Category "Art Producers Speak"

Art Producers Speak: David Tsay

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate David Tsay

 

This image is from a recent test shoot. I used to get overwhelmed and stressed about doing tests, but my agent Kate said to me: Even if you only get one great image out of that test, it’s a success.

I like to set up situations or scenes and just let the people play around in it, and then shoot around them like I'm doing documentary photography.

I didn't shoot interiors until a bit later in my career. We had a big remodeling project of our home and it got me looking at interior spaces more carefully. Interior photography is very similar to fashion in terms of layering colors and textures and can look just as sexy and expensive.

Here's another fun shoot where the models had to jump for like 10 minutes and look like they're doing it for the first time every time.

A lot of my assignments are entertaining stories with tons of production and models and food and décor. But in reality, I hardly do any entertaining in my personal life. These photo shoot ones are more fun for me because my “guests” MUST love it and they HAVE TO have fun, Lol.

One of my favorite photographers is Herbert List. I just love the way he used hard, unfiltered sunlight. I've heard people say, "Don't shoot food in hard sunlight." Hearing that just made me want to do it.

This shot was inspired by David Hockney’s pool paintings from the ‘60s. It wasn’t even anything conscious, I just felt that vibe when I met the family and their home. It’s important to constantly feed your head with images that you emotionally respond to because it improves your on-set instinct. Then when you respond to it, it’s more natural and true to yourself, rather than forced. Also, I think when you ground your work in art history, you automatically create a relatability with your viewers.

Growing up in Southern California, we get mostly blank blue sky or smoggy sky. So, whenever I travel, I always look up to look at the clouds. I take pictures of them thinking one day I'll try and paint them.

I'm after pictures that seem like something that you saw in the corner of your eye, but when you turn your head to look for it, it's gone. They are not always big events--just poetic, sweet little moments like this one.

The objective was to photograph the living room with the amazing pool and view to show indoor-outdoor living. We were working just in the living room, but then I took a few steps back and the shot revealed itself to me.

I did many surf apparel jobs at the beginning of my career. So, even now, when I get an assignment to go back into that world, it's so natural and feels like home--even though I've never surfed in my life.

The sky can be just as perfect as a "seamless" backdrop for a graphic picture.

It's important for me capture a warm, relatable, and believable feel to the homes I photograph no matter how amazing they are.

Doing a shot where everything looks completely gorgeous and "thrown together” without looking fake and set-up-y can take a long time and a lot of people. When I do still lifes I start on the tripod for everyone to compose for their departments. After we are happy with what we’ve got, I come off the tripod and shoot around it as if I’m seeing it for the very first time. Often, those are the ones that turn out the best.

I love photographing food that's messy and real and fresh and sexy. I want my food pictures to make me want to dive right in and eat it all up! The funny part about this picture is out of the frame-- the assistant holding up the reflector behind the models really really hates seafood, I think he was gagging the whole time.

How many years have you been in business?

About 15 years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

Photography school taught. I prefer structure and discipline when I am learning things. “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively”. So true.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

A lot of my influences were from writers and artists: Jean Genet’s work is so dreamy and atmospheric, Robert Longo’s juxtaposition of imagery, Eric Fischl’s paintings of odd lifestyle moments with amazing light and composition, and Jack Stauffaucher’s graphic experimental letterpress work. I wanted to be a writer but suck at it so badly. I was lucky to find photography as a way for me to tell stories.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

Staying true to yourself is important, but also be aware of what’s going on and don’t get stuck recycling your own best shots. Trust your instinct so you’ll always find your sweet spot in any difficult situation. I also have a great, honest, support system from my agency. They really keep me grounded and keep me focused.

It’s important to balance catalog and adverting work with editorial shoots and tests. Getting editorial assignments is a good reminder that what you are doing is current.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

I’m sure most creative people in any field feels that way. But I work well with rules. It’s like, if you tell me how big my sandbox is and how much sand I get and in what colors, it becomes a fun challenge to see what crazy amazing sand castles I can make out of it. The challenges and limitations make it like a game.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I was doing email promos but didn’t get the results I wanted. So just recently I went old-school and sent out a snail-mail promo. I am getting really great, positive feedback (http://pdnpromoswekept.tumblr.com/post/42025738335/this-promo-i-received-from-photographer-david-tsay).

I have a portfolio website, and I just started some social media things too–a Tumblr page where I blog, Instagram, a Twitter account. I used to be shy about involving my business in social media, but now I really enjoy it.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

Don’t do it. I did that and it didn’t work. At some point years ago I started shooting and showing work in response to jobs that I didn’t get–therefore showing work that I thought buyers wanted to see. It really ended up hurting me and setting me back. When you are not inspired with your own work, it shows. I always say to shoot what you love and are passionate about, and other people will love it too. It sounds so corny and naive, but it’s so true.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

I started shooting jobs while still in school. After I graduated, I really wasn’t shooting personal work and just focused on jobs. But about a year into my relationship with my current agency, Kate told me she really needed to see personal work from me to know what I’m passionate about and what jobs to go after for me. I used to think testing is for photographers that weren’t working, but I’ve since learned that you need to do those to stay creatively fit–like how an athlete would in between games.

How often are you shooting new work?

For personal projects? I go thru phases… Having said what I said above, some months I’m more inspired/motivated than others. But for me, it doesn’t have to be a shoot. I’ll make my collages or artwork and it might spark an inspiration for a shoot.

My family moved to the U.S. when I was 9 years old and raised me in the suburbs of Pasadena, California. I first picked up a camera as an Psychology undergrad at UCSB and then transferred and studied photography at Art Center in Pasadena. I am now based in Los Angeles and represented by Kate Ryan Inc.

David Tsay:  www.davidtsay.com

Kate Ryan Represents:  www.kateryaninc.com/ 212-929-5399

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Art Producers Speak: Holly Andres

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate Holly Andres

From a personal body of work that was based on my unique experience growing up in rural Montana, the youngest of ten children. By creating a fictitious group of siblings loosely based on archetypes of my own family, each image is constructed to enact a specific moment and depict a psychological portrait.

From a personal body of work that was based on my unique experience growing up in rural Montana, the youngest of ten children. By creating a fictitious group of siblings loosely based on archetypes of my own family, each image is constructed to enact a specific moment and depict a psychological portrait.

This image is from my series, Sparrow Lane, which comprised of 14 photographs presenting an elliptical narrative of young women on the verge of adulthood. Drawing on the formal and thematic conventions of Nancy Drew books, the series depicts girls in search of forbidden knowledge. By employing suggestive and symbolic iconography, literal narratives are suspended to suggest psycho-sexual metaphors.

I had an opportunity to do a fashion shoot in a Victorian mansion in Salem Oregon that was presumed to be haunted.

Often times the narratives presented in my work are abstractions of real-life events that were relayed to me by the actual participants in the photos. From Anna’s Birthday Party, I was recreating specific memories from their childhoods in which their mothers performed heroic acts in an attempt to protect them.

Often times the narratives presented in my work are abstractions of real-life events that were relayed to me by the actual participants in the photos. From Anna’s Birthday Party, I was recreating specific memories from their childhoods in which their mothers performed heroic acts in an attempt to protect them.

I made this photograph after an experience where I was riding my bike and happened upon a group of young boys huddled around something in the grass. As I got closer I discovered that they were inspecting a dead squirrel. I was moved by how this rather gross and tragic, though common, occurrence created a moment of tenderness and closeness between these boys, which inspired me enough to recreate it.

From The Fall of Spring Hill I continued to examine the complexity of childhood and fleeting nature of memory. Through a suite of 13 photographs the series illustrates an incident from a summer church camp in which a child injures himself by falling from a dilapidated wooden play structure and the mothers’ fierce reaction to deconstruct it in retribution.

From The Fall of Spring Hill I continued to examine the complexity of childhood and fleeting nature of memory. Through a suite of 13 photographs the series illustrates an incident from a summer church camp in which a child injures himself by falling from a dilapidated wooden play structure and the mothers’ fierce reaction to deconstruct it in retribution. Serving as a proxy for the boy’s wound is the stillness of a blood red punchbowl.

I was shooting a portrait of animal trainer/photographer, Carli Davidson, and I had heard that the Wildlife Safari in Oregon had a cheetah program. I called them up and asked if we could stage a portrait there. Clearly a composite, I locked my camera off on its tripod to photograph the daily training session, which consisted of rewarding the cheetahs with hunks of raw meat for commands such as sitting, crouching and following. I then shot Carli in the same location and later pieced several files together in post-production.

In this portrait of Executive Director of the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Samuel E. Johnson Ph.D., I wanted to simultaneously reveal his traits as an academic historian as well as his interests in restoring and sailing wooden boats.

A self-portrait made with the help of my assistants (and beautiful Siamese felines) to subvert the notion of a “cat lady” as a spinster animal hoarder for more glamorous and alluring existence.

How many years have you been in business?

While I have only been shooting commercially for a few years, I have a strong foundation in the fine art photography realm with representation from prominent galleries in NYC, Atlanta, San Francisco and Portland Oregon where I live and work. I’ve also taught photography at the college level for several years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

My educational background is in painting and drawing, and it wasn’t until after graduate school when I was studying cinema and I became curious about the potential of freezing a narrative as a single frame, that I discovered how photography could best aestheticize my concepts. While I primarily consider myself a photographer, my foundation in painting and cinema continues to inform my photographic practice and aesthetic.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

I decided to get into the business, after frequently being told that my fine art photography may have commercial application. The realm of constructed narrative photography has greatly influenced me, where artists such as Jeff Wall, Gregory Crewdson and Cindy Sherman are the pioneers. I also feel a strong connection to Edward Hoppers paintings and the work of many mid-century female surrealists, such as Dorothea Tanning, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, and Maya Deren, particularly because of their interests in psychoanalysis and their metaphoric depictions of fears, desires and impulses.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

Being a photographer has transformed the way that I experience life. When I’m in a prolific period of shooting and am feeling exceptionally perceptive, I tend to see the world with more wonder, beauty and appreciation. This resulting impact, in and of itself, is actually the most fulfilling and powerful aspect of photography for me. When I made the transition into the commercial sphere, I decided that I had to find a way to make it as fulfilling and meaningful as making art.  I entered the commercial world with a relatively strong and varied portfolio of personal work, work that was not made under the influence of commercial application, and this is the work that has garnered the most attention of photo editors, art directors and art buyers.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

Fortunately I haven’t come up against this much.  I think because my work is so specific in its aesthetic, commercial clients know early in the process if I am an appropriate for their brand.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I’m repped by the photo agency Hello Artists, and in the company of a roster of great talent, my work is constantly being exposed to potential commercial collaborators. I also continue to invest in my own fine art endeavors. For example, I will be having a mid-career retrospective at the Hallie Ford Museum in Salem Oregon this summer, followed by the premiere of a new body of photographic work at my Portland-based gallery, Hartman Fine Art, in the fall. I find that when these arenas intercept it results in the most exciting commercial opportunities. Additionally, I accept many speaking invitations and try to have an active and current online presence, by maintaining my website, blog and other social media threads.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

Andy Warhol famously said, “ Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” It seems artist’s creativity is often stunted by an internal voice that tries to predict what the external world wants to see. If you can engage in the joy and practice of consistently making art, inevitably you will develop an individual voice, a unique way of seeing – both in content and style. I think that this is what art buyers are most interested in.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Yes. As I mentioned earlier, I am consistently developing new work and fortunately through the representation of my galleries am always preparing work for future exhibitions. I find that there is a strong symbiotic relationship, one that is constantly evolving, between my commercial and personal work.

How often are you shooting new work?

All the time.

Holly Andres is a fine art and commercial photographer. She has had solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Istanbul, Turkey and Portland Oregon where she lives and works. Her work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Time, Runner’s World, W, Art in America, Artforum, Exit Magazine, Art News, Modern Painters, Oprah Magazine, Elle Magazine, The LA Times, Glamour, Blink and Art Ltd. – which profiled her as one of 15 emerging West Coast artists under the age of 35.

Andres’s work was also selected for Go West! Cutting-Edge Creatives in the United States, a book surveying the best creative minds in architecture, design, art, fashion, photography and advertising – published by German-based, DAAB Books, 2011.

She has commercial representation through Hello Artists, and gallery representation through Robert Mann Gallery (New York City), Charles A. Hartman Fine Art (Portland), Jackson Fine Art (Atlanta), Robert Koch Gallery (San Francisco).

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Art Producers Speak: Adam Amengual

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate Adam Amengual

How many years have you been in business?

I started assisting in late 2003, so between assisting and shooting, almost 10 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I started off taking basic black and white classes in high school then later I received my BFA from The Massachusetts College of Art in 2003. Mass Art was a very fine art based program, which gave me a love for fine art and documentary photography. I also studied at Parson for the second semester of my junior year where amongst other classes I was taught basic lighting techniques.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

If I could attribute garnering my interest in commercial photography to one person it had to be Neil Selkirk who taught my lighting class while I was at Parsons. Neil was a professor but also a commercial photographer. Although Neil has had many gallery shows and books published he also shot advertising and editorial work. All my professors previously were solely fine art photographers. Through Neil I learned about shooting assignments, assisting and later I assisted him as well. Of course I knew that commercial photography existed before studying at Parsons but I had not given it any thought in terms of my own path before that time.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

My favorite photographers are those who have straddled both fine art and commercial photography such as Larry Sultan, Stefan Ruiz, Paul Murphy and Richard Avedon. I also find myself always going back to look at the work of Joel Sternfeld, Rineke Dijkstra, Taryn Simon and Mitch Epstein. All documentary photographers on some level. Like these photographers I strive to make images that are timeless, and that people will want to look at 50 years from now. Images that will be seen in some sort of cultural and social context. Working mostly in a documentary portrait manner allows me to fulfill both of my own curiosities in the world, which is to reach out to people and explore. I think the late Tim Hetherington said it best, “I want to reach people. Can’t it come out of a place of personal curiosity? A desire to locate myself in the world and also have some utility?”

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

I assume I would get more work if I had more smiles in my pictures or if they were a bit more lit and “illustrated” or lifestyle based. I feel most clients want to have a creative look to their campaign that is on par with the current trends in advertising photography. So to be honest in some upcoming projects I will be trying to find a place where what I do more closely meets those client needs. It will be my aesthetic and subject matter with a small twist.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I do a lot of cold emailing and then, face to face meetings as they come up. I have also built relationships with some art buyers and art directors through my time assisting. I try to have some sort of new project to show every six months. In this way, I always have something to show to keep my work fresh in their mind.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

I really believe that you need to stay as true as possible to making work that you love creating. If you love shooting kids or puppies or whatever, then you should be building a book of those kinds of images. But, there always needs to be a thoughtful aesthetic to it.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Shooting personal projects keeps me happy and motivated. I get the opportunity to try shooting with a slightly different aesthetic or new subject matter without having to answer to anyone but myself. I am never trying to waste my own time or money, so I do have some sort of vision for how each new project fits into my larger body of work, but at the very least it’s fun to play.

How often are you shooting new work?

Constantly. I am currently working on several projects that are in different phases. I have one project that I am shooting, but haven’t shown…two are in the research phase. I consider the I Survived Skatopia to still be in the “shooting phase” as it’s an on-going project, images from my first trip are on my site now but I plan on making a second trip to Ohio this summer.

I always have some sort of camera with me, either my Canon 5D, Hasselblad, or my 4×5. I recently added a point and shoot camera to my collection to use as a sketchbook. Neil Selkirk told me once that as a photographer you should be making pictures everyday. He didn’t mean you that needed to make images that require a huge production. Every time you compose a picture, even on your iPhone, you are honing your craft.

Adam Amengual was born in Queens, NY and raised on the North Shore of Massachusetts. His father Angelo gave him his first camera at 12 and he started documenting his friends and his surroundings. After studying the basics of photography in high school he continued his photographic education at both Massachusetts College of Art and Parsons School of Design. After art school Adam moved to Brooklyn, NY and began assisting photographers in advertising, fashion, celebrity, and music such as Danielle Levitt, Art Streiber, and Ben Watts, just to name a few.

Adam is currently living in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Kate and dog Shug. His clients include The U.S. State Department via Lipman Hearne, Inc. Magazine, Time Out New York, Men’s Health, New York Magazine, Juxtapoz Magazine, Sony BMG, NDLON, Nobu and Wieden+Kennedy NYC. His work has been shown in galleries at THIS Los Angeles and the University of Massachusetts Boston. His recently completed project entitle Homies has been featured in Exit Magazine and blogs such as Time’s Lightbox, Prison Photography, This Is the What, and Conscientious. His portrait of Adrien Caceres from Homies in the permanent collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Adam has recently received several awards for his work:
-The Sony Emerging Photographer Award 2012
-Honorable mention in En Foco’s New Works Photography Awards #15 Fellowship, 2011-12. 
-Homies was featured in the PDN Photo annual 2012 and the American Photography 28
-Selected as one of Digital Photo Pro Magazine’s 2012 “Emerging Pro”

Website: www.adamamengual.com
Blog: www.adamamengual.tumblr.com and www.wandering-wayfarer.com
Twitter: @aamengual
Email: info@adamamengual.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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Art Producers Speak: James Chororos

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate James Chororos

There was this amazingly thick fog covering the city one day last spring. I headed to Brooklyn Bridge Park before the sun went down to document it and I discovered this elderly couple, just sitting there in awe, watching the fog engulf Manhattan.

I walk to Manhattan from Brooklyn pretty often and on this day it was rainy and cold. I love walking in the rain. No one was out on the bridge so I was able to hang out for a while and enjoy documenting a rare quiet moment on my favorite landmark.

We were out in Colorado in the midst of a long road trip. I was lying down at our campsite looking up at this really dynamic sky when I saw her hair flying in the wind, mimicking the clouds perfectly.

I’m a big fan of this mural wall on the Bowery. They change the artwork every few weeks, and this graphic was particularly interesting to watch people walk in front of and interact with.

A portrait shot in Savannah, GA.

Much of my personal work is spent waiting for the right moment, so I was sort of hanging out in the vegetation of this park like a creep for a while before shooting this. To me, this image is a great expression of how open space sparks emotional freedom.

Looking toward Brooklyn from a vacant floor of 7 WTC.

A portrait shot in The Freedom Tunnel, which is a cool tunnel in NYC that is completely dark except for these great pockets of directional daylight.

Just a snowy, Brooklyn street portrait.

Portrait of a photographer shooting the NYC skyline from NJ.

I was recently asked by a popular brand of rum to sell the rights to this image (without the children) for a tv commercial. I thought that was funny, because to me it will always represent good, clean, childish fun, and to put this adult alteration on it just seems wrong

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been shooting professionally full-time since last October, so less than a year.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

Self-Taught.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

I didn’t have many contacts in photography when I started, so for me it was about deciding whether or not to take the risk and leave my job in architecture. After about a year of preparation and networking, I got to the point where I wanted it badly enough to just go for it.

I’m always inspired by a number of different artists, architects, and filmmakers, and I deeply admire the work of Stephen Shore, Sally Mann, Alec Soth, Harry Callahan, and Alfred Stieglitz.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

I try hard to avoid absorbing the work of other photographers and artists as much as possible, and try even harder to avoid worrying about whether I’ll get hired for something or not. This leaves room for me to go in new directions. If my mind starts wandering, second-guessing, or if I have the urge to make comparisons, I know something isn’t right and my work is not where I want it to be just yet.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

Bringing money into the process of making any type of art always produces complex situations, but I truly believe that if you can unlock solutions to make a project work for everyone involved your work will be far better than if you could just do anything you wanted.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I’m a pretty big social networker. I would assume most of the people who follow my work regularly are not potential buyers or clients, but having a regular platform and audience for my images has led to many connections within the buying population.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

I think that it’s best to be sought for your vision and unique perspective, not because you’ll do what others expect or want to see. Being an artist means taking a lot of risks in hopes to discover something that’s refreshing, not playing it safe.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Always. Creating personal work is a very important part of what I do and it allows me to be extremely experimental. I think it’s necessary to be able to push your process from time to time without having to worry about how the work will be received.

How often are you shooting new work?

Every day.

James Chororos is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He accepts commissions from clients in the areas of advertising, architectural photography, and portraiture. His personal work is focused on the human relationship with space, landscapes, portraiture, and urban phenomena, and is recognized for its unique use of color. His work has recently been featured on Blouin Artinfo, Ignant, Tumblr Storyboard, and The Fox Is Black. His architectural photography has been exhibited at The Architectural League of NY and published in Architectural Record, and he is planning his first solo show this summer in NY.

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Art Producers Speak: Joanna McClure

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate Joanna McClure

How many years have you been in business?

I have been shooting on my own for about 2 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I studied photography at Savannah College of Art and Design- though I would say that most of what I know was learned from trial and error.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

There are many- Sarah Moon, early Nylon Magazine, the movie Great Expectations, the illustrator Julie Verhoeven, the band Hum,Yelena Yemchuk, Dazed and Confused magazine. There is not a straight forward answer but these were the things that, collectively, made me realize I was interested in visual expression at an early age.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

This question has two answers, one very straight forward and one is a bit more esoteric. I find my inspiration by looking for it. Anywhere. I read constantly and this helps me develop images in my head. I constantly look at art ( I am not married only to photography).  I watch almost every movie that comes out. I am always searching for something to highten my sense of what is possible. The other way I find inspiration is through my work. Work begets work-an idea may come through experimenting with something and this diverges into something totally different. Often my work starts out as an interest in texture, or how two materials work together.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

If ever there are times that I feel held back, it is in the final edit- I may submit what I consider a really strong edit, but the client may need something that fits the layout better, or serves their audience in a different way. In those times the work starts to get a bit watered down- perhaps moving away from what I am drawn to initially. But it all has its purpose.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

Approaching people in a personal way is very important to me-even though emails and promos can be far from personal, I try to keep the visuals in line with my vision so people feel like they know what they are going to get when they hire me.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

How can you ever know what someone else wants to see? You must create your own market.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Yes- this is the most important part of my work.

How often are you shooting new work?

At least weekly, if not daily. If I am not shooting it, I am thinking about how to shoot it.

Joanna McClure is a photographer living and working in New York City. Her style combines portraiture, fashion, and still life- all with a common sensibility. Color plays a large role in her photography, where mood is often dictated by the color choice and use of light. Often described as  “fashion from the outside,” Joanna’s work tends to mix fashion with fine-art, blurring the line between the two. Her work has been shown in numerous editorials as well as gallery showings. Most recently, a group show at 511 Gallery in Chelsea, New York
www.joannamcclure.com
www.joannamcclure.tumblr.com
www.iheartreps.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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Art Producers Speak: Young and Hungry: Anais & Dax

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate Young and Hungry: Anais & Dax

Community - Alexandra Grant. 2010

Zucchini Flowers. 2011

North - Redwoods. 2011

North - Montana. 2011

Kinfolk Vol.2 - Cozy. 2011

Kinfolk Vol.2 - Cozy. 2011

Kinfolk Vol.2 - Cozy. 2011

Kinfolk Vol.4 - Cover (An Ode to Summer). 2012

Kinfolk Vol.4 - An Ode to Summer. 2012

Every Day With Rachael Ray - For The Love of Food. Feb. 2013

Every Day With Rachael Ray - For The Love of Food. Feb. 2013

Huntington Beach. 2012

Community - Rod Hunt. 2012

Ashley Neese, Life Coach. 2012

TOMS - Spring 2013 LookBook

How many years have you been in business?

It will be two years in April since we started working together under the name Young & Hungry. We are starting 2013 with two exciting changes. First we are close to signing with an amazing rep and second we are going to change our name from “Young & Hungry” to “Anais & Dax”. When we started working together Young & Hungry was a good fit what we wanted to shoot and how we felt about it, but our work has grown ever since and we feel that just using our actual first names is more appropriate and honest.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

Dax: As a kid, my mother and uncle were into photography as a hobby, and I picked it up from them. When my uncle passed I inherited his Asahi Pentax and took it to college with me, and it inspired me to start shooting more. After receiving a BFA in photography from the University of MT, I moved to Los Angeles and started working as a photo assistant. Photo assisting was probably the best education I’ve ever had, there’s nothing like learning by doing and problem solving on a day-to-day basis.

Anais: I taught myself photography after I borrowed a Canon Nikkormat camera from my mom in highschool and never returned it. I would then spend hours in my neighbor’s dark room. After years of working in the fine art photography business in LA, I decided to treat myself to a photo education and went to ICP in New York. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. My photography education was then enhanced by working as a retoucher for Norman Jean Roy for almost 2 years, before I decided to go on my own.

Who was you greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

Dax: The photographers I worked for over the years. They shaped my eye and taught me how to think on my feet and problem solve. They trusted me to help them with their work and that gave me the confidence to become a photographer. It was extremely hard at times being a photo assistant; it really is a humbling job. But it was those relationships good or bad that inspired to want to be in this business.

Anais: If I had to pick one person it would be my grandfather. He passed away when I was 10, but I was very close to him. He was a painter and ceramist, and I grew up spending part of my summer vacations with him and my grandmother, smelling the turpentine in his studio and looking at his charcoal drawings of voluptuous women. He loved what he did, and he dedicated his life to it. I spent 5 years in law school, and then 4 years in the fine art business. After almost 10 years I decided that it was finally time for me to start doing what I love, full time.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

Dax: I find inspiration from looking at other peoples work, but working with Anais has been the greatest gift for my work. I feel incredibly lucky to have such an amazing partner to bounce ideas off of. We push each other when we shoot. The best feeling in the world is the moment you find the angle, the light, the subject and every frame is looking better than the last. As far as staying true to ourselves we show our work to clients who inspire us and hope we land a job with them. But we are always happy to work with new ideas and new people, as being challenged is always a great way to grow.

Anais: Ha, do I have to say Dax too?! It is greatly helpful to have a partner who can support, but also help me think outside of my own head. I really think that what makes the work fresh is that we do it for ourselves, not for others. It might sound selfish, but in the end it is what helps us be who we are, and that honesty transpires in the images we make. We’re also constantly looking at other people’s work, whether it is editorial, advertising or fine art. But most likely our greatest influence since we have started working together is the city of Los Angeles and more precisely the neighborhood we live in, Venice Beach. It is filled with beautiful and inspiring people, the light is just glorious, the ocean is close and there’s such a great vibe!

Do you find that some creative love your work but the client holds you back?

A & D: Each job is a different challenge, with a different set of creative needs that all need to come together to make a final image, and so we need to learn to be flexible. The creatives help translate the client’s vision and our task is to come up with visual solutions but also technical answers to practical issues. It really is about team work and collective brainstorming. So as long as the client is open to us about his or her concerns, we are there to respond to it along with other creatives. Of course it’s not always easy, but isn’t it the whole point?

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

A & D: Editorial exposure has been great for increasing our name recognition. Kinfolk Magazine was coming out with its first issue at the same time we were just starting to build our portfolio and that collaboration has opened many doors for us. It’s a beautiful quarterly publication with originally curated images and layouts. Additionally, we’ve been hired by many of the top mainstream magazines that have wide appeal to the audience. We also take advantage of social media outlets by keeping a Tumblr blog and using Instagram. It gives us a chance to keep showing the work we do, but also our work in progress. We love how blogging and instagramming allows our viewers and followers to get a better sense of who we are, what it takes us to make an image and where we get our inspiration from. It also makes us more accessible, and reminds us of how it is all about human exchange.

We’ve also had great success with face to face meetings. We go to New York twice a year to meet with editors and art buyers, and every time we have a job away from our home base, we always try to squeeze in a meeting or two with local creatives. That’s how we got to meet with art buyers at Wieden+Kennedy in Portland while shooting an editorial there. Our work is a reflection of who we are, so I think it’s been helpful for people to meet us and get a chance to know us.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

A & D: If you are looking at the art buyers’ past work to try and cater to what they have done before you should stop. In our experience art buyers are looking for something new and fresh. So if you are trying to please them with similar work they are not going to really see your talent and your voice. And of course, shoot a lot, show a lot. Keep in touch. Show that you care, and that you are passionate. Shoot more, accept failure and learn from it. Communicate and be enthusiastic. And above all, just be yourself.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

A & D: Yes, we need to shoot for ourselves, otherwise we loose sight of why we started shooting in the first place. It is what keeps our ideas and photography alive. It is how we started our portfolio by traveling and shooting in California, Oregon, Montana where one of us is from (Dax), and then in France where the other one is from (Anais). In total, we shot for three months, slept in cheap hotels, stayed at friend’s places. It was exhausting, our bank accounts were pretty much empty (hence the name Young & Hungry!) but at the end we had our first portfolio that we were so proud of. And the response to it was amazing! Aside from traveling to more distant destinations, we also create new work by photographing people from our neighborhood, and stories around California that translate what we appreciate the most in life: travel, good meals with friends and nature.

How often are you shooting new work?

A & D: At least once a month, but it is not always easy to get our idea off the ground while managing our business day to day, but those failed attempts lead to another idea. New work can just be an afternoon portrait session with a friend or model, or a self assigned story and fully produced day or two of shooting concepts that we are passionate about and that we think could appeal to new clients. We also carry film cameras with us on a day-to-day basis, and shoot whatever catches our eye.

 

Dax Henry and Anais Wade started collaborating under the name Young & Hungry at the end of 2010 when they began to document what they loved most: food, destinations and good friend’s gatherings. After over 2 years of working together, they decided to work under their names as their work had expanded to a wider range of subjects.

Dax was born in Chicago and raised in California and Montana, and graduated with a BFA from the University of Missoula, MT. Anais was born and raised in France and Italy, and graduated from the General Studies Program at the International Center of Photography. They met in Los Angeles, and instantly shared their passion for photography.

They are inspired by California’s visual diversity, enjoy a community based life and love having meals with friends around a simple table. With 4 languages (English, Spanish, French and Italian) and a longstanding experience in the photographic industry, they’re always ready for the next challenge, whether it is at home or abroad. www.anaisdax.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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Art Producers Speak: Billy Kidd

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate Billy Kidd

An image from my personal project "Decaying Roses" printed on Cibachrome.

An image from my personal project "Decaying Leaves" printed on Cibachrome.

Pharrell Williams for Blackbook magazine.

An image from my Personal project nudes on polaroids. Shot with Impossible project film.

This was one of my first projects for Blackbook magazine when I first started shooting editorials. My art director wanted to find a way to keep my black and white style but blend in color. So we toyed with the idea of CMYK layering through out the story with Jason Sudeikis.

I enjoy shooting mens fashion. You can always be a little more rough and raw with the style.

 

I was shooting Poppy Delevingne when this lady in red walked by. I had no clue she was going to pop out so much but it worked out so well.

I constantly shoot for myself. Anytime I have free time I pull models to shoot. I find working with people I don't know helps me learn how to deal with different circumstances.

This is from a 16 page fashion story for Oyster Magazine out of Australia. I love red.

Brayden Pritchard for Numero Homme #26. We juxtaposed the patterns of the fall season with the organic shapes and lines of a leafless forest.

I often shoot to the side for stories. This image is an outtake from a cover story for WWD magazine. It was a story on the science of hair.

I always keep the camera ready to go for those happy little moments when a hair stylist is making changes. This was my opener of Marloes Horst for Oyster magazines issue #101. You never know when it will work out well.

Heather Huey was shot by Billy Kidd. This is an image from my recent show at Clic Gallery. A series of nudes showcasing Heather Huey's body cages and my photography. The series of images show the maturing female body in different states of form.

How many years have you been in business?
I have been shooting professionally for 4 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I attended university late in life for computer tech and dropped out shortly after finding photography. I would say self taught since I didn’t fulfill any formal education past a basic photo 101.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
There isn’t one person – there are many that inspired me to get into this business. My mother is a painter who has served much inspiration for as long as I can remember. The music of Iron & Wine and Andrew Bird often drive me on set. The works of Irving Penn, Stieglitz, Steichen, Weegee, Helen Levitt, Man Ray, Andrew Kertesz and Jacques-Andre Boiffard have all been incredibly inspirational. I do have to point a finger at my girlfriend Heather Huey for lighting an inspirational fire under me when we met 3 years ago.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I actually try to shoot for myself, to create pretty things. I don’t shoot to be noticed or hired. I figure that if I find it beautiful then I’m probably doing something right. In the end, I need to be happy with what I’m creating. Being hired based on that body of work is a byproduct.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Aristotle said, “beauty is what I believe beauty to be.” It’s a great quote that, in my opinion, sums up what art buyers are looking for – what you think beauty is. Everyone has different tastes and not all art directors will agree with you, but that’s ok. Some of them will, and those are the ones you want to work with because they think in the same vein and likely share a similar vision.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
If they do, I’ve been lucky not to feel it. I’ve always had great art directors. They hear what the client wants, then translate it in a way that I can understand and embrace.

I’ve also had the good fortune of working with clients who not only share the same vision, but also think and feel the same way I do. I just had a wonderful experience in Paris with a client who had such impeccable taste in beauty, that when she did step in to say something, I jumped at it.

Having said all of that, I am young in the business and have yet to experience some of the situations others have. Hopefully I can stay the course I’m on and continue to work with great, creative, clients.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Social media. Tumblr has been a huge part of sharing my vision with everyone. It played a pivotal role in my early success – that’s how many of my first jobs came about. Even my agent found me through a blog that was linked to Tumblr. Often when my rep sends me to an art buyer, photo editor or creative they have heard of me before through Tumblr/blogs reposting me work.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Always. When I’m hired on a project I usually try to shoot a few things on the side, which are often incorporated into the job afterwards. I just wrapped up and showed a series of nudes in Soho, which culminated in a limited edition book designed by Buero NY. I’m also currently working on a project called “Decaying”, photographing various flowers and leaves in the process of wilting. I’ve always had a fascination with flowers and death – how we cut them, love them and then throw them aside when they start to show signs of age.

How often are you shooting new work?
Almost every day. I shoot 2-3 times a week for various clients and then 2-3 times a week for myself.

Billy Kidd is a young photographer based in Brooklyn, NY and represented by Walter Schupfer in NY, LA and Paris.

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Art Producers Speak: Jeff Luker

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate Jeff Luker.

This was from the Levi's Go Forth campaign I shot. This was one of my favorite photos from the campaign. We shot at this at sunrise, there is a certain wild feeling when you are racing to get a shot at dawn.

A photo from a road trip in Montana. It was such a calming place, it felt like the edge of the world.

This was part of a look book shoot for the fashion line Dust. We were shooting out in these abandoned ghost towns, as we were leaving I saw this fence where farmers had hung up coyote corpses to warn other farmers in the area.

From the same Levi's shoot. This was a fun day, we had stunt riggers build the perfect rope swing into this lake. The kid in the photo is my friend Zach. This whole shoot was really fun because I got to bring a lot of my friends along.

This lake is in Oregon, it was so remote when we were camping here, not a soul around except for serious mosquito hordes, so swimming was a nice escape from them.

This is one of my best friends. I like photographing my friends, not just because they are so important to me, but because a lot of my work is about appreciating this life and everyone you get to meet in it. So for me it makes sense to photograph those who I am close to and let the photos reflect our relationship.

A photo from an Urban Outfitters shoot I did. I was in the back of a little truck with a bunch of people, driving through a wilderness area and out of nowhere she stood up and I snapped this photo. Most of my favorite photos I have ever taken were just in moments like this, one frame, one decisive moment.

A wild horse by the side of the road. Another road trip image. I have become sort of addicted to traveling throughout the American West, there is so much to see.

Grand Canyon. I know it is a very touristy place, but I have gone several times and every time I am awe-struck, it's just that kind of place.Great Smoky Mountains. When I look at this photograph I can still remember everything about this moment, the air, the smells, the breeze, the setting sun...which reminds me the whole reason I take photos in the first place.

Great Smoky Mountains. When I look at this photograph I can still remember everything about this moment, the air, the smells, the breeze, the setting sun...which reminds me the whole reason I take photos in the first place.

How many years have you been in business?

That is sort of a hard question to answer for me, I have been taking photographs as long as I can remember, and I think every photo I have taken has in some way shaped my current path. But as far as considering it as a “business”, I guess I would have to say that within the last couple of years I have made the transition to “professional” photographer, which to me means that my main source of income now comes from photography, and I am no longer working another job to afford my photography pursuits.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I am self-taught by and large, I had a few photo courses in college, but I was studying filmmaking in school. Which is not to say that studying cinema did not have a great influence on my photography.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

Probably William Eggleston. After I finished school, I was really dabbling in all different things, I was really into taking photos but was also writing, playing music, and trying to pursue a film career and this was on top of working whatever menial jobs I had at the time. So it was difficult to have the time and energy for everything.

Then I moved to New York and the first week I was there I saw the Eggleston retrospective at the Whitney. And something really changed inside me. I remember walking around the city after the show and just feeling like for the first time I really understood something about photography I previously hadn’t. And from then on that was it, my love affair with photography was all-consuming and said this is it, this is all I want to do.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

My philosophy towards making photos has always been to make the photographs that I want to see in the world. So that is what I have always done, at the end of the day regardless if other people like them at least I can be happy knowing I made the images that I wanted to see. And now these photographs exist and other people can see them too. That is really what I value, the photograph itself, there is so much that goes into one image: time, light, intention…it is really a magical thing.The fact that creative folks want to hire me was is really just a fluke, people see what I make and want to help me make more of these kinds of images and for that I will be forever grateful.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

It is truly different in every situation. But yes the client and creative relationship can either be a hindrance or a blessing. Sometimes the client and creatives don’t see eye to eye and you end up doing this balancing act where the work can suffer. The best kind of client has faith in the creatives as well at the photographer and realizes they are just there to hang out, have fun and let everyone do their thing.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I try and keep my website and tumblr pages pretty recent, so a lot of people share my photographs on the internet on some social media platform or another. That is really my favorite way to share things because it feels democratic, if people like your photo they can post it to pinterest or something.

I also like making little books or small prints and sending them out. I really enjoy getting stuff like that in the mail myself, if a friend sends me a photo book or zine it really makes my day. So I try to make nice things for people, and make the thing in itself have intrinsic value, so it is not like “here’s my marketing brochure, it’s like “hey here is a nice little thing I made for you that I hope will inspire or uplift you regardless,” That way if it ends up getting you a job or not it is cool to think someone might be having a better day because they got something they enjoyed in the mail.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

It seems like more and more people are just making portfolios of work to get certain kinds of jobs. My advice to them would be, “just be honest with yourself, are you making this work because you think it will get you jobs or because you are truly passionate about it? “If you truly love it and it feels like it is your voice than you have nothing to worry about.
I think everyone wants to see the same thing in art, and that is honesty. People enjoy looking at things that feel like they came from somebody’s heart and soul, that is just human nature.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

I have been working on some personal projects as well as doing commissioned work. But I have plans to refocus my energy on some larger scale personal projects in the very near future.

How often are you shooting new work?

I have commissioned jobs with some frequency and then have been trying to keep personal projects going as well. I have also been trying to actually slow down a bit and be more mindful in my process. There seems to be this manic pace in the industry right now with everyone constantly posting new work, blogging, instagramming and what have you, I think everyone needs to just chill out a bit and think about what they are making and why.

Jeff Luker is an American photographer born in 1985. Originally hailing from the Pacific Northwest he now calls New York home. Luker’s work explores themes inherent to the American experience and while primarily a fine art/documentary photographer he has in the past shot commercial projects for companies including Levi’s, Urban Outfitters, Nike and Chrysler. He has shown his work in galleries both domestic and abroad and has had his photographs published in magazines such as Beautiful/Decay, Foam, Oxford American and Neon. He continually travels and photographs the small towns, back roads and wilds of America seeking out adventure. He is represented by Friend + Johnson.

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

 

Art Producers Speak: Nadav Kander

- - Art Producers Speak

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate Nadav Kander. I wish all my creatives would create work like this. It’s pure.  It’s the simplest equation of lighting and subject.  In its simplicity lives a visual that is so complex and dramatic. It was a fantastic experience working with Nadav.

This Guy is a new actor in the UK that the NY Times wanted photographed. Ashley Ward the Make Up person and I had spoken about using Powder before and this seemed like a great moment to do so. This Pic has just won the World Press Portrait Award !!

I was desperate to think of a subtle way to make Brad look more edgy and have the viewer wondering why. Why the black band? Etc. His hair was so long, I had to do something with it that was not the ordinary.

This is a picture from my latest series. I have always photographed people Nude but not very often been satisfied that they were original and authentic to me, until these which I am much happier with.

This work shows my love for Maholy Nagy and other artists working in Europe at the same time. It answered the brief in a beautiful way, marrying the Client with the Industry they advise and giving you a sense of the Banks immersion in the worlds of their clients. Great Art Direction.

This one for Nike Head Quarters in Holland, needed to say ICONIC but NEVER STILL in the same picture. I tested with the AD for a day and we came up with this (in my opinion) great way of working, doable in the time allotted to these busy athletes as well as beautiful. Look how fit Lance looks, I wonder why?

This idea came from the Agency in France. A quick very blue city car.

 

This picture was originally taken in collaboration with an Agency for a car company. I don’t think it was used, but I love it.

The shoes were super light and this idea to project the clothing to show lightness really worked. Bolt looks cool and the set and finished picture looked very modern and original.

A little dated now but still quite cool. In it’s day it won so many awards for the AD that one of the award shows jokingly brought him onto the stage and gave him a shopping trolley to help cart the metal away.

This is part of large series of work that I photographed along the Yangtze River in China. 5 trips to China and about 2 and a half years resulted in the book, titled Yangtze – The Long River.

Here’s something different… Limited budget, shot in my small studio. Really fun to do.

Suzanne Sease: How many years have you been in business?

Nadav Kander: I have been shooting professionally for 23 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I am self-taught and have been shooting since I was 13, as I was inspired by the work of Steichen, Stieglitz, Atget, Man Ray, and Moholy-Nagy.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

I met Harry De Zitter in South Africa, and he told me that if I wanted to make it in advertising, I needed to move to London. He said to me, “If you really want to be the best, you need to learn from the best.” If you recall the advertising in London in the 80s, it was second to none.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

I have never tried to get folks to hire me but to produce work that is liked.

I find that work that questions is far more interesting than work that gives you all the answers. I always want to create work that asks more questions than it answers. I think that has been the thread that links my work.

My influences are incredibly widespread, from the photographers I mentioned earlier all the way to the work of Jeff Wall to video artists to sculptures and paintings.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

I think if the client is trying to reduce the work to the lowest common denominator, it is hard for all parties involved to create a great collaborative vision.

The industry has so drastically changed that the art director’s position can be very difficult. I think art directors are saints who are coming up with brilliant ideas that they wish could be a certain way, and sometimes they are thwarted by the client. I am there to help the process come together as smoothly as possible for them. It’s a collaboration.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I love doing editorial work. It offers a great creative process and the chance to work with great people. (The money is secondary.) I love it when an art director comes to me with something I have never done before and says, “I know you have never done anything like this before, but what do you think of this and how would you do it?” I welcome the challenge of a great collaboration because that is what pushes you forward, and you end up landing in a much better place than if you had done it alone.

I am thinking about starting an e-mail communication that would be for art directors, art buyers, and photo editors and would be about inspiration. It would be an e-mail from me of something I found inspiring, whether it was a photo I just did or a sculpture I found or just inspiring words. I am not sure how often I would send these out. I would have them e-mail me at this address if they would like to be a part of this. E-mail: nkstudio@nadavkander.com

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

I think it is important for art directors to use a photographer who likes to shoot outside of the box. The end results are usually better, as it is very hard to create something original if you stay in your comfort zone.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

I am always thinking of ideas and giving myself projects that fall under this umbrella of what makes me tick. That is what art is all about: turning yourself inside out. I have a current project, “Bodies. 6 Women. 1 Man,” and one that I am continuing to work on in Russia. It usually takes me about two years to finish a project, which usually becomes a book.

Nadav Kander is an internationally renowned photographer, director, and artist based in London. Consistently among the top-ranking advertising photographers in Lürzer’s Archive, he has collaborated with clients across all categories (from finance, travel & leisure, and entertainment to alcoholic beverages and sports brands), and he is one of the most sought-after portrait photographers working today, commissioned by everyone from Time magazine to the National Portrait Gallery. In recent years, Nadav has also taken on directing assignments, among them “Evil Instincts,” a series of short films for GQ starring Hollywood actors famous for their villainous roles. He is represented as a director by Chelsea Pictures and as a photographer in the US by Stockland Martel, in UK and Europe (excluding Germany) by We Folk and in Germany by Severin Wendeler.

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.