The Daily Edit – Wired: Benedict Redgrove

- - The Daily Edit





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Creative Director: Andrew Diprose
Director of Photography: Steve Pec
Deputy Director of Photography: Dalia Nassimi
Photographer: Benedict Redgrove


These never-before-seen photographs are part of an eight-year project that took photographer Benedict Redgrove deep inside three NASA facilities across the US. He uses Alpa MAX and 12 STC cameras, stitching together multiple images to create photographs with an epic quality. “I shoot about 40 images,” he explains, “then layer them to achieve the highest definition.” Redgrove’s project won’t be complete until 2018, but WIRED offered its readers an exclusive glimpse into his epic space journey in its 11.16 issue.

Was this photo essay presented to you by Benedict Redgrove with a six-year timeline in mind?
Benedict came to us when he was three years into the project – it was just a labor of love at that point. He got in touch with us in order to gain deeper access at NASA. He thought a bit of WIRED name-dropping might help, and it did – eventually. It took three years of negotiations, and about 400 emails, to get to this point.

What type of clearance was needed for such unprecedented access?
NASA is a bit like an onion – you peel off layer after layer. We encountered a lot of “We cannot help, you need to talk to so-and-so department” along the way. But the more Benedict shot, the more the various departments in NASA understood what we were trying to do, and the more doors opened to him. It was very much a case of finding the right person to talk to at each stage.

Where were the images taken?
Benedict gained access to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, Johnson in Houston and the Smithsonian in Virginia. Next up are the Lunar Lab and training facilities.

Six years is a quite a long time horizon. Was this difficult for the magazine to commit to?
Is it difficult to commit to an elaborate documentation of NASA technology by Benedict Redgrove? Absolutely not – we did not bat an eyelid. It didn’t matter how long it was going to take. We knew the results would be a groundbreaking body of work.

How long will this be a running theme within the magazine?
It’s running across 16 pages (on special paper) in our current issue, November 2016, and of course on We also have a photography exhibition planned at our annual WIRED conference in London on November 3-4, which will also have a Q&A with Benedict himself.

Future plans?
Benedict will conclude his work with the launch of SLS and Orion in 2018. After that, there are talks of a book and an expansive exhibition with virtually life-size prints!

NASA is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government, how did this end up in WIRED UK, and how much was published in the US version?
Interest in NASA is not restricted to the US – it has universal appeal. Benedict put it very nicely himself: “To me, there is no other organisation in the world that is more progressive, more exciting or stands more for the betterment of mankind and peace than Nasa. In my opinion, it’s the greatest institution in the world. It involves, science, art, design, engineering, manufacturing, passion, belief, education, information, creation and technology. It’s always moving forward, always seeking answers and finding them, then asking more questions. They educate us, inform us not only about the Universe but also about our planet, and pass down technologies into our everyday lives.”

This collaboration was solely with WIRED UK, but other international editions of WIRED are keen on running the story too. Watch this space.


The Daily Promo – Doug Human

- - The Daily Promo




Doug Human

Who printed it?

Newspaperclub of the UK.  They are a news bureau and they print traditional and digital on news print stock.  They have begun to introduce a cleaner/brighter stock to offer a snappier color and sharpness.  Still having the properties of newsprint.  I loved the alternative approach and giving modern images a throwback to something nostalgic or reminiscent of a slowly dying print industry (newspapers).

Who designed it?
Art Director and Designer Marek Hosek of Boulder CO.  He was an Chicagoan and moved out west a year or so ago.  A friend and colleague.  I went to him for guidance and an approach I would not think of.  Amazing talent and offered this format when I suggested I wanted to explore Newsprint.  He is a fantastic idea guy and I knew his collaboration would allow alternative process as well as unconventional ideas.

Who edited the images?
The editing (like my site) was done primarily by me and Marek.  I made a collection of product ideas and concepts to Marek and he suggested this layout and image selection.

How many did you make?
I went for the traditional “digital tabloid” @ 52gsm.  200 pcs @ 4 pages.  I’m in the process of creating another sample like it with different and new work.  Piece included a embossing stamp that we created to stamp at leisure on the piece, on envelopes and biz cards.  Also a rubber stamp of Doug Human Photo to add yet another stamp/design treatment.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This piece is first run of small series of promos.  I had it printed and by the time I had all of my design and mailing snafus taken care of, I didn’t begin sending until early this summer.  (Had an envelope printed and created; USPS suggested this as a no go in terms of mailing success because of placement of addresses and return).  Transitioned into a black envelope.  About every quarter or so and keeping enough on hand for leave behinds of which this has had more success.

Filter Photo Festival 2016 – Part 3

by Jonathan Blaustein

Allow me to gather my thoughts.

In the last month, as your emissary, I’ve been in Albuquerque, Chicago, Denver, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Albuquerque again, Los Angeles, and now San Diego.

In my 6.5 years writing for this blog, I’ve never had a travel schedule like that. My brain is like a gelatinous bowl of rice pudding, and I’ve still got a portfolio review to attend
in a few hours.

As such, I’m sitting at a hotel desk, listening to the white noise of the window-box air conditioner. Even though it’s mid-October, it was 90+ degrees in LA yesterday, and it’s meant to be a scorcher here in SD today as well. (Hola, Climate Change. Como estas?)

I wrote a column earlier this week, but it didn’t feel authentic to reality. I was trying to synopsize part of my journey, but it’s all too fresh. How can you look back on something when you’re still in it?

Take my morning run, for example. I just returned, and the sweat is still dense on my dirty black T-shirt. I was jogging down the sidewalk, minding my own business, when I saw a massive black cat sitting stock still on a postage-stamp lawn. That the home’s front porch was decorated for Halloween made his sentinel-pose all the stranger.

Next door, two puppies railed at their fence, presumably so they could harass the neighboring feline. On the same block, in front of an apartment building, strips of grass were cut into the parking spaces so that cars could sit atop a swath of green each night.

Who does that?

It’s a question that kept popping up last night, as I watched the final Presidential debate in a public auditorium at the Hammer Museum in LA. Surrounded by strangers, who treated political theater like the Jerry Springer show, I catcalled a few times myself.

Who does that?

The truth is, this has been a crazy month for the entire country. We all just want it to be over, but now the conclusion teases us with visions of skinheads pulling out their assault rifles to fuck shit up when their orange King loses the election.

Like I said, my mind is in that stream-of-consciousness state you get when you’re perpetually on the road. So perhaps I ought to pivot, like Hillary did, when she called Trump a Putin Puppet.

I laughed, like the rest of the room. I screamed out in disbelief, all the while realizing it really isn’t funny.

But pivot I will, to the last group of portfolios I saw at the Filter Festival in Chicago last month. I’ll try to gather myself to write a piece next week about the Chicago/NYC/LA triumvirate, and then we’ll be on to articles from the Medium Festival in San Diego soon enough.

As always, these portfolios are in no particular order. It is dude heavy today, but only because the first story was mostly ladies. (You know I’m big on keeping the balance.)

Jeff Philips has the distinction of doing the funniest karaoke bit I’ve ever heard. In fairness, I’ve only sang twice, but his riff on the Rapture last year was a bit of genius. This year, Jeff had a review with me, and I liked his new series photographing from within death metal mosh pits. (Better him than me.)











I didn’t actually meet Rachel Cox at Filter, though apparently we just missed each other several times. She followed up right after the festival to see if I’d take a look, and of course I loved her pictures about the end of her grandmother’s life. Sometimes, work needs a bit of context, (or actual text,) to make sense. Not so here. These photos are dynamite.








Alan Thomas had some large-format work shot in Calcutta. As he publishes books at the University of Chicago, I assumed he’d be a craftsman, and so he is. I thought these pictures shared an aesthetic with much I’ve seen in Hong Kong, or elsewhere in Asia, but capturing India this way was new to me. (They’re so well-made.)




















Ben Altman showed me a project that I’d first seen on Critical Mass last year. I wrote to him afterwards, as I was so impressed with the insanely-ambitious/batshit-crazy idea he had to dig a ceremonial mass grave in his own backyard.

No lie!

To make it even more ridiculous, he also built a faux guard tower. In his own backyard? With his own hands? It takes some massive balls to do a thing like that. I think the stark, black and white photographs of his installation are super-powerful as well. (I know there are a lot, but I think there’s a poetry to the long edit.)




















Cruising through the portfolio walk at Filter, I came across Max Cozzi’s prints. In a room filled with work, they jumped off the table. Max photographs in the Upper Midwest, and I thought his combination of color and clarity was extremely engaging.










Tom Wagner is a long-time photojournalist, and has photographed in North Korea many times before. I know it was a hot topic last year, photographically, but I like that these pictures have a bit of sparkle from a place I imagine to be rather grim.

photo copyright ©2016 tom wagner, all moral rights asserted

photo copyright ©2016 tom wagner, all moral rights asserted

photo copyright ©2016 tom wagner, all moral rights asserted

photo copyright ©2016 tom wagner, all moral rights asserted

photo copyright ©2016 tom wagner, all moral rights asserted

photo copyright ©2016 tom wagner, all moral rights asserted

Finally, I met up with Andre Avenessian, as we’d done a review together at Filter 2015. Back then, I told him his work was not nearly as visceral and engaging as the stories he was telling me. I challenged him to up his game.

On the last day of Filter, he busted out this group of new pictures, which he makes to approximate his vision of Hell. As in, the actual place. He is Armenian, and grew up in the Eastern Orthodox tradition of Christianity, so it as always felt real to him.

As Halloween is coming up, I think these freaky-ass pictures will be just right to end this series. (And yes, in case you’re wondering, I did hook him up with Rebecca Memoli. Scary-fetishes are best shared, I think.)






Hasta la vista, and wish me luck, as I’ve got miles to go before I sleep.

The Art of the Personal Project: Uwe Duettmann

- - Personal Project

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s Personal Project: Uwe Duettmann





For a long time, I’ve wanted to visit Burning Man. I love the location—the desert, the light there, the mood, the vastness, and how everything stands out against the landscape and becomes important. I’m also drawn to the culture of the festival, the idea of creating an open society where everybody accepts each other. And from a creative point of view, Burning Man is interesting to me because all of these magnificent people build incredible objects and art and machines just for the event.

Still, I had no real idea what to expect when I arrived, and I told myself to be open to whatever I saw. On the opening day, I took a bike ride on the playa, which is the big open dry lake where the installations are shown. I was completely overwhelmed by the sight of desert in combination with these extraordinarily interesting-looking people. It seemed like everything was floating around, constantly in motion. Even most of the vehicles were made by hand, and they made me smile because were so funny and unusual. Everything had a positive energy.

After two hours, I returned to the RV where I was staying, completely exhausted. It was all almost too much. I thought to myself that if I had to go out there again and try to photograph the people in costumes, the landscape, the vehicles, the objects—I would just puke. It felt like a constant flow of pictures.

So I decided to stay away from taking portraits and to just bike around and hang out at the playa and let my mood determine when I would take a picture. So most of the photos are taken from a distance. That’s just what felt right.

I went out before sunrise for three hours, then again at around 1 P.M. for a few hours, and then again at around 5 or 6 P.M., into the sunset and back again. At night, I always spent a few hours scoping out the mood of the playa, which was filled with illuminated people and objects.

When I returned home, I tried to interpret the photographs I’d take with my own distinct palette. The pictures I’ve seen of Burning Man are more documentary in style, and I wasn’t going for that with my project. I wanted to show the Burning Man mood.

To see more of this personal project, you can see it here:

More links to Uwe Deuttmann work


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 consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

Tim Tadder Interview

- - Working

Tim Tadder is an internationally acclaimed photographic artist. Most recognized for his highly inventive conceptual advertising photography Tadder has been ranked in the top 200 photographers worldwide by the prestigious Luezer Archive Magazine 8 years running. In 2015 Epson, the world leader in photographic printing technology recognized Tadder as one of the top influential photographers, producing a TV commercial and worldwide ad campaign featuring Tadder and his work.

Tim Tadder Steph Curry

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer? I grew up on the set of a commercial photographer in Baltimore, Maryland. I knew that I was fascinated with photography from an early age when I saw my father developing images for the first time in the darkroom. He had a black-and-white and a color darkroom in a small studio in Baltimore, and I used to watch him print pictures using an enlarger and chemicals. That was magical to me. I always thought it was amazing that you could re-create life from a camera and paper.

Tim Tadder Website

What was your path to becoming a professional photographer? I have a unique path to becoming a professional photographer. I was a high school teacher for five years, and during the summers I did mountaineering adventures. During those climbs, I would make images and host slideshows. People were really interested, and through the slideshows, I found that people liked the images that I created. I found I wasn’t a great teacher but that I really loved photography and so I decided to give it a try. I moved from South America where I was teaching and climbing to Baltimore where I grew up and had connections in the photography world. I decided I would see if I could make it for a year, mostly because that’s all the money I had saved. I worked out of my father’s studio in Baltimore but mostly for the local newspaper doing journalism while I was trying to learn the craft

Simone Bile Images

What formal schooling or training did you have in photography? After two years in Baltimore, I was really in love with photojournalism, so I decided to pursue a Masters Degree in photojournalism from the Ohio University School of Visual Communication. That program is amazing, and I highly recommend it. I learned so much in the short time that I was there not only about photojournalism but also about creating images that were capable of telling stories. I learned so much about visual communications while there. Truly so much of what we do in photography is at its very essence visual communication. Before I was aware of that, I was just making images that I thought looked interesting, but after the program, I started to make images that spoke and told stories. The resulting images were much more intelligent images, so to speak, and that process really helped me become a better photographer in a short period

Tim Tadder Website

Were your parents supportive of your desire to be an artist? Ironically my parents were not very supportive me at all. I think that my father was concerned I did not have the talent to make it as a photographer. I also think that he never really made a lot of money and I think he felt that money equated to success, and in some ways, he felt that I did not have tremendous talent, and thus would not “be successful”. There was a lot of clashing as to what I felt was a good photographer and what he saw as good or great. I can remember my mother delivering me the Help Wanted section with jobs that she thought I would like even though I was making great strides in photography. She continued to show me job openings that she thought would be great careers. I can remember her distinctly telling me that that there wasn’t any money in photography and that you couldn’t make a living as a photographer anymore but I didn’t care. I just wanted to make images, and I wasn’t concerned about money. I was working for peanuts as a photojournalist, and I was really in love with photography. I will say, though, that my father is super proud of me at this point and I think that he honestly just wanted the best for me and realized how competitive and how difficult it is to succeed in this industry. The reality is, that if you love something and that you are passionate about it I think in America you can succeed

Tim Tadder Las Muertas

Do you remember your first published image and how it felt when it first appeared? Not really, I don’t think that I was all that enamored with having a published image define me as a photographer. Ink on paper does not a photographer make. But rather the communicative value of the image. I can remember the first image I made that truly moved people and how that made me feel. I think that was always more important to me, making an image that people reacted to. I can remember getting many emails from viewers responding to how much the image moved them. From all over the world it was a powerful image, and I knew at that point in time I had important skills.

Tim Tadder Cross Fit

You shoot both stills and video. Are you more passionate about one medium over the other? I prefer stills for sure. I like the less is more approach, and with motion, it just takes more people more equipment more blah blah blah…I hate the fat in motion productions. Give me a camera and a lens, and I’ll make it happen, motion you need all kinds of stuff to do commercial work.

Tim Tadder New Work

After all this time, what still makes you passionate about the visual arts?I think how freaking hard it is to make images that move people. Truly to make a great image, it’s very hard and takes a lot of things to go right. Sure if you are a photojournalist you can get lucky, but normally it takes a huge investment of time, energy, people, etc. Greatness comes from the communicative collaboration of energy revealing itself in the well-crafted moment. That elusive search for perfection makes me passionate. If it was easy, I think I would be over it by now. Knowing that I have not done my bet work yet keeps me grinding. I will not stop until my impact is undeniable and that’s the passion.

Tim Tadder Sports

You seem to have so much creative energy in all your work. How do come up with the concepts for your projects? I consume imagery, from TV to movies to art and Instagram, I consume and consume, and I get inspired by what I see but more importantly what I do not see. I try to find voids. I try to find things that have not been visualized. Bringing new visuals to life no matter how absurd or different is a great challenge in our world today. It’s hard to have a visual impact with so much noise. So I try to fill the empty spots with something new.

Tim Tadder Website

When you go into a shoot do you have a detailed vision for the finished project or does it tend to be a collaboration with the subject to determine the result? Always. I am a great pre-visualizer. I know exactly what I want when I go into every shoot, but often I fall short. It’s one thing to see it in your mind’s eye, but it’s quite another to capture it. That’s the illusive search for perfection. We know what we want, but it is sure hard to get it. That’s search is what keeps me passionate. I can feel though that the more I do this, the more my mind and my visions are aligning…so maybe I am getting closer. I do feel I am much much better than I’ve ever been.

Tim Tadder Website CGI

Many photographers take full credit for the finished product from a shoot, but you are quick to point out that without your “team” your success wouldn’t be possible. How large is your team, how did you build the team and how much collaboration is done with this group? I think when you start it’s a very big ego thing. However, as you gain knowledge and wisdom you begin to look around and realize that individually you can only accomplish small things, but collectively you can accomplish great things. True impact comes from people that can harness the collective spirit of passionate individuals and align that energy towards a defined goal. I saw this in the people around me and when I grew up and left my ego behind, I realized that I was only as good as the weakest link on my team. I realized that the people around me love what they were doing and that I needed to embrace not only their passions but honor their contributions. That’s when it all clicked. I can’t do what I do without the support of others. No way. I love them, and I hope they love me because they make everything possible. My core crew is excellent. They are the best, and I will put them up against anyone. My normal team is made up of a first assistant that has been with me for ten years, my producer, our production coordinator, stylist, hair and makeup (sometimes two people) and a gaggle of other freelancers that contribute. The productions swell when needed, by my core is four.

Tim Tadder Website Water Wigs

On average, how much of the finished product that we see in images on your website is done in camera versus in CGI or post production? That goes from zero to a lot. There is much of my work that is captured in camera and sometimes quite a lot of post. I would say what you see is 75 percent in camera, truly only what you see in the CGI section of my website is CGI. Yes there are composites here and there, but I find the less time in the post the better the image. Less is more.

Tim Tadder reflection of Cam Newton

How many man hours went into your Tecate Calendar project including the building of props, the shoot, and CGI/post? Now that project was very very CGI and post heavy. But my favorite image in that collection was all captured on camera (The Gemini Twins shot below), so the key is to mix everything so the audience can’t quite put their finger on it..there is a great Behind the Scenes video ( on my site that really shows how this was done. That shoot was huge, and I spent weeks in Pre-production on it. The wardrobe was custom stitched, the CGI sets crafted before the shoot, the animals cast, and the cast was pulled from all over the globe. That shoot was a mission…I would say three weeks solid of pre-production and four weeks in post…but it’s unique and quite amazing. Of course, you only see what was selected by the client and how hey wanted it to sell beer, but the images I love are far more subtle, but that does not sell beer.

Tim Tadder Tecate Zodiac

Of all the athletes you have shot over the years, which one(s) would you say brought the most personality to the shoot? That’s too difficult to answer. There are so many levels of shoot energy, and sometimes the creative requires more personality than others. I will tell you Cam Newton was spectacular as a comedian and told the most jokes. Simone Biles was spectacular and amazing. But there have been so many. I love when I shoot athletes year after year sometimes for the same client sometimes for other clients, but they remember me. Sometimes they greet me with big hugs, and I feel like an old friend. That’s always surprising. I guess they liked the images.

Tim Tadder Website

Your personal projects are amazing. What inspired your Bella Umbrella project? Was that project as messy to shoot as it looks? This project was inspired by things I saw on Instagram. I had been following this LA street artist, and he did all this rad stuff with military smoke bombs. I wanted to do something with him, but he is really dark and quite theatrical. Then I saw this image with smoke and a vintage umbrella in a forest and thought that if I could simplify and elevate the elegance that I would have a beautiful collection of images. The project was a mess and destroyed some expensive vintage clothing. I think it looks easier than it actually was. We took the smoke bombs and taped them to the umbrellas, but when the umbrellas caught fire and the clothes burned, I had to take another approach. So some of these were in camera, and some were composites of smoke plates and the talent. The stylist freaked out and I freaked because I did not want to hurt anyone but we decided we could make happen without any risk.

Tim Tadder Bella Umbrella project

What piece of camera equipment can you not live without? Hmmm, I don’t really have a piece of camera equipment I can’t live without. I don’t believe the tools make the image I believe that the concept, thought, idea the passion make the image. The camera and lens are no more part of the process than a burner on a stove is to a chef.  A chef can make a meal with any type of stove, just as a photographer make can make an image with any type of camera.

Tim Tadder Website

From the behind the scenes video’s on your website, it looks like you have fun on the set when shooting. Do you find that keeping things fun puts people at ease and allows them to open up? Always. It’s a blessing and an honor to do what we do. It’s fun, but it’s really important to do a good job because people’s careers are at stake. We really must remember that we are doing something that is amazing, creative and fun. back in the day I used to get all worked up, but that never helped. It never makes a better image, so let’s make it easy and let’s make it fun so that people leave with a good taste in their mouth.

Tim Tadder Badasses on White

What does the perfect Tim Tadder day look like? Making pancakes for my kids, creating some amazing images that make people go “holy shit”, having dinner with my family and watching the Ravens beat the crap out of the Steelers on Monday Night Football.

What advice do you have for aspiring photographers looking to enter this ultra-competitive industry? You better absolutely love, love, love creating images. You must be willing to work 20 hours a day for years and years. You must be willing to lay it all on the line and never give up. You must have to have a thick skin, a really thick skin, and not be deterred by failure. You have to be willing to make thousands of mistakes and keep making them until you get it right. You have to be willing to produce new work always and you need to be planning your personal work all the time. It’s never ending even for me. You can never take the foot off the gas. If your not willing to do that, then it might not be for you.

Tim Tadder Conept

If you weren’t a professional photographer what would you be doing? I’d run for President, seems like not a lot of people want that job these days.

This post is sponsored by: photofolio-io

Why did you choose Photo Folio for your website? I think the system is simple and presents my work in a clean and clear way. Clients can get right to the point. All I want is for my images to speak to the audience with nothing else getting in the way. The content management system is great and makes creating edits super easy.

Many of the world’s top photographers, like TimTadder, showcase their work with a website from PHOTO FOLIO . Isn’t it time you put the power of PHOTO FOLIO to work for you?

The Daily Edit – Fortune: Michael Clinard

- - The Daily Edit







Creative Director: Paul Martinez
Director of Photography: Mia Diehl
Photo Editors: Armin Harris, Michele Taylor
Art Directors: Mike Solita, Peter Herbert, Josue Evilla, Christine Bower-Wright
Retouching and Post-Production: Zach Vitale
Photographer: Michael Clinard

Heidi: How did this come about?
Michael: I met the assigning photo editor, Armin Harris, six years ago at a portfolio event in Manhattan. It took that long to get an email back in May from him asking as to my interest in shooting a feature for their annual 500 issue on Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie and the cloud services division he oversees.

Did you pitch the 500 cover idea or did you have the assignment and the magazine wanted to see what you could come up with?
Neither. Having already shot the portrait component a week earlier at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, I wasn’t really thinking a server room could be jazzed up all that much because it’s kind of ”blah” subject matter. I’m typically sketching before shoots, but I didn’t know the server facility was being considered for the cover until Armin gave me an “extra credit” assignment the evening before leaving for Quincy, Washington.

Because the magazine publishes what they call under covers — takeoffs on a Fortune 500 cover highlighting other companies featured in the list — he asked I look for details that I could later recontextualize in post. To this end, I thought the best I’d do is some retro-futuristic version of the numeral in glowing, server lights or big, puffy clouds to play on the cloud storage idea.


Did you have to get any special clearance to get inside this room to shoot?
Absolutely, NDAs and special concessions were being shared in the week leading up to the Quincy shoot. Additionally, I was asked to drastically reduce the amount of gear and flash units I’d typically bring in, so I got my kit down to a few heads, some niche grip items and Hasselblad’s tilt shift adapter because there were specific elements (clouds, cords, blinking lights) that I wanted to utilize to help tell this story.

Did they disable the servers?
Ha ha! No, I wish we’d been given the time to create the image fully in-camera, but I only had a couple hours to shoot multiple locations. I should note that I was given a folder of scouting pics to study before the shoot, so the only big allowance was that I was given a ten minute window to shoot in complete darkness to create the long-exposure image that opened the article.
This blue and green image was created in-camera?
Yes, it’s a 16 second exposure balanced with off-camera strobe. It is the style and direction I’d intended to take the cover since laying the number 500 in the shadows of the composition seemed doable. It was imperative I left the facility with enough image assets to create the final cover magic conjured in my sketches.


Was there a discussion about which typeface the number 500 would take?
Yes, font and typeface was very important. At one point, we entertained a big loopy five, but Armin shared a number of Fortune 500 covers throughout the years to help the entire team hone in on the best direction. In the end, we enjoyed the idea that the viewer might need do a double take to notice anything out of the ordinary, so our representation method mimicked the orderly presentation of wires and cables already evident on the server arrays.

How long did it take to create the final cover composite once the direction was chosen?
With retouching by Zach Vitale and under the esteemed direction of Mr. Harris, we delivered the final composite in a few days. A tremendous honor and privilege to execute, the image ran as both the international cover and national TOC page back in mid-June.

The Daily Promo: Alison Conklin

- - The Daily Promo









Alison Conklin

Who printed it?  
Blurb printed the promo piece. What is nice about this is that you can order as many or as little copies as you need and then of course reorder without any sort of minimum requirement.

Who designed it?
The talented group over at Curious & Company – I had a great time working with them.

Who edited the images?  
I edit all of my own images as far as color and touch-ups. For this promo I gave the designers a collection of my favorite images with notes on which ones I really wanted to be highlighted in the book and they curated what went on the pages.

How many did you make?
I made 100. I have mailed about half and the rest I hand out to perspective clients in person when we have our initial meeting.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This year I have sent out two. The first promo I made in 2016 was an editorial one focusing on my food and portrait photography and then I decided to make this one which featured my wedding photography work.

I loved the concept of using popular song names with the photos. I thought it was sort of a whimsical combination and perfect for the collection of work I was featuring. Another piece of this promo that I love is the mailing label. I wanted it to stand out right away if you were sorting through your mail and I think it achieves that. I used one of the images that Palm Press turned into a greeting card in their 2016 Wedding line for my personal note; I thought it was a fun fit.

Filter Photo Festival 2016 – Part 2

- - From The Field

by Jonathan Blaustein

This semester, I’ve got a few students who are into horror. (The genre.) They don’t like actual horror, of course, but prefer to simulate the emotions through entertainment.

Personally, I don’t get it. Back in my early 20’s, I watched a few of the “Scream” films, but after “The Blair Witch Project,” I swore that shit off forever.

Lots of people love the experience of being scared to death, but I don’t understand the impulse.

Weird stuff, I appreciate. By now you know this, as I’ve shown any number of edgy portfolios over the last 5 years. Kooky, odd, discomfiting, strange, I can handle.

But the outright grotesque? Joel-Peter Witkin? There, I draw the line. In fact, I skipped his lecture at the Filter Photo Festival, when I was in Chicago, because I have enough of his images stuck in my head, thank you very much.

So with that as background, as I stood in front of photographer Rebecca Memoli at the tail end of the portfolio walk at Filter, at 10pm on a Saturday, I had little patience for being scared.

Next to none.

I reviewed Rebecca’s work at Filter last year, and then exhibited a few of her prints at the college gallery I was running at UNM-Taos. She had delicate flowers in hand-made vases of meat. The juxtaposition was engaging, and the students loved it.

But after Rebecca showed me a scary-monster picture the other week, when I was moments away from retiring to bed, I was a little put-off. It wasn’t that nasty, the picture, but my over-tired brain needed to shut down, not absorb DARK FORCES OF EVIL.

I politely told Rebecca I was done for the night, but she demurred, holding a red shoe box. (The following quotes are a paraphrase. It’s pretty damn close to what she said, but I’m writing it this way for narrative effect.)

“Don’t you want to see what’s in this box,” she asked?

“No. No, I don’t.”

“Sure you do,” she replied, and then she shook the box. Shake, shake, shake.

“No, I really don’t.”

“Yes, you do.” Shake, shake, shake.

“Listen, I really need to go to bed. I’m exhausted. I’ve seen 30 portfolios today. I’m done. And after that last monster picture, I really don’t need anything else like that in my head. No thank you.”

“I think you do.” Shake, shake, shake.

“I’m going to get rude here in a minute. I’m trying to be polite, but you’re making me a bit angry.”

Shake, shake, shake.

“I don’t want to see anything scary. Disturbing I can probably handle.”

Shake, shake, shake.

“Fine, give it over then. I’ll look, and then I’m leaving,” I said.

She handed over the box. Apparently, the “art” story is that they’re found materials, but since I know her, she admitted that it was all staged, and that the rabbit-woman was done up in professional makeup.

The rabbit-woman?

Now, my kids’ favorite movie is Wallace and Gromit’s “The Curse of the Were-Rabbit,” so I’m not offended by the idea of a human-bunny hybrid. But the set of 5 Polaroids I saw were like nothing I’ve seen before. (That will always get you written about.)

The rabbit-woman was on all fours, on a bed, with her ass popped up like she had just had rabbit coitus. In at least one version, the makeup smeared in her butt-crack to simulate blood was Just. Too. Much.

Those pictures burned into my retinas, as I was afraid they would. But Rebecca was right. It’s not a scary picture. Just depraved and wrong. (The so-wrong-it’s-right kind of wrong.)

Rob and I agreed that it was too NSFW to publish, but we’re OK with linking to it on her website. Right here. But be warned. If you are disgusted by the idea of a sexed-up rabbit-woman, then just keep on reading the article.

There were plenty of other artists to write about at Filter, and it was exciting to see so many different styles of photography.

John Steck, Jr was a Chicago photographer friendly with the Filter crew, and like Victor Yañez-Lascano last year, multiple people told me I had to see John’s work. He exposes photo paper in the sun, never drops it in chemistry, and then lets the resulting images fade away into nothing.

Unlike the Phil Chang project I wrote about earlier this summer, you’re not looking at straight black paper. Rather, we see colors and haunting imagery shimmer as they fade. Gorgeous stuff, without a doubt.











Lois Bielefeld showed me 3 projects that all had a conceptual hook. The first was actually portraits of families eating weeknight dinner in their homes. (M-Thurs only.) I thought the work was good, but not perfectly resolved in execution or concept. The last project I saw, in which she accompanies people on evening walks, was the best. They’re very cool images.










Stephanie Brunia had a couple of projects that had a nice blend of absurdity and pathos. In one, she mashes her body up against an ex-beau. The other, which focuses on her aging father, seemed to push in two directions at once. (Funny and earnest) I’m curious to see where she’ll take it.









Eva Kelety had the distinction of showing me pictures that I was not kind about in person, but like rabbit-woman, they stuck in my head after the fact. Eva, who is from Vienna, was shooting urban-scapes. I felt the style was a bit derivative, though I did complement her exceptional grayscale—rendered-in-color palette.

Right before I saw the rabbit-woman, Eva showed me a little booklet that had a different edit than the portfolio she showed me at the review table. It made more sense, and then the images stayed with me, so hopefully you’ll like them as well.








Finally, Daniel McInnis brought a set of tack-sharp portraits made of creative-types. I thought the work was good, and certainly the technique was strong. (Though I recommended he push the drama with some of his lighting.) He’s currently beginning a project looking at Syrian refugees re-settled in Ohio, and I think he might have something great on his hands.










That’s it for today. We’ll have one more set of Filter portfolios, and then I’ll have some thoughts from my trip to NYC. LA and San Diego are up next week, so lots of juicy content ahead throughout the Fall.

The Art of the Personal Project: Art Streiber

- - Personal Project

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

In revising the Art of the Personal Project, I am pleased to present the personal work of Art Streiber. Thank you to Bill Stockland and Art for taking the time in their busy schedules to speak with me. I chose Art because his site shows the work he gets hired for, while the Stockland Martel blog gives him a forum for his personal work. To see Art’s website, please go to If you would like to hear Art speak, visit the calendar on his website for upcoming events. For example, he is speaking tonight, Thursday, Oct. 13th, in the Los Angeles area and this year at PDN’s PhotoExpo Plus in New York City.

The Farmer’s Market





In our foodie/farm-to-table culture, shopping at big-city farmer’s markets has practically become a religious experience. Devout attendees make a weekly pilgrimage to their neighborhood market in order to buy the freshest, most organic fruits, vegetables, dairy and poultry (and honey and nuts and flowers) available.

And the farmers themselves are just as devoted…not only tilling the soil but then bringing their products to market, often hours and hours away from their farms.

It was this devotion that drew me to photographing a series of these farmer/vendors at a few markets in West Los Angeles.

As an unlicensed, uncertified, amateur sociologist, I am very interested in subcultures…groups of people who are dedicated to a cause, a hobby or a lifestyle. Their focus and steadfastness are fascinating.

My intention with this series was to capture the farmer/vendors as naturally as possible with their wares—essentially an elevated snapshot. No frills. Yes, I did light my subjects in order to balance the light under their pop-up tents, but they are lit in a way that doesn’t make them look like there is any lighting involved.

Unlike my commissioned work, this series, and my other personal series, allowed me to work unfettered by any requirements other than my own, enabled me to explore a simplified technical approach to my portraiture and reinforced what I already knew to be true: that making someone’s portrait is about connecting with them, hearing their story and being empathetic and interested.

Dogs and Their Owners





For his latest personal portrait series, Art Streiber ventured into fur-tile territory: dogs and their owners.
“Dogs fascinate me,” he says.
“I am intrigued by how we anthropomorphize dogs, attributing all kinds of emotions and personality traits to our pets:
‘He’s just shy.’
‘She loves people.’
‘He hates the cold weather.’
And, of course, I’m guilty of doing the exact same thing with my dog, Jones.
My brother is a vet in Southern California, and on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of his practice he asked me if I would do portraits of his clients and their pets.
So my crew and I set up a black tent in his parking lot on a chilly spring morning so that we could capture the attendees and their canine companions at my brother’s anniversary bash.
What struck me as soon as the first owner and his pet walked into our tent was the ‘personality’ of the dog and how it was a reflection of the personality of the owner. On a lark, I cropped the head of the owner out of the photo, relying on the face of the dog to tell the story of the relationship between the pet and the owner.
All of the dogs are leashed or attached to their owners, but many seem to be striking out on their own, while others stay close.
There’s no question that the physicality, clothing, and posture of the owners are indicative of that relationship as well, but it’s the look of the dogs as they stare directly into the camera that carry the portraits.”
Below, highlights from Art’s portrait session at El Segundo Animal Hospital, where his brother Andrew Streiber DVM/Family practices…

Dogs and their owners: a new portrait series by Art Streiber

The Prom





“Going to the prom in 2016 has changed in so many ways since I went to the prom in the early 1980s,” observes Art, “and yet, many aspects are exactly the same. Most of the kids are still awkward with their prom dates, unsure of themselves and the ‘relationship’ they’ve created for this special, once-a-year, dress-up party. The boys still want to look suave and debonaire, and the girls still want to be seen as uniquely pretty while fitting in with how all of their friends look. Teenagers, all these years later, are still teenagers, and as an amateur sociologist, I am fascinated.”

Los Angeles prom-goers are the focus of portrait photographer Art Streiber’s new personal project


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 consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

Pricing & Negotiating: Brand Imagery for a Premium Liquor Brand

Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Environmental product shots

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 25 images for three years from first use

Location: On location in Southern California

Shoot Days: 2

Photographer: Food and beverage specialist based in Southern California

Agency: N/A – Client direct

Client: A premium liquor brand

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing:  A premium liquor brand recently requested a bid from one of our Southern California-based food/beverage specialists. They were looking to produce a shoot supporting an upcoming rebranding effort to update product photography for one of their premium lines. The concept was fairly straight-forward—shoot a variety of environmental still life images of the line of products accompanied by various cocktails. Most of the shots would also incorporate the brand’s in-house mixologist as a background element, mixing or serving the cocktails. To maintain continuity, they hoped all of the shots would be captured at the same location, one that offered a handful of compositional options to allow for variety while maintaining a consistent look/tone. The shot list called for 25 images, which was really only 4 setups, and included 6-7 variations in each. Some shots were product only; others included cocktails and/or the mixologist element. The detailed shot list, limited setups, relatively simple recipes and relatively fast-paced photographer allowed us to estimate this as a two day shoot.

Although the licensing wasn’t/couldn’t be restricted in any way in the language of the agreement, it was made clear that these images weren’t intended for campaign use (the client’s ad agency produced those images/campaigns separately). The images would be used mostly for trade purposes—ads in trade journals, trade show materials, and the occasional web ad. Also, the shot list broke down into two categories—universal product shots (heroes) and variations of each of those with different cocktails (variations). The value was clearly weighted in favor of the hero shots so we priced the licensing accordingly. We set the fee for the first four images (heroes) at 2500.00 each and the variations at approximately 750.00 each. Since each of the first four images was unique to a product line, we couldn’t justify any real decrease in fees from image 1 to image 4, and since the variations were variations in the truest sense, but each independent from the next, the value dropped, and plateaued, quickly.

Client Provisions: We were sure to note exactly what we expected the client to provide: the mixologist, product, recipes and product/technical advisors.

Tech/Scout Days: We included one tech/scout day to walk through the selected location with the creative team to determine compositions and block out the schedule.

Producer and Production Assistant: With as many production elements as this project had, a producer was necessary. We included a producer to manage the production, start to finish, so the photographer and client could focus on the creative during the shoot. We added a PA as well to help out with odds and ends and coffee runs throughout the production.

Assistants & Techs: We estimated for a first assistant to sort gear, attend the tech/scout and manage lighting/gear during the shoot. We also included a digital tech (with a workstation) and a second assistant on the shoot days as well.

Equipment: We estimated 2000.00/day for a medium format system, backup DSLR system, a handful of lenses, lighting and grip equipment. This enabled our first assistant to pick up and test gear prior to the tech/scout day and allowed the photographer to tech/scout with the camera system she intended to shoot with.

Location Scout/Fees: We allotted for three days of scouting to find our bar location and one day for the tech/scout. We budgeted 2500.00/day for location fees which would allow us a pretty deep pool of options to choose from, particularly since we were shooting early in the day during off/closed hours (mostly).

Styling: We included a full styling team: a prop stylist to style the location, manage product and source/manage glassware & barware; a wardrobe and hair & makeup stylist to style our mixologist talent; and a beverage stylist and assistant to manage the cocktails. We estimated the props and wardrobe stylists would each need two days to shop and one day to return.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: This covered the time of the initial edit, color correction and upload of the first edit to an FTP for client review and final image selection.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: We included basic color correction and touchups as a lump sum (based on 75.00/image in this case), which protects the fee in the event the client ultimately selects fewer than 25 images.

Retouching and File Transfer: Product photography almost always calls for retouching over and above basic file processing. We included 25 hours of retouching to manage more detailed processing and client requests. We also included the cost to purchase two hard drives and the shipping of one of those drives (containing all hi-res processed selects) to the client.

Catering, Insurance, Miles, Meals, Misc.: Catering covered hot breakfast, lunch, coffee, drinks and craft/snacks for up to 20 people for both shoot days. We also included an insurance line to cover workman’s comp. premiums and a prorated portion of the annual production insurance premium (which often scales based on total annual production costs). Finally, we estimated a healthy miscellaneous line to cover local transportation and any other unexpected expenses that may pop up throughout the production.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and after a series of small overage approvals (due to a change in scope), we added additional prop stylist days, a prop assistant and bumped up the prop budget which pushed the bottom line on the final invoice up close to 95k.

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 shoot me an email. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

The Daily Edit – National Geographic Magazine: Ami Vitale

- - The Daily Edit

Please read the entire story here.

Photograph by Ami Vitale Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a wild enclosure at a conservation center in Wolong Nature Reserve. Her name, whose characters represent Japan and China, celebrates the friendship between the two nations. Ye Ye’s cub Hua Yan (Pretty Girl) is being trained for release into the wild.

Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a wild enclosure at a conservation center in Wolong Nature Reserve. Her name, whose characters represent Japan and China, celebrates the friendship between the two nations. Ye Ye’s cub Hua Yan (Pretty Girl) is being trained for release into the wild. © Ami Vitale / National Geographic

Photograph by Ami Vitale Zhang Hemin—“Papa Panda” to his staff—poses with cubs born in 2015 at Bifengxia Panda Base. “Some local people say giant pandas have magic powers,” says Zhang, who directs many of China’s panda conservation efforts. “To me, they simply represent beauty and peace.

Zhang Hemin—“Papa Panda” to his staff—poses with cubs born in 2015 at Bifengxia Panda Base. “Some local people say giant pandas have magic powers,” says Zhang, who directs many of China’s panda conservation efforts. “To me, they simply represent beauty and peace.” © Ami Vitale / National Geographic

Photography by Ami Vitale Is a panda cub fooled by a panda suit? That’s the hope at Wolong’s Hetaoping center, where captive-bred bears training for life in the wild are kept relatively sheltered from human contact, even during a rare hands-on checkup.

Is a panda cub fooled by a panda suit? That’s the hope at Wolong’s Hetaoping center, where captive-bred bears training for life in the wild are kept relatively sheltered from human contact, even during a rare hands-on checkup. © Ami Vitale / National Geographic

Photograph by Ami Vitale Wolong Reserve keepers transport Hua Jiao (Delicate Beauty) for a health check before she nishes “wild training.” The habitat also protects red pandas, pheasant, tufted deer, and other species that bene t from giant panda conservation.

Wolong Reserve keepers transport Hua Jiao (Delicate Beauty) for a health check before she nishes “wild training.” The habitat also protects red pandas, pheasant, tufted deer, and other species that bene t from giant panda conservation. © Ami Vitale / National Geographic

Photograph by Ami Vitale In a large forested enclosure of the Wolong Reserve, panda keepers Ma Li and Liu Xiaoqiang listen for radio signals from a collared panda training to be released to the wild. Tracking can tell them how the cub is faring in the rougher terrain up the mountain.

In a large forested enclosure of the Wolong Reserve, panda keepers Ma Li and Liu Xiaoqiang listen for radio signals from a collared panda training to be released to the wild. Tracking can tell them how the cub is faring in the rougher terrain up the mountain. © Ami Vitale / National Geographic



National Geographic Magazine

Director of Photography: Sarah Leen
Creative Director: 
Emmett Smith
Print Designer: 
Hannah Tak
Photo Editor: 
Sadie Quarrier 
Photographer: Ami Vitale

Heidi: How did you find yourself shooting people in panda suits raising captive babies at the Wolong center of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda?
Ami: I was part of a film team that came in 2013 for PBS/NatGeo production. Realized what an extraordinary story this was and pitched it to National Geographic Magazine once I got access to it.

Were there any unique challenges and how did you overcome them?
Many challenges. First, I had to pitch a story and convince editors that I could make it unique and different from what was already done. They had published a story on pandas about 7 or 8 years earlier so my job was figuring out what would be special about this story. Also, these are tiny, fragile creatures and the keepers were quite stressed about their health and safety. I had to work around these concerns and was not allowed to use flash so there were technical issues that needed to be solved including flickering fluorescent lights. It means you have to shoot at 30th of a second to avoid having lines going through every image. Pandas make quick rapid movements so coming away with a sharp and compelling image was harder than it might seem. Plus they are solitary creatures who like to hide in the thick bamboo or high up in the treetops when they are young.

I understood from reading the story that bears being trained to live in the semi wild must not get used seeing humans. Did you wear a panda suit too?
Yes! of course. the best part!

What did it smell like, the suit? 
They scent the panda suits with urine but wasn’t too bad because pandas are mostly vegetarian. They smelled more like wet puppies or bamboo.


You’ve had a wide range of experiences, how did this one strike or move you as a photographer?
I was constantly thinking how incredibly privileged it was to be there!! Still can’t believe it and miss them every day!

In your motion work on this piece, Papa Panda describes falling in love with the baby panda’s as if they were your own children, did you share that same sentiment of falling in love?
How can you not fall in love with them. I died of cuteness overload many times over.

How long were you there?
5 visits over the course of 3 years.

Did you have to get any special shots to spend time with the pandas?
No special shots but we were careful, especially around baby pandas. We wore masks, disinfected hands and shoes every time entering new space.

Filter Photo Festival 2016- Part 1

I’m still recovering from my trip to Chicago, yet I’m off to New York in a few days. (Then LA later this month.) While I hadn’t planned it, I guess it’s become AMERICA’S BIG 3 SMACKDOWN, and let’s see which city comes out ahead.

Chicago has a sizable lead, of course, as I’ve sung its praises in this column last year and last week. It has a lot to offer as a clean mega-city with gorgeous architecture, a killer food scene, beautiful beaches, world class art institutions, and a blue collar, unpretentious attitude.

New York maybe bigger, and LA more glamorous, but each has a reputation for being a tough nut to crack. New Yorkers are too blunt, Angelenos too slick, and perhaps Chicago’s porridge is just right?

We’ll see.

I do want to compliment the crew at the Filter Photo Festival for running a great event. People are so friendly. They genuinely care how you’re doing. (And they also know how to have a good time when the workday is done.) There are plenty of lectures and events at Filter, but not so many as to give you a migraine.

As with all the events I attend, I like to do a series of write-ups featuring the best work I saw at the festival. My criteria haven’t changed much in the last 3 years. If someone can show me at least 5 cohesive photographs that are well-made, and don’t look EXACTLY like everyone else’s pictures, I’ll show them here.

I’m not saying everything is brilliant, or the best I’ve ever seen. Rather that the photographers I include have found a coherent and confident vision, and their technical skills are up-to-snuff.

And always, the following artists are in no particular order. Hope you enjoy the work, and thanks to all the photographers we’ll feature for allowing us to share your imagery with the world.

Let’s start with Carly Ries, if for no other reason than she shoots at the lake. (Mmm, cool blue water.) Carly was trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and still gets to use their excellent equipment. I think these pictures are lovely, and encouraged her to get even more specific with her work.














Eddee Daniel showed me several projects, and as is sometimes the case at portfolio reviews, I didn’t like some of them at all. In such situations, I always hope that I see at least something to redeem my impression. At the end, Eddee pulled out a project done during a year-long residency at a sculpture museum in Milwaukee.

I felt the repeated engagement with the subject helped strengthen his vision, and that these pictures were pretty excellent. It’s rare that photographs about art transcend the original work, but you could argue that happens here.



















Dana Mueller presented me with a similar dilemma. She is trying to get a book published about an extensive project she’d shot in Cuba, as she’d taught there a couple of times. The subject choice seemed arbitrary, and the images lacked the requisite punch.

Just before we finished, Dana showed me a group of photos made in her home region in Germany, in the nether regions between the former East and West. The drained color palette was powerful, and the pictures had genuine emotion. I thought they were great, and am happy to show them here.
















Andrea Birnbaum presented me with work that was so subtle, it almost wasn’t right for the speed-dating environment. I confess at first I couldn’t see exactly what she was getting at, but as we moved the prints back and forth in the stack, her message came across.

Andrea is looking at the discomfiting phase in adolescent development, as teen-aged girls become disillusioned or self-conscious about their bodies. It wasn’t until I liked a more obvious picture, (the girl in the bikini reading a magazine,) that my eye caught the subtlety of gesture and body language that the pictures contained.











We’ll finish today with Traer Scott, a photographer who missed most of our meeting due to a mixup. She came in flustered, obviously, but I told her that these things happen, because they do. We’ve all been there, and I felt the best thing I could do for her was be cool, and assure her I wouldn’t hold it against her.

For her project, “Natural History,” Traer photographs reflections in diorama windows at Natural History museums. Her artist statement alludes to endangered species and Climate Change, but in person, she told me that she practically grew up in a Natural History museum in Raleigh, NC, as her mother was a curator there. She spent a lot of time unsupervised as a kid, so these pictures actually stem directly from her childhood and personal experiences, which often makes for compelling work.














The Art of the Personal Project: Grace Chon

- - Personal Project

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Grace Chon













How long have you been shooting?
I’ve been photographing animals for 8 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’m self-taught but have a background as an ad agency art director. That training has informed my photography career so much, from the way I art direct my shoots to being on set with clients.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I think a lot of us have a fascination with before and after images because it’s always fun to see dramatic transformations. I had the idea of doing a before and after series with dog grooming because there’s something about it that’s so funny to me. Sometimes the dog looks so different and you wonder if it’s the same dog in both images. I wanted to capture that idea in the series, and have the after photos be really extreme by showing Japanese Dog Grooming cuts since they aren’t that common and the results are so striking.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I came up with the idea in January of 2016 and reached out to a friend of mine who owns a successful chain of pet stores called Healthy Spot, which also offers incredible dog grooming. We got the wheels in motion almost immediately and shot the series in May of 2016, and I started to share the series online by July 2016.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
This series was all shot and executed in 1 day, and I think I knew pretty immediately that the idea was going to work. Literally just seeing the dogs walk on set before and after their grooming was jaw dropping –both really amazing and funny at the same time.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I don’t think this series is too different from my portfolio work. I am known for very strong, character driven animal portraits and this is definitely an extension of that. But what I loved about this series was the creative collaboration with a team of incredibly talented dog groomers. And because we didn’t have a client dictating what they wanted, we were able to do whatever we wanted. Having total creative freedom is always the best!

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I always share my personal work on social media. In this day and age, it would be a huge lost opportunity not to!

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
The series went viral not too long after I started sharing the images online, with mentions on sites like The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, Refinery29, Costmopolitan, INSIDER, and more. The photos were also published internationally as well.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I have in the past with my “Zoey and Jasper” photo series and I definitely will sometime in the near future with this one.


Grace Chon is a commercial photographer specializing in animals, lifestyle images, and celebrities with their pets.
When she’s not writing about herself in the third person, Grace likes to go hiking with her dogs, meditate, and grow organic heirloom tomatoes. She makes a mean guacamole (want to challenge her to a guac-off?) and really hates Comic Sans.
In her spare time, Grace photographs homeless dogs looking for their forever homes and donates her photography services every year to multiple dog rescue groups in Los Angeles. She lives in LA with her husband, son, and their beloved rescue dogs, Maeby and Zoey.

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.

The Daily Edit – Grayson Schaffer

- - The Daily Edit



Grayson Schaffer:  Partner Talweg Creative/ Outside Magazine Editor at Large / Photographer

Heidi: Tell us about your transition from photography to cinematography and what are your thoughts overall about that for photographers?
Grayson: We’re at a point in time where a lot of still photographers are becoming directors. Sometimes that just means buying a Red camera and hanging up a shingle. Sometimes still photographers have clients who are asking for motion as part of a project. From an image-making perspective, motion isn’t that difficult. There are some frame rate and shutter angle considerations that you don’t have to deal with in still photography, but at the end of the day, a frame is still a frame. The hard part is having something to say. And for that, more photographers need to be leaning heavily on their writer friends to figure out what the film is going to be about before you get out there. We see it again and again where competent still photographers—many of whom have sizable Instagram followings and interpret that as a sign from the universe that whatever they do is great—just end up with a series of pretty but disjointed images. We all make crappy movies or write crappy stories from time to time, but you can minimize that if you lean on your talented friends and assume they’re smarter than you.

What made you take to the leap from producing editorial content to producing advertorial or native advertising? 
My personal goal is just to find and report on interesting people. At Outside magazine, that mostly involves finding great characters who are at an inflection point in their lives or careers. It wasn’t until raw cinema camera technology reached the point where we felt like we could get our ideas out onto the screen that we decided we had something to say. At the same time, brands have realized how important stories are. So in a lot of ways the ad world came to us rather than the reverse.

One would think you’d have less control, is that true?
One of the mistakes I see filmmakers make again and again is in sending their work out for criticism and then completely ignoring that criticism either because they’re tired from getting all the way to a rough cut or because they can’t put themselves in their viewer’s shoes to see that the work is missing basic clarity or is overly self-indulgent or precious. Working at a magazine doesn’t give you more control, it just means you get your ass kicked by editors instead of a client. Either way you can’t ignore the feedback. After a few years of it, you realize that they’re trying to fix actual problems and not just make your life miserable. Once you get to the point where your default position is to believe the criticism rather than immediately defend against it, then you’re actually in a place to push back. But, yeah, sometimes commercial clients will sacrifice the story in order to obey the data, stay on message, or avoid getting too real. It’s one reason that the word documentary should be reserved for actual documentaries. That’s gotta stay sacred. Films by brand ambassadors about other brand ambassadors can be amazing to watch. Some of them can even be true and accurate. But I still haven’t come across a brand that has editorial guidelines, fact checkers, or a public editor.

How long has your Talweg been in business and how much have you grown since inception? 
About a year and a half ago, Ryan Heffernan and I had the opportunity to move from production work into being a full-service ad agency. We’ve got a Jedi media planner who’s a real millennial whisperer and a couple of account managers who are super sharp. That core team has allowed us to service clients like New Mexico Tourism and other state agencies. We’ve also been doing work for Yeti coolers and a number of other clients in and out of the outdoor space.

Yeti  has been very successful in getting so much coverage for their brand, what do you attribute this to?
The word storytelling has been getting thrown around a lot lately. There was that great rant by an Austrian designer recently about how that term gets misused.

If you’ve been watching social media, you’d think storytelling was anything where somebody reads poetry in an affected voice while slow motion pictures roll by. But Yeti actually gets it. They find filmmakers they believe in. We all work together to pick characters we believe in, regardless of whether they have any affiliation to Yeti or not. And then we all roll the dice. The very first film in the series was one we did in the Grand Canyon last May called In Current

Our plan was to bring models down the Canyon and have them be “trainees” who were learning the ropes. But about five hours into day one of the trip, we realized that there were actual baggage boatmen who’d been cutting their teeth for years trying to get a shot at rowing a dory. We immediately pivoted to focus on this amazing woman Amber Shannon and were lucky enough to have a client—Yeti’s marketing director was with us on the trip—who didn’t hesitate to go with what was real over what was storyboarded. That project laid the groundwork for the Yeti Presents series, which has been a huge success.

What sort of notes can other companies take from Yeti’s playbook in your eyes?
Some agency types have since told us that the branding is way too subtle in these films for their clients’ tastes. Others have told us they’re perfect. We believe that the most important thing is making a film that people want to watch, not one that requires a huge media spend to get eyeballs on it. If I had to chalk up Yeti’s success with these films to one thing it’s that they’re willing to fail. They assign dozens of these 5-7 minute shorts. They don’t all work out. But the ones that do more than make up for the ones that fall short.

The most important thing for a client who wants to get into storytelling (actual storytelling) is to relax their guardrails and trust the process. This is what doc directors, reporters, and editorial photographers have always done. It doesn’t always work out like you planned it but it always works out somehow. In our REI short film Fast Forward, ultra-distance cyclist Lael Wilcox, who was trying to break the record for the Arizona Trail, came down with a respiratory problem only 36 hours into her ride. The record attempt was a disaster, but you ended up believing in her as a character. And that was more important than success.

How do you manage working at a magazine and then working for advertisers at the same time?
I’ve been an editor at large for Outside since April. So I’m not on staff at Outside anymore. Finding time to write and shoot and make movies comes down to working with a great team at Talweg, great editors at Outside, and only swinging at fastballs over the plate.

The Daily Promo: Alex Geana

- - The Daily Promo

alex-geana-postcard-promo-1 alex-geana-postcard-promo-2


Alex Geana

Who printed it?
I use Overnight Prints for my promos. Eventually I’ll use a fancy printer, but for now they’re really good. Then I make custom notes for all my clients and potential clients. Trying to be as personal as possible. My handwriting isn’t the best, so I like to print all my cards on nice card stock from Paper Source and sign everything. It makes for a really neat and personal presentation.

Who designed it?
I designed and set the images myself. Part of my schooling at SVA was graphic design and I love using the skill set in my photography every day.

Who edited the images?
I did. But with ice cream you have to be quick, so not that many pictures were generated.

How many did you make?
We used 3 bars and about 25 images were created. The print runs on my promos are 250.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send hard promos out every 3 to 6 months, then emails out every 45 days. I’m finding that the food theme works really well. Because it’s a visceral connection.

Who was the food stylist?
I was actually the food stylist. I really like putting it together and do all my basic food styling myself. Although I do have great food stylists I work with, when it comes to a promo; I don’t really have a production budget.

Did you shoot specifically for promos?
Yes, I shoot specially for promos, so I have a ton of freedom and do things totally in my wheelhouse, when it comes to styling. This is basically a raw chocolate bar from a bougie chocolate shop in SoHo with chocolate drizzle and fruity pebbles, then gold flexes for color. I used 3 bars and got 25 images.

Why three bars?
I needed 3 bars, because the bite and the drizzle kept on melting. Then if you swap out backgrounds, you get a mess. So if you look carefully, the bar on the red, had the best bite, but the bar on the white background had the best styling as a bar. So I just used both pictures from each set. One for the front, one for the back. I think I’m going to work with donuts next, because the response from this promo was amazing.

This Week In Photography Books: Meghann Riepenhoff

- - Photography Books

by Jonathan Blaustein

Once upon a time, I wrote about stereotypes and clichés.

It was fun to resurrect phrases left for dead. I did it because good writers avoid them, and I was rebelling against the norm. (Or maybe I just wasn’t a good writer?)

Sometimes, though, we use a phrase just because other people do. We don’t think about where it comes from.

I’m thinking of “bone tired,” because I tried to explain it to my son the other day. Everybody says it, but I suspect only people over 40 really know what it means.

When you reach a certain level of exhaustion, your bones actually ache. At the moment, I’ve got a tingling feeling from my tibias to my clavicles, and there’s not much to be done. (Not much but complain, I suppose.)

I was in Chicago last week for the brilliant Filter Photo Festival, and worked straight through the weekend. Unlike last year, this time I came home with my voice and my wits in tact, but the latter has faded as the week’s gone on.

This year, I again saw nearly 40 portfolios, and will have plenty of work to show you in the coming weeks. I saw remarkable exhibitions, met with so many fascinating people, ate at a steak house with a heap of financial planners, danced to a human beatbox at a late-night afterparty, reviewed countless photographs, and talked for 5 days straight.

I made a few changes compared to last year, beginning with my reviewing approach. After much thought, I decided to temper my advice based upon what I sensed the person could actually hear and handle. Rather than just imposing my will on the situation, which led to a few bad results last year, in 2016, I decided to be patient, listen, and then react.

Not surprisingly, it was a successful tactic. Getting ripped to shreds by one reviewer at FotoFest in March, when I took my own work, reminded me how easy it is to ruin someone’s day with a few poorly chosen words. Or with a confidence bordering on arrogance.

Last year, despite a powerful urge, I failed to eat any Chicago deep dish stuffed pizza. This time, my friend Melanie and I rectified that at Giordano’s, and the results were good enough, but far from awesome. (Yes, Susan Burnstine, you tried to warn me off. I should have listened.)

Finally, in 5 full days in Chicago in 2015, I never made it to Lake Michigan, even though the hotel was only a half a block away. (Lake Shore Drive proved a formidable impediment.)

This year, I asked how to get access, which was insanely easy, and went to check it out on my very first day. There are sandy public beaches, ladders to climb down for a swim, party boats on Sundays, and very blue, luxurious water.

The smell might be different, (since it’s a lake,) but by the look of things, it’s as pretty an urban scene as San Sebastian or San Francisco. I simply can’t overstate how nice it is.

I went for a run there one morning, ambled other days, and then on Sunday, on my way to and from Expo Chicago, I walked along the shore instead of through the city. Great plan!

Unfortunately, it was rather hot on Sunday. And humid too, of course. Very, very humid.

So as I pumped my arms, power-walking like a worker-bee on my way North to grab the subway, the sweat-storm began. I felt the first trickle, didn’t think too much about it, and then it was a flood that overwhelmed my shirt.

I was sweating so much, was soooooo wet and sticky, and right next to me was all that cool, blue water. Taunting me. I wanted to swim so badly, I considered my options.

“Jonathan,” said the lake, “you know you want to jump into me. Come, Jonathan. Give in to your desire. It will feel so good.”

Opting against a full scale assault in my clothes, I bent down, took a knee, reached into the undulating blue, and cupped some water in my hands. I reached back, splashed my neck, and then did it 10 more times.

I’m not a religious Jew, to be honest, but I know we have a tradition of the mikvah. Consecration in water. It felt like that then, a moment I’ll remember for a long time.

The next morning, (I returned home after 1am,) I went down to our stream and repeated the process. Cool water on the same neck.

A journey begins, and it ends.

Speaking of journeys, I wrote about my big trip to Texas earlier this year, and mentioned I met an artist at FotoFest, Meghann Riepenhoff, who was having a moment at the time.

Well, Meghann just sent me an exhibition catalog of her work, “Littoral Drift,” now in its second edition, and of course it was on top of my pile today when I needed to write for you guys. (It’s Thursday. Deadlines await.)

There’s been a trend in California lately of photographic artists making one-of-a-kind objects out of old-school, hands-on processes. Chris McCaw might have gotten it started, but Matthew Brandt, John Chiara, Klea McKenna, and Meghann have all come up with styles that are steeped in the past.

Meghann makes cyanotypes in water. Chemistry mixes with primordial cocktails of salt and sea, resulting in abstracted, beautiful, dreamy objects. In person, they were lovely and textured.

In book form, it’s hard to communicate scale, so I commend the attempt to conjure our imaginations with various installation shots. But mostly this book is about the pleasure of looking.

Like the evanescence of frost, molecular structures under a microscope, or the unmistakable smell of my daughter’s hair, we all know that nature is more powerful than we are. Its aesthetic instincts are nearly always perfect.

I like that this work channels a sense of that visually, as well as existentially. No water, no art. No sloshing, no looking.

As you might imagine, I’ve just hit my limit for today, especially as I’ve got to teach a class all afternoon. (No rest for the weary, I’m afraid.) But this weekend, I’m going to take a big fat nap, and it’s going to be glorious.

Bottom Line: Gorgeous catalog of innovative cyanotypes

To Purchase Littoral Drift Go Here















The Art of the Personal Project: Ashton Ray Hansen

- - Personal Project

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Ashton Ray Hansen


























Photography: Ashton Ray Hansen


How long have you been shooting?
11 since I picked up my first camera. Two since I broke off from assisting.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I gained most of my experience from photo assisting in Chicago.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
Probably the love I have for my friends and admiration I have for them to leave the city behind to live a fairytale lifestyle in a remote part of Colorado.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
Wow, lets see, I started photographing this on my first visit when they moved out there about six or seven years ago.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
If I start realizing I have no more passion for a specific project I move on. I don’t like to force anything. Sometimes I’ll re-visit an idea but if there’s no passion or interest then that’s it for me.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I feel great! Shooting this kind of work allows me to shoot whatever I want and however I want encouraging me to try new techniques and explore new perspectives.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I post to Instagram all the time.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Viral, no. The closest to that is an image from this project being used as the cover for an environmental issue of Denver’s well respected 5280 magazine. Another image got me a Finalist award for a national photo contest. But that’s the closest to “viral” I’ve made it.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I haven’t yet but have been considering it recently as I have landed multiple jobs this summer solely because of the personal work on my website.


Ashton is a food & lifestyle photographer currently based in Boulder, CO. A Colorado native, however, he found his roots while living in Chicago. It was during that time when he discovered his love of food and his interest in the way people live and play.

His first personal project Hotchkiss was about people living entirely off the land. Through this he has discovered an appreciation for those that have done what so many only wish they could do. His new project Van Life will document the lives of those who live out of their vans to live a life of adventure on the open road. It’s his relationship and love for people that he thrives in the collaborative processes that are the creative industry. Some of his most current clients include Ball Corp, David Weekley Homes, Noosa Yoghurt, and Boppy Baby Products.

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.