Posts by: Suzanne Sease

The Art of the Personal Project: Michael Warren

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Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today: Michael Warren

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Everyone has stuff they care or obsess about. All the people in these photographs were asked to bring something that has meaning to them. It could be anything – living, dead, or somewhere in between. That is the premise for this project I call “Somebodies”.

I started the project in 2011 when I asked a few friends if they would be interested in participating. It was simple; I would take a picture of the person, a picture of the object and get a quote about why the object had meaning to the person. To my surprise everyone said yes. I often didn’t know what they would be bringing until the day they showed up. I just asked them to think about it for a few days. I also let them know that I would videotape them at some point during the session so that I could get the story in their own voice. The audio is transcribed verbatim and I use it to create the written statement that always accompanies the pictures. Interestingly, the transcript has turned out to be a vital component of the project because it allows for a better sense of the person to emerge. By using their own words and sentence structures I think the first person narrative feels more honest and heart felt. So much can be garnered about someone’s personality by the words they choose and the way they speak.

In “Somebodies”, one of the things I love the most about this project is that the images are honest and uncomplicated.  The pictures also have a unique visual strength obtained by an extensive color treatment for a subtle result that unifies the series.

I’m a firm believer that shooting personal projects is the key to a successful career as a commercial photographer. It reminds me why I got into photography in the first place and more importantly it’s a way to show creatives and art producers what I really like to shoot.

If you’re passionate about something let me know. I am always looking for new stories.

Follow the project on Michael’s Instagram feed @seewarren
https://www.instagram.com/seewarren/

You can view more of the personal project here:
https://www.warrenphotography.com/Somebodies/1

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Stacey Van Berkel

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Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Stacey Van Berkel

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Windswept Video – flipping through book: https://vimeo.com/184577669

Windswept behind the scenes Video: https://vimeo.com/184039108

Stacey Van Berkel is passionate about creating beautiful images, whether she is shooting a luxury travel or interiors piece, decadent dishes, or bright happy lifestyle and products.

Though based in Greensboro, NC, Stacey grew up on windy shores of Nova Scotia, and often visits home to shoot for Canadian clients. Her stunning images have garnered international awards and recognition, and she relishes the fact that her work takes her to so many destinations where she can experience the world from different perspectives. Recent assignments have seen Stacey working in Colombia, Dublin, Italy, the Bahamas, and all over North America.

Stacey is always interested in hearing about exciting new projects that she can bring her expertise to. She is known for putting her whole heart and creativity into every project and doing whatever it takes to get incredible imagery for her clients. She connects with people instantly, and her enthusiasm for her work is infectious.

Away from the camera, Stacey spends way too much time with her rescued Thoroughbred Percheron cross Brontë, loves hanging out with her best buddy Simon the Vizsla, campaigning for social justice and contributing her photography skills to philanthropic initiatives. She is fearless in the kitchen and will try to cook any cuisine, loves profuse climbing roses and peonies, and her favorite gelato flavor is dulce de leche. In case you didn’t already notice, her favorite colour is turquoise, and she is ever the romantic soul, perhaps wondering if she was born in the wrong century. She has an undergrad degree in 19th Century British History and Literature, and her dream job would be to do on-set photography for a British period drama and get to finally get her private pilot’s license.

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Steven Laxton

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Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

This week’s Photographer: Steven Laxton

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Cypress Hills Brooklyn

I recently bought my first house. It was a grueling ordeal but well worth it because now I call Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, my home.

In the short time I’ve lived in this vibrant, multi-cultural neighborhood it has inspired me to create a new series of work.

This community welcomed me immediately. It feels like a small town where everyone knows your name even though there are 10 nationalities represented in 12 houses on my small block alone. It feels the way areas of downtown Manhattan did when I first arrived in New York: the melting pot that makes this city unique.

I love what I have found here, even though I worry about what it might mean that I am here. The Cypress Hills of today is going to change and I am part of that change, just as those who moved here 20 years ago were a part of a different kind of change. Whilst I love the community as it is, I am conscious of how the next 20 years might change it again.

Because of that, I am driven to document the community as it is now. New York is a city that is forever evolving, and I want to preserve this moment by celebrating the people that make Cypress Hills what it is today.

Over the summer I set up a portable studio in Highland Park where the locals come to play sport, picnic and escape the city hustle and bustle and heat I asked those I met to sit for a quick portrait. These are the many diverse faces of Cypress Hills.

http://www.ba-reps.com/photographers/steven-laxton/cypress-hills

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Tim Mantoani

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Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s post is to honor the life of Tim Mantoani and his work http://behindphotographs.com
From a funding page to help benefit Tim’s son and his education: https://www.youcaring.com/lucas-mantoani-668304

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We are profoundly saddened to announce the passing of our friend and photographer, Tim Mantoani.

Tim was an internationally acclaimed photographer, a dedicated husband, father, son, brother and friend. His numerous professional accomplishments are surpassed only by his love and generosity to everyone who knew him.  Those of us who were lucky enough to know Tim have struggled to find a truly meaningful way to recognize his contribution to our lives.

Many of you know Tim’s son, Lucas, a bright, enthusiastic, young man.  Though only sixteen, Luke is wise beyond his years, sharing Tim’s relentless pragmatism, sense of humor and love of life.

Please join us in celebrating Tim, by helping to fund Luke’s college education.  Our goal is to provide Luke with the opportunity to find the same joy and fulfillment in his lifelong endeavors as his dad.

Thank you for your endless love and support.

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Uwe Duettmann

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Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s Personal Project: Uwe Duettmann

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For a long time, I’ve wanted to visit Burning Man. I love the location—the desert, the light there, the mood, the vastness, and how everything stands out against the landscape and becomes important. I’m also drawn to the culture of the festival, the idea of creating an open society where everybody accepts each other. And from a creative point of view, Burning Man is interesting to me because all of these magnificent people build incredible objects and art and machines just for the event.

Still, I had no real idea what to expect when I arrived, and I told myself to be open to whatever I saw. On the opening day, I took a bike ride on the playa, which is the big open dry lake where the installations are shown. I was completely overwhelmed by the sight of desert in combination with these extraordinarily interesting-looking people. It seemed like everything was floating around, constantly in motion. Even most of the vehicles were made by hand, and they made me smile because were so funny and unusual. Everything had a positive energy.

After two hours, I returned to the RV where I was staying, completely exhausted. It was all almost too much. I thought to myself that if I had to go out there again and try to photograph the people in costumes, the landscape, the vehicles, the objects—I would just puke. It felt like a constant flow of pictures.

So I decided to stay away from taking portraits and to just bike around and hang out at the playa and let my mood determine when I would take a picture. So most of the photos are taken from a distance. That’s just what felt right.

I went out before sunrise for three hours, then again at around 1 P.M. for a few hours, and then again at around 5 or 6 P.M., into the sunset and back again. At night, I always spent a few hours scoping out the mood of the playa, which was filled with illuminated people and objects.

When I returned home, I tried to interpret the photographs I’d take with my own distinct palette. The pictures I’ve seen of Burning Man are more documentary in style, and I wasn’t going for that with my project. I wanted to show the Burning Man mood.

To see more of this personal project, you can see it here: https://www.instagram.com/uwe_duettmann/

More links to Uwe Deuttmann work duettmannphoto.com
stocklandmartel.com/duettmann

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Art Streiber

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Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

In revising the Art of the Personal Project, I am pleased to present the personal work of Art Streiber. Thank you to Bill Stockland and Art for taking the time in their busy schedules to speak with me. I chose Art because his site shows the work he gets hired for, while the Stockland Martel blog gives him a forum for his personal work. To see Art’s website, please go to http://www.artstreiber.com. If you would like to hear Art speak, visit the calendar on his website for upcoming events. For example, he is speaking tonight, Thursday, Oct. 13th, in the Los Angeles area and this year at PDN’s PhotoExpo Plus in New York City.

The Farmer’s Market

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In our foodie/farm-to-table culture, shopping at big-city farmer’s markets has practically become a religious experience. Devout attendees make a weekly pilgrimage to their neighborhood market in order to buy the freshest, most organic fruits, vegetables, dairy and poultry (and honey and nuts and flowers) available.

And the farmers themselves are just as devoted…not only tilling the soil but then bringing their products to market, often hours and hours away from their farms.

It was this devotion that drew me to photographing a series of these farmer/vendors at a few markets in West Los Angeles.

As an unlicensed, uncertified, amateur sociologist, I am very interested in subcultures…groups of people who are dedicated to a cause, a hobby or a lifestyle. Their focus and steadfastness are fascinating.

My intention with this series was to capture the farmer/vendors as naturally as possible with their wares—essentially an elevated snapshot. No frills. Yes, I did light my subjects in order to balance the light under their pop-up tents, but they are lit in a way that doesn’t make them look like there is any lighting involved.

Unlike my commissioned work, this series, and my other personal series, allowed me to work unfettered by any requirements other than my own, enabled me to explore a simplified technical approach to my portraiture and reinforced what I already knew to be true: that making someone’s portrait is about connecting with them, hearing their story and being empathetic and interested.

Dogs and Their Owners

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For his latest personal portrait series, Art Streiber ventured into fur-tile territory: dogs and their owners.
“Dogs fascinate me,” he says.
“I am intrigued by how we anthropomorphize dogs, attributing all kinds of emotions and personality traits to our pets:
‘He’s just shy.’
‘She loves people.’
‘He hates the cold weather.’
And, of course, I’m guilty of doing the exact same thing with my dog, Jones.
My brother is a vet in Southern California, and on the occasion of the fourth anniversary of his practice he asked me if I would do portraits of his clients and their pets.
So my crew and I set up a black tent in his parking lot on a chilly spring morning so that we could capture the attendees and their canine companions at my brother’s anniversary bash.
What struck me as soon as the first owner and his pet walked into our tent was the ‘personality’ of the dog and how it was a reflection of the personality of the owner. On a lark, I cropped the head of the owner out of the photo, relying on the face of the dog to tell the story of the relationship between the pet and the owner.
All of the dogs are leashed or attached to their owners, but many seem to be striking out on their own, while others stay close.
There’s no question that the physicality, clothing, and posture of the owners are indicative of that relationship as well, but it’s the look of the dogs as they stare directly into the camera that carry the portraits.”
Below, highlights from Art’s portrait session at El Segundo Animal Hospital, where his brother Andrew Streiber DVM/Family practices…

Dogs and their owners: a new portrait series by Art Streiber

The Prom

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“Going to the prom in 2016 has changed in so many ways since I went to the prom in the early 1980s,” observes Art, “and yet, many aspects are exactly the same. Most of the kids are still awkward with their prom dates, unsure of themselves and the ‘relationship’ they’ve created for this special, once-a-year, dress-up party. The boys still want to look suave and debonaire, and the girls still want to be seen as uniquely pretty while fitting in with how all of their friends look. Teenagers, all these years later, are still teenagers, and as an amateur sociologist, I am fascinated.”

Los Angeles prom-goers are the focus of portrait photographer Art Streiber’s new personal project

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Grace Chon

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As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Grace Chon

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How long have you been shooting?
I’ve been photographing animals for 8 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’m self-taught but have a background as an ad agency art director. That training has informed my photography career so much, from the way I art direct my shoots to being on set with clients.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I think a lot of us have a fascination with before and after images because it’s always fun to see dramatic transformations. I had the idea of doing a before and after series with dog grooming because there’s something about it that’s so funny to me. Sometimes the dog looks so different and you wonder if it’s the same dog in both images. I wanted to capture that idea in the series, and have the after photos be really extreme by showing Japanese Dog Grooming cuts since they aren’t that common and the results are so striking.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I came up with the idea in January of 2016 and reached out to a friend of mine who owns a successful chain of pet stores called Healthy Spot, which also offers incredible dog grooming. We got the wheels in motion almost immediately and shot the series in May of 2016, and I started to share the series online by July 2016.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
This series was all shot and executed in 1 day, and I think I knew pretty immediately that the idea was going to work. Literally just seeing the dogs walk on set before and after their grooming was jaw dropping –both really amazing and funny at the same time.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I don’t think this series is too different from my portfolio work. I am known for very strong, character driven animal portraits and this is definitely an extension of that. But what I loved about this series was the creative collaboration with a team of incredibly talented dog groomers. And because we didn’t have a client dictating what they wanted, we were able to do whatever we wanted. Having total creative freedom is always the best!

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I always share my personal work on social media. In this day and age, it would be a huge lost opportunity not to!

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
The series went viral not too long after I started sharing the images online, with mentions on sites like The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, The Daily Mail, Yahoo, Refinery29, Costmopolitan, INSIDER, and more. The photos were also published internationally as well.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I have in the past with my “Zoey and Jasper” photo series and I definitely will sometime in the near future with this one.

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Grace Chon is a commercial photographer specializing in animals, lifestyle images, and celebrities with their pets.
When she’s not writing about herself in the third person, Grace likes to go hiking with her dogs, meditate, and grow organic heirloom tomatoes. She makes a mean guacamole (want to challenge her to a guac-off?) and really hates Comic Sans.
In her spare time, Grace photographs homeless dogs looking for their forever homes and donates her photography services every year to multiple dog rescue groups in Los Angeles. She lives in LA with her husband, son, and their beloved rescue dogs, Maeby and Zoey.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Ashton Ray Hansen

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As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Ashton Ray Hansen

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Photography: Ashton Ray Hansen

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How long have you been shooting?
11 since I picked up my first camera. Two since I broke off from assisting.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I gained most of my experience from photo assisting in Chicago.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
Probably the love I have for my friends and admiration I have for them to leave the city behind to live a fairytale lifestyle in a remote part of Colorado.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
Wow, lets see, I started photographing this on my first visit when they moved out there about six or seven years ago.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
If I start realizing I have no more passion for a specific project I move on. I don’t like to force anything. Sometimes I’ll re-visit an idea but if there’s no passion or interest then that’s it for me.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I feel great! Shooting this kind of work allows me to shoot whatever I want and however I want encouraging me to try new techniques and explore new perspectives.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I post to Instagram all the time. www.instagram.com/ashtonrayhansen

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Viral, no. The closest to that is an image from this project being used as the cover for an environmental issue of Denver’s well respected 5280 magazine. Another image got me a Finalist award for a national photo contest. But that’s the closest to “viral” I’ve made it.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I haven’t yet but have been considering it recently as I have landed multiple jobs this summer solely because of the personal work on my website.

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Ashton is a food & lifestyle photographer currently based in Boulder, CO. A Colorado native, however, he found his roots while living in Chicago. It was during that time when he discovered his love of food and his interest in the way people live and play.

His first personal project Hotchkiss was about people living entirely off the land. Through this he has discovered an appreciation for those that have done what so many only wish they could do. His new project Van Life will document the lives of those who live out of their vans to live a life of adventure on the open road. It’s his relationship and love for people that he thrives in the collaborative processes that are the creative industry. Some of his most current clients include Ball Corp, David Weekley Homes, Noosa Yoghurt, and Boppy Baby Products.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Sabrina Helas

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As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

“Rock-rock, Rockaway Beach
Rock-rock, Rockaway Beach
Rock-rock, Rockaway Beach
We can hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach”

Today’s featured photographer is: Sabrina Helas

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How long have you been shooting?
I have been shooting since 2005, I started off as a pet photographer.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Mostly self-taught, the funny part is I had always dreamed of being photographer, but for some strange reason I went to film school instead. It wasn’t until I had been working in that industry for a few years that I woke up and picked up a camera. I had taken photography classes in high school and college but I still had everything to learn.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
The Ramones song “Rockaway Beach”. I just couldn’t get it out of my head! I have a friend who lives in Rockaway and he was raving about it. He suggested I should take a trip out, so I did and I loved it! We started planning a shoot around the location that day. I am pretty sure that on a subconscious level we pulled from that song’s energy for the entire shoot.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I moved to NY in the middle of winter of this year so as soon as the weather warmed up we took a little trip to Rockaway and shot it 2 weeks later.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
This was an easy one, I knew right away. The shoot came together perfectly. The energy of the boardwalk was fantastic, the kids were super fun, Michelle Zapata (Photo Producer) made sure everything went smoothly and thanks to Heather Rome (Wardrobe stylist) the clothes matched the vibe. It was a blast!

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I love the freedom of a personal project and how it is allowed to organically grow and deviate from the intended concept.
You can plan a shoot as meticulously as you want but once you’re on set with all the different personalities and elements
it has the ability to take on a life of it’s own and you have the permission to just go with it.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Sadly I am a bit of a grandma when it comes to social media. I have only recently started to embrace it. I do post some of my work, but until recently, all of my settings have been “private”. I’m working on it…

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I am actually doing that right now.
I just signed with Kim Knight Represents and I am getting my promos ready to share with the world! (Fingers crossed they like it). LOL

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Sabrina Helas is a NY based lifestyle photographer.
She specializes in all things kids.

She recently moved to NYC from Los Angeles and is loving every second of it!
She is represented by: Kim Knight Represents 

www.sabrinahelas.com


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Cade Martin

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Cade Martin

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How long have you been shooting?
I first picked up a camera half way through my sophomore year in college. Which was long enough ago. Truthfully, I almost didn’t pursue photography at all. I hated working in the darkroom – all the running water made me have to use the bathroom. Early in college, I contemplated a career in computer programming but shelved that and here I am today.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A little bit of both. I grew up at the ankles, knees and hips of a community of artists – my father was an art professor – so I believe in some ways I obtained a visual education through my everyday environment. In college I focused on photography and art history with a non-traditional, general studies degree. After school, I was an assistant/apprentice for a few years before striking out on my own, 24 years ago.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve been reading and collecting comics as well as going to comic book conventions since I was a little boy, comics are a big part who I am. I’m an only child, and I, like a lot of only children, grew up surrounded by adults and invented my own worlds in my head. I’ve always been a daydreamer and my primary school years were often filled with my mind wandering to what I’d found and expanded upon in movies and comic books. Sister Charlotte, I’m not sorry. Tintin, created by Herge, is my favorite fictional character of all time and Tintin adventures are what I always wanted to have.

Comics took me everywhere – different countries, different worlds, super heroes, secret identities, romance, war and evil lairs (who doesn’t love an evil lair) to name a few. Colors, sights, sounds – different artists, different genres, nothing was too outlandish and anything was possible – the lack of boundaries was and has been very inspirational.

I’d envisioned a super hero project for a while now and the how or where escaped me. A few years ago I was hired for an editorial project to create portraits at a Civil War reenactment, here we set up a photo studio off to the side of a battlefield so we could strip these re-enactor’s of their environment. I sort of had an aha, duh! moment and thought, in regards to a Comic-Con – why don’t I do this there.

My approach for Comic-Con (and others since) has been to set up a photo booth, and embed myself in the environment. I’ve rented a space for a couple years now at different conventions and built a “studio.” Once set up, I approach people walking around that are interesting to me. It’s performance art and it has it all – creativity, execution, passion, commitment, celebration, voyeurism, exhibitionism and sex. You can see a BTS peek into how this works by going here: https://vimeo.com/182563518

This personal project is no small part nostalgia, married with a visual bonanza, and a captive audience. The people who dress up and take so much time to prepare for Comic-Con have stories to tell, with their costumes and with what’s behind them. I want to show these people in the best light. I found a real affection for these characters – fascinating and interesting people who are expressing themselves through a genre that had always spoken to me. I am always amazed by the amount of commitment and passion the people put into their costumes and make-up for these events. In a way, this is their personal project, which I find admirable and I’d like to think it’s been a creative partnership. I have found it fascinating and it’s been an honor to capture how people bring their favorite characters and vivid imagery to life.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I’ve been working on the project on and off for approximately two years. I’ve photographed at three separate events, one Comic-Con and two Awesome-Cons. What you see here represents just some of my favorites out of the 325 that I’ve photographed. I know that a project is ready to show when I’ve made something that I’m proud of or when I feel like I’ve got the right balance of content. I’ve been showing a few of these images here and there and have gotten a great response so far. I have loved the reactions and expressions when people see the images but at the same time I have also wanted to push the series a little further. Maybe it is as much about me, wanting to continue to have the experiences and interactions with these people in these environments.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Each personal project is different and sometimes it works right away, sometimes it doesn’t, but for me, busy creates busy.

Time-wise, it’s difficult to say because so often one thing leads to another, and the kernel of one personal project can inspire and inform the next. I file all of it under my continuing education and when I find a subject that I want to know more about, I jump in and see where it will take me, what I will learn about myself and from those that I meet along the way. From Comic-Con, I have started a Tattoo portrait project and from the Tattoo convention I went to a Blues Musician festival in the Mississippi Delta. Most recently I started working on a Vietnam fighter pilot portrait project. Maybe it’s fair to say a personal project never dies or stops working, it just feeds the next.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Creating an image that works and has aesthetic value feels good no matter what. And having the result of a good photograph or series be different from what I may have already done is exciting. You have to keep innovating. I want different, to push my boundaries and be surprised by where my photography takes me. I love this quote by John Cage “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas, I’m frightened by the old ones.” Personal work gives me the space to try new things and react to inspiration. And, work that is different from my existing portfolio can be a gateway to new commissioned projects. Work I’ve self-assigned is sometimes stuff I’d love to do in a commercial capacity, and it has ended up being a case of do the work to get the work.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes. I post different mixes of my work on Tumblr, Instagram & Facebook as well as on Twitter. I use these platforms differently but all as spaces that allow me to play in a sandbox that I might not otherwise; to share my projects with these communities, both the commercial and personal work, the feedback sometimes strengthens and influences me in different ways.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Nothing has blown up Gangnam Style but a few of my projects have been pinged around online through various outlets. I worked on a personal Day of the Dead project in Mexico last year and it appeared in the Huffington Post Travel section as well as PDN, Workbook & Altpick.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/geoff-livingston/the-wonderful-day-of-the-_b_6089658.html

While going viral and having eyes on the work is great, I try not to get too caught up in keeping count. It’s certainly great to get the images out in the world and wonderful if the response is favorable but I’m really doing these personal projects primarily for myself.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Definitely. I love printed promos. For this superhero portrait project we had a lot of fun exploring designs and ended up going with an 18”x24” poster, 2000 of which will soon be mailed out in clear tubes. I’m really excited to get these out in the world, to have these characters inspire others as much as they do me.

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Cade’s work can be seen at www.cademartin.com and http://cademartin.tumblr.com/.

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The only child of a university art professor and a freethinking mother, Cade Martin grew up immersed in a creative community in Richmond, VA. The foundation for his love of art and composition was laid in museum halls, movie theaters and art studios, and at home around a dinner table inhabited by an eclectic cast of characters who shaped his appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life. Cade has been chasing characters ever since. He seeks their stories – through their faces, their bodies and sometimes their costumes – in a common thread from his commercial work to his personal projects – characters are the heroes in his pictures.

Cade splits his time between the East and West Coasts with his wife and two kids. He creates images for editorial, advertising, fashion and lifestyle clients that include Marriott, Merrill Lynch, The NY Philharmonic, Neenah Paper, Proctor & Gamble, The Smithsonian, Starbucks, Tommy Hilfiger, United States Postal Service, Volkswagen and Washington Ballet.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Eric Frazier

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Eric Frazier

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How long have you been shooting?
I finished school 20 years ago, but I’d say I’ve been pursuing it full time for about 15. I spent awhile messing around, doing odd jobs, and generally slacking off after college. Once I came back to photography, I was fully committed.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
BA in Photography from Webster University in St Louis. Sometimes I wish I had a BFA so I seemed more arty, but I always gravitated more to the commercial side. I don’t think I was ever quite cool enough for the art crowd anyway!

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve spent some time on the water and love boats and the last few years I’ve gotten into woodworking. Recently a colleague, Bobbi Wendt, connected me with the owner of woodyboater.com Matt Smith, who graciously connected me with the woody boat community in Algonac, MI, the birthplace of Chris Craft. I already had some interest in these boats, so when the chance arose to photograph several along with the owners, I jumped at it.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This was my first shoot with woody boats. I spent 3 days up there and came back with about 5500 shots. It’s a great start, but I’d like to get up there again, as well as other hotbeds of woody boating, like Lake Tahoe. Being a personal project, it usually takes a backseat to paying gigs and family stuff, so I’ll probably come back to it a few more times in the coming years.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I think you know pretty quick. If I like the images, then it’s working. If the images aren’t quite there yet, but I’m enjoying the process and think there’s more to explore, then I’ll keep going. Sometimes, I’ll like the shots and enjoy working on it, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re good enough for public consumption. I’ll be glad I did it and will have learned something, or grown in some way, but it can’t work every time, photographically speaking. That’s where good, honest editing comes into play. And these projects may still have a life on social media too.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Portfolio shoots tend to be a little more focused and planned out. I have a clearer vision of what I want for my book, whereas personal work is a little more exploratory. For me, this is the point of personal work – to mess around, take chances, see where it takes you. If you’re always boxed in to a particular outcome, like on a paying shoot, you can’t really go places your creativity or curiosity takes you. I think curiosity is a big deal in this profession, and should be nurtured.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
This is one of the best things about social media. It’s the perfect place to show personal work. It’s ok to be a little less polished or produced and gives people a better idea of your personality and interests outside of your professional work.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Ha, no, I haven’t gone viral yet. Maybe my next project will: “Celebrities who change their names, move to Texas, and become professional rodeo clowns.” Still trying to find some though, so let me know if you hear of any.

The images did appeal to Matt at woodyboater.com though – once he saw them he loved the look and feel, especially the ones showing the real owners on their boats. He decided to use them as ads for his website in other magazines. The ads turned out great, so it was a win for everyone involved.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I’ve had a few hundred printed to send out – just this month in fact. Also shots from other personal projects, like my Track Racer series. I try to be very specific about what photos I send to who. I think some of these are better for editorial clients than commercial ones, but it depends.

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I don’t know what Pokemon Go is, but I’m ok with it.
I’m happier behind a camera than in front of a computer.
I have a Cairn Terrier named Willy who thinks he’s six feet tall.
I live with the love of my life and her two daughters.
I’m never (completely) satisfied with my work.
I love food, especially meat, gluten, and refined sugar.
I don’t like slackers, parking tickets, or cold without snow.
Sometimes I’m a slacker.
I try to experience everything because life is short.
I can do it on my own, but I prefer to collaborate.
Bikes are practical works of art and I want to ride them all.
Making clients happy makes me happy.
I’m a happy guy.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Neil DaCosta

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Neil DaCosta

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Looking for a longer term personal project, I came across a local news article about a man carrying a fully loaded AR15 rifle down the street in an Oregon city. And it was 100% legal for him to do so! What he was doing is termed “Open Carry”. Although laws differ state by state, in some states it is legal to carry visible loaded guns without permits, as long as you are legally allowed to own the gun.

With “This is Open Carry”, an ongoing project, I am traveling to different states that allow open carry and photographing the actual act of open carrying. This project does not focus on people’s reactions, but is more of a portrait of the act itself.

The goal is to leave my personal beliefs out of the images and present them without any pre conceived agenda. By doing so I hope it opens up a conversation between the 2 opposing sides of gun control instead of the same old rhetoric of “I am right, you are wrong”.

When approaching subjects I let them know that this piece is neither pro or anti gun rights. I want to keep politics out of it and so far they have been fairly receptive. We then talk about what their experiences with open carry have been and why they choose to exercise their rights in this area. From that conversation, we decide a good location to photograph in, something that has meaning to their story. A preacher in his church, a coffee shop that allows customers to open carry, the front yard where one subject was arrested on firearm possession charges and later found not-guilty, and so on.

How long have you been shooting?
Since high school!

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A little bit of both. I have a degree in applied photography from RIT. That taught me the basic technical side of photography, but I continue to learn on my own still.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
This is Open Carry is a non-biased look at the act of carrying a loaded gun legally, where it applies.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I am about a year into this project and would like to continue working on into the future.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I liked the first few images I got from this project and new it would work right away. However, I have not done a long term project before so it is exciting to keep adding to the series. I feel like every time I photograph a new subject it helps the project evolve.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I actually like to incorporate my personal work into my portfolio. It helps people give a sense of your creativity. With this work specifically being in my portfolio, the images make it easy for a conversation with the viewer. It is hard to pass up a photo of a guy on a motorcycle with a rifle on his back without asking “what is this all about?!?!”

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
This project I have been slowly posting images on Instagram with some lines about what is going on. It definitely gets people commenting, some for guns, some against. I have not done a release of the full project on any social media sites yet, as I still think it is evolving.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
On an individual level, the image of the man on his motorcycle with the rifle on his back was easily the most commented on Instagram post I have ever made. Again, with people on both sides of gun control commenting

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Not yet with this project. I hope to eventually make it into a book. Supplement the images with a quick fact about open carry laws. Such as “In Michigan, you can legally own/carry a rifle at 18, but must be 21 do own/carry a handgun”

Held & Associates
cynthia@cynthiaheld.com
+1 (323) 655 2979

Neil DaCosta
neil@neildacosta.com

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information in the belief that marketing should be brand driven and not by specialty.  Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Shaina Fishman

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Shaina Fishman

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How long have you been shooting?
I began photographing animals in 2005

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I studied commercial photography at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
There were different aspects to this project.

Mainly, I wanted to work with a stylist and do a project that incorporated accessories. To work with cats since there is so much attention on dog photography but very little on cats. Working with a rescue to bring awareness and attention to the work they do.

For this project I specifically wanted to work with a stylist and do something with an accessory. I reached out to a friend asking if she knew any stylists that are also animal lovers. She introduced me to Ryen Blaschke. Ryen, is a stylist that also volunteers with Brooklyn Animal Action (Ryen is female). I wasn’t specifically looking for someone that worked in rescue but it worked out serendipitously.

Ryen and I bounced different ideas and concepts off each other. She told me about some felt hats that she had created for fun for her own cat. She shared the images of her cat wearing the felt hats and I fell in love with the creations. We scrapped all the other ideas we had brainstormed and moved forward with doing cats in hats. This concept incorporated her craft and styling skills and my photography. Together we came up with a list of iconic hats that would be tolerated by the cats.

Working with rescue cats brought in the other element to this project which was helping the shelter to get cats adopted and bring awareness to cat rescue. I work with various rescue groups as a way to volunteer my time and talents and give to a good cause.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
The first shoot was in the spring of 2015. The first shoot didn’t go very smoothly and I wasn’t able to capture the images that I had envisioned. The cats didn’t cooperate, the hats didn’t fit, we were too pressed for time, etc.

We shot a second time and made some adjustments to make the shoot go smoother. It was a success and I was able to capture the bulk of the images in the series. We did a third shoot in January 2016 to add to the series. We plan on continuing the series as we have some more concepts we’d like to explore.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
After the first shoot I was a bit frustrated. The vision I had for the series wasn’t going to work. However, I loved the hats and the concept so I just had to adjust my vision of the project to be better suited for the situation (using kittens instead of cats, the shooting environment, the cats putting up with wearing the hats). After the second shoot was a success I knew it was worth exploring. I worked on (retouched) the second set of images and released them (the images on white). Only after that did I go back to the images from the first shoot and retouch them (Lobby boy, Heisenberg). I was able to get them to a point where I was happy with the images and they were closer to the original vision I had for the series. Those two images from the first shoot are a different direction, visually, than the rest of the series but I still love them.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I suppose I don’t see a difference between work for my portfolio and personal work. Although there are holes in my portfolio so I need to shoot some work specifically for my portfolio!

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I post any and all work on social media. It’s a powerful tool. I post on Instagram, facebook, twitter and tumbler.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Yes, this series got some great press. The second shoot was toward the end of October and I decided that pushing this series with a Halloween angle might give it some traction. (Below I coped and pasted the press release) To name a few media outlets that ran a feature, Buzzfeed, Bored Panda, Daily Mail, Design Taxi, F stoppers, Metro World News, PetaPixel, The Dodo, and some international press

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
No, I have not done any printed marketing materials in a very long time.

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Shaina Fishman has photographed wild lions in Kenya, street dogs in Peru, and stray cats in Jerusalem, and hopes to one day photograph penguins in Antarctica. She is a New York based commercial photographer specializing in capturing domestic animals both in studio and on location. She has experience on jobs of all sizes — from national ad campaigns to editorial and pro bono projects. Using a graphic and modern approach, Shaina’s images are playful, humorous, and personify her animal subjects.
Behind the lens from a young age she used the family pets—dogs, cats, hamsters, a salamander, and even a hawk—as her subjects. Her commercial photography career started in fashion photography but quickly transitioned into focusing solely on animals. Shaina currently live in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and their spunky papillon, Cosmo.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

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CATS IN HATS

Is your cat ready for Halloween?

Photography by Shaina Fishman

When Shaina Fishman and Ryen Blaschke were introduced they immediately decided to collaborate on a project to bring awareness to cat rescue. Shaina is a commercial photographer specializing in animals and Ryen is a fashion and wardrobe stylist. Both are actively involved in animal rescue and advocacy.

The two wanted to create a light-hearted series featuring rescue cats and kittens that are up for adoption. With so much exposure on dog rescue the two wanted to bring attention to the much-overlooked topic of cat rescue.  Approximately 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters every year in the United States. Cats of all ages and breeds can be adopted through shelters. While brainstorming ideas Ryen shared some images of felt hats that she had created for fun for her own cat. Once Shaina saw the images of the hats, she was hooked on the concept and they got to work.

Customized hats were handmade by Ryen and then shot by Shaina on rescued cats from Brooklyn Animal Action, in the homes of volunteer’s fostering the cats. All cats, deserve a loving home and a ridiculous Halloween costume, don’t you think? The ongoing project encompasses popular hats such as the one worn by Pharrell at the Grammys and timeless pieces such as Robin hood’s woodsman hat.

You can learn more about Shaina’s work at shainafishman.com and Ryen at ryenblaschke.com

Brooklyn Animal Action is a non-profit Brooklyn-based group of volunteers committed to improving the lives of animals in distress. Working with local communities, they facilitate Trap-Neuter-Return programs, find homes for adoptable animals, perform community outreach and education, and engage in advocacy. They have rehomed over 1000 cats as well as the occasional dog or pigeon. As an all-volunteer organization, BAA can’t do any of their life-saving work without the support of caring people like you. Please check out the Volunteer page to find out what you can do to help, or make a donation right now!

The Art of the Personal Project: Mark Lipczynski

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Mark Lipczynski (pronounced “Lip-chin-ski”)

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How long have you been shooting?
Professionally since the fall of 2001 when I started my first newspaper internship out of college at my hometown newspaper in Warren, Ohio. I was a photography hobbyist since long before that internship though.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I am self-taught since I was a kid who enjoyed chasing trains and photographing them in Northeast Ohio. However, in college at The University of Maine, Orono I was enlightened by a visiting professor from the University of Missouri School of Photojournalism, Bill Kuykendall, who taught me that photography could be a fulfilling career. He helped me narrow my discipline and focus on visual storytelling through photojournalism. One of the most important career decisions I ever made was to force myself into his class! I am forever grateful for Mr. Kuykendall’s influence on me.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I am a casual history buff and enjoy the dedication reenact-ors give to recreating moments in history as accurately as they can. I came across an opportunity to photograph this particular reenactment because my dog sitter and her husband are reenact-ors (The husband, Rex, is the guy in the portrait posed next to the canon). They tipped me off to this event happening and I was all over it. I also wanted to use it as a learning experience so I forced myself to haul my lights and a paper backdrop out into the desert to try and do some outdoor, studio style portraits. I understood that there would be some degree of failure since it was an experiment but I also knew that the successes would far outweigh the failures. My paper backdrop got destroyed by the breeze but I managed to get a few really nice portraits using my lights.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This was just a one-day shoot that has been on my mind for a few years.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Since it was an experiment I threw caution to the wind and jumped in head first making portraits, asking people to pose and shooting photojournalism style candids while putting together a narrative in my mind. I just simply had fun with it for the love of photography. So whether it was working or not didn’t matter to me. I knew through trusting the process I would come away with some great photos. I wish the outdoor studio style portraits had gone better and I didn’t lose a roll of seamless. But I knew the risks from the beginning and I’ll never lose the knowledge of what I learned from that experience. Next time I’ll be prepared to do it a little differently.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I feel like my portfolio is the best expression of my voice as a photographer whether it’s commercial or personal work. I enjoy it all the same. There’s only the pressure I put on myself to perform whether it’s for a client or for a personal project. In the end I have to live with what I created so I always give 100% of myself to create something that I can stand behind.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I post only my favorite and most meaningful work to social media. That can be both personal work and commercial work. I use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter mainly. I have other social media but don’t really use them for much.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I realize the importance of social media in marketing today, however I’m not very popular at it because I don’t post consistently enough. The most likes I’ve ever gotten on a photo is 82 and that was recently for a night photo I did at Joshua Tree National Park. Not my strongest image ever but it apparently resonated with a lot of people. I think the idea of going viral to many means a fast and easy path to success in any given industry. For a select few this may be the case which is probably why so many believe in the importance of going viral. However, for as important as social media is in marketing today, I believe it is more important than ever as a photographer to market yourself in other ways to like print promos, portfolio reviews and go-sees. It’s easy to get comfortable behind your computer or device and neglect the personal touch that I think a lot of art buyers and art directors want to have with the artists they represent or hire. Photography is all too accessible today and I think art buyers and art directors want to know the person behind the lens. Virtual relationships are not real relationships and there’s a bit of risk involved if you don’t know the person who’s posting.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I shoot a lot. I have a local food magazine in Arizona that I co-founded with my wife called Bite (www.readbite.com). I consider all of the work I do for Bite personal because it is all created as a labor of love. It allows me to experiment and to hone my craft further. So a lot of that work ends up in print promos and e-promos alike. I seldom use commercial work for promotional materials because it often feels impersonal to me since it was created for someone else. Again, the personal touch goes a long way with me so I put out what I feel I have a deep personal connection to whether it’s personal or commercial.

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Mark Lipcyznski is a commercial and editorial lifestyle photographer residing in Phoenix, Arizona’s “East Valley.” His curiosity and optimism draw him to the unusual and comical. He embraces life with open arms and cameras blazing. He is an advocate for keeping film photography alive. Mark has a collection of more than 30 polaroid and film cameras that he uses alongside his digital cameras while on assignment or shooting for himself. Some of his more recent clients include: PING Golf, Arizona Highways Magazine, USA Today, American Airlines, Curbed, Sunset Magazine and Dwell Magazine.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Jeff Shaffer

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Jeff Shaffer

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How long have you been shooting?
28 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
RIT BFA Photo Illustration and School of Visuals Arts MPS Digital Photo Assisting in NYC for 3 years taught me the business, though!

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
It evolved from another personal project featuring composited images of obsolete future contraptions, called FutureTech.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I shot and produced the whole project in 5 months. I was able to use some landscape images shot years before in California, but some other background elements were recently shot in Philadelphia. I used models and a wardrobe stylist from SVA(the male actor also did the voice-over for my video), and purchased props and additional wardrobe from iGoldberg Army-Navy in Philly. Very cost-effective!

The project was presented in a group show at the School of Visual Arts gallery on E23rd Street, as a custom-made book and video presentation.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I did a fair amount of research and concept sketches before I began this one. I’d say it was a couple of months of prep all told. I showed work in progress to a number of fellow photographers and respected peers to get feedback, which was very helpful!

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I’d never had the opportunity before to take this much time to focus on a project, and explore ideas in this much depth. It felt great, and I’m glad it worked out as well as it has so far!

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I do post on Facebook and Instagram(mostly iPhone street graphics).
My blog is on Tumblr and also includes some occasional behind the scenes details.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Nothing viral, but I hope this post will generate some more great press!

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, just last month sent out a mailer featuring an image from this project, mostly to entertainment-industry companies. More will follow along with email and social media posts.

Artist’s Statement
Technology surrounds us, and we have become ever more dependent upon it. We can access information and communicate faster with one another than ever before, using a huge variety of systems and devices. These seemingly valuable abilities depend upon an ever-increasing demand for energy. This, in turn, has led to more pollution and dramatic climate change. and possible extinction for many creature that inhabit our planet. Human energy is often squandered on social media that actually serves to isolate us both from each other and from the serious global threats we all face. Because my work is heavily influenced by dystopian films such as The Zero Theorem, Blade Runner, and 12 Monkeys, this vision is bleak. it tells the story of two explorers, human survivors of the planet’s ruination, as they examine its after effects and try to find some salvation for the world or redemption for themselves.These images are presented in the form of a storyboard or graphic novel sequence.They are digitally assembled in much the same way as these two explorers have assembled their wardrobe. They are an amalgam of diverse elements; landscapes, signs, camera and computer parts.I use the very same digital technology that is leading us towards this dystopia to create a vision of that future world. No one can predict the end game of these trends, but Apocalyptech offers one view of a possible, not-too-distant future. If culture is lost, along with our fellow inhabitants, both human and animal, we lose spirit and humanity. Can it be recaptured and revived? These images illustrate those issues and raise those questions, but leave it up to all of us to provide the answers.

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Jeff Shaffer’s advertising photography has garnered numerous awards from art director’s clubs and other publication design groups. Based in Philadelphia, he has worked on national ad campaigns and annual reports for such prominent clients as Pfizer, Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren, Tanqueray, and Heineken. Jeff’s fine-art photography draws its inspiration from futuristic cinema and graphic novels, relying heavily on post-production manipulation in the style of computer graphics. He refined those skills while earning his Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography degree from New York’s prestigious School of Visual Arts.


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Marc Ohrem-Leclef

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s s a very exciting one as since Marc Ohrem-Leclef was featured on December 4, 2014, many exciting things have happened for his beautiful personal project Olympic Favela.

Today’s Art of Personal Project is: Marc Ohrem-Leclef part 2

Olympic Favela- The Book: After I featured you, you were so kind to send me a copy and it is beautifully done. How have sales been and are you selling them at the Installations and Film Festival? How can someone reading this blog post purchase one?
Thank you Suzanne, I appreciate the kind words and the opportunity to share what has happened since the last feature! The book has been received very well, garnered good reviews and press coverage, and sold well. This summer sales and related press have picked up yet again with the Olympic Games approaching and exhibitions of the work in Rio, Berlin and New York.
Olympic Favela is available in the US and Europe at bookstores and online retailers such as my distributor Artbook ( http://www.artbook.com/9788862083386.html )

Signed copies can be purchased directly from my studio – I love to receive emails out of the blue from people who have seen the work and inquire about having me send them an autographed copy of the book. ( marcleclef AT gmail.com )
Some of the galleries where I have exhibited work from the Olympic Favela project also do sell the book.

Olympic Favela -The Film (Movie sounds like a feature length film to me, and mine is a short, 19 min): which has been featured at The Seattle International Film Festival (2016) and Nantucket Film Festival 2016. Tell us more about these festivals and are there others on the horizon?
After working with my collaborators in Rio for nearly three years and seeing how some of the places that I kept visiting began to vanish as the communities were being removed, I had the desire to translate my own experience of ‘time passing and events unfolding’ to my audience by making a film.

Making a film has been a huge learning experience that was as tough as it was rewarding. Due to the rich material I made between 2014 and 2016, we were able to make two different edits: a more abstract edit for projection in a gallery space, the other a bit more narrative for presentation to cinema-audiences – this is the version that screened at the film festivals.

It was a thrilling experience to be invited to two major film festivals to show Olympic Favela – and then to see it on the big screen! My production in Brazil was very low-key and to see the footage I shot hold up so well on a full size cinema screen made me happy, and proud.

Both festivals, quite different in scale and audiences, were wonderful opportunities to meet fellow filmmakers, screenwriters and to absorb much of the information in the panels offered by the festivals, and a great new way for me to share the story of Olympic Favela.

More importantly, the audience reactions to my film, which for a documentary is rather abstract in its story-telling, were wonderful and evolved very much around my finding my collaborators and the experience of being allowed to follow their lives for such long period.

I am waiting to hear on a few more festival submissions, especially some in Brazil and Europe where I’d like to have the film seen by audiences, before releasing it online.

Olympic Favela-The Installation: This first installation was at Studio X Gallery in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and then you just got back from Berlin, Germany. Please tell us about these installation and others in the future?
The exhibition in Rio’s Studio X was a wonderful opportunity to show the work at ‘home’.

Studio X is a beautiful space housed in a historic building in Rio’s downtown area. The space allowed for the most comprehensive installation of photographs and the projection of the film yet, including a photograph that is now in the collection of the Museo de Arte do Rio (MAR).

(The installation at a gallery space that receives funding form the city of Rio de Janeiro was also a daring move by the gallery director Pedro Rivera, given the work that is very critical of the city’s policies.)

We worked hard on getting my collaborators from their new homes, often located far away on the city’s outskirts, to the gallery for the opening event, which included an in-depth discussion with local journalist Julia Michaels and Curator Julia Baker of the Museo de Arte do Rio (MAR). I invited some of my collaborators to join the discussion – hearing them share their personal stories was the most powerful moment of the evening for me.

Following the opening night, I managed to loan a projector and showed the film to the residents at one of the hardest impacted favelas, in the local church.

Prior to the show in Rio, I was invited to share the work at Boston University’s PRC Gallery; currently the work (photography and video) is exhibited at nGbK/Kunstraum Kreuzberg in Berlin, until end of August.

A wonderful review of the group show and Olympic Favela works in it was just published on Artslant: http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/46306

On August 17th an exhibition curated by Mickalene Thomas will open at Baxter Street Gallery in NYC (group show, featuring Olympic Favela works (photography and video) http://www.baxterst.org/exhibitions-3/2016-annual-juried-competition-and-exhibition/ .

Since you were featured, I noticed great press and reviews of your book and film. Can you tell us more about that?
The project has gotten a lot of attention from photo editors and writers, both online and in print. Publications and features range from fine arts media (Artnews, Select Magazine, American Photo, Slate) and trade media (PDN) to news outlets (BBC, Huffington Post, Der Spiegel).

Highlights were being named as one of ‘2014 best books’ by American Photo Magazine, and the feature on Huffington Post!
in 2015 Hafen-Universitaet Hamburg (Germany) published Self Induced Shocks: Mega-Projects and Urban Development, a book on the impact of mega events on urban culture, featuring a portfolio of Olympic Favela photographs along scientific texts. Publications like this are especially meaningful as they translate the human perspective on the issues surrounding mega events to students who may decide upon these issues in future generations.

Reviews:

HUFFINGTON POST US  – Olympic Favela, June 2016

SELECT MAGAZINE  – Olympic Favela, April 2016

AMERICAN PHOTO  – Olympic Favela, December 2014

GUP MAGAZINE  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

ARTnews  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

DER SPIEGEL  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

PDN PHOTO DISTRICT NEWS  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

NEWSTALK  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

L’OEIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE   – Olympic Favela, May 2014

SLATE  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

GERMAN CONSULATE NYC  – Cowboys and Indians , March 2012

Press:

HUFFINGTON POST Brazil  – Olympic Favela, June 2016

CANAL iBASE  – Olympic Favela, January 2015

a PHOTO EDITOR   – Olympic Favela, December 2014

FOTOGRAFIA  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

FRESH ART INTERNATIONAL  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

HUNGER TV  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

BBC  – Olympic Favela, May 2014

CBC  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

DAILY MAIL  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

IRIE DAILY  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

OUT  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

ADVOCATE  – Cowboys and Indians , April 2013

KOELNER STADT ANZEIGER  – Cowboys and Indians , August 2007

ARTISTS STATEMENT –
Olympic Favela is an ongoing photography and video project that visualizes the effects of forced removal of residents in 14 of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, implemented by the city government in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games.
In 2012, in response to news reports of widespread evictions of residents from their homes and businesses through Rio’s housing authority Secretaria Municipal de Habitação (SMH), I began photographing the people affected by these evictions, as well as the residents organizing resistance to SMH’s policies.

Olympic Favela consists of two types of portraiture:
The first type is environmental portraiture of the residents, photographed in front of their homes, which have been designated for removal by SMH with spray-painted code numbers. The second type is directed imagery of residents posing with flaming emergency torches, photographed in their communities. In these images the residents are no longer a subject that I look upon; their role in the image becomes active as they embrace the opportunity to represent their community, their struggle, and their resistance.

Referencing iconic imagery ranging from Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People and Bartholdi’s Liberty Enlightening the World to now-iconic news imagery of the Arab Spring, the residents’ gesture and use of the torch in these photographs invoke ideas of liberation, independence, resistance, protest and crisis while also making use of the core symbol of the Olympic Games—the torch.

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The poster:

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The Installations:

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Marc Ohrem-Leclef was born in Dusseldorf, Germany.
After studying Communication Design at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in Germany he relocated to New York City in 1998.
Ohrem-Leclef’s visual arts practice centers on immersive portraits of communities—whether they are formed by bloodlines, social circumstance, or cultural movements.
Ohrem-Leclef’s work has been exhibited in Germany, Brazil and the U.S..
It has been reviewed and featured in publications such as Artnews, BBC, Slate, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Internazionale, Huffington Post.
In 2013 Marc was invited as a Guest Lecturer in the Advanced Photography Seminar at Columbia University, New York. You can follow Marc on Instagram @marcleclef


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Billy Delfs

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Billy Delfs

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How long have you been shooting?
I started photographing in high school when I took a class in high school and was hooked. It was something I could then use to document the people in my life. I’d go out and photograph everyday. I began with a pinhole camera and that turned into something I still have the same excitement for today. The process has endless possibilities and there was a lot to learn.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I started experimenting and learning the basics on my own. I then took a few classes at the local community college. After a couple of years assisting, I applied to ICP and was accepted so went. ICP was a great school in that they taught us to find our own voice. During my time there, I worked for a couple photographers, most notably John Dolan, where I assisted in the office scanning, filing, and helped his printer.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I wanted to tell a story of those who surf Lake Erie and saw the potential of fulfilling multiple aspects of photography that I am drawn to. They inspired me and it wasn’t as much about surfing as it was about their commitment to do what they do and loved despite the adverse conditions. I focused on the tight-knit community that no one really knew about at the time. I wanted to get a few great surfing images but also focus on a story about them and portraits. I wanted to show how the weather didn’t matter (no matter how cold it was) and how committed they were.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
At least a year or two, the surf season is only a few months (late fall and winter) so I wanted to build up the story before sharing. I wanted to wait until I had a good variety of surf, portraits, and landscapes. Over time I met more people, so kept adding to the story learning more about them, and adding people who I had met but not photographed or tried to get better images than I already had.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
The ones I work on the longest I don’t know until after returning a couple times. There are personal projects that could happen within a weekend, but for the ones like this I kept returning when I wanted to gather more, learn more, or when I wasn’t able to tell the story enough with a couple tries. I like to return at a few times in order to see if it is working.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
My goal is to have personal work transition into portfolio and assigned work or at least get work based on personal work. When it comes to a commercial look that I know works for most clients, I definitely see how my personal work might not fit some clients’ needs all of the time. However, I work on personal work all the time to broaden myself and work on what inspires me. Usually, when that works clients are inspired too.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I use social media and post a couple images referring back to the rest of a series but I haven’t necessarily posted a whole series on social media.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I have never really had anything go viral

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I believe personal work is the best work to promote.

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Billy Delfs is ever evolving. Delfs started his career at community college and then moved to NYC to be classically trained at International Center of Photography. He is drawn to the magic of the outdoors, notably credited with capturing a series of prints documenting Cleveland’s honorable and inspiring surf community and is a advertising and editorial photographer based in Cleveland working throughout the Midwest and east coast. More at www.billydelfs.com


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Art of the Personal Project: Mike Tittel

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Mike Tittel

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How long have you been shooting?
17 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Both—I attended the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana way back in 1999 but have learned a ton over the years as the industry and my career has evolved.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve always been a huge proponent of living an active lifestyle, and the National Veterans Wheelchair Games is a program designed to help Veterans with various injuries do just that. Although my experience with adaptive sports was limited prior to this experience I was inspired by the vets I met on commissioned portrait shoot for USAA at the start of this year’s event in Salt Lake City. The portrait project only allowed me a few minutes with each veteran, but in that time it became clear to me the games and these men and women were special. Knowing each person had sacrificed so much and they all had such spirits of generosity that I couldn’t help walking away from the portrait day inspired. Although I had considered a personal project in the weeks leading up to the commissioned shoot, it was meeting these outstanding individuals that solidified my vision. At the first event I quickly realized this program was less about competition and more about supporting one another in achieving personal goals. Of course, that only inspired me more.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I’ve only photographed this event once and decided to share it immediately after.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
For this project I gave myself the week to shoot since I was limited to the timeframe of the Games. I really had no expectations going into it other than I wanted it to feel different the rest of my work—less polished and more photojournalistic. Each evening as I downloaded the photos from that day, I was able to get a better and better sense of what I wanted to convey and the look I was after. The project unfolded very organically, and I let myself photograph the moments and people that I was most drawn to.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
For me one of the best things about shooting personal projects is that they can be different from your main body of work. They don’t necessarily have to fit into your overall brand and there is more freedom to create and shoot subjects/projects that interest you. I also feel with personal work doesn’t have to be this huge production with massive crew and big expectations. This was different from my normal style in that I shot everything with available light only focusing on the players and moments that made the event so special.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Absolutely.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I have in the past but have not with this project since the work is so fresh.

Artist Statement
National Veterans Wheelchair Games is a program designed to help Veterans with various injuries to live more active and healthy lives through wheelchair sports and recreation. Each summer Veterans from all over the country gather in a new host city to compete, while also providing encouragement and mentoring for newly disabled Veterans.

Inspired by the vets I met on commissioned portrait shoot for USAA at the start of the week, I knew I had to capture these amazing men and women in action. Although this was shot in a more editorial style than my typical work it was an amazing experience watching these Vets conquer personal goals and inspire each other. The spirit of camaraderie, support and determination was so powerful, I couldn’t help but leave each event with a smile across my face. These outstanding individuals are proof that any limitation can be conquered with the right frame of mind.

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Mike Tittel is an advertising and commercial photographer based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. He specializes in sports, fitness and active lifestyle images shot on location worldwide. Follow along on Instagram @miketittel or behind-the-scenes on snapchat @miketittelphoto.
If you want to contact his agent kim@kimknightrepresents.com
http://www.kimknightrepresents.com


APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.