The Daily Edit – Aliza Eliazarov: Modern Farmer

- - The Daily Edit

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Modern Farmer

Editor In Chief: Sarah Gray Miller
Creative Director: Maxine Davidowitz
Photo Director: Lila Garnett
Photographer: Aliza Eliazarov



Heidi: What was the tipping point for you to leave teaching and become a photographer? or do you view the switch simply as photography is your vehicle to teach rather than the classroom?
 Aliza: I studied Environmental Engineering in undergrad and went on to get my masters in Creative Arts In Education. When I was a teacher in LA I integrated photography throughout the curriculum and also took classes at OTIS ( they had a great deal for LA public school teachers). I became more and more invested in photography as an anthropological and educational tool – especially the long term project. I was a tenured teacher at the time and took a leave of absence in 2007 to go to Bolivia and document President Evo Morales’ efforts to reallocate farmland to indigenous people.

During that time, I also had some really talented photographer friends who mentored and encouraged me to pursue photography more seriously. I applied to The International Center of Photography’s Documentary and Photojournalism Program and went there from 2008 – 2009.

Your portraits of the animals are so stately, do you treat them as you would a human subject? Or in other words, how do you get them to react ( do you talk to them, have treats, or is it patience? )
Animal photography happens in the space between fear and poop. Every animal is different, and it’s hard to predict how an animal will react to standing in front of flashing lights in a studio setting. Some freeze, others run or fly into the lights and others will try to go through the backdrop. Some animals are surprisingly calm and curious. You really never know and the farmers are always surprised by which animals end up being the best subjects.

Patience is critical. I like to give each animal at least 10 -15 minutes to get used to the situation. It also gives me a chance to observe and get to know the animal and get a feeling for his/ her personality and outstanding physical traits. On set I’m pretty quiet and let the animals roam within the studio space we have built. Often it is during those times that I get the most interesting photos. Sometimes you only get a few seconds of prime shooting, so you need to be ready.

For Modern Farmer I need to get very specific photos of each animal– a tight portrait with the animal facing both left and right and full body shots – all on both black and white backgrounds (in addition to more creative shots). For those, we want ears forward, long necks, and heads held high. I have the farmer or my assistant  talk to them, call them, make noises, hold treats in front of them. We do whatever it takes to get the shot. It can get pretty comical and hectic on set when birds fly behind the backdrop or a 1,400 pound draft horse decides the shoot is over. It can get pretty stressful, but I love it.

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Tell us about how your body of work shooting animals developed, did it grow out “Sustain?”
I began shooting animals while photographing farmers and chickens for two personal projects: SUSTAIN and 2 Chickens In Every Garage.

SUSTAIN is a long term documentary project on the sustainable farming movement.

2 Chickens in Every Garage is a series that looks at the backyard chicken movement across America and the role chicken enthusiasts have played in changing city ordinances and reshaping our relationship with our food and food sources. To make this work, I joined chicken enthusiast meetup.com groups. I visited enthusiasts in several cities around the country and set up a studio with black backdrop inside of the coop in order to isolate the chickens from their environment and force the viewer to consider the chicken.

Modern Farmer Photo Director Lila Garnett was familiar with my chicken work and published the series on Audubon.com when she was photo editor there seveal years ago. When Lila moved to Modern Farmer 5 or 6 years later – she reached out to me!

 

Do you have a team of wrangles that you work with, or have your developed enough experience to handle things are your own?
I work with one photo assistant and the farmer/s on set. Everyone helps to keep the animal in front of the backdrop and the space safe for everyone on set.

You often shoot for Modern Farmer, what was different or unique about this project?
I just finished shooting my 5th cover story for Modern Farmer and will be shooting 2 more this summer. Honestly it’s my dream gig and I feel so honored to be involved with this publication.
The pre-production for these shoots can be tricky and Photo Director Lila Garnett and I will work closely together to try and find the farms with all of the breeds we need to shoot for the issue. Sometimes it means traveling to 3 or 4 farms.  We try our best to find farmers with multiple breeds and are in the same general region.

I then travel to the farms and set up a studio on location, typically in a barn– many of which are old and rickety. Sometimes I will stay on the farm for a few days, and other times we break down the studio; travel to the next farm and do it all over.

Scheduling farm animal shoots is tricky when you have to work with weather, breeding, molting, sheering and other things that effect what the animal will look like or availability of babies.Chickens are my first love in terms of photographing farm animals, so I was really excited to shoot the chicken cover story for Modern Farmer. I love the variety in breeds and plumage and more than anything, I love the way  chickens move, twist and contort. Shooting the chickens also felt like I had come full circle so it was extra rewarding shooting this cover.

What was the biggest surprise you had on set?
There have been several, most of them poop related:

-A chicken laid an egg in the middle of this shoot for Modern Farmer.
-A giant draft horse backed up and peed all over the white fabric backdrop. I spent the next morning at the laundromat.
-Duck poop is the worst and gets everywhere.
-Alpacas don’t poop on set because they are like cats and only go in a communal litter box area.
-On my most rece   nt shoot, the cover animal I flew across country to photograph, suddenly grew ill and died hours before I got there.

Best advice for anyone shooting an animal?
Poop happens. Be ready for it.

 

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The Art of the Personal Project: Craig LaCourt

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 LaCourt

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How long have you been shooting?
I’ve been working in the industry for over 17 years, but really started pushing my own photography in the last 4 years or so.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I did get a BFA in photography from Western Michigan University, and that set a good foundation for how to address things in so much as building groups/series of images, but from a technical/professional aspect it’s the years of working as a digital technician and assistant that taught me the ropes of how the industry works.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve had a broader project of shooting the creative people I meet in my community of Red Hook, Brooklyn for quite some time (hence my Instagram handle @redhook_shooter) and I’d known “Guitar Matt” through the great network of people for a bit before this. I moved my studio into the building he had been working in and we thought it was time to do something as I wanted to do some artisan small business based projects and he could always use new images for his own. We concepted and shot it over the course of a couple days.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This particular project was one of several I wanted to incorporate into my new site/book when I sat down with Karen D’Silva to re-assess what I’d been presenting. She really liked this project in particular.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I usually know before we are done shooting the first day. Most of my personal projects are collaborative in so much as I feed off the people I shoot. It’s such an adrenaline rush when you are on the same plane, but sometimes things just don’t “have it”,

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I almost always think of shooting as potential portfolio. Sometimes I overanalyze it into something bigger (production wise) than it really needs to be. I recently took a personal trip with a friend who is a motorcycle builder and we went from Denver to Austin for a motorcycle show. I usually would have brought cases and cases of lighting gear and cameras to treat it like an ad production. This time I specifically rented a small camera and a couple lenses and that’s it. I just tagged along to whatever he wanted to do so I didn’t have to plan any production or blocking. I just shot what I saw. It was a nice breath of fresh air and I think it helped me come back really excited.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Sometimes I feel like I got into the game a little too late with social and my photography. I’d always kept the two separated. So now I’m trying to push myself to keep ideas flowing onto Instagram and making an effort to keep it fresh and updated.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not really yet, no. I’ve not figured out the formula for getting that to happen yet. One person I shot for an ad campaign last year has literally MILLIONS of followers on Instagram. I’d love to get over 500 now, ha!

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I just did a pretty big (for me) hard promo push in the spring. I find this is still a very important step in our photography world. I’ve gotten some good feedback from the people that viewed it. For those I haven’t heard back from yet, my hope is that I have planted a seed of interest in their minds regarding the type of work I do.

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I’ve lived in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn since moving from the rocky shores of Lake Superior. I like to ride motorcycles on curvy roads or strap a snowboard to my feet when the opportunity presents itself. I try to catch a Red Wings game here and there with my wife, Shami, and my daughter, Mihika.

In my free time I’m always down for a great conversation over a hoppy beer with my dogs at my feet. The best talks are after a really fun photo shoot when we are spent but running on adrenaline from making something special.

People have called me a nice guy.


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.

Q&A: Sarah Meister Curator, Department of Photography, MoMA

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What are some photographs that you believe everybody should see?
There are so many photographs and digital images in the world today that instead of adding to the lists of things that everybody should see, I’d suggest a different exercise. I believe that most people would see more clearly if they took the time to look more closely… ideally at an old photograph that many people have held over many decades. In the digital era it strikes me as critically important to recognize the difference between a photograph (a physical object) and a photographic image (one that can assume new characteristics specific to the device on which it is seen, but which has no material presence), and that once you’ve really looked at a photograph you’ll have new tools to approach both photographic objects and images.

What are some of the most interesting things about the history of photography?
For a variety of reasons (cultural, economic, social, technical), throughout the history of the medium a significant percentage of the greatest photographers have been women. In fact, it is possible to tell a coherent history of photography featuring only women artists…

Read More Here: Sarah Meister – Quora Session on Jun 27, 2016

The Daily Edit – Bon Appetit : Alex Lau

- - The Daily Edit

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Bon Appetit

 

Creative Director: Alex Grossman
Photo Director: Alex Pollack
Photo Editor: Elizabeth Jaime
Photographer: Alex Lau

Heidi: How many choices of doughnuts did you go through after arriving at this one?
Alex: I probably went through 9 variations of doughnuts, with about 4 options of each doughnut.

Did you buy a dozen of the same kind of doughnut to avoid denting the icing?
Fortunately, I didn’t have to buy any doughnuts with my own money, but Blue Star was kind enough to give me a fresh doughnut to work with if I had dented or messed up the icing.

Who was the food stylist?
It was a collaborative effort between me and my photo editor Elizabeth Jaime via email! I was in the middle of a multi city shoot, when Elizabeth told me she was adding another shop to my shot list. She had mentioned it was a cover try, and that I should run through as many options as possible. I basically sent her screenshots as I shot, and readjusted based on her comments.

What were the icing or color considerations?
Since it was a cover option, our creative team is always looking for something that pops in terms of color. I was told to look for doughnuts that had a distinct pattern or nice color since it would be featured by itself on white. I had some trouble with the doughnut flavor that I was originally assigned, since the glaze was too glossy for the harsh/poppy light that I was using, so we had to switch to a doughnut with a similar tone, but with a more matte glaze.

Are the most simple food covers the most difficult?
I wouldn’t say that they’re the most difficult, but that they’re just as challenging as propped out shots. If a food shot is propped out, that gives you more options than doing a standalone shot on white. This makes the onus on the food looking good by itself, as opposed to relying on context and props.

Favorite doughnut?
I think my favorite doughnut was definitely the cover doughnut, which is the Blueberry Bourbon Doughnut. I’m not even a fan of doughnuts but had to eat a couple before leaving.

 

The Daily Promo: Stan Evans

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Who printed it?
Modern Postcard out of San Diego Printed it. Ture Lillegraven referred me to them. They are reasonable priced and efficient.

Who designed it?
I designed it. As far as the concept, I’ve been shooting a bit of motorcycling lately and it seems the market has been saturated with café racers, sunset shots and generic side of the road shots.  While some of those photos will always be timeless, I wanted to capture something that flew in the face of that. High-end motorcycles are precision machines and the apparel motorcyclists wear for protection at those speeds has many features and functions.  I wanted showcase a seamless connection between man and machine;  inspired by the work of artist HR Giger and director James Cameron did on the “Alien” series. It’s dark and moody but in a stack of sunset motorcycle work it sticks out.

Who edited the images?
I edited the images and did the post-production myself.  I had pretty clear vision of wanting to mix crisp product photography with dynamic action.  The photos themselves have very little photoshop.  Some of the on location photos had a bit of light spill because you are capturing things at speed but overall that it was getting the right mix of portraits and action so it flows nicely

How many did you make?
I made 200. I sent out about half of those. I handed out probably another fifty. I still have a few on hand to leave behind at meetings.  I’d be happy to send more out, shoot me an email if you are interested:  stan@stanevansphoto.com

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Usually 3 to 4 times a year. I do one larger one and 2-3 follow-ups.

How did this idea come about?
Originally I pitched this idea to a company for a shoot and they passed but the problem with good ideas is they stick, so I made this promo.  A promo is the best manifestation of what you can do with your own mind on your own time.  If you can get people to believe in that, they will believe in you and help manifest bigger dreams and ideas. People will say “no” to your ideas but you need to have the resilience to come back and define those ideas, shoot them and take them to fruition if need be.  Practice until you get to a point where people will take notice.

Later after they saw the promo they came back and commissioned a shoot. It also led to a recent work with Cycle World, which was pretty cool because I’ll be frank; I’m a portrait photographer that likes shooting motorcyclists and hearing their stories. I have an instagram (@upforadventuress) dedicated just my moto exploits but I separate the two because I don’t want to be stamped as just a “moto photographer.” It’s a great outlet to show that world as I see it without any constraints and it’s made my overall photography work better but I enjoy seeing and shooting many things.

Special thanks to Adey Bennett (model), Jeff Moustache (the assistant on the shoot but a talent photographer in his own right) and Yamani Watkins (an executive producer /co-founder of Karma Media Group  an amazing mentor for me in LA )  who all helped tremendously on this project.

 

 

This Week In Photography Books: Toni Greaves

by Jonathan Blaustein

We all make choices in life.

Some imagine this as fate, believing our desires are pre-destined by some deity or other. Others believe in free will, countering that our decisions are our own to make.

Most of the time, what we choose to do impacts us, and perhaps our loved ones or co-workers. (A few others, but not THAT many.)

Then there are people like LeBron James.

LeBron, who reclaimed his mantle as the Best Basketball Player in the World last night, crushed the hopes of an entire region when he left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010. (I’m writing on Monday.) If you’re not up on sports, LeBron switched teams back then, joining the Miami Heat, in one of the more tone-deaf PR moves of the 21st Century.

“I’m taking my talents to South Beach,” he said, thereby dooming gloomy North East Ohio to more basketball misery. The city had not had a Championship in 52 years, until last night, and it’s hard for anyone outside of that area to understand how many hearts were broken when LeBron left town.

Shockingly, in 2014, LeBron chose to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, claiming the pull of home was too great. (He was raised in nearby Akron.) It was unprecedented, both what he did and how he did it, this time engendering a PR coup by writing an open letter to the city of Cleveland, announcing his triumphant return.

It seemed like a somewhat insane move, as the Cavs were by then the worst team in basketball, and trading South Beach for Cleveland makes as much sense as Donald Trump’s campaign accounting.

The numbers people began spewing estimates of how much money would flow back into the Cleveland metropolitan area, and it was in the tens of millions. One man, who’d grown up under difficult circumstances, was hailed as a mini-stimulus-package, personally impacting the economy of an entire region.

He promised everyone a Championship, and last night he made good. It was a spectacular feat, from a sporting perspective, as the Cavs fought back and won a series, after being down 3 games to 1, a situation that had never been reversed in the HISTORY OF THE NBA.

Quite the magical ending.

There were videos showing downtown Cleveland as one massive party. People wept, including LeBron. (No team had won anything of note there since 1964.) It was revelatory, and came about, once again, because of the decision of one human being, and his concomitant devotion and belief.

LeBron James had a vision, and he made a seemingly odd choice, because the little voice in his head told him it was the right thing to do.

The same goes for a young woman named Lauren, who realized in her early 20’s that she had fallen in love with God.

Say what now?

Well, Lauren is the main subject, or perhaps we should say dramatic lead, in the beautiful “Radical Love,” a photo book by Toni Greaves, published recently by Chronicle Books in San Francisco.

“Radical Love” follows Lauren’s path as she eschews life in the outside world, and joins a cloistered convent of nuns in Summit, New Jersey. (The site of my own biggest sports fail, as I managed to just-miss scoring the game-winning goal, as the ball trickled across the goal line, in a huge playoff game back in high school.)

Lauren is attractive and photogenic, and, as Toni points out in the afterword, is living in a place and time in which she could follow so many paths. This is an unprecedented time to be a woman in the West, because despite the lingering stench of sexism, there are freedoms available that have never been available to women before.

Ever.

And yet Lauren, who apparently had a boyfriend at the time, felt that her future lay beyond closed doors, praying to that same God, on behalf of the rest of us. (The Nuns of this order live to pray for others.)

It’s obviously strange to see, as we’re accustomed to Nuns as asexual, older women, whose wrinkles keep them company in bed at night, rather than a man’s hairy arms. We imagine Nuns as dour; whacking palms with rulers, or wagging fingers at our filthy language and continued indiscretions.

But this book, which really functions as a long-form photographic narrative, dispels such cliché notions. These pictures depict happy people, engaged in a community that supports them, (and apparently us,) with love.

There are some remarkable pictures, in particular a recurring motif in which Lauren, and others, lie prostrate on the ground. One even captures Lauren making a snow angel, that most child-like of joyful activities.

Over the course of this 7 year project, we do get to see Lauren age and grow a bit; the ebullient sheen slowly wearing off of her skin as comfort and confidence replace the pallid flush of the new.

This is a lovely book, and it is clear that both its maker, and subjects, approach each day with positivity and grace. Those feelings emanate off the paper, an offering to anyone who picks the object up to take a peek.

As I sit here staring at the cover, I notice the barren black trees against deep navy. (And the implied crucifix as well.) It’s a heavy image, resonant of winter and death. It fits what I expected to find inside, but the innards were nothing like that at all. Instead, they shined like the freshly mopped floors of a convent kitchen.

Lemon-fresh scent included.

Bottom Line: Lovely, long-term project following a young woman as she devotes her life to God

To Purchase “Radical Love” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the 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: Nadia Pandolfo

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How long have you been shooting?
I have been shooting for twenty years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A mixture of self-taught and photography classes at USC.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I love to travel and document what I see. I try to remain open to dialogue with the place I am experiencing. I have been fascinated with the Galapagos Islands for as long as I can remember because it’s where Charles Darwin became inspired to write his evolutionary theory. So in 2015 I traveled to Ecuador. I became a certified PADI diver in preparation so I could also experience the underwater life there.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
One year

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
It varies. Some personal projects are quickly completed and are more spontaneous and more experimental, while others involve a slow meticulous process of planning that may involve several years. But in this case, it was a matter of months.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Usually with personal work, I can be more creative and more experimental, since I am shooting for myself, not for a specific client, or audience. If the project works, and it finds an audience, great, but even if it doesn’t, I am still satisfied because it was something I needed to articulate, which emanated from a very deep place within me. Sometimes it takes time for certain projects to be appreciated by an audience. Sometimes certain projects just never come off the ground. But no matter what, it is never wasted time, because it is always a learning lesson. Personal projects often begin with a question, and the project is an attempt to find an answer to that question. So it is always a means to finding a deeper understanding. Usually my personal projects are precursors to more polished or orchestrated projects, which I might do at a later date. So they become part of a repertoire of subject matter to be further source of inquiry.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I use Facebook quite a lot. But I have recently begun posting on Instagram and Twitter as more regularly.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I don’t know if I can say that any of the work has gone viral. But I know I have cultivated fans who appreciate my personal photography. Many people write and comment how much they enjoy the work. I have also had some of these projects published in journals and magazines and have been approached to donate some of these images to auction for charity.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
So far, I have not printed my personal projects for marketing to potential clients. But it is something I would plan to do in the future.

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Nadia Pandolfo began shooting professionally in 2001. Her work has been featured in several magazines both in the United States and abroad, and prints of her work have been auctioned for various art benefits supporting charity. She has shot ad campaigns for Hale Bob, Elvis Shoes/ Ed Hardy, Kain Label, Voda Swim, Urban Behavior, Costa Blanca, Macy’s among others. She was featured as a photographer and judge on America’s Top Model. She is best known for her cinematic style, using combinations of sculpted and natural/ ambient light. Her photos always tell stories whether it is a documentary project or an orchestrated shoot. She has also has completed several photo essays based on Hollywood classic recreations including: Rear Window, North by Northwest, The Birds, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Getaway. She studied at University of Southern California. Some of her other personal projects have included: Guatemala, Iceland and Cuba.


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 – Oprah Magazine: Jonathan Kambouris

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The Oprah Magazine

Photographer: Jonathan Kambouris
Prop Stylist: Marissa Gimeo

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Jonathan: O, The Oprah magazine approached prop stylist Marissa Gimeno and myself to photograph Mac’s new line of cosmetics for the O, Beautiful! page in the June 2016 issue. The client wanted to emulate the Navajo print of the packaging and create the pattern with the actual cosmetics. I love a good graphic pattern and I was completely on board with this concept!

How did this mosaic pattern idea develop?
We were inspired by the print on the actual packaging so we narrowed down which print worked the best. I did a few sketches with the idea that one of the actual products would be photographed on top of the pattern we were creating, possibly a lipstick or eyeshadow. In the end we decided the strongest composition would be to create the pattern out of the eyeshadow, blush and powder textures with no product on top.

Tell us about the actual build and was the crumble a happy accident?
The magazine supplied us with the product from Mac. However, there was not quite enough to complete the entire pattern. Marissa and I discussed the best way to tackle this challenge. In the end, I decided it would be best to create at least half of the pattern(specifically the top half). Once I got the light tweaked I had to shoot this in a few different stages. There was a good amount of planning  on set to ensure that this image was successful. I wanted to capture everything in camera rather than flipping it in post so the lighting felt consistent and natural with the way it falls off on the bottom. So I photographed each half and then flipped it on set and recaptured again. Once I captured the entire background we played around with different options for the top element. My digital tech quickly composited the several captures so we could see it as one image and decide what we needed to capture more of. In the end the top crumbled piece was a unanimous favorite. We did several variations and really perfected this crumble to make sure it felt natural and perfect. It was not necessarily pre-planned, however, it evolved very intuitively on set and the end result captured exactly what I wanted the image to look like.

How long did it take to build?
Marissa Gimeno: It took me half a day to measure and cut the risers for the composition prior to the shoot. On set, it took approximately 3 hours to apply the makeup to the risers and finesse the final layout.

Did you need to have special tools to handle the makeup?
Marissa Gimeno:
Nothing too unusual that couldn’t be found in a still-life stylist’s kit such as palette knives, makeup brushes and a little ingenuity.

The Daily Promo: Heather Byington

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Who printed it?
Vista print made the post cards, envelopes were hand crafted by me.

Who designed it?
I did.

Who edited the images?
I did.

How many did you make?
452, though some were sent back, so roughly 420 made it out into the world. I sent promos to only to the agencies I had direct contact details for.
815 postcards were sent, just as a solo card/promo piece, these were all marketed to “art director/buyer”.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This was my first real “big push”.  I have sent out a card here or there a couple times before, but nothing to this level. This is the first time I have heard anything back.

Tell us about the promo concept.
Anthology of Muddled Nightmares is a collaboration between myself and Mitchell Walter. I’ve always had an eye for the dark and macabre, but I balance it with visceral emotion and undeniable beauty.  Mitchell is a professional creative writer; he has always been smitten with short stories, finding their blend of narrative content and poetic metaphors powerfully engaging.

Having a mutual admiration for each others’ work, we decided to collaborate on Anthology of Muddled Nightmares. 

This Week In Photography Books: A-B-Cheeeese!

by Jonathan Blaustein

Believe it or not, in the last four days, three different people lectured me about the relationship between the amygdala and the hippocampus, two powerful, oppositional parts of the brain.

(And yes, that is definitely the longest opening sentence in this column’s history.)

But it’s also true.

Under pressure, the primal amygdala, of fight or flight fame, supersedes the hippocampus, which controls higher functioning.
(Essentially, when we’re triggered, we can’t think straight.) Our body chemistry, which often speaks to us in the form of emotion, runs the show when we’re stressed out.

It’s fact, and new studies demonstrate that our brains actually rewire, based upon repeated stimulus. If you’re bugging out all the time, that becomes your brain’s default hardware.

For months, you’ve read along as my teaching situation, in which I was repeatedly doused with cortisol, bled into other parts of my life. It’s hard not to be grumpy and short-tempered, or at the least allow some of life’s joys to pass you by.

So many of us work a lot, or stay connected throughout the day/month/year.

Do you sometimes wonder if you’re not having enough fun? Or appreciating your children properly?

I know I do.

So many of us are photographers, but how much time are you putting into aping your kid’s joy, getting down on the ground to make memories, rather than just pressing the virtual shutter on your Iphone?

I’m thinking here of the new photo/children’s book, “A-B-Cheeeese!”, recently published by Paul Schiek at TBW Books in Oakland. It’s pretty random, relative to what we normally review here, but also a bit of HGH to beef-up our fun-deprived muscles. (Especially in yet-another tragic week.)

I’ve reviewed a couple of TBW offerings in the past, and interviewed Paul last year as well. Though we’d never met, when I got to Oaktown last month, he picked me up at the airport so we could grab some In’n’Out burger, and watch the Golden State Warriors on TV at his place.

We’re two odd ducks, as artists, in that we’re both huge sports fans. He was immersed in it, growing up in Wisconsin, as was I in New Jersey, so the idea of catching a game, in the Warriors hometown, was too good to pass up.

He pulled up to the airport in a blue truck, and I immediately went to the back door to throw my bag inside. Mid-toss, I realized there was a little human being blocking my flight path. It was a pretty, 2 year-old-girl with big brown eyes and whimsical curls, and I was lucky not to crush her with my travel bag.

“Dad,” she said, “who’s THAT guy?”

And that was my name for the rest of the day. “THAT” guy. Young Rosary warmed to me eventually, and we had some fun for a few minutes.

But then the game turned, and before we knew it, the Warriors were down 40 points. They were getting destroyed. Embarrassed even.

In case you don’t know, this season, the Warriors broke the NBA all-time record for most wins in a season, with 73. They’re accustomed to having their way with the opposition, not being annihilated on national television.

So by the time I left, there was bad-sports-juju in the air, and I forgot my copy of the book, along with a strap from the aforementioned luggage. Paul kindly sent both to me, back in New Mexico, because I really wanted to show this book to you.

It was made in honor of little Rosary, so it says, and she’s also listed in the back, as a Creative Consultant. (It makes me wonder if there aren’t some child labor laws being broken here.)

But what exactly is “A-B-Cheeeese!”?

It’s a play on the classic children’s book conceit of having one letter of the alphabet be represented by a word, image or phrase.

I still remember the Dr. Seuss version I read to my son when he was an infant. Big A, little a. What begins with A? Aunt Annie’s alligator, A A A.

Big B, little b. What begins with B? Barber, baby, bubbles and a bumblebee.

Here, each letter is paired with a word, and a historical, vernacular image that Paul purchased on Ebay.

A is for automobile, B is for bath time, C is for curious. F is for fish, and H is for Hello.

The pictures have been scanned, and are presented in the middle of a blank white page. But the text page color varies, blue for black and white, pink for color.

Some of these picture grab me more than others, but they all make me sad, on some level. Because a few of these kids are probably dead by now, or at least very old themselves. These anonymous stories are someone’s memories, and out of context, our vulnerability to time still shines through.

But it’s also hopeful, as the book is literally made for one child, yet shared with many, which was the plot of some early Neal Stephenson novel, the name of which I’ve unfortunately forgotten. (Sorry Neal!)

As for favorites, I love fish, and laughing, and piñata and quack. I love reading and waving and xylophone.

But yellow is the best.

I bet if this kid had one do-over, that special 1970’s super-power, he’d make this picture disappear from reality in a poof.

Because he’s got the crazy-eyes.

These days, that picture would get posted on the dude’s Facebook page, and it would be there for every prospective employer to see. Forever.

Here, in the book, it’s being ogled by strangers, and I’m sure the guy will never know.

I like that this photobook is a children’s book, a gift for a daughter, and a new piece of history to age, with its already- old, forgotten histories inside.

This was a big week, let’s be honest. A horrible thing happened in Orlando, and for once, I didn’t devote an entire column to the Terrible Tragedy of the Day. Not to belittle such things, but it’s genuinely awful that these events happen around the world with such tragic frequency these days.

In light of all that suffering, a cute/cool little book with a premise built on love seemed the right choice for today.

Don’t you think?

Bottom Line: Poignant, hybrid photo book/children’s book

Go Here To Purchase A-B-Cheeeese!

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The Art of the Personal Project: Doug Levy

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: Doug Levy

How long have you been shooting?
Part-time since 2007, full time since the end of the 2009 baseball season.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Totally self taught (I have a finance degree!). After graduating from college in 2003 I spent six years umpiring professional baseball. Before spring training in 2006 minor league umpires went on strike. Baseball was threatening to cut off our health insurance so I started saving money to pay for that, but the day before I had to mail the check the strike was resolved and I went and spent it all on a Nikon D70s.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
As someone who has absolutely no inherent ability to build or fix anything, people who are naturally able to create gorgeous handmade things have fascinated me for a long time.

Over the winter of 2014 I met the Bully Boy whiskey guys through a mutual chef friend and asked them if I could come by and photograph them at their distillery. Initially I thought it would be just a cool portrait for my website but then I met a few other local folks who fit in and started thinking that this could be it’s own standalone series.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I’ve been working on this for a little more than two years, but before it came together as a series, I was already sharing individual shoots in my portfolio.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I shoot a lot of personal work, and they’re not always things that fit into longer form series. Sometimes it is just a single portrait that ends up in my portraits gallery or on my social. This is definitely the longest project I’ve done though, and not one I see ending anytime soon.

The great thing is that this is starting to snowball; the Trillium beer guys introduced me to the Barrington Coffee guys, the Firefly Bikes guys introduced me to Sam Densmore who makes amazing custom knives on Cape Cod and so on. That’s always my last question as I’m out the door, “Who should I photograph next for this?”

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
In an industry where I definitely feel like if I’m not getting better I’m getting worse, I think the personal work really informs my client work and point of view. When you remove some of that natural pressure that comes from shooting for clients, it opens up the possibility to experiment and hone new techniques that can then migrate into commissioned work.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I’ve never used Reddit, but I do post frequently to my Instagram and blog most shoots on my Tumblr.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet, but Instagram did feature one of a shorter series of hand close-ups I shot last year.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I do quarterly printed promos and recently just did a large run featuring the most recent work from this project.

————-

A portrait photographer living outside of Boston with his wife and two dogs, Doug Levy spent six years pursuing a career as a professional baseball umpire before meeting his wife and getting struck in the head with a bat showed him that a lifetime of 7:05 starts wasn’t for him. A professional photographer since 2007, Doug’s clients have included WebMD, MIT Technology Review, Dunkin’ Brands and LinkedIn.

You can see Doug’s work on his website http://www.douglaslevy.com or on Instagram @douglevy

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.

Joe Riis stuggles to find the balance when work takes over your life

- - Working

The short film “Joe” highlights Riis’s work in the Yellowstone ecosystem, but it also exposes a much more relatable side of him—the struggle to find balance between life and a job that has basically become his life. “Is my work worth spending more time on my work than my girlfriend?” he asks in the film. “Is my work worth essentially dedicating my life to it? And that changes from time to time. Sometimes I think that, and other times I think: You know, I should just pack it in. I should just go into town and get a job, and actually have a real relationship.”

Source: adventure journal – Joe and the Pronghorns

The Daily Edit: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis

- - The Daily Edit

 
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Marie Claire

Creative Director: Nina Garcia
Design Director: 
Clare Ferguson
Photo Director:
James Morris
Photo Editor: 
Fiona Lennon
Art Director: 
Wanyi Jiang
Associate Art Director: 
Melanie Springhetti Teppich
Photographers: Keirnan and Theo
Food Stylist: Victoria Granof

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
We definitely do our best work when clients let us do our own art/creative direction. Collaboration is fun, but it can sometimes lead to too many compromises. True creatives trust their artists. James (Photo Director) allowed us to be ourselves. He was a pleasure to work with.

What background is this particular shot and what was the through line with the styling and overall look to this story?
Our thread for this story was to create a loose social narrative. We try not to get too literal. We also like to give context, so that images aren’t just product shots. We usually find materials we think are beautiful and exciting, and see what works.

How did you overcome the reflections in this shot?
We don’t try to overcome reflections too often. In the case of mirrored objects, we just try to make it work in our favor.

Do you have a lead food stylist you collaborate with?  Is it typically Maggie Ruggiero? I love her work! I see you both work on Gather.
We work mainly with Maggie Ruggiero, and Victoria Granof. They are both absolute pro’s.

Do you both shoot the assignments?
Yes, we are truly a team. We also both do set styling, though Theo is really the Eleanor to my Steve Zissou.

What are each other’s strengths?
I suppose that Theo is a little more left brain to my right brain… but that can switch depending on the circumstance. Either way, we even each other out.

How did you two meet and tell us how your working relationship unfolded.
We met in college, and started living together soon after. We got married in 2009. The thought of working together dawned on us early, though we weren’t sure it could work. However, after almost two years now (and a few tears), it’s been a wonderful collaboration. We definitely overlap in so many ways.

The Daily Promo – Steve Simko

- - The Daily Promo

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Steve Simko

 

Who printed it?
I sourced it through FOXTONE PACKING in New York City. He’s a print broker and is known for his foil stamping expertise.

Who designed it?
Myself and longtime friend/designer Peter Scherrer at STUDIO MOUSETRAP here in Los Angeles.

Who edited it?
Myself. I had originally chosen a different image but felt it like I might have missed something in the first edit and went back a couple weeks later and found this timeless image.

How many did you print?
500 total with 300 for the mailing and 200 for hand outs.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
2-3 times a year with a very specific target of photo editors and art buyers.

Tell us about this image.
This image is from a personal project I photographed with Michael Wilkinson (Oscar nominated costume designer) and his husband Tim Martin. I had shot Michael a couple of years ago and they came to me with an idea for a project they were working on for their new branding company and asking if I had any interest in shooting some Haute Couture clothing. Yes, please !

“Collected” at Pier 24

by Jonathan Blaustein

You know me by now.

Opinions typically flow from my mind to my keyboard faster than OJ Simpson running through an airport to catch a plane.

It’s rarely hard for me to write, and by the time I’ve finished an article, I don’t even know how long it’s taken me. I live and die by the flow, and normally it’s all about the living.

But not today.

Today, I’m struggling to gather my thoughts, like a chef who just can’t figure out the final ingredient to give his soup the proper complexity. (Thyme? Red Chile? Oregano? Paprika? Help!)

I guess it was bound to happen, as the end of my crazy academic year dove-tailed perfectly with my recent trip to San Francisco, and an over-abundance of writing projects.

Basically, I’m burned out, yet finally staring at a summer schedule that will give me a chance to recharge, and summon new ideas with which to bombard you every Friday. I’m only human, and muscling through a column every now and again is not the worst thing in the world.

The problem is that, like last week, I’m trying to figure out a way to write about a small, brilliant part of a larger, still- interesting exhibition. I get the feeling that SFMOMA did not exactly appreciate my efforts last week, as the PR folks there have suspiciously ignored my emails since.

Those guys gave me swag, which was a first, but likely didn’t realize that I speak my mind, and am not afraid to offend. Similarly, Pier 24, the free photo exhibition space on the Bay in San Francisco, also welcomed me graciously.

They arranged for me to visit in-between slots, (there are 3 per day,) and then Associate Director Allie Haeusslein met me for an impromptu interview as well. I felt special, which is one way that organizations encourage journalists to dull the blades of their metaphorical rapiers.

So let me state the obvious here: Pier 24 is pretty amazing. It is a 20,000 square foot exhibition space that is free, open to the public by reservation, and devoted to crafting an unparalleled viewer experience. They only let in 30 people at a time, (excluding the rare journalistic privilege,) so you never have to worry about tripping over your neighbors.

Their current show, “Collected,” is devoted to the collectors who support the Bay Area scene, as is the new “California and the West” show at SFMOMA. It is hard for me to write that, and still tame my sarcasm, but it is simply the reality in America 2016.

We all know about the 1%, and the 1% of the 1%. We know that America is literally, TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, and that China has overtaken us as the most dynamic, if not largest, economy in the world.

Oil-rich kingdoms may drip black gold, but everyone in the US is busy trying to cleave off a slice of some billionaire’s cake. And as art has not been deemed particularly necessary in a STEM-obsessed world, museums and artists alike are now extremely beholden to the contemporary patrons. (Everything old is new again, right?)

The stark truth is that the degree of wealth concentration has only increased the power of those with mega-resources. And the Bay Area art scene was proof positive: pride of place goes to the capitalists, right now, not the content creators.

There was no gallery guide at Pier 24, when I visited, as it had yet to be printed. But there was a little catalogue devoted to the collectors, each of whom had a room displaying their treasures. And we’re talking about “World Class” work here, including luminaries like Robert Frank, (who gets his own gallery,) Gerhard Richter, and Cindy Sherman.

There was an excellent room filled with the F.64 female artists: Alma Lavenson, Connie Kanaga, and Dorothea Lange. Irving Penn popped up, unannounced, with a wicked portrait of Georgia O’Keefe, and contemporary work sat beside mug shots of anonymous 1950’s women, whose sorrow will never be properly revealed.

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Pier 24 rocks, and we should all be thankful that the Pilara Foundation chose to turn its necessary storage space into a cutting-edge exhibition facility. (Gleaned that little tidbit from my interview with Allie.)

Basically, the first 1.5 hours of my visit there were spent looking, thinking, and occasionally trying to guess who made the work. (Unless it was blindingly obvious, like the Frank room.) Allie also said they were intentionally challenging viewers by denying them wall text, so that the pictures could drive conversation, rather than the artist’s name.

Point taken.

But at the end of my visit, I bumped right up against the kind of “Spectacular Artistic Vision” that reminds you why you got into this business to begin with. (Courtesy of William Eggleston, the god of color photography.)

This show, “Collected,” features two rooms filled with nothing but images from the artist’s seminal “Los Alamos” series. If color photography had an ur-text, this would likely be it.

All around me, I saw snazzy old cars, burger stands, Coca Colas, and saturated skies. I saw a naive America, one packed with racial tension, as we are today, but with a chest puffed up with its sense of destiny.

I saw an America that was united in its favorite color: Coca Cola red. Again and again, Eggleston utilizes it, often distinct from Coke itself. Matthew Weiner, another great artist, chose to close his seminal “Mad Men” with a Coke and a smile, and we all know that Coke is a powerful, wealthy, publicly traded corporation, selling toxic sugar-water.

But back in the 60s, I think it represented more than that. It was American entrepreneurship, sugar and caffeine married together, bubbles of effervescence, and a depth of color that we now associate with Target.

Coke was America, as it saw itself. Energetic, world-beating, sweet, earthy, and endlessly satisfying. It was America’s mega-export, before McDonalds.

I always tell my students that light creates color, and color creates mood. These pictures, stacked with deep Red, White and Blue, are as romantic as it gets, in particular because they make sure to balance with loneliness and ennui, rather than veering towards boosterism and propaganda.

(I asked last week when exactly Donald Trump thinks America was great, and I suspect this is what he has in mind.)

I’d bet anything that Mr. Eggleston never thought of this work as a paean to America at the height of its power, with undercurrents of controversy and violence. But a country built on violence and controversy can not begrudge, if it remains deeply embedded in its national character.

He’d probably just say he was out taking pictures, because that’s what you do when you’re a photographer.

Part of why I do get burned out sometimes, in the dual role of artist and critic, is that I yearn to see work this good more often. When Eggleston was out there shooting all the time, (because he apparently didn’t need a day job,) there were dozens of photographers chasing the same desire.

Now, there are tens of thousands of us. And greatness does not go around in that type of supply.

If you want to get better, I’m always telling you, go look at the best stuff. If you’re lucky, you don’t even have to get on an airplane to do it. (I do.)

But if you live anywhere near the Bay Area, hit up the Pier 24 website and book a place to see this show. You might well be seduced by the beautiful-if-veneerish Richard Learoyd room, or the dazzling music-industry gallery featuring the collection of Nion McEvoy.

There are millions of dollars worth of work on the wall, and even rooms that challenge what you think you know about photo history. (In particular two galleries teeming with lesser-known, feminist photographs from the 70s. Yes, there were a lot of boobs.)

For me, spending twenty uninterrupted minutes with Eggleston’s genius was a blessing. It reminded me that finding your own voice is necessary for true cultural impact, and that we’re living in a time when our culture is so striated that almost no one can touch all of America at once. (Good luck, Beyoncé. Have fun, Disney.)

But when we get the chance to steep ourselves in the vestiges of innovation, and the color palette of a once-dominant Empire, it normally costs more than what Pier 24 is charging.

Nothing.
Nothing at all.

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The Art of the Personal Project: Charles Schiller

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: Charles Schiller

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How long have you been shooting?
30 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Pratt graduate with degree in photography.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
The challenge was to make food look good out of the bag as purchased.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This project was originally shot over 4 months and then presented 2014. A second installment was added approximately 6 months later.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
That greatly depends on the project. Generally 2 or 3 days of test shooting.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes, my work is posted on Facebook, instagram and tumbler.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I did get some internet response from out of the bag but nothing viral.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?

Yes

Statement:
Out of the bag was a self-assigned personal project. The goal was to produce beautiful appetizing images of purchased prepared food with no food stylist or props, just what came out of the bag. All the food in the original series was from the old Chelsea studio neighborhood. The plan is to continue the series with food purchased in downtown JC. It should be out sometime this fall.

——————-

Charles Schiller has been a new york based photographer for 30 years. Specializing in food and beverages but also with extensive experience shooting still life and products. The studio recently moved from NYC to the powerhouse arts district in downtown Jersey City. The new studio is located at 150 bay street just 2 blocks from the Grove street path station.


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 & Negotiating: Environmental Portraits of Client Employees

Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Individual and small group environmental portraits of client employees

Licensing: Collateral and Publicity use of up to 34 images for three years

Location: Client offices

Shoot Days: Three

Photographer: Portrait specialist

Agency: N/A—Client direct

Client: A mid-sized regional financial services company

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: We recently helped a photographer bid on a project for which he was the only photographer being considered. He’d shot a similar project for the same client, a mid-sized financial services company, years earlier, so we had some sense of the budget and production expectations (you can’t ask for a better bidding situation!). Though the concept was straightforward, environmental employee portraits at the client’s headquarters, the photographer’s stylized approach would elevate the portraits from a corporate feel to more of an ad campaign feel. This is something that the client was interested in, and it would ultimately drive the value up toward the top end of the range for this kind of project and usage.

Though we generally try to avoid pricing on a day-rate basis, we’ve noticed a trend in corporate collateral budgets. Depending on the deliverables and specific licensing, we’re often negotiating corporate collateral shoots in the neighborhood of 3,500.00/day plus expenses. For the average deliverables (10-15 images per day) and time-limited collateral usage, this is a middle of the road rate for corporate portraits/lifestyle work. We’re occasionally, if not often, seeing budgets around 3,500.00 flat, inclusive of usage, expenses and processing, which is on the lower end of reasonable. Try as we might to push back in those cases, it will often boil down to a take it or leave it situation. Thankfully, we had a bit more leeway in this case.

For this project, we were able to push the creative and licensing fee up to 18,150.00. Having insight into previous budgets for this client, knowing that this photographer was the only one being considered and factoring in the value of his unique, stylized approach, we felt comfortable pushing the envelope. Additionally, the client’s request for advertising usage options (which we set at 2,000.00 per image due to the limited duration and geography) indicated that the photographer’s stylized approach would be all the more important—and valuable—to the client. Pricing this out on a per-image basis, we would set the value for the first image at 2,000.00, 1,000.00/image for images 2-4, 500.00/image for images 5-24 and 350.00/image for images 26+.

Client Provisions: We made sure to indicate that the client would provide locations, subjects, requisite releases and catering (from their cafeteria). This client also happened to have a video production team on staff and a small production studio. To save on the production costs, they offered to provide grip equipment, their usual groomer and a second assistant for the project.

Tech/Scout Days: We included a tech/scout day to walk through the office and determine the best locations to shoot the various individual and group portraits the day before the shoot.

First Assistant: We included a first assistant to attend the tech scout day and all three shoot days.

Equipment: We estimated 1,200.00/day for two DSLR bodies, a handful of lenses, enough portable strobes for two sets and a few odds and ends that the client’s internal video team couldn’t supply.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: This covers the time, equipment and costs for the initial import, edit, batch color correction and upload of the images via FTP (or similar) for client review.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: We included basic color correction and file cleanup as a lump sum (based on 75.00/image in this case), which protects the processing fee in the event the client ultimately selects fewer than 34 images.

File Transfer: This covers the cost of two hard drives and the shipping of one of those drives (containing all hi-res processed selects) to the client.

Miles, Meals, Misc.: We included a healthy miscellaneous line to cover breakfasts for the crew, local transportation and any other unexpected expenses that may pop up throughout the shoot.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project and shot it a few weeks later. The client has not yet decided to exercise any of the additional usage options.

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 large ad campaigns.

The Daily Edit: Miller Mobley

- - The Daily Edit

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The Hollywood Reporter


Director of Photography:
Jennifer Laski
Photo Editor: Carrie Smith / Jennifer Sargent
Creative Director: Shanti Marlar
Photographer: Miller Mobley

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Writer: Libby Peterson

The photograph for the Rangefinder cover was originally commissioned by The Hollywood Reporter.
I think it’s important when great images get a second life and I enjoy the fact they chose this cover image to honor Miller’s career.

You have a portfolio chock-full of celebrity portraits, what made this one unique?
I think there’s a lot of simplicity in this photograph that makes it beautiful. The lighting is simple and understated, the clothing is dark and not distracting. The warms colors of the highlights go in hand with the blues and greens in the shadows. And of course, the subject. Walken was one of my dream subjects (probably one of most photographer’s dream subjects), so to be able to have a portrait of him that I’m proud of is special.

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Do you have a process or narrative for your cover shoots that you try to build from?
Every cover shoot is different. Sometimes there’s a narrative or concept and sometimes it’s just about getting a moment in an uncontrolled environment. I go into every photo shoot with a plan, but also let the “happy accidents” happen. There’s only so much you can control in the type of photography I do.  It’s in my nature to have a strategy when there’s pressure on the line and not a lot of time. With that said, you have to leave room for the un-expected moments.

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Have you ever become starstruck and if so, how did you overcome that?
I will always remember the moment, when my team and I were waiting to photograph President Obama and the First Lady. We had been invited to the White House to photograph them for a cover. We had set up all of our lighting, tested, and were now waiting for them to arrive. I’ll never forget when the doors opened and I overheard from the secret service that the President was about to enter. That was probably one of the most surreal moments in my career. It has nothing to do with politics, but more with the honor of being invited to the White House and having 5 minutes of time with the most powerful man in the country. Once they walked through the doors to greet myself and my team, I remember thinking to myself I can’t believe this moment is happening. It was pretty cool.

How much time did you have for this session?
Unfortunately, only about 15 minutes. As I mentioned, this image was originally commissioned by Jen Laski at The Hollywood Reporter. I was photographing Walken because one his films, “A Late Quartet” was about to hit the screens. I was only given 15 minutes and we had to shoot this in an office building in Manhattan. These are not rare circumstances for me. I thought using a background and doing some simple lighting would justify a classic portrait. Sometimes it’s just good to stay simple.

What type of direction did you get for this project?
Jennifer Laski, the DP at The Hollywood Reporter, who originally commissioned this photograph, told me to get something that feels timeless and iconic. Jen and team at THR are very good about giving the photographer an idea about what they’re looking for, but also leaving room for the photographer to bring back something that’s authentic to his/her style and taste.

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What advice to do you have for anyone that has no experience with talent agents and publicists?
Be kind and easy to work with.  It’s obvious advice, but goes a long way. The entertainment industry is small and very connected. Word gets around if you’re a good photographer to work with or if you’re a difficult prick. That’s not to say that photographs need to be a pushover or a people pleaser on set. I think it’s important to push the limit and get memorable images. At the end of the day, photography is a people business and clients/publicists/agents/actors/musicians/etc. want to work with someone who is enjoyable. That’s just my take on things.