been, to attending my first rodeo, to shooting guns and bonding with girls outside of my social circle.

I am forever grateful to Cosmo and the photo department team who not only took a chance on me but really gave me the opportunity to dive deep into a subject matter, over a long period of time, and develop meaningful relationships.

How did this body of work force you to grow as a photographer?

One of the most important lessons from the this project was the power of collaboration and reporting. In this case I feel like having the quotes and the captions and being able to read Kelly’s full text really enhances the viewing experience of the images and adds another layer of understanding. I’m not a writer, nor do I feel I’m any good at it, yet from this experience I feel like I either need to push myself on the writing front or partner with other writers like Kelly who would be willing to dive deep into a project together.

Cinematographer Roger Deakins Shares 25 Pieces of Juicy Filmmaking Knowledge

- - Working

Cinematography is a strange blend of creative art and practical resourcefulness. Deakins is aware of this and, while striving for artistic relevance in his films, acknowledges that he sometimes needs to get out of the way and avoid favoring perfectionism over the realistic obstacles of a shoot.

He’s also quick to point out that his job is ultimately to serve the director and that the “art” of cinematography is meaningless when it doesn’t benefit the director’s vision.

It is this combination of attitudes that makes Deakins a voice of reason in cinematography circles. He’s such a capable artist who, at the core of it, is OK with releasing his “art” into the public — shortcomings and all.

Read more here: The Black and Blue.

This Week In Photography Books: Thomas Mailaender presents Noël Howard Symington

by Jonathan Blaustein

The rules are, there are no rules. I had to look that up on Google to see what film it came from. I would have bet “Hot Dog,” the movie. That classic ski comedy (with boobs, of course,) that came out in 1984.

If you have the same sort of 80’s nostalgia I do, or at least enjoy a giggle down memory lane, here’s a good link for you. The Chinese Downhill scene. Yup, that would have been my guess.

Google says it comes from “Grease,” though. Another piece of cinematic history. Apparently, it’s said in the buildup to the big car race, for which “Greased Lightning” was the foreshadowing. (Think of me what you will, but that was my favorite song when I was seven.)

Does it really matter who first said something as purely rational as that? The rules are…there are no rules. It’s like a Zen koan had sex with some of Sun Tzu’s war theory. (Hey now.)

What’s the point, though? It might as well apply to Capitalism, because, really, what else could explain our remorseless gutting of Planet Earth’s resources.

Sorry. Sorry.

I’ll keep it light this week. It’s the only decent thing to do.

In the art world, which doesn’t always make sense in the photo world, you can make art any damn way you please. Want to serve food and call it art? Be my guest.

Or how about gardening as art? Go for it. Trim your hedges to your heart’s content.

Appropriation, you say? A fancy word for stealing other people’s shit? Fire away.

That last one has been, and will likely always be controversial. I interviewed Sam Abell a year or so ago, and he bluntly said that HE made Richard Prince’s most famous image. Because he did.

The art is in re-contextualizing, we’re told. I’ve done it myself, though my motivations were at least altruistic. Stealing from corporations and such. But this isn’t about me. (I swear.)

“The Night Climbers of Cambridge” is the book we’re going to look at today, and it fits the bill for witty and light. (God Bless the English.) The black velvet cover, with barely visible text, announced itself as a book I would enjoy. (Yes, I judged the book by its cover.)

You’ll love the photos, because, who wouldn’t? A bunch of college kids, way back in 1937, took to climbing buildings at various colleges in Cambridge. Apparently, it was an established tradition. I’m only surprised they didn’t dress up in women’s clothing first. (Cheeky devils.)

The photographer was named Noël Howard Symington, though he took the nom-de-guerre Whipplesnaith. (As my wife would say, “Of course he did.”) He and his buddies did stupid-young-man stuff, but they lit it and took pictures too. How positively 21stCenturyJackassian of them.

So what’s the trouble then? Why did I bother to introduce ideas of appropriation and give you that juicy link to “Hot Dog?” Because the book is credited to the artist Thomas Mailaender, who collaborated with the famed Archive of Modern Conflict.

That’s right, it’s his book, not Mr. Symnington’s. The latter artist retains copyright, but the former owns the archive. So it’s his book, and his “art,” in re-introducing it.

What say you on the matter?

Honestly, I think appropriation can be among the most powerful tools an artist has. I take this, I claim it, I change it, and I subvert its intent. I am rebel, hear me whinge.

But here, it’s just someone buying someone else’s stuff and then putting his name on it. I mean, sure, there could be other motivations. Perhaps I’ll get a politely worded email from The Archive of Modern Conflict telling me that I’ve got it all wrong.

So be it.

Otherwise, I have a hard time understanding why some artists need to put their name on other people’s stuff. Found objects? OK. Anonymous pictures discovered in a scary attic in Iowa? Maybe. Maybe.

But when you know who made something, calling it yours isn’t art. It’s lazy. Why not just show us what you like, make the book, but don’t put your name on it? They call those people curators, no?

Or better yet, do what Quentin Tarantino does. He let’s his buddies say “Quentin Tarantino Presents,” like he did with RZA’s mostly crappy kung fu film, “The Man with the Iron Fists.”

Thomas Mailaender presents Noël Howard Symington. Clunky, sure, but at least it’s honest.

That’s my take anyway. As to the climbers? They’re awesome. Parkour before the trends. School prank with the whiff of possible death.

What’s not to like?

Bottom Line: Awesome photos of English college boys climbing pretty buildings

To Purchase “The Night Climbers of Cambridge” 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.

The Art of the Personal Project: Tom Hussey

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com.

Today’s featured photographer is: Tom Hussey

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How long have you been shooting?
Professionally 20 years. Add in the time when my father first handed me a camera and that makes it seem like 100 years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I am photography school taught. I went to SMU for my undergrad and RIT for my Masters. But with the way technology changes, I am self-taught every day.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I have always been a football fan and aside from my time in high school, I never really followed high school football. Then my stepsons started playing. Their school is small so they played 6 man football. It’s really exciting and high scoring. I was given compete access to the practices, games and locker room for a season. It was so much fun.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I was excited about it right away. I put it out there as soon as I could get the files edited.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I think I am like all creative people. I always second-guess myself. I will work on a project and think it’s going nowhere. I put it away and step away from it for a while and revisit it after I have done some other work. If I do not pull a whole promo out of the project I usually always find one or two strong images for my portfolio. I also use my blog as sort of a working laboratory for a place to get images out there. Things that may never be in my portfolio but images that have merit. Interesting enough, I have walked into creative meetings at agencies only to find they have pulled numerous images from my blog. I guess what I am trying to say is never give up. Something’s working if you are shooting everyday.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I am excited by the difference. If you are standing still in this business and not attempting different things, you are dead in the water so to speak.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Since I post new images daily to my blog those same emails are carried over onto Facebook and linked on Twitter. I use Instagram as a kind of personal sketchbook of thoughts (all random) and behind the scenes things happening on set.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I have had a couple of things go viral. It’s crazy. Great press is always good. I was in London shooting and when I got back to my hotel the concierge called me over to show me a campaign of my images was featured in The Daily Mail. That stuff always surprises me.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes. I chose to share the football project not because it was my most recent personal project but because it has been referenced by creatives and been attributed to a lot of awarded jobs over the past few years.

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In the course of a diverse 20-year career in commercial advertising photography, Tom Hussey has established a successful advertising studio. Respected industry wide for his lifestyle photography and admired for his lighting techniques, Tom has worked on local, national and international campaigns. Based in Dallas, Texas, TOM HUSSEY Photography, LLC is a full production photography and motion studio.

Tom’s passion for photography began in the early 70’s when his Dad got a new “expensive” SLR camera. Tom asked to take a picture and much to his mother’s horror was handed the camera. He put the camera down briefly but was never far away from it. Tom has taught photography on the college level and worked in the Conservation Laboratory at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House.

Tom is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production with a minor in Photography. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Museum Practices and Conservation with an emphasis in Photography from The Rochester Institute of Technology.

Tom Hussey is represented by Michael Ginsburg, 212.369.3594 and in Texas he is represented by Carol Considine 214.741.4034

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 Daily Edit – Michael Rodriguez: Los Angeles Magazine

- - The Daily Edit

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Los Angeles Magazine

Design Director: Steven Banks
Photo Director: Amy Feitelberg
Photographer: Michael Rodriguez

 

Heidi: Best of covers/thematic are always a great challenge to keep things fresh. How did this smart concept develop?
Michael: Steve Banks, the design director at LA Mag, came to me with the concept.  Just like the previous cover I did for them, he came to me with a clear idea.  My job is to realize it, make it dynamic.

What sort of editorial direction did you get to develop the the tools?
Steve knew most of the tools he wanted on the knife, but we continued to throw around more ideas for tools specifically, how the form of each tool would parody the likeness of the referenced item.  There were specific topics in the issue that needed to be represented.  Then, we looked at existing tools that get crammed into these pocket knives and picked the best fit.  The palm tree bottle opener took the most time to make a quick read.  It started off much more detailed and had a more organic silhouette.  It took quite a few drafts to make it simple enough to read.

How many knives to did you research/buy or did you simply know the swiss army knife being such an iconic classic was the right choice?
I had a couple on hand to study.  We did a bit of online research but, that was mostly for mechanics and tool details.  The overall shape of these knives haven’t changed all that much over the years.  Most of the research on the casing was for texture and material it would be made from.  We had many options but, we ended with classic red plastic.

Did you do your own post?
Yup, I do all of my post and CG.

 

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What was the biggest technical challenge for this project?
Figuring out how much detail to put into it without it looking messy.  At one point, the tool looked pretty grimy and used.  I like to put in more detail rather than not enough.  Then, you can work back some of the details to a place that everybody is happy with.

How did you get so adept at post/CGI? Did it come naturally for you?
I learned the basics of retouching from my old business partner back in the day.  When I took over the retouching duties, it started off with simple compositing.  Over the years, it just developed in complexity as ideas grew and greater challenges came.  At some point, I felt like I hit a wall with that general direction and started to learn how to create things in a CG environment.  It started with small accents to my photography and gradually, I felt more confident in my ability.  I started making environments that there either wasn’t the budget to have them made or was simply impossible to shoot.  Then, my approach flipped and CG was the majority of image creation and photography became the accent.  Now, things are balancing between the two along with the inclusion of video and animation.

Tell me about your entire process; do you think about the image first and then go into an execution thought process?
If it’s for a job, I consider the best approach for the idea.  Will it be served better in a more illustrative approach or all photographed along with compositing?  (nobody asks me to do anything all in camera, which I like).  The general approach to CG is, if you can capture what you want, the way you want it in camera, that’s the way to go.  If not, you identify the reason and find a solution using other avenues.  Then, that becomes part of the process for that image.  I think it’s important to be adaptable, especially when you’re working under tight schedules.  The image is planned out in advance.  Then, I capture and/or create the elements, lit properly to create a seamless composite.  There’s usually some deviation and improvising along the way but, the general approach is discussed and agreed upon prior to any major work being done.

How do you feel these skills make you a better photographer?
Sometimes, there are things that are totally out of your control that just ruin a shot.  There was this job I had where between the location being scouted and approved by the client and us arriving on shoot day, the  location had been drastically changed.  All of the elements of the location that led us to choose it for the image were gone.  There wasn’t any time fix for a fix.  I proposed that I create a new background where I could match the angle and lighting while improving on the look of the location that we had originally been expecting.  It was an awful situation, but everyone walked away happy.  Since then, I’ve been able to roll with most every problem thrown at me.  That’s not a “fix it in post” mentality necessarily; that’s an unfortunate perspective to have towards image making.  These skills help the photography overcome whatever challenges may arise throughout the job.

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Art Is Not A Business Like Other Businesses

- - Art

Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art, who testified on Ms. Crile’s behalf, said Monday that the ability to deduct art-related expenses — in art careers that might generate little money — was “one of the last remaining areas where the federal government cuts artists any slack to allow them to do what they do,” and that its protection was crucial.

Read More: Tax Court Ruling Is Seen as a Victory for Artists – NYTimes.com.

This Week In Photography Books: Louie Palu

by Jonathan Blaustein

OK.

I know last week’s column was a little tough. Missing teenagers, presumed dead. Nothing funny about that.

So maybe you turn up this morning hoping for something lighter. A joke maybe?

How’s this one: Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from all the assholes who keep telling jokes about why chickens cross roads. (You know, like me.)

Yes, even the jokes today are meta-and-annoying.

No, today is Wednesday, the day after the Republicans swept the elections, more or less, and now control both Houses of Congress in the United States. I’m well-aware that many of you live elsewhere, but still, this is a global story.

President Barack Obama now faces a legislative branch united in it’s hatred of him, and all the things he stands for. Hell, it wasn’t enough that the dude’s hair’s gone gray. Now he needs a bunch of rich white dudes blowing raspberries in his direction, and making fake fart noises every time he walks by.

(Hey Mitch, watch this. FFFFFFFTTT. Do ya get it? It sounds like a fart. Get it?)

I’m sure some of you are probably happy about the results, even though most all creative types are liberal. The odds are simply against every single one of you being disappointed today, so congrats on your success.

Me, I’m a bit blasé about the whole thing, simply because history shows this is what happens in a President’s 6th year. I even saw a tweet today that says the Senate has gone to the opposition party in every such election since FDR. (And if I read it on Twitter, it must be true.)

Overall, I’m pretty happy with what Obama has done, especially under the circumstances. If last week’s article has taught us anything, it’s that even Heads of State often lack the necessary power to do what they would like. Money is king these days, and probably always has been.

And kings are Kings, don’t forget.

One issue that probably rankles Obama’s base more than his Republican adversaries is Guantanamo Bay. Gitmo. That mystical prison at the edge of Cuba. The one he promised to close, and then didn’t.

Mostly because no one in America would allow those bearded savages to come into their prisons, their communities. (Yes, I’m being a tad ironic by calling them savages. They’re probably horrible pricks, but I can’t say that just because they’re suspected jihadis. We’ve never met in person.)

Those guys are hidden away. From all of us.

Sure, there have been some photo projects to emerge of late. Some that might have moved you. But essentially, that place is the mother-of-all-lockdowns. And we’re not meant to know what’s actually going on.

So I was thrilled when this concept newspaper, “Guantanamo: Operation Security Review” turned up in my mailbox the other day. It was made by Louie Palu, who gained access during official press tours between 2007-10. The deal required photogs to submit their digital cameras at the end of each day for government inspection. And file deletion.

The pictures here are taut, and fraught, if not horrifying. The fences. The chains. The beards. The dichotomy of white Christian people in camo soldier outfits, and tan Muslims on their knees, praying.

I was impressed, surprisingly, by the photos of the paper sheets that verify the “existence” of digital files that once “existed,” and have since been “destroyed.” The actual, tangible evidence of censorship. In the interest of safety? National Security?

Sure, maybe. But in light of the NSA spying scandal, it is hard to trust these days. Even in Barack Obama, and I love the guy. Wouldn’t want to be him right now, though.

NFW.

As for the prisoners, the whole issue has regained prominence in the wake of the ISIS territorial expansion. If released, would these guys be on battlefields within days? Or would they just want to hold their children?

Do they have children? Or wives? Or do they just want to blow themselves up so they can get busy with a gaggle of chaste virgins in heaven?

Should due process exist in a purported Democratic Republic? Can we hold these men in perpetuity? I have no idea. It seems a little extreme, but then so does the beheading of innocent journalists.

Honestly, this is one cluster-fuck of a situation with no potential for an easy solution. Even a difficult one is hard to imagine. Which is why it’s so important to see pictures like this from time to time. To remind us how much we don’t know.

Bottom Line: Fascinating concept newspaper, inside Gitmo

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Art Producers Speak: Chris Baldwin

- - 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 Chris Baldwin because 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.

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How many years have you been in business?
13 years. I began as an assistant, and have been shooting full time for the past 4 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
There were a few darkroom and printing access classes, otherwise self-taught and on the set training.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
For me it is more the sum total of many great influences and teachers along the way. I was inspired photographically by National Geographic magazine growing up, and a few of my male mentors were involved with photography.

My Grandfather, and both my Bio and 2nd fathers were hobby photographers. My Dad gave me my first camera, his old Minolta XG7 with 50mm lens. My birth Dad taught me how to develop and print in his darkroom. My uncle has been an artist for as long as I can remember, and continues to be one of my greatest muses.

In my twenties, a photography instructor invited me to help him out on a shoot, and the idea of working in the photography industry became a reality for me.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with a select handful of talented photographers, from Maui to California and NYC. These experiences ultimately inspired me to transition into the business as a full time photographer.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Fresh lifestyle = fresh Inspiration.

My lifestyle is an essential part of my process; it’s a major catalyst for my creativity and ultimately supports me in keeping my inspiration fresh.

These moments: in-between assignments; traveling with my fiancé’ and our dog; other domestic road trips; laughing with good friends and family; hanging with my two Godson’s (4/8 years); international surfing destinations; people; faces; places; vices; and a consistent yoga practice to ring it all out at end of the day. These all trigger that involuntary response in me to grab my camera and take a picture.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I’m not sure a client can ever hold me back, creatively.

My personal experience is that I have the freedom to choose my projects and my response to that project’s challenges and obstacles, regardless of circumstance.

How I relate to the client and/or project is the issue, not the other way around. Most importantly, it’s the client’s dime, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate and contribute my creative process to their project at the end of the day.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
This year I am working with Jennifer Perlmutter as my marketing consultant. We edited out imagery that best represents my personality and style, created new hard promos, email promos, and PDF portfolios, and built an overwhelming list of applicable creatives, buyers, and brands to reach out to. This marketing campaign, with it’s specific strategy, timing and methods, along with the intention to connect with as many creatives as possible, in more ways than one, is the primary driving force for getting my vision out to the buying audience this year. This spring was the official kickoff, and we have been getting a great response so far.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Follow your heart, shoot what you enjoy shooting most, and shoot as much as possible in-between the days you are not hired to shoot or are surfing, haha. Considering how many exceptional photographers there are today, I feel buyers want to see quality not quantity, authenticity, brand identity, unique perspective or style, continuity, energy, movement, emotion, integrity, and a sense of who we are as Artist’s, individual personality’s, and that we will deliver exceptional work when given the opportunity to do what we love doing.

Larry Sultan, a brilliant photographer I had the pleasure to work closely with, once told me that being a commercial photographer alone is not sustainable in and of itself. To be successful in the world of commercial photography, we have to find the Artist within us, and allow ourselves to genuinely and ultimately inspired and driven by our true artistic passions. This is something; I am still exploring today, and most likely will be for the rest of my life.

How often are you shooting new work?
As often as possible I am shooting new work, ranging from commissioned work to personal work, a spec shoot to an afternoon portrait, a surf trip with best friends, a music festival, and snap shots of all the random organic moments in-between.
The frequency of my shooting is more spontaneous than calculated, and ultimately dependent on concept, subject matter, location, and the next time I can step away from the desk and out of bounds, chasing light, capturing life, scoring surf, and seeking Gurus along the path of photographic enlightenment.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Absolutely, I’m not sure photography would be sustainable in the commercial sense, if I were not shooting for myself. My lifestyle is an essential part of my process; it’s a major catalyst for my creativity and ultimately supports me in keeping my artistic talent true. This being said, I am shooting what I enjoy shooting, looking inside more than ever, following my heart, slowing down and letting go of some sort of sense of urgency or rush mentality in my work, allowing myself the dignity of my own artistic process, vigilant personal practice, cultivating peace of mind, laughing, loving, traveling, surfing, shooting and having fun doing what I love to do most.

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Chris Baldwin
2716 3rd street Studio #2
Santa Monica, CA 90405

cell: 949.228.3686
email: cebaldwin@mac.com
www.chrisbaldwinphoto.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.

The Daily Edit – Joshua Schaedel: Everywhere Between You & I

- - The Daily Edit

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Everywhere Between You & I

Photographer: Joshua Schaedel
Designer: Rebecca King

Heidi: How did the show develop?
Josh: The show came together in a very unusual way and pretty much grew out of my friendship with Lisa Thackaberry. She was looking for a few different spaces for projects she was working on. We had talked about collaborating together on a project with my photo collective Sorry Danny but the time wasn’t really right for the group. So after Lisa and I met Adam Stamp at the Downtown Photo Room we new that we had to move forward. So the show happened pretty organically. We weren’t out looking for a gallery or a space to do a solo show it just sort of happened. Which I guess is why the show had the feel that it did. So I guess the show came from a really natural place, which couldn’t have been better for such heavy subject matter as depression, guilt, suicide and personal growth.

Was your intent to have a show or was this body of work a way for you to deal with this difficult topic?
Ever since I was a kid I have been searching for a way to connect with my father Jim Schaedel. In the beginning the work about my Dad and his depression, and how that effects or relationship, was really a last ditch effort to reach him. What I found in that processes was that I really needed to work on myself. With each project about my father I tried to let some residual part of my baggage go and with each new discovery I feel a bit better.

I always thought it would be nice to share the work but honestly never thought I would have the opportunity to because the subject matter is so heavy. When Lisa and I first met I was really in a dark place and was trying really hard to be a good son and was really trying to get to a place of understanding with the work. So I really let Lisa into something very personal and she really gave me the strength and the confidence to see it through. So the show really just became as an extension of that. Which is why I am so proud of it and so glad that she pushed me to go forward with it.

Why did you choose to photograph yourself over the course of 12 hours?
The “Selfie” project is very a simple concept, take a half-day and sit and think about your life. My hope was that I could make a piece that I could come back to over and over again to continue to learn about myself so that I wouldn’t follow my grandfather’s (who committed suicide when I was 12) and my father’s path. I wanted to spend the day with myself to see all my flaws, all my shortcomings and all my mistakes. The twelve hours just felt like enough time to reflect and to learn.

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What was the most challenging part from a personal and technical point?
Technically it was hard to work out all the little details and to make all these different projects and concepts live into one room that left viewer with an idea of what depression might feel like. But definitely the most challenging part of the show was personal. I realized when Lisa wanted to show these particular projects that I was going to have to go through a lot emotionally to do an honest job reflecting what my father and I have been dealing with for so many years. I was more then just nude I was transparent and it was scary and amazingly peaceful at the same time. It is without a doubt the best thing I could have done for myself and I have to thank Lisa Thackabeery for believing in me and for giving me the opportunity to set this part of me free.

There’s a beautiful series of screens on your site. How did this integrate with the show?
The broken TVs or “The Last Christmas” came from the original project on my father called “My Father’s Name.” The piece found its way into the show when Lisa and I were discussing the project that gave the show its title “Everywhere Between You & I”. She wanted to know how that project came to be and I told the story behind “The Last Christmas”. Which happened when my father and I were supposed to spend Christmas together and watch a football game. Well, he was very depressed and didn’t want any company that day. I was really upset but I thought that if I at least watched the game I could at least share the game with him even though we were not going to be in the same room. I went to my uncle’s house to watch the game; as luck would have it, the TV broke. I was very distraught and the rest of the family left the room to do other things. As I was sitting there a tire commercial came on that described a cross-country road trip with a father and son. This was something that my father and I had talked about since I was a kid. Even though I couldn’t spend Christmas with him or watch the football game together I at least had hope that one day we might take this trip together. The “The Last Christmas” is really a shift in thinking for me and is piece that tied the show together.

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How has this body of work transformed you, if at all?
The show has affected me in many ways. I think the best part for me was when my childhood best friend made it out to the show. About a month prior to the show his brother who had battle depression for many years committed suicide and once he read “The Update” (the piece that describes my father and I talking about his desire to kill himself) he started weeping and we consoled each other. He shared very openly what him and his family were going through on a level that was very special and I think most people are not comfortable with sharing. That has since happened several times with other people and in those very intimate and open conversations I have learned more then I ever expected. I feel like I have the ability to share more openly with people and I think other people who know my story are more open with me. I think on a deeper level I am a lot less angry and a lot more calm. I hope as I continue to show this work that might get closer to a place of peace.

How will this transcend into your editorial work?
Since I draw most of my inspiration from a personal place and when I am working with subject I feel its best to share my story. Recently I did a documentary job where I had to photograph a young man and he shared a similar story about his father and I shared with him mine. By the end of the conversation he thanked me because I was the first person who he had felt comfortable to talk about what he was going through and I got a really nice picture out of it. So I guess for me the more I learn about myself, the more open I am to share, the more people are willing to share with me. I think once I let down my guard down they do too and that makes for great pictures. But to be honest that is why I don’t do a lot of editorial work because it really affects me and takes a long time to digest. I am currently working on a few editorial concepts that I will hopefully pitch very soon.

You chose to do a newsprint/newspaper promo, why did that seem appropriate to you?
Well I come from a zine background with my collective Sorry Danny so it just seemed natural to me to do it for the show. I believe that art should be accessible to everyone and I think the newspaper is one of the most approachable ways to do that. Everyone remembers there father reading the newspaper in the mornings and so do I, so the broadside newspaper/zine felt like a place where my father ended and I began. I am firm believer in books and zines as the best way, besides the gallery space, to communicate a message and its something I want to continue to do for each show that I have.

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What sort of art direction did you give the designer for this?
My designer Rebecca King and I had luckily worked on a branding strategy before the show. So we just continued that conversation into the concept about my father. Our idea when we designed my branding was that it had the ability to move to beat of the concept at hand. So I just told her what I was trying to say with the show and she delivered a brilliant design around me and my father’s relationship. So each and every subtlety communicates some aspect of that relationship in an elegant way. She is one of those brilliant designers who work from a concept outward to a beautiful object and not the other way around. So the paper happened very naturally just like the show.

 

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When Instagram Success Leads To Advertising Assignments: Lauren Lemon

- - Social Media

“I’ve hustled to get meetings at some great agencies,” she says, “but it’s honestly the creative directors and the people who are following me on Instagram that I’ve gotten work from. They’re seeing me post every day, they’re commenting on the photos, I’m seeing them like the work. I know that I’m staying on their radar, and it’s not just a follow-up email after a meeting that’s fed into all their other emails: it’s what they’re looking at when they’re leaving work and going home.”

Which is, of course, the same reason brands want to get in on Instagram. As Randolph says, “People are flipping through it in their in-between moments, when they’re on the go, in bed.” So what is it that makes a successful Instagram post? “It should feel personal, like someone’s looking at something that you want to share with them,” she explains. “I think the most successful Instagram photos are the ones people feel like they can take themselves.”

Read More: PDN Online.

This Week In Photography Books: Alejandro Cartagena

by Jonathan Blaustein

I quoted Joseph Goebbels in my college-entrance-essay. It’s true. Of all the strange things I’ve told you about myself, I bet that one tops the list. Hard to believe I was accepted anywhere at all, dropping Nazis into my text.

If I remember correctly, I mentioned his theory that with respect to propaganda, if you’re going to lie, lie big. The larger the falsehood, the more likely people are to swallow it. Or so he said.

Little fibs will be sussed out by a suspicious public, but outright fantasies, they might swallow. I’m sure my good buddy Vlad Putin was paying attention, the way he blames his attempted takeover of Ukraine on the Ukrainians.

Stay classy, VP.

That’s one way to perpetrate your population: to make shit up. Another way, quite the opposite, is to stop talking entirely. To use the shade of secrecy as a way of enveloping the truth. It’s equally insidious, when utilized properly.

I bring this up, as I caught up with Alejandro Cartagena last weekend in Los Angeles. (Culver City, to be exact.) He was at the Kopeikin Gallery for a new solo show, and as I was in town, I dropped in to give him un abrazo and see how he was doing.

For those of you who don’t read my stuff with perfect regularity, Alejandro is a Mexican photographer based in Monterrey. I interviewed him two years ago, and he shared with all of us the harrowing reality of living in the middle of an active war zone. The kidnappings, the fear, the murders in public places.

How Awful.

Now, I’ve been to Mexico twice in those intervening years. My folks spend time in Playa del Carmen in the winters, and I’ve basically been tasked with delivering my children to their door. Gotta see the grandkids, que no? Tourist Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula, is literally a thousand miles from the drama that Alejandro was enduring.

Lately, at least since President Nieto was elected, I’d heard very little about the Mexican Drug War. Almost nothing. Their economy was booming, went the conventional wisdom, and Nieto has taken on some of established monopolies. Things are looking up, it has been implied.

And then, a few weeks, ago, that horrible story broke. The 43 young college students who protested. How they were kidnapped by the local police. Hoarded into buses. Delivered to the Cartels. Never to be seen again. (Goebbels would be proud.)

That is among the worst things I’ve ever heard. And their bodies are hidden so well that the truth will probably never come out. Locked away in a cave somewhere, shrinking from the clarity of light.

I mentioned this to Alejandro. How I’d been suckered into thinking Mexico was on the way up. How foolish I felt, hearing how bad things really were. How naive.

It was no accident, he told me. That was the plan. Nieto’s big idea was to stop talking about the Drug War. Entirely. Denial by omission. A coordinated PR campaign in lieu of a genuine solution to the misery.

That’s what he told me, at least. And he pointed out that despite the publicity generated by the missing students, it was not properly reported on, how many mass graves were discovered while searching for the boys. Multiple mass graves. Lots of them. Each filled with decomposing bodies.

Casualties of War.

Now, sometimes, you come to this column to read funny things. I get it. I keep it light when I can. I’m not trying to ruin your morning coffee, or your lunch break, or your quiet-time looking at your iPhone on the light-rail home.

Forgive me.

But sometimes, in my duties as a quasi-reporter, I learn things. Things I ought to share. Here.

Alejandro is on my mind not just because I saw him a few days ago, but also because when I came home, I found “Carpoolers” in the mail. Wrapped up tight like an X-mas present. (Yes, the Christmas season is practically upon us. And it was just summer. WTF?)

The book was published by Conaculta/Fonca, and is a special production indeed. I included a photo of the wrapping, which was sealed with a sticker that says “please carpool.” A few extras are included with the book, seemingly encouraging you to tag them, Shepard Fairey style, to make the point that carpool lanes get you to work faster. Or save the planet by limiting carbon emissions. (Or something like that.)

The book is well-built, with a photo cut into the hard-cover, and a royal blue spine that matches the denim-on-denim dude in that image. He sits beside construction supplies, a ladder, and a bunch of junk. (Foreshadowing.)

We showed a few of these pictures in the aforementioned interview, but the whole endeavor has grown up like corn stalks out of a secret grave. The book makes sense as an object, and is experiential, like most of the books I’ve been reviewing of late.

The premise is simple. Alejandro hung out on an expressway overpass, and photographed poor Mexican workers on their way to work. It’s meticulous, getting the compositions just right, and I’d bet anything there are thousands upon thousands of misfires. (Occupational hazard.)

The reason the book sings is that he’s been able to develop patterns. Several times, we see the same truck, which seems impossible. Which guy didn’t make it to work that day, and which is there each time?

Are they reading the paper one day, and zoning out the next? Does the garbage get cleaned out, or is someone sleeping on the very same dirty piece of torn foam? Honestly, how did he do it? Find the same trucks more than once?

I have no idea.

There is a piece of newspaper included, halfway through, and I was curious why. (Except for the boob shot inside, because, as we all know, Boobs Sell Books.℠) Sure enough, the next few pictures depict the guys reading the local tabloid rag. A way to pass the time.

They’re all guys, now that I think about it. A few times, they look up and smile. Which breaks the implicit barrier between subject and shooter. Once or twice, they spy him and scowl. More what I’d expect, given the discomfort of the situation.

One time, apparently, Alejandro rode in the back of a truck himself. To get the vibe. He made photographs with the camera pointed up, documenting the view, which often featured helicopters. Ferrying Monterrey’s wealthy elite? Or perhaps a cartel jefe?

Who knows?

But this is one book that will give you a peek into a world you couldn’t possibly know. And I was happy to see it, even if it distracted me from thinking about those 43 stolen boys. RIP.

Bottom Line: Thoughtful, well-constructed view down into pick-up trucks in Mexico

To Purchase “Carpoolers” 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: Thomas Barwick

- - 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 Thomas Barwick. He does beautiful corporate/lifestyle stock work, some of which is available on Getty.

We occasionally shoot street portraits.  It’s fascinating to interact with people for just a few minutes, with very little direction and see what happens.  Mother and daughter headed to surf after school.

We occasionally shoot street portraits. It’s fascinating to interact with people for just a few minutes, with very little direction and see what happens. Mother and daughter headed to surf after school.

One of my favorite shoots we’ve ever done.  Most of the time I walk away from a shoot frustrated with the things I missed or couldn’t make happen, not this shoot.

One of my favorite shoots we’ve ever done. Most of the time I walk away from a shoot frustrated with the things I missed or couldn’t make happen, not this shoot.

Just a nice engaged father/daughter moment.  I like the little moments in life that make you smile.

Just a nice engaged father/daughter moment. I like the little moments in life that make you smile.

Ridiculously hot day for Seattle, location was a four-story walk up and we had too much gear.

Ridiculously hot day for Seattle, location was a four-story walk up and we had too much gear.

One of my favorite couples to work with, in one of my favorite places, with a really fun vehicle.

One of my favorite couples to work with, in one of my favorite places, with a really fun vehicle.

A bigger shoot with lots of moving parts that was difficult to keep control of and keep moving fluidly.  We were exhausted when we walked away, but the results were better than we expected.

A bigger shoot with lots of moving parts that was difficult to keep control of and keep moving fluidly. We were exhausted when we walked away, but the results were better than we expected.

She was just awesome.

She was just awesome.

Family friends, awesome kids, great skaters and one really lucky moment.

Family friends, awesome kids, great skaters and one really lucky moment.

My favorite image from a mother/daughter shoot.  This was the third frame we shot that day, no directing, just real life.

My favorite image from a mother/daughter shoot. This was the third frame we shot that day, no directing, just real life.

A weekend getaway shoot with a group of friends, spectacular lake in the middle of nowhere with a floating platform we paddled into the middle of the lake.  My job is a lot easier when everyone is having fun.

A weekend getaway shoot with a group of friends, spectacular lake in the middle of nowhere with a floating platform we paddled into the middle of the lake. My job is a lot easier when everyone is having fun.

We are always trying to find fresh ways to shoot in categories that can be overly clichéd.  This guy was great and a business shoot I’m really fond of.

We are always trying to find fresh ways to shoot in categories that can be overly clichéd. This guy was great and a business shoot I’m really fond of.

This was part of a bigger shoot we were doing that day and we scheduled a little time early to try something a little different.  The weather was our friend, one of my favorite portraits.

This was part of a bigger shoot we were doing that day and we scheduled a little time early to try something a little different. The weather was our friend, one of my favorite portraits.

This day was absolutely miserable.  We tired to get one more “summer” shoot in at the end of September.  It rained all morning, the air temperature never got above 65 and the pool didn’t seem much warmer.  We had a couple families in the morning, but it was simply too unpleasant for the kids.  The afternoon was with some young adults; I was tired, cold and frustrated with not being able to make much happen to that point.  This group was amazing.  Thrilled to be there, always willing to give it one more try, great ideas on how to make it better.  They saved the day.

This day was absolutely miserable. We tired to get one more “summer” shoot in at the end of September. It rained all morning, the air temperature never got above 65 and the pool didn’t seem much warmer. We had a couple families in the morning, but it was simply too unpleasant for the kids. The afternoon was with some young adults; I was tired, cold and frustrated with not being able to make much happen to that point. This group was amazing. Thrilled to be there, always willing to give it one more try, great ideas on how to make it better. They saved the day.

Sometimes you need a middle aged white sales guy in a suit.  This guy was perfect, we didn’t need to direct.

Sometimes you need a middle aged white sales guy in a suit. This guy was perfect, we didn’t need to direct.

This was from a recent shoot on a local organic farm where we had done some work before.  We had set the shoot up early in the summer and we were going to see what we could get without a lot of expectations.  One of the wettest days I have ever shot in and it completely worked to our advantage.

This was from a recent shoot on a local organic farm where we had done some work before. We had set the shoot up early in the summer and we were going to see what we could get without a lot of expectations. One of the wettest days I have ever shot in and it completely worked to our advantage.

How many years have you been in business?
I started assisting 1990 and shooting full time in 1995.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I did a fair amount of commercial photography course work at Syracuse University, but I was a Liberal Arts student, so I have an English degree.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I spent what seemed like quite a bit of time in museums as a kid (parents choice, not mine). I didn’t have the patience to understand the nuances of a lot of the art, so I would like to walk around the galleries and see what would stop me, some of that visual training may have rubbed off.

I was a full time assistant for a photographer in the waning days of his advertising career. I got to watch him begin re-invent himself as a very successful stock shooter. I didn’t start shooting stock for many years after I left there, but I understood that it could be a viable way to be a photographer.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
We almost exclusively produce stock, so in order to make the business economically viable we need to create imagery that will stand out on a page with 100 other images on it. We have to continually push to create better and better imagery. I am also not much of a technical perfectionist, I don’t want to do something I did last week or last year, there is no sense in repeating something we’ve already done, so we have to continually look for a new way to work on a theme or an idea.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Fortunately, we get to work with a fantastic creative department at Getty Images and a brilliant Art Director. They continually challenge us to keep our work fresh. One of the best things about the way that we work is that the only real risk we have is cost of production. We own what we are doing, so can take chances with weather, locations, models and ideas. We will generally work with a loose idea and try to play off the real emotion that happens when we set a shoot in motion.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Not enough. Until recently, there were hardly any tools for us to direct link to our collection, or specific shoots at Getty. That has changed and over the next few months we will begin to take advantage of that

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
At the end of the day, I think anyone in a creative industry needs to feel creatively challenged with the work they do. There is always an awareness of what a buyer wants or needs, but you eventually need to find creative satisfaction and by doing that I think you tend to lead rather than chase.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
In effect, everything we shoot is for us. We don’t get paid to create imagery; we create it and hope that it will resonate with a buyer. So at the end of the day we have to be satisfied with what we have done creatively. We have to try to always evolve and elevate what we are doing.

How often are you shooting new work?
Over the course of the year we average between one and two shoots per week. May through October are extremely busy and November through March can be extremely frustrating.

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Tom Barwick Bio
Photographer/Filmmaker Thomas Barwick has been with Getty Creative since 2002 and is based in Seattle.  After graduating from Syracuse University in English with what he calls “no marketable skills” he began assisting photographers to survive and fell in love with the business.   He spend the majority his time between working on stock exclusively for Getty Images, and doing the occasional editorial and advertising gig.  Known for his “polished realism”, Tom’s work has been licensed for national and worldwide campaigns such as Dell Computers, Crate And Barrel, Scotia Bank, CitiGroup, and Toyota to name a few.  His fascination with the fleeting and fickle genuine moments that tell a complete story makes his imagery uniquely stand out.

Website
http://www.barwickphoto.com

Blog
http://barwickphoto.wordpress.com

Collection at Getty
http://www.gettyimages.com/photographers/Thomas%20Barwick/search?family=creative

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 Daily Edit: Steven Simko – Hollywood Stars Promo

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Steve Simko

What prompted to you start the body of work?
Much of the inspiration for the Hollywood project was derived from Richard Avedon’s “In the American West.” I wanted to capture that intimacy and authenticity that Avedon had in his subjects for that series. I was also late in the game to switch from film to digital (2008) and was curious to see if digital would provide me with the same B&W-type quality images I used to process in my darkroom. I was lucky enough to meet “Tex” at a Hollywood dive bar one night, and after two years of calls (he didn’t use email) he finally agreed to be the first subject in my series. Once I photographed him, I was able to use that image in persuading the other subjects in and around Hollywood to participate in the project.

How did you select the subjects?
Whether it’s a shirt pocket protector that I would see Sal wear without fail every time he visited my neighbor or Tex’s six plus-foot frame with a fiery red beard and a cowboy hat on Hollywood blvd – something about them stands out and is compelling to me, and I knew their unique aesthetic in real life would translate to a unique portrait. I wanted others to see how I saw them.

What are you interactions with them like?
Throughout the shoot, I’m asking tons of questions trying to find out the What, When, and Why that lead them to Hollywood. Every person has their own story, and I usually find that the subjects are more than happy to share them.

How do you convince them to “come to my studio”, isn’t that a bit creepy esp for the women?
Yes, convincing takes time and patience…lots of patience ! This is such a departure from my editorial work for Vogue, but I think the fact that I shoot for them provides some “legitimacy” and trust the subjects are looking for.

Do you personally know them, how long is the session?
Only a few, but I know some of them pretty well now. No more than 30 mins in the parking lot of my studio… all daylight.

Have you had people turn you down? 
Yes, many, but I just keep asking and asking. I still have about six on my list that I would love to photograph.

The copy is a nice touch, did you write it? Are you interviewing them on the spot?
I worked with a copy person at Agency Access, and the details are from the conversations I’ve had with my subjects during our shoots… I keep notes.

How many have you shot so far and do you have some that don’t make the final stage?
I’ve shot over fifty and the final cut was twenty nine.

Repping Instagram Photographers – Tinker Street Mobile

- - Agents, Social Media
Paul Octavious for Mercedes

Paul Octavious for
Mercedes

by T. Brittain Stone

We’ve all heard about Instagrammers with huge followings that can bill $5000 a day for clients like American Airlines, Best Buy or the Israel Ministry of Tourism. And when you read interviews with said IGers, they are pretty gushy about “sharing their experiences” or “creating a visual diary” while doing some terrific product placement. And I for one think that’s great.

But what does that look like on the business end of these deals, and how does an agency manage the creative process of these campaigns? Below, artists rep Jesse Miller will give you a glimpse of this burgeoning (big) business. His agency Tinker Street is the first to have created a “mobile” division, and he now has built a behemoth roster of many of Instagram’s most followed talent.

And so perhaps one would imagine that the cozy community fabric is bound to become a cynical business with reps poaching talent, agencies demanding metrics for pricing out ROI, “like farming” and unfathomable copyright issues. But talking to Jesse, is well, rather uplifting, and the organic way that his business has developed is a testament to the fuzzy notion that friends can collaborate and be creatively successful.

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T. Brittain Stone: How did you guys start the mobile division and when did it all happen?

Jesse Miller: I started Tinker street about 6 years ago, because I wanted to get back to my roots. I started as a filmmaker and an artist. Tinker Street was a way to get back to that creative center. It began as a small intimate collective of 6 friends, and it was just 6 folks who were doing photo art shows together and then bringing that whole vibe–which I saw the need for it in advertising. We did well with some youth culture work initially.

We expanded the main roster to be more inclusive of some of the things that I like and am interested in with healthcare and technology.

After a little while we noticed that brands were encroaching on the Instagram community, so it was pretty seamless for us, in the regards that our agency is all about friendship and good creative. Michael O’Neal {ed: 571243 followers} was such a big part of that community and so are some of the other folks on the main roster.

It’s that feeling of friendship and camaraderie, and also working together out in the field and supporting each other. Ultimately our goal is to provide across the board content, and have a bunch of people out there in the field.

TBS: I hate the word collective, but there is a little bit of that aspect.

JM: There is. But I like the word in the old sense of the collective like the Man Ray sort of collective… true artists’ collectives. It was inspired by that spirit and it’s always stuck [with me] along the way.

TBS: with a lot of technology thrown in.

JM: Yeah it’s a hybrid of art, ad collective.

TBS: You were always dialed into the ad world, so you had a lot of contacts there.

JM: Yeah, I’ve been doing it for a long time. (Corbis, Marge Casey, individual photogs). I started way back as a PA for film & tv commercials, while myself studying and making films, shooting stills, and doing street art—so starting my own agency was a to go full circle and get back to the creative that was dear to my heart and try to bring that vision to advertising.

One of the things we pride ourselves on and work really hard at is to make sure that there’s a balance. We’re doing big brands, but we’re also doing Save the Children, we work with UNICEF, [and] we’re doing a lot of music collaborations. A start up label and we love their music? Sure we’ll do it for cheap. I keep it balanced that way, and really push folks too to keep working on personal projects.

TBS: And someone’s getting paid at the end of the day

JM: I think that the brands pick up on that, when there’s good creative energy, they’re attracted to that. [If] that turns then making some money so you can put it back and you can take some time off to do some more personal projects? Yeah it’s great. With Instagram, we look at it like it’s another tool in our toolbox,

TBS: do you have competition now, people representing Instagrammers, possibly trying to poach people from you?

JM: Not so much, not what I’ve seen. From what I’ve been exposed to everybody’s really collaborative. Mobile Media Lab, they’re great. They bring projects to us.
We just worked with Laundry Service… and Niche. Everyone’s been really supportive of each other.

TBS: You have 50 “mobile” artists Is there advantage to scale for your business

JM: I think that in general, the core group, everyone on there knows each other so it like a really big family of friends. So it starts there. Secondly, its happens regionally. That’s the interesting thing about Instagram. The few things that maybe differ a little and harken back to the editorial days,[is that] assignments can be relatively sort of fast and quick, and regional. And then others are bigger projects and location is not such a big factor.

TBS: Like travel photography…

JM: The (Instagram) community really values travel photos, and when you see the level of engagement on the travel pictures alone… they a love good landscape, that’s for sure. I think that it was pretty natural for tourism board to gravitate there, and they were some of the first folks that we saw encroach on that space.

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hirozzzz for Alberta 1×1

TBS: How do you refer to your Instagram group? Do you consider them artists, what’s the nomenclature?

JM: I just say photographers really, or artists. Photographers, yes, but a lot of them are working in different mediums. “Content Providers” feels a little technical and stiff, but that’s kinda what we are, and at the end of that day that’s what we’re going for. But we’re sort of “eclectic” content.

TBS: All this sounds much more organic and I was preparing a lot of questions that were a little more cynical… but it all sounds so pleasant..

JM: I’ve been at it for a long time, At this stage of my career, it’s about refinement and being with the people I want to be with, and enjoying life, because advertising can get really stiff as we all know.

TBS: How else do you onboard photographers. How do they approach you?

JM: It’s all of the above. People send me promos, I get a lot of emails from new photographers, both traditional and mobile. I see a lot of people who have seen us on Instagram. Or photographers who know the original roster. So it’s a mix and its pretty constant. We get a lot of taps. I really try to get back to everybody too even if I have to stay up to the crack of dawn.

TBS: Thats noble of you. Is Instagram for business gaining wide acceptance in terms of the agency world. Are they already aboard or still getting aboard?

JM: There is a swath, a range of people who are involved. There’s stand alone digital boutiques; there’s brands coming to us directly, and then there’s agencies getting involved. It really depends on the agency, because some of them have in house boutiques that are very savvy and know what they’re doing, and other ones are asking a lot of questions. It doesn’t matter who it is thats approaching us, the thing that recurs in a good campaign is really well thought out creative, a good solid creative brief… the ability to collaborate, to listen and ask good questions, and for us to do the same.

The Mercedes campaign (http://www.emergeinteractive.com/work/detail/cla-instagram-campaign) is a really good example of that. Razorfish in NY did an amazing job with that campaign. They prepared very well; it was very early on; it was a very new frontier and they asked a lot of good questions to the people who were in play in that community. It was a great collaboration.

Paul Octavious, Mercedes

Paul Octavious, Mercedes

 

Michael O'Neal Mercedes

Michael O’Neal
Mercedes

TBS: What do agencies consider when selecting a photographer. Do they value the followers most? How does that chemistry come about?

JM: For our group, the thing that we have to offer is that we are a group of friends and we are familiar. Looking back on the campaigns in the 9 month existence of that division, a good majority of the campaigns are multiple folks on the campaign. It lends itself very well to that community. They know each other, they’re following each other.

TBS: It’s like a road trip

JM: Right, because who wouldn’t want to go on a road trip with their friends? When we send 5 to 7 people out, they all know each other and hang out even when they’re not working.

TBS: So when you get a creative brief, you can assemble a little team….
JM: Yeah it does work that way, where they come to us with some rough creative choices, and a few other (Instagrammers), we’ll just shuffle it around where we know who fits best together and who knows each other.

TBS: it all sounds too good to be true.

JM: For me its highly enjoyable. At the end of the day, we feel super fortunate. It’s such an amazing time — this moment in history for advertising and for media — to be involved in this. It’s amazing to watch. For me personally too, to get the privilege to be a sort of conduit between traditional media where I spent a lot of time with old school way of doing things, and this new guard coming in with all the social and what these young kids are doing. Pretty amazing to be in the middle of it.

TBS:. Do you analyze metrics for your Instagrammers’ followings? Do your clients have numbers they’re trying to reach?

JM: People talk about that. We try not to get too involved in analytics, because at the end of the day the thing’s that is going to be consistent is good creative, smart creative, and something that has some depth to it. So that’s where we’re coming from.

TBS: How many on your mobile division are professional photographers?

JM: About half of our main (professional) roster is on Mobile. What’s very interesting that we’ve seen lately, is photographers who don’t necessarily have a high follower count on Instagram, have been getting hired for social media projects. So for example. Matthew Reamer shoots for Converse Rubber Tracks and SXSW, and a lot of what he’s doing is going to their social channels. So it doesn’t necessarily matter all the time when the projects come in whether somebody has a lot of followers or not.

We have a client right now who wants both. Based on the subject of the activity of what’s happening, they want somebody based on their expertise on that subject AND they want some high count followers. So it’s a combo. That guy who has the expertise is on the main roster. So you really see the old and new media, it’s really morphing. If we’re going out and shooting on a tandem broadcast shoot, me might have one person doing BTS video and another person shooting for Instagram. Some people just shooting for the client feed and some doing to post to their own feed so they can leverage their followers.

Its really become a hybrid of all kinds of platforms and resources. I really like it a lot. I like the idea of people collaborating that way instead of it just being strictly, oh this a film set, oh this is a tv set, this is a photo shoot cool. It brings a lot of different personalities together.

And I might refer ( a client) to the mobile roster and then send then to that person’s site, because a lot of the people who are exclusively on mobile are also shooting DSLR. So they’re crossing over to what traditional media people would be doing. I’m pitching them for traditional projects as well. In that sense it’s kind of one big agency.

It’s opening up more. But definitely the people on the main roster who don’t have large followings. They’re not as much getting social projects, unless its just content for the client’s feed.

TBS: That following has got to be a very powerful slice of your portfolio. I would think that advertisers would certainly want that. Can I ask about negotiating tactics?

JM: The interesting thing to know about the fee structure is that its structured very similarly to traditional media, in the sense that we factor in everything, the usage, and the usage terms, the scope of the project, the timeline, what the social media asks are, who the photographer is, and what level they’re at, scope of budget… All those factors contribute to the project, and we take it project by project.

TBS: How does the copyright part work on a campaign like Barbour by Finn Beales (http://tinker-street.com/barbour)?

Finn Beales Barbour Heroes

Finn Beales
Barbour Heroes

JM: Again its a lot like traditional media in that we’re licensing the images. As artists and photographers, and me being an artist originally, I’m always fighting for the photographers rights. So we really don’t do work for hire, well It’s a very rare occasion that we do work for hire. It’s all based on licensing.

TBS: Are there other agents building mobile divisions? Or just managing their rosters’ social feeds?

JM: It’s hard to say. I’m sure there’ll be more popping up as we move along. I think everything is swinging in the direction of digital and social. At the end of the day, like you know cycles in history, as much as everything changes, some things always stay the same, and the thing for us that will stay the same is good creative. Good thoughtful creative. That’s what we strive for.

TBS: Do you constantly have to worry about the next thing? What are the things you’re thinking about strategically down the road?

JM: Coming from filmmaking as a background for, me because I’m biased, I speak to video quite a bit because its think it gonna be future terrain. I really believe in video.

But the way that I see it, and the way I talk to my folks is that you should do what you like, because if you don’t like doing it, even if its valuable in a moment, because its trending, what does it matter if you’re not happy? And I also think that if you’re doing something you don’t like, you’re gonna be less attractive as a person, just the energy you put out. We’ll always keep finding different ways to create cool work and do it with our friends and try and do it gracefully. I think theres a lot of possibility with advertising for the future to be less competitive and more collaborative. And for people who are in power in the new platforms to really create a new environment where it can be about collaboration and good creative. At its best, advertising can be amazing.

TBS: Pet theory. Photography itself no longer just a specialized skill, it’s a life skill, that anyone, especially anyone in creative, you need this skill set. You should study photography, take a photo class.

JM: I think you’ve hit on something thats really interesting because if we look to the younger generation, everybody is so computer literate and device literate. Its the development of a new generation. And always there will be these generation gaps. And the people younger than us, they’re learning so much so quickly. So I think in that part of their world, these devices are a big part of it. I think you’re right; picture taking is becoming a very mainstream way of communicating, in general. Not just or ad work. It’s even for little kids.

Its a total new generation, and it all life changes, and obviously advertising follows life and vice versa.

TBS: You need to be able to take good pictures.

JM: We strive to be kinder and gentler. There is definitely a foundation here that has to do with what I learned at traditional agencies, so that’s true. for me change and growth are paramount to keeping things real. And to become fuller people. We want to continue to be involved in innovation and hopefully we’ll do it gracefully.

Paul Octavious for iheartradio

Paul Octavious for iheartradio

Emily Blincoe for Warby Parker

Emily Blincoe for Warby Parker

Withhearts for Warby Parker

Withhearts for Warby Parker

Lucio Bracamontes for Burger King

Lucio Bracamontes for Burger King

Daniel Seung Lee for Burger King

Daniel Seung Lee for Burger King

Paul Octavious for Hermes

Paul Octavious for Hermes

Finn Beales for Barbour

Finn Beales for Barbour

Michael O’Neal for Vogue

Michael O’Neal for Vogue

Michael O’Neal for Mercedes

Michael O’Neal for Mercedes

This Week In Photography Books: Kris Vervaeke

by Jonathan Blaustein

I took my daughter into pre-school on Friday morning. For once, I wasn’t late. What a relief.

One step down the industrial-carpeted hallway, and I was hit in the face with the smell of puke. Vomit. Throw-up. Call it what you will.

The odor was intense, like a kung fu stuntman awaiting a high-wire scene. My goodness, was it unpleasant. And, of course, a horrible omen.

Not. Good.

By nightfall, she was projectile vomiting, my daughter. Fever too, though mild. I was wiping sick off the concrete floors for almost an hour, all together.

Normally, this would not be such a big deal. Kids take ill all the time, and pre-schools are notorious germ factories. All parents know that.

But now is not a normal time. Ebola panic is everywhere, and I’m getting on a plane on Wednesday. The moment she began to evacuate her stomach, the old-fashioned way, I had visions of myself retching into a barf bag, on a Southwest flight, while the pilot re-routed us to the nearest airport.

No joke.

Once a virus comes in the house, you’re really just waiting for it to get on with things. The waiting. It’s miserable. Compound that with fear of sparking a riot in the airport, as your fellow citizens rush away from you as quickly as their chubby, sweat-pants-wearing legs can carry them…

Like I said, not good.

Thankfully, if you can say such a thing at such a time, I got hit with the bug yesterday. Sunday. It was efficient, like Harvey Keitel’s cleaner in “Pulp Fiction.” No wasted effort. I started to feel bad in the late morning, was stuck in bed within the hour, had two quick puke sessions, and was asleep at my normal bedtime.

I woke up today, weakened, but otherwise OK. No appetite, true, but no fever. To be clear, I am not suggesting I have Ebola. Just the opposite. But it’s insane that we’re living in a world where a simple stomach bug can set off that kind of fear.

Fear of death. Fear of misery. Fear of leaving this world, to be forgotten. Forever.

(Sorry. Didn’t mean to freak you out. We’re all going to be OK.)

But it did get me thinking about all those nameless people dying in West Africa. They don’t stand a chance, those guys. You eat a piece of bushmeat, and the next thing you know, your eyes are bleeding and you go to the local shaman for help? Are we really living in 2014?

Sometimes, I wonder.

We all die, and then they have to put us somewhere. A cemetery, most likely. But who even knows who goes where, once your immediate family submits to the ravages of time. I once photographed a gravestone from 1776 that was smack dab in the middle of a suburban front yard in Jersey. (You never know how things will end up, centuries hence.)

But I wasn’t thinking those things as I perused “Ad Infinitum,” a new book put out by Kris Vervaeke. In fact, the only thing I was thinking was, “What the fuck is going on here?” (And “Thank god my son’s asthma attack, ten minutes ago, because he inhaled a bunch of garage dust swept up by the plumber, at his grandma’s house, wasn’t serious.)

On first viewing, this book was perfectly obscure. Page upon page of pictures of Chinese-looking people, faded away. Creepy business. Were the portraits bleached? Photoshop? Who are they? Why are there so many of them? (Insert random billion chinese-people joke here.)

No. Seriously. There was no text. No titles. Nothing.

For once, I’ll admit I skipped and flipped. Because there were so many of them. The monotony. All those portraits. (Ad infinitum.)

I couldn’t find anything at all. I turned it upside down. I flipped from the back. What?

Finally, I noticed that the page numbers were interrupted. They ran up, and then started over again. A clue?

I sourced out the point of interruption, and found a one page statement that explained what was going on. Honestly, I was a shade disappointed. Sure, it was good to hear the backstory. Clarifying.

These are portraits from headstones in a cemetery in Hong Kong. They have been separated from their owners’ names, out of respect, but also to create the sense of disorientation that hit me so squarely. They are faded, and destroyed, because they have been subject to the elements. Worn down by the undefeated prize fighter extraordinaire: Time.

I was only-a-little-sad to learn the truth, simply because I thought I was looking at the first book I’ve seen yet that had the guts to tell nothing at all. No hints. Which would have eventually pissed me off, and maybe I wouldn’t have reviewed the book? Tough call.

But this one has a haunting quality to it that seemed perfect in the run-up to Halloween. And ideal for me to dive into on a sick day, home, watching pointless movies on cable. Waiting to get better, so that I can just be some anonymous dude at the airport on Wednesday. Arousing no suspicion at all.

Bottom Line: Creepy and obscure portraits from a Hong Kong cemetery

To Purchase “Ad Infinitum” 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.

The Art of the Personal Project: Grace Chon

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com.

Today’s featured photographer is: Grace Chon

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Zoey and Jasper

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Zoey and Jasper

Full disclosure Grace is one of my clients.

How long have you been shooting?
I’ve been photographing animals since early 2008.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I am self taught but have a background as an advertising agency art director. I think that training definitely developed my visual and design sensibilities, and once I picked up photography it was a matter of learning the technical aspects of it.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
My baby! It’s funny because I really don’t have any interest in photographing kids or babies at all, but my own child was definitely my sole inspiration. As a new mom, the days can get long and repetitive sometimes. I started the series to have a fun activity for Jasper and I to enjoy during the day, and would edit the images during his nap time.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I began the series in January 2014 and started sharing them immediately on my personal Facebook page and on Instagram. I started getting interest from bloggers that wanted to write about the series but I didn’t know if I wanted to release it to a larger audience. By April I decided to promote the series a little bit and gave the go ahead to bloggers and the series took off online.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
This is probably the first personal project I really devoted some time to, mostly because it all took place in my home and was really easy for me to execute. I kept shooting them for myself before the series got exposure because I enjoyed the challenge of it – styling the images, editing the images, choosing the concept, and of course the challenge of shooting a baby and a dog! I imagine I would still be shooting the images even if they hadn’t received any exposure because it was working for me – I enjoy the process and the results.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
My usual work is portraiture or very lifestyle and shot in environment, so shooting this series has been really refreshing for me. I love that the Zoey and Jasper series looks vastly different than what I usually do and I love the simplicity and minimalism of it. But it still retains elements of what I always do – there’s a lot o color, and they are emotive portraits. I love capturing all the different smiles Jasper can make, and while Zoey looks the same in almost every shot there are small subtleties there that I love getting from her.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I started out sharing the images on Facebook and Instagram, and eventually made a Tumblr page dedicated to the series. Once the images started going viral they made their way over to Reddit.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
The images went viral in mid-April and were written about online and in print in the US as well as internationally.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I made print promos specifically for the Zoey and Jasper series and sent them out to potential clients. Hopefully someone somewhere saved one!

Bio:
Grace Chon is a commercial photographer specializing in animals, lifestyle images, and celebrities with their pets. Utilizing her background as a former advertising agency art director, she creates modern and emotive portraits of people and animals.

When she’s not writing about herself in the third person, Grace likes to go hiking with her dogs, meditate, and grow organic heirloom tomatoes. She makes a mean guacamole (want to challenge her to a guac-off?) and really hates Comic Sans.

In her spare time, Grace photographs homeless dogs looking for their forever homes and donates her photography services every year to multiple dog rescue groups in Los Angeles. She lives in LA with her husband, baby boy, and their beloved rescue dogs, Maeby Fünke and Zoey.

Artist Statement:
Everyone knows dogs and babies make adorable photo subjects. As a first time mom and photographer, I had 2 of the most adorable models at my disposal and the Zoey and Jasper series was born. It has been my goal to create photographs that stayed away from the cloyingly sweet and cliché imagery you might expect when you think of dogs and kids. I love good design, color, and the unexpected. And most important of all, I love humor! I wanted to capture all of that and document the silly relationship between a rescue girl and her little boy.

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.

Catch Suzanne presenting with Kat Dalager for Market Right 2014 in NYC on Wednesday, October 29th http://yodelist.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/were-proud-to-announce-market-right-2014