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?

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
























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 Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Shaina Fishman













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.


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.



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 and Ryen at

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:

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

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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.


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





















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 Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

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














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 ( 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.


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:

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.

The Daily Promo: Michael Rudin

- - The Daily Promo

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Michael Rudin

Who printed it?
Mag Cloud did the printing.

Who designed it?
I did the original design and Paul Morris who is an Art Director and Graphic Designer refined it and really helped pull it together.

Who edited the images?
I edited the images.

How many did you make?
I did a small run of fifty.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I do an annual zine and a few postcards a year.

What made you decided to use such bold language?
I really wanted to capture the spirit of Whit’s End and give viewers a sense of what it is like there.  The restaurant is very small with a salty but loving crew.  They are putting out amazing food in an open kitchen while this kind of banter is tossed around.  Their daily specials menu reads with bold language too so it only seemed fitting.

Did you write this yourself?
I worked closely with Whit and his crew to come up with appropriate text. We kind of brainstormed the language at the restaurant during service, over beers and in passing. Honestly I don’t even remember the things that didn’t make the cut, nothing was written down.  We knew when we got the right thing because everyone was into it and that’s what stuck.

What has the feedback been like?
The feedback has been great!  Lots of positive response from everyone who has received one.

This Week In Photography Books: Wagstaff Collection

by Jonathan Blaustein

Time is a strange beast.

We tend to think of it as fixed and finite, when clearly it is neither.

As I understand it, according to Einstein, the closer you approach the speed of light, the slower time will affect you. Essentially, time’s innate duration grows.

Before “Interstellar,” most people would have found that confusing. But then that Great Wave! And Anne Hathaway’s big brown eyes!

That’s just the theoretical level. If you think about your daily life, doesn’t the same hold true? I was in California with my family for two weeks, and it seemed like a month.

We’ve been home for nearly three weeks now, and it feels like it’s been 5 days. (For real.)

I’m sure that’s happened to you as well. When we travel, in particular, our senses heighten. We make more memories, and perhaps savoring slows the clock as well.

Photography also manipulates time.
We know this.

But every now and again, I get a reminder, something tangible, that helps me re-connect to the mystery of what we’re all doing.

Back in LA, a few days before California caught fire, I took my family to the Getty Center, where I planned to see the Mapplethorpe show, which we covered previously. I thought it would be an optimal place to introduce the kids to “Great Art,” but at nearly 9 and almost 4, they were still too young to get excited.

Big ups to the current installation of replica Chinese Buddhist cave art. The reproductions were meticulous, and each “cave” took 3 artists 10 years each to make. Simply stunning stuff, and that it all takes place in an air-conditioned tent in the searing California sun?


The kids enjoyed the snack bar and sculpture gardens most of all, with one exception.

They definitely got down with “The Thrill of the Chase,” which exhibited work from the Wagstaff Collection, the immense trove of greatness assembled by Robert Mapplethorpe’s former lover & patron, the patrician collector Sam Wagstaff.

The group is super-strong on very early photography. (1840’s and up.) I began to photograph it, as I had the Mapplethorpe show, but was immediately stopped by security and told to put the camera away. Unfortunately, I couldn’t shoot the show for you.

I wanted the kids to see the exhibition for one reason in particular: Abraham Lincoln. I walked my son up to the photo of our former President, by Alexander Gardner, and let him look carefully.

“That’s the actual Abraham Lincoln,” I said. “The man himself. The real thing.”

His expression was inexplicable; equal parts incredulous and wow-that’s-amazing.

It was a genuine moment, and then he wanted to see everything else he could. The one instant when he realized that photography froze history, saved it, and allowed us to look back from our unimagined futuristic world?

It was memorable for me, to say the least.

There are some excellent, fantastic photographs in this show, and the book that accompanies it, “The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.”

The show was curated, and the book edited by Paul Martineau, published by Getty Publications. (It turned up in the mail the other day, which means that I get to share the images with you below.)

Seeing the pictures in the book, I immediately recognized my favorites from the IRL experience, like Arthur Rothstein’s rad portrait of some early-version-knock-around Union Guys. Theo’s choice was Larry Clark’s hippie-dude Kung Fu kicking his buddy in the park.

Thankfully, now I get to show you the brilliant photo-booth-strip of Andy Warhol that I mentioned in my review two weeks ago.

Then we have Julia Margaret Cameron. And August Sander. Edward Weston. William Eggleston. Walker Evans. Irving Penn. And so many more.

The book’s essay makes mention of a few glaring omissions to the collection. The New Topographics artists, like Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz and Stephen Shore are absent. So too is Atget.

Too dry, perhaps?

The book features Pyramids in Egypt, 150 years ago, back before paved roads, cotton candy, and the Internet. And Roger Fenton’s famous cannon balls appear as well.

George Barnard, over whose Civil War landscape photos I drooled in San Francisco, also turns up.

I loved Edward Curtis’ “The Eclipse Dance,” from 1910-14, which may have been staged, but gives me the willies, like I’m looking at something I’m not meant to see. (Here at Taos Pueblo, some dances are open to the public, but all the deep knowledge is kept in the underground kivas, far from outsider’s ears and eyes.)

The whole family stopped cold at Timothy O’Sullivan’s “Desert Sand Hills near Sink of Carson, Nevada” from 1867. Jessie guessed it might be White Sands, New Mexico.

I thought it looked more like a film still from a Western than anything I’d ever seen. Except the movie is the simulacrum, and the print is the actual history. (How Meta is that?)

It features a wagon being pulled across the soft desert in the searing light. Who was inside? What did they have for breakfast? Why are those sand tones so creamy?

And the craziest thing of all? It’s the WILD FUCKING WEST! The actual place, just as if we’d stepped into a time machine. I’m sorry, but even when I get jaded, this type of work brings me back to the passion.

Really, all the best historical work, this many years later, makes think of mortality. Gustave LeGray’s “The Great Wave,” from Sete, France, saddens me more than almost any image I know. I first crossed paths with the print at LACMA 7 years ago, and rejoiced at the Getty when I saw it again.

I close my eyes, and imagine a wave crashing, 159 years ago. And then another wave.

And another.
And another.
And another still.

Millions of waves have come and gone since then, and they’ll keep crashing when everyone alive today passes on to whatever comes next.

Time might be relative, but down here on the human level, our story only ends one way. This book, and the show on which it was based, remind me of my mortality, but not in a way that makes me anxious, which is hard to do.

Sam Wagstaff lived a glamorous life, and then died miserably of AIDS. These pictures are his legacy, and I appreciate the opportunity to learn from what he accrued.

The exhibition, which has closed in LA, will be on display at the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford, CT, opening September 10. Mr. Wagstaff was a curator there once, long ago, and I expect he’d be glad to know his collection will be on the wall.

To those of you in the greater NYC & Boston areas, take a train, or an Uber, and go see the show next month. It’s definitely worth the trip.

Bottom Line: Well-produced catalogue of an excellent show

To Purchase “The Thrill of the Chase” Visit The Getty Store



















The Art of the Personal Project: Jeff Shaffer

- - 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 Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

Today’s featured photographer is: Jeff Shaffer













How long have you been shooting?
28 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
RIT BFA Photo Illustration and School of Visuals Arts MPS Digital Photo Assisting in NYC for 3 years taught me the business, though!

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
It evolved from another personal project featuring composited images of obsolete future contraptions, called FutureTech.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I shot and produced the whole project in 5 months. I was able to use some landscape images shot years before in California, but some other background elements were recently shot in Philadelphia. I used models and a wardrobe stylist from SVA(the male actor also did the voice-over for my video), and purchased props and additional wardrobe from iGoldberg Army-Navy in Philly. Very cost-effective!

The project was presented in a group show at the School of Visual Arts gallery on E23rd Street, as a custom-made book and video presentation.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I did a fair amount of research and concept sketches before I began this one. I’d say it was a couple of months of prep all told. I showed work in progress to a number of fellow photographers and respected peers to get feedback, which was very helpful!

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I’d never had the opportunity before to take this much time to focus on a project, and explore ideas in this much depth. It felt great, and I’m glad it worked out as well as it has so far!

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I do post on Facebook and Instagram(mostly iPhone street graphics).
My blog is on Tumblr and also includes some occasional behind the scenes details.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Nothing viral, but I hope this post will generate some more great press!

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes, just last month sent out a mailer featuring an image from this project, mostly to entertainment-industry companies. More will follow along with email and social media posts.

Artist’s Statement
Technology surrounds us, and we have become ever more dependent upon it. We can access information and communicate faster with one another than ever before, using a huge variety of systems and devices. These seemingly valuable abilities depend upon an ever-increasing demand for energy. This, in turn, has led to more pollution and dramatic climate change. and possible extinction for many creature that inhabit our planet. Human energy is often squandered on social media that actually serves to isolate us both from each other and from the serious global threats we all face. Because my work is heavily influenced by dystopian films such as The Zero Theorem, Blade Runner, and 12 Monkeys, this vision is bleak. it tells the story of two explorers, human survivors of the planet’s ruination, as they examine its after effects and try to find some salvation for the world or redemption for themselves.These images are presented in the form of a storyboard or graphic novel sequence.They are digitally assembled in much the same way as these two explorers have assembled their wardrobe. They are an amalgam of diverse elements; landscapes, signs, camera and computer parts.I use the very same digital technology that is leading us towards this dystopia to create a vision of that future world. No one can predict the end game of these trends, but Apocalyptech offers one view of a possible, not-too-distant future. If culture is lost, along with our fellow inhabitants, both human and animal, we lose spirit and humanity. Can it be recaptured and revived? These images illustrate those issues and raise those questions, but leave it up to all of us to provide the answers.


Jeff Shaffer’s advertising photography has garnered numerous awards from art director’s clubs and other publication design groups. Based in Philadelphia, he has worked on national ad campaigns and annual reports for such prominent clients as Pfizer, Neiman Marcus, Ralph Lauren, Tanqueray, and Heineken. Jeff’s fine-art photography draws its inspiration from futuristic cinema and graphic novels, relying heavily on post-production manipulation in the style of computer graphics. He refined those skills while earning his Master of Professional Studies in Digital Photography degree from New York’s prestigious School of Visual Arts.

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.

Danny Duarte: Art Center College of Design

- - The Daily Edit

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Danny Duarte

I had the pleasure of being at the 5th term and 7th term reviews at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. It’s always a treat when you can see people’s work progress. Danny Duarte was one of those standouts. I was so impressed with his commitment to craft. What initially caught my eye was his personal project called Reseda. Reseda isn’t an impressive area here in So Cal, there’s nothing remarkable about the neighborhood, which is exactly what Danny honed in on: the beauty in the ordinary. When I first saw his work I was so impressed and had a lot of fun discussing pairings and how powerful that can be. It was so cool to see how he juxtaposed his work, how he carefully looked at pacing, everything was deliberate.  I asked him where he shot most of the work ( since it covered some much of that area ) did he walk around? I should have known better, he took the bus. There again, surrendering to the mundane. Here’s what he had to say about his Reseda project.

Danny: I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and have lived in Reseda for twenty-plus years. As I got older, I realized that the Valley was looked down upon by those on the outside. I also learned as soon as I started attending Art Center that nobody had ever heard of Reseda. I had always shot images of my neighborhood, but those two reasons are what made me think about creating a series about where I live and grew up. It wasn’t until my Editorial Photography class with Lisa Thackaberry that I began to really focus on it. She really helped me understand different ways to approach this project as she was one of the few that was familiar with this area. Reseda is quiet, amorphous, misunderstood, lonely, and remote even though it is in the city of Los Angeles. I am photographing my neighborhood because it is a part of who I am and i want people to know it exists. I want to show that although it may seem boring and empty, the boring can be interesting.

Along with doing this cool ongoing project he did this zine about gun violence. He created the images, collaborated with an illustrator (Arpawan Ratanamangcla) did the research for the lyrics, designed some type and of course confronts us with an ongoing crisis.

Img-0002, Danny Duarte-CoverZine, 08-08-2016



What drove you to create this book?  Why did you choose this illustrator?
This was a final project for my “Race and Racism” class. I collaborated with a fellow classmate, who is an illustration major, to create a zine about gun violence and police brutality. We had been paired up in a group all term, but when the opportunity came up we decided that by working together we could make a really compelling project for our final. The idea to create a project based on this subject started last year so I used this opportunity to pursue it.
It feels so confrontational, which is different from most of your work.
When it comes to still life photography I approach it differently than how I shoot my street photography. It is another way of expressing myself.  With still life I’m in control of everything in the frame. I can create a narrative based on things I enjoy researching such as science, politics, sports, and technology.
Where did you get gun?
It’s funny. I always get asked where I got the gun from. My dad is a California State Park Ranger so I was able to borrow it from him.
Was it awkward to shoot the gun straight on?
Photographing a gun was no problem but to photograph it pointing at the camera was a bit chilling. It didn’t hit me until I looked through the view finder. I suddenly felt this heart-stopping sensation go through my body. I have never really had a fear of guns but being on the other side of one is an entirely different and frightening experience.
What were the notes that the lyrics had to hit for you to include them in the book?
The lyrics included in the zine are very important. They are the foundation for this project. I’m a huge fan of hip hop music and KRS-One is a huge influence when it comes to this project. What started it all was his song “Sound of da Police”.
The first time I heard it I must have been in the 8th grade and back then I remember thinking how strong the lyrics were. Sometime last year it came on while I was driving home so I listened to it over and over again. I must have listened to it non stop for a week straight, letting it sink in. Every time the song came on my mind created different ideas and visuals. There were also lyrics from Gang Starr’s “Tonz ‘O’ Gunz” that influenced me as it focuses more on gun violence.
What are your hopes for this body of work?
My hope for this project is to create a discussion and figure out solutions about the issues that are going on right now that deal with police brutality and gun violence. No matter which side you are I’m sure that we can all agree that it’s getting out of hand. I believe that photographs can create impact and cause change.
 How did your time at  Art Center help you develop this project? or Who/what were your biggest influences?
My time at Art Center has given me the tools to create this project. Every instructor I have had has made me look at art, photography, and life differently even if I don’t always agree with them.  Two instructors that have hugely influenced my still life photography are Paul Ottengheime and Everard Williams.  I have spent hours talking to them outside of class and the discussions I have had with them have greatly helped me throughout my time there as they have a lot of experiences to share. I also believe that having an open mind definitely helps develop new concepts and allows me to be more creative.

The Daily Promo: Angela Datre

- - The Daily Promo

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Angela Datre


Who printed it?
I used Overnight Prints.

Who designed it?
I designed it.

Who edited the images?
I edited as well. I picked two of my favorite images from this shoot.

How many did you make?
I printed 50 and targeted publications that feature cooking, food culture and/or portraits. I’ve been shooting more food-related work this past year so I wanted to send out a promo that would highlight that.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I usually will create a promo when I have new work that I want to share. Ideally I would like to do one booklet per year with postcards here and there as well.

What project did theses image come from?
These images were from a story I shot on two women butchers at The Meat Hook in Brooklyn for the Village Voice. I always enjoy photographing people in their studios or work spaces so this shoot was a lot of fun. I’m happy when photography assignments bring me somewhere I normally wouldn’t be (like in the freezer at a butcher shop).

This Week In Photography Books: Ken Grant

by Jonathan Blaustein

If you haven’t heard, I’m what they call a nice Jewish boy from Jersey.

It’s a stereotype, sure. It means I’m polite, kind, and respectful to my mother. If you have me over for dinner, I’ll show up with a bottle of wine, and offer to help clean up afterwards.

Like I said, a nice Jewish boy from Jersey.

The other day, however, an old white guy in the supermarket parking lot mistook me for a Latino gang-banger who was about to steal his wallet.

No lie.

I was wearing a black, UNM graphic T-shirt, and my new sunglasses are of a style you might find on a Homies doll, or an extra in a not-particularly-well-funded movie. (Stylistically, that is. In fact they’re made of recycled materials, and I bought them at Whole Foods in Santa Barbara. #Bougie)

Anyway, there I was, walking towards the market, and the OWG was headed back to his car. In a flash, I realized I’d forgotten my re-usable shopping bag, so I pivoted quickly.

In that instance, the dude turned back to me, and I saw his eyes grow large, his body tense up in anticipation of attack, and his pace quicken to make it back to his car before I could mug him.

All this in broad daylight, mind you. It happened in a half-second, but I know what I saw.

He looked like a tourist from Oklahoma, and thought I was another sort of guy all-together. Of course, he let out a huge sigh of relief when I stopped at my own car to open up the door.

Given all the “actual” racism that exists in this world, and the frequency with which it ruins lives, I’m not implying that this asshole hurt my feelings. Rather, it was a strong suggestion that the clothes we wear, the facial hair we grow, the manner in which we saunter, all of these things are coded messages to others.

In some places, the color of your clothing can get you beat up, if not killed. We all know about Crips and Bloods, but Red vs Blue plays out in England every day. (But for very different reasons.)

You might have heard of it, with respect to Manchester, (United’s red, City’s powder blue,) but today, I’m thinking of Liverpool, that other famous Northern English city.

The reason? Well, it’s a photo-book, obviously. In this case, “A Topical Times For These Times,” a new book by Ken Grant, recently put out by RRB Publishing.

You regular readers know how much I love Arsenal Football Club, and wouldn’t you know it, but Arsenal and Liverpool face each other in 10 days, kicking off the 2016-17 Premier League season. Am I obsessed?

I am.

But not nearly as obsessed as the English football fans who grew up with loyalty for their local club, rather than picking a team as a 37-year-old because you like the fancy-passing and cool uniforms.

Liverpool is a historically famous club, but as a city, it actually features two teams: LFC is red, and Everton is blue. Royal blue. Blue like the paint you buy at the art supply store, before the color dries out because you forgot to put the cap on right.

English fans are famous for violence and drunkenness, (which often go together,) though in 2016, they were out-done by the organized Russian thugs at the European Championship in France.

Red and blue don’t mix well, as the US Political system will attest. But in this book, Ken Grant admits that both he and his father have habitually gone to both Liverpool AND Everton matches. It all depended on who was playing at home on a given weekend.

That’s the type of loyalty breach that’s likely to get you a head butt. (Oi, mate. Watch out before I crack your skull like a silly melon.)

The cover, in red and blue, references its innards, but surprisingly, the pictures are all black and white. It’s almost confusing, but serves the purpose of re-uniting a larger community that’s been rent apart by fan-dom.

The photos have been made since the 80’s, so the grayscale also forces you to look hard to suss out whether something is historical or current. (The text even references Liverpool’s new manager, Jurgen Klopp, who’s a rockstar in football management circles.)

Here in America, being into soccer, and even calling it football, is something of a hipster fetish. It’s not the meat, potatoes & beer thing to do. It means you like arugula, white wine, and Barack Obama. (I happen to love all three.)

But over in England, is there anything more “keepin’ it real” than supporting your local team? Or heading out onto the green to play a weekend match with your mates from down the pub?

Looking at a book like this, you get the genuine sense of a community, on the other side of the world, that has seen better days. A place that likely voted for Brexit this summer. A place that is grappling with the difficult realities of the 21C.

Places like that need their entertainment. They reel when scores are killed at a match, as happened in the Hillsborough Disaster of ’89. They cheer when a neighborhood boy makes good. And they cringe when Steven Gerrard slips, blowing the Premier League title in an instant.

They drink because it’s fun, not just because it takes the pain away.

My only criticism of this book is that it has too many photographs. Editing allows the strongest pictures to emerge more gracefully, but perhaps we don’t need perfection?

Basically this is a cool book, filled with little stories from far away. It’s just enough to satisfy a cranky book reviewer who wants the new EPL season to start already.

Come on you Gunners!

Bottom Line: A cool look at football culture in Liverpool

To Purchase “A Topical Times For These Times” Visit Photo-Eye


















The Art of the Personal Project: Marc Ohrem-Leclef

- - 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 Projects are discovered online and submissions are not accepted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A wonderful review of the group show and Olympic Favela works in it was just published on Artslant:

On August 17th an exhibition curated by Mickalene Thomas will open at Baxter Street Gallery in NYC (group show, featuring Olympic Favela works (photography and video) .

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

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


HUFFINGTON POST US  – Olympic Favela, June 2016

SELECT MAGAZINE  – Olympic Favela, April 2016

AMERICAN PHOTO  – Olympic Favela, December 2014

GUP MAGAZINE  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

ARTnews  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

DER SPIEGEL  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

PDN PHOTO DISTRICT NEWS  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

NEWSTALK  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

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

SLATE  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

GERMAN CONSULATE NYC  – Cowboys and Indians , March 2012


HUFFINGTON POST Brazil  – Olympic Favela, June 2016

CANAL iBASE  – Olympic Favela, January 2015

a PHOTO EDITOR   – Olympic Favela, December 2014

FOTOGRAFIA  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

FRESH ART INTERNATIONAL  – Olympic Favela, July 2014

HUNGER TV  – Olympic Favela, June 2014

BBC  – Olympic Favela, May 2014

CBC  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

DAILY MAIL  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

IRIE DAILY  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

OUT  – Olympic Favela, April 2014

ADVOCATE  – Cowboys and Indians , April 2013

KOELNER STADT ANZEIGER  – Cowboys and Indians , August 2007

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

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

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



The poster:


The Installations:

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 12.54.40 PM
Marc Ohrem-Leclef was born in Dusseldorf, Germany.
After studying Communication Design at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in Germany he relocated to New York City in 1998.
Ohrem-Leclef’s visual arts practice centers on immersive portraits of communities—whether they are formed by bloodlines, social circumstance, or cultural movements.
Ohrem-Leclef’s work has been exhibited in Germany, Brazil and the U.S..
It has been reviewed and featured in publications such as Artnews, BBC, Slate, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Internazionale, Huffington Post.
In 2013 Marc was invited as a Guest Lecturer in the Advanced Photography Seminar at Columbia University, New York. You can follow Marc on Instagram @marcleclef

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

Not Marketing Has Devastating Effects On Business

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

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

The Highsmith vs Getty Saga Begins

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

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

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