The Daily Edit – New York Magazine: Dina Litovsky

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New York Magazine

Director of Photography: Jody Quan
Editor for Ladies who Gala:  Roxanne Behr
Editor for Gayle King:  Marvin Orellana
Photographer: Dina Litovsky

Heidi: How do you make yourself “invisible?” and when the subjects start to notice the camera, how do you deflect/deal or overcome this?

Dina: It’s impossible to make yourself invisible when working with flash in low-lit environment. The hardest thing is to avoid the subjects posing for the camera, since everyone assumes that’s the shot the photographer is looking for. One way to avoid is it wait on the side when other photographers gather take their shots – once they are done people tend to instantaneously relax and take off the game face – that’s when I snap a few images. Another way is to move in very quickly before the person realizes they are the subjects of the image,  that works when they are distracted by being on the phone/talking with someone. It’s easier to shoot subjects in a crowd, people don’t think that I’m singling them out and just ignore the camera. The hardest image is of a person alone in their own space – I either need to be super fast or let them pose first for the camera and then once they think the shoot is done take one more photo.

Did you have an assistant and how much gear do you typically bring?

Usually I have an assistant to help me with the off-camera flash. That allows me to direct the light from many directions and it’s especially useful in large spaces when shooting crowds. Held in the right way, the flash isolates the subjects that I’m interested in while still preserving the ambiance of the space. I bring just minimal amount of gear – one lens, on camera transmitter and a flash.

What did you wear?

I always wear all black and most importantly, very comfortable boots.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?

The editors wanted to feel the exclusivity and the decadence of the scene and of course see a lot of celebrities, but other than I had a lot of freedom to experiment. I was sending in the images after every few days to make sure that the story was on the right track. There were some adjustments done but we were on the same page from the beginning, which was great.

This event has a unique subculture, what elements were you trying to show without being ostentatious or was this the point?

In part the focus was on photographing the over-the-top jewels and the clothes, they were a big visual part of what was happening. But I was also interested in the interactions between the guests and their mannerisms.

NYMag Gayle King

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Gayle King Story

How hard was it to keep up with Gayle?

The hardest thing was waking up at 3am to make it Gayle’s place by 4:30 am. I am definitely not used to that so it wasn’t easy to get into work mode right away.  Gayle goes into hair and makeup at every morning at 5am at CBS and doesn’t rest until 11pm in the evening. I found her energy contagious so other than that first hour in the morning the shoot was both challenging and invigorating.

Since you parallel her, what tricks to you have to stay engaged and working the entire time?

Most importantly I make sure to get a good night’s sleep, I need at least 7 hours a day to feel fully functional so with Gayle I was in bed by 9pm. I start out with an espresso but that’s all I need to get going, once I start shooting the adrenaline keeps me awake and alert so I can shoot all day without feeling tired.

The Daily Promo – Tara Donne

- - The Daily Promo


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Tara Donne


Who printed it?
This booklet was printed by J.S. McCarthy Printers.

Who designed it?
My studio manager and I designed it but we also got some key feedback from my studio mate Warren Corbitt of Primary & Co.

Who edited the images?
I edited the images with the help of my studio manager.

How many did you make?
We printed 750 and I sent out about 675, keeping the rest for leave-behinds.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Two print promos per year seems to be my sweet spot lately. I always want to make sure there’s enough super fresh work to share and creating that work obviously takes time. So does the editing and design process too!

Did you shoot images specifically for this promo?
This promo featured a lot of work that was shot specifically for it and none of it had been seen before. We started the layout with FPO images, some brand new and some that were much older, to begin to create a sense of place, style, palette, and season. Some of the newer images that made the final edit were ones that I shot while on vacation in Iceland this summer and a couple came from editorial assignments. The majority of the images were captured on two different test shoots that I produced with this piece specifically in mind.

This Week In Photography Books: Todd R. Forsgren

by Jonathan Blaustein

Have you ever heard of Conor McGregor?

Yes? No? (If not, he’s an Irish fighter, currently taking the MMA world by storm.)

I’m not much of an MMA fan, myself. But I started watching the occasional match a couple of years ago, when I was training in Kung Fu, and became tangentially aware of a few of the big players in the sport.

McGregor had a huge fight this past weekend: a title challenge against a Brazilian named Jose Aldo. Mr. Aldo, the champion, was undefeated for a decade, and a tough mother-f-cker, by all accounts.

People spend $100 to watch these fights on Pay-per-View. They’re events and spectacles, as much as physical battles. Fans shell out for the entertainment and expect good value in return.

Apparently, Conor McGregor likes to talk a lot of sh-t. So many fighters do, but he always backs it up, which only increases the vehemence of his fan base.

This time, his words proved prophetic. I didn’t see the fight, of course, because no way am I dropping a hundred bucks on such a thing. Not when I need to buy my son a new ski jacket since he lost his old one last Spring.

But I didn’t need to see it. No one did. Because the fight was over as soon as it started. According to media accounts, Jose Aldo came out and threw a punch, which McGregor deflected. The Irishman countered with a straight punch of his own, to Aldo’s jaw, that knocked the champion out directly.

13 seconds.

That’s all people got for their $100. Was it worth it? I have no idea.

But it got me thinking about what Jose Aldo must have felt like. He trained months for this bout. A decorated champion, cultured in the art of both attack and defense. He was likely just getting ready to get ready. Moving his body cursorily, adrenaline flowing, knowing he had a good long battle in front of him.

Bam.

He’s lying on his back, staring at the little birdies circling his head.

“What just happened,” he would have thought, in Portuguese.
“Onde estou?”
“How could my life be changed, that radically, in just a few seconds?”

It’s an interesting question. Like the people watching the Boston Marathon a few years ago. One moment, life exists as expected, and then, two seconds later, it’s different forever.

The limbo, the not knowing, must be the worst part. Disoriented, distressed, wondering if things will ever be the same again?

You know who else felt like that? The little birdies I just finished looking at as I perused “Ornithological Photographs,” an excellent new book by Todd R. Forsgren, recently published by Daylight. (Good thing he uses that R. I’m sure we’d otherwise confuse him with the other Todd Forsgren.)

This is a book that does what I’m always asking: it shows us things we’ve never seen before. Sure, we all see birds every day, and I can spot a raven just by looking out my window for 8 seconds. (Yes, I counted.) But this is something new.

Mr. Forsgren, who comes by his interest in ornithology honestly, having been steeped in its mystery by his parents, has photographed countess birds who’ve just been caught in a net.

Flash. Bang.

You’re a Blue-Winged warbler, minding your own business. You’re thinking about food, because you always think about food. Mmmm, wouldn’t a little inchworm be delicious right about now? Or a lady-bug? That’s right, I love me some lady-bug.

Pow.

You’re caught in a net. Your wings are trapped. You have absolutely no idea what’s going on, and unlike Jose Aldo, you don’t speak Portuguese. In what code does your brain express its massive fear?

I have no idea.

But this book allows us to read into those eyes. To wonder, how might a little bird react to such a drastic change in circumstances?

Apparently, the artist accompanied ornithologists in the field, and then set up a makeshift studio each time, to capture the image while the birds were being temporarily studied. My first thought, before reading any text, was that he’d trapped and killed these guys to get the photographs.

Awful, I know, but that was just an initial impression. The truth makes much more sense. These are glimpses of temporary interactions, and the birds were released unharmed. (But perhaps with trackers in them?)

The book is definitely one-note, as the typological aspect is not really broken up. It might have been more dynamic if they’d come up with a way of balancing the aesthetic consistency. But I’m splitting hairs.

This is a fascinating group of pictures, and definitely one that gives us something fresh. It adds to the overall body of knowledge we develop when we look at photography. (And art, by extension.) We, the photography lovers, are not so different from fight fans, or bird freaks.

We like to look.

Bottom Line: Badass bird book. Enough said.

To Purchase “Ornithological Photographs” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Mark Rogers

- - Personal Project, Working

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Mark Rogers

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How long have you been shooting?
I picked up my first camera when I was 9. It was a Kodak x15 Instamatic with one of those cube flashbulbs. The first image I ever remember taking was of our black cat sitting in a bed of red azalea bushes. I think the pet photography thing was predestined.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Self taught. Both my dad and his dad were into photography and passed it on down to me. My grandfather was a newspaper reporter who shot his own stuff and my dad picked up the bug from him. I remember an image my dad took at a beach of a sandpiper running in the surf and thinking: “I want to be able to do that, too.” (see, animals again)
After that I did the classic shooting-for-a-high-school-year-book thing and always had a camera around but it stayed a hobby for a long, long time.

When I moved to San Francisco in the 90s I started volunteering at the San Francisco city animal shelter and began bringing my camera.  Folks at the shelter started telling me the images were a lot different than the ones they were used to seeing of the animals there and that’s what inspired me to eventually leave my corporate job and spend my work day on the ground with dogs and cats instead of in a cubicle.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
My career as a professional photographer had its roots in volunteerism and giving back and I continued doing pro bono work with animal welfare groups after I started shooting professionally 10 years ago. VET SOS (Veterinary Street Outreach Services) was one of the  early ones. I knew immediately I’d found something special. When you go to one of those clinics and see firsthand  the special bond between the homeless clients and their animals it’s a life changer. I knew it pretty much couldn’t not be a project after my second clinic. I photographed a young woman with her puppy while he got his first veterinary exam. Six months later I got an email from her out of the blue and she said she’d seen the photos online and sent one of her and the puppy to her parents. It was the first time they’d communicated in over a year but started them talking again. She moved back home a month later and was still there with her dog getting her life back in order.  That blew me away.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
Truth be told it’s been presented in bits and pieces the entire time. VET SOS has used a number of images over the years to help with fundraising and shots have appeared in a book on the human-animal bond as well as an exhibit in LA on pets of the homeless. I decided about 6 months ago to make it part of my project portfolio on my new website and it finally saw the light of day a few weeks ago when that site finally rolled out.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I tend to have a hard time letting go of something once I start it so I’ll do my best to either make it work or see if there’s a way to use anything I’ve already shot on something else in the future. I find that if I stop working on something for a bit and go back to it another angle or approach becomes clear.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
With the personal work I feel like I can stretch a bit more and worry less about specific outcomes. Portfolio and advertising jobs shoots are very planned out. They’re produced and lot more controlled. Granted, any shoot involving animals has an element of unpredictability but the VET SOS clinics are essentially veterinary MASH units set up in the middle of a street. There’s dozens of people and animals and no room for much equipment. It’s generally just me and my camera trying to stay out of the way and catch the moments so there’s not really time to plan it and do special set ups. It’s a lot more freeing but also tougher to get images you really want because of nasty light conditions or people walking in front of you at the perfect moment. I don’t know for sure if any given shot is going to work until afterwards but I also think that lack of control over all the external factors helps me focus a bit more. I don’t want to make it sound like combat photography but the element of risk of not being able to get a shot seems to make for a better shot.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I post quite a bit on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. VET SOS actually posts the images on their facebook page and a lot of the clients are on facebook and have email.  That was something that really surprised me.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not quite viral yet but there’s more and more broad interest in tackling the homeless issue in the US and with a program like VET SOS where you have that plus the amazing bond between the homeless and their animals it’s something I hope the press and public takes more interest in.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
My first book, was just published in October and many of the images in it were from personal projects I’ve done over the years. I’ve started sending that out as a piece to past and potential clients and have some other promos in the works for next year.

Artist Statement
VET SOS (Veterinary Street Outreach Services) provides veterinary care to the companion animals of homeless San Franciscans through monthly mobile clinics. The relationships between these animals and their human guardians are some of the most profound examples of the human-animal bond I’ve ever seen and I’ve been continually drawn to them as subjects since I began volunteering with VET SOS in 2007.

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Mark Rogers is a San Francisco–based pet photographer known for his ability to draw out the personalities and emotions of his animal and human subjects and the special bond they share. His eye-catching, often humorous images of dogs, cats, and other critters appear regularly in national advertising campaigns and print publications. Mark’s first book, Thanks for Picking Up My Poop: Everyday Gratitude From Dogs was recently published by Ulysses Press.


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 establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

Pricing and Negotiating: Native Advertising for Major Lifestyle Magazine

Alex Rudinski, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Fashion portraits of two models in an urban setting

Licensing: Native Advertising use of six images in perpetuity

Location: Exterior locations throughout Manhattan

Shoot Days: 2

Photographer: Fashion and beauty photographer based in New York

Agency: Regional lifestyle magazine

Client: National hair care brand

Budget: $8000.00

Licensing: As many struggle to find new streams of revenue and monetize consumers accustomed to getting their content for free, we’ve been receiving more and more requests from photographers working on advertorial or native advertising projects. Many media companies have taken on the challenge, with varying degrees of success. Much derided and often ignored, advertorials and native content are hard to pull off right. Some are overlooked completely, some annoy consumers, but the absolute best provide useful content that promotes the associated brand subtly and contextually, leaving a positive brand impression.

We were approached by a fashion and beauty photographer to help draft an estimate after she was contacted by a major lifestyle magazine based in the New York City area. The magazine was working with a national hair care brand, and was looking to produce some photos of professional talent styled with their client’s products for use on the magazine’s website as a web-only advertorial. The photos would show the fully-styled models in urban street scenes alongside videos explaining how to achieve the styles the models were showcasing with the brand’s products. Apart from being hosted on the magazine’s primary website, the photos and videos (shot by a separate crew) would also be featured on a fashion-centric blog owned by the magazine as well as a microsite that would host all the content indefinitely.

Because of the nature of this use, it might seem it doesn’t fit cleanly within the normal terms we use to describe licensing (which are Advertising, Collateral, Editorial and Publicity). However, we consider the use to be more along the lines of what we might normally call advertising use, due to the value the client is getting from the images, and the final use of those images, being similar. Of course, the client views this as a more editorial use, and wants to pay accordingly. Beyond the client’s ecpectations, due to the limited distribution (the magazine and its websites only) and the one-and-done nature of the project, we can’t charge as much as we might for what we typically call advertising use.

While this modern use of native advertising is still fairly new, the advertorial has been around for a while – think of all the “Special Advertising Sections” you’ve seen in magazines. As such, some of the tools we consult when calculating licensing fees do contain a print advertorial option. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hit the mark in this case. Fotoquote, which includes a print advertorial option only, calculated $687 per image per year, while Getty Images quoted $2,230 for the same. Blinkbid’s Bid Consultant (which doesn’t really have enough options to appropriatly price this scenario) came in at $3,600 on the low end, and Corbis arrived at $1,080 for print advertorial use. Searching for web advertising use, Fotoquote gave me $671, Getty (which calls Web Advertising “Digital Advertisement”) returned $1,205, Corbis provided a range of $305 to $763 and Blinkbid offered information of the same accuracy as earlier.

As you can see, these numbers are all over the place, without a clear consensus. You might land on $1,000 for the first image for one year, which would be a sensible place to start. But perhaps the most salient consideration for this job was the client’s specific budget. The photographer was eager to get the job, and inclined to try and work within their parameters. As hard as we might work to divine the “objective” value of the image, if the client isn’t willing to pay that amount, we won’t get very far.

Client Provisions: The magazine had picked out the six locations, hired the talent, arranged transportation and designed the looks. The brand provided their own stylist, well versed in using only the brand’s products to achieve a variety of looks. Lighting was naturalistic, requiring minimal gear, and the on-the-move nature of the shoot prohibited much catering or wardrobe. The photographer, stylists, client and talent would drive around New York in a Sprinter, jumping from location to location. Overall, the magazine would be providing a lot of what photographers are normally asked to provide and what we normally include. This helped us keep our costs down, and also made pre-production a relative breeze. To avoid any miscommunication about what the client would provide and what the photographer would be responsible for, I included a list of client provisions in the estimate’s job description, listing everything that the client would provide clearly and completely.

Many of the provisions would be supplied by a video team that would be following along, capturing some BTS shots and creating how-to videos showing how the models were styled. In different ways, the photographs and the videos would be equally as important to the overall campaign, and just as prominent in the execution of the advertorials.

Tech/Scout Day: Even though the locations would be chosen and vetted by the magazine’s creative team, the photographer would need to visit each location to plan how she might shoot there. With six locations to get through in the day and an unknown amount of travel between, working quickly would be crucial to a successful shoot.

Assistant: Considering the lighting requirements (little) and the additional bodies (several) we opted for only one assistant here. We might have included a second assistant if not for the client-managed video crew, if only to make sure that the area of the shoot is secure. That aspect would be handled by the client and their video team, so in this case our photographer only needed her trusted first assistant. The client was fine with the idea of reviewing images on the back of the camera, so we opted not to include a digital tech.

Equipment: Even though the client was looking for natural light, we wanted to make sure there was enough money available for the photographer to rent additional lenses, or provide subtle lighting to supplement the existing scene. This money would also cover the photographer’s owned equipment, rented to the production at market rates.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: After the shoot, the photographer would need to upload all the images, cull the unusable frames, lightly batch process the images and upload them to a web gallery for the client to review and make their selects from. This takes at least a couple hours, so we want to make sure the photographer (or her retoucher) is compensated for the time, skill and equipment required to produce the previews.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: Once selects are chosen, the photographer will need to process the images for use in the final product. Some photographers might call this retouching, but in order to avoid confusion about how much or what kind of digital work a photographer is doing, we use the word “processing” to describe the work the photographer does to the images without specific client requests, and we use the word “retouching” to describe requests that the client makes after that.

Miles, Parking, Tolls, Misc. Expenses: During the scout day, the photographer and her assistant will need to travel and eat—this fee allows us to get reimbursed for that expense. This also gives us a little wiggle room if a line item turns out to be more expensive than we expected. We include this sort of line item on every shoot as a safety net to catch either small, unforeseen expenses or lump several minor expenses into one category.

Result: We were able to get a budget from the client before-hand, and we knew this was a bit above what they were hoping for. However, we were able to negotiate an increase to cover the additional cost, and the shoot was executed smoothly. The photographer delivered images quickly, and the client loved them. The images complemented the text and video well, helping to create social engagement and drive traffic to the client’s website.

Hindsight: As great as it is when a client accepts an estimate immediately, it always makes me wonder if we underbid the project. I’d much prefer to negotiate to reduce the costs for a shoot to a specific amount than submit an estimate that’s accepted without any negotiation. In this scenario, we were able to do just that – come in slightly over budget and negotiate approval, thereby getting as much money for the photographer as we could. We could have come in at or under the budget, but in the end we would have forfeited money on what was already a slimmer shoot.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at (610) 260-0200. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to big ad campaigns.

The Daily Edit – Liam Doran

- - The Daily Edit

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Elevation Outdoors
Editor-in-Chief/Photo Director: Doug Schnitzpahn
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Director of Photography: David Reddick
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Photography Director: Keri Bascetta
Photographer: Liam Doran

What was your first paid editorial assignment?  
It has been a while so I’m not totally sure, but I think it was a backcountry trip I shot for Powder Magazine.  We got on the Durango-Silverton train and were dropped off in the middle of the Weminuche Wilderness. From there we would hike in six miles and climb a few thousand vertical, put in a base-camp and ski 14,000 foot peaks for a few days.  When we got off the train, I had a fever of probably 102 and it was pouring rain.  It was a brutal hike but I made it in, but my fever would’nt break for another 36 hours.

How many days a year do you travel?

I would guess about 150. I now have two young girls, Bergen 4 and Elsa 2, so being gone for long periods of time puts a lot of stress on the family.  I am fortunate to have an amazing wife who very much supports my work and understands what it takes for me to achieve my photography goals.

For a shot like this there are no do overs. Are you stationary or also skiing?  
During the shot I’m stationary of course but as a ski photographer you certainly have to be a very proficient skier.

How many locations did you scout for this cover shoot for Elevation Outdoors?
None really.  The location is Coal Bank Pass which is between Durango and Silverton in southwest Colorado.  My athlete Sven Brunso skis here regularly so he knew where the snow and light would be best. We were able to work about a 1,000 foot section of ridgeline from top to bottom and set up 8-10 different shots on the way down.

How long did it take you to skin up to this location.
( climbing skins are a tool that backcountry skiers use, to ascend the mountain ) We were moving pretty efficiently so I would guess about an hour maybe hour and a half.

How cold was it; does it affect your camera gear?
It was single digits when we left the car but as the sun came up it warmed to the low 20’s. I use a Canon 1DX and it has great battery life so the cold does not affect it really.  I use Sigma lenses exclusively and they have never had any issues due to cold weather.

Where did you find the cover model, who is it?
Actually the athlete found me on this one.  Sven Brunso called me up and invited me to come ski some of his favorite spots.  We had a great shoot (this is our third cover together) and we continue to work together.

Since you’ve been doing this for so long, do you know you athletes limits?
I do…and they know mine!

For a fresh powder shots there are no do-overs. Do you train for ski season assignments since you are also carrying gear?
Fitness is a huge part of being a successful ski and outdoor photographer.  I will do some ski specific training during the lead up to ski season but more importantly I try to maintain a high level of fitness throughout the year.  You can’t concentrate on photography if you are exhausted from your hike up the mountain, so I am sure to build plenty of athletic time into my workweek. The few days a year that I get to ride/ski/hike without my pack I feel super fast!

How can you tell it’s time to call the shoot to avoid injury?
Unfortunately injuries are part deal in ski photography. They can happen anytime but usually it happens at the end of the day when everyone is getting tired. I have had numerous broken bones, deep lacerations, two blown knees and other injuries.  Most of the skiers I work with have had the same or worse.

Tell us about the “Fresh” image for SKI, how does your equipment perform in those conditions?
This image came from a shoot up on Coal Bank Pass.  I had just received Sigma’s new 120-300 f2.8 lens and was looking to put it through the paces.  Sven Brunso (the skier) and I got up well before sunrise and drove to a spot on the pass that Sven had previously scouted.  The 120-300 is a big lens so I can’t get it super deep in to the backcountry.  Luckily this shot was close to the road.  For anyone wondering the lens is stunningly sharp and we got a Photo Annual cover in Mountain Magazine and this full page for SKI the very first time I shot it.

You had an interesting route to the Arizona Snowbowl, was that part of the Powder assignment to travel through Monument Valley?
Traveling through Monument Valley was not specifically part of the assignment but to get to Arizona Snowbowl from Breckenridge, CO this was the best route.  We knew snow conditions would not be ideal and that the travel aspect of the story would be important and that’s what got me thinking about this shot.  More specifically how to get an interesting shot that was not the cliché of looking down the road to the monuments.
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How did you convince your wife that you needed to take her car instead of your truck?
Ha! Yes well convincing the wife to take her car was not too tough.  I drive a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and my skis and photo gear live in the bed while I’m on the road.  To make this shot work from a storytelling perspective I would need to see the skis on top of the car.  Since my wife’s car has ski racks it was a no brainer that I would need to take her car. By now she is pretty accustomed to my photo shenanigans and she was kind enough to acquiesce.
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The Daily Promo – Ryan Young

- - The Daily Promo

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Ryan Young


Who printed it?
I had this promo printed by a family-owned business in Anaheim called, Quality Graphic Services. They work on projects ranging from books to posters. Between emailing and a face-to-face meeting, they were amazing to work with.

Who designed it?
The design was done by Shannon Ritchie. We worked on it for about 2 months. My aim was to make something that could be folded and kept as a collection of images, or hung on a wall. I selected 2 images that worked as posters, then built around those 2 with images that worked together

Who edited the images?
I made the final edit, but had a lot of help from Shannon and my agent, Maren Levinson. As much of a struggle as it was, I really enjoyed the process. The final stages of editing consisted of removing photos as opposed to adding more. Once the images had enough room to breathe, it all fell into place and made sense.

How many did you make?
I made 1000 and have sent out about 600 so far. With offset printing, the price difference between 500 and 1000 wasn’t much so I decided to go with more.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Every year has been different. It really depends on what kind of work I want to share and what I can afford. I try to send them at least twice a year.

If there is some sort of interesting backstory?
I scrapped 3 other promo designs before committing to this one. I went back and forth between designing a promo focused on a specific body of work and a collection of my favorite images. I ended up going with a combination of personal and commissioned work made in 2015. 

 

This Week In Photography Books: Caleb Cain Marcus

by Jonathan Blaustein

A few years ago, I got a sore throat that was so bad, I ended up on Percocet. Even then, the pain was unbearable.

The thing about that virus, picked up in Mexico, was that the pain was so intense I couldn’t function as a person. Every time I swallowed, I felt as if The Grim Reaper’s scythe was bisecting my adams apple.

Every. Single. Time.

It was so bad, in fact, that my wife had to drive me over the Rocky Mountains, in the middle of night, in a snow storm, so that I could get to the doctor’s first thing the next morning. (We flew through Denver. Big mistake.)

La Veta Pass, in Southern Colorado, is not so scary, if you’re in the daylight, and the roads are clear. You barely even realize you’re ascending, heading East, and they it’s a long, slow descent to the Great Plains.

Unfortunately, we were headed West, slowly up the mountains, and it was 1am. The roads were icy, in April, but much worse was the mist.

The Mist.

It blanketed everything. Visibility is the wrong word to use here, because there was none. It was as if a mystical 1st Grader had taken a magical eraser to reality. We could see our car, and ourselves, but nothing more.

Even today, thinking about the risk, driving up and down a mountain, unsure if we were even in the proper lane…it makes me want to kiss the carpet and thank the mountain gods that we made it home alive.

One tractor trailer, coming downhill in the wrong lane, and my fingers would not be tapping the keyboard right now. I wouldn’t have fingers. They’d be ash, decorating the stream-front on my property here in Taos.

Mist.

It has a quality all its own, and is notoriously difficult to photograph. Mist is to light what down comforters are to top-sheets. It overwhelms; owning whatever it envelops.

And Mist is the reason I’m reviewing “Goddess,” a new book by Caleb Cain Marcus, recently published by Damiani. Our regular readers may remember his previous book, “A Portrait of Ice,” which I reviewed a couple of years ago. Caleb traveled to the ends of the Earth to photograph glaciers, but as he used a super-hi-res digital camera, the resulting images were beyond hyper-real.

They looked like little models George Lucas might have shot in an alternate version of Star Wars.

In “Goddess,” Caleb spent 44 days along the Ganges River in India. Now, I’m normally the first guy to wonder what some random American might tell us about a far off culture. Especially one that has been photographed to death.

India. The Colors! You have to see the colors!

Unless you don’t. Unless the world is shrouded in Mist. Unless you have to fill in the space yourself. (With your imagination.)

This book is a little different than the ones I normally review, in that I don’t love it all. Even with that mist, some pictures look too much like what I’ve seen before.

But others…

There is a set of images here of straw huts that make me want to get on a plane, meet up with Caleb Cain Marcus, and buy the man a beer. Sure, they channel Claude Monet, but that’s not a bad comp for any artist.

They emerge from The Mist, these huts, and feel as primal as a cave man walking down 5th Avenue with a briefcase. It just doesn’t fit, that such structures exist in 2015.

But that’s my 2015, with my Apple computer on my white table, my Ipad next to it, and my Iphone in between. We in the First World live in the future, compared to the BILLIONS of people not privy to our creature comforts.

Are the huts homes for people? Or storage facilities? Do the pigs live out there?

I don’t know. And honestly, I don’t care. Those pictures put me in a mood. They transported me back to that dangerous highway, on a night when perhaps my whole family might have died.

That’s good enough for me. If you ask for more than that from a photo book, it might be time to smoke a fat joint and take yourself less seriously.

Bottom Line: Misty, gorgeous photos of the Ganges in India

To Purchase “Goddess” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Erik Goldstein

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Erik Goldstein

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How long have you been shooting?
I started shooting in college but the visual mindset has always been with me for as long as I can remember. I critiqued the framing and angles of my Saturday morning cartoons.
 
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Both. That is to say that I walked out of school with a good understanding of how my equipment worked but my biggest source of education was assisting photographers and throwing myself head-first into things. I am constantly learning and finding inspiration in the work of others and what’s around me. I think the day that stops is the day I hang the camera up.
 
With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I grew up watching Marty Stouffer and sponsored a hump back whale with my allowance. Nature has always played a huge role in my life and we are living in a pretty exciting time for conservation and awareness. In a matter of seconds a story can reach the world. It’s a very powerful tool. 
 
I wanted to find a way to give back and bring attention to a conservation issue in the US. I wanted to inspire involvement and highlight a lesser-known issue having to do with a very significant portion of North America’s history.
 
How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This project has been on going now for over a year. The scope of it grew very quickly and I decided to cover it as a documentary along with the photo story. 
 
I presented the photo portion of it midway through and the movie is currently in editing. Look for the trailer soon!
 
How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I typically have a list of possible projects. I like to write them out and live with them for a while. I find the right ones manage to surface on their own. In the case of this project, it resonated with me almost immediately.  
 
Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I would say there are a lot more similarities than there are differences. Clients want something genuine that connects emotionally. I want the same thing from my personal work. Its important to shoot what you love to bring authenticity and emotion that people can connect to. 
 
Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I post images to Instagram (erik.goldstein), and will post blog updates on Facebook (Erik Goldstein Photography) and Twitter (erik_goldstein).
 
If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I have not seen anything go viral yet.
 
Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I primarily show my personal work when reaching out to potential clients. It’s the most upfront view of who I am and how I think as an artist.

Statement:
The American Prairie Reserve focuses on the revitalization of the Northern Great Plains, an area that has played a huge role in America’s history and a type of habitat that is greatly under-protected globally.
 
Up until the 19th century this area remained fairly untouched. During America’s expansion in the West, much of the Plains were, and still are, utilized as agriculture and ranch land which has had a destructive effect on the ecosystem. At the same time, bison were hunted to near extinction. Finding the right approach to help restore this area is complicated due to the delicate balance among government, local communities, tribes, land owners and scientists.  
 
There are so many dedicated people behind APR. The physical size of APR was the biggest challenge. I lived on the prairie following the animals, volunteers and scientists. Telling the individual stories was essential to understanding how such a big project works. I also had the privilege of doing a fly-over which really puts things to scale.  
 
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Erik is a commercial photographer, videographer, and director. Located in NYC, Erik specializes in outdoor lifestyle, fitness and travel. Erik’s personal work focuses primarily on conservation.


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 establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

Photographers Quarterly Issue no. 3

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I was never what you might call an “artsy” kid.
Not me.

I was a decent-enough jock in a suburban town, in the days before the Internet.

Sports were all we had.

I would have been fine, socially, if my younger brother hadn’t been better looking, more popular, and a better athlete than I was.

Rather than thinking myself well-adjusted, I spent much of my youth jealous of him. Brooding. The fact that we didn’t get along only exacerbated my sense of ennui. Eventually, my artistic soul outed itself.

Thank God.

Because the more I get to know myself, the more I realize something inside me craves to see new things, to make pictures that push boundaries, and to write from the heart, no matter the consequences.

As I’ve said in my regular writing gig at our parent blog, A Photo Editor, I like the edgy stuff. The things that aren’t for everyone. The visions that make you uncomfortable, so you can then ask why?

This is now our 3rd issue of Photographer’s Quarterly, the online magazine Rob and I dreamed up so we could show whatever we want. Long-form-visions that would otherwise be chopped. Pictures that may not need an explanation, but might well put you off as much as they engage you.

It’s fun to make up the rules as you go along.

Though there’s already snow on the ground here in Taos, it is still Autumn, technically. Fall is the time for change. The leaves drop, and so do our natural defenses. (Gotta get your flu shot.)

Now that you’re more vulnerable, we’re pushing this venture up to hyperdrive, to see if we can make a bigger impact on your psyche.

Consider yourself warned.

We’re always hearing about why there needs to be more diversity in the photo world. Some people blog about it, or Tweet about it, and others just take it as gospel. We need more opportunities for young artists, women, and people of color.

Right?

We’ll, we’re coming correct here in Issue 3. We’re showing 6 young, diverse, edgy female artists from around the world. Their work is dynamite, affecting, and bizarre.

I love it all, frankly, and hope you will too. But if you hate some of it…if it makes your blood boil and your eyes expand until they implode in your skull… that’s fine too.

We’ll begin with Courtney Crawford, a young African-American artist currently studying for her MFA at Columbia College in Chicago. She’s originally from the San Antonio, Texas area, so I do wonder how she handles those Windy City Winters. (We met at Filter.)

Courtney told me that she has a chronic gastrointestinal disorder. She’s not well, unfortunately. So she uses her art to explore her insides; to investigate what makes her ill. In this series, she’s used Deer guts as a stand-in for human innards, but does it really matter?

I met Katty Hoover at Review Santa Fe in June, alongside the rest of the ladies we’ll feature. She’s based in Reno, NV, where she tells me they’ve already had a boatload of snow. (Go, El Niño, Go!) Katty is originally from Florida, which most people know is the craziest place on Earth. (Though Nevada is not far behind. Guess Katty goes for the weirdos.) Katty photographed in a nudist colony in the FLA, and there are most certainly a lot of penises on display. Should it be penii, I wonder?

Hye-Ryoung Min is a Korean artist based in New York City, married to a Guatemalan Jew. (Yes, it is the 21st Century.) She travels back and forth between the two countries, which seem so different, on the surface. Her solution was to create a hybrid of her two worlds: Seoul and the NYC. These photos are composites, though you’d be hard pressed to find any seams. She’s made her own digital homeland, which represents neither, and both, of her selves.

Next we’ve got Jessica Martinez, who’s currently studying at Syracuse University. She’s originally from South Central LA, so I’m guessing like Courtney, she must be pretty sad once the gray skies roll into Upstate New York. (Cold. Gray. Monotonous. No thank you.) Jessica’s pictures, which she was uncomfortable showing here, depict a playful but twisted take on sexuality and identity.

Lots of people use those words, I know. They’re buzz terms in the art world, and always will be. But you show me another series with chicken feet on a naked back, and kittens in someone’s mesh under-pants, and then we’ll talk about whether she’s an original or not.

I’ve already written about Yvette Marie Dostatni for another publication which we shall not name. But from the moment I saw her project “The Conventioneers” in Santa Fe, I knew I had to have the jpegs for PQ.

They combine humor, pathos, irreverence, wit, and curiosity at humanity’s foibles, and I couldn’t get enough. That Yvette is an open-hearted Chicago girl that you can’t not love…had nothing to do with my ebullience. This work rocks.

Last, but of course not least, we’ve got Svetlana Bailey, who was born in Russia, raised in Germany, and then lived for years in Australia. Got that? Now, she’s studying at RISD in Providence, RI.

These pictures don’t make a lot of sense to me. I actually had trouble reading the first picture or two she showed me, and I rarely get fooled. I thought I was looking at digital composites, but Svetlana assured me they were all straight photographs.

These window displays and quick street scenes are so strange, but I can’t my finger on why. That’s the reason ambiguity never goes out of style in art photography. Always leaving them guessing…

Jonathan Blaustein, December 2015

Visit Photographers Quarterly >>>>>>

The Daily Edit – Beatriz Palomo: Vanity Fair Spain

- - The Daily Edit


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Editor: Lourdes Garzón
Art director: María San Juan
Graphic designer: Cristina González Vieco
Photo Editor Mangaer: Beatriz Palomo
Photo Editor: Sara Ocón

Heidi: How much of your photography is assigned?
Beatriz: In Vanity Fair Spain aprox 20% of the photography is assigned. The rest of the content of the magazine is either syndicated from Condé Nast international titles, licensed by Condé Nast US archive, photo agencies, illustrators, photography archives, or other (film, music, fashion or beauty brands, personal archive from subjects that are interviewed, etc.)

What resources do you use to look for photographers?
In Vanity Fair Spain photo edition department, we search among almost all archives, websites, agencies and photographers. Our daily work is to look for the best and most unseen photographs for our features. Web/Internet is the most used resource, as well as other magazines work (both our Condé Nast International titles and competitors) and our unique Condé Nast US archive.

How many promos do you typically get in any given week?
I usually get between 50 and 80 in a week, many of them are not interesting for the magazine, but I love to receive good photo stories anyways, even if they are not what I am looking for the magazine I work for. I always try to save some time to review and see all the promos that I get (from photographers, from photo agencies, from illustrators, from representatives…). Even if the story is not related to the magazine I try to thank and send some feedback if I have liked the work (mostly in the times that I think ‘here is a very good photograph’). I truly think it is good to share this with photographers. If I would be -or when I was a photographer myself- on the other side, I would have liked to hear any feedback of my work (positive or negative, in my personal opinion, they both help).

(there is a Spanish phrase that says: always try to give what you would like to receive yourself).

Along with photo editing, I see you teach. What course do you teach and where?
I am also collaborating as a jury for ‘Visa pour l’image, Perpignan Festival ‘ since 2014 and as a photographer’s portfolios viewer with PhotoEspaña (biggest Photography Festival in our country) in 2015.

The course I teach is ‘Photo edition in magazines’. I have given classes here to name a few:

Escuela de Fotografía y Técnica de la Imagen which is Photography and Image Technique School

LENS Escuela de Artes Visuales  Visuals arts school  in the ‘Master de Fotografía de autor y proyectos personales’ which is Author and Personals Projects Photography Master

IED Istituto Europeo di Design in the ‘1 year Fashion Communication course’  where I taught 1 year fashion communications.

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, a the Science of Communications University is where  I taught in the 3rd year of Audiovisual Communications, documentation course.
This is also  is where I studied my major/degree.

The Daily Promo: Fab Fernandez

- - The Daily Promo


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Who printed it?
The printing was done by a company in London called the Newspaper Club. They also loved it so much that they are also doing a write up on their blog soon about this promo.

They were really easy and helpful during the whole process.

Who designed it?
The creative direction was done by the great Christina Dittmar at The Good Brigade.

The design and layout was done by the most talented Edward Taylor at Soft Gold.

Who edited the images?
The image edit was also done by Christina Dittmar at The Good Brigade.

How many did you make?
We had 50 printed and I’ve sent out about 40 so far.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try and get out about 6 printed promos per year. I love doing them. The whole process is as rewarding as shooting.

This Week In Photography Books: Jesse Burke

by Jonathan Blaustein

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. Mostly, how strange it is that none of us will ever know what’s to come, after we’re gone.

Will our children be OK? Will we save the planet? Will robots take over and turn us into meat slaves?

Such information is beyond our purview. Can you imagine what a Syrian wine merchant from Palmyra, circa 250 AD, would think of Siri? Or Robert Parker? Or ISIS?

Yet even then, parents loved their children, tried hard to provide for them, and likely wondered what would happen after they passed.

The human condition is cyclical, as much as linear.

It’s the reason we love our distractions so much. TV, Netflix, Ipads, Kindles, soccer matches, video games, anything to take our mind off the existential dread of knowing our lifespan is so limited, and that the world will continue to turn when we’re dust. (Until the sun dies too. In 5 billion years.)

Photography has always had a strong role to play here. It may not give glimpses into the future, but it allows us to retain a vision of life, just as we saw it, to help us remember when we’re nearing the end.

Photographs are totems that provoke emotion. They freeze time, and in a way, defeat it.

It’s odd, when you think about it, how little of our lives we actually recall. At best, it has to be .000000000000001% of our actual experience.

Glimpses. Moments. Nothing more.

But as artists, when we pour ourselves into a mission to combat that entropy, sometimes we end up with a marker of success. An object that we’ll cherish until we die, and hopefully, others might enjoy too.

Such is my mindset after looking at “Wild & Precious,” a new book by Jesse Burke, published by Daylight. The project was recently shown at ClampArt in New York, and also exists digitally as a short film, so there are multiple ways to interact with this tale.

That said, this is a book review, (nominally,) so I might as well explain why I like the damn thing.

Jesse Burke spent 5 years roaming the American Wilderness, intermittently, with his eldest daughter Clover. That’s what this story is about. There are many, many images of their travels. Pictures that are ours to engage with, but are really meant for Jesse and Clover, circa 2060.

That much is clear.

In an opening letter, the artist writes directly to Clover, and near the end, she writes back. This is a personal exercise, as so much of the best art is. We make it for ourselves, because we must, because we are driven by the spirit of creation, and then we share it with everyone else.

There are a few genuinely striking pictures, including several portraits of Clover, taken at points of distress. An eyepatch covers one eye, the other blood red, and the hint of a tear glistens on her cheek.

A bloody nose, which reminded me a bit of an Elinor Carucci image, makes us think of the liquid flowing through our veins. The stuff of life.

Many a photo shows Clover with animals in her hand, most of them dead. Trip after trip, and they’re exploring beaches, walking through forests, and finding the time to commune with Nature. Like in the Old Days, before the Entertainment Industrial Complex was born.

Personal as this project is, there was still time for a cultural gut punch, before I closed the back cover. About 3/4 of the way through, there is one photograph of factories spewing pollution into the air.

Only one, but it changes the context of the entire book. We think of Climate Change. Why all those animals, including a beached whale, might be dead.

The atmosphere is changing.

What will the world look like when Clover is my age? Or 80? Will there even be forests to explore?

Sadly, I’ll never know, and neither will you. Life, as precious as it is, is also something of a Devil’s bargain. And there’s nothing to do but live each moment to the fullest, and hope for the best.

Bottom Line: Poignant look at the love between a father and daughter

To Purchase “Wild & Precious” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Craig Pulsifer

- - Personal Project

As a former Art Producer, I have always been drawn to personal projects because they are the sole vision of the photographer and not an extension of an art director, photo editor, or graphic designer. This new column, “The Art of the Personal Project” will feature the personal projects of photographers using the Yodelist marketing database. You can read their blog at http://yodelist.wordpress.com. Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Craig Pulsifer

East Samar, Philippines - Nov. 8, 2013 - Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hits land in the central islands of the Philippines with wind gusts over 300 km/hr - 6,340 people died in the largest typhoon in recorded history. 100 days later, relief efforts were only just beginning to make an impact.

East Samar, Philippines – Nov. 8, 2013 – Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hits land in the central islands of the Philippines with wind gusts over 300 km/hr – 6,340 people died in the largest typhoon in recorded history. 100 days later, relief efforts were only just beginning to make an impact.

Tacloban, Philippines - A man looks in through the window of a jeepney (local taxi van) that is bound for Guiuan where typhoon relief is still much needed.

Tacloban, Philippines – A man looks in through the window of a jeepney (local taxi van) that is bound for Guiuan where typhoon relief is still much needed.

The death toll for Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has reached 6,300, with 1,060 still missing. Whole communities lost power, water, transportation, medical and police services, housing and livelihoods.

The death toll for Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has reached 6,300, with 1,060 still missing. Whole communities lost power, water, transportation, medical and police services, housing and livelihoods.

Operation Blessing International is the humanitarian relief wing of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN/the 700 Club). One of the largest charities in America, Operation Blessing provides strategic relief in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis.

Operation Blessing International is the humanitarian relief wing of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN/the 700 Club). One of the largest charities in America, Operation Blessing provides strategic relief in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis.

Guiuan, E. Samar, Philippines - Makeshift classrooms shelter elementary students on the playground slab where once an entire school complex stood.

Guiuan, E. Samar, Philippines – Makeshift classrooms shelter elementary students on the playground slab where once an entire school complex stood.

Doc Tiger Girrado helps Astherio Blando (Operation Blessing) haul educational supplies for an elementary school trying to reestablish classes in the devastated area.

Doc Tiger Girrado helps Astherio Blando (Operation Blessing) haul educational supplies for an elementary school trying to reestablish classes in the devastated area.

Children receive much needed educational supplies from Doc Tiger and Astherio Blando (Operation Blessing) as part of efforts to reestablish classes in the devastated area.

Children receive much needed educational supplies from Doc Tiger and Astherio Blando (Operation Blessing) as part of efforts to reestablish classes in the devastated area.

A young girl joyfully clutches her new school supplies donated by Operation Blessing International, the relief wing of the US-based Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN/700 Club).

A young girl joyfully clutches her new school supplies donated by Operation Blessing International, the relief wing of the US-based Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN/700 Club).

Guiuan, E. Samar, Philippines - Working with a team of volunteer dentists, Dr. Kelly Yangco and others perform 75 extractions in a single shift at a makeshift clinic in Barangay Barbo.

Guiuan, E. Samar, Philippines – Working with a team of volunteer dentists, Dr. Kelly Yangco and others perform 75 extractions in a single shift at a makeshift clinic in Barangay Barbo.

Dental instruments, cleaned with water and water, lie ready for the next wave of children visiting the makeshift clinic during a medical relief operation near Guiuan, East Samar, Philippines.

Dental instruments, cleaned with water and water, lie ready for the next wave of children visiting the makeshift clinic during a medical relief operation near Guiuan, East Samar, Philippines.

Guiuan, E. Samar, Philippines - Working with a team of volunteer dentists, Dr. Atom Kobayashi helps to perform 75 extractions in a single shift at a makeshift clinic in Barangay Barbo.

Guiuan, E. Samar, Philippines – Working with a team of volunteer dentists, Dr. Atom Kobayashi helps to perform 75 extractions in a single shift at a makeshift clinic in Barangay Barbo.

Relief Operation Coordinator, Dr. Tiger Garrido, smiles at a young boy undergoing a tooth extraction at a makeshift clinic during a medical relief operation near Guiuan, East Samar, Philippines.

Relief Operation Coordinator, Dr. Tiger Garrido, smiles at a young boy undergoing a tooth extraction at a makeshift clinic during a medical relief operation near Guiuan, East Samar, Philippines.

How long have you been shooting?
I was shooting for fun back in the 70’s when it was a fad to frame an Instamatic diagonally. That migrated to 35mm and 6×7 for a time, but dad said I’d starve as a poet so I went into forest engineering. By 1999, I could see what industrial forestry was doing to watersheds and decided I’d rather starve. I’ve been shooting full time ever since.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’m mostly self-taught through books, manuals, mentorships, workshops and a steady diet of trial and error. But I admire those who have taken time away from shooting to learn how to do it well.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) smashed into the central islands of the Philippines on November 8, 2013 and the news was really hitting home for us. My father-in-law (Tatay) has relatives in Palo, just outside of Tacloban near Cebu, and he wanted to get help-money in. He specifically intended it to go to a nephew Ryan, who was missing; so we made some calls and volunteered to help out where we could.

My wife, who has worked as a nurse, flew with me to Bohol where relief efforts were still underway for victims of a 7.2 earthquake that had hit the area 3-weeks earlier. While there, we got wind of a medical mission flying into Tacloban, a town that Typhoon Yolanda had all-but-flattened; so, we set out to find my wife’s cousin by chasing a separate story with the working title, “Saving Ryan Privately”, a story that has yet to be told properly.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
We’ve always had a big heart for S.E. Asia and have been doing photo-walkabouts to the Philippines for over 10 years. In 2013, when Typhoon Yolanda struck, organizers of our “Kids at Risk” project* (see footnote) wanted to contribute to an Emergency Disaster Relief Fund for Yolanda survivors. That fit nicely with other interests we had on the ground and it offered a chance to show donors and participants what those funds looked like in action.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Hmm… tough question. For me, a humanitarian story ‘works’ when it motivates others to get tangibly involved in the story – and that certainly happened with the Yolanda Gap Relief story. But I admit, without the metrics of opt-ins and dollars earned, boxes delivered and bellies filled, it’s pretty tough to quantify the success of most personal projects.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
My personal work is very different than the commercial portfolio work, and that can be frustrating – like that Ian Hunter album “You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic”. But the bottom line is that most creative challenges get me stoked – whether it’s a humanitarian cause or selling a bar of soap – because in the end, it’s the commercial work that frees me up to tackle personal projects.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Sure, all the time.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
The humanitarian work hasn’t gone viral, but I’m more interested in qualified engagement than the number of views there.

On lighter stuff, I’ve seen some interesting metrics. There was a DIY blog post called “How to fix a stuck filter” with a hammer and hacksaw that F-Stoppers and PetaPixel picked up on. And there was a gear-related video for Lowepro called Watertight that hit 50,000 views, but both were a long way from viral.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes. Last year I collaborated with consultants Pedro & Jackie to print a tri-fold photo essay called Ukraine: Postcards from the Motherland. It was passed around at PDN PhotoPlus Expo last year and received some great feedback but no concrete work. That was probably the wrong venue for something as documentary/editorial as that. I’ve still got a few hundred kicking around if you want one.

Artist Statement: Creative talent is the most valuable currency an artist possesses. How better to spend it than on projects that bless others and hopefully feed the greater good of us all.

*Footnote: In 2010, my wife launched a small fundraising program called “Kids at Risk” in Salmon Arm, BC to educate her friends about the pressing needs of Filipino street kids and get solid help over to trustworthy feeding and educational programs in the Philippines. More on that, here: World of Good [length 4:45]

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Commercial lifestyle and portrait photographer, Craig Pulsifer thrives on that line between personal and product assignment work. He draws inspiration from Gully Jimson, Bruno Gerussi, Larry Towell, and some of today’s top news shooters who work to master the craft of fine-art storytelling.


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 establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information believing that marketing should be driven by a brand and not specialty. Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

The Daily Edit – Mitch Feinberg: Marie Claire

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Marie Claire

Market and Accessories Director: Kyle Anderson
Fashion Director: Nina Garcia
Editor and Chief: Anne Fulenwider
Photo Director: James Morris
Photographer: Mitch Feinberg

Heidi: How did this project evolve?
Mitch:
I have a wonderful relationship with Marie Claire. It is one of the few American fashion magazines that treat fashion still life pages as an opportunity to advance passionate editorial views on accessories and not simply as a vehicle to please advertisers. Their Market and Accessories Director Kyle Anderson, Fashion Director Nina Garcia and Editor and Chief Anne Fulenwider all take a direct interest in demanding that the pages are strong and fresh. For a still life photographer, this is a thrilling context in which to make new work.

Months before a final art due date, Kyle sends me jpegs of the next accessories story.  The story subject might be based on a color, a design direction, materials or a cultural reference. It’s usually my responsibility to come up with a visual solution, although occasionally he or someone else will have a few suggestions. I pitch just one idea, including swipes from industrial sites or stores that refer to the environments I want to create. I do not like to make drawings or send “finished” images — it is better to keep things loose so that I have room for spontaneity. Once I send the pitch everyone weighs in and we go from there.

For the Haute Tech story, Kyle mentioned that he had a fine jewelry December story in search of an idea. Fine jewelry can be a tedious editorial subject because designs generally do not evolve much from year to year and diamonds are unforgiving in poor lighting conditions — a tough subject to make fresh.

I have been involved with a couple of technology projects and developed an appreciation for a well-designed circuit board. Apple’s boards, in particular, are very fine, all black, with an absolute, maniacal fidelity to minimalism. I immediately thought of making boards that in some way reflected or enhanced the design direction of the jewelry. Kyle worked hard to find pieces that would mesh well with the concept — no animals or organic designs, for example.

How long did the project take and tell us about your process with the engineer?
The editors loved the idea and I got to work in July.  We all figured no one had done this, at least not at this scale. My original intention was to design and order the prototype boards myself. I spent a day or so learning the nomenclature and general design principles. I already knew that board design can be devilishly difficult in the details, but straightforward designs are fairly easily to execute. There is a very large community of amateur board designers associated with platforms like Arduino, as well as many foundries that specialize in prototyping. I downloaded one of the popular free software packages and set to work. I started with a good drawing I had already made in Photoshop for the first design – the black Chopard board. Then I hit an unexpected wall. Circuit board software is designed to make circuit boards, not pretty patterns. Duh. A user first builds a schematic with all the components and only then moves on to “routing”, finding the shortest, most efficient paths to lay the “wires” between all the components. Clearly, I was not going to easily figure out how to build a schematic that would allow me to “route” the wires in a predetermined pattern.

Help was needed. I spent a considerable amount of time on tech blogs and the Web looking for an engineer that had both an aesthetic view on the world and the technical skills required. I came across one man, a fellow in England named Saar Drimer, who had a circuit board design company called Boldport. He had gone so far as to write a program that allowed him to import illustrator files into a circuit board-friendly design environment. I emailed him almost immediately. He quickly understood my project. I had found my guy.

I’d imagine the sketches were fairly in-depth in order to create the final “working boards,” tell us about that exchange.
We encountered many technical difficulties. I had to visit the jewelers and carefully measure the dimensions so that the jewelry would fit perfectly into the designs. This was very difficult to figure out, as cutouts also had to be drawn up for the rings and earrings. The magazine was extraordinarily helpful in opening doors, and we were lucky none of the pieces were sold before the shoot. Saar started with my drawings but soon added his own special sauce, making the boards more credible. By the end, we were going back and forth with very rough drawings and he took it from there. It was a lot of work for him, as he also had to design and solder functioning boards with the LEDs. I was also lucky he had a very good foundry in the UK that was willing to work hard on the quality and color of the shadow masks (the non-metallic surface of the boards). We spent about six weeks start to finish. The shoot took just two days, up in my Connecticut studio. There is almost no retouching, just a little cleaning up. I’m old school, I like my images real. We both feel that we executed something new, perhaps opening the door to new designs with circuit boards as a functional, aesthetic material.

How do your ideas manifest?
I wish I knew. they just pop in unexpectedly. On a long walk, in the shower, at an exhibition, anywhere, really. I read a lot, I look at design blogs,  magazines, many non-photographic sources. Unless there is a specific request I stay away from my colleagues’ Websites; too many voices in a photographer’s head can be deafening.

What was your break, meaning how did you get started?  Everyone has a breakthrough project though we all see you as superstar out of the womb.
Thank you. I do not know if I was a superstar out of the womb; I’ve been told that I produced a lot of spit up in my early years. Unless you are Guy Bourdin, many years of work will be required before you find a strong voice. That might be daunting to hear, but I think the best photographers love the process of making photographs. Your voice will come, sometime soon, hopefully. In the meantime, I suggest you make images simply for the joy of it. I have always felt that way, even during the years when my career was uncertain. As in all creative endeavors, this is a tough business. Do it because you love it. Still life photography has always felt like the best way to express myself, I have enjoyed a lifetime exploring how that happens.

What is another creative outlet for you?
Three years ago my wife and I moved to a small farm in Connecticut. I have learned a lot about fencing (not the epee kind), black bears (don’t run), and wild turkeys (not happy when challenged). More than enough new outlets for a guy who spent 28 years in Paris.

The Daily Promo – Nathan Seabrook

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Nathan Seabrook

Who printed it?
4 x 6.com

Who designed it?
I did. The back is an image of the backdrop from the front image. So if the sweep had some subtle gradient it would be the same. The design formed once I had the images. I just kept it simple really.

Who edited the images?
On the shoot day stylist Chuck Luter and I knew the ones that worked, so that was the initial edit. After that i whittled it down myself.

How many did you make?
About 250 sets. There are different ones also. I printed 7 of the series so some people have different sets. Maybe you can play swapsies one day . Ha!

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Two or three times a year.

How did the idea come about?
The initial idea came from seeing a maintenance man painting a ledge in a park. He walked past me with paint covering his roller, his hand and going up his wrist. He had just dunked everything in a massive bucket of paint, he didn’t care! Awesome.

This Week In Photography Books: IPG Project

by Jonathan Blaustein

My daughter loves pink. (Big surprise.) She’s a 3 year old girl, so it goes with the territory.

Just yesterday, we were in a little market near the mountains. She was wearing pink boots, pink pants, a pink shirt, a pink jacket, and her new pink glasses.

She made quite the impression on her fellow shoppers. One of them even asked, “Do you like pink, by any chance?”

“Yes,” she said. “Pink and purple and blue.”

We associate pink with little girls. With innocence and youth. It’s a happy and flippant color.

Right?

Well, that’s what I was thinking when I picked up “Sumimasen,” a new pink book by the IPG project, recently published by Editions du LIC.

Wait, you say. What are you doing? You can’t move on to the book review that quickly. Where’s your unexpected and witty transition? Are you mailing it in because it’s a holiday week? (Thanksgiving, here in the US.)

Fair point. It may seem like I’ve cheated you out of my trademark writerly aikido. And yet…

This week marks the 4th anniversary of the column in which I developed my now-signature style. I still remember the moment when my mother-in-law rapped on our door at night, brandishing a rather large gun, as there were trespassers in our field on Thanksgiving.

Somehow, the drama filtered down into my consciousness, and the next day, this column was born. I respect history, and appreciate that I might not have a job right now, had that gun not scared me shitless.

So do you really think I’m going to mail it in on the Thanksgiving column?

I don’t think so.

But then again, this little pink book is so adorable. With anime-like characters on the cover. So inviting. It makes me think of Hello Kitty, and crayons, and the little Winter stockings my daughter wears to pre-school.

Kittens and daydreams and Candyland!
Yay!

You know what I don’t think of?

A Hello Kitty-mask-wearing, naked, Japanese porn actress whose entire life is captured on four webcams embedded around her small apartment.

(Dramatic pause.) What now?

That’s right. This cute pink book is actually a weird-as-hell meditation on the way Japanese culture forces people to offer two faces to the world: their true selves, which remain hidden, and the public mask, which shrouds the interior reality.

Let me say it again: What now?

Nothing could be less Thanksgiving-y than this book. It’s got plenty of boobs, and screen shots of lady parts. (As I’ve said 1000 times before, Boobs Sell Books℠) Yes, this is nobody’s idea of a children’s book.

(This is Mayura. Hi Mayura. See Mayura make breakfast. See Mayura clean the dishes. See Mayura masturbate with her large and intimidating vibrator.)

Normally, if I showed an edgy book like this, you’d just roll your eyes and say, “Blaustein’s keeping it real today.” But on Thanksgiving, it has to be more than that.

Let’s just say I wanted to bring the rhetoric down a notch from last week’s impassioned screed. True. But in this time of global strife, I think it’s always good to be reminded that the weird shit is what separates us from the Apes.

Anyone can put on a suit every day, punch the clock, make the donuts, and then drink away their misery in a big bottle of vodka. That’s called life. (For too many people.)

So this week, while you’re eating obscene amounts of turkey, laughing at your uncle’s inappropriate jokes, and restraining yourself from killing your obnoxious younger brother, remember this odd little pink book.

Because if this bit of naughty Japanese insanity can’t help you lighten up, maybe nothing can?

Bottom Line: Pornographic Japanese book in a nice little package

To Purchase “Sumimasen” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Daily Edit – Cameron Davidson : New York City Aerials

- - The Daily Edit

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Early evening aerial view of Times Square in the Manhattan, New York City.

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Aerial of the Williamsburg Bridge in the early morning, New York City, New York, USA

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Aerial of Manhattan, New York City GPS DATA of shot location. LAT: LONG:

Aerial of Manhattan, New York City GPS DATA of shot location. LAT: LONG:

Aerial of Manhattan, New York City GPS DATA of shot location. LAT: LONG:

Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan and the Hudson River shoreline in the late afternoon.

 

Cameron Davidson


Heidi: How long is a typical aerial shoot?

Cameron: It depends upon the project and location.  When shooting over New York City or London, we plot out the times and sun path to maximize our shoot times or to catch the quality of light that the assignment calls for.  Usually about one and half to two hours.

Have you even been both pilot and photographer?
In my early days of aerial photography, right after I earned my pilots license, I would shoot and fly at the same time.  Problem was, for me, the altimeter tended to spin left, which meant I was descending.  I know two fixed wing pilots that are superb aerial photographers and also a Gyro pilot who have mastered the ability to fly and shoot at the same time.  If I was to try it again, I would shoot from an ultralight aircraft.

The key thing to remember about aerials, is, safety comes first.  I fly with a fairly elite group of pilots who know how to fly for the camera and primarily fly for the film industry.  There are a few photographers who have the same or higher level of experience that I have, all of us, are focused on flying safely.  My goal is always safety of the crew, client and myself. Since I am also a pilot, (although inactive at the moment) I know and speak the same language as the pilots flying the ship.  I tend to fly in turbine helicopters and often in twin-turbine ships.  There’s a lot of planning that goes into these flights and we always have a pre and post mission brief.  I never bring unnecessary people along for a joy ride.  That comes from the mantra of “more people equals more weight, more weight in the helicopter equals less power.”  Power is your friend.

What was the genesis for this body of work?
In early 2009, I was on assignment for Vanity Fair in New York City.  The shoot called for recreating the views from the cockpit of US Airways Flight 1549 that crash-landed into the Hudson River.  After I finished the shoot, we flew back to the heliport, I asked the pilot if we could schedule a second flight for sunset and into early evening.  His schedule was open, so we went for it.  I shot at sunset and since it was fall, dusk came quickly.  In 2009, DSLR cameras were not especially good at high ISO and low-light photography.  I decided to keep shooting and cranked the ISO up and see if I could create a usable image.  I did and it became a best seller for one of my stock agencies.

I’ve always been drawn to the intersection of mankind and water.  My work is fairly graphic and the hard lines with dark and light of the city is similar in form and tone to my aerial landscapes of marshes, river and settlements along watersheds.

So far, I’ve published six books and one iPad app on aerials.  My last book, Chesapeake, was a twenty-year love affair with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that was the University of Virginia Press distributed.

My aerial assignment work is a mix of editorial, annual reports and advertising.  Earlier this year I shot a campaign for a automotive company.  The first shot was Manhattan from 9500 feet on a very cold 16 degree day.  The temperature in the cabin, at altitude, was minus three degrees.  Add about sixty knots of forward airspeed and we were a wee bit chilled.  The same project took me to the edge of the Everglades, where I shot as low at forty feet above the water. I’ve shot aerials in over thirty countries.

Discovery Channel assigned me to shoot shoot 360 immersive aerials for the Nik Wallenda walk websites his walk across the Grand Canyon and Chicago River.

That was very much a collaborative approach with their in-house graphics team, specialized software with quite a lot of testing and several pre-flight mission and weather briefs.  We had a half-hour window for these shots due to waiting for light to reach into into the canyons and before the winds picked up. I have flown for so long, that fear does not enter into my mindset.  I fly with good people in solid aircraft and everyone goes in with a safety first frame of mind.  I do say a prayer before every flight and ask for the safe return for all on board.

 

Is there a particular time of day you like to shoot these?
My favorite time of day to shoot is O’Dark early and O’Dark late.  I like working the edges of light.  The first and last light of the day is a challenge and a joy to work with: shadows hide and help create form with structure.  I rarely shoot aerials in the middle of the day.  I can only think of a couple of times in the past few years that I have.  One was in Haiti just after the January 2010 earthquake.  The only time I could schedule the helicopter was between NGO medical missions and that was 2:00 in the afternoon.  Recently I shot a series of B&W aerials of Manhattan in the middle of the day.  I wanted to embrace the hard cold light of late October.  I think it worked.

Are there scouting missions for project like this?
Sometimes, I scout by fixed wing.  Most often, I travel to the location and scout on the ground.  I take sun path plots, gps readings, look at shadow lengths and figure out the obstacles and opportunities.  I also use topographic maps plus satellite images via Google and Bing.

You’re a pioneer in this field, how did the love for aerial develop?
It came to me quite naturally.  I started off as a bird photographer.  I was working on a project for National Geographic Magazine in southern Maryland and I saw a Yellow Piper Cub behind a barn alongside a country road.  I asked the farmer who owned the Cub if he would fly me over the Heron Rookery I was photographing.  He did, for all of $15 to cover expenses.  I was hooked from that point forward.  It was the perfect viewpoint for how I like to shoot.  Graphic landscapes, targets of opportunities and hopefully, a unique image that challenges the viewer.

However, the real pioneers of aerial photography are William Garnett  and Bradford Washburn.  Mr. Washburn was also an explorer, and mountaineer.  He photographed remote mountain ranges in Alaska with an 8×10 camera at, 12,000 feet without oxygen.   I met Mr. Garnett and his wife a few years before he passed away.  In my office, I have a signed print of one of his favorite aerials, an image of Death Valley with rolling dunes and hard morning light. Mr. Garnett is considered by many, to be the grandfather of American aerial photography.

 

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What has been the most surprising/innovative application for this type of imagery that you’ve seen?
Outside of books and magazine stories, I’ve started shooting images that were intended of the movie poster market.  Two of my New York City images have been made into the lead poster for the Spiderman movies. The U.S. Post Office chose an aerial of Blackwater Refuge from my Chesapeake Book project as the image to show marshes in the Earthscapes series of stamps.

Photograph by Cameron Davidson All Rights reserved/© Cameron Davidson Cameron@camerondavidson.com for usage.

Photograph by Cameron Davidson All Rights reserved/© Cameron Davidson Cameron@camerondavidson.com for usage.

Photograph by Cameron Davidson All Rights reserved/© Cameron Davidson Cameron@camerondavidson.com for usage.

Quadopter/Octacopters (drones) have brought a raft of new uses and some of them are incredibly exciting and useful.  Everything from tower safety inspections to mapping, to wildlife counts and of course, aerials from a slower and lower altitude, which I might add, is significantly safer than flying a helicopter at 200 feet.

I have a long relationship with the good folks at Corbis and you can see many of my aerials there.  Also, I launched my own stock library, titled, AerialStock.