Social Media Marketing Talk – PPE NYC Tomorrow

I’m giving my talk on photographers using social media tomorrow (Friday) at the PDN Photo Plus Expo in New York City. The talk is at 1:30.

The talk has evolved since I first gave it 2 years ago as I’ve discovered more and more photographers finding success with social media. Also, this idea that you uncover demand using social media, rather than create it has changed how I look at everything. So, if that interests you and you’re around come by and listen.

The iPad Is A Distraction

- - Blog News

Just being there doesn’t mean publishers are there at all. How they are there is what matters. Publishers must not be distracted by the ability to iterate magazines into a digital space and they must not be distracted by the iPad. Rather, they must ask, what is the likely form and function of content going to be 10 years from today and what is the true potential of locatable, social, personalized and discoverable magazine experiences?

via The Media Online.

Shooting Advertising With A Conscience

- - Working

This guest post was written by Christopher LaMarca author of Forest Defenders: The Confrontational American Landscape

Within the world of professional photography, ones ability to work on personal projects must be balanced with the jobs that bring in the capital required to do so. In finding this balance, occasionally we are asked to compromise our personal principals for the paycheck which sustains us in this highly competitive field. With the current state of the world, perhaps its high time to take a difficult but necessary look at our industries relationship with perpetuating an extraction based economy responsible for the widespread environmental and social degradation we see all around us today.

A couple of months ago I was approached by the advertising agency representing Chevron to place a bid for shooting a campaign aimed at increasing the effectiveness of their global corporate recruitment. Before submitting an offer, I was faced with an ethical and intensely personal moral dilemma that stemmed from the possibility of using my craft to advance a corporate agenda I do not support. Most recently Chevron has admitted during the long-running trial in both US and Ecuadorian courts that it created a system of oil extraction that led to the deliberate discharge of billions of gallons of chemical-laden “water of formation” into the Amazonian River basin of Ecuador, affecting thousands of people with cancer and other illness. These facts represented a counter weight to the realization that the type of financial benefit this job opportunity offered was enough to finish and fully fund a documentary film that I have been working on for the past two years. This film represents the most intimate and visceral body of work in my professional career.

Having worked on energy issues for the past five years I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited into the homes of countless families and company employees who’s lives have been affected by the extraction of natural gas, coal, and oil. Ironically, it was the natural dignity and heroism I captured in the images of these individuals that the client hoped I would bring to their campaign of workforce recruitment. How could I justify my professional contribution of working with a company that has proven countless times over that the desire for increased profits is far more important than the human and environmental disasters they leave in their wake. Through this process I had an opportunity to re-examine the direction of my own ethical compass. I’d like to say there was never any question about my decision, but in this case, that was not true. I have no doubt that I made the right choice for me, which clearly isn’t the right choice for everybody.

I believe the questions posed while I was flirting with Chevron’s money are questions that often get lost in our industry. Can we justify the prostitution of the work we love to corporate interests so that we may continue to chase down our individual dreams of self expression? Do the ends justify the means? When we convince ourselves that that they do, what gets lost or destroyed along the way? Whether we’re using our craft to create corporate “cool”, or ‘greenwashing’ the public with an eco-friendly image that hides the true nature of that which is being peddled, we are covering up the truth which hides right in front of our eyes. And in doing so we act in direct opposition to the truth of our own work we desire to share with the rest of the world.

Scores Of Young And Inexperienced Photographers Descended On Libya

- - Blog News

“I don’t think most young photographers know the risk,” he said.
 
“But you can’t deny them their chance. Jim Nachtwey and Don McCullin had a first time. Patrick Chauvel had a first time. You don’t get experience until you are under fire. You don’t understand how to protect yourself until you stand behind a wall being shot at.” As a photographer at Black Star in his mid-20s, Mr. Morris chafed at the bit, trying to get assignments in El Salvador and Beirut. His boss, Howard Chapnick, told him he wasn’t ready. So Mr. Morris set out for the Philippines on his own.

via On Young Photographers and Conflict – NYTimes.com.

The Daily Edit – Wednesday 10.26.11

- - The Daily Edit

( click images to make bigger )

ESPN

Creative Director, Print and Digital Media: John Korpics

Senior Director, Design: Jason Lancaster

Art Directors: Mike Leister, Marne Mayer, John Yun

Senior Deputy Photo Editor: Nancy Weisman

Deputy Photo Editor: Jim Surber

(1-3) Photographer: Francesco Carrozzini

(3 spread) Photographer: Jeff Reidel


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

We Need To Do Better

- - Blog News

“How many of you expect to make your living from creating or providing content?”

Close to half of the audience responded by raising their hands up.

When I asked the same audience:

“How many of you believe that you should pay for content?”

Less than a dozen people kept their hands up…

via Vincent Laforet’s Blog.

9th Annual Lucie Awards

- - Awards

The Lucie Awards were held last night. Always an exciting event because the honorees, presenters and nominees are the luminaries of the photography industry and the winners get to walk up on stage and accept a statue. Here are the winners:

International Photographer of the Year went to Majid Saeedi
Discovery of the Year Award went to Anna di Prospero
International Photographer of the Year – Deeper Perspective Award went to Daniel Beltrá
Picture Editor of the year went to Kira Pollack, Time Magazine
Photography Magazine of the Year went to ZOOM
Fashion Layout of the Year went to W Magazine for Tilda Swinton, photographed by Tim Walker
Book Publisher of the Year went to Chris Boot, Ltd for Infidel by Tim Hetherington
Photography Curator/Exhibition of the Year – Kohle Yohannan for Beauty Culture at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles

The 2011 honorees were:
Dawoud Bey for Achievement in Portraiture
Bill Eppridge for Achievement in Photojournalism
Rich Clarkson for Achievement in Sports
Nobuyoshi Araki for Achievement in Fine Art
Nancy McGirr and Fotokids for Humanitarian Award
Eli Reed for Achievement in Documentary Photography Award
The International Center of Photography received The 2011 Spotlight Award

Congratulations to everyone.

This Week In Photography Books

- - Photography Books

by Jonathan Blaustein

If, like me, you have a kid, you’re likely to have re-discovered your adoration for Dr. Seuss. That man, crazy as he must have been, could most definitely spin a yarn. And I just love the way his stories and sentences always seem to find a balance. (On the fifteenth of May, in the Jungle of Nool, in the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool…) Not too messy, not too clean, not to cutesy, not to tough. Just right. So with that in mind, I thought I’d follow up last week’s selection of big, cloth-bound, heavy monographs with a couple of small, taut, poetic little books. (And of course, they’re by female photographers to balance out all the previous guys. As promised.)

Just in time for Halloween, “Dondoro,” is a soft cover, perfect bound, slim little booklet by Estelle Hanania, published by Kaugummi Books. It’s a creepy, trippy set of images of Japanese masks, dolls and dancers that has the feel of a ancient funeral procession. A head stone image and the general melancholic tone hint that the color photos metaphorically depict lament and sorrow. As the French-only text offers up “En mémoire d’Hoichi Okamato 1947-2010,” I feel pretty comfortable with that guess. I’m not a scary movie guy, to be frank, and when I saw that Japanese horror flick with Sarah Michelle Gellar a few years ago, I almost crapped my pants. But this book is cool, and I’ve found myself opening it and closing it a lot since I picked it up from photo-eye. It must be the time of year, because everyone likes getting the heebie-geebies in late October, but this is a book that I think will stand the test of time.
Bottom Line: Disturbing, but in a good way.

Visit Photo-Eye to purchase Dondoro

 

“Hurricane Story,” offered by Broken Levee Books, (via Chin Music Press,) is a colorful little hard cover by Jennifer Shaw. I confess that I really haven’t seen anything like this, and neither have you. Ms. Shaw, a New Orleans resident, was one week from giving birth when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. She tells the story of her and her husbands’ evacuation and subsequent displacement, which I admit is a tale we’ve heard before. And of course, there have been a hundred natural disasters since, each of which pushes Katrina a bit further into the background. In this book, however, the story is re-created using toy props, shot dreamily and lusciously with a Holga. Each page uses a single sentence to illuminate the narrative, and the technique enables the viewer to read the story both in words and pictures simultaneously. It’s lovely, witty, poignant and original. Definitely a book you want to have in your collection.
Bottom Line: Just right

Visit Photo-Eye to purchase Hurricane Story

 

Full Disclosure: Books and scans were provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase. Please support Photo-Eye if you find this feature useful.

Get Your Portfolio On

- - Portfolio

The proliferation and acceptance of iPads as photographer portfolios is a great thing. Not only is it inexpensive compared to printed books, you can include motion and depth on subjects that your client may be interested in. That being said, the printed book is still a source of familiarity for those in the hiring position and a great way to start a meeting off on the right foot. I was on a panel recently where photo editors said “if you can’t make nice prints don’t bother with a printed book” and I have to agree that while the selection and sequencing of images are super important the quality of the prints can make or break the whole presentation.

Photographer Zack Arias describes the process of updating and printing a new portfolio and it’s a good read for anyone who hasn’t done one yet:

A printed book is a thing to take pride in. There’s something tangible about it that holding an iPad doesn’t compare to. Note that I’m a big believer in electronic forms of showing your work. I walk into every meeting with a print book AND an iPad. The book is the best representation I have of the work I do. The iPad holds expanded galleries of work that support the book and hold other galleries of work that don’t find their way into the main book. Things like personal projects, travel photography, video, etc. Eventually I want to have a series of print books that show a range of the work I do.

Read the rest here.

A Conversation with CPC 2011 Winner Yaakov Israel

- - Blog News

Yaakov Israel’s The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey, complex, multi-faceted project, featuring portraits and landscapes, was my personal pick as a winner of this year’s Conscientious Portfolio Competition. For me, the project captures seemingly disjointed moments in time, offering many hints and as many red herrings. The viewer is invited to come back and re-look at these photographs, to find a slightly different world each time. New details reveal themselves, while old details change their meaning ever so slightly. Instead of pointing at something and saying “This is the way it is” the photographs ask their viewers to discover what is to be found and to ultimately come to their own conclusions.

via Conscientious.

Wanted: Camera Operators

- - The Future

You can trace the decline of the Camera Operator job back to the days when being a photographer meant you were actually a chemist. Steady technological advances in film, lenses, cameras and software have turned operating a camera into something a monkey can do. You don’t have to look any further than Craigslist to see postings for camera operators listed at $0.25 per object and $10/hr, to realize operating cameras is not a good way to make a living. I don’t think I’m stating anything new here, just working my way to several points I want to make in response to this email I received:

As a benchmark, I am interested in PDN’s 30 under 30, but I can’t help feeling, that it’s about being connected to the right channels, presenting to the right audience and in the right manner. I wrestle with the notion of, “It’s who you know, not what you can do.” And a lot of times, it all feels like a networking popularity contest, or how one presents/markets his or herself.

How does a photographer best position his or her work to a photo editor to be considered at that level? What draws their intrigue? Is it a look, a ton of skill, getting published in the places, being unique in a world when everyone is trying to be unique and therefore mimics one another?

Photography as a business is not about operating cameras. It’s about operating a business and applying the rules that govern successful businesses: advertising, marketing, networking, professionalism, instilling confidence, igniting word of mouth, leadership, standing out, evolving, defining your offering, building a team of talented people… etc. While it may be horrific to see jobs that once paid well go for McDonalds wages, those people are only looking for someone to operate a camera.

The other point I want to make, is that hitching your wagon to something like the PDN 30 is not a good idea. Professional photographers have multiple points of contact with their clients before getting hired. If the first time anyone sees your work or has heard of you is in the PDN 30 you will disappointed by the lack of response. As a benchmark your appearance in the PDN 30 should be accompanied by your 3rd year of direct marketing, a spread in a great magazine, successful portfolio meetings and the completion of an intense personal project.

The job of camera operator has been in decline for many decades, don’t follow it into the ground.

My Clients Ask Me For A Solution

- - Blog News

More and more I get assignments with very open ended parameters. My clients are very often asking me to come up with the solution. This is challenging as there are sometimes no limits. I have to ask a lot of questions to get to what’s important to them. I believe I’m most creative with some parameters, so I decide on a mini story that all my ideas must fall into. The story usually aligns with something in my gut that I want to try visually.

— Saverio Truglia

via » this is the what.

The Daily Edit – Tuesday
10.18.11

- - The Daily Edit

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Esquire

Design Director: David Curcurito

Art Director: Stravinski Pierre

Photo Director: Michael Norseng

Photo Editor: Alison Unterreiner

Photographer: Brock Davis

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

Heidi: How long did the photoshop work take for that image?
Brock: Not long, I only use photoshop to clean up an image and color correct. I prefer to work organically when it comes to creating visual props and pieces. No photoshop was done on the stallion. My friend Amy made the prop, we decided it would be best to use a model horse from a toy store and cut it in half. The wig was wrapped and styled around the torso of the horse.

What was the inspiration for that, a hood ornament? How much word play goes on in your mind when thinking up solutions? Do you have you a process you go through?
Hair grooming was a big focus of the article, I knew that I wanted to show a man with a bold hairstyle.

The first thing that came to mind was a pompadour which is meant to be bold and dramatic, but I wanted to take it a step further so I added the animal shape. I was thinking about animals in dramatic poses and I remembered the Lone Ranger’s horse Silver. The shape of a stallion rearing up seemed to fit the shape of a pompadour, so I decided to go with it.

Did you work with a hairstylist?
No, my friend Amy and I did the styling ourselves. Esquire had requested that the model be a red head, so I asked my friend Gabe to model. Amy found a wig that matched his coloring and we assembled the prop.

For your Rapala video: how did you get the fish to drive?
The fish was a prop made by a place in Toronto. It was made to look and move realistically. The gills and mouth were wired electronically to open and move as they would in the water. I wanted the framing to show the fish behind the wheel, but I didn’t want to show how the fish was holding onto the wheel, or sitting in the seat of the car. I didn’t think those details were necessary and could possibly be distracting. The main thing was to show the fish just being a fish, with a moving wheel in front of him. This image edited around the car actually driving down the road would work well make it seem like the fish is tearing down the road. The car was placed on a trailer, and pulled down the road. The trailer is a rig designed to hold a vehicle so that it can be filmed on the outside and around the vehicle easily, while still maintaining the motion of driving down the road. At the end of the spot, we threw a fake rubber fish out of the car to make it look like the fish dives out of the door. The final shot is a real fish swimming off in the lake.

 

What can you tell me about the development of the Harley Davidson work?
The Harley ‘Build Yours’ campaign was for the HD Parts and Accessories division. P&A is all about giving riders the chance to customize their bikes. The idea came about when I was thinking how interesting it would be to drop a motorcycle from a great height and when it hits the ground it explodes into hundreds of parts and the parts form the shape of the person who customized the bike. That was the feel were going for. We worked with a company in London called First Base imaging. They flew out to Minneapolis for the shoot. We dismantled 3 bikes all the way down to the last bolt. Each piece was photographed. It was a meticulous and tedious production. I wanted all of the pieces to be in proportion to each other when arranged on the floor. Each ad went through about 30 versions before getting to the final image. We photographed models and in photoshop placed all the appropriate pieces to create the image. It was a long project but in the end I think it turned out successful.