This Week in Photography Books: Nina Berman

  I’m not feeling very creative at the moment. The sky is gray out my window, and the dreary light is making me lazy. In a perfect world, I’d get back in bed, pull the covers around me tight, and take a big fat nap. But we don’t live in a perfect world. I bitch and complain as much as the next guy, but in general, I’m aware of how good I have it. While life can turn on any given day, I’m healthy, have a beautiful family, and live in a wonderful place. If I feel hunger, I go to the refrigerator and make myself some food. So in the grand scheme of things, I have little to complain about. Living with comfort and security is the root of the American Dream. Without question, we take it for granted. It’s hard not to, as the micro-stresses of daily life add up, and in the aggregate make it difficult to maintain perspective. As artists, we have a built-in stress relief mechanism, as long as we have the energy to use it. I’ve written many times that I taught abused teenagers for 10 years, and was able to see firsthand how creative outlets allowed them to channel the powerful emotions they have, in response to their tragic circumstances. Art is its own form of therapy. I knew my students had undergone horrific situations. As I wasn’t their therapist, I never asked for details. (It didn’t seem appropriate.) My wife, who is a therapist, and works with the same population, has heard frightening stories that would make most people reach for a bottle of whiskey. Or a big fat joint. She doesn’t tell me the details, because she’s not allowed. (It’s all confidential.) So she keeps it inside, and sometimes
Continue reading "This Week in Photography Books: Nina Berman"

This Week in Photography Books: Nina Berman

  I’m not feeling very creative at the moment. The sky is gray out my window, and the dreary light is making me lazy. In a perfect world, I’d get back in bed, pull the covers around me tight, and take a big fat nap. But we don’t live in a perfect world. I bitch and complain as much as the next guy, but in general, I’m aware of how good I have it. While life can turn on any given day, I’m healthy, have a beautiful family, and live in a wonderful place. If I feel hunger, I go to the refrigerator and make myself some food. So in the grand scheme of things, I have little to complain about. Living with comfort and security is the root of the American Dream. Without question, we take it for granted. It’s hard not to, as the micro-stresses of daily life add up, and in the aggregate make it difficult to maintain perspective. As artists, we have a built-in stress relief mechanism, as long as we have the energy to use it. I’ve written many times that I taught abused teenagers for 10 years, and was able to see firsthand how creative outlets allowed them to channel the powerful emotions they have, in response to their tragic circumstances. Art is its own form of therapy. I knew my students had undergone horrific situations. As I wasn’t their therapist, I never asked for details. (It didn’t seem appropriate.) My wife, who is a therapist, and works with the same population, has heard frightening stories that would make most people reach for a bottle of whiskey. Or a big fat joint. She doesn’t tell me the details, because she’s not allowed. (It’s all confidential.) So she keeps it inside, and sometimes
Continue reading "This Week in Photography Books: Nina Berman"

The Art of the Personal Project: Guzman

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions. Today’s featured artist: Guzman We move through the world visually. Most days, we carry a camera capturing a living image, a talisman, instinctively collecting bits and pieces of what we see. A landscape, a portrait or a still life, our visual diary helps us make sense of the world. Hopefully, these varied facets of our imagery, thread together so that the viewer can enjoy the images visually and perhaps elucidate their own landscape. Our interest in attending the recent demonstrations and documenting the women and men that have taken to the street, is to capture their anger, their desires and their demands, in the hope that our images can help articulate, visually, the spirit of these events. “I always had a decent sense of outrage” – Bella Abzug To see more of this project, click here. Guzman is now being represented by four eleven.agency 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 establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a Continue reading "The Art of the Personal Project: Guzman"

Expert Advice: Self-Assigned Projects

Mellisa Pascale, Wonderful Machine Here at Wonderful Machine, we prefer the term “self-assigned” rather than “personal” to describe the projects that photographers create themselves. After all, these types of ventures are more than side projects that satisfy extraneous creative visions; they also serve to demonstrate a photographer’s proficiency with a genre he or she would like to shoot more of. To put it simply, shooting what you love can, with the right presentation, lead to assignments that you love. Pursuing self-assigned work allows you to create imagery that’s geared towards a specific target industry or client. Take, for example, Felix Reed’s Mont Blanc project, which served a dual purpose fulfilling both a life-long dream and a portfolio piece. Having always wanted to scale Europe’s highest peak, the Bologna, Italy-based photographer folded some adventure imagery into his expedition. Felix integrates the photos into the Lifestyle galleries on his website and opens his homepage with a slideshow of images, the first of which is from Mont Blanc. Expert Advice, Self-Assigned Projects, Personal Projects, Photographer, Photography, Wonderful Machine, Felix Reed, Mont Blanc, Bologna, Italy, Adventure, Adventure Photography Read more about this project here. Showcasing your self-assigned projects right alongside your client-based work, rather than separating it out as “personal,” gives the photos an opportunity to shine. Just because you had to rely on your own resources to create the images doesn’t mean they’re less telling of your abilities as a photographer. If anything, calling on your own resources to produce a shoot should make you more appealing to potential clients. In addition to rounding out your portfolio, self-assigned projects also exhibit a photographer’s ability to project manage. When Falmouth, England-based Olivia Bossert wanted to garner more fashion assignments, she started with a fashion self-assignment. Casting a model, sourcing a stylist, and enlisting a small videography team for an added element, Olivia took her team to a picturesque English bluff to capture
Expert Advice, Self-Assigned Projects, Personal Projects, Photographer, Photography, Wonderful Machine, Olivia Bossert, Falmouth, England, Fashion, Fashion Photography
Expert Advice, Self-Assigned Projects, Personal Projects, Photographer, Photography, Wonderful Machine, Nicole Franco, Charros, Bella Artes, Fine Art, Fine Art Photography, Mexico City, Mexico
Expert Advice, Self-Assigned Projects, Personal Projects, Photographer, Photography, Wonderful Machine, Manuello Paganelli, Cuba, Cuba: A Personal Journey 1989-2016, Fine Art, Fine Art Photography, Los Angeles, California
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The Daily Edit – Billboard: Joe Pugliese

Billboard

Creative Director: Shanti Marlar
Photography & Video Director: Jennifer Laski
Photo Editor: Samantha Xu
Photographer: Joe Pugliese

Heidi: I know the band has a particular aesthetic, did they have any requirements?
Joe: Since this was my third shoot with them, I have sort of gotten to know some of their preferences, but having said that I think they probably prefer to be surprised and maybe like to hear that the photographer has good ideas. It’s hard to know what to expect, which makes it fun and challenging in equal measure.

The band has been heavily photographed, did that fact play into your approach for the shoot? Did you want to do something different that hadn’t been done before, is that even possible?
For sure, they have not only been photographed by all of the top music and portrait photographers over the last decades, but the sheer volume of shoots they have done have made it hard to think that you’re going to wow them with anything that you do. It helped me to not try to mine the archives for inspiration and/or for things to avoid, and just approach it honestly as I would any other shoot. In the end I just wanted to make interesting photos and I wasn’t too hung up on whether it had been done before. I’m not a high concept photographer, and since I started my career in photojournalism, it’s important to me to just build a world they can be in and shoot organically once they are in it rather than have exact compositions and arrangements in mind beforehand.

What made this shoot unique as you’ve got a stellar gallery of subjects.
The most unique thing about shooting U2 is how much I respect their creative output and the fact that Bono especially Continue reading "The Daily Edit – Billboard: Joe Pugliese"

The Daily Promo – Andy Reynolds

Andy Reynolds

Who printed it?
Modern Postcard. Who designed it?
I designed this one. I’ve always left it up to someone else. I was focusing on the advertising market so I included archive (film) and new material (digital) that I thought went together to show off my personality. The logo/name was designed by Jenna Yankun at Jyakun.com who also did the sheep gif on my website. Tell me about the images? Meat Trump comes from my series of faceless people. I wanted to show as much of a person without showing him. Shhh- it’s my uncle Al- the wig was made by Ashley Naegle at the Seattle Opera. I had the setting in my head of a butcher shop, white walls and metal and the grinder with the meat. The meat was on sale at Safeway too so no brainer. The potato chip bag is all about gluttony. Saw it in my head, sketched it, collaborated with an AD to shoot it. Joel is an actor at a theater company here and is fun to shoot with. Cubicle Wall is another collaboration on an image in my head of awkwardness. I like pratfall and comedy but it’s got to be subtle… also I think when I light stuff I default to sitcom lighting. It ain’t supposed to be ‘lit’ so you light an area motivated by reality/practicals/sun and let the talent do their thing. I try not to date myself with lighting or ‘technique’ – remember how cool cross-processing was? not The office spread is an outtake from an ad I shot in Chicago for LeoB. The shot called for an office set full of redundancies. Originally they wanted like 12 and we ended up with near 40. I pitched the af-am twins and it happened! That is one Continue reading "The Daily Promo – Andy Reynolds"

This Week in Photography Books: Paul Gaffney

  Any idiot can deny something. It’s takes no effort at all. What could be easier for a lazy person? Here.
I’ll show you. I hereby deny that gravity exists. Even though the book I just dropped fell, and hit the couch, still, I insist there’s no such thing as gravity. Here’s another. I deny that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is an inherently conservative institution, founded by the famously anti-leftist J. Edgar Hoover. Who cares that he assassinated Black Panthers? And that as recently as 2016, we all thought James Comey was a conservative fascist who ruined Hillary Clinton’s chances of getting elected. Now, these stiff-suited-corn-fed-white-boys are suddenly smoking weed with Jerry Brown? It’s ludicrous. But I didn’t mean to get off on a political rant today. Rather, I was thinking about all the people out there who deny that human activity is changing the Earth’s climate patterns. Theoretically, that should not be a political statement. There is vast empirical evidence supporting the idea that gas emissions trap heat within the planet’s atmosphere, which affects different places in different ways. “An Inconvenient Truth,” a movie now almost 12 years old, predicted an increase in the incidence of extreme weather events. In addition, traditional weather patterns were meant to shift as well. Any sentient person can see that in America alone, we’ve been hit with massive floods, hurricanes, droughts, mudslides, and wildfires. (Hell, we even have man-made earthquakes these days too.) Here in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah are having their worst winter in recent memory. There’s almost no snow at all. (Though here at Taos Ski Valley, our new billionaire owner has certainly been willing to pay for man-made snowmaking. Until the water allotment runs out…) It was so warm in December, January and now
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The Art of the Personal Project: Stephen Wilkes

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions. Today’s featured artist: Stephen Wilkes Transcend the Passage of Time in ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes,’ Opening at National Geographic Museum Feb. 13Exhibition features captivating images of spectacular bird migrations across the globe taken by iconic photographer Stephen Wilkes WASHINGTON ( Jan. 16 , 201 7 )— For 130 years, National Geographic has been using the power of photography to tell meaningful stories, inspire people to take action and transport audiences to unseen places. A new exhibition opening at the National Geographic Museum on Feb. 13, ‘Day to Night: In the Field with Stephen Wilkes,’ takes that experience even further by showcasing stunning images by iconic photographer Stephen Wilkes that capture the passage of time. The exhibition will be on display at the National Geographic Museum through April 30, 2018. Wilkes, a New York–based photographer who is widely recognized for his fine art and commercial work, creates visually compelling scenes expertly crafted from more than 1,500 images taken from a fixed vantage point over the course of fifteen to thirty hours, from sunrise to sunset. Wilkes spent much of 2017 in the field on assignment documenting bird migration routes for the March 2018 issue of National Geographic magazine.
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Pricing & Negotiating: Portraits for Web Collateral and Digital Billboards

<a href="href= >Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine Concept: Portraits of sales reps against a seamless background at a sales conference Licensing: Web Collateral use of all images captured in perpetuity Photographer: Lifestyle specialist based in the Southern U.S. Client: A national health and wellness brand Here is the estimate: Creative/Licensing: While the photographer primarily shoots lifestyle assignments, he had a relationship with this brand from earlier in his career, and they approached him for a seemingly straightforward portraiture project. The company had a large roster of sales reps around the country who would be attending a four-day sales conference, and they hoped to capture individual portraits of as many attendees as possible. We were told that they were unsure of how many attendees would need to be photographed, but that it could be around 50 people each day. While that initially sounded ambitious, it became clear that they were anticipating a yearbook-style approach, spending just a few minutes with each person who would arrive camera-ready. Since they couldn’t dial in a number of final shots they hoped to license, and because they planned to handle all of the post-processing internally, they requested to include usage of all images captured. Also, they initially planned to use the photos only on the brand’s website and in emailers to clients. From this information, initially, I felt that $100/person would be a good starting point, which based on approximately 50 people per day over four days brought me to $20,000. Based on my conversations with the client, I knew $20,000 would likely eat up their entire budget, so in order to make room for the expenses, I backed the fee down to $16,000. This broke down to $4,000/day, and it seemed in line with the nature of the project and the value of the images for the requested usage. Assistant and Digital Tech: While the lighting setup would be simple and remain the same each day, we included an assistant to help set up/breakdown each day and monitor the lights. Additionally, while the client wouldn’t necessarily be present for each portrait, we knew that the consultants would want to review the images as they were captured, so we included a digital tech for each day as well, and they’d be working off of the photographer’s laptop. Equipment: The photographer would likely rent a backup camera body (approx. $150/day) and backup lenses ($50/day) for each day, and the remainder of this expense would be put to covering the photographers own grip/lighting and primary gear. Mileage, Parking, Meals, Misc.: I included $30/person/day for lunch, plus $50/day for miscellaneous expenses like parking and/or mileage, and then rounded down just a bit. Delivery of RAW Files on Hard Drive: Since the client would be handling all of the post-processing, and because they wanted all of the images captured, it was easiest to have the digital tech transfer all of the images to a hard drive and hand it over at the end of the last day of shooting. Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and about a month later, the client informed the photographer that they planned to use the images for a digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square, and wanted to know the cost to expand the licensing. After speaking with the client, we learned that they hoped to use just 10 of the portraits for an animated mosaic within a large digital billboard for four weeks. On the one hand, a billboard in Times Square is undoubtedly a prominent (and likely expensive) media buy, but on the other hand, the use would be limited to just a few weeks, and the ten photographs would be used to composite a single larger image. I ended up pricing this at $7,500, which is comparable to how I might typically assess the value of one image for one year of unlimited use for a large brand. Given the client and the media buy (and the fact that it broke down to $750/image when viewed that way), I felt that this was appropriate. The client approved the $7,500 for the licensing, and it was just a few months later when they reached out again for yet another shoot. The specs were the same as the original assignment (they were planning another conference), except they hoped to just wrap up both the web collateral use and digital billboard use for a single fee. Adding the two previous creative/licensing fees together gave us a figure of $23,500. Given the quick approval of the previous fees, we believed that we could push a little higher, so we rounded up just a bit to an even $25,000 plus expenses. The client approved this fee as well. If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 or reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns. ------------------------ Visit our sponsor Photo Folio, providing websites to professional photographers for over 9 years. Featuring the only customizable template in the world. ------------------------

The Daily Edit – Portland Monthly: Holly Andres

Portland Monthly

Art Director: Mike Novak
Fashion Editor: Eden Dawn 
Writer: Margaret Seiler
Photographer:
Holly Andres

Heidi: How difficult was it to reach Tonya?
Margaret: There are a lot of fake sites and fan sites for Tonya Harding that claim to be official, but I found one that seemed like it might actually be connected to her, and had been emailing a contact I found there every few months for more than a year. I wanted to talk to her about growing up in Portland and her life today, not rehash “the incident.” I had read and seen plenty of interviews with her and knew her responses on that tended to sound kind of canned and repetitive. With the movie coming out at the end of 2017, we were finally cleared to set up an interview in October. Since we were all in such close proximity we made arrangements to watch her skate at her regular rink just over the river, with an interview and photo shoot to follow at a nearby country club.

Why did you choose  Holly?
We hired local talent Holly Andres, who has made a career out of telling complex emotional stories through her photography. We photographed Tonya Harding in the club members’ private wine room.

How did the styling direction unfold?
Her manager suggested our style editor, Eden Dawn, just take Tonya shopping at the mall for something to wear. But Eden and I wanted her to look like a movie star. I could remember seeing images of her on TV when I was a skating-obsessed kid (well before “the incident”), and it had often seemed like people had gone out of their way to get unflattering shots or to cast her as a certain type of character. There are people who view her as a Continue reading "The Daily Edit – Portland Monthly: Holly Andres"

The Daily Promo – Jeffery Salter

Jeffery Salter

Who printed it?
Anthony Wright who is the owner of Aw Litho a printing firm which specializes in high end offset printing. He’s been doing this for 10 years and is a master of his craft. http://www.awlitho.com/ Who designed it?
I was blessed to have Heidi Volpe layout and design the promo. She has the wonderful ability to see clarity in chaos combined with an admirable amount of patience. It took me quite a while to choose which images to show. It was great to have an objective pair of eyes of a good editor to select, organize and paginate. She saw connections and relationships in feeling, light, color, mood, textures, and tone in my photographs. Heidi is currently the design director of Vogue India. https://heidivolpe.com/ I would prefer to be out taking pictures, it can be difficult for me to sit still at computer culling and editing images. What really helped me with the initial image selection was printing 8 x10s and taping to them my office wall. Seeing the images every day, reminded me that sometimes the most dramatic image wasn’t necessary the picture which lingered in the mind. Tell me about the images?
The photographs in my promotional magazine are a mix of terrains, in the human face and landscapes. The portraits are from commissions, magazine, advertising and personal work with subjects ranging from pro athletes, cowgirls in Florida to an 80-year-old hiker and everything in between. The landscapes were taken in the Highlands of Scotland, rainforests in Olympic National Park and along the rocky Pacific coast, from Carmel to Vancouver Island. It’s funny that my approach or method to each was vastly different, yet the images each have a connecting thread running through them. With landscape photography it’s up at dawn, Continue reading "The Daily Promo – Jeffery Salter"

This Week in Photography Books: Carolyn Marks Blackwood

  I never get homesick. Not for New Jersey.
(Where I’m from.) It never happens. But lately, my home state has crept back into the dark recesses of my consciousness. It began recently enough, when I found myself reading Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. My son, Theo, was writing his first term paper, and chose Franklin as his subject. I saw the book sitting there, and picked it up out of curiosity, more than anything else. When I read that old Ben first landed in New Jersey at Amboy, not 10 miles from where I grew up, it definitely piqued my curiosity. The book was a bit of a tease, if I’m being honest, because as fascinating as it was to be inside Franklin’s mind, he died writing it, before he got anywhere near the Revolutionary War. The man spent pages and pages describing a system for removing dust from the streets of Philadelphia, but never thought to speed it up so we could hear what he thought of George Washington, or the Revolution in general? Mind-melding with Ben Franklin, straight out of the 18th-century, reminded me of the feeling I had walking the Monmouth Battlefield, or going on school field trips when I was young, and being told that Washington had slept there. At the moment, I’m deep into binge watching an AMC show about the Revolutionary War, with the awkward title of “Turn: Washington’s Spies.” (Seriously, for all the money these people make, nobody thought to come up with a better title?) The show is exceptional, so you certainly have my recommendation to watch it yourself, but it’s also been feeding the odd homesickness as well. (As an aside, the show gives good evidence that the New Jersey/Long Island Island rivalry goes back to the old days,
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The Art of the Personal Project: Jennifer Serena & Serena Creative

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions. Today’s featured artist:  Jennifer Serena  JEN SERENA, PHOTOGRAPHER: Many years ago, on a trip to Ecuador, all of my gear was stolen – including the cards with all of the images I had taken. It was my first time shooting with the potential for a photo gig and it seemed like a message from the universe that maybe this wasn’t my path. The next day, I watched dozens of hummingbirds all fluttering their wings at hundreds of beats per minute just to stay relatively still and grab a meal. If they could work that hard just to survive, surely I could put forth more effort to pursue a career I absolutely love.  A decade later, I still push hard for every job, working to best share my subject’s story through my diverse styles, and striving to always get a little something more than we’d planned.  (And, I’ve become really protective of my backups.) My Indiana Muse Documentary. The film is about an artist who discovers a muse (from Indiana). I co-directed/produced and shot stills for BTS and promo and designed artwork. To see more of this project, click here. APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers Continue reading "The Art of the Personal Project: Jennifer Serena & Serena Creative"

The Daily Edit – Golfer’s Journal: Tom Shaw

 

 


The Golfer’s Journal

Art Director: Jim Newitt
Photo Editor: Grant Ellis
Photographer: Tom Shaw

Heidi: What was different about this course that was a challenge for you to photograph?
Tom: The biggest challenge with this course was the Wind and the light. The course, and this particular hole, is quite exposed so you get your share of wind and rain. I love this kind of wild weather though – it feels good to spend a day walking in it. Did you purposely choose to shoot more end of day?
Yes I did. I tend to plan these shoot around and evening and a morning – this gives me two chances at getting the best light. I was lucky as an old school friend lived within yards of the course so I stayed with him and had a very short walk to the course. What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
They explained about the detail of the course and pretty much gave me free reign to shoot it in all its elements – from wide DPS views to the fine detail such as the cut grass. Because Summer in Scotland the late evening light lasts so long (almost until 10pm), I had plenty of time to really walk the hole and see all the details. When you are approaching such a legendary course which is heavily photographed, is your process any different?
I don’t really do much research – I’m not the biggest golf fan, but I am a fan of the landscape in which it sits, so I won’t look at other pictures, as I need to see how and where the light is, and I want to see it with fresh eyes. I enjoyed your sporting landscape gallery, would you say these image fall into that category or does there need to Continue reading "The Daily Edit – Golfer’s Journal: Tom Shaw"

The Daily Promo – Aya Brackett

Aya Brackett

Who printed it?
PS Print in Oakland CA
https://www.psprint.com Who designed it?
Me! I used InDesign and retouched the photos myself as well. I actually love the process of editing and laying out the images and find it a nice way to process through the year’s work. I also find it interesting to make visual connections with spreads and the sequencing of images. Tell me about the images?
They are a collection of my favorite images from editorial, commercial and personal work from the past year. Some images were taken from an upcoming cookbook I did with Mark Bittman (Clarkson Potter, 2018), some from a personal photo series about people’s comfort food (which I’ve been working on for the past 5 years) and some from commercial shoots. Even though it was tempting to add more photos, especially portraits, I tried to limit myself to mostly still life and food so the portraits didn’t appear too random. I also like to send out the kind of images I like to take so people think of me for these kinds of shoots. And I like food and still life A LOT :) How many did you make?
I typically do a smaller run and this was just 200 booklets. I send to a select group of my favorite creative directors, photo directors, photo editors and other people whose work inspires me such as chefs, restaurateurs and artists. I really want to target the people whose call for a collaborative project would make me excited. How many times a year do you send out promos?
Typically I put together a book or booklet at the end of the year for an annual summary of my favorite work from that year. I often also send out limited edition prints to Continue reading "The Daily Promo – Aya Brackett"

The Best Work I Saw at Photo NOLA: Part 2

  If you live long enough, you’ll see all manner of science fiction come to life. Like right now, for instance. My busted hand is healing more slowly than I might like, so I just figured out I can dictate my column on my new-ish computer. It’s blowing my mind. So many of us use technology, these days, to take us out of our everyday world, away from the thoughts that clutter our minds. Whether we’re looking at computers, phones, tablets, watches, or television screens, digital reality transports us away from our mundane lives. I’m getting a rush, at the moment, because I’ve had the same way of writing for the last nine years, (you know, typing…) and it feels like the 21st-century has finally come in earnest to my remote little horse pasture in the Wild West. If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you’ll know there are some themes I return to again and again over the years. One idea I like to consider, from time to time, is the way art functions in the very manner I’m currently discussing technology. Art can expand our minds. Like the perfect psilocybin trip, movies, paintings, books, photographs, (etc.,) help us understand more about the world we inhabit. Art can definitely make us smarter, which is why some people find it so threatening. But art can also make you forget the world. It can wipe your mind clean, and leave you feeling all sorts of emotions, as your neurons blaze with bio-electrical energy. Last year, during my travels, (which I reported on extensively here,) I had a couple of art experiences that transcended what I normally get out of looking at objects on the walls of a museum. Each time, I got swept up in the music. I
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The Art of the Personal Project: Jonathan Beller

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions. Today’s featured artist: Jonathan Beller It was midnight on March 3, 2017, and Jonathan Belle decided it was time to go out.  This time, he wasn’t going out into the cold Providence night, to the local punk rock club or one of neighborhood hipster bars. It was time to go the hospital. He put on a vintage t-shirt and then he rested. He got up, put on pajama bottoms, and then he laid down again. Get dressed, rest, and repeat.  A task that would have taken a couple of minutes had taken him three hours to complete. At 3 AM, he called an Uber and waited.  He sat with the excruciating pain and the extreme fatigue and looked at how bony his hands had become, and wondered for the thousandth time what the fuck was wrong with him. The ten-minute Uber trip to the hospital in the middle of the night turned into a month-long stay.  The first few days were filled with tests and acronyms: two MRIs, a CT scan, EKGs, an X-Ray, and PIC IV. After the tests, the doctor told him what the fuck was wrong with him: sepsis and diabetes that had gone untreated for years.  “You were on death’s door when you got here. All of your organs were shutting down. A forty-five year old man of
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The Daily Edit – AFAR: Dina Litovsky

AFAR

Director of Photography: Tara Guertin
Art Director: Jason Seldon
Assistant Photo Editor: Rachel McCord
Photographer: Dina Litovsky

Heidi: How do you approach travel stories?
Dina: I always like to do a fair amount of research beforehand. That involves reading up about its culture, people and landmarks. A useful place to start is past travel articles, which are also great for initial photo research. Looking at previous images of a city both gives me an idea of what to expect as well as what to avoid. It’s fun to be seduced by certain things when at a new location – everything seems exciting – but then it’s very easy to unwittingly repeat existing images of an over-photographed place/landmark. 

Once on location, I like to have a first day where I walk around the city only with an iPhone, getting a feel for the city and making quick images of locations where I’d like to come back to.

In certain cultures locals are leery of being photographer, how do you deal with this?
Learning the rules of that culture and respecting them. Even if there is no big language barrier, I like having a local guide who can help me navigate the intricacies of unspoken street rules.

How many days was your shoot.
6 days.

Do you give yourself an extra day to fill in any gaps or round out the full narrative?
I try to do that as much as possible with each assignment. I always start editing my work after the first couple of days, during which I allow myself to shoot on instinct. After that, I approach the shoot with more intent, filling in the gaps daily and fleshing out the story. 

 
 

 
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The Daily Promo – Sol Neelman

Sol Neelman

Who printed it? Never thought I’d be able to boast that Topps printed my promos, but they did. You can upload your photos on their site and pair them with designs from some of their vintage trading cards. For common cards to fill the packs, I collected old baseball and pro wrestling cards and defaced them with stickers of my masked face. Those were printed at home on shipping labels with my temperamental Epson R2880. As for the photo stickers and packaging labels, I used stickeryou.com. Can’t believe how great a job they did. Who designed it? I borrowed basic design elements from Topps cards and wrappers over the years for my DIY promo pack. The front sticker features a sketched version of my photo on the cover of Weird Sports 2. Tanyia Johnson, an old friend and talented graphic artist, drew that. She also held my hand – a lot! – and gave great feedback throughout the process. For better or worse, baseball cards and wrappers back in the day were not designed by anyone nearly as talented as TJ. Many times, I got away with using my basic design skills. The sticker insert is a slightly modified version of the cover of my first book, Weird Sports, designed by Katha Stumpf at Kehrer Verlag. Tell me about the images? With the advice of friend, agent and consultant Maren Levinson (redeyereps.com), we chose 5 images from my Weird Sports book series: Redneck Games, Frog Jumping, Dirty Dash, Ostrich Racing and Drag Queen Softball. Because of the size and dimensions of the trading cards, I needed images that could hold up well small and were quick hits. I put just one of those 5 collectibles in each pack. Since my goal with this entire Continue reading "The Daily Promo – Sol Neelman"

The Best Work I Saw at Photo NOLA: Part 1

  I’ve been to New Orleans four times in my life. Each visit, I’ve gone in December. It’s not entirely a coincidence, as that’s when the Photo NOLA festival takes place. (I’ve attended in 2012, ’14 and now ’17) Despite the fact that New Orleans is situated on the Gulf Coast, and is reputed for its lovely winter weather, two of my visits were met with freezing-rain-ice-storms that made me want to cry in a pillow. (The other two times I was met with humid, sunny, 70-80 degree weather, so I guess it all depends on luck.) The fact the weather was awful this year was mitigated by the fact that I’d planned the trip with little time scheduled outside the International House Hotel, where the event is held each year. (It’s just a few short blocks outside the French Quarter.) Mostly, I was either in the hotel or adjoining conference center, or safely ensconced inside a bar/restaurant/museum/gallery/party/Uber. So any whinging I now provide is mostly for comedic effect. There was a brief moment, the first night, when I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the heat in my hotel room, and I actually did cry into a pillow, but beyond that, I had a smashing time at Photo NOLA last month. Like many portfolio review events these days, Photo NOLA is run by a non-profit, in this case the New Orleans Photo Alliance, which is a member-supported organization. (We did an interview on the subject years ago with Jennifer Shaw, if you’d like to learn more about it.) So Photo NOLA is imbued with a sense of mission, and everyone clearly loves being a part of such a vibrant local photo community. Like Filter in Chicago, another of my favorites, this festival puts
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