This Week in Photography Books: Roger Ballen

 

The last season of “House of Cards” was a bit shit, if I’m being honest.

And still, I watched.

The main plot premise, (spoiler alert,) was that the Republican nominee for President was working with a social media network to mine and scrape their data, so he could micro-target and manipulate people into voting for him.

(Pause.)

I swear. I’m not making this up. Those guys wrote it, and of course it seems to have actually happened.

In reality.

To counter this, the crooked President, Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, used NSA software to do some data mining of his own, so he could counter their highly-unethical program.

Kevin Spacey’s performance was probably what kept me glued to the TV for 5 seasons of binge-watching. He’s the kind of actor that everyone loved to watch, for years, as he brought a powerful intelligence to his roles, dating back to his brilliant performance as Keyzer Söze.

The master-manipulator-criminal-genius.

In “House of Cards,” of course, he murdered, cheated, lied, and was also secretly gay. He played a sociopath with such conviction, it was almost as if he were plumbing the depths of his own psyche.

In reality.

Of course, now we all know that’s true. According to multiple news reports, which came out in the early part of the #MeToo movement, Kevin Spacey is a lying, raping, pedophile.

He appears to be an actual sociopath.

In reality.

And now we’ll never know how Frank Underwood was meant to meet his fate, as Spacey was rightly fired from his job quicker than DJT can make it through a single Big Mac. (Shout out to Dave Chapelle, as his Kevin Spacey joke in one of his new Netflix specials was much better than anything I can come up with.)

To be clear, I’m not suggesting we should all tread lightly, each and every day, lest we find our friends and loved ones are secretly awful.

Rather, my point is that people are far messier and more complex than we’d like to believe, and each and every one of us has a shadow. (Shout out to Carl Jung.)

In Kevin Spacey’s case, it seems he was able to channel his charismatic-evil, believably, into some of his roles. But for the rest of us, the dark parts of our psyche are there, and those of us that admit it, and shine a little light down into the basement from time to time, seem to be a tad healthier than those who deny their demons.

And that’s just talking about those of us who consider ourselves sane. Once brain chemistries get shaken around, or life circumstances get too difficult, or we were simply born with faulty genetics, mental illness can change the game entirely.

Just the other day, I was telling a new Taos resident that our town is famous for having a super-high incidence of mental illness. As a Wild West enclave for outlaws and weirdos, it’s always been a draw for those that have a hard time with conventional society.

There’s even a part of Taos County, dubbed “The Mesa,” that is essentially lawless, and has an extremely high proportion of mentally ill people living together, miles from everyone else.

People disappear out there all the time.

But mental illness, according to some, is really a construction, as who is anyone to judge what’s “normal” and what’s not?

What if the darkness was really the light?

My longtime readers, (Hi Dad, Hi Rob,) might rightly remember that phrase from my extensive interview with Roger Ballen back in 2013. He’s an American-born, South Africa-based photographer and artist renown for skulking the depths of the nastiest corners of the human condition.

(Sorry, Joel-Peter Witkin, but I think Roger has surpassed you as the King of the creepily surreal.)

It’s a great interview, IMO, as he had some pretty interesting things to say, and decades of experience to back it up. We stayed in touch, tangentially, and I felt fortunate when he offered me a copy of “Ballenesque: roger ballen: a retrospective,” his new career-spanning tome recently released by Thames & Hudson.

First off, as Roger Ballen has always preferred books to exhibitions, due to their permanence, he’s published a lot of them in his career. If you already have one, or some, you might not need this one.

It’s big, and bold, and includes a long-running, diaristic statement by the artist, that’s broken up through the chapters. If you’re a serious fan, I’d say this book is a must-purchase. And if you’re new to his work, and dig the style, which now has its own adjective, (hence the title,) then I’d say you should buy this one too.

Though I was familiar with many of the images in the book, there were some genuine surprises, like the few fashion photos he made for the New York Times, of the actress Selma Blair, in 2005. Whoever had the idea to take a slim, Hollywood It Girl and put her through these paces should be fired.

Not surprisingly, Roger admits he was not offered another fashion gig thereafter.

But he’s done music videos, like Die Antwood’s amazing “I Fink U Freeky,” built scary Ballen houses for art installations, (no thank you,) and also did a project with fellow creepster Asger Carlsen, whom I also interviewed back in the day.

(I’m no prude, as you know, but seeing Carlsen’s gorgeous, naked, young female bodies digitally morphed left me feeling a little queasy, in 2018, as it seems simultaneously too easy, and too misogynistic for my liking.)

The French painter, Jean Dubuffet, comes up a few times in the text as well, and I was glad to see it, as personally, I think his work had a tremendous influence on the raw, naked, visceral style that is now called “Ballenesque.”

I always loved Basquiat, and found him super-oringial, until I saw Dubuffet’s work, and realized that all of us have influences, and even radically new things take their inspiration from somewhere. (Like Orville and Wilbur trying to fly like birds, which are also a common Ballen subject.)

The most controversial part of this work, without a doubt, is Ballen’s photographic treatment of mentally ill people. Work like this is always pilloried for being exploitative, though the artist develops deep and longstanding relationships with his subjects.

The text gives us some really juicy quotes on the issue, including the part where Ballen admits that when people ask him what his subjects think of the work, he says, “I am not sure what anybody thinks.”

Tough to argue. But he questions whether mental illness is a societal construction, at one point, wondering who has the right to declare what’s normal?

As we discussed in our interview, he spent much of his career as a mining engineer in South Africa, as he didn’t want his art practice to get corrupted by the need to make money. (The lengthy biography also emphasizes he grew up throughly counter-culture.)

Anyone that looks at this work, and hears him discussing the need to plumb the depths, will have no trouble making the metaphorical connection.

So on that note, I’ll leave you with his direct thoughts on the subject, and suggest you consider your own darkest thoughts, rather than pretending they’re not there, and then locking the door behind them.

“Delving into the deepest parts of one’s subconscious is like going down the mine, down the shaft. You get there, and now you are on level ten, whether in the mine or in the mind, Things are not going to manifest themselves down there, so I have to go from level ten back up again and make visible what I have found, bring them to the surface. That is the hard part.”

The hard part indeed.

Bottom Line: Massive, through retrospective for a master of darkness

To purchase “Ballenesque” click here

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com.

The Art of the Personal Project: Michael Greenberg

- - Personal Project

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Michael Greenberg

After losing their husbands, the widows of India are often ostracized by their communities and their families. Many move to the city of Vrindavan, the birthplace of lord Krishna, to finish out their lives in service of Krishna. Until very recently widows were left out of Holi celebrations. Organized by Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak, the widows now celebrate Holi in the historic Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan. It was an honor to join them this year.

To see more of this project, click here.

Or for his Instagram, look here:

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 decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Daily Edit – ESPN: Ramona Rosales

- - The Daily Edit

ESPN

Director of Photography: Karen Frank
Senior Photo Editor:
Kristine LaMana
Creative Director: Chin Wang
Art Director: Eric Paul
Associate Art Director: Linda Root Pouder
Photographer:
Ramona Rosales

Heidi: How did the project develop?
Ramona: Originally I though it was just a shoot with Chloe Kim, the other 2 assignment came later. It was mentioned in the early stages that this was for an Winter Olympics issue and that a female athlete was to be featured, which I believe was a first for the Olympics. I just shot my first Body Issue project with ESPN and was thrilled they considered me for this project since my editors thought it would be a great match.
Tell us about the set design and approach.
I liked the idea was getting her in mid air, so I studied tons of footage of her during competitions and took note of the conditions of the half pipes and environment. There wasn’t very much press or photos out in the world about her (yet), but from what I could find, I wanted to bring her personality and age into the mix and was able to pitch the idea of hoisting her in a harness with this specific body position in mid twist. I was able to present a mock up that ESPN approved and made sure the athlete was comfortable flying with ropes and able to get into the pose. It was risky since she had never done it before but her great attitude and adventurous spirt was into the idea. I collaborated with my set designer to build the top corner section of a halfpipe and chose to create at sunset sky gradation with light on a larger cyc. I didn’t want to go overall girlie with the colors and feel more environmental but also very current in color pallet to tie in her aesthetic.
What were some of the challenges?
Once we got her in the harness, I could see there was going to be challenges since it’s not the most comfortable thing to do and holding a pose can be difficult. I knew we would have little time for this shot, we did it in two 10 minute tries. We got it on the first run luckily, because by the second round you she couldn’t hide the discomfort as easily. We did another 4 set ups, including the halfpipe, cover portraits with variations, trampoline jumps and quick fun loose shots at the end. It was a full day but so rewarding in collaborating with such a fun & amazing athlete with a strong team backing her along with my team & ESPN helping me achieve a great series which forever will be a favorite.
How Important did you think it was for a woman to photograph this?
I don’t think it was necessarily important that a woman photography this project. There was a genuine connection I had with all three of the subjects on our shoots, which I think was the intention  of my editors choosing me for this project along with my style and ability to pull it off. Collaboration and camaraderie with subjects are a high priority in my approach and is a big component that comes through in my work. The collective goal was to present our Olympic Athletes in a strong heroic way without striping away their personalities and only aiming for an authentic point of view, which I believe we successfully delivered.

The Daily Promo – Jared Soares

- - The Daily Promo

Jared Soares

Who printed it?
Smart Press in Minnesota. I’ve been using them for all my printing needs lately.

Who designed it?
Though I designed the piece, I had a lot of help in the process. Matt Eich and Justin Gellerson gave me solid thoughts on the edit/sequence of images. Amy Wolff provided substantial feedback on the design as well as the image sequencing. If I did everything on my own it would look like hot garbage.

Tell me about the images?
The photographs included in the booklet are a combination of personal and commissioned work from last year. My goal with any promo is to share what I’ve been up to and highlight images that I’m excited about.

How many did you make?
200 booklets were printed. 190 of them were mailed out and the rest will be kept for in-person meetings or anybody that I forgot.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
In terms of print promos, at least 3 to 4 times a year. An overview booklet gets sent near the beginning of the year then I follow up with tailored pieces when it makes sense.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
In the past 2 years, print promos have lead to work. Additionally, conversations were sparked because of the pieces, which later lead to assignments.

This Week in Photography Books: Debi Cornwall

 

I’m listening to the hum of the fan beside me.

A magenta bag, filled with birthday socks, sits glowing in
the sunlight by the window.

Thankfully, I’m free.

Free to say what I like in this space each week. (Thanks, Rob.) Free to wear what I’d like, and go where I please.

These freedoms come at a cost, as we all know.

The United States government, through war and covert (i.e. CIA-led) actions, has undermined freedom, democracy, and sovereignty elsewhere. Countless have died in wars in other places, like Vietnam, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, as we’ve maintained our position at the top of the global economic food chain.

Given our original sins, slavery and the genocide of Native America, we shouldn’t be surprised that we also fomented revolution, claimed territory by force, committed assassinations, and installed puppet regimes in foreign countries.

(As much as I dislike Vlad Putin, he’s always pointing out that we’ve done the same things he’s accused of…)

The Monroe Doctrine was conjured to claim our sphere of influence over this part of the world. We’re seeing a return to that bygone era, (Shout out to Professor Timothy Lomperis, Freshman Year at Duke,) where major powers like the US, Russia and China patrol their own waters, and balance each other out.

Add to the list of things nasty things we’ve done in the name of democracy: torture.

Yes, in the early years of the War on Terror, George W. Bush had some lawyers, (we’re looking at you John Yoo,) come up with legal justification for “enhanced interrogation” techniques.

Including: water boarding, slapping, sleep deprivation, sexual touching, being forced to live in your own shit and piss, no access to light, little activity, hooding, general humiliation, and being shackled in painful positions.

I’m likely leaving a few out.

These black sites are on all of us, as citizens.
We’re complicit.

These discussions will be before us again, as Trump’s new nominee to head the CIA once ran a black site herself, and has been outwardly in favor of torture, according to this article in The Atlantic.

But Barack Obama famously promised to close Guantanamo Bay, and didn’t, so again, this issue crosses political affiliations.

I’ve been thinking about it all morning, having read/looked at Debi Cornwall’s excellent “Welcome to Camp America,” published by Radius Books in Santa Fe.

Straight up, I’ll admit I didn’t enjoy this one as much as some of the others I’ve reviewed lately. It’s a bit clinical for my liking. Such opinions are, of course, subjective, and it’s obviously a well-made production of important work.

It’s informative, and rich, and succeeds in many ways.

But since I try to always keep it real, and have been gushingly-over-the-top in my praise of late, I thought I’d tell the truth.

I like that the book forced me to pay attention. Like the other books I’ve featured lately, this one has multiple themes that repeat throughout, interrupting each other in a rhythm, so you’ll never get bored.

There are dry, formal landscape photos taken from inside the areas she was allowed to photograph at Gitmo.

Then, there are fold out pieces, untethered and interspersed, which feature former detainees who were freed, and have been patriated to other countries, Uighurs and Egyptians in places like Albania.

Always these men are photographed from behind. (A nod to the military regulation at Gitmo that says no faces are to be photographed? More likely, as Fred Ritchin suggests in his essay, it was out of empathy for the men’s privacy.)

Personally, I don’t like the unbound tactic. But I’m a big fan of the use of Arabic text, as it reminds us there is more than the American perspective to consider.

My favorite photos are the still life objects available at the gift shop. Dolls, and stuffed animals and lip balm?

Dial 911 for the tacky police.

There are smudgy, difficult-to-read pages depicting the actual torture techniques employed in the Bush Era, and a lawsuit/ story that plays out, slowly over the book, in first person.

Eventually, we realize it’s from the standpoint of a soldier who was playing an unresponsive inmate in a drill, only the soldiers kicking the shit out of him didn’t think it was a drill, and then the tapes were destroyed.

There are always tapes, with people like this, and they’re always getting destroyed. It’s like something out of that Tom Cruise/Jack Nicholson movie from back when they were both important.

What was that called?

That reminds me, in the book, that soldier who got beat up by mistake even said the safe-word was literally “Code Red,” like that movie, god, what was its name?

At first, jolting between that many types of images, and words, and styles of viewing, with overfolds and pull outs, it felt like a bit much.

I questioned what the personal connection was, between the artist and the subject, because clearly there was one. Nobody jumps through that many military hoops to get access, and publishes damaging information, in a photobook, without an ax to grind.

It goes against human nature.

So there it was, in Ms. Cornwall’s statement at the end of the book. “For twelve years I practiced as a wrongful conviction lawyer representing innocent exonerees in civil rights suits in the United States.”

That would do it.

I learned a lot from this book, and think it’s kickass in many ways. It’s just that it left me feeling a bit cold.

You know who else was cold?

One of the torture victims, when he was left shivering, naked, in his own excrement, while the air conditioning was turned on full blast.

I read that in this book. I expect it will stay with me for a while.

As it should.

Bottom Line: A fascinating, multi-layered look at Gitmo

To purchase “Welcome to Camp America,” click here 

The Art of the Personal Project: Peden + Munk

- - Personal Project

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Peden+ Munk

“Ever since I was a teenager watching anime and trying sushi for the first time, I’ve wanted to travel to Asia and in particular Tokyo. This feeling only intensified when I left New York City for Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA. The Asian culture is huge in So-Cal and so many of my friends from school were either Korean or Japanese.  All of a sudden I found myself in the middle of Ktown in a hidden speakeasy at 3am slurping the most delicious bone broth from a metal bowl. Or on Sundays after we graduated Jen and I would travel to San Gabriel Valley to try some new noodle spot or dim sum. But the be all end all was definitely the kotteri chashu ramen at Daiukokuya in downtown LA. This was quite possibly the best thing I had ever eaten.
Jen and I share the same passion for Japan and Japanese culture. After getting lucky with some airline miles we were on our way to Tokyo for our first taste of Japan. We are lucky enough to have great clients that seized our travel opportunity and gave us an assignment to shoot once we got there. Landing in Tokyo we quickly got on a bullet train and headed to the mountains. Arriving in the middle of the night to our Ryokan we had no idea what to expect. We awoke the next morning to discover a beautiful town shrouded in snow that was to be our new home for the next couple of days.
Immediately everything felt different from what we were used to at home. The people were nice and accommodating, almost to a fault. The food was delicious everywhere we went. And the scenery was mind bogglingly beautiful, so much so that we found ourselves using our iPhones more than the DSLR’s we lugged along everywhere.  It was just easier, faster and allowed for editing on the fly.
It soon became very apparent that we couldn’t walk more than 10 ft without whipping out our phones and snapping away. It became an obsession. We would turn and corner and all of a sudden a ray of light shined across a busy intersection as salary men and women lined up to cross the street. Both of us noticed that we were drawn to the very angular graphic nature (man-made and natural) that is Japan. Everything was neat and orderly and when the light hit just the right way it was marvelous. We snapped away and ducked into bookstores, parks and cafes to edit the photos.
Shooting with the iPhone gave us the freedom to spontaneous and secretive. Nobody thinks anything of you because 99.9% of the population is on a cell phone anyway.
This Video and series of photos represents what inspired us from our travels.”

To see more of this project, click here.

Motion portion of this personal project:  Click here

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 decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

 

The Daily Edit – DRIFT Magazine: Dedicated to Everything Coffee

- - The Daily Edit

Cover by Adam Goldberg

Photograph by Fabian Martinez

Photograph by Daniela Velasco

Photographs by Adam Goldberg

Photograph by Adam Goldberg

Photograph by Daniela Velasco

Drift Magazine

Creative Director: Daniela Velasco
Editor: Adam Goldberg

Heidi: How does Drift decide which city to feature?
Daniela: It’s a combination of a few factors. We have a running list of cities we feel have either an established or developing coffee culture. We then look at the list and make an assessment as to which city has the best “coffee story” to tell right now. Feedback from our readers is particularly valuable to us: when there’s overlap in the cities readers suggest, we tend to emphasize those cities. It also helps if we have a personal interest in visiting and learning more about the particular city since we spend so much time there putting together each issue. We also try to vary regions so each Volume of Drift feels very different from the previous one.

Once a city is determined, is all the photography assigned?
Generally, we first plan and assign the written content, using it as a guide to direct the photography. But there are exceptions, for example in Volume 5: Melbourne we ran a piece about the interior design of Australian coffee shops. This piece began with photographs we shot in-house, reaching out to writers afterwards. We love receiving pitches from both photographers and writers, each can lead to interesting, well-developed content.

What do you look for in someone’s work in order to be considered?
We try to hire as many photographers local to the city we are covering as possible. The local perspective is particularly interesting to us. Many contributors are ones who have previously reached out to us. Others are ones we’ve stumbled across on Instagram, who we feel could show a particularly interesting angle. We take photographers’ work seriously: their portfolios should show good use of light, a subtle editing process, an understanding of unique perspectives, creativity, and a strength in the type of coffee and travel lifestyle photos we are looking for.

Do you art direct the shoots and go on location?
We used to take almost all photos in the magazine therefore we would always be on location but as we’ve been growing we’ve been able to hire more local photographers that plan their own shoots following the creative direction we provide in the brief for each city.

What’s been your most memorable cup of coffee thus far?
Probably the “Angel Stain” at Bear Pond Espresso in Tokyo–espresso as thick as maple syrup and dark as ebony. Or perhaps the Natural-process coffees coming out of Yemen, roasted by Oakland’s “Port of Mokha” – but you’ll have to wait for our next issue to read more about that!

The Daily Promo – Jennifer Roberts

- - The Daily Promo

Jennifer Roberts

Who designed it?
The promo was designed by Studio Wyse http://www.studiowyse.com/ in Toronto. The Creative Director, Vanessa Wyse and the Art Director, Nicola Hamilton are incredibly talented and it was wonderful to work with them on this. Since I am such a big fan of their work, I felt pretty open to whatever concept they came up with.
I probably drove Nicola the art director (and also my sister-in-law) a little crazy going back and forth on the paper stocks. Her instinct was to go with a textured paper while mine was to do something a little smoother. We both wanted an uncoated finish so the mowhawk cougar was a happy compromise. The finished piece is a six-panel, accordion folded booklet that easily tears into single postcards, so you can pin your favourite image.

Who printed it?
They were printed in Toronto at Flash Reproductions.

Tell me about the images?
The objective of the promo was to highlight my portraiture and lifestyle work. I pulled a wide edit of photos and then Studio Wyse selected images from both my edit and from my website. I really trusted Studio Wyse’s direction and some of the photos they chose weren’t in my edit but when I saw them in the layout, they totally worked. I would have never thought of using the cheer squad photo but then when I saw their design, I loved it. When I saw my photos in their beautiful layout I felt like a better photographer.

How many did you make?
We did a run of 200 promos. I figured that way they could be divided up between the multiple markets I was targeting.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is the first time I’ve ever made a proper print promo. I’m very happy with it and it’s been well received so I think realistically I’d aim to have a new made once a year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think for me printed promos are a fantastic marketing tool. The timing was right because I’ve recently started dividing my time between Los Angeles and Toronto. In Toronto, my background is in newspaper photography and I’ve been trying to advance into more portraiture and lifestyle work. In Los Angeles, I’m new so it seemed like a good way to introduce myself. So far I’ve mostly sent them to new clients and they’ve been a great way to introduce people to my work. They’ve been great to hand out at meetings and a good way to reach clients that aren’t in the same city.

This Week in Photography Books: Tom Griggs

 

Hey guys.

Thanks for coming back.

After the last couple weeks, with the anger and the sorrow, I wasn’t sure if I’d see you today.

You might not realize it, but I always try to keep the balance in mind. If I hit you with some really heavy stuff for a few weeks, then I think it’s time for breather.

Lately, I’ve also had the opportunity to alternate male and female photographers each week.

Like I said, balance.

So today, we’re going to have a really short review. On the off chance you really like the long articles, and want to see them every time, I’ll offer my apologies.

Last week, I began making connections between the books that were sent to me by some very talented female photographers. I’m fairly sure I use the word emotional.

It’s a tricky word, emotional, and a tricky premise to suggest that women are more emotional than men. It’s often used as a pejorative term, and I should know, as it’s been hurled my way many times.

We all have emotions. (That should be blindingly obvious.) But traditionally, men have been less comfortable exploring and understanding their emotional reality. We all know the stereotype of the macho, stoic, heroic, cowboy type.

It’s been held up as a model forever, and only recently has “emo” been an acceptable state of mind for certain subsets of the male population.

Today’s book, “Herida y Fuente,” was made by an American photographer, Tom Griggs, who’s been living in Colombia for a long time. (Published by Mesaestander) He runs the blog fototazo, and works hard to support Latin American photography.

He’s definitely a good guy.

But I hadn’t seen his work before this book showed up a few months ago. I finally got to take a look at it today, and found it to be soulful, soft, and definitely emotional.

There’s a lot of visual darkness in this book, but it’s mostly the kind that serves as a foil for little spots of illumination. (Chiaroscuro, if you will.) The pictures are lovely, moody, and indirect. As the title is in Spanish, and there’s no English text at all, you’re on your own as far as interpretation goes, unless you speak Spanish.

(I know some, but not enough to decipher the title without Google’s help.)

Beyond the repetition of the black color palette, there are hints of discord. We see glimpses of the female body, but rarely the whole thing. A partner? A wife?

There’s one photograph that reminded me of a breast self-examination, so I wondered if there was an undertone of cancer?

But then we see pillows piled on the couch, like someone had to sleep there. Later, there’s a made bed that no one has slept in. In that sense, the book feels like a set of stills from a movie by one of those crazy Mexican directors.

There are flowers, and butterflies, and a sensibility I would feel comfortable describing as feminine. Unlike some people, I don’t see that as a negative term. Lots of artistic guys are comfortable with their emotions.

Eventually, I did translate the title, which means “wound and source.” I have no idea if this is a literal narrative, but the title clearly pushes us towards seeing this as a romantic breakup, a tumultuous relationship, or a legitimate battle with illness.

There’s a long poem on the back cover, also in Spanish, but I didn’t bother to run it through the software. I figure if Tom wanted us to read it in English, he would’ve written it in English.

Here are some of the words I made out: Contacts, tangents, proximity, separation, distance, bodies, corrosions, rooms, concrete forms, poetic manners…you get the point.

After the disconcerting reviews the last two weeks, I see today’s book as a heartfelt love poem tucked inside a photo book.

Hope you like it too.

Bottom line: A beautiful, poetic meditation on love? 

To purchase “Herida y Fuente,” click here

If you’d like to submit a book for review, please email me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers, to maintain the balance.

The Art of the Personal Project: Rob Gregory

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Rob Gregory

When looking at the landscape of BMX photography, I noticed some trends regarding wardrobe and location. Most riders seemed to be wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and were shot in street or skate park environments. As I set out to make Church with Matt Wilhelm, I wanted to take on the challenge of breaking these conventional molds. I started with the wardrobe and decided that a suit would be very different from anything I had seen. But in order for that to make sense, we needed a location where you would actually wear a suit, which is why I chose a church. Using an abandoned church seemed to fit the spirit of BMX and also allowed us to add one more final flourish to the series: smoke bombs. By strapping these to his bike and placing them in the environment, we were able to achieve some very unique and beautiful effects that were challenging at times, but worth the extra effort.

To see more of this project, click here.

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 decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

 

Pricing & Negotiating: Lifestyle Images for a Non-Profit Organization

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Images of volunteers and foundation members interacting

Location: An office and a TBD social setting in a European city

Licensing: Work-made-for-hire

Photographer: Portrait and lifestyle specialist

Client: A large US-based non-profit organization

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing:

While the exact scope of the project was initially vague, the client hoped to capture images of their employees and volunteers in various scenarios over two shoot days at one of the foundation’s office locations and an additional social setting in a European city. The locations, talent, and production coordination would be the responsibility of the client, and they needed a photographer with minimal crew to capture everyone interacting.

On one hand, it seemed pretty straightforward, but on the other hand, the request came with a creative brief showing usage of the images on billboards along with a contract stating that the project would need to be on a work-made-for-hire basis (meaning, the copyright of the images would belong to the client). A handful of other non-profits I’ve encountered have required similar agreements, however, their budgets haven’t typically matched the value of such an arrangement. That being said, such organizations are typically relying on volunteers to go above and beyond in various ways, and I suppose they expect that notion to apply towards vendors for other goods/services as well.

When working on projects like this, I simply just ask what their budget might be, and in this case (after asking the same question a few different ways), I found out that they typically pay $3k-$4k plus expenses per day, regardless of the project scope. In this case, the photographer was comfortable with this considering the client and seemingly simple project scope. We priced the creative/licensing fee at 3,000 Euro per day, taking into account the currency conversion (about $3,700 USD) to be sure it would be palatable. There are two ways to create an estimate when currency conversion is necessary. One would have been to price the estimate in the currency of the client, which could make things progress smoothly internally, and could perhaps be more palatable. The other is to price the project in the currency of the local photographer, which is what we did here, and this ensures that the photographer receives exactly the anticipated amount of money estimated, regardless of the conversion rate at the time of payment.

Photographer Scout/Pre-Production Day(s): We included one day prior to the shoot for the photographer to scout the locations.

Assistants: We included a first assistant who would double as a digital tech, as well as a second assistant to help with equipment and lighting on both shoot days.

Hair/Makeup Stylist: While the client would provide any necessary wardrobe and/or prop styling, they requested for us to include a hair/makeup stylist to handle some light grooming on both days.

Equipment: This covered 800 euro/day for the photographer’s own gear, and any minor pieces of equipment he may need to rent.

Mileage, Parking, Meals for Crew, Misc.: I included 150 euro each day, anticipating a light lunch for 4 people and miscellaneous funds for parking and misc. expenses each day.

Delivery of All RAW Content on Hard Drive: The client planned to handle all of the post-processing, and simply wanted all of the images provided to them on a hard drive. This including the cost of the hard drive and international expedited shipping.

Feedback: Despite a seemingly clear conversation about their budget initially, we were told that our estimate was a bit too high for them. We discussed a few items that we could adjust to bring the expenses down while keeping the creative/licensing fee intact. We dropped the scout/prep day by 150 euro, removed the second assistant, reduced the equipment to 1k and cut the misc. expenses in half. Additionally, the client said they could provide a hard drive and cover shipping costs, so we removed that expense. Those changes helped us get just under 10k euro, which we thought should do the trick. Here was the estimate:

Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and we began talking about another project in a different city as well.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 or reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

The Daily Edit – Kitchen Toke : Frank Lawlor

- - The Daily Edit

Kitchen Toke

Creative Director: Joline Rivera
Photographer: Frank Lawlor


Heidi: Have you worked with Kitchen Toke before?

Frank: I was fortunate enough to work on the inaugural issue of Kitchen Toke. While we had all worked on food editorial projects before, this was the first magazine in the world dedicated to culinary cannabis. While similar in many ways to previous projects, Kitchen Toke presented creative, brand and legal considerations as the cannabis-friendly landscape is continually changing here in the US.

How did they find you, or did you pitch this idea?
I had worked with Joline Rivera, magazine creative director, on previous food projects for US Foods. She asked me if I wanted to help out with photography and video on their first story about Holden Jagger in LA.

What was the biggest challenge for this shoot?
I didn’t quite understand what it was all about at first – I thought he was going to cook with cannabis oils like the other chefs featured in the magazine. Holden is an experienced chef but he doesn’t cook with cannabis, he pairs cannabis strains to smoke along with a meal, much like a wine sommelier. This presented some challenges and opportunities, particularly in the way he prepped meals and rolled joints for guests. Kitchen Toke is a beautiful publication, by no means a typical stoner mag. The Kitchen Toke brand is carefully considered and tastefully executed. The challenge for the entire team was to capture Holden’s entire process while avoiding the urge to take the stereotypical “WHOA DUDE, LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT SPLIFF” shot. Joline’s vision and leadership was clear throughout the shoot, the goal was understood by the entire team: Keep it classy.

Were you an art director first, and then became a photographer?
My creative career is an ongoing disjointed mess of wonderful opportunities. I worked as an illustrator, designer, art director, creative director, photographer – not necessarily in that order. My client list includes large tech companies, small tech startups, fashion brands and charitable organizations. Whatever the client, the work is always better when I understand the story behind the image. I think getting to know the subject matter and the people behind the story is the most rewarding part of the job. Having a camera in your hand gives you an opportunity to learn about people’s motivation for starting a business, their passion for excellence, their fear of failure, everything that makes them interesting. Educated conversation makes the subject feel at ease and multiplies their expressions beyond the uncomfortable smile.   

Tell us about the shoot.
We shot Holden as he shopped for ingredients at the Santa Monica farmers market, as he farmed his marijuana crops, and as he prepped meals in a kitchen. These three very different situations posed challenges, especially on his farm at noon in the southern California sun. I shot with different cameras (Sony A7RII, Canon 1Dx mkII), and used polarizers, scrims, and a variety of lenses. A simple macro lens is a photographers best friend when shooting food, but a fast 35mm adds to the story by showing the environment. While Holden was shopping, cooking or farming, I had to be ready to capture things as they happened. The optimal method is constantly changing, and you have to be prepared. Real life is what makes editorial projects so exciting – the story is most important.    

 

The Daily Promo – Marco Girado

Marco Girado

Who printed it?
The promo was printed by smartpress.com

Who designed it?
I did the art direction and design.

Tell me about the images?
The images are a series of photographs of ordinary elements that through the use of color and composition transcend their simple appearance and become symbols of beauty.

How many did you make?
About 500. Two sets.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I like to send out promos at least twice per year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think that paper has more impact. I had better results with printed promos.
But I consider it is also important to combine print and digital marketing.

This Week in Photography Books: Nancy Borowick

 

IKEA has it all figured out.

They rope most of us in with their cheap, stylish furniture. (Everyone loves a good deal, right?)

But that’s not enough for IKEA. They throw in Dollar hot dogs, cheap Swedish meatballs, free childcare, and I swear one time I saw a sign for free coffee.

It’s a heavy pitch indeed, but it makes sense, as they’re trying to convince people to walk around a space that is at once maze-like and cavernous. (We practically hugged the employee in Denver last time, when she finally showed us a shortcut.)

I like to be a student of success, when I can, and have learned a lesson or two from the Swedish behemoth. Most of the time, I try to be funny and/or witty in this part of the column, and then entice you into reading about a photobook. (At least that’s what I tell myself. I’m sure some of you skip right to the book each time.)

I never planned to be entertaining, or political, though as last week attests, it’s best to step away from the keyboard when I’m in a bad mood.

But there’s nothing funny about the book I read and looked at this morning. It was a completely unique experience in all my years reviewing photo books.

I cried the entire time.

Not bawling, if I’m being honest, but the tears streamed down my cheeks at a consistent pace, like the lines of Taiwanese people buying toilet paper at the store, when it was announced the prices would soon rise. (Apparently, it led to shortages. Napkins, anyone?)

Right, I was writing about crying. I was preparing you for a sad review.

So why am I in a decent mood?

I guess it’s because excellence makes me feel good. Seeing things done well, in particular photobooks, gives me inspiration and excitement to keep pushing forward.

Last fall, Women Photograph, the advocacy organization that recently won an ICP Infinity award, was kind enough to nudge some female photographers to submit books for review in this column.

I thanked them recently on Twitter, and am doing so here, because it lead to reviews of Kathy Shorr’s “SHOT”, Nina Berman’s “An autobiography of Miss Wish,” and now “The Family Imprint: A Daughter’s Portrait of Love and Loss,” by Nancy Borowick, published by Hatje Cantz.

(We’ll also be looking at Debi Cornwall’s “Welcome to Camp America: Inside Guantanamo Bay”, by Radius, and it’s good, as Debi gave me a preview in NYC last spring.)

I know the books that were recommended were pre-selected for being successful, but their commonalities are impossible to ignore.

These books are personal, and emotional. They’re exhaustive, and incorporate text that is as strong as the pictures. They use nontraditional materials within, like cards and medical forms, to break up the monotony of the narrative.

And each discusses a subject that is at the outer edge of human experience, while simultaneously being entirely human.

(At this point, I’ll stop lumping Nancy’s book in with the others, and tell you why it’s so great.)

Nancy Borowick grew up Jewish, in New York, to loyal, loving parents. Her father, like mine, was a lawyer, a baby-boomer, a Giants fan, and his initials were HB.

Like my folks, her parents went to costume parties, took their family on skiing vacations, and had photographs of embarrassing 80’s fashion.

It’s no surprise that life in the New York City suburbs might be similar.

I get it.

But that’s where our stories diverge. (If you don’t make that hard right turn, at just the right time, you’re sure to crash into the concrete stanchion up ahead.)

Cancer runs in Nancy Borowick’s family, and Nancy’s mother, Laurel, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, and it recurred in 2009 and ’11. Her father, Howie, developed terminal pancreatic cancer in 2012, so her parents slowly died together.

Her father was buried 364 days before her mother, who had to live that last year of her life without her soulmate.

The book opens with a heartfelt essay, by my friend and mentor James Estrin, who warns of the extreme emotional nature to follow. He said he cried many times, as this project evolved, and I thought, “Yeah, well, I don’t cry. It’ll never happen.”

Like I said: water works.

The bulk of the book is comprised of black and white photographs that document this phase of the Borowick family’s life, including a wedding, and unfortunately two funerals.

There are diary entries, pain journals, statements from each of her parents, reproductions of handwritten greeting cards, old photos from family albums, and even scans of needlepoint that collectively rocket the reader into the story.

Having two parents die of cancer simultaneously is a hardcore, unlikely experience. It’s the kind of thing everyone prays will never happened to them.

The book is therefore an allegory, as much as a family album. My greatest teacher, Allen Frame, always preached that the deeper you dig into your own personal life, the more likely you are to tap into a universal story.

That’s what Nancy Borowick has done here. There is an inherent shock value in her premise, in her life, that will always draw curiosity. So this book could’ve been mediocre, and I think people still would’ve paid attention.

Instead, by varying the narrative techniques, and ratcheting up the sadness, the power of this family’s love comes through loud and clear. That’s why I felt inspired, rather than wretched.

It’s why I was excited to write about this book for you, instead of sheepish. (Ironically, as the morose emotions coursed through my system, I thought about losing my wife, or dying without seeing my kids grow up, rather than focus on my own aging parents.)

The narrative, design, and photographs here are all top class, so together they create the gestalt of a talismanic object. If I hadn’t been so blown away by Nina Berman’s book a few weeks ago, I’d be happy to tell you this is the best book I’ve seen in a long time.

Instead, I can gladly say the books I’ve been receiving from female photographers are kicking some serious ass. They’ve all been dynamite, so I don’t have to pick a favorite.

Fellas, you best bring it, or step to the back of the line.

Bottom Line: A brilliant book about tragic circumstances

To purchase “The Family Imprint,” click here

The Art of the Personable Project: Jason Lindsey

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this new revised thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist: Jason Lindsey

I Still Remain: Fighting Cancer Twice

“I Still Remain” is a film and photo story that inspects and explores the inner workings, insights and inspirations of a man driven and informed by two fights with cancer. Written by Braulio Fonseca, directed by Jason Lindsey, and edited by Sai Selvarajan, “I Still Remain,” blends poetic introspection with cinematic observation to reveal a moving portrait of how serious illness carries intense emotional impact, and the transformative power in healing the mind, body and spirit.

Lindsey was inspired to help Fonseca tell his story: how the psychological element was vital in living more fully, even while threatened by the ravages of illness. The director was determined to bring Fonseca’s evocative, lyrical language to the screen. As he explains, “Braulio’s writing mines an emotional journey we do not often see in the fight with cancer. We wanted to craft the message with an aesthetic that would translate the depths of his healing process to hopefully reach those looking for hope and restoration. ”Honoring the story with immersive and rhythmic visuals, Lindsey captures both intimate and expansive moments that reveal Fonseca’s resurgence. From the purifying blank page of icy blue water to the worn decay of photographed graffiti walls, and the calloused skin of time’s toll.

An admirer of Sai Selvarajan’s body of work, Lindsey approached the editor to shape a story that would blend voice and visuals, poetry and purpose. For Selvarajan, the challenge was met with passionate determination to uncover the universal and the personal, in a message aimed to inspire and connect.

“We wanted to capture the interior space of a cancer survivor and create a unique marriage of art and why,” comments Selvarajan. “Cancer, unfortunately, is something that most people have a personal experience with directly or indirectly. I was honored to be able to collaborate with Jason on this film, and I hope people are encouraged by Braulio’s story.”

Cancer Survivor: Braulio Fonseca

Director/Concept: Jason Lindsey

Writer: Braulio Fonseca

Voice Over: Braulio Fonseca

Producer: Talia Watkins

Director of Photography: Jason Lindsey and Myles Beeson

Editorial Company: Lucky Post

EP: Jessica Berry

Editor: Sai Selvarajan:

Assistant Editor: Alex Histerkamp

Audio Mixer: Scottie Richardson

Composer: Curtis Heat

Color Correction: Company 3 Chicago

Colorist: Tyler Roth

To see more of this project, click here.

Also a link to the film can be seen here.

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 decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

Jeff Stockwell on Testing

- - Working

Interview by Andrea Stern of SternRep

Jeff Stockwell is a car + lifestyle photographer based in Long Beach, California.  His client list includes Mercedes, Adidas, Vans, Car and Driver, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Cadillac and more.  Jeff came into this business about four years ago and hit the ground running bringing in big name clients quickly. As his rep, I have to believe it is in part because he tests often. He constantly provides me with new images and keeps his portfolio fresh always having new work to show off. I wanted to do this interview with Jeff about his testing because I see it as one of his greatest strengths and something that really sets him apart from the pack.

Andrea Stern: Why do you test so much?

Jeff Stockwell: Well, I guess there are a couple different reasons. I test a lot because I feel like every time I test I get better at shooting.  Being behind the camera is the only way to learn. I try to push myself beyond what I normally create, approach something different styling wise, use a different location or a different model.

In this day and age with Instagram, it can be hard for a photographer to be banging out content all the time, so sometimes you have to shoot things for yourself.

People want to see new work.  If you are trying to be a commercial photographer and you come out with work every 6 months, and your stuff looks the same all the time, that’s a problem. You have to keep yourself relevant.   That’s what creatives want to see, they want to be inspired by someone. They want to get a sense of your commitment and passion for photography and they also want to know what you shoot on your own time.

What is it that you, and no one else, would bring their shoot to take their project to the next level?

Andrea Stern: Recently you did a test where you hired a model and a producer, got a permit for a location and had the images professionally retouched, this is a big investment, what was the inspiration and motivation that led you to do this level of testing?

Jeff Stockwell: That’s what it takes now. This test in particular I was going for a different age demographic. A lot of my work has highlighted young people. From a creative’s perspective, it might be hard to imagine an older person in my work and I wanted to show what I could do.

I pushed my boundaries by using an older male model, someone with a prestigious and refined look, a high class overall feel, and rented a really nice car etc. I even got hair and makeup for a guy, which is uncommon.

The permit was not very expensive and the stylist, hair and makeup artist and producer all offered their time for the test, for their own portfolios. I spent the bulk of the money on renting the car, my assistant, lunch/coffee etc.

Andrea Stern: Right! The producer, Courtney Zupanski had actually reached out to me around the time this test was happening. The timing was perfect and I asked her if she wanted to help with your test. Rather than just “helping” she ended up taking the initiative to go out and find a stylist, location scout, organize hair and makeup, sent out a call sheet, organized lunch and was there all day at the shoot. She blew us away and is now bidding on a job with Jeff, because of how impressed we were with her.

Andrea Stern: Did you have a budget for your test?

Jeff: No. But it did end up costing over a 1,000. It was an investment. And definitely worth it.

Andrea Stern: How did you plan for your shoot?

Jeff: I scouted the day before. I knew what the light was going to look like at what time and where.

I had two specific shots I knew wanted to get in my mind.  But generally, I like to keep it off the cuff. I might look at some inspiration the night before, but I want it to be my own vision. I want it to be real and fresh.

Andrea Stern: How did the shoot go?

Jeff: Images came out great. It was the exact look and feel I was going for. It is kind of crazy because when it came down to the actual time that we shot it took four hours. And I shot a LOT.

Andrea Stern: Do you enjoy testing? Why?

Jeff: I really do love it.  It doesn’t feel like I am going to work.  I especially enjoy testing after all the hair and makeup is done and the clothes are on…all that stuff. I despise the other part of it, which is contacting people and trying to get people lined up, but the creative aspect I love.

Andrea Stern: What is your attitude around testing?

Jeff: Some of the tests you are going to do are not going to work out. You have to be able to be like, ok that did not go as planned, next time I am going to scout more thoroughly or know what I am getting myself into, reach out to an agency and get better models, etc. You do tests to learn.

Andrea Stern: Have you ever had a test lead to paid work? If so, what?

Jeff: It’s a little bit hard to say but I do have an interesting story about that.

Recently, a production company for Adidas sent out a mass email to about 30 reps, looking for a photographer for an upcoming product/lifestyle shoot in LA.

I put together a PDF of all the athletic and sneaker work I had done. I had recently shot a test with a basketball player and the images turned out really well.  I had never done an athletic test quite like that before, and it definitely filled a need in my portfolio.

And you know what, out of thousands of photographers…I got hired.

So, it’s kind of hard to say whether that test “got” me the job, but when the job came to light, I had the right thing to put forward, and they liked my work.

Andrea Stern: One piece of advice for photographers?

Jeff: JUST GO TAKE PICTURES. ALL. THE. TIME. You aren’t going to learn unless you are behind the camera. Pick up the most basic camera and just go shoot.

And always bring what you do best to the shoot. Not just what is asked of you!

To see more of Jeff Stockwell’s work: www.Jeff-Stockwell.com

Project produced by Courtney Joan Zupanski (www.CourtneyJoanZupanski.com), styled by Luke Langsdale, hair/makeup by Nicola Hamilton, model Travis Marshall, Next Models, and retouched by the awesome Gloss Post Production team. (www.GlossRetouching.com)

 

The Coolest New Magazines about Food

- - The Daily Edit

 

For every print publication that dims the lights, another one flicks on the switch. Check out the coolest new magazines that focus on food and the budding cannabis industry and it’s relationship to food. Granted these are not published monthly but needless to say print is alive and well. We are looking forward to bringing you photo stories from some of the issues listed below.

 

 

 

Eaten

Eaten is a lovely magazine focused on everything food history. Published quarterly each new volume is filled with a cornucopia of old recipes, enlightening gastronomic essays, and the fascinating and forgotten tales of the people who have grown, cooked, and enjoyed all things edible over the centuries.

 

 

 

Kitchen Toke


Creative Director: Joline Rivera

Kitchen Toke is the first nationally distributed food magazine focused on exploring and understanding cannabis for recreational and medicinal use. The magazine covers cooking and entertaining seasonally with cannabis along with the chefs and individuals advancing marijuana in food and health. 

 

 

 

Broccoli


Creative Director:  Anja Charbonneau formerly of Kinfolk

Broccoli is an international magazine created by and for women who love cannabis.
Offered free of charge, Broccoli explores and shapes modern stoner culture by looking at cannabis through a global art, culture and fashion lens.

 

Drift

Drift is about coffee, the people who drink it, and the cities they inhabit. Their collection of writers and photographers, alongside coffee shop owners, baristas, streetcar vendors, and patrons, capture a glimpse of what it’s like to drink coffee in a city at the time the magazine is printed. Each issue highlights a different city.

Creative Director: Daniela Velasco

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Promo – Heather McGrath

- - The Daily Promo

Heather McGrath

Who printed it?
Puritan Press printed the postcards. http://www.puritanpress.com Repeat Press did the Letter Pressed Enclosure. http://www.repeatpress.com Working with Mike Dacey over at Repeat was incredible because we were also able to get new business cards out of the opening window in the enclosure.

Who designed it?
Freelance designer Monica Greenwald http://monicah.co

Tell me about the design?
I am really inspired by old prints and the family photos that our great-grandparents used to have. Over the years all of my promos have been a twist on that. My designer Monica found a little postcard set for a lake in upstate Nyc that must’ve been from the 40’s That’s what inspired this promo, to give someone a tactile keepsake, hopefully, that gives you a little sense of nostalgia and inspiration.

Tell me about the images?
The images are an assortment of my lifestyle/adventure portfolio. With a couple of my product and beauty shots sprinkled in. This promo is to attract more of my adventure outdoor side. I work a lot in the studio but my heart is outside playing in the dirt.

How many did you make?
There are 10 shots per promo and there are 3 different sets of images so 666 each totaling 2000. To be mailed out every 6 months.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Twice

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do. I was a graphic designer before a photographer and I know the impact that print can have. Plus I figured it proves I can do more than what looks good on an iPad since everything looks good on an iPad! Print may be dead but its one smart way to stand out. I hope this is a promo people don’t throw away.