Posts by: Suzanne Sease

The Art of the Personal Project: Tom Hussey

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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: Tom Hussey

http://www.tomhussey.com/PROJECTS/NORTHERN-LIGHT/thumbs

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“Northern Lights” is a project conceived due to my love of things handcrafted. Vermont has a great number of artisans working a craft that long ago was outsourced or taken over by machinery. When I started planning the trip it was referred to as a “Cheese Tour”. I wanted to get to know and photograph the people raising the animals, making the cheese, and taking it to the world market. As I was researching the cheese process I came to discover that there were numerous other handcrafts happening in Vermont — thus the scope of the project expanded a bit. I did photograph six different cheese producers — loving every one for different reasons. However, along the way, I met other craftspeople, I met Calley Hastings, a wonderful woman who instead of making cheese from goat’s milk, took another approach and has a rapidly growing business creating craft caramel made with goat’s milk. I also discovered Timothy Clark Furniture. Tim hand crafts incredible Windsor style chairs and benches. White Room Custom Skis, owned by Vin Faraci, creates bespoke skis to fit each customer including gorgeous custom hardwood laminated designs on the ski tops. I spent a truly enjoyable 5 days crisscrossing Vermont, photographing people that were passionate about their craft and their process. These hardy New Englanders are keeping the tradition of hand creation alive and well — even thriving. I was inspired by the journey, the people I met along the way, and the goods they produce.
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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: Wilson Hennessy

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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.

Wilson Hennessy

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VENICE NIGHTS

I grew up watching American films and loving American cars. This was back in the days when American cars were especially different and interesting. Remember the the Chevy Chase wagon? The A- Team Van? Wayne’s car in Wayne’s World? All these cars were unusual, yet still very cool.

When I travel to Los Angeles, as an outsider looking in, I am always awestruck by all the old cars still being driven on the roads throughout the city. LA’s ultimate hipster culture and perfect climate help to preserve these iconic cars. At night, you can see loads of great cars scattered along the streets parked in front of houses.

I have driven around admiring these cars on numerous occasions. On one particular visit last year, I spent a couple of evenings wandering around documenting some of the cars I came across. I photographed a wide selection of cars, trucks, and vans – some old, some new, some fully restored, and some completely wrecked. This became the project which I later called Venice Nights.
I try to have all my personal projects fit to a basic framework and follow some simple parameters. I find this helps me to maintain a series of consistent work. For this project, my ‘rules’ required that all the cars were shot in profile, at night, lit with ambient street lighting. These rules limited me to documenting only the cars I came across which fit the criteria. It was somewhat akin to a street-casting for cars. I had to hope I found a cool car and an interesting background. Choosing Venice Beach as the location made that a pretty simple task.

This project was a big departure from my normal commercial work. By that I mean, I was focused on capturing an existing image rather than creating one in the studio or on location. It permitted me to shoot a lot looser than I normally have the chance to do — wandering the streets, seeing a car I liked, setting up the camera and tripod, and shooting just one or two frames before moving on to find the next subject. The biggest challenge was to integrate the bold colours I like to use throughout my work. I ended up shooting quite a lot of cars and editing the selects down from there to make it a smaller, cohesive series.

When I originally shot this project, I used it as a tool to help transition my social media posts (particularly on instagram – shameless plug – @wilson_hennessy). I started to post images in groups of 3, 6, or 9 to give my timeline a bit more consistency. This is what ultimately defined my Venice Nights series as a series of 9 images. Although I consider Venice Nights completed in this form, I think there are plenty of ways to further the project and to expand on the idea of documenting unique cars in cities around the world. The cars will always interest me, and this project will push me personally to shoot in a different way and expand my comfort zone. And isn’t that what’s fun about personal projects?

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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: Tom Nagy

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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.

Tom Nagy: Lost Animals

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Years ago I was flying in a helicopter over Alaska and the landscape was incredible but I noticed there were no animals. Even with the sun shining and flying a long distance, I didn’t see any animals. I wondered how the animals would look in that space and it made me think about what nature means to us.

As human beings we have created a completely separate environment far away from nature. We spend so much time away from where we came from. So what is our relationship with where come from? And how can animals help us see it?

Through my travels I end up in cities all over the world, cities that are populated only by people, and I began wondering what it would be like if wild animals crossed the line between our world and theirs. I created “Lost Animals” as an exploration of what that would look like. Wild animals come and visit our environment, the cities we have built far away from them and in a new context, and it is at once jarring and hopeful. They join us in exploration, welcome but feral. Unexpected but longed-for. 

The images are black and white because I didn’t want it to feel that contemporary, I wanted to give them a more timeless feel. I wanted to separate them clearly from my other work, pulling them away from the clean, creamy colors in my commercial work. This is much different. At the same time I want to leave it up to the viewer to decide how the images were achieved, and leave that magic intact.

I don’t have an answer to the central questions of our relationship with our roots, but I hope that “Lost Animals” is the beginning of what the answer could be. 

View the full Lost Animal Series here:
http://www.ba-reps.com/photographers/tom-nagy/series/lost-animals-series

And view more of Tom’s work online:
http://www.tomnagy.com

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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: Joe Pugliese

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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.

Joe Pugliese – Sunday Best

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This series came to life on the heels of other portrait series I had made in which the subject matter were people in their natural environment but photographed in a way which isolated them from those surroundings. I had previously shot a series on Army soldiers coming home to their families at a military base in Texas, and an ongoing series of cyclists reacting to an extremely physical and difficult effort at the top of a hill in the LA mountains. In each case I used a makeshift studio setup to create a consistent look and feel and so that the subjects, their expressions and body language were front and center in the photographs.

Los Angeles Magazine approached me to be part of a portfolio of images along with other LA-based photographers that depicted the diversity of ways that people in Southern California worship. They were calling the project “Pray LA”. I pitched them a portrait series of the Baptist community, and set out to find a parish that was interested in having me setup at their church on a Sunday. I knew that the larger churches in the Baptist community took great pride in dressing for mass and figured it would make for a colorful and joyful set of portraits. I was aiming to photograph about two dozen subjects to be able to edit from and ended up, to my surprise, photographing over 150 subjects all in one morning. The interactions were authentic and filled with energy, and I directed each subject very loosely and had a great time engaging with each of them. It has inspired me to continue this type of series, and Los Angeles Magazine has shown interest in making a portrait page of this work available to me in each month’s issue.

You can follow Joe Pugliese on Instagram @joepug
https://www.instagram.com/joepug/

And view more of Joe’s personal work here:
http://www.joepug.com/series

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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: Evan McGlinn

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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 feature is Evan McGlinn

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It is estimated that some 400,000 people on earth suffer from Usher Syndrome – a terrible disease where people lose both their hearing and their eyesight.  That’s roughly the same number of people who suffer from ALS which is now much more widely known thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge. As of today, I have photographed over 50 Usher Syndrome sufferers for a terrific organization called Arts For USH (artsforush.org) and plan to photograph as many as I can in the years to come. In photographing these people I have done very little to manipulate the photographs except for some saturation and contrast. I want the viewer to see these people as they really are. Despite their tremendous disability, they are talented, successful, and full of natural dignity and beauty. 

https://artsforush-org.presencehost.net/how-to-help/donate.html

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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: 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

- - 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: 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

- - 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: 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

- - 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.

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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!