Posts by: Heidi Volpe

The Daily Edit – GUP : Sebastian Palmer

- - The Daily Edit

Choque, 27, resident of Cracolândia; São Paulo, Brazil.
Choque, 27, resident of Cracolândia; São Paulo, Brazil.

José Maria, 55, resident of Cracolândia; São Paulo, Brazil.

José Maria, 55, resident of Cracolândia; São Paulo, Brazil.

Ariane, 19, resident of Cracolândia; São Paulo, Brazil.

Ariane, 19, resident of Cracolândia; São Paulo, Brazil.

Moisés, 36, resident of Cracolândia; São Paulo, Brazil.

Moisés, 36, resident of Cracolândia; São Paulo, Brazil.

Patron Saint of Impossible Causes, Saint Rita de Cassia, is glued on the window overlooking the room; João, a kindergarten teacher has just become a grandfather. He has given up his home so that his daughter and grandchild have a better start in life.

Patron Saint of Impossible Causes, Saint Rita de Cassia, is glued on the window overlooking the room; João, a kindergarten teacher has just become a grandfather. He has given up his home so that his daughter and grandchild have a better start in life.

GOD’; Lisene currently works as a manicurist in an up-market salon. Working 6 days a week she has been able to save enough money to buy 2 cows for her brother who lives in the countryside and looks after her child. One day she hopes to travel.

GOD’; Lisene currently works as a manicurist in an up-market salon. Working 6 days a week she has been able to save enough money to buy 2 cows for her brother who lives in the countryside and looks after her child. One day she hopes to travel.

The orange cover of a book entitled “how to interpret your dreams” sits next to Kris; a single mother who lost all her savings due to fraud. Her sole income is from selling toys on the street corner.

The orange cover of a book entitled “how to interpret your dreams” sits next to Kris; a single mother who lost all her savings due to fraud. Her sole income is from selling toys on the street corner.

Edvaldo; a cook, works 7 days a week. Last year he won a competition to train as a chef in Europe but was disqualified when it was discovered he didn’t have a high enough literacy level.

Edvaldo; a cook, works 7 days a week. Last year he won a competition to train as a chef in Europe but was disqualified when it was discovered he didn’t have a high enough literacy level.

Tom Blomfield, founder + CEO of Mondo bank . Bloomberg Markets.

Tom Blomfield, founder + CEO of Mondo bank . Bloomberg Markets.

Baroness Denise Kingsmill, chairman of Mondo Bank. Bloomberg Markets.

Baroness Denise Kingsmill, chairman of Mondo Bank. Bloomberg Markets.

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GUP
Guide to Unique Photography

Photographer: Sebastian Palmer

Heidi: How did the instagram take over come about, are you invited?
Sebastian: Yes. I was invited by GUP

Do you shoot new content for this or does it come from your archives?
All the content came from my archives. I guess that It would have been interesting to shoot a new project specifically for the takeover but the call came in quite late and at the time I was bogged down with other work in London (so maybe a fresh / new series of images might not have been possible anyway)

Is there a print component to this?
Yes. I will be featured in their 10th Anniversary issue. GUP #47 – The Big Ten
(showcasing images not posted in the takeover)

How do you decide what you are going to post over the course of the 10 days?
I wanted to keep to showing just my personal work. So I decided to post a small selection from those projects based in Brazil along with images that might help to explain my surroundings or way of thinking.

You studied French, History, Economics and Sociology prior to becoming a photographer. What was your turning point to become an artist?
I don’t really see there being a turning point such just a coming back to. I was always artistic and from a really young age I was always doing something creative (drawing, painting, sculpture, guitar etc etc etc)

However, when I went to a new school at the age of 13 it all fell by the wayside (for numerous reasons) and as the years progressed I began to focus on subjects that were “going to get me a good degree and make me successful in later life”…. it just took me a while to realize that I had been following the wrong path (whilst at university) and that I needed to get back to what I had left behind all those years ago.

Is PROJECTS in your portfolio an expression that combines your previous studies and your current life as an artist
Possibly, maybe….. It’s a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario (which one came first)…. I’m not sure how much those subjects actually influenced my work. I see it more in reverse, I chose the subjects because they interested me to some degree.

Artist Statements

GHOSTS
[All images were shot on location in Cracolândia, São Paulo, Brasil]
Over the past 3 years I have been living with and photographing sections of Brazilian society that have been marginalised and discriminated against. It is my aim to create a body of work that raises awareness for vulnerable sections of society; to give them a voice and in doing so hope that measures can be taken to ensure that they live in dignity.
The latest chapter of my project focuses on crack-cocaine addicts.
I felt that shooting a portrait series of close up, black + white head shots was the best way to humanise my sitters – by minimising any distractions and allowing the viewer to come into direct face to face contact with them.
Although this subject matter has had a lot of exposure with Brazil hosting the World Cup, I believe that it has only worsened the situation by further dividing an already fractured society and reinforcing negative views and prejudices. Reportage style images often taken from a far and with no interaction have only helped to strengthen the “us” and “them” mentality.
Separate from us. Away from us. Far from us. Nothing to do with us.
In order to banish this misconception I needed to get as close to my subjects as possible.
To interact. To communicate. To participate. To let you look into their eyes and realise that they too are human beings; that they too are a part of this society in which we all belong.
Are we able to look at ourselves in the mirror and face uncomfortable truths?
HOPE
In this series I have been living in an illegally occupied building in downtown São Paulo, Brazil with some of the 70,000 people that migrate to the city every year in search of a better life.
Often arriving from the countryside with little or no money, no skills and high rates of illiteracy their journey is a tough one. They can not afford to pay for rent and the majority can not find employment. Those that do manage to find a job are underpaid and often work 7 days a week to make ends meet.
Yet despite these conditions and the hardships that they face, everyone that I encountered found the strength to carry on through hope. It is this theme that I wanted to explore.
I have used diptychs as a means to expand the narrative. Always using items found close to or belonging to the subject. These detail shots are clues so often overlooked and dismissed but that I see as fragments of information which help to complete the puzzle.
All images are shot in camera. I have made use of long shutter, deliberate camera movement and the placing of items in front of the lens in order to allow me to create an aesthetic quality and my interpretation of the subjects’ utopia.
SÃO PAULO NIGHTS
São Paulo Nights focuses on transgender prostitutes.
Transgender persons in Brazil are treated as 3rd class citizens. They are discriminated against on a daily basis and are marginalised by society.
They experience such injustices from an early age when they first appear to be different and as such many do not finish school.
Nonetheless, even those with an education still find it hard to find work. As a result, many turn to prostitution to make a living.
This, combined with the majority of societies fear, ignorance, hypocrisy and lack of education on the issues means transexuals are caught in an ongoing downward spiral of discrimination and marginalisation [being subject to violence, social exclusion, drug abuse, crime, exploitation and severe health risks].
Many of the photos were printed, then ‘tampered’ with (painted, etched, bleached, burnt etc) and then re-photographed in an attempt to portray not only Brazilian societies views + actions towards transgender persons but also the struggle and human injustices that they face on a daily basis.

 

 

 
Contact GUP here

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 Bloomberg Markets

What sort of direction did the magazine give you?
In the beginning I was sent through some reference shots of my own work so I could get a feel of what direction the magazine wanted to take the shoot.  However, although the style of the images looked similar they were all achieved by using different techniques and lighting setups. Also, they liked some elements from one shot and wanted to combine it with elements from another shot. So, we sat down and mapped out a rough plan of what we were going to shoot and how we were going to do it, with the understanding that things might change on the day.

Tell us how you used your creative freedom? Was it difficult to earn?
As mentioned above, nothing was set in stone, so to speak. Bloomberg understood that to achieve the look that they wanted we would have to experiment on the day. I like to see it as organized chaos. I set a starting point (a foundation) knowing that if I do steps 1+2 I will get a certain look. However, from there you can play around – get the subject to move more or less, move the camera, increase the number of flashes or their duration, play with shutter speeds etc etc etc – the possibilities are endless. Once you see the shots coming through you can decide to follow a certain path and push things in one direction or maybe dial it back and go another way.

No, I don’t think that it was difficult to earn. I think that it has more to do with the fact that Bloomberg were very open minded and willing to experiment. (something that I find a lot of the industry is scared to do these days by always playing it safe in the fear that they might upset what they believe their readers want to see)

Bloomberg is known for spectacular photography and creative leaps. Knowing this did you want to take some creative risks?
Of course. I think that it would be silly not to. On the day of the shoot we did try out many different things, some of which never made the final cut. However, there are always going to be constraints, such as time and money. Also, you have to be aware that you are working for a client and no matter how creative they are they still need to put together an issue where all of the photo pieces are going to tie together.

The Daily Promo: Tuan Lee

- - The Daily Promo

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Tuan Lee


Who printed it?
I printed with Jennifer O’Neill at Marina Graphics. Very experienced and supportive throughout the entire process.

Who designed it?
David Hsia, a design director here in LA and happens to my buddy.

Who edited the images?
David and I did the final edit together, but I did consider some input from some consultants.

How many did you make?
I printed 500.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I do one substantial promo like this piece once a year. Then I’ll send out single sheet promos as support and as new work gets created.

Tell us about the pacing of the promo.
Well, there is an easter egg built into the design of this promo. If you notice, its not blinded. Yes, it flips like a traditional book, but its also a series of double sided posters! And they keep their relationships together either way, sports or traditional fashion. (Although, there are two spreads that are exceptions.) That way my audience can select what they want. And we wanted to show how much thought and planning went into this. The hope is that it’s associated with how much thought and process I put into my work.

The Daily Edit – David Lopez: Have a Nice Day

- - The Daily Edit
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Have a Nice Day

Photographer: David Lopez


“Have a Nice Day” is framed around the fast food industry. How did you develop this idea and what were you wanting to express?
After high school just about all of my friends were working in the fast food industry while trying to pay for college. Like most people in that line of work their favorite topic of conversation was sharing fast food horror stories. One of my favorite stories was from an employee that had to deal with a customer that was so upset that his food was taking a little longer than expected that he punched out the window screen at the counter. He received his food shortly after because apparently the customer is always right, even when they throw a tantrum and destroy company property. My friends all shared this similar feeling of frustration and belittlement so years later I began trying to capture the feeling that my friends were describing. It just so happened that at the time I began to develop this idea a friend of mine was starting a magazine (Compound Butter) that was focused on junk food and was looking for collaborators. So the first two portraits I shot for Have a Nice Day were used for her magazine. I received a lot of positive feedback from my professors at Art Center so the project took off from there.

 

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Did you direct the workers ?
I try not to direct the workers much. I’m working very quickly when i’m shooting their portraits because they’re usually on their breaks and don’t want to deal with me. So I tend to pick a location beforehand and then let them inhabit the scene however they feel comfortable. At the very beginning of the project I was still getting comfortable approaching people so there were times that I spent up to an hour sitting in a restaurant waiting to get the courage to ask for a portrait. It’s been a great way to get me out of my comfort zone.

The images are graphic, have color pop, is that why you chose to shoot a doughnut; to have the color and graphic backbone get reinforced?
Yes! I’m glad you caught that because it’s something that’s very important to the project. From the very beginning I’ve been drawn to the relationship between the colorful environments juxtaposed against the unappreciated employees working behind the counter. It doesn’t matter what fast food restaurant I walk into I always feel like i’m being slapped in the face by this artificial experience that’s been manufactured to make me feel happy. It all goes back to the title of the project. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to constantly tell someone to have a nice day while you’re standing there having the worst day ever.

Did you drop the shake or was that a lucky find? What drew you to this, was it mix of graphic and organic shapes or more the “surprise” of a shake on the ground?
The shake on the floor was a lucky find or as my professor Ken Merfeld would say, “a gift from the photo gods.” I could’ve easily set up a shot like this but it’s really important for me to keep the project as honest and straight forward as possible. I may be the one documenting but at the end of the day I’m trying to tell the story of the under appreciated employee who has to go out clean up that mess.

How long did this body of work take?
I’ve been working on Have a Nice Day on and off for a year now. As a side project I’ve started collecting the receipts from the restaurants I photograph to have a written document that will explain why I’ve been gaining so much weight lately. My next project is going to have to involve some sort of physical exercise so I can even things out.

Will this be ongoing or a one-off for you?
This project is definitely something I plan on continuing. Especially right now while there is so much debate over minimum wage for fast food employees. New York and Los Angeles have raised the minimum wage up to $15 but many cities have yet to follow their lead. I’ve even begun to notice some restaurants implementing touch screens to replace wage earning humans. So this is a very crucial point for the narrative of the project that I need to document.

Did you give yourself a specific radius for the fast food places? 
I’m open to traveling as far as I have to for the right fast food restaurant. Right now I have my eye on a Del Taco that’s on the way to Las Vegas. Apparently it’s the first one that was opened so the design of the restaurant hasn’t been changed since 1964. There’s also a Taco Bell up north in Pacifica that’s been described as “the most beautiful Taco Bell in the world” it’s an isolated little lodge that sits right on the beach. I’ve seen some pictures on yelp and it has to be the strangest looking Taco Bell I have ever seen but I can’t wait to get up there. It’s also a good excuse to eat a cheesy gordita crunch with the sand in my toes.

 

The Daily Promo: Tom Hussey

- - The Daily Promo

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Tom Hussey


Who printed it?
I printed the images in house on a really nice feeling Red River paper.

Who designed it?
The concept for the promo series came from my Producer, Patty Hudson and I.  The envelope design is by Craig Carl and the copy is by Diane Carl.

Who edited the images?
I did.

How many did you make?
 Each “Mini Promo” is limited to an edition printing of 450.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
We send things out twelve times a year of various types and various quantities.

Why did you choose to do a mini print? I enjoyed how something so small could have such a large impact.
As the size of the standard cubical shrinks in the ad agency world, we thought it would be good to send a Mini promo.  I thought if we sent a really nicely printed, and yet smaller size piece of art, it would offer the creatives an opportunity to have a Mini gallery of my work.  That’s what it’s all about . . . keeping my brand in front of creatives and giving them something special and beautiful to look at.

The Daily Edit – BEST: Steve Simko

- - The Daily Edit

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BEST


Fashion Director:
Wendy Rigg
Editor in Chief: Jane Ennis
Art Director: Owen Connolly
Photographer: Steven Simko


I know you like to golf, were you able to play while you were there?
Yes, actually, the opportunity to play St. Andrews was a major incentive to take the job (I’m a single handicap golfer). And on top of it, getting to shoot half a dozen fashion stories on location at the “Home of Golf” was beyond exciting – combining my two passions in one trip: photography and golf. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play St Andrews, The Old Course as well as Kingsbarns.

How did this project come about?
I had recently reconnected with a fashion editor from London on Instagram whom I met light years ago. She had grown up in St. Andrews and was inspired to shoot some fashion stories in her home town after attending The Open Championship. She must have noticed all my “likes” were of photos she posted from The Open (she was following Dustin Johnson) and put together that I liked golf…the rest is history.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
It was a great collaborative effort between myself and the editor of Best, a fashion weekly.  The idea was to juxtapose the stories/fashion and unique location. St. Andrews offered a variety of different backdrops. There’s a beautiful beach (West Sands Beach), which many have probably seen if they’ve watched The Open, spectacular fields and rolling countryside, and the town featured amazing historic ~15th century architecture. We also had the opportunity to shoot at the Cambo Estate that featured a stately home with stables and wild ponies.

What did the creative brief look like and where did the horse come from?
There were several creative briefs for the various shoots. For the one showcasing the horse – we were highlighting the winter coats within a “classic English seaside” setting. King, the retired race horse in the photos, was a last minute improvisation. He belonged to the editor’s niece and it ended up working out fabulously. While the model had never been around a horse and was one pretty scared Dutch girl, King was a sweetheart. When you put something like a horse into the mix, you just let them (the horse) do their thing, but you have to move fast!

Did you hire a local assistant?
No, I asked one of my local assistants to join me on the shoot. We’ve known each other for eight years and he’s assisted me on various jobs for the last four years. We have a great working relationship, and for a 4-day long shoot, it’s important to  have someone who’s knowledgable, has the ability to tackle problems that might arise, and help find solutions. Plus, he made a great golfing buddy.

Who produced the shoot for you?
The editor was the key person producing the shoot. While many aspects of the stories were a collaborative effort, including picking out the models, she really handled everything, from arranging talent (hair + make-up) and stylists/wardrobe to transportation and location. Mark Rigg of Links Golf Tours of St. Andrews was the anchor transportation. They are one of the premier golf tour companies in St. Andrews (think big Mercedes vans used to transport golfers). Upon arrival in St. Andrews our driver drove us onto the cart path on the 18th fairway of the Old Course and we took a snapshot in front on the R & A building (we look like deer caught in head lights) a dream come true for a golfer.

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Did you prepare a carne for this gear list?
No carne was necessary but this is the gear we took with us …some of it stuffed in the golf travel bags :)

1- Canon 1DX 
2- Canon 5D MarkIII
3- Sony RX1R
4- (2) MacBook Pros
5- Digiplate Pro
6- Tripod
7- Sigma 50mm 1.4
8- Sigma 35mm 1.4
9- Canon 24-70mm 2.8
10- Canon 70-200mm 2.8
11- Profoto B2
12- TTL Air Remote
13- Sunbounce Sun Swatter (Black Net & White)
14- Westcott Bounce reflectors
15- ThinkTank Airport International V2.0
16- Crumpler Extravanganza
17- Tamrac Backpack

The Daily Promo: Meredith Jenks

- - The Daily Promo


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Meredith Jenks


Who printed it?

NOVA in Brooklyn. It’s nice because I can actually go to the press check. I’ve been printing my promos there for the last three years. Michael Artale is my contact, he is super patient and easy to work with.

Who designed it?
My studio mate Kristian Henson. He designed my promo last year too. I like working with him because I don’t feel shy telling him if something isn’t quite working and he takes my input and makes it even better.

Who edited the images?
Kristian and I worked on the edit together. I wanted to showcase some of my quieter work. People know me for poppy energetic photos so I wanted to show a bit of the other side in this piece.

How many did you make?
2000

How many times a year do you send out promos?
1 big piece a year and sometimes, additionally, I’ll send a postcard. My agency apostrophe makes a couple promo pieces a year as well.

Have you seen direct feedback from your promos?
Last year I did a poster and got direct feedback in that I was rewarded an ad job because the art buyer received my promo and had it on her wall. That client hired me 3 times over the course of last year so the cost of that promo was paid for many times over. It is scary to spend that much money on something not knowing whether anyone is going to look at it at all, but I definitely believe in the saying “you have to spend money to make money”.

The Daily Edit – Garden & Gun: Andrew Kornylak

- - The Daily Edit

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Garden & Gun

Marshall Mckinney: Design Director
Maggie Kennedy: Director of Photography
Margaret Houston: Associate Photo Editor
Braxton Crim: Assistant Art Director
Photographer: Andrew Kornylak

Did you stay up with Michael for 24hrs cooking? Was that to honor something historical for the story
Twitty was cooking food in the way it would have been done by enslaved cooks on Antebellum plantations in the South. Roughly: Dig a huge pit, burn a fire down to coals and slow cook meats over a screen of sapling logs. This process starts in the afternoon, takes all night, and Twitty and a group of helpers would alternately chop wood, prep food, cook, and doze off by the light of the hot coals and oil lanterns. So there was a lot going on visually all night. I shot the interview with Twitty for the video a little after midnight I think, during some down time. In the morning the action really started. More food was cooked in kettles and pans. By mid-morning most of the food was cooked and had to be put together, and people started showing up for the feast.

How hard was it to stay awake, what was the biggest challenge?
It’s wasn’t hard to stay awake because there was so much going on and we wanted to take everything in. It was good to have Erik Danielson assisting on this shoot, we have a lot of fun. I recall there was good whiskey about.

Did you shoot the video and the stills?
Yes, I shot both the video and the stills, and edited the video as well.

How hard was it to shoot the video at night?
I had brought along a set of tungsten lights and we got lucky with a power source near the cooking area. Two floods made enough light to work for stills and video and the color temperatures worked well with the fire and gas lanterns so I just left those on all night. For the interview I bounced one of the floods off the interior of a canvas tent to light Twitty softly.

What type of direction did you get to from the magazine? were they on set with you?
They were not going to be on set. We knew writer would be there along with possibly a lot of press, bloggers, and maybe another video crew in the morning. That’s when we decided to make it a night mission. I had some conversations with Art Director Marshall McKinney where we visualized what it might sound and look like: slabs of meat over coals at night, singing and chopping wood, period cook wear, all tied together by Twitty’s deep insight and humor. Other than that: The unknown. Possibly chaos. I’ve done many features for Garden & Gun and I like that they trust me on these kinds of shoots because they are the most interesting. I also know that if I work hard at it, whatever I come back with, Marshall and their team will make it sing.

How did this story idea come about?
The M. Twitty story actually came about via Twitter. Michael Twitty reached out to one of our editors suggesting he had an interesting cultural event coming down the pike and was curious if it might be something we’d want to cover. With a little follow-up we discovered that Michael was a food historian and cook and that he’d be the centerpiece of a unique culinary experience wherein he’d recreate a plantation style fete (on the grounds of a former working plantation called Stageville in North Carolina) exactly how it might have been performed some 300 years earlier. In doing so, the narrative explored southern foodways and their direct connections to Africa and the Caribbean but also the skill, determination and time it takes to pull off a meal with the resources available in antebellum times.

Since it was a 24 hr shoot what other multi media elements did you want to incorporate knowing you’d have such rich content?
Because the cooking itself would take at least 24 hours we knew we had something special, an event that would unfold slowly and simmer and offer up a rare opportunity for the right photographer. Without a doubt my photography director, Maggie Kennedy and I knew motion would play a key role in the storytelling. A shoot like this is a blend of portraiture, reportage, food and motion. That’s a heavy skill-set but in the end the choice was easy. I’ve worked with Andrew Kornylack for a number of years and I knew this would be right in his wheel-house. Andrew is an adventurer, a climber, a traveller but most importantly a curious and gentle soul. This shoot wasn’t exactly hanging from the side of a cliff in Yosemite but it would be an adventure all the same. Plus, given the cultural and emotional sensitivities surrounding the event we wanted to have someone present who could engage in the proceedings and document them with a modicum of decorum. You know, fit in.

How hard was it to award this assignment, I’d imagine you need just the right person. What was it about Andrew that struck you?
In the end, Andrew came through brilliantly. He gave unto the event that which it required, everything he had. The photography answered all our needs and the motion work helped capture the essence of the experience. For example, what standing over an open-pit of coals latticed with water-soaked sapling branches bent under the weight of pork ribs looks and feels like at 3.30 in the morning when delirium starts setting in and the birds begin to chirp. He worked along Twitty hour by hour and served up compelling images and content that can only be described as a feast for the eyes and ears.

Did you have a sound person or did you handle all aspects of the video production.
I handled all the video and sound myself, with the help of Erik Danielson who is an excellent assistant and great with lighting. I did the video edit, working closely with Assistant Photo Editor Margaret Houston.

The Daily Promo – Kevin Arnold

- - The Daily Promo

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Kevin Arnold

Who printed it?
It was printed by Hemlock Printers in Vancouver.

Who designed it?
Peter Ladd, who’s is a partner in Pendo Creative in Vancouver. I also worked with them on creating my new identity and website last year as well as the little photo man.

Who edited the images?
The promo grew out of me wanting to use the inside image. Peter and I did an initial edit on the additional images, and then I looped in my wife, Brooke. She is my go-to editor for portfolios and promos. Not only does she have a great eye for editing, but she also understands who I am and what I’m about as a photographer (sometimes better than I do myself).  She is amazing at being very honest with me if an image just doesn’t cut it. I can’t say I’m always as amazing at taking that advice, but between us the edits usually balance out perfectly.

How many did you make?
We sent out 500 to a select list of people that I really want to work with. I might do a second run of another 500 because it was so well received.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
It’s not always consistent, but I try to get something out twice a year.

How did this promo develop?
This was a fun promo because the concept for the promo grew out of an image I wanted to use rather than the other way round. More typically, one would create a promo and then select the images for it. I shot the inside photo of my friend Shea sitting in a redwood, when we were working together in California last year. I’ve always really liked it personally, but it wasn’t until much later that I decided to include it in my portfolio. As soon as I did it started to really resonate with people. My rep, Cynthia Held, was on the road showing my book in New York and Chicago, and she called me up right after that trip to tell me how much people were responding to that particular image. I knew I wanted to put it out there more and also knew I wanted it to be bigger than a typical postcard image. Something people might hold onto for a bit. The other images used in the promo were shot while I was doing a series of personal work in Tofino, British Columbia, so it’s a very personal promo overall. In the past, I’ve usually shown more client work on my promos because they are going out to potential clients.  I love this new promo because it turns that idea on it’s head. I’m interested right now in showing work that truly reflects who I am, what I love to shoot, and where I’m headed. I want my potential clients to see that work up front because I want them to be inspired by it and then collaborate with me to create something in the same vein for the clients.

The Daily Promo: Isamu Sawa

- - The Daily Promo

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Invite is below  to his show here for this show: www.withoutwater.com.au

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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 (www.withoutwater.com.au)

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

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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

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The Daily Promo: Alexander Thompson

- - The Daily Promo

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 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.

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Alexander Thompson

The Daily Edit – Chicago Magazine: Scott Council

- - The Daily Edit

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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

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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?
400

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

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Naturally

Art Director: Danny Seo
Writer:  Christine Richmond
Photographer:
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.

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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.

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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

 

 

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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?
1000

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


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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.
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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 Atedge.com, 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


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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.

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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

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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!