Posts by: Heidi Volpe

The Daily Edit – Shea Evans: Technicolor

- - The Daily Edit



Shea Evans

Heidi: How has this style evolved into your editorial and commercial work?
Shea: After building up a small amount of these images, I began to wonder if they might have some commercial applications for product shots.  Once I had five or six images to show, I reached out to a creative director I had worked with previously.  This was really casual, just over text (her preferred mode of communication), “Hey, I’ve been working with this style recently, I haven’t seen it around before, if you think you might have a client that it would be a good fit for, I’d love to work with you again”.  Just so happened that she was looking for a new style to match an imminent project.  We ended up working together to craft four images for her client in this color shadow style.  The end client was thrilled with the unique look and used the images as large storefront window posters.

What type of feedback are you getting from the personal body of work?
I’d say the feedback has been positive.  Certainly, with this type of work, the reaction has usually been “whoa!”, but part of that is because it’s such a departure from my previous work, which has a very natural, real and organic feel to it.  This has none of that.  I had a previous personal project, Deconstructed Flavor, that always seemed to excite people.  It leads to a lot more interviews than it did actual work (though I sold some prints and did do a commissioned cover).  But interviews can be great marketing, so I think if nothing else personal work can help in that way.  I don’t think you can really do personal work with an eye to turn it into jobs, it’s just not going to be genuine that way.

How did this style develop?
I started this particular project not as personal work, but more an exploration of technique.  I had had an issue on a shoot with mixing color temperatures from ambient and strobe light sources and so I began experimenting with using gels on my lights to try to match up temps, and really just see what my options were.  I had only used a warming gel here and there in the past but didn’t have much knowledge beyond that.

Pretty quickly into experimenting though, I started to notice the shadow effects I was getting out of combining gels.  And I started to play with multiple gels and subjects.  I got completely distracted from my original purpose.

Just on a creative level, it felt good to completely go away from my style of “real, natural, organic”.  In this way, my personal work has served as a kind of release valve for built up pressure by being boxed in by my own commissioned work.

What are the brain twisting gear elements you are referring to in your comment?
The shadows themselves are related to lights and gels you choose to use.  That’s pretty obvious.  What isn’t obvious though, is that the color of the shadow is related to the gel of the opposing light, not the one casting the shadow.  Also, depending on what combination of gels you use, that affects the color combination of shadows, change one gel out and the one that remains will also be affected and won’t be the same shade in the new image.  In addition to this, power in your light source has a great effect on the color, from a deeper color to a more pastel depending.  On top of this, some gels are denser, requiring more or less power from a light, so any change involves this total recalibration of your lighting setup to achieve a balance.  Then there’s the middle shadow to consider.  If you have an image where the shadows overlap, that creates a third color/shade or shape element.  How do you want that to look?  Then there’s the shape of the shadows themselves, long or short?  How can you turn the subject to get a more interesting shadow or a less interesting one?  Is that shadow too distracting?  Is it too small?  This work has a much more fine line between “Cool!” and “Crap!” than I’m used to working with on my more “normal” tabletop food work.  On the other hand, it makes it that much harder for someone else can replicate.  Lately, it feels like everyone can offer a “window-lit looking food/product beauty” so it feels good to have a difficult shot like this in my offering to clients.

How do you see this work influencing your current brand and style?
I don’t know if it represents a departure point as much as a branch.  I’m not evolving into a new style so much as adding something to my toolbox.  Any photography is partially about light and how you use it.  I love playing with big soft light and also really hard light and everything in between.  I think this is just another option and an expansion of that knowledge of how to use light.

Are you concerned about having too wide of a range with your style and becoming fractured?
A little?  Certainly, it is a little hard working this into the rhythm of my larger portfolio book since it looks is so different.  On the other hand, I’m running a business.  I’m a photographer but what I sell is products.  Before this shoot, my products were, “editorial food beauty”, “food lifestyle”, “portraits of people in the food industry”, “environments in the food industry”, “product in the food industry in a natural setting”.  This simply adds “product in the food industry in a DYNAMIC UN-natural setting” to that list.  It’s still under the umbrella of food/product and I think if I keep it like that, I’ll still be “niched” while really being able to keep my options open for client’s needs.

How do you decide what style to use?
I think that simply comes down to client preferences.  What look do they want for their product?  This could simply be another look I could give them, but of course, I’d be happy to continue with the “natural look” as well.  I’m not in this to force my artistic vision on the world.

The Daily Promo: Elizabeth Cecil

Elizabeth Cecil


Who printed it?

 Hemlock Printing

Who designed it?
Claire Lindsey 

Who edited the images?
Melissa McGill  

How many did you make?
 100. Each booklet is 22 pages. The inside pages are recycled paper and the cover has a matte, soft-touch finish.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
 2-3 times a year

Are you booklets seasonal?
When we decided to create this small booklet for a promo, we went into the project planning to do a small series. We have done three booklets, Fall, Summer, Winter/Spring. It was fun to think about the booklets in a series and to tailor the work to somewhat represent the season. We did a small run with the intention of really targeting our audience with this special piece. We had great feedback, one being that people have kept the books. We hoped that they would stay with people and create a little visual library of the work. 

The Daily Edit – The Hollywood Reporter: Christopher Patey

- - The Daily Edit

The Hollywood Reporter

Creative Director: Shanti Marlar
Photography&Video Director: Jennifer Laski
Deputy Photo Editor: Carrie Smith
Photo Editor: Kate Pappa
Photographer: Christopher  Patey

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Chris: This shoot came in last minute (as they often do) so there wasn’t a ton of direction from the magazine in this case. Kate Pappa was the assigning editor. I received an email and a text from her on Thursday morning at 10:30 to see if I was available to photograph Carmine Caridi on Friday afternoon. Kate then gave me a quick rundown of Carmine’s story so I could get a good grasp on the tone that they were looking for in the photography. However, due to the time constraints, Kate had to work fast to find an affordable location that was easy for our subject to get to. Our first option fell through and we ended up at a restaurant/lounge at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. With no time to scout, we basically had to get to the location 2 hours before the shoot and figure it out.

What tools do you use when you are covering a subject that’s been in a difficult situation? How do you get the shoot started?
A handful of small things get tweaked for instances like this. Having a bit of a quieter set with a smaller crew definitely, helps keep the environment feeling intimate. Our photo crew was just me, Kate, a photo assistant, and a groomer. The writer was also there to interview Carmine after the shoot. We also keep the music and our conversation toned down. In situations where I’m shooting somebody related to a sensitive or emotional story, I try to speak with them for a little bit before we shoot to establish a bit of a rapport with them and also get a feel for how they would be comfortable being photographed. However, a subject like Carmine has been around the entertainment business for a long time so I know he just wants to come in, have his picture taken, and be finished as quickly as possible. Once he gets on set it’s all business. I quickly introduce myself and explain my plan and the different setups I’d like to shoot. If he and his publicist are on board then we get right to work. I showed him where and how I would like him to sit and we’re off. I can’t remember for sure but I think he forwent being groomed too.

You caught some unguarded moments in these images, was your conversation about his departure from the film academy?
There wasn’t much conversation between him and I during the shoot. Mostly just direction. I gave him different eye lines and tweaked small things with posing and posture. He knew exactly why he had come there that day and the gravity of the story was definitely on his mind which showed on his face. The writer, Scott Feinberg was also on hand and was stepping in at small windows of time to get his conversation with Carmine going between my setups. That helped keep him in that frame of mind throughout the session.

Outtakes from the shoot

How did you set the tone for the shoot? 
I did not speak with him directly about the story because I didn’t want to insert myself into the writer’s interviewing process. If I start asking him about details of the story right before his interview it could make him feel like he’s repeating himself when Scott started his line of questioning. In that situation, I felt like it wasn’t my place and I didn’t need that interaction to make the picture I wanted to make.

 I simply made sure to have my setups dialed in with solid test frames of my assistant to give Carmine a good idea about how the photo was going to look. The combination of the moody light and the standard dead-gaze of a seasoned photo assistant were perfect to portray the vibe I was going for. It was also necessary to be as ready as possible when he arrived so we could get everything we wanted in the short amount of time we had. There wasn’t a moment to waste on moving lights once we got going.

Was the reflection from the desk a hint at self-reflection or a happy accident?
The reflection on the table was something I found during our pre-light. I originally just wanted a shot with a bit of a longer focal length with some tables in the foreground to give the picture some depth. After a few tests at different angles, I found the reflection and I felt like it added something important to the fairly dark picture so we ran with it. I would love to say the idea of self-reflection was in my head when we were setting it up but honestly, that hadn’t crossed my mind before deciding to do it.

The Daily Promo: Kate Mathis

Kate Mathis


Who printed it?
GHP Media

Who designed it?
Jaspal Riyait, Design Director for Martha Stewart Living, who designed the book that this image was created for. She came up with all of the great graphics ideas, how they would work with the folds and appear inside the clear envelope.

Who edited the images?
This was self-edited, with some feedback from creatives in the industry. I had been wanting for a long time to do a promo in some kind of fold-out poster format and thought that images from this project would be perfect. Ultimately I went with a single image, with the reverse side being text and graphics only.

How many did you make?
2000

How many times a year do you send out promos?
At least twice

Was this image part of a bigger series?
This image is from a book project I did with Livia Cetti who is an amazing botanical stylist and crafter of paper flowers. Titled “The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers”, it was just released this month. Each chapter features beauty shots of a different flower along with complete instructions for making. The image I ended up using for the promo was one of many that we shot in a gorgeous, abandoned building in Hudson, NY that is in a beautifully distressed condition… peeling paint, cracked plaster and rich color everywhere!

  

The Daily Edit – Portland Monthly: Michael Novak

- - The Daily Edit

 

Portland Monthly

Art Director: Michael Novak
Photographer: Andy Batt

Heidi: Did you time this piece with the filibuster?
Michael: We didn’t time it with the filibuster. The fact that we went to press right as all that was going down was a fortuitous coincidence which required some scrambling to get the piece online earlier than usual. But we timed the feature more generally to Merkley’s rise as an anti-Trump resister in the Senate. We started reporting it right around the time of the Jeff Sessions confirmation in February, of which Merkley was a leading opponent. Additionally, there was an old-school “stop the presses” moment on Tuesday during the filibuster. Though the magazine had already gone to press, we really wanted to change the story to more accurately reflect what was happening in the news, so we contacted our printers and made a last-minute alteration to the story before it was plated. Not something that happens often in magazine land!

Did you suspect this would have so much social media impact?
We knew the piece would be timely, but the timing couldn’t have been better. Merkley was already in the news when we posted the story and it snowballed from there. Since we posted it’s been our top story on Facebook, and our second for overall web traffic.

What type of direction did you give Andy?
The starting point was me simply asking for a portrait that would make Jeff Merkley appear heroic, since the story was about his rise from quiet sideliner to more vocal leader. During pre-shoot conversations the work of many photographers was referenced, from Penn to Schoeller to Platon. Andy asked me a lot of very specific questions about whether the shot should be B&W or color, what Merkley’s pose should be, shirt sleeves rolled up or down, background colors, suited or casually dressed, etc. A fairly thorough examination of possible image directions. And when I showed up for the shoot he’d built two different sets, one with a black background for a seated pose and one white background for full body. We ended up using the full body shot for the turn page.

Are most are your photographers regional or do you fly people to shoot for you?
We really only use local photographers—it’s just not budget-feasible for us to fly someone in most of the time. And since Portland has developed into a photographer-rich environment, it’s rare that I need to bring someone in from out-of-town.

How much time did you get with Merkley? He’s a busy man.
As often happens with celebrities and other people in the public sphere, we had very little time with our subject, less than 45 minutes total; but Andy and his team did amazing work in a short time. Especially considering that Merkley was super sick when the photo was taken. His people requested that we try to make him look “alive”, so with the magic of hair and makeup and good lighting we kept him looking good!

The Daily Promo: Michael David Wilson

- - The Daily Promo

 

Michael David Wilson


Who printed it?
It was printed through School Paper Express.
A great company in Upstate New York. Their website has a vintage 1997 feel, but the customer service and turnaround is out this world! 

Who designed it?
I designed it with a minimal knowledge of Indesign.  

Who edited the images?
I did the editing but had lots of feedback from my partner and friends about how it flowed.

How many did you make?
It was a print run of 700. 

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I am trying to get two printed promos out a year and a monthly email promo. I am trying to target clients that I feel my work might be a good fit for, or clients that I would love to work for, rather than large email blasts. I’m testing this theory this year, we’ll see how well that goes. 

Was there a connection to Maine logging and newspaper for this project?
This series was photographed for a show at the Press Hotel in Portland Maine. I was trying to do a project that spoke to both the history of Maine logging and paper manufacturing as well as the historical nature of the press hotel building as a former newspaper printing hub. This promo was designed in part as a take away from the show and to send to prospective clients. After the promos were printed I made some phone calls and found that likely the paper stock for these was produced, in part, from pulp sourced from Maine timber. Which means some of the woodsmen in this promo may have cut the wood for the paper their portraits are printed on. I felt like that really brought everything full circle.

The Daily Promo – Walter Smith Photography + Motion

- - The Daily Promo

 

Walter Smith Photography + Motion


Who printed it?

It was printed by Innovation Printing in Philadelphia. They always do a wonderful job. we’ve been working together for 10 years on promos.

Who designed it?
Designed my Marco Chavez at TODA. 15 years and counting working on promos together. The 3rd in a “self-published” series is already in the works.

Who edited the images?
Edited by Edward Buerger, my agent at SIDECAR as well as Marcos and myself.

How many did you make?
1200 cards of each.  5 total.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Every two months give or take.

I noticed you wrote me a nice note, did you do this for everyone?
We completed this series of promo cards to go out between the larger self-published promos. I wanted the cards to have a lot of white space so that I could write notes to folks.  Out of 1000 that are mailed I write notes to approximately 400 people. My hand still hurts. I think it important to acknowledge people with something other than an email.  Something funny…something honest. I try not to be a name dropper unless someone asks about clients. I feel like that’s a lot of what social media is these days…..LOOK AT ME…LOOK AT ME! To support the promos and  the newly printed portfolio I’ve been going on as many targeted appointments as possible. Many with people that are familiar with my work…current clients…past clients…people that I’d just love to meet for no other reason than they do beautiful work. So far 25 agencies and approximately 50 creatives. What I’ve learned from these appointments is an article all its own!

The Daily Edit – Parents Magazine: Priscilla Gragg

- - The Daily Edit

Parents

Creative Director: Agnethe Glatved
Photo Director: Lily Francesca Alt
Photo Editor: Joanna Muenz
Baby Wrangler: Melania Sawyer
Wardrobe Stylist: Annie Caruso
Hair and Make up: Thora Vikar
Photographer: Priscilla Gragg

 

How long have you been shooting for Parents and do you usually photograph babies for them? ?
As a parent myself I have been a reader of the magazine for a number of years. As a reader, I have always loved their editorial images, so getting a chance to collaborate with Parents has been wonderful opportunity. I’ve been shooting for them for about three years now. Mostly the magazine focuses on toddlers so when I got the call for The Baby Contest Cover, I was so excited, I actually jumped up and down. I absolutely LOVE being around and photographing babies! Babies are my comfort zone.

Did you see the casting photos of the messy babies faces prior to the shoot?
The magazine shared all of the photos with me but I wasn’t part of the selection process, thankfully because they are all so cute! You can still see them online. The sponsor for the contest was Dreft and they created a hashtag on Instagram #MessiestBabyContest. There are some really funny ones!

How do you get the babies to respond to the camera and become engaged?
Each baby is different and each responds to different things. For example, some babies love an audience, and the photo set is full of people – assistants, art directors, wardrobe stylist, hair and make up, etc – and this is perfectly fine. Some prefer a quiet environment. In that case, I ask everyone to leave the set, then it’s just me, baby and mom. There are peculiarities that you have to be sensitive too as well. For example, some babies will respond to high pitched voices. Sometimes the baby is ok, but the mom is nervous and she can pass that on to the baby. In this instance, you have to work with mom and make her feel more comfortable and reassure her. When photographing babies, you have to trust your intuition. After spending a few minutes with a child, I’m able to decide which direction to go. Then, if needed, I communicate that with my baby wrangler. Usually we know where to go just by looking at each other. We work very closely. I mean that both figuratively and literally. Sometimes they are on top of me using all sorts of props! Ha!”

The inside cover has a wonderful variety of expressions. Did you submit that edit to the magazine?
I edited the photos right after the shoot, while still at the studio. I probably sent about 5-10 images per baby. I usually color tag my favorite for each. The cover was selected from my top two so I was very pleased with the choice. When editing babies, I look for funny, cute or happy expressions that feel real to me.

Has your bag of tricks to get a babies attention grown with the times? (do you wave a cell phone/ iPad or a toy that lights up?)
Yes, absolutely. I’ve learned so much with all of the baby wranglers I’ve worked with over the years, though we never really use cell phones or light up toys. Last year I worked with an incredible team of baby wranglers while shooting a campaign in Japan. They had this cat toy which had a stick and a furry ball on top of it. They would gently touch the baby’s cheeks with the toy and so many of the babies would give us a gentle smile. They gifted me with the prop and since then, I always carry it in my camera case. In general, with babies there are lots of squeaky toys around, so I also carry around ear plugs!

I know some of the parents and children had never been to New York before. What were some of the sweeter moments on set with the thrill of it all: the city, being a part cover
I heard that there was a baby with 4 other siblings and we were all “wowed” by the mom’s energy and effort to enter her baby into a contest and for traveling all that way for a shoot. I mean as a first time mama I would probably have considered it. As a second time mama I would be like, “nah, no time for that” and there she was with her 5th baby! She is a SUPER mom!

It was fun to see the mother’s excitement about being on a set for the first time. They were taking as many behind the scenes photos as they could. However, we did need their attention while we were photographing the little ones so our photo editor was sweet enough to offer to take behind the scenes pics with their phones

The Daily Promo – Apostrophe Reps: Kelly Montez

- - The Daily Promo

Apostrophe Reps

Who printed it?
Serbin Communications printed the piece. They are the machine behind AtEdge, and by partnering with them on the printing we were able to access their press in China who does beautiful four-color printing, something that is quite difficult to find these days as most presses are now digital.

Who designed it?
We collaborated with Todd Richards at TAR Design Studio in San Francisco. He has been managing Apostrophe’s design identity for close to 15 years now. In addition to showcasing new images from our artists, we were also debuting our new logo. We worked with Todd on our visual rebranding as well.

The foil stamping is beautiful, what make you choose that tone?
This piece was not only a beautiful promotion of our roster akin to the one we did in 2014, it also marked our 15th anniversary as an agency. Our signature color is a very bright fuchsia, and we thought the rose gold was a nod to the past while also celebrating our future.

Who edited the images?
Did the agents choose the images to be edited or did your photographers submit?

Our agents worked closely with each photographer to select images that best represented them. We wanted to strike the right balance of practical and aspirational, so some of the work is commissioned and some is purely personal. In terms of the final edits and layouts, it was a collaboration between the artist, Apostrophe and the designer.For some artists, we selected an image, and then the designer worked up a few layout versions for us to react to.

Did each artist get the same amount of images?
Each artist has the same amount of real estate, meaning the same number of pages. However, depending on the number of images we wanted to showcase for an artist, we changed how we utilized the space available. Their layouts go hand in hand with their work: Some have more of a storytelling style and as such chose to feature a grid of images on a page; while other are very graphic and therefore went with a single image full bleed. We wanted a consistent style throughout that also allowed each artist to find small variations and make it their own.
Each page was perforated so that clients could pick out their favorite images and put them on their walls or frame or file them.

How many did you make?
We printed 2,500 copies, so it was somewhat of a limited run. We never want to just send something out to the masses, we try our best to promote with intent. Developing the mailing list for this promo has been an intense process as we have tried to go through and verify each name. Of course the mailer went out to prospective clients with whom we are eager to develop relationships, but we also sent it to many of our close contacts in hopes that they would celebrate our anniversary with us and enjoy the artwork.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
A piece like this is certainly more of an investment, in time and money. So we send  them out every other year, which makes each one feel more precious as well.Developing this promo, creating the final edits, printing and shipping took well over a year as we were thoughtful about both the design and the content that went into it. We wanted clients to feel like they were receiving a gift when they opened it. We wanted them to experience an evolution of our brand and get excited for the next 15. Aside from this promo, we print a smaller version with one single image per photographer about 2-3 times a year.

Letter From Kelly:

My first experience with Apostrophe was as a client. It was the middle of the dot-com boom (the first one), and I was working as an account manager in advertising. Business was good, but it wasn’t, shall we say, fulfilling. Then, with one assignment, everything in my life started to change.

Knowing I was fascinated by photography, my over-burdened manager passed me a project that allowed me to work closely with one of Apostrophe’s photographers. As I’d hoped, the job connected me back with my artistic self and challenged me as a creative person. What I couldn’t have predicted was how well I would click with Apostrophe’s owner at that time, Jonathan, and what that would lead to.

We stayed in touch and two years later, he casually mentioned a desire to open a west coast office. He had just signed an amazing California-based photographer, fresh out of art school – Dwight Eschliman, I met the two of them for dinner, we drank too much wine, had great conversation, and the rest is history. When Jonathan came back to “train” me a few months later, we drove all over California, portfolios in tow, visited a bunch of clients and smoked a ton of pot – those were fun times.

Almost immediately, I could feel that things in the business were changing and we would need to get serious. Digital cameras had taken over, and the number of photographers and competition grew. The hustle was getting tougher—I loved it. It was exciting to be in such a dynamic industry. I leaned in and moved to New York to take over the company. With my sun-shiny Californian attitude and optimism I thought, “How hard could this be?” Answer: Hard

The recession hit and choices had to be made. I promised myself at that time that I would do what I thought was right and focus on the best talent. Not just people who could shoot amazing pictures, but people who were also passionate about this industry, saw opportunities in change, and were good souls. Individuals whose businesses you wanted to fight for and whose lives you wanted to see grow. I believed then, and still believe today, that you can have a successful business based on artistry, ethics, and integrity.

As it turns out, I was right. But I didn’t do it alone. Over the years, I’ve met some amazing people and have grown an incredible team. My co-workers are among my closest friends and together we’ve found rare and wonderful individuals who are also amazing artists. We feel blessed to be making art everyday and we know that none of this would be possible if it weren’t for our clients, who trust in us to bring their ideas to life.

So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for joining us on this amazing journey. Thank you for supporting our artists, our vision, and most of all for supporting the idea that teamwork and passion are the key ingredients of the most successful and stunning projects. Your trust in us – and in the creativity of our artists – is the thing I’m most proud of at this 15-year mark.

  

 

As Always,
Kelly Montez

Owner, Apostrophe
www.apostrophereps.com

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – The Red Bulletin: Jim Krantz

- - The Daily Edit

The Red Bulletin

Creative Director: Erik Turek
Art Directors: Kasimir Reimann, Miles English
Photo Director: Fritz Schuster
Photo Editors:  Photo Editors Rudi Übelhör (Deputy Photo Director) Marion Batty, Susie Forman, Ellen Haas, Eva Kerschbaum, Tahira Mirza
Writer: Andreas Rottenschlager
Photographer: Jim Krantz


Heidi: How did this assignment come about?

Jim: I was shooting a project in Austin Texas in 2015 and happened to stop in at the Hand Built Motorcycle show, and appearing there was The American Motordrome Company performing, I was captivated by the show and spectacle of the event. I presented the idea for the project to Red Bull and they loved the novelty of the idea and awarded the project to me to shoot.

I was shooting a project in Austin Texas in 2015 and happened to stop in at the Hand Built Motorcycle show, and appearing there was The American Motordrome Company performing, I was captivated by the show and spectacle of the event. I presented the idea for the project to Red Bull and they loved the novelty of the idea and awarded the project to me to shoot.

Having produced this project for you I know Charlie was injured but rose to the occasion.  How did you overcome that and what did you learn or what was reinforced about the creative process?
  As in any show regardless of injury or any misfortune “the show must go on” is Charlie’s mantra. On crutches and hobbling to his 1923 Indian motorcycle Charlie would mount up and without a grimace enter the Wall of Death and simply go for it. From my perspective, this unfortunate injury simply added an element that photographically defined his passion and dedication to his work. I embraced this aspect of Charlie’s current state of his health and photographed him making his way through the show. I think his example of pushing through and not letting this hamper his performance is also a characteristic I embrace when on a job, regardless of the situation, the show must go on.

Do you have difference creative processes for your still and video work?
Both still and motion take thorough preplanning and specific shot lists developed. I always make my shoot plan and have a backup plan “B” for the times situations change and a backup plan must be considered, this goes for still and motion work.

You have a gift for connecting with people, where does this stem from? Is this an innate trait or something you’ve practiced and built over the years?
Since I was a child I was alway curious and interested in people. I never felt uncomfortable around people I do not know, there were never “strangers” in my life. I think it’s also important to be open to inviting conversation and simply say “hi” to people, that’s where it all starts, it’s simple.

I know you have a love for the west and for motorcycles, how do your passions translate into your work?
The west, cowboys, and motorcycles are simply an expression of freedom. I think what I do best is photograph situations that give strength and empower my subjects.

Tell us about the collaboration with Supreme.
For me, the invitation to have my images expressed on clothing is a direction that I love. I appreciate that photographs do not have to be limited to 2-dimensional surfaces only, I have also been applying my work to furniture design as well as yet another example as to how images can integrate into a 3 D application and become something unexpected and fresh. Supreme is a magnificent brand and I was thrilled to collaborate with them to create clothing that was compelling and relevant. I have some unexpected and novel projects in the works at
For me, the invitation to have my images expressed on clothing is a direction that I love. I appreciate that photographs do not have to be limited to 2-dimensional surfaces only, I have also been applying my work to furniture design as well as yet another example as to how images can integrate into a 3 D application and become something unexpected and fresh. Supreme is a magnificent brand and I was thrilled to collaborate with them to create clothing that was compelling and relevant. I have some unexpected and novel projects in the works at  jimkrantzprojects.com that will expand the application and expression of my photography with other incredible artists to create collaborative works that redefine photographic applications.

You are a seasoned pro and have seen the industry evolve. What is some advice you can share for photographers getting into the game and those who need to stay relevant? Relevance is vital, as a career move on I feel it’s vital to continue to explore and remain curious. Without curiosity, there is nothing new to see or express. It sounds trite to say reinvent yourself but actually its never stop being curious and allow yourself to walk into situations that are unfamiliar and uncomfortable, that is where new work can be discovered. It’s not about technique, it’s about what you see, how you look at it and what you say about it that keeps you fresh and engaged. I think the distraction level in our lives is very high, so much information bombarding everyone, every second. For me, the key is to turn it off and simply look. Everything is right there.


The Daily Promo: Jim Krantz

- - The Daily Promo



Jim Krantz


Who printed it?

Regal Printing in Omaha Nebraska
I have been using them for 25 years!!

Who designed it?
Pace Kaminsky in NYC

Who edited the images?
I did

How many did you make?
I did 3 pieces of 1000 each, they are kept  together in one stay-flat envelope and sent as a group

How many times a year do you send out promos?
2 to 3 times a year

Who wrote the text for you?
The text was written by Andreas Rottenschlager, a writer from the Red Bulletin in Vienna Austria

I know the Wall of Death images were from a story we worked on together for The Red Bulletin, what about the other images?
The Marc Marquez story was photographed in Lleida, Spain, his hometown racetrack he learned to ride on. Daniel Ricciardio was photographed on the Targa Florio race course in the mountains of Sicily near Palermo and Charlie Ransom was photographed in Port Charlotte, Florida

I know you have a love of motorcycles, how did that translate into this the theme of the promo?
The collection of the three pieces were all shot for Red Bull’s Red Bulletin magazine. I have always loved anything with motors, especially motorcycles, the common denominator of all of the men profiled is their drive. The drive to be the best that they can, the drive to perform at a very high level and the drive to emotionally be able to handle whatever comes their way in pursuing their profession. I relate to the mindset to be 150% percent dedicated to a profession, the tenacity to stay in the game and the deep love for their passion for always working at the highest level possible. As in any dedicated sport or interest winning and loosing is part of it but ultimately staying in the game and pushing yourself to work at the highest level possible is mandatory. I love each of these individuals dedication and commitment to doing what they love. Each person depicted is also a wonderful individual on a personal level, that is also most attractive in a champion.

The Daily Edit – Popular Science: The Voorhes

- - The Daily Edit

Popular Science


Group Design Director:
Sean Johnston
Deputy Design Director: Mike Schnaidt
Photo Director: Thomas Payne
Associate Art Director: Russ Smith
Photographer: The Voorhes

Heidi: When coming up with concepts, what is your process?
The Voorhes: It’s a collaboration the whole way. The magazine sends initial info (like what’s the theme of the issue, what are the features about, any loose initial thoughts. We then sit together (Adam and Robin) and brainstorm/sketch. We bounce ideas off each other, starting with obvious things or maybe not fully formed thoughts, tell them to each other and see how the idea grows. Then we take everything and refine sketches to around a dozen ideas. The magazine then usually take an idea and tweak it to fit the issue better. They send us back a cover mock-up using our sketches and we land on a final direction. Once we have a concept ironed out we fine tune things like color palette, prop direction, light direction, style and overall mood.

Do you journal, draw?
We don’t really think of it as journaling as much as concepting. But there is a LOT of drawing. We usually dedicate an afternoon a week to reading articles and brainstorming (Sunday afternoons on a patio during happy-hour is ideal!). Adam draws thumbnails as we brainstorm rather than taking notes. Robin too but her scribbles are not as legible so notes are required. Some ideas are half formed and some are really solid. We go round and round until we have a handful of solid ideas for each image a magazine needs. Then, later, at home at the kitchen table or at the studio over a cup of coffee we make refined sketches to send in to the magazine. Sometimes our sketches are nice, and sometimes they are pretty rough. Our goal is to simple get as many strong ideas out as we can.

 
How did this idea develop?
Avoidance I think. The whole issue is about water, the future of water, and in great part water scarcity. So the obvious is to do a play off of a glass of water, right? But we were given specific direction to NOT photograph any play on a of a glass of water. Adam couldn’t help but to doodle a glass of sand. The simplicity of it and the quick read was a draw. We also had sketched a faucet with fatter willing the bottom part of the page, and type was starting to break loose and float. We presented a bunch of ideas to the magazine, some well formed and some loose bits of ideas. They came back with the thought of sand replacing water in the faucet sketch. It was a totally collaboration. A mash up of brains and ideas.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
No glasses of water! ;-) Also there were ideas of water interacting with type in various ways. Our main direction was to create a simple graphic image that can be bold on the cover and work well with design. Beyond that it is a general nod to all of the features in the article. Something the wraps it all up into one general idea.During the shoot lighting direction came into play. Adam tends to light things in his head, then sets up exactly what he imagined. This, although a very convenient skill, can result in a lack of exploration. So, once things are lit and dialed in, Robin will ask Adam to light the scene a different way. Then after that she asks him if we can look at it any other ways. Often times the third variation is something new. It is one way we try to elevate out work.So this time we made options of pooling light from above, then we made a graphic option with crisp shadows. Same image, totally different vibe. We shared the light directions with Thomas at Pop Sci. He was digging the symmetry and cleanliness of the pooling light, so off we went!

How many ideas did you have before arriving at this one?
Oh man, maybe 30 on our end? Not that they were all GOOD ideas. And the magazine had a bunch to. It’s a journey sometimes.

How did you decide what was the right amount of sand to make things proportional?
The amount was decided on set with what looked right. The sand had to be completely dry to not clump together. We spread out and dried a couple big bags of sand from the hardware store then sifted it till we had around 40 pounds of really fine sifted sand. As we started putting together the set we realized we had WAY more sand than we needed. The sand was overpowering the faucet, so we came in closer, reduced the sand surface, and ended up maybe using 10 lbs of sand total. Then we had to take design and type into account, so there were some tweaks. For example the distance from the faucet to the sand surface was increased to accommodate type.

Were there any obstacles to getting the water shot? ( what’s in your water )
We shot this in January after a freeze. There was no alga floating on the lakes. Our assistant figured out how to make something that looked like alga using egg whites and matcha tea. It looked good for about an hour then started to get gross and dark. Other than that scale was an issue. Finding the right items that related to each other size wise and could all be styled into a vessel together so we would not have to make a Photoshop composite was tricky. Thank god for mini salt shakers and aquarium decor skulls.

What was the biggest challenge with this cover and feature assignment?
The details. Nothing was an overly complicated prop fabrication. But the details of each object mattered. Getting the right flash duration on the sand to have just enough drag to feel in motion but not blurred. Having light that is beautiful and just a touch dramatic. Pulling focus in a macro scene with moving subjects. It’s just attention to detail and a constant effort to make better work.

Where did you get the faucet?
We bought a variety of new faucets from the hardware store and tried various aging methods on them. While they looked fine, they were not quiet right. We needed something with character to be worthy of a cover. One of our assistant, who we keep asking to go get a tetanus shot, went to a metal recycling yard and spend an afternoon digging through rust piles till she found 5 different vintage faucets with PLENTY of character. The final faucet was with the knob from one and the spout from another. She still has yet to get the tetanus shot despite us telling her to go.

The Daily Promo: Newspaper Club

- - The Daily Promo
 

Newspaper Club

Instagram


Heidi: Why do you specialize in newspaper?
Newspaper Club: Newspaper is really versatile and great for all kinds of storytelling, but historically it’s only been available to massive publishers printing thousands of copies. We want everyone to be able to share their ideas quickly and easily with newsprint, even if they just need one copy. 

It’s been interesting to see the reaction to newsprint in a technology-focused world. Digital products tend to be sleek and flawless, and we’ve found people welcome a format that’s tangible and imperfect, and that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Are you a global company?
Yes. Our newspapers are all printed in the UK, but our business is totally online and we can deliver just about anywhere. So far we’ve sent newspapers to 22 different countries!

How many clients do you service in the US and what are the shipping costs (average)?
About 20% of our orders come from the US. Prices start at $36 and larger runs can cost as little as $0.24 per copy. Shipping is included in the price, so there are no hidden fees. 

Do you have designers to help the clients?
We don’t have designers, but we do have templates, guides and our free layout tool, ARTHR.

When you upload a file, our system automatically checks that it’s set up correctly and will flag up issues like low resolution or spot colors. We also have a friendly support team ready to answer any questions along the way.

What is the largest segment of your client base?
That’s hard to say! We work with some big companies likes MailChimp and Spotify, but most of our customers are creative individuals – art students, graphic designers, illustrators and definitely lots of photographers.

We try to share a good overview of what we’re printing on our blog, and our monthly roundups show what a mix it can be. Last month we printed Handsome Frank’s annual promo, a catalogue for an architecture exhibition and a set of posters for a furniture studio – to name just a few!

What has been a unique application of the service?
We’re surprised all the time by the ways people think to use newsprint! A few examples that come to mind: Fresh Flowers offers an alternative to short-lived bouquets, Eye of the Beholder has 25 animal eyeballs printed at life size (the giant squid’s just fit across a tabloid spread!) and a few years ago Canadian band The Famines released a “newsprint single” – a really cool poster that has a link to download the music.

We’ve printed newspapers for every part of life’s cycle – from birth announcements to birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and funerals. A couple weeks ago a customer tweeted us a photo of his proposal – he hid behind a broadsheet on one knee! That made our day.

Tell us about your tag line, “Print’s not dead” where does the love of print come from?
It’s very special to hold something you’ve made in your hands, and we don’t think people will ever get tired of that.

Newsprint is an effective medium that still has a lot of life in it. You don’t need batteries to read a newspaper and everyone knows how to use one. We love flipping through newspapers our customers have made and hanging favorites up in the office.

It’s not about print vs. digital, but rather the two working together to change how people can share ideas. Now, you can upload a file from your computer on a Sunday night, from just about anywhere in the world, and find your newspapers on the doorstep a few days later. That’s a great feeling.

The Daily Edit – Design Director/Photo Director/Photographer: Hannah McCaughey

- - The Daily Edit

 



 

 

Outside Magazine

Design Director+Photo Director: Hannah McCaughey
Photography Editor: Amy Silverman
Deputy Art Director: Petra Zeiler
Assistant Photography Editor: Madeline Kelty
Junior Designer: Erica Clifford
Photographer: Hannah McCaughey

Heidi: I loved seeing your images in the latest issue, such a talent. Was this exciting for you?
Hannah: Yes, mainly because it’s a lot of fun, and by shooting a few things in house every month, we stay out of trouble with our accounting department. It allows us to save resources for the more ambitious projects in the magazine.

It’s similar to the way I feel about my design work. I don’t wow myself very often, but I find the process of it thoroughly enjoyable. I’m guessing that it’s this never fully satisfied, quasi-dissatisfaction that propels me forward. With every picture I (very spastically) make, the minute I see it in print, I see only what could have been better about it. It’s not that I’m aiming for perfection. It’s more like a running list of missed opportunities. This kind of thinking is well suited to the “work in progress” nature not just of life, but also of the cyclical nature of magazines. The repetition affords infinite possibilities to learn and grow, and it provides a kind of forgiveness for what went wrong. Much like in real life (although this example never happens), every day that I yell and scream at my kids to get dressed, eat breakfast, put on their shoes, file into the car to get to school on time, I can think about tomorrow and how we’ll be skipping and singing the whole way.

You’ve held the position at Outside as design director and photo director for some time; racking up several design and photography awards. Tell us about your evolution as a photographer.
Part of me was working at staying creatively engaged and satisfied. Sixteen years working on the same title has its wonderful moments and challenges. And I must have had enough bad art-directing moments in a row to where I thought to myself, “Why don’t I just shoot it myself?” And that thought alone was like ding! “Hey. Why. Don’t. I?”

Disclaimer: I’m not sure I’m ready to call what I’m doing photography exactly. I have so much help on both the front end (with assistance setting up all the lights and the camera) and on the back end (with pretty generous retouching). Because I’m so inexperienced, I’m forced to keep things incredibly simple. The idea itself is mainly what these images have going for them. Often, if these weren’t accompanying a specific story, I’m not sure they’d make any sense, and they’re not particularly beautiful or artful. I sometimes wish there was another word for it.

I started super low tech with my iPhone, some Xerox paper (for backdrop and bounce), my desk, and the New Mexico sunlight that comes into my office like a klieg light every afternoon. When I thought I had something that looked even remotely “profesh,” I got up the nerve to ask one of our photo assistants at the time, Michael Karsh, to help me work the camera and set up lights in the studio to shoot it for real. Since he moved back to San Francisco, I have been shooting and learning a lot from Dustin Sammann, who is the most patient and generous teacher on the planet. We created a new kind of freelance position for him: über assistant (when he’s not the photographer himself). Which is basically assisting someone who is super “special”—a.k.a. me.

With your understanding of great photography and composition from your design background, did you feel like, “I can do that”? Clearly, those skills come into play.
Now that I’ve dipped my toes in, I am—more than ever-—blown away by the giant talent and creative genius of the people who contribute to magazines (ours and others). My eyes have been exposed to so much amazing art, dating back to my early days at Rolling Stone in the nineties, and I hope some of it has rubbed off. Some parts of it, like finding a good balance in composition and seeing negative space, come more easily now. But part of the appeal is how much more there is out there for me to learn.

The magazine industry has certainly changed—budgets are lower, multitasking is essential. How does your creative control behind the camera influence your design? Most photographers don’t have a keen understanding of the book as a whole: layout, the volume of text.
Working as the art director gives me a huge, almost unfair leg up on shooting for this magazine. I go into it knowing what the headline is, how much space we have for art, what hasn’t worked in the past, why the story is running in that particular month—or what role it plays in the mix of stories planned for that issue—because I was there in the meeting when it was discussed as a pitch. I know what pitfalls the editors are worried about avoiding, the narrative arc; sometimes I know the writer personally. Add to that, I sit and design pages about 50 steps from where we shoot the art. I can literally ping-pong back and forth between the set and my desk with the layout on my screen (and text on the page) to see whether or not a shot is working. If it doesn’t work, we try something else. And if at day’s end it’s still not working, we try again the next day.

The upshot is that those two halves of my brain—photographer and designer—don’t always agree. Sometimes I’ll have a picture that I would love to see printed and another one that’s better suited to the story. The two halves have to fight it out. In my case, the art director always wins, because she is older (and crabbier). And now I know how that feels for contributors who say, “But why didn’t you print this one? It’s clearly the better photograph.” To which I have to say, “I totally agree, but this one works better for the story.” Not the easiest thing to have to hear or say.

Recently, I had a shoot where I was asking our cover photographer to try it this way and cover it that way “so we could have loads of options.” That’s something I think art directors say because we feel like that’s what’s expected of us by our bosses.  To which he said, “Why? Why do you need options? We have something we both like. We should be done.” It was a record-skipping moment for me, the photographer part of me could totally relate: Why do we feel like we have to “cover it” this way and that way and every way possible? Why can’t we just say that’s amazing! and that’s a wrap? Is this something that happened when we started ordering half caff extra hot no foam 2% lattes at Starbucks? Or, it is because we aren’t shooting film so we feel like why not shoot it every which way? I don’t know the answer to this one.

What made you choose to start doing still-life? Was this partially a response to the expense of sending gear out to get shot?
We have two amazing and talented photographers who shoot the mountains of gear that come through our offices for Outside and the two annual Buyer’s Guides, Inga Hendrickson and Dustin Sammann. That’s not something the magazine would ever need me to venture into. My happy place right now is conceptual still-life, which historically had been very difficult for us to assign. Sometimes it involves using a model to get a certain concept across (the Simplify package, for instance), but more often it means using basic objects from everyday life as symbols for something conceptual or hard to shoot, such as flexibility, traumatic brain injury, mental training, etc. And I like to shoot our one-page style and grooming pages just because there is a lot of freedom as far as what we can do. Young photographers always say to me, “I like to shoot people!” and I think, “Not me!” I much prefer to be alone in a dark room, just me and some random objects.

I know at Outside you transformed your gym into a photo studio—smart move. Did you propose this to the company? How hard was it to set up?
Rob Haggart came up with this idea. He was the one who got Larry Burke, the owner of the magazine, excited and on board to make the investment. He consulted various photographers on ordering the cameras and the lights and equipment and the design of the space itself—all of it, and years later it’s still a fantastic studio and a savvy business decision.

Describe how it feels to have done the entire layout from shooting, design and photo editing? Is it hard to be your own critic?
I think I’m getting better at being my own critic. It’s probably the most awkward for Amy Silverman, our photo editor, to pipe up when she doesn’t like something I’ve shot. I deliberately don’t mention it to the editors that I made the photographs when I first show them a layout, so they don’t get put in an awkward position. Because I’m such a beginner, I never care when they say, “Can we find something else for that?” And, it’s probably good to get thick-skinned about it.

Since now you do the job of three, what would you say are the challenges and benefits?
I feel like I made my bed on this one. I have a lot of designing and art directing left in me to do, and I enjoy it so much, that if I gave it up I would really miss it. By adding shooting to my list, I’ve made my life a lot busier but also more interesting and rewarding.

Do you remember you first assignment for the magazine, what it was like to see your image in print?
Yes! It was a very cool, somewhat scary moment. It was a broken melon duct-taped back together for a story about recovering from traumatic brain injury. I remember trying really hard not to be too precious about the retouching and the layout and the printing of it. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t giving it more attention than the other images in the issue as if the other photographs would tell on me.

Which thrills you the most of all the things you are currently doing?
At the moment, I’m doing a little DIY lighting seminar by moving objects around on my desk in the afternoon sun, mainly during long conference calls.

Do all art directors just want to shoot?
Yes! We do! Thank you, it feels so good to admit it. No, I’m kidding. In all my years of going on shoots for features and covers, I never wanted to be the photographer. How they manage the Herculean feat of juggling the big crowded set, managing all the assistants, dealing with the clients, the stylists and the groomers, the talent, the talents’ people, and, most importantly, pulling genius artwork out of all that chaos? I could no more fly to the moon.

It wasn’t until I found this quieter, calmer side of photography that I could even imagine myself shooting. What I could not have known is how incredibly gratifying it is for the cheerleader to jump in the game. I had no idea how much fun everyone was having. My hope is that the photographer in me is helping the art director and designer find better ways of communicating with our contributing photographers, now that I have a better understanding of the entire process. But on the flip side, I’ve noticed that if a photographer starts making excuses why they can’t or won’t do something for a story or a cover, I’m like “C’mon, quit yer whining!”

Tell us about being a woman in a lead position.
In my experience, being a woman in charge can be an incredibly tricky thing to maneuver. I’ve been going to various locations for feature and cover shoots all these years thinking that surely as I gain more experience, that would equal more respect. It’s true that I get to reap the benefits of being the more in-touch, capable, intelligent, compassionate, hard-working, better-at-multitasking, relatable, sensitive, and emotionally sensitive gender. The bad news is—and studies have proven this—that women don’t get heard as well as men because they’re not as well regarded. For my job, this has meant that in order to get what we need for the magazine, I sometimes have to come out louder, pushier, and more demanding than I’m sure my male counterparts have to be. Depressingly, being the “B—tch” seems like a way too easy booby trap for women in charge to fall into. And maybe part of me is tired of that. Which explains why shooting pictures (versus art-directing them) is so satisfying to me. It means being fully heard and seen, and not prejudged or discounted, and that feels really good.

The Daily Promo: Drew Gurian

- - The Daily Promo

Drew Gurian

Who printed it? 
Prestone Printing in Queens, NY printed the piece.

Who designed it?
Catherine Gray– an amazing creative director who splits her time between New York City and London.

Who edited the images?
Catherine and I worked on the image edit together.  I’ve depended on a group of friends, as well as hiring photo editors to help with image edits, who generally have an editorial background.  This was a bit different for me, in that I worked with someone embedded in the advertising world who’s not a photo editor by trade.  I really loved her perspective on my work, and since I’ve been meeting with lots of agencies, it made perfect sense to work with her.

How many did you make?
100

How many times a year do you send out promos? 
In the past, I’ve sent out small promos 4-5 times per year, but this promo is much more substantial (and costly).  With that said, this will certainly be my main promo for the year, marketing to a very specific group of people.  I plan to follow-up with some more simple promos as well throughout the year.

The Daily Edit – Stock Pot Images: Ophelia Chong

- - The Daily Edit

Cover photo by Bettina Monique

 

 

Feature story by Josh Fogel

 

Above Images: Seagrass Photography

 


Photographer: James Walker

Stock Pot Images

Heidi: How long did you watch the trends in market before you felt it was a viable business?
Ophelia: My sister came to visit and she has an autoimmune disease, and she took a chance on ingesting cannabis to see if it could alleviate her condition, as I was watching her I thought “whoa, she’s a stoner”, it made me sad to think she would be stereotyped as that and not as a medical patient. A day later I had an epiphany that came to me in the shower to start a cannabis stock agency, I jumped out of the shower and started to google images, and found all of them lacking and stereotypical. A month later I had the LLC in my hands. Before January 8th, 2015, I might have smoked cannabis about ten times. I hit the ground like a tornado, read, got a medical marijuana card, went to dispensaries, attended cannabis events, I dove in like a crane after a sardine. With 28 states including DC having some cannabis legislation, the timing was perfect. California just passed Prop 64 which allows adult use of cannabis, and the prediction is $6.46 billion by 2020, and StockPot Images is there to service the needs of this unstoppable industry. After launching 4/20/2015 we are now over 200 contributors and over 17K in images and video. After careful consideration of the wonderful agencies that approached us, last Monday March 6th we signed an exclusive agreement with Adobe Stock to carry our library in the Premium Collection, this was a wonderful validation of our hard work over the last two years.  NOTE: Predictions from Forbes and revenue estimates from Time Magazine.

Have you observed market trends before and responded?
When I was the creative director for Workbook Stock, I was a huge fan of DIY zines, I started to see a resurgence of the hand-made, the guerilla style, the collageing of emphera and what I wanted to do was to take that for Workbook Stock’s marketing. I pitched the idea to give an artist our stock photography and to add their own illustrative style and incorporate it into a piece that spoke about creativity inspired by stock photography. I hired Adam Larson to create his sensual photo collages, his work won multiple awards and set him on his path out of an agency to his own.

If I wanted to be a contributor for the agency, what’s the process?
Cannabis has been prohibited in the US for 80 years, and because of that access to the plant was controlled. That being said, there are not many photographers of cannabis out there, at the beginning I searched Flickr, and social media to sign my first photographers, after 3 months I no longer need to search, I get inquiries every week and on the average sign 2 – 3 a week. All anyone has to do is to reach out to me and send me a portfolio to look at.

Do you have a team that reviews the caption and strains?
No, I am a one woman band, from curator to office manager to keyworder to bill payer.

You were the creative director at Workbook, what sets your agency apart ( features, specificity?)  
The most obvious is that we specialize in cannabis digital media, and I went from a staff of many to just myself, what I learned while at Workbook was what everyones’ responsibilities were. I observed and asked questions, and learned on the fly, under at times the most stressful times. I remember there was a period where I was designing a magazine, two stock books on top of my normal workload. I produced, curated, designed and sourced everything, and because of that I was able to get the full spectrum from idea to fulfillment.

How else are you connected to the industry?
Community Liaison: THC Design
I have been given the chance to lead the community outreach for a company that has the most diverse staff I’ve been a part of. I am working with veterans, LGBT, disabled and minority communities. My program is not about putting the THC logo on an event or to get “likes” on social media, it is about grass roots work to build a community that we advocate and become advocates for cannabis.

Creative Consultant:  PUSH MAG
I have worked with Abigail Ross at Dope over a year, and we produced feature articles and covers for Dope together with the photographers of StockPot Images. After Abigail left, we along with five other women created PUSH MAG, a magazine that is for the millennial woman in cannabis. Our mission is to be a voice that pushes back, to encourage other women, to celebrate the intrinsic need to be a strong community by saying it’s okay to scream and kick out of the box.

Asian Americans for Cannabis Education: Co-founder / Presently running the whole shebang

I took over AACE from my other co-founders, they had a full plate so I am not carrying the mantel. My goal is to find like-minded Asians in the cannabis community to help de-stigmatize the medicinal use of cannabis. In the last month I’ve found many who are going to join this journey with me, from all walks of life.

What other organizations are you involved with that an aligned with Stock Pot Images?
I am involved with Supernova Women, we are women of color in the cannabis industry, we educate, we promote, we support. ( I am going to be on the board of directors in mid march)

How did that name come about for the agency?
I had names on the whiteboard; all of them were too “weed-centric”. One day I was standing in the kitchen staring at a pot….

It took me a year to get the trademark, because each time the USTPO attorney clicked on the site, their “warning” radar came up. Then it was that the term “stock pot” was too generic, so my attorney suggested “stockpot” and it went through.

My banking story is since I am ancillary, I can get a bank account. However the bank I was with over 2 decades turned me down, I took all my money out of the bank and walked across the street to another bank and they took me on without a word. Cannabis is a schedule one drug so therefore you cannot have a bank account, it is a major downside to the industry that we have to manage all of in cash.

What’s the creative ethos behind the imagery?
Our mission is to offer the true faces and communities of cannabis, none of the subjects are models, and all are real users who signed model releases because they believe in our mission. We have two portraits that I am most proud of, one is of a 70-year-old African-American man, in his Sunday best holding a joint, the other a 90-year-old Chinese grandmother tending to her small cannabis plants. The gentleman is heavy with history, the history of incarceration of African-American men for the simple possession of cannabis.

A Chinese Grandmother tends to her Cannabis Plants by Linus Shentu

African-Americans only make up 13% of the population of the US, yet they make up 25% of prisoners, 60% of the people in jail are people of color. The Chinese grandmother represents the duality of the Chinese immigrant to follow the law and to not rock the boat; she is changing the paradigm by doing what she does on a daily basis.

Do you art direct photographers?
I only art direct my photographers (195 of them) when we need specific images. I am delightfully surprised by each of their uploads, it’s Christmas everyday.

The Daily Promo – Andrew White

- - The Daily Promo
 
Who printed it?
I printed this piece as well as my print book at Soli in Kansas City. They’ve always been good to me, and guided me through paper stocks and printing processes. Added bonus that I can pedal from the studio to check out proof sheets, and they let me bring my bike inside.

Who designed it?
Gage Wente at RW2 and I designed it. We wanted different dimensions than an internet printed 8.5 x 11 book so that it had more impact, but close to it to capitalize on shipping and envelope costs. It ended up being a taller format based off the cover option that worked best.

Who edited the images? and did the pairings?
I edited the images with input from Lyndon Wade of The Wade Brothers. My work is split among sports, music, and portraiture, and all needed to be represented evenly. Similarly, I made sure there was a good mix of advertising, label, editorial, and personal work.

How many did you make?
I printed 250. 100 went in the mail, 50 were handed out in person, and the rest are on hand for leave behinds or for new contacts that come up.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This piece is pretty comprehensive of my work from the past 18 months so I don’t imagine I’ll do another like it till next year. But I plan on sending out specific project promos. I just wrapped a book for the Nashville Visitors Bureau, so I’ll do a piece with those images around mid-year. And I’m directing a live action sports project which I’ll do an accompanying marketing campaign for.

I had this piece set to release in December, but held off until January. Didn’t want it to get lost in holiday party hangovers, better to land on desks when work ramps up and budgets are fresh. Here’s a digital version to check out. It’s a not as cool as the printed version but at least I’m certain the mailman won’t lose it!

The Daily Edit – The New Yorker: Victor J. Blue

- - The Daily Edit

The New Yorker


Director of Photography:
Joanna Milter

Art Director: Nicholas Blechman
Photo Editor: Thea Traff
Photographer: Victor J. Blue for The New Yorker
Full story here
Photo Booth feature with Victor here

 

Heidi: How long were you on assignment for this story?
Victor: We worked on the piece for 6 weeks.

What was the hardest aspect of this assignment?
As with any military operation, there was a lot of “hurry up and wait.” It was tough to stay sharp and keep shooting when the down time dragged on, and to balance it with the more dynamic times.

Did you learn anything new about yourself for this project?
I learned that I need to trust a little bit more, and I need to count on my second and third impressions of people and situations as much as my first one. A few times, guys that I thought weren’t really into our presence ended up being some of the ones I eventually connected to the most.

Did you have any protection?
Well, we had body armor and helmets. But we did not work with a security advisor or anything like that. It was just me, Luke Mogelson the writer, and our buddy Sardar, our fixer and translator. We looked out for each other.

How many languages do you speak?
I speak English and Spanish. The Spanish didn’t help me out much on this one.

For each published image how many frames were shot in that scenario?
That’s really hard to say. It just depends. Sometimes only a few, sometimes hundreds. I can say that we ended up publishing like 22 photos total, and I ended up with about 300 selects.

You have a gift for being accepted into closed/difficult communities, how do you earn their trust?
I just try to be really open with people, and easygoing. I try not to be a “bro” or fake about who I am or what I’m doing there. Folks usually seem to relate to that and while it doesn’t ingratiate you off the bat, it earns trust over time.

What coping skills to you use to deal with the intensity of the work you do?
When I’m working I write quite a lot, and I think that helps. When I get home, one of the hardest things for me is not wanting to let the experience go- to not slip back into my spoiled first world existence. But that happens and I guess that’s natural. I make a concerted effort to reconnect with my friends and loved ones. I usually get sad sometimes, and I try to pour that into the editing of the pictures.

This is your life’s work, what cues do you now have that tell you it’s not the right moment to take a photograph or the situation is too intense?
There was a moment that happened like the second day- one of the SWAT members came tearing into the base collapsing and crying- he had just found out his wife and children had been taken by ISIS. It was a really intense moment and we had just shown up. I was torn about what to do, but I hung back and didn’t really make a picture. I was betting that taking it slow with these guys, earning their trust before I jump in their face like that would pay off, and it did. Later, when things were way crazier, no one ever got mad at me making pictures. You just have to take it slow, figure it out, and be smart as well as brave about raising your camera when things get intense.

You are documenting some horrific situations, how do you cope with this form of photography while you are doing it? and after 
I just try hard to concentrate on the pictures, on understanding what’s going on, and making powerful images of that. It’s my job to take pictures of very serious circumstances. If I couldn’t cope with it, that would be fine, but it would be irresponsible for me to go there to do it. Then I ought to be shooting other types of stories. That’s what makes us professionals- our ability to function in what are difficult, fluid, and at times dangerous scenarios.

Have you ever self-edited feeling that an image was too much to share?
I’m not sure I believe that anything is too intense to photograph. It’s my job to interpret something horrific and make a picture of it that people can look at. I don’t think I pull too many punches. Of course sometimes the circumstances around making pictures require me to think about what’s going on- I have to be careful to be an honest witness and not work as a propaganda arm for anyone. If I feel like folks are trying very hard to manipulate the pictures I am making, I am wary about publishing them. But that was never an issue on this story.

When people look at your work are you hoping they see composition and balance in some of the photos along with your message?
For sure! I am trying to make visually dynamic photographs. My goal is a set of pictures that both inform people intellectually and move them emotionally. If the pictures are poorly made, if I’m not working really hard to “see” them, then I am not doing my job. They have to arrest you visually, make you stop and feel something, then want to know something about the people and the circumstances they depict.

Do you find beauty in cataclysmic images? Just because something is terrible doesn’t mean it can share something wonderful.
It’s an interesting question. Beauty per se isn’t a goal I’m concerned with personally. To me there are much more important aspirations for my pictures- truth being the first. Like I said, I am trying to make the most visually powerful pictures I can- but I believe in photojournalism and I am consciously working within its conventions. I work hard to be creative, but I am not making art. Wars, social crises, marginalized people- I don’t see these as legitimate vehicles for my artistic aspirations. I believe that making well-observed documentary pictures of their experience is how I can best serve as a bridge between them and the moral imagination of the readers that will see the pictures.