Shoot LA On Saturday

- - Events

I’ll be at Shoot LA on Saturday giving a workshop from 3:15 – 4:15 PM on Social Media Marketing. I’m going to get you pumped up to use social media for marketing your work and finding an audience for projects and ideas you have. I see that Andrew Southam has a discussion from 11:45 – 1:15 and there’s a bunch of other cool workshops and talks so it looks to be worth checking out. Come say hi if you’re going to be there, I always enjoy meeting readers.

More info here: shoot-la.com

The Daily Edit – Friday
4.27.12

- - The Daily Edit

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Women’s Health

Design Director: Theresa Griggs
Photo Director: Sarah Rozen
Art Director: Susannah Haesche
Deputy Art Director: Kristen Male
Photo Editor: Andrea Verdone

Photographer: Kenji Toma

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Still Images in Great Advertising- Jazzmine Beaulieu

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

I first met Jazzmine when she was a studio manager for a New York City lifestyle photographer and wanted to go out on her own. She hired me to help her make that leap and present herself professionally. When Jazzmine showed me these “jib-jabs”, I thought they were perfect for this column and I asked her if I could include her. I want to illustrate that your still images can be used in motion and in a comically way. I also want you to be careful to “cap” your usage to protect yourself so you will have the possibility of additional compensation.

Suzanne: You shot this campaign for a local grocery chain in New York City.  For the print portion you got a lot of character from real D’agonstino’s employees.  Did you ever think it would inspire the client to create these “jib jabs”?

Jazzmine: Ha – Well, if I’m being honest, no. The D’Agostino shoot was my first time collaborating with the creative agency, Grok.  I came in guns blazing to guarantee I nailed the lighting and I wanted to make everyone present feel as comfortable and happy as possible.

My mind was solely focused on the present. That being said, the men I photographed were definitely not short of character and Tod Seisser, the Creative Director, and I had a great time with them.  Grok saw something more in the work and used it to their client’s advantage.

It definitely opened my mind to the importance of shooting more than less and the value of capturing spontaneous expressions when they come.

Suzanne:  And this brings up a new trend in shooting for clients.  When you shoot a campaign, you want to shoot more.  How do you protect yourself in the verbiage on usage so you can be additionally compensated?

Jazzmine: You definitely want to shoot more than less. I feel the best photographers do, by default.

The industry’s outline of usage is changing and it’s smart for photographers to adjust their outlines to change with it.  Clients don’t want to have to come back to you every time they have a new place to use your images.  Instead, they’re looking to do full buy outs of the images for a period of time. Photographers can use this to their advantage and negotiate for a full buyout from from the beginning, which means happy clients, and happy photographer with the bigger buyout payment.

Additionally, its always best to be as clear as possible going into a project rather than drawing lines once it’s been completed. Every photographer should educate themselves on the types of usage and the rates that apply within different markets. When you have that basic knowledge you’re in a better place to negotiate.  With D’Agostino, the initial usage was for print only. So when the animation came up, it was clear that it would require additional licensing and Grok contacted me.

Suzanne:  As a photographer breaking out to full time, what advice would you give someone wanting to make the same leap?

Jazzmine: My advice would be to stay focused.  Always be developing your craft and educate yourself to stay stylistically current, technically current and socially current.

It’s also very important to remain humble and learn from the people around you. When good things happen to you (and they will!), it’s definitely because you’ve been working for it. But it’s also because someone went out of their way to give you an opportunity.

A thank you goes a long way.  Never fall into the trap of entitlement. And, prepare yourself as much as possible for the transition, but there’s never going to be a “perfect time” to make the leap. You simply have to take a chance to grow.

I recently saw a Henry Miller quote on www.vanderbiltrepublic.com that meant a lot to me:“All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.” My short answer, Believe in yourself.

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Jazzmine moved to New York at the age of 19 from Maine. By the age of 25 she was shooting her own produced campaigns. By the age of 27, her campaigns went international. Working with Tod Seisser of Grok, she photographed a portrait series for Taleo that was immediately written up in Adweek and ran in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Review and Business Week. But more exciting is that it ran in Germany, France and the UK.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.

The Daily Edit – Thursday
4.26.12

- - The Daily Edit

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Harper’s Bazzar

Creative Director: Stephen Gan
Design Director: Elizabeth Hummer
Photography + Bookings Editor: Zoe Bruns
Associate Art Director: Gary Ponzo
Senior Photo + Bookings Editor: Barbara Tomassi

Photographer: Daniel Jackson

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

The Daily Edit – Wednesday
4.25.12

- - The Daily Edit

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New York Times Magazine

Design Director: Arem Duplessis
Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan
Deputy Photo Editor: Joanna Milter
Photo Editors: Stacey Baker, Clinton Cargill, Amy Kellner, Luise Stauss
Designers: Sara Cwynar, Hilary Greenbaum 

Photographer: Mishka Henner

*spread image was stitched together from Google Earth satellite images.

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Pricing & Negotiating: Public Service Announcement

by Jess Dudley Wonderful Machine Producer

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are advertisements intended to raise awareness of a topic and to change public attitudes (rather than sell a product), often advocating better health practices or safety. The typical patron of a PSA is a government agency or non-profit aimed at improving public welfare.

Recently, one of our photographers was asked to submit a cost estimate to produce some photographs for a PSA. Though the concept was simple and straight forward, the details were still a bit vague when the photographer contacted me for pricing help. Here’s what he knew:

  • He’d been contacted by the creative director of a mid-size East Coast ad agency.
  • The client was a large non-profit organization whose primary interest was in public education and health policy.
  • The PSA concept featured a close-up portrait of a woman in a light filled, airy environment. About half the frame was negative space for copy, and there was a “gritty” treatment layer overlaying the image.
  • The talent would be a real patient who had realized the benefits of the non-profit through improvements in health care practices.
  • The use was described as a PSA that will be distributed on the non-profit’s website, possibly in print publications and in the form of posters hung in airports and train stations.

After reviewing the details and discussing possible production approaches, the photographer and I developed a list of questions to ask the creative director and got the following responses:

Wonderful Machine: Would you like us to cast the talent or will the talent be provided?
Creative Director: We’ve already selected the talent and determined availability.

WM: The comp hints at more environment than a studio sweep, would a white daylight studio work as a background?
CD: We’re open to shooting at a daylight studio. We just don’t want flat seamless. We want some texture to the background. A window, horizon, clouds. Something to subtly break up the negative space.

WM: What duration of use will you need?
CD: 3 years.

WM: What is the geographic distribution?
CD: Southwestern United States.

WM: Do you have a budget in mind?
CD: Nothing set in stone, but we need to mind our “Ps and Qs.”

WM: We think this can be accomplished at a studio in a few hours, are you expecting to shoot for more than about half a day?
CD: We only have the talent for 3 hours in the early afternoon. So it will have to happen in half a day.

WM: Will anyone from the Agency and Client be attending the shoot?
CD: Yes. Two people from the agency and one from the client.

Although the PSA would be displayed like a typical commercial ad, it’s purpose was not to generate revenue, but rather to promote public awareness. So it’s not worth nearly as much as a regular ad shoot. Additionally, the concept was straight forward, the talent would be provided and the shoot wouldn’t take more than 6 hours including set-up and break down, which is a consideration. BlinkBid shows the fee for regional Collateral, Out Of Home and Print Use at 2800.00 – 4000.00/year. Additional years aren’t discounted in BlinkBid’s Bid Consultant. So for 3 years they price this use between 8400.00 and 12000.00. Also, there’s no specific selection for PSA use in BlinkBid. Corbis doesn’t provide regional pricing, only national. They price the OOH Use at 1170.00 for the first year, Print Use at 7815.00 and Collateral Use 2550.00. To extend the use to 3 years, Corbis multiplies each of those numbers by about 1.66 bringing the total for this use to 18,456.00. They also don’t have a specific selection for PSA use. Adjusting for regional rather than national use might bring it down to around $10k which is in line with BlinkBid. This is really the kind of project where the fee could be anything, depending on the cause and how the photographer felt about it. After discussing it with the photographer, we decided that we wanted to come in at about 1/2 of the normal advertising rate, so we settled on 4500.00 for the fee.

Since the lighting would consist entirely of natural light, the photographer only needed one assistant on set during the shoot. The digital tech would provide an extra set of hands to help load in, set up and break down. During the shoot, s/he would man the laptop, wrangle images and process galleries.

The photographer owned all of the equipment he needed for the shoot. He’d be using a camera body (@250.00/day), two fast lenses (2@75.00/day), and some miscellaneous items like a reflectors, flags, silks and stands (@200.00/day).

The photographer also had his own shooting space. He charges 500.00/day to rent the small studio which would be ideal for this shoot; white, with a couple nice big windows.

Since we were only shooting one subject from the shoulders up, we were comfortable working with a stylist capable of light wardrobe styling and hair & make-up. We budgeted a half day to buy 200.00 worth of wardrobe. We would ask the subject to bring some of her own clothes as well.

Since the crew and agency would be setting up for the shoot around lunchtime we included catering for the crew, talent, agency and client. Generally we’ll budget 35.00 per person for light breakfast and lunch but were able to trim it down to 25.00 per person since we wouldn’t be providing any breakfast.

Indexing is what that photographer likes to call it, but we normally call it Digital Capture and Delivery by Web Gallery for Editing.

Retouching hours to apply the gritty treatment layer to the image after basic processing.

Miles, parking, shipping, insurance and miscellaneous was pretty low since the shoot would take place at the photographer’s own studio.

Lastly, we made sure to clarify that the talent would be provided by the client or agency and that a 50% advance is required to initiate production. After attaching our standard terms and conditions we sent the estimate to the client.

Wouldn’t you know it, a budget materialized 10 minutes later.

WM: Just calling to follow-up on the estimate. Do you have any questions?
CD: What can we do to get this down to 7600.00?

WM: Right off the bat, one thing we might be able to do without is the additional wardrobe. Would you be comfortable relying entirely on the subject’s own wardrobe? (That would knock of 200.00 for the wardrobe and 325.00 for the stylist time.)
CD: Absolutely. I’ll ask her to bring a dozen tops.

WM: Are you comfortable reviewing images straight of the camera or do you need a separate display? (That would be 300.00 for a second assistant rather than 500.00 for a digital tech.)
CD: If it gets me closer to 7k, I’m cool with it.

WM: Aside from the licensing, there’s not much else than can be easily trimmed. Let me check in with the photographer to figure out a way to come shave off another 600.00.
CD: Great. Let me know what you can do. This is a hard 7600.00.

After contemplating the peculiar budget, we dialed down the use from 3 years to 30 months, reducing the fee and bottom line by an additional 500.00. The last hundred came out of the equipment rental line. Since he’d be using his own equipment he could bend a bit on the rates, particularly for the miscellaneous stands, reflectors, etc.

We submitted the revision, the creative director quickly approved it and the shoot went off without a hitch.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing one of your projects, contact Wonderful Machine.

The Daily Edit – Tuesday
4.24.12

- - The Daily Edit

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Men’s Fitness

Creative Director: Andy Turnbull
Designer: Joe Suma
Photo Director: Toby Kaufman
Associate Photo Editor: Krystal Atwater

Photographer: Nick Ferrari

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

 

Watch An Assignment Unfold Live – Magnum’s House of Pictures

- - The Future

I’m a big fan of Magnum’s Postcards from America effort, whose latest project House of Pictures has ten Magnum photographers working in Rochester. The tumblr feed from Rochester  is fascinating and not unlike the experience of sending someone out on assignment and unpacking the results in your office after it’s over… only this one is live. They’re half way through the event which is taking place from April 15 – 29, so now is the perfect time to jump in and look at the images already created and follow what’s to come. They’ve got updates on TumblrTwitter and Facebook plus a Flickr group where the public can participate by tagging images “Rochester”.

With events like this Magnum is clearly taking a leadership role in defining the future of photographers on assignment. Not only expanding the minds of their members but also experimenting with social media, photographers working in groups and projects without boundaries. There’s a saying in silicon valley startup culture: “fail fast and fail often” that would be an appropriate manta for this effort and for anyone else who’s looking for answers to the future of media and professional photography. “Fear of failure stifles creativity and progress, so if you are not failing you not going to innovate.” (source). That’s not to say House of Pictures is a massive failure but rather that some of the things they are doing may not represent a way forward, but by experimenting they can see what works, measure the results and apply what they’ve learned.

There are similar efforts underway with other groups, most notably Luceo’s “Few and Far Between” and the ILCP’s RAVE (Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition). I would advise everyone to pay attention and see what develops. Not only is the photography awesome to look at, it will get the gears turning in your head on where the future lies.

 

This Week In Photography Books – William Eggleston

by Jonathan Blaustein

Surely you’ve heard of Jeremy Lin? (The Knicks Harvard-educated, Asian-American point guard.) A better question might be, have you heard of him lately? Probably not. He might well be the world’s first viral athlete, rocketing from obscurity to planetary ubiquity within days. But an information-addicted global populace is in constant need of a new fix, so Mr. Lin has been relegated back to the bench. That’s how it is: today it’s Mitt Romney’s face on an Etch-a-sketch; tomorrow Barack Obama’s ears on an elephant.

Speaking of viral phenomena, you must have seen that article recently published in LPV magazine, called “10 Photographers You Should Ignore.” It went everywhere, almost immediately. Not surprising, as saying “Ignore Stephen Shore” is as inherently controversial as “Occupy Wall Street.” Guaranteed to get people talking.

The tweet might have gotten mad publicity, but the article was actually rather tame. The authors’ thesis was that photographers, (particularly younger photographers,) face a danger to their creativity when they push hero worship too far. Great work depends upon a fresh vision; a unique perspective. The more closely photographers emulate the greats, the more likely they’ll end up with derivative nonsense. It’s an important point, but the article would likely have drawn yawns, if titled “10 photographers that you should be careful not to be influenced by too much.”

Co-incidentally, a few hours before I saw that article, I took a look at a portfolio by a young Southern photographer at FotoFest. Almost immediately, I was repulsed by the shocking quality of a couple of William Eggleston and Stephen Shore knock-offs. Wow, were these pictures derivative. By the fourth or fifth photo, the artist’s own vision started to emerge, and by the end, I thought the project was really good. The artist had a keen eye for color, and a formal sensibility that was contemporary. But I couldn’t shake the those first few photos, like a great tiramisu at an inconsistent restaurant doesn’t quite get rid of the taste of that over-salted chicken.

Never one to mince words, I advised the photographer to get those first few images out of my sight. Burn them, I said. Off with their heads. There’s no reason in the world to show a copy of someone else’s work, when the original images that follow are compelling. Skunk scent is hard to wash off.

And what of these heroes? We need to carve our our own respective niches, but it’s vitally important to go back and re-visit the best work, again and again. Get close enough to the fire to warm up, but not so close as to singe your eyebrows.

Let’s tempt the fire gods, shall we? How about William Eggleston’s new primary colored trilogy “Chromes,” recently published by Steidl. When I refused to open Robert Adams’ triple-book-offering earlier this year, a couple of readers requested that I take a look at the Eggleston project. Why not?

Straight off, I can contrast it with the Adams’ publication, in that the slip cover is printed with shadowbox letters, in yellow and orange. Where RA’s work was cool and unapproachable, this is warm and inviting. Then, a quick look at the spines shows us yellow, red and blue. Whimsical and fun.

On to book one, and there’s little introductory text. Only a mention of the editors, nothing more. So it’s to be all about the pictures, is it? OK then.

We begin. A man asleep (the artist?,) cropped bare feet on a dirt road, another dirt road vanishing to nowhere, religious references, a dead, old black man in a shiny, satin coffin. On to a long-haired hippie, an abandoned shack, and then another black man, this time with a cigarette in his mouth, hands on a blue electric guitar. (Is he playing the blues?)

Cars, trucks, houses, and lots of late-afternoon light. Yes, this book takes us to the South, back in the day. And it does so with style. I suppose we’ll never know what it must have been like to see color images like this, for the first time? (At least those of us not around back then.) But while they may no longer seem revolutionary, they are absolutely exceptional.

Soon, we see an image with a sign that says “Mission Orange,” which is followed by six photographs containing the color orange. Witty editing, beautiful pictures. (A Wonder bread sign, a political ad for a Sheriff, a long freight train…) Then, six photos featuring grayish-white, and six that feature green. Are you paying attention? Apparently, Mr. Eggleston and his co-editors were.

Seeing so many of these pictures together, I can understand why it’s hard for photographers to lay off of this style. It’s so lyrical, so Romantic, so American. Of course, Mr. Eggleston owes a debt of gratitude to Walker Evans and Robert Frank, both of whom he references quite a bit. But still, try to take photos like this in 2012, and only one name will pop up. (Sorry, two. Mr. Shore has his denizens as well.)

Shall I go on? Book one ends with a diptych of a sleeping young child, in bed, across the spine from a photo of a light-up Halloween pumpkin and owl combo looming in a window. Spooky. A hint of things to come in Book two? (There’s also a brief essay dating these photos to 1969-74)

The red volume opens with the same witty tone. We see another run of images, this time grouped by signage. Cigarettes, Drug Store, Dixie Burgers, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Ice Cream and Gasoline. Thank you, good night. Wait, there’s still more?

Another Dixie flag, this time in neon. Then, perfect purple light surrounding another gas station, this time Arco. (I remember the first time I saw light like that, during a Tornado storm in Nebraska. This picture brings it back so quickly.)

Are there surprises? Well, we do have two portraits of men who look like hustlers or gigolos. (And one of them is juxtaposed against an image of Tom Jones and Elvis atop a juke box.) Yes, Mr. Eggleston has a sense of humor.

The rest of the volume holds true to form, though there are far more portraits than there were in the yellow book. Terrific portraits. It ends with a pimply-faced guy, drinking Coke on a pool table, in front of a sign that says “Refreshments.” Is that a cue for a bathroom break? Seriously, how many people would look at all three books in a row, in one sitting?.

Book three is blue, and the cover presents a photo of the inside of someone’s freezer. So this is the cold book, then? I’m obviously not sure yet, but this volume opens with another run. Again, signage. A flower shop, free steak knifes at a gas station, a bank, a row of toy dispensers, a pie shop, a drive-in movie theatre, a burger joint and a pinball machine. The 20th Century seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

As to the earlier question, is it cold? Kind of. We see the first few images with flash, and a recurring palette of blue, green, and a green-ish yellow. There’s also a photo of the artist, naked on a couch, with a gun-rack above his head. Followed closely by a bearded, drunk-looking guy, naked, in a green bathtub. Yes, I’d say that’s cold. As in, “That’s cold, brother, cold. Can you dig it?”

Any more surprises? Page 74 has a portrait of a guy who I’d swear is a young Lee Friedlander. Were they friends? (Followed, two pages later, by a photo of a drawing of Charles Manson. Let’s hope it’s not a reference to young Lee.) And it ends with a companion image to the portrait of the man that opens up Volume One. At the beginning, his eyes were closed, in bed. Here, they’re open, staring right at the camera.

Yes, that was a lot to digest. Shall I simplify? This is one fantastic collection of photographs. Really, it marks the vision of a master, a genius artist. For those of you obsessed with Mr. Eggleston, this is one to own. (I’m kind of sad that I have to give it back.) And for those of you who sometimes worry that you’re ripping off his style, check this trilogy out. Look at it like I did, all at once, and you’ll never again wonder, right before you click the shutter, whether the picture is yours or his. Because his vision will forever be burned into your brain.

Bottom Line: A Masterpiece, plain and simple

To purchase “Chromes” visit Photo-Eye

Full Disclosure: Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.