The Art of the Personal Project: Zave Smith

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Zave Smith

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How long have you been shooting?
I have been a professional photographer all my adult life.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to a very unique school that unfortunately did not survive very long, The Milwaukee Center for Photography. It was a very hard, very in-depth program. I was there two years and then did two years and graduated from The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design with a degree in Photography and Print Making.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
The Philly Music Makers has two strong roots. I have photographed a couple of events where I set up a white seamless studio and shot a 30-75 B&W portraits of the attendees over a couple of hours. I then took those portraits and did a video mash-up.

I have also had been thinking of shooting musicians portraits in backstage in the ready or green rooms.

About two months ago, I was talking with a friend of mine, Ron Bauman. Ron has deep ties with the Philly music scene. We somehow combined the dressing room portrait idea with the shooting speed and style of the white seamless event work and decided that it would be cool create a video mash-up of Philly area musicians. That is how that project started.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
I have been sharing the work as I go. Each time we do a shoot, we add these new portraits to our gallery. We are presently doing one to two shoots each month where we shoot 10-20 portraits.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
For the last decade, all my personal projects have been of the one or two shoot variety. The Philly Music Makers is the first project that is going to go on for a while. I am just having a lot of fun with it and finding it fascinating from a sociological and aesthetic perspective. Two currents have got me jazzed. One, how do you create 10-20 interesting portraits in one green room the size of a small child’s bedroom in the space of a couple of hours and two, why do people do what they do? Why is music so important to us as a species?

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
In my mind, commercial art is all about the answers, “ our butt cream will make your life better.” Whereas fine art, and I think that personal work has the same motivated as fine art, is all about questions. I find that questions are a lot more interesting than answers.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
For me, personal work is all about communicating. Today that means Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet but this project is starting to get buzz.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I just used one of the photos from the Music Makers on a postcard promotion.

————

Exuberant and poignant, philosophical and passionate, Zave Smith’s photographs capture the tangible pleasures and tactile experiences of life. Zave has a special feeling for personality that suffuses his work.

Clients include:
Bristol Meyer Squibb
Capital One
Campbell Mithun
Comcast
Digitas
GMc Advertising
J.P. Morgan
Shire
Vanguard

Represented by,
W.S.W Creative


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 Wall Street Journal Magazine: Jennifer Pastore

- - The Daily Edit

 

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June 2016 Issue  |   Walk on the Wild Side  | Photography by Mikael Jansson Styling by George Cortina

June 2016 cover story: Click Here

 

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The Wall Street Journal Magazine

Editor in Chief: Kristina O’Neill
Creative Director: Magnus Berger
Photo Director: Jennifer Pastore
Senior Photo Editor: Damian Prado
Assistant Photo Editor: Meghan Benson
Photo Assistant: Amanda Webster
 Design Director: Pierre Tardif
Art Director: Tanya Moskowitz
Art + Production Assistant: Caroline Newton

Instagram: @wsjmag #wsjmagazine

Location projects always seem to have unique challenges. The Kenya shoot looks flawless but were there obstacles or triumphs along the way that you can share?
It’s true, location shoots are always challenging. It takes a lot to move a large crew into the middle of a 7000-acre conservancy in a remote corner of Kenya. For this particular story in our upcoming June 2016 issue, out on May 28th, photographer Mikael Jansson and stylist George Cortina brought their enthusiasm for the environment and the culture of the area with them to Kenya, which helped to smooth out any bumps along the way. It also resulted in 34 pages of fashion and landscape photographs that I think capture the romance and wildness of this dramatic location. Also, for the first time in the magazine’s history, we had two different covers. One features Anna Ewers and the other Edie Campbell. Some of my favorite photos from the story are of Edie riding a horse through a herd of zebras and Anna in the afternoon light walking through the bush.

When we last spoke in 2014 the magazine had just begun dipping into the celebrity territory. How much has that shifted since then, and is this now a regular cover theme?
We have definitely expanded our coverage of celebrities in the magazine, but we still approach our subjects (celebrity or not) with a light hand in the way that we photograph and style them. We try to capture their essence in the most natural way possible, which usually means making the shoot experience as comfortable as possible for everyone. We spend a lot of time before the shoot thinking about the creative approach that we want to take as well the interpersonal dynamic of the photography team that we assemble and how it will all work together on the day of the shoot. Hopefully this consideration leads to a feeling of ease on set that allows for moments of surprise and alchemy during the shoot.

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November 2015 / Innovators Issue  | Angelina Jolie Pitt  |   Photography by Peter Lindbergh Styling by Anastasia Barbieri

 

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For the innovators issue with Angelina Jolie on the cover, why did the magazine choose to celebrate her?
It was a natural fit for us to honor Angelina Jolie Pitt in our November 2015 issue with an Innovator Award for so many reasons. She wears many hats – not only is she a Hollywood icon as an actress and director but she is also a notable humanitarian and has managed to blend these two worlds in a very powerful and innovative way. When it came time to photograph Angelina, Peter Lindbergh was an easy choice for us. Everyone involved with the shoot shared the same goal to create images that were both intimate and very strong. Peter had expressed a desire to photograph Angelina so when the opportunity arose, it was exciting to be able to commission him to photograph her – there was so much respect between them on set which I think comes through in the photographs.

 

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February 2016 Issue  |  What’s Upon a Time in Antarctica   |  Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

 

 

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Jamie Hawkesworth is primarily a fashion photographer, what was it about his work that you assigned him the landscapes?
I first came across Jamie’s work after seeing his Preston Bus Station project so my first impression of him was as a portrait and landscape photographer, not so much fashion. I think Jamie’s photographic aesthetic is so distinctive, it almost doesn’t matter what he photographs. I know any images that we commission from him will be very clearly him – his palette, his printing (he prints everything by hand himself) and his voice. Knowing that, it is exciting to send him to these far-flung places such as Azerbaijan, Lagos, Kashmir and, most recently (for our February 2016 cover story), Antarctica to see what he will come back with. (Note: we have another very exciting destination coming up this fall so keep an eye out.) There is always a give and take when it comes time to edit which goes with the territory when sending a photographer off on these very special, un-boundaried projects. There is a thrill in seeing where it all lands and of course, seeing it in the magazine. We are incredibly fortunate to have the freedom to publish these types of open-ended travel stories at WSJ.

Are you working with a core group of photographers now?
We have tried to strike a balance between working with a core group of photographers in order to establish the visual point of view of the magazine and the need and desire to bring in new talent.

 

What are you looking to do with the photography in the next two years?
I hope to continue to nurture our existing relationships with photographers and to continue to find exciting assignments for them. At the same time, I want to push things, bring in new photographers and continually refresh my own eye so I can bring more ideas to the magazine. I work very closely with our editor-in-chief Kristina O’Neill and creative director Magnus Berger and we have a continuous brainstorming conversation going, which never ceases to inspire and motivate me.

Where are you sourcing photographers?
I look at everything: museum and gallery shows, books, magazines, blogs, social media, photo fairs – you name it. I also rely heavily on our incredible photo team Damian Prado, Meghan Benson and Amanda Webster who are out there pounding the pavement looking at work, finding new talent, pitching ideas and generally bringing their enthusiasm and passion to WSJ. Ideas can come from anyone at the magazine; all of our editors are out in the world digesting imagery and ideas so it is always welcome when someone brings something new back to the fold.

Are you on the lookout for emerging talent as well? 
Absolutely, identifying and nurturing emerging talent is a one of the primary joys of this job for me.

 

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May 2016 Issue |   A Sense of Order  |    Photography by Zoe Ghertner Styling by Brian Molloy

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March Men’s 2016 Issue   |   Who the &%!#@ is James Corden?  |  Photography by Inez & Vinoodh Styling by David Vandewal



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November 2015  |   Innovators Issue Karl Ove Knausgaard  | Photography by Juergen Teller

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November 2015  |  Innovators Issue  |  Thomas Heatherwick  |  Photography by David Bailey

 

 

The Daily Promo: Jordan Pay

- - The Daily Promo

 

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Who printed it?
Peczah in Salt Lake City Utah printed it.

Who designed it?
Sam Rodgers designed it ( samsonrodgers@gmail.com )

Who edited the images?
I edited the images

How many did you make?
400 printed

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Send out once a year. I am putting out promos of personal work hoping to attract work that would fit what I love to shoot. Shooting personal work feels more inspiring, rather than putting in stuff that was shot for someone.

This Week In Photography Books: Magda Biernat

by Jonathan Blaustein

In England, Northerners mock Southern Londoners for being soft. Here in Northern New Mexico, people scoff at the Southern part of the State, and often refer to it as Texas.

Ted Cruz, a Texan, and former Republican Presidential candidate, recently derided “New York” values. (By which people assumed he meant liberal, gay-loving, and probably Jewish.)

“Those New Yorkers,” Ted thinks, “with their diversity and heathen practices. Repent, I say. Repent! The rapture is upon is!”

(Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)

No, North vs South is a powerful cultural motif around the world. (The Italians all nod their heads.) And wasn’t there some big war fought over those divisions?

Polar opposites are powerful. I’m not sure exactly why, though we so often define ourselves by what we are not. And homo sapiens tribal affiliations allowed the species to propagate.

My people good.
Other people bad.
Fire scary.

And what of our poles, North and South? How are they faring in these days of rampant Climate Change? I interviewed a Finnish photographer for the NYT earlier this year, and she’d spoken to indigenous people in Greenland who insisted the ice was melting fast.

How fast it melts, and how much rejoins the ocean, has dire consequences for the future of humanity, and all the other living creatures with whom we share our planet. (Except for the cockroaches. Fuck you, cockroaches. Everybody hates you.)

Back on point, I just looked at “Adrift,” a new book by Magda Biernat, published by Ink & Bellows. This is a lovely little production, and I do mean production. It’s not built like most books, as the text is pasted tight to the inside cover, and the images unfold accordion style.

The writing gives us the background, though I couldn’t help look at the pictures first.

Diptychs?

Blue icebergs in blue water, contrasted with white buildings on white landscape. They’re aesthetically pleasing, wonderful to look at, but definitely have a bit of a weird vibe as well. Particular the buildings.

As it doesn’t take long to flip through, I immediately re-flip, and realize the compositions of the icebergs and buildings ape each other formally. (It’s not exact, but close enough to get the point.)

So we know we’re certainly meant to see them as pairs, and I begin to wonder what that relationship implies?

On to the text, and some essay-parsing delivers this: the icebergs are melting pieces from Antartica, and the structures are abandoned indigenous hunting cabins in Alaska. Ms. Biernat covered the world, from Pole to Pole, and the book reflects two global warming stories she witnessed.

There is a proliferation of such imagery these days. The icebergs in particular. I don’t know if frequency alone, with respect to delivering the message, will get the job done. People simply can’t tune out until it’s too late, as the alternative is CATACLYSM.

Full stop.

Perhaps more metaphorical, lyrical ways of telling the story will become vital? (Like this book.)

It’s small, gray and sleek, like a baby seal. It’s delicate, like our ecosphere. Quiet, like the snow.

Basically, this is a cool book. Will it, by itself, defeat Climate Change?

Of course not.
Ridiculous question.

But if there are hundreds and hordes of people are out there, each trying to make an impact as storytellers, artists, consumers, conservationists, then perhaps we stand a chance after all.

Bottom Line: A meditation on Climate Change

To Purchase “Adrift” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Amanda Hibbert

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Amanda Hibbert

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How long have you been shooting?
I’ve been pursing a career in photography for 5 years, however I received my first camera my senior year of high school and started shooting then.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
A little bit of both. Photography is my second career so when I made the change in 2011 from Aerospace Engineering I really examined going back to school full time. I had already completed a certificate program from the Washington School of Photography while working as an engineer, but I felt like I needed a more in-depth focus on lighting.

On my first assisting job I was the second assistant. The first assistant had graduated a few years earlier from photography school. She told me she had learned more on the job than from school, so I decided not to go into debt and learn what I didn’t know while assisting and digital teching.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I played rugby in college and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It was an experience that shaped who I am today, my values, work ethic and confidence.

I wanted to share a rather unknown sport with people. The photos are the tip of the iceberg for this project, this series is part of a larger documentary film project I am working on about women’s rugby in the United States.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
These particular images are from the 2011 spring season in the Washington DC area, however I am still working on the overall documentary project. Initially this was going to be a photo essay, then I wanted it to be a multi-media project to include players talking about their experiences. In 2012 I decided it was a documentary film and started filming for that purpose in 2013.

I will be adding portraits of the players and I would like to eventually get the entire collection into a gallery show as part of promotion for the film.

But the short answer is, I’m still working on it.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
I am a very detailed planner and I do a lot of pre-visualization prior to a project. If the concept is not coming together in the planning stages I’ll table it and work on another. For me it’s not the time or effort already put in but more of a creative fulfillment quota that needs to be met. I have a book full of ideas that I want to work on so I’ll move onto the next idea if it’s not working for me.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
Currently I find that a lot of what ends up in my portfolio is my personal work, so I wold not say it’s different for me. Since majority of my images are my ideas and personal shoots when I shoot personal work, I’m shooting for my portfolio.

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
Always! My current social media marketing plan starts with my Instagram account @amandahibbert. I use that as the starting point, and then it pushes out to all other outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.). My Instagram account is treated as an extension of my brand so when I post to Instagram it’s like being on my website, but more immediate like a blog. I’m currently curating my feed now to more closely align with my brand.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not viral yet, but hopefully with this wonderful interview. There has been interest in the women’s rugby project and film but nothing so extensive as to make it “viral”.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
Yes. My leave behind when showing my portfolio includes several images. The rugby photos are actual some of my images that get the most responses when showing my book, it’s a great conversation starter.

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Amanda Hibbert is a San Francisco based photographer and director who believes in the power of story telling.

Her unique combination of technical expertise and creative vision provide an exceptional experience. A true collaborator, Amanda creates a successful partnership with her clients to express their visual aesthetic through photography and video.

She has been selected and exhibited in three APA group shows, the 2013 & 2014 “Off The Clock” Exhibition and in the 2014 “Something Personal Show”.

Visit www.amandahibbert.com or follow in Instagram @amandahibbert


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.

Competition is not your biggest problem

- - Working

If your focus is on what’s wrong with the marketplace, and you’re caught up in the illusion that there’s no way you can succeed because of an overcrowded market, that’s full of young people who don’t know photography, then that is the reality that you create. You will live inside of that fantasy and your business will suffer.

If your focus however, is on developing the most competitive body of work you can produce and you then take the necessary steps needed to consistently sell and market your work, then you are laying the groundwork for the success that you seek.

Source: Selina Maitreya

The Daily Edit: Trevor and Ty Paulhus

- - The Daily Edit

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Photographer: Trevor Paulhus
Illustrator: Ty Paulhus
Creative Director: Paul Scirecalabrisotto

 

Trevor: ( the photographer )

Do you and your brother Ty often collaborate as a team?
We have talked about doing things together for years, but didn’t actually follow through with it until recently. He works a full-time job as a creative director and has a family, etc… and I live half-way across the country from him and am always busy as well, so it continually got put on the back burner.
But last year I got asked to shoot a fashion editorial for a publication’s “Art Issue” and I figured it was the perfect opportunity to pull in my brother. They gave us the freedom to run with our own concept, so we had a lot of fun figuring it all out together. I added some of the work from that series to my printed portfolio, did a little marketing push of the series online with social media and email blasts, etc… and people seemed to really dig the combination of our styles. Since then, he and I have been fortunate enough to get asked to collaborate on quite a few things as a team.
How did the concept come about? 
Paul from SLAM reached out to me directly with tears from the first fashion spreads Ty and I did. And simply asked if we would be interested in doing something similar for their upcoming cover/feature with Russell Westbrook. I have worked with SLAM for many years on many past assignments, so for me, it was rather standard in terms of my role behind the camera. And again, Ty and I were given pretty amazing creative freedom to simply work together as a team like we had on previous projects. I was asked to capture a few specific static portraits as well as some specific poses to help the flow of the illustrations and Ty was given some loose direction of them wanting things to feel a certain way, but besides that, Paul pretty much just let us do our thing.
Was Slam his client or your client?
SLAM was my my long-time client. It was really great to get to mix it up and do something different this time around.  I’m a huge basketball fan and the people at SLAM are all top-notch folks; have consistently been one of those clients that I feel really fortunate to have a long-standing connection with.
Growing up did you two always draw and take photographs?
Yeah. Absolutely. We used to draw together all the time, but Ty was always more into it than I was, and way better at it. My father is a graphic designer and used to take us to his studio after school. We would sit there for hours playing with his markers and pens while he worked. Ty and I both eventually went to college for illustration, but I ended up changing my major, I just didn’t have the passion for drawing. Eventually, I found photography after years of searching for a medium I connected with.
What was your first collaboration with your brother?
Our first collaboration was a series titled SCHIZOPHRENIC for a fashion editorial (mentioned above). Still one of my favorite things we have done together.

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Ty ( the illustrator )

What collaborative skills have you learned or better developed working with your brother?
Getting a chance to work with Trevor has been really great, we’ve talked about collaborating on a project like this for a long time. We already knew that we’ve got similar tastes as far as art & design goes, so I felt pretty comfortable going into the project. Being more open to feedback & change was definitely one of the skills I developed more while working on this project. Typically, I think about how an illustration works by itself, but in this case, the drawings needed to work as one with the photography, so finding that balance needed some back & forth which wasn’t always as easy as we wanted because we both have strong opinions on how we think it should be. Having those conversations with Trevor was alot of fun though, I value his opinion.
How many sketches did you go through for each final piece and what is your process?
My process for this project was a bit different than normal for me. Because I have a really loose, organic style that makes use of mistakes, ink bleed, drips, splatters, etc, I kept my sketches to thumbnails to get a sense of placement and a general outline of the page. Once I had an idea of how the photos & drawings were going to work together, it was a lot of iteration to get the lettering and drawings just right. I would use a lightbox to paint over the photos, building up textures & drawings, then I’d take all of the drawings and scan them in, putting it all together in Photoshop. By the end of the project, I had a huge pile of sketches & drawings for each illustration (around 20 each. I must have drawn each of the words 50x each until I thought it was just right.
Are you illustrating full time for your full time job?
No, I’m an Art Director at a company in RI that does web & app design. Outside of design, most of my art has been paintings and personal side projects that rarely saw the light of day. I went to school for illustration (Massachusetts College of Art), and after college I focused more on graphic & web design, only pursuing illustration work when fun projects like this one come up, but lately I have made more of an effort to get more regular illustration work.
How did you know at such a young age, illustration was your passion?  
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist, even when I was much younger, making artwork was the only thing I ever wanted to do. Trevor & I have a lot of artists in our family (our dad & grandfather are both graphic designers & artists), so it seemed natural. We were always encouraged in whatever we were doing. I grew up with a nonstop barrage of comics, video games, skateboarding, graffiti and music. The unconventional creativity that permeates skateboarding & graffiti is massively inspiring to me, and really helped to shape the way I look at art, and life in general. I’d be destined for failure if I were to try to do anything else.

 

The Daily Promo: Jason Evans

- - The Daily Promo

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Who printed it?
I looked at many different printers, some local and some of the larger mass production places.  In the end, I went with Agency Access as the printer as I was able to bundle many services together and their printing for this type of promo was perfect.  Since I was adding to my marketing list through their database, it made sense for them to print and mail.

Who designed it?
It was designed by Sara Jane Kaminski, a wonderful designer in Boston.  She had been recommended to me by several different business associates, and we’d been talking for several years trying to find the right opportunity to work together.  This was the first project that we worked on together and I was very happy with the results.  Sara came up with the template for emails and these printed bi-fold promos and I switch out the images and type.

I used to send promos in the clear plastic/cellophane envelopes that everyone uses now.  An art buyer in Florida emailed me to say that he had loved the images, but he had thrown the promo in the trash because of the plastic sleeve, as was his practice, and he hoped that the trend of using these envelopes would soon end. I am an environmentalist at heart, and that really stuck with me.  Since then, it has been very important in the mailer design, that they can ship without an envelope.  Sometimes, they are damaged, but I think that is a fair trade to avoid decorative plastic trash.

Who edited the images?
A great photo editor in Los Angeles, named Kathleen Clark, was recommended to me several months ago when I was looking to re-edit my website. We are in the process of finishing up the edit and redesign, and the site will be launched soon. Since she was so familiar with my work at that point, she was able to pull together these 5 images together very quickly.

How many did you make?
I am printing 1000 of each mailer and sending them to agencies, magazines, and photo agents

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I am sending out these mailers 6 times this year and am designing a larger promotional piece to coincide with the Olympics in Rio.

What project did the promo images come from?
This was a promo that went out in the winter and used images that I shot at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. I was working there for the International Olympic Committee. One of the images was selected for the the American Photography 31 Annual Book.  This was the first promo that went out for this year and was the first to go out with Sara’s design.

This Week In Photography Books: Zora J Murff

by Jonathan Blaustein

How do you know you’re having a really bad day?

When you make a pregnant woman cry.
That’s always a good way to gauge when everything’s gone wrong.

If you’re not perfectly sure, having her young husband scream in your face, in public, will carry the point home.

Yes, you’re having a really bad day.

For sure.

That was a part of my yesterday, when two of my Art History students had simultaneous meltdowns. On the last day of class. Of course a year that has pushed me harder than a crowd of Walmart shoppers on Black Friday would end on such a note.

Pure. Bloody. Chaos.

It was my first time teaching this demographic before. And this class as well. (Intro to Art) So I needed to suss out the capabilities of my students, over the course of the term. Stunned, I found that half the class failed a mid-term I felt was pretty easy.

Then I heard most teachers resorted to doing open-book-open-notes tests all the time. My wife suggested I pivot to a final presentation, rather than a test, to avoid causing further stress upon them. (Some left entire pages blank, in pure freak out mode. I had to curve the thing 16 points, in the end.)

Cue yesterday, when the shit really hit the fan. Their presentations were so bad that pure plagiarism from the Internet, read aloud with many mispronunciations, became good work by comparison.

One student did a presentation on Michael Angelo. (Tony Angelo’s older brother?)

I suppose I ought to take some of the blame, as an instructor. I could have been more clear about my expectations.

But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t get through to people.

Other times, though, you can see Art make a difference in someone’s life. As a form of communication, it is something to behold. You witness it, and are reminded why this work is so important, poor pay be damned.

I had two photo students this semester who both used a photography project to conquer some deeply held fears. Both reconciled themselves; succeeding in ways our class simply couldn’t believe. One regained the ability to drive, after making pictures about a terrible car accident; the other confronted PTSD.

Art works because it allows people to take control over how they release their energy into the world. Instead of repressing rage, which eventually surfaces in violence and/or misery, we can transform it into a beautiful or ugly piece of art.

Making things is a transformative process: it takes what’s inside us, and births it into the world.

It allows for catharsis.

I saw it so many times, in the decade I worked with at-risk teenagers in Taos. It’s inspiring, the way they embrace creativity so easily at that age.

Their intelligence is there. They’re as smart as adults. They just don’t have the life experience to know what the world is about, nor the emotional maturity, and often have strong triggers from coming up hard.

I once had a student who would walk home 4 miles from work, getting in after 1am, just to wake up at 6 to get ready for high school again.

Kids who had nothing handed to them in life.

Kids like that often end up in the juvenile justice system, at some point. And what exactly does that look like?

I just put down “Corrections,” by Zora J Murff, recently published by Ain’t Bad Press, with a foreword by Pete Brook, noted expert about America’s Prison System, and author of the blog Prison Photography.

The object is genuinely beautiful, with a turquoise cover that makes me think of the Four Corners, and a graphic icon, meant to evoke the panopticon, that looks like a distorted Zia from there as well. (Navajo Nation, for the uninitiated.)

Pete’s intro suggests, but does not declare, that Mr. Murff worked inside the corrections system, in Iowa, minding the tracking devices placed on teenagers within “the system.” Kids who’d committed offenses, obviously, but not so bad they had to be in juvenile detention. (Jail.)

Apparently, GPS accuracy means the government really can know where ankle-tagged people are at any given time. How degrading is that? Is it not 1000 times better than being locked up?

Well, we get to see and feel what it’s like, in these exceedingly well-made photographs. We’ve seen this book type before, maybe the Christian Patterson-style of mixing up all different sub-genres: historical, paper documents, still lives, portraits. (Surely, there were people who did it before CP, but you know what I’m talking about.)

The ankle bracelet, followed by a blurred portrait, and then all the other people are shot with faces obscured. Not by big blocks or dots, but by gesture. A hood, an arm, a turned body. They don’t want us to know who they are, but they want us to know their stories.

Fair enough.

The clean graphic design on this book, the high quality of the pictures, the substantial feel, create a platform for emotions to translate.

Sadness chief among them.

There’s a document on page 53. (See photo below.) An orientation pod assignment. Sample questions? I am at my best when: never. I feel proud when: never. The happiest day in my life was: hasn’t happened.

Heartbreaking stuff.

I really felt it. I look at so many books, as you well know, but few get under my skin.

You could say that these kids are lucky. It’s much better than being in jail. But the vibe here is that they’re not lucky at all. They’re caught in a feedback-loop incarceration system that is ruining millions of lives and costing billions of dollars.

How often do we REALLY contemplate that our governments send billions of tax dollars to private corporations to incarcerate people for profit? Or that the failed drug war is enriching corporations, while devastating countless communities on both sides of the US-Mexico border. (Who gets rich off of opioid epidemics? Cartels, pharmaceutical companies and private prisons.)

A book like this can make you think about such things.

The epilogue states that Mr. Murff in fact worked as a “Tracker” in Iowa for 3 years, 2012-15. He worked within this corrections system, and was likely in charge of many of the young people in this book. (Unless the pictures are staged.) He had to go on the trauma rides with them, and presumably it was a stressful experience. (The very-well written statement confirms as much.)

One could easily see this art project, making the pictures for the book, even the book itself, as the product of one artist’s personal catharsis.

Composting stress into beauty. Getting our attention, and turning it towards larger issues plaguing this great country of ours.

Bottom Line: Beautiful book about life inside the system

To Purchase “Corrections” Visit Photo-Eye

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The Art of the Personal Project: Sandra Salvas

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

Today’s featured photographer is: Sandra Salvas

Sunrise in Mae Ann over Love Animal House

Sunrise in Mae Ann over Love Animal House

Hero taking it all in. Marianne found Hero just after he was hit with a machette in his face. While he lost sight in his one eye, he still has a loving spirit and now a forever home where he is safe.

Hero taking it all in. Marianne found Hero just after he was hit with a machette in his face. While he lost sight in his one eye, he still has a loving spirit and now a forever home where he is safe.

Yod and Lung (pronounced Loon) unloading  the daily cut grass for the cows at Holy Cow Farm, the cow extension of Love Animal House.

Yod and Lung (pronounced Loon) unloading the daily cut grass for the cows at Holy Cow Farm, the cow extension of Love Animal House.

Zoe getting her lunch at Holy Cow Farm.

Zoe getting her lunch at Holy Cow Farm.

Tain (Tahn) and Miso. Tain lives at and takes care of the animals at Holy Cow Farm.

Tain (Tahn) and Miso. Tain lives at and takes care of the animals at Holy Cow Farm.

Nin is the last surviving dog at the Wat Ban Oi temple. Recently there was a mass poisoning of 20 dogs here, but Nin was spared. She's been at this Temple for 10 years. She is 12 years old. Pictured with Luang Poh

Nin is the last surviving dog at the Wat Ban Oi temple. Recently there was a mass poisoning of 20 dogs here, but Nin was spared. She’s been at this Temple for 10 years. She is 12 years old. Pictured with Luang Poh

Caramel, not so sure about the giant lens in front of him.

Caramel, not so sure about the giant lens in front of him.

Monty,  watching the sunrise from the top of Love Animal House. Monty is the newest dog here. He kept finding trouble in the villages with chickens running loose. Marianne feared he would be poisoned, so she brought him home.

Monty, watching the sunrise from the top of Love Animal House. Monty is the newest dog here. He kept finding trouble in the villages with chickens running loose. Marianne feared he would be poisoned, so she brought him home.

Mali and her brother Mumbo (not pictured) are defintitely the most wild, most skeptical of the dogs here. They were the only pups that were completely uninterested in getting attention from people.

Mali and her brother Mumbo (not pictured) are defintitely the most wild, most skeptical of the dogs here. They were the only pups that were completely uninterested in getting attention from people.

Ping prepares dinner for the dogs. Ping prepares meals for the dogs 5 days a week using fresh ingredients from the local markets.

Ping prepares dinner for the dogs. Ping prepares meals for the dogs 5 days a week using fresh ingredients from the local markets.

Marianne gives Wolfie a bath. Wolfie was hit by a car and paralyzed in one leg so he now drags it behind him. this leads to scrapes and cuts, so he gets baths to keep the potential for infection down.

Marianne gives Wolfie a bath. Wolfie was hit by a car and paralyzed in one leg so he now drags it behind him. this leads to scrapes and cuts, so he gets baths to keep the potential for infection down.

Charlie is at Wat Pa Tiew. This Temple is off the main highway in Mae Rim. He was hit by a car and had to have surgery on his hips and leg. Marianne is hoping to place him in a home environment sooner than later.

Charlie is at Wat Pa Tiew. This Temple is off the main highway in Mae Rim. He was hit by a car and had to have surgery on his hips and leg. Marianne is hoping to place him in a home environment sooner than later.

Tun feeding the cows at Holy Cow Farm.

Tun feeding the cows at Holy Cow Farm.

The water buffalos enjoying the water on a 90 degree day in Mae Rim.

The water buffalos enjoying the water on a 90 degree day in Mae Rim.

The dogs of Wat Hua Fai. These dogs have it pretty good. The monk here cooks for them daily. Originally there were only 3 dogs here, but the monk allowed other dogs to come in because they were not safe. Now there are 14 here. The Temple sits up high on a hill and against the forest.

The dogs of Wat Hua Fai. These dogs have it pretty good. The monk here cooks for them daily. Originally there were only 3 dogs here, but the monk allowed other dogs to come in because they were not safe. Now there are 14 here. The Temple sits up high on a hill and against the forest.

The dogs of Wat Nah Hoerk. This is one of the safesty temples I've seen. The monk has built the dogs an enclosure for when he is not around to keep them safe. Otherwise they all follow him around and do not wander too far. There are lots of dogs here and it's amazing they all seem to get along in this enclosure.

The dogs of Wat Nah Hoerk. This is one of the safesty temples I’ve seen. The monk has built the dogs an enclosure for when he is not around to keep them safe. Otherwise they all follow him around and do not wander too far. There are lots of dogs here and it’s amazing they all seem to get along in this enclosure.

Bobo the cow at Holy Cow Farm.

Bobo the cow at Holy Cow Farm.

The dogs of Wat Nong Pla Mann happily greet a young monk.

The dogs of Wat Nong Pla Mann happily greet a young monk.

How long have you been shooting?
Technically, since high school…which is about 18 years ago now…yikes.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to the School of Visual Arts in NYC. I wanted to learn not just how to take photos, but how to market myself and sell my work commercially.

With this particular project, what was your inspiration to shoot it?
I am an animal lover and have worked with several local dog rescues in Utah over the past 5 years. Yes, I’m a crazy dog lady.

I had just been laid off from a full time job as a photo editor, and was completely burnt out. I wanted to work on something bigger than marketing objectives, and for someone who was actually making a difference. I perused the interwebs for volunteer photography projects and found the site Photographers Without Borders. They are a non-profit organization who work with NGOs in developing countries. They partner photographers with causes in order to raise awareness through visual story telling. I read their Mission & Vision statement and immediately applied for an opportunity to work with an animal rescue. After an interview and a couple months, they asked if I’d like to partner with Love Animal House in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I raised money for my airfare and stay, as well as some additional money I was able to donate to Love Animal House.

I wanted this to be pure journalism. I followed Maryanne, her dogs, her cows, cats, and her employees around for 2 weeks just watching, observing, and learning.

Animal welfare is low on the totem pole for most people in Thailand. They don’t understand spaying and neutering pets is the way to control an overpopulation of cats and dogs. Sadly, they result in poisoning their pets to “get a hold of the situation.” Slaughter houses are violent and inhumane, and farm animals are often left suffering and unattended to. The sanctuary was founded over 21 years ago to change this; to offer a place of equality for all living animals, and to educate the community in animal welfare. The organization is currently developing their bovine shelter for rescued cows and water buffalo to be developed into a free energy plant by turning their waste into gas to run generators and provide electricity to their project site and neighborhood. 

I wanted the opportunity to tell this story. The project focuses on the animals she’s rescued, as well as the monks who protect the animals in the local temples of Mae Rim. It really goes beyond Chiang Mai, so I feel like this is just one door that has opened to a much bigger project.

How many years have you been shooting this project before you decided to present it?
This was a 2 week project, but I want to go back. There’s so much more to tell.

How long do you spend on a personal project before deciding if it is working?
It depends on the depth of the project. Some projects only last 1 day, some I spend years on. If it’s a real story, with progression and substance, it usually only takes a day to realize that and then I try to go back within a reasonable time and continue it over a year. Sometimes I just have random ideas that are more conceptual and it’s just a one day shoot and done.

Since shooting for your portfolio is different from personal work, how do you feel when the work is different?
I actually consider all of it portfolio work. Part of being a photographer is being personally creative but also having the ability to adapt your style for a clients needs. I like the challenge of making it all cohesive. My personal work comes from what I am most passionate about, and I like to think that clients consider those things before they hire me for an assignment. “Oh, she loves dogs. She must be patient and understanding.” Haha!

Have you ever posted your personal work on social media venues such as Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram or Facebook?
I only post personal work on Instagram. I have rules for this platform,

Rule 1 is iphone only. What’s more challenging than taking a great photo? Taking a great photo with your optically challenged iphone. Funnily enough, I broke this rule twice during promotion of this trip to Thailand, but that was it. I’ve stayed true before and since.

Rule 2 is only 1 post a day. No one wants to see the progression of me “getting the shot” Just post the best one.

As for Tumblr and Facebook, anything goes. I use Tumblr to promote photos before I add them to my website galleries, or will throw up an image with Facebook. Honestly I’m not the best social media promoter.

If so, has the work ever gone viral and possibly with great press?
Not yet, but maybe one of these days. I’m optimistic.

Have you printed your personal projects for your marketing to reach potential clients?
I do it all the time. It’s not like a lot of people are going to have the opportunity to see my personal work unless I’m on their radar. By printing and mailing pieces out, I only hope it doesn’t just go from the mail box to the recycling bin. I don’t over print or over send. I really try to target the audience of the mailer so I’m not wasting paper or anyone’s time.

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I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, moved to NYC for college, and after graduating quickly traded in the concrete jungle for the mountains. After a 5 year stint in Boulder, CO, I moved to Park City, UT where I currently reside with my husband and 2 fur kids.

I am inspired by real moments, real people, bad dogs, being outside, and all kinds of adventure. I love projects with depth and process that keep you wanting to go back for more: to learn, see, and experience it all as much as you can.

I love…
documenting activities
unexpected moments
the outdoors
dogs
my family
nature
mountains
snow
sun
water
whiskey
a cold beer
skiing
running
cartwheels
great friends
dancing


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

Pricing and Negotiating: Ingredients for Food Packaging

- - Working

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Shoot Concept: Still life images of ingredients on white

Licensing: Unlimited use of four images in perpetuity

Location: A studio in New York

Shoot Days: 1

Photographer: Food/still life specialist

Agency: Medium-sized, based in the Northeast

Client: Packaged food manufacturer

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing: The agency kicked off the project by describing a need for isolated close-up ingredient shots with “high appetite appeal” based on new variations of their flagship product. They had four new products, each of which required a unique image featuring ingredients of the flavors. The ingredients would be shot on white, and they’d ultimately be composited together with a textured background and a few other design elements.

The intended use for these images would be for product packaging, and there was a very limited chance they would end up in advertisements, although the products themselves (with the images on the packaging) could end up being integrated into other marketing pieces. It was apparent that the shelf life of the images would likely be a year or so as they refresh their product’s packaging somewhat frequently, but despite the intended use, the agency/client requested unlimited use of the four images in perpetuity.

With the intended use in mind, I wanted to price each image between $1,500-$3,000 based on previous experience with similar projects/clients. In this instance, we were given a budget of around $13,000, and given the potential expenses, I knew that would force us to tighten up the creative/licensing fee. After fleshing out the rest of the estimate, we ended up coming in at $6,500, which based upon the straightforward nature of the project and the photographer’s experience level, still seemed appropriate.

Assistant and Digital Tech: We included the cost for one assistant to lend a hand with grip/lighting, and also added a digital tech to ingest and display the files for approval on-site. The digital tech’s rate included his time at $500 for the day, plus a workstation rental at $600/day.

Food Stylist and Assistant: In addition to the food stylist’s time on set, she would also need a day beforehand to shop for the ingredients, and she’d have an assistant with her on the shoot day to prepare and organize the food. We included a few hundred dollars to source plenty of options, and this included a bit of a buffer in case any items needed to be special ordered and/or shipped in.

Studio Rental and Equipment: This rate afforded a studio with a kitchen and plenty of space to prep and shoot the ingredients. The photographer would be using all of her own equipment, rather than renting gear, and was comfortable waiving any equipment fees in order to stay within the client’s budget.

Lunch Catering: We anticipated 2 client/agency representatives to be on set, as well as the 5 crew members, and included $50 per person for lunch catering.

Mileage, Parking, Meals, Misc.: The photographer would be traveling from a few hours away, and we wanted to make sure we included supplemental funds for transportation to/from the studio, as well as parking and unanticipated expenses that might arise.

Color Correction, File Cleanup, Clipping and Delivery of 4 Selects by FTP: The agency would be handling the compositing of the images with the other design elements and backgrounds, but they needed the photographer to do some basic processing and create the clipping paths for each shot. I felt $150/image would be appropriate for this work.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project. Right before the shoot, the scope of the project changed a bit, and there was a need to bring on a prop stylist (at $800/day) to source a few surfaces, plates, bowls and utensils. The agency also ended up needing more help with the post processing than originally anticipated, and the photographer hired a retoucher who worked through 4 rounds of processing, clipping and color alterations, which added about $3,000 to the final invoice.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at (610) 260-0200. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

The Daily Edit – Jeremy Samuelson: Darling Magazine

- - The Daily Edit

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Darling Magazine


Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director:
 Sarah Dubbeldam

Photo Editor: Rebekah Shannon
Photographer:
Jeremy Samuelson

Do you scout your spaces prior to the shoot?
I only scout when it is a commercial job and there are prior expectations for the shots, furniture placement and so on; but when it is an editorial shoot, I like to experience it spontaneously and respond. I always do a walk through with a compass to check the travel of light during the day.

If there’s no time to scout, do you have a punch list of questions regarding available or natural light?
I look for trees, foliage, things that might influence the light. Also in LA, most of the buildings are not multi story unlike NYC where I have to be a little more careful if I want the streaming light look.

What type of creative influences surface in your work? 
I am really interested in still life in painting and photography. That is another facet of my work but I do see interiors as giant still life images.

What changes have you seen in interior photography?
Interior design is not seen a distinct or separate category but part of a whole lifestyle, what you surround yourself with is like what you choose to wear.

If the space is giving you a challenge what are your go to solutions to create an interesting space?
One way is to break up the space and treat it as a series of vignettes.

How often do you work with Darling Magazine and where are they based?
This is my second assignment for Darling, they are based out of LA but maintain an international presence.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
We talked about where we would shoot the portraits, they left the depiction of the space up to me. I like to include people in the interior when I can, for scale and interest. I will often use motion just to lighten the sense of human presence. We also talked about the mix of verticals and spreads they wanted.

The Daily Promo: Rob Hammer

- - The Daily Edit

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Rob Hammer 

Who printed it?
Agency Access

Who designed it?
Agency Access

Who edited the images?
Me

How many did you make?
100

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I’ll send out 2 promos like the hoops project book every year, which are more involved (usually some type of small book) and go to much more targeted list. And then I’ll send out about 6 other smaller promos to a much larger list.

How did this project start?
I’ve always been a basketball fan, but this project started years ago during my extensive road trips around the USA while working on my Barbershop project ( I photographed old barbershops in all 50 states of the USA, and later published that body of work into a book). Since that project ended, this project has picked up, and has been the focus of my never ending road trips.

How do you find the courts?
I drive cross country a lot to work on personal projects, and this has been my focus for the last couple years. Staying off highways and taking back roads has been the key. Small towns in the middle of nowhere. Never do any research. Just sniff them out.

Do you have bigger plans for this body of work?
Yes, I’m currently working on a few gallery shows. A big one for the beginning of next year, that I shouldn’t talk about yet, but really excited for it. Also trying to get them licensed commercially for ad campaigns with companies like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. I’ll probably shoot this project for a few more years, and might think about doing a book as well.

Where was the hoops with the horns shot?
That hoop with the antlers is in Idaho.

This Week In Photography Books: Sara Terry

by Jonathan Blaustein

I am blessed.

We all are, actually. If you’re reading this, I feel confident stating that you have a good life.

Or good enough.

The fact that you have Internet access, the proper device, and an interest in photography means you’re doing OK. You most certainly have challenges in your life.

We all do.

But in general, we, the global photography community, are doing pretty well for ourselves.

That much is true.

It’s often said we grow through struggle. Difficulty forces change, promotes wisdom. In my own life experience, I’d have to agree. How we handle adversity becomes a marker of our character, and the adversity itself becomes a guide.

As lovely as my children are, for example, when my son was born, 8.5 years ago, I was unprepared. He was difficult, perhaps, and I was stressed out, for sure.

But I felt more misery than joy during the first 6 months of his life. I did not feel blessed, despite my good fortune.

There were only a few times, in half a year, when Theo and I both felt at peace. My wife had recently gotten me an Ipod for my birthday, which we couldn’t afford, but it turned out to be a godsend.

I’d put on music by the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars, take Theo in my arms, and we would dance. Again and again, to the same songs, which spoke tales of faraway places I’d likely never see. (Sample lyric: “When two elephants are fighting, the grass they must suffer.”)

The songs, which spoke of misery and the abuse of power, contained a joy that was infectious. We danced, my son and I, and for those few moments, everything was OK. The music healed us, temporarily, and I can still see it in my mind’s eye, as if I were a spirit, looming below the ceiling, watching it all unfold.

That is what I know of Sierra Leone. It is one of many countries in Africa that have a history of war, bloodshed, and graphic violence that we frankly can’t understand, here in the West. We have no context; no frame of reference to comprehend gang rapes, and hands hacked off with machetes.

Thank god for that.

But other people in this world, people who had the misfortune of being born to different parents, they have lived through such things. Day after day.

They say life is not fair, but I’d suggest aphorisms have no place in the discussion of such tragedy.

Art, on the other hand, can communicate reality in a way that opens our imaginations up to places otherwise unattainable. Art, I’ve seen with my own eyes, can make a difference.

In this particular case, I’m thinking of “Chapter Four,” a recent newsprint publication by Sara Terry, which showed up in my mailbox the other week.

Wow, is this thing powerful.

I met Sara at FotoFest in March, at a dinner party thrown by a mutual friend. She was clearly a force-of-nature type person, and I have a soft spot for such folks. When I claimed to be grounded and secure with myself, she immediately asked if I that meant I was in therapy?

I calmly said yes, as I was not embarrassed to admit it.

But it was a telling moment. She was confident in her query, unafraid to risk offense. There was a strength in her gaze, and though I knew little about her art practice, (but I had heard her name before,) I had no doubt she was good at what she did.

Turns out, Sara is a filmmaker, a Guggenheim fellow, a former journalist, a photographer, and the founder of the Aftermath Project. She has spent more time in Africa than I’ve spent writing these columns over the last 5 years, and that’s saying something.

The newspaper tells stories of a forgiveness and reconciliation project, called Fambul Tok, that she worked on in Sierra Leone, after the country’s long civil war came to a close. It speaks of atrocity, yes, but focuses on redemption and love.

It is a treatise on the power of forgiveness, and the magical healing that comes from offering apology, admitting wrongdoing, and submitting to the judgement of one’s community.

Holy shit, is this an amazing story. Apparently, in village after village, perpetrators of violence were welcomed back into the fold, such was the power of these ceremonies.

Sara is a good writer, and manages to share tidbits of other people’s tales, dripping with empathy, embedded within her own first-person narrative. Under the guidance of a local activist named John Caulker, she documented a forgiveness project based around communal bonfires in far-flung villages across the country.

The photographs, far from serving as illustration, give us a way to connect to what we’re reading. It’s simply a lovely publication, one rife with inspiration, and something I think I’ll turn to when I’m feeling really low, going forward.

It feels like it might become a totem, the equivalent of those Refugee Allstars songs that saved me once, when I was drowning in misery, rather than basking in joy.

I’m not sure if these newspapers are readily available, so this might be one review where you get all you can from me, rather than being able to put your hands on it yourself.

As such, I’m writing about it as a proxy. I’d hope that you’ll take a minute, over your coffee, your lunch break, or even on the subway, and remember that no matter how bad your day is going, you are extremely fortunate.

And to the many of you out there, working on your own stories of redemption, starting your own NGO’s, and devoting yourself to the downtrodden: we salute you.

Bottom Line: Striking, almost magical publication about the power of forgiveness

UPDATE: Chapter Four is part of a ten-year-long, six-chapter project called Forgiveness and Conflict: Lessons from Africa. It’s available as part of a handmade, limited edition (50) artist’s book, available on the project website: http://www.forgivenessandconflict.com

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Art Producers Speak: Lou Mora

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Lou Mora. He is one of our most trusted and creative photographers. He brought a beautiful light and style to all of work he did for us even when some of the subjects and places were bland. He goes beyond the call to get to get the perfect shot even scaling telephone poles, rooftops and crawling under things. His work has evolved beautifully.

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How many years have you been in business?
I assisted for 4.5 years and launched my company around 7 years ago.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to photography school, but I’d say at this point I’m just as much self-taught.  I’ve learned so much since I graduated that it feels like my formal education covered the basics but that I had so much more to learn.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I fell in love with photography before I fully understood that it could be a livelihood, so I’d have to say it was the many photographers I assisted who showed me the ropes and exactly how I could turn what I loved into a business (you know who you are, thank you!) 

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I find inspiration in all the usual places- but I’m most inspired by people; mannerisms, style, idiosyncrasies, where they live, how they live- it all fascinates me.  As far as pushing myself and staying true to myself, that comes from a determination to keep growing, bettering my work and refining my vision.  I trust that if I’m doing that work, the rest will fall into place.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
My number one goal on set is to give the client more than what they are asking for. That can mean different things at different times but it’s all a collaboration. If the client has a comp and they know that that’s what they want, I’ll shoot it but time permitting I’ll also give them different variations. I’ve found that most if not all clients are open to seeing what’s possible when the approach is right! 

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
HUSTLING! I’m always working on personal projects, marketing is a constant (mailers, social media, emails, etc.).  Building relationships is critical, so I try to stay in touch in a genuine way and I’m always trying to book meetings- not only do I think it’s incredibly helpful for buyers to be able to get a feel for my personality but I’ve gotten to a point where I think they’re fun!  It’s great meeting people who love the same things I do and it’s fun to meet people whose careers I’ve followed in the ad world.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I say, no one sees the world quite the same way you do, so take advantage of that and figure out how to make your unique perspective the strongest it can be.  All other work will fall just short, and ultimately won’t be as satisfying.  

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Always!  At the end of the day I’m a photographer because I’m happiest when I’m shooting.  I love being on set, but in the time I’m not, I keep myself going by tackling the personal projects that bring me so much inspiration.  Right now I’m working on several: Portraits of Artists, Small Businesses, and Car People. 

How often are you shooting new work?
If I’m not shooting for clients I’m trying to shoot something for myself once a week- even if it means just heading out with my camera and driving around looking for ANYTHING that strikes a chord.  I’ve found that with two of my great loves- surfing and photography, I am happiest when they’re a part of my weekly life, but it’s easy to get busy and neglect them.  This year I’ve committed to scheduling shoots at least once a week when I’m not on set and on the occasion when they fall through I’m out the door with my camera looking for an opportunity. 

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Lou Mora is a surfer, husband, traveler, and chocolate chip cookie connoisseur. Professionally he’s a lifestyle and portrait photographer who’s favorite place to be is on set surrounded by the talented and spirited crew he’s been working with for years.
Lou works on both large and small-scale projects, tackling both with the same objective: to produce relatable images that tell stories, that are approachable, intimate and unaffected. His secondary objective is simple, have a great time with like-minded creatives doing what they love to do.

Contact:
Lou Mora
310.721.1979
lou@loumora.com
http://www.loumora.com/
Instagram: @loumora

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 founding 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 fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Photographers Quarterly Issue no. 4

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When you name your magazine Photographer’s Quarterly, there’s an implicit promise of 4 issues a year.

I get it.

But I’m famous for my honesty, so here comes a dose. When I first pitched Rob on the idea for PQ, I had a lot more time on my hands. Back then, hours might fly by, unaccounted for.

But my life changed.

I took on a new job, with more responsibility than I could reasonably handle. As a result, I’ve been constantly behind this school year.

I apologize. Mea culpa. Je regrette.

This issue was edited with Winter in mind, as I expected to have it ready in February. That’s the truth.

Now it’s May, and many of us are thinking of Summer. Will we squeeze in three more issues in 2016? Perhaps. I guess. (But it’s not bloody likely.)

That said, the last four weeks here in Taos have been a bombardment of snow. Winter, which took a hiatus in a beautiful run of March and February weather, came at us hard this Spring.

I write this not two days after our most recent snow storm, on May fucking first, when flakes fell from the sky like dollars raining down at an Atlanta strip joint. (Random reference, yes, but you get the point.)

Speaking of getting to the point, I’d like to introduce the artists we’re highlighting in this, the Spring issue of Photographer’s Quarterly. As usual, we’ve aggregated cool photo projects for your perusal. Though they were originally envisioned as being elegies to, or respites from, Winter’s icy gaze, now they’ll have to stand in for rebirth, renewal, and all the good juju Spring has to offer.

Not that we favor the famous here at PQ, but today, we’ll start off with a small sample of pictures from the legendary Emmet Gowin.

Though he’s super-well-known for his family pictures from the 60’s, and his environmental, aerial work later on, this particular group of photos, from early this millennium, has not been widely seen.

It includes butterflies, made in Central America, and images of his lovely wife Edith, who has aged along with Emmet. Though Nick Nixon is more renown for giving us proof of the ravages of time on flesh, by photographing Edith later in life, Emmet has produced a counterpoint to the vision of his sassy beloved, pissing on a barn-wood floor in Virginia.

I’ve seen Paula McCartney’s work around the web a lot in the last few years. Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen it on the wall. But her project “A Field Guide to Snow and Ice” is simply beautiful. Not much explication needed here, but I suspect you’ll dig the pictures.

I met Chris Kleighe at the Filter Festival in Chicago last Fall. Such a great guy. He showed me a book of his photographs taken at Caral, an ancient site in Peru that’s recently been proved the oldest in the Americas. Its 5000 year old society changes the historical narrative, as we now know that the Western Hemisphere had a major settlement as old as Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia.

The pictures are pretty excellent, as they document the ruins in various types of light, and mashup closeups of art objects with sky shots of geoglyphs made from a hot air balloon. Chris is passionate about spreading the word, as archaeological knowledge often takes a long time to codify, and Caral has only been understood in the last decade or so.

I also met Laura Husar Garcia at Filter, though not during the reviews. (We threw back a few drinks at a party.) Luckily, I got to see some of her work when I judged the Critical Mass competition last year. Her project about aging Nuns is obviously poignant. Rarely does the choice of black and white end up being this crucial, but it works perfectly here.

Niko J. Kallianiotis emailed me to check out his work late last year. We try to include viewer submissions here in PQ when possible, I really liked his pictures from his native Greece, though he’s currently based in the US. All year long, we’ve heard about the migrant crisis in Europe, and how it’s affecting Greece. (Unless the stories focus on Greece’s nightmare economy.)

Furthermore, when most people are jonesing for Summer, they dream of perfect Aegean beaches, cold beer, and salty spanakopita. (At least I do.) So I thought this group of pictures, which presents a more mundane reality, was a cool thing to show you guys.

We’ll thank Critical Mass again for introducing me to the work of Cheryl Medow. Her project photographing exotic birds is not something I’d normally show, as it lacks that edgy, weird vibe I like to highlight here at PQ. But man, are these pictures compelling.

I think it’s predominantly the hyperreal aesthetic, as the creatures look like they were birthed in Maya, or some other rendering software, rather than coming out of eggs kept warm by their mother’s bottoms. And thinking of Tropics might just get us through the last few cold snaps, before Summer is here in earnest.

Last, but of course not least, we have the work of Caleb Cain Marcus. I’ve reviewed two of his books in APE already, and am officially bringing the first project back here, as a long-form photo essay, because I like it so much.

These pictures depict real glaciers. Mountains of ice on which the artist actually walked. But his manipulation of scale, and savvy digital skills, have rendered the subjects as hyperreal as Ms. Medow’s birds.

We’re killing this planet because people are so disconnected from the natural world, and from the consequences of their actions. These photographs, which make real nature look so discomfiting and artificial, are the perfect way to honor the vulnerable victims of our collective appetite for consumption.

The Daily Promo: Pixsy Copyright and Image Protection

- - The Daily Edit

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Founder: Daniel Foster

Pixsy is one of the leading reverse image search platforms that helps photographers get compensation for their stolen work.  Daniel had reached out to me after I tweeted to a company that used one of my images without my permission; I had hashed tagged the tweet:  #copyrightinfringement #photographyrights #copyright. His tweet was a welcome surprise.

Tell us how this project evolved for you.
A friend found one of her best photos used on a website selling holistic healing services. She’s been photographing professionally for twenty years and didn’t know what to do.

I thought it was very unfair that a business was profiting from her work while she was debating whether or not to cancel her health insurance to pay the rent, and realized that photographers need tools to address this problem.

What images were getting stolen from you?
I had a self-portrait used in an online advertisement without permission several years ago, and then observed a few of my architecture photos used without authorization later on.

How do you source the stolen images?
We use reverse image search to find copies, including manipulations, of a photo. From there it is up to the photographer to determine if a displayed use is authorized and if not, what action he or she wishes to take.

How does company sustain itself? Is the income from shared proceeds on the legal cases?
We receive a success-based commission for all payments we collect on behalf of photographers. The vast majority of our platform is free, and we also receive some subscription revenue from premium services such as our DMCA takedown feature.

Are you seeing a trend in stolen information or any particular area? 
Image theft occurs in every industry. We’ve noticed that music and concert photographers see their work stolen at a higher rate. Unlicensed use also appears to be a significant problem in the real estate industry.

What is the approx range for cases you’ve settled, lowest and highest?
Various factors influence the amount of compensation we request, including your previous sales history, local law, and the nature of the use. When we pursue a legal settlement, this has ranged from the thousands up to six-figure settlements.

How do I sign up and how much is it?
You can import and track up to 5,000 photos for free. Plans that give you up to 10,000 photos and our DMCA takedown feature start at $9.99 a month. Our service is invitation-only. You can request an invitation on our homepage.

Are there any free resources or is there a subscription plan?
There is a free plan to search up to 5,000 photos.

Can I batch export my photo library and have you scour the internet for usage?
We support one-click import from Flickr, 500px, Tumblr, Photoshelter, Instagram, SmugMug and Dropbox. You can also upload photos or import from a website. We’re adding new import sources on a regular basis.

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Walk us through the process of how this works.
Once you sign up and import photos, we begin the search process. Matches typically begin appearing immediately. From there you can browse through your matches. If you find a use of a photo you did not authorize and it is commercial in nature, you can use our “Submit case” feature to send it to our team to review. Depending on the situation and your wishes, we can take steps to secure a license fee for you or refer the matter to one of our law firms around the world.

We’re currently resolving cases in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Denmark.

The Daily Promo: Luke Copping

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Who printed it? Who designed it?
It was both printed and designed  by Agency Access, I recently moved my printing to them because of the extremely high quality and their ability to offer some objective insight into the layouts and flow of the work.

Who edited the images?
In this case I did, but in past efforts I have worked with designer Emilie Lamoreaux, as well and consultants Karen DSilva and Angee Murray to help with my editing and image selection. This collection was primarily focused on sharing some of my more recent projects and features subjects like Buffalo Bills Quarterback EJ Manuel, violinist and recording artist Yuki Numata Resnick, labor attorney Ginger Schröder. US Marine and endurance runner Tony Nash, and Guy William Gane — a historical reenactor who provides period accurate casting and costuming for a number of television shows and feature films.

How many did you make?
I printed 250 of them, I used to send out a much larger batch, but I have condensed and focused my list to primarily focus on editorial clients and a few selects agencies. A few are also earmarked to go out to existing clients that I like to keep updated with my projects.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Of these tri-folds I generally send out about 4 mailings a year. However, I do send some other promotions throughout the year that go out to a list of key clients. These tend to be larger in scale and scope, and are often often designed by Shauna Haider of We Are Branch. Currently I’m sending out a 24 page newsprint style zine printed by Newspaper Club. I love newsprint promos because of the feel of them and there is something perfectly imperfect and lo-fi about the way the images end up looking. I also have some other promos that are aimed at acquiring new corporate clients, these tend to be a little more service oriented and currently take the form of small booklets that go out to potential clients in this space.

Tell us how the gap between personal work and commissioned work is becoming more narrow.
In the promos I’ve been sending out in the last year or two I’ve found that my personal work, which often features artisans and entrepreneurs from the Rust Belt (and specially the Western New York/Buffalo area) has become more prominent. Mostly, this is because the gap between my commissioned work and my personal projects is getting narrower — in that I am often getting hired for assignments that are more aligned with the personal projects I have been producing. I also feel that the compelling stories behind these projects have a wide appeal, a hook which is helpful to me in appealing to many different kind of clients that run the gamut from local small businesses to newsstand magazines.