The Art of the Personal Project: Marc Ohrem-Leclef

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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 s a very exciting one as since Marc Ohrem-Leclef was featured on December 4, 2014, many exciting things have happened for his beautiful personal project Olympic Favela.

Today’s Art of Personal Project is: Marc Ohrem-Leclef part 2

Olympic Favela- The Book: After I featured you, you were so kind to send me a copy and it is beautifully done. How have sales been and are you selling them at the Installations and Film Festival? How can someone reading this blog post purchase one?
Thank you Suzanne, I appreciate the kind words and the opportunity to share what has happened since the last feature! The book has been received very well, garnered good reviews and press coverage, and sold well. This summer sales and related press have picked up yet again with the Olympic Games approaching and exhibitions of the work in Rio, Berlin and New York.
Olympic Favela is available in the US and Europe at bookstores and online retailers such as my distributor Artbook ( http://www.artbook.com/9788862083386.html )

Signed copies can be purchased directly from my studio – I love to receive emails out of the blue from people who have seen the work and inquire about having me send them an autographed copy of the book. ( marcleclef AT gmail.com )
Some of the galleries where I have exhibited work from the Olympic Favela project also do sell the book.

Olympic Favela -The Film (Movie sounds like a feature length film to me, and mine is a short, 19 min): which has been featured at The Seattle International Film Festival (2016) and Nantucket Film Festival 2016. Tell us more about these festivals and are there others on the horizon?
After working with my collaborators in Rio for nearly three years and seeing how some of the places that I kept visiting began to vanish as the communities were being removed, I had the desire to translate my own experience of ‘time passing and events unfolding’ to my audience by making a film.

Making a film has been a huge learning experience that was as tough as it was rewarding. Due to the rich material I made between 2014 and 2016, we were able to make two different edits: a more abstract edit for projection in a gallery space, the other a bit more narrative for presentation to cinema-audiences – this is the version that screened at the film festivals.

It was a thrilling experience to be invited to two major film festivals to show Olympic Favela – and then to see it on the big screen! My production in Brazil was very low-key and to see the footage I shot hold up so well on a full size cinema screen made me happy, and proud.

Both festivals, quite different in scale and audiences, were wonderful opportunities to meet fellow filmmakers, screenwriters and to absorb much of the information in the panels offered by the festivals, and a great new way for me to share the story of Olympic Favela.

More importantly, the audience reactions to my film, which for a documentary is rather abstract in its story-telling, were wonderful and evolved very much around my finding my collaborators and the experience of being allowed to follow their lives for such long period.

I am waiting to hear on a few more festival submissions, especially some in Brazil and Europe where I’d like to have the film seen by audiences, before releasing it online.

Olympic Favela-The Installation: This first installation was at Studio X Gallery in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and then you just got back from Berlin, Germany. Please tell us about these installation and others in the future?
The exhibition in Rio’s Studio X was a wonderful opportunity to show the work at ‘home’.

Studio X is a beautiful space housed in a historic building in Rio’s downtown area. The space allowed for the most comprehensive installation of photographs and the projection of the film yet, including a photograph that is now in the collection of the Museo de Arte do Rio (MAR).

(The installation at a gallery space that receives funding form the city of Rio de Janeiro was also a daring move by the gallery director Pedro Rivera, given the work that is very critical of the city’s policies.)

We worked hard on getting my collaborators from their new homes, often located far away on the city’s outskirts, to the gallery for the opening event, which included an in-depth discussion with local journalist Julia Michaels and Curator Julia Baker of the Museo de Arte do Rio (MAR). I invited some of my collaborators to join the discussion – hearing them share their personal stories was the most powerful moment of the evening for me.

Following the opening night, I managed to loan a projector and showed the film to the residents at one of the hardest impacted favelas, in the local church.

Prior to the show in Rio, I was invited to share the work at Boston University’s PRC Gallery; currently the work (photography and video) is exhibited at nGbK/Kunstraum Kreuzberg in Berlin, until end of August.

A wonderful review of the group show and Olympic Favela works in it was just published on Artslant: http://www.artslant.com/ber/articles/show/46306

On August 17th an exhibition curated by Mickalene Thomas will open at Baxter Street Gallery in NYC (group show, featuring Olympic Favela works (photography and video) http://www.baxterst.org/exhibitions-3/2016-annual-juried-competition-and-exhibition/ .

Since you were featured, I noticed great press and reviews of your book and film. Can you tell us more about that?
The project has gotten a lot of attention from photo editors and writers, both online and in print. Publications and features range from fine arts media (Artnews, Select Magazine, American Photo, Slate) and trade media (PDN) to news outlets (BBC, Huffington Post, Der Spiegel).

Highlights were being named as one of ‘2014 best books’ by American Photo Magazine, and the feature on Huffington Post!
in 2015 Hafen-Universitaet Hamburg (Germany) published Self Induced Shocks: Mega-Projects and Urban Development, a book on the impact of mega events on urban culture, featuring a portfolio of Olympic Favela photographs along scientific texts. Publications like this are especially meaningful as they translate the human perspective on the issues surrounding mega events to students who may decide upon these issues in future generations.

Reviews:

HUFFINGTON POST US  – Olympic Favela, June 2016

SELECT MAGAZINE  – Olympic Favela, April 2016

AMERICAN PHOTO  – Olympic Favela, December 2014

GUP MAGAZINE  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

ARTnews  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

DER SPIEGEL  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

PDN PHOTO DISTRICT NEWS  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

NEWSTALK  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

L’OEIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE   – Olympic Favela, May 2014

SLATE  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

GERMAN CONSULATE NYC  – Cowboys and Indians , March 2012

Press:

HUFFINGTON POST Brazil  – Olympic Favela, June 2016

CANAL iBASE  – Olympic Favela, January 2015

a PHOTO EDITOR   – Olympic Favela, December 2014

FOTOGRAFIA  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

FRESH ART INTERNATIONAL  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

HUNGER TV  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

BBC  – Olympic Favela, May 2014

CBC  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

DAILY MAIL  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

IRIE DAILY  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

OUT  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

ADVOCATE  – Cowboys and Indians , April 2013

KOELNER STADT ANZEIGER  – Cowboys and Indians , August 2007

ARTISTS STATEMENT –
Olympic Favela is an ongoing photography and video project that visualizes the effects of forced removal of residents in 14 of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, implemented by the city government in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games.
In 2012, in response to news reports of widespread evictions of residents from their homes and businesses through Rio’s housing authority Secretaria Municipal de Habitação (SMH), I began photographing the people affected by these evictions, as well as the residents organizing resistance to SMH’s policies.

Olympic Favela consists of two types of portraiture:
The first type is environmental portraiture of the residents, photographed in front of their homes, which have been designated for removal by SMH with spray-painted code numbers. The second type is directed imagery of residents posing with flaming emergency torches, photographed in their communities. In these images the residents are no longer a subject that I look upon; their role in the image becomes active as they embrace the opportunity to represent their community, their struggle, and their resistance.

Referencing iconic imagery ranging from Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People and Bartholdi’s Liberty Enlightening the World to now-iconic news imagery of the Arab Spring, the residents’ gesture and use of the torch in these photographs invoke ideas of liberation, independence, resistance, protest and crisis while also making use of the core symbol of the Olympic Games—the torch.

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The poster:

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The Installations:

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Marc Ohrem-Leclef was born in Dusseldorf, Germany.
After studying Communication Design at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in Germany he relocated to New York City in 1998.
Ohrem-Leclef’s visual arts practice centers on immersive portraits of communities—whether they are formed by bloodlines, social circumstance, or cultural movements.
Ohrem-Leclef’s work has been exhibited in Germany, Brazil and the U.S..
It has been reviewed and featured in publications such as Artnews, BBC, Slate, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Internazionale, Huffington Post.
In 2013 Marc was invited as a Guest Lecturer in the Advanced Photography Seminar at Columbia University, New York. You can follow Marc on Instagram @marcleclef


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.

Not Marketing Has Devastating Effects On Business

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…not marketing has devastating effects on business. There are way too many talented photographers in the marketplace for a photographer not to market. Think about it. If a photographer chooses not to market, that means their imagery and their name is not as top of mind as the next person’s. That means, when a project comes up, most likely, the person who IS top of mind will rise to the top of the consideration list. That also means that the other photographer will get the opportunity to engage with the agency and client, they will get the opportunity to estimate and ultimately they will get the opportunity to bid on the job and develop the relationship.

More: Want to Know What I Told Photographers While I Reviewed Portfolios at the Palm Springs Photo Festival? | Notes From A Rep’s Journal

The Highsmith vs Getty Saga Begins

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The case alleges as many “bad acts” as we would typically see “spread out” among three or more unrelated lawsuits.

[…] The filing of this complaint is likely just the beginning of this saga. We will stay on it for you.

Regardless of how this case turns out, and we believe this will be news for a long time to come, for the love of your family and all you hold dear, register your images and protect yourself. Register even if you’re not licensing your images for fees or at all. We’ll keep saying this until we’re blue in the face.

More: TheCopyrightZone.com

The Daily Edit – Fortune: Ackerman + Gruber

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Paul Martinez: Creative Director
Mia Diehl: Director of Photography
Michele Taylor: Photo Editor
Christine Bower-Wright: Art Director/Designer
Photographers: Ackerman + Gruber

Heidi: Since you live in the SPAM heartland, how often do you enjoy it?
AG: Living in Minnesota, you would have thought we have had SPAM before. However, it wasn’t until last year when we were on a shoot in Hawaii that we finally did.

How much time did you get for the shoot?
We spent a day in Austin, MN at both the Hormel campus and at the SPAM Museum.

Since you had direct access to the factory, did you have to wear protective clothing.
Unfortunately that factory shot wasn’t actually from the SPAM factory it was from a Skippy Peanut Butter factory in Arkansas and it actually wasn’t our photo. The SPAM plant wasn’t running when we were there as it was the time of the year where they shutdown the plant and do a deep cleaning of everything. Photographing in the SPAM plant would have been the only thing that would’ve made this shoot even more amazing. Nobody wants to know how the sausage is made unless it’s SPAM and then we are all game.

What were the magazines directives?
Michele Taylor, the photo editor at Fortune, basically said keep it colorful and quirky. This is always music to our ears. She wanted a combination of reportage, still-lifes and portraits of the CEO and president. It was the perfect combination of direction and freedom to explore. When you’re in the land of SPAM it isn’t difficult to find images that jump out to you.

The shoot actually came together very quickly as the CEO and President were traveling for the next month so we got the first email from Michele on Wednesday afternoon and were shooting the assignment that Friday.

Often in cases like this we find the PR person is the biggest hurdle we have to overcome. So we find that keeping an idea or two in our back pocket is best and then after we feel out our subjects we can tell them the idea directly and get them on board, which in turn gets the PR person to run with it.

It’s such an iconic brand with a cult following what was your initial approach?
We see SPAM as this kind of quirky larger than life brand so we wanted the photos to play off that idea and decided the images should be “poppy” to reflect that so we decided to use a direct strobe for the shoot. Not to mention we love the approach for shoots whenever it’s a good fit so that also made it a no-brainer.

SPAM for Fortune

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SPAM for Fortune

Are you both shooting all the time?
It depends on the shoot. For a shoot like this we are both switching fluidly between roles as a photographer/lighting tech/subject wrangler, etc.. In the situation for the CEO portraits, Tim is setting up and dialing in the lights, while Jenn is working with the PR team to calm any fears they might have and assuring them everything will go smoothly. Once the CEO arrives Jenn might start off shooting, while Tim is fine-tuning the lights, monitoring the tethered iPad for any major issues and thinking of about the next scenario. Often times we’ll hand off the camera in the middle of a portrait session to get a different perspective and to keep things fresh for our subjects. For more of the reportage and still-life photos, one person is acting as the assistant and holding the light, while the other person is shooting. The person who is holding the light is also always scanning the scene looking for any other visual potential in the situation. Tim loves shooting quirky Americana things like this so he shot the majority of the day.

Someone recently described watching the two of us work as one of the most fluid dances of creativity they have ever seen. It sounds cool so we won’t argue with them! We’ve been shooting together for so long now that we find we don’t even communicate verbally anymore and we already know what the other person is thinking and can be on the same page effortlessly.

What are each other’s strengths or how do you complement each other.
We find it’s an amazing luxury to be working as an husband and wife team and how much easier it is to break the ice and establish a rapport with our subjects. Often times we won’t know who the “main photographer” will be on a shoot until we meet our subjects and read how they respond to us. So sometimes that might be Tim and other times it will be Jenn, but more often than not we will both usually end up shooting. We find that one person usually has the art direction as their main focus and the other is free to explore beyond those restraints.

We joke with people that our marriage is a breeze and that the only disagreements we have are creative differences when we are out shooting. It’s great though because we channel that energy and use it to push ourselves our creatively. The real fun starts when we get back to the office and and see who’s images spoke to us the most.

Jenn is great at producing, scheduling and making sure people feel comfortable in front of the camera. Tim is usually the one setting up the gear, making sure the lights are dialed in and tackling any tech or logistical issues.

Are you always shooting motion and stills?
If the job calls for it we will. Otherwise we’re happy focusing on only stills. If a shoot happens to be a stills and motion project one person will focus on the stills (usually Jenn), while the other person focuses on the motion side of things (usually Tim). In the past we tried juggling the two between us both but found both mediums suffered so now we separate the roles so the outcome of both isn’t diluted.

What documentary film won an Emmy?
Our prison project Trapped won the Emmy.  The project looked how a prison system deals with treating those who suffer from mental illness. It was by far the most intense project we ever worked on.

The Daily Promo – Kenneth Ruggiano

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Kenneth M. Ruggiano


Who printed it?
I had the prints done by Bay Photo. It’s printed on Moab Entrada. After I receive the prints I shoot them “copy stand style” onto slide film, I used Fuji Velvia. I tried a couple different slide films and liked the Velvia the best. After I’m done with the slide film I send it off to Fromex in Long Beach, California to have it processed. No one in my area process slide film any more, sad face. Once it’s back to me after a week or so I cut each positive out and place it into a slide viewer. It’s a total pain in the ass…I mean labor of love. Than I cut a piece of leather, stamp my branding on it and attach. One final piece of branding stamped on the inside of the box filled with some crinkle paper and out it goes.

Who designed it?
I designed it. The semester I was graduating  from art school at the University of Oklahoma, one of lower classes showed some of their work with viewers like this. They hung from string in the hall and you had to walk up and interact with the viewer to see the work. I was jealous I didn’t get to do it.

Who edited the images?
I edited the images. I sent @aphotoeditor one version. There are three others. Who gets what depends on who they are, but they are all fitness related.

How many did you make?
In all I’ve probably made just over a 100. The one I sent to @aphotoeditor was in the second wave.  The first set I did as a test, I got some really positive feedback so I went ahead and did another batch right away.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’ve been doing a targeted promo once a year. Normally in the beginning of the year but the getting ready/birth of my little girl slowed me down a bit this year.

Where did you find that viewer?
The first set of viewers I bought about five years ago when I first had the idea to do these as a promo. I think I got them from Calumet. I originally planned to find a printer that could print small enough but I couldn’t find anything I was happy with. When I bought more viewers this year I bought them from the manufacturer, Radex Inc.

 

Robert Mapplethorpe at the Getty & LACMA

Over Christmas, my wife insisted I read “Big Magic,” a book about creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Of “Eat Pray Love” fame.)

I’m normally skeptical about self-help books, so I dragged my feet for a while. Eventually, I gave up, because there’s no point in fighting when you’re certain to lose.

Turns out, the book was really insightful, once I parsed prose meant so specifically to inspire. But inspire me it did, in particular by helping me appreciate the fleeting nature of creativity.

These days, I imagine my creativity as a little baby bird, ever-so-fallible in my cupped hands. Her examples were a bit more out-there, but suffice to say Ms. Gilbert makes a strong case that the creative instinct is sacred, fragile, and needs to be treated as such.

Again and again, she returns to the point that when we try to milk our creativity for a consistent income stream, it can leave us faster than logic at a Trump rally. (Exit, stage left!)

According to “Big Magic,” when we put too much economic pressure on our creativity, or place it firmly in the service of others, we must be prepared to face the consequences: our best ideas will dry up like an Arizona creek bed in summer.

Why am I on about a self-help book? Can I get to the point?

Sure. Glad you asked.

I’m sitting in a comfortable chair right now, contemplating the excellent joint Robert Mapplethorpe exhibitions I saw last week in Los Angeles. Both the Getty Center and LACMA teamed up to display an exhaustive, categorical retrospective of the famous, (or infamous,) artist’s life’s work.

Ironically, or inevitably, the shows were really about two artists, and the other was not Patti Smith.

No, Andy Warhol was the other mega-star looming over everything, and having read “Just Kids” a while back, I have to say I’m not surprised.

Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe shared a common narrative, so it’s understandable they were rivals. Each came to New York City as a young, unknown, freakishly talented artist with boundless ambition, and sexual preferences that were not-yet-mainstream, as they are today. (Andy was nominally asexual, but was clearly pulsing with desire.)

Andy and Robert both wanted fame and fortune. They lived with a hunger for the approval of the wealthy, and craved the actual wealth as well. They were desperate to be a part of the in-crowd, or perhaps just to BE the in-crowd.

The joint exhibitions give us a sense of both men, though obviously Mapplethorpe takes center stage. At LACMA, we see evidence of his broad abilities as an artist. Jewelry is on display, and it’s so easy to imagine the skinny, beautiful waif-boy selling his wares to men who really wanted more than a jangly necklace, if you catch my drift.

We also see drawings, paintings, and an altar installation. The dude was capable, for sure, and I know from reading Smith’s book that she and Robert hit the scene as hard as anyone could. They felt destined for success, which they manifested by working it.

Haaaaaard.

Mapplethorpe’s transgressive images need little introduction. Radical gay sex. Massive penises. Bondage fetishes. A whip sticking out of his own asshole.

Much has been made of, and NEA grants altered by, his best known work. It carries the spirit of innovation and rebellion, and the gelatin silver prints nearly jump off the wall.

“Look at me,” they taunt! “I dare you!”

I was admittedly shocked, but only because a man walked through the most explicit LACMA gallery with his 7 year old daughter, which I couldn’t quite believe. (A female gallery guard and I exchanged eye-rolls and sardonic laughter at that one.)

Like Andy Warhol, when Mapplethorpe was good, he was transcendent. I’d argue that Andy had a longer run, and that his genius work was more varied and broadly important than Mapplethorpe’s.

Others might disagree.

But in each show, I couldn’t ditch the image of both of these fantastically nimble social climbers, warily circling each other, driven by the Alpha instinct.

The late phases for each artist were not pretty; your body betraying you, your talent now-questionable, then dying before your time.

In each museum, there were images of Mapplethorpe’s glamour shots of important uptown types and aristocrats. The Debbie Harry/Iggy Pop/Patty Smith gritty pics, in earlier rooms, were replaced by gauzy lighting and soft-focus, edgeless perfection.

With both artists, acceptance by the Upper Class seemed concomitant with work that almost parodied their initial breakthroughs. Andy making 4 panels for each new rich person, Mapplethorpe setting up a studio curtain like some high-end Sears shooter.

The crowning moment in this little story I told myself was the contact sheet display at LACMA. You could see for yourself how well Mapplethorpe zoomed in on the best pic: here Debbie Harry, looking gorgeous, is pouty. There she’s fierce.

Expressions changed, as did body positioning. You close your eyes, and see the feline photographer slinking around, directing, trying to summon what he sees in his head.

And then there’s Andy.

He’s older, and wearing an obvious wig. But 12 times he stands there, denying Mapplethorpe any expression at all. To say he is stoic is to insult Scandinavians.

Andy Warhol was clearly dropping an iron curtain across his eyes, so that each photo is a copy of the others.

“Fuck you, bitch,” says his expression. “You won’t draw me out. You’ll get what I give you, and nothing more.”

Every frame was the same. It was a battle, to my eyes, and it seems that Warhol won. (Nearby, there’s also an excellent Warhol portrait of Mapplethorpe.)

The Getty show was the less edgy of the two, but it gave me a brief glimpse into things I didn’t expect. There were two pictures, platinum prints to be precise, that depicted a lonely battleship cruising through the sea.

They looked more like something from Anne Tucker’s “War/Photography” show than anything Mapplethorpe would make. Powerful, talismanic, there were two of them, sitting side by side.

Each ship lonely, powerful, iconic, yet placed next to the other, rather than inhabiting the same frame. (Metaphor anyone?)

In another room, most all of the pictures were pretty. (The harder-core photos were definitely at LACMA.) Yet there was one photo of a man’s midsection in a leisure-suit. The fabric was so sharp, the lines minimal, the tones subdued.

But sticking out of the unzipped pants was a huge, uncircumcised, African-American penis.

Everything about the picture went one direction, yet the massive cock blocked out the sun, so to speak. It managed both to sneak up on you, and completely change your reality, all at once.

Warhol showed up again, in a photo-booth strip of 4, in the adjacent exhibition of work from the Wagstaff collection, which belonged to Mapplethorpe’s lover and patron, Sam Wagstaff.

Young Warhol mugged for the camera, barely containing his wattage. He was ready to take on the world and WIN, looking nothing like the man locked in battle with Mapplethorpe decades later.

Rarely do I circle back to my intros, but allow me to mix it up today. If you’re reading this, you’re mostly likely a photographer or artist of some sort. A creative person, if you will.

I’m ambitious, and you likely are as well. We always want more than we have. We ride ourselves to produce more, sell more, make better shit than our friends and competitors.

For me, there was a valuable lesson on display in LA. (A city filled with youngsters who’d kill for fame and fortune.) Be careful what you wish for, because like Genies offering 3, the deals necessary to get what you crave might just cost you everything.

For the record, the exhibitions close on July 31. So if you happen to be in SoCal, and haven’t hit up the shows yet, now’s your last chance. Get moving!

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More (including the explicit images) can be seen here.

The Art of the Personal Project: Billy Delfs

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: Billy Delfs

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How long have you been shooting?
I started photographing in high school when I took a class in high school and was hooked. It was something I could then use to document the people in my life. I’d go out and photograph everyday. I began with a pinhole camera and that turned into something I still have the same excitement for today. The process has endless possibilities and there was a lot to learn.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I started experimenting and learning the basics on my own. I then took a few classes at the local community college. After a couple of years assisting, I applied to ICP and was accepted so went. ICP was a great school in that they taught us to find our own voice. During my time there, I worked for a couple photographers, most notably John Dolan, where I assisted in the office scanning, filing, and helped his printer.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I wanted to tell a story of those who surf Lake Erie and saw the potential of fulfilling multiple aspects of photography that I am drawn to. They inspired me and it wasn’t as much about surfing as it was about their commitment to do what they do and loved despite the adverse conditions. I focused on the tight-knit community that no one really knew about at the time. I wanted to get a few great surfing images but also focus on a story about them and portraits. I wanted to show how the weather didn’t matter (no matter how cold it was) and how committed they were.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
At least a year or two, the surf season is only a few months (late fall and winter) so I wanted to build up the story before sharing. I wanted to wait until I had a good variety of surf, portraits, and landscapes. Over time I met more people, so kept adding to the story learning more about them, and adding people who I had met but not photographed or tried to get better images than I already had.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
The ones I work on the longest I don’t know until after returning a couple times. There are personal projects that could happen within a weekend, but for the ones like this I kept returning when I wanted to gather more, learn more, or when I wasn’t able to tell the story enough with a couple tries. I like to return at a few times in order to see if it is working.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
My goal is to have personal work transition into portfolio and assigned work or at least get work based on personal work. When it comes to a commercial look that I know works for most clients, I definitely see how my personal work might not fit some clients’ needs all of the time. However, I work on personal work all the time to broaden myself and work on what inspires me. Usually, when that works clients are inspired too.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I use social media and post a couple images referring back to the rest of a series but I haven’t necessarily posted a whole series on social media.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I have never really had anything go viral

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I believe personal work is the best work to promote.

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Billy Delfs is ever evolving. Delfs started his career at community college and then moved to NYC to be classically trained at International Center of Photography. He is drawn to the magic of the outdoors, notably credited with capturing a series of prints documenting Cleveland’s honorable and inspiring surf community and is a advertising and editorial photographer based in Cleveland working throughout the Midwest and east coast. More at www.billydelfs.com


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: Staged Reportage for Activation

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Reportage images of people interacting within an experiential event activation.

Licensing: Unlimited use (excluding broadcast, OOH and packaging) of all images captured in perpetuity.

Location: An outdoor event in the Northeast

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Portraiture and lifestyle specialist

Agency: Medium in size, based in the Midwest

Client: A tobacco brand

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing:

The first thing to note about this project is that the client was a tobacco brand. That fact alone is a deal breaker for a lot of photographers, and in fact, before we knew anything about the scope of the project, the agency wanted to know if the photographer would even consider taking on a project for this type of client. Fortunately for them, it was something the photographer was okay with, pending the budget.

We learned that the agency was tasked with developing an experiential activation which would be set up and the general public would be encouraged to visit their large footprint over the course of a few days throughout the larger event. While their initial consideration was to hire a photographer to capture event coverage images of real people interacting within the staged environments, the potential issues regarding model releases for a brand like this, and their need to have a bit more control over the production and timing led them to casting talent and staging the event before it opened to the public.

While they requested unlimited use (excluding Broadcast, OOH and Packaging), it was very clear that their intended use was primarily for a small section of their website, and to simply document the activation for internal use or collateral purposes. That being said, the images could have potentially been used for print advertising given the licensing terms they requested, but again, based on the advertising this brand has previously done, none of the images resulting from this shoot would be on-brand for advertising initiatives, and that was very unlikely. Additionally, we knew that they had started the project by reaching out to event photographers who might charge hourly rates as opposed to taking into account licensing fees.

All of those factors put heavy downward pressure on the fee, but given the client and the photographer’s experience, we decided to price this more in line with a lifestyle library shoot, rather than event coverage, and landed on 15k as a combined creative/licensing fee.

Photographer Scout Day: While we received detailed renderings of the activation footprint, we wanted to make sure the photographer had a sense of the various environments within the area beforehand, and they hoped to get a sense as to what potential staging areas might exist on location.

Assistants: In addition to the photographer’s assistant, who would help with grip and equipment, we included a production assistant to help obtain releases from the talent and generally be an extra set of hands and a runner if any items needed to be procured on the shoot day.

Casting and Talent: We reached out to a local casting director who would help us find “real people” talent (as opposed to casting professional talent). They needed to identify with the brand and be a smoker, and the casting director specialized in finding just the right type of people, and had done so previously on similar projects. The quote we received and integrated into the estimate included 3 prep/research days and 1 live casting day plus potential travel and bookings. For “real people,” our casting director suggested that $1,000/day plus access to the event would get the job done, and since the event would happen over a weekend, that made it even more palatable for potential talent who wouldn’t even need to take off work.

Equipment: We included a very basic rate for a camera body and lenses, as the shots would primarily be captured using available light.

Mileage, Parking, Meals, Misc.: We included $300 to cover parking and meals for the three crew members, $100 to cover mileage and $300 for miscellaneous expenses that might arise.

Shoot Processing for Client Review and Delivery: While the agency would handle the majority of the post processing, we included $500 for the photographer to do an initial edit/color correction, and then we included $300 for the purchase and shipment of a hard drive.

Results: The photographer was not awarded the job, but we found out that they ultimately went with a photographer whose bottom line was a few thousand dollars higher.

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 – Dwell: Jose Mandojana

- - The Daily Edit

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Assigning Photo Editor: Susan Getzendanner
Design Director:  Rob Hewitt
Senior Designer: Tim Vienckowski
Junior Designer: Erica Bonkowski
Photographer: Jose Mandojana

How long have you been shooting for Dwell?
My first assignment was for the September 2013 issue, so approximately three years.

Did you being a father influence the magazine on choosing you for this project?
As far as I know being a father was not a factor.  That said, having two young children has definitely given me plenty of experience interacting with little ones.  It was fun capturing moments with the children at the home.

Is this all done with natural light? Is that part of the magazine’s aesthetic?
I always bring lighting gear and use it to enhance the natural light when necessary.  I do believe that the overall aesthetic of the magazine is to show spaces as they appear.  That lends itself to waiting for great light and trying to keep things feeling natural.

What type of direction did you get from the team?
I receive a full shot list.  The team does a great job of collecting scouting images and notes.  From there,  it’s basically just trying to cover all the shots from different perspectives and including the homeowners (or family, architects, etc. depending on the story) in frames where the images are strengthened by their presence and the reader can gain a better sense of what it’s like to inhabit the space.  Those decisions really come down to my best judgment as to where natural things can occur with the subjects.

What brought you back to the LA market? 
I will always love the PNW and Seattle.  It was a great 7+ years there, and I’m thankful for the personal and professional growth I experienced.  The move back was strictly for professional reasons.  I travel a fair amount for commissions, and LA just seems like a better fit for where I see my work developing.  I also missed the strong photo community in LA and the opportunities that arise from being able to connect with peers and industry friends.  Oh, and the cycling, beautiful light, and Korean BBQ isn’t too bad either!

Was this the first time you were at the Passive House?
I actually meet the architects of the Passive House 6 months prior to the assignment.  They were building a home across the street from our place in West Seattle, and I really appreciated their attention to detail.  I invited them to walk through our mid century home to chat about potentially doing an upstairs addition.  We had done a fair amount of remodeling already,  and I had vision for the expansion of the home.  We would have hired them,  but decided to move back to LA instead.  So it was great to circle back with them randomly for the assignment as they do great work.

In a few words what is passive architecture?
‘Passive’ architecture and development is a certified building standard developed by the Passive House Institute in Germany.  In order to achieve the standard, the home or blind is built extremely insulated to create an airtight envelope.  There also needs to be energy recovery ventilation, high performance windows and management of solar gain.  In a nutshell,  the home is designed and built to use 90% less heating and cooling than the standard building.

 

The Daily Promo – Emiliano Granado

- - The Daily Promo

 

 

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Emiliano Granado


Who printed it?
Postcards: gotprint.com
20 pg zine: Awlitho.com

Who designed it?
Kayla Kern

Who edited the images?
I edited the images.

How many did you make?
2000

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send postcards throughout the year, 3-5 per year. I try to print more cohesive promos/zines 1-2 times per year.

The postcard promo was a teaser for this zine, what is this publication about?
This publication is about the Spectacle that is the Tour de France. My focus was NOT on the racers, but instead it’s a look at the whole thing. The colors, the landscape, the human spectacle, and even some dudes in lycra.

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Tell me about your marketing strategy for the mail/ and the 20 page zine.
The strategy is to keep my brand consistent. To put out the work I’m most proud of. To continue to showcase the work that I believe is the most significant and could be most valuable to potential clients. I sent out 3 postcards leading up to the main piece to ‘tease’ the project. I’m launching the project on my site and making the zine for sale at quesofrito.com

This Week In Photography Books: Tetsuya Kusu

by Jonathan Blaustein

I woke up in LA yesterday, and went to sleep here in Taos. As no airplanes were involved, you can trust it was a REALLY FUCKING LONG DAY.

16 hours on the road, all told, with two mostly-well-behaved kids in the back, and an occasionally grumpy wife sitting next to me.

Now I’m here, with a computer on my lap, rocking the boxers & a T-shirt look, listening to the room fan white noise, watching the shadow of an aspen tree through the translucent window curtain.

We came home after 2 glorious weeks in California, which were desperately needed. (Not that I need to tell you that.) I was quite-the-fried columnist for many months, but no longer. At the moment, even accounting for the difficult drive, I’m feeling fresher than some Santa Barbara sushi.

Mmmm, sushi. So yummy.

It was our first time attempting to travel like that with a 3 year old, (nearly 4,) and it was a resounding success. We had a proper bougie holiday: a week on the beach, 4 nights on a cliff in Big Sur, and then two days in LA so I could see some great art.

Yes, we hit a Whole Foods. Yes, I ate more beef than I have in the last year. And yes, California is currently teeming with Chinese and South Asian tourists.

Despite the fact that we drove, this most classic of American Road Trips, we mostly encountered the aforementioned foreign fun-seekers, and heaps of sun-drenched Californians. Basically, people with money, driving rented Mustang convertibles, leased Teslas, or recently-purchased Porsches.

Intentionally or not, (and unlike my San Francisco adventure in May,) I saw very few homeless people. Almost none, in fact. The drifters ambling along highways were in short supply. Or perhaps I was simply too self-involved to see them?

Basically, my experience was the exact opposite of the ramblings captured by Tetsuya Kusu, in his new book “American Monuments,” recently published by Zen Foto Gallery in Japan. He and I might have both occupied space in the Golden State, but beyond that, our worlds diverged completely.

I met Tetsuya at the Medium Festival of Photography in San Diego in late 2014. He was just hanging out, helping out, finishing up a big travel adventure in which he slept in his car, and roamed around California and the West Coast with his camera. The book’s end notes inform he was re-visiting a 3.5 year phase when he was a proper drifter, in which he voyaged with his mentally ill (then) wife.

The book presents a series of images in which he grappled with his divorce and re-found himself, by meeting and photographing people in the very underclass I conveniently ignored.

The pictures travel well-worn turf, but I don’t really care, because they’re really cool. There is always a place in the world for well-made photographs, in particular ones that treat disadvantaged humans with empathy and grace.

It’s very easy to imagine this Japanese surfer-dude chatting up the drunks at the bar. Telling stories. Asking questions. Gaining trust. Enjoying the process, and coming back with these monuments to an American reality that most of us don’t bother to see.

My body is still reverberating with the vibrations I-40, even 10 hours later. I close my eyes, and the LA palm trees pop right up in my visual memory. (California certainly is a beautiful place.)

But I also see Barstow, and Needles. Dry, nearly uninhabitable places teeming with grizzled faces, sun-bleached tattoos, and big-red-drunkard noses.

Places you drive through without stopping.

“American Monuments” takes the time to talk to these people, rather than passing them by at 85 miles an hour. It was odd for me to open up the package this morning, and view a parallel universe to the one I lived in the past two weeks.

Something tells me you’ll enjoy it too.

Bottom Line: Cool book showing life on the road on the West Coast

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The Art of the Personal Project: Mike Tittel

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: Mike Tittel

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How long have you been shooting?
17 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Both—I attended the Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Montana way back in 1999 but have learned a ton over the years as the industry and my career has evolved.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve always been a huge proponent of living an active lifestyle, and the National Veterans Wheelchair Games is a program designed to help Veterans with various injuries do just that. Although my experience with adaptive sports was limited prior to this experience I was inspired by the vets I met on commissioned portrait shoot for USAA at the start of this year’s event in Salt Lake City. The portrait project only allowed me a few minutes with each veteran, but in that time it became clear to me the games and these men and women were special. Knowing each person had sacrificed so much and they all had such spirits of generosity that I couldn’t help walking away from the portrait day inspired. Although I had considered a personal project in the weeks leading up to the commissioned shoot, it was meeting these outstanding individuals that solidified my vision. At the first event I quickly realized this program was less about competition and more about supporting one another in achieving personal goals. Of course, that only inspired me more.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I’ve only photographed this event once and decided to share it immediately after.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
For this project I gave myself the week to shoot since I was limited to the timeframe of the Games. I really had no expectations going into it other than I wanted it to feel different the rest of my work—less polished and more photojournalistic. Each evening as I downloaded the photos from that day, I was able to get a better and better sense of what I wanted to convey and the look I was after. The project unfolded very organically, and I let myself photograph the moments and people that I was most drawn to.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
For me one of the best things about shooting personal projects is that they can be different from your main body of work. They don’t necessarily have to fit into your overall brand and there is more freedom to create and shoot subjects/projects that interest you. I also feel with personal work doesn’t have to be this huge production with massive crew and big expectations. This was different from my normal style in that I shot everything with available light only focusing on the players and moments that made the event so special.

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

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I have in the past but have not with this project since the work is so fresh.

Artist Statement
National Veterans Wheelchair Games is a program designed to help Veterans with various injuries to live more active and healthy lives through wheelchair sports and recreation. Each summer Veterans from all over the country gather in a new host city to compete, while also providing encouragement and mentoring for newly disabled Veterans.

Inspired by the vets I met on commissioned portrait shoot for USAA at the start of the week, I knew I had to capture these amazing men and women in action. Although this was shot in a more editorial style than my typical work it was an amazing experience watching these Vets conquer personal goals and inspire each other. The spirit of camaraderie, support and determination was so powerful, I couldn’t help but leave each event with a smile across my face. These outstanding individuals are proof that any limitation can be conquered with the right frame of mind.

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Mike Tittel is an advertising and commercial photographer based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. He specializes in sports, fitness and active lifestyle images shot on location worldwide. Follow along on Instagram @miketittel or behind-the-scenes on snapchat @miketittelphoto.
If you want to contact his agent kim@kimknightrepresents.com
http://www.kimknightrepresents.com


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 – Men’s Journal: Dustin Aksland

- - The Daily Edit

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Photo Director:
Jennifer Santana
Deputy Photo Editor: Michele Ervin
Photographer: Dustin Aksland

Your bio mentions a few filmmakers, what type of impact have these creatives made on you?
Films have had a huge impact on my life. My Mother is a huge fan of films and I grew up going to the theatre and watching all genres of movies with her. To this day we talk about what films we are watching and review them. I believe watching films helped my visual vocabulary. I was the skater that stole my mom’s video camera and filmed everything my friends and I did and then would come home and edit the footage straight from the camera to vhs, pause, play, record, rewind, record etc.etc.

Were you familiar with David Gelb’s work prior to the shoot?
Yes I’d seen “Hiro Dreams of Sushi” and was a fan of the film. I had also seen the first season of “Chefs Table” and enjoyed that as well. I took the assignment because I was interested in talking with David about food and travel.

Why did you choose this location, was it about the food ( for the subject? ) and the location ( for you? )
I’m not sure if David or the magazine chose the location ( Ivan Ramen) but David was familiar with the restaurant and the food on the menu. The magazine wanted David to be holding food or eating. I’d never been to Ivan Ramen and did not have time before the shoot to scout so I figured I’d sort out the shooting location once I arrived. I settled for the counter and a front table near the window for the ramen slurping image ( used in TOC ).

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
The magazine wanted the images to be loose rather than formal and like I mentioned above they wanted David to be eating or have food in his hand. It’s challenging to photograph people while they eat so I knew we would have to have fun with this shoot. Thankfully David was game and we ordered some ribs and ramen and he wasn’t afraid to get messy.

How if at all were you directing him during this portrait? What was happening at that moment?
I had a feeling going into this shoot that it would be a collaborative project considering David’s background shooting in kitchens / restaurants around the world. David asked what my ideas were and I gave him a quick rundown and he was game. The magazine wanted to David to eat a pork bun but the restaurant didn’t have one on the menu so we both thought ribs would be a great option. I asked David to sit sideways at the counter so we’d be able to see his face and then told him to chow down. David being a great director knew how to play it up for the camera and gave me the great “finger licking good” pose.

The Daily Promo – Steve Pomberg

- - The Daily Promo


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Steve Pomberg


Who printed it?
Paper Chase Press printed my piece. They are based in Los Angeles, were awesome to work with, and I think they did an amazing job.
Who designed it?
Dana Silberman is a fantastic art director (and conveniently my wife). She designed the front and back cover and eagle eyed the entire piece.
Who edited the images?
I did most of the editing and Dana gave me some great feedback/input regarding layout and pagination.
How many did you make?
I had 100 books printed this time around.
 How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try and do an annual printed promo and keep my website current.
Tell us about your inspiration for this promo.
For this promo piece my intention was to share unpublished personal work that would appeal to potentially new and current editorial/commercial clients. I wanted to showcase my ability to work on location and in the studio so the selected images oscillate between those spaces. I grew up skateboarding and surfing so I wanted to give a nod to the the activities/subcultures that really got my creative juices flowing and inspired me to pick up a camera. Recent trips to Croatia and Nicaragua along with some of my favorite spots in the southeast provided me with vivid environments to experience and photograph. I am an avid art and record collector, and am fascinated with the concept of “Analog Versus Digital’ so I also included images that reference those areas of interest.

This Week In Photography Books: Taryn Simon

by Jonathan Blaustein

It’s been almost 6 years since my photographic project, “The Value of a Dollar,” went viral on the internet. 6 years since my life changed for the better, as the after-effects of the phenomenon were massive.

I sold a lot of work. Enough to have another child. And some of you have been following along the entire time.

But in the midst of the virality, one odd little blog post stuck out for me, more than almost any other. Some random person, in some random place, posted a handfull of quotes one day. I was featured, and just below me was Stringer Bell, from “The Wire.”

For some reason, being in such proximity to a massively influential fictional character made a big impression me. If I’m in the same conversation as Stringer, I thought, things just might work out OK.

Idris Elba, the actor who played the duplicitous criminal, has since become a Massive Global Icon. If you haven’t seen him in the brilliant BBC series Luther, do yourself a favor and Netflix that shit immediately.

Mr. Elba is also a DJ, apparently, but is mostly known for being a big, handsome, charismatic, extremely talented actor. (If you saw him in “Thor,” just forget it ever happened. Could you act if you had such ridiculous contact lenses?)

I mention it all, frankly, because Idris Elba really needs to be the next James Bond. Fuck Tom Hiddleston, or anyone else you might suggest. It must be Idris Elba.

No one else in the British Isles has his combination of suave confidence, flinty gravitas, and the raw physicality that Daniel Craig invested in the role. (Who wants to see a soft, posh, Roger-Moore-type Bond now?)

I don’t remember who it was, but someone came out last year and complained that Idris Elba would be too “street” to play Bond. Street being code for Black. Black being a stand-in for not-properly-English.

A few weeks past the Brexit, we’re all familiar with the seething sea of racism underpinning English culture. Even Leicester City’s hero, Jamie Vardy, was busted on video being a racist prick a while back. (Oi! Tell us something we don’t know, mate.)

The idea of a Black James Bond is anathema to the self-image that many an Englishman clings to, these days. Times gone by. The Sun rising and setting on the English Empire. A steady supply of subsidized tea.

That sort of thing.

But we’re not living in the 19th Century anymore, I can assure you. England can no more shut itself off from the world than I can properly spell Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious properly on my first try. (No way I got that right.)

I’ve mentioned Neal Stephenson’s seminal, futuristic masterpiece “Snow Crash” before, I’m sure, and among its many prophetic themes was hordes of refugees becoming the norm in the future. You simply cannot stop people from fleeing for their lives, unless you’re prepared to kill them. (Definition of irony, anyone?)

England, and the entire UK for that matter, are in for a rough few years, it would seem. The new millennium has not been kind to the old order, unless you believe the old order represents the rich getting richer, and the poor getting poorer. (On second thought…)

But new ideas are out there, new systems of communication, and different types of entertainment. Hell, we just let my son buy his first video game, and it turns out that even a hand-held-Nintendo-machine can create seamless virtual reality, for cost of 5 beers at a baseball game.

James Bond, however, keeps going. He might be England’s most ruthless, sexy version of itself, but the system he represents, glorifying violence, gadgets and hot chicks, seems a bit antiquated in a world in which all the ladies on Game of Thrones are clearly WINNING!

The illusion of being forever young is at the heart of the James Bond narrative. He might age a little, but once the hair piece is no-longer-believable, you’re shown the door. (That means you, Sean Connery.)

The ladies, even more than Bond, are perfectly replaceable. (And far more vulnerable to bullets.) So many of them have died, in all these movies, that it’s hard not to discern a serious strain of misogyny in the source-code.

But what do all these props, as the female actors were more-or-less treated, look like now? As actual humans, they must have aged, right? And all that cutting-edge-tech, for which the Bond films are also known? Would space-age-60’s gadgets still look cool in the 21st Century?

Glad you asked, as I’ve just finished putting down “Birds of the West Indies,” a book by Taryn Simon, published a few years ago by Hatje Cantz. (Not sure how an older book ended up in my pile, but I’m glad it did.)

I’m a big fan of Ms. Simon’s work, and my review of “A Living Man Declared Dead” enabled me to create this now-familiar, rambling, discursive style. (Thanks, Taryn!)

Apparently, an ornithologist named James Bond was the inspiration for the super-spy’s name, and his main achievement was a book of the same title. (That one was presumably about actual birds, instead of the English slang term for women.)

There’s an index section at the back that actually does list the genus types of all the avians, but it seems tacked on, and purely ironic. But it’s her book, I suppose, so she can do what she wants.

The rest of the volume, including all the plates, feature the aforementioned guns, cars, and chicks that populated the Bond films from 1962-2012. If you’re wondering what Maud Allen or Tanya Roberts look like these days, seek no further. Some actresses refused to be photographed, presumably out of fear of destroying the illusion of perpetual beauty.

But most all are present, including a rumpled Grace Jones, a self-consicous Michelle Yeoh, and a see-through-shirt-wearing Sophie Marceau. (According to the text, the actress chose their wardrobes and poses.) Halle Berry and Famke Janssen take their place alongside fake nuclear devices, half shark heads, and more blades, guns and Aston Martins than you can believe.

It’s her signature style now, this categorical, dry, meticulous rendering of a subject mined for its metaphorical potential. We get it. Keep backdrop, swap out subject, click the shutter. (The end notes thank Phase One, so we can surmise she’s using a very, very expensive camera.)

Taryn Simon’s work also hinges on access; her rolodex that means she can ring up Barbara Broccoli, make her pitch, and hang up with a yes. If you or I tried that, we’d never even get the phone number.

C’est la vie.

As for this book, it’s certainly not genius, and I’m not sure you’ll want to buy it, but it is a very cool collection of bound pages. She cuts through one of the greatest ongoing illusions in contemporary culture. We get to go backstage along with her, and can have no doubts that the James Bond myth is alive and well in the 20 teens.

Which is more than we can say for England’s soccer team at the European Championship. (Burn!)

Bottom Line: Thorough book that demystifies the James Bond legacy

To Purchase “Birds of the West Indies” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Naomi Harris

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: Naomi Harris

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Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

How long have you been shooting professionally?
Since 2000.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I got into photography late in the game, I was about 22 before I picked up my first camera. I was actually studying print-making in university, this was back in the early 90s before Google and the internet so if you needed a photo for inspiration you scoured books and magazines. And since my printmaking practice was mainly photo-based I decided it would make sense for me to learn how to take pictures in case I couldn’t find what I was looking for. It was a basic black and white class and really only taught dark-room techniques not how to “take” photos. That summer I went to Europe and when I processed what I shot I was like, oh, this is what I want to do and decided to focus my artistic practice on photography (though I do still want to go back and start using my photos in the medium of printmaking again.)

But that said I never did learn lighting or how to actually use a camera in school, that was all self-taught through trial and error, friends, assistants and while doing personal work.

You are very good about shooting personal projects, what is your inspiration to shoot them?
I think when I choose a personal project I ask myself first off, what will I learn from this. I’m primarily a documentary photographer (with a penchant for portraiture) so I’m always seeking knowledge or access to people whom I wouldn’t encounter otherwise.

My inspiration varies. Usually I’m shooting something else and stumble upon something that I’ll decide to make a long-term project out of. Like I was trying to do a project about Holocaust Survivors when I found the Haddon Hall Hotel in Miami’s South Beach which was the last of it’s kind and changed my focus to be specifically on that hotel. Or while living in Miami I’d visit the nude beach and knew that people went to swinger parties. One day I was invited to attend as a “key” (a female who accompanies a single man to a party granting them access) by a beach friend and when I saw what was going on knew instantly I’d have to shoot it! Or my most recent project I’m wrapping up, EUSA, I was shooting my very last swinger party in the mountains of Georgia and stumbled upon this “Bavarian” town called Helen nearby and from that EUSA was born.

I listen to a ton of radio (I’m a big fan of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) find things on Twitter, talk to strangers everywhere I go, you can find inspiration anywhere. And my mother is my best research assistant constantly mailing me newspaper clippings or emailing me articles of things I might find interesting. She really loves her Yahoo! News.

How many years have you been shooting a project before you decided to present it?
Seems lately like 5 years has been the magic number (America Swings and EUSA) but I don’t think it’s wise to attatch a deadline to projects. Each one is unique and you’ll know when it’s done. It could be some sort of event that happens but once or it could be shooting something daily which never really has an end, it’s all subjective. I’d love for once to try to shoot something in a studio and spend a total of say 2 or 3 weeks shooting, that would be novel!

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
That’s a tough one. Some projects you know are going to be great and you feel it instantly from the first photo you take. Then I have had some projects where I’ve put a good amount of time into but then due to costs and amount of travel involved I just couldn’t get back to it right away and had to put on the back burner. Like EUSA I didn’t shoot anything between 2010 and 2013 (and had nearly 60 rolls of unprocessed exposed film in my freezer!) but I always knew I would come back to it when I had the time and money.

But then there are the projects where you do put some time and effort into it and for whatever reason decide it’s not going to work. Back in 2003 I spent 3 weeks in Vegas intending on creating a project about the economic upswing happening there but I never really liked what I was getting and not being a fan of heat (or Vegas itself) I decided to put this project on the shelf. In hindsight I should have pushed through because imagine the potentially amazing work I could have created if I had pre-recession and post-recession photos. Oh well, you can’t always predict the future and you can’t win them all.

Today though I’m beginning to work on multiple projects at a time and not sinking all my energy into only one body of work. If my projects take upwards of 5 years to complete (plus another few more years until a book is published) I don’t want to only be releasing a project every half decade or so. It’s better to split your focus into multiple projects.

What advice do you have for people who have not done a personal project? And how they are so important so potential clients see how you think.
I think it’s important for your potential clients sure, that’s an obvious answer, but I think personal projects are even more important for ourselves. Working on personal projects give us an opportunity to explore, experiment and even screw up but without the client to report back to. I learned all my lighting techniques while doing personal work and then can bring these new tricks into my commissioned work.

I would like to imagine most of us got into photography because we posses an innate curiosity about the world and want to explore it.

We also learn so much about ourselves and our potential when working on our own projects and that in itself is invaluable.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Actually I think all of my work, be it personal or commissioned, has a similar quality to it and hopefully a distinct style. While I’ll experiment with different formats, techniques and mediums between projects I still think the way I see is similar and hopefully people will be able to identify one of my photos be it personal work or from an assignment.

I do encourage photographers to shake it up a little though instead of an “insert-subject-here” approach that so many take (exact same lighting set up, back-drop etc). Mind you when you have a winning look that’s earning you a living it’s sometimes hard to abandon that. But remember, styles change and while your look might be popular now it might not be 5 years from now.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Yes and no. I try not to release too much of a project until I’m nearly done (and better yet would be only when the book is actually published) but I do use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as a means of self-promotion.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Back in the early 2000s when I still had an earthlink account, the blog Fleshbot featured a story I did about a porn star reality show based in Montreal and in a matter of days over 100,000 people visited my website. That sounds all fine and good except that earthlink wanted to charge me an exorbitant amount for going over my bandwidth even though I kept calling them to increase my limit and ultimately had to temporarily shut my site down. I couldn’t afford to pay what they wanted nor did I think it was fair so I called NY1 to have them do a segment on me and earthlink lowered the bill to a couple of hundred from several thousand dollars!

I don’t know how to use Reddit (!) but I have had a couple of my America Swings photos posted and they have been quite popular but no work came out of that.

But I am shooting my first fashion story next month for a Spanish magazine called ODDA and they found me through my Instagram so really happy about that.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I don’t create my personal projects specifically for marketing my work rather I make it for the art aspect, and if it gets me publicity that influences prospective clients, well that’s the cherry on top.

I have on occasion left a copy of America Swings with an art buyer, which I consider a really fancy leave behind (pssst, call me in for a portfolio review and one might make it’s way to your desk too!).

I feel a lot of clients want to work with “fine art” photographers rather than just commercial photographers so it’s important to always be creating personal work and getting a reputation in the art circuit.

—————-

Canadian born NAOMI HARRIS is primarily a portrait photographer who seeks out interesting cultural trends to document through her subjects. Personal projects include HADDON HALL in which she documented the lives of the last remaining elderly residents at a hotel in South Beach. For this work she received the 2001 International Prize for Young Photojournalism from Agfa/ Das Bildforum, honorable mention for the Yann Geffroy Award, and was a W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography finalist.

For her next project AMERICA SWINGS, she documented the phenomenon of swinging over the course of 5 years (from 2003 to 2008) all over the United States. This project was realized in her first monograph “America Swings” released by TASCHEN in 2008 as a limited collectors edition and again in 2010 as a trade edition. Artist Richard Prince interviewed Ms. Harris for the book and it was edited by Dian Hanson.

She recently completed EUSA which is a reaction to the homogenization of European and American cultures through globalization and is releasing a book by the same title in 2017.

Other accolades include being awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship in Photography in 2013, a Long-Term Career Advancement Grant from the Canada Council in 2012 and participating in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in 2004.

In June 2012 after living in New York for 15 years she decided to leave and live in her car traveling around America with her dog Maggie in preparation of becoming a US citizen, which she did in August 2013. She currently resides in Los Angeles but returns to her homeland of Canada often to continue working on her project OH CANADA.


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.

Havard Business Review: Ian Spanier

- - The Daily Edit

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Harvard Business Review: Greg Louganis

Harvard Business Review: Greg Louganis
 

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Harvard Business Review

Creative Director: Matthew Guemple
Art Director: Annie Chin
Photographer: Ian Spanier

Heidi: Where did you find the empty pool?
Ian: I was fortunate this pool in Hollywood was empty, and close to Greg’s home. Originally I tried to get access to an olympic pool, and was surprised it wasn’t so easy and the magazine was dead set on an empty one anyway.

Contextually there are many layers to this story, how did you approach that visually?
( this was about his decorated career as well as his activism )
I love stories that have a deeper level. I didn’t get to scout the pool, so I worked with what was there. I did research on what direction it faced and any other factors that would affect my shoot plan. The big plus signs were an added bonus, given the connection to HIV Positive, so I was lucky there, and to be honest the location as a whole was not great– the pool was dirty and with a small crew (me and one assistant) we couldn’t clean it up that much. B&W helped there as well. Greg was really nice, and I made a couple extra portraits of him for him.  In return, he invited me to the screening of his latest short film called Saber Dance– where he plays Salvador Dali.

How did you get Greg to relax, become at ease?
Whenever I shoot celebrities or athletes there’s a bit of the unknown that doesn’t come into play when shooting non-celebrity subjects.  I always ask my client how much time we will have, but assume time could be less (so if I only get two minutes, I am prepared to work within the limitation)  If there’s more than one set-up I will have both ready to go, so I can quickly move my subject from set to set. I think this helps my subjects know that I am prepared, from there it’s less about the lights and camera and just gaining their trust. There is a lot of psychology behind photography. I like to review what the assignment is with the subject to make sure we are on the same page and usually I say something about me not being able to tell them how to just be themselves, but I am happy to suggest small changes from behind the camera.  I do this just between us by having that conversation closely with my subject; no publicist, no assistants, and no crew hearing this part. I’ve found this to work well for me, particularly in quick situations. There’s a sense of trust that needs to be earned, often immediately. I like to think by putting them in charge out the gate, the subject either relaxes and does their thing, in essence appears as they want to, and I then choose when to press the shutter. If they are stiff, I take over.  Ultimately, either scenario I am actually in charge. I like to think it’s almost like hypnosis, the moment I lull a subject into a place of comfort is generally the best part of the shoot. Sometimes I find the strobe firing over and over, or even the sound of the shutter does this, and other times I gain that trust by sharing an early frame when I know it looks good. Whichever gets things headed in the right direction.

How has your skills as a former photo editor come into play?
When I was a photo editor I would work directly with creative and art directors to formulate ideas for photo shoots, those years of experience really helped me the more I was on the other side of the shoot. I’ve always been an “ideas guy” so when I am given the chance to be part of the pre-shoot creative process or even make the call entirely at the shoot, I feel confident I can deliver. It’s great when a client comes to me with a distinct idea, as I have the opportunity to do their idea and time permitting any of my ideas, which only adds value to the project. When the art direction is unknown I feel pretty confident at this point that I’m being hired to come up with a solution. In the case of this shoot, the art director at HBR had presented the idea of shooting in an empty pool, and the section is always in B&W.  I was also given the copy, which always help me know the mood the magazine wants. These are the best scenarios and are most like the scenario when I was on staff at magazines. Since the magazine is on the East Coast I would take the lead producing the shoot. I do work with producers (or my agent) for larger production shoots–  but as a result of my past as a photo editor, when it comes to producing a shoot I can manage it just fine. Although it was not a factor in this shoot,  one other aspect to my past is that I would always be in the position of having to manage the client’s budget. When shoots come with a smaller budget, it’s not ideal, but it’s a reality of a lot of shoots. I believe that it’s my job to make any size budget work– and at least visually appear as equally well produced as the big budget shoots.

Since you’ve been in the industry on both the hiring and shooting level, what has been the biggest impact you’ve seen in editorial shoots?
I think the biggest change today aside from shrinking budgets is the immense need for content. Digital is a big factor of this, as when we shot film there was almost always an end in sight.  The decline of magazines and rise of social media is the other. Shots lists have climbed and the client’s need for assets for all the various outlets– far beyond the assignment alone are almost always a part of the shoot. I am often asked to shoot beyond any shot list, and even do both stills and video during the same shoot. This being the new reality, like everything else, it’s all about adaptation. Photographers have had to adapt to the rapid changes or be left behind.

The Daily Promo – Jennifer Rocholl

- - The Daily Promo

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JenniferRocholl

Who printed it? 
Southern California Graphics in Culver City

Who designed it? 
The amazing Jean-Marc Durviaux and his team at DISTINC_.  Jean-Marc put so much individual attention, thought, and care into my project.  This is the second promo he’s designed for me.  The previous one placed 2nd in the PDN promo awards in 2009 (just behind the DS reps’ promo and yes, it’s been that long since I last did a printed promo!).  There is so much heart in this design agency, I really adore them.

Alexey Brodovitch’s design work was the inspiration for this project.  Brodovitch is a master of juxtaposition and extreme scale and his layouts remind me of contact sheets that have been cut into strips.   Jean-Marc thought it jelled perfectly with the spirit of my work and ran with it.  It was his idea to integrate graphic elements and type to give a hint of how my work could potentially look as an “already consumed” product.  (Yes — Jean-Marc, I’m glad you talked me into this!)

Who edited the images? 
I presented Jean-Marc with a very broad edit from my entire body of work and he made his selects from there.  It was necessary to get fresh eyes on my work because I tend to get stuck on which photos are my favorites.

How many did you make?
2,000.  1,800 were blessed during a candle lit ceremony and sprinkled with unicorn dust, packed into hand painted envelopes, and mailed out.  The lovely NIkki (pictured) came over and spent about a week painting those envelopes on a tarp in my driveway, sometimes with the help / hindrance of my kids.  I really wanted each one to have a “I made this for you” aesthetic.  The remaining 200 are waiting to be handed out at meetings and mailed out to anyone else who’d like one — just hit me up.

Nikki_Painting

How many times a year do you send out promos? 
Since this promo was a substantial production and big cost, it will be my big annual hit in addition to a New Year postcard I sent earlier this year.