The Art the Personal Project: Cade Martin

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

Today’s featured artist:  Cade Martin

I WAS 7 WHEN THE VIETNAM WAR ENDED. I know what I do, as most my age, from movies and documentaries. And most of what I encountered was about the ground troops, rarely about the pilots.

So when an opportunity arose to attend a reunion of F-105 Thunderchief pilots in San Antonio, I jumped at the chance.  These reunions are where the Thunderchief pilots have maintained their shared past and let one another into all that they have been and done in the years since. And owing to special circumstances, they welcomed us in—just me and a small crew.

As a photographer, I have always been comfortable learning through the lens, looking for what needs to be communicated in the architecture and life in faces.  I have used a similar approach before, renting space and setting up a booth. I like to go to the source for these group portrait projects, embed myself in the space and community they share.  Here we set up in a conference room and would pull each pilot aside during breaks in their conversations.  Over the course of three days, I observed lives reconnecting and experiences being relived. As they talked to each other, and then later through our interviews, I heard the things said echoed in what I saw through my lens—brotherhood, support, joy, pain, pride and life.

Once jet-fueled cowboys, they are still walking with a swagger born of knowing themselves. Among these F-105 Thunderchief fighter pilots, there are no secrets. They all know who they are. And by capturing their faces to accompany their stories, I hope more people can know who they are.  It was such an honor.

While I have many personal projects under my belt, I can say that Over War has been one of the most in-depth thus far; evolving from what I had envisioned as a series of Air Force pilot portraits to a project that – fifty years later -ultimately gives voice to these men who had a unique vantage point on the Vietnam war – an airborne perspective as they flew over the conflict below, the result of true dedication of time, energy, resource and heart by so many.

Anthony Cushenberry

Ben Bowthrope

Jessie Henderson

John Piowaty

To see more of this project, click here. And here

If you would like to download a PDF of the promo for this project, click here

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

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

Marketing: Twitter: Using it as a platform to get current information on potential clients. Many times it is more up to date than an agencies website.

- - Marketing

The other week I got a twitter notification, adam&eveDDB had a huge win as they were awarded AOR for Playstation.  It was also tweeted by Adweek.

It was on Adweek on line, but many times you need a subscription to read the articles on account wins or articles of interest.  This huge win was not featured on their landing page but within the sub-categories.  So it was hard to find.

If you congratulate Adam&eveDDB on this win, you stand out among your peers.

I have positioned my Twitter account to only follow accounts of agencies, trades, advertising experts and others who offer value to forward valuable information to my clients.  You can create a separate Twitter account just for your marketing research.  This allows you to focus on personal emails verses a large list of email blasts.  Instead of relying on another company to have accurate clients/brands listed, your separate business Twitter research account only follows the companies you want to work for, allowing your marketing to be more accurate to your work and their needs. Stand out.

If you take a few minutes from time to time, you can see so much that would be valuable in your marketing in “What’s happening?”  For example, a One Show Pencil is an honor for an agency to win, so I follow the The One Club.  On Friday, one of the gold winners was in their tweets:

If you click on the tweet you get the entire team who worked on the project: https://www.oneclub.org/awards/theoneshow/-award/32564

You can click on someone’s name and it shows all the awards that person has won at The One Club for that year.

(Some other awards are Cannes, ClioCommunication Arts) and local ad clubs)

In todays market you have to stand out above your competition, and reaching out to agencies and companies you admire will do just that.

 

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 @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

Success is more than a matter of your talent. It’s also a matter of doing a better job presenting it.  And that is what I do with decades of agency and in-house experience.

 

The Best Work I Saw at the Denver Portfolio Walk

 

Tick tock, goes the clock.

Tick tock.

It’s counting down the minutes until I need to pull out of my driveway tomorrow.

(Tick tock.)

It’s an early departure to drive 5 hours to Denver, fly to Charlotte, change planes, and then end up in London on Thursday morning.

(If everything goes as it should.)

I’d by lying if I said I was back to normal after the NYC/NJ and Portland double-double.

I’m not normal at all.

But, (and this is a big BUT,) every now and again, being jet-lagged can be a good thing. Like my wife said, right now, for me, it’s the equivalent of hair of the dog.

Since I already feel like that, I should be able to get a lot more accomplished. (If I don’t sleep, so what? I’ll sleep for a week when I get home.)

If I get hungover, so what?

I won’t drink again for months.

London and more await, but first I have to get through SO MANY THINGS on my To-Do list, then pack, and then wake up before dawn too drive over the Rocky Mountains.

The likelihood of the sun being in my eyes as I drive East over La Veta Pass tomorrow? 100%!

All that hustle to get to Denver, because the flights were 1/3 the price of flying out of Albuquerque, which is two hours closer to my house.

$500 vs $1500?

One is doable, the other is not. (Editor’s note: I did pay to upgrade my seats later today, as they were going to put me in the middle, near the toilet, with no overhead bin space.)

So Denver International Airport it was.

The Mile High city.
Home of the Broncos and the Denver Nuggets.

A boom-town for sure, but are they all, these days? The good ones, I mean?

It is one thing I’ve begun to notice, as I’ve traveled around the past year or two. It seems like Denver, San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland and NYC are all booming.

Cranes everywhere.

Perhaps it’s time to extrapolate all those numbers about the rapid urbanization of America? I mean, I can’t speak to Des Moines, or Little Rock, or Baltimore, but I just read that they’re expecting 50% of America living in 8 states in the coming years.

That’s nuts.

People flock to places like Denver because of the confluence of economic opportunity, world class leisure activities, high-end-bougie-lifestyle, like-minded politics, clean air, (for now,) and (at this point) we have to mention legal marijuana too.

Denver just grows and grows. (Higher and Higher.)

Ask anyone who’s been around the Rocky Mountain West the last 25 years, and miles of what were once open prairie or farms, all along the I-25 corridor, have become suburbs to the point that distinct cities have nearly merged.

The Colorado Springs-Denver-Boulder-Ft.Collins metropolitan area is massive, with a serious population, and it’s nearly seamless in 2019.

(Nearly. There are still a few pockets in between, and even in places like Boulder, farms still maintain micro-pockets, like Gunbarrel.)

I was last up in Denver in late March, as you may know, because I wrote about my exploits here. It was a travel piece, sure, but it also set up the premise of today’s article.

In order to visit a few friends, I drove up to Denver to attend the open portfolio night at the Month of Photography 2019, which took place in downtown Denver on a Saturday night.

I parked in a spot that while convenient to the hotel bars, seemed like it would feel sketchy by the end of the night, and sure enough, I was griping my pocket knife like it was a Hattori Hanzu sword.

But that was the end of the night.

I turned up at the space, and after heading up the stairs, I met a very large crowd. The event was definitely well attended, but there was little of the pushing and shoving that you get in other cities. (Maybe none? I’m not sure anyone pushed or shoved at all.)

Almost immediately, after saying hi to a lot of people, I decided to look at the work seriously, and I met Stephanie Burchett, who reminded me we’d hung out at an after party at Medium in San Diego last October.

(For the record, as I learned the other week in Portland, I always remember a person’s name, work, face, or the circumstances under which we met. Sometimes some of the above, but always one.)

Stephanie had recently graduated from an MFA program in Tucson, and was displaying a small fabrication of images on both sides of the border wall.

I asked if it was a mockup, and she seemed surprised, even though she admitted she made large scale installation in grad school.

It was only meant to be what it was, she said. And I kind of like that, as its intent makes it weird and a little sad. Throw in the video-still she showed me from a grad school show, in which she facial recognition tagged white people in lynching photos, and I knew there was material in Denver to publish.

I told Stephanie that if I could find even a few more people to feature, I’d do an article. Then it became a game and a race, because my friends had worked all day, and wanted to leave to party.

Needless to say, there were enough people, or there would be no article.

 

So rather than go in order, which we never do anyway, I’ll tell you about Ellen Friedlander.

Ellen was one of those few people who stick in my mind, because these days, I try to publish as much work as I can. Very rarely, I’ll say no to someone, and then think about it afterwards, because I feel like perhaps I should have given them the benefit of the doubt.

Ellen qualifies, as I met her at Medium in October as well, (small circuit, the portfolio reviews,) and we spent the entire 20 minutes, or most of it, doing critical feedback. I spent so much time telling her how to improve that I didn’t really get to evaluate her work properly.

Well, here Ellen was, and with her daughter and sister to boot! I got to tell all three that I regretted not helping her, and then I offered to publish her work on the spot.

There was a very happy woman before me, it’s true, but she also said that the critique had been very helpful, and that her new work had grown as a result.

A win win for sure. As to the pictures, they’re street photography horizontal composites, as Ellen spent years living in Hong Kong, and traveling the world.

Chris Sessions was a good sport about my smash-and-grab approach. My friend and colleague, Jennifer Murray, the Executive Director of Filter Photo told me I needed to see his stuff, and within ONE photograph, I knew we were good to go.

Chris is doing a long-term personal project on Charros, Mexican horse riders in the greater Denver area. The image of the dude hovering in air may be one of the best individual photographs I’ve ever seen at a review.

A lot of what I saw that night was not to my taste, which is not uncommon in non-juried reviews. The community spirit and vitality are as important as anything. But it does mean that the good work jumps right out.

Especially when the light/color/sky leap off of an indoor table, at night, under artificial lighting conditions.

That’s what happened with Kevin Hoth.

I saw the images, told him who I was, and said I’d like to show them just for how beautiful they were.

Aren’t they?

Speaking of beauty, I thought Angela Faris Belt poetic landscapes were also gorgeous. Exquisite.

But then I learned they depict ancient, endangered Bristlecone Pines, and she photographed with expired Polaroid film.

Normally I’d write more, but sometimes it isn’t necessary.

It’s funny how sometimes you need to travel to see people from back home. (Not far, in this case.) I went up to Philip V. Augustin’s table like a shark, as he’s a Santa Fe guy, and I’ve seen his work many times over the years.

I wanted to look at some of his perfect gelatin silver prints, made of real light shapes in the studio. Coincidentally, I saw a few on the wall, framed, at Obscura Gallery in Santa Fe last Thursday, and they were really sharp.

Last, but not least, (as I often say,) we have Carl Bower, who I met on the portfolio review circuit 9 years ago, and probably hadn’t seen in 6 or 7 years.

I’d known Carl for his work about beauty pageants in Colombia, but this work was very different. The images were presented with text on the white background, as Carl was asking people to discuss their Private Fears, as he used his art to combat the same.

 

The Art of the Personal Project: Lee Jeffries

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

Today’s featured artist:  Lee Jeffries

Found on Instagram: Lost Angels

To see more of this project, click here.

To purchase prints on this and other projects, click here

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

The Daily Edit – Alistair Taylor-Young: Fashion and Landscape Photographer/ Director

- - The Daily Edit



Photographer: Alistair Taylor-Young


Heidi: You’ve been shooting for Conde Nast Traveller for the past twenty years. How has your eye evolved; your experience of landscape and the world changed?

Alistair: The eye evolves in tandem with ones’ personality. As one matures, so does the eye and our interests. Our personality notices certain things, we become intrigued in different things throughout our life, so when traveling I may turn left down a street I might have found uninteresting before. I travel quite differently than I used to. I’m trying to describe a feeling and a sense, more than photographing a place, in fact had a chat with my younger self very early on in my career, I understood that my landscapes should  not necessary to be representative of the place, we have post cards, brochures and guide books for this,  but should represent my personal feeling of where I’ve ended up. It’s vital for myself as a photographer to have an opinion, no matter what you are taking an image of. It must be personal, and I try very hard to ‘ milk ‘ every opportunity I get, to dig deep and to manage to represent what ever I’m shooting to mirror my feeling. I have taken it with my eyes, the camera just records it for me. Same for a beauty brand, perfume, fashion or landscape. The gesture or a hand, a look, or an attitude of a model, it all stems from the center of a personality. Every personality is unique, so should creativity.

Can you tell us how your fashion points back to your landscape/travel and vice versa?
Shooting landscapes, I’ve understood, that the further I am from the airport, the more interesting place I am in. The harder the struggle to arrive the more the reward, art imitating life I guess… If I produce a set of images that I myself find acceptable, and that can stir an emotion, then I will submit them to my editor. It could be just a dusty track in a certain light, and somehow I notice it and it becomes magic, so when I’m shooting, I don’t stop until I feel I have this.
The same goes for the majority of my fashion work, even if it’s often diffused by commercial restraints and needs of what ever client I am working with. The imagery must first pass my litmus test. I must find the magic.

What would you tell your younger self  creative self about having such diversity in your work? 
My diversity you mention is perhaps the result of an impatient wandering eye, coupled with an appalling memory, and my need to capture to remember!

What type of terrain do you love?
I love inhospitable places, the harshness is often rewarded by a beautiful smell. Danokil is an extra ordinary place. Completely Biblical, I have the feeling nothing has changed in the past 2000 years. Erta Ale is still bubbling and fussing away, The salt on the dry lake is still being harvested as it was thousands of years ago, The sulphur pools still smell the same, and it’s still considered the hottest, most un-hospitable place on earth, but in this wonderland it fires up the soul and ignites the passion to capture the invisible emotion just in order to remember.

The Daily Promo – Sarah Rice

Sarah Rice

Who printed it?
Modern Postcard.

Who designed it?
HAM, out of Portsmouth, NH (haighandmartino.com). I’ve designed promos myself before and I hope I never do again, it makes all the difference in the world to put your work in the hands of really talented designers. I got new-everything with this promo – they designed a new business card, and redid my website so it matches what they came up with for my name.

Tell me about the images?
This image is pulled from a personal project of mine focused on 72 acres of land in Virginia, where people have been living communally for over 25 years. I’ve been making trips since 2011. I’ve never sent out a promo from that body of work though. I often make longer promos from commissioned work but this time around I wanted to send something that gets to the core of what my work is about in just one image – I like the challenge of distilling that down.

This specific frame came about after I decided to switch up my process. I had been shooting this project on one camera with one lens, no cropping. I started that way to give myself specific parameters to work within. But after years of that, one day I decided to use a much different lens and immediately made this image as a result. Rules are only helpful until they’re not I guess.

How many did you make?
This run was 250.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
In my work dreams I get them out 3-4 times a year, but in reality I would say definitely twice. Hopefully more.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do. I know people in the photo world are inundated with images, so it’s nice to have a way to remind them about your work, or introduce them to your work if you haven’t met yet. The promo process is fun because it’s so direct – this neat little package that I can create to represent me accurately and exactly shows up right at your desk. I also really appreciate the opportunity to create something new, especially this time around from a project I’ve spent so much time on. Promos, zines, prints, I find they all help me look at my work in a different way.

NYC in the 21st Century, Part 2

 

Change is hard.

That’s the truth.

As much as change makes us better, though, we rarely seek it out.

People don’t choose it, if left to our own devices. One needs training, which art school often provides, to temper our natural fear of change, and to learn to trust its inherent process.

Most of the time, though, change is thrust upon us.

It drops out of the sky, like an asteroid, ready to lay waste to the dumb dinosaurs below.

That’s far more common, right?

I mentioned this today, (writing on Wednesday,) because by the time you read this, it will likely be public knowledge that the New York Times Lens blog, my erstwhile employer, is shutting down at the end of this month.

Dead.
Done.
Kaput.

You guys know me, and writing as I do here, straight from me to you, is my particular speciality. Yet for 6 years, I learned how to write like a proper journalist.

No fucks, or shits. No first person narrative.

Thanks, NYT, I appreciate it!

But I only wrote a handful of times a year at Lens, by the end, and the money won’t make a difference in my life. (Though, like working with teenagers, I’ll miss the action.)

Rather, I feel for all the photographers who won’t be spot-lit across the globe. That blog had reach, and reach can = impact.

Speaking from experience, having “The Value of a Dollar” go viral from Lens MADE my photo career. That work is on the wall in a museum in Germany now, in 2019, and that never, ever would have happened without Lens.

These days, there are other places to publish such work. Sure. But for the photographers, losing Lens means losing opportunities.

And other places will have to pick up the slack.

Here in my column in APE, I’ll tell you that we intend to do just that.

For the rest of the summer, we’ll have portfolio review articles, exhibition reviews, and adventure pieces from the field. Between Denver, Portland, and wherever the hell I end up in Europe next week, there will be many stories to tell.

And I intend to show you the work of DOZENS of photographers.

There will be much to see, and after years of book reviews, we’re going to chill a bit on that, and bring them back at the end of summer. (Unless I need a brief break from all the action.)

Speaking of action, given the headline on this piece, I should be talking about my take on New York City and New Jersey in the 21st Century.

The Big Apple, and one of its primary suburban arms.
(Two thirds of the Tri-State Area, if you will.)

When last I left you, we’d talked about the development of NYC architecture, specifically Hudson Yards, and how a new NYC was rising in the ashes of the old.

View of Hudson Yards from the South

Global replacing local.

Sure enough, when I spoke with a long-time New Yorker in Portland, and mentioned that I’d written about the Hudson Yards Project, his first comment was to complain about how it impacts locals.

I shit you not.

The first words out of his mouth.

Change is not only scary, but it doesn’t always work out for everyone. Particularly, when people aren’t actively working to embrace change: to learn and grow from it on purpose.

(Or when they perpetually get the crap end of the stick b/c of Capitalism, Racism, etc.)

I’ve had some nasty headaches the last few weeks, and I’m sure it’s because I’ve been pushing myself so hard to have new experiences this past month.

Making new neural pathways makes us smarter and better, but I’ve found that it can nearly cause a migraine. (As did all the Op-Art I saw in Portland, but that’s another story for a different day.)

Whether it’s the New York Times deciding there’s no money in a photojournalism blog, or a proud city regaining it’s mojo in 2019, change is only predictable in its unpredictability.

So while I can laud NYC for its ability to provide the most amazing 14 miles of eating, walking and looking a husband and wife could ask for, and will tell you about it briefly, I get that the “New” New York has more than its share of detractors.

As I’m pretending to be my former mentor Tony Bourdain for the summer, (#RIP Tony,) I’ll first share that Grand Sichuan, on 9th between 24th & 25th, on the edge of the Chelsea galleries, is totally boss.

I love it, have always loved it, and recommend it highly.

As Jessie and I ate our cold spicy noodles and egg rolls, sipping our (complimentary) tea on an extended walking break, she reminded me of the time my cousin Ron took us there for the night with his wife.

Back in the early aughts.

Ron was something of a foodie, had gone to culinary school, and knew to order off the Chinese Only menu. (We had chicken that was killed that afternoon.)

We drank, ate too much, and laughed all night. A few months later, Jessie and I had Christmas dinner at Ron’s house, and decided to move back to New Mexico.

Unfortunately, Ron died a few years later.

He was one of the early victims of the opioid epidemic. A nice Jewish guy from Jersey.

The canary in the coal mine.

(Hard to segue off of this, now that I think about it, so let’s just keep going.)

Jessie and I ate our way across New York, and thank god we were burning the calories.

Concrete architecture at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel

Because as soon as we walked East from the Tribeca waterfront, near the Holland Tunnel this time, we stumbled, quite literally, upon the cronut place.

THE cronut place.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel Bakery. We read a sign about the line as we were walking by, but there were only 5 people in it. So we joined up, waited a few minutes, and then had some great coffee and pastries.

The salted caramel eclair was divine, the almond coconut chocolate croissant was really good, and the Nutella milk bread was highly disappointing.

They have a lovely outdoor courtyard that was quiet and spacious, which I highly recommend, and the massive Cafe Au Lait powered me up for the walk back to our hotel in Koreatown.

At the recommendation of Darren Ching, of Brooklyn’s Klompching gallery, we went across the street from our hotel to Madangsui, a Korean BBQ place, and ended up eating everything the next morning as breakfast. (As I told you in Part 1.) The food was brilliant: kimchee pancake, and a stone bowl bulgogi bibimbap that the waitress turned over table-side.

Koreatown

Yes, we ate in New York. The food was so good, and surprisingly affordable. As for the art, Jessie and I visited the Rubin Museum, in Chelsea, and saw some transcendental Tibetan and Buddhist work, including a re-created shrine that gave me goosebumps.

Recreations of Buddhist art depicting Yogic poses.

Five stars for sure.

But anyone can tell you about New York City.

New Jersey, though, requires a deft touch. (Me and David Chase. A short list.)

New Jersey never really changes, I thought. The shore, the nasty refineries along the Turnpike.

Bruce Springsteen, and the Best Pizza in America.
Skee ball and strip malls and Down-to-Earth people.

The world I knew was made of 2nd and 3rd generation Americans, the children and grand-children of immigrants who arrived at and ultimately fled New York City.

Mostly Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, and Jewish-Americans, with some Central European/Slavic folks thrown in there as well.

In my town, though, we also had a large contingent of Asian-Americans, which was somewhat rare. (Back then, I didn’t distinguish between Chinese-Americans and Korean-Americans, Indian-Americans and Pakistani-Americans, as I would now.)

We had all sorts of Asian-Americans growing up in my hometown of Holmdel, NJ, because there was a gargantuan Bell Labs facility in the center of town.

A massive complex, set a half-mile back off the road, with a trippy-ass-space-ship looking tower in the front, which was as strange as it sounds.

For the uninitiated, Bell Labs was an offshoot of Alexander Graham Bell, and for much of the 20th Century was the most important research facility in the world.

In the world?

Sure. Why not.
Along with Livermore and Los Alamos, I guess.

It was right there in the heart of Holmdel, a place where they discovered, invented or refined radio wave technology, lasers, internet stuff, and all sorts of things.

It was a Nobel Prize factory, in the middle of corn fields that had been tended by Dutch colonists since the 17th Century. (Legit 1600’s for sure.)

And then…

Mergers. Breakups. Bankruptcies.

All of a sudden, it was Lucent, and then it was gone.

Out of business.
Permanently.

So an enormous building sat there empty, for years, reeking of the ghosts of America’s past

Until…

Now.
2019.

The present.

An Orthodox Jewish developer came along, called it Bell Works, and turned the entire Saarinen-designed-space into a mixed use development. Hotel, conference center, restaurants, shops, an indoor soccer field.

What?
And indoor soccer field?

Bell Works

Saarinen’s design touch.

The Holmdel Public Library moved in, and they have a museum area dedicated to Bell Labs and its history. Plus, the place backs up on public park land, so it can be accessed on foot as well as by car.

I was flabbergasted.

Jessie and I ate samosas from an Indian-American-run convenience store INSIDE Bell Labs. With tamarind and cilantro chutneys. And it was really good!

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, you could have pizza or Chinese food, burgers in bar joints, or maybe Jewish Deli, and that was about it.

But it’s not the 20th Century anymore.

Not by a long shot.

And New Jersey, like its big brother NYC, also suffered tremendously from Hurricane Sandy as well, which I wrote about here back in 2013 or ’14. (Even I lose track sometimes.)

Sure enough, just like NYC, the Jersey Shore, which had been annihilated by Sandy, is now thriving.

Booming. Exploding!

I read in the Star Ledger that Pier Village, a shore development in Long Branch that DID NOT EXIST when I was in high school, was adding an additional 450 condominium units.

450!

And then I went there, as my buddy Felt moved into an ocean-front apartment last year. (My wife and I helped him decorate the place on a stoner ramble through NYC last April that I didn’t write about…)

Me and Felt, (who’s real name is Matt,) hung out at the Bat Mitzvah in North Jersey that drew me East, where thankfully the Italian-American food was flowing, and I drank Hennessy all day like it was going out of style.

Then I got to visit Felt’s apartment a couple of days later, and walked down a corridor so long that I got scared of “The Shining,” forgot about the reference, and then got scared of “The Shining” again, because the walk was 3 minutes long.

Looking Northeast at Pier Village

Looking Southeast at Pier Village

That’s how big they’re building these things.

And as Sandy destroyed so many buildings, clearing land, new developments were everywhere, trying to peddle chic.

Chic?

“South Beach at Long Branch” is a thing.

It’s not a joke. It’s real.

My theory is that once the Millennials decided Asbury Park was cool, as it gentrified, and they lacked the same biases against Jersey that their parents had, (Hamptons or bust,) it only made sense that these other beach towns, closer and MORE accessible, would start getting hot.

But trendy?
Like Miami?

I don’t buy it.

Rather, I think anyone who hangs out at the Jersey Shore will just end up getting Jersified.

So do ya-self a favuh, eat some great calamari at Rockafellers, ride some waves this summuh, and make sure ta tell ya friends.

You know what I’m sayin’?

My Aunt and kids after dinner at Rockafellers.

 

The Art of the Personal Project: Fernando Decillis

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

Today’s featured artist:  Fernando Decillis

Patria Gaucha

In Uruguay, the gaucho is a national symbol of character. He is honest, self-sufficient, proud but humble, generous, brave, and most of all; he is free. The gaucho lifestyle is solitary, nomadic, gritty, and full of rich traditions. In the open grasslands, gauchos round-up cattle and wild horses. they hone skillful tricks to bend the will of large herds.

As a child in Montevideo, I remember seeing these dignified horsemen towering above my head as they paraded through the streets with their wide-brimmed hats, ponchos, boots with spurs, sheepskins, leather whips, and long, sheathed knives during the gaucho festivals. Since I left thirty years ago, I have dreamed of going back to photograph the heroes of my childhood.

Every year, in the small village of Tacuarembó, Uruguayan gauchos travel from all over the country for the Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha. They share traditional yerba mate, cook over open fires, and compete against one another in games of skill with wild horses and cattle.

The weeklong festival ends with the jineteada gaucha, where gauchos compete to ride untamed horses. The display of skill and showmanship highlights the bravery of the gaucho lifestyle, and the relationship between the men and the animals they live alongside.

To watch untamed horses in the wild is to behold the spirit of life itself, expansive, driven, without limitation. These are the faces of the men whose lives are rooted in a tradition of breaking that spirit, to carry humanity farther and faster toward one another and into the unknown.

 

To see more of this project, click here.

 

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

 

Pricing and Negotiating: Lifestyle shoot for Telecommunications Company

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Lifestyle images of families interacting in a residential property

Licensing: Print Collateral use, Web Collateral use and Web Advertising use of up to 35 images for two years from file delivery.

Photographer: Portraiture specialist

Agency: Medium in size, based in the Northeast

Client: Telecommunications company

Here is the estimate:

 

Creative/Licensing Fees: There were approximately seven scenarios the agency hoped to capture, each focusing on different talent interacting in various setups around a house. They primarily planned to use the images for collateral and web advertising purposes, and in addition to excluding print advertising use, we were able to limit the usage to two years. I felt the first image was worth $3,000, the second and third worth $2,000 each, the fourth and fifth $1,000 each, and the sixth and seventh worth $500 each. That totaled $10,000, and I added a creative fee of $2,500 on top of that to reach $12,500. While they anticipated licensing 35 total images, it was clear that they’d be variations on a theme, with them likely walking away with one hero shot per setup, which is why I priced this by the scenario/setup and not by the image.

Tech/Scout and Pre-Pro Day: We included one tech/scout day for a walkthrough of the location before the shoot, and one pre-pro day for the photographer to line up his crew and prepare for his responsibilities detailed in the expenses.

Assistants and Digital Tech: The first assistant would attend both the shoot day and the tech/scout day, while the second assistant and the digital tech would attend the shoot.

Hair/Makeup Styling: We included a stylist and an assistant for the shoot day. We’d be working with real people, rather than professional talent, and the hair/makeup would likely be rather minimal.

Wardrobe Styling: The talent would be bringing their primary wardrobe, however, we included a wardrobe stylist to shop for supplemental clothing pieces before the shoot, and anticipated that they’d have an assistant attend the shoot and then help return any unused items. We also included $1,000 to cover the actual costs of the supplemental wardrobe.

Prop Styling: It’s always a bit of a challenge estimating prop styling for a shoot in a residential property without first seeing scouting photos or knowing the full scope of prop needs. Sometimes it’s just about adding minor items into the scene or tweaking what’s already there, and other times major pieces of furniture need to be acquired and brought to set. In this case, we included four days for a prop stylist and an assistant, anticipating they’d need at least a day or two to shop, a day to be on set, and perhaps a day to accompany the team to the tech/scout to assess the location, in addition to making returns if needed. We marked these line items TBD, as well as the $2,500 prop budget we estimated.

Styling Expenses: This covered miscellaneous expenses primarily for the wardrobe and prop stylists related to the acquisition and transportation of their provisions.

Van Rental: The photographer would likely rent a van to help transport his equipment and his immediate crew to set.

Equipment: This covered a mix of the photographer’s gear, as well as supplemental lighting/grip he would likely need to rent.

Mileage, Parking, Additional Meals, Misc.:  This covered miscellaneous expenses for both the tech/scout day and shoot day, and also provided a bit of a safety net for unanticipated costs.

Delivery of Content on Hard Drive: All of the content would be provided to the client on a hard drive upon completion of the shoot.

Client Provisions: Detailed at the top of the estimate were all of the items that the client would provide, that would be necessary for such a production. These items/tasks included casting, talent, releases, location, permits, production coordination, catering/craft, production RV and all post processing/retouching.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project with only some negotiation regarding the shoot date.

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

The Daily Edit – META: Dean Bradshaw

- - The Daily Edit

 

META

Creative Director and Editor-In-Chief: Ben Giese
Photographer:
Dean Bradshaw


Heidi: Is this the first time working for META?

Dean: This wasn’t the first story that I shot for Meta, I did a film and photo series on freestyle motocross rider and all around amazing person, Jimmy Hill previously.

Did you bring this story idea to them, or was this assigned?
This trip was prompted by me buying a Harley which coinciding with a road trip planned by friends and co-collaborators Justin Chatwin and Jay Zaretsky. We rode 3000 or so miles starting in Venice, California up into Western Oregon; across the state and part of the coast – returning to Los Angeles some 10 or so days later. The trip wasn’t assigned by Meta – it just sounded like the right kind of adventure. As always, I took a camera to document the journey. My friend Ben who runs Meta seemed like the perfect person to put the story to print and he encouraged us to have Justin write to accompany the images. Justin’s words really helped bring the piece together.

What type of creative direction did you get from the magazine? 
Ben made selects from the thousands of images I shot and then Justin wrote small diary-style entries to accompany the images since we didn’t have a consistent narrative.

Over how many days did you shoot this?
10 days on the road, we camped most of the way and carried everything we needed on our bikes.

Tell us about the making of some of these images
Sometimes the best images come without intention and are based purely on living some kind of adventure. I would like to be doing more of this and thankfully I have an amazing group of friends who live this way.

How did you hear of this publication?
I first heard about Meta probably 5 years or so ago, first just through the motorcycle circles and then through my ad agency friends at Team One who at that time were working on Indian Motorcycles. I met Ben and Andrew who started the magazine soon after whilst on a motorcycle ride in Colorado. We became fast friends and I’m a big believer in the attention to detail and hard work they put into the magazine. Ben brings an elevated aesthetic to motorcycle culture, something I also feel strongly about.

Where did your love of motorcycles come from? Are you a collector?
My love with motorcycles comes from starting to ride a dirt bike around 6 or 7 years ago in the vast California and Nevada desert and then having some amazingly passionate friends who I have learned everything from. I love the people, the  bikes and the culture – it’s an awesome community and helps satisfy my love for adventure and camaraderie. I suppose some day, in s decade or two,  I’ll call myself a collector – but for now I just have one too many motorcycles – A Harley Dyna FXDX, Triumph Scrambler, Honda Dirt Bike and an old 90’s BMW GS. I already have plans for one or two more.

The Daily Promo – Andrew Kemmis

Andrew Kemmis

Who printed it?
It was printed by Newspaper Club.

Who designed it?
I did the design work myself. I have a pretty solid background in publication design so looked at this promo as a fun personal challenge. And I was eager to give the newspaper format a shot. I really like it.

Tell me about the images?
For the past four years I have been the lead photographer and photo team manager for VidCon US, a rather large and massively popular convention that takes place in Anaheim, CA each summer. Last year I think there were about 30,000 people in attendance. Each year the photo goal is a bit different, but usually it boils down to visually capturing the spirit of the convention. Seeing as how the audience tends to be mostly tweens and teens, there is never any lack of energy or excitement or pure, unbridled fun happening. It’s probably an exaggeration, but when I am there I constantly feel like I’m witnessing the front row of a Beatles concert. The days are long, but throughout the multi-day event I photograph everything from panel discussions to keynote speeches to spontaneous dance parties to arena concerts. There’s even a mock prom at the end that is outta’ this world. I absolutely love the energy, the variety and the access I have to it all.

Last year (VidCon 2018) the creative team at VidCon had a different idea for the images they wanted. Rather than repeat the same strategy of several photographers simply covering the event, we sent one shooter out to cover specific activations and general hype, and decided to have me set up a portrait studio in the back of house area, where all of the big name YouTube creators would be entering the building. VidCon’s COO, Colin Hickey had the brilliant idea of having a variety of animals on hand to entice the creators over to me … and it worked like crazy. So I found myself in the back corner of a huge convention center with some of YouTube’s biggest names … and puppies, goats, pigs, and bunnies. Absolutely surreal. I am completely in love with the experience and the images I created. Here is a link to a gallery of some of them: http://www.andrewkemmis.com/vidcon-portraits

How many did you make?
I made 50 of these.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I send out promos about 1-2 times per year.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do think printed promos are effective. In my eyes, marketing always takes a multi-pronged approach, and print is a very strong and important part of the equation.

This Week in Photography Books: Trace

 

Let’s be honest.

The right piece of advice, at just the right time, can make all the difference.

For example, a friend once told me, when the voices in your head get too loud, turn the music up even louder.

(That’s wisdom, people.)

I decided to try it on Tuesday, as I twitched and shook from the collective exhaustion of a full-week on the road in Portland, followed by a 2-day-trip-home, after flight cancellations and delays saw me land in Albuquerque in the middle of the night.

I had one song that I thought might do the trick, once I finally got home, so I ran a hot bath, and turned that shit up as loud as it would go.

What was my magic musical potion, you ask?

The “Old Town Road Remix” by Lil’ Nas X.

Have you heard it yet?

That shit is so hot it makes my eyeballs melt. A genuine 2019 fusion that shakes the rump and boggles the mind.

And given that not ONE but TWO top African-American NFL draft picks ran videos of them riding their horses, last week during the draft telecast, this song is totally of the now.

Straight out of the Dirty South.

Who knows why places have their moment at a given time?

In Hip-Hop, of course there’s the Bronx and Queens for the early days, and the world would be very different if Ice Cube and Dre had never come along out there in California. (You too, EZ.)

But that Atlanta trap sound over the last few years, with artists like Migos, has felt like a true cultural breakthrough in the age of Trump.

And perhaps it actually arose in opposition?

It’s definitely a theme I discovered at Photolucida last week. So many photographers, (including me,) had their stories of a project, or image, that was catalyzed by the campaign/election/inauguration/Trump’s first two years.

Quick synopsis: the trip was genuinely brilliant, and one of the best I’ve ever had.

But I’m far to tired and woozy, (or Bad and Bougie,) to get into the details today.

Especially as Portland will certainly be a 3 or 4 part series in the coming months.

Rather, we’re going to do a short-ish book review, so I can go drool on myself in the corner and try not to operate heavy machinery.

A few months ago, “Trace,” a little, sleek, 3-book-collection turned up in the mail from Yoffy Press in, (you guessed it,) Atlanta, GA.

I’ve reviewed two of their publications before, the experimental “1864,” by Matthew Brandt, and the excellent, photography-to-combat-depression-movement-building “Too Tired For Sunshine,” by Tara Wray.

In a world of true confessions, the publisher, Jennifer Yoffy, is a long time colleague who came out to ski this February, and we’re in discussions to do a book together, which will be my first. (If you can believe it.)

I’ve gone on the record before with these relationships, so you can decide for yourself if I’m showing you good work, or being nepotistic. (Or both.)

But in this case, I’ve supported her program in the column before, and this book arrived before we even decided to work together, so I feel like we’re in the clear. (You may, of course, disagree.)

“Trace” is a compilation of 3 small books, as I said, and it’s not hard to keep them in order, once they come out of the slip, because the title spells itself out across the collection.

Kota Ezawa’s book is first, and it’s a head trip for sure. The truth is, they all are. This book is a literal embodiment of how I feel as a human being right now, and for that, I love it.

For his book, Kota Ezawa presents an image that builds piece by piece, and is clearly not photographic. Only at the end, or nearly the end, do we realize that it’s built upon one of the most iconic images ever made: JFK’s family by his graveside.

The image grows, section by section, and then you know what it is. Of course that last picture, adding in John Jr, tugs at your heart in a surprising way.

Book 2 is by my long-time colleague Tabitha Soren, by now an acclaimed artist, who was once known as a very-young VJ on MTV, in another lifetime.

I saw these pictures, from the project “Surface Tension,” at Euqinom Gallery in San Francisco in 2017, and thought they were incredible. Ironically, she’d once showed me an early version, on a tablet, at a festival, and I didn’t get it.

I was dubious.

But as prints on the wall, and in book form, (and fully finished,) this project is as smart as it is visually arresting. Scary cats, scary Harvey Weinstein, it’s all the same.

Our made marks, and our attentions spun, are all pulsing through our devices these days.

The Matrix has arrived, and we’re all plugging in willingly.

Final shout out to the title page on Tabitha’s book, as they are surprisingly good. I’ll be sure to photograph it for below.

Finally, the package has a book by Penelope Umbrico, an artist I’ve had the pleasure to hear speak twice, and have interviewed for the column as well. (Check out the long read here.)

Penelope is easily one of the smartest artists I’ve encountered, and yet she manages to use visuals well too. (Total package.)

This project features just the digital circles and made marks, the trace lines around defects on used screens being sold on Ebay.

She spends hours and hours, collectively years of her life, pursuing the digital rabbit holes that help us understand the world around us.

Penelope, I salute you.

And now, as I still have to work today, and even tomorrow, (before I get the nap I so dearly deserve,) I will leave you.

Bottom Line: Beautiful, smart, killer little compilation

To purchase “Trace” click here 

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We’re particularly interested in submissions from female photographers, and artists of color, so we may maintain a diverse program. 

The Art of the Personal Project: Naomi Harris

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

Today’s featured artist:  Naomi Harris

EUSA – Artist Statement

On a trip to the mountains just north of Atlanta, Georgia, I came upon this odd little town called Helen. Once a thriving mining community, by the 1970s they were suffering from a recession. They called a town meeting and decided to turn their hamlet into a Bavarian wonderland bringing in tourist dollars. So today, in the Deep South, among all the gingerbread shops selling Confederate flag tee shirts, the world’s largest Oktoberfest is held, for three months.

This got me wondering, if this exists in Helen, what other American cities have been modeled after imaginary European villages. And for that matter, are there any places in Europe that were designed to look like America?

Globalization has made the uniqueness of a particular country less significant thus creating an indistinguishable common world community.We wear the same clothes, eat the same meals, use the same iPhones, we are all interconnected.  EUSA is a reaction to this homogenization of European and American cultures. Being enthralled by another country’s way of life does not mean that it is always an accurate portrayal rather it becomes a sentimental and idealized depiction; an homage to a heritage that isn’t ones own.

In America these “European” venues resemble a land of make-believe. Like something out of a fairy tale, they are magical, whimsical and quaint. In Europe their fascination lies in an America of the past, when the US was considered glorious and free, a place full of fresh starts and opportunities. The foundation of these locations was to honour the “other,” but what was once characteristic has now ultimately become a caricature.

I began this project in June 2008 photographing a weekend rendezvous for re-enactors at High Chaparral, a country western them park in the south of Sweden. There people spent the weekend living in rustic tents as “Indians” or “Confederate Soldiers” leaving all of their modern-day conveniences locked in their cars. Since then I visited over twenty-five locations on both sides of the Atlantic including Sioux City, a movie-studio-turned-tourist-attraction in Grand Canaria, Spain;‘Indian’ festivals in Germany: a Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa: an American Civil War reenactment in the Czech Republic; a Viking festival in Alaska; a rockabilly festival in the countryside outside Budapest, Hungary;a Maifest in Leavenworth, Washington; numerous Oktoberfests around the United States, and a variety of ‘Cowboy and Indian’ amusement parks throughout Europe.

At first sight it is often difficult to locate where and when these photos were taken; are we in the U.S, or somewhere in Europe? Upon closer examination, something inevitably reveals how out-of-place it is, and we are aware of our “error”.

In other images it is much more obvious that what we are looking at is built and artificial – a benign pastiche to the more insidious and offensive forms of cultural appropriation. These exaggerated reconstructions bear little authenticity and what was once characteristic has now ultimately become a caricature.

Photographing the visitors playing dress-up in these various maudlin locations within these two continents,my goal was to illustrate the enthusiasm we have for one another’s heritage, and demonstrate this universal phenomenon that is a reaction to the homogenization of our cultures.And through this spirit of camaraderie, if only for that moment, the participants are granted membership to one another’s culture.

To see more of this project, click here.

Naomi Harris and her project EUSA which has gone from a personal project to a published book and now an exhibition as part of the inaugural Photoville LA which runs April 26 – 28 and May 3 – 5. You can visit both the exhibition and the artist herself where she’ll be selling books (and if you’re lucky she may be wearing her dirndl) at Photoville which is being held at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century Park, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067

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 @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

 

The Daily Edit – Condé Nast Traveler: Bill Phelps

- - The Daily Edit

Condé Nast Traveler

Photo Director: Caroline Metcalf
Photographer: Bill Phelps

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Bill: “It was the perfect assignment for a few reasons. First, it was in a city I had been longing to visit, I love Italy, and this was truly special.
My editor simply told me – “go to Palermo, and come back.” I think one of the best things a photo editor can do on an assignment like this is to show trust in the photographers they hire. They were drawn to the photographers work for a reason, and letting them do their natural best is key. It frees up the experience to really be open to the unexpected, which is exactly what happened here for me.

Had you been to Italy before?
Yes. I was reminded of a shoot I had done in Tuscany a few years before where I was working with Alduino Ventimiglia, a descendent of Frederick the 2nd of Sicily.
He is the man responsible for saving a breed of Sicilian war-horse, the Persano stallion. One evening we were speaking of Sicily, and he asked me “what do you think of when you
think of Sicily” “mystery,” I said. “exactly” he said. I’m not sure if a photographer can be assigned to “shoot” mystery, it is something you must experience when you’re not looking. Palermo, like other Italian cities I have been to -Napoli, or Tropea for example, has many layers of mystery. It has a kind of shiny and forward busy side, as well as a deeply poetic dark side. The connection between the two is the “vena cava” of sorts, I was excited to see what the city was willing to show me.

Who did you travel with?
My Italian producer from Rome was available to accompany me.

What was the first thing you did upon landing?
Upon landing from Rome, we were immediately in search of local delicacies. The fish, the sea urchin, the infusions and digestifs. The weather was building, it was hot, and there was a beautiful pressure in the air. We found a small, beautiful place, with a sidewalk terrace covered by a canvas canopy. The food was simple and perfect, the light from the encroaching storm was telling and moody, I loved it. Near the closing
of our meal, the sky opened up and flooded the streets, reflecting the “bruised” sky and shifting clouds, we remained at our table outside beneath the canvas roof, sipping a beautiful, herbaceous liquor made from laurel leaves. The first two shots of the printed story were taken after the storm – the two upper left images. Upon leaving, I noticed in the corner of one of the windows, a tiny sticker reading “Member of the Moto Guzzi owners club.” I asked about the location of the club, thinking it might offer a possible view into a stylish corner of the city, I also own a vintage Moto Guzzi, so I was personally intrigued.

 Did you have a shot list?
We had no shot list, the mystery unfolded in front of us, as we moved from moment to moment, person to person, meal to meal. Our first hotel was hidden in a backstreet, and inspired some exploration. Having given up on the motorcycle club, but still keen to find some Italian machines, I noticed a flash of red through a door barely open. We stopped, and had a look. It turned out to be an old bike shop run by its original owner, vintage Italian exotica, like the Binelli race bike also pictured. It turned out that the bike shop had been a theater for puppetry, still adorned with handprint murals, and backdrops. I asked about the tradition of Marionettes, and puppet theater, they happily lead me to the master, also pictured below.

As a photographer, my work is to make memories, storytelling is key. This trip in particular was loaded with
experience, a testament to the trust of my editor Caroline Metcalf. If I had been chasing down a shot list, none of this might have happened.

How did you find your subjects?
Our first night there, I was shooting shadows in a back alley, the sun had just gone down. I heard something which sounded like a metal knife on glass, clinking in a window above me. I looked up and saw a woman chipping wax off of some antique candle sticks. She asked me if I was looking for something, I said I was looking for shadows. I noticed the fresco covered ceiling behind her, and asked if she lived there. She said yes, and it was a studio as well. I told her it looked beautiful, and that we were shooting for a magazine. She asked if we wanted to come up for a drink, of course we said yes. She turned out to be a furniture designer, and was having people over for dinner. We helped her in the kitchen, set the table, and were there for the evening, it was amazing, and we are still in touch. I mentioned I was interested to find some characters to shoot, and I wanted to breathe in some style. She gave it some thought, and connected me to a friend the very next day. We met at the studio a day later, went through her closet, and dressed her
friend Lucrezia in clothes I found in her closet. Lucrezia turned out to be a photographer, director, performer, we too are still in contact, the layers continue.

 How many days were you there?
I  believe we were there for 4 days? maybe 5?

Did you submit those grids of images or did they edit those for you?
They got so many pictures out of it, they had to spread it out using grids, a good problem to have.
I do play with diptychs in my own edits, and feel it helps create contrast graphically, but it also helps to tell a story and create a narrative.

Did you turn in both black and white and color?
I mixed black and white and color, they pretty much went with what I sent.

The Daily Promo – Kate Abbey

- - The Daily Promo

Kate Abbey

Who printed it?
ProCo in Sheffield, UK

Who designed it?
The wonderful Pete and Mark at Caslon&Co.

Tell me about the images?
Last year was my most prosperous year as far as great accounts/brands go, which meant I had very little time to concentrate on personal work. The result being a large crop of brands, which when ordered up, pretty much covered the alphabet. A few of my clients had commented on the strong brands I worked with, so it seemed natural to do a promo around this. The downside is I had lots of strong names with the same letter and could only show one and perhaps I wouldn’t have shown a weaker image on another letter, but had no other option – but as a collective group, the idea works and the concept pulls it altogether.

How many did you make?
I printed off 300 for my UK contacts and will do the same for NYC

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Historically, I’ve been terrible and do it every few years, but I so enjoyed doing this and the feedback has been worth the investment. It’s inspired me to do it 3 times a year, but possibly on a smaller scale for the next 2 mailouts. More recently, I’ve been able to fit in personal work, so the next promo will be based around that.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely. My promo goes out to creatives who appreciate the tactile nature of a mailer and are the type who would smell the paper and study the manufacture of it, and file it away for future reference. It has to stand out if you’re wanting to capture someone’s attention in the sea of imagery. And besides all of that, it’s something I’ve enjoyed doing and love the results, so I get a thrill form the process too.

NYC in the 21st Century, Part 1

 

I’m just back from New York, and am off to Portland tomorrow, where I’ll be when this article drops.

(Yes, I have a headache.)

I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and there’s plenty more to come, so today it’s time to tell you what I observed, as a journalist, in New York and New Jersey earlier this month.

It’s important to date it, because in 2019, these places I know so well have finally stood up tall and joined the 21st Century.

Proudly.

They’ve developed, or grown, in ways that feel authentic, and at times exciting. (As someone who grew up and lived there.) It’s a funny word to use, development, because among a certain political class, it’s almost always seen as a bad thing.

Gentrification –> Development = Low-income residents getting pushed out.

That’s normally the equation, and I get it. (My MFA thesis project in 2004 was about corn fields in my suburban hometown getting turned into McMansions.)

Sure, it was a Dutch farming village for 300 years before my parents got there, but I didn’t want those farms to become more suburbs.

No more people like me moving in to spoil it!

I gentrified the Southern end of the Mission District in San Francisco in 1999, and then Greenpoint, Brooklyn in 2002, and left both places as they were getting too trendy.

Hell, Jessie and I moved back to Taos in 2005 expecting hordes of Gen Xers to follow us, but instead it’s been the Millennials who’ve gotten in on the action in the last three or four years.

All of which is to say, I’ve been a gentrifier, and one who took pains at each new farm that was plowed under for another house like my own.

In general, over the course of my life, I’d say I tended towards the condemnation of massive real estate developments, and appreciated when things stayed the same, as they did in San Francisco for 10 years after I left.

But now, the San Francisco skyline has been ruined by Salesforce, the local culture is supposedly all about tech bros, and I’d have to think hard about how many people I know who live in the city these days, rather than in the surrounding area.

New York City, though, is something different. (As is New Jersey, which we’ll get to in Part 2.)

Yes, it’s my home turf, and I’m biased. I’ve written before that I grew up able to see the Twin Towers from my hometown, gleaming across the bay.

I took it personally when the towers were destroyed in 2001, but I think something of New York’s soul was taken too. Not that it’s people were cowed, because that will never happen.

(Not in my lifetime, anyway.)

Old New York near Herald Square

Rather, the skyline was ruptured so badly, and then the local politicking, which is always dirty in New York, kept the Freedom tower from getting built FOREVER.

Really, you can look it up.

When did the Freedom Tower open to the public?

(Rare Google break…)

OK. I’m back. 2014.

That’s when the first tenant moved in.

It took New York City 13 years to replace it’s iconic Southern anchor to the skyline.

And even then, the building is just OK.

In the interim, there was a phase where some very average looking, minimalistic residential super-towers were built, which made the city lean wrong, and all that visual weight went towards the super-rich, with their part time crash pads. (I accidentally wrote cash pads, which is a good Freudian slip.)

Looking South from the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel

Nowadays, in 2019, finally, I’m thrilled to report that New York City has grown in exciting and beautiful ways. (Revitalizing growth that sometimes gets a bad rap, I think.)

In my experience, New York City has become a global tourism Mecca. In the sense that, like Paris, it now belongs to everyone.

And sometimes that comes at the expense of the locals.

Certainly, Manhattan, Brooklyn and now probably Queens are not affordable for “regular” people. Not unless you live “all-the-fuck-out-there” by the ocean.

And even where I’m from, in New Jersey, or in other outlying areas like Long Island or Westchester, the cost of living is high across the board. (Food, rent/home prices, transportation…)

Manhattan just adopted congestion pricing for the first time, to charge people for driving in the heart of the city, and the cost of tolls at bridges is nearly $20 as is.

In particular, though, I’d like to discuss Hudson Yards, the new mega-development by Stephen Ross, which recently opened in what used to be called Hell’s Kitchen on Manhattan’s in Midtown’s Far West Side.

Approaching Hudson Yards from the North

It was supposedly built on a $1 Billion platform over a railyard, and I’ve seen that tactic used in public parks in Chicago and Dallas to good effect. (In Dallas it was over highway, but still…)

Hudson Yards has gotten panned, from what I’ve heard, because it really was built for rich people, and tourists. (I guess I’m kind of the latter, these days.)

 

Looking East towards Old New York

Looking West to Hudson Yards

Looking up at the Hudson Yards skyscrapers

There are something like six new blue-glass skyscrapers by Starchitects, and they surround a big public courtyard with the the Shed, a public art space, and the massively expensive “Vessel,” a glowing bronze public art project for which you have to get a free ticket.

The Vessel

Getting the shot for Instagram

View from inside the Vessel

Looking down off the platform


It is literally a stairway that goes nowhere, built to be an Instagram backdrop, and it does that job well. I was little confused by the physical placement within the city skyline, if it’s meant to be iconic, but then I noticed this ad in The New Yorker, which about sums up the demographic.

The Vessel is apparently visible from New Jersey

On the lower levels of one of the buildings is a huge shopping mall and food court featuring very expensive and/or trendy brands. (Muji is not fancy, but it is cool.)

I understand my point may be somewhat controversial, but I’ve been to that part of town, over the years, and it was a bit of a wasteland.

I can also attest, at 45, that New York has always been about money.

It’s the heart of Capitalism, for crying out loud.

So as a former resident, and now regular visitor, I accept that it was always going to become too expensive for people like me to actually live there.

Hell, I don’t want to live there.

The air quality and weather suck, and it’s too busy for every day.

But seeing such beautiful, gleaming buildings in Hudson Yards, it inspired me.

They’re gorgeous.

And everywhere you look, including in odd places like the Lower East Side, there are new-looking skyscrapers that balance the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, and support the Freedom Tower, which was never meant to carry downtown alone.

(Brooklyn has tons of new hi-rise buildings too, so many that when my father-in-law last visited in 2004, there were none, he confirmed.)

Sticking with Manhattan, though, Hudson Yards blends right into the northern end of the High Line through Chelsea, which is itself a phenomenal piece of design and public space.

Whereas in the past, right at the junction between the two, there might have been a locally owned pizza place, now, it’s a restaurant by Jose Andres and the Adria Brothers. That’s a massive change, and I can see how some people might hate it. (I still miss the ubiquity of a great slice.)

Between the architecture that’s grown around the High Line, like the Zaha Hadid masterpiece, to the nature planted within it, the High Line is always popular, and rightly so.

(We went twice, and each time it was wall-to-wall people, speaking countless languages.)

The High Line ends in the new Whitney, which conveniently flows into Hudson River park, which goes south along the waterfront along the city.

Looking North from the beginning of the High Line

Zaha Hadid building along the High Line

It’s fantastic, frankly.

And none of it was there when I moved back to town in 2002.

I haven’t mentioned Hurricane Sandy, yet, which hit in 2012, but that was a real punch in the nose for the Tri-State Area.

Given that New York is a money town, between 9/11, the following market crash, the 2008 crash, and then Sandy, the city was properly down on its knees.

Maybe not like the big bad 70s, but New York looked stale, visually, and I’d argue maybe it was.

As cities like Shanghai and Dubai raced towards the future, New York seemed stuck in the past.

But no longer.

On a Pier looking South towards the Freedom Tower

These days, I think it’s pretty badass that New York has opened itself proudly to the world.

It’s thriving, and looks pretty great too. (Except for the garbage on the streets, because New York is always gonna New York.)

There’s so much more to tell, (including a few anecdotes about AIPAD,) but we’re nearing 1500 words, and I’ve got photos this time!

There’s no need to over-do it, so I’ll run it back with Part 2 next week.

Have a good one.

The Art of the Personal Project: Dasha Pears

- - Personal Project

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

Today’s featured artist:  Dasha Pears

Photography turned out to be a way of discovering my true-self and expressing it. My works are a reflection of this discovery process and I hope that they can help others who are on the same journey as me. In metaphorical ways I try to show and share processes that are going on in many people’s minds: dealing with negative self-talk, being overwhelmed by all kinds of emotions, finding that activity that puts you in the state of flow, when time ceases to exist.

My photography is influenced by classical fine art, surrealism, as well as fantasy and science fiction books. The instruments of surrealism help me show that the scene is only partially real and that most of it is going on in the character’s mind. My works are carefully composed and many of them are leaning towards minimalism. This is my way of expressing that controlling your mind and creating space is crucial for discovering who you are and who you are not.

  

To see more of this project, click here.

To purchase prints, click here

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

Dasha Pears is an award-winning Russian conceptual photographer, currently based in Helsinki, Finland. Dasha’s unique style is dreamlike and whimsical. Her works tell stories that combine real life and surrealism, making the viewer stop and think.

She started her photographic path in 2011, after reaching burnout in a marketing communications career. Having tried many types of photography, Dasha found herself in conceptual and fine art sphere. Since then her images have been exhibited in Russia, France, Poland, Austria and Finland. Her work was also named among the winners of Best of Russia’15, had an honorable mention during Trierenberg Super Circuit 2017 and 2018 photography contests in Linz, Austria, and won a bronze medal during Prix de la Photographie Paris, 2018. Dasha’s photographs are used worldwide by companies like Trevillion, ArcAngel, plainpicture and Millennium Images, and can be found on covers of books published in Europe, the United States and South America.

In 2016 Dasha started sharing her experience of organizing conceptual photography shoots and producing surrealist artworks in the form of creative photography workshops. Since then she has held over 15 events in Finland and abroad.

This website is for Dasha’s fine art photography. Follow on Instagram. For commercial portfolio please check www.dashapears.com.

 

The Daily Edit – The Fringe Podcast: Shaughn and John

- - The Daily Edit



The Fringe

Photographers: Shaughn and John

Heidi: Why a podcast? How did this come about?
Shaughn and John: As a photo team we’ve realized that working together in the same physical space helps us to make the most of the days we aren’t on set shooting.  Although we both live in the LA area there is about 50 miles separating us, which means at least 2 hours of driving per day.  Like a lot of people these days the way we cope with the long drive is by listening to an insane amount of podcasts.  Whether it be true crime, investigative, daily news or interview style, we love being absorbed in stories while we commute.  What began as a fun way of keeping ourselves occupied evolved into a conversation about what a Shaughn and John podcast would look like.  We agreed that the best idea was to create a podcast that matched the style and approach of our personal documentary projects.  Whether it is through photos, video and now audio we love telling the stories of fringe groups and subcultures.

Which podcasts do you both listen to?
We each have our favorite genres. Shaughn leans towards true crime (Sword and Scale, Casefile, True Crime All the Time) and I (John) lean towards investigative podcasts (The Daily, The Dropout, The Dream).  But there is definitely a ton of overlap.  Some of our recent shared favorites include: Uncover, Bomber, Dirty John, Heaven’s Gate, S-Town, and Up and Vanished.

What is the criteria for a subculture to make the cut?
There isn’t exactly a criteria but we both constantly have an ear to the ground searching for our next big project.  Subcultures that make you scratch your head and wonder what a day in their life looks like always intrigue us.

How does photography tie into your podcast idea?
Photography pretty much ties into everything we do.  When there is a good story to tell with audio, there is usually an opportunity to capture great photos as well.  One advantage of being a team is that we are able to capture stills and audio at the same time.  Also, we’ve noticed that when most people tune in to a podcast they often become interested in knowing what the characters of the story look like. By capturing both the audio and visual aspect of the story we feel we can provide an even richer picture for the audience.

What’s the line up for the first season?

In Season One we are diving into the story of the Sisters of the Valley, a group of self ordained nuns living in Central California who grow and smoke weed!  We discovered the sisters back in 2016 and the photos we captured went viral in a way we had never experienced before.  We kept in touch with the sisters and over time their operation has continued to grow.  Their CBD business now grosses over a million dollars a year and they have since expanded into Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK.  The sister’s have gotten a ton of press in the last few years but what we hope to do with the podcast is to use the long form medium to tell the deeper story of who these women are.

How is the approach to crafting a podcast different or similar to creating images?
The process is actually pretty similar.  Regardless of what tools we are using we keep our focus on discovering what the true heart of the story is and working to capture it powerfully and authentically.

Where do you hope this goes in the next few years?
Over the next few years we plan to continue producing the podcast with each season focusing on a new fringe group.  Our ideas for future seasons include flat earthers, ghost hunters, and more.

Do you listen differently now and how has that affected your photography?
We both hear the world a bit differently since we began the podcast.  In the same way that we are constantly searching for visual elements that will make for good photographs, we now bring that level of attention to sound and conversations.  Whether it’s the crackling of a bon fire, a heartfelt personal story, or even just the sound of silence, we have a whole new appreciation for audio.