Posts by: Heidi Volpe

The Daily Edit – Bello Magazine: Stan Evans

- - The Daily Edit

Bello Magazine

Photo Editor: Aleksandar Tomovic
Photographer:
Stan Evans


Heidi: What was the photo direction?
Stan: Taylor Hatala is a dancer whoā€™s worked with some of the best in the biz. Sheā€™s toured with Janet Jackson, and been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. I wanted to get inside her head and show that motion but also the stillness of maturing.Ā  I figured every time she gets off a plane, someone is probably asking her to move on the spot. I wondered if we could show her expression of dance through light painting? The concept would give her a break ā€œper seā€ from performing and it would be a new challenge as an artist for both of us.

For Niles Fitch (This is Us), it was more of exploration of attitude and maturing. Heā€™s got a great smile that he can knock that out of the park in frame or two so that was easy.Ā  Heā€™d played a darker roll in a pretty intense episode of Law and Order so I asked him to go there at times to show a range of his skills.Ā  We discussed some older actors like Idris Elba, Denzel Washington, Shameik Moore John Boyega and I asked him how he sees himself in 5-10 years? We got into a good vibe as he projected his own future.Ā  It was cool to see that side of him and he had so many good outtakes.

How did you interact with the subjects?
I think the biggest thing is letting subjects know you are on their team and today I am here to try and shoot the best photos I can. Iā€™m here to represent them (and myself) well and achieve the common goal. You have Publicists, Managers and Parents all looking out for their kidsā€™ welfare. If you get them to understand ā€œhelp me help youā€ things get elevated. Hopefully then you can keep everyone happy and walk out with a couple images that are magic.

These subjects are transitions from kids to young adults, how did you approach the portrait to illustrate that transition?
With both subjects I asked them about how they wanted to be perceived. How do you see yourself in the future? I know, as a teenager there are a lot of people telling what to do and how to do it so talking to them from a place of mutual respect is important. Ā These kids have achieved a lot in a short time and keeping if fun with a bit of room for them to improvise was key.

Tell us about the background
I went to a workshop presented By Kwaku Alston and Arri at their headquarters in Burbank.Ā  I chatted a bit with Kwaku about how he’d been using the Skypanels and some of the techs at Arri.

A bit later this editorial came up and unfortunately we didn’t have the budget to really get a bunch of skypanels. I went to Samy’s on a SundayĀ in LA lookingĀ for some cheap continuous light options to rent or buy just to come up with some ambient effects and found this Savage RGB LIGHT Painter for about $150.

I read the manual that evening sent my assistantĀ Seth MowerĀ some reference photos and I think our shoot was on Tues. I had some ideas for patterns I wanted to try and the wand was programmable so we tried to key in colors that would accentuate the fashion styling.

All the motion and color is in camera and I simply removed some of Seth’s shadows and background elements (as we were in a really tight space) It’s a lot of old school camera film tricks like second curtain sync, adjusting flash and continuous lighting ratios and having our subject TaylorĀ stand reallyĀ still. We worked really hard to have a high budget impression with some low budget tricks and Iā€™m really happy with the results.

The Daily Edit – Frank Ockenfels: Volume 3

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Frank Ockenfels 3

Frank has been a friend of the blog for sometime now. Our first of eight posts with him was in 2009, we’re excited for Frank’s new book, Volume 3 published by teNeues.

Heidi: Why did you want to pull this body of work together?
Frank: It all started with a conversation with David and Nicholas Fahey. They asked me what was my plan for all of my personal and published work I had created over the past 34 years. I went home and put together four bodies of work I wanted to share and realized that they allĀ  went together seamlessly. My portraits went with my David Bowie work that connected to my journals that lead me to my drawing and collage work. I felt after seeing this it was time to make a book that was reflected how I see.

How do you see your earlier work now that you’ve had distance on it?
I see the simple act of failure and growth, to not be afraid to go outside the box of what is comfortable. I can look back and say I could have done better or I will never be that person again or see that way again which is good. I accepted and kept myself from fixing or changing older work because I feel in the moment they were true to who i was at that time, I think thatā€™s import.

Has your “eye” changed and what are the benefits of time as one looks their at life’s work?
I would say it’s part of my life’s work and because of what I have seen and done there is so much further I will go. Ā I am at about 75% of understanding where it is Iā€™m going and what I’m still trying to say and create. At 59 I am still open to trying different and new things that scare me, this is very exciting and l look forward to my failures as much as my success in the years I have left.

December 5th: Fahey Klein show
December 7th: Gallery Talk
November 7th: Art Center College of Design Talk

The Daily Edit – American Way: Jose Mandojana

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American Way


Art Director:
Christos Hannides
Photographer: Jose Mandojana

Heidi: How long have you been shooting for the magazine, was this your first assignment with the publishing company?
Jose: I had worked for Hemispheres a few times ( also ā€˜lnk Publishingā€™ ) over the years, but this was my first assignment for American Way. The best part about landing this cover story, was that shortly after wrapping the shoot, Ā they reached out again to see if I could work on their November cover story as well. I truly enjoyed working on this style of shoot that incorporates a lot of portraiture mixed with travel/lifestyle. Ā I also loved working with their creative team throughout the process.

Did you send them promos?
I have kept in touch via email with Jessie Adler (PD) at Ink. Ā She actually referred me to her colleagues for this particular San Diego cover story. Ā (Thx Jessie!!!)

What was the photo direction?
The American Way cover stories follow a formula. There are always 5 locals (for the city mentioned) featured in the story, Ā so I needed to make environmental portraits of all 5. Ā The creative direction is that really any of those 5 could potentially end up on the cover. Ā Aside from the portraits, Ā there are travel elements that each of those locals mention in the text that also need photography.

How many locations did you shoot?
For this particular story I actually traveled to Encinitas first to photograph surfer Rob Machado. Ā I had to photograph him before the rest of the story was finalized because he was headed to Indonesia and the window to photograph him was small. Ā For that portion I photographed a donut shop, a fashion boutique, and then headed to Seaside beach to meet Rob. Ā I kept it simple with one Profoto light and just tried to keep the images authentic to who he is. Ā Heā€™s a legend in the surf world, and I was thrilled to meet him because I grow up in Hawaii loving the sport.

A week after photographing Rob, Ā I traveled to San Diego and was joined their by Christos Hannides – AD from Ink Publishing. Ā He travels to all cover shoots to assure that they have a variety of cover options to work with. Ā We had a great time roaming the city over three days and photographing the other four locals mentioned in the text.

The Daily Edit – Vogue India: Bikramjit Bose

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Vogue India

Creative Director: Heidi Volpe
Photo Editor: Ankita Chandra
Photographer: Bikramjit Bose
Stylist: ArdhanaĀ  Baruah

Heidi: How did you direct the women of the Commonwealth Games in order to capture their power, grace and strength? Ā What was the conversation on set like?
IĀ had theĀ distinct advantage that they were all athletes of the highest standards, in peak physical form. So the power, the grace, the strength, all of it was already a given. I just had to find a way to bring it out at that given moment in time.


It helped that they were not used to being photographed, so there were no preconceived notions about how to pose or be in front of a camera. Ā It helped that I spoke the same local language as some of them did, so that helped ease the situation and break the ice. And then, I asked them to imagine to recreate or re enact, what they would do when theyā€™re actually competing. That was, I suppose, the only challenge – to get them into that mindset – to get their ā€˜game-facesā€™ on, as it were. Even though I was shooting against a seamless black cloth backdrop, I wanted their faces to reflect that certainĀ intensity and single-minded focus that only athletes are capable of.

The simplicity of the styling, the props is lovely and felt like portrait photography in its purest form. Did you also have simple production?
I photographed this series of portraits across different cities, over a period of a few weeks. So the first priority was to keep the whole setup not only simple and travel friendly, but consistent, so I could essentially set it up and recreate the same lighting situation anywhere. Ā Some of it was shot in a daylight studio with the backdrop placed next to a window, and sometimes the setup was done out in the open and a light tent created around it to cheat window light.

I often feel when resources are low creatively is high, does or did that that surface for you?
It is definitely true – Ā youā€™re forced to think on your feet when resources are low or limited. And sometimes, that is when you come up with the best of ideas. Having said that, I don’t think that this shoot necessarily needed a lot of resources in the first place. I always imagined it to be as pared down as it turned out.

Where were these portraits shot and how long was each session?
They were shot across different parts of the country – some in a studio, one in a hotel lawn, one by a poolside, one on a terraceā€¦.and they all lasted anywhere between 20 mins to an hour, at the most.

 

The Daily Edit – Emmy Magazine: Ian Spanier

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Emmy Magazine

Photo Editor: Rose Cefalu
Creative Director: Rich Bleiweiss
Photographer: Ian Spanier

Heidi: Actors are notoriously busy, how many set ups did you do and in what time frame?
Ian: We shot 5 sets in a few hours, (4 looks). Tom was actually surprised we did so much so quickly! I could have pushed for more but everyone liked what we did so we wrapped it up after the last set. I do always however approach celebrity shoots anticipating Iā€™ll have only two minutes.

How many images ran?
Tom Payne, actor and our subject, formerly of The Walking Dead and newly staring in Foxā€™s Prodigal Son was being featured in the ā€œIn The Mixā€ section of EMMY Magazine. The article is always a one-pager, but I love to give my clients options. Tom was really easy to work with, and liked the first set up, so we were able to do a few different sets. Iā€™m a big proponent of going in with a plan, so by being able to move from one set to the next quickly I was able to maximize my time with him.

Was your direction the same for the existing portraits?
The other assignment was actually quite different. For that one I was photographing a number of students, who wrote screenplays for a TV show called Killing Eve. They would actually be composited into a final image in post. For that assignment we had two set ups for each subject to get through. Nine subjects in total, so it was a full morning. It was going to run in the same issue, so I did not want to do the same lighting. Since this was a last minute add on to that shoot, it was a good challenge.

Tell us about your “safe” portraits and has too many options ever backfired in some way with the client?
I often cover the ā€œsafeā€ portraits, which is something I developed over my years of shooting for magazines. I feel that Iā€™m very good at looking at a magazine and understanding the ā€œvoiceā€ of the magazine. Providing a set up that feels like the look of the magazine, even if itā€™s not exactly ā€œmyā€ look. I donā€™t mind it as I both love the challenge and always tweak a bit to make my stamp on it. That chameleon skill (as Iā€™d call it) is both a blessing and a curse. It can confuse some potential clients. I like to think itā€™s an asset however, as Iā€™m confident I can shoot the dark, moody image as well as the bright, beautiful lit image. I love to have many lighting solutions, you never know what the next request will be! In this case, we nailed the cleaner look, and Tom was open to playing around a bit. I did one final set that played more off his TV show- where Tom plays a crime-solving son of a notorious serial killer who has a unique ability to break down the crimes he solves. His character consults with his father ala Hannibal Lecter/Clarice Starling. At the time, only a trailer was available, so I had to extrapolate a lot. I love any chance on an assignment where I get the opportunity to be a little more creative and try some new things.

 

The Daily Edit – The New York Times: Jessica Pons

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The New York Times


Photographer: Jessica Pons
Editor: Crista Chapman
See the interactive piece here


Heidi: How did you decide which vendors were going to be shot?
Jessica: I didnā€™t have specific vendors in mind, instead, there were specific locations in LA where I knew vendors posted up. Some of the locations I wandered to were MacArthur Park, the PiƱata District and Boyle Heights, where I walked around, approaching vendors more so intuitively. There were, however, a few vendors who were scouted through East LA Community Corporation, an organization that advocates for economic and social justice in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. The writer on this story, Tim Arango, had interviewed a few of the vendors who had played a key role in legalizing street vending so for those individuals I reached out to directly.

How did this idea come about?
The idea emerged after Los Angeles finally legalized street vendors, which have long been a fixture of immigrant life in LA even as they operated illegally and were subject to periodic crackdowns. NYT editor Crista Chapman wrote me that their aim was to do a story that wraps in a few threads: the history of food vendors; immigration; food culture; and street life in a city that is dominated by the automobile.

What was the photo direction?
Visually speaking, the photos had to be shot vertically to fit the specific slideshow. My approach was to try to encapsulateĀ Ā the culture of street vending the best I could; I looked for moments, details, wider landscapes and of course portraits.

How did you interact with them, where they receptive?
For the most part, vendors were happy with the news that they were no longer outlawed so they were very welcoming and open to sharing their stories with me. I think being able to communicate with them in Spanish helped build trust a little easier. There were a few who hesitated sharing their names due to the current political climate, which is completely understandable. But for the most part, vendors showed a desire to speak up about this issue as they felt justified in their stance. They know deep down they have dignified jobs, and make food with passion, some even following the foot steps of their ancestors who were street vendors back in their homelands.

The Daily Edit – Forest Woodward

- - The Daily Edit

Forest Woodward

Heidi: How did that experience and film making push you forward now that we’re 4 years out?
Forest: The making of that film with my father (The Important Places) has shaped and continues to shape me in ways that I am still working to understand. When we pushed our boats off into that river, it was November of 2013. It was supposed to be a 28 day trip. Little did I know, Iā€™d never really get off the river, and I mean that in the best way. The currents of that journey, the experience of going that deep into the canyons and into our family history with my fatherā€¦well, I guess I could have guessed that I wouldnā€™t just be able to step off that raft and forget about it. It was an experience that has fueled a curiosity in my work relating to time, to family, to aging and to our relationships to one another and the natural world. The making of that film taught me a lot about listening, about humility, about giving things their due time. I continue to trip over my own ego and desire to be somewhere further downstream from where I am. That film reminds me, both in my work and professional life, to watch the currents, pay attention to the people and landscape around me, a reminder that when I am able to do that, there is a certain ability to flow, not to fight or flail, or grasp or desire whatā€™s beyond reach, but rather to appreciate being right where we are. It all passes soon enough. I saw that then in the way my dad looks at the canyon walls, and at me. But it is also all enough, I learned that from him too, to appreciate it, soak it in, and care for the people around you.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Do good work. Be kind to the people around you, and to yourself. Balance your idealism with healthy doses of action. Embrace failure and continually seek opportunities to learn – in whatever form or medium they might take. Question societal definitions of success. Make your own. Surround yourself with good people. And be one, as much as you can. Watch, listen, and when the time is right, act with conviction. Be willing to adapt, to flex, to see from different angles, but donā€™t ever give up on the unique point of view that makes you you.

Since you wrote the film are you also being hired as a writer for stories you are shooting?Ā 
I have kept my writing mostly personal. Iā€™ll do some script writing on films I work on, and share some snippets here and there on instagram or my site but by and large Iā€™ve reserved that part of my creative process for self reflection and more personal explorations. Maybe Iā€™ll try writing something longer than an instagram caption one of these days. I have a vague notion of doing a book of short fictional stories based on people Iā€™ve met and places Iā€™ve visited, a project for another decade though I think.

Images from Future Stewards
Tell us how you earn trust in order to stand next to a human being?
I think trust is built over time and there’s no shortcut around that really. I look at the creation of an image as an exchange, a relationship. It can take place over years, or it can take place in a thousandth of a second. Sometimes there is an understanding and trust that is implicit in a meeting, understood in the grip of a hand or the meeting of eyes. Sometimes it is there, for whatever reason, whatever past events led me and that person to that place in time – sometimes it adds up to an implicit trust. I try not to take advantage of or to force that though, and try to steer myself towards projects where I am allowed the time to build understanding and trust between myself and my subjects.How do you deal with “the hurry”?
I try not to. I try to create and cultivate situations and scenarios where ā€œhurryā€ is the furthest thing from anyoneā€™s mind. As humans weā€™re very perceptive to other peopleā€™s energy, and that sense of ā€œhurry” or “busynessā€ comes through in imagery I think. Ā I used to be a lot more frantic about ā€œgetting the shotā€. Now days I see a lot of shots, and know I canā€™t get them all, and that chasing each shot often makes it so you donā€™t get any of them. I think patience is an underrated skill, and like any skill, it takes practice. If Iā€™m feeling hurried I know my subject is probably feeling that too, so I stop, try to step back, reset.

Creative Director: Marshall McKinney | Photo Director: Maggie Bret Kennedy

What are some parallels you can draw from the allure of the west and the south as eluded to in this Garden&Gun story?

I grew up in North Carolina, in Southern Appalachia – just south of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but from age 12-17 my family lived in a very rural town (100 people, no phone lines or internet) in the North Cascades of Washington State, and during my early twenties I spent 7 formative summers in Missoula Montana. I think the tie between west and east is twofold for me – landscape and people. The people in rural Montana and Washington remind me in a lot of ways of the folks in rural Montana – theyā€™re the first to stop and help you if youā€™re broken down on the side of the road, humble, quiet, knowledgeable of the landscape around them and in most cases with a deep appreciation of family and community. The thread that connects the landscapes for me is the rivers – and the wild country you can access by moving through them. A lot of folks donā€™t think this exists in the South – but in some ways itā€™s even more wild, more nuanced than the west, with incredibly diverse and rich ecosystems that are often best accessed by waterway or by taking a couple extra turns down unmarked dirt roads.

Was travel always a big part of your life?
I grew up homeschooled and learned at an early age that my family was not what the world would call ā€œnormal.” Looking back I see that as a badge of honor, but growing up I eschewed it, wanted nothing more than to be able to blend in. I became a bit of a chameleon at an early age. The way our parents raised us was with the idea of experiential education – so lots of time spent traveling, both in and out of the country – and interacting with folks of all different ages and walks of life. As a young man I continued following those same threads – majoring in sociology and Spanish in college in hopes of moving more fluidly through diverse communities and social settings. I continued to travel widely and eventually decided to swing the pendulum as far away from the town of 100 people where I lived as possible – living in New York City for 5 years.

Images from Children of the Rising Sea

 

 

The Daily Edit – Gmaro Magazine: Claudia Goetzelmann

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Front and Back covers Issue 15

Front and Back covers Issue 15

 

Front and Back covers Issue 18

Front and Back covers Issue 18


Gmaro Magazine

Photographer + Art Direction: Claudia Goetzelmann
Stylist: Zoe Joeright

Heidi: How did it come about to shoot front/back covers?
Claudia: Gmaro Magazine had contacted me awhile back about publishing some editorials with them as they feel my style aligns with the magazine. I send them a couple of editorials I had recently shot. They fell in love with the Desert Dweller Story and chose to make it front and back covers.

How often have you had the front and back covers?
I’ve published four for the magazine so far.

Where was this shot?
Joshua Tree. I love the desert and always enjoy shooting there as it makes such a great backdrop ā€“ setting and light. The location is actually the stylists home and the two vintage trailers are part of her property.

What was the photo direction from the magazine?
When Zoe (stylist) shared with me her vintage trailers I was hooked. We wanted to embrace what the location had to offer ā€“ desert vintage vibe with modern/ current looking models. The story feels very current Joshua Tree to me.

Where was the clothing sourced from?
80% of all the clothing we shot was pulled from stores in the Joshua Tree area.
We also wanted to support and feature local stores.

The Daily Edit – Climate Change Covers

- - The Daily Edit

This week is a round up of newsstand covers addressing the topic of climate change in a variety of creative, graphic and portrait driven executions.
Climate Week NYC is an annual event that takes place every year in New York City. Started in 2009 this has become a global movement with greater awareness largely driven by our youth. The summit takes place alongside the UN General Assembly and brings together international leaders from business, government and civil society to showcase global climate action (or inaction).


Cover Sand Art By Toshihiko Hosaka


Cover Photograph by Ryan Pfluger


Cover Art By Pablo Delcan

Cover Photograph by Christopher Hunt

The Daily Edit : The Red Bulletin: Alexis Berg

- - The Daily Edit


The Red Bulletin

Art Director: Miles English
Photo Editor:
Susie Forman
Photographer:
Alexis Berg (running imagery)

Heidi: The race course itself isn’t easy, how did you manage to shoot the athletes?
Alexis: The Barkley is a very unique race. Special to run, special to photograph. Laz, the fascinating organizer, wants to leave a mystery on the experience awaiting competitors outside the camp. What happens out there only concerns the 40 starters. It may sound strange, in the world of images that surround us, but it’s the only sporting event where it’s not allowed to go on the course to take pictures. The exceptions are minimal, barely 1% of the course. This leaves a lot of room for the imagination, and therefore, as photographer, you have to look for a different and creative way to tell the story.

What was some of the challenges you faced with this project?
The Barkley takes place at the end of March, the week of the year when it rains the most in this part of Tennessee.Ā The trees don’t yet have leaves and the park itself appears very austere.The light is often rather mediocre.Ā There is a dramaturgy, but we are far from optimal conditions for taking action shots.Ā The race lasts three days and the only way to stay in the mood is to sleep in your car, a few hours when you can.Ā Nothing is very comfortable, but it’s part of the experience.


I know you shoot a lot ultra running, what made this project different?

The Barkley is a mysterious and unusual event. More fascinating than an ordinary race. The Barkley is a bit of a tale, and just being a spectator makes you a character of the story. Like a lot of photographer, I try to make deep pictures. Photos that are not consumed in a second. Photos that require a caption. At the 2017 Barkley, I made a photo that has been published a lot. We see a man lying on the ground, in a fetal position. His wife touches him and seems very affected. Around them, there is a little void and a dozen spectators, whose only feet and legs are visible. This is of course a photo a little aesthetic, that can be read directly. But, she hides a long story. This man’s name is Gary Robbins and he just failed the biggest challenge of his life, in the most cruel way possible, falling for 6 seconds after 60 hours of struggles. And this is just the concise version of the story. As a result of this photo, I made a 20 minute film to tell the full depth of the story.
https://www.alexisberg.com/labarkleysanspitifilm-zkh3

How much did you the course did you cover and did you have to run at all?
As I said, the Barkley remains a race that can not really be photographed. The highest point is accessible, in less than an hour’s walk. It is strictly forbidden to follow the runners. When I photograph an ultra, I run only downhill, to reach my car faster. I must say that I photograph with two big cameras and quite heavy lenses.Ā You have to make the right choices to get to the right place at the right time. This requires a very precise study of the maps and the passage times.

What draw you to these types of events/ultra running?
I’m not a runner. I started by photographing ultra-running by accident,Ā the chance to follow my brother on a race. It’s pretty strange to run twenty hours in the mountains. This strangeness, this distance that I maintain with this sport, I believe, feeds my photos. My relationship to images is so, they are not a mirror for myself, but rather a window to the outside. I live in Paris, but I never do a picture in Paris. But facing the otherness in front of what I don’t know, photo became my language. That’s how I started to photograph people running.

Did you always plan on doing a book out of this body of work for the magazine?
Yes.Ā The Barkley is a unique race because almost no one can finish it. In 30 years, only 15 people managed to finish the 5 loops.Ā Who are these 15 finishers? Some are a bit famous in the community, some are anonymous full of mysteries. All are legends. Last April, with a friend journalist, we found them all. And we met, interviewed and I photographed each of these men, who live all over the US. It was an exciting journey, because everyone is a pretty incredible person. The book will prove it.

The Daily Edit – Vogue India: Vikas Vasudev

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Vogue India

Editor in Chief: Priya Tanna
Creative Director: Heidi Volpe
Beauty Director: Nidhi Sharma
Stylist: Priyanka Parkash
Assistant Photo Editor: Jay Modi
Photographer: Vikas Vasudev


Heidi: The assignment was to photograph this beauty project with a documentary approach, did you find that difficult?
Vikas: I agree that the documentary approach is something that lent itself naturally to this story, considering the faces we were photographing werenā€™t your typical fashion/beauty models. So no, it wasnā€™t difficult at all.

 

How did you combine your documentary work with your portraits previously? Were they lit or was it all natural light?
I think my documentary aesthetic is something that seeps into almost everything I photograph, whether its an editorial portrait, a fashion story or a commercial campaign, the hope always is to visually blur the lines between the two. When it comes to the lighting, I don’t usually follow a set technique, so some of my portraits are natural light and some artificially lit, depending on what the mood and space calls for. Although, over the years I’ve tried to simplify the technical and lighting part of it as much as possible so that I can concentrate on the person in front of me.

Was it difficult to get that feel in the studio, itā€™s a different energy.
Getting a documentary feel in the studio wasnā€™t difficult at all, as I just follow my instincts and react to the face in front of me.
Usually before a shoot I always have an elaborate plan of action, which more often than not goes out of the window once I walk onto the set and meet the model, because both the model and the space posses a certain energy that is always important to be receptive to and harness in order to create something thatā€™s greater than the sum of its parts, but on off days when I donā€™t feel that energy, I always have my initial plan of action as a back up.

What did you enjoy the most about shooting this portrait project?
The most enjoyable thing about shooting this project were the models, to begin with, as each one had a unique face and was a unique character which made it extremely exciting, And also, of course, the team itself, everyone working in sync and motivated towards a collective vision, which is one of the most important things you need to create great images and to make shoots effortless.

 

The Daily Edit – Mark Hanauer: Kashmir: Witness: Huemn Stories

- - Photography Books

Mark Hanauer: Huemn Stories

Nine photojournalist were featured in the award winning book Witness/Kashmir 1986-2016.Ā  A book that spans thirty turbulent years that have shaped Kashmir.Ā  As many know Kashmir, also knows as “Paradise on Earth” was under a clamp down for the past 14 days. No mobile phone, no internet and many land lines are just now being restored. This book designed by Itu Chaudhuri Design was meant to reflect a casefile, a collection and evidence during those three decades.


Mark Hanauer who had spend time in Kashmir shooting Huemn stories which is an ongoing project with the brand. in 2018 also photographed several of the photojournalists that contributed to this book. Despite Kashmir being on clamp down, today we are sharing images from his trip that remind us of this paradise.


Makhdoom Sahib, a shrine at the top of a hill was extraordinary. Climbed many steps to the entrance. We met a holy man, he smiled at me, took my hand, gave me a blessing and two almonds. I was taken by his warmth and kindness. I still have the almonds, they always remind me of that moment. In the shrine only men are allowed into the inner chamber, the women pray just outside.


“I recall exiting the airport after arriving in Srinagar. The moment we stepped outside, I was hit with a very bright, blue sky, a number of heavily armed soldiers making their presence known, barbed wire and and a fighter jet flying menacingly low overhead. Driving toward Srinigar, I was surprised how different the architecture was to that of anywhere else I had been in India. Many Swiss chalet type structures in the foothills of the Himalayas, very surprising. We arrived in Sriningar and quickly met a few of the people that we were going to work with. I felt welcomed by them and everyone that I met in Srinagar. We drove to a small village to photograph a girl who at the age of 14 was peering out of her window and was shot in the face with rubber pellets by government security, rendering her blind and disfigured. When we met her, she was 16 and had just passed her 10th grade exam and was going on to Delhi Public School, a top school in Srinagar.

Parveena Ahanger, the ā€˜Iron Lady of Kashmirā€™ Her son ā€˜disappearedā€™ along with many other Kashmiriā€™s. A lawyer, she started the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, to search for those who are missing. The names behind her in the photo are all missing persons. She has won numerous awards for herĀ human rights work.


Hokasir Reserve just to the northwest of Srinagar and the longest rifle ever! For shooting birds.


Dal Lake. Urban lake in Srinagar, stunning place, 3500 or so houseboats on the lake as rentals. Tourism is normally huge here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek: Masses, Office, Monocle

- - Photography Books

Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek

Heidi: Tell us about the first image that sparked this series?
Daniel: The first cat was Elli – the one from my parents at their home in Tirol, Austria. She was also the one who got me in touch with the following cats: Ume, Elli, Flitzie, Nevio and Fiffy.

Are you provoking theĀ catsĀ to jump?
I did not touch any of the cats. It all happens with trust. After many seatings we got very intimate and they started to relax and let lose. Finally they behaves like they always do when nobody is watching. They where just dancing and jumping around for fun. At this point it was super easy for me to take their picture. Im really happy and thankful to be able to share these moments with you.

Are theĀ catsĀ in the project all your ownĀ cats? if not, did you have to cast them?
All mutual friends

At what speed are you shooting?
1/125 of a second

What happened once you posted this project online?
It went quite viral, and now I sell prints and a calendar

How did the alpaca story for the Office come about?
I was driving through the countryside of Austria after a stressful job. Suddenly I saw a field full of Alpacas and stopped my car to catch a glimpse. This was such an intense experience and immediately made me feel relieved. I decided to try to capture that feeling and worked on a project shooting them to send all their positive energy to those who get as much joy as I did from them.Ā  I came up with the idea to publish them as a calendar since thats a medium you can look at everyday in your kitchen and hopefully feel a bit better. Office was just the perfect match to publish that calendar with since they understand my ideas and share my love for alpacas.

It’s rare you find an archive welcoming downloading for comping and layout, can you tell me why you included this?
A few years ago everybody was super afraid that their content got stolen in the bad internet. So people started to build up websites that try to make it impossible to download their work; I think that makes no sense. The internet is a endless source of inspiration and it’s made to share and use work of others. So I decided to even go one step further and help people to steal my work and make it easy for editors and creative directors to include my pictures in their mood boards for upcoming projects. I believe in karma and think they will get back to me after they land a job with using my pictures for their pitch.

How was this shoot for Monocle a defining moment for you?
This was a quite special assignment since they had to fight for a very long time to get access to that warship in Dubai. I’m very honored they choose me to cover that story, we decided to also shoot film. I was using two different medium format film cameras (Contax 645 + Mamiya 7) and on the second day I noticed a bit strange sound from my shutter. After I shot a full roll I checked my camera only to find out the shutter was completely broken almost giving me a got a heart attack! I was lucky to have a second backup camera with me (Mamiya 7) After this experience I decided to never ever again work with film on a assignment.

How difficult was it to shoot the Koi farm for Masses?
When I was working in Tokyo for a few assignments for Baron, The Travel Almanac and Monocle, Masses hit me up and asked me to find a Koi farm to shoot for them. This was not as easy as you might think. Shooting on location in Japan was very bureaucratic and not very open for photography. Luckily I had a great producer and she was able to convince a Koi farm to let photograph their farm. I was only allowed to shoot a specific range of Kois. I was not allowed to photograph those fish which were sold since they could not ask all their owners for their permission. I loved how respectful they were to the owners.

 

 

The Daily Edit – Scott Pommier: 6th and Pedro

- - The Daily Edit

I

6th and San Pedro

Film byĀ Scott Pommier


Heidi: How long did it take for you to find this subject, befriend him and get the story?
Scott: There were a couple of starts and stops on this one. I had initially approached a group of runners called The Skid Row Running Club. I described the kind of project I was looking to make and was invited to film. I went out and shot two or three times. I learned that there was a documentary team that was working on a feature length project that followed some of the runners who were training for a marathon. Since I was proposing something much shorter with a very different feel, it was deemed by the group not to be a conflict. The two filmmakers felt otherwise, and after receiving a hostile phone call I backed away.

What happened next?
With some help, I ended up finding another group with a very similar mission. It was a program called ā€œBack On My Feet.ā€ Mark (the subject of 6th and San Pedro) was a member of that group. I filmed with the whole group a couple of times, but once Mark split away, I decided to focus in on him. So I shot maybe six days worth of footage that I didnā€™t end up using.

So once you started over, how many days did you shoot?
Maybe six days of shooting spaced out over three trips to LA. I interviewed Mark on the tail end of one trip. I cut the audio together back in Portland. A job brought me back to LA and I managed to find an hour or two to shoot with Mark.Once I put those clips on a timeline with VO, and it that gave me the sense of how much more footage I might need. This meant getting back in the van one more time to drive down and finish it off.Meeting up with Mark wasnā€™t always easy, he had a lot going on in his life at this time, but we managed to get just enough footage for what I had in mind. Whatā€™s in the film is more or less every setup we shot, thereā€™s not too much on the cutting room floor. I would say those six days are sort of equivalent to 2 with a crew.

How many people worked on the film?
Ghost Digital is a production company that a friend of mine runs. They have a van equipped with a stabilized head (Shotover F1.) Itā€™s a 3 axis gimbal, inside a 3 axis gimbal. Itā€™s amazing, you can drive down a pothole-filled road and footage is glass smooth, even with a 300mm lens. The telephoto tracking shots of Mark running were all captured with that setup. So on that day, I had a driver and an operator who controls the head remotely. Heā€™s aiming it, zooming and focusing all at once, which is pretty crazy. I was seated behind the operator, with a monitor, and I had a walkie to communicate with Mark, but I think we ended up just yelling out the window for the most part. On the rest of the days it was me and a friend who Iā€™d roped into helping me. Ā I needed someone to help make sure the gear didnā€™t walk away, and for a few shots I was being pulled in a wagon. On those days I had nothing more than some still lenses, a camera and a tripod and a slider.

Thatā€™s it?
To the extent that it was produced, I was the producer, also the director, the director of photography, the sound recordist, the editor, the mixer and I did the color grade and the titles. My very talented friend Arjan Miranda composed an original score. Anyone who finishes a personal project will tell you how grateful they are for every name in the credits.

Did you collaborate with a writer or you wrote this?
There was no writer on this project, the voiceover is edited down from
an hour-long interview I did with Mark. I worked with a fellow photographer/director Andrew Norton on a few projects a couple of years back, Andrew has a background in radio production, and watching him conduct interviews taught me a lot about the process: What kinds of questions set up answers that you can use, how to listen for tenses and context, how to interview for the edit in the same way that a good DP or director is shooting for the edit. On the post side I learned how to shape an interview into a story arc, and how finesse the details. Adding or subtracting pauses, leaving in some of the quirks that we all have when we speak, but loosing anything extraneous. That said, Mark was very engaging and very emotive in how he told his story. We did the interview in my garage under a little tent made of moving blankets and C-stands. When we finished we were both a little misty.

Why black and white?
I suppose metaphorically itā€™s a story of darkness and light, it just seemed to fit. Thatā€™s the joy of a personal project; you donā€™t have to make the case for anything. You have an instinct, and thatā€™s enough.

Why did you feel it was important to tell this story?
Obviously homelessness is a huge issue in this country, but I didnā€™t set out with any particular agenda. I was really just following my nose. The idea of a homeless running club was unexpected, that got me started. When I met Mark I was interested in hearing what the path was that lead him to where he was at. When I learned about his academic pursuits and career ambitions that added another layer too. I think thereā€™s merit in challenging peopleā€™s expectations.

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – Golf Magazine: John Huet

- - The Daily Edit


Golf Magazine


Creative Director
: David Curcurito
Art Director: Jessica Musumeci
Consulting Photo Editor: Nancy Jo Iacoi
Photo Editor: Jesse Reiter
Photographer: John Huet

Heidi: What type of direction did you give the photographer?
Jesse: The story was about how to be a Happier, Healthier golfer, with Tiger as our main example. We need Tiger looking just that: Happy.

Did you have access to Tiger during the shoot? I know John Huet has shot him before, so there was a familiarity.
No, we didn’t but because we didnā€™t have access to him, we needed to capture that out on the course during a tournament. Nancy Jo Iacoi, who has been working on Golf Magazine as a Consulting Photo Editor, suggested we bring in John for this job because of his already strong relationship with Tiger from photographing him for so many years.

What was the biggest challenge with this shoot?
Now photographing a specific expression or mood of a golfer during a tournament is no easy feat. It takes a sharp mind, quite a bit of planning, a good amount of hustle and luck. The direction we gave John was simple: we need a cover worthy image of Tiger smiling and looking happy. Obviously a lot of variables need to align for it to be a successful cover, and John had the same press access as everyone else at the tournament. So it was going to be a challenge to get himself in the correct position and be ready to make the picture IF Tiger smiled.

Tiger is so heavily photographed, how did you want to make this project/cover different?
Most of the time if you see Tiger on the cover of a magazine, he has the standard ā€œtough guyā€ look. But because of how the feature was being presented and designed, we wanted the opposite of a tough guy. At Golf Magazine, we want people to love and enjoy this game, because at the end of the day it should make you happy. And having John out there to capture that turned out to be the right decision. He crushed it and delivered beautiful images of a happy Tiger that we were not expecting.

The Daily Edit – Simon Chetrit: Vogue

- - The Daily Edit


Simon Chetrit

Heidi: Tell me about the freckles in your portraits.
Simon: As far as the freckles goes… For me, I approach photography and fashion through an anthropological lens. There is a near-infinite variety of genetic variation in human beings, and the more you travel and explore, the more of that infinite variety you will see. Freckles, apart from simply being an aesthetically pleasing and interesting thing to take pictures of, especially on a face, for purely photographic reasons… If you take any arbitrary visual detail of people, let’s say hands, for example, and photograph only that, all around the world, from countless people from the widest cross-section of ethnic origins you can find, you’ll begin to appreciate all the subtle and fine ways in which, for example, Japanese hands are beautiful, or the minute, peculiar, interesting characteristics of Nigerian hands. It’s almost like Pokemon, there is just a staggering, endless, variety, and bearing witness to these patterns in nature play out on human faces with my camera is something that could easily fascinate me for the rest of my life.

Did Vogue send you to Morocco to shoot Tilly?
No, I was in Morocco in December of 2018, and being Moroccan myself, I knew a few folks in the art and photo scene there. The very instant I saw her on social media, I became laser focused on photographing her. Once I learned she was a fellow Moroccan and was in Marrakech at the same time as me, it was a done deal. And it was truly one of the most magical, beautiful, inspiring shoots of my life. To capture such beauty like that, me, as a Moroccan photographer, and her, as a Moroccan model, it was a dream come true.


How are you creating your instagram grid with those overlays, is that an app?

I have a grid I use and put it all together in InDesign. It takes a long, long time, but usually I just smoke some weed, and throw stuff together that I feel blends well and complements each other, and then begin to layer it and play with it interesting ways, thinking about the geometry, the top layer, the bottom layer, the overarching theme, and how it all works together with the previous grids. It can take the better part of a day or many many hours to fully complete it to a degree I feel is satisfactory.


Tell us about your political work.
I am most proud of my pieces discussing the systematic disenfranchisement of Third Party politics in America, and my coverage of the RNC for Gawker, which ironically involved me photographing Peter Thiel as he bankrupted the very same Gawker employing me to be there.

 

The Daily Edit – Avani Rai

- - The Daily Edit

Avani Rai

Director Avani Rai:
Raghu Rai, An Unframed Portrait

Heidi: Your father mentions that Kashmir is India’s open wound, is that what drew you to that area?
Avani: I have been traveling to Kashmir with my father during the making of the film. All my life I have seen my fathers images and made sense of the world and our history but Kashmir became my first hand experience. Something I had never had. After the film was completed, I stayed on in Kashmir and over time, Kashmir and the people of Kashmir became very close to my heart. That is why I keep going back (and that is why IĀ  am sharing a few images from Kashmir)

You mentioned you had to be a filmmaker and not a daughter during the creation of Your 55 minute documentary Raghu Rai, An Unframed Portrait. When you look at your father’s work, are you viewing as a daughter, as a photographer, do those roles blend for you?
The film is about that conflict. Me as a daughter and a photographer, and him as the father or the photographer. During the making of the film I faced many challenges. There were times where id feel that my father wanted to give me all the knowledge in the past 50 years ā€“ keeping in mind his likes as well as his dislikes. At the same time he also wanted me to be my own person. There were times that I walked into his space like a daughter and expected answers from a photographer. That never worked. But when I look at his work, which is also the photo history of our times ā€“ I view it only as a photographer. That is my responsibility. I learnt to do that over the 7 years I observed my father through my viewfinder. It was a process.

As time has passed can you flow more easily between daughter and artist?
The film made me realize many things. our conversations no longer ended in an argument. There is respect between the two of us and dignity in our differences. I can now go back home to my parents and feel like a daughter without as much pressure I would have everytime he came in front of me to pick up my camera and shoot.

Do you remember when you first understood your father’s body of work and the impact of those photos? Tell us about that.
Even after making the film I donā€™t think I have seen his complete body of work. But itā€™s all a process. Images that are timeless have something new for you to understand every time one views them. The first few photographs that I saw of my father was of the buried child in Bhopal.

Tell us about the ending image to your documentary.
That photograph (at the end of the film) was taken a couple of months before I finished filming. It just came to me. It wasn’t planned but when I did take that – I knew how my film was going to end after 6 years of trying to make it. This was taken in the Delhi at the river during winter. The bird in the image is a migratory bird that only comes during that season.

How did you creatively blossom after the making of this film?
I felt like I had a clean slate. I had said what I had to about my lineage and I could start all over without being judged. It opened my mind, it cleared a lot of things. I knew better what I liked and disliked, where my father and I were similar and different and we started to respect that. (please watch my film soonĀ J

What kind of gravity comes with being Raghu Rai’s daughter? Is it internal, external?
I started to make the film because of this identity crisis. I often fought with my father when I didnā€™t like something, but I didnā€™t always know what I did like. It took time and effort as I worked on the film ā€“ to get to know myself better. And when I feel I do ā€“ I donā€™t need to prove to anyone anymore. Itā€™s a good feeling.

I made this film because I love my father deeply but I didnā€™t understand him enough. After I made it ā€“ I love him even more and I am happy to be me. Whoever knew me knew me for being his daughter. But after making this film and through the years they acknowledge my work and that is a blessing.

In your debut show: Ground Zero what questions of the heart were you trying to answer?
I am still working on the project. I feel like itā€™s a never ending project. I try to answer questions of stereotypes, the ideas of Kashmir (as the Indian media reports it) and the women and children of a conflict state which is also the most militarized land on earth.

Congratulations on your Getty Reportage inclusion. Is that image from Ground Zero and all done in camera?
Thank you! Yes.

What are your thoughts on how being a woman behind the camera opened up different emotions from your subject… do you feel it would have been different if you were a man?
There are places where women arenā€™t allowed and there are places where men arenā€™t allowed. Being a woman ā€“ I was able to walk into the lives of the people I want to connect with ā€“ my current project being on women and children. If I were a man I would probably not be able to do that in a Muslim state (Kashmir) especially, at least not so easily. For most of history woman photographers were fewer than men- I donā€™t like this idea. It is very important to view the world from a womanā€™s perspective. Men documenting the world can never be a wholesome experience when you havenā€™t seen a womanā€™s.

The Daily Edit – Eight by Eight: Joe Pugliese

- - The Daily Edit

Eight by Eight

Created, Owned and Operated byĀ Priest+GraceĀ 
Photographer: Joe Pugliese

Heidi: Tell us why this project was different for you?
Joe: This assignment really combined everything I love about shooting for editorial clients. It was commissioned by the editor and designer Robert Priest so I knew that care would be taken in how the images would be used and that the process would be collaborative every step of the way. I was also excited about the subject matter, despite not being a true follower of sports. I felt that photographing women for a soccer magazine that primarily focuses on global soccer stars who are generally male, this was a nice chance to add to the coverage of one of the most successful teams playing the game today. It dovetailed nicely into conversations about inclusion and representation, which I care about greatly in the context of being someone who contributes to media the way I do.

What did you know about Priest+Grace the legendary design duo prior to this project?
Iā€™ve known about Robert Priest for many years, all the way back to when I was a contributor to Conde Nast Portfolio magazine, where he was the design director. I also did assignments for O (The Oprah Magazine) when he was the design director there. I have great respect for and reverence to his legacy as well as his ability to stay on the cutting edge of innovative design. I think if you love working in magazines, you know about Robert.

When a publication like 8by8 is so exquisitely designed what type of responsibility do you feel?
Itā€™s really such a treat to know that the photography is meant to live side by side with amazing type and design elements made by the best designers in the business. I do feel a responsibility for my images to hold up to that great design, so they can be on equal footing and complement one another. My absolute favorite thing about shooting for magazines is seeing how my images pair with strong design, especially on a cover shoot.

Tell us about the gravity of working with such an important group of women that push beyond the normal cover subject?
Truthfully, these are the types of shoots I live for. Anyone who is redefining norms, pushing boundaries, challenging expectations, is in my opinion the perfect cover subject. I want to look back on the work I do and feel like I was capturing my subjects at pivotal moments in their lives and careers. I knew the back story of the pressure these women have faced as favorites going into the World Cup. They face a discriminatory pay scale and are scrutinized in ways that I think the male players arenā€™t. In my eyes they are heroes as well as athletes and I wanted to my images to reflect that.

Most cover shoots come with layers of styling, h/m, how did the lack of these both inspire and intimidate you?
It was refreshing. I loved that they were being photographed in their battle armor, it seemed to give them a sense of purpose on the shoot. Robert and I agreed that we would not ask them to pose or interact with a ball, I didnā€™t want to mine the typical imagery weā€™ve all seen of athletes in their uniforms performing.

This is your second portrait gallery of powerful women, how are you approaching these projects and what is on your mind leading up to these?
I take it very, very seriously and Iā€™m acutely aware that my (male) voice is not the obvious choice to represent all subjects. Iā€™m very excited to see that diversity in photography is being honored and encouraged and I am extremely humbled if I am asked to take on a story like this. I think I may have been called for each of these portfolios as someone who has photographed many people, men and women, who are making an impact in the world. Itā€™s not every day that I am asked to do that and I donā€™t take it lightly. I know that I have to come through with images that are thoughtful, representative of the story, and can live on as a historic document of the strides being made by women in 2019.

How do you hope women in particular respond to these galleries? In a few words what is your message?
I hope all viewers can see that Iā€™m truly looking to make honest and inspiring portraits, not as a male point of view, but as a proxy for anyone who is inspired by leaders and athletes. I especially think about what it might feel like for girls or young women to see these subjects celebrated in the same light as their male counterparts (by a male photographer) and hope that my voice can be lent, at times, to equalize the way in which subjects are photographed. I would hope that many more female photographers can be similarly tasked with documenting male subjects, as opposed to photography being divided into gender specific assigning.

What was the direction from the magazine?
Robert initially said he was interested in some of the color direction my work had been taking, so that was a jumping off point for me to experiment with traditional studio lighting as well as some setups with a stronger color voice.

Tell us about the set conversation during the image making?
We were extremely rushed for time so there were only a handful of opportunities to talk to the players during the session. But I did get to have a few laughs with some of them, it was early in the year and I think the excitement for what lay ahead for them at the World Cup was palpable.

How do you feel about community within the photo industry?
I hope it comes through that I am a believer in diversity of perspectives in photography and that I actively seek out conversation with other photographers on these matters. Itā€™s not lost on me how isolating a freelance career can be so I make it a point to doing outreach to a group of peers so we can discuss the important changes happening, or that need to happen in our industry.