This Week in Photography: Creepy in Context

 

The high clouds came in this week.

For the first time in Autumn.

 

It means the November rains and snows are nearly upon us.

As we’re in a drought here in Northern New Mexico, and there is a fire on the other side of the mountains, it’s good that the moisture is finally coming.

It makes much more sense, seasonally, to have the cold and the wet and the brown.

Gray skies, so rare during the year, make sense in November, and as I write this on the back-side of October, (on a Thursday as usual,) bad weather “seems” more right than the extended-Summer we’ve been having all month.

It’s been very climate-changey, all this warm weather and blue skies.

Certain things make sense in our bones, in the deep reptilian part of our brains, because it has always been thus.

I think humans have always been creeped out by the end of October, Halloween, the leaves just dropped, the trees scraggly all of a sudden, and it seems like the ghosts are around the corner.

Boo!

Right?

The Day of the Dead in Mexican culture is at the same time, when the spirit world and the world of the living can almost touch.

So I won’t be surprised if it’s misty and cold on Halloween this year.

The harvest palette, all warm colors, disappearing: the yellows and oranges and ochres.

Because today’s zine makes me think of Halloween, in the best possible way, making it the perfect thing to review.

Stella Kramer wrote not too long ago, offering to send along her zine, “Stellazine,” and I had a gut feeling it was the one to pull off the stack.

Open it up, and in a hand written note, Stella says she wants to “put more eyes on work that I think is singular and worth being seen.”

The cover says “Still Life” by Giovanni Savino, with white on orange, and then a round sticker added to the upper left hand corner reads “STELLAZINE.”

Open it up, and the first page says 001, which reads as page one, but also maybe the first of its kind in a new series of STELLAZINES?

Stella writes, “No coronavirus. No quarantine or isolation. This is timeless; photography that isn’t tied to anything but itself, the photographer and the viewer.”

And the short statement goes on to say we’ll be seeing a mix of two projects that she brought together for this volume.

“I love how everyone’s eyes are closed,” she writes, “as if they are dreaming about what they just read.”

Well, that’s one way to look at it.

Another is that these people look like maybe they’re dead?

And the colors!

(Orange and black, like the permanent marker on the pumpkin near my front door.)

So Halloween that my autumn-craving bones started shaking from within my flesh.

Charlie Brown may have gotten booted off the networks, (only saw the headline, didn’t click the link,) but this can come back off my bookshelf any year at this time.

The second image spread is the weakest, for some reason, so I felt a tiny let-down after the very strong opening, but then the wooden arm, and the next page features a boy with his eyes closed, and a very sharp knife cutting into a book, on the page beside.

And then nails and snakes! And tooth picks and clamps!

The sense of menace becomes overt, and why are everyone’s eyes closed?

Then two young African American girls with big pigtails, on consecutive pages, and I think of photos of victims of church bombings in the 60’s.

Or girls who died of typhoid or something curable, but nobody had the money to buy the medicine.

I’m sure these girls are alive and well, (IRL,) and were likely photographed in contemporary times, but in context with these old books, and torture devices, (and the wooden arm!) the creepy vibe envelops any and all things inside.

(As a thought experiment, I just opened the zine again, and looked at those two images in particular. If you skip the entire narrative, I can see the young women as strong, determined, and alive. But even then, the sense of the images not being contemporary is so strong.)

You turn the pages and there are no horizons.

No places to breathe.

And with no people looking back at you, no respite in friendly eyes, you keep turning the pages until the end, hoping for a break, but it never comes.

The ladies on the last pages look like they were killed many many decades ago, and then we’re only being introduced to their murder file pics now, after they’ve been unearthed by some hungry new cop looking to make a name for himself on cold cases.

Or maybe I just need to look past the orange and black color scheme, and the old-film aesthetic, and the old time styling.

Maybe these are two African-American women, shot in 2020, dreaming of a more equitable society?

Or a safer tomorrow?

Maybe it has nothing to do with darkness or demons?

Context is a funny thing, because as important as it is, it’s also highly subjective.

Happy Halloween.

To learn more about Stellazine click here

 

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please contact me directly at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in books by women, and artists of color, so we may maintain a balanced program.Β 

The Art of the Personal Project: Kremer Johnson

- - Personal Project

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

 

Today’s featured artist: Β Kremer Johnson

I grew up in a house where my parents worked with their hands.Β Β Both had regular jobs, but each had a side business that they ran out of the house to make extra money.Β Β My mom had an upholstery shop in our basement, and my dad did engine & auto bodywork in the garage.Β Β There was constantly something being crafted around me.

Despite my parents’ best efforts to involve me, that genetic code apparently skips a generation & the skill sets never stuck.Β Β I did, however, learn a healthy respect for the skills & maintain a proper appreciation for a well-crafted final product.Β Β As the project was forming, it was great to have a business partner who was on board to grow this project with more creators.

Living in a largely digital world where most things are mass-produced and available for delivery to your door at a moment’s notice that level of care & craftsmanship seems to be in short older today.Β Β This series celebrates the makers & creators who still take the time & care to create custom goods by hand.

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributorΒ Suzanne SeaseΒ 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.Β  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.Β She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.Β  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.Β  Instagram

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

 

The Daily Edit – Photographers Without Borders

- - The Daily Edit

Photographers Without Borders

CEO + Founder: Danielle Da Silva
Photographer: Keri Oberly

Photographers Without Borders will be talking with photographer Keri Oberly about standing in solidarity with the Gwich’in, her work with Patagonia, activism, and why she believes investing in people, relationships, and grassroots movements are going to save us. Tune in Tuesday, October 20th 10:00 am EST for the chat with Keri and CEO/photographer Danielle Da Silva.

Tickets are β€˜pay what you can’ upon purchase, and all funds will go directly to support accessibility for our Storytelling School: Online program, specifically sponsoring BIPOC, Disabled, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Storytelling School: OnlineΒ is an interactive online workshop to provideΒ photographers withΒ the tools and strategies toΒ harness the power of storytelling and pivotΒ their work online.

Photographers Without Borders is a collective of storytellers comprised of creatives coming together to support their community partners on volunteer assignments and inspire new generations of storytellers through PWB School andΒ  other initiatives and resources.

Their mission is to make storytelling more accessible for communities around the world who are contributing to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and UNDRIP. Β Classes are taught by CEO & Founder, Danielle Da Silva, photographers will learn how to use the power of storytelling to shift online – a critical skill in today’s uncertain times.

Bob Gilbert stands with his grandson, Victor, while looking for moose along the Junjik River outside VashrΔ…Δ―Δ― K’Η«Η«. The Gwich’in fear for the future of their children and grandchildren, if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is opened to oil and gas development, they believe it will threaten the very existence and identity of their people. To the Gwich’in, wilderness is not luxury; it is a way of life.

In late summer, the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrates toward Northwest Canada for the winter. The herd has the longest land migration route of any land mammal on Earth, migrating over 1,500 miles a year between their winter range and the calving grounds on the coastal plains of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Gwich’in call the coastal plains β€œIizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit” (The Sacred Place Where Life Begins). They treat the animals and land with reverence, because without them, they would not survive.

Kelly Fields hangs strips of caribou for dry meat in her cache in Gwichyaa Zheh (Fort Yukon), Alaska. The caribou was sent down by a family member in VashrΔ…Δ―Δ― K’Η«Η«. Today, the Porcupine Caribou Herd only migrates through two of the fifteen Gwich’in villages. Many families will send caribou to family and friends in villages that don’t see caribou anymore.

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, an 800-mile pipeline that transports oil from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska. The third richest state in the country, Alaska depends on one industry to fund its state spending, oil and gas. Since the price of oil has fallen considerably in recent years, the state is currently facing a $2.5 billion deficit. Republicans have been proposing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development for decades. Each time it has come close it was denied by Democrats or vetoed by President Clinton. With a Republican held House and Senate, Senator Lisa Murkowski snuck into the tax bill, that President Trump signed into law, the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for industrial development. Aggressive steps have since been taken to fast track development; seismic testing is scheduled to start this winter. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the proposed drilling area contains 10.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, an amount that will not have a large impact on world oil prices.

Portraits of Gwich’in and their allies by photographer Keri Oberly.

 

Featured Promo – Ryan Duclos

- - The Daily Promo

Ryan Duclos

Who printed it?
Moo.com

Who designed it?
I designed the cards with help from my partner.

Tell me about the images?
I’ll start in the order that is posted on IG. The first image is a self-portrait I took in the Alaskan tundra on a 2-week moose hunt that I documented. The second image is a shot of our guide in Valdez Alaska on a 1-week Heli-snowbaord trip with Valdez Heli-Guides. The third image is the 2020 APA First place awards for Sports/Adventure. This was shot in the backcountry at Mt. Baker ski area. The peak in the background is Mt. Shuksan. One of my most favorite places on earth. The fourth image is of my good friend and pro snowboarder Johnny in the backcountry of Mt. Baker Skin area. The fifth image is a shot of our helicopter on a helicopter snowboard trip in the Canadian Rockies. The sixth and final image is of Mt.Hess and Mt. Dorothy in the Alaska Mountain Range. Both mountains sit at 11 thousand feet.

How many did you make?
I made 200. There are 4 different sets with 5 cards per set.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try and send out a new mailer twice a year. But to add to the mail out marketing, I started a monthly zine that I email out. The zine has new content that I shoot the month prior. This way clients can see new work and I stay on their minds constantly.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do feel that printed materials are effective marketing pieces. More now than ever. I have had a great response this year over previous years.

This Week in Photography: Enduring Humanity

 

Have you ever heard of Neal Stephenson?

The writer?

Dude is super-famous in geek culture, for having written a very predictive sci-fi screed called “Snow Crash,” in the early 90’s, which laid out much of what has come since.

Virtual reality, Google Earth, viral information, Evangelical cult religions, actual viruses, the rise of corporations more powerful than governments.

It’s all in there, along with a rip-roaring story, and a bunch of meta-criticism that would make Charlie Kaufman beg for mercy. (Like naming his hero/protagonist Hiro Protagonist.)

I bring this up, because five years ago, he wrote another book that feels like it could end up being predictive one day: “Seveneves.”

The majority of the time I was reading it, I thought the title all-one-word, pronounced seven-eh-vehs, with no long e’s.

But I was wrong.

It was really Seven Eves, with the second word being the name of Earth’s first woman, taken from the rib bones of Earth’s first man, if the Jewish Torah is to be believed. (And then Christianity was built upon that tale as well.)

Spoiler Alert, I bring this up because the book’s premise was that an asteroid broke the Moon, and once some fancy math was done, scientists realized the Moon would soon disintegrate into an endless supply of mini-rocks, which would rain down on Earth, destroying all life as we know it.

(That’s not the spoiler part, because it happens in the beginning of the book.)

No, I’m going to ruin the ending for you.

The entire plot revolves around some humans attempting to re-build life in space, so the world can be repopulated up there, (by seven eves and some artificial insemination,) and then the descendants can come back to Earth many generations later, once it’s safe again.

Against all odds, they succeed, and after a big time-jump in the book’s last section, when human-like creatures do come back to Earth, having evolved in strange ways due to some CRISPR-like genetic manipulation, they find a massive surprise.

Two other groups of humans lasted through the Apocalypse, one by living underwater for millennia, the other by tunneling deep into the Earth.

(Where they created a culture in which some people could breed, and others not, because of the limited air supply in their closed-loop-underground society.)

The book ends with the three strands of now-mutated humans meeting up in some frozen tundra, far from everything.

People standing on ground not fit for human society, but then again, they were no longer human society, as we know it.

My point today, if you haven’t sussed it out yet, is that the survival instinct is deep within us.

We make fun of cockroaches, rats and bats, but we are a similar type of creature, even if we smell better, look prettier, and have the capacity to create and appreciate beauty.

(Seriously, if a rat ever paints the Sistine Chapel, I’ll be the first to give props. Or if Remy from “Ratatouille” ever comes to life, all Patton Oswalt humor and amazing cooking skills, I will eat my hat. Highly Suspect!!!)

 

 

I’m not a self-hating human, but today I’m on my rant for a reason.

I just looked at “Chukotka,” a sleek, slim, excellent new book by Kiliii Yuyan, published by Kris Graves Projects in NYC, and I’m down to discuss.

Kiliii’s work has been featured in the blog before, as I published some of his Arctic documentary photography after a photo festival a few years ago, and then we hung out at a very-fun, late-night party in Portland last year.

(You know, back when people went places, crammed into small hotel suites, and passed vape pens back and forth with impunity. Shout out to Kris for hosting the party.)

As usual, when I share a book from an artist I know personally, it never makes the cut if it’s not good enough.

This one is filled with creepy-uncomfortable-cool photographs, but also succeeds in doing the one thing I love to share with you in a photo book: it shows us something we have never seen before.

Kiliii is an indigenous person, and I swear I had no plan to show his work this week, during a holiday to celebrate his people, now that we no longer genuflect at the genocidal remains of Cristoforo Colombo. (That was his real name: look it up.)

He’s spent a ton of time up in the Arctic before, and knows his way around. And I’ve certainly seen work from Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland.

But this book is built upon photographs taken in the Russian region that gives the book its name, as it’s only 3 miles across the Bering Sea. (I guess Sarah Palin wasn’t wrong about everything. Almost everything, but not everything.)

The place is populated by a half Siberian indigenous population, (the ancestors of our Native Americans,) and half ethnic Russians, because like the Han sending citizens to Xinjiang, the Soviets also liked their own to live across their Empire.

There’s not much I can say about the pictures that they won’t say for themselves.

Polar bears, walruses, wolves, puffins, poor people, and lots of bones.

I might not want to go there in person, even in a world in which travel was possible, but the book lets us go there virtually.

(Who needs Oculus when you have a photo books?)

But there is one part of the well-written opening essay that I’d like to share, as it makes my opening even more relevant.

Kiliii tells us the mantra of the Arctic: “The resilient will endure.”

I somehow managed to avoid writing about ACB and the Orange one this week, even with the election getting so close, and the Republicans on the verge of sealing judicial power for a generation.

You know all that is happening, and I’ll be lucky if you stop scrolling through the NYT, WaPo, Reuters, the WSJ, Facebook, and Twitter long enough to read this column.

You’re well aware of the stakes of the 2020 US Election, even if you’re reading this in Moscow.

(Π― ΠΏΠ»ΠΎΡ…ΠΎ Π³ΠΎΠ²ΠΎΡ€ΡŽ ΠΏΠΎ русски.)

So instead of focusing on that, think about the mantra of the people who live tougher lives than we’ll ever really understand.

The resilient will endure.

Think on that.

To purchase “Chukotka,” click here

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please contact me directly at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in books by women, and artists of color, so we may maintain a balanced program.Β 

The Art of the Personal Project: Jeff Lipsky

- - Personal Project

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

 

Today’s featured artist: Jeff Lipsky

It was back in 2015 when I was on assignment for Outside Magazine where I first got the inspiration to do the father son personal project. The job was to shoot the best-selling author Norman Ollestad and his son Noah surfing together. Ollelstad’s book β€œCrazy for the Storm” was a true survival/ plane crash story with a father son relationship. I wanted to capture Norman’s passion of surfing and how he passed it to his son like his father had done to him. Not an easy thing to get. What is that exact moment that conveys that feeling? I was hooked.

After that assignment I decided to keep going. While shooting the late Chris Cornell’s album β€œHigher Truth” I had the chance capture him sharing his passion for playing the guitar with his son. It’s continued with an artist, golfer, writer, skater, and wine maker. Being a dad myself of two boys and girl I continually look for those inspirations. A dad and daughter project is currently in the works!

Β 

 

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

 

Expert Advice: Photographer Scams

- - Working

Varun Raghupathi, Wonderful Machine

Online scams are nothing new. These days, as schemes get more and more elaborate, it seems that anyone can fall victim, and photographers are no exception.

In recent weeks, several of our members received emails containing what looked like an interestingΒ assignment. The sender, purportedlyΒ an editor namedΒ “Jack Moss” from anothermag.com,Β found the photographersΒ onΒ Wonderful Machine and askedΒ them to produce a fashion shoot. But some details did not quite add up and,Β one after the other, the photographers started forwarding these emails to us.

We are sharing all the details hereΒ to help photographers stay alert and protect themselves against similar scams in the future. This is what the inital email sent to the photographers lookedΒ like, provided by Francis Hills:

EA Photographer Scam Jack Moss Fake Email Drop Shadow
The scam email sent to Francis Hills. The scammer sent this email to at least four WM member photographers.

Fake assignments

“I’m Jack, a beauty, fashionΒ and lifestyle writer and editor atΒ anothermag.com, a subsidiary of Dazed media and Dazed digital,” read the initial email.Β “I saw your profile onΒ wonderfulmachine.comΒ which led me to some of your work online and after going through your portfolio, I would like to learn more about your services.”

Jack, not exactly the world’s foremost expert on comma usage,Β was inviting his prospects to “concept, shoot, and produce 36 images, featuring 3 models.” The scammer also mentioned thatΒ “you will be required to work with a company recommended hair/makeup artist and a wardrobe stylist, and bring a smart, fun approach and distinct style.” Here’s part of the PDF he sent to the photographers:

EA Photographer Scam AnOther Mag Fake PDF
Part of the fake job description PDF sent by the scammer to photographers.

The scammer offered $3,500 in photographer compensation β€” $1,500 upfront and $2,000 after the shoot β€” while earmarkingΒ $9,500 for the total shoot budget (to include talent fees). The client would supply the wardrobe. Additionally, the photographer would hold the full image rights and said images would be posted as editorial content on AnOther Mag’s website for a year.

Seems legit, right? Well, as we started reading carefully, several red flags appeared:

  • The email came from a Gmail address. If it were a real assignment, it would likely come from a Dazed or AnOther MagΒ email address.
  • The real Jack Moss is not only a Digital Features Editor for AnOther Magazine, he holds the same role for Another Man Magazine. The email signature for the fake Jack Moss did not mention this.
  • The project description, which was attached to the email, was not on Dazed or AnOther MagΒ letterhead. In fact, the PDF itself is quite plain, which usually isn’t the case when a real client comes calling.
  • There were several typos and syntax errors in both the email and the project description.Β A fair number of scammers are not from the U.S. and therefore struggle with English. Adam Lerner, one of the targeted photographers, mentioned that things felt “off” the whole time. To cover his bases, he set up a chat with the client to discuss the assignment and received a call out of East Hampton, New York from the number 631-731-6280.
    • During the talk, Adam noted, “he had answers to all my questions despite being completely flat in his demeanor.Β No enthusiasm.Β And a very thickΒ accent that sounded West African.Β I didn’t really get too bothered by that because people in fashion tend to be from everywhere, but I also wasn’tΒ completely re-assured to the legitimacy of this shoot after the call.” So, while the accent and grammatical errors might not be enough on their own to prove things aren’tΒ up to snuff, they can add upΒ toΒ a scam if combined with other red flags, like the ones discussed here.Β 

In the 12 yearsΒ Wonderful Machine has been in business,Β this is the 4th or 5thΒ time this has happened.Β After doing some research, we learnedΒ thatΒ fake assignments are some ofΒ the most common scams used against creatives. In this case β€” as with most others β€”Β our members were cautious and did not choose to accept the offer. What would happen if they took the gig?

If accounts of previous suchΒ scams can serve as an indication, the photographerΒ would most likely receive a check from the “client.” This check would include the payment for their fee,Β as well as for the talent. The sender would then ask the photographerΒ to deposit the check into their account and promptly send a payment to the talent agency (or another service needed to prepare for the shoot). If the photographer followed these directions, their bank would initially accept the original check, after which the photographer would dutifully send their check to the talent agency. So far, so good.

Except the agency would not be legitimate β€” it would be associated with the scammer. In the meantime, the photographer’s bank would discover the cashier check was also fake and it would bounce. By that time, the money has already been sent, and the editor is nowhere in sight.Β Goodbye fee! Goodbye contract! Goodbye gig! Here’s what that check would look like, via Jon Morgan:

EA Photographer Scam Jon Morgan Fake Check

As you can see, the scammer sent Jon $7,500 to cover his upfront fee ($1,500) and the talent compensation ($6,000). The final $2,000 would be given to Jon after the work was done, bringing the total to the $9,500 mentioned in the brief.

How to protect yourself

It’s only natural for freelance photographersΒ who are trying to market their businessΒ to share information about themselves and their work with as many people as possible. This, of course, includes strangers.

The internet provides countless legitimate business opportunities, but it’s important to beΒ aware of the risks. Here areΒ some precautions that canΒ help photographersΒ protect themselvesΒ against scams:

  • When considering assignments from people with whom you have never worked before, ask a lot of questions. Where is the shoot taking place? When? Who else is working on it? If you do not receive sufficient information, it should raise a flag. And if you do? Verify that information using Google and LinkedIn.
  • Be skeptical of the example images used in mood boads. Akilah Townsend, another photographer who got an email from “Jack,” figured out it was a scam in part because “the images he used weren’t tasteful, in my opinion. They didn’tΒ look like what AnOther Mag would produce.” While subpar imagery might not be strong enough evidence on its own, it definitely counts as a red flag. Akilah continued to follow up, noting the gmail address was weird and doing some research online to get to the bottom of things.
    • She said the final nail in the coffin was when the scammer “signed an email with a differentΒ editor’s name” β€”Β AkilahΒ googled that name and found out that person, Ethan D’spain, was at a different magazine. “My agent asked who the other person wasΒ and [“Jack”] claimed it was his friend helping with the project,” Akilah said. “Too many fishy things.” Here’s that second email the scammer sent to Akilah and her agent, Candace. Note the misspelling of “D’spain:”
EA Photographer Scam Fake Follow Up Email
A follow up email sent to Akilah by the scammer, whoΒ mistakenly signedΒ off with a different name than he originally used.
  • If the potential scammer is using the name of a real creative, email that person to confirm it’s not them. For example, Francis Hills reached out to the actual Jack Moss, who quickly replied by saying he did not send the initial email.
  • Read everything carefully, paying attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation.
  • If something looks weird, paste fragments into GoogleΒ and see whether anyone else has received a similar message. Scammers are too busy to write unique letters to each individual they are attempting to scam. Yes, they do copy and paste β€” especially if English is not their first language! So, check if anybody shared anything on a blog or some online forum. Are there any company reviews coming up?
  • Call the phone numbers they provide and try to talk to people.Β If the phone number doesn’t seem right, call the main phone number for that company and ask for that person. If they do not answer, or insist on communicating via e-mail only, it definitely is a warning sign as well. You can also vet names and numbers by visiting Unknown Phoneor ICANN lookup.
  • If you suspect you are a target, ignore the e-mail and do not engage the individual. Instead, report the case to the Federal Trade Commission by calling their hotline 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357) or filing an online complaint on their website. You can also visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation’sΒ Internet Fraud Complaint Center.

Last but not least, share your story – write on your blog, post on social media, talk to other photographers. There is no better way to combat scammers than to publicize what they do and make other people aware of their tricks. The reason we were able to publish this piece is because of how proactive our members were in getting this scam on our radar.

To that end, thank you to Francis Hills,Β Adam Lerner, Jon Morgan, and Akilah TownsendΒ for telling us about this scam and how they figured out it wasn’t a real shoot. While it’s always a letdown to realize a potential job is actually a scam, it sure beats having your bank account information fall into the wrong hands!

To learnΒ more about photographer scams, read:

Think you’ve been a victim of a scam? Please contactΒ Wonderful Machine by emailingΒ us or calling us atΒ 610 260 0200.

The Daily Edit – Modern Huntsman: Field Outrider

- - The Daily Edit

Wild PlacesMystery Ranch: To the ends of the earth and back, there are some amazing places out there, and we want to see them. Whether hunting, hiking, climbing, fishing, or just exploring with your dog, it’s often about being in the right place at the right time. Show us those moments in some of the wild places you’ve found.

WildlifeΒ – Vortex – Fur, feathers, fins or fangs, we constantly draw inspiration from the wildlife around us, and leave us with unforgettable memories and lessons learned. Show us the moments of your closest encounters, narrow misses, or moments of connection.

The Pursuit the process of hunting – First Lite – Hunting is a process that sometimes yields a result, but it is the act of pursuing wild game that takes us to amazing places, tests our limits, and teaches us lessons. Show us your process of pursuing game, whether on land, sea or otherwise. The journey is the destination.

Harvest Hunting, fishing, agricultural – EPIC: Food gathered from the land. This could be wild game, fish, foraging, agricultural, or even viticultural. Food brings us together, and we want to see your interpretation of this.

Western Tecovas: Many have a fascination with the idea of β€œThe West,” and while much of it lives in tall tales, legends, or days gone, some still live it everyday. Show us your version of what western means, whether past, present, or uncertain future.

Emerging – Less than 2 years of professional experience: Whether you’re a student or just getting started with less than two years of experience, we want to see your best work. While it doesn’t have to be one of the above categories, it would certainly be relevant to stick to them.

 

Art (paintings, illustration, mixed media, etc) – There are so many talented artists out there, but we’d like to see more of them. Whether painting, illustration, mixed media, digital art, or something else, we’d like to see it. While you don’t have to stick to the other category prompts, it certainly helps to keep it relevant to an outdoors theme.

Portraiture: Whether stranger from a faraway land, or a neighbor with an interesting past, we want to see the most interesting characters you’ve come across in your ventures. There is so much emotion and story that can be conveyed in a single portrait, and it’s an interesting exercise to try and read their emotions, intentions, and even their story. We want to see some storied faces and individuals here.

Audience Choice – our judges will pick 5 finalists from the entire pool, and we’ll give our audience/followers a chance to vote on who they want to win. We’ll be awarding the top 3 picks.

Modern Huntsman

Field Outrider
CEO + Editor in Chief: Tyler Sharp
Creative Director:Β Tito West

People often raise their eyebrows at photo contests, this one is different, this one is worth entering. You can submit your archival or current work in more than one of these unique categories. Field Outrider is offering more than acknowledgement, it’s an opportunity to also win paid assignments, have your work published in their beautifully printed magazine along with one on one portfolio reviews. In terms of judging contests there is nothing more exciting then to be surprised by an emerging photographer or someone who has a passion for the craft. Most professionals have every waking moment occupied with calls and screen time, work, child care; realize this is an opportunity to get your work in front of a broad range of people wanting to give back to the photo/creative community they believe in.

Featured Promo – Jackie Dives

- - The Daily Promo

Jackie Dives

Who printed it?
East Van Graphics in Vancouver, B.C., which is where I am based.

Who designed it?
I did most of the layout design but my designer, Alicia Carvalho made it all happen.

Tell me about the images?
The images were all taken during the first three months of the recommended quarantine in British Columbia. I was living alone and spent most of the time in my apartment with my cat. Taking photographs is a tool for me to cope with whatever is happening in my life so it just made sense for me to keep taking photos, even if it was just the mundanity of living during that weird time. I find photography to be incredibly healing, and it has helped me deal with a lot of things over the years. The other books I made this year included a book about my solo cycling trip across South Korea, and my choice not to become a mother.

How many did you make?
100

How many times a year do you send out promos?
It’s pretty random. In 2020 I made 3 of these book/zine things and only sent them to very select people. I usually sell them through Instagram and my website as well. Before that, I have only sent out paper promos two other times.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
My personal experience is that the promos I have made have not brought me any work. I’m not entirely sure why. It could be that I’m sending them to the wrong people or that they aren’t very good. I don’t know!

This Week in Photography: The Power of Tradition

 

“Like nightmares appearing one after the other, these new realities bruised my body and soul, leaving me feeling as if I had taken a severe beating.”

Yukari Chikura, 2020

 

 

I used to work for Bobby Flay.

A long time ago.

I waited tables at his now-shuttered restaurant, Bolo, and was hired the day after it received a 3-star review from the NYT. (Even though it had been open for years by that point.)

The positive press turned the joint into a mad-house, with long-time New Yorkers battling each other for reservations, and tourists lining up as well. (Since Chef was already a significant television personality.)

Photo: Getty Images, Carmen Lopez and AJ Wilhelm

 

The restaurant was extremely well-run, and it turned out to be the most important job I ever had, as I learned some valuable life lessons, like humility, and the value of grueling work.

Ironically, during my time there, another television chef, Rocco DiSpirito, opened up a restaurant across the street, as the premise of a reality show called “The Restaurant,” and it went about as well as you might imagine. (Lots of drama, little success, ending with lawsuits and injunctions.)

Even now, I have vivid memories of Rocco leaning suggestively against his Vespa, out on the street, almost begging for Instagram to be invented, (in 2003,) so that people could take his picture and immediately share the images with the world. (#Rocco2003)

I was reminded of that this morning, having watched the opening of a funny episode of “Beat Bobby Flay” on TV last night, right before bed. (It’s become our pre-sleep Quarantine ritual. Thanks, Boss!)

The premise of the show is simple, as two chefs battle each other, cooking with the ingredient of Bobby’s choice, (in 20 minutes,) and the the winner gets to go up against Bobby, with the dish of his or her choice, for 45 minutes.

(No shock: Bobby almost always wins. Dude has skills.)

In this particular episode, a Neapolitan pizza chef, FROM NAPLES, was battling a generic-white-American-accented American, who was also trained in making pizza in the Naples style.

It was a classic set-up, as how on Earth could a milquetoast-sounding American beat a fucking guy from Naples, who was a third generation pizza chef?

Big surprise, the proper Neapolitan won, and the ersatz-version had to go home early.

I’m not bagging on my country, (which I’ve done many times lately,) what with our current President deciding he’d rather be a dictator than allow our democratic tradition to continue, if he can’t win. (And the psychotic, anti-democratic tweets this week by Republican Senator Mike Lee suggest Trump is not alone in this belief.)

No, I’m not hating on the USA.

Rather, I’m suggesting that even though we are a young country, made up of immigrants (and former slaves) from other parts of the world, we can still see the value of history.

Of tradition.

Of passing stories and rituals along, across the generations, so that people dance, sing, fast, or meditate, all because their ancestors did so.

Hell, one of the main reasons I live in Taos is because I was so enraptured by the Taos Pueblo Christmas Eve celebration as a youth, in which bonfires reach to the sky, the Pueblo residents chant and sing, and the entire community comes together for one night.

And the only time I ever visited Israel, as a young person, I felt the lives of my ancient ancestors calling to me from the building stones in the Old City of Jerusalem. (That’s a memory I haven’t conjured in forever.)

Why am I on about tradition today?

What brings about this bout of nostalgia? (Other than it’s fun to mock Rocco DiSpirito?)

I’m glad you asked.

Today, I just put down the exquisite, perfectly built “Zaido,” by Yukari Chikura, recently published by Steidl, and I feel as if I’m in a trance.

(Though that could be because I slept poorly last night, and am hopped-up on three forms of strong caffeine.)

I once met Yukari at a photo festival years ago, and she was very gracious, so you could say I’m a fan.

I’ve also studied Japanese martial arts before, and admitted to a group of students just the other day that two of my seminal images were inspired by Hokusai, so I’ll share them here today.

 

“one dollar’s worth of Shurfine flour”

Perhaps I’m not so different from that American chef, desperate to be an amazing Pizzaiolo?

(I also love elements of Italian, Chinese, Dutch, French, Spanish, Mexican, African-American and English cultures, so I’m an equal opportunity appropriator.)

That said, I think anyone would love this book, and as it’s already generated a lot of press, I’m jumping on the bandwagon.

Steidl has proven to me many times that their print quality and craftsmanship are second to none, and that’s certainly the case here. (Even when you open the box, there is a note giving props to the book packer. In this case, a man named Timo.)

Next, you’re met with an insert that features what appears to be a map, and a booklet that tells the folk tale of a young couple who find wealth and fortune when a god smiles upon them, directing they make a home near a spring filled with sake. (Thanks to a helpful dragonfly as well.)

The story ends by telling us a shrine was eventually built there, and a ceremony derived, called Zaido, so we now understand our title.

(Context delivered.)

We move on to these glowing silver end pages, within the book, and then the slow build-up of a snowy, mountain scene on velum paper.

Did I mention that Haruki Murakami is my favorite writer, and I’ve dreamt of visiting Hokkaido, standing stock still in a frozen field, surrounded by a quiet so rich it feels like something from another dimension?

All those emotions pop up quickly, looking at this book, so steeped in tradition and generations of reverence.

The photographic portion of the book progresses as you might imagine, with landscapes interspersed with some portraits, and documents of the rituals.

If I were to give any critical feedback at all, (not to be a hater,) I think I might have trimmed the edit just a touch, so that all the photos packed an equal punch.

At one point, looking at the empty space, I was reminded of the Fukushima exclusionary zone, where no one lives, due to the radiation from the 2011 earthquake, Tsunami and nuclear meltdown. (One of my aforementioned images was also inspired by that event, and I’ll include it here, to honor the dead.)

“The Great Wave”

At one point, a blank, white piece of board is included, and I stopped flipping, during which time I discovered that an image of paper ribbons included a real one, which had been attached to the book-page.

Adding the divider, which forced the pause, was such a thoughtful gesture.

Like I said, this is a book that is impossible not to like.

It makes one appreciate the “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” pursuit of perfection for which Japanese culture is rightly known.

(Even if my Aikido Sensei was an American, as was his.)

As the book faded in with white, so it fades out with black images on a rougher paper, that suggest snow flakes falling from the sky, illuminated by the faintest hint of light.

Then, the artist’s essay, in which we learn she suffered the loss of her father, and then he came to her in a dream, telling her to seek out this festival, which has gone on for more than a millennium.

Finally, some historical art images, again on silver paper, and the thank you page.

Books like this make me want to be a better artist.

A better man.

Because it reminds me that hard work, diligence, and attention to detail never, ever go out of style.

To purchase “Zaido” click hereΒ 

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please contact me directly at jonathanblaustein@gmail.com. We are particularly interested in books by women, and artists of color, so we may maintain a balanced program.Β 

The Art of the Personal Project: Taylor Roades

- - Personal Project

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

 

Today’s featured artist: Β Taylor Roades

A RIBBON OF HIGHWAY – BETWEEN THE EAST OF MY YOUTH AND THE WEST OF MY FUTURE.

A Ribbon of Highway is a personal retrospective and an exploration of a Canadian Identity. It is a collection of photographs taken between 2010-2020, a decade of my twenties where I moved and travelled extensively across the country, coming of age and questioning both my own value systems, and what being Canadian might mean. The photographs depict my individual lived experience, visiting landscapes that vary drastically in geography, history, and socio-economic status, and overarching lifestyle.

I have photographs from every province and territory except Newfoundland, and Nunavut. I took three trips across the country on a greyhound bus over this time, and travelled on photography assignments to some extremely remote locations.Β  These photos were not taken with a final goal in mind; the scenes were interesting to me in the moment. I’ve always been deeply intrigued by the cultural threads that hold Canada together, and though I won’t claim this collection to be all encompassing of β€œCanadianness”, it is a reflection of the place and the person I was when I took the images.

The title of this project: β€œA Ribbon of Highway” is a lyric in a song called This Land is Your Land. It is an American tune and was re-made by a Canadian band called the Travellers (originally named The Beavers). Naming this project a Ribbon on Highway was an analogy for how we are constantly defining ourselves as separate from the Americans, and yet are still so influenced, for better or worse, by our southern neighbour.

Canada, as we know it emerged from a series of outposts, and in a sense still operates this way. Kindness here is born out of a season of scarcity. We are a vast landmass with incredible differences and we cling to the similarities because they give us something to identify with.

Our patriotism is steeped in contradictions. We are friendly even if we don’t want to be friends. We are hardy people, but complain about scraping the caked ice from our windshields at the break of dawn. We have feelings of moral superiority to the USA with a robust public healthcare system, and yet we have a history of deeply unequal and morally horrific policies when it comes to the treatment of Indigenous peoples on this land.

Some of these photos are stereotypical, and some are personal. It is my hope if you have spent time in this country you will see your own experience, even if only partially. This thread of shared experience is what holds us together, in the space between the places that make up most of this Country.

To see more of this project, click here.

Behind the scenes video

APE contributorΒ Suzanne SeaseΒ 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.Β  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.Β She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.Β  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.Β  Instagram

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

 

The Daily Edit – Modern Huntsmen: Field Outrider

- - The Daily Edit

Photographed by Jenn Judge
Photographed by Jenn Judge Photographed by Justin Moore

Photographed by Tito West

Modern Huntsman

Field Outrider
Creative Director: Tito West

Heidi: Why the contest? What are the benefits to the photo/art community and why now?
Tito: Since its inception, Modern Huntsman has always strived to give voice to those who have struggled to be heard. Most of our team comes from a long past of freelancing and we are all too familiar with the incredible difficulty that arises when trying to break into the world of professional photography, whether that’s commercial or editorial work or even a more artistic approach such as galleries or long form projects. More often than not, it boils down to luck or to a fortunate meeting of happenstance. This is all good and well except for the fact that there are more people than ever who are making truly original work; work that deserves to be seen, but through the cards of chance, they have remained unseen and their voices unheard. All of that being said, I’m not entirely opposed to the difficult path that photographers face at the outset of their careers. This is one of a few fields in which the difficulty of achieving success serves as a sort of weeding out process. It separates those who truly want to be here from the ones who only think they want to be here. As frustrating as that can be, it has served me well. In times of desperation or hopelessness I found renewed strength in the history of the medium and the legacy that has been passed down from the legends who came before us for our careers are made possible by the photographers who preceded us. I think this is what Umberto Eco meant when he wrote, β€œWe are dwarfs, but dwarfs who stand on the shoulders of those giants, and small though we are, we sometimes manage to see farther on the horizon than they.”  However, there comes a point in the development of your artistic vision where the groundwork has been laid, the foundation is set and now it is time to venture out into the world and for your work to be seen. That venturing out is the most difficult step. So many photographers, artists, etc feel that they’re ready. They know they are, but the question remains…”How do I take that first step?” This is where β€œField Outrider hopes to comes in.

What are your hopes and what do you want the community to know about you or this project?
This is not a competition in which our aim is to obtain an endless stream of β€œcontent”. In fact, that’s a word we are wholeheartedly uncomfortable with. Our primary focus is and always has been STORY. This is the heart and soul of Modern Huntsman. We have a goal here with this publication and that is to bring respect back to the printed editorial world; to reinstall print as an outlet for photographers who are making meaningful work. We cannot do this without a reliable and core roster of contributors; in short, we cannot do it without the people who are out in the world exploring the issues and the places that are the core focus of the stories we publish. However, Modern Huntsman is bigger than the stories we print in our publication. The PEOPLE who tell these stories are the lifeblood we depend upon and as such it is the people to whom we must provide support and access. Furthermore, β€œField Outrider” is NOT a means of making money. Yes, we are charging a submission fee of $15, however, that money will go towards commissioning stories for the publication with the winners of each category. We have assembled an incredible team of judges, all of whom are donating their time and expertise out of a desire to give back to the photo community, a community that has given them so much. This is their way of paying it forward. Some are photographers themselves yes, but largely the judges are made up of individuals who actually have the power to put you to work, because as much as we all value feedback, what we really need is a chance, an opportunity to test ourselves in the arena. That is where careers are made. That is where photographers are born.

This competition serves a stepping stone in the larger, long-term mission of Modern Huntsman. What began in the spring of this year as an Instagram competition has evolved into this, a digital competition in which the winner’s photograph(s) will not only be published in print, but will result directly in a commission that we’ll publish, and drive attention to. Again, this is a stepping stone. It starts online, but ultimately our goal is to work towards in person seminars, workshops and portfolio reviews. But another big component of that is doing what we can to get more folks from different backgrounds involved in these discussions, and increase diversity amongst the perspectives we’re pulling from. While we’ve always sought this out, we’re taking larger steps here to get this opportunity out to more communities, as we think the future of conservation, land management, hunting and food sourcing will depend on having new voices involved in the conversation.

How did you come to this job?
I came onboard with Modern Huntsman as the Creative Director back in February of this year. I have known Tyler Sharp (the Editor and CEO) for about 6 years now and we have very similar career paths, from starting out in Texas to working in East Africa both as filmmakers and photographers. We’ve always stayed in touch and I was a part of the conversation regarding Modern Huntsman from the beginning, but I was still traveling extensively overseas at the time and very much involved in several ongoing projects. So we kind of tabled the conversation for a bit, all the while knowing that there would come a time when things would align and we’d be working together on this incredible thing he has built. That time finally came, and it was lucky to be right before lock down, as we were all able to focus on putting out great work with Volume Five, and trying to find ways to help other freelancers.

I am still very much a dedicated photographer myself and that is really my vocation, but this role as Creative Director allows me to work with other incredibly talented people from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds and it keeps me involved in the photo community which is really important to me. Once you’re bitten by this photography bug, you really don’t stand a chance. It will consume you in the best way possible and so to be able to work with these individuals, some of whom I have looked up to my entire career, really helps keep me fresh and informs my own work. It pushes me to be better and I can’t really ask for much more than that. It’s truly a privilege that I feel very fortunate to be a part of.

How does this all braid together for you (photography, design and storytelling)
Well for me, books are where the heart of the medium lies. I have a deep and abiding love for books – for all books, not just photography books and that’s exactly what we do at Modern Huntsman. It would be really hard to call what we make, a magazine, even though in essence that’s what it is. However, the quality of the work, the printing, the writing and design – they all make it more than this idea of what we imagine when we say magazine. It really is a softcover book. Over the years, I’ve learned to present my work differently and more intentionally and that requires an understanding of and an appreciation for design. While I am not a designer myself, I do study it and I try to pay attention to what the design is saying. I think as photographers we really have a responsibility to learn aspects of design that can help show the work in the way we want it to be received. I believe this is more important than it’s ever been. In fact, I really see the design as being the final component in putting these stories together, the previous two obviously being the writing and the photography. Each story warrants its own unique design approach in the exact same way that each story warrants a unique photographic vision. Again, I’m not a designer myself, but I do believe in being design literate. Ultimately, however, the design of each story and the publication as a whole falls to our incredibly talented Design Director, Elias Carlson, whom I met three years ago at the Collective Quarterly Portfolio Review in Chico Hot Springs, Montana hosted by Jesse Lenz of Charcoal Book Club. Elias and I have stayed in touch over the years and so it’s been really incredible to see how these early relationships, at the outset of my career, have informed the later stages of my working life and how our paths seem to converge when the timing is right.

Lastly, from a storytelling standpoint I think editorial outlets are historically, with the exception of maybe books, a photographer’s preferred outlet. Unfortunately, these have largely disappeared over the years and of the few that do remain, it can be incredibly difficult for a photographer to begin a working relationship. The goal for Modern Huntsman is to bring that back to the forefront of possible outlets for working professional photographers as well as to open that door to talented young photographers who are just beginning their careers.

How does this model of guaranteed work serve as a benefit and community builder?
I have participated in a number of photo workshops, portfolio reviews and competitions and many of them have been great experiences, while others were not. Some of them have been free as a result of corporate sponsorships and others have required a significant out of pocket expense, something most aspiring photographers cannot afford. At the end of the day, what photographers need is work. Critiques are important, and feedback can be inspiring or informative, but work is the lifeblood of the photographer and it’s the work that we need in order to survive. That’s our goal with all of this, to put talented photographers and creatives to work, while at the same time expanding the diversity of voices in the conversations surrounding the hunting, angling, and outdoors communities. Being that we were all freelancers before and know how hard it is, we created this to try and be something that is meaningful, beneficial and supportive of photographers and artists. We tried to think about what opportunities we would’ve loved to have back then, and think this does that justice. It’s been a hard year for a lot of people, and while we certainly wish we could do more, this is our effort to really step up and try to create some positive momentum and paid work for photographers who need it. Again, we can’t thank you enough for being a part of this and helping share more about what we’re trying to do here. We truly hope that we’ll get lots of work sent in and be able to create some incredible stories with the winners!

Pricing & Negotiating: Real Families for a Technology Client

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Lifestyle images of real families interacting with technology

Licensing: Unlimited use of up to 60 images for two years from first use

Photographer: Reportage and Portrait Specialist

Agency: Large, specializing in digital campaigns

Client: Large technology company

 

Here is the estimate:
Pricing and Negotiating Real Families for Technology Client

Creative/Licensing Fees: The photographer came to me having never done a commercial assignment with an ad agency or a client of this size before. His previous work focused on family portraits and reportage, and that was exactly the kind of content this campaign called for. The agency hoped that the photographer could present options of real families to them using his personal connections, rather than working with a casting director or talent agency. These families would be photographed in their actual homes interacting in staged setups, that would ideally look as authentic as possible considering they were real family members. The shoot would take place over two shoot days, with two families, each in their own homes. While the shot list was a bit of a collaborative effort, we settled on 60 final deliverables for unlimited use for two years. Based on previous similar projects I’ve estimated, I had a sense that this client would want to end up paying a few hundred dollars per image if broken down that way, and likely around 10-15k/day for a creative/licensing fee. We were asked to break out the creative fee from the licensing, and I landed on $3,000/day plus $20,000 in licensing fees. There would also be two pre-pro days added in, which I included $1,500/day for. As we approached $30,000 for these items collectively, I felt confident that we were in the right ballpark, especially considering this would be the photographer’s first assignment like this.

Crew: I included a first assistant and a digital tech, each for the two shoot days

Styling: The families would wear their own clothes, so we didn’t need a wardrobe stylist, but there was definitely a need for specific props based on the creative brief and the situations being prescribed by the shot list. I therefore included a prop stylist with an assistant and the appropriate expenses, but marked the prop costs as TBD since we were still sorting out the exact prop needs.

Casting and Talent: Based on previous projects we decided that $3,000 per family would be appropriate to cover each family and their property.

Equipment: While we initially started much lower due to the photographer’s style and lighting approach, the agency specifically asked us to include $3,500/day for equipment.

Health and Safety: Β On all shoots now, we are considering PPE and cleaning supplies at a minimum, and on some shoots we include a health/wellness officer. In this case, since we were still sorting out the exact families and their comfort level with a minimal production, we marked this at $1,000 while bidding. At most, we anticipated hiring a cleaning company to come clean the location after the shoot.

Misc.: I included $250/day for each day to cover miscellaneious and unforeseen expenses that might arise.

Post Production: I included $1,500 for what I anticipate would likely be about a day of post, just to organize the assets and delivery them, even though the agency would be handling the heavy lifting on the retouching.

Feedback: The first item the agency wanted to discuss was the licensing. Rather than select 60 images after the shoot and have the usage period start when the first image was used, they wanted to be able to make selects over the course of the two year licensing period, and have each image start a two year licensing period when each image was used. It seemed odd to me, but regardless, I wanted to account for the potential lengthier usage term that would be possible, and the work that the photographer would have to do each time more files were requested throughout the two years. I had a very frank conversation with the art buyer about this request, and they suggested that they had $15,000 potentially available to put towards this licensing request. That seemed like an excellent deal, so we ran with it and adjust our estimate. Additionally, we learned that the production company involved with this project planned to pay the crew, styling team and talent directly via a payroll company, and that they’d handle any cleaning fees directly as well. They therefor asked us to revise our estimate to reflect that.

Here was the final estimate:
Pricing and Negotiating Real Families for Technology Client

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Hindsight: Given the extra $15k that magically appeared, I wonder if we started too low initially. Also, it seems many shoots in these strange Covid times revolve more around the resources that a photographer has available to them (family/friend talent and locations specifically) as opposed to the actual appropriateness of that photographer for the assignment, which is a bit disconcerting. I think the photographer was a great choice for this campaign, but I’ve seen other projects where seemingly perfect photographers drop out of the running because they don’t have that perfect talent/location at their fingertips.

 

If you have any questions, or if you need helpΒ estimatingΒ orΒ producingΒ a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 orΒ reach out. We’re available to help with any and allΒ pricing and negotiatingΒ needsβ€”from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

The Daily Edit – Max Whittaker

- - The Daily Edit

BERRY CREEK, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 9, 2020: The small town of Berry Creek, California which was destroyed by the Bear Fire, part of the North Complex Fire, on September 9, 2020. The North Complex Fire has burned 254,000 acres.Β 

FEATHER FALLS, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 9, 2020: A tree burns in the Bear Fire, part of the North Complex Fire, on September 9, 2020 in Feather Falls, California. The North Complex Fire has burned 254,000 acres.Β 

BERRY CREEK, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 10, 2020: National Guard soldiers cut a fire line on the West Zone fire, formerly the Bear Fire, part of the North Complex Fire, on September 10, 2020 near Feather Falls, California. The North Complex Fire has burned 244,000 acres and killed ten people.Β 

BERRY CREEK, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 10, 2020: National Guard soldiers cut a fire line on the West Zone fire, formerly the Bear Fire, part of the North Complex Fire, on September 10, 2020 near Feather Falls, California. The North Complex Fire has burned 244,000 acres and killed ten people.Β 

VACAVILLE, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19, 2020: Justin Haan wipes his face while putting out spot fires ahead of a wildfire to save his in lawΒ’s home in Vacaville, California on August 19, 2020. The LNC Lightning Complex fire has burned over 32,000 acres.Β 

HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 22, 2020: The Delta Conservation Crew, made up of inmate firefighters, takes a break from clearing a fire line on the Walbridge Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex, in Healdsburg, California on August 23, 2020. The LNU Lightning Complex fire has burned 341,243 acres and destroyed at least 560 structures.Β 

HEALDSBURG, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 22, 2020: The Delta Conservation Crew, made up of inmate firefighters, takes a break while hiking out from clearing a fire line on the Walbridge Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex, in Healdsburg, California on August 23, 2020. The LNU Lightning Complex fire has burned 341,243 acres and destroyed at least 560 structures.Β 

FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19, 2020: Fairfield firefighter Rex Dorrough burns a hillside to protect a neighborhood from the LNU Lightning Complex as deer flee the flames in Fairfield, California on August 19, 2020. The LNU Lightning Complex fire has burned over 125,000 acres.Β 

POPE VALLEY, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 20, 2020: Neighbors help protect a home from the LNU Lightning Complex fire in Pope Valley, California on August 20, 2020. The LNU Lightning Complex fire has burned 215,000 acres and destroyed at least 480 structures.Β 

SPANISH FLAT, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 25, 2020: Andrea Shumate comforts her husband, Josh Shumate, as he sifts through the remains of his grandmotherΒ’s home at the Spanish Flat Mobile Villa, which was destroyed by the Hennessy Fire, part of the LNU Lightning Complex, in Spanish Flat, California on August 25, 2020.Β 

NYTWILDFIRES BERRY CREEK, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 10, 2020: A forest burned by the West Zone Fire, part of the North Complex Fire, on September 12, 2020 near Berry Creek, California. The North Complex Fire has burned 254,000 acres.Β 

VACAVILLE, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19, 2020: Dan Frank calls 911 as his garage and neighborΒ’s home burns in Vacaville, California on August 19, 2020. The LNC Lightning Complex fire has burned over 32,000 acres.Β 

VACAVILLE, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19, 2020: Deer flee a wildfire in Vacaville, California on August 19, 2020. The LNC Lightning Complex fire has burned over 32,000 acres.Β 

VACAVILLE, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 19, 2020: A firefighter tries to burn out some weeds ahead of a wildfire in Vacaville, California on August 19, 2020. The LNC Lightning Complex fire has burned over 32,000 acres.Β 


Max Whittaker

instagram

Heidi: You’ve been covering wildfires for the past 19 years, what made this season different?
Max: This season is different because we’ve had so many large, destructive fires so early in the season. We’re just entering the meat of the fire season, which typically only gets going in Southern California in the fall with the Santa Ana winds. California has already had more acres burn in 2020 than any other year, and the fire season isn’t close to being over.

Looking back over those years, what were some pitval moments?
However, I think it’s important to look back a bit further. When I first started covering wildfires in the early 2000s, they were primarily in forests, away from population centers. Isolated homes and small, rural communities would be threatened, but it was still primarily something that happened deep in the forest, typically on public land. Gradually, the fires began to move more quickly and explosively, driven by high winds, high temperatures and dry fuel, and threaten more and larger communities more frequently. The real eye-opener was the Tubbs Fire in 2017. Driven by high winds, the fire jumped six lanes of Highway 101 and burned the very suburban neighborhood of Coffey Park in Santa Rosa, destroying 2,900 homes. Since then, the Carr Fire in Redding and the Camp Fire in Paradise in 2018, continue this trend of wildfires increasingly burning into residential neighborhoods.

How did your love of National Parks influence your work?
I grew up camping, backpacking, climbing and skiing. I still remember the first time I saw the Tetons and later on the same trip, taking my first photo of a buffalo charging, blurred by my mom yanking me back into the car. Our family still spends two weeks every summer exploring National Parks and public lands. I think my love for wild places colors everything about my photography. It’s so inextricably part of me, that I’m not sure it can be separated from me and how I view the world. I feel most comfortable in wild places and more empathetic to those who live and work on the land. I hope that shows in my work.

What type of “training” do you do to stay ready in the off chance you’re out all night?
Honestly, I don’t think there’s much training that helps with sleep deprivation other than get a good night’s rest when you can. That said, I’ve gotten assignments on very short notice that involve a decent amount of physical fitness (in 2019 I climbed Aconcagua for an assignment with two weeks notice), so I do my best to stay in shape despite my ever-varying work schedule and life demands. I’m a firm believer that being in decent shape helps out in all kinds of ways – even if it is just a week or two of sitting in planes and cars, like many assignments.

What drove you to break the rule of staying close to your car for this assignment?
I left my car behind for the day I spent documenting the effects of the CZU Lightning Complex Fire on Big Basin Redwoods State Park mainly because the active fire had passed and the area was just smoldering. Since the area had already burned, it was in many ways safer than areas that hadn’t. Nothing is without risk, but this seemed like a reasonable risk to document the damage to the park and that was the only way to do it with the downed trees blocking the road. In hindsight, I’d underestimated the danger of falling limbs and trees. That’s something I’ll consider more carefully in similar situations in the future.

What type of respect for nature comes from doing this work?
With people there’s negotiation, with nature it’s more observation and keen awareness of the moment, situational awareness….

Fire is natural. It’s a natural part of our ecosystem that’s gone haywire from man’s effect on the landscape and climate. To see fire eat and charge its way through brush, trees and homes is to engender massive respect for the power of nature. You need to be always watching, looking behind you and making sure your escape path is still clear and your vehicle isn’t endangered. But over the years it’s gradually had another effect on me: to view forests as ever-changing organisms, not as a museum exhibit frozen in place for our viewing pleasure. Typically, as humans we can only see a forest or landscape change over a lifetime of observation, a wildfire changes things in minutes or hours. It’s always cool to go back to a burned area the next spring, and see just a few months later how much green growth there is after the winter rains.

I’m no firefighter or scientist, but I have learned to distinguish between the creeping fire that burns brush, deadfall and the understory; and the cataclysmic infernos we’ve seen more of recently, that completely nuke the landscape and leave nothing alive.

How much do you interact with the firefighters and what kind of earned trust is developed?
It’s rare for me to spend more than a few hours with a firefighting crew. I always show respect by asking permission to photograph them, and they’re almost always friendly and very accomodating. If it’s slow, they’re often hungry to chat with someone outside of their crew as they’re often out for weeks at a time, going from one fire to the next. I’m wearing the same PPE they are, do my best to stay out of their way and not become a liability. I think they appreciate that.

Above all, I’ve gained massive respect for firefighters. Being a wildland firefighter is incredibly demanding, physical work. Hand crews hike miles through rugged terrain during the hottest months, lugging hand tools, chainsaws and fuel, all while wearing thick, fireproof nomex clothing. Then they carve a fire line through impenetrable brush and trees, officially working 24 hours straight, but often much longer. They’ll often do this for months at a time, away from their families, who are often living in the very wildland urban interface they’re working to protect.

Do you show your daughter your images?
My eight-year-old daughter has seen my wildfire images in passing. I don’t make a big deal about them and she rarely asks about them. She’s usually just excited I’m home and wants me to play dolls or Legos with her. But my experiences do lead to a more informed discussion when we do come across a burn scar while out hiking.

What are the lessons that these fires teach you, or what is it a reminder of?
I’ve learned lots during my years covering wildfires, but most importantly, I’ve learned how much of an effect man is having on our environment. Although well-intentioned, our decades of fire suppression has only increased the number of catastrophic fires. With one record-breaking fire season after another, the effects of climate change transcends statistics and is plainly evident in the ashes of our forests and communities.

This Week in Photography: The Power of Art

 

Part 1. The Intro

 

 

Hope.

Such a powerful four-letter word.

[ED note: I swear I wrote this before Hope Hicks and Donald Trump tested positive for the Coronavirus.]

As a long-time cultural critic, who discusses American politics and global themes, of course things have been a bit dark here lately.

How could they not be?

Given the colossal shit-show that was the Trump-Biden debate on Tuesday night, and the foul mood it put me into when I woke up yesterday, you’d be right to assume that this column, written the next day, would be pessimistic and fraught.

 

 

It would be the obvious move, what with Trump telling the Proud Boys to stand by, like his personal white nationalist army.

Normally, I’d lean into that.

Right?

Well, we all get tired of Doom and Gloom, and frankly, I had the most amazing, life-affirming experience yesterday.

It represented pretty much the best that humanity, and art in particular, has to offer.

So I’m going to write about it for you now.

(No frantic fear today, thankfully.)

We’re going positive, courtesy of some inspiring artists from America, England, France and Germany.

 

Part 2. The backstory

 

As you might imagine, writing about photo books as I do, I get a lot of emails from publishers and press agents.

It’s literally part of the job.

Every now and again, one such person begins to seem like a whole, fully realized human, not just an email signature at the bottom of a piece of business.

In this case, I’m thinking of Liv Constable-Maxwell, who does press for MACK, the highly successful, independent photo-book publisher based in London.

The truth is, I’ve been doing this column long enough that I actually interviewed Michael Mack, the titular publisher, on a trip to London back in 2012.

He gave me some great advice about photo books having the potential to be art objects, (when they’re done right,) and I’ve quoted him on that many times, even though we never spoke again.

(I turned up at the MACK offices sweaty and late, which was not my finest hour. Sprinting around Tottenham Court Road, looking for an office building without knowing where you’re going, will give the stress sweats to anyone.)

But I’m getting off topic with an unnecessary diversion.

The point is, Liv seems proper cool, and in our back and forth communication about the MACK fall offerings, she invited me to a new-school, hybridized, online event that could only exist in Covid-reality. (Though it was intended to be IRL, and some of the planners actually met on the day before the world shut down.)

 

The gist is this: SFMOMA had an exhibition last year, (in San Francisco,) featuring a set of polaroids of a man dressed in drag.

They represented a persona, April Dawn Alison, who was adopted by a Bronx-born, Oakland-based commercial photographer named Alan Schaefer.

Like Vivian Maier, he lived and died unknown as an artist, and when the museum was offered a look at his posthumous archive, which featured more than 9200 prints, they jumped at the chance.

 

The curator, Erin O’Toole, (whom I once interviewed for the NYT,) put together a show built around the multiple mini-series that April shot, and then did a book on the project with MACK as well.

(So far, it makes sense, as museum shows are turned into books all the time.)

From there, though, things get perfectly #2020.

Michael Mack showed the book to Robert Raths, the German-born, London-based head of Erased Tapes, an East London recording label, and he showed it to Douglas Dare, a young, gay singer in his roster. (Who also dresses in drag.)

As a result, Douglas wrote three original songs based on the photographs, and yesterday, MACK and its partners put on a live-streamed concert, including a panel discussion, in which Douglas Dare debuted the music to a global audience following along on Zoom.

Which thankfully included me and my 8 year old daughter, who loves to sing and dance, in addition to play the keyboard, strum the ukulele, paint, draw, take pictures and sculpt.

 

by Amelie Blaustein

(What else is a kid going to do in lockdown?)

Watching the performance, with her on my lap, was one of the best hours I’ve spent this year, and in a world devoid of much creative interaction, (IRL,) this was the next best thing for sure.

 

Part 3: The performance

 

I know that Liv played a big part in producing the event, which she said took a year to pull off, which was also partly led by Claudine Boeglin, a French creative director who was on the panel with Michael Mack and Robert Raths.

The sat together, maskless, while Douglas Dare was off to the left at a piano, and Erin O’Toole Zoomed in from SF.

(Liv later sent me this behind-the-scenes image of everyone masked up beforehand. I imagine the panelists might have had Covid tests?)

Courtesy of Liv Constable-Maxwell

 

I admit I haven’t seen live music in a while, and once wrote of acting like a drunk donkey at a Mississippi Hill Country Blues show in New Orleans, so one might say I was primed for something like this.

But the first song, “April” sent chills down my spine, it was so good.

I hadn’t heard Douglas Dare’s music before, but it was immediately engaging, and, frankly, perfect.

 

I made some quick videos of the screen, which I’ll be able to share with you via Youtube, and by the end of the song, Amelie was singing along, which I also captured. (She launched into “Who Let The Dogs Out” at the end, which I later learned was because she had just seen “Trolls World Tour”.)

 

There were interview segments in between, and Douglas said he tried to only go on what he saw in the pictures, and not to make too many assumptions.

β€œI love writing songs that are stories,” he said. β€œGetting a picture and then writing the songs feeds my creativity completely. Having the restriction allows you to play a lot with it. With April, there’s so little to go on.”

Erin O’Toole picked up on that thought, in her brief comments. There was no set of instructions left behind with the archive, so she had to make her own moral, ethical, and curatorial decisions about “what it means to show pictures that were once private.”

“The consensus was there was so much they offered to people who were living, who could benefit from seeing the pictures,” she said. “They cried out to be seen. What Douglas has done has reinforced that for me. If we hadn’t put these pictures out into the world, he wouldn’t have made these beautiful songs.”

The second song, “Your Face is Her’s,” was equally compelling, and the way the producers interspersed April Dawn Alison’s images with the concert was super-rad.

 

It amped up the emotional connection to both artists, as well as the bond between them, one living and one dead.

“She’s become an angel in my mind…and I wanted to do her justice,” Douglas said.

Speaking of the word bond, as some of the images featured symbols of bondage, my daughter asked, of April, “Did he get arrested?”

“No,” I said.

“Then what’s with the handcuffs” she replied?

Ever attuned to shock value, when I asked her at the end what she thought of the April Dawn Alison project, she said, β€œI thought, stop talking about this guy. So he dresses like a woman. So what? It’s not like he’s nude or anything.”

“Is that what you actually thought, or are you just trying to be funny,” I asked?

“Both,” she said.

 

Part 4. The Big Ideas

 

You know by now that I love linking columns together, and it was only two weeks ago that I discussed the male gaze, and the impact that it has on women, even at a young age.

So the above quote by my 8 year old daughter is telling, as she would have found nudity, by a man dressed as a woman, to be a whole other story entirely.

And the question also came up in the Q&A, when someone asked what the panel thought might have influenced Alan Schaefer the most, when he became April?

Erin O’Toole answered she thought it was “based on the kinds of images of women that Schaefer would have absorbed as person living in the US at that time. Images types you would see in noir films, or advertisements in magazines. He was mimicking visual tropes about women that were in the media.”

That her words were beamed from San Francisco, through London, and back to New Mexico via a vast array of undersea cables and internet routers, was never lost on me.

The whole hour was simply riveting.

Douglas Dare sang a final new song, “Camera” which was also terrific, before he ended with a previously recorded song that reminded me a bit too much of Radiohead.

 

And there was another question in the Q & A that really turned up the inspiration juice, (by asking how Mack and Raths made their creative choices,) as Robert Raths offered up some really great advice about his practice, which I think applies to us all.

 

“I believe in flow,” he said. “I believe in the natural power that guides my hand and my mind. I’m curious. I try to do as little as possible. I try to observe.”

“To not get involved too much, only when it’s needed. I’m really fine with that. But sometimes it’s really hard work to do almost nothing.”

He continued by saying “when I come across a project or idea, IΒ try to make it as approachable as possible for as many minds.”

Michael Mack challenged him, by stating there was nothing “mainstream” about his record label artists.

“I try to guide people to the subject matter in the most effortless way,” Raths elaborated. “I always go with how my mind works. With what gets my attention. How much information do I need to get curious about something?”

When it was Michael Mack’s turn to answer, he said that he was often asked if he wanted to be more commercial, and his answer was, “I have absolutely no interest in that. It’s almost a luxury to maintain a focus that is on the specific things that interest me. Not to choose things for other reasons.”

“It almost sounds selfish. But that’s true. It’s what I think I can contribute to because I think it’s valid.”

Robert Raths concluded by extrapolating out of his own role, to ours, the audience.

“We all have talents,” he said. “There is no difference between the performer and the listener. Listening is a talent.Β Being in the moment and being intuitive is very important.

People don’t give themselves time to.”

So that’s where we’ll end today, in this column I couldn’t have dreamed I’d write when I woke up yesterday.

Yes, things are scary right now.

Yes, we don’t know what comes next.

But as I’ve exhorted you many times during the last 6.5 months of chaos and quarantine, get out there and make things. Share your thoughts with the world through your art.

And don’t forget to make time to listen, watch, and think as well.

The quiet can be a powerful teacher.

The Art of the Personal Project: Joe Pugliese

- - Personal Project

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

 

Today’s featured artist: Β Joe Pugliese

This year has been a most unusual time for photographers that are accustomed to a busy calendar, frequently engaging with human subjects. For me, the slowdown of work gave me space to really witness my three and a half year-old son Lucian.Β 

Being at home for much longer periods of time made me see his energy in a new way, and I wanted to document it somehow. I thought of the old corny comic strip Family Circus where the sporadic path of a child’s day was marked with a dotted line to show how much ground he covered. I was really impressed by the way Lucian occupies his spaces, playing in every inch of wherever he finds himself. It made me reflect on how sedentary we become as adults unless we’re intentionally partaking in an activity.

I also enjoyed infusing a motion element into this still work, extrapolating a narrative from the confines of a single frame. Often in my commercial work, compositing and stitching together frames is a way to solve problems and fix mistakes. It was nice to approach this series with the purpose of making an entire group portrait of one singular energy, claiming his surroundings and seizing each day.

To see more of this project, click here.

APE contributorΒ Suzanne SeaseΒ 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.Β  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.Β She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.Β  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.Β  Instagram

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

 

The Daily Edit – The Portrait Project: Priscilla Gragg

- - The Daily Edit

The Portrait Project

Photographer: Priscilla Gragg
Instagram
Project Instagram

Heidi: You started this in 2016, how has it evolved over the years?
Priscilla: Yes, it has evolved a lot! From lighting to color palette to the creatives that get involved, each year it gets better and better! It is always so fun to see the project come to life. Our first year was just me, hair and make-up and wardrobe stylist. Last year, aside from the crew that works on the photo shoot and get the kids ready, we had vendors coming in and collaborating with goodies for a tote bag for families. Other vendors brought in fun toys, books, accessories that families could shop around while kiddos were having their photos taken. I love supporting local businesses so bringing them in to be a part of our photo shoot was a no brainer! This year due to Covid the experience will be a bit different as we will be minimizing time on set and number of people.

Aside from your love of photography, what other emotions come from a project like this?
I believe that when people get together to do something for the good, there is a certain energy that happens and it is hard to explain. It is like magic. Usually when I am on a photo shoot, I have certain goals to achieve in order to help communicate my client’s message. There are lots of meetings, talks and planning about mood, feel, crops, spacing for type, etc. For The Portrait Project my only goal is to get the very essence of my little subjects. It is honest, organic, it is the simple action of capture who they are. Then the profits from the sessions go directly to purchasing children in need toys during the holidays. The idea of using my photography skills to give back to the community is overwhelming. To me, it is a simple thing to do, to the parents it means so much and to the children receiving the toys, I have no words! I have done lots of monetary donations to different organizations and different needs, however, the feeling of rolling up your sleeves and using this one talent you have to help someone you have never met and never will is truly amazing to me.

How did you overcome the Covid this year?
There was a lot of adapting. It has been a very humbling experience from the photography/business perspective. I was used to always working with a big crew of talented people and all of the sudden, I was wearing many hats: steaming clothes, prepping hair and skin, changing them, setting up lights, shooting and wrangling; then editing, prepping, organizing and sharing files. Finally, packing up clothes and dropping them off at the post office to be returned. That’s at least 5-6 different roles on set! I have always appreciated my photo and production crew but now I have a different level of respect for them! Things are changing these days and we can shoot with smaller crews while keeping it safe;I am truly excited for that! And for The Portrait Project, we are keeping a bare minimal of people on set: 1 family per 30 min. This gives us some time to disinfect in between sessions. Everyone is required to wear a mask and the kids get to take them off for photo time only. Parents will get to prep the kids, and they should arrive camera ready. All images will be selected by parents at a later time via Zoom call to minimize time on set. It is all a big adjustment but with a little creativity and hard work it can be done safely.

Why did you start this project?Β 
I grew up in Brazil and lived in a neighborhood that had shawty towns all around. During the holidays, my dad – who did not have much at all, would go purchase a few simple toys that me and my sisters helped deliver to the children at the shawty towns. Seeing the happy faces of those kids is something that stayed with me my whole life. I have two children of my own now and they are lucky that most of their holiday wishes come true, but I need them to be aware of the fact that is it not the case to every child. By creating TPP, it is my way to give back and plant that seed of hope that our girls will one day do the same. I also make sure to communicate with the families that come for The Portrait Project about how important it is for their children to understand how they are helping with the donations by participating in this project.

If someone wants to book a session or volunteer, how can they find out more?Β 
Booking a session is tricky because it sells out quickly, like last year within 5 minutes after going live. So the best way to know when they will be live and ready for purchase is by subscribing to our newsletter over at casastudiophoto.comΒ . For volunteering please email studio@priscillagragg.com

What have you learned about yourself and your work by doing this project?Β 
That when you pour your heart into a project that is meaningful to you, it truly resonates with people. I have countless clients that came to meΒ because theyΒ saw images or videos shot for The PortraitΒ Project.

Featured Promo – Robin Westfield

- - The Daily Promo

Robin Westfield

Who printed it?
Newspaper Club, based in the UK. I had read great reviews about the work they do, and the prints I received lived up to my expectations.

Who designed it?
I did… I am a fashion and beauty photographer by trade, but also comfortable as a graphic artist with Adobe InDesign.

Tell me about the images?
As with many of us that work in the creative field, I found myself with a lot of (unwanted) free time here in Montreal, waiting out the uncertainty of the lockdown during the late spring/early summer days of the pandemic, not knowing what would come of the rest of the year.

I gathered that there would be no better time than the present to put the finishing touches to a printed version of my portfolio. I had been working on it for a few months, but, before the lockdown, I was too busy to give it the time it needed to be completed. It is a collection of my favorite photos, from personal creatives to client briefs, that also included my personal travels. It starts with a fashion exhibition of Alexander McQueen in London, followed by shoots in Singapore and on the outskirts of Paris, and ends on a personal project done back home in Montreal. I also wanted to provide a short story for each shoot, which I edited with the help of my partner Sara. My main desire was to share either the inspiration or the circumstances that brought me to each personal photo essay.

How many did you make?
100

How many times a year do you send out promos?
It was my first time sending out physical copies to prospective clients.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Definitely. I was very happy with the reply rate to this portfolio (far better than any email blast). I feel that the process of creating it helped me to re-evaluate my archive and the direction I wanted to take with my photography moving forward. It was an invaluable tool to revisit my older work and to plan my future creative projects in the field