The Daily Promo: Tim Tadder

- - The Daily Promo

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Tim Tadder

Who printed it?
This was printed by my friends at Marathon Press in Nebraska. Marathon caters to the wedding and portrait market mostly, but after meeting there CEO at a trade show I was impressed with their color reproduction. These images are very very difficult to reproduce so I new that Marathon was the place to do it. After a few bad experiences with some other vendors, I was super excited to have a new partner to help get our images noticed by industry creative.

Who designed it?
Cheryln Read a talented designer in San Francisco. She is designing all of our promos and managing the process of getting one out each month. She pulls images from out sight and comes up with creative solutions. She comes from an agency background so its helpful to have her make promos that people want to keep. I am not a big fan of creating waste, so I wanted to partner with someone that felt the same way. We have to send out mailers to remain relevant, and we hope the ones we do send out do not immediately go into the trash.

Who edited the images?
We edited the images in house. I did have an amazing retoucher handle one image as the skin was particularly difficult for me to manage, but the rest were done by me.

How many did you make?
2500

How many times a year do you send out promos?
8 to 10 times a year.

I understand you had some printing issues. Tell us about that.
I used another popular vendor for mailers and I noticed the color becoming more and more incorrect with each mailer. The reproduction is critical and we would always buy proofs to ensure great color. Sometimes we would go three rounds of proofs (expensive) and then when we would receive our mailers the color would be off dramatically. Their response was that they do proofs on a digital press and the finals on an offset press and that a color shift was normal. They reviewed our concerns and came back to us saying that the shift was “Acceptable”.

My clients would never be happy with me telling them that the color shift in their images were “acceptable.” Thats when we set out to find a better printer and a better partner to help us. We don’t like when things are “acceptable” we strive for AMAZING and EXCEPTIONAL. Shocked that someone would treat a finished product that way!
 

This Week In Photography Books:

by Jonathan Blaustein

Did you read last week’s column? If so, you won’t be surprised to hear I’m a shade worn out this week. I feel like Doctor’s
office carpet that hasn’t been cleaned in two decades.

As such, for the first time in nearly 4 years, I asked for a week off, and Rob obliged. (He’s a good dude.)

And yet…

The idea of dropping out seems so foreign that I find myself typing these words. I can’t seem to cut the cord.

Rather than blowing you off completely, I thought I’d share a tiny bit about how I’m viewing the aftermath of my great disappointment. Thankfully, it gets easier each day.

I’ve been exercising like a steroid-fueled-flat-brim-hat-wearing-MMA fighter, to channel the frustration. AND spending extra time with the kids, to soak up the love.

The reality is that the challenges we face make us stronger. They give us character, and eventually, gray hair. We can’t control how people treat us; nor how they behave in our presence. But I can state with certainty that I kept my cool under pressure, and I learned more about myself through difficulty.

No book review today, unfortunately, and you might even find the above advice trite. C’est la vie. But when given the chance to abandon you for a week of leisure, the pull of normality, of routine, was too strong to resist.

I hope you all have a great Summer weekend, and I’ll be back next week with my first post in a series about the excellent work I saw at Review Santa Fe in June.

The Art of the Personal Project: Scott Lowden

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. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is Scott Lowden

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How long have you been shooting?
Um….well….since 1991!

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’m primarily self-taught, although I took a few intensive seminars at the Parsons/The New School early on.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I was first inspired by the location…this building. Holidays and random weekends, I would find myself driving on Rt. 309 in Hazleton, PA while visiting family. There’s this building that continually caught my eye, especially when the sun was low and bright. It’s an abandoned machine shop of some type, and I can only imagine the cool widgets they’d make inside. Once I decided I needed to shoot there I tapped a great local resource…my nieces and nephew. Imagining their differing personalities and being forced to spend a long afternoon shooting, Lord of the Flies, the novel by William Golding, immediately came to mind… of course only loosely. I wanted to focus on children exploring desolate space, but with a more lifestyle and upbeat lens. Further inspiration was borrowing wardrobe from my friend at LA’s Blu Pony Vintage and pulling a few key props from a nearby Salvation Army and Dollar Store. One of the challenges was the edit and keeping the story somewhat tight, as I ended up with some ‘happy’ images as well as some very moody ones.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
While I do have a few personal projects that are many years long and still going strong, this was conceived, produced, shot, and presented in a few months.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
That’s a tough question, as I’m not one to shelve something even if it’s pushing back. I’ve moved a few things to the bottom of the list, but I don’t think I’ve ever completely removed a project. Because I’ve been working in photography for a very long time I’ve grown accustomed to having a very long time horizon.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I think it’s OK for the self-assigned personal work to be different than what I’d shoot for my commercial portfolio. It’s always an exercise in creating, stretching my brain, and sometimes doing things I’m not as comfortable with. Actually that’s probably one of the most important things. Anything that this type of shooting helps you work through or discover translates into your day job. For me personal shoots become an exercise in how little production value and crew I can put into a shoot while still realizing what I pictured in my head. This translates well into commercial shoots that sometimes don’t have the budgets they need.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
For sure. Most of my personal projects, and this one in particular, are well received on social media. I’m constantly adding to my list of internet based outlets that may be interested in my work.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I’ve gotten a good response from projects that I’ve posted, but I wouldn’t say that they’ve gone viral. I believe that marketing is cumulative, so any time your name is out there along side interesting images it’s a good thing. This definitely doesn’t happen on it’s own…you have to push the story out as many places as you can.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I’d say about 40% of the images I use for marketing are from strictly personal projects, and the majority of the rest are from self-assigned shoots geared more toward the type of work I want to shoot. I swear sometimes my goal is simply to catch someone’s eye on the journey from his or her mailbox to the trash can. Work that lives outside the advertising context can sometimes do a better job at that.

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Scott is a compulsive photographer who carries his camera everywhere. An avid team player, he consults both sides of his brain to bring concepts to life. An award winning photographer with over 20 years of experience, he’s been shooting for some of the biggest brands including Bose, Kodak, Coca-Cola, Delta, and AFLAC, just to name a few. He spent the first part of his career specializing in still life, a few years directing for TV and creating some festival worthy short films, and has been concentrating on lifestyle photography for the past 10 years or so. Shooting worldwide, he currently calls Atlanta home with his wife and Sophie the dog.


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 has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

Instagram and Art Theory

- - Working

Technology has so democratized image-making that it has put the artistic power once mainly associated with aristocrats—to stylize your image and project yourself to an audience as desirable—into everyone’s hands. (Although the parallel to art as “celebration of private property” is probably most vivid in the case of those who most closely resemble modern-day aristocrats. See: “Rich Kids of Instagram”). But images retain their function as game pieces in the competition for social status. “Doesn’t this look delicious?” “Aren’t I fabulous?” “Look where I am!” “Look what I have!”

Source: Instagram and Art Theory – artnet News

The Daily Edit – “Aging Out” by Image Hoarders

- - The Daily Edit

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A group of LA based photographers and journalists joined together to create a project that would raise awareness and support for the young men and women of Los Angeles aging out of the foster care system.

This collaboration resulted in a book and exhibition called “Aging Out.” I had the pleasure of chatting with the photographers about the book and their collective.

 

 

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Aaron Fallon

Heidi: What drew you to this project?
Aaron Fallon: 
Around 2007 or 2008, I had seen a photo project with an accompanying story about young adults who had or were about to age out of the foster care system.  I cannot recall the details, but the idea itself impacted me in the sense that I tried to imagine myself at 19, 20, or 21 years old having to face the world on my own without support of family, without someone to turn to or somewhere to go.  And it seemed so overwhelming and scary.  We all need support and a little help sometimes and to be at that stage in life without guidance or support — would, at the very least, be extraordinarily difficult.  I wanted to start my own version of the project in Los Angeles.  It was a way to use photography outside of my normal channels in a manner that might help others. Although I had done some other pro bono projects through the Taproot Foundation previously, this would be a project that truly resonated with me and I could have a lot more involvement and oversight of the entire process.

The idea stayed with me, but it didn’t come to fruition until  several years later after the subject came up during a meeting with Maggie Soladay, (former photo editor of American Lawyer Magazine and Corporate Counsel Magazine), she had overseen a New York City version of a similar project and advised me about how to get things going.  She suggested finding an editor/producer/creative director to partner with.  Around the same time Coral Von Zumwalt had just put together a monthly meeting of sorts with several photographers in what would become the Image Hoarders.  I reached out to Jacqueline Lee to take on the Editor/Producer/Creative Director role and pitched the idea to the Image Hoarders.

Joan Allen: Our earliest group conversations discussed the importance of having ongoing personal projects. Each of us would discuss the project we were currently working on or a new one we wanted to start and we would encourage one another to make progress on them, those of us who actually had time to get theirs started would share their accomplishments during meetings and would ask for feedback. When Aaron proposed this project to the group, it was during this time and we unanimously jumped at the opportunity to work on a creative group personal project, especially one that would raise awareness for such an important cause. The only creative conversations we had involved creating “a day in the life of” each subject. I think all of our photography and visions mixed very well together for a photo-journalistic, photo essay, reportage feel.

Matt Harbicht: I liked that we would be bringing attention to a subject that typically went unnoticed.  We all had heard about this, but had never seen what life was like for people who have had this kind of childhood.

 

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Matt Hoover

 Matt Hoover: My passion is documentary photography, telling stories and meeting new people. One of the reasons I got into photography was to make a difference in my community or even the world if possible. This was an opportunity to tell a story of one persons life that might help others and bring awareness on what’s going on here in our own country.

Megan Miller: Aaron brought the idea and some information to our group.  Once he showed us the sheer number of children aging out here in LA each year, and that LA County had the most children in the system of any county in the country, I think we all realized that something was happening in our own community that we didn’t know enough about.  I wanted to learn more and then try and share that knowledge and awareness with others.

 

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Yuri Hasegawa

Yuri Hasegawa:  When this project came up, I was grieving heavily from the loss of my husband. My loss changed my entire life. My loss also changed me as a person, my perspective about life itself and affected me in both good and bad ways. One of the good changes after my loss is that I developed a desire to use my photography skills to help create something more meaningful in life, yet I had no clue about any specific idea or plan. Also, I was still too weak to feel “passion” to do anything more than keep living day by day. In a way, it was the most difficult time to think about a personal project on my own, even though I knew how much a new project would help me, after hearing about this, I immediately thought that this would be a great opportunity to be a part of a creative project and thought the timing was all happening for a reason. I liked the idea of having one project to work on with such an amazing collective of photographers (eventually to become the Image Hoarders) as a group collaboration.

Heidi: How did you find the subjects? Tell me about how you engaged with them and got them to open up?

Aaron: Joan Allen introduced us to the Alliance for Children’s Rights here in Los Angeles.  The Alliance reached out to many of the Foster Youth they work with and put us in contact with those that were interested in being a part of it.  Jacquie and I sorted through the potential subjects and tried to make sure we would be covering a broad spectrum of subjects and stories.

For both of my shoots, I met the subjects at their apartment and made sure we both allotted enough time to pretty much spend the day (afternoon) together.  To me, this approach was best, as I could meet them in their own environment and without any particular time or location restrictions.  We  would sit and chat for a while. They’d tell me their story.  I’d tell them about myself and the project.  And then eventually we’d get around to creating some photos.

My first shoot was just Ernesto and myself.  And the longer we chatted and then shot together, the more I learned about him.  We went to lunch as well, and I shot some stuff with him in his neighborhood and at his favorite local restaurant.

My second shoot with Chardea, was in tandem with the writer. I let the writer do her thing first and I sat and listened.  And after I chatted with Chardea.  And took a similar approach as my first shoot.  And we went to lunch as well.

 

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Coral Von Zumwalt

Coral: Most of the subjects were brought to us through the Alliance for Children’s Rights which is an organization that serves as an advocate for foster kids and at-risk youth.  However, one of my subjects, Cody, and I were brought together via a personal connection.  My cousin worked with him years earlier as a childcare counselor at his group home.  She knew his story was powerful and was impressed with how he had taken control over his life at the time.

With my subject, LaKendrea, I had the luxury of time which helps immensely when you are trying to connect with a subject.  Over the course of three different days together, she became comfortable enough with my presence that I could just tag along and blend into the background as she lived her life.  She allowed me to document her while she went about every day tasks like caring for her son, giving rides to her friends, visiting with her family, and potentially life-changing events like searching for an apartment and trying to convince a landlord to rent to her.

I also strive to have an empathetic ear, and I hope that comes across when I am with my subject.  Being a good listener goes a long way toward helping anyone open up, and it holds true for subjects as well.

Lastly, it always helps to establish common ground between oneself and one’s subjects.  Both of my subjects, for instance, are parents of young children.  As a parent of young kids myself, we could share the universal joys and challenges that come with parenthood.  There was also a period of time in my childhood when my mother was having troubles and a social worker had to intervene.  I didn’t experience even one iota of what LaKendra or Cody went through, but there was a touchstone there I could go back to and it was easy to put myself in their shoes and understand them.

Joan: I was mentioning our book project to a dear friend of mine and at the time I had no idea she was independently highly involved and passionate about this cause on her own. She had a relationship with a non-profit organization who helps these young adults learn life and job skills to increase their chances of survival. She introduced me to a wonderful subject who ended up being one of the people I photographed and also to Alliance for Children’s Rights. We had a meeting with them and to my knowledge, most or all of the other subjects were introduced to us through the Alliance. My friend really helped us get the project off the ground in the beginning and I am very thankful to her for that.

Matt:   Locking down people who came from troubled pasts was difficult.  Sometimes people would fall out of contact because they had switched homes or had other trouble.  Some just fell out of contact completely.

Matt Hoover: Most of the time meeting someone new to photograph I like to sit down and introduce myself. Tell them where I’m from and what I’m doing. I like to listen to my subjects and here what they are doing, what’s going on in their life, etc… You can’t rush it, you have to sit down and take your time, get to know the person your going to photograph. No one is going to open up and feel comfortable around someone new who shoves a camera in their face. You have to gain trust first then let moments unfold in front of you.
I also like to use humor when meeting someone new, whether it be for a project or just out and about in the world.

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Megan Miller

Megan: To get to know who I was photographing I just made sure to have a real, full conversation with them before I ever even took the camera out.  The great thing about it being a personal project, is that you can spend as much time as you need.

 

Heidi: When you shoot something this emotionally complex, how to you prepare for the shoot if at all?

Coral:  Shooting stories like these are really refreshing actually because I feel I have to prepare less. Instead of agonizing, like I often do for my editorial and commercial shoots, over what type of equipment to use, what assistant and/or digital tech is available, is there budget for a producer, will the subject give me more than 15 minutes, etc., I instead just get to concentrate on the subject.  It is just me and my camera and the subject.  And because neither of the stories had been written for Cody or LaKendra before I shot them, I went in with minimal information and got to hear their story firsthand.

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Joan Allen

Joan: I don’t personally feel that I had to prepare any differently than I do with any other shoot. I just wanted to get to know these wonderful and strong peole and hear their stories. I asked to just hang out with them during normal daily routines, making dinner, etc. I didn’t just show up and grab my camera and go for it. I wasn’t in a hurry. I would meet and talk to my subjects and ask questions and just help them not think about it being a photo shoot until I sensed they were relaxed and I was just some regular friend hanging out in their living room. Then, when I was sure their guards were down, I would just keep talking but start taking photos as well. I did photography Lt. LaShanda Holmes for two separate days at the National Coast Guard at LAX Airport. Those shoot dates required being much more scheduled with our time, as, permission was needed for LaShanda to be part of the project, for me to be able to photograph at the Coast Guard, for me to be able to photograph the helicopters and her in uniform and for her specifically scheduled slots of time that needed approval.   Those days did not allow for the flexibility of just “hanging out” beforehand. 

* Joan Allen also shot the cover image.

 

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Matt Harbicht

Matt: You think about what’s important to illustrate this person’s story.  If you are in their homes, the first thing you notice is how bare they are.  Most of us have acquired an enormous amount of “stuff” throughout lives.  We all knew this going into our shoots so things like the emptiness of their environment would be something to focus on.  For many people the idea of their own place or home was integral to their story.  In my case I didn’t know what the situation was going to be, so I just ran with it.

Matt Hoover: I really try to think about what this person has gone through. What obstacles might have come into their life. What would I have done or felt if these things happened to me.
You can’t really prep for certain things because you have no idea what this person has gone through. You just need to listen and go with the flow.

The portraits are a deep reveal into ove coming so much in their lives, how hard was the edit and what were you looking for in the final select?

Aaron: In making final submissions I wanted to show a broad range about the person I was photographing. Yes, both of the people I photographed had pasts that would be considered emotionally heavy, but that doesn’t define either those people.  So, if I have an image that may be reflective or poignant and could be viewed to reference their past — great, but I also looked for lighter moments, or moments that show who that person is now.  And with both of my subjects we had fun moments during the shoot, so I wanted to make sure to include those as well.

Coral: I found it hard to edit because as I became closer to my subjects, LaKendra in particular because we spent more time together, I found I was editing out images that told a fuller story because I was acutely aware of her feelings and did not want to show any images that didn’t paint her in the best light.  As with many jobs, however, I went back a second and third time – each time trying to put on fresh eyes – and put forward, what I hope, is the most honest story possible.

Matt: I think I was looking for something that showed their strengths and a look at the struggle they had gone through.  We visited her old school as school was always the driving force in Jasmine’s life.  She showed me the Taco Bell she waited at for people from the Hollywood Youth Shelter to come get her.  Seeing these places that had little or no meaning to me were the driving force behind what changed her life.  It was powerful to walk those steps with her.

Megan: As far as what I was looking for to send to Jacqui, I was just trying to show the entire range of the person I had gotten to know.  The positive moments, the struggles. That’s difficult to do in just a few images, so I was just hoping for that to come through.

Yuri: I do feel that I had more of a tendency to be subjective easily on this edit. My biggest problem was, shamefully, the lack of variation. There were a few technical issues on the shoot day, which limited our option to get more variety in terms of locations and different situations. I attempted to book a second shoot date, but, my efforts failed. That part was a huge challenge for me, wanting something more and not being able to create it.

Coral, tell us about why you created ImageHoarders.
Early in my career, I had the good fortune of working as Art Streiber’s  first assistant.  Over those five or so years, I truly felt part of a tight-knit photographic community.  Logistically, Art’s shoots were often quite big – they felt more like a small film shoot rather than a still shoot – so I was working along side many assistants, set designers, stylists, creatives, etc. I felt like part of a team and there was always a tremendous amount creative collaboration.  And more than any other photographer I’ve known, Art truly enjoys fostering photographic friendships and mentoring young photographers – he is very generous with his time and experience.

After shooting on my own for close to 10 years, I found myself feeling isolated and missing the sense of community I felt while working with Art.  My shoots are typically pretty intimate… oftentimes I am shooting with just one assistant by my side, and then I spend an ungodly amount of time alone while I edit (and edit again – I am a slooooow editor).  I missed the group dynamic and was craving the conversation of photography.  But I didn’t want to take part in something formal and regimented – I wanted something intimate and casual and inspiring.  One night, over beers and archiving woes in my garage, I was talking with a couple friends about this quest to find my own little photo version of the Algonquin Round Table and I realized other people were craving the same thing.  So that was the nexus of ImageHoarders.  I invited a handful of photographers whose work I respect into my living room.  Some are friends that I assisted alongside with years ago and are now established shooters.  Others are former assistants of mine who I missed working and hanging out with because they are now busy shooting on their own or making that transition into shooting full time.  There is a range of age and experience within the group which benefits us all, I think.  And it is a safe place to share information, bounce ideas off each other and show work in progress.  Now roughly two years later, we continue to inspire each other to do better work and we enjoy each other’s company while doing it.

 

The Daily Promo: Adam Cohen

- - The Daily Promo

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Adam Cohen

Who printed it?
I used a local printer, Minute Man Press, that actually is a franchise of a larger company.

Who designed it?
I did all the design and layout myself.

Who edited the images?
I also edited all the images. I believe both editing and designing projects are important practices that a photographer participates in. I look at these zines as how rappers look at “mixtapes”. It’s a smaller, looser project that releases before the album, or in my case, the book.

How many did you make?
100 + 10 Artist Copies.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I wouldn’t necessarily call these “promos“. They are somewhere in between a book and a “zine” project. I generally make these when I’m interested in a smaller narrative that I want to explore for a shorter term. Additionally, these projects are functioning as “reportage” almost. In a sense, where I am publishing my own editorial projects. At some point, I’d rather break even with some of these projects and have complete control over the project than get payed a small fee by a publication and lose all authority over layout, edit, content, etc.

Tres De Mayo de 2015 , was a project I made about the Cinco De Mayo Celebration in the Pilsen/Little Village neighborhood of Chicago’s southwest side. There are subtle references throughout the project that I didn’t want to give away.

These are actually for sale on adamjasoncohen.bigcartel.com and each copy comes with a small 6×4″ digital C-Print.

This Week In Photography Books: Mark Power

by Jonathan Blaustein

I hate being cryptic. It’s not my thing. Ever since 2010, when Rob suggested I be as honest as possible, I’ve tried to do just that. (Sometimes to my detriment.)

Today, though, I find myself in something of a pickle. I had a very rough week, and normally would spill the beans forthwith. Straight-away. Right now.

But as my career has grown, and I’ve realized just how small is this photo-world of ours, the habit of discretion seems to have taken root. It would be a very bad idea to give the details of what just went down. But as much as I hate to tease, I also hate to miss out on a teachable moment. (You all roll your eyes at that, right?)

The crux of what happened, though, I can most definitely share: Someone dangled a life-long dream in front of my face, and then snatched it away. It went something like this.

Suppose I was a fox. A hungry fox named Reginald. Now Reginald was a bit more hungry than he was smart. He was walking down the normal dirt path through the forest, thinking about food, and all of a sudden he heard someone whisper.

Come here, kid. Come here.

Reginald turned to look, and he saw a big coyote.

I’m Carl, he said.

Carl the coyote?

Just so. And kid, you’ve got to see what I have behind this hedgerow. It’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen. A hundred chickens. Just for you.

What, said Reginald. That’s impossible. Do you know how hungry I am? I’d eat my way through the year on 100 chickens. I’ve dreamed all my life of running into a small city of chickens.

Well, said Carl, here you go then. Step right through this hedgerow here.

Reginald stepped through the hedgerow. He was sweating profusely from all the anticipation.

Just as he had his fingers within range of the first chicken, the amuse bouche… WHAM! Carl’s hand wrapped itself around his rear left paw, and he felt himself flying through the air. He landed on his head, back across the road, in a daze.

Stupid fox, said the coyote. Did you really think it would be that easy?

Most dreams don’t come true. That’s me talking. Not a coyote or a fox. Mine still might, and I have plenty to be thankful for regardless. But that doesn’t change the fact that most dreams don’t come true.

I know that.

And I also know that good fences make good neighbors. But what about walls?

The Berlin Wall, in particular. What must it have felt like to stand there, watching as it opened on that fateful day in 1989? How many people had dreamed of their freedom?

All those East Germans, dreaming of a better life. And then it happened. Someone made a call, after the rumors had spread, and the guards at the gates said let them through. What might that have looked like?

Well, we don’t have to wonder. I just finished looking at “Die Mauer ist Weg!,” a new book by Mark Power, published by Globtik Books. Yes, we’ve got a great one this week, folks.

Take it out of the wrapping, and it’s a weird cardboard thing all in German. The cover looks like a tabloid paper headline. (But I don’t read German.)

After a title page, we get a very cleanly written, engaging statement by the artist, setting the scene. He was about to quit his photo career, back then, and a friend convinced him to give it one more go, and sported him some cash to boot.

He used the money to buy a plane ticket to Berlin, maybe on a whim? And he’s standing there, somehow, when it all goes down.

These pictures are so cool. All those cameras. All that 80’s German style. All that history. In real time.

In the statement, Mr. Power suggests that such a thing could not happen now, a few people with cameras, shooting film, and telling the story for history. Now, of course, there would be thousands and thousands of live video feeds on Periscope.

(As I’ve said before, the 20th Century seems like a long time ago.)

The few pictures of empty East Berlin are dynamite. The whole thing is thoughtfully produced, with a cardboard inner wedge to keep the pages in place. (Removable, which is handy.)

This book captured a seminal time in modern history, but takes the effort to embed the pictures in a book package that doesn’t leave those photos to do the work alone. Very instructive, I think, for the rest of us.

Bottom Line: A great book that shows the fall of the Berlin Wall

To Purchase “Die Mauer ist Weg” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Scott Van Osdol

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. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Scott Van Osdol

01 Michael Burn MC, Wales

02 Royal Navy Tombstone LaBaule France

03 Erich DeLaTorre, Commando, Stoke-Lacey, Herefordshire

04 Leading Stoker Bill Bannister, Motor Launch 31, Portsmith UK

Documentary photos of WWII British Commandos returning to visit site of 1942 raid on St-Nazaire, Operation CHARIOT.

06 Sub-Lieutenant Richard Collinson, Motor Launch 192, Isle of Wight

07 Lt. Colonel Bob Montgomery MC, 2 Commando Sapper, Falmouth UK

08 Sub-Lieutenant Hugh Arnold DSC, Motor Launch 446, London

09 Micky Burn with his history, Beaudy Gwyn, Wales

10 Burn at Nazi Nuremberg Rally 1935

11 Burn at Munich cafe where he met Hitler, POW photo

12 Burn at Colditz Castle where he ran secret POW radio

13 Burn, Colditz Castle, met with former prison guard

14 Burn with some of the many books he wrote, Wales

15 Burn came ashore at Old Mole, St. Nazaire, France

How long have you been shooting?
I began shooting professional freelance in 1981. Before that I worked nine years as an institutional photographer while in college. That’s a scary long time, 43 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Self-taught at the school of hard knocks.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
“Last of Our Lads” portrays WWII British Commandos who survived a daring raid on the Nazi U-Boat base and battleship-capable dry dock at St. Nazaire, France. The documentary film “Turned Towards the Sun”, focused on one of those commandos, Micky Burn. As a Times of London reporter, Burn was the last person living to have met Roosevelt, Churchill, and Hitler. Burn was a prolific author, poet, socialist wag, and an openly gay man before that was an easy thing to do.

I’ve always been interested in WWII history. When offered the chance to travel through Great Britain and Europe to photograph these heroic figures, I jumped on it. The project was a labor of love—no shooting fee, but my travel costs were covered for multiple trips. I earned an Assistant Producer credit on the documentary film, and have “points on the back end” (Hollywood-speak for worth next to nothing).

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
We began shooting in 2008. The photos were put to immediate use for location and character documentation as we presented the story to producers, directors, and investors. After each trip I printed a few updated photo books. The photos became more dramatic and personal with each trip. The more I shot, the more clearly I defined my artistic intention.

The film “Turned Towards the Sun” premiered at the London Film Festival in 2012, where it was nominated for a BFI award. Our NYC director Greg Olliver recently struck a distribution deal with Matchbox Films. It is available on Amazon UK.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Generally I know within a few days if a project is going to work. If it isn’t working, I move on. Fail fast.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I try to collapse the distinction between personal and commercial work. If I love a photo it gets used in promotions and the portfolio. There is an old axiom, ‘Show what you want to shoot’. I know it works because I’ve had to re-invent myself multiple times over my career. Each time I did so by showing the work I wanted to shoot. My intention is to get more work I’m going to love. That profits everyone—the agency, the client, the audience, and me.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
My Twitter handle is @ScottDon’tTweet. Life is short, and I’d rather be shooting. So it’s taken a while for this old Analogasauras to gear up for social media. That said, with each step into twitterverse I am astonished at the results—it’s a big crazy place, social media.

Last week ImageBrief’s social feeds named me one of ten lifestyle photographers to watch, in part because of these photos. The buzz I was able to see was relatively small, a few dozen responses, but surprisingly eclectic. It included multiple photographers, two Paris fashion designers, a San Francisco serial entrepreneur, and a wannabe big game hunter from somewhere in Africa. Go figure.

Many of the Last of Our Lads photos appeared on Facebook pages belonging to project producers (it’s about all there was in 2008), which saw plenty of Likes and drove viewers to our websites.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
The work largely pre-dated modern social media—so no, no buzz as we know it. We got a good deal of international press, however. That was mostly due to the amazing stories the commandos told. But I was there, ready with photos. We were offered a book deal with a UK publisher, but decided to wait and hitch our star to a leading UK film studio that assigned a screenwriter to the subject. I’ve learned “in development” actually means lost in limbo—we have no idea if and when the feature film will get made. If so, we’re ready with hours of Disc 2 interviews and B-roll.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Last of Our Lads photos were widely used in email promotions and in editions of portfolio books. The photos won several Austin and regional ADDY awards over the several years they were shot.

I show this kind of work to good effect. Some art directors want to see specific shots that match the stock-photo-generated comp the client approved. Others are more interested in ‘the vision thing’. Those are the creatives I want to work with, the ones driven by vision.

Showing this documentary-style photography means I don’t get hired to shoot traditional lifestyle and swimsuit-clad couples at resorts. But I do get hired to shoot for clients like Nocona Boots as they roll out their “Let’s Rodeo” campaign. That’s the stuff I love.

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Scott shoots what he loves: documentary style in a commercial context. He keeps it simple, clear, and compelling. 
 
His work has won more prizes than a case of Cracker Jacks: CA, PRINT, HOW, PR Week Campaign of the Year, dozens of ADDYs and other national awards. 
 
Scott specializes in industry, technology and energy, agriculture and ranching, education and healthcare. He shoots real people wherever possible. This storytelling impulse goes way back. His first solo exhibit, “Working”, opened at the AFL-CIO Union Hall in Austin. Scott comes by this authenticity thing honestly.
 
Scott works hard at playing. He donates creative services to projects like Art from the Streets and Con Mi Madre. He serves on the board of the Austin Advertising Federation: 16 years, twice as president, winning Club of the Year four years running from the American Ad Fed. For the last decade he led the Hill Country Ride for AIDS marketing team, working with Austin’s best creatives to raise more than $7 million with campaigns that appeared in CA, PRINT, and HOW. He rides his bike silly long distances in the Texas heat.
 
All this earnestness and collaboration in the service of brand development and good art means Scott is real easy to work with. He’s WYSIWYG with a big smile.

See more of Scott’s work:
http://www.vanosdol.com
scott@vanosdol.com
512.461.8990


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 has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

Capturing a Singular Vision

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Do you have any advice for people just entering the profession?

Don’t underestimate the importance of defining your style. In art history classes in college, we studied famous renaissance painters. Our exams would entail matching paintings we had never seen before with the artist whose style the painting resembled. For photographers I call it “singular vision,” the visual thread in your work that reflects your personality. It seems obvious, but it is difficult and requires constant deliberate attention and initiative. It also requires some serious soul searching, exposure to art in all genres, experimentation, experience, feedback, time and maybe a little therapy. For a lucky few, it comes easily and naturally, but for the rest of us, it takes hard work. I think I was shooting for twenty years before I fully understood my singular vision. I wish someone would have encouraged me to look for it from the start. I may have gotten there sooner.

Source: http://www.commarts.com/insights/capturing-singular-vision

The Daily Edit: Women’s Health: Sarah Rozen

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Creative Director: Jacqueline Azria
Photo Director: Sarah Rozen
Photographer: Steven Lippman 

I know Steven has a strong love for the ocean/surf/ did he pitch this fashion idea? or did you award him the project?
We wanted to shoot activewear bathing suits fashion in a very graphic and sporty way so approached Steven with the idea.  Steven loves the water so we knew this was the perfect assignment for him.
Where was this shot?
We debated with him on the merits of numerous locations that would provide us with most visuals but still stay within our budget.  After looking at all the locations we decided Hawaii would have what we needed.  We were trying to shoot early April but ran into conflicts with school vacations and found many places booked.
I’d imagine you needed a certain type of model, tell us about her.
The model  Jill is someone we had worked with before and knew that she surfed and would give 100% to whatever we asked her to do.  She actually came directly from kite surfing camp directly to our shoot.  Once we picked Hawaii our producer had to closely watch the weather and wind and ended up adapting our shoot days based on the wind patterns.
How long was the shoot?
It was a two day shoot.  Each physical activity our model had to do was hard and very time consuming.
We could do 3-4 shots in a day.

The Daily Promo: Anthony Georgis

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Anthony Georgis

Who printed it?
The printing was done on a 24×36” engineering copy machine that is typically used for printing B+W graphics and construction plans. It’s not meant to print photographs, so the image quality is kind of crappy, but that’s part of the magic. Assembly of the finished piece is a pretty labor intensive process and all done by hand. The printer only does one sided prints on standard bond paper, so all the impressions need to be spray mounted together, then folded, hand sewn and trimmed to size. It’s a bit of a nightmare, but the result is this cool handmade thing that shows my work in a way that feels really authentic.

Who designed it?
I did the layout and mock-ups. My goal was to make something that looked like it was made at a Kinko’s Copies at 3am using a glue stick. I figured it was best to just make the images as big as possible and let them speak for themselves. To avoid folding the ‘zine for shipping, it goes into a huge 18×24” stay flat mailer with a Xerox print mounted on the outside of it that’s hand addressed in true DIY fashion using White Out.

Who edited the images?
I did the first edit, then enlisted the help of my friends and studio mates to help me get everything finalized.

How many did you make?
This piece is targeted to an extremely select group of clients that I really want to work with. I’ve made 5 so far and have 5 more in the works. The response so far has been amazing. I’ve been taking one to portfolio showings and it’s the first thing that everyone wants to look at.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send postcards 3-4 times per year and try to send special promos like this once a year.

The inspiration for this promo piece were the indie skate and music ‘zines that I grew up with. I wanted to make something with a youthful, fun vibe and the ‘zine format had been kicking around in my head for a while. I discovered that I could make giant prints using a black and white Xerox machine and scale everything up to poster size, so I figured I’d give it a try. When I shared the mock up with one of my art director friends, he flipped out and suggested I send it as a promo.

This Week In Photography Books: Alejandro Cartagena

by Jonathan Blaustein

I just watched a horse walk in circles. There were two gates, in front and behind, that marked his turf. Slowly went the horse. Slowly turned the rotor.

No one was there minding him, outside the barn. I happened by at the end of my run, and decided to play spectator for a moment. It seemed so obviously metaphorical. (And put there just for me.)

We believe ourselves so different, each from another, each race distinct. But the majority of people in the world will do these things, day in and out. Sleep. Eat. Wash. Work. Walk. Talk. Copulate. Procrastinate. Etc.

Our media, social and old fashioned, binds us together through an electronic web. It’s real enough, though we can’t see it. What have I learned from the great InterSphere?

Twitter is the news these days. And it’s also the reason I know that Donald Trump said some nasty stuff about Mexico. Or was it Mexicans? And what did he say exactly? Does it matter?

What I came away with was that racist, idiot Donald Trump offended an entire nation. Is that the gist? You can only glean so much from 140 characters at swipe speed.

Or what about “El Chapo” escaping a maximum security prison in Mexico? Did you hear about that one? Do you know who he is?

Was anyone surprised the most powerful cartel boss in Mexico got away from the authorities? If so, did they tweet their dismay? What might that have looked like?

“OMG. Can’t believe they let him get away again. #Corruption #Jailbreak #Oralé”

Personally, I would have said something like, “Of course he got away. If those monsters in New York State could figure it out, with nothing going for them outside of charm, paintings, and a large penis, then how could any prison hold a man with limitless money and power?”

Twitter didn’t exist when the Mexican Drug War started. We’re so self-involved here in the US that most people have forgotten about it entirely. After Enrique Peña Nieto went on his own charm offensive, after his election, the PR gurus pushed the story down below the fold. It was all about the Mexican economy. Let’s not rock the boat.

But now they have egg on their faces, or huevos, if you will, because this story perfectly fit the entrenched narrative that the inmates are running the country. If you can pay, you can play. (Insert further random cliché here.)

This is not a news site, and I’m not a proper journalist. But we do attempt to discuss big ideas, and pragmatically dispense advice about the way things are. As such, I interviewed Mexican photographer Alejandro Cartagena a few years ago, and he told what it was like living on the front lines of the Drug War, in Monterrey.

Alejandro is a friend, and a prolific artist, so I was not surprised when “Before the War” turned up in my mailbox the other day. Apparently, the pictures within were shot between 2005-7. (Hence the title.) So let’s take a look.

This is one of those publications that I pretty much had to review. Not because of my personal connection, but because it pushes the boundaries of what we’d call a book. The title is actually printed on the envelope, so even the packaging is a part of the production.

In that regard, it reminds me of something that TBW books might make. (As we learned from their publisher Paul Scheik, it’s the little details, done properly, that make all the difference.) It’s also note-worthy in that the pictures are really not that special, which is a subject we’ve highlighted of late as well.

Pull the tab to open the envelope, and you’re faced with some explanatory text. The war began in 2008. There are more than 80,000 deaths recorded since then. It has been a clusterfuck of tragic and enormous proportions.

Slide the plastic sleeve out of the envelope, and open that too, and there is a pile of smaller inserts, seemingly printed on newsprint. (Cheap to produce, and a built-in Marshall McLuhan reference to the old way news was disseminated, pre-Twitter.)

The first leaflet has text from a press conference in which President Felipe Calderon, who began the War, spoke directly to a heckler. There are pictures interspersed, and then stories. Poignant tales that make you feel something.

Kidnappings. Murder. Appropriation of property. All crimes that fester in the vacuum of Chaos.

There is a subsequent fold-out-poster with portraits, and text snippets that refer back to one of the previous stories. Then a faux-postcard. Then still more leaflets filled with the kind of empty, blurry photos, including soaring birds that make me think of vultures.

A few weeks ago, I critiqued another book for using the horror motif gratuitously. Here, it’s different. The pictures were made before-the-fact, but the production elements enable the pages to channel a certain type of emotional tenor, for a very particular reason. (You see people, you think ghosts.)

It’s almost Baroque, as the darkness that inspired the “book” drips back off the pages, taunting you to imagine what other people’s lives are like. Do you really want to know?

I’ll try to write something funny next week, as the last two reviews were a tad heavy. You know I like to keep the balance. But today, while it’s Summery, and hopefully you’re getting ready for a great weekend with your friends and family, maybe pour a little bit out for the homies now beyond.

Bottom Line: Innovative, experimental, and emotional “book” about the Mexican Drug War

To Purchase “Before The War” Visit: http://tienda.alejandrocartagena.com/product/before-the-war-2nd-edition/

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The Art of the Personal Project: Todd Selby

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As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects. A personal project is the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director/photo editor or graphic designer. This column features the personal projects of photographers who were nominated in LeBook’s Connections. Check out The Selby at http://www.lebook.com/selby-0

Today’s featured photographer is: Todd Selby

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How long have you been shooting?
I’ve been professionally shooting since 2001 but I have been taking photos my whole life.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I took a night class at SVA.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve always been interested in people in their spaces and thought it would be nice to do my own thing and get it out there.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I did it for the purpose of posting it online so I would say it took me 3 days or so to get my first post up.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I shoot what I’m interested in, and hope other people are interested as well.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Its cool when commercial work can push you in new directions.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes I do a lot of Instagram and Facebook.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I think it’s done well online and has been picked up by the press too.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I have published three books of my personal work (The Selby is in Your Place, Edible Selby and Fashionable Selby) and otherwise it’s mostly a digital affair.

Todd Selby is a photographer, director, author and illustrator. His project, The Selby, offers an insider’s view of creative individuals in their personal spaces with an artist’s eye for detail. The Selby began in June 2008 as a website where Todd posted photo shoots he did of his friends in their homes. Requests quickly began coming in daily from viewers all over the world who wanted their homes to be featured on the site.  The Selby’s website became so influential — with up to 100,000 unique visitors daily—that within months, top companies from around the world began asking to collaborate.

These projects have included ad campaigns and collaborations with Louis Vuitton, American Express, FENDI, Nike, Microsoft, Sony, Airbnb, Hennessy, Ikea, eBay, Heineken and a solo show and pop up shop at colette. Todd also has a monthly home column in The Observer Magazine, a monthly fashion column in Le Monde’s M Magazine and has frequently contributed to  Vogue, Architectural Digest France, Casa Brutus Japan and the New York Times T Magazine.

Todd’s first book, The Selby is In Your Place (April 2010) focuses on creative people such as authors, musicians, artists and designers in their homes and the second called Edible Selby (October 2012) focuses on the kitchens, gardens, homes and restaurants of the most dynamic figures in the culinary world. The third book in ‘The Selby’ series, Fashionable Selby, was published in March 2014 and explores the kaleidoscopic world of fashion, featuring profiles of today’s most interesting designers, stylists, haberdashers, models, shoemakers, and more.

Before working on this project full time Todd worked as a translator and Tijuana tour guide to the International Brotherhood of Machinists, a researcher into the California strawberry industry, a Costa Rican cartographer, a consultant on political corruption to a Mexican Senator, an art director at a venture capital firm, an exotic flower wholesaler, a Japanese clothing designer, and a vermicomposting entrepreneur. Todd currently lives in New York City. His pastimes include going to the airport, eating four square meals a day, breaking his computers, and working on his tan.


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 has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

Pricing & Negotiating: Environmental Portraits for a Regional Insurer

Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Environmental portraits of two small business owners/customers
Licensing: Regional Advertising (Print and Web) and Collateral use of four images for three years from shoot date
Location: Subjects’ businesses
Shoot Days: Two
Photographer: Established environmental portrait photographer, based in the Mid-West
Agency: Mid-sized, based on the West Coast
Client: Regional healthcare insurer

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: We’ve noticed the trend toward campaigns that highlight small business owners and entrepreneurs as of late. It’s not a new concept by any means, it’s just that we’ve estimated a flurry of projects leaning in that direction recently. Most of these projects seem to be geared towards highlighting business owners who are reaping the benefit of some valuable service or product that helps them manage the daily challenges of running their own business—products and services like software, banking, staffing, logistics and, as in this case, healthcare insurance.

For this one, the photographer was contacted by a smaller West Coast agency to estimate a more conceptual, stylized version of the typical small business owner/customer testimonial campaign, although we’d still be working with real people in/around their own businesses. The client wanted to walk away with two images of each of the two business owners: one shot would be stylized, and the other would be more authentic. The stylized version would be used for a specific ad campaign, while the authentic version would be used within the client’s various collateral channels. Even so, the agency was unwilling to negotiate different usage parameters for the different versions because of the remote possibility that either version could end up serving needs on both fronts.

When assessing licensing value, we typically start by setting the value of the first image for the first year of licensing, based on our previous experience pricing comparable concepts/clients/usage. In this case, we set the value of the first year of use for the stylized, campaign image at $3000-$4000, and the first year of use for the authentic, collateral version at $1000-$2000, or $4000-$6000 combined. Based on one of our many rules of thumb (that increasing usage duration from one year to three years doubles the licensing value – presuming a slowly diminishing value to the client) the licensing fee for three years of use would fall in the $8,000-$12,000 range for the first subject’s imagery. We also recognize that in some instances the first iteration of a campaign can often stand alone, meaning that the second version/subject/etc. of the campaign will add value, but not as much value as the first. Usually, subject variations will be helpful and can extend the life and reach of the campaign, but is it unlikely to double the life/reach, so we will often assess these secondary versions at a lower value. In this case, because of the nature of the client, relatively low level of production required (on our part) and all of the above mentioned factors, we decided to price this on the lowest end of the value range, $16,000. After pricing out the rest of the production and weighing the overall effective fee (including travel, prep, processing and equipment) we decided to tweak the number down just a bit further to $15,000, which allowed us to bring the bottom line into the $35,000 range.

Client Provisions: We made sure to indicate that the client/agency/subject would provide all necessary locations, casting, subjects, catering, staging areas, wardrobe, props and necessary releases.

Travel Days: The way that the locations and travel itinerary worked out, the photographer would be able to comfortably travel in and tech/scout a given location/subject on the same day. This helped minimize travel fees and expenses for the production.

Digital Tech: $500 covered the tech’s day rate, and she was willing to travel for half-rate. There was a few hundred bucks in the equipment budget to cover a laptop rental as well.

Assistants: Since the photographer would be bringing his trusted digital tech (who also jumps in as a photo assistant when needed) along with him, he was comfortable with hiring local assistants in each of the two cities.

Preproduction Days: Although a producer is usually necessary for a shoot like this, the client and agency would be facilitating/providing the lion’s share of the production elements, so we were able to forgo the on-site producer. We did include two days of preproduction time to cover either a freelance producer or the photographer’s time to hire the local crew and make travel arrangements.

Equipment: The photographer routinely travels to shoot editorial location portraits and has a lean but comprehensive kit of gear he flies with. However, because we could conceivably rent that same gear in each of the locations, we estimated as if we were renting gear locally, which would technically save a day of rental costs. He felt that $2000 for local rentals in each location would cover all necessary camera, grip and lighting gear he would need.

Styling: For the stylized shots, the agency was considering props to help exaggerate the concept. Because the specifics were still being determined, and the incorporation of props was up in the air in general, we didn’t want to unnecessarily inflate the bottom line (particularly after we decided to tweak our fees to keep the bottom line around $35,000). We opted instead to mark the props and styling as TBD. As for HMU and Wardrobe, we would be working with local stylists to ensure a genuine look with the real customers. We usually like to include some shop time and wardrobe budget to cover our bases, but the client was adamant about using the subjects’ own clothes for authenticity and promised to adequately prepare them and communicate our needs and expectations.

Processing: This covered the photographer’s time, equipment and costs for the initial import, edit, batch color correction and upload of the images to an FTP for client review and selection/editing, along with the final processing and delivery for each of four client selects. Retouching would be billed separately as requested.

Travel Expenses: We used kayak.com to determine suitable airfare and itinerary, lodging and car rental costs. We also included $60 per day per traveling crew member to cover meals and miscellaneous costs and added on $400 in buffer to help cover at least some of a big agency/client dinner and any other unforeseen expenses.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at (610) 260-0200. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

The Daily Edit: Triathlete: Matt Harbicht

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Triathlete Magazine

Art Director: Lisa Williams
Photo Editor: John David Becker
Graphic Designer: Olive Baker
Senior Editor/Writer: Jené Shaw
Photographer: Matt Harbicht

With such a big space and not much available light, what was your plan?
I knew we had enough lighting to really light up the corner with the track logo staring out.  We were shooting that setup with the idea that it would make a great double page opener if they ran the horizontal or a great vertical Table of Contents (which is where it ran).  The bulk of the spread was shot with the broadcast lights on during the track trials.  That gave us just enough light to shoot higher ISO handheld.  We also found a corner of the grandstands that would be tucked away from the rest of our shots where we could set up a small portrait studio for the rider profiles.

Is B/W a departure for the magazine? It works great with training images since the equipment and the kits are riddled with logos. Did you plan on BW the entire time?
I can’t remember seeing a full B&W story in Triathlete before.  I know that magazine has run B&W shots in the past, but nothing like this.  I thought it would definitely be a departure for the magazine, but I also thought it would be great if they ran with it.  B&W wasn’t my plan going into it, but it was a solution to our first setup.  Our first shots took place in the motion capture room and would involve having the riders on the bike trainer in a fairly small space.  Taking the time to light those shots would’ve interfered with what they were doing and just gotten the day off to a rough start.  I converted some of the first few shots to B&W and showed our Senior Editor/Writer Jené Shaw who was on set with us that day and emailed our Art Director Lisa Williams (who was back in the office) samples throughout the day so we were all on the same page.
I know you were a runner and now you’re into cycling. Is that why you were awarded the job?
Not originally.  I got this particular job because I had shot for the magazine in the past and their staff photographer (John David Becker) got really sick the day before the shoot.  They contacted me to fill in, because they already had a relationship with me and I was located near where the job had to be shot.  So my interest in cycling didn’t land me this job specifically.
Are you finding that it’s important to actually understand the culture of a specific sport in order to land an assignment?
I don’t know if it’s necessary, but it can’t hurt your chances.  I was told that I got one of my first jobs with Competitor Group, Inc (Triathlete’s Publisher) because they wanted someone with an endurance sport background to be able to talk shop with the athletes.  In the years since that first job I’ve become much more interested in cycling and triathlon because of my involvement with the magazine.  I think my interest and understanding of cycling helped me make better images for sure!  If you’re excited about what you are shooting, it shows!  In my case it helped me land that initial job and I think it’s great way to keep up relationships with the publications, especially specific sports markets like triathlon or running.
What do you think your excitement for road riding brought to the table?
Just that, excitement.  I love cycling and although I haven’t started measuring my watts on rides like the pro riders we had in the feature, I’m just excited to mix two loves of mine ie: photography and cycling.  I had never been to a Velodrome track let alone shoot on one so I was excited from the get go to be shooting in such a great location.
How long did the shoot take?
We had about 30 minutes per rider while they were tracking the bikes on the trainer, and then about 90 minutes so per rider while they were on the track.  It was enough time to get the shots we needed of them riding, but a lot of the story was about the techs at ERO figuring out what they could do to make the riders faster and more efficient.  We had a small side setup tucked out of the way to shoot rider portraits, so we got each rider for a few minutes as they were leaving.  From load-in to tail-lights we shot from 8am to 3:30-4ish.  I’m incredibly happy with the amount and variety of content we got in under a 10-hour day!
How many laps did they do until you got the perfect shot?
They would run in 3-4 laps per adjustment they made to the bikes or their kit so I would get one shot per lap.  All in all, I think we got 10-15 “keepers” per rider on our lit up corner shot.  We lit it in such a way that I could shoot it wide in profile, or straight on with a longer lens.  In some instances, I even had enough time to switch positions during a lap.  That way the magazine had some variation on the shots.
Who had the highest numbers of watts for the lap?
Honestly, I was so focused on getting our shot list and avoiding getting run over (I was laying down on the track really close to the riders for some of these shots) that I never found out!  I do know that Eric Lagerstrom won the Escape from Alcatraz Tri a month or so after his ERO test and fitting!

The Daily Promo: Ed Sozinho

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Who printed it?
I used Moo Printing for this promo piece.  There print quality and sizing were great.
Who designed it?
I have a background in design, so I was very comfortable with designing the piece.  The concept was to produce something that could be taken apart if someone wanted to pin an image to a board.  First and foremost the images had to be clear without distraction, all contact information is on the back of each print.  The clip board was the finishing touch to add protection and a second usable leave behind.
Who edited the piece?
I did the edit and then ran it by a couple of colleagues that I trust to see their reaction.  I found they all enjoyed the physical and tactile act of taking it apart and looking at the images.
How many did you make?
I ran less than 50 for this piece.  This was a very pointed piece to specific individuals.  It’s part of a rebranding and directional shift with my work.
How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send out email promos every month.  I believe it’s important to be front of mind with art directors and clients.  This is the first mailer I have sent out in a long time.  I feel like we are all getting burned out with everything insta- and a flash on the screen.  I found myself enjoying and studying images in print more than on the screen, that instinct told me it was time to try an old school approach.
Where did the clip board idea come from?
A good friend and I were having a bourbon as we do and talking about the piece.  He is a great builder and suggested we build something out of acrylic.  The very next day I went to Lost Luggage to get some supplies for my new printed portfolio, again old school, anyway I was waiting around and found these great pieces.  They are used for menus, I instantly recognized their double use as the promo piece and as a clip board.  It was important for me to make sure whatever I send out could be re-purposed.  The concept developed further with the mini photo of the clipboard with a note pad and asking to repurpose the board, I would hate to see those beautiful boards being wasted.
What’s the backstory to this idea?
I have been wanting to produce a personal series of images that I had running around in my head for a long time.  So I sat down with my sketch book and started getting them on paper.  I then used those sketches to start producing each shoot.  The concept of double lit images was integrated from the very beginning.  It was important for me to create texture and volume with the fill light and an authentic outdoor adventure with the since of place and gesture.  All the models were also wearing Patagonia clothes for a consistent thread of product placement.  These images are not what Patagonia would typically use, that wasn’t the point it was about creating a body of work that was personal in conception but commercial in application.  I created this lighting system using three Canon 600 speedlites with a big soft box mounted to a heavy steel arm.  It weights maybe 15 pounds and acts like a sail.  The first day of shooting with the fly fisherman we had 20 mph winds and my poor assistant almost went into the drink, I have since modified the design so it’s less like a sail.

 

This Week In Photography Books: Zun Lee

by Jonathan Blaustein

I just stormed into my bedroom in a huff. I didn’t exactly slam the door, but closed it demonstrably, and then turned the lock.
Obvious message: Do Not Disturb.

From whom was I fleeing? My beautiful family, of course. We’re well into Summer, by now, and the kids have been out of school for seven weeks. Which means we’ve all been together, seven days a week, since then.

(Primal scream!)

As I suspect you’ve surmised by now, I love my family more than anything. My two children, 7.5 and nearly 3, are fantastic human beings. Sugar and spice we call them. I could not love them more.

But everyone needs some space to think, much less write book reviews, and I’ve had little of either for quite some time now. It’s mostly a pleasure and a privilege, to spend so much quality time together, but there is an element of claustrophobia as well.

I’m a Jewish guy from a good background with a very solid education behind me. Despite the facial hair, and perhaps because of the lack of tattoos, I know I look the part of a doting middle-class father.

When people see me holding my daughter’s hand in the supermarket, they smile. When people see me cheering at my son’s soccer game, they nod in approval. When people see me walking down the street, alone, they don’t recoil in fear.

It’s a freedom that so many people in the United States lack. The ability to be out in public space, and not seem a Menace to Society. I don’t know what it is like to be African-American, or Latino, and I clearly never will.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not familiar with the impact of racism on the lives of men of color. Racism is an inescapable conversation in this nation at present, for good reason. #BlackLivesMatter

It’s quite the conundrum. The stories are everywhere, and impossible to avoid. And yet the experience of living in someone else’s skin- skin that doesn’t look the same color as mine- is something I will never know.

Thankfully, I just finished looking at Zun Lee’s book, “Father Figure,” recently published by Ceiba, and it’s been the catalyst of the musings above. Given how cleanly this production shows us something we haven’t really seen, I’m sure you’ll be interested in the photos below.

This is one of those books that seems to support all the advice I’ve tried to give out here of late. If you want to make something original, and perhaps important, you’ve got to start from your own lived experience. It has to be personal. And the more honest, the better.

Apparently, Zun Lee was raised in Germany, with an abusive father. He took comfort in the home of American GI’s stationed there, in particular with a changing roster of African-American families. They offered him the support and nurturing he lacked, and craved.

Fast forward many years, and Mr. Lee learned that his biological father was in fact an African-American, (who deserted his mother,) as opposed to the man who actually raised him. Quite the Mind-Fuck, I’m sure. It troubled him to feel like one more statistic with an absent Dad. One more piece of kindling on the conflagration of stereotype.

So he decided to use his photographic practice to learn more; to see for himself what “proper” loving African-American fathers looked like. To search out the type of environment he wished he’d had, and in the process, provide ample evidence that what we think we know is far from the complete story.

I like these pictures. They’re really well-made, but surprisingly, they didn’t touch my emotional core. My eyes never teared, and my breath never left my chest for long periods of time. I’m not sure why that is?

Could it be that I’m callous? Or that my lack of understanding for what these men’s lives are really like clouded my heartstrings? I don’t know, but I always like to check in and see what I’m feeling and why.

The book contains some excellent writing, in particular Mr. Lee’s opening essay, which overshadowed the brief piece by Teju Cole that preceded it. If you want to learn how to share your secrets with others, reading his story will give you a boost.

But there are also interview blurbs spread throughout, on pages opposite the photographs. Each was poignant, giving solid parenting advice that resonated deeply with my own acquired knowledge. It was Universal, I felt, and in a way undercut the notion that races are inherently and irrevocably different.

Even though we are, to a degree. I can wear a hoodie without being shot.

I’m not surprised these pictures are popular, nor that they’ve gotten support from major African-American photographers, and photojournalistic power-brokers. (Including my editors at the NYT, apparently.) This is the type of messaging that people are desperate to see, because it’s real, and it’s a giant, bony thumb in the eyes of the Fox News assholes who demonize men like this, 24/7.

This is an excellent book of solid photographs, showing us something we really ought to see. As such, I’m happy to highlight it, and would not be surprised if many of you wanted to buy it. The more people who see these pictures, the better.

To tie it back to this little run of reviews, in which I’m lecturing a tad more than normal, I’d also suggest that it’s an inspirational book. (Beyond the way you might think.) Most photographers don’t have the courage to use their art process to dig deep into their gaping wounds. It’s painful, and difficult.

But as the great Roger Ballen told my students this past Spring, the darkness is where the very best material resides.

Bottom Line: Excellent book examining the lives of loving, African-American fatherhood

To Purchase “Father Figure” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Trevor Reid

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. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Trevor Reid

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How long have you been shooting?
I have been shooting for 5 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
It depends on what skills we are talking about. I had a great photo teacher in high school and then attended RIT, both of which provided a solid conceptual and technical foundation. My assisting experience in New York City really taught me everything from large-scale production and lighting to talent management. I picked up business, marketing and personal skills on my own and of course learned a lot shooting for myself. I also had the opportunity to shoot side by side with one of my mentors for a few years, he taught me more than words can describe. You never stop learning, and there is so much to be learned from different people at different times.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
This was the third time I went down to shoot spring training in Scottsdale, AZ and I had previously noticed that most players and clubs are very generous with their time and access. Along with the desire to shoot something unique, I wanted to give the players something tangible after they gave me their time or I stole a moment. Polaroid just popped into my head and I always wanted to shoot with an SX-70. Every time I photographed a player for this series, I would shoot two frames and give them one to keep.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
Years?! Some things take time, others come together quickly. This one came together quickly. I was down in Scottsdale for three weeks and shot almost every day. By the end of the project I had around 350 Polaroids to myself for an edit. In today’s digital age, it seems like so few…but I think so much more when shooting film…and even more when shooting Polaroid. I have no doubt that I will continue to shoot Polaroid over the next several years and this project will continue to grow.

I have another personal project, USA Handmade that has been in the works for two and half years now. There’s a glimpse up online, and I’m excited for the project to continually evolve.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Honestly, I don’t really think about if its working on not. It’s a personal project, ultimately it needs to resonate with the person who created it, if it does, then it’s working.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
It feels great! When I do my personal work I’m not thinking about meeting my clients needs or looking to fill a gap in my book. I’m simply doing what I love to do in its purest form, taking pictures and trying to make beautiful images.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Nope, I need to do a better job of getting it out there; it’s also impossible to know what will go viral when or where.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Frequently! It’s a great way to get unpublished work out there for the world to see.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I have some special plans for printing this project, and USA Handmade.

Bio:
Trevor received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where he focused primarily on advertising photography and production. Trevor has been working in New York City and Boston for several years where he has established relationships with HBO, ESPN The Magazine, Titleist Golf, Men’s Health, and Boston Magazine, amongst other editorial and advertising clients. His work can be seen in several publications and advertisements nationwide.

Artist Statement:
The Polaroid project is an ongoing personal project by photographer Trevor Reid conceptualized to give back to the people who help create the moments Trevor captures. Each time Trevor photographs a person with his Polaroid SX-70 he shoots two Polaroids and gives one away to his subject. “In some ways, I feel guilty about capturing moments and feel the need to immediately give back. This project provides a way for me to do that.”


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 has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.