We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Cedric Angeles. His images of food and travel always have an angle or composition that makes you see things from a different perspective, resulting in an a-ha moment.Publix 2013 Milestone 1:00 Spot. Publix wanted to show the significant milestones in our lives such as a birth of a baby, a birthday, graduation and getting married. The production and filming were done in Tampa, Florida. In conjunction with the video, I also shot print ads for this campaign. This is a great example of the blurring of lines for photographers being asked to be directors as well. A video portrait of Jody Meche, a frogger living in Henderson, Louisiana. Commissioned by Garden and Gun Magazine.
How many years have you been in business?
I would say that it officially started when I moved to New York from Los Angeles in 2000, so this is my 14th year.
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
My “on-the-job” training started when I lived in Los Angeles. Shortly after graduating High School, I worked as a Grip in commercial shoots, music videos, and films. I learned lighting and cameras from the directors and cinematographers that I worked with on set. I wanted to be a filmmaker but my desire to travel and take pictures took precedent and I left the film world and formally studied photography at the Art Center College of Design.
Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My love for photography began with my father. He was an amateur photographer and would share his photos with me. He subscribed to National Geographic magazine and I would spend hours reading and fixating on images of faraway places. I think that the urge to see these places began my interest for telling stories through images. And I knew that photography was my ticket to travel the world. I grew up in the Philippines, from a small town and becoming a photographer was the least likely thing to happen. I immigrated to the United States and lived in Los Angeles. I found work in the film industry and this was when I discovered the works of cinematographers and photographers that pushed me to pursue image making. I watched films shot by Michael Chapman, Raoul Coutard, Janusz Kaminski, Georgi Rerberg, Sven Nykvist, Vittorio Storaro, Christopher Doyle and devoured photography books by Danny Lyon, Robert Capa, Larry Clark, Miguel Rio Branco, William Klein, Richard Avedon, Werner Bishchof, Jim Goldberg, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Nan Goldin, Malick Sidibe, Josef Koudelka, to name a few.
How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
It is important for me to take a break from taking pictures. My wife is an artist, a painter and sculptor, creating gigantic sculptures made out of steel. Watching her create works in steel that weigh thousands of pounds is a revelation. She has been a source of inspiration for me. We have 2 daughters and I don’t need to say how kids can light a fire under your ass when it comes to creativity. I read a lot, listen to music, watch films constantly, maybe a little too much.
Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Once I am awarded a job, I know everything about the shoot. Creative calls have happened, layouts have been shared and I become part of the team with the creatives and the client. The creatives I have worked with have been supportive of ideas I bring to the project I would say being held back meant that I was not awarded the project as the clients may have found another photographer’s work more fitting. Commissioned work always comes with a shoot list or a layout to follow and obviously, there is always more freedom in editorial projects. Clients hire you for your aesthetic and wants you to bring your vision to the their project. I have done editorial travel stories where I am not given a shoot list, no leads, no contacts. Just a general sense on what the story would be about. Complete freedom, dream shoot, right? Not for me. I actually like directions from my editors, to be given a specific story to follow. It gives me more freedom to shoot things that are not on the list but at least I would know that I am telling a more cohesive story. I would probably not say “holding me back” – it is more a collaboration between myself, the creatives and the clients and it is one aspect of commercial photography that I truly enjoy.
What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Since partnering with MONACO REPS, I haven’t had to think much about designing and distributing promotional pieces for commercial work because they do an excellent job as my representatives. So instead, I think about ways to promote my work as I personally see it. For instance, I redesigned my website to focus primarily on storytelling, to include more images surrounding a piece that illustrate it in detail. I have a Tumblr page that I update with outtakes from shoots or to share new ideas, and I have a Facebook page for my photography that shares recent work and favorite images from my archive.
What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Be careful of trends. Only show work that you love. Create work that is personal. I mean, these are advice that have become cliche but very important to heed.
Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, I am working on several projects at the moment. My projects are long term in nature and involve a lot of travel. I don’t believe in shooting everyday. I like shooting projects in chunks of time and taking breaks in between. A big part of nurturing my personal voice comes from functioning as a husband and a father. It is fairly easy to be consumed by photography and the time I spend with my wife and my two daughters plays a big part of making sure I stay honest with my work.
How often are you shooting new work?
My work keeps me busy three out of four weeks every month. I plan it out so that I have enough time in between to edit and decompress after days of non-stop shooting. But my wife says I am shooting new work in my head all of the time
Cedric’s brand of lifestyle photography is simultaneously joyful and moving. When viewing Cedric’s Lifestyle photography, one cannot resist an instant sense of longing to join the scene. He is a man constantly on the move, photographing places and cultures with the goal of understanding how other people live. He approaches photography with an interest in narrative and the spirit of a documentarian. Photo District News (PDN) named him as one of the 30 Under 30 Young Photographers to Watch. He is a Co-Founder of INTERSECTION PHOTOS, a boutique photo stock agency that deals with high end travel imagery. He is represented by MONACO REPS.
Clients Include: Aruba / GQ / Travel+Leisure / Food&Wine / Bon Appetit / Gourmet / Vogue / GLAMOUR / W / Men’s Journal / Men’s Health / Self / Real Simple / Publix / Sarabeth’s / Conde Nast Traveler UK / British Airways High Life / Martha Stewart Living / Departures / Royal Caribbean / O Magazine / Discover / Lifetime / Time Inc. / Los Angeles Times Magazine / Four Seasons Magazine / Rolling Stone
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information. Follow her@SuzanneSease.