The Daily Edit – UCLA Magazine: Charlie Hess

- - The Daily Edit

 

UCLA Magazine

Design Director: Charlie Hess
Art Director: Suzannah Mathur
Photographer: Stephanie Gonot


Heidi: Did you plan on the double entendres of music and academics (majors and minors?)

Charlie: At first blush this seemed like a pretty rote story about UCLA offering students minors as well as majors. But as our Art Director Suzannah Mathur and I dug deeper it turned out that many of the minors programs were pretty rad. And what the kids wound up pursuing after college anyway. The double entendres was a happy accident.

What about Stephaines style made you choose her for this project and what was your direction?
I had been looking for an opportunity to work with photographer Stephanie Gonot and this seemed like the perfect assignment – conceptual, fun, and eye catching, so this seemingly academic story wouldn’t get lost.
Stephanie and I brainstormed some ideas and settled on an approach. Tight portraits, each with their own color palette, and matching props.

What was the criteria for casting and did you hire models?
With public university budgets we can’t hire models. Shooting students is the right price, and generally creates a more authentic visual approach. We picked students from the fields discussed in the story, gave them their color schemes, and prepped coordinated props. Luckily the kids turned out on set enthusiastic and up for anything.

At some point in our careers we take stock and self reflect, what has this job taught you?
Working for a university is complicated, but Suzannah and I have learned how to make great work despite the limitations of cost, and an art staff of just us two. I love the challenges. And I love working with brilliant, dedicated students and faculty who are making a difference in the world. I can’t imagine going back to all the years of celebrity shoots, publicists, and entourages!

Previously this year I interviewed you about your Agency called 20 Over Twenty, what’s the update on this?
It started strong. I put together a great team of six talented photographers, each with their own aesthetic. We got some great shoots with USC, AFI, LACMA, SCI ART, LAPHIL, GET LIT, ELLE… My concept was for us to shoot cultural institutions, nonprofits and academic institutions, where I saw a gap in the market between the high end commercial clients, and the bottom feeders who wanted us to work for nearly free. I was working with marketing departments which used to have sizable staffs, and now had been whittled down to one or two people giving them no time to plan ahead. My business model was for us to book multiple shoots over a year, creating the content the clients needed. I had dreamed of a photo utopia where we would all help each other, but in reality, I think the concept of a photographic collective has its challenges and I didn’t have the bandwidth to make it viable in the long run. Consequently, I’m shutting the agency down at the end of the year. It’s hard to say that out loud but my hope is others can learn from my mistakes. I have no regrets for trying something new. We learn from our failures.

 

 

 

This Week in Photography Books: Sara J. Winston

 

I just flew in from Chicago, and boy, are my arms…

Tired.

Sorry.
Couldn’t resist.

It might be the worst joke in the 6 year history of this column, but you’ll have to forgive me. I pulled 18 hour days at the Filter Photo Festival in Chicago, talking the entire time.

Then, I came home to a full week of cooking, cleaning, driving, parenting, kung fu, and lots and lots of work.

My brain is so mushy, in fact, that I actually tried to get away with a joke so old, it makes the mottled flesh on Donald Trump’s belly look like baby skin.

Moving on, I must say, yet again, how much I like Chicago. I go to a lot of these photo festivals, (as you know,) and it allows me to show you a big slice of what’s going on out there in the American photo community.

But for all the cities I visit, Chicago is just a bit different. It fits me, like my favorite T-shirt, and allows me to feel relaxed, and understood, in a way no other city does.

It’s the little things, really, in particular the general Operating System of the local culture; the way people interact with each other. There is a friendly, grounded, openness that so many embody, and I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

(Insert random cliché about the Midwest here.)

Yeah, I hear you. Everyone says that about the Midwest. The people are just so darn nice.

My goodness!
Gosh!

But that’s not what I’m talking about. Rather, it means that random conversations come about, on the subway, on the street, in a museum, that don’t happen other places.

It happens again and again, and I find myself chatting up strangers in ways that are thrilling and comfortable at the same time. I know Chicago has all the problems of other megalopoli, what with the violence and segregation, which is what makes that openness all the more surprising.

It allows for the type of cross-cultural, cross-gender communication that this country, (and the world, I’d argue,) needs more of.

Not less.

For instance, this column is now based almost exclusively on submissions, as you know. (I can request the odd publication from PR folks, but it doesn’t happen often.)

Just the other day, on Twitter, I was discussing with my friend and colleague Patrice Helmar the sad truth that almost all of my submissions come from men. (White dudes in particular.)

We traded 140 character sentiments on why that might be, as the preponderance of people I review at these events are women. Lots of women are making art these days, but the books don’t turn up in the mail in anywhere near a representative sample.

Patrice wondered if it was confidence and/or aggression? I speculated that perhaps female artists still aren’t getting as many publishing opportunities?

What to do?

Well, in this case, I’m mentioning it specifically, in the hope that some of our female readers might send in books, or nudge their friends to submit. It’s really important for all of us to see a broader viewpoint, and I hope this helps get the ball rolling.

Because, like a random conversation with a stranger, while watching the world’s best street blues, (true story,) hearing and seeing things outside our own bubble makes us smarter, healthier, more empathetic, and better at what we do.

Luckily, when I was at Filter, Sara J. Winston gave me a book to take home, called “Homesick,” published by Zatara Press. We had a review together, and she was honest about the fact she’d been diagnosed with MS, and was using her current project to process those emotions.

She admitted to coming from a family with health issues, and how she hoped to escape the curse.

Alas…

The review was only tricky in that she showed me two discrete projects, but they were a bit jumbled in her presentation. Both had become books, so I struggled to differentiate between the two styles, and subject matters, so I could wrap my mind around her art practice.

“Homesick,” which is not directly “about” her illness, is a poetic, very-well-observed take on Sara’s home and family, I believe.

I say “I believe” because this excellent book hints, but does not state. It has a languid, referential style of making connections, in a way that seems… dare I say it… more female than male.

Patrice and I each made guesses about why I get more books from women than men, and neither of us suggested it was because our audience demo skews towards the penis.

Does it?

I don’t know.

But this beautiful, lyrical, slightly abstracted book feels like exactly the sort of thing a man might not make.

The first photograph, with a tub of margarine and a plate of bologna, is just so metaphorical. We get that food will be prominent, and the items she has chosen to represent her story have cultural baggage. (Not exactly bougie.)

Food is a recurring theme, but so is a wilted sort of sadness. A cat with a torn-up ear. Dirty dishes. A large man with electrodes attached to his chest.

Bananas in a bag.
The imprint of sheet on skin.

It ends with a wonderfully written story.
At first, as it uses the first person, I thought, “Damn, she can write too?”

But then it shifts to another perspective.
A lesbian lover from college?
Visiting the family homestead?

It seems so.
But each is written in the first person, so eventually, I had to ask myself, is this even true?

Is it?
True?

There is no direct answer until the final credits, which suggest a writer, Ani Katz, created both characters in the story.

It is made-up?
Or based upon interviews?
Does it matter?

I may well be accused of sexism for calling a book like this feminine. But then, I don’t see that word as pejorative. I’ve previously established my feminist street cred, and therefore I like this book so much BECAUSE it comes from another vantage entirely.

It treats book-viewing, or book-reading, as an experiential process, which is my favorite kind of photo-book. It tells a story, in pictures and words, and for a few brief moments, I couldn’t put it down.

Bottom Line: A lyrical, gorgeous book about going home

To purchase “Homesick” click here

If you’d like to submit a book for review, please email me at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com

Personal Project: Todd Burandt

- - Personal Project

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

Today’s featured artist: Todd Burandt

ARTIST STATEMENT

I’ve been photographing rodeos as a personal project, for the last six years.  When I heard about a rodeo that was held inside of a maximum security prison, in which the inmates are the participants, I had to go.  It seemed like the perfect capstone to this obsession of mine.  After a lot of cold calls, and lengthy emails, I was finally granted access to photograph the event known as The Angola Prison Rodeo.

The Rodeo started in 1965, and has grown in size each year.  The general public originally sat on apple crates, and the hood of their cars.  Now, they sit comfortably inside a 10,000 seat covered arena.  Due to increasing popularity, the inmates are now allowed to sell their artwork, furniture, and jewelry to the public.  All of the funds go directly to the artist’s families on the outside.

Many people are torn on the thought of inmates with no prior experience riding bulls, and roping broncos, participating in this event.  But, the truth of the matter is that this is completely voluntary.  My goal was to depict them as ordinary citizens, in an extraordinary place.  But when the sun sets on the Rodeo, the reality of it all sets back in place.

To see more of this project, click here.

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

 

Expert Advice: Releases and Permits

- - Expert Advice

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

It’s my job to love paperwork. From estimates to production books to invoices, I’m responsible for creating, organizing and understanding all of the documentation needed to manage a production. Three of the most important pieces of that paperwork puzzle are model releases, property releases, and permits. No matter how big or small a production is, proper documentation is essential to not only obtain formal permission to shoot in a specific place, but to also ensure your ability to make use of the images you capture that feature people and certain locations for a commercial project.

Generally speaking, a model or property release is a contract that documents the consent of the subject(s) or property owner(s) to allow their likeness or the likeness of a property to be used in a certain way. It’s important to understand that using a person’s likeness to promote a company for commercial gain can be incredibly valuable to that company, and the people featured in those images should understand this value. The formal documentation of consent is therefore very important, and releases protect the photographer and their client should a disagreement arise over the use of an image that includes any person or property.

Let’s start with model releases. Here is a run down on when you typically do and do not need a model release:

You DO need a model release if the subject is identifiable and the images will be used commercially (to promote a particular product, service, company, or cause). That includes (but is not limited to) paid advertising use of the images in print ads, web ads or billboards, as well as collateral use in brochures, direct mail pieces or a client maintained website and/or their social media outlets, to name a few. Additionally, while this is often overlooked, you should acquire a model release from anyone featured in an image within your print/online portfolio.

You DO NOT need a model release if the images will be used editorially (for the purpose of educating and/or conveying news or opinion). That includes placement in a magazine, newspaper or media outlet available for sale or viewing to the general public, which does not seek or accept sponsorship to, or in itself, promote a particular product, service or company. Additionally, you do not need a model release if the subject is not identifiable, even for commercial use. That being said, you should be aware that a subject’s face is not the only thing that might make them identifiable.

I should note that while a release isn’t needed for most editorial uses of an image, many (but not all) publishing companies do have clauses in their agreements requiring the photographer to obtain a model release from the subject. In my experience, this clause covers the publishing company from a liability perspective, but in most cases, both parties often ignore it unless the shoot features hired talent, kids, or if the subject matter of the article is controversial in any way. If an editorial contract states that releases are required, a discussion about this should take place, and I’d recommend asking the publishing company to provide the release they want to be signed.

So, what’s the best release to use? Well, there are a lot of forms available online (like these from ASMP and Getty) as well as many different apps (like Releases or Easy Release), many of them aren’t applicable in all situations or are a bit too broad (also, since releases are formal contracts, they are subject to state law, and it’s important to find out if there are any peculiarities that may require adjustment). For our purposes, we are typically working with professional talent (and/or their agents) who we negotiate specific usage with, for a specific fee, and therefore want to note such information on the release. Here is our model release:

Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer, Model Releases, Property Releases, Do I need a Model Release, Best Model Release Template, Best Property Release Template, Wonderful Machine, WM Estimating & Production, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice

You’ll notice we include a space for an image of the talent for reference. Since we often work with casting directors and hire professional talent, I’ll have their digital headshot and can drop that image on the release before getting them to sign it. Alternatively, using a Polaroid or other instant-print camera is a good option as you can staple the picture to the release after you have the talent sign it. Another method for other releases that don’t have a field for visual reference would be to take a picture of the person holding the signed release after signing it, so you can have both that image and the scanned release on file to identify the person.

Ok, you have a signed model release, so you are ready to go, right? Well, not necessarily. Property needs to be released too, and the basic rules detailed above for when you do and don’t need a release can be similarly applied to properties. You don’t need a release if the usage is editorial, but you do need a release if the property is easily identifiable and for commercial use, most of the time…

It’s understandably not always black and white, and there are a few key points to note about locations and releases. First, you need a release to include trademarks or copyright protected artworks in an image for commercial use. That includes logos on the facades of the buildings, murals, statues, and public art. Also, it’s important to know that certain architectural or design elements incorporated into a building can be trademarked. For instance, you can photograph the Eiffel Tower during the day without the need for a release, but the lights that appear in the evening are a trademarked design. You would, therefore, need to seek permission to use the image for commercial purposes if the image was taken at night when the lights are displayed.

Additionally, if you photograph a space that has art displayed, you would need a release from whoever owns the copyright to that piece of art, as well as, a release from the owner of the property in which the piece of art is displayed (if the location is identifiable) in order to use the image for commercial purposes. If you are unsure of whether or not there are any restrictions or limitations on a certain building or public work of art, you can contact your local film office, and they should be able to provide guidance on popular destinations or areas within your city.

As with model releases, there are forms you can find online from ASMP and Getty. On nearly every production I’ve worked on, our client has had location releases that they’ve asked us to use, however, we have our own as well. Here it is:

Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer, Model Releases, Property Releases, Do I need a Model Release, Best Model Release Template, Best Property Release Template, Wonderful Machine, WM Estimating & Production, Wonderful Machine Expert Advice

You’ll notice on our release that usage is not something we call out in the same way as we do on the model release, as usage typically isn’t a factor for locations (meaning, it typically just includes unlimited use). We do state that the release would cover unlimited use in all media, but it’s not displayed in the same way as we have it on the model release. That being said, location fees might differ based on the type of production (stills vs. video) and how big the production footprint is.

It’s also important to know the difference between a permit and a release. A permit allows you to be in a certain space at a certain time to take a photo, and a release allows you to use that image for commercial purposes. Permits are typically applied for and distributed by film offices or local government agencies, and each city typically has different rules for when you do and don’t need a permit.

Generally, it comes down to the size of the production footprint, and in many cases, a photographer acting alone with very minimal equipment does not need a permit. On the other hand, in almost all instances, if the production involves multiple people, production RVs, street closures and any lighting/grip equipment, a permit is needed. Most film offices and government agencies will tell you that if the shoot is for any commercial use, that you need a permit, although the fees will likely be less if the shoot has a minimal production footprint. The permitting process in most cities can be time intensive and almost always has fees associated with it, so it’s important to do your research and figure out the cost and turnaround time for a permit before embarking on a production.

Here are two examples of permits I applied for and was provided by the New York City Film Office and the US Department of the Interior:

Given the preparation and hard work that goes into capturing images on a production of any size, it’s incredibly important to cover your bases and make sure all the people, places and things in the images are appropriately released in order to avoid legal trouble when the images are actually used.

*Legal Disclaimer* – Please consult with an attorney to discuss legal documents pertaining to your business before putting them in use. I’d like to extend a thank you to Adam G. Garson of the firm Lipton, Weinberger and Husick for his contribution to this article. If you need professional legal counseling, please contact Adam at agarson@garson-law.com or by phone at (610) 565-7630. If you need help estimating or producing a shoot, please email me at craig@wonderfulmachine.com, or you can reach me on the phone at (610) 260-0200.

The Daily Edit – The Olympic Games and The Art of Sports Photography: John Huet

- - The Daily Edit

Olympic Games

Photographer: John Huet

This summer and fall the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland is hosting several exhibitions and events related to sports photography.

One of the exhibitions, Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to The Present, opened at the Brooklyn Museum last summer and has since been traveling around the U.S. and Europe, making a six-month stop at the Olympic Museum before it returns to the U.S. next May.

A second show, Rio 2016 Seen Through the Lens of Four Photographers, is comprised of a series of images that were made at the 2016 Summer Olympics by four participating photographers.

John Huet’s iconic sports photography is included in both shows, as well as in the book, “Who Shot Sports”. This terrific book by Gail Buckland accompanies the exhibition and chronicles the history of sports photography from 1843 to the present.

I got a chance to connect with John about this work, his affinity for #theartofsportsphotography and the genesis of his Olympic odyssey.

Heidi: I haven’t seen much of your work on Instagram, and it’s been such a treat to see all the images you’ve been posting recently.
John: Thanks, Heidi. Part of my thinking behind the posts I’ve been doing was to share my enthusiasm for having my work in the two shows at the Olympic Museum and in the book “Who Shot Sports”, which are all part of the museum’s celebration of sports photography this year.

I wasn’t going to get to Lausanne for the opening of the exhibits in May because I was somewhere else on the planet so I thought I would bring the show to people via Instagram. That’s sort of where the thought process started. Because the show was running through the summer, I thought I’d make this “The Summer of Sports Photography.” I started posting daily on the Summer Solstice and continued until the Fall Equinox. The hashtag #theartofsportsphotography is actually the overall name of what’s going on at the Olympic Museum right now.

I noticed that # on your feed actually, so that’s why I was really curious about this new initiative.
I don’t think it was for any purpose other than I really like the idea of “the art of sports photography”. I’ve always liked the idea, without having put a name to it. I don’t think that sports photography gets the recognition it should.  Of course, that’s coming from a person who shoots a lot of sports, but it’s funny to me that sports photography is rarely a category in photo competitions, and God forbid that there would ever be a museum show featuring the work of a sports photographer. It just doesn’t happen, and yet sports photography is an art in which the “decisive moment” is captured in a nano-second, and I can’t think of any other area in photography where the general population, the media and advertisers/brands alike rely so heavily on imagery. It’s a multi-billion dollar-industry that’s basically been created by the images that photographers have made over the years, and still it somehow isn’t recognized in the same way as other genres of photography.

So, when Gail Buckland decided to do the Who Shot Sports exhibition and accompanying book, I thought it was the greatest thing ever! Finally! And what she curated is just fantastic, I can’t recommend the show more highly. You don’t even have to be a sports fan, there’s just so much there to see. Photographs that you can look at and just enjoy as a photograph and not because it’s of a basketball game, or some sporting event, or a portrait of an athlete. It’s just beautiful photography and that led me to want to show more of my own work using #theartofsportsphotography. To be honest, I was hoping that other photographers would join in, using the hashtag on their images. There are so many great photographers out there shooting beautiful sports stuff, and it would be cool to have a collection of images on Instagram from a lot of different people using the hashtag. A few people joined in but not as many as I’d hoped.

Instagram is a funny thing; it’s timing, and repeatability is very important. If this hashtag is something that you really want people to use, you can just suggest it to people, I think there’s always a camaraderie in creative people. I suspect people didn’t use it simple because they’re not reading. Everybody is looking when they should be understanding the context as well.
At the beginning, I actually wrote more about the photographs themselves, and then when I’d talk to people about it, they’d be like, “Oh, you wrote that?”

I read all your captions because I think it’s what sets people apart, when there’s more content.
I agree. I definitely wanted to point out what cameras I was using, where the image was shot, and who it was for. I use a ton of different equipment, and I try not to get too repetitive, if I can help it, so it was good for me to look back and think, okay how did I shoot this? What did I shoot this with? It was a great exercise for me.

It was also good for me to go back and look at photographs that I hadn’t seen in a long time. And it’s been really nice to read comments from photographers whose work I really respect. We work in such a vacuum, which makes me really appreciate the acknowledgement and respect of my peers.

You have deep roots with the Olympics with your first assignment coming from the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in 2002. Can you tell us how that materialized?
The Salt Lake Olympics, that came about like many things for me – in a random phone call. The Director of Creative Services for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) saw a few images in the Communication Arts Photo Annual and called to ask if I would be interested in doing some work for them. Little did they know I’m a closet Olympic freak and have loved everything about the Olympics since I was a kid. I don’t know why, I just couldn’t watch enough of it growing up.

They flew me out to Salt Lake the next week, and we talked about what they were looking for as the run up to the games, which is basically how an Olympic city is decorated for the games. Each Olympics has a color theme and slogan; theirs was “Fire and Ice,” and we came up with the idea to decorate the city in a particular way, so that when NBC had that opening shot of the city at night, the audience would see the skyline of Salt Lake City with those beautiful mountains in the background.

We decided to wrap the 17 biggest buildings in the city in photographs. We spent two years working on computer models to help us make all of our creative decisions. We finally decided to use 17 different images, based on each discipline at the Olympics, ultimately giving each discipline its own photographic logo. The images had a similar tone, color palette and background. In addition to the building wraps, the images were all over Salt Lake and Park City – in the airport terminal hallways, at baggage claim, on the city buses, on the light posts, and at the Olympic venues, of course. It was incredible.

But things didn’t stop there, SLOC wanted me to shoot the games themselves, and they asked me to shoot the commemorative book for Salt Lake, “The Fire Within”.  The host city for each Olympics produces an annual report after the games are over. It breaks down every detail about how the games were put together: the venues, the costs, the attendance. Everything right down to how many plastic spoons and napkins were used. The amount of information that’s generated for the Olympics is staggering.

It was obvious that one photographer couldn’t possibly cover everything that would be happening, so we discussed involving several photographers, and that’s when I came with that idea that I would bring in photographers who may have never shot sports or been to the Olympics. I thought it would be cool to work collectively with a diverse group to shoot the commemorative book.

When all was said and done, we had a broad spectrum of 12 photographers, ranging from a 19 or 20-year-old photographer to Shelia Metzner, a fine art and fashion photographer who had never shot a sporting event in her life.

David Burnett was the only photographer with experience at the Olympics, and we knew that he would deliver great images in the way that only he can. Michael Siemans, a photojournalist from the Boston Globe, was someone I struck up a conversation with during a rain delay at a Red Sox game, and he became part of the team.

What was SLOC’s direction for “The Fire Within”?
For us, for me, the direction was to create a commemorative book that would show the Olympics in a completely different way. They did not want straight up sports journalism; they wanted Olympic images that had never been seen before. They wanted art, and the only way we could deliver what they were looking for was by having access to areas that were off-limits to press photographers.

During the project, we had four photographers with the kind of unprecedented access that hadn’t been granted since Leni Riefenstahl shot the 1936 Olympics in Berlin for Adolph Hitler. There was one point when I was photographing the start of the luge, and the NBC cameraman was behind me. I heard him say, “there’s some photographer in front of me. I can’t go down any lower. No, we can’t move him. They told us he’s allowed to be there.” I had to smile at that point.

The experience itself was great. Working with all of the different photographers, it was awesome, and everyone was extremely happy. Some of us were working with large format antiquated cameras, hauling them up the side of a mountain and having photojournalists just shake their heads at us like we were crazy.  Some of us were shooting Polaroid negatives. Holgas were being used. Raymond Meeks, who is an incredible fine art photographer, set up in the Olympic Village and was photographing the athletes using hand-coated glass plate negatives. They are some of the most haunting and beautiful images I’ve ever seen. It was an incredible adventure, and I can think of no better way to start my Olympic odyssey.

So then, how did your relationship with the games grow and develop after that?
The next Olympics was in Athens in 2004. This was my first summer Olympics, and I was hired directly by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). I covered the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino for ESPN the Magazine, and I’ve been shooting for the IOC since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.  Shooting in Torino for ESPN was a whole different world. I went as a straight-up photojournalist with a straight-up photojournalist credential. That’s an interesting thing.

Interesting how?
Mainly because of the limitations that come with those credentials. In Salt Lake and Athens, I pretty much had full access to anything. That had been my experience, then all of a sudden, I had restricted access. It required a shift in my approach. That said, working with the photo managers was so helpful. Before then, I never worked with the photojournalists or the photo managers at the Olympics. I was on my own; and now, working with these guys, it was great because they did such a great job with getting the press what we needed.

At this point, you’ve shot the Olympics in the U.S., Athens, Torino, Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio. What are some of the cultural differences that you experience, and how do they inform you?

The culture of each host country is very much represented at the Olympics, particularly in the Opening Ceremony and the Closing Ceremony. I’m always interested to see what a country will showcase at the ceremonies, but so much of the experience for me comes down to the local people. The volunteers that work at the games are just so happy that the Olympics are there, and they’re very proud of the fact that they’re a part of it. They’re proud of their country; they want to show it to you, and they want to help you. Overall the experience has been amazing, and the people have been awesome. That’s saying a lot, as I’m about to go to my ninth Olympics.

So speaking of your ninth games, what are you– how do you stay engaged in it, and what are you hoping is going to be different? Or what can you tell us about the upcoming games in PyeongChang?
Each place is different both culturally and visually, and each event has been unique. Just being in a foreign city can make something that you’d think would seem similar feel entirely different. And while the Olympics are the same event to a certain extent, the actors and the stage are always different. I try to tell the broadest story I possibly can, and what gets me excited about PyeongChang is thinking about the stories that are waiting to be told, the ones that haven’t happened yet.

There are surprises at every Olympics; the story of what’s happening changes all the time. Sometimes the weather creates a scenario that you can never predict, but you have to always be prepared for, sometimes it’s the emotion of a particular country having an athlete cross the finish line for the first time in its history, or it can be that an athlete who isn’t on anyone’s radar ends up winning a medal. There’s always a new story to tell.

I was covering the Australia vs New Zealand finals of the first ever women’s Rugby sevens in Rio. I had done setup rugby shots for advertising in the past, but I had no idea what the rules of Rugby Sevens were. Luckily I was given a great introduction by the South African coach who took the time to explain everything to me when I photographed a training session with his team the week before.

So I had a new story to tell.  Not only was this the first event of its kind at the Olympics, but everything about it was new to me, and this game is just non-stop, fast action with teams made up of seven players playing seven minute halves, instead of the usual 15 players playing 40 minute halves. It’s impossible to not be fully engaged when shooting a game like this. Before I even start shooting – I’ve got to decide where to position myself, and I’m constantly accessing what’s going on with this game that’s not familiar to me. Then, if I’m not getting the images that I want, I need to move to another spot where I can get them, and I need to do this as fast as possible.

This particular game was really intense. There was a controversial call in favor of Australia which swung the momentum of the game, and in the end, Australia won. The New Zealand team broke down in tears. The emotion was just overwhelming.

Fast forward 10 minutes, and the losing team in any final competition at the Olympics is expected to be at the podium to receive their medal for losing a game that they’ve trained for for years. I know it’s not really thought about that way, but I’ve watched this so many times, and I just see how hard it is for these teams to play with everything they’ve got up to the last second, and when they lose, there’s no time for them to process that before they have to be on the medal podium. At that time they usually don’t see it as, “We won the silver medal, that’s good.” They see it as, “We lost the gold. That sucks.”

So after the game was over, all of the photographers, all of the press photographers – got lined up, and there were probably 200 Olympic staffers there getting ready for the medal ceremony. Both teams had entered the field, and they were looking out to where the podiums were being put up. The Australian team was milling around, and the New Zealand team was doing the same, but they were all in tears. They were just heartbroken. As I walked over to stand behind them, all of a sudden, the crowd in the stands started to chant the haka, the traditional war cry from the Māori people of New Zealand. There’s a lot of cultural meaning and symbolism to the haka, and the “All Blacks”, New Zealand’s rugby union team, have been performing it before games to intimidate their opponent since the early 1900s.

This is one of those times when the story of what was happening, the medal ceremony, changed completely. I turned around, and I saw all of these big dudes in the stands, all standing up with their shirts off. They were sounding off this tribal chant that I’ve seen on television, but now I was 10 feet away from it. I started taking pictures of them, and I was turning and taking pictures of the New Zealand women’s team reacting to the men in the stands, and back and forth, and then the women just formed into this group. There was no gesture or comment or anything. They just formed this group and started to do the haka back to the people in the stands.

So there these women were with tears coming down, and they were doing this chant with these intensely aggressive eyes, and I couldn’t pull cameras up fast enough to take pictures; close ones, wide ones. I was doing everything I possibly could, as all photographers do, to capture those moments as fast as I could, and I kept looking out of the corner of my eye wondering, “Is anybody else taking pictures of this? Am I the only person taking pictures of this? This is awesome.”

That was a gift, and it was just incredible to be standing where I was and to be able to capture that experience.

Below are links to John’s 2016 Rio Olympic Galleries.

Equestrian

Table Tennis

Basketball

Weight Lifting

Beach Volleyball

Field Hockey

Rugby

Wrestling

Steeplechase

Diving

Boxing

The Daily Promo – Kelsey McClellan

- - The Daily Promo

Kelsey Mcclellan

 
Who printed it? 
Ryan Dempsey at West Camp Press in Columbus, Ohio.

Who designed it? 
Blake Roberts. He also designed our logo!

Who edited the images?
I did.

How many did you make?
Only 75.

How many times a year do you send out promos? 
This is our first promo as Terrence Caviar. We hope to send one out every year or as we have work that is exciting.