This Week In Photography Books: Dana Lixenberg

by Jonathan Blaustein

In the early days of the Great Recession, Barack Obama signed a stimulus bill injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the American economy.

Little ol’ Kit Carson Electric Cooperative here in Taos was given 64 MILLION DOLLARS! The goal was to wire up homes in our rural area, providing fiber-optic cable directly to every house that requested it.

The program put people to work, laying cable and digging trenches, but also provided much needed affordable high-speed internet to residents locked into high prices for very little service.

I was stuck in that situation, paying evil CenturyLink $45/month for a promised 1.5 mb/ second. (It was always slower than that.)

No higher speed was offered.
Period.

Seven years later, I finally got my 30mb/second for $40/month. As of last week, I’ve officially joined the 21st Century. (Insert government efficiency joke here.)

My first move, after telling CenturyLink to fuck off, was to set up Netflix. All those shows you’ve been watching were finally in my grasp, like a handful of lollypops fresh from the piñata.

I began with “House of Cards” since it came first; Netflix’s big debut. My wife and I sat down on the couch, and were immersed in a fleshed-out universe of power, greed, desire, betrayal, and, ultimately, murder.

Jessie pulled out near the end of the first season, realizing this was not a redemptive story. She had no interest in filling her brain with negative, Machiavellian schemes, once she realized there would be no light at the end of the tunnel. (I made a similar choice with “Breaking Bad,” and never regretted it.)

So now I’m on my own, pressing the “next episode” button like a rat begging for pellets. Please sir, may I have some more?

More drama. More pain. More controversy. More emotional escape into the fictive lives of others.

We’re all voyeurs at this point. We peek in on our high school friends in bikinis on Instagram, read salacious tidbits about politicians on nytimes.com, or perhaps binge-watch “The Wire” to fool ourselves into thinking we could possibly know how hard some people have it, on the other side of the tracks.

As photographers, and photo-book lovers, we often get our “virtual” reality as we turn the pages of someone else’s story. Photographer X goes to visit Culture Y, and the resulting Z images hold our attention for a little while.

No harm done.

But occasionally, you pick up a book that might not deviate from that pattern, but it renders others’ lives in such emotionally wrought detail that you don’t feel like a snoop. Rather, you have the sense that your understanding of the human condition has ratcheted up one notch, and you’re the better for it.

“Imperial Courts, 1993-2015” a photo-book by Dana Lixenberg, released by Roma last year, is such a book. Frankly, this one is about as good as it gets.

There’s little text to guide at the beginning, but it’s clear the photographer visited some African-American projects, beginning in 1993. The portraits are exceptional, and I didn’t need the end notes to confirm they were made with a large format camera.

You don’t get pimple detail like this without breaking out the large-scale hardware. (Certainly not in 1993. Maybe these days you can swing it, if you have 80 Grand to spare.)

The photo of criss-crossing highways on the cover suggests SoCal, but it’s not until we see a California license plate, maybe 1/4 of the way in, that I was sure this was LA. (I might have guessed, but that’s different from knowing.)

Two well-written essays at the back confirm what you slowly piece together for yourself. Imperial Courts is a housing project in Watts, and Ms. Lixenberg returned multiple times over the decades to revisit the work.

Unlike Nick Nixon’s “The Brown Sisters,” which is categorical in its dissection of the aging process, skin decaying before our eyes, this project relishes its gaps. Apparently, the artist stayed away for 15 years at one point, the series always simmering in the back of her mind.

People grow up. They have kids. Their kids have kids.

Some die.

Hair styles change. Fashions evolve. But according to the pictures and the words, life in Imperial Courts more or less stays the same.

Poverty. Violence. Lack of opportunity. Resilience. Strength. Community.

The book reminds us that most of these people have likely never seen Malibu. Perhaps not even put their feet in the sand in Santa Monica. Places like this may sit adjacent to LA wealth, but for all practical purposes, they’re living in another world.

The back section serves as a visual index, showing family connections between subjects, and printing images that were not afforded enlarged status in the plates. (The B-sides, if you will, but they’re all excellent.)

Ms. Lixenberg was drawn to LA to photograph the Rodney King riots in 1992, and one assignment begat a project that has carried her into middle age. I was a senior in high school that year. I’d barely even been to California.

Now I’m 42, and was cruising the 405 just this summer. But I didn’t drive through South Central.

No sir.

A book like this does everything right. The pictures are amazing. The cultural history is respected. The subjects received prints, and became friends with the photographer. Relationships were built, and some broken, as residents passed on.

I’m not sure that any photo-book, even this one, can fundamentally change who you are. Is it anything more than entertainment? Maybe. If it inspires you to create more, to strengthen community bonds, to strive for greatness, then perhaps art has more power than we realize.

Bottom Line: Brilliant, in-depth photo series shot in Watts

To Purchase “Imperial Courts, 1993-2015” Visit PhotoEye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Eric Frazier

- - Personal Project

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Eric Frazier

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How long have you been shooting?
I finished school 20 years ago, but I’d say I’ve been pursuing it full time for about 15. I spent awhile messing around, doing odd jobs, and generally slacking off after college. Once I came back to photography, I was fully committed.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
BA in Photography from Webster University in St Louis. Sometimes I wish I had a BFA so I seemed more arty, but I always gravitated more to the commercial side. I don’t think I was ever quite cool enough for the art crowd anyway!

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I’ve spent some time on the water and love boats and the last few years I’ve gotten into woodworking. Recently a colleague, Bobbi Wendt, connected me with the owner of woodyboater.com Matt Smith, who graciously connected me with the woody boat community in Algonac, MI, the birthplace of Chris Craft. I already had some interest in these boats, so when the chance arose to photograph several along with the owners, I jumped at it.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This was my first shoot with woody boats. I spent 3 days up there and came back with about 5500 shots. It’s a great start, but I’d like to get up there again, as well as other hotbeds of woody boating, like Lake Tahoe. Being a personal project, it usually takes a backseat to paying gigs and family stuff, so I’ll probably come back to it a few more times in the coming years.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I think you know pretty quick. If I like the images, then it’s working. If the images aren’t quite there yet, but I’m enjoying the process and think there’s more to explore, then I’ll keep going. Sometimes, I’ll like the shots and enjoy working on it, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re good enough for public consumption. I’ll be glad I did it and will have learned something, or grown in some way, but it can’t work every time, photographically speaking. That’s where good, honest editing comes into play. And these projects may still have a life on social media too.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Portfolio shoots tend to be a little more focused and planned out. I have a clearer vision of what I want for my book, whereas personal work is a little more exploratory. For me, this is the point of personal work – to mess around, take chances, see where it takes you. If you’re always boxed in to a particular outcome, like on a paying shoot, you can’t really go places your creativity or curiosity takes you. I think curiosity is a big deal in this profession, and should be nurtured.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
This is one of the best things about social media. It’s the perfect place to show personal work. It’s ok to be a little less polished or produced and gives people a better idea of your personality and interests outside of your professional work.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Ha, no, I haven’t gone viral yet. Maybe my next project will: “Celebrities who change their names, move to Texas, and become professional rodeo clowns.” Still trying to find some though, so let me know if you hear of any.

The images did appeal to Matt at woodyboater.com though – once he saw them he loved the look and feel, especially the ones showing the real owners on their boats. He decided to use them as ads for his website in other magazines. The ads turned out great, so it was a win for everyone involved.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I’ve had a few hundred printed to send out – just this month in fact. Also shots from other personal projects, like my Track Racer series. I try to be very specific about what photos I send to who. I think some of these are better for editorial clients than commercial ones, but it depends.

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I don’t know what Pokemon Go is, but I’m ok with it.
I’m happier behind a camera than in front of a computer.
I have a Cairn Terrier named Willy who thinks he’s six feet tall.
I live with the love of my life and her two daughters.
I’m never (completely) satisfied with my work.
I love food, especially meat, gluten, and refined sugar.
I don’t like slackers, parking tickets, or cold without snow.
Sometimes I’m a slacker.
I try to experience everything because life is short.
I can do it on my own, but I prefer to collaborate.
Bikes are practical works of art and I want to ride them all.
Making clients happy makes me happy.
I’m a happy guy.


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

Pricing & Negotiating: Still Life for Print and Out of Home Advertising

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Images of a single product against a white background

Licensing: Advertising use (including Out of Home) of all images captured for 1 year

Location: A studio in the Northeast

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Food and product still life specialist

Agency: Large, based in the Northeast

Client: Large Food/Beverage Company

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: The concept for the shoot was straightforward. The agency/client hoped to photograph their new product against a white background with minor props alongside of it. The agency planned to composite the final image on a different background, and they had plans to use the images for print ads in magazines, as well as placement on bus shelters and other out-of-home applications. While the agency requested for the licensing to include all images captured, we’d be photographing one product and the usage would incorporate one final image, so I therefore priced the creative/licensing fee to be more in line with their intended use of one image. Based on previous experience with similar projects and clients, I knew that creative/licensing fees for this type of usage and straightforward nature of the project typically fell between $10,000 to $15,000, and I ended up landing roughly in the middle at $13,000.

Assistants: The photographer preferred to manage a workstation for client review rather than hiring a digital tech, and we included two assistants to help manage grip and lighting throughout the day.

Producer: While the concept was straightforward, there would still be a decent amount of pre-production work to coordinate crew, styling, scheduling and catering, and the agency specifically asked for a producer to be on site to manage the day and make sure everything stayed on track.

Food/Prop Styling: I included one prep day and one shoot day for a food/prop stylist, as well as one shoot day for their assistant. While I’d typically include an additional day for a stylist to return the unused items, it was not a cost efficient option given the limited budget needed for the food/props (which included the cost to buy a few versions of the product to be shot, along with a few minor food items). The stylist we wanted to work with charged $1,200/day plus 20% for their agent, and their assistant worked for $300/day.

Studio Rental and Equipment: A studio in this market could range from $1,500-$3,000 depending on availability, plus equipment charges of an equal amount for lighting, grip, a workstation and a medium format camera rental.  A few specialty studios charge flat fees and wrap everything up in one fee, and I felt $4,000 total would cover any of these options for studio and equipment depending on space availability.

Catering: I included $70 per person for a nice breakfast, lunch and craft services throughout the day for up to ten people (6 crew and 4 agency/client).

Parking, Expendables, Misc.: I included $100 for general unanticipated expenses throughout the day, plus $100 for meals/transportation during our stylist’s shopping day, plus $100 for transportation to/from the shoot for the crew.

Insurance: We included $500 to cover a general liability insurance policy, which the studio would need proof of, as would any equipment rental house we used.

Shoot Processing for Client Review: This covered the time to do an initial edit of all the images, back them up, and provide a gallery for the client to choose from.

Selects Processed for Reproduction: While the agency would handle the final compositing, we were warned that the image of the product would likely require a substantial amount of work to remove/add certain labels. We therefore included 6 hours of retouching (including one round of revisions after the initial processing took place) based on a rate of $150/hr, and then rounded up to an even $1,000.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project, and the ads are due to roll out in the coming months.

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 – Josh Schadel: Good Magazine

- - The Daily Edit

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Good Magazine

Art Director:  Tyler Hoehne
Managing Editor: Caroline Pham
Photographer: Joshua Schaedel

 

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Josh: Art Director Tyler Hoehne, the writer Stacey Leasca and myself talked a little about the direction of the piece and the type of emotion that was needed conceptually. Luckily, I have worked with Tyler on a few assignments before; he mentioned certain pictures that I had made in the past for Good, and how to pull some of those moments into this project. The communication was great so I had a pretty good idea what I was after prior to arriving on site.

Did you pitch them this story or was it assigned?
No the assignment was based on the writer Stacey Leasca’s story that she pitched to the magazine after doing a related story on the female prison that is located directly across the street from the men’s facility. Stacey wrote, “The existence of a cosmetology school inside of Valley State Prison is a coincidence of history. The program launched in the mid-‘90s when Valley State opened as a women’s facility. … In 2011, the Public Safety Realignment Act enabled the early release of thousands of low-level offenders across the state. Many of these offenders were women and the decision was made to convert the under populated facility to house men. When these inmates arrived, the California Department of corrections and Rehabilitation chose to maintain the cosmetology program. It currently boasts a near-100 percent graduation rate—one of the highest of any prison education program in the country.”

Did you send promos to the art/photo director?  How did you meet Tyler and how did your creative relationship develop?
No, Tyler came to my studio in Pasadena to hang out with my studio mate and business partner Ben Sanders. We ended up talked a little bit about our photo-illustration business “Those People” and I think he eventually hired us to shoot a food related concept for Good Magazine. Tyler was on set that entire shoot and played with props and lights with us. We really had fun and hit it off. A couple of months later he reached out and said he had a cool assignment that he thought my documentary style would fit for. I had such a great experience on that next assignment and myself and everyone involved just hit it off. After that, Tyler just continued to send me on really interesting assignments.

How many days were you at the prison?
I just went in for a single day. Stacey and myself were allowed in after the inmates were settled in for the day at the Cosmetology school. We went through a normal day of their routine and then just before their day was over we had to go back. In all, I think we spent about five hours with the guys.

Were you able to interact with the inmates without supervision?
There was a Lieutenant that escorted us around but for the most part but once we were in the class we were allowed to walk around the salon pretty freely. If I am correct, to be in this particular program most of the men are exceptionally well behaved. From my perspective, everyone that I met in the cosmetology school really wanted to be there and I never once felt like I wasn’t in a salon.

Were you able to connect enough with the inmates to ask why they pursued this?
I definitely was able to connect with some of them. I have even received a few letters from a couple of the guys that I met. I never really asked them that specific question but for the most part the guys that I talked to said that their ambitions were to take the skills that they learned while they were in this program and find a job. One guys told me, “ It doesn’t matter what you did as long as you make a proper cut.” Some of the guys told me that they had dreams of opening their own Barbershops and Salons when they got out. One gentleman told me that his biggest goal was to get out and cut his daughter’s hair, that one really stuck with me the most.

At any time on this project did your mind ever wander to thinking about why crimes they committed?
During the time I was there I definitely thought about all the stupid things I have done in the past and how lucky I wasn’t on the other side of the lens. I was cornered by a guy on the street, and in defense, I got in a stupid fight near my apartment in Hollywood. I beat the guy so bad I thought I might have well,  don’t even want to say. I waited with bloody hands for hours for the police to come get me but they never did. I went down stairs and it was like nothing had happened. No cars, no cops, no guy, nothing. It was a big wake up call, I got help for my issues, and it changed the entire course of my life for the positive. I have only told a few close friends that story but it was essential for me while shooting this assignment. I went into the assignment knowing I was no better than them and I think they somehow knew that.

I know you are a recent Art Center Grad and have had success with your personal work as well, tell us about your publishing company.
Well, the publishing company, The Fulcrum Press, grew out of my relationship with my business partner Rebecca King. I met Rebecca King after she moved back to LA after graduating from SVA in New York. We hit it off pretty quickly and we started working on a series of publications for a few art shows that I had. It has really become a labor of love, not a day goes by that I don’t think about our publishing company and all the decisions that we are making.

I really love it and love the people that we are working with. We are luck enough to have some really good friends over at The Ice Plant who has really helped us out a lot. Right now, we are pretty excited about the two publications that we are working on and are trying to finish up before the end of 2016.We are not really rushing anything and are just taking our time and enjoying the process of collaborating with our friends, making cool publications that we emotionally and conceptually are attached to. I’m  really fortunate to have such an amazing, like-minded business partner in Rebecca King.

What has been the biggest surprise for you after graduating in terms of commercializing your images?
Ha-ha, that I know nothing. You can only learn so much in school and no matter how much you work on your craft the only way to see what works for you is just trying different things outside your comfort zone. For me the biggest surprise that I learned is how much I really love collaborating with so many different kinds of people. It may sound cheesy but it’s true; it is all about the people that you work with that determines how your day is going to go and how good the images are going to turn out. Good collaborations makes photography so enjoyable. In addition to that, how much you need a good set of friends who will help you along your way. Everyone needs help and having other good friends in the photo industry is such a valuable asset.When a client asks you a question and you can turn to a friend who has been there and they can give you sound advice that makes all the difference in the world. I was really surprised by how many unexpected people really helped me out and supported me and it has motivated me to do the same and pay it forward.

Was there anything that you wish your education prepared you for?
This is hard question for me because I really have no complaints now that I have some distance and perspective. I think every school is different and they have their strengths and weaknesses. I felt like I got a great education at Art Center. I was lucky because I had to paint houses for extra money all the way through school and because of that most of my teachers went out of their way to help me. I still maintain very close relationships with some really great teachers who I still turn to for advice. It’s funny, now that I am teacher, I am asking all of them for teaching advice.

I personally don’t think you are really ever prepared enough till you have to make real life decisions. Balancing life and work and art is difficult after school and getting over that hump and transitioning into a professional practice from an educational practice is tough and you have to learn to forgive yourself for making mistakes. It takes time, which seems like is different for everyone. It’s just one of those things where you have to find your own way of doing things that makes you happy and just don’t stop making pictures. How you act and how you treat people while you are in school will dictate most of your young professional life. It is kind of silly but I wish someone had said that to me.

I think I got really fortunate; I was lucky to have some really great teachers/ mentors while I was going there. I made a lot of really good life-long friends and I don’t know where I would be without the relationships that I made while I was in school. To be honest, nearly every opportunity that has come my way has been a direct connection through some friendship that I made while I was in school. Anything I didn’t learn from my teachers I learned from my friends. Hindsight is always 20/20 but I really can’t complain, I am really happy these days.

 

To see some more of Josh’s work, 
NowSpace is presenting YIELD, a joint exhibition by Josh Schaedel + Aaron Farley  both are artist in residence there.

This Week In Photography Books: Pascal Amoyel

by Jonathan Blaustein

I’ve got good news.

School started up last week, and now that I’m teaching two classes, rather than trying to run an entire dysfunctional art department, my life has gotten much better.

Hard as is to believe, teaching is actually fun again.

How does that affect you? Well, it means you won’t have to put up with my whining and complaining each Friday. These columns might just get funny again, rather than being storehouses for my misery and distress.

Speaking of funny, did you hear that Donald Trump is taking a trip to Mexico today? Can you believe that’s actually happening? Just imagine it:

“Hey, Ivanka, get me a Piña Colada and make it snappy, OK?

“Sure thing Boss. I mean Dad.”

“You know what. Forget it. I changed my mind. Now I want a Corona.”

“OK. Corona it is. Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer to have one of the assistants get it, because I’m kind of busy, you know, running your companies.”

“No. No. You do it. Nobody gets the beer cold like you do. Honestly, (to the room,) I don’t know how she does it. It’s like she has magic fingers, and as long as she hands me the beer, it’s so freakin’ cold.”

—Ivanka leaves room, returns with a Corona.

“What the hell is this? Where’s the lime? Lots of people are talking, and they all say that you can’t drink a Mexican beer without a lime.”

“Sorry, Dad. I’ll have someone get you a lime.”

“Limes. How weird are they? They’re really green on the outside, but not so green on the inside? How does that even work?”

“I don’t know, Dad. But it’s just fruit. Not nearly as important as going over our notes for today’s meeting with President Peña Nieto.”

“Peña Nieto? That sounds like Piña Colada. You know, I think I’d really like a Piña Colada. Ivanka, honey, run out and get me a Piña Colada, OK? And be quick about it. Somehow I have a beer in my hand, but I really want a Piña Colada.”

And scene…

That’s the thing about visiting foreign countries: we go with all sorts of expectations, and so often they actually determine our experience. If you expect Mexico to be filled with rapists, and you’re suspicious of everyone you see, you likely won’t have such a good time on Spring Break in Cabo. (Or on your trip to meet the President.)

Or if you expect the American South, for example, to be mysterious and poetic, then you’re likely to have that kind of experience as well. Right?

I only ask having just put down “Not All,” a new book by Pascal Amoyel, published by Poursuite Editions in France. I’ve reviewed a few of their books in the past, enthusiastically, and recall they were all shot in Europe.

Not this one.

From what I gather, the French artist spent two months in the American South in the Spring of 2014, photographing away, and this book was the result. It’s a pretty simple narrative, all things considered, and we know how many photographers take a crack at depicting this photogenic region.

(Seriously, are all trees in the South strange and/or creepy, or just the ones that get photographed?)

The short version is that this book is nice, but not exceptional. As I flipped through the pages, I couldn’t help thinking this was a generic version of a place I’ve seen in books many times before. It is not compelling, though the pictures are certainly well-made-enough.

And then, I turned a page, and saw a photograph unlike any I’ve seen before. A decrepit, paint-stripped, white shotgun house, set against a couple of hedgerows, with a red brick chimney jutting into the blue sky. Normal enough, I suppose. But affixed to the clapboard siding is a sign that says “CHIROPRACTOR.”

Holy shit. I laughed so hard. What a picture.

If Walker Evans were alive today, he’d make that image.

I came down off my photo-high, and kept flipping away. The book was underwhelming again, until I came upon a picture of a woman’s slightly distended belly, and her very small pink bikini bottom. Strange angle. All tight.

Is it a woman? Or a girl? If it’s a girl, isn’t this picture really inappropriate? And if it’s a woman, is she pregnant? Or does she just have a little pot belly, like that weird French chick in “Pulp Fiction?”

The next photo, of a purple scarf spread over the green grass, makes for a cool little diptych.

Nicely done.

But two stellar pictures do not constitute a great book.

This is one of those reviews where I like something about a book, and it spurs me to write, (always my chief criterion,) but I do wonder if it isn’t a good example of what happens when every photographer wants a book for each project.

Pascal, I appreciate you sending this along, and I mean no disrespect. But if you want to be a great artist, I think every picture in the book, or certainly 90% of them, needs to be as original and stellar as those two shots.

And of course, I’m speaking to all of you here, not just Pascal. The truth is we live in a world where some publishers make a lot of money each time you sign a contract. (To be clear, I’m not saying this about Poursuite, as I’ve found their other books to be really tight, and not overly-produced.)

But it’s the truth. If you really want a book, and are willing to pony up your own money, or hit up the “crowd” to pay for it, you can have a book.

But is that enough of a reason?

Last piece of advice, people: next time you’re hankering for a taste of the South, but you can’t afford the plane ticket, just hit up the video store, or Netflix, and rent “Hustle and Flow.” Because it’s hard out here for a pimp…

Bottom Line: Nice book about the South with 2 knockout pictures inside

To Purchase “Not All” Visit PhotoEye
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The Art of the Personal Project: Neil DaCosta

- - Personal Project

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Neil DaCosta

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Looking for a longer term personal project, I came across a local news article about a man carrying a fully loaded AR15 rifle down the street in an Oregon city. And it was 100% legal for him to do so! What he was doing is termed “Open Carry”. Although laws differ state by state, in some states it is legal to carry visible loaded guns without permits, as long as you are legally allowed to own the gun.

With “This is Open Carry”, an ongoing project, I am traveling to different states that allow open carry and photographing the actual act of open carrying. This project does not focus on people’s reactions, but is more of a portrait of the act itself.

The goal is to leave my personal beliefs out of the images and present them without any pre conceived agenda. By doing so I hope it opens up a conversation between the 2 opposing sides of gun control instead of the same old rhetoric of “I am right, you are wrong”.

When approaching subjects I let them know that this piece is neither pro or anti gun rights. I want to keep politics out of it and so far they have been fairly receptive. We then talk about what their experiences with open carry have been and why they choose to exercise their rights in this area. From that conversation, we decide a good location to photograph in, something that has meaning to their story. A preacher in his church, a coffee shop that allows customers to open carry, the front yard where one subject was arrested on firearm possession charges and later found not-guilty, and so on.

How long have you been shooting?
Since high school!

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A little bit of both. I have a degree in applied photography from RIT. That taught me the basic technical side of photography, but I continue to learn on my own still.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
This is Open Carry is a non-biased look at the act of carrying a loaded gun legally, where it applies.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I am about a year into this project and would like to continue working on into the future.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I liked the first few images I got from this project and new it would work right away. However, I have not done a long term project before so it is exciting to keep adding to the series. I feel like every time I photograph a new subject it helps the project evolve.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I actually like to incorporate my personal work into my portfolio. It helps people give a sense of your creativity. With this work specifically being in my portfolio, the images make it easy for a conversation with the viewer. It is hard to pass up a photo of a guy on a motorcycle with a rifle on his back without asking “what is this all about?!?!”

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
This project I have been slowly posting images on Instagram with some lines about what is going on. It definitely gets people commenting, some for guns, some against. I have not done a release of the full project on any social media sites yet, as I still think it is evolving.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
On an individual level, the image of the man on his motorcycle with the rifle on his back was easily the most commented on Instagram post I have ever made. Again, with people on both sides of gun control commenting

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Not yet with this project. I hope to eventually make it into a book. Supplement the images with a quick fact about open carry laws. Such as “In Michigan, you can legally own/carry a rifle at 18, but must be 21 do own/carry a handgun”

Held & Associates
cynthia@cynthiaheld.com
+1 (323) 655 2979

Neil DaCosta
neil@neildacosta.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 in the belief that marketing should be brand driven and not by specialty.  Follow her on twitter at SuzanneSease.

Creative Calls Are Crucial

- - Working

Creative calls are a crucial part of the process and can shape opinions along the way. I go into each bidding process knowing that we could end up with any of the three shooters. Work alone probably won’t get the award; it’s very much about what you bring to the table on the creative calls & development, and of course how the numbers fall. I don’t think it would be doing anyone any favors to say they’re recommended shooter only to have a job potentially award to one of the other photographers also being considered.

Read More: Anonymous Art Producer Offers Tips on Estimating | Notes From A Rep’s Journal

The Daily Edit – Foot Wear News: Annie Tritt

- - The Daily Edit

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Foot Wear News

Fashion Direction: Mosha Lundtrom
Fashion Assistant: Christian Allaire
Production: Emily Taylor
Social Editor: Nikara Johns
Assistant: Perry Flowers
Photographer: Annie Tritt

How did you get connected with them?
I originally got connected with them when I was on a shoot for Variety. They share the same photo studio in NY. I was shooting the director of Hamilton which was a really fun shoot and Emily was there to help me. She’s really awesome, we just connected so well; she then introduced me to Mosha and they asked me a few weeks later if I wanted to do the shoot (which I said immediately yes to).

Was this your first assignment with them?
Yes, this was my first assignment with them. We discussed as I said beforehand and had an idea of what we wanted. They were with me on the shoot so we could discuss during what direction to take and what was working especially with the big crowd. I like to work collaboratively and so this worked very well for me. I don’t get to do a lot of fashion so this was really fun.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Mosha and Emily were really great,  we shared ideas back-and-forth. Because I was shooting for the few days before they went out and did some scouting shots and then I did some the day of the shoot, it worked out well. The team is a great team so that made it a joy to do. They originally wanted something softer and more lifestyle But I thought given who the subject was a more “poppy” fun shoot would be better and they agreed. The locations they picked were amazing and I added the lion into the mix.

Were his fans an issue since you were on location and how many days was this?
We had to get a lot done in a day and so I had to work fast. We were also shooting midtown near Grand  Central and the Public Library and there were a ton of crowds around. He bought a big crew with him so every time I shot I was surrounded by a huge crowd of people. He also was SnapChatting during the whole shoot, which with his back to me which may have been the most challenging part. Wale was game to do a lot of things so that made the shoot fun.

The Daily Promo: Julia Vandenoever

- - The Daily Promo

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Julia Vandenoever

Who printed it?
Paper Chase

Who designed it?
Erica Brooks

Who edited the images?
Peter Dennen at Pedro + Jackie took the lead in culling through my images and making a narrow selection. Then we worked together to finalize the images.

How many did you make?
300, I sent out 250 and kept 50 of them for leave behinds.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Once a year, but my goal this year is twice.

Why did you choose this style of promotion?
The object of the promo was not focusing a singular project, but to show the range of subject that I shoot: food, portraits, lifestyle and kids. I wanted art buyers to get a strong sense of my style in a single promo.

This Week In Photography Books: Diane Arbus

by Jonathan Blaustein

New York City is larger than life.
We know this.

In the last year, I’ve been to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th largest cities in the United States, and loved them all.

(Big ups to LA, Chicago, and Houston.)

Realistically, though, there’s only one New York.

JayZ, Derek Jeter, Ed Koch, Giuliani, Joe Namath, you name it. There are people we associate with the Big Apple because they stepped onto the biggest stage, and made it their own.

Cats on Broadway, Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park, John Starks, Jackie O, Donald Trump, Michael Bloomberg, Biggie Smalls.

My Dinner with Andre.
Reggie Jackson.
Daryl and Doc.

The Statue of Liberty.
Robert Moses.
Debbie Harry.
Andy Warhol.
John Gotti.

You know what I’m talking about.

NYC has a mythology so strong that we call it Gotham, straight out of fucking Batman. It’s a city of blackouts, not blinding sunshine, and anyone who’s ever lived there for a while will describe “her” as an entity, a living thing.

And you won’t like her when she’s angry.

Within photography circles, Diane Arbus is seen in much the same way. A mega-talent who either honored, or took advantage of weirdos, depending on your vantage point. A once-in-a-generation vision so distinct that most of us can conjure Arbus pictures in our head with ease.

Grenade boy.

Most of her photographs could not have been made by anyone else, and her imprint has been seen on many photographers since. (I’m looking at you, Nan Goldin.)

When I think of Diane Arbus photographs, I think of carnies and losers, trannies and freaks. Strippers and Hustlers. Giants and fools.

But I don’t automatically think of New York.
Do you?

Fortunately, I picked up “diane arbus: in the beginning” at photo-eye on my last visit, and boy are you in for a treat. The book is published by Yale University Press, in conjunction with the current show curated by Jeff Rosenheim at the Met Breuer. (Which used to house the Whitney, of course, in a horse trade between NYC Titans.)

This book oozes New York. It features early pictures, made almost entirely with a 35mm camera. So while we also associate Arbus with the square format, these photographs undermine what you think you know.

Simply put: they’re brilliant.

The book represents a whole trove of images that weren’t well-known until recently, many years after her suicide. And they firmly establish the roots of her talent, in my (not-always) humble opinion.

The plates start in the mid-50’s, and really look like they were made by Robert Frank. (At least at first.) But they were contemporaneous with his pictures, so even though similar, they couldn’t really be derivative.

Grainy, grabbed people on the street. The 50’s vibe is so strong that if I close my eyes…

“Hey guy. How youze doin’?”

“Uh, I’m good. Who are you?”

“Name’s Ritchie. I live out on Coney Eye-lan. Whatta you doin’ he-uh?”

“Uh, I don’t know Ritchie. One minute, I was writing a book review, then the next minute, I’m in my imagination, talking to you.”

“Wow. That’s crazy, Pops. Crazy. You wanna get outta he-uh? Me an’ the boyz is goin ta hang out undah da boahd-wahk.”

“Yeah. Sure. I guess. Will there be girls there too?”

Sorry. That was weird. But you get my point, no? These pictures are the equal of what all the other famous street photographers were doing. And it’s not even what we consider her classic work!

As you might expect, things eventually get a little weird. And dark. Then darker still.

The gaping-corpse-chest-cavity, below the dead guy’s receding hairline?

Nasty.
Just nasty.

We see Siamese twins in formaldehyde at a carnival, a hacked up woman in a wax museum, kids in monster masks. Then the strippers and trannies show up too.

It’s like watching someone grow in real-time, as she took the gritty-street-photo aesthetic, and then force-fed it some creepy and transgressive shit. The content shifts so slowly, you don’t feel the water boiling as it cooks you alive.

In the end, we get the crammed christmas tree and boy with the grenade, in all their Medium Format Square glory, almost as smelling salts. Yes, this is the same photographer whose pictures you’ve memorized. Yes, she also made these badass street photos too.

Diane Arbus was a legend, and she belongs on the truncated list of NYC greats. The show is up at the Met Breuer until November 27th, so get your ass over there to see for yourself.

I’ve booked a trip to New York this Fall, so you can bet I’ll check it out. To be honest, I haven’t been back to NYC in 2.5 years, and I miss it, so that partially explains the overly-earnest introduction today. Hope you’ll forgive me…

Bottom Line: A masterpiece publication featuring Arbus’ early work

To Purchase “diane arbus: in the beginning” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Shaina Fishman

- - Personal Project

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Shaina Fishman

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How long have you been shooting?
I began photographing animals in 2005

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I studied commercial photography at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
There were different aspects to this project.

Mainly, I wanted to work with a stylist and do a project that incorporated accessories. To work with cats since there is so much attention on dog photography but very little on cats. Working with a rescue to bring awareness and attention to the work they do.

For this project I specifically wanted to work with a stylist and do something with an accessory. I reached out to a friend asking if she knew any stylists that are also animal lovers. She introduced me to Ryen Blaschke. Ryen, is a stylist that also volunteers with Brooklyn Animal Action (Ryen is female). I wasn’t specifically looking for someone that worked in rescue but it worked out serendipitously.

Ryen and I bounced different ideas and concepts off each other. She told me about some felt hats that she had created for fun for her own cat. She shared the images of her cat wearing the felt hats and I fell in love with the creations. We scrapped all the other ideas we had brainstormed and moved forward with doing cats in hats. This concept incorporated her craft and styling skills and my photography. Together we came up with a list of iconic hats that would be tolerated by the cats.

Working with rescue cats brought in the other element to this project which was helping the shelter to get cats adopted and bring awareness to cat rescue. I work with various rescue groups as a way to volunteer my time and talents and give to a good cause.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
The first shoot was in the spring of 2015. The first shoot didn’t go very smoothly and I wasn’t able to capture the images that I had envisioned. The cats didn’t cooperate, the hats didn’t fit, we were too pressed for time, etc.

We shot a second time and made some adjustments to make the shoot go smoother. It was a success and I was able to capture the bulk of the images in the series. We did a third shoot in January 2016 to add to the series. We plan on continuing the series as we have some more concepts we’d like to explore.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
After the first shoot I was a bit frustrated. The vision I had for the series wasn’t going to work. However, I loved the hats and the concept so I just had to adjust my vision of the project to be better suited for the situation (using kittens instead of cats, the shooting environment, the cats putting up with wearing the hats). After the second shoot was a success I knew it was worth exploring. I worked on (retouched) the second set of images and released them (the images on white). Only after that did I go back to the images from the first shoot and retouch them (Lobby boy, Heisenberg). I was able to get them to a point where I was happy with the images and they were closer to the original vision I had for the series. Those two images from the first shoot are a different direction, visually, than the rest of the series but I still love them.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I suppose I don’t see a difference between work for my portfolio and personal work. Although there are holes in my portfolio so I need to shoot some work specifically for my portfolio!

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I post any and all work on social media. It’s a powerful tool. I post on Instagram, facebook, twitter and tumbler.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Yes, this series got some great press. The second shoot was toward the end of October and I decided that pushing this series with a Halloween angle might give it some traction. (Below I coped and pasted the press release) To name a few media outlets that ran a feature, Buzzfeed, Bored Panda, Daily Mail, Design Taxi, F stoppers, Metro World News, PetaPixel, The Dodo, and some international press

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
No, I have not done any printed marketing materials in a very long time.

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Shaina Fishman has photographed wild lions in Kenya, street dogs in Peru, and stray cats in Jerusalem, and hopes to one day photograph penguins in Antarctica. She is a New York based commercial photographer specializing in capturing domestic animals both in studio and on location. She has experience on jobs of all sizes — from national ad campaigns to editorial and pro bono projects. Using a graphic and modern approach, Shaina’s images are playful, humorous, and personify her animal subjects.
Behind the lens from a young age she used the family pets—dogs, cats, hamsters, a salamander, and even a hawk—as her subjects. Her commercial photography career started in fashion photography but quickly transitioned into focusing solely on animals. Shaina currently live in Brooklyn with her husband, daughter, and their spunky papillon, Cosmo.


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.

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CATS IN HATS

Is your cat ready for Halloween?

Photography by Shaina Fishman

When Shaina Fishman and Ryen Blaschke were introduced they immediately decided to collaborate on a project to bring awareness to cat rescue. Shaina is a commercial photographer specializing in animals and Ryen is a fashion and wardrobe stylist. Both are actively involved in animal rescue and advocacy.

The two wanted to create a light-hearted series featuring rescue cats and kittens that are up for adoption. With so much exposure on dog rescue the two wanted to bring attention to the much-overlooked topic of cat rescue.  Approximately 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters every year in the United States. Cats of all ages and breeds can be adopted through shelters. While brainstorming ideas Ryen shared some images of felt hats that she had created for fun for her own cat. Once Shaina saw the images of the hats, she was hooked on the concept and they got to work.

Customized hats were handmade by Ryen and then shot by Shaina on rescued cats from Brooklyn Animal Action, in the homes of volunteer’s fostering the cats. All cats, deserve a loving home and a ridiculous Halloween costume, don’t you think? The ongoing project encompasses popular hats such as the one worn by Pharrell at the Grammys and timeless pieces such as Robin hood’s woodsman hat.

You can learn more about Shaina’s work at shainafishman.com and Ryen at ryenblaschke.com

Brooklyn Animal Action is a non-profit Brooklyn-based group of volunteers committed to improving the lives of animals in distress. Working with local communities, they facilitate Trap-Neuter-Return programs, find homes for adoptable animals, perform community outreach and education, and engage in advocacy. They have rehomed over 1000 cats as well as the occasional dog or pigeon. As an all-volunteer organization, BAA can’t do any of their life-saving work without the support of caring people like you. Please check out the Volunteer page to find out what you can do to help, or make a donation right now!

How Not to Design a Photobook – All Photographers Need A Good Editor

- - Working

Because photographers are visual, they usually assume two things: that they can design and that they can edit. But they benefit by letting someone else in. It doesn’t matter how well-known a photographer is, the fact is all photographers need a good editor, someone who they can trust checking or proposing picture and sequence decisions. It’s probably the most important part of putting a book together. Often the photographer is too close to the work, or to certain images, and they have a tendency to want to use more images, when they should let some of them go. The reverse can also be true. A photographer can become fixed on particular pictures. I usually want to see a wider edit than the photographer initially has in mind, and quite often between ten and twenty percent of the final picture selection will come in from this broader selection. This doesn’t seem like much, but it can make the difference between the mediocre and the sublime.

Read More: http://aperture.org/blog/design-photobook/

The Daily Edit – The New York Times Magazine: Christopher Anderson

- - The Daily Edit

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The New York Times Magazine


Design Director:
Gail Bichler
Director of Photography: Kathy Ryan
Art Director: Matt Willey
Deputy Art Director: Jason Sfetko
Designers: Frank Augugliaro, Ben Grandgenett, Chloe Scheffe
Associate Photo Editors: Stacey Baker, Amy Kellner, Christine Walsh
Photographer: Christopher Anderson

Heidi: Arguably one of the most stunning covers of the year, what set this particular portrait session apart for you?
Christopher: Well, there is always a different dynamic when the subject is so aware of what is happening in a portrait session. Celebrities are aware of their image, but Chuck is very aware of what you’re doing while making that image.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine and was that amazing composition part of the plan all along?
There wasn’t so much direction other than some of the basics we needed to cover such as room for type etc.  I have a long working relationship with the magazine, so I understand a bit about what their expectations are. Mostly we both knew that we wanted something that felt very intimate

When you shot that image, did you know right away, this is the one? or are there other jewels we didn’t get to see?
There are several images that I like from the shoot, but I knew this is the one I was looking for. There is a slightly different version that I like better purely as a photograph but I understand why this particular one is a better cover. You can see the other one on my instagram and the opener they used was a different image than the cover.

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Were you aware of the subtle type treatment for the cover line going into this project?
No, that came about after the fact. Designer Matt Willey is fantastic

How long did the session take? and in a word, describe the vibe.
I photographed him on a couple of different occasions for this piece, but this sitting was specifically for the portrait. I don’t really remember how long it was, it was a relaxed Sunday afternoon. We did other things like drink coffee and make pictures of his kids and grandchildren. He was under the weather with a cold, so he got a little tired at some point. We took a break to have a coffee and I even think he went to lunch, if I remember correctly.

What did you learn about yourself while shooting this project?
I think when I make a picture that I really like it helps me to better understand what it is I am seeing, what kind of image I make. It is a process.

What type of conversation was happening on set between you two? Did you direct him at all?
We talked about a lot of things, but when we were shooting, we weren’t talking much. I was directing him, but this particular frame, he broke from my direction to look up at me. That spontaneity made the image.

The Daily Promo – Jordan Lutes

- - Agents, The Daily Promo

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Jordan Lutes

Who printed it?
I printed through Overnightprints

Who designed it?
I designed it with the help of a few graphic designer friends I’ve been working with since college- they know my work and ideas as well as I do

Who edited the images?
The images were chosen by me, all from a recent road trip camping and surfing through Portugal. Once we figured out the layout, the images were whittled down with the help of my reps at ETC. The goal was to show my lifestyle work, but also focus on smaller quieter moments to help let the piece breathe a bit.

How many did you make?
I had 400 printed, with 50 of those going to my reps, and another 50 staying with me for meetings and new friends

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Normally one big promo a year, and some personalized smaller ones to targeted people when it seems right. But this year I’ll be sending 4 since this promo is the first part of a new series.

How did this zine come about?
The Portugal zine is the first of part of a four-part series that will be hitting desks over the course of about a year, all centered on recent travels. I just got back from Jordan in the Middle East, so that will be the focus of the next one to go out. There’s already been a much better response to this than any postcard or poster promo I’ve sent; I think the zine has been a nice way to show a fuller perspective of how I shoot. I’ve been capturing a lot of motion on these trips as well -probably more motion than images actually- and working with an editor to turn each trip into a short travel piece as well.

This Week In Photography Books: Christoph Bangert

by Jonathan Blaustein

Lying in bed last night, waiting for sleep, a random thought occurred to me. We’re less than a month away from the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

Isn’t that crazy? The seminal event of the 21st Century, I would argue, happened so long ago that teenagers have been born since.

Can you imagine what 9/11 would have been like in a Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/IM world?

I remember sitting glued to the TV, watching Peter Jennings, because that’s how we still received our information. Step away from the screen, and life in San Francisco appeared normal. But it was so very hard to step away from the screen. Impossible, really.

These days, we are drowning in information. We have so much, it has become difficult to concentrate. Lately, I’ve found myself musing to friends that we don’t really NEED to Google a fact in dispute. Simply knowing we could is enough.

But some bits of information, from 2001, and the subsequent wars of revenge, still stick in my mind. Mohammed Atta. People jumping from the towers to their deaths. Abu Ghraib. IED’s.

The last one is such a strange little acronym. Improvised Explosive Devices. Technology otherwise known as “let’s jimmy-rig some shit that will blow up a lot of people. The more the better.”

We’ve since seen art that reflects the tension inherent in such moments. Katherine Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker, starring Jeremy Renner, comes to mind. It’s a powerful film, but not exactly funny. Why would anybody joke about something as serious as war?

It’s a good question, and one asked in the forward of the excellent new book “hello camel,” by Christoph Bangert, recently published by Keher Verlag in Germany.

Straight off, it’s an exceptionally well-made object. The cover graphic on fabric is terrific, the print quality is high, and I though the consistent double-page spreads really let the photos breathe.

In his statement, Mr. Bangert, who covered those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the NY Times and other sources, directly references the hilarity of the war experience. It’s buried in the traditional notion of the absurd, which suggests some things are so ridiculous, so outside of rationality, that it’s best to throw up your hands and laugh at it all.

While I rarely, if ever, quote a book, I’m going to break my rule here, b/c it’s just such a good passage:

“We want war to be a dramatic, heroic fight between good and evil. But it’s not. There are no heroes. War is as messy as it is layered and confusing. And at times it’s weird and hilarious, too. The moment we realize that the mass murder of human beings is an ordinary, daily event that is organized and executed by ordinary people like you and me, we begin to realize the significance and true horror of war.”

It’s the hilarity that I most enjoyed about “hello camel,” mostly because it’s delivered in such a terrifically dry way. The compositions of these pictures are formal, enhancing the sense of reason. The light is always great, delivering believable, dynamic color.

In other words, they’re really good photographs.

But time and again, the structure is contrasted with an amazing sense of improvisation. That’s the word that kept coming back to me. Improvised.

Speaking from an American perspective, (the photographer is German,) we’ve all heard the stories about George W. Bush’s botch job in the Iraqi reconstruction. They slapped that shit together faster than I can build a lego set for my kid.

(Wait. Wait. We’re missing a piece. Fuck! Where did that little red square get to. Goddammit. We need that piece!)

We see palettes and sandbags propping up a satellite dish. Blast walls erected everywhere. Models of forward operating bases cut out of cardboard. An outhouse in the middle of a dirt field. Old tanks re-purposed for target practice.

It’s tragic because it’s silly, and it’s tragic because it’s tragic.

There’s one picture, in red light, of some masked men torturing someone. I let out a huge breath. Nothing funny about that. But the thorough captions, at the end, inform that they’re models in a Kurdish museum.

A wedding couple sit in the middle of an ornate, obviously expensive clam shell, in 2005. A bikini-clad soldier, with a tramp stamp for God’s sake, sits by a pool, conveniently protected by another blast wall.

I assumed the photo of jihadi’s brandishing their weapons to have been appropriated off the Internet, but the captions claim it’s a straight photo. Apparently, Mr. Bangert has bigger balls than I do, b/c no fucking way would you catch me clicking the shutter on that moment.

NFW.

I always say I like to see things I’ve never seen before, but obviously I’ve reviewed books on this topic. This publication, however, gives us a strong perspective that we normally don’t see.

It’s only funny if you get the joke, and even if you don’t, it’s still powerful. Not only that, but in the end notes, by thanking anyone and everyone, including the people who baby-sat his kids while the book was on press, Mr. Bangert proves he’s also a very polite guy.

What’s not to like?

Bottom Line: Witty, very well made book about the Post-9/11 wars

To Purchase “hello camel” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Mark Lipczynski

- - Personal Project

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Mark Lipczynski (pronounced “Lip-chin-ski”)

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How long have you been shooting?
Professionally since the fall of 2001 when I started my first newspaper internship out of college at my hometown newspaper in Warren, Ohio. I was a photography hobbyist since long before that internship though.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I am self-taught since I was a kid who enjoyed chasing trains and photographing them in Northeast Ohio. However, in college at The University of Maine, Orono I was enlightened by a visiting professor from the University of Missouri School of Photojournalism, Bill Kuykendall, who taught me that photography could be a fulfilling career. He helped me narrow my discipline and focus on visual storytelling through photojournalism. One of the most important career decisions I ever made was to force myself into his class! I am forever grateful for Mr. Kuykendall’s influence on me.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I am a casual history buff and enjoy the dedication reenact-ors give to recreating moments in history as accurately as they can. I came across an opportunity to photograph this particular reenactment because my dog sitter and her husband are reenact-ors (The husband, Rex, is the guy in the portrait posed next to the canon). They tipped me off to this event happening and I was all over it. I also wanted to use it as a learning experience so I forced myself to haul my lights and a paper backdrop out into the desert to try and do some outdoor, studio style portraits. I understood that there would be some degree of failure since it was an experiment but I also knew that the successes would far outweigh the failures. My paper backdrop got destroyed by the breeze but I managed to get a few really nice portraits using my lights.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This was just a one-day shoot that has been on my mind for a few years.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
Since it was an experiment I threw caution to the wind and jumped in head first making portraits, asking people to pose and shooting photojournalism style candids while putting together a narrative in my mind. I just simply had fun with it for the love of photography. So whether it was working or not didn’t matter to me. I knew through trusting the process I would come away with some great photos. I wish the outdoor studio style portraits had gone better and I didn’t lose a roll of seamless. But I knew the risks from the beginning and I’ll never lose the knowledge of what I learned from that experience. Next time I’ll be prepared to do it a little differently.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I feel like my portfolio is the best expression of my voice as a photographer whether it’s commercial or personal work. I enjoy it all the same. There’s only the pressure I put on myself to perform whether it’s for a client or for a personal project. In the end I have to live with what I created so I always give 100% of myself to create something that I can stand behind.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I post only my favorite and most meaningful work to social media. That can be both personal work and commercial work. I use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter mainly. I have other social media but don’t really use them for much.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
I realize the importance of social media in marketing today, however I’m not very popular at it because I don’t post consistently enough. The most likes I’ve ever gotten on a photo is 82 and that was recently for a night photo I did at Joshua Tree National Park. Not my strongest image ever but it apparently resonated with a lot of people. I think the idea of going viral to many means a fast and easy path to success in any given industry. For a select few this may be the case which is probably why so many believe in the importance of going viral. However, for as important as social media is in marketing today, I believe it is more important than ever as a photographer to market yourself in other ways to like print promos, portfolio reviews and go-sees. It’s easy to get comfortable behind your computer or device and neglect the personal touch that I think a lot of art buyers and art directors want to have with the artists they represent or hire. Photography is all too accessible today and I think art buyers and art directors want to know the person behind the lens. Virtual relationships are not real relationships and there’s a bit of risk involved if you don’t know the person who’s posting.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, I shoot a lot. I have a local food magazine in Arizona that I co-founded with my wife called Bite (www.readbite.com). I consider all of the work I do for Bite personal because it is all created as a labor of love. It allows me to experiment and to hone my craft further. So a lot of that work ends up in print promos and e-promos alike. I seldom use commercial work for promotional materials because it often feels impersonal to me since it was created for someone else. Again, the personal touch goes a long way with me so I put out what I feel I have a deep personal connection to whether it’s personal or commercial.

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Mark Lipcyznski is a commercial and editorial lifestyle photographer residing in Phoenix, Arizona’s “East Valley.” His curiosity and optimism draw him to the unusual and comical. He embraces life with open arms and cameras blazing. He is an advocate for keeping film photography alive. Mark has a collection of more than 30 polaroid and film cameras that he uses alongside his digital cameras while on assignment or shooting for himself. Some of his more recent clients include: PING Golf, Arizona Highways Magazine, USA Today, American Airlines, Curbed, Sunset Magazine and Dwell Magazine.


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 Closing Of Brooks Institute Is Not A Statement About The Photography Market

- - Working

Photography has never been about how many professionals there are, and how or what they charge, where they went to school, how they learned, how hard or easy it is, how smart or stupid the successful ones are, what camera you use, or how many amateurs can look like or claim to be professionals. In every field of art, the people who put difficulty, practice, problem solving, commitment, learning, opportunity and service as the core to making a meaningful life will always find the answer. Looking into the masses of lawyers, accountants, guitarists, painters, plumbers, salespeople, teachers, drummers and photographers, and thinking that there are too many of this or that, or that it is easier to be one thing or another is just plain hysterical reaction to life. It isn’t easy to be alive in this world… it never has been… get over it.

Read more from Dennis Keeley on his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/dennis.keeley

The Daily Edit – Bonded by Bikes

- - The Daily Edit

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Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 7.11.24 PMDarren Hauck


Milwaukee public schools
NICA mountain bike series

Heidi: How often do you ride and do you race cyclocross?
Darren: Cycling is a huge part of my life and when I am home I tend to ride around at least 5-6 days a week typically. I live in the midwest so I ride until there is snow on the ground or it dips below the low 20’s outside for the most part, then I ride on a compu-trainer in the basement. I just started racing cyclocross a few years back on and off for a local team where I live, it has been a blast when I am not suffering so bad I can’t see straight.
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How was you being a rider helped you be a better witness of the sport? and in turn take better images? 
I think like anything, be it sport or a specific interest, you are deeply involved and part of the scene and this helps you know what is going on and better try to predict what is happening or is going to happen. Just being in the same place mentally and knowing physically how they feel as what you are shooting helps you get in a better position and feel out what might happen next. Also I think being involved in it lets you explore how to photograph something differently because you have shot the typical image so many times before you feel more free to take chances and look for something different. Also it’s easy to relate to the subjects and just blend in and hopefully get images without being in the way.
What are your hopes for this body of work?
Well for one I did this work with no real intentions other than I could give the pictures to the group to help raise awareness and gather more support to help expand the team and get more kids involved. Beyond that I also shot it just for myself to photograph something I love and just have fun, no restrictions or end goals just shoot and see what happens. Its been a lot of fun and I will shoot some more this fall of the team to see some of the kids from last year and some of the new kids who joined over the summer. After all, shooting for the joy of just taking great pictures is why most people got into photography.
What have been the rewards of this personal project?
The rewards I have gotten so far is just seeing these kids who some have never really ridden a bike get together with others and just enjoy  being outside having a blast. I heard so many times after a race when asked how it went and many of the kids would all say “oh man that was so hard I was suffering so bad I did not think i could finish”. Then they would pause and all say the same thing, “that was awesome can we do it again?!!” That enthusiasm is contagious and just makes you want to keep charging along and remember in life you just have to have fun and keep moving forward.
Are you planning on trying to commercialize these images? 
Now that I have made a promo and gotten some real positive response from the images I am trying to use this to reach out to potential new clients and show them some fresh work that has a positive feel to it. I think most people can relate to this project even if they do not ride bikes, it has a great universal positive vibe to it.