Posts by: Heidi Volpe

The Daily Promo: Isamu Sawa

- - The Daily Promo

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.51.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.51.39 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.51.46 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.52.00 PM

Invite is below  to his show here for this show:


Isamu Sawa Photography

Who printed it?
It was printed by Bambra Press one of many generous sponsors for my recent solo exhibition “Without Water” and printed on paper supplied by K.W. Doggett both situated in Melbourne Australia.

Who designed it?
It was designed by Creative Director Derek Samuel who created all the collateral for the project including invites, exhibition banners and website (

Who edited the images?
I personally selected the images and subsequent layouts were created by Derek Samuel

How many did you make?
200. To coincide with a vast digital email marketing campaign to promote the exhibition, around 25 were sent out as special promotional invites with a bespoke ‘invite wrap’ to certain influential people such as bloggers, traditional and digital media outlets, editors of interior/lifestyle magazines and certain Instagrammers with particularly large following to generate publicity regarding the project/exhibtion. I wanted to send out something tangible and eye-catching with longevity that people could keep, pass around and leave on their coffee tables. The remaining copies were sold at the exhibition. The exhibition was a resounding success with tremendous media coverage, over 200 people on opening night and many Limited Edition prints sold.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
My agent Hart & Co and I send out digital mail-outs several times a year but this is the first time in many years that I decided to do a printed piece. Based on the amazing feedback I’ve received I will certainly be doing more in the near future.


The Daily Edit – The New York Times Magazine: Christopher Griffith

- - The Daily Edit

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.52.51 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.53.22 AM Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.53.31 AM

The New York Times Magazine

Editor-in-Chief:  Jake Silverstein
Design Director: Gail Bichler
Art Director:  Matt Willey (designed the feature)
Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan
Audio interviews: Catrin Einhorn and Kristen Clark.
Produced by: Stacey Baker, Jon Huang, and Riely Clough.
Photographer: Christopher Griffith

see the online slide show here

Heidi: Did you travel to the shoe shiners or did they come to you?
Christopher: We developed a very small transportable studio that we brought with us to shoot in arguably the most cramped environment ever. Some of these places are quite small, so finding enough space proved challenging.

Who wrapped the cloth around their fingers? and do they have signature style of hand gestures/wrapping?
They all wrap their own hands and no two are really the same. They all have slightly differing techniques, differing types of rags and different approaches to giving the customer ‘the best shine in town.’

What a great moment to celebrate the craft.  How did the subjects react?
Some were very skeptical, frankly many thought we were insane but all agreed to be photographed…eventually.

The colors and the knots are so beautiful. Were those designed or came from their kits?
They are all from their personal kits. Nothing is designed but they all have different preferences for the type of cloth for the type of shine.
Spit Shine: very smooth, thin cotton sheet. Dull Shine: thick towel fabric. Who knew?

What was your creative direction from Stacey Baker?
Make it iconic? Make it beautiful? I think we all knew that it was a pretty unique project. I was never convinced it would even get published because this kind of photo essay is rare these days. I just wanted to make sure that I did the idea justice. Our benchmark was the image of miles Davis’ hand shot by Irving Penn.

Heidi: I know this was your brainchild, how did this idea come about?
Stacey: Last summer during work one day, I ran across the street to the Port Authority to have my boots shined. I climbed up into one of the chairs and a man named Lenny shined my shoes. We started talking, and he said he’d been shining shoes for decades. His hands were beautiful–the way he wrapped the cloth around his long, lean wrinkled fingers. They looked like sculptures. I asked him if I could take a picture (see attached). He showed me the various the cloths he uses to shine shoes, and some of them looked like works of art. I wondered if there was a photo essay there.

photo 1

What was it about Christopher Griffith’s work that made you choose him? What did you already know about his work that would make your idea come to life?

Christopher immediately came to mind for the project. The work of Christopher’s that I was most familiar with are his large monumental still life’s. They look like sculptures. I thought he might be a good fit. He was an absolute dream to work with and his pictures are remarkable.

Photo essays are such luxuries in any magazine, was this a difficult sell to the staff?
It actually wasn’t. As soon as I returned to the office, I ran the idea by our photo director, Kathy Ryan, who loved it. We then pitched it to our editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein, who gave it the green light. Jake is a huge fan of photography and what we do in the photo department. We were all blown away by Christopher’s pictures.

Here’s a full gallery images

1503_10_037 1503_12_043 1503_14_052 1503_17_007 1503_27_025 1503_42_248 1503_45_077 1503_48_106 1503_50_074 1503_52_1009

The Daily Promo: Alexander Thompson

- - The Daily Promo

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.49.09 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.49.14 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.49.19 PM

 Alex Thompson 

Who printed it?
I had the photos printed at Samy’s Camera, here in Los Angeles. All of the images are printed on Fujicolor Professional matte photo paper. I cut small slits into the pages of the book in order to fit the photos in.

Who designed it?
I did all of the editing and design for the promo. Although, I initially got the idea from photographer Jody Rogac. In a video, she pulled out a similar looking book of Polaroids with the corners taped down. There were quite a few other differences but the basic idea of a DIY book filled with actual prints, as opposed to images printed directly on the paper, was based on her own. I knew I had to make a book myself in order to keep the spirit of the project alive.

How many did you make?
For this run, I only made 20 books, including the books I promised to those involved. I wanted to keep the recipients to a minimum in order to create a more exclusive feel and also, to show that those who received it, are important to my development as a photographer or inspire me in some way. Basically, I wanted this promo to come across as more personal than, say, a postcard would.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Previously, I would send out a medium sized postcard every 3-4 months but I’m currently experimenting with monthly postcards and quarterly book promos, such as the Builders book. Possibly a Year-in-Review book too!

Tell us about how this project got started.
The project as a whole was inspired kind of out of nowhere. I was exploring many different possibilities for a personal project but nothing really stuck until I had the idea of shooting a model here in Los Angeles working on cars in his garage (he also rebuilds/sells classic BMWs). That never happened but it got the ball rolling and I started to reach out to any creators here in LA that I thought were interesting. One of the first to get back to me was Guy Okazaki who builds these really amazing surfboards in Venice. After working with him I reached out to my friends Andy and Kellen of Bicycle Coffee LA and got to shoot their roastmaster Mike making some of the best coffee here in LA. The third part of the series took quite some time to shoot because it was with probably one of the busiest bike shops in LA, Golden Saddle Cyclery. I worked with Woody, one of the owners of the shop, and photographed him building a touring bike from the ground up. Overall, it’s been a really fun experience and I’m excited to keep the project going. I have a lot of really cool ‘Builders’ lined up to work with and I can’t wait to learn about their processes.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.49.27 PM

Alexander Thompson

The Daily Edit – Chicago Magazine: Scott Council

- - The Daily Edit

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 4.43.23 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 4.42.54 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 4.42.59 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 4.43.11 PM

Chicago Magazine

Design Director: Nicole Dudka
Photographer: Scott Council

Heidi: Have you worked with this client before?
Scott: I have shot about 5-6 things for Chicago magazine. The last cover I did for them was for this same issue but last year and it was portrait series with Common.

What type of direction did you get from them?
I presented my ideas and had several conversations with the Design Director, Nicole Dudka who had a lot of great ideas, so it was a great collaboration. I also submitted my ideas with sketches in PDF form so they would have a visual to help them understand what I wanted to do. The issue was about the fall arts in Chicago. Its called the “Fall Preview” and it covers everything, music, theater, dance, art, etc. He started his acting career in Chicago and went to school in Chicago so they wanted a portrait series with images of him doing things related to the arts.

How much time did you have with the subject?
I had him for 3.5 hrs including wardrobe changes and lunch. We did multiple set ups, I had two alternating sets, both in New York studios.  I wanted to do three, but there wasn’t enough time nor budget.

What is the easiest aspect of shooting accomplished actors, and conversely the hardest?
The easiest part about shooting accomplished actors is that they really seem to know who they are and they don’t let their publicist run everything as much. They don’t have anything to prove because they are already know. There for they can take what you’re trying to capture and really make it their own, they “deliver.”  They seem to be more responsive once they are on board with the ideas. Point being,  take new talent for example: They have a career they are grooming and so they try a little too hard, worry too much about their image and some still let their publicist think for them, this can be difficult on set.

He has a great range in this shoot, how did you change the tone, what sort of direction did you give?
They wanted me to have him bobbing for apples and doing a lot of things that are kind of not at all who he is, so it was a little tough to sell him on the ideas.  At lunch I saw him by himself and I went over and we talked about what I would like to shoot and what the magazine wanted me to shoot. He said “People are always asking me to do things that are not me, its like everyone wants to make fun of me.”  I mentioned this is firstly a portrait session and secondly, a cover. I didn’t want him to do anything that was not him.  With all my subjects I’ll explain what I’m trying to capture and then they can add or subtract anything. We work together and we both feel good about it. At the end of the day,  you need to live with the photography.  I really meant what I said to him,  I wasn’t trying to trick him into doing what I wanted. I created an honest dialogue with him and I gave him the option to participate, we all want the same thing: To do a good job.

What do you enjoy most about portraiture?
In the end I’m not interested in creating entertainment photographs so we can all stand and stare of the actor, athlete and see what magic they produce. I will always deliver an image that I was hired to deliver, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to relate to it. Often project goals and true photographic goals aren’t aligned. I’m interested in Michael Shannon as a person as an equal human being with a voice and an opinion.  I fell in love with portraiture because when I look into a portrait I see myself, I see each one as a little symbol of everything great and everything beautiful about who we are as human beings.

The Daily Promo: Sam Kaplan

- - The Daily Promo

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.46.20 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.46.25 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.46.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.46.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.46.45 PM

Sam Kaplan

Who printed it?
Advanced Printing NYC

Who designed it?
I did.

Who edited the images?
I did. I shot the six main images knowing that they would be in the promo. Once I started designing the piece I realized I needed a front and back cover image. So we decided to shoot very simple remnants from the shoot.

How many did you make?

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to do two printed promos a year.

What inspired these beautiful images?
In the beginning of the summer I decided I wanted to do a promo to send out in the fall. I have always been fascinated with making patterns out of objects (especially food). Before this series I had focused on two-dimensional designs that sat on a surface. I wanted to find a way to make a pattern in three-dimensions. It was important to me capture each image in the series in one shot, with no compositing.

Who styled this and how many packets/or items did you purchase?
The cookie pit was the first one we did and I had Michelle Longo help source and style it. I think we bought every box of Lorna Doones in a 20-block radius around my studio. To construct the pit, we cut sheets lot of foamcore to create platforms for the cookies to sit on. The pyramid we built in a similar fashion. We did both separately over two long days.

For the sandwich images, I brought Brett Kurzweil on board. We had found a reference that we loved of a pyramid in a Confederate war memorial cemetery and used the dimensions of that to plan out our pyramid. Brett made dozens and dozens of each type of sandwich and I used them like (soft) bricks to build the pyramid on set. Again, foam-core was used to shore up the structure. It was a little over 3 feet tall. This took about 14 hours I think.

For the candy, I did both builds on my own during downtime at my studio over a period of a few weeks. I used a combination of foamcore and about 500 hot glue sticks.

The Daily Edit: Jonas Jungblut- Naturally

- - The Daily Edit

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 5.58.11 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 5.58.17 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 5.58.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 5.58.33 PM


Art Director: Danny Seo
Writer:  Christine Richmond
Jonas Jungblut

Travel assignments are the most coveted, how did this project come about?
The writer on this story, Christine Richmond, also was in Ireland with me for a story last year. It was with the same magazine and we worked together well so I think we were a perfect team to go over there without an editor and do our thing.

Did you have a relationship with the magazine?
Yes, I have been working with Naturally Danny Seo for about a year thanks to another great photographer, Shelly Strazis who recommended me. My first job with the magazine was the travel story in Ireland mentioned above. Besides having bad oysters and the resulting food poisoning on our most important shoot day it went great and I have been busy with the magazine since.

How long were you there?
We spent five days in the area and traveled between Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai for one day by car. I then flew to Bangkok and spent another night. Initially this was going to be a two-day story but given that it took me a good two days just to get there we extended to make it worthwhile.

Did  you have a specific shot list from the magazine?
We had a loose list. There were certain elements which they wanted to see but we really had a bit of freedom to explore, while sticking to a pretty solid itinerary, and build our own story based on what we encountered. That was really nice. The fact that it was just the two of us made that somewhat straight forward as well. There was no exact image request on that list, all images in the story are experience images.

What was the biggest obstacle for this project?
The distance to the location from my house if you can call that an obstacle. Really, the fact that I had to travel for pretty much 2 days straight to get there was, probably the only thing one could consider an obstacle. Or maybe having to shoot while sitting on an elephant, I could see that being an obstacle for someone! I think if you want to find an obstacle you always can. Weather, getting head butted by a 400 lb baby elephant, language barrier, this list can go on for a while. Part of doing a travel assignment is to get past obstacles and render them into experiences.

How many vaccines did you have to get?
Well, I needed some updating anyways but I did get some specific to the region. I think I walked out with four different vaccines and a few hundred dollars less in my pocket. The place where I got them was pretty pushy on malarone tablets for malaria but I decided against those for fear of nightmares and when we got to Thailand people were surprised on the suggestion of taking it.

How do you go about tackling travel shoots, do you have a process?
It depends on the assignment. For the Thailand piece the writer and I were pitching other stories to piggy-back onto the trip quite frantically. We figured we should make the most of it being all the way over there already. Nobody was interested and in hindsight we were relieved since we were pretty spent after those five days. I also did a little bit of research on the area to make sure I wouldn’t miss something while already there. But this trip was very well-organized and we had guides almost all the time so we could just do our thing without having to worry about logistics. There actually was almost no time to explore beyond the itinerary, so we just focused on that.

In my experience assigned travel jobs are usually organized and have an itinerary so doing a bunch of extra research can be a waste of time since you never get to whatever you find and it might end up distracting you from focusing on what you have in front of you. It really depends on the client and specific assignment.

One thing to be careful with is to over-research and then getting stuck on an itinerary created on a screen versus a real life experience. When I travel for shooting stock or on jobs with loose schedules I like to have a few pointers and then explore from there.

Project based travel shoots require a whole lot of prep. Having two young kids and being on the road as much as I am has not really allowed for extended project based travel in the recent years but I do have ideas that I’d like to realize in the future. My recent Europe trip was sort of project trip since I planned it as a “shootation”, shoot a bunch of stock while being on vacation. I quickly realized that being on the road with two kids under the age of 6 by yourself killed a lot of the activities that were only loosely planned.

How was Santa Barbara been as a home base?
I love Santa Barbara as a base. Almost all my work is out-of-town so I get quite a bit of international exposure. I had this conversation with a client recently. We were sitting having coffee in Vancouver during a shoot and he mentioned that I was so cut off from the world in Santa Barbara. I replied that it forces me to travel and I actually get exposed to different cultures and locations more than if I lived in a large market and wouldn’t have to leave.

It’s not easy growing your career living in Santa Barbara, people think you are a local photographer (or who knows maybe they don’t?) but I do ok, I travel, and I live in a place I truly enjoy. And when I need my fix of urban, modern, culture or whatever I get antsy about I make sure to get it on an upcoming trip.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.12.40 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.13.17 PM

What made you choose Brooks for schooling?
My whole pre-Californian life was heavily influenced by California. Skateboarding, Mountain Biking, surfing, the weather, the Beat Generation writers, the lifestyle. This may be a little off topic but Mr. Hasselhoff (yes yes, I am German) did an incredible job selling this place (Baywatch! I hope the California tourism board knows how much he helped) Ha! More than wanting to go to Brooks I wanted to be in California! And Brooks accepted me so I packed a bag and went. They came highly acclaimed and I had been photographing for a good 5 years at this point (I was 20) and knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life. It was a perfect fit.

Looking back, what type of advice would you give students? Or what did you wish your younger self knew back then?
Network hard with your fellow students, a lot of them will end up working in places that will be of interest to you down the road. It’s also nice to have a solid set of friends that you can check in with if you run into something you don’t quite have an answer to. Also: Don’t drive yourself crazy about grades. My whole academic career was driven by me passing classes while really focusing on the stuff that I wanted to focus on.  I actually think that assisting (apprenticeship/real world experience) is probably more valuable than having a college degree in this career. It’s important to be honest with yourself! Understand that this career requires experience, skill and dedication. Embrace the failures and don’t be afraid to make more. Understand the economics behind this profession and check in with yourself every so often. Are you having fun? It is a choice to be a photographer, might as well make it exactly what you want, otherwise I don’t see the point.

How has your love for travel and sport folded into your work and resulted in assignment work?
Being able to do certain things physically is a skill set that sets you apart. The same goes for being ok with long days of travel and all the other fun things that can happen to you while on the road. I think all my clients appreciate that I am very tolerant to challenging travel and that I can shoot underwater, while riding a skateboard or on the side of a cliff. I also really enjoy shooting “real” stuff. It’s great to be on a produced and organized set and being able to apply your knowledge of lighting and all that stuff but getting a portrait of someone right after he got pulled in the boat because a shark started circling him during an endurance swim is just so visceral, you communicate with people through your images, it’s engaging.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 8.27.07 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 8.27.15 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.13.02 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.13.24 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.13.35 PM

Travel experiences enrich you culturally and being active allows you to apply that experience and get angles and/or locations that would otherwise be inaccessible to you. You won’t get hired to shoot from an inflatable dingy on open ocean all day if you only shoot in a studio and I enjoy doing stuff like that from time to time. I don’t want to spend all my time inside. It also makes for great dinner conversation when you tell people who you have been slapped in the face by a dolphin (and have video to prove it), survived an 8.8 earthquake on the 19th floor of a hotel or race street luge. I think it just creates a brand and we all know that’s a good thing.

The Daily Promo: Bob Martus

- - The Daily Edit



Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 3.27.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 3.27.12 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 3.27.06 PM

Bob Martus


Who printed it?
Linco Printing in Queens, NY

Who designed it?
Michael Freimuth, Creative Director and Partner at Franklyn did the design work.  We wanted to go big with the images and keep everything else minimal.  For this particular piece, the newsprint and the brown grocery bag paper envelope worked perfectly with the imagery.

Who edited the images?
The images originally came from a story I shot that ran in Men’s Health: so the edit credit really should go to Don Kinsella the Deputy Director of Photography over there. Great guy and a pleasure to work with!

How many did you make?

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Generally speaking four times a year. I try to hit seasonal themes or send out a series of teasers on one subject. The images came about from a story was called Raise your Steaks in Men’s Health – basically about buying potion of a cow.  The meat shot represented everything you get from 1/8th of a cow.  First we photographed a Scottish Highlands cow in Rural Pennsylvania, named Raquel.  She was the farms show cow, winner of many a blue ribbon.  The farmer sent everyone in my crew home with some of the best beef I’ve ever had. It was a pretty amazing juxtaposition the to then photograph the meat still life.  We did the corresponding recipe shots in studio the next day.  Prop styling by Thom Driver and food styling by Jamie Kim.

The Daily Promo: James Worrell

- - The Daily Promo

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 3.26.05 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.19.04 AM

James Worrell

Who printed it?
The Card was printed at Modern Postcard.

Who designed it?
I designed it and edited the images with a little help from my Food Stylist, Brian Preston-Campbell and my agent Mary Dail at Big Leo.

How many did you make?
We printed 500, mailed out about 425, the rest are for leave behinds, etc.  An email campaign followed up the printed mailing about a week later.
How many times a year do you send out promos?
This year I plan on doing three printed promo mailings in this format, last year I only did one and the year before that I did a couple with what I call a “special promo.” That was an involved piece that involved printing my logo on M&Ms and a small booklet.  For awhile people got tired of the printed promo but it seems to be having a resurgence, or maybe that’s just me.  The email promo is hated by most at this point and the printed piece seems so much more substantial.  I consistently promote myself, if anything, my biggest problem is that I get bored and do other things.   I am currently advertising for the second year in, they print five books each year, two books feature our ice cream shots.
Do you always work with the same stylist and do you set out with a plan for the promos?
I work with Brian a lot on various editorial and advertising jobs.  He does a lot of the ice cream you see on packages out there and always has funny stories to tell about the process.  We devised a scheme to test ice cream shots, promote them and take over the world of ice cream shooting.  The real story is that I have a loose plan of doing shoots with my favorite stylists and then promoting our work together.  It’s a way to combine creative forces and share the costs. It also is really great to work on a collaboration with a mind to promote as opposed to just sending out work that I was paid to do.  Of course, I have been paid to shoot ice cream, just not these.  And while I did all the shooting, retouching and layout design, Brian and I planned and did two separate shoots for this promo, and have plans for one more as a follow-up.  I have another shoot coming up soon with one of my favorite conceptual prop stylists for a winter promo as well.

The Daily Edit – Lollipop: Joshua Paul

- - The Daily Edit

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 2.30.45 PM

Forbes_ValtteriBottas (1)
Sergio PerezCrash

UnitedStatesGP WilliamsF1 Team


Lollipop Magazine

Founder & Editor in Chief: Joshua Paul 

Heidi: Was it your intention to be a Formula 1 photographer?

Joshua: I never intended to be a Formula 1 photographer, editor or publisher of a magazine. There was no concept, savings, or business plan, just a perfect sequence of events, dating back to childhood that brought this to fruition. I was born with innate love of cars and racing, specifically grand prix racing.  I also subscribed to Road & Track magazine for as long as I can remember.  As a photographer, I have been sent to over 85 countries, on some very dodgy shoots, traveling so frequently, I used to pre-pack my bags for subsequent trips. Lollipop couldn’t have happened more organically – Formula 1 brings together my love of cars, racing, travel, adventure, photography, and magazines.

How did the project get it’s start?
On a freezing day in February of 2013, I woke up to KCRW, and heard about an upcoming music festival in Barcelona, called Primavera Sound, with Blur as the headlining band.  I spontaneously bought a ticket, and booked a flight and room for the month of May.Over the next few weeks, realizing the Spanish Grand Prix would take place during my trip, I asked my friend and the new Creative Director at Road & Track, Dave Speranza, if I could shoot the race for them. They were into it, and helped me attain accreditation for the Spanish Grand Prix.

I didn’t see this as anything more than fulfilling a dream to shoot a Formula 1 race, before the concert the following weekend. I was psyched to be there, and nostalgic to be shooting for Road & Track. When I arrived at the circuit in Barcelona, the first person I saw was the NBC broadcaster, Will Buxton. I said hello, and with a very warm welcome, he encouraged me to introduce myself to the person who gave me accreditation, Pat Behar, and insisted I go to the Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus and McLaren motorhomes, ask for the Press Officers, and tell them I’m with Road & Track, and ask if I can photograph the drivers, the cars, the garages, etc. I immediately went to say hello and thank you to Mr. Behar, who not only knew my name, but he knew my website thoroughly, referencing specific images, telling me, “That’s why I gave you accreditation.”  Then he offered, “You should come to Monaco,” the next race on the calendar. Then I went to Ferrari and Lotus, and they too generously offered to let me shoot the drivers getting suited up in the garages, buckled into the cars, and speeding off onto the track. That night, I called a friend back in New York to tell them what the hell had just happened, and his response was, “Dude, you’re in.” I didn’t feel that way at all, but knew something special was happening, I accepted the invitation to Monaco, sacrificing my Blur concert.

Did you have a previous relationship with Road and Track?
Not as a photographer, but as a long-time subscriber, since I was about twleve years old. My connection was through the Creative Director, Dave Speranza, who gave me one of my first assignments, for “Golf for Women” magazine, in 1999.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 6.47.48 PM (1)

What was it specifically in this image by Jacques-Henri-Lartigue that inspired the project?

I love everything about this image!  It looks fast, dangerous and romantic.  The drivers are wearing leather helmets, there is an exposed gas tank behind the driver’s heads, and the wheels are bent to an oval, with two spare tires, suggesting there will be a flat tire. The people in the background look upper class, which hasn’t changed in F1 racing, and they are skewed in the opposite direction of the car, emphasizing speed. It’s also muddy, and I feel like I can hear the engine and smell the fuel. Mostly, what intrigues me about this image is the odd crop.  I so badly want to see the whole car, but it’s as if this was all he could capture at that speed.  He leaves me craving more. I’ve always wanted to create timeless images, and I’m trying to do it in F1.

I know self publishing is a challenge, what was your driving force?
After Road & Track told me they could no longer sponsor my accreditation, an idea arose to publish an independent, American Formula 1 magazine, as a photo-narrative of every race.  Most F1 magazines report news, driver gossip and the business deals. To stay in Formula 1 as a photographer, you must attend 12-14 races each season, and publish hundreds of photographs.  Lollipop helped achieve some of these requirements, but I had no idea how intense the travel would be.  There are twenty races in twenty different countries, taking place every other weekend, from March until November!  Had I known in advance what this would take, I’m not sure I would have done it, but taking it race by race was exciting and achievable.  I kept discovering new things about the sport, uncovering different layers, and I woke up every morning totally inspired to go explore, shoot something new, play with shutter speeds, etc. The more races I shot, the more I discovered, and realized I had access to not only the race track, the cars and drivers, but also with permission, to the team garages, the mechanics, engineers, teams trucks, and factories. There is so much to shoot – it’s the ultimate travel story.

Where did the funding come from Lollipop and what’s the backstory on the name?
Lollipop is self-funded.  I looked for sponsors and advertising, but Formula 1 is not well known in the United States, and there was no circulation to speak of. I took a loan for the printing of the third issue, but the sales are offsetting the costs, and inherent expenses. The name Lollipop pays homage to a piece of racing equipment formerly used during pit stops. The crew chief held a long pole with a disc at the end of it, affectionately called the lollipop. It was used to communicate with the driver of when to stop, and when to go. Now they are electronic, like stop lights.

Why is there no video allowed in F1?
The rights holder of Formula 1 owns the broadcasting rights worldwide.  He provides a live feed of each race, bringing all the cameras, microphones and cameramen around the world, from race to race. We are only allowed to shoot still frames, which is amazing for me, because I love the still image and narrative.

You’ve traveled to 22 races and been to 40/50 countries, are you also shooting other jobs?
I have taken a few races off here and there, to regroup and shoot other assignments.  It’s more a matter of letting my clients know I’m back in the United States.  This is where social media sometimes backfires.  If I post images from around the world, everyone assumes I’m gone, so I need to be careful about that. I also keep in touch and let everyone know I’m back – this goes for friends too. I’m grateful that they have been patient with me, and still call. As far as shooting assignments, I would like to concentrate on motorsports and the automobile industry.  I would also like to see Lollipop expand to different genres of prestigious racing, like LeMans. I am enjoying the challenge, and as much as I love being a photographer, I love every aspect of publishing, it’s exciting, empowering and new.     

How many different cameras do you have for each race?
I bring one camera, and sometimes a backup body. I’m not a gear head and don’t like carrying all the weight.  I also like to choose a focal length and stick with it.  If I can do this from race to race, mixing it up a bit, it keeps me fresh, the work fresh, and gives a different look to each race. More important than the camera, I shoot with fixed focal length lenses.  I bring a Zeiss 35mm, 50mm, and a vintage Nikon 105mm, along with an autofocus 24-70mm, as a back up for portraits.  Both Nikon and Canon reps come to every race to service our gear, and bring crates of cameras and lenses for us to use.  I occasionally try a long lens, but I prefer to shoot wide. Last season, as I started to repeat races from the year before, and decided to bring along my 1913 Graflex 4×5, and shoot black and white film. I wanted to try to recreate some classic images with modern cars, and  deconstruct the cars a bit, concentrating more on their form, than the sometimes garish advertising. It’s a huge challenge, but keeps me intrigued, and really slows things down.  Instead of shooting infinite frames on memory cards, I shoot about twenty sheet per session, and I feel like a photographer again, thinking about composition, framing, and point of view.

How are you sustaining yourself, does the magazine have advertising?
Lollipop is produced on a shoestring budget, with no overhead or employees.   I’ve slept in tents, stayed in far away hotels, walked, taken public transportation and have asked for rides to and from the various circuits. Besides paying the designer, and expenses for the fashion shoot, all the money went into printing.  That couldn’t be sacrificed, and we printed it based on the paper and ink we wanted, vs. cost. I have not taken any advertising, not that I didn’t try, but in the end, I am happy we didn’t get any ads, because I want Lollipop to be exclusive and collectible.  I would like to think, if you picked up an issue ten years from now, you’d still say wow, and not be distracted by outdated ads. I know this is very idealistic, but I think it would be better to try to advertise by association, or by a single, per-issue sponsor, or through custom packaging. I also think and hope that when Lollipop is discovered by F1’s hundreds of millions of fans worldwide, the distribution will grow and help make it sustainable and profitable.

Are you selling any of there images?
I have supplied images to several magazines, but I decided I wanted to publish exclusive content, and simply try to create the most beautiful racing magazine ever.I would like to publish and exhibit the black and white work, and it’s a matter of time and priorities.  I’m doing my best to set realistic goals, and unfortunately, it’s not an immediate goal.

What’s the greatest challenge with this project?
The biggest challenge was getting to that first race.  Formula 1 has a bad reputation, based on how the sport was governed over a decade ago, but the people are incredible, and they are incredibly supportive. The challenges now are my stamina, and finding a financial solution to keep this going.  A lot has been achieved in two years, including permanent accreditation.  I believe in it, the response has been overwhelming, and I think money will come.

How have you grown from Lollipop?
If there was ever a more significant right of passage, this is it.  I came to a point in my life to take a real risk, and stopped caring what anyone thought, or failing, and ignored any discouragement. After 17 years shooting professionally, I feel like I’ve finally found my voice as a photographer and writer.  I feel more articulate, acute, and in the moment.  It’s hard to explain, but it’s like having a new career, doing exactly what I love to do.

What would you tell other photographers that have a deep passion for a hobby or sport?
I have always been very encouraging and I say go for it!  You have nothing to lose, and I think every day, if Lollipop stopped tomorrow, it was a huge success. Very few people take big risks in their lives, for fear of failure, lack of stability or peer pressure.  Nothing has been easy for me, but I work hard and I’ve had a lot of luck! My first assignment was to shoot shampoo bottles and I was psyched!  Then I shot a garden, and then a restaurant.  It took three or four years before I got a big travel shoot, and even then I took a deep breath and thought, okay, that’s one, now let’s try for two. You have to believe in yourself, and not be discouraged.  There is every reason to not try to be a photographer right now, or think it’s already been done. Everyone is a photographer today.  We all have phones, but what do we do with them? Photography is about nuance, and if you look at Robert Frank’s, or Irving Penn’s contact sheets, you’ll quickly see this is a working process, and the great frames jump off the page.Before my first race, a friend asked, “Why F1?  It’s already been done.” Not to me it hadn’t, not even close.

Are you also writing all the interviews?
Yes, and that’s empowering. I was an English major in the creative writing program at the University of Washington.  I have always felt comfortable writing and have kept a journal for about fifteen years. But again, this happened by accident.  One day the Press Officer from McLaren called and asked when I would like to interview their rookie driver, Kevin Magnussen.  I thanked her, and explained that I was a photographer and more interested in taking his portrait.  She kindly welcomed me to do both. I laid awake the night before, nervously thinking of questions to ask, and just went for it. It wasn’t the best, but it was a start, and it helped me get over being star-struck, and talking to the drivers. I had no idea how difficult it is to dictate an interview and make sense of it.  It is really challenging, and massively rewarding. After that, I asked the other teams for interviews, and tried to approach the interviews a little differently.  It got better, but drivers expect to hear questions about that weekend’s race, with the Press Officer by their side, so it’s hard to do a lifestyles piece. When I interviewed Pirelli Motorsports Director, Paul Hembery, I felt much more comfortable to just chat and listen. It felt more like we were sitting in a pub drinking a pint, with him telling me about his life.  I learned a lot, especially that the most interesting people in Formula 1 are not necessarily the drivers.

How long does on issue take to produce?
I have learned so much in the last two years, and most of it the hard way, but that’s kind of my style.The third issue was a redesign, which took about six months from inception, with three months of hard work to finish.  We missed our initial two deadlines, but benefitted by having more time to add written content, like an extra interview and an article about my camera repair with Lotus. Production took over four weeks, because our pages were so heavily coated in ink, it literally took three weeks for the paper to dry.  I have to factor that in for the next issue. And then of course, shipping, which took a week. I hope the next one comes together much quicker, but then again, there is a lot of content to gather and the season is long. I want to mix up the design to continue to keep it fresh.

The Daily Promo: Embry Rucker

- - The Daily Promo

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.53.54 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.54.00 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.54.05 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.54.11 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.54.15 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.54.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.54.26 PM

Embry Rucker

Who designed it?
I worked with Dustin Ortiz on the design. He has done a few newspaper catalogs and print jobs that I loved so his experience and skills were invaluable.

Who edited the images?
I had a collection of images I loved and wanted to include.  Dustin helped me cull the herd and pair images that I normally wouldn’t see together. I tend to associate images by  shoot.  It’s cool to see what fresh eyes see and think work well together.

How many did you make?
We mailed out 2500 and I think we printed 3,000 so we would have some to hand out and use to light fires with.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I suppose everyone says ‘not often enough’ right? I probably send two realistically, but I think four is probably a good number. With the ‘mass’ mailing like this I’m less convinced it has much of an impact.  I prefer to stay in touch with my smaller select group of people I work with, have worked with, who I believe would be a good fit in the future. Something more personal, like the package I sent Rob with the zine, patches, stickers and note…

What was the most creative use of your promo and why the newsprint instead of the card?
No real back story other than just wanting to break away from the postcard, grind. I like the newspaper size it’s like a zine and it gives you a tactile experience. Here’s my Daughter using it for shade at the beach…lots of possibilities!

The Daily Edit – Parade: HollenderX2

- - The Daily Edit




Photo Director: Nicole Kopperud
Senior Art Director: Matt Taliaferro

Heidi: Tell us about the subjects.
Jordan: Bill Berloni and his dogs were  photographed in Connecticut on Bill’s farm.  We were able to choose the dogs we wanted to work with (he has about 30 dogs).    We knew we were in for a treat as his dogs are some of the best trained in the country, with high day rates.  Fortunately they weren’t divas. He has a new show “From Wags to Riches” on the Discovery Channel that just came out where he turns shelter dogs into stars.

How hard was it to manage the dogs?
The magazine didn’t want a studio setup for the cover shot of the dog, so we photographed them outside.  After we set up the cover shot, we were told that they needed to bring the dogs out one at a time.  We then shot the dogs individually in our scene and later composted them together.  The biggest challenge was the heat.  We had a van with AC near the set for the dogs to stay cool — we were able to shoot each dog for a few minutes.  Since our subject is a master trainer and has such a unique connection with these dogs we needed to do less wrangling from camera than usual, but that didn’t stop us from doing some kazoo blowing of our own.

Did you have treats on set? 
There were treats and tons of different noise makers ranging from kazoos to the plastic trombone-like- whistles which were a big hit and seized the most attention from the dogs.

Were you concerned about any of your equipment with dog hair?
No – whether we are sippin’ a cappuccino in studio or rollin around in the dirt with dogs, we usually know what we are in for and plan accordingly.  In this case, we had plastic bags under our equipment.
Can the dog really make his ears go up or did you do that in post?
Ah, unfortunately no, or at least not in the short time we had to shoot him!
We wanted to create an organic movement from the centered “star” dog, so we had Bill pick up his ears and drop them to get this effect.

What was the most remarkable training command of the day?
I wish I could say there was a word but it turns out its mostly about hand signals.
There was this one thing Bill would do to get the dogs to run.  He would simply walk away and get into his car, and they would come a runnin’.

How hard was it to get all of the dogs looking for the group shot or was that done in post?
For the group shot, they were all so well trained that we were able to position them on the couch and with hand signals, they would stay in place.  There was an assistant dog trainer behind camera for that shot to help us.  It was done in camera and felt like a small miracle to have them all just sitting and looking at us like that.    Had we not been in the company of such well trained animals and top notch trainers this would have required lots compositing.

Here’s some BTS shots by Tye Worthington and another shot from the day.  Their subject gave Jordan a dog bone handkercheif and it came in real handy!
hollenderx2_bts_2 hollenderx2_bts hollenderx2_dog_kiss

The Daily Promo – Blair Gable

- - The Daily Promo

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.49.25 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.49.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.49.39 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.49.43 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.49.49 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.49.57 PM

Blair Gable

Who printed it?
The books were printed by Photobook Canada – 40 copies. The postcards were printed by Vistaprint and the stickers were printed by Loudmouth Print House in Ottawa.

Who designed it?
The Gablehead, Blair Gable Photography, and Third Floor York logos were designed by Jason Harper at Strongvine Visual Communications. I designed the book and postcard myself – layout using Photo Mechanic and page design with Fundy Designer.

Who edited the images?
I edited the images myself, though I showed a pre-production book to close family and friends to see if there was anything missing.

How many did you make?
I send out packages to editors that I regularly work with at least once a year. This was my first time sending promo kits to a large number of new editors.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I mostly shoot politics and portraits for my editorial clients and rarely have time to work on personal or self-assigned projects. I worked on a number of projects last year that I shot first and sold later, so I thought I would showcase that work in this particular promo package.

I like the title, did you write that and was impact the goal? 
I did write the title, it came from the topics of the projects, but I thought together they were compelling enough to make someone crack the book. So I guess the goal was to make it as enticing as possible, as quickly as possible.

The Daily Edit – Fast Company: Zach Gross

- - The Daily Promo



Fast Company

Photo Director:
Sarah Filippi
Photo Editor: Annie Chia
Photographer: Zach Gross

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Zach: Annie asked me to do something a little creepy and eerie: using double exposures and shutter dragging to distort/obscure their faces. She wanted the portraits of David and Robert to look a little unsettling like their television show, The Walking Dead.

What was your technique for this?
I used three strobes mixed with the ambient light coming down from a skylight in the studio, and a smoke machine to create a hazy atmosphere.

How much time did you have to do the portraits?
Because of their tight schedules, I had thirty minutes with each subject.

It’s so refreshing to see a different style of portrait that suits the content. Have you done this type of portrait before?
I’ve experimented with this type of technique before while photographing dancers and performance artists.  This time it was a bit different because the subjects were not performers. I had to direct them more and suspend their literal interpretations of a portrait, asking them to perform a little more then they were used to.

Did you do any testing for this?
I arrived at the studio early, and did some tests for about an hour to adjust the light and get the technique dialed in. I came to the studio with specific ideas and goals. I sketched out some ideas on paper to help visualize the shoot. During the process, details get adjusted and tweaked but it was good to have a blueprint.

The blurs seem to be directional, how did you do that?
The blurs are directional because both the subjects and I were moving. The shoot was a bit of a dance trying to find the convergence of all the elements: strobe light, natural light, smoke, and expression. A lot of exploring different compositions…it felt like choreography.

The Daily Promo: Kevin Zacher

- - The Daily Promo

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.48.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.48.33 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.48.43 PM Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.48.50 PM

Kevin Zacher

Who printed it?
Source Print Media in LA.  I like to keep it local and in America.  We used a traditional litho process but with the new technology of UV inks and UV lamps. This allows the printer to not have any dry back issues in the uncoated stock which in turn keeps the colors more vibrant.  There is also less waste in this process.

Who designed it?
Eric Pfleeger who is a freelance art director in LA  and formerly in New York and Amsterdam doing the agency thing.  He’s done promos for Christa Renee, Amanda Marsalis, Karen Caruso, Justin Hollar and logos for Peter Bohler and Brian Stevens. He is currently working on a super cool top-secret book project with an entertainment artist.   He’s been doing all my promos for the last 2 years and has a great sense for simplicity and editing.   He did a mini book for me that I shipped a couple of years ago and it looked beautiful so I just kept going with him.

We wanted them to be more or less simple and utilitarian.  A promo that isn’t so much about the design, but the work, the ease of use and  the fun of a poster.  The fold is very specific, that is because I wanted the images to be upright almost no matter how you look at it.  If it’s completely folded you can sort of flip it like a magazine and the images will be right side up.  And then of course for those who are into posters we offer that.  Who doesn’t like a good poster.  All time best poster?  Farrah Fawcett in the one piece swim suit.  Don’t know it??   Look it up- you won’t be disappointed male for female.

Who edited the images?
A mix between myself and Eric Pfleeger.  Each promo is built from photographs from one specific shoot, not a montage of many shoots or images over time. I wanted to challenge myself to do a promo I was happy with from a limited amount of work.   Limited in that it’s not curated from anything I’ve done in the last year, but from a single shoot that might last a day or a week.  I shoot a lot, but it’s still a challenge to commit to so few images.    I will send Eric as broad an edit of a shoot as I can and he will whittle it down and put into 3 to 4 layouts for me to review.   I will then bounce back some images I don’t like or add ones that weren’t included and then we will battle it out until we are both happy.  I want him to be happy, because it’s not just about me.  It’s about the integrity and I want Eric to gain something for himself as well.

How many did you make?
4,250.  4,000 get shipped out and 175 go to my agent Anderson Hopkins for hand outs and I keep the rest to hand out and mail to awesome people as they come into my life like Rob Haggart!!!  If anyone wants one hit me up!

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This year I am doing 4.  Roughly every 3 months or when the timing and work seem right.  I’ve shipped two so far:  Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.  I would ship more if I didn’t think it was wasteful and that people aren’t already tired of getting promos.  I will fill in with some email promos here and there when the work calls for it.

The Daily Edit: Walter Smith Self Published

- - The Daily Edit

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.22.23 PM

Walter Smith

What has been the biggest influence on your work? 
I love to look at photographs, photographer’s careers to see how they’ve created work year after year building on ideas,being flexible, creating work that has value.

What was your first real break if you can remember?
I clearly remember my first big project. It was a documentary project and it started as a 1 day shoot that evolved into a 10 day shoot. I came home, quit my day job, got a new job bartending and looked for work and photographed everyday for years. No BS in that statement. Not much has changed.

You have such a strong corporate client list, how did that happen?
I remember being a young photographer and looking at the stack of annual reports on my father’s desk. They were always interesting to flip through and very photo heavy. I started to keep a list of the design agencies that worked on them and started to hand print promos to mail out to the art directors. I drove many a receptionist crazy trying to get the names of the right people to mail to. It was a very organic process that worked for well for me.

 I enjoy that your promo’s are so interpretive. Quite a few of your images give us hope and an escape from whatever we are doing at the moment. I have your “Self Published spread 12-13” on my wall and often fall into that image when I need a break from my desk. Did you do this consciously? Put images in that promo as an escape for the viewer inevitably sitting at their desk wishing they were someplace else?

I’ve always thought that a promo should start a conversation with whomever is on the receiving end. Whenever I start a promo edit it tends to lean towards the commercial side. What I think people want to see, where the industry is at. I start to whittle that down with the help of the designers and the edit/promo starts to have a vision. Starts to feel like an extension of myself. I also start to have doubts and spend more that a few nights thinking about the image edits, the pagination–everything. It’s about a 3 month process from the first edit to the last with a few rounds of variations. The second guessing is an important part of the process (for me) and I generally feel that if the anxiety isn’t there then there’s something wrong.

When a promo arrives on a desk I want to get it opened. I want to allow the smell of ink to fill a room. We send out promos in clear envelopes with big imagery on both the label side and the back side. It’s always the goal for the promo to drive people to the site where they can see all the work they want. I’ve heard from a handful of people who spread 12-13 is hanging on their walls. There’s no better compliment than that. Yes, I certainly want a project from the promos but if It starts a conversation with a creative, adds a few Instagram/Facebook followers then its working.

I think in this crazy paced digital age everyone needs a visual respite. I don’t think that we consciously put in imagery that speaks to that but its tends to happen. I had spread 12-13 on my mind for weeks before the right situation presented itself. I wanted to shoot it out in Montauk but the weather just wasn’t right. We were 2 weeks aways from going to press when I found myself out in SF during a crazy December storm. I had an idea of something I wanted and reached out to Heather Elder who put me in touch with location master Jim Baldwin who turned me onto Sutro Baths. We hiked in wind and rain for about 30 minutes before I found the right spot. I actually thought the birds screwed up the shot until I saw the frames. I found what I was looking for and called Marcos, the CD at TODA who was working on the promo, and asked him to hold up while I sent it off to him. (Marcos and I have worked together on promos/websites/portfolios for 15 years)

A lot of your work and comments here keep you deeply anchored in the moment, were you always like this? Or has it become refined over time?
I like to think I was always anchored in the moment. It’s how I work; how I’ve always viewed situations. Everyone has a story to share and I try to tell these stories when I work. I try to find something that we can both relate to and build upon. It’s not the image that makes the photograph, it’s about the conversation that makes the photograph happen.

How has your family influenced your work and what has it taught you about yourself?
Being a father has taught me that the well-being of one’s family trumps everything. I talk about my children (2 boys 2 girls ) to everyone I shoot and that can lead to some interesting places. All teens make for a very interesting household.

I see you are without out a rep. What’s your best advice for marketing yourself?
Be smart with your time. Be respectful when reaching out to people. Research, research, research. I love sending out simple emails with personal notes and an image. Have a sense of humor. Know that it’s not about you and approach people that way. Be kind. Don’t make calls when you’re in a low or bad mood, go see a movie instead (advice to me from Duane Michaels years ago). Know that there are “friends” and “client friends” and understand the difference.

I could use a rep. When I go on appointments with larger agencies the first or second question is “who are you rep’d by.” I’ve worked with great reps in the past and have good relationships with them. Theres positive and not so positive things about working with agents. I think one needs to learn how to be their own rep before anything else. Learn the business because it’s a business no matter how creative you are.

Tell us about the conversations behind your promo images.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.22.23 PM

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.22.31 PM
Spread one: 
Walter Kirn and first day of vacation.
I really wanted to use the shot of Walter for a couple of reasons. I loved the image but there’s also a great back story. I photographed him 17 years ago for GQ for the contributors section. Met at the Gramercy Hotel and did some pictures that were fine but when I left I never felt like I really got what I wanted, if I even knew what I wanted really. I’ve thought about if for years on and off. Seriously, years. I’ve always keep track of him and I saw a post on FB mentioning him. I reached out to him through FB and reminded him who I was. How many people named Walter are there in the world really? He remembered the shoot, actually remembered details that I forgot. I asked if I could shoot him again when he was in NYC next. As it turns out, he was in the city the next weekend. We met up, talked , shot and I got what I was after. The funny thing is, and I wasn’t even aware of this, is that there’s a white coffee cup in both shots we did.
The promo editing was done by TODA. I whittled down to about 500 images for this round. To say “edit” is a stretch though.

 Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.22.40 PM
Spread two:
This is generally what my house looks like on any given weekend morning. I always have film cameras around and the table image was shot on Kodak 400 through my favorite camera the Mamiya7II. Its traveled the world with me multiple times and has never…not once, crapped out on me. I always liked this image but never saw it as a paired up with another image. They showed it to me with this image of my son Otis and I was immediately sold. This particular shot was from a test with the new Leica S camera. Most intuitive comfortable piece of gear I’ve shot with in years.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.22.51 PM
Spread three:
The image of the 3 tourists against a wall was shot near the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. I love it there. Photographs to be taken at every turn and I never felt uncomfortable shooting on the streets there. We were originally there for a Coca-Cola lifestyle shoot. Whenever I go to a new place I generally throw on some running shoes and clear my head with a trek through the area that often turns into a scouting trip of some sort.
I paired this with an image from the Governors Island carnival from two summers ago. I wold have never put these two together but it works because the contrast between the backgrounds. This spread hung up in my office for a few weeks to see if it grew on me. That’s part of the process when I edit and make decisions with these things. It will live on my fridge, in my office, somewhere where I see it when I pass through. I wait to see what the spread feels like after a bit of time has passed. Might be odd, but it’s worked this long so why change?

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.22.58 PM
Spread four:
I’m always struck by how often people will not allow an experience to simply unfold before they start documenting it. I’m guilty of it at times but to see a kid walking down the street or sitting in a stroller with an ipad just kills me. What happened to just looking around, to being curious? I’m sure these ladies were just tourists outside Macy’s during the holiday but to me they we’re missing something. The leather fanny pack does it for me.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.23.07 PM
Spread five:
What’s not to love about Miami in the winter?
Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.23.16 PM
Spread six:
The last image to make it into the promo. I asked to swap this in just before it left for the printers. I love weather and I had this stormy sea image in my head for weeks. I was waiting for the right time to drive out to Montauk to get it but the weather was not cooperating as I said earlier. After I shot it I though I’d have to retouch the birds out. Ha. They made it that much better! I called Marcos in a “hold the presses” moment and we got this in. One of my favorites on 2014.

Screen Shot 2015-08-09 at 4.23.23 PM
Spread seven:
Just documentary portraits from jobs. Probably the only two images from paid jobs in the promo.

I love doing promos and find the process of how someone else experiences my work refreshing. It’s a long process for me. Lots of time goes into moving images around on pages before I even send the edit to TODA. It’s a bit of an emotional process in the beginning until it leaves my hands. Once it’s done the feeling of waiting to see what the designers come back with is equal to the feeling of waiting for rolls of film to come back from the lab. curiosity. Excitement. It’s all there.

Once we get round one done, I pin them up and live with them. This will generally lead to second edit that may have a few more commercial images in it. They always look great but I’m often left feeling like something is missing. I always know what’s missing but it takes sometime to make the changes. This time around I had my producer, Susan Shaughnessy, Paula Gren of The GrenGroup and Amanda Sosa Stone (my creative buddy for years) weigh in on the edit. All agreed more personal was stronger. I’ve always thought a promo should immediately stand out in the mail so that’s why we’ve always used clear envelopes. I’ve also started to send an email or PM to specific clients with a snap of the promo cover to let them know it’s on their way. It all works though sometimes a bit better than others. When I’m traveling to an area for appointments I generally will hold off sending a promo until two weeks before I arrive. It’s always a compliment when people remember receiving it. Promos are a way to start a conversation and my career has been one long conversation with many people.

The Daily Promo: Breungrega

- - The Daily Promo

BreunGrega_01 BreunGrega_02 BreunGrega_03 BreunGrega_04


Who printed it?
It was printed by Pinguindruck here in Berlin. They are specialised in printing all kinds of stuff for creatives.

Who designed it?
I did the designed by myself. But our logo was designed by Frauke Wiechmann & Vincent Kraft, graphic designer friends of ours.

As is a team of Martin Grega and me, David Breun, we have those half circles wich can be put together. We have this sheme on lots of our stuff for example also on our business cards. With the postcards i did the same you can put them together and then you have a full circle.

Who edited the images?
I edited the images with my business partner Martin.

How many did you make?
We made 1000 each.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
We are trying to send promo cards twice a year. I also have a couple of postcards with me all the time and i leave them as a addition to my business card. And its funny that you still see them a office tables if you visit the person the next time.

Did you purposely leave off your contact details on the promo to Rob? Your instragram friends were able to ID your team, you have fans!
Oh thanks, our US agent Tim Mitchell said that it’s a good strategy. I didnt do this on purpose, on the front our website & logo is printed with UV finish, so if you turn the postcard a bit you can see it. Next time i will write my full address and company name on the back, for sure! I attached some pictures where you can see the finish.

The 2 postcards are also trying to show our two aspects…one is the advertisement photography and the other one is editorial car photography. The 3 Porsche sports cars have never been on the location in Miami they only exist in the computer, they have been rendered, very common these days and a big change in car photography…the orange car is a Lancia Stratos prototype 1975, matte orange! This was an editorial shooting for ramp Magazine here in Germany and a completely hit & run shoot…the car wasn´t even registered neither had it working headlights…the owner just didn´t care he drove around the city the whole night with us…in the end he lost the ignition key…a shooting i will never forget…

The Daily Edit – Real Simple: Danny Kim

- - The Daily Edit


Real Simple

Photo Director: Casey Tierney
Photo Editor: Brian Madigan
Danny Kim

What are the tricks for shooting ice cream in it’s half frozen, half-melted state?
The food stylist comes prepared with a styrofoam box filled with dry ice so the ice cream can reset faster than in the freezer. I will leave the modeling lights off on the strobe so they do not emit heat. Also some store bought ice creams do not melt like home-made or parlor style ice creams, certain sugars such as corn syrup and stabilizers such as cellulose gum slow down the melting and dripping process. For multiple scoops the ice cream is held up by long sticks if its unstable then retouched out.

Do you have any good behind the scenes info about this shoot?
This image was originally shot on yellow color aide, Real Simple converted the background to pink when they decided to use it as a cover.

You were previously a staff photographer at New York Magazine, and now you’re at Bon Appetit, are you staff or freelance only?
I was on staff at New York Magazine from 2010-2012, there I learned to shoot food, still life, & fashion. I am currently freelance only, Bon Appetit being one of my regulars.

What was your biggest break in your career thus far?
I got to meet and photograph Martin Short for a New York Times article. I was star struck, I am a huge fan of Jiminy Glick.

How did shooting the Strategist pages shape you as a photographer?
The Strategist openers forced me to think like a magazine designer. Headlines, text, and graphic quality were all in consideration when shooting those pages.

How hard was it to make the transition from staff to full time shooting for a variety of clients.
I worked with some of the best photo editors in the city at New York Magazine, they eventually moved on to other magazines and even become photo directors, we all keep in touch so finding work was not a problem.

What’s your creative process for the smart/witty/graphic still life images?
I listen to what the photo editors or art directors have in mind and I also ask for some context of the article, then I try to make many options as I can before the studio closes.

Do you have a journal? Do you write copy?
No journal, I do not write.

The Daily Promo: Tim Tadder

- - The Daily Promo

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.43.16 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.43.23 AM
Tim Tadder

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

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

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

How many did you make?

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

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

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

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger