The Art of the Personal Project: Lars Toplemann

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Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s personal project: Lars Toplemann

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http://www.larstopelmann.com/PROJECTS/lars-stickers/thumbs

One day I discovered that my Goatee and bald head made a funny profile. It was a shadow on a wall that I traced in photoshop and made into a sticker. I started sticking them around and handing them out to friends. I really loved finding creative places to stick them and photograph them.

I post photos on Instagram and Facebook. I wheat pasted some photos onto thin plywood and showed them as a collection at Chiat Day and Team One in Los Angeles. Next to the images, I had lots of “Lars Stickers” that I gave out for free in hopes that people would stick em up and the photograph them. I have have received images of Lars Stickers from all over the world. Even on a camel’s butt in Egypt!

It’s fun to see stickers that are up after a couple years in public places, but are out of plain sight.

I continue to “stick responsibly” and shoot the sticker locations all around Portland and my travels.

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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

I Think Hiring Influencers As Photographers Is A Trend

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Is Havas hiring influencers at all and if so, how do they find them? How many followers does someone need to have in order to be considered an influencer?
We are hiring a lot of influencers! Our creatives find them directly on Instagram, sometimes they give me the person’s Instagram handle and I have to dig to find contact info or a website. I’ve seen influencers with anywhere from 50k-500k followers, it depends on if we’re paying for their influence or just hiring them as a photographer. Lately, I’ve been suggesting that photographers increase their following and post their work on Instagram. They should be using Instagram as just another portfolio tool, it’s a great way to show a cohesive body of work. Start a separate personal account for dog and kid pics.

Do you think this trend is going to continue or so you see signs of it evolving?
I think hiring influencers as photographers is a trend, the technical ability and production sense that photographers bring to the table is worth so much more. I think it’s going to take a while for clients to see it since a lot of them are just starting to get their feet wet in this medium. 

Read more: Trend meets Tradition: Meet Haley Silverman | Notes From A Rep’s Journal

The Daily Edit – Nylon: Amy Harrity

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Nylon

Photo Director: Sonia Ostrovsky
Photo Producer: Ricky Michiels
Photographer: Amy Harrity

 

Heidi: What was the direction from the magazine?
Amy: The wonderful thing about working consistently with Nylon is that they trust me. The photo director gives me some info about my subject, the location and the styling and then says “do your thing!’.

Did you direct her to do that hand gesture, or was it organic?
For this image, I shot through a window outside of the hotel. Before I went out I directed Callie to switch it up a lot since I wouldn’t be able to talk to her. Nylon loves having a playful energy in the photos, but I also think this is Callie’s personality.

How long did you spend with her before taking the photo?
I got to hang with Callie during her fitting and H+MU. We got to talk about music, boys, and politics before the shoot even started. We also had a all female team working on the job which also creates a sense of camaraderie.

How long into the photo session were you when this moment happened?
This was actually our first set up of the day. For me, getting the shot is about finding the perfect pocket of light. Once I find it, I stay there as long as possible and play around.

Where did you shoot?
We shot at the Hollywood Roosevelt, there were three other celebrity shoots going on that day including DJ Khaled.

The Daily Promo: Dwight Eschliman

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Dwight Eschliman

Heidi: Did you have someone with cattle experience on set?
Dwight: We worked with a cowboy out in Oakdale, California who has experience as a stuntman for film. His knowledge from being on set was incredibly helpful since he both understood what we were looking for and how difficult it would be to actually achieve. We also learned that cowboys like to drink Keystone beer all day (which seems to have no impact on job performance!)
Was it difficult to get the Corriente cattle to pose?
Yes! While cattle may be considered to be domestic animals, these cows are in no way trained. By nature they are completely uninterested in following directions or turning their heads just so. Originally, the cowboy we worked with said getting the cows to stand still long enough for their “portrait” couldn’t be done. Somehow, over the stretch of a couple of days, he figured out a way to make it possible.
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What inspired you to create this body of work?
Cataloging has been a consistent theme in my studio’s work – such as Bicycle San Francisco and Ingredients:. I’ve always been fascinated with herds of cattle, but wanted to shoot them in our distinct style. Having them pose for individual portraits is what really makes the project ours.
Who printed it?
Oscar Printing Company in San Francisco – we’ve worked with them on several projects and they are located close to the studio which is convenient for press checks.
Who designed it?
Our friends over at Manual Creative. They designed a similar poster for our Bicycle San Francisco project a few years ago and we thought the format would lend itself well to the Cattle project.
Who edited the images?
Jamie and Taylor at my studio did the initial prep work on the files, I took them from there and then my longtime retoucher – Alex Katz at blinklab – finished them.
How many did you make?
We made 2,500 and sent out about 2,000. My rep, Kelly Montez at Apostrophe Reps, will use some as leave behinds and we keep the rest around the studio to hand out.
How many times a year do you send out promos?
We try to send printed promos about 4 times a year but in reality we get 2-3 out. We generally send out postcards and once a year feature a special project, like the cattle.

This Week In Photography Books: Axle Contemporary

by Jonathan Blaustein

Have you ever seen Duck Dynasty?

I haven’t.

But I’m aware it’s a reality TV show featuring some dudes with long beards who wear camo. Though I’ve never seen a minute of the program, it has leaked out into the popular culture, like a silent fart, so I’m aware, tangentially, what it’s about.

It’s meant for rural folks in the South, I suppose. I have no idea who the protagonists are, but they are the kind of stars that a certain type of bayou badass can get behind.

The kind of stars who will stand up for their Red State values, even when the only other celebrity known to rep for Trump is Chachi, whose fame died back when Henry Winkler could still fit into that tight leather jacket.

Not surprisingly, then, the TV shows that we watch track well with our political affiliations and cultural preferences. A few weeks after the election, the NY Times even ran an Upshot story that tracked the correlation between a TV show’s viewership, and its fans’ behaviors.

The results were mostly intuitive, but one statistic really jumped out at me. Basically, the data demonstrated that Native Americans, particularly those living in the Navajo Nation, had almost the exact same viewing habits as African Americans across the country.

Folks out in Shiprock are watching BET like they’re OG’s from Bed Stuy.

No lie.

Having lived in the Southwest for years, I wasn’t exactly caught off guard, as African Americans and Native Americans have one very large thing in common: both communities never benefited from the immigrant experience in America.

For centuries, people have migrated to the United States based upon small networks of relatives, or neighbors from the village or shtetl back home. One at a time, or 10 at a time, newcomers moved to particular cities, and neighborhoods, because someone’s cousin, or best friend’s uncle, promised them a job when they got there.

Or maybe it was the lure of a place to live, even if it was a couch in an overcrowded, roach infested shithole on the other side of the tracks.

Still, a choice was made.

But, as we all know, Native Americans were here before America, and had their homeland ripped away at the cost of millions of lives, and African Americans were stolen from their homes, violated in every possible way, and then shipped across the world to be exploited until they died.

(And we wonder why Vlad Putin is always reminding people that America is less-than-pure.)

History lesson over, it is interesting to think about the commonalities between Native and African Americas, given that they seem to share certain cultural predilections.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow get a picture of what people actually look like, out in Navajo Nation? Actual people? Real people?

Thankfully, I just put down “E Pluribus Unum: Dinétah,” a new book by Axle Contemporary, which showed up in the mail a little while back. It’s an exhibition catalog featuring a recent project by Matthew Chase-Daniel and Jerry Wellman, the founders and directors of Axle, a mobile art gallery that popped up in Santa Fe in 2010.

I’ve exhibited at Axle before, but then again, so has much of the Northern New Mexico art community. These guys are out there constantly, working hard to promote other artists, while making their own work, but also investing time and money into public art projects involving the local Native American population.

Sadly, despite our tri-community diversity here, (Native, Hispanic and Anglo) there is less inter-mixing than one might expect. Each community often keeps to itself, and any time “gringos” try to get involved with the Native American world, it is fraught with vestiges of colonialism, white guilt, and a nostalgic fascination with the “other.”

So as I flipped through the pages of this book, I was genuinely inspired by what they had accomplished. To be clear, given how picky I am, I do not think these photographs are amazing. They’re casual. People smile. Pictures are occasionally blurry.

Based purely on the quality of the images, this project is not something I’d normally review. But judging the work solely on the photographic excellence misses the point. This work is about giving back, meeting new people, and allowing a community to have a say in its own portrayal.

Basically, Matthew and Jerry spent 12 days out in the Four Corners area, and invited people to come into the truck to have their portrait made. They asked people bring something to hold; an item that had personal importance to them. Then, they printed the photo on the spot, so the subjects could leave with an instantaneous memento.

They also posted prints on the side of the truck, so the venue became a rolling photo exhibition, of the community, for the community.

We see people clutching car keys, energy drinks, cold hard cash, sunglasses, toys, pets, musical instruments, and even a priest holding rosary beads.

There are guys dressed like gangbangers, cowboys in their hats, little children sitting on their siblings’ laps, and a couple of culinary students brandishing knives like they’re ready to debone a chicken.

Like I said, real people.

I’m always on about the artist’s responsibility to dig deep into narratives they know well. To push the viewer, by showing us elements of reality we normally cannot access. To enlarge others’ knowledge by mining one’s own, and sharing the results with the rest of us.

Normally, at least in the books I review, the message is that great work is what moves us. Such books demonstrate technical mastery, original style, and creative risk-taking.

But today’s book takes a slightly different strategy. Maybe don’t worry so much how amazing your pictures are? Rather, focus on how you can use your photographic practice to benefit others, even if you’re not making masterpieces in the process.

Bottom Line: A book that offers a cross-section of life in Navajo Nation

To Purchase “E Pluribus Unum: Dinétah” Go Here: http://www.axleart.com/epu-dinetah

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The Art of the Personal Project: Tom Hussey

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Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s personal project: Tom Hussey

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“Northern Lights” is a project conceived due to my love of things handcrafted. Vermont has a great number of artisans working a craft that long ago was outsourced or taken over by machinery. When I started planning the trip it was referred to as a “Cheese Tour”. I wanted to get to know and photograph the people raising the animals, making the cheese, and taking it to the world market. As I was researching the cheese process I came to discover that there were numerous other handcrafts happening in Vermont — thus the scope of the project expanded a bit. I did photograph six different cheese producers — loving every one for different reasons. However, along the way, I met other craftspeople, I met Calley Hastings, a wonderful woman who instead of making cheese from goat’s milk, took another approach and has a rapidly growing business creating craft caramel made with goat’s milk. I also discovered Timothy Clark Furniture. Tim hand crafts incredible Windsor style chairs and benches. White Room Custom Skis, owned by Vin Faraci, creates bespoke skis to fit each customer including gorgeous custom hardwood laminated designs on the ski tops. I spent a truly enjoyable 5 days crisscrossing Vermont, photographing people that were passionate about their craft and their process. These hardy New Englanders are keeping the tradition of hand creation alive and well — even thriving. I was inspired by the journey, the people I met along the way, and the goods they produce.
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APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Daily Edit – Women’s Health: Landon Nordeman

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Women’s Health

Creative Director: Jacqueline Azria
Photo Director: Sarah Rozen
Photographer: Landon Nordeman

 

Heidi: Did you pitch this concept to the magazine?
Landon: No. It was an assignment. The editors and I talked at length before each shoot. They had ideas about what they wanted each woman to be doing in the photos—but I was alone with the subjects on location, making decisions on the fly as always—responding to them and to the location.

What type of direction did you give the women?
To me a portrait is about showing the character of the subject and letting them shine in their own environment—or in the location in which you’re working.  This eclectic group was great to photograph. Strong personalities make for good pictures. I try to connect with my subjects any way I can before giving direction. Establish trust and then collaborate to make something great.

Describe the energy on set.
The energy on set was fantastic—celebratory and with a sense of purpose.

In a word: enthusiastic. Each one of these incredible ladies was excited to share their personality and their story with me. So, that means encouraging them and making them feel at ease. Then I am observing gestures and moments and photographing the ones that I respond to until I feel like we’ve reached that collaboration point of a successful portrait. To me the photographic process is always about discovery—whether it’s a candid photograph on the street, or in this case, a portrait.

In talking to them, did you discover the secret to the fountain of youth?
Yes! The fountain of youth entails eating healthy, exercising regularly, making time to have fun, being open to trying new things, and dancing. Lots and lots of dancing!

What type of inspiration, wisdom did you take away?
The wisdom I took away—of which all of these women reminded me—was that life is a marathon not a sprint and there is time for change. One’s happiness will not be based on what others think of you, or on material things—it will be based on the experiences you share with the people you love.  It’s about giving, rather than taking.

Did the ladies ask to see the photos during the shoot?
No one asked. In the past I ‘ve found that once you show the subject a picture, you enter a rabbit hole of looking at the photos you’ve taken, and not concentrating on making the next one.  Also, inviting the subject to look at the images tends to break the momentum of a shoot, so I don’t do it.

Younger women seem to fight aging, did you notice they had embraced the grace of time?
Yes, they all demonstrated a real comfort in their own skin: for example, practicing yoga, cheerleading, and running for the camera, and posing on a bed without any hesitation. There was nothing I asked them to do that each one of them did not embrace wholeheartedly.

 

The Daily Promo: Caitie McCabe

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Caitie McCabe

 

Who printed it? Created the box
The box was printed by Packlane, a custom packaging company based in California.

Who designed it?
Because the project was so multi-faceted; I collaborated with several, wonderfully talented— creatives. They did an incredible job of bringing my vision to life; making a fun, cohesive project with an “All-American” feel.

Packaging Design: Ryan Bolhman
Rebrand Design: Caitlyn Dailey, Erika Saraniero, Matt Conte, Emily Menton, Augie Viera, Vincent Maltese, Tom Finnerty
Video Production: Laura Laperche http://goodandstickycontent.com
Copy: Hilary Giorgi, Matt Conte, Emily Menton
Website Design: Heidi Volpe

Who inspected the box?
A crew or 35 amazing volunteers (fueled mainly by pizza and beer) who helped throughout all of what we called “Rocket Weekend.” Each member of the team helped to pack and inspect the boxes. They even had their own personalized “inspected by” stickers! You can check out the behind-the-scenes video to get a pretty good idea of how hard everyone was working, AND how much fun we all had putting this together: You can also meet the whole rocket team here:

I was excited – and extremely fortunate – to work with Peter Dennen on this project, who I’ve been working with for the past three years. He also helped on the site redesign: overhauling the internal promo, the leave-behind pieces, and the overall vision of my brand.

How many did you make?
All together, we assembled 250 boxes and more than 400 rockets. Each rocket was hand painted and constructed by members of the team. Frankly, I’m flabbergasted that these people still talk to me!

 

Caitie McCabe Photography

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How many times a year do you send out promos?
Because these large-scale promotions – like the Rocket Box – take an astounding amount of collaboration and effort, I only do them about once a year. I’ll send smaller promos, mailers, and email posters more frequently; but these big projects require a lot more attention. It’s easily six months of planning, designing, shooting, and assembly. And they’re always a project I take great pride in, so getting it just right is super important.

The interactive element to this box added some extra production time. We filmed a full safety and instructional video for the working rockets included, as well as made the box capable of becoming its very own launch-pad.

 

How did this project come about?
At the start of 2016,  it was time to re-launch my brand. I created a new logo, figured out new and exciting ways to show off all these samples of my work, and completely overhauled my website. I was pumped. I’m not one to do ANYTHING quietly, I found myself searching for the perfect way to announce all of these new and exciting business developments. That’s when serendipity took over.
Randomly – as one often does – I struck up a conversation with a man who accidentally bought $20,000 worth of model rockets. After the confusion – and thousands of questions –  the lightbulb went off.  I had begun the six month process of developing the most insane promo piece I’d ever done.
I’m NOT a rocket scientist – just a girl with a head full of ideas and several hundred explosive devices – it took a bit of help to fully “launch” Rocket Boxes. Luckily, I’m surrounded by people who were more than willing to come by in their free time to help build rockets, set up launch pads, assemble boxes, and hammer out those tiny details that made these promo pieces work. Whenever I had an idea – however crazy – my amazing team was right there to make it possible.
What we ended up with were 250 beautiful boxes, an incredibly well designed physical mailer, a poster, scripted and behind-the-scenes videos, a new website that I’m insanely proud of, and some AMAZING memories.
Of course; since I sent hundreds of rockets through U.S. mail, there’s an itsy-bitsy chance I’m now on a government watch list. But, honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Pete Souza, Obama’s Chief White House Photographer, on Making Pictures | GQ

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On a technical level, did digital photography increase your output? You’ve said you’ve taken around 2,000 a day average, or something like that.

I actually don’t think I shoot that much, because I’m not a motor drive kinda guy. So everything is kinda single frame. I don’t know even if I had been shooting film this administration that I would have shot any less. I don’t feel that I overshoot because of digital. Sure, you don’t have to stop at frame 36, but that’s the reason why you’d always carry ten rolls of film with you at a time. So I don’t know that that would make that much of a difference for me, at least.

Okay, because we were trying to do the math, adding up the shutter clicks, and wondering how many cameras have you completely ruined?

I don’t know how many cameras I’ve gone through but it’s probably been eight or ten. I never blew a shutter, which I know a lot of photographers occasionally do. I usually try to switch when I can feel like a camera’s about to give out. I always carried a backup camera, especially on foreign trips just in case one went down.

Read more here: Pete Souza, Obama’s Chief White House Photographer, on Making Pictures | GQ

This Week In Photography Books: Philip Trager

by Jonathan Blaustein

In Wednesday’s New York Times, Thomas Friedman, the highly opinionated columnist, imagined a world in which Donald Trump tweeted nice things. Inspiring things.

Positive things.

Mr. Friedman wrote tweets, seemingly from a parallel universe, in which Mr. Trump, who will be inaugurated today, worked hard to win over skeptics. He fake-tweeted, (in the real news,) suggesting ways in which things might have gone differently, were Mr. Trump a classier sort of guy.

My father sent me the article, thinking I’d appreciate it. While I read it in its entirety, it made me a little angry.

What’s the point?

Trump is who he is. How can we possibly doubt his character and intentions, given decades of evidence that he’s just not a nice human being?

I admit, after my initial shock at the election results, I spent a week or so giving our next President the benefit of the doubt. I even wrote a conciliatory column, reaching out my hand to any potential Republican readers.

At this point, though, I accept that it was wishful thinking, as the slew of incendiary tweets and right wing cabinet appointments have laid waste to any optimism I might have tested out. (Where am I in the grieving process? Acceptance? Bargaining?)

Thomas Friedman and I have four things in common. We’re columnists, we’re men, we’re Jewish, and we write for the New York Times. But he’s a famous millionaire, and they don’t pay freelance bloggers so well, I’m afraid.

Given our different vantage points, even with the similarities we share, it’s not surprising that we’ve come to very different conclusions. He imagined a world in which Trump was magically moral, and I think he’s naive for even typing up such thoughts on a functioning computer.

That’s just the way the world works. As artists, we know this. If we’re doing our job right, we dig down deep into our experience, and come back with something that will speak to others. The more we connect to our own personal knowledge and desire, the more likely we are to speak to an audience.

Therefore, even if two artists nominally approached the very same subject matter, the resulting work could/should turn out to be very different.

Right?

I’m glad you asked, because this week, I had the opportunity to view “New York in the 1970’” by Philip Trager, a book published by Steidl that turned up in the mail this Fall. If you read every week, you’ll know that last Friday, we covered Richard Sandler’s book of photos from the Big Apple in the same time period.

I had the idea to check this one out, thinking it might be interesting to turn mid-January into a little compare and contrast assignment. I figured the two visions would have some overlap.

Not even remotely.

Mr. Trager’s pictures, made with a large format camera on a tripod, rather than grabbed in 1/60th of a second on the subway, are nearly devoid of people. Rather than focusing on the embittered, the downtrodden, and the decrepit, Mr. Trager drove around New York in awe of the majestic architecture.

Rather than look down, he chose to look up.

The pictures remind me a fair bit of early Thomas Struth, but given when they were shot, he wasn’t being derivative. And they do lack that take-a-deep-breath visceral beauty of Struth’s empty cities.

But Mr. Trager’s photographs are very well made, and present a New York that it is hard to believe ever existed. It’s regal, and quiet. It doesn’t even seem dirty, and I have no idea how he pulled that off.

We see eagles jutting off the Chrysler building. Wall Street. Macy’s. Times Square. Columbus Circle.

And, of course, the Twin Towers.

He gains access to rooftops, and presents perspectives we are not accustomed to seeing. All of it, of course, in a grayscale that would make Gotham proud. (Shades of gray standing in for the bleak skies that haunt my memories.)

This is an accomplished and excellent group of pictures, if a touch emotionally dry. It makes for a superb book, partly because Steidl is renown for it’s high-quality printing.

When I picked it up, I had no idea what was inside. It showed me things I haven’t seen before, which is one of my primary qualifications for a review, but in this case, it did it in a new way.

I knew New York in the 70’s. Hell, I could see the city back then from my hometown in Jersey. It loomed large, and my recollections of it mesh well with what Richard Sandler photographed.

But this NYC, all stately buildings and quiet grandeur, I can’t believe it ever existed. Did it? Or was Mr. Trager just able to take advantage of one of photography’s inherent strengths: the ability to decontextualize a fraction of time from its larger surroundings?

As NYC in the 70’s is no longer around, outside of the art made to represent its legacy, I suppose we’ll never know.

Bottom Line: Classy book of NYC architecture, back in the day

To purchase “New York in the 1970” go here: http://www.artbook.com/9783869308067.html

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The Art of the Personal Project: Wilson Hennessy

- - Personal Project

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Wilson Hennessy

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VENICE NIGHTS

I grew up watching American films and loving American cars. This was back in the days when American cars were especially different and interesting. Remember the the Chevy Chase wagon? The A- Team Van? Wayne’s car in Wayne’s World? All these cars were unusual, yet still very cool.

When I travel to Los Angeles, as an outsider looking in, I am always awestruck by all the old cars still being driven on the roads throughout the city. LA’s ultimate hipster culture and perfect climate help to preserve these iconic cars. At night, you can see loads of great cars scattered along the streets parked in front of houses.

I have driven around admiring these cars on numerous occasions. On one particular visit last year, I spent a couple of evenings wandering around documenting some of the cars I came across. I photographed a wide selection of cars, trucks, and vans – some old, some new, some fully restored, and some completely wrecked. This became the project which I later called Venice Nights.
I try to have all my personal projects fit to a basic framework and follow some simple parameters. I find this helps me to maintain a series of consistent work. For this project, my ‘rules’ required that all the cars were shot in profile, at night, lit with ambient street lighting. These rules limited me to documenting only the cars I came across which fit the criteria. It was somewhat akin to a street-casting for cars. I had to hope I found a cool car and an interesting background. Choosing Venice Beach as the location made that a pretty simple task.

This project was a big departure from my normal commercial work. By that I mean, I was focused on capturing an existing image rather than creating one in the studio or on location. It permitted me to shoot a lot looser than I normally have the chance to do — wandering the streets, seeing a car I liked, setting up the camera and tripod, and shooting just one or two frames before moving on to find the next subject. The biggest challenge was to integrate the bold colours I like to use throughout my work. I ended up shooting quite a lot of cars and editing the selects down from there to make it a smaller, cohesive series.

When I originally shot this project, I used it as a tool to help transition my social media posts (particularly on instagram – shameless plug – @wilson_hennessy). I started to post images in groups of 3, 6, or 9 to give my timeline a bit more consistency. This is what ultimately defined my Venice Nights series as a series of 9 images. Although I consider Venice Nights completed in this form, I think there are plenty of ways to further the project and to expand on the idea of documenting unique cars in cities around the world. The cars will always interest me, and this project will push me personally to shoot in a different way and expand my comfort zone. And isn’t that what’s fun about personal projects?

—————

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

Pricing & Negotiating: Shooting Abroad for a Custom Publication

by,Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Images showcasing a product manufacturing process, as well as portraits and cityscape images.

Licensing: Use of up to 15 images in a custom publication as well as perpetual collateral use.

Location: A retail store and manufacturing facility in East Asia

Shoot Days: 2

Photographer: Portrait and fashion specialist

Agency: Large, based in the Northeast

Client: Large automotive company

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: The agency/client hoped to document the manufacturing process of a product associated with their brand, as well as a few portraits of the fabricators and cityscapes in and around the area where the facility was located. One day would focus on capturing images within the facility and portraits of the employees, and the other day would be dedicated to capturing still life images of the products, as well as photojournalistic images of the area around the facility. The primary use of the images would be for a custom publication with a circulation of up to 500,000. In addition to the custom publication (which would also have a digital version available online), they also anticipated using the images in direct mail pieces and emailers while using them on their website and social media outlets. These other collateral uses would feature the images within their final layout to promote the publication, rather than being used independently and out of context. Additionally, while the use within the publication would be limited to a single edition, the collateral use would be perpetual.

Based on previous experience with similar projects for custom publications and the information I was able to acquire from the agency, I came up with a tiered pricing structure. I determined the first image was worth $2,500, images #2-5 were worth $1,000, images #6-10 were worth $500 and images #11-15 were worth $100, which landed me at $9,750. Prorated, that broke down to $650/image and just under $5,000/day if the client were to look at it that way, which I was comfortable with.

Photographer Travel Day(s): The photographer actually split her time between New York City and the location in East Asia. This was one of the reasons the agency was interested in working with her, as she was fluent in the language and already familiar with the area. While she could have worked as a local if it really came to it, we wanted to include a fee to account for the time it would take to get there and back before and after the shoot. Given the location and flight durations, it would actually take two days to get there and one to get back, however we wanted to keep the travel expenses palatable to the client so we left it at two days total.

Assistant Day(s): We included two shoot days for one local assistant.

Airfare and Lodging: While the photographer wouldn’t need a hotel since she had local connections, the airfare was around $700 for the dates the client had in mind, and we added about $100 each way for oversized baggage. I’d typically include business class fares for flights like this which would have been pricier, but as I mentioned, I wanted to keep the travel expenses to a minimum so we estimated for economy seats.

Ground Transportation, Parking, Meals, Misc.: I included $60/day for the photographer’s meals over four days, and added an extra $30/day for her assistant’s meals over the two shoot days. On top of that, we included $200 for taxis and miscellaneous expenses.

Equipment: I included $500/day for two shoot days to account for the minimal grip/lighting that the photographer would be bringing with her each day. Again, to keep apparent travel related expenses to a minimum, we included equipment expenses as if she was working as a local, rather than charging for the rentals over the entire course of the trip.

Color Correction, File Cleanup and Delivery: I included $100/image for basic processing and delivery of 15 selects. I’d typically charge a few hundred dollars to do an initial edit and provide a web gallery to the client, but I felt we were already pushing the limit on what their budget might be, so we left it out.

Feedback: A few days later, we heard back from the agency, and we found out that their budget was $15,000 (we weren’t far off). However, based on availability of the facility and subjects, they hoped to stretch the project and add another shoot day while also adding on five more images. After a conversation with the client, they knew they wouldn’t be able to keep the $15k budget while adding this, and were willing to increase the budget to make it work.

I looked at this a few different ways in order to determine an appropriate price increase. First, I considered the tiered pricing structure, figuring that these five additional images would probably be worth the same amount as the bottom end of the range I calculated, perhaps as low as $100 each. If I went this route, I wanted to make sure we accounted for the photographer’s time, which would be more valuable than the additional licensing in this scenario. Ideally, I would have added $2,500-$3,000 to account for the additional day on top of the $500 licensing fee. The other way I could have approached this would have been to prorate the cost based on the original fee and number of images, and multiplied that times five more images. Both of those approaches brought the total creative/licensing fee to around the $13,000 mark.

We also adjusted the expenses to account for the additional day, which quickly pushed the bottom line up over $20k, and I felt it was worth another phone call to the agency just to double check how far they thought we might be able to increase the budget. I found out that they anticipated their client would be willing to go up to a max of $19,500, and asked to see what we could do to make that happen.

With that budget in mind, we made a few concessions while keeping an eye on the photographer’s true out of pocket expenses. We brought the travel days down to $750/day, added just $200 for equipment, and cut the processing to what broke down to $60/image. We also increased the assistant by a day and increased the transportation and meals by $200 as well. This brought us $100 under their budget, and we sent it off to the agency. Here is the estimate:

Results: The client opted to move forward with the three-day version, and the photographer was awarded the project.

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 – Big Data: The Cover Snapshot

- - The Daily Edit

Big Data in 2016

In an age of big data analytics let’s not ignore the available visual information, it’s not only about spreadsheets and numbers. In my consulting work I  encourage specificity and direct targeting a client. As a photographer it’s important to fully understand how your work will behave inside a magazine. What features, departments or essays are you a natural fit for?  Here’s a simple exercise with a year long snap shot of three different magazines who share some of the same space in the market. What do these grids tell us?

 

  1. cover consideration involves strong portraiture for all. The Red Bulletin and Outside, photographing people, National Geographic it’s photographing animals.
  2. Both Outside and The Red Bulletin require action and environment on a consistent basis.
  3. Outside and National  Geographic covered National Parks for the 100th anniversary, big sweeping landscapes necessary.
  4. No women cover subjects.

these are just a few elements we can see. If you want to work with a magazine, know their brand.

 

 

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Here’s another sample.

  1. It may seem obvious but the Food&Wine has to cover just that, on the cover from time to time they include a glass of wine.
    Bon Appetit, not this year.
  2. They both cover Thanksgiving in November, one with turkey, the other with pie. Cook Like a Chef, Cook like a Pro: The same editorial concept, both in March.
  3. Bon Appetit has human elements keeping in step with cultural influences (tattoo, smartphone food pictures). Food&Wine didn’t have a human element this year.
  4. For both titles April had a bright element of color.

Food photographers can see where their style may fit better, where there may be some overlap. Again, if you want to shoot for a magazine, know their content, know their brand.

 

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The Daily Promo: Sara Remington

- - The Daily Promo
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Sara Remington

Who printed it?

Essence Printing in South San Francisco.  They’re always 100% spot-on with their color matching; it’s fantastic.

Who designed it?
A friend of mine, Francesca Bautista, who designed a few cookbooks I worked on (‘The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook’ and ‘Blue Chair Cooks’).

Who edited the images?
I gave Francesca a general idea of what I wanted, and sent her my top 25 – 30 images to play with.  From there, we did a little back and forth to make sure things flowed nicely and were relevant to the overall ‘natural dyeing’ story.

How many did you make?
I made about 250, and carefully curated a list of people that had close ties to still life and food accounts.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send a promo this size about twice a year, and try to send a few more smaller, less multi page ones sprinkled throughout the year if I can.

What project did these images from come?
Most of these images came from one of my favorite books I shot to date, ‘The Modern Natural Dyer’ by Kristine Vejar.  It was an inspiring, multi-week shoot that involved capturing natural dyeing techniques, combined with how-to’s and high end projects to tie in those dyeing techniques with a finished product.  I have never felt so creative and alive and slightly out of my element on a commissioned project.  I’m used to having a time limit on the images I shoot, since most of what I shoot is food and drink, but for this project, we had the leisure to tweak and tweak until everything was exactly how we wanted.  I had the full trust in the editor, Melanie Falick (who at the time was with Abrams Publishing) to be as creative and wild as possible with our brilliant stylist, Alessandra Mortola.  We captured such a luscious portfolio of colorful, layered imagery that it had to be shared in a mini book promo, with the main objective being to showcase my work beyond the food world.

This Week In Photography Books: Richard Sandler

by Jonathan Blaustein

I just got back from visiting my parents in Mexico. It’s an annual pilgrimage, as they leave Taos for a tropical climate each winter.

Every time, though, like the Brady Bunch’s vacation in Hawaii, things always go horribly wrong.

Two years ago, I wrote about how my wife and I were nearly dragged out to sea when we swam during a storm’s aftermath. Another year, we drove across the Rocky Mountains, during a blizzard at 2am, on the way home from the airport.

There’s always an undercurrent of drama, unfortunately, and this year was no exception. Among other problems, I got a horrible stomach virus that had me puking through the night, and then our car died on the highway driving back from the airport in Albuquerque.

It’s been a trying week, to be sure.

But it’s always difficult visiting Playa del Carmen, as what was a sleepy beach town 15 years ago has since morphed into a bustling city of more than 200,000 people. My brain remembers previous incarnations, back when it was quiet, and the ocean was still clean, but there’s no avoiding the reality that Playa is now a thriving metropolis, with all its attendant problems.

Cities have street life. Pollution. Noise. Constant activity.

They allow one to people-watch, as the urban narrative plays out in real time. Stand on a corner, watch the Euro ravers walk by. Wait a minute, and there’s an elderly Mexican grandma wearing a Señor Frog’s T-shirt.

Jackhammers wail everywhere, as the growing city is under continuous construction. There are parts of Playa del Carmen that have changed so radically, it’s hard to reconcile what I see with what I know to have existed.

It reminds me of New York, in some ways, as I grew up just outside that great city, and my memories of day trips in the 70’s and 80’s are markedly different than the city I lived in from 2002-5. And now, in 2017, New York is about to enter an even stranger phase, as native (but hated) son Donald Trump turns The Big Apple into his personal vacation home for the next (hopefully) 4 years.

New York used to be New Amsterdam, but no relics from its 17th Century past remain. New York is constantly gentrifying, which is why Polish pickle stores in my former neighborhood, Greenpoint, are now cold-brew coffee shops for hirsute hipsters.

C’est la vie.

But you know this is a book review column, which makes it likely that some photo-book got me off of today’s tangent, right? Of course!

I just put down “The Eyes of the City,” a new photobook by Richard Sandler, recently published by powerhouse. The 70’s and 80’s vibe coursing through this production is so strong, I’m half expecting Ed Koch to pop out from under my bed and scream “Surprise! You’re on candid camera!”

(As Ed Koch is dead now, though, visions of Zombie Koch turn gruesome very quickly.)

Despite the typically florid introduction, this is a book that needs little explication. It’s a lengthy series of street pictures from a long ago, but the sweet spot captures NYC at it’s most dirty, dangerous and addictive.

The subways were covered with more graffiti than there are giant billboards in Times Square. Old men walked around in hats and trench coats, like they were all living in one giant London Fog commercial.

Legless street people rode skateboards, the Twin Towers loomed above the Financial District, and live sex shows advertised on street-side signs written in magic-marker.

So many New Yorkers are nostalgic for that era, back before internets and facebooks and hybrid cars. Back when danger meant getting mugged by some lowlife, as opposed to being blown up by a crazy terrorist.

As I’ve written countless times before, photography’s unique skill is to transport us through the space-time continuum. To allow us, even briefly, to enter chambers in our consciousness where the dead still live, and trains never run on time.

This book does that for me, and given New York’s oversized place in global culture, I’m betting you’ll dig it as well.

Bottom Line: Really cool photos of New York, back when it was dingy

To Purchase “The Eyes of the City” Go Here: http://www.powerhousebooks.com/books/the-eyes-of-the-city/

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The Art of the Personal Project: Tom Nagy

- - Personal Project

Personal Projects are crucial in showing potential buyers how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or show something I have never seen before. In this revised column, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: projects are found and submissions are not accepted.

Tom Nagy: Lost Animals

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Years ago I was flying in a helicopter over Alaska and the landscape was incredible but I noticed there were no animals. Even with the sun shining and flying a long distance, I didn’t see any animals. I wondered how the animals would look in that space and it made me think about what nature means to us.

As human beings we have created a completely separate environment far away from nature. We spend so much time away from where we came from. So what is our relationship with where come from? And how can animals help us see it?

Through my travels I end up in cities all over the world, cities that are populated only by people, and I began wondering what it would be like if wild animals crossed the line between our world and theirs. I created “Lost Animals” as an exploration of what that would look like. Wild animals come and visit our environment, the cities we have built far away from them and in a new context, and it is at once jarring and hopeful. They join us in exploration, welcome but feral. Unexpected but longed-for. 

The images are black and white because I didn’t want it to feel that contemporary, I wanted to give them a more timeless feel. I wanted to separate them clearly from my other work, pulling them away from the clean, creamy colors in my commercial work. This is much different. At the same time I want to leave it up to the viewer to decide how the images were achieved, and leave that magic intact.

I don’t have an answer to the central questions of our relationship with our roots, but I hope that “Lost Animals” is the beginning of what the answer could be. 

View the full Lost Animal Series here:
http://www.ba-reps.com/photographers/tom-nagy/series/lost-animals-series

And view more of Tom’s work online:
http://www.tomnagy.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 decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease.

The Daily Edit – J.R. Mankoff: Standing Rock

- - The Daily Edit
Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Chief Mathews Black Eagle Man, Long Plane First Nation, Canada. This was shot minutes after the permit to deny the pipeline was announced.

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

This is Amanda. She’s about to head to the front line. There are no weapons allowed. Even a gas mask or bullet proof vest can be construed as a threat to the police. She’s brining a mirror with her to reflect light back onto the police as defense.

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Rick Warrington, Menominee Tribe, Wisconsin. He drove from the midwest to deliver wood.

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Rob McHaney came in from Reno, Nevada. He’s a veteran who stood at the front line at Standing Rock with his flag held proud.

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

J.R. Mankoff 

Heidi: What called you to do this?
J.R.:  Maybe it was Thanksgiving weekend, sharing an ironic celebration in a warm home while Water Protectors were shot by rubber bullets and water hosed in freezing temperatures. Maybe it was after my heart shattered when the Dakota Access Pipeline illegally bulldozed sacred Lakota barrel sites or my deep connection to nature, my love for the land and the people who protect it. Maybe it was my own spirituality pulling at my soul. A force greater than that which I could understand at the time. All at once I was swept off my feet with haste, in immediate motion, towards Standing Rock.

What was it like there?
I’m often asked how Standing Rock was. What was my experience there? Knowing full well this is a loaded question, people often offer an adjective or two about what they have indirectly experienced from it and project that on to me: “Interesting, intense, powerful, cold?”… The truth is I was experiencing all emotions at once. Sadness, empathy, anger, love. They were all there. At times I felt love stronger than anything else. At times I wept from sadness. All my emotions were present, not dormant, interacting with themselves every moment I was there. Standing Rock brought them forth and challenged myself to face them, appreciate them, and grow with them.
 
Tell us about the space between hesitation and action for you with this project.
Over 700 indigenous tribes were represented at Standing Rock. The largest gathering of indigenous people ever known and I needed time to acclimate before picking up my camera. I took part in a sweat lodge, I helped chop wood, I walked the camps and talked with the people there.
 
Photography is powerful, opinionated and can shape public opinion. I felt a strong responsibility to use this tool for good. Portraiture in particular involves trust. Trust is one thing the Native Americans do not share easily, for it has been broken time and time again. I was once asked after taking a portrait, “are you going to exploit me?”

I’ve come to Standing Rock as a photographer and compassionate caring human, yet I felt as if my press pass separates the two sides which I know are one and the same. I understand how important the media is to fighting this cause, yet I couldn’t help but feel intrusive. Many of the Indigenous people there do not want to be photographed and it is a delicate balance for me between shooting and picking up an axe to cut some more wood.

How many times did you visit the camp, and how long did you stay? ( and where did you stay?)

I’ve been twice so far. The first time I slept in my small station wagon. I had become sick around day ten from a severe blizzard that came through and most of camp evacuated. I slept on the floor in a large auditorium that evening with one thousand or so camp refuges at the local casino while we waited for the blizzard to pass. The following trip, I decided to stay at the casino. This trip was also cut short by a blizzard. I stayed ten days again.

How long after you arrived did you decide to start the Gofundme Firewood for Standing Rock project or was this decided before you arrived?

I developed a close relationship with Jumping Buffalo, one of the last direct descendants of Sitting Bull. I cried a lot on that trip back home while processing everything. I didn’t feel I had helped enough. During this drive home, Jumping Buffalo called me and asked if I would sweat with him. I felt so torn. I was half way home and I needed to take care of my health. I told him I would be back and asked him if there was any way I could help. He told me they desperately need firewood. It heats their homes, cooks their foods and centers their ceremonies. I started my gofundme that day.

Was it difficult shooting in this weather?  It’s far, far away from sunny So Cal.
There was a moment in a blizzard when a woman wearing a bear walked towards me out of the white abyss. I stopped her and she offered to dance for me. I took my hands out of my mittens, the autofocus kept focusing on the snow so I had to manual focus my camera while shooting her dancing at a shallow (f1.8) depth of field. The winds were nearing 40 mph and it was -7 degrees out. It was the hardest shooting i’ve ever done.
Copyright 2017 J.R. Mankoff

Jackie Andrew, Lil’wat Nation, Canada performing a St’at’imc Bear Dance for me.

How is your experience coming home from Standing Rock and whats next?
All I think about is Standing Rock. I’ve been back home for a few days and really enjoying being social and around people. I realize now that time alone and observing heightens me. It heightens my spiritual and observation side. My senses are amplified and awakened. I am listening. I hear and see clearly. I smell better. I feel better.
Spirituality has a muscle memory. Observation has a muscle memory. At Standing Rock I was in tune with them, using them daily: Praying at the sacred fires. Observing. You can learn a lot from observation and these type of experiences build onto themselves. The more I practice, the more connected I am. If I take a break from it, it fades. I’ll get rusty, but the foundations will still be there. The foundations build upon themselves, they shape who I am.
There has been a lot of journalism on Standing Rock, mostly from small news outlets. These organizations have helped put the word out. People are coming to me feel a personal experience, they are looking to connect. I want to share everything with them and it’s tiring giving of myself and my experiences to each person. I’m working on building an emotion experience, a book that will best express this journey. It’s exciting for me and feels right to create something from a true passion. It is lifting me, lightening me and fulfilling me.

The Daily Promo – Daniel Cullen

- - Working

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Daniel Cullen

Who printed it?
The newspaper promo was printed by The Newspaper Club, Glasgow, Scotland. I opted for the Digital Tabloid edition.

Who Designed it?
I designed the promo myself. I spent the early part of my career in editorial design and art direction with U.K., Canadian and U.S. magazine and book publishers, so it felt comfortable designing my own material. The switch to photography as a full-time gig is the second act to my career.  I absolutely loved designing my promo, I became the dream client, so patient, qualified, willing to listen, and rather easy on the eye*.

Who edited the images?
For this promo, I decided to edit in-house. Obviously this has its pros and cons, but I felt I learned a lot from the experience, especially the big picture stuff. It gave me a bird’s eye view of my recent projects which allows me to focus the direction of my work in 2017. For future promos, I’ll be reaching out for help and opinions. The idea of seeing your portfolio curated from an independent perspective is fascinating. I think this would be a unique process in gaining a honest edit.

How many did you make?
I printed two newspapers, only 20 of each, which in the world of photographer promos is laughable. The promo I sent to aPhotoEditor was a selection of images that simply acted as a gallery showcase and is meant to encourage a visit to my website to view a wider range of work. The second (identical in size and page count) was curated with an editorial narrative, with four double page spreads showcasing a singular photo essay. The biggest factor for such a low print run was the inability for me to attend any kind of press approval. I felt unsure committing to a 500-1000 print run without seeing exactly how the final piece would look. I’m still searching for a printer closer to home, which is Toronto, who could produce such a piece at a competitive price so I could significantly up the number of promos to send out. This decision has nothing to do with the Newspaper Clubs quality of work, it’s just my need to be closer to the actual printing. With each newspaper I included a 5×7 postcard that included all relevant contact details. A postcard is easier to file or post on an studio wall than a tabloid newspaper.

The concept of printing a newspaper is not particularly unique these days, but sure is fun, especially for those of us who enjoyed the heyday of 80’s & 90’s magazine publishing. It was a joy to feel and hold such a large printed piece.

How many times year do you send out a promo?
I like to produce three a year. This particular small batch promo will be sent out in January. I plan to send out at least two more in 2017, perhaps early summer and late fall. I’ve yet to decide if I will produce two more newspaper promos or design and present each portfolio differently. Postcards, small magazine, foldout poster, etc.

*This statement is utterly untrue. The English accent is adorable though.