Category "The Daily Edit"

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

- - The Daily Edit

 



 

 

Outside Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Daily Edit – Stock Pot Images: Ophelia Chong

- - The Daily Edit

Cover photo by Bettina Monique

 

 

Feature story by Josh Fogel

 

Above Images: Seagrass Photography

 


Photographer: James Walker

Stock Pot Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Chinese Grandmother tends to her Cannabis Plants by Linus Shentu

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

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

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

- - The Daily Edit

The New Yorker


Director of Photography:
Joanna Milter

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Daily Edit – California Sunday Magazine: Jacqueline Bates

- - The Daily Edit

We interviewed Mark Manahey previously about this cover

Mateo Gómez García

Benjamin Rasmussen

Erin Brethauer

Gillian Laub

California Sunday Magazine

Creative Director: Leo Jung
Photography Director: Jacqueline Bates
Photography Editor: Paloma Shutes
Production manager: Thomas Bollier
Designer: Annie Jen

Have you kept with the same format since you launched or have you introduced any new sections?
We are always open to experiments and trying out new formats. In September, we published our first-ever themed issue, in which we asked writers and photographers, “What do California and the West sound like right now?” We gathered stories about entertainment, criminal justice, science, design, business, music, sports, culture, and technology. We asked our contributors to record the sounds they wrote about, and these snippets appear throughout the magazine as audio footnotes — readers can play them on their phones as they read the print edition. We divided the issue into three chapters, each with a separate table of contents, beginning with the quietest stories and ending with the loudest. It was a really fun challenge, and we are gearing up for another themed issue later this year.

How does Pop Up complement the magazine and are you also photo directing that as well ?
Leo Jung (our creative director) and I work on all the visuals for Pop-Up. He and his fantastic new designer, Annie Jen, commission all the illustrations. Paloma Shutes (our photo editor) and I work on the photography. Pop-Up is a multi-sensory experience, and there are so many ways to craft a story for a live audience rather than the printed page– we have to think about the pacing and the sequencing of images in combination with the dialogue, when our live orchestra should play. It’s a fun complement to making a magazine.

What are some of your favorite photo essays from the last year, and why?
We’ve published so many stories that I’m proud of this year, from a four-part photo essay centered on youth homelessness (as part of a coordinated effort by more than 80 media outlets to shine a light on homelessness in the Bay Area), to a Natalie Keyssar  project documenting political unrest in Venezuela, to an underground LA music scene shaping modern jazz and hip hop, photographed by Coley Brown.


Underground LA music scene shaping modern jazz and hip hop, photographed by Coley Brown

Congrats on the ASMEs—which categories did you win?
Thank you! We won the National Magazine Award for excellence in photography in 2016 and 2017. This year we also won for design, and were finalists in the single-topic issue and magazine of the year categories. It was a huge honor to be recognized among such iconic magazines. We are still in disbelief.

How if at all are you evolving the photography?
Four months ago, we hired a fantastic photo editor, Paloma Shutes, to join the photo department (For our first few years, it was just me). February was her first full issue at the magazine. I think it’s so important so have a coworker who has different sensibilities and distinct photography interests—it will only make the magazine more dynamic, and help it evolve. I’m so lucky to work with her and learn from her every day.

What has been the biggest surprise creatively this past year? 
I never could have imagined we’d win a National Magazine Award two years in a row. That hasn’t happened since 1992,  when National Geographic won a second consecutive award. This sort of recognition validates a young brand, and it also proves that when you have a boss who believes in you, anything is possible. Leo and I feel so fortunate to have Doug McGray as our editor. He adds so much value to our process and gives us breathing room to dream up things we are immensely proud of.

What has been the best lesson that you can share with other PDs?
I think it’s so essential for editors to share knowledge and to not work in a bubble. I’m really excited about the recently launched-site Women Photograph, a database of female photographers that features work from more than 400 women from 67 countries. It’s an incredible resource. We need more of these. I always tell photographers to slow down and research everything about the particular subject they are interested in shooting—and I think editors could do the same. Whenever I have a story in a particular region that I might not have any photographers in, I research everything I can about that world —we always try to hire local photographers whenever possible because of their close connection to that place.

How many photo essays or visual shorts do you get pitched in a typical month?
We get pitched a significant amount, and Paloma and I have weekly meetings to present ideas to our editor-in-chief and senior editors. Photographers are welcome to pitch unpublished projects or ideas to: art@californiasunday.com

The Daily Edit: Real Simple – Yasu+Junko

- - The Daily Edit

img_2695

Real Simple


Senior Designer: Dina Ravvin
Prop Stylist:
Elizabeth Press
Photographers: Yasu+Junko


Heidi: How many flowers did you purchase to get the color shifts?
Yasu+Junko: About 32 dozen

Did you follow the instructions in the article when setting up the set to keep the flowers lively?
No, we worked off of photo references for the inspiration.

How long the shoot take?
The shoot took us a couple of hours…but all morning prepping.

Were you concerned about wilting with the lights?
The light was rather far away from the subject that we did not have to be too careful. We usually turn off the modeling lights if necessary.

How many options do you typically shoot for something like this?
Not much options for this; little variations, like replacing flowers. Here is our original image, the magazine had cropped into it quite a bit.

101316_rs_rose_202

The Daily Edit – National Geographic: Brian Finke

- - The Daily Edit, Working

February issue of National Geographic magazine cover story available here, Our 9,000-Year Love Affair with Booze.

07_cv-0217_news

© Brian Finke / National Geographic

PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated February 2017 and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sub-licensing, sale or resale is prohibited.   REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as provided, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing.   Mandatory usage requirements: (Please note: you may select 4 branded images for online use and 3 images for print/unbranded)   1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image © Photographer / National Geographic **Please see additional credit and caption info below. 2. Show the February 2017 cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image 3. Provide a prominent link to: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/alcohol-discovery-addiction-booze-human-culture/ at the top of your piece, ahead of the photos 4. Mention that the images are from "the February issue of National Geographic magazine” Images can be found here: https://foxgroup.box.com/s/dgwhhvkm23g02mhu4thrhvbsucs4foo9

© Brian Finke / National Geographic

A Chinese newlywed toasts her guests with a traditional cup of rice wine. The drink has been consumed in China for at least 9,000 years; a chemical residue found in a jar of that age is the oldest proof of a deliberately fermented beverage. But the influence of alcohol probably extends even deeper into prehistory.

PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated February 2017 and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sub-licensing, sale or resale is prohibited.   REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as provided, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing.   Mandatory usage requirements: (Please note: you may select 4 branded images for online use and 3 images for print/unbranded)   1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image © Photographer / National Geographic **Please see additional credit and caption info below. 2. Show the February 2017 cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image 3. Provide a prominent link to: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/alcohol-discovery-addiction-booze-human-culture/ at the top of your piece, ahead of the photos 4. Mention that the images are from "the February issue of National Geographic magazine” Images can be found here: https://foxgroup.box.com/s/dgwhhvkm23g02mhu4thrhvbsucs4foo9

© Brian Finke / National Geographic

Grapes are snacked on by a Roman soldier (left), and pressed with a massive oak-tree trunk. The juice is then fermented in open clay jars. The Romans flavored it with surprising ingredients: One of Durand’s wines contains fenugreek, iris, and seawater.

PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated February 2017 and exclusively in conjunction thereof.  No copying, distribution or archiving permitted.  Sub-licensing, sale or resale is prohibited.   REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as provided, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM.  Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing.   Mandatory usage requirements: (Please note: you may select 4 branded images for online use and 3 images for print/unbranded)   1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image © Photographer / National Geographic **Please see additional credit and caption info below. 2. Show the February 2017 cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image 3. Provide a prominent link to: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/02/alcohol-discovery-addiction-booze-human-culture/ at the top of your piece, ahead of the photos 4. Mention that the images are from "the February issue of National Geographic magazine” Images can be found here: https://foxgroup.box.com/s/dgwhhvkm23g02mhu4thrhvbsucs4foo9

© Brian Finke / National Geographic

Since it began in 1810 as a wedding celebration for the Bavarian crown prince, Munich’s Oktoberfest has grown into one of the world’s largest festivals, with more than six million visitors crowding its tents each year to drain one-liter mugs of beer. Bavaria has had a big impact on beermaking: Its Reinheitsgebot, or Beer Purity Law, passed in 1516, ushered in a global trend toward uniformity by restricting brewers to water, hops, and malt (and later yeast, after it was discovered). These days some craft brewers are pushing back, experimenting with ancient additives and unusual yeasts.

 

National Geographic

Senior Photo Editor: Todd James
Photographer:
Brian Finke

Heidi: How did this project come about, was this your first time shooting for National Geographic? 

Brian: I got a call from Todd James, Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic asking if it’d be into shooting alcohol around the world. I said, “Hell Yea!” Todd and I had worked on three previous features for the magazine, I was psyched for our fourth story together. My first story with Todd was photographing “Meat in Texas”, a story about America’s obsession with meat. That job came about from my Instagram when I was posting tons of my backyard BBQ photos, the editors were familiar with my work but seeing also my obsession with meat landed me the story, along with my career of personal and editorial work.

How much do you use Instagram as a conscious promotional tool, or is it really self expression for you?
It’s a platform for trying new things, promoting, keeping people updated on latest work, it’s an immediate outlet for sharing everything.

What advice do you have for photographers using Instagram?
Always put out personal work because that’s where the best assignments come from.

What type of specific direction did you get from the magazine? What made this assignment different?

What makes National Geographic stories different is all the research before hand; the photo editor and photographer really build the story, then of course it’s the amount of time that’s dedicated. I shot on and off for four months for this story.

Did you travel with the writer?
No just myself and my assistant

It looks like you traveled extensively for this project, did you send in images as you traveled?
I traveled all over the place going to various birth places of booze around the world, started in Peru, then South of France, Republic of Georgia, Germany, China and a few paces around the U.S. Throughout shooting I’d send in photos, discuss the project and building the story with my editor.

Shooting for National Geographic is quite an honor (and it was a cover story) if you had any internal pressure, how did you deal with it? 
I’m always a little nervous but mostly excited. It’s really amazing, it’s always something new, with so many new experiences.

The Daily Edit – Nylon: Amy Harrity

- - The Daily Edit

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Nylon

Photo Director: Sonia Ostrovsky
Photo Producer: Ricky Michiels
Photographer: Amy Harrity

 

Heidi: What was the direction from the magazine?
Amy: The wonderful thing about working consistently with Nylon is that they trust me. The photo director gives me some info about my subject, the location and the styling and then says “do your thing!’.

Did you direct her to do that hand gesture, or was it organic?
For this image, I shot through a window outside of the hotel. Before I went out I directed Callie to switch it up a lot since I wouldn’t be able to talk to her. Nylon loves having a playful energy in the photos, but I also think this is Callie’s personality.

How long did you spend with her before taking the photo?
I got to hang with Callie during her fitting and H+MU. We got to talk about music, boys, and politics before the shoot even started. We also had a all female team working on the job which also creates a sense of camaraderie.

How long into the photo session were you when this moment happened?
This was actually our first set up of the day. For me, getting the shot is about finding the perfect pocket of light. Once I find it, I stay there as long as possible and play around.

Where did you shoot?
We shot at the Hollywood Roosevelt, there were three other celebrity shoots going on that day including DJ Khaled.

The Daily Edit – Women’s Health: Landon Nordeman

- - The Daily Edit

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Women’s Health

Creative Director: Jacqueline Azria
Photo Director: Sarah Rozen
Photographer: Landon Nordeman

 

Heidi: Did you pitch this concept to the magazine?
Landon: No. It was an assignment. The editors and I talked at length before each shoot. They had ideas about what they wanted each woman to be doing in the photos—but I was alone with the subjects on location, making decisions on the fly as always—responding to them and to the location.

What type of direction did you give the women?
To me a portrait is about showing the character of the subject and letting them shine in their own environment—or in the location in which you’re working.  This eclectic group was great to photograph. Strong personalities make for good pictures. I try to connect with my subjects any way I can before giving direction. Establish trust and then collaborate to make something great.

Describe the energy on set.
The energy on set was fantastic—celebratory and with a sense of purpose.

In a word: enthusiastic. Each one of these incredible ladies was excited to share their personality and their story with me. So, that means encouraging them and making them feel at ease. Then I am observing gestures and moments and photographing the ones that I respond to until I feel like we’ve reached that collaboration point of a successful portrait. To me the photographic process is always about discovery—whether it’s a candid photograph on the street, or in this case, a portrait.

In talking to them, did you discover the secret to the fountain of youth?
Yes! The fountain of youth entails eating healthy, exercising regularly, making time to have fun, being open to trying new things, and dancing. Lots and lots of dancing!

What type of inspiration, wisdom did you take away?
The wisdom I took away—of which all of these women reminded me—was that life is a marathon not a sprint and there is time for change. One’s happiness will not be based on what others think of you, or on material things—it will be based on the experiences you share with the people you love.  It’s about giving, rather than taking.

Did the ladies ask to see the photos during the shoot?
No one asked. In the past I ‘ve found that once you show the subject a picture, you enter a rabbit hole of looking at the photos you’ve taken, and not concentrating on making the next one.  Also, inviting the subject to look at the images tends to break the momentum of a shoot, so I don’t do it.

Younger women seem to fight aging, did you notice they had embraced the grace of time?
Yes, they all demonstrated a real comfort in their own skin: for example, practicing yoga, cheerleading, and running for the camera, and posing on a bed without any hesitation. There was nothing I asked them to do that each one of them did not embrace wholeheartedly.

 

The Daily Edit – Big Data: The Cover Snapshot

- - The Daily Edit

Big Data in 2016

In an age of big data analytics let’s not ignore the available visual information, it’s not only about spreadsheets and numbers. In my consulting work I  encourage specificity and direct targeting a client. As a photographer it’s important to fully understand how your work will behave inside a magazine. What features, departments or essays are you a natural fit for?  Here’s a simple exercise with a year long snap shot of three different magazines who share some of the same space in the market. What do these grids tell us?

 

  1. cover consideration involves strong portraiture for all. The Red Bulletin and Outside, photographing people, National Geographic it’s photographing animals.
  2. Both Outside and The Red Bulletin require action and environment on a consistent basis.
  3. Outside and National  Geographic covered National Parks for the 100th anniversary, big sweeping landscapes necessary.
  4. No women cover subjects.

these are just a few elements we can see. If you want to work with a magazine, know their brand.

 

 

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Here’s another sample.

  1. It may seem obvious but the Food&Wine has to cover just that, on the cover from time to time they include a glass of wine.
    Bon Appetit, not this year.
  2. They both cover Thanksgiving in November, one with turkey, the other with pie. Cook Like a Chef, Cook like a Pro: The same editorial concept, both in March.
  3. Bon Appetit has human elements keeping in step with cultural influences (tattoo, smartphone food pictures). Food&Wine didn’t have a human element this year.
  4. For both titles April had a bright element of color.

Food photographers can see where their style may fit better, where there may be some overlap. Again, if you want to shoot for a magazine, know their content, know their brand.

 

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The Daily Edit – J.R. Mankoff: Standing Rock

- - The Daily Edit
Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Chief Mathews Black Eagle Man, Long Plane First Nation, Canada. This was shot minutes after the permit to deny the pipeline was announced.

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

This is Amanda. She’s about to head to the front line. There are no weapons allowed. Even a gas mask or bullet proof vest can be construed as a threat to the police. She’s brining a mirror with her to reflect light back onto the police as defense.

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Rick Warrington, Menominee Tribe, Wisconsin. He drove from the midwest to deliver wood.

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Rob McHaney came in from Reno, Nevada. He’s a veteran who stood at the front line at Standing Rock with his flag held proud.

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

J.R. Mankoff 

Heidi: What called you to do this?
J.R.:  Maybe it was Thanksgiving weekend, sharing an ironic celebration in a warm home while Water Protectors were shot by rubber bullets and water hosed in freezing temperatures. Maybe it was after my heart shattered when the Dakota Access Pipeline illegally bulldozed sacred Lakota barrel sites or my deep connection to nature, my love for the land and the people who protect it. Maybe it was my own spirituality pulling at my soul. A force greater than that which I could understand at the time. All at once I was swept off my feet with haste, in immediate motion, towards Standing Rock.

What was it like there?
I’m often asked how Standing Rock was. What was my experience there? Knowing full well this is a loaded question, people often offer an adjective or two about what they have indirectly experienced from it and project that on to me: “Interesting, intense, powerful, cold?”… The truth is I was experiencing all emotions at once. Sadness, empathy, anger, love. They were all there. At times I felt love stronger than anything else. At times I wept from sadness. All my emotions were present, not dormant, interacting with themselves every moment I was there. Standing Rock brought them forth and challenged myself to face them, appreciate them, and grow with them.
 
Tell us about the space between hesitation and action for you with this project.
Over 700 indigenous tribes were represented at Standing Rock. The largest gathering of indigenous people ever known and I needed time to acclimate before picking up my camera. I took part in a sweat lodge, I helped chop wood, I walked the camps and talked with the people there.
 
Photography is powerful, opinionated and can shape public opinion. I felt a strong responsibility to use this tool for good. Portraiture in particular involves trust. Trust is one thing the Native Americans do not share easily, for it has been broken time and time again. I was once asked after taking a portrait, “are you going to exploit me?”

I’ve come to Standing Rock as a photographer and compassionate caring human, yet I felt as if my press pass separates the two sides which I know are one and the same. I understand how important the media is to fighting this cause, yet I couldn’t help but feel intrusive. Many of the Indigenous people there do not want to be photographed and it is a delicate balance for me between shooting and picking up an axe to cut some more wood.

How many times did you visit the camp, and how long did you stay? ( and where did you stay?)

I’ve been twice so far. The first time I slept in my small station wagon. I had become sick around day ten from a severe blizzard that came through and most of camp evacuated. I slept on the floor in a large auditorium that evening with one thousand or so camp refuges at the local casino while we waited for the blizzard to pass. The following trip, I decided to stay at the casino. This trip was also cut short by a blizzard. I stayed ten days again.

How long after you arrived did you decide to start the Gofundme Firewood for Standing Rock project or was this decided before you arrived?

I developed a close relationship with Jumping Buffalo, one of the last direct descendants of Sitting Bull. I cried a lot on that trip back home while processing everything. I didn’t feel I had helped enough. During this drive home, Jumping Buffalo called me and asked if I would sweat with him. I felt so torn. I was half way home and I needed to take care of my health. I told him I would be back and asked him if there was any way I could help. He told me they desperately need firewood. It heats their homes, cooks their foods and centers their ceremonies. I started my gofundme that day.

Was it difficult shooting in this weather?  It’s far, far away from sunny So Cal.
There was a moment in a blizzard when a woman wearing a bear walked towards me out of the white abyss. I stopped her and she offered to dance for me. I took my hands out of my mittens, the autofocus kept focusing on the snow so I had to manual focus my camera while shooting her dancing at a shallow (f1.8) depth of field. The winds were nearing 40 mph and it was -7 degrees out. It was the hardest shooting i’ve ever done.
Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Jackie Andrew, Lil’wat Nation, Canada performing a St’at’imc Bear Dance for me.

How is your experience coming home from Standing Rock and whats next?
All I think about is Standing Rock. I’ve been back home for a few days and really enjoying being social and around people. I realize now that time alone and observing heightens me. It heightens my spiritual and observation side. My senses are amplified and awakened. I am listening. I hear and see clearly. I smell better. I feel better.
Spirituality has a muscle memory. Observation has a muscle memory. At Standing Rock I was in tune with them, using them daily: Praying at the sacred fires. Observing. You can learn a lot from observation and these type of experiences build onto themselves. The more I practice, the more connected I am. If I take a break from it, it fades. I’ll get rusty, but the foundations will still be there. The foundations build upon themselves, they shape who I am.
There has been a lot of journalism on Standing Rock, mostly from small news outlets. These organizations have helped put the word out. People are coming to me feel a personal experience, they are looking to connect. I want to share everything with them and it’s tiring giving of myself and my experiences to each person. I’m working on building an emotion experience, a book that will best express this journey. It’s exciting for me and feels right to create something from a true passion. It is lifting me, lightening me and fulfilling me.

The Daily Edit – GQ: Christian Weber

- - The Daily Edit

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GQ

Design Director: Fred Woodward
Director of Photography: Krista Prestek
Photographer: Christian Weber

What music were you playing on set?
Generally I’ll play whatever I’m in the mood for unless someone has a special request, my go-to is Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. On the GQ Jazz Giants shoot none of the artists had any requests. I do remember we played Alice Coltrane’s Journey In Satchidananda while we shot Pharoah Sanders. Pharoah is a mysterious guy, very quiet and calm. The music fit perfectly with what we were doing.

What was your approach for this body of work? and why did you choose that style/color of lighting?
I wanted to create a body of work that paid tribute to these giants of jazz. Powerful images that were both modern and timeless. I am greatly influenced by the work of Irving Penn and Arnold Newman, there is an elegance to their portraits that I wanted to bring to life in this series. As for the lighting it is similar to work I have been creating lately in film, there is a hyper-real dimension to the mixed sources that I wanted to use to create a modernization in these portraits.

Did you prep by re-listening to each artist before you shot them?
I did. Once we were offered the project we created a playlist of one album from each artist we photographed. Charles Lloyd’s Manhattan Stories was a favorite.

How did you determine the approach for each one, did they always play for you?
I usually didn’t make any concrete decisions until I met the artist. Then I’d decide that we’re going to choose this set or that and which colors to play with on the spot. It was all mostly from the gut.

Not all of them played. At their age, if they didn’t feel like playing it wasn’t going to happen. But sometimes we were surprised. Cecil Taylor is known for his avant-garde piano yet he wouldn’t touch the thing. Instead he surprised us all by doing a crazy spoken word performance from his wheelchair.

How long did you spend with each artist?
It varied. I never knew how much time they would give me until we were together. Roy Haynes is pushing 92 and he could have gone all night, he has the energy of a teenager. Nearly all were incredibly generous with their time. We had several different sets going so we could keep the pace up and energy level high. Sometimes we got a half hour. Sometimes we got two. We photographed Roy Ayers until nearly midnight.

In a few words, what was the creative take away from photographing these legends?
I know it sounds cliche, but age is just a number. These guys prove that. I felt like they’re still as sharp, funny, stylish and talented as they probably were 50 years ago.

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Charles Lloyd

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Chick Corea

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Herbie Hancock

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McCoy-Tyner

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Pharoah-Sanders

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Ron Carter

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Roy Ayers

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Roy Haynes

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Wayne Shorter

The Daily Edit – Bicycling Magazine : Gruber Images

- - The Daily Edit

 

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Bicycling Magazine

Design Director: Jesse Southerland
Art Director: Colin McSherry
Photographers: Jered and Ashley Gruber / Gruber Images

Heidi: How did you get started?
Jessie: I raced bikes in the US for some years and even managed to race professionally for two seasons. I met my wife, Ashley, as she walked home from school one day in 2008. I was riding with a couple of friends, she was on foot, crossing the street – we exchanged hellos, then continued on in our separate directions. I got about a hundred yards down the road, had this feeling that I really needed to turn around, and I did. I made a quick u-turn and rode back up to her and started chatting. She immediately tried to put me off by saying she was heading to China to study in the coming months, then moving directly to Austria to study abroad for a year.

Austria was the magic word. My family is from Austria, I’ve spent a lot of time there, I studied German all my life – it was the worst thing she could have said to get rid of me. We started chatting about that one thing we had in common, which led to a phone number, which led to an evening talking over tea, which led to my entire world changing in one day. I moved with her to Austria later that summer and left bike racing behind. It was in Austria, during that time where I was decidedly in between work, that I picked up a camera for the first time. I bought a 400 dollar Nikon D40 that Christmas, then started riding my bike with it and taking pictures.
I posted shots on Facebook, wrote some articles for a site called PezCyclingNews, and people started to notice. A Facebook friend eventually put us in touch with the editors at Road Magazine, and that’s when things started rolling. We got married in September 2010, and instead of physical gifts, we asked for money. We took that money and bought two tickets to Europe, a 1500 euro red Volkswagen wagon, and spent the final months of the year in search of stories and pictures. That went well enough, so we came back the next year – 2011 – in March. We stayed until November.
How much riding do you do on your own?
In general, I ride around 10-12,000 miles per year. I try to ride as much as I can. I’m a complete addict. I don’t feel good if I’m not riding my bike, which is why shooting a Grand Tour in cycling is such a conundrum. We got into taking pictures of bikes as a natural kind of thing: I love riding bikes, and I love taking pictures of what I see on a bike ride. At a race like the Tour de France though, it’s purely business, and I understand that, and I’m ok with it, but in those low moments when I’d rather be anywhere but the Tour, I can’t help but think that something got twisted up when I’m shooting people riding bikes, but I can’t ride a bike. I work 16-18 hours a day during the Tour, eat generally crappy food, and pretty much live on an IV drip of caffeine – while shooting some of the most bad ass endurance athletes in the world. It’s hard.
How much is riding a component of our job?
We have two very different components of our jobs. There’s the first part: shooting professional bike races, and then there’s the second part: catalog and editorial shooting. When it comes to shooting races, it doesn’t play too big of a direct role, but it plays a vital part in gaining a better understanding of the roads and the landscapes where we work. I know a lot of roads in Europe, because I’ve ridden them. In the case of the Spring Classics in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, I know the race routes very well, not only because we’ve shot them for a few years, but because I’ve spent just as much time riding my bike on them. I don’t think there’s a better way to learn about where to shoot a bike race than from my bike. We’ve also spent a lot of time riding in the big mountain chains of Europe: Pyrenees, Alps, Dolomites, etc. We recently finished a ride called the Cent Cols Challenge through the Pyrenees: 10 days, 2000k, 100 cols, 50,0000m of climbing. It was a monster undertaking, but now, when the Tour visits the Pyrenees, I feel confident in a basic understanding of what each climb will look like, and that’s something that makes me that little bit more at ease, that little bit more confident. It means a lot. Plus, again, I love riding bikes, and I like to do anything I can to make it sound like me riding my bike a LOT is good for taking pictures. haha.
For the other side of our shooting life, feature stories and catalog shoots, riding is absolutely essential. We do some shoots for companies where I’ll do the entire thing from my bike. I ride with a Nikon D810 and a 24-120, and we go out and ride bikes with some friends. When I have the chance to shoot from my bike, I will generally take it. I feel better and more in tune with the area and what I’m shooting from the bike, rather than out of the back of a car. It’s also pretty much my favorite thing ever. There’s a great line from a poem by Robert Frost that I always, always think about in a moment like this: “My object in living is to unite / My avocation and my vocation / As my two eyes make one in sight.” It’s in those moments when we’re using our friends as models, and we’re riding down some perfect road around sunset, that I can’t stop the feeling that we got really, really lucky, and I want to do whatever I can to be able to continue down this path, because I love it.
 Are you shooting out of a car or on the side of the road?
For the Spring Classics, we’re often on motorbikes, but not in the way you probably think of. It’s extremely rare that we get the chance to shoot a race as an in-race moto – meaning – we can take a picture in a certain spot, and then pass the peloton on the same road they’re on. Basically, an in-race moto gets full access. That’s really tough to get, and for the most part, we don’t even try. So, we’re left chasing races outside of the race route itself, which involves finding a spot on the side of the road, then going off-course, and then coming back to the race route to either get in front of the race, or shoot along the roadside right there. It’s a wild experience, which involves a lot of planning and a lot of stress, but I kind of love it. It’s like a giant puzzle that gets easier the better you know the roads and the more experience we acquire.
For a race like the Tour of Flanders, Ashley will be on a motorbike with a bike riding friend of ours, Michael. They have a to do list of spots to shoot. I ride a small scooter with a max speed of 30mph. It’s almost just right for a race as tightly compacted as the route of the Tour of Flanders, but I’m always a little behind. It works though. It’s fun. I end up tucked behind the bars, trying to get as low as possible, trying to eke out another mile per hour in hopes of getting to the next spot in time.
At the Grand Tours like the Tour or Giro d’Italia, Ashley and I are mostly together in our car. When we get to the big mountains, we’ll often split up, so that we can cover two different locations. When we do that, one of us will take our car, and the other will go with a team car from one of the teams we work for: Dimension Data or Cannondale-Drapac. Having the opportunity to cover two different mountains, or a mountain and a finish line, which would otherwise be impossible – is pretty fantastic.
What are some of the unique challenges that we might not encounter in other niches?
Packing light is crucial, and I’m terrible at it. I have a perpetual fear that I won’t take the right lenses with me, so I overpack, and trudge around all day regretting the fact that I brought three too many lenses with me – just in case. Because, what could be worse than not having what I need? Right, carrying around what I don’t need.
On the back of the moto, we carry a pretty simple set-up: two camera bodies (Nikon D5 and D810) and three to five lenses (14-24, 24-70, some kind of long lens, a prime, and maybe something else). That’s ok, as long as we keep the 200 f2 out of the mix. Once that thing ends up in a bag, my day gets a little grumpier…until I get home and see what kind of prettiness it pulled off that day. I hate that lens in every way – until I see the pictures later.
When I shoot on my bike, I generally carry a D810 and 24-120 f4. The 24-120 isn’t the best lens in the world, but it’s more than capable, and gives me a good working range to take some different shots. I’m working on trying to find some solutions that would allow me to carry lenses ON my bike via bikepacking bags. I think there could be some cool possibilities there, which would further free me from cars.

Images from their site below

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The Daily Edit – One Shot Editions: Brian Finke

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One Shot

Co-Founders: Zack McDonald & Daan van Dam
Photographer:
Brain Finke


Why did you choose to collaborate with Brian?
We’re huge fans of Brian’s work. The man has an unbelievable knack for creating visual worlds that you can’t help but step into. Plus, he’s one of the nicest, coolest guys we know.

Where did this idea stem from?
We have a strong love for photography and have been watching closely as the digital revolution has really transformed every part of it.

It’s turned everyone into a photographer. For better and for worse. It’s given artists the freedom to go to new places, but it’s also taken some things away. The element of surprise, the rush of a happy accident or the joy of the unknown. We created One Shot to help people reconnect with the mysterious and fragile beauty of analog photography.

Why film?
If you take a stroll through the Internet at any given time, you’ll come across hundreds, if not thousands, of digital photos. And they’re multiplying by the second. We really liked the idea of putting something truly ephemeral and impossibly rare into the world. At the same time, we wanted to make the prints as accessible as possible so almost anyone can take a shot if they want. They’ve just got to be quick.

I know Brian can shoot whatever he wants, are you given any idea what he maybe up to?
We just received the prints and all we can say is they’re beauties. It’s almost a shame to destroy the negatives… But those are the rules.

If I wanted to buy one how do I sign up?
The 24 1/1 prints are on sale at oneshoteditions.com. People can select any available print from our store but once a shot has been purchased it will be gone forever. So you better be fast if you want to pick your lucky number. There’s also a limited edition zine available which includes an overview of the series, a Q&A with Brian and an essay about the origins of One Shot.

The Daily Edit – Contact High Project

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PHOTO BY JANETTE BECKMAN

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PHOTO BY BARRON CLAIRBORNE

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PHOTO BY JONATHAN MANNION

 

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PHOTO BY CHI MODU

 

Contact High Project

Editor: Vikki Tobak

Heidi: How did this idea come about?
Vikki: Hip hop is by now widely accepted as influencing just about every facet of life — ideas, fashion, visual language in general. And now it’s far enough along in its history that archives of rare and unpublished imagery tell the big story. Stories that are deeply woven into the fabric of a global mainstream. I worked as a music culture journalist for many years and before that was in the hip hop industry. When I started working as a producer for CNN and went deeper into photojournalism, the dots started to connect. Behind every photo there’s a story of how it happened and what was happening in hip hop culture during that time. By showing the contact sheet and interviewing the photographer, you go deeper into the story. They were rebels, artists who understood the power of words and the power of imagery. And so did the photographers who captured these images. For example, Janette Beckman, a photographer who was our first story, talks about ‘rebel cultures’ and how photographs encapsulate these significant cultural movements.. She shot the punk scene in England before moving to New York to photograph hip hop. I approached Mass Appeal Magazine with the idea of running the series and we have a great relationship. Bucky Turco is my editor there and he sometimes gives me a hard time for selecting certain contact sheets– like the time I decided to feature a black and white contact sheet from Jamel Shabazz rather than a color one he is so well known for. But it’s a great process and I really like working with the magazine because they are dedicated to urban culture.

In what ways did the “Magnum Contact Sheet” book inspire you?
The goal of the series from the start was to compile stories for a book based partially on the Magnum Contact Sheet book. I became really interested in the Magnum Photographers when I started working in mainstream news outlets like CNN and CBS Magnum Contact Sheet. I was really blown away by seeing all the shots on a contact sheet and knowing what was happening in all the frames before seeing the selected image. It really takes you in! And then to hear the photographers tell the deeper story was just so inspiring. I thought about hip hop imagery and how all these years later we have this archive, but, we don’t really have the stories behind what happened that day or what was happening for the culture at that time. This book was an inspiration to do something like that for hip hop.

My hope in doing this book and telling these stories and going a couple layers deeper was to paint a more nuanced picture of this culture that is now so mainstream. These photographers have played critical roles in bringing hip hop imagery onto the global stage. A rare glimpse into their creative process and understanding the behind-the-scenes of the imagery that shaped hip hop is part of a history. These photographers give me access to the original and unedited contact sheets which means alot to me in terms of trust and telling their stories in a deep way. Photographers typically don’t show their contact sheets. It’s very personal and I honor that.
Allowing us to look directly through the photographer’s lens and observe all of the other shots is a an honor.

What about contact sheets in general inspire you?
Contact sheets are like being let in on a secret, going backstage, going deeper into the story. What did the artist and photographer envision from the outset? What was happening in that artists life at the time? What decisions were being made about the imagery that would shape hip hop? People are curious about specific cameras, editing processes, editorial decisions etc.. For example, Chi Modu, who was the photo editor at The Source magazine for many years was in the room with editors talking about who they’re gonna put on the cover, what image to use, and things that contributed to telling this bigger story. It’s also fascinating to and nerd out on cameras, film and processes used for these shoots. 36 frames on a roll and you start to make some serious decisions about what to shoot and how. Hip hop has always been about self-definition especially when it comes to visual culture and style.

How did you try and make your project, different if at all?
I wanted to keep this projected specifically focused on hip hop visual culture. I wanted to talk about certain images, like the Barron Claiborne Biggie King of New York crown image because it’s such a part of the fabric of everything– you see it on murals, t-shirts on television in Luke Cage. People around the word recognize that image. Hip hop has now had enough of a story arc to be able to look back on certain photos and certain photographers and realize that this vast archive of imagery tells an important story.

Are you photo editing this, and how do you decide what is “iconic” being a writer, what is your narrative arc in both words and images?
Deciding which images and photographers are featured is part gut instinct and part earned knowledge. At 19, I moved from Detroit to New York and got a job working for a record label called Payday Records/Empire Management. At the time they represented Gangstarr,Jeru the Damaja, Masta Ace, Mos Def… we even had Jay Z for a minute. I worked as the director of publicity and marketing there and was the go between all those groups and the media which included accompanying the artists on photo shoots and making decisions on images. I toured with them, I traveled the world with them, and learned what it was like to see these images be put out into the world. So now deciding which narratives to highlight and which images are “iconic” is just a natural as looking back on the past few decades and knowing. That Joe Conzo anonymous Bboy photo is just as important as the Jonathan Mannion Jay-Z album cover shot.

Aside from the book, what are your goals for this project?
We also plan to show the series as an gallery/museum exhibition and have it travel the world to the various communities hip hop has influenced

Has it been difficult to find contributors?
Photographers love this series because they understand that their photos are part of a larger conversation about identity, black culture, race and all that hip hop has manifested. They love telling their stories and understand that it’s important to be part of the broader cultural conversation about hip hop and its influence on just about everything. We live in the digital age that is defined by image overload and the careful curation of artist persona. Showing these contact sheets, showing the mistakes, showing the experimentation and range of emotions is a much truer picture of the cultural conversation.

Who is next on your wish list for a story?
I’m interested in further exploring political or conscious hip hop and the way those artists used imagery. Glen E. Friedman’s cover image for Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes A Nation To Hold Us Back” is definitely high up on the wish list; So is Boogie Down Productions ‘By All Means Necessary’ cover which recreated the Malcolm X photo. Then there are the photographers that are definitely part of the conversation: Ernie Paniccioli, Danny Hastings, who shot the famous Wu-Tang cover, Nabil Elderkin who shot Kanye West’s first set of publicity photos, Cam Kirk, Brian Cross, Ricky Powell, Estevan Oriol etc… I also want to expand coverage of hip hop from regions other than New York — 2Live Crew, Too Short, N.W.A, Geto Boys. Oh and the Ice-T ‘Power’ cover with his then girlfriend Darlene.

The Daily Edit – Andy Goodwin: Exonerated

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Heidi: Why did “give back” and offer up pro bono work? Where did that idea stem from?
Andy: My parents mostly. My mom started a foundation that helped raise over a million dollars for a variety of causes, including children’s charities, the homeless and AIDS research. My dad was a blue collared electrician and social activist, who among other things marched with MLK in Selma, AL. On a personal note, I’ve recently begun attending church, which has been a shocker to anyone that knows me. It’s truly helped me to put things in perspective and shown me what’s important.

How did you decide who would get your time? 
I posted a note on Facebook saying that I had some free time in my schedule and wanted to help out with a good pro bono cause. I got a lot of great responses but Northwestern’s Center On Wrongful Convictions really resonated with me. Over the past 18 years, they’ve helped free dozens of innocent people serving someone else’s time. After reading some of the Exonorees stories, I couldn’t believe what they had gone through and knew that I wanted to help.

Was that your idea to add the chalkboard in the background?
Yeah, me and my small crew brought the backgrounds to all of the Exoneree’s homes and set them up in their kitchens or living rooms. Besides shooting environmental portraits, I also wanted something consistent for everyone. The original idea was to have a hash mark for every day that they had spent in prison but sadly there just wasn’t enough room on the boards to allow for that.

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How did the project shape you creatively?
Winning Best In Show at The Midwest Independent Film Festival was pretty amazing- and having a couple of the Exonerees with me that night was an incredible experience. It’s made me realize that I’ve been given a gift that I can use to give back with, like the new projects I’m shooting for Make A Wish and Chicago’s Homeless. Shooting for charities allows me to stretch myself creatively and has also introduced me to some incredible people.

We all agree photography is a powerful tool. That said, hearing people share their story with their own voice has incredible gravity. Tell us about the specific moment when you knew video was a must?
I’ve sort of come to video reluctantly but am warming up to it and gradually feeling more comfortable with it. Going into this I had so many questions that I wanted to ask and realized that only shooting portraits just wasn’t going to cut it.

Since this was your first video effort, what would you do differently next time?
Fortunately video is a far more collaborative effort than still photography, so having Patrick Duffy at Cutters Editing on board really saved my ass. Next time, I’ll have an actual video crew in addition to my stellar “still” team.

Do you have additional plans for this work and will it become an ongoing series.
Everyone involved, including the Exonerees wants to keep this project going, so we’re in the early stages of sussing that out. I’m also really excited to follow-up with video on the Charreada series that I recently photographed. It’s so steeped in tradition and pageantry, you feel like you are in another place and time.

The Daily Edit: Chris Crisman – Women’s Work

- - The Daily Edit

Chris Crisman Presents: Women’s Work

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“Heather Marold Thomason is the Head Butcher at Kensington Quarters in Philadelphia. In just a few years, she shifted her career in web design and is now a force in the sustainable food movement.”

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Christina Burris, Brewer and Operations Manager, St. Benjamin’s Brewing, Philadelphia, PA.

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“Alison Goldblum is a talented and inspiring property developer in Philadelphia, PA.
She also happens to be a great friend to our family and a mentor to my wife”

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Nancy Poli, Pig Farmer, Stryker Farms, Saylorsburg, PA.

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Leeann Johnson, Haul Truck Driver, Round Mountain Gold Mine

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  Mindy Gabriel, firefighter, Upper Arlington, Ohio, for Women’s Work

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“Mira Nakashima, Designer and Woodworker, George Nakashima Woodworking, New Hope, PA.
Mira has been carrying on the traditions of woodworking set forth by her father, George Nakashima.”

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Sadie Samuels, Lobster Fisher, Rockport, ME.

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Sadie Samuels, Lobster Fisher, Rockport, ME.

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Beth Beverly, Taxidermist, Philadelphia, PA.
See more of her work at Diamond Tooth Taxidermy.

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Judy Bowman, Process Operator, Round Mountain Gold Mine, Round Mountain, NV.

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“Jordan Ainsworth, Mill Operator, Round Mountain Gold Mine, Round Mountain, NV.
She is a fourth generation miner and third generation of mining females in her family.”

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Carol Warn, Leach Pad Operator, Marigold Mining Company, Valmy, NV.

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“Kris Alvarez, Senior Geologist at the Round Mountain Gold Mine in Nevada,
mapping mine sidewalls in preparation for the next phase of development on the 55 mile site.”

What compelled you to create this body of work?
Back in February of this year I was having lunch in New York with some art producers from Droga 5. One of those art producers was Emily Heller. Emily mentioned that she had a friend who had recently relocated from Brooklyn to our home base of Philadelphia. This friend, Heather Marold Thomason, had recently switched careers and is now a butcher. My immediate reaction was how I’ve never met a female butcher. I asked Emily for an introduction and I was photographing Heather at her butcher shop just a few weeks later. Once we completed the shoot it immediately became something I wanted to further develop.

I am a father of two – a 4 year old boy and a 2 year old girl. I was raised to believe that I could do whatever I wanted to when I grew up. I want pass down a similar message to my children and without caveats. I want to raise my children knowing that their dreams have no limits and that they have parents supporting them to dive into anything they feel passionate about.

How did you find the women? 
This original shoot with Heather prompted a number of conversations and a snowball effect of similar shoots. We would do one shoot and then the subject would suggest another person.  Every opportunity being presented felt like one that I could not pass up. I reached out to a handful of my favorite industry contacts and the response was incredible. There are so many people that we would still love to include in the project, but we’ll get there.  I believe that Women’s Work is the type of project where the purpose does not have an expiration date. 

What were the determining factors?
Honestly, there was no exclusion to whom we considered. The strongest factors that led us to the people you see now were availability and excitement for participation. At the onset we did create a big list of professional positions that were not typically held by women, but after a few shoots and making contact with some friends, the participants just started flowing in on their own.

This is a fairly big roll out, did you have a planned strategy or was it more organic?
In mid-October we decided that the body of work was at a point that it was worth putting it out there. In light of last week’s election, I hope that this project can provide a hopeful message as we all move forward.

In a sentence, what’s your message?
Gender should not determine professional opportunities.

Post Production, Stills, Video: PXL House
DP, Must Be Nice: Ezra Migel
Producer, Must Be Nice: Robert Luessen

 

Here is some BTS of Chris and the making of these stunning portraits for Lynda.com

 

 

The Daily Edit – The Red Bulletin: Justin Bastien

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The Red Bulletin

 

Creative Director: Erik Turek
Art Directors: Kasimir Reimann, Miles English
Photo Director: Fritz Schuster
Writer: Andreas Rottenschlager
Photo Editor: Rudi Ubelhor
Photographer: Justin Bastien

Heidi: How did this project stretch you as a photographer?
Justin: This project literally stretched me in half at times with the final shoot day being very intense. We had big waves coming from two directions, freezing cold water, 130 mph rotor wash from the helis ripping into the exposed skin on my face. I spent in total about 10 hours in my wetsuit freezing my ass off, about 3 hours were spent swimming big waves and bad current in a remote location. This whole article could easily be focused on that one day in the surf ops shoot and what it actually took to get the shot. Did I mention, I love this stuff!

Did you lose any of your motor skills due to the cold?
Of course, being in in cold water for that long everything stops working. You quickly see why people can’t last very long in the cold, open ocean. Even with our super warm Patagonia wetsuits, booties, gloves, mask and snorkel on, everything just become more difficult and exhausting. It’s especially hard to operate a water housing wearing thick gloves and numb hands. It’s funny,  your lips are the most exposed and by the time you come from the water and hit cold wind, you can’t talk at all (which my girlfriend would think is good thing at times). 

You live in balmy So Cal, did you do any cold weather training?
No, I didn’t do any cold-weather training for this job. I have surfed a lot Alaska and Southern Chile over the years for fun and really enjoy these kinds of conditions and the solitude it brings. I enjoy the remote and wild places other people generally don’t go; the cold is part of that. Also, climbing in the mountains teaches you how to suffer in the cold and to be honest I enjoy the challenge and kind of like suffering. It teaches you a lot.

Did you pitch this to The Red Bulletin? and how often do you work with them?
Yes, I pitched this concept to The Red Bulletin. My cousin is in the Coast Guard stationed in Kodiak, Alaska and I visit his family every year. We surf, camp, explore the island. My cousin gave me a tour of the Coast Guard base; after seeing the place, meeting his great crew and knowing how beautiful Kodiak island was, I knew this story had to be told. It was a passion project from the very beginning. The most difficult part was getting access, which took almost a year, and then getting the Coast Guard comfortable enough to let me get  into some wild outdoor conditions with them. They trusted me, were so cool to collaborate with and so much fun. I felt right at home with the crew. Of course they made sure to torture me a bit in the “sweat cage” during our helicopter evacuation training in the pool. The “sweat cage” simulates a helicopter that goes down in the water and flips upside down. You’re trapped in the helicopter (sweat cage) as it is sinking, and you have to maintain your reference point, release your seat belt, open the door and escape to the surface while you are upside down and can’t see. It’s a great thing to practice because in a real world situation it’s going to be a lot more scary and violent.

How many days were you out there and which was your favorite and why?
I pushed for the magazine to give me an extended period of time knowing weather and access we’re going to be key to the success. I wanted to get into  big surf with bad weather and terrible conditions showcasing what kind of environment these heroic lifesavers work in. The most difficult part was the long wait because we had beautiful, sunny weather the entire time; which is very rare for Kodiak. Then things changed. We had two storms collectiong to the south of us opposite directions, forming great cross chop, rogue waves and with tons of bad weather. There’s a fine line between bad weather that you can fly in and bad weather that grounds the aircraft. Luckily, we were able to fly last minute and get two MH-60s in the air along with a few rescue swimmers for High Surf Ops training. Let the fun begin!

Was anyone from the magazine with you, what type of direction did they give you?
Yes. The Red Bulletin sent Andreas Rottenschlager, a talented writer from Austria. He had worked on intense projects in the past. We both pushed really hard to get the access we needed, the interviews, coverage, he was so great to collaborate with. We also had a blast driving around in a rusty white construction van with a yellow siren I had rented for the job while listening to heavy-metal music. Andreas and the photo editor Rudi Ubelhor wanted me to keep things authentic and shoot everything from the perspective of the rescue swimmers or in some cases the survivor being rescued. They gave me so much support and creative freedom, telling me to just do my thing, keep it real and give the project some emotion. It’s so amazing to be supported like that and have creative freedom. It really pushes the work to a new level with that kind of support from the team at The Red Bulletin

Tell us about the spaces in between taking photographs.
Most of the space in between taking the photographs was spent trying to get the next photographs underway. I often think people have no idea how much hard work goes into just getting immersed in these phenomenal situations. It’s not easy convincing the Coast Guard to send two helicopters and a crew of 10 people into a storm to shoot photographs in high surf (good thing the Coast Guard trains so hard and loves their jobs so much).  The crew on the surf ops day had a total blast, most likely laughing at me “the photographer from LA,” doing donuts in the surf all afternoon. So, the space between was spent on working with the Coast Guard to get the next shot in place and then a little bit of sleep, eating bad food and drying out wet clothes and camera gear. That shoot just destroyed almost everything we had in terms of camera gear.

What are your thoughts on risk?
For the most part, I feel like the risks I take are pretty well calculated and reasonable. I spend a lot of time preparing for the more risky situations and often times they are in environments where I feel comfortable and have already spent a lot of time, most likely for personal activities or interests. I would say the things that worry me more than anything are the elements that are out of my control: the unpredictable behavior of wild animals and people, a catastrophic engine failure or environmental hazards like rock fall and avalanches. Those things, you can’t control and it could get bad quickly. Sometimes, there’s that space between hesitation and action, where you really need to keep your self in check and make a quick decision. In general, if I have any doubts about something being safe or not, I don’t do it. I also think that most bad things happen as a result of more than one bad decision, it’s generally a series of bad decisions that get you in trouble. I think safety is also very relative to your experience and comfort level in various situations. What seems risky to one person isn’t risky at all to another. The scariest thing I have done is gone shark diving without cages, but it was mainly because I was out of my comfort zone and not well educated in shark behavior. The shark scientist I was with thought it was a really mellow and fun day in the ocean playing with a few sharks. I was terrified! I am constantly humbled in my work every single day by the people I work with and the people I photograph. Everything is at such a high level so I am always trying to catch up with everyone; physically, mentally and creatively. It’s not exactly the easiest path, but it sure is fun!

What type of watermen skills do you have and why do you think the Red Bulletin picked you?
It’s funny, I don’t really consider myself to have “waterman skills”, I just like playing in the ocean and making cool photos. Real waterman are those big wave surfers that ride huge waves and free dive to unfathomable depths. To me the whole thing was fun,  none of us could believe we were working. There’s nothing like being out in the wild ocean, feeling all of that raw, natural power and getting tossed around with some like-minded individuals that enjoy the ride as much as you do.

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Any time survival is in a title surly that adds a thrill. I saw you were photographed with “Aviation Survival Technician’s”what was the hardest part of shooting rescue swimmers in high surf ops?
“Survival.” I don’t know how people survive normal life without doing cool stuff like this. All of the people I worked on thrips project really love their jobs and and work so well together as a team. Imagine going to work every day, training hard, flying over the beautiful Alaskan ocean and realizing you are doing all of it to save lives. That’s pretty meaningful for a day’s work. Most difficult part about this whole thing was almost not getting to do it. I would’ve been so disappointed if we didn’t get the big surf day and the bad weather that we really needed to tell the story well.

What advice do you have for anyone photographing high risk situations?
I would just say in a high-risk situation you want to be very competent in the environment you are operating in. It’s difficult enough to just be in certain environments like this or in the mountains,  you really want to feel comfortable, so being there is almost second nature. Adding the element of photography and all the equipment it requires, problem-solving on the fly creativity, makes for a big challenge but that’s what makes it so fun. I couldn’t image doing anything else but this path I am on and I feel so grateful for it everyday. To travel the world, meet interesting people, always learning, being humbled and challenged.

Here’s a behind the scenes video and some content showing what it was like out there for Justin.

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The Daily Edit – Gregg Segal: 7 Days of Garbage

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Gregg Segal and his family amongst their garbage.

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7 Days of Garbage

Photographer: Gregg Segal

Kickstarter Campaign:  Daily Bread

Heidi: What is your message with this series?
Gregg: The seed for 7 Days of Garbage is that I wanted to call attention to a problem (consumption, waste, excess, packaging) that most of us, including me, are/were oblivious to.
Even though there’s awareness about the problem, there’s a laziness to do anything about it.  You could say we’re all victims of comfort and convenience.

Where did your inspiration come from?
I figured if you’re laying in the garbage and packaging you generate in a week, you can’t ignore it. The pictures are meant to be a wake up call and to provoke action – or at least consciousness. In a way, the subject is both victim and perpetrator, which makes some audiences uncomfortable. We tend to expect issues to be black and white/good guys and bad guys, but in reality problems are more complex. Several years ago, People magazine assigned me to photograph Bea Johnson, who, with her family, produces virtually zero waste. One year’s worth of their garbage fit into a mason jar. Bea inspired me and was one of the seeds that led to my project.

Did you foresee Daily Bread as part of the 7 Days or Garbage? or was this more of an organic evolution?
Daily Bread sprang from 7 Days of Garbage; in the process of photographing people’s garbage, I began to look more deeply at food – what we’re eating and throwing away. Again, I’m calling attention to a cultural blindspot.

We know that eating processed foods loaded with salt, fat and sugar has serious consequences to our health – and that there’s truth in the old maxim, “you are what you eat” yet many of us have poor diets. We tend to put our faith in medicines that will make us better when we’re sick rather than going to the source of the problem. I chose to focus on kids because eating habits that form when we’re young last a lifetime. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Still, there are kids eating well both here and abroad and often indigenous cultures have healthier diets than we do here at home (simple whole foods & balanced meals prepared at home). My aim is to photograph children in other parts of the world surrounded by the foods they eat in a week – and I think the results will be inspiring and actionable; I plan to share recipes and menus with viewers, which will accompany the portraits in a book that is part social commentary, part public health initiative and part international cookbook.


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Is your travel funded by kickstarter alone?
The budget I created will allow me to shoot in two regions and cover the costs of travel, crew, and equipment – and all the food I’ll be photographing. The goal is to produce the first leg of the project thru kickstarter and have enough material to present to potential publishers.

How will you pick the children you are going to photograph; how will you find them?
I’m collaborating with Dr. Maya Adam, a Stanford professor whose on-line course, Child Nutrition and Cooking has drawn a quarter million students from around the world. We’ve reached out to her students (in 80 countries) inviting them to participate and have gotten a lot of interest! So, the next step is to cull and figure out which two regions to begin with.

What did this project teach you about yourself as a photographer? how about as a father/family man?
Shooting these projects has shown me that it’s possible to achieve social change through art without being pedantic! I think it’s key for the work to have a service component, which is why, with Daily Bread for instance, I plan to highlight diets that are balanced and healthy. I’m planning to photograph in parts of the world where you find longevity and unusually low rates of diabetes, heart disease, and many kinds of cancer.  With 7 Days of Garbage, I wanted it to be clear that we’re all in this together – and all of us are culpable on some level. I felt it was important for my son (7 at the time) to see that we’re part of the problem, so we lay down in our garbage, too. A few weeks later, Hank said, “soon the world will be covered with plastic bottles. They’ll have to make giant towers to keep all the plastic bottles in. Probably a tower to the moon. 1,000 years ago, there were no plastic bottles. There wasn’t even one plastic thing on Earth. Too bad, there sure are now!” My son’s comments showed me how he (and children in general) process their experiences; though at first they may not seem to get it, the seed is planted and germinating and when you don’t expect it, a light bulb is illuminated – which is why it is key to model well!

What are 3 simple things we can do to change our habits?

As a consumer (waste)

1) Compost – rather than toss food waste in the garbage, you can compost and add nutrient to your soil.
2) Buy products with as little packaging as possible. Even small changes make a difference. Instead of buying the package of pomegranate seeds, for instance, just buy the whole fruit. More work, but less to recycle. Recycling comes with an energy cost that you can help reduce.
3) Re-use whenever possible (try not to do use something once and then toss it – like a plastic cup for a drink of water). Better to bring your own water bottle with you.

As a consumer (food)

1) Eat something green every day (ideally you want a variety of colors on your plate).
2) Don’t eat anything that has a commercial – this may sound extreme, but if you think about it, foods that are nutritious aren’t made by a corporation. It’s the processed and packaged foods, loaded with additives – and salt, fat and sugar – that you want to avoid.
3) Prepare one meal a week with your kids. Find a recipe for a dish they like and prepare it together. Hopefully, they’ll take an interest, begin to develop their palate and next thing you know, you may have a burgeoning chef!

Have you made any of these changes to your shoots that call for catering? Those are notoriously wasteful.
Yes, they are – especially those cases of bottled water. The last couple shoots I’ve done with larger crews I’ve brought gallon jugs of water and asked crew to bring their re-usable containers – still have plastic bottles – but less of them.
I often end up being the producer on my shoots and if I cater, I ask for paper plates (biodegradable) rather than the dreaded plastic – or worse, styrofoam, which takes like a million years to decompose!

When you were shooting the garbage, did they clean out the containers? 
Yes, some people washed their garbage before showing up to be photographed.
One guy even washed his eggshells! Some cut corners and didn’t show up with the really stinky stuff.
Others included everything. I had an assistant who very nearly passed out when catching a whiff of liquid leftovers that appeared at first glance t0 be milkshake but which smelled like rotting chicken! One family called to cancel mid week; they had been saving their Chinese leftovers and the husband couldn’t stand the smell any longer. I suggested they just put their trash in the garbage and bring on shoot day, but they had already lost their initial enthusiasm for the shoot.

What were some of the most striking comments from the subjects?
In general, most were taken back by how much packaging was in their weekly trash. Some (subjects and viewers) were curious why I asked them to include recyclables since they weren’t being thrown away. I explained that I was
1) calling attention to how much excess packaging we unwittingly
consume
2) recycling has a cost; trucking it to a plant, melting it down, reconfiguring it, trucking it somewhere else in its new incarnation
3) Many of the things we think of as recyclable, really aren’t. For instance, most people assume pizza boxes are recyclable and, in and of themselves, they are, but when they’re soiled with grease and cheese, the paper is contaminated and can’t be effectively recycled (paper fibers won’t separate from oils during the pulping process).

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