Category "The Daily Edit"

The Daily Edit – Fortune: Michael Clinard

- - The Daily Edit







Creative Director: Paul Martinez
Director of Photography: Mia Diehl
Photo Editors: Armin Harris, Michele Taylor
Art Directors: Mike Solita, Peter Herbert, Josue Evilla, Christine Bower-Wright
Retouching and Post-Production: Zach Vitale
Photographer: Michael Clinard

Heidi: How did this come about?
Michael: I met the assigning photo editor, Armin Harris, six years ago at a portfolio event in Manhattan. It took that long to get an email back in May from him asking as to my interest in shooting a feature for their annual 500 issue on Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie and the cloud services division he oversees.

Did you pitch the 500 cover idea or did you have the assignment and the magazine wanted to see what you could come up with?
Neither. Having already shot the portrait component a week earlier at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, I wasn’t really thinking a server room could be jazzed up all that much because it’s kind of ”blah” subject matter. I’m typically sketching before shoots, but I didn’t know the server facility was being considered for the cover until Armin gave me an “extra credit” assignment the evening before leaving for Quincy, Washington.

Because the magazine publishes what they call under covers — takeoffs on a Fortune 500 cover highlighting other companies featured in the list — he asked I look for details that I could later recontextualize in post. To this end, I thought the best I’d do is some retro-futuristic version of the numeral in glowing, server lights or big, puffy clouds to play on the cloud storage idea.


Did you have to get any special clearance to get inside this room to shoot?
Absolutely, NDAs and special concessions were being shared in the week leading up to the Quincy shoot. Additionally, I was asked to drastically reduce the amount of gear and flash units I’d typically bring in, so I got my kit down to a few heads, some niche grip items and Hasselblad’s tilt shift adapter because there were specific elements (clouds, cords, blinking lights) that I wanted to utilize to help tell this story.

Did they disable the servers?
Ha ha! No, I wish we’d been given the time to create the image fully in-camera, but I only had a couple hours to shoot multiple locations. I should note that I was given a folder of scouting pics to study before the shoot, so the only big allowance was that I was given a ten minute window to shoot in complete darkness to create the long-exposure image that opened the article.
This blue and green image was created in-camera?
Yes, it’s a 16 second exposure balanced with off-camera strobe. It is the style and direction I’d intended to take the cover since laying the number 500 in the shadows of the composition seemed doable. It was imperative I left the facility with enough image assets to create the final cover magic conjured in my sketches.


Was there a discussion about which typeface the number 500 would take?
Yes, font and typeface was very important. At one point, we entertained a big loopy five, but Armin shared a number of Fortune 500 covers throughout the years to help the entire team hone in on the best direction. In the end, we enjoyed the idea that the viewer might need do a double take to notice anything out of the ordinary, so our representation method mimicked the orderly presentation of wires and cables already evident on the server arrays.

How long did it take to create the final cover composite once the direction was chosen?
With retouching by Zach Vitale and under the esteemed direction of Mr. Harris, we delivered the final composite in a few days. A tremendous honor and privilege to execute, the image ran as both the international cover and national TOC page back in mid-June.

The Daily Edit – National Geographic Magazine: Ami Vitale

- - The Daily Edit

Please read the entire story here.

Photograph by Ami Vitale Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a wild enclosure at a conservation center in Wolong Nature Reserve. Her name, whose characters represent Japan and China, celebrates the friendship between the two nations. Ye Ye’s cub Hua Yan (Pretty Girl) is being trained for release into the wild.

Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a wild enclosure at a conservation center in Wolong Nature Reserve. Her name, whose characters represent Japan and China, celebrates the friendship between the two nations. Ye Ye’s cub Hua Yan (Pretty Girl) is being trained for release into the wild. © Ami Vitale / National Geographic

Photograph by Ami Vitale Zhang Hemin—“Papa Panda” to his staff—poses with cubs born in 2015 at Bifengxia Panda Base. “Some local people say giant pandas have magic powers,” says Zhang, who directs many of China’s panda conservation efforts. “To me, they simply represent beauty and peace.

Zhang Hemin—“Papa Panda” to his staff—poses with cubs born in 2015 at Bifengxia Panda Base. “Some local people say giant pandas have magic powers,” says Zhang, who directs many of China’s panda conservation efforts. “To me, they simply represent beauty and peace.” © Ami Vitale / National Geographic

Photography by Ami Vitale Is a panda cub fooled by a panda suit? That’s the hope at Wolong’s Hetaoping center, where captive-bred bears training for life in the wild are kept relatively sheltered from human contact, even during a rare hands-on checkup.

Is a panda cub fooled by a panda suit? That’s the hope at Wolong’s Hetaoping center, where captive-bred bears training for life in the wild are kept relatively sheltered from human contact, even during a rare hands-on checkup. © Ami Vitale / National Geographic

Photograph by Ami Vitale Wolong Reserve keepers transport Hua Jiao (Delicate Beauty) for a health check before she nishes “wild training.” The habitat also protects red pandas, pheasant, tufted deer, and other species that bene t from giant panda conservation.

Wolong Reserve keepers transport Hua Jiao (Delicate Beauty) for a health check before she nishes “wild training.” The habitat also protects red pandas, pheasant, tufted deer, and other species that bene t from giant panda conservation. © Ami Vitale / National Geographic

Photograph by Ami Vitale In a large forested enclosure of the Wolong Reserve, panda keepers Ma Li and Liu Xiaoqiang listen for radio signals from a collared panda training to be released to the wild. Tracking can tell them how the cub is faring in the rougher terrain up the mountain.

In a large forested enclosure of the Wolong Reserve, panda keepers Ma Li and Liu Xiaoqiang listen for radio signals from a collared panda training to be released to the wild. Tracking can tell them how the cub is faring in the rougher terrain up the mountain. © Ami Vitale / National Geographic



National Geographic Magazine

Director of Photography: Sarah Leen
Creative Director: 
Emmett Smith
Print Designer: 
Hannah Tak
Photo Editor: 
Sadie Quarrier 
Photographer: Ami Vitale

Heidi: How did you find yourself shooting people in panda suits raising captive babies at the Wolong center of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda?
Ami: I was part of a film team that came in 2013 for PBS/NatGeo production. Realized what an extraordinary story this was and pitched it to National Geographic Magazine once I got access to it.

Were there any unique challenges and how did you overcome them?
Many challenges. First, I had to pitch a story and convince editors that I could make it unique and different from what was already done. They had published a story on pandas about 7 or 8 years earlier so my job was figuring out what would be special about this story. Also, these are tiny, fragile creatures and the keepers were quite stressed about their health and safety. I had to work around these concerns and was not allowed to use flash so there were technical issues that needed to be solved including flickering fluorescent lights. It means you have to shoot at 30th of a second to avoid having lines going through every image. Pandas make quick rapid movements so coming away with a sharp and compelling image was harder than it might seem. Plus they are solitary creatures who like to hide in the thick bamboo or high up in the treetops when they are young.

I understood from reading the story that bears being trained to live in the semi wild must not get used seeing humans. Did you wear a panda suit too?
Yes! of course. the best part!

What did it smell like, the suit? 
They scent the panda suits with urine but wasn’t too bad because pandas are mostly vegetarian. They smelled more like wet puppies or bamboo.


You’ve had a wide range of experiences, how did this one strike or move you as a photographer?
I was constantly thinking how incredibly privileged it was to be there!! Still can’t believe it and miss them every day!

In your motion work on this piece, Papa Panda describes falling in love with the baby panda’s as if they were your own children, did you share that same sentiment of falling in love?
How can you not fall in love with them. I died of cuteness overload many times over.

How long were you there?
5 visits over the course of 3 years.

Did you have to get any special shots to spend time with the pandas?
No special shots but we were careful, especially around baby pandas. We wore masks, disinfected hands and shoes every time entering new space.

The Daily Edit – Grayson Schaffer

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Grayson Schaffer:  Partner Talweg Creative/ Outside Magazine Editor at Large / Photographer

Heidi: Tell us about your transition from photography to cinematography and what are your thoughts overall about that for photographers?
Grayson: We’re at a point in time where a lot of still photographers are becoming directors. Sometimes that just means buying a Red camera and hanging up a shingle. Sometimes still photographers have clients who are asking for motion as part of a project. From an image-making perspective, motion isn’t that difficult. There are some frame rate and shutter angle considerations that you don’t have to deal with in still photography, but at the end of the day, a frame is still a frame. The hard part is having something to say. And for that, more photographers need to be leaning heavily on their writer friends to figure out what the film is going to be about before you get out there. We see it again and again where competent still photographers—many of whom have sizable Instagram followings and interpret that as a sign from the universe that whatever they do is great—just end up with a series of pretty but disjointed images. We all make crappy movies or write crappy stories from time to time, but you can minimize that if you lean on your talented friends and assume they’re smarter than you.

What made you take to the leap from producing editorial content to producing advertorial or native advertising? 
My personal goal is just to find and report on interesting people. At Outside magazine, that mostly involves finding great characters who are at an inflection point in their lives or careers. It wasn’t until raw cinema camera technology reached the point where we felt like we could get our ideas out onto the screen that we decided we had something to say. At the same time, brands have realized how important stories are. So in a lot of ways the ad world came to us rather than the reverse.

One would think you’d have less control, is that true?
One of the mistakes I see filmmakers make again and again is in sending their work out for criticism and then completely ignoring that criticism either because they’re tired from getting all the way to a rough cut or because they can’t put themselves in their viewer’s shoes to see that the work is missing basic clarity or is overly self-indulgent or precious. Working at a magazine doesn’t give you more control, it just means you get your ass kicked by editors instead of a client. Either way you can’t ignore the feedback. After a few years of it, you realize that they’re trying to fix actual problems and not just make your life miserable. Once you get to the point where your default position is to believe the criticism rather than immediately defend against it, then you’re actually in a place to push back. But, yeah, sometimes commercial clients will sacrifice the story in order to obey the data, stay on message, or avoid getting too real. It’s one reason that the word documentary should be reserved for actual documentaries. That’s gotta stay sacred. Films by brand ambassadors about other brand ambassadors can be amazing to watch. Some of them can even be true and accurate. But I still haven’t come across a brand that has editorial guidelines, fact checkers, or a public editor.

How long has your Talweg been in business and how much have you grown since inception? 
About a year and a half ago, Ryan Heffernan and I had the opportunity to move from production work into being a full-service ad agency. We’ve got a Jedi media planner who’s a real millennial whisperer and a couple of account managers who are super sharp. That core team has allowed us to service clients like New Mexico Tourism and other state agencies. We’ve also been doing work for Yeti coolers and a number of other clients in and out of the outdoor space.

Yeti  has been very successful in getting so much coverage for their brand, what do you attribute this to?
The word storytelling has been getting thrown around a lot lately. There was that great rant by an Austrian designer recently about how that term gets misused.

If you’ve been watching social media, you’d think storytelling was anything where somebody reads poetry in an affected voice while slow motion pictures roll by. But Yeti actually gets it. They find filmmakers they believe in. We all work together to pick characters we believe in, regardless of whether they have any affiliation to Yeti or not. And then we all roll the dice. The very first film in the series was one we did in the Grand Canyon last May called In Current

Our plan was to bring models down the Canyon and have them be “trainees” who were learning the ropes. But about five hours into day one of the trip, we realized that there were actual baggage boatmen who’d been cutting their teeth for years trying to get a shot at rowing a dory. We immediately pivoted to focus on this amazing woman Amber Shannon and were lucky enough to have a client—Yeti’s marketing director was with us on the trip—who didn’t hesitate to go with what was real over what was storyboarded. That project laid the groundwork for the Yeti Presents series, which has been a huge success.

What sort of notes can other companies take from Yeti’s playbook in your eyes?
Some agency types have since told us that the branding is way too subtle in these films for their clients’ tastes. Others have told us they’re perfect. We believe that the most important thing is making a film that people want to watch, not one that requires a huge media spend to get eyeballs on it. If I had to chalk up Yeti’s success with these films to one thing it’s that they’re willing to fail. They assign dozens of these 5-7 minute shorts. They don’t all work out. But the ones that do more than make up for the ones that fall short.

The most important thing for a client who wants to get into storytelling (actual storytelling) is to relax their guardrails and trust the process. This is what doc directors, reporters, and editorial photographers have always done. It doesn’t always work out like you planned it but it always works out somehow. In our REI short film Fast Forward, ultra-distance cyclist Lael Wilcox, who was trying to break the record for the Arizona Trail, came down with a respiratory problem only 36 hours into her ride. The record attempt was a disaster, but you ended up believing in her as a character. And that was more important than success.

How do you manage working at a magazine and then working for advertisers at the same time?
I’ve been an editor at large for Outside since April. So I’m not on staff at Outside anymore. Finding time to write and shoot and make movies comes down to working with a great team at Talweg, great editors at Outside, and only swinging at fastballs over the plate.

The Daily Edit – AFAR: Celine Clanet

- - The Daily Edit






Director of Photography: Tara Guertin
Art Director: Jason Seldon
Associate Photo Editor: Alex Palomino
Photographer: Celine Clanet

Heidi: I read that Creuset translates to cauldron or crucible. In this image the iron is heated  5,184°F (2,862°C) how close could you get to the iron before the heat became too much to bear?
Celine: Well, pretty close actually, but not for too long, that was the thing.

Did you wear special clothing and did it affect your gear?
I just wore regular safety equipment (shoes, glasses). It didn’t affect my gear, but there was just some black dust covering it, covering all of us actually.

How many days did you spend at the factory?
Two full days.

How long did you spend at each assembly line station?
It depended on the visual interest of each one. I remember spending much time on the sanding line: the guys – it’s a guys-only line – were wearing special breathing helmets, moving like robots, grabbing pots, sanding and throwing them out in a beautiful collective ballet. The industrial world is such a ballet.

When you were developing the narrative arc of the story, how did you keep track of big sweeping environmentals, portraits and tight shots to make for a dynamic story?
You have to think of every details that will make the viewer feel the experience of a place, which is basically the point of a magazine assignment. Photography is limited: no sounds, smells, nor movements, therefore every detail possible matters, and I just have this in mind when I shoot. I always try to step back, and ask myself what did I miss to shoot in what I see right now?

Did you review the shoot and then go back to visit anything you feel you may have missed?
No, two days were enough to stick to Afar’s expectations for this assignment.

Which part of the factory drew you in as a photographer?
The foundry. It was such a show.

How did this story come about? Did you pitch this idea to the magazine?
No, they thought of me first, as I do a lot of industrial photographic assignments, outside of my personal work and other kind of assignments.








The Daily Edit – ESPN: Zachary Bako

- - The Daily Edit

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Creative Director ESPN Print & Digital: Chin Wang
Director of Photography: Karen Frank
Senior Photo Editor: Kristine LaManna
Associate Art Director: Linda Pouder
Photographer: Zachary Bako

Heidi: Was this originally a studio shoot which transformed into a roof top option?
Zachary: This was a two-day shoot in Los Angeles. On the first day, we captured the Bennett Brothers working out in Hollywood at Jay Glazer’s Unbreakable Performance Center. Followed by lunch at Stir Market then at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios where Martellus is creating a stop-motion television show. The second day we were at DSR Studios in DTLA, where the rooftop image was created.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine for this section and how many different set ups were you asked to provide?
Kristine placed emphasis on the roof option. Finding a real moment between Michael and Martellus. This would be the most important option for the magazine. I was asked to do a grey seamless and a roof option.

How much time did you have with them?
ESPN’s E:60 film crew was with us for the two days conducting interviews so once they wrapped their set, I was given five minutes as they made camera changes to capture what I needed.
Michael had a meeting across town when the outdoor option had to be shot, so time was extremely limited for this setup.
Initially, the plan was to have them for an hour and a half to shoot singles and doubles on a black and grey set then head to the roof for an outdoor option. In the end, we were given five minutes here and there throughout the day with Michael and Martellus to cover what we needed.

Was it hard to shoot on such a severe slant?
No, it was not. I have been known to hang out of passenger side windows of moving cars to get the shot. This slant was pretty easy.

Did you have them crouching because they were different heights or it just naturally unfolded that way?
It was through direction. When I ran up the slant, I started to slip and my assistant pushed my shoulder into the roof to hold me in place. Martellus commented that my crew really did have my back. We all had a laugh and that is when this image was captured.

Congratulations, I see you have consistency in your “Awards,” can you share your submissions with us for 2016?
Thank you. American Photography is always beautifully curated, here is what I submitted for AP 33.

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The Daily Edit: Tiny Atlas Update

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bag_11Tiny Atlas Quarterly

Founder/Creative Director: Emily Nathan
Photo Editor: Deb Hearey
Executive Editor: Jennifer Rodrigue.
Recent rebrand (new logo and Solas logo/branding): Mark Sloan who is also Director of Design at Chiat Day


Heidi: We know you are looking into different ways to support Tiny Atlas moving forward. If you were to start your business plan over, what would you have done differently?
Emily: Tiny Atlas is always evolving — we are constantly trying out different ways to bring revenue in. Our team is steeped in creative energy, so the challenge is the business side of TAQ – creating revenue and managing operations. Maybe I should have gone to B-school for an MBA? That would have helped! All joking aside, I’m not sure that we would do anything differently but we would definitely like to expand our relationships and find more like minded brands or entities that are a natural fit and make good partners. When we integrate well fitting partners, it’s very organic and helps the brand thrive versus being too commercial.  We’ve worked with travel destinations, properties, art galleries, art and craft fairs, and fashion brands.  Having more of these relationships to help underwrite the cost of printing another annual is something that would be very positive for us. In addition to the Solas bag with Alite Designs, we have recently teamed up with AllSwell Creative and Earth Missions to create our first  Tiny Atlas Adventure trips. We’re heading to Tofino, BC (October 6 -11 , 2016) and Tahiti (November 9 – 15) with local guides and the promise of lots of photo training opportunities and lots of water.  Not just for surfers, we’ve planned these for anyone who loves the ocean and arts, all levels are welcome.  Since TAQ is all about experience of place, we want to connect with like minded folks off our of screens, in real life, and are really looking forward to these trips.  We’d love to have a few “aphotoeditor” readers join us.
How did the bag idea come about and how did you determine your money goals?
Tae Kim of Alite Designs graciously designed a limited edition bag as a reward for TAQ’s first Kickstarter campaign we held to help fund the printed annual we published in 2013.  The bag was a great success, so we started talking about collaborating on another one. Since a good camera bag is hard to find, we focused on fulfilling that need. The revenue goal for the Solas Kickstarter has been to keep it low and reach it early, which we did.  This means, we will definitely be making the bag – yay! but the more pre-orders we receive, the less expensive the manufacturing becomes. This is important because we’re trying to generate a little profit in order to help move forward as a whole. At this point, it’s challenging to stay ahead of operating expenses, and we’re hoping to reach more people interested in supporting our campaign. If anyone is interested in Tiny Atlas, now is the time to express it!
Was your goal to create a stylish camera bag ?
Yes! Today, so many women are photographers and when you around, most bags are heavy, bulky and masculine.  Solas isn’t just for women but it’s designed with style (simple, easy) and comfort in mind.
What is the concept behind this particular bag and what makes it so different?
The idea was to make a bag we love that also hold a camera. No photographers I know love their camera bags. They put them in a corner and take them out when they need to. When they go out for the day, and don’t want to bring a camera bag, most people just defer to their phones now. Camera bags usually hold some very small non-pro something, or they are huge, bulky, and heavy to start with (or all of the above). We wanted to make something that was lightweight to begin with (since cameras add a lot of weight) but that would just carry what we really needed, which is one DSLR with a lens on it, and a second lens. That is it. Except then there are the things that go with your camera and your life for example, a laptop or a sweater. We designed Solas with the essentials in mind.  We made the right number of zippered pockets, and some padded zipper pockets for your phone and sunglasses or filters, a key leash, and a protective sleeve to store a laptop. I have been beta testing these bags with friends for a year and they’ve helped with R&D — we think we have the perfect balance of lightweight, durable and safely holds the gear we really need. [When I go to the airport, my id goes in the little zippered phone pocket on top, my laptop slips easily out and the camera stays safe in the integrated foam compartment at the base of the bag. If I have a bulky sweater, I use the leather buckle to expand the top section of the bag. ]
How did the relationship develop with Atlite Designs and why them?
When we created our first Kickstarter, Alite backed the project to support us because they liked what we were up to. Afterwards we connected with them to see if there was a project to collaborate on or some such. We put together our first #mytinyatlas show, #lovemytinyatlas, at their shop in the Mission, at the Alite Outpost. The call for entries was a wild success. Tae Kim, the founder of Alite, asked up if we wanted to make a  limited edition bag for the opening. We said, hell yes! Tae designed a really lovely bag, and my sister, Amy Nathan, who is a painter and illustrator, made a special print just for the bag, it was a great success.  Next, somehow, Tae and I started to talk about a  camera bag. We brought in photographers and went through a design process around how they carried their cameras and any issues they had. Then we made prototypes and tested them. I brought different prototypes on shoots with additional photographers to Baja, Hawaii, all over the US and Macao. Finally, we worked on color and the fabric. We wanted something natural and beautiful, but as light as possible.
Along with the online show you are having a show you have another show coming up next Thursday  Sept. 15th from 6-8pm as a preview for the new Independent Art Book Fair in Greenpoint. What are you goals for this and how do you see that supporting the magazine financially?
The September 15th show is bringing the #mytinyatlasSOLAS selections I made alongside curator Cory Jacobs to New York City. NYC has the largest percentage of the @tinyatlasquarterly Instagram community is the world (likely thanks to some nice early support from Design Sponge and Refinery 29 – thanks to both!) and we have not had a show in the city yet. I wanted to bring the beautiful work to the community that supports us. In addition, we will have the bags on hand so people can check them out in person before buying them online. The new fair has an incredible array of independent artists works, as well, so we are hoping to connect both our magazine and our bag with such a perfect audience.
#mytinyatlas has over 1.7 million posts, why do you think it has become viral?
I think #mytinyatlas became viral for a few reasons. One, it is a good name, and easy to write. Two, Tiny Atlas has not really been a commercial venture, so people felt comfortable adding our tag to their personal lives. The mission of the magazine (as a commercial endeavor) as well is to highlight personal stories. Tiny Atlas has a different perspective. We are not principally sharing images that look like postcards, or perceived “perfect” shots. We are looking for unique moments, and personal vision, just like in the magazine. The other reason is because I edit the tag. I am not an inexperienced starter employee, I’m an experienced photographer and editor which helps.


@aquinnm Allison Quinn McCarthy


@aquinnm Allison Quinn McCarthy

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 Kevin Mao @k_mao


@mafyno Maria Fynsk Norup


@moneal Michael O’Neal


@potatopanda Tanya Doan


@saltywings photographer @micgoetze Michael Goetze


@twheat Tyson Wheatley

Your online show had 9K submissions. How did you go about photo editing that and how did you manage all that imagery?
It takes a lot of time; I look through them all and select the ones that resonate most. Then, I take screenshot and then upload the screenshots to a web gallery. We have tried ways to facilitate this online and there are not any tools that are faster than scrolling directly on instagram or on iconosquare and  taking screenshots. Then editing in Bridge. Adobe Creative Cloud is useful as well.

The Daily Edit – Josh Schadel: Good Magazine

- - The Daily Edit

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Good Magazine

Art Director:  Tyler Hoehne
Managing Editor: Caroline Pham
Photographer: Joshua Schaedel


Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Josh: Art Director Tyler Hoehne, the writer Stacey Leasca and myself talked a little about the direction of the piece and the type of emotion that was needed conceptually. Luckily, I have worked with Tyler on a few assignments before; he mentioned certain pictures that I had made in the past for Good, and how to pull some of those moments into this project. The communication was great so I had a pretty good idea what I was after prior to arriving on site.

Did you pitch them this story or was it assigned?
No the assignment was based on the writer Stacey Leasca’s story that she pitched to the magazine after doing a related story on the female prison that is located directly across the street from the men’s facility. Stacey wrote, “The existence of a cosmetology school inside of Valley State Prison is a coincidence of history. The program launched in the mid-‘90s when Valley State opened as a women’s facility. … In 2011, the Public Safety Realignment Act enabled the early release of thousands of low-level offenders across the state. Many of these offenders were women and the decision was made to convert the under populated facility to house men. When these inmates arrived, the California Department of corrections and Rehabilitation chose to maintain the cosmetology program. It currently boasts a near-100 percent graduation rate—one of the highest of any prison education program in the country.”

Did you send promos to the art/photo director?  How did you meet Tyler and how did your creative relationship develop?
No, Tyler came to my studio in Pasadena to hang out with my studio mate and business partner Ben Sanders. We ended up talked a little bit about our photo-illustration business “Those People” and I think he eventually hired us to shoot a food related concept for Good Magazine. Tyler was on set that entire shoot and played with props and lights with us. We really had fun and hit it off. A couple of months later he reached out and said he had a cool assignment that he thought my documentary style would fit for. I had such a great experience on that next assignment and myself and everyone involved just hit it off. After that, Tyler just continued to send me on really interesting assignments.

How many days were you at the prison?
I just went in for a single day. Stacey and myself were allowed in after the inmates were settled in for the day at the Cosmetology school. We went through a normal day of their routine and then just before their day was over we had to go back. In all, I think we spent about five hours with the guys.

Were you able to interact with the inmates without supervision?
There was a Lieutenant that escorted us around but for the most part but once we were in the class we were allowed to walk around the salon pretty freely. If I am correct, to be in this particular program most of the men are exceptionally well behaved. From my perspective, everyone that I met in the cosmetology school really wanted to be there and I never once felt like I wasn’t in a salon.

Were you able to connect enough with the inmates to ask why they pursued this?
I definitely was able to connect with some of them. I have even received a few letters from a couple of the guys that I met. I never really asked them that specific question but for the most part the guys that I talked to said that their ambitions were to take the skills that they learned while they were in this program and find a job. One guys told me, “ It doesn’t matter what you did as long as you make a proper cut.” Some of the guys told me that they had dreams of opening their own Barbershops and Salons when they got out. One gentleman told me that his biggest goal was to get out and cut his daughter’s hair, that one really stuck with me the most.

At any time on this project did your mind ever wander to thinking about why crimes they committed?
During the time I was there I definitely thought about all the stupid things I have done in the past and how lucky I wasn’t on the other side of the lens. I was cornered by a guy on the street, and in defense, I got in a stupid fight near my apartment in Hollywood. I beat the guy so bad I thought I might have well,  don’t even want to say. I waited with bloody hands for hours for the police to come get me but they never did. I went down stairs and it was like nothing had happened. No cars, no cops, no guy, nothing. It was a big wake up call, I got help for my issues, and it changed the entire course of my life for the positive. I have only told a few close friends that story but it was essential for me while shooting this assignment. I went into the assignment knowing I was no better than them and I think they somehow knew that.

I know you are a recent Art Center Grad and have had success with your personal work as well, tell us about your publishing company.
Well, the publishing company, The Fulcrum Press, grew out of my relationship with my business partner Rebecca King. I met Rebecca King after she moved back to LA after graduating from SVA in New York. We hit it off pretty quickly and we started working on a series of publications for a few art shows that I had. It has really become a labor of love, not a day goes by that I don’t think about our publishing company and all the decisions that we are making.

I really love it and love the people that we are working with. We are luck enough to have some really good friends over at The Ice Plant who has really helped us out a lot. Right now, we are pretty excited about the two publications that we are working on and are trying to finish up before the end of 2016.We are not really rushing anything and are just taking our time and enjoying the process of collaborating with our friends, making cool publications that we emotionally and conceptually are attached to. I’m  really fortunate to have such an amazing, like-minded business partner in Rebecca King.

What has been the biggest surprise for you after graduating in terms of commercializing your images?
Ha-ha, that I know nothing. You can only learn so much in school and no matter how much you work on your craft the only way to see what works for you is just trying different things outside your comfort zone. For me the biggest surprise that I learned is how much I really love collaborating with so many different kinds of people. It may sound cheesy but it’s true; it is all about the people that you work with that determines how your day is going to go and how good the images are going to turn out. Good collaborations makes photography so enjoyable. In addition to that, how much you need a good set of friends who will help you along your way. Everyone needs help and having other good friends in the photo industry is such a valuable asset.When a client asks you a question and you can turn to a friend who has been there and they can give you sound advice that makes all the difference in the world. I was really surprised by how many unexpected people really helped me out and supported me and it has motivated me to do the same and pay it forward.

Was there anything that you wish your education prepared you for?
This is hard question for me because I really have no complaints now that I have some distance and perspective. I think every school is different and they have their strengths and weaknesses. I felt like I got a great education at Art Center. I was lucky because I had to paint houses for extra money all the way through school and because of that most of my teachers went out of their way to help me. I still maintain very close relationships with some really great teachers who I still turn to for advice. It’s funny, now that I am teacher, I am asking all of them for teaching advice.

I personally don’t think you are really ever prepared enough till you have to make real life decisions. Balancing life and work and art is difficult after school and getting over that hump and transitioning into a professional practice from an educational practice is tough and you have to learn to forgive yourself for making mistakes. It takes time, which seems like is different for everyone. It’s just one of those things where you have to find your own way of doing things that makes you happy and just don’t stop making pictures. How you act and how you treat people while you are in school will dictate most of your young professional life. It is kind of silly but I wish someone had said that to me.

I think I got really fortunate; I was lucky to have some really great teachers/ mentors while I was going there. I made a lot of really good life-long friends and I don’t know where I would be without the relationships that I made while I was in school. To be honest, nearly every opportunity that has come my way has been a direct connection through some friendship that I made while I was in school. Anything I didn’t learn from my teachers I learned from my friends. Hindsight is always 20/20 but I really can’t complain, I am really happy these days.


To see some more of Josh’s work, 
NowSpace is presenting YIELD, a joint exhibition by Josh Schaedel + Aaron Farley  both are artist in residence there.

The Daily Edit – Foot Wear News: Annie Tritt

- - The Daily Edit

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Foot Wear News

Fashion Direction: Mosha Lundtrom
Fashion Assistant: Christian Allaire
Production: Emily Taylor
Social Editor: Nikara Johns
Assistant: Perry Flowers
Photographer: Annie Tritt

How did you get connected with them?
I originally got connected with them when I was on a shoot for Variety. They share the same photo studio in NY. I was shooting the director of Hamilton which was a really fun shoot and Emily was there to help me. She’s really awesome, we just connected so well; she then introduced me to Mosha and they asked me a few weeks later if I wanted to do the shoot (which I said immediately yes to).

Was this your first assignment with them?
Yes, this was my first assignment with them. We discussed as I said beforehand and had an idea of what we wanted. They were with me on the shoot so we could discuss during what direction to take and what was working especially with the big crowd. I like to work collaboratively and so this worked very well for me. I don’t get to do a lot of fashion so this was really fun.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Mosha and Emily were really great,  we shared ideas back-and-forth. Because I was shooting for the few days before they went out and did some scouting shots and then I did some the day of the shoot, it worked out well. The team is a great team so that made it a joy to do. They originally wanted something softer and more lifestyle But I thought given who the subject was a more “poppy” fun shoot would be better and they agreed. The locations they picked were amazing and I added the lion into the mix.

Were his fans an issue since you were on location and how many days was this?
We had to get a lot done in a day and so I had to work fast. We were also shooting midtown near Grand  Central and the Public Library and there were a ton of crowds around. He bought a big crew with him so every time I shot I was surrounded by a huge crowd of people. He also was SnapChatting during the whole shoot, which with his back to me which may have been the most challenging part. Wale was game to do a lot of things so that made the shoot fun.

The Daily Edit – The New York Times Magazine: Christopher Anderson

- - The Daily Edit

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The New York Times Magazine

Design Director:
Gail Bichler
Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan
Art Director: Matt Willey
Deputy Art Director: Jason Sfetko
Designers: Frank Augugliaro, Ben Grandgenett, Chloe Scheffe
Associate Photo Editors: Stacey Baker, Amy Kellner, Christine Walsh
Photographer: Christopher Anderson

Heidi: Arguably one of the most stunning covers of the year, what set this particular portrait session apart for you?
Christopher: Well, there is always a different dynamic when the subject is so aware of what is happening in a portrait session. Celebrities are aware of their image, but Chuck is very aware of what you’re doing while making that image.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine and was that amazing composition part of the plan all along?
There wasn’t so much direction other than some of the basics we needed to cover such as room for type etc.  I have a long working relationship with the magazine, so I understand a bit about what their expectations are. Mostly we both knew that we wanted something that felt very intimate

When you shot that image, did you know right away, this is the one? or are there other jewels we didn’t get to see?
There are several images that I like from the shoot, but I knew this is the one I was looking for. There is a slightly different version that I like better purely as a photograph but I understand why this particular one is a better cover. You can see the other one on my instagram and the opener they used was a different image than the cover.

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Were you aware of the subtle type treatment for the cover line going into this project?
No, that came about after the fact. Designer Matt Willey is fantastic

How long did the session take? and in a word, describe the vibe.
I photographed him on a couple of different occasions for this piece, but this sitting was specifically for the portrait. I don’t really remember how long it was, it was a relaxed Sunday afternoon. We did other things like drink coffee and make pictures of his kids and grandchildren. He was under the weather with a cold, so he got a little tired at some point. We took a break to have a coffee and I even think he went to lunch, if I remember correctly.

What did you learn about yourself while shooting this project?
I think when I make a picture that I really like it helps me to better understand what it is I am seeing, what kind of image I make. It is a process.

What type of conversation was happening on set between you two? Did you direct him at all?
We talked about a lot of things, but when we were shooting, we weren’t talking much. I was directing him, but this particular frame, he broke from my direction to look up at me. That spontaneity made the image.

The Daily Edit – Bonded by Bikes

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Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 7.11.24 PMDarren Hauck

Milwaukee public schools
NICA mountain bike series

Heidi: How often do you ride and do you race cyclocross?
Darren: Cycling is a huge part of my life and when I am home I tend to ride around at least 5-6 days a week typically. I live in the midwest so I ride until there is snow on the ground or it dips below the low 20’s outside for the most part, then I ride on a compu-trainer in the basement. I just started racing cyclocross a few years back on and off for a local team where I live, it has been a blast when I am not suffering so bad I can’t see straight.
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How was you being a rider helped you be a better witness of the sport? and in turn take better images? 
I think like anything, be it sport or a specific interest, you are deeply involved and part of the scene and this helps you know what is going on and better try to predict what is happening or is going to happen. Just being in the same place mentally and knowing physically how they feel as what you are shooting helps you get in a better position and feel out what might happen next. Also I think being involved in it lets you explore how to photograph something differently because you have shot the typical image so many times before you feel more free to take chances and look for something different. Also it’s easy to relate to the subjects and just blend in and hopefully get images without being in the way.
What are your hopes for this body of work?
Well for one I did this work with no real intentions other than I could give the pictures to the group to help raise awareness and gather more support to help expand the team and get more kids involved. Beyond that I also shot it just for myself to photograph something I love and just have fun, no restrictions or end goals just shoot and see what happens. Its been a lot of fun and I will shoot some more this fall of the team to see some of the kids from last year and some of the new kids who joined over the summer. After all, shooting for the joy of just taking great pictures is why most people got into photography.
What have been the rewards of this personal project?
The rewards I have gotten so far is just seeing these kids who some have never really ridden a bike get together with others and just enjoy  being outside having a blast. I heard so many times after a race when asked how it went and many of the kids would all say “oh man that was so hard I was suffering so bad I did not think i could finish”. Then they would pause and all say the same thing, “that was awesome can we do it again?!!” That enthusiasm is contagious and just makes you want to keep charging along and remember in life you just have to have fun and keep moving forward.
Are you planning on trying to commercialize these images? 
Now that I have made a promo and gotten some real positive response from the images I am trying to use this to reach out to potential new clients and show them some fresh work that has a positive feel to it. I think most people can relate to this project even if they do not ride bikes, it has a great universal positive vibe to it.

Danny Duarte: Art Center College of Design

- - The Daily Edit

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Danny Duarte

I had the pleasure of being at the 5th term and 7th term reviews at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. It’s always a treat when you can see people’s work progress. Danny Duarte was one of those standouts. I was so impressed with his commitment to craft. What initially caught my eye was his personal project called Reseda. Reseda isn’t an impressive area here in So Cal, there’s nothing remarkable about the neighborhood, which is exactly what Danny honed in on: the beauty in the ordinary. When I first saw his work I was so impressed and had a lot of fun discussing pairings and how powerful that can be. It was so cool to see how he juxtaposed his work, how he carefully looked at pacing, everything was deliberate.  I asked him where he shot most of the work ( since it covered some much of that area ) did he walk around? I should have known better, he took the bus. There again, surrendering to the mundane. Here’s what he had to say about his Reseda project.

Danny: I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and have lived in Reseda for twenty-plus years. As I got older, I realized that the Valley was looked down upon by those on the outside. I also learned as soon as I started attending Art Center that nobody had ever heard of Reseda. I had always shot images of my neighborhood, but those two reasons are what made me think about creating a series about where I live and grew up. It wasn’t until my Editorial Photography class with Lisa Thackaberry that I began to really focus on it. She really helped me understand different ways to approach this project as she was one of the few that was familiar with this area. Reseda is quiet, amorphous, misunderstood, lonely, and remote even though it is in the city of Los Angeles. I am photographing my neighborhood because it is a part of who I am and i want people to know it exists. I want to show that although it may seem boring and empty, the boring can be interesting.

Along with doing this cool ongoing project he did this zine about gun violence. He created the images, collaborated with an illustrator (Arpawan Ratanamangcla) did the research for the lyrics, designed some type and of course confronts us with an ongoing crisis.

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What drove you to create this book?  Why did you choose this illustrator?
This was a final project for my “Race and Racism” class. I collaborated with a fellow classmate, who is an illustration major, to create a zine about gun violence and police brutality. We had been paired up in a group all term, but when the opportunity came up we decided that by working together we could make a really compelling project for our final. The idea to create a project based on this subject started last year so I used this opportunity to pursue it.
It feels so confrontational, which is different from most of your work.
When it comes to still life photography I approach it differently than how I shoot my street photography. It is another way of expressing myself.  With still life I’m in control of everything in the frame. I can create a narrative based on things I enjoy researching such as science, politics, sports, and technology.
Where did you get gun?
It’s funny. I always get asked where I got the gun from. My dad is a California State Park Ranger so I was able to borrow it from him.
Was it awkward to shoot the gun straight on?
Photographing a gun was no problem but to photograph it pointing at the camera was a bit chilling. It didn’t hit me until I looked through the view finder. I suddenly felt this heart-stopping sensation go through my body. I have never really had a fear of guns but being on the other side of one is an entirely different and frightening experience.
What were the notes that the lyrics had to hit for you to include them in the book?
The lyrics included in the zine are very important. They are the foundation for this project. I’m a huge fan of hip hop music and KRS-One is a huge influence when it comes to this project. What started it all was his song “Sound of da Police”.
The first time I heard it I must have been in the 8th grade and back then I remember thinking how strong the lyrics were. Sometime last year it came on while I was driving home so I listened to it over and over again. I must have listened to it non stop for a week straight, letting it sink in. Every time the song came on my mind created different ideas and visuals. There were also lyrics from Gang Starr’s “Tonz ‘O’ Gunz” that influenced me as it focuses more on gun violence.
What are your hopes for this body of work?
My hope for this project is to create a discussion and figure out solutions about the issues that are going on right now that deal with police brutality and gun violence. No matter which side you are I’m sure that we can all agree that it’s getting out of hand. I believe that photographs can create impact and cause change.
 How did your time at  Art Center help you develop this project? or Who/what were your biggest influences?
My time at Art Center has given me the tools to create this project. Every instructor I have had has made me look at art, photography, and life differently even if I don’t always agree with them.  Two instructors that have hugely influenced my still life photography are Paul Ottengheime and Everard Williams.  I have spent hours talking to them outside of class and the discussions I have had with them have greatly helped me throughout my time there as they have a lot of experiences to share. I also believe that having an open mind definitely helps develop new concepts and allows me to be more creative.

The Daily Edit – Fortune: Ackerman + Gruber

- - The Daily Edit




Paul Martinez: Creative Director
Mia Diehl: Director of Photography
Michele Taylor: Photo Editor
Christine Bower-Wright: Art Director/Designer
Photographers: Ackerman + Gruber

Heidi: Since you live in the SPAM heartland, how often do you enjoy it?
AG: Living in Minnesota, you would have thought we have had SPAM before. However, it wasn’t until last year when we were on a shoot in Hawaii that we finally did.

How much time did you get for the shoot?
We spent a day in Austin, MN at both the Hormel campus and at the SPAM Museum.

Since you had direct access to the factory, did you have to wear protective clothing.
Unfortunately that factory shot wasn’t actually from the SPAM factory it was from a Skippy Peanut Butter factory in Arkansas and it actually wasn’t our photo. The SPAM plant wasn’t running when we were there as it was the time of the year where they shutdown the plant and do a deep cleaning of everything. Photographing in the SPAM plant would have been the only thing that would’ve made this shoot even more amazing. Nobody wants to know how the sausage is made unless it’s SPAM and then we are all game.

What were the magazines directives?
Michele Taylor, the photo editor at Fortune, basically said keep it colorful and quirky. This is always music to our ears. She wanted a combination of reportage, still-lifes and portraits of the CEO and president. It was the perfect combination of direction and freedom to explore. When you’re in the land of SPAM it isn’t difficult to find images that jump out to you.

The shoot actually came together very quickly as the CEO and President were traveling for the next month so we got the first email from Michele on Wednesday afternoon and were shooting the assignment that Friday.

Often in cases like this we find the PR person is the biggest hurdle we have to overcome. So we find that keeping an idea or two in our back pocket is best and then after we feel out our subjects we can tell them the idea directly and get them on board, which in turn gets the PR person to run with it.

It’s such an iconic brand with a cult following what was your initial approach?
We see SPAM as this kind of quirky larger than life brand so we wanted the photos to play off that idea and decided the images should be “poppy” to reflect that so we decided to use a direct strobe for the shoot. Not to mention we love the approach for shoots whenever it’s a good fit so that also made it a no-brainer.

SPAM for Fortune

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SPAM for Fortune

Are you both shooting all the time?
It depends on the shoot. For a shoot like this we are both switching fluidly between roles as a photographer/lighting tech/subject wrangler, etc.. In the situation for the CEO portraits, Tim is setting up and dialing in the lights, while Jenn is working with the PR team to calm any fears they might have and assuring them everything will go smoothly. Once the CEO arrives Jenn might start off shooting, while Tim is fine-tuning the lights, monitoring the tethered iPad for any major issues and thinking of about the next scenario. Often times we’ll hand off the camera in the middle of a portrait session to get a different perspective and to keep things fresh for our subjects. For more of the reportage and still-life photos, one person is acting as the assistant and holding the light, while the other person is shooting. The person who is holding the light is also always scanning the scene looking for any other visual potential in the situation. Tim loves shooting quirky Americana things like this so he shot the majority of the day.

Someone recently described watching the two of us work as one of the most fluid dances of creativity they have ever seen. It sounds cool so we won’t argue with them! We’ve been shooting together for so long now that we find we don’t even communicate verbally anymore and we already know what the other person is thinking and can be on the same page effortlessly.

What are each other’s strengths or how do you complement each other.
We find it’s an amazing luxury to be working as an husband and wife team and how much easier it is to break the ice and establish a rapport with our subjects. Often times we won’t know who the “main photographer” will be on a shoot until we meet our subjects and read how they respond to us. So sometimes that might be Tim and other times it will be Jenn, but more often than not we will both usually end up shooting. We find that one person usually has the art direction as their main focus and the other is free to explore beyond those restraints.

We joke with people that our marriage is a breeze and that the only disagreements we have are creative differences when we are out shooting. It’s great though because we channel that energy and use it to push ourselves our creatively. The real fun starts when we get back to the office and and see who’s images spoke to us the most.

Jenn is great at producing, scheduling and making sure people feel comfortable in front of the camera. Tim is usually the one setting up the gear, making sure the lights are dialed in and tackling any tech or logistical issues.

Are you always shooting motion and stills?
If the job calls for it we will. Otherwise we’re happy focusing on only stills. If a shoot happens to be a stills and motion project one person will focus on the stills (usually Jenn), while the other person focuses on the motion side of things (usually Tim). In the past we tried juggling the two between us both but found both mediums suffered so now we separate the roles so the outcome of both isn’t diluted.

What documentary film won an Emmy?
Our prison project Trapped won the Emmy.  The project looked how a prison system deals with treating those who suffer from mental illness. It was by far the most intense project we ever worked on.

The Daily Edit – Dwell: Jose Mandojana

- - The Daily Edit

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Assigning Photo Editor: Susan Getzendanner
Design Director:  Rob Hewitt
Senior Designer: Tim Vienckowski
Junior Designer: Erica Bonkowski
Photographer: Jose Mandojana

How long have you been shooting for Dwell?
My first assignment was for the September 2013 issue, so approximately three years.

Did you being a father influence the magazine on choosing you for this project?
As far as I know being a father was not a factor.  That said, having two young children has definitely given me plenty of experience interacting with little ones.  It was fun capturing moments with the children at the home.

Is this all done with natural light? Is that part of the magazine’s aesthetic?
I always bring lighting gear and use it to enhance the natural light when necessary.  I do believe that the overall aesthetic of the magazine is to show spaces as they appear.  That lends itself to waiting for great light and trying to keep things feeling natural.

What type of direction did you get from the team?
I receive a full shot list.  The team does a great job of collecting scouting images and notes.  From there,  it’s basically just trying to cover all the shots from different perspectives and including the homeowners (or family, architects, etc. depending on the story) in frames where the images are strengthened by their presence and the reader can gain a better sense of what it’s like to inhabit the space.  Those decisions really come down to my best judgment as to where natural things can occur with the subjects.

What brought you back to the LA market? 
I will always love the PNW and Seattle.  It was a great 7+ years there, and I’m thankful for the personal and professional growth I experienced.  The move back was strictly for professional reasons.  I travel a fair amount for commissions, and LA just seems like a better fit for where I see my work developing.  I also missed the strong photo community in LA and the opportunities that arise from being able to connect with peers and industry friends.  Oh, and the cycling, beautiful light, and Korean BBQ isn’t too bad either!

Was this the first time you were at the Passive House?
I actually meet the architects of the Passive House 6 months prior to the assignment.  They were building a home across the street from our place in West Seattle, and I really appreciated their attention to detail.  I invited them to walk through our mid century home to chat about potentially doing an upstairs addition.  We had done a fair amount of remodeling already,  and I had vision for the expansion of the home.  We would have hired them,  but decided to move back to LA instead.  So it was great to circle back with them randomly for the assignment as they do great work.

In a few words what is passive architecture?
‘Passive’ architecture and development is a certified building standard developed by the Passive House Institute in Germany.  In order to achieve the standard, the home or blind is built extremely insulated to create an airtight envelope.  There also needs to be energy recovery ventilation, high performance windows and management of solar gain.  In a nutshell,  the home is designed and built to use 90% less heating and cooling than the standard building.


The Daily Edit – Men’s Journal: Dustin Aksland

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Men’s Journal

Photo Director:
Jennifer Santana
Deputy Photo Editor: Michele Ervin
Photographer: Dustin Aksland

Your bio mentions a few filmmakers, what type of impact have these creatives made on you?
Films have had a huge impact on my life. My Mother is a huge fan of films and I grew up going to the theatre and watching all genres of movies with her. To this day we talk about what films we are watching and review them. I believe watching films helped my visual vocabulary. I was the skater that stole my mom’s video camera and filmed everything my friends and I did and then would come home and edit the footage straight from the camera to vhs, pause, play, record, rewind, record etc.etc.

Were you familiar with David Gelb’s work prior to the shoot?
Yes I’d seen “Hiro Dreams of Sushi” and was a fan of the film. I had also seen the first season of “Chefs Table” and enjoyed that as well. I took the assignment because I was interested in talking with David about food and travel.

Why did you choose this location, was it about the food ( for the subject? ) and the location ( for you? )
I’m not sure if David or the magazine chose the location ( Ivan Ramen) but David was familiar with the restaurant and the food on the menu. The magazine wanted David to be holding food or eating. I’d never been to Ivan Ramen and did not have time before the shoot to scout so I figured I’d sort out the shooting location once I arrived. I settled for the counter and a front table near the window for the ramen slurping image ( used in TOC ).

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
The magazine wanted the images to be loose rather than formal and like I mentioned above they wanted David to be eating or have food in his hand. It’s challenging to photograph people while they eat so I knew we would have to have fun with this shoot. Thankfully David was game and we ordered some ribs and ramen and he wasn’t afraid to get messy.

How if at all were you directing him during this portrait? What was happening at that moment?
I had a feeling going into this shoot that it would be a collaborative project considering David’s background shooting in kitchens / restaurants around the world. David asked what my ideas were and I gave him a quick rundown and he was game. The magazine wanted to David to eat a pork bun but the restaurant didn’t have one on the menu so we both thought ribs would be a great option. I asked David to sit sideways at the counter so we’d be able to see his face and then told him to chow down. David being a great director knew how to play it up for the camera and gave me the great “finger licking good” pose.

Havard Business Review: Ian Spanier

- - The Daily Edit


Harvard Business Review: Greg Louganis

Harvard Business Review: Greg Louganis

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Harvard Business Review

Creative Director: Matthew Guemple
Art Director: Annie Chin
Photographer: Ian Spanier

Heidi: Where did you find the empty pool?
Ian: I was fortunate this pool in Hollywood was empty, and close to Greg’s home. Originally I tried to get access to an olympic pool, and was surprised it wasn’t so easy and the magazine was dead set on an empty one anyway.

Contextually there are many layers to this story, how did you approach that visually?
( this was about his decorated career as well as his activism )
I love stories that have a deeper level. I didn’t get to scout the pool, so I worked with what was there. I did research on what direction it faced and any other factors that would affect my shoot plan. The big plus signs were an added bonus, given the connection to HIV Positive, so I was lucky there, and to be honest the location as a whole was not great– the pool was dirty and with a small crew (me and one assistant) we couldn’t clean it up that much. B&W helped there as well. Greg was really nice, and I made a couple extra portraits of him for him.  In return, he invited me to the screening of his latest short film called Saber Dance– where he plays Salvador Dali.

How did you get Greg to relax, become at ease?
Whenever I shoot celebrities or athletes there’s a bit of the unknown that doesn’t come into play when shooting non-celebrity subjects.  I always ask my client how much time we will have, but assume time could be less (so if I only get two minutes, I am prepared to work within the limitation)  If there’s more than one set-up I will have both ready to go, so I can quickly move my subject from set to set. I think this helps my subjects know that I am prepared, from there it’s less about the lights and camera and just gaining their trust. There is a lot of psychology behind photography. I like to review what the assignment is with the subject to make sure we are on the same page and usually I say something about me not being able to tell them how to just be themselves, but I am happy to suggest small changes from behind the camera.  I do this just between us by having that conversation closely with my subject; no publicist, no assistants, and no crew hearing this part. I’ve found this to work well for me, particularly in quick situations. There’s a sense of trust that needs to be earned, often immediately. I like to think by putting them in charge out the gate, the subject either relaxes and does their thing, in essence appears as they want to, and I then choose when to press the shutter. If they are stiff, I take over.  Ultimately, either scenario I am actually in charge. I like to think it’s almost like hypnosis, the moment I lull a subject into a place of comfort is generally the best part of the shoot. Sometimes I find the strobe firing over and over, or even the sound of the shutter does this, and other times I gain that trust by sharing an early frame when I know it looks good. Whichever gets things headed in the right direction.

How has your skills as a former photo editor come into play?
When I was a photo editor I would work directly with creative and art directors to formulate ideas for photo shoots, those years of experience really helped me the more I was on the other side of the shoot. I’ve always been an “ideas guy” so when I am given the chance to be part of the pre-shoot creative process or even make the call entirely at the shoot, I feel confident I can deliver. It’s great when a client comes to me with a distinct idea, as I have the opportunity to do their idea and time permitting any of my ideas, which only adds value to the project. When the art direction is unknown I feel pretty confident at this point that I’m being hired to come up with a solution. In the case of this shoot, the art director at HBR had presented the idea of shooting in an empty pool, and the section is always in B&W.  I was also given the copy, which always help me know the mood the magazine wants. These are the best scenarios and are most like the scenario when I was on staff at magazines. Since the magazine is on the East Coast I would take the lead producing the shoot. I do work with producers (or my agent) for larger production shoots–  but as a result of my past as a photo editor, when it comes to producing a shoot I can manage it just fine. Although it was not a factor in this shoot,  one other aspect to my past is that I would always be in the position of having to manage the client’s budget. When shoots come with a smaller budget, it’s not ideal, but it’s a reality of a lot of shoots. I believe that it’s my job to make any size budget work– and at least visually appear as equally well produced as the big budget shoots.

Since you’ve been in the industry on both the hiring and shooting level, what has been the biggest impact you’ve seen in editorial shoots?
I think the biggest change today aside from shrinking budgets is the immense need for content. Digital is a big factor of this, as when we shot film there was almost always an end in sight.  The decline of magazines and rise of social media is the other. Shots lists have climbed and the client’s need for assets for all the various outlets– far beyond the assignment alone are almost always a part of the shoot. I am often asked to shoot beyond any shot list, and even do both stills and video during the same shoot. This being the new reality, like everything else, it’s all about adaptation. Photographers have had to adapt to the rapid changes or be left behind.

The Daily Edit – Aliza Eliazarov: Modern Farmer

- - The Daily Edit




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Modern Farmer

Editor In Chief: Sarah Gray Miller
Creative Director: Maxine Davidowitz
Photo Director: Lila Garnett
Photographer: Aliza Eliazarov

Heidi: What was the tipping point for you to leave teaching and become a photographer? or do you view the switch simply as photography is your vehicle to teach rather than the classroom?
 Aliza: I studied Environmental Engineering in undergrad and went on to get my masters in Creative Arts In Education. When I was a teacher in LA I integrated photography throughout the curriculum and also took classes at OTIS ( they had a great deal for LA public school teachers). I became more and more invested in photography as an anthropological and educational tool – especially the long term project. I was a tenured teacher at the time and took a leave of absence in 2007 to go to Bolivia and document President Evo Morales’ efforts to reallocate farmland to indigenous people.

During that time, I also had some really talented photographer friends who mentored and encouraged me to pursue photography more seriously. I applied to The International Center of Photography’s Documentary and Photojournalism Program and went there from 2008 – 2009.

Your portraits of the animals are so stately, do you treat them as you would a human subject? Or in other words, how do you get them to react ( do you talk to them, have treats, or is it patience? )
Animal photography happens in the space between fear and poop. Every animal is different, and it’s hard to predict how an animal will react to standing in front of flashing lights in a studio setting. Some freeze, others run or fly into the lights and others will try to go through the backdrop. Some animals are surprisingly calm and curious. You really never know and the farmers are always surprised by which animals end up being the best subjects.

Patience is critical. I like to give each animal at least 10 -15 minutes to get used to the situation. It also gives me a chance to observe and get to know the animal and get a feeling for his/ her personality and outstanding physical traits. On set I’m pretty quiet and let the animals roam within the studio space we have built. Often it is during those times that I get the most interesting photos. Sometimes you only get a few seconds of prime shooting, so you need to be ready.

For Modern Farmer I need to get very specific photos of each animal– a tight portrait with the animal facing both left and right and full body shots – all on both black and white backgrounds (in addition to more creative shots). For those, we want ears forward, long necks, and heads held high. I have the farmer or my assistant  talk to them, call them, make noises, hold treats in front of them. We do whatever it takes to get the shot. It can get pretty comical and hectic on set when birds fly behind the backdrop or a 1,400 pound draft horse decides the shoot is over. It can get pretty stressful, but I love it.




Tell us about how your body of work shooting animals developed, did it grow out “Sustain?”
I began shooting animals while photographing farmers and chickens for two personal projects: SUSTAIN and 2 Chickens In Every Garage.

SUSTAIN is a long term documentary project on the sustainable farming movement.

2 Chickens in Every Garage is a series that looks at the backyard chicken movement across America and the role chicken enthusiasts have played in changing city ordinances and reshaping our relationship with our food and food sources. To make this work, I joined chicken enthusiast groups. I visited enthusiasts in several cities around the country and set up a studio with black backdrop inside of the coop in order to isolate the chickens from their environment and force the viewer to consider the chicken.

Modern Farmer Photo Director Lila Garnett was familiar with my chicken work and published the series on when she was photo editor there seveal years ago. When Lila moved to Modern Farmer 5 or 6 years later – she reached out to me!


Do you have a team of wrangles that you work with, or have your developed enough experience to handle things are your own?
I work with one photo assistant and the farmer/s on set. Everyone helps to keep the animal in front of the backdrop and the space safe for everyone on set.

You often shoot for Modern Farmer, what was different or unique about this project?
I just finished shooting my 5th cover story for Modern Farmer and will be shooting 2 more this summer. Honestly it’s my dream gig and I feel so honored to be involved with this publication.
The pre-production for these shoots can be tricky and Photo Director Lila Garnett and I will work closely together to try and find the farms with all of the breeds we need to shoot for the issue. Sometimes it means traveling to 3 or 4 farms.  We try our best to find farmers with multiple breeds and are in the same general region.

I then travel to the farms and set up a studio on location, typically in a barn– many of which are old and rickety. Sometimes I will stay on the farm for a few days, and other times we break down the studio; travel to the next farm and do it all over.

Scheduling farm animal shoots is tricky when you have to work with weather, breeding, molting, sheering and other things that effect what the animal will look like or availability of babies.Chickens are my first love in terms of photographing farm animals, so I was really excited to shoot the chicken cover story for Modern Farmer. I love the variety in breeds and plumage and more than anything, I love the way  chickens move, twist and contort. Shooting the chickens also felt like I had come full circle so it was extra rewarding shooting this cover.

What was the biggest surprise you had on set?
There have been several, most of them poop related:

-A chicken laid an egg in the middle of this shoot for Modern Farmer.
-A giant draft horse backed up and peed all over the white fabric backdrop. I spent the next morning at the laundromat.
-Duck poop is the worst and gets everywhere.
-Alpacas don’t poop on set because they are like cats and only go in a communal litter box area.
-On my most rece   nt shoot, the cover animal I flew across country to photograph, suddenly grew ill and died hours before I got there.

Best advice for anyone shooting an animal?
Poop happens. Be ready for it.





The Daily Edit – Bon Appetit : Alex Lau

- - The Daily Edit

Bon Appetit


Creative Director: Alex Grossman
Photo Director: Alex Pollack
Photo Editor: Elizabeth Jaime
Photographer: Alex Lau

Heidi: How many choices of doughnuts did you go through after arriving at this one?
Alex: I probably went through 9 variations of doughnuts, with about 4 options of each doughnut.

Did you buy a dozen of the same kind of doughnut to avoid denting the icing?
Fortunately, I didn’t have to buy any doughnuts with my own money, but Blue Star was kind enough to give me a fresh doughnut to work with if I had dented or messed up the icing.

Who was the food stylist?
It was a collaborative effort between me and my photo editor Elizabeth Jaime via email! I was in the middle of a multi city shoot, when Elizabeth told me she was adding another shop to my shot list. She had mentioned it was a cover try, and that I should run through as many options as possible. I basically sent her screenshots as I shot, and readjusted based on her comments.

What were the icing or color considerations?
Since it was a cover option, our creative team is always looking for something that pops in terms of color. I was told to look for doughnuts that had a distinct pattern or nice color since it would be featured by itself on white. I had some trouble with the doughnut flavor that I was originally assigned, since the glaze was too glossy for the harsh/poppy light that I was using, so we had to switch to a doughnut with a similar tone, but with a more matte glaze.

Are the most simple food covers the most difficult?
I wouldn’t say that they’re the most difficult, but that they’re just as challenging as propped out shots. If a food shot is propped out, that gives you more options than doing a standalone shot on white. This makes the onus on the food looking good by itself, as opposed to relying on context and props.

Favorite doughnut?
I think my favorite doughnut was definitely the cover doughnut, which is the Blueberry Bourbon Doughnut. I’m not even a fan of doughnuts but had to eat a couple before leaving.


The Daily Edit – Oprah Magazine: Jonathan Kambouris

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The Oprah Magazine

Photographer: Jonathan Kambouris
Prop Stylist: Marissa Gimeo

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Jonathan: O, The Oprah magazine approached prop stylist Marissa Gimeno and myself to photograph Mac’s new line of cosmetics for the O, Beautiful! page in the June 2016 issue. The client wanted to emulate the Navajo print of the packaging and create the pattern with the actual cosmetics. I love a good graphic pattern and I was completely on board with this concept!

How did this mosaic pattern idea develop?
We were inspired by the print on the actual packaging so we narrowed down which print worked the best. I did a few sketches with the idea that one of the actual products would be photographed on top of the pattern we were creating, possibly a lipstick or eyeshadow. In the end we decided the strongest composition would be to create the pattern out of the eyeshadow, blush and powder textures with no product on top.

Tell us about the actual build and was the crumble a happy accident?
The magazine supplied us with the product from Mac. However, there was not quite enough to complete the entire pattern. Marissa and I discussed the best way to tackle this challenge. In the end, I decided it would be best to create at least half of the pattern(specifically the top half). Once I got the light tweaked I had to shoot this in a few different stages. There was a good amount of planning  on set to ensure that this image was successful. I wanted to capture everything in camera rather than flipping it in post so the lighting felt consistent and natural with the way it falls off on the bottom. So I photographed each half and then flipped it on set and recaptured again. Once I captured the entire background we played around with different options for the top element. My digital tech quickly composited the several captures so we could see it as one image and decide what we needed to capture more of. In the end the top crumbled piece was a unanimous favorite. We did several variations and really perfected this crumble to make sure it felt natural and perfect. It was not necessarily pre-planned, however, it evolved very intuitively on set and the end result captured exactly what I wanted the image to look like.

How long did it take to build?
Marissa Gimeno: It took me half a day to measure and cut the risers for the composition prior to the shoot. On set, it took approximately 3 hours to apply the makeup to the risers and finesse the final layout.

Did you need to have special tools to handle the makeup?
Marissa Gimeno:
Nothing too unusual that couldn’t be found in a still-life stylist’s kit such as palette knives, makeup brushes and a little ingenuity.