Yearly Archives: 2012

The Daily Edit – Friday

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)


Creative Director: Alex Gonzales
Design Director: Anton Ioukhnovets
Art Director: Anna C. Davidson-Evans
Photography Director: Caroline Wolff
Photo Editor: Jacqeline Bates

Photographer: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Still Images in Great Advertising- Todd Wright with Cindy Hicks

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

I look at to see what great ads are out there so it was really exciting to see an ad from not only my former ad agency but produced by my former co-worker, Cindy Hicks.  Cindy has left the agency world to be a freelance producer ( ). And another nice element to this series of ads is that is our local photographer, Todd Wright, shot them here in Richmond, VA.  Okay, so a little hometown pride this week.

ᅩᅩᅩ(The Stock Shot from Getty)

Suzanne:  Cindy, it is so refreshing to see the agency shooting a National campaign in our local market.  How did you decide that Todd was the right photographer?  And how come the agency shot it locally?

Cindy: These ads were the brain child of Mike Lear & Dustin Artz, we initially looked into using actual paparazzi images, of course that came with a host of issues, releases, etc.  Most stock agencies would not touch it. (One of our images is a stock image from Getty).  So when we arrived at the fact we would shoot it, there was no reason not to do it here.  Richmond is a great city for shooting & when you know all the places & locations it is easy to visualize.  With Modelogic/Wilhelmina based here, I knew Stacie could find the right people.  Randy O’Neil; our underwear model, I knew would be perfect, the right personality to pull off the faux celebrity attitude, when you know the talent they are more than a headshot.

Todd, is great with working with the creatives. He & Dustin had worked on a previous Mentos ad, he got what their vision was right away and really has an eye for elevating the paparazzi style & mix in just enough fashion.  Todd also puts together a great team, Peg Crowder his producer & I work very well together.

Suzanne:  Todd, when you saw the comps for this campaign, what were your first thoughts on how to execute the rawness of the paparazzi style of these ads?

Todd: I initially used the same magazines for inspiration that Dustin and Mike were using for the concepts.  It was great trying to get in the mindset of capturing something that was fleeting….of course I had the luxury of shooting it again and again.

I just took each scene and tried to envision how paparazzi would approach it.  For the “Guy Who Forgot His Pants” I used a 300mm lens and shot from quite a ways down the street to get that long lens look.  I did the same for the “Streaking”.  For the “Wardrobe Malfunction” I stood on a step stool, so I had a slight angle down like I was shooting from the Paparazzi bleacher on the red carpet.  I don’t know if I am cut out to be Paparazzi, but it was a blast playing pretend for the day.

Suzanne: How do you do a casting like this when certain body parts are so crucial to the ads?

Cindy: I worked on the casting with Stacie, and the art director gave some very specific direction (“enormo boobs”) for our nip slip image! Stacie also was integral in this process, having worked with her since the start of Modelogic, you can have short hand conversations, which will get us the perfect talent with out all the back & forth.  Plus we pull this together in about a week.

Todd: We used Modelogic, an East Coast local talent agency that I have a lot of experience with to cast, so I had worked with 2 of the 3 talents that I shot.  So I had a pretty good idea of how they would work for each ad, based on my history shooting them.  The “Streaking” was an actor that I had never worked with before, but that’s where having a history and trust level with a talent agency is very important.  They basically convinced me that he would be great and he was even better than that!  The entire crew was crying with laughter every time he made his run through the frame….he must have been working on his dialogue for days even though it was a print concept. He was hilarious!

Suzanne:  Todd, what were the challenges for you to create the naturalness of these ads?

Todd: I think it is a challenge to make an image look “caught”, while in reality it is a very carefully thought out production.  But in the end it is having all the right people involved, it is such a collaborative thing.  I mean, every one on set is SO talented….that it just comes together and of course, there again, is the luxury of saying lets do it “one more time” which really means 15 more times.

Suzanne: Cindy, while you were the agency Art Producer, were you also the producer or did Todd take care of that?

Cindy: It is co-producing, I tend to be very hands on & Todd & Co. understands that, so we make a good team.  Todd/ Peg button up all the locations, permits, wardrobe, talent extras and all the parts that making shooting a good experience (good assistants & better food!)  It is good working with people you have known for a long time. We had a sketchy weather day, Todd being cautious (exactly what we need) was unsure about calling the day of, I, a bit more of a gambler said, lets do it, we ended up with the perfect mix of real (lovely misting rain on the soccer shot) Looked great & we wrapped before the deluge.

Suzanne: Cindy, you have worked with photographers and producers all over the country.  Seeing what works and what doesn’t, this must be a very exciting time for you as a producer?

Cindy: What I adore (and loathe at times) is we are in very changing times, speed is not the same as it was 10, even 5 years ago, everything is we need it yesterday!  But you adapt, love that about evolution!   Budgets for the most part have gone the way of the dinosaurs, but that creates the opportunity to be nimble and often that pays off in really great ads.  Yes, I really miss big budgets, but good work really just requires knowing how to pull it off.  I have to say, I was not a fan of these ads, until we shot them.  I told that to Mike & Dustin on the shoot!  With my background in all parts of the photo world (read my bio! hire me!) it is fun to pull off good work, fast & within the budget & if you like it better than the comps, it is a win all the way around.

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Todd Wright has been shooting stills for about 15 years for clients like Seiko, Wal-Mart, AOL, DuPont, Chase Bank and has recently started directing TV spots.  Prior to that he was a tugboat deckhand, bartender, waiter, hotdog cart vendor, auto detailer, airline ticket delivery driver, bank teller, foam insulation installer, telephone marketer, construction worker and many more that he’s long since forgotten.

Cindy Hicks is a photographer, producer, consultant, curator all around awesome get stuff done gal. 15 years as an art producer, the next chapter has yet to be written, but it is shaping up like a hybrid. Whether you need a producer with a photographer’s head or a photographer with a producer’s head. An art producer with a photographer’s eye who will shoot straight about your book and I have seen thousands of books & hundreds of thousands of mailers. Or maybe you need an adjunct studio manager to help you with those estimates. I see this as an organic process. I will be what each job needs me to be. Now a little of how I got here: After cracking opening a 126 film canister & developing it in a tray at age 11, my ties with photography have never wavered. From a high school internship at a the local newspaper that led to a job with them, to a BFA in Communications arts and design, I have done editorial, corporate, advertising, ran a custom darkroom (with a dip & dunk E-6 line!) Studio Manager, Producer, and my own Production / Prop styling company (propiratzi) and all that before 15 years with one of the top Advertising agencies as a senior art producer. In a word: dé•brouil•lard‹Pronunciation: (dā brOO-yar’), [key] —adj., n., pl. -brouil•lardsPronunciation: (-brOO-yar’). [key] French.—adj.  Skilled at adapting to any situation; resourceful. —n. a resourceful person who can act independently or cope with any development. Cindy Hicks : Producer – Tumblr for now : or This if it works: and of course twitter

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.


The Daily Edit – Thursday

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)


Creative Director: Stephen Scoble
Director of Photography: Fredrika Stjarne
Art Director: Courtney Waddell Eckersley
Associate Photo Editor: Sara Parks

Photographer: Eric Wolfinger

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Susan Carr – RIP

- - Blog News

To find your calling is a gift.  A purpose provides the drive to pursue excellence along with an unwavering belief that your work is of value. When you can take this resolve and turn it into a vocation you achieve a rare and extraordinary feat.”

~ Susan Carr, “The Art and Business of Photography”

Susan Carr, photographer, educator, writer and artist, passed away on September 3, 2012 at age 49. She had fought hard in her battle with cancer and carried on as ASMP’s Education Director until the very end.

via ASMP- Strictly Business Blog.

The Daily Edit – Wednesday

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)

Teen Vogue

Creative Director: Marie Suter
Associate Art Director: Sarah Waiser
Photo Director: Jennifer Soo Kim
Associate Photo Editor: Jacqurline Ladner

Photographer: Boo George

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Pricing & Negotiating: Table-top Product Advertising Shoot

by Jess Dudley, Wonderful Machine Producer

In the interest of sharing Pricing & Negotiating articles at more frequent intervals, we’ve developed a more concise nuts-and-bolts format that covers the essential points of an estimate without a lengthy breakdown of every last detail. Here’s our first “abridged” review of an estimate:

Shoot Concept: table-top product shots of 4 product packages and 8 food ingredients on a white background to go into 4 finished ads

Photographer: still life specialist

Location: a New York City studio

Product: food

Agency: medium-sized New York agency

Client: well-known packaged food brand

Licensing: North American advertising and collateral Use, including print, web and out-of-home (billboards, transit, etc.), of 12 images for 1 year.

Shoot Days: 2

Here’s the estimate (click to view larger):

And here’s the breakdown:

Licensing: Though the photographer would be creating and licensing 12 images, they would only appear in 4 finished ads. The concepts could conceivably be captured entirely in-camera in just 4 shots. However, the agency and photographer agreed that it would be better to shoot each element separately to provide flexibility in composition, perspective and size in the post production process. So we calculated the licensing fee based on 4 images. Also, unlike most campaigns which focus on one product, each of these ads promoted a different variety of this particular brand’s product. For this reason we opted not to factor in any sort of volume discount for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th ads, as we would do if we were licensing different pictures of the same product. Additionally, the photographers level of experience was a consideration, he was relatively new to large advertising projects. Based on these factors and our experience with this particular agency and similar past projects, we decided to price the fee at 24,000.00. (We then checked our fee againstFotoquote, BlinkBid and two stock photo sites. Using the “all advertising pack” option, Fotoquote, Blinkbid and the stock sites suggested a price of about 12000.00 per image, or roughly double what we quoted. BlinkBid however, was in line with our numbers. It’s Bid Consultant calculator has an interesting feature that allows you to fine tune the price based on the photographer’s level of experience.  Using the appropriate “up and comer” multiplier brought the suggested rate down to 6000.00 per image, right in line with our initial pricing.

Producer: Producer rates tend to range between 750.00-1000.00/day. I normally budget at least one day of prep for a typical studio shoot, it’s a good to have a producer on set to make sure things run smoothly, and often will want to include a day to manage wrap, invoicing and crew payments.

First Assistant: I figured one per shoot day would be appropriate for this project. Rates can range from 250.00-400.00 depending on the location and amount of expertise required.

Second Assistant/Digital Tech: Normally, an experienced digital tech, complete with a large monitor, fast computer and all the appropriate software is going to run between 1000.00 and 1500.00 per day. In this case, the studio bundled the workstation in with the rental, so we hired a digital tech without the computer for 600.00/day.

Equipment and Studio: Priced at cost. Although the photographer has his own studio, we needed a larger, more polished space to accommodate this project.

Background, Plexi: This covered the purchase and delivery of white seamless paper and plexiglass for the background.

Stylist, Food, Etc: We wanted a top notch stylist to handle the product. We estimated 1200.00 plus 20% agency fee per day (the stylist we worked with was repped), a stylist assistant to help with purchases and prep, and a food budget to cover the cost of the necessary ingredients.

Capture fee: This covered the time and equipment necessary for the photographer to do an initial process, edit, organize and back-up of the files and present them to the client.

Retouching: Since we were dealing with stripping, retouching and compositing, the photographer and I estimated 3 hours per final image.

Catering: Priced at cost. I usually estimate 40.00/person/day for light breakfast, a hot lunch, snacks and drinks.

Miles, Parking, Misc: We usually charge 100.00 for a certificate of insurance and the other 100.00 will cover odds and ends.

Advance: We normally get a deposit of 50% of the bottom line before the shoot. Consequently, we don’t charge a mark-up on any of the expenses.

Results: The photographer was awarded the job and Wonderful Machine handled the production.

*Hindsight: If I had to do it over again, I would have budgeted for a pre-light day. We didn’t have one on this project and we ended up wishing we did. Although the photographer is no stranger to this type of shoot, setting everything up and dialing in the lighting beforehand will save you precious time on the first shoot day. Of course, it would have also meant additional charges of studio (1500.00), assistants (850.00), equipment (1200.00) and possibly an additional photographer fee.

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

Let The Work Sit For A While

- - Blog News

Editing one’s work is challenging. I think it helps to let the work sit for a while until after the first fervent rush.  Edit out anything you doubt, but revisit the rejects once in a while. Maybe you missed something. Let “accidents” inform you. Maybe they’ll lead you in a new direction. On the other hand, you may find your first loves don’t hold up with time.

via Two Way Lens: Karen Halverson.

The Daily Edit – Tuesday

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)

Women’s Health

Design Director: Theresa Griggs
Photo Director: Sarah Rozen
Art Director: Susannah Haesche
Deputy Art Director: Kristen Male
Photo Editor: Andrea Verdone 

Photographer: Christopher Griffith

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

This Week In Photography Books – Daido Moriyama

- - Photography Books

by Jonathan Blaustein

Get out of your comfort zone. Popular advice nowadays. I’ve dispensed it myself, in this very column. I must admit, though, its begun to sound like a giant cliché. Too bad.

People say it all the time, as if a comfort zone was a physical place, like an oppresively small powder room. You’re trapped, with little more than a toilet and a sink. The walls are closing in. And you must get out. Are you too big to shimmy out the window? Are you strong enough to break down the pinewood door? If not, you’ll be trapped in your comfort zone. Forever.

It doesn’t work like that. Though the phrase is admittedly overused, the meaning is profound. What do you do well? What is your behaviour pattern? What can you bang out in your sleep? Those are difficult questions. Once answered, then comes the hard part. Stop doing what you do well, and try things that you are bad at.

I push myself with my artwork, and realize that I need to do it here as well. Lately, I’ve tried to change up my writing routine by letting books germinate in my head, rather than being so quick to judge. Does it make me a better writer? I don’t know, but the point is that growth rarely happens without work.

Today, we’re going to follow up on this new trend. In fact, I’d like to discuss a book that I previously dismissed: “Okinawa,” by Daido Moriyama, published by Super Labo. If you read this column religiously, you might remember that I made an offhand comment about how even great artists can make boring books. True.

To challenge my preconceptions, I picked this one up again off the stack. And, for once, I decided to look at it back to front, which is my old habit with magazines. Reverse the narrative, as it were. Backwards book review.

Open the back, and the first thing you find is a statement by the artist. Apparently, in 1974, someone organized a photography workshop on Okinawa with Daido Moriyama, Eikoh Hosoe, Shomei Tomatsu, and Nobuyoshi Araki, among others. Wow. Talk about getting your money’s worth.

Mr. Moriyama goes on to describe a place where it was hard to tell night from day. Her senses were on high alert, as everyone scoured the Island for “photo moments.” His experience was so powerful, that he claims, “These were sensations that I could not experience elsewhere
 meaning that it was as though my body had, on a celluar diension, understood Okinawa preceding my arbitrary thoughts and preconceived notions I possessed then.”

OK then.

Thank goodness we’re going back to front, because that informs everything to follow. Now, looking at the book, I can visualize a team of photographers, including Japanese masters, roaming around a somewhat-desolate Island, replete with American Military Presence. Mr. Moriyama, compelled to shoot, follows her instincts, and produces the dreamy, grainy, stylized time capsule from the year I was born. (Big ups to 1974.)

When I looked at the book the first time, it felt arbitrary and too long. Now, we have purpose. I notice that the book shifts formats regularly: some images require it to be turned on its side. Then, I see that many of the horizontal format images are diptychs. Some are terrific: an old building, it could be 200 years ago, then the companion image shows the same building, slightly to the right, and a 7UP sign brings us back to the 20th Century.

Elsewhere, we see lots of Pepsi signs, and burger joints, symbolizing the impact of the US Military, and Globalization. There are dogs, and horses, and motorbikes, and cool 70’s cars. Long dirt roads, leading who-knows-where, but always with a person far off in the distance, or close, yet walking away.

Overall, the photographic quality is very high. There are still too many images, but the narrative tightens up quite a bit, with enforced hindsight. Light shimmers off of rain slick roads, kids are everywhere, the perfect subject for the roaming photo army. This time, it’s an altogether more pleasurable viewing experience.

Daido Moriyama: An Okinawan timecapsule from 1974. Can you dig it?

To purchase “Okinawa” visit Photo-Eye

Full Disclosure: Books are provided by Photo-Eye in exchange for links back for purchase.

Books are found in the bookstore and submissions are not accepted.

Still Images in Great Advertising- Pino Gomes

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

Imagine working on a campaign that takes you around the World, promotes your work in gallery showings and wants to print a book for your work, that is the campaign that Pino Gomes is working on.  Pino has been working on the Gc luxury watch campaign for two years now and project keeps going.


Suzanne:  How did this project come about for you?  How were you chosen?

PINO: I had worked with Cindy Livingstone (CEO of GUESS and GC Watches) once in Switzerland. She gave an interview for Open Magazine and the editor asked me to shoot a portrait to accompany the article. She liked the images I had shot of her so when the SMART LUXURY MOMENTS project started to take a shape, she suggested my name to the creative team and to Paul Marciano, Founder and iconic art director of GUESS and GC. First I was chosen to shoot only in Switzerland representing the country on the International project, but the imagery motivated Mr. Marciano and Ms. Livingstone to hire me for the entire International tour.

Suzanne: How are the subject chosen and their profession?

PINO: We are seeking people who love what they do and have recognition in their fields. The rising stars become an ambassador of GC Smart Luxury Watches and promote their work while becoming a part of a remarkable marketing concept. Normally the distributors all over the world suggest some of their national personalities to our team and we decide the ones that seem to be more appropriate to the brand and to the concept. Decisions are always a team effort and are apart of my vision, which is a very important step on the process.

Suzanne: Do you have a lot of freedom when you go to photograph the talent and their professions?  Is the art director on set with you?

PINO: The best part of my work right now is that I have the freedom to photograph people according to a visual language that I created myself. Nevertheless I have the overview of Paul Marciano and the talents of our creative team on everything, but I know that they trust me. The art director is not on set but they would see everything shot afterwards and give me their feedback.

Suzanne:  What cities has this campaign been presented? And besides the gallery shows and upcoming book, where else are they showing your work?

PINO: So far we have shot in Basel, Jeddah, Dubai, New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, Moscow, Tokyo, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Panama City, Barcelona, Casablanca, Tel Aviv and Bali. And at the moment I am leaving next week to London, Milan and Cairo amongst other places in the future.
The imagery expresses the emotional signature of the brand and it will be used for art shows, coffee table book and later on to advertising.

Suzanne:  The work on your website is very different than the work for Gc, how did you convince them to hire you?  Did you do a test?

PINO: As I said before, although the work on my homepage was different than what I am doing now for GC Smart Luxury, I believe they hired about me because of a variety of reasons. I like to think that part of this decision was based on the imagery itself; the images I have made in Switzerland were decisive while on the exhibition at Baselworld 2011. I have heard from Paul Marciano and Cindy Livingstone that they would like to send me around the world instead of selecting in each country a different photographer. Taking this direction they would create a stronger visual signature for the brand. And I guess that I also represent what the project mainly is about, love for what I do.

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Pino Gomes draws inspiration from his experiences as actor and make-up artist for his fashion photographs and portraits.  Originally from Rio de Janeiro, he studied acting and marketing and developed his skills as make-up artist, in a few years collaborating at the biggest television company in Brazil. He lived part of his adulthood in Zurich, Switzerland, and is currently based in New York City, Pino Gomes is an upcoming talent in the photography field. He worked for brands such as VOGUE, Playboy, Rolling Stones, GQ, GC Watches, GUESS, CK FREE, Lush Magazine amongst others.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.


It Only Takes One Person To Drive Down Rates And Lower The Bar

- - Blog News

Aspen is a small town, and the photo community here is small and fairly tight-knit. I was first in line for the job, and after I turned down the “job” the other local photographers gave the same response as me, except one, who accepted.

Which brings me to my main point, which is that it only takes one person to drive down rates and lower the bar. So instead of the chamber of commerce budgeting properly for this event next year, they will once again assume they can get free images.

via Chris Council Photography Blog.

The Daily Edit – Thursday

- - The Daily Edit

(click images to make bigger)

National Geographic

Creative Director: Bill Marr
Deputy Creative Director: Kaitlin M. Yarnall
Design Director: David C. Whitmore
Art Director: Juan Velasco

Deputy Director: Ken Geiger
Senior Editors: Bill Douthitt (Special Editions),
Kathy Moran (Natural History), Susan Welchman (Departments)
Editor at Large: Michael Nichols
Senior Photo Editors: Pamela Chen, Alice Gabriner, Kim Hubbard,Todd James, Elizabeth Krist, Sarah Leen, Sadie Quarrie 

Photographer: Carsten Peter

Note: Content for The Daily Edit is found on the newsstands. Submissions are not accepted

Measuring The Effectiveness Of Advertising

- - Blog News

Among the first “old” media executives to awaken to the threat [posed by Google search]  was Mel Karmazin, then the CEO of Viacom. He visited Google in 2003 and remembers how Page and Brin extolled the value of being able to measure everything, including the effectiveness of advertising.

This alarmed Karmazin, for it threatened how he sold advertising, which was based on salesmanship, emotion. Karmazin and the networks continued to charge steep rates because, Karmazin says, “advertisers don’t know what works and what doesn’t. That’s a great model.”

via madisonian.