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 Anthony Blasko. I’m keeping a close watch on him. There is a current of quiet drama flowing through Blasko’s photographs that harkens back to the works of 20th Century painter, George Bellows. I especially love Blasko’s “Jon Jones” series for Victory Journal.
How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been shooting professionally for about 3 years.
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I have a BFA. But that’s not a road I would take again.
Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
It’s hard to cite one influence. Robert Frank, Bruce Davidson, Mark Cohen, Sally Mann and Garry Winogrand have all had a large impact on how I look at things.
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?
Being fresh isn’t something I ever think about but I do try to push myself with every project and try to make it my own. What drives me is looking at the work of others, there’s a lot of great work out there that sets the bar really high.
Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I know this happens, but I haven’t had much experience with it. But I understand that when you’re working with bigger brands other things need to be considered, and that might be limiting. But at that point you work with the creative to come up with something interesting.
What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I find people really love books. I like to print books or magazines of my personal work to send out. Right now I have 4 projects that are close to being done that will become printed pieces in some form. I’ve also worked on a number of projects with Victory Journal, which has allowed me to shoot some interesting stories, as well as get my work in front of a lot of people.
What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I’m sure it works for some, but I think in the long run you’ll probably enjoy your work more if you’re making it for yourself. In return you’ll probably work more because of it. I also think that if you’re not shooting work that’s your own, people will notice.
Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I’m always shooting personal work. At the moment I’m working on numerous projects, the largest is titled The South. I’m spending 3–4 weeks shooting in each Southern state with another photographer, Chadwick Tyler. We’ll publish books for each state. I’m also finishing up a project on competitive bodybuilding, which will also be a book.
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.