Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.
Great advertising takes on many different venues and in this ever-changing world, it means web as well. This campaign was commissioned for web only, but I personally think it would be effective in conventional print. I reached out to Joshua Dalsimer and his agent Kristina Snyder at Redux Reps to find out more about this campaign.
Suzanne: This is an interesting campaign but when I go the actual site ruelala.com I only get to see one image- how are the others being see, are they changing them periodically? And it is an interesting concept, but being so vague, are they getting people to sign up? Do they have plans to roll out to more mass marketing?
Joshua: Right now it is just images for the login page. We did not want to force it down every avenue and let it be unique visual that separates it from the other private sale sites. Rue La La is a web based business that is not only a retailer, but has also become social experience. We want the members to tweet about the login and let it grow in an organic way. Give the costumers the feeling of discovery with out jamming it through other media. The customers look forward to the change and I am constantly getting suggestions of new ideas from customers, friends, and creative people. There is a part of their site called “the artists of rue” where they blog about our crew and have behind the scenes shots. People are always curious about the making of and are surprised to see all the work that goes into these.
Suzanne: The scenarios are all very different, what creative input did you have in the process?
Joshua: I came up with the concept of their logo in unexpected places and wrote a bunch of scenarios for the client’s consideration. I also worked with other creatives to brainstorm as well as find ideas from all over. Rue La La employees came up with a couple, as well as my brother in law. Once the ideas are conceived, I work closely with my producer, model maker, retouchers, CGI artists, stylists, etc. I include everyone in the creation process and rely on everyone’s input to come to the best solution. These images are a real team effort and I enjoy seeing people utilize their expertise.
Suzanne: These images can be either elaborate props or extensive retouching- which direction was it? or a combination of both?
Joshua: A combination of both. We do a lot of planning and review the best choices possible for each scenario. Obviously there is a limit to the budget, so we need to factor that in and be efficient as possible. The one thing, that might be obvious, is no matter how great a prop is or how fabulous your retoucher is, if we don’t provide great elements in the beginning we do not end up with a great piece. There is a limit to how much you can fake and the less faking you do the better.
Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.
Joshua Dalsimer’s professional career started at age 16, not with a camera in his hands but with a pair of drum sticks. When some of us were lucky to hold down a job at dairy queen, Joshua was off touring as the drummer for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. After several years with the Bosstones, Josh played with a few other bands landing record deals with both major and independent labels. After several tours and albums he realized there were other creative outlets he wanted to explore. “I always looked at drums and photography as very similar disciplines.” He says, both take place behind the scene. However, both lay down a foundation that helps create a look or sound.” Joshua adds, “collaboration is also very important for both. music helped me learn how to communicate clearly about ideas with other creative people.” Joshua currently lives in New York with his wife Lisa and his kids, Adele, Noah and Sam.
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.
No matter how fast you shovel digital dirt into the chasm of print loss, you can’t recreate the past; you can’t fill the hole. Now, though, we see new foundations being set and fresher building — with more realistic expectations — begun. The change is a huge one. Where once top newspaper company execs eschewed new initiatives as too small with which to bother, the awareness that the old business simply is never coming back has almost sunk in.
I stumbled upon this idea called “The New Aesthetic” yesterday while I was thinking about photographers harnessing and making sense of the photographic noise online. When I think about people tackling projects that are important and ambitious they almost always include writing, photography and video. What I see as the elephant in the room is ignoring the millions of images already available and sitting online in social applications and the images being churned out by the second as you work on your project.
But, when I mention curation the immediate thought is to see yourself sifting thorough piles of crappy images looking for gems to add to your project. So, when JB sent me a link to hyperallergic.com and I discovered a story titled “Is the New Aesthetic a Thing? ” I had a Eureka moment. New Aesthetic is “an aesthetic influenced by the way computers see the world” which is being interpreted in many ways (including annoying 8-bit despite the fact that everyone is raving about retina displays), but what makes sense to me is that what’s online is presented in ways that only computers can. Mostly I think of algorithmic interpretations where programs do the sifting, but there are other examples of people using the resources to create interesting works:
Michael Wolf’s street view.
Pep Ventosa’s collective snapshot.
So, after reading lots of articles on “The New Aesthetic” (new-aesthetic.tumblr.com, An Essay on the New Aesthetic, Noisy Decent Graphics,Why the New Aesthetic isn’t about 8bit retro, Responding To Bruce Sterling’s “Essay On The New Aesthetic, Report from Austin, Texas, on the New Aesthetic panel at SXSW. ) I honestly don’t know what it will look like when people apply the idea to their projects, but I do see an elephant in the room, so instead of reacting with fear I think everyone should be thinking of ways to own and incorporate “The New Aesthetic” into projects.
…people hold onto the creaky, dusty notion of photographs as some sort of reality; this only increases the potential for complexity through the many different possible readings of work that challenges or contradicts this restrictive perception of what a photograph is or what it can do. I consider this a wonderful gift to me as an artist, or any artist making work that disregards this concern with the real.
If anything is the antithesis of Instagram it’s Mary Ellen Mark carrying a 400 pound Polaroid 20×24 Land Camera into your prom to make a picture. And, if anything separates professional photographers from the pack it’s a book like Prom: a collection of 137 portraits from 13 schools across the country, shot between 2006 and 2009 that includes a documentary produced by Mark’s husband, Martin Bell (story on NPR: Not Your Average Prom Portraits).
But, I think professionals are doing their audience a disservice by not figuring out a way to incorporate the millions of images available online into projects of this scope. Whether it’s some kind of curation, software automated mining or public participation, ignoring that resource is a mistake. This is a wonderful and unknown time for photography, everyone should consider ways to harness and make sense of all that noise.
Like all artists, Tim Hetherington’s work outlives him. For that I am grateful, but the loss is even more keen because of the unique way in which he viewed the world, and because of his fierce desire to peel back the obvious to show us the base from which the actions and emotions sprang.
Read more at Stellazine: Tim Hetherington at Yossi Milo.
In an article on La Letter De La Photograpie, Paul Melcher says Instagram just showed the world that “there is no limit to what photography can earn.” That is of course in reaction to the 1 billion dollars Facebook paid to acquire the company last week. Paul goes on to describe the leaps that evolve photography from the massive camera to the instamatic, from manual to automatic (focus, metering and imaging) and how a company that figured out how to make crappy phone camera images look interesting and easy to share, can suddenly be worth a billion dollars without a dime of profits on the income statement (read the whole article here).
This, my friends, is a trend in business called “Software Will Eat The World” coined in an article for the Wall Street Journal by Marc Andreessen (here):
we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy.
More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not.
Why is this happening now?
Six decades into the computer revolution, four decades since the invention of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the technology required to transform industries through software finally works and can be widely delivered at global scale.
Over two billion people now use the broadband Internet, up from perhaps 50 million a decade ago, when I was at Netscape, the company I co-founded. In the next 10 years, I expect at least five billion people worldwide to own smartphones, giving every individual with such a phone instant access to the full power of the Internet, every moment of every day.
On the back end, software programming tools and Internet-based services make it easy to launch new global software-powered start-ups in many industries—without the need to invest in new infrastructure and train new employees.
Which explains how a company with 13 employees and no profits can replace a now bankrupt company that once employed over 120,000 people with annual sales of $10 billion as the “manufacturer” of a device to bring photography to the masses.
A big thank you to Santa Fe Photographic Workshops for sponsoring the blog this week.
Santa Fe Photographic Workshops offers state-of-the-art photographic education that supports participants of all levels.
• We share our passion for photography, offering world-renowned instructors, cutting-edge technology, and dedicated staff.
• We are committed to excellence, teaching both the technical and creative aspects of photography.
• We provide a supportive, inspirational community where our participants build confidence in achieving their photographic goals both personally and professionally.
All technology has done for me is allowed me to adapt my portfolio to more platforms, i.e. web, iPad, etc. I used to have 12 printed portfolios, now I use less than half that. A magazine hasn’t called in a “book” in over three years now, but agencies sometimes still want them. And my agent, Big Leo, takes them to portfolio meetings where having a tangible thing to touch still has value. And to be honest, printed portfolios are really nice when done well.
read the whole post on Less Is More.
“I don’t think there’s anything magazine-like out there that’s really resonating or working,” said Khoi Vinh, former design director for The New York Times. “Ultimately, the concept of a magazine feels like an uncomfortable fit for this platform. It shouldn’t be a packaged slate of content; it’s an awkward fit for a connected device that can be up to the minute.”
Henceforth, I’ll be the guy that announced his wife’s pregnancy in a book review. There’s no way around it. That’s me now. I’m that guy.
And what of it? It means I’ve decided to share details about my life with you, our readership. Why would I do such a thing? Is it to ensure that these articles are interesting enough to hold your attention? Sure.
Or maybe it’s because the more you know about me, the more perspective you’ll have on my opinions? That’s true too. Because I really am just a guy sitting in his library, (soon to be nursery,) surrounded by photo-books, banging out the content each week. So the way I see it, the more you know about my taste and decision-making, the more capably you’ll decide when I’m wrong. (Or full of shit.)
So now you know that I’m going to have a daughter at the end of Summer. I already have a son, and a brother, who also has two sons. What do I now about raising a girl? Not much.
On the plus side, as an artist, I get to discuss my feelings. Heck, I get to be aware that I have feelings, which is more than I can say for many an American male. But yes, I have plenty of feminine characteristics to balance out the testosterone. Just last night, I had a chat about emotions with my Mom. Sure, I made her cry, but it was the good kind.
But as to rearing a little baby girl from scratch? I haven’t got a clue. I was weaned on sports, smacking my brother around, and slogging through the stream in the backyard. I’ve never played with dolls, (action figures are different,) and like many a man, have long harbored deep fears about what it will be like when my daughter’s first boyfriend (or girlfriend) shows up at the door with a smirk on his/her face. It’s a common fear, and one I’m looking forward to meeting head on.
But really, what am I in for? Where should I turn for a glimpse of what the future holds? How about a photo-book? (Yes, I’m sure you saw that coming this time.) In particular, let’s take a look at “Sasha,” by Claudine Doury, recently released by Le Caillou Bleu. (With an essay by my good friend Melanie McWhorter.)
I think someone made a comment about “Haiiro,” something about judging a book by its cover. Well, you can do that here as well. On a beautiful block of green fabric sits a black silhouette of a bird. Smallish, it might be a finch, or something like that. (Lacking details, as it’s black, we can’t tell.) But it sure is pretty. Open up and the inside of the cover is mauve, which is like a cross between pink and lavender. Again, pretty. (And it goes so well with the green.)
Flipping towards the photographs, which ought to be more important, we see a succession of images featuring a girl, whom we can only presume to be Sasha. She’s a late adolescent, maybe 12 or 13, if I had to guess, and is joined by a friend or two in many of the images. And what do they do? Play dead, imagine things, frolic in the mud, cavort covered with weeds, conjure spells cast with burning witch-ly sticks. In short, they live in imaginary worlds, no different from boys, in theory.
I suppose it’s a feminine version of what I did with my buddies back in the day, and what my son does now. In pre-school, we fought over who got to be Superman, and co-ordinated our Underroos. By Kindergarten, the teacher made us take turns pretending to be Luke Skywalker. On the playground, it was an endless blur of kickball games that always seemed to end in tears. (Yes, mine. I was a sensitive lad.)
No, really, back to the book. The photographs are well made, with a somber earth tone palette, and a healthy dash of mystery. Like when Sasha walks on water. (Thank you, Photoshop.) When the girls are running in mud, they made me think Ana Mendieta and her Earth art. Buried under the tall green grass up to her neck, eyes averted, Sasha plays dead. She’s always up to something, whether staring at leeches, presenting a blonde pony tail in a box, petting the bird from the cover, or pretending to suffocate while covered in a plastic sheet.
Is this my future? I don’t know. None of us do. But as I always say, I like to be surprised by a good photo-book, to learn new things, to witness fresh perspectives. “Sasha” did this for me; helped me visualize the unknown, which is the scariest thing of all. Will it do the same for you?
Bottom line: Lovely book, filled with pretend magic
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.
By shooting all those redundant, useless digital images I’m simply passing the buck to my future self, the one sitting despairingly in front of the computer.
via planet shapton.