Category "Art Producers Speak"

Art Producers Speak: Topher Cox

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

Anonymous Creative Director: I nominate Topher Cox. His book pretty much speaks for itself.

Mike Stoddard.  Rodeo series

Mike Stoddard. Rodeo series

Personal work

Personal work

Philips Healthcare.  All actors

Philips Healthcare. All actors

Alex S.

Alex S.

Cut Flowers

Cut Flowers

Black Angels Project

Black Angels Project

Charlie Vagabond, Skater, Travler

Charlie Vagabond, Skater, Travler

Philips Healthcare, All Actors

Philips Healthcare, All Actors

Philips Healthcare, All Actors

Philips Healthcare, All Actors

Playball Foundation, MMB

Playball Foundation, MMB

Wilnor Tereau, Haitian Footballer

Wilnor Tereau, Haitian Footballer

Welder, Maine, Bangor Savings Bank

Welder, Maine, Bangor Savings Bank

Cybex International

Cybex International

Bombay Beach, CA.  Post shoot walkabout.  If you have not been there yet you must go now before it is gone!!!!

Bombay Beach, CA. Post shoot walkabout. If you have not been there yet you must go now before it is gone!!!!

How many years have you been in business?

When did I start. Hmmm, hard to say. I would say it has been a good 7 years now. Before that I was a freelance photo assistant, which is a whole business in itself. Shooting for your self while helping others out. That got me ready to break out on my own. It taught me a thing or two… or three.

My folks told me I was helping at my dad’s studio before I could walk.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I took a couple of classes (thank you Mr. Simon, TR and Doc), but I guess you could say I am mostly self-taught. I grew up in the photography business. My father was a photographer and my mother was the art director at Cosmopolitan Magazine. So my nursery was my father’s studio, and then when I got a bit older I would go to my mom’s office and play with my toys on the floor as my mother and Helen Gurley Brown would be looking at slides on the light box above me. I would go hang out on shoots all the time as a kid. I would watch and learn. That was my school. Not only how to shoot, but how to work with people.

I went to school and studied Psychology at Syracuse University. During the summers I would work as a photo assistant, studio aide, and stylist assistant. It was a great way to see the business from all sides. After graduation I busted my ass as a photo assistant for a long time. I went all over the world carrying camera bags and such. That’s an education!

One time I had a photo student ask me a bunch of things about the strobes and ratios, f stops etc. Sure, I know all that, but I told him, “brother, when it is too dark I turn them up, and when it is too bright I turn them down”. I think education is really important, but owning what you know and putting it to use is what is really important.

I did a short stint working at MTV. That taught me a lot about making budgets, the corporate life, and being in a cubicle for 8 hours a day.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

As I said previously, I grew up in it. It was kind of the family business it is the business I know. I still had to make my way up the ladder. No one handed anything to me.

So I wouldn’t say it was any one person, it was all the photographers I knew as a kid. I loved what they did.
Funny thing is that when I told a bunch of them that I was going to be a photographer they all suggested I do otherwise. They told me the photo days of the 80’s and 90’s were long gone. It is true, but it is whole new era….an exciting one.
I love to keep it simple. I have always loved the work of Richard Avedon, Paolo Roversi, Bruce Weber, and Irving Penn.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

One thing I love is the opportunities of the digital era and how technology is constantly changing and improving things. I can shoot stills for a client and shoot video at the same time. That way their stills and video match in style and vision exactly. They love it, I love it. I get to see my photos come to life in video.

You have to look around you all the time, see what is out there, look online, look in magazines, see what you love and try to bring it to your vision. Make it your own. Growing up in NYC everything was constantly changing, I think you have to do that with yourself. Reinvent yourself all the time, but keep your true self in there.

One thing about photography is that it takes you to places that you would otherwise never go and meet people you would never meet. I find that to be so inspiring. Every model or subject has a story, every place has something new to offer. I find inspiration there.

Photography has taken me all over the world. It has shown me so many things and opened so many doors.
If I go somewhere on location for work I make sure to get up early and stay up late to wander around. I am lucky to be there, and I find inspiration from what is around me at all times.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

My job is to take what the client and creatives want, and translate that into my photography. I have to bring all that info and pull it down to a moment in time that may last 1/1000th of a second. That is my job. “Hold me back”, no, I want to give them what they want. I want to make them happy. Making them happy inspires me. If you feel they are holding you back I feel you have to rethink what you are doing. Sure, this is art, this is vision, this is a piece of you…..but this is also work and a job. And your (my) job is to give them what they want….and maybe show them something they didn’t know they wanted. You can always do it both ways, your way, and their way. Then they can look to see what they like best. I did that for a big client of mine. I would shoot the way they wanted and then I would shoot the way I wanted. In the end, they liked my vision more. Now when you look at all their photography it is in my style. That didn’t happen over night, but over time they changed and reinvented their image. If you really get frustrated, then do some work on the side for yourself….which you should be doing anyway.
I hear about photographers who are difficult to work with or get mad at everyone on set. What is that!? We are so lucky to do what we love for a living. We should get down and kiss the ground every day to be thankful. Hold me back, ha, I should be throwing rose petals at their feet as they walk into their office everyday for giving me the opportunity to live like I do. Right now I am sitting in my sun filled studio next to my sleeping dog while my kids are healthy and happy at school and my wife is at work….I have nothing to complain about. My work gave me this….and my clients gave me this.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

The internet is an amazing thing. You can show your work to folks all the time. You can show them things in bits and pieces. Over time they will remember you.
I hated carrying my portfolios around from place to place. I would pick them up and realize that no one had even opened them up. That sucks….BUT, you have to keep picking yourself up and keep going. Some will give up and some will make it.
AND….I have an agent:-) She is great at getting my work out there. It really helps to have someone give you a kick in the ass too when you are feeling down. She knows the ins and outs of how things work.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

OK, Here is where I am supposed to say “be true to yourself”, right?. Yes, be true to yourself. Make your style. Refine that style. Show that style.

BUT… remember there is A LOT of money riding on these shoots. There is so much time put into them before you even came into the project. Clients are quick to move on if they don’t like the work. There are a lot of other options out there. SO, they also have to see that you can do what THEY need.

I had a client tell me the other day that last year was their best year in sales ever and that it had a lot to do with my photos. Holy crap! How happy did that make me feel! That is also a lot of pressure. Better sales mean that they can keep all their workers and stay open. All those workers can keep their jobs and feed their families. Not only here where they make the product, but also all over the world where the parts are made or the metal is …wait…how do they make metal?
Anyway you get the idea. You have to show yourself in the work, but that work also has to work for them.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Of course. I love to shoot. The money is the bonus. With digital there should not be anything holding you back from shooting everyday. There was a time when I had my fridge stocked with film. I was limited by choosing to eat or processing my film. Now, you can shoot, shoot, shoot.
It doesn’t have to be a big production. You can keep your camera next to your bed and shoot before your feet hit the floor if that is your thing. But it is fun to put something all together and see it come to life.

How often are you shooting new work?

All the time. And even that isn’t enough. Shoot to live, Live to shoot.
If It is not on a CF card yet, it is in my head. Sleeping can be difficult at times because you are thinking about what you want to shoot and how you are going to make that happen.

——————-

Topher Cox grew up in New York and now lives outside of Boston. No longer a huge rock star in Japan, he lives in a house with a white picket fence with his wife, two kids, and a dog. No minivan yet.

They all get back to NYC often for work, friends, and family.

Topher is represented by Katherine Hennessy at www.kate-company.com.
His work can be seen there and on his website www.tophercox.com

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

Art Producers Speak: Vytautas Serys

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Vytautas Serys. His landscapes are outstanding, his last show in Berlin has received complements (even though it was packed) and atmosphere during the opening was just great.

"Winter's Fairytale" - chilly moonlit lanscape in Sweden

“Winter’s Fairytale” – chilly moonlit lanscape in Sweden

"Warm in the Cold" - colds of Sweden, published by National Geographic

“Warm in the Cold” – colds of Sweden, published by National Geographic

"Sunscarf" - soft tones in Antelope Canyon, USA

“Sunscarf” – soft tones in Antelope Canyon, USA

"Mosaic" - colours of Iceland that soon landed on the pages of GEO

“Mosaic” – colours of Iceland that soon landed on the pages of GEO

"Monumental Sunset" - soft sunset tones in Monument Valley, USA

“Monumental Sunset” – soft sunset tones in Monument Valley, USA

"Man and Sea" - Atlantic coast in Portugal

“Man and Sea” – Atlantic coast in Portugal

"Majestic" - grandness of nature in Iceland

“Majestic” – grandness of nature in Iceland

"Gentle Touch of a Cloud" - rainy day in Iceland

“Gentle Touch of a Cloud” – rainy day in Iceland

"Eye of the Earth" - otherworldly colors in Yellowstone National Park, USA

“Eye of the Earth” – otherworldly colors in Yellowstone National Park, USA

"Deep Painter's Dream" - magical greys in Yosemite National Park, USA

“Deep Painter’s Dream” – magical greys in Yosemite National Park, USA

"Blue Eyed" - playful blossoms in Lithuania

“Blue Eyed” – playful blossoms in Lithuania

"At the Foot" - big lake near bigger mountains in Canada

“At the Foot” – big lake near bigger mountains in Canada

"Artwalk" - interactive art installation in Maastunnel, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

“Artwalk” – interactive art installation in Maastunnel, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

"A Look to the Past" - passing a little hill in Lithuania

“A Look to the Past” – passing a little hill in Lithuania

How many years have you been in business?

Technically, it all started with my first camera, which was a present for my 10th birthday. It got stuck in my hands and has been there ever since. There was only one button, but it was enough to land me the role of photographer in our 4th grade fashion show. When referring to income generating photography, since 2012.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

Both. I began as a teenager in an effort to achieve images that would be at as good as on postcards seen in shops. Then it became about creating something more. Later, I started attending various classes and university courses. I also studied myself, and continue to do so, from books, photographs and other photographers, with whom I am constantly surrounded, or randomly meet on the street. I see learning as a never-ending process.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

Creative vibes, as well as support from my family, friends and fans, played a very important role in my motivation. Magnificent nature and high quality publications have always been the biggest source of inspiration for me. At some point, there came a moment when I knew it was time to move into this profession myself.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

New people reveal new perceptions, new environments create new ideas and new stories bring out new points of view. Placing myself in dynamic environments, traveling and meeting different people allows me to keep a continually fresh view towards life. When I am taking a photo, I always ask myself if it is worth hanging on my own wall.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

People are different and so are their ways of thinking. It is wonderful when there is a creative match and luckily, most of the time, I end up in such situations. Working in a good team is always rewarding. Some clients have different vision and needs. Then I have to adjust, forget my ideals, and do what suits their preferences best.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

It is about doing what I adore and remaining enthusiastic. It is also as much about creating as about sharing, listening and hearing who wants to see what. I prefer exhibiting true passion and finding creative ways to advertise. E.g. sending self-made cards, rather than store-bought ones.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

Tastes differ. One cannot satisfy everyone. One good relationship brimful of mutual understanding is much better two average ones. Create your own thing, do what you like the most and search for the right clients. As there are plenty of artists, there are also many buyers who always want to see something new and unique… something that has not been seen before and cannot be predicted.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Yes. We live in a majestic planet, where hidden beauty surrounds us all the time. Whether skiing or climbing, my camera is always in my backpack and I constantly search for the moment as well as new points of view and unique angles. I also like to take short, half-day, even 2-3 day long photographic explorations of a particular area or phenomenon, which usually ends up as a little, narrated photo story.

How often are you shooting new work?

Regularly. It can be a planned photo shoot or a spontaneous outing. If I see a bunch of people playing in a mud pool at a festival, why not to jump right into the middle and take some shots? Some moments cannot be planned.

———–

Regularly acknowledged by competition judges and publishers such as National Geographic, GEO, etc., Vytautas Šėrys is an explorer who could never imagine his life without the outdoors, traveling and photography.

His soul is constantly seeking for new points of view, true local experiences and ways to translate them into images freezing the magic of the real moment.

After living in Lithuania, Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy, Vytautas chose Berlin, Germany as the next stop in his journey through life.

www.vserys.com
www.facebook.com/vserysphoto
info@vserys.com

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

Art Producers Speak: Greg Funnell

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Greg Funnell, who I think has great skill in keeping things looking fresh and enticing, be it through his commercial or journalistic work.

This was shot as part of a travel commission I did for a UK airline – it involved shooting a story on local surf spots in Morocco.

This was shot as part of a travel commission I did for a UK airline – it involved shooting a story on local surf spots in Morocco.

Havana, Cuba. This was from a personal story I did in Cuba a few years ago on the 50th anniversary of the revolution.

Havana, Cuba. This was from a personal story I did in Cuba a few years ago on the 50th anniversary of the revolution.

This was an outtake from an assignment I had following round the US punk band Cerebral Ballzy as they terrorized central London with their skateboards.

This was an outtake from an assignment I had following round the US punk band Cerebral Ballzy as they terrorized central London with their skateboards.

Shot again for an airline magazine – this time in Turkey, it was a fantastic assignment with enough time to really get stuck in and create a great set of images for the client.

Shot again for an airline magazine – this time in Turkey, it was a fantastic assignment with enough time to really get stuck in and create a great set of images for the client.

This was an editorial assignment documenting a surfer who was taking part in a cold water surfing competition in Thurso, Scotland.

This was an editorial assignment documenting a surfer who was taking part in a cold water surfing competition in Thurso, Scotland.

This was shot for the Red Bulletin, the magazine published by Red Bull. I photographed the BMX rider Kris Kyle up in Glasgow. This was an instant where I shot something for myself (the Polaroid shots) alongside what the client wanted, and ended up loving it and running it themselves.

This was shot for the Red Bulletin, the magazine published by Red Bull. I photographed the BMX rider Kris Kyle up in Glasgow. This was an instant where I shot something for myself (the Polaroid shots) alongside what the client wanted, and ended up loving it and running it themselves.

This a portrait of the rapper Nas. One of those situations where you’ve got 2 minutes to get the shot and subject who doesn’t want to play ball. I shot it in available light back stage – amazingly it was good enough quality to run on the cover of the magazine.

This a portrait of the rapper Nas. One of those situations where you’ve got 2 minutes to get the shot and subject who doesn’t want to play ball. I shot it in available light back stage – amazingly it was good enough quality to run on the cover of the magazine.

From the project “Las Vegas: The underbelly of the American Dream” that I shot as a collaboration with the photographer Adam Patterson. This couple Ned and D, lived in the storm drains underneath the city itself.

From the project “Las Vegas: The underbelly of the American Dream” that I shot as a collaboration with the photographer Adam Patterson. This couple Ned and D, lived in the storm drains underneath the city itself.

This was photo accompanying a short film I shot and produced for an NGO in Malawi last year.

This was photo accompanying a short film I shot and produced for an NGO in Malawi last year.

Street scene, Rajasthan, India. This image is a one from my widelux project that I’m hoping to publish in the near future.

Street scene, Rajasthan, India. This image is a one from my widelux project that I’m hoping to publish in the near future.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been going now for about 8 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’m self taught. At university I studied History and War Studies (Kings College London). But I think I knew from day one that when I finished I was going to try and make it in photography I just had no idea how. For a couple of years previous to going to university I’d been an avid user of my schools forgotten darkroom. My interest in drawing, painting and all things visual had led me naturally into photography when I was about 16. From the moment I saw my first image appear in the developer I think I was hooked.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
When I was in my teens I worked part-time in the local library. I came across Don McCullin’s work from Vietnam and it opened a whole new world to me. It matched two of my passions, history and photography, and I was blown away by how much the still image could effect and fascinate me. I started collecting photography books and devoured as much as I could. At this time my main influencers were photojournalists, people like Alex Webb, David Alan Harvey, Larry Towell etc. And even though my visual references have opened up I still think you can see the photojournalist influence in my work – the need to be close to the subject, to try and get the viewer really immersed in the subject. This has worked really well for my commercial work in the travel and lifestyle industries because I think it brings an intimacy and intensity to my images.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I’m a keen user of Instagram (@gregfunnell), I keep a blog (www.focus52.blogspot.com) and I use tumblr (www.gregfunnell.tumblr.com). These all help to encourage me to be continually shooting and generating content on a daily basis. But I’m constantly planning or thinking about longer terms projects or ideas. I’ve just secured my first studio and I’m quite excited about testing again more regularly and also just having a space to invite people into. I never grow tired of shooting portraits.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
It’s always a delicate balance on jobs. I find the creatives I’ve worked with for the longest generally trust me to do my thing and get the job done – I think I’m seen as a safe pair of hands and one that that client will easily be able to get along with. I feel sorry for the creatives when they get stuck in the middle with difficult clients. From my end I try and keep the client as sweet and (if it’s possible) shoot both what they want and my spin on it so that they have the choice. It’s always about trying to find the middle ground but without compromising too much.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I tend to shoot editorial commissions mostly – there are a few magazines that I just love working for as they really allow me a lot of creative freedom. I’m also aiming to do more self-publishing this year – I’m just waiting to find the right designer to collaborate with.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
You have to shoot for yourself – don’t try and be what others want you to be. There’s obviously something to be said for being savvy about what’s popular, but ultimately you need to be producing work that you believe in and that shows your vision.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
I try put aside time each year to go off and shoot my own thing. I think you have to be making time to you shoot solely for yourself, you have to believe in the work first in order for others to also believe in it. I’m currently shooting some personal work with a camera called a Widelux, which is swing lens film camera, I’m doing it purely for my own creative need but I hope to continue shooting this as long term project, and it’s slowly starting to generate interest which is nice.

All that being said I did work on a collaboration with another photographer a couple of years ago on a story in Las Vegas on the subject of the American Dream. That was really exciting, and it helped that he was a good mate of mine. We have a similar vision but we each bought something to the table. Some people didn’t get it – and kept asking ‘who took this picture’ – they couldn’t understand when we responded that we weren’t sure or couldn’t remember. Our vision was in such unison that the work held together really well – and I think that’s rare. I’d love to give that another go and shoot another series somewhere in the US.

How often are you shooting new work?
I’m generally shooting a couple of times a week, mainly on assignments. My aim this year though is to force myself to step away from my desk more often and be shooting more side projects.

Greg studied History and War Studies at Kings College London before moving into photography. He’s since spent the last 8 years working for titles that include The Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian, Financial Times Magazine and the Washington Post. Shooting everything from commissioned celebrity portraits, to travel assignments and in-depth documentary features. He also works with NGOs on development projects in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America for the likes of Save the Children, ActionAid and WWF. Alongside this he also works in the commercial and advertising sector producing content for clients on international campaigns, especially in the travel, lifestyle and adventure industries.

Although primarily known for his photography he also increasingly gets asked to work with moving imagery, having directed and produced work for NGOs, corporate and commercial clients.

When he’s not producing content he guest lectures at Universities across the UK.

You can find him on twitter and instagram @gregfunnell

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

Art Producers Speak: Dustin Chambers

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Dustin Chambers. This kid is legit. Slowly getting more and more National work.  Love to see him get some press.

A woman's disguise photographed at a carnival.

A woman’s disguise photographed at a carnival.

The silhouette of a blow up doll floats above the crowd at a music festival in Texas.

The silhouette of a blow up doll floats above the crowd at a music festival in Texas.

A roll of paper towels sits on the wall in a bathroom in Texas.

A roll of paper towels sits on the wall in a bathroom in Texas.

Children play in a lake during a hot air balloon festival.

Children play in a lake during a hot air balloon festival.

A woman sleeps on the B train on an early, rainy morning in Chinatown, New York City.

A woman sleeps on the B train on an early, rainy morning in Chinatown, New York City.

A woman opens a window on the set of a music video.

A woman opens a window on the set of a music video.

An empty swimming pool on the fringe of the Las Vegas Strip.

An empty swimming pool on the fringe of the Las Vegas Strip.

A man dressed as a bunny stands outside at Frolicon, a BDSM/erotica convention.

A man dressed as a bunny stands outside at Frolicon, a BDSM/erotica convention.

A woman gets her hair dyed at the Bronner Brothers Hair Care Convention.

A woman gets her hair dyed at the Bronner Brothers Hair Care Convention.

A troupe of ballerinas wait for the curtain to rise before their first dance recital.

A troupe of ballerinas wait for the curtain to rise before their first dance recital.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been shooting professionally since I got out of school, so since 2009.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I am self-taught, I studied film as an English concentration and minored in French.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My father was an advertising photographer, so growing up I spent many afternoons after school in his studio. I didn’t really pick up a still camera until high school. I remember being taken by the work of Bresson and Arbus from a young age.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I’m still figuring that out. Life feels non-stop a lot of the time, so I’m just evolving with the work I do and hoping my photography gets better in that process. There are a lot of photographs I’d like to make, but ultimately I make photographs that I’m moved to make and hope for the best.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I work mainly with newspaper and editorial work, which is creatively a little more free. They hire you to do what you do in relation to the rest of the world. There’s no art director, no stylist, it’s just you. Ideally you work with creatives who can turn into clients.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Even learning to think of myself as an artist has been a big step. This year I’ll be one of 12 artists in Dashboard Co-Op in Atlanta, as well as showing work in the Art Papers auction. I also participated in a Flash Powder retreat where I learned a ton about the fine art side of the business.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I guess that’s good as long as you’re staying true to your vision.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Not recently, no. It’s hard!  But I’m also on staff at Creative Loafing, an alt-weekly in Atlanta, that allows me to shoot my art for their stories, which is really a blessing. I do find that I am most prodding and curious and inspired when I’m somewhere out of my element, away from my city. It doesn’t have to be some fantastic journey across the seas, but if I drove to Florida or Mobile, Alabama, I’d certainly be more taken with more mundane stuff, as I tend to be.

How often are you shooting new work?
Every week for the paper or freelance. For myself solely? Rarely. Every month maybe.

Dustin Chambers is a editorial and documentary photography born, raised, and living in Atlanta, GA. He is a staff photographer at Creative Loafing, Atlanta’s alt-weekly paper, and has freelanced for New York Times, LA Times, AARP, and Chronicle for Higher Education, among others. He loves the American South and the odd cultural dichotomy that exists particularly in Atlanta.

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

 

Art Producers Speak: Brendan Meadows

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Brendan Meadows.  I love the way his images show the drive and determination that young girls possess while still maintaining the light, fun spirit of youth.  Fantastic work!

Broncolor had approached me about producing a shoot to help bring some attention the their lighting equipment. This was shot in Vancouver at Bryan Adams's studio last spring.

Broncolor had approached me about producing a shoot to help bring some attention the their lighting equipment. This was shot in Vancouver at Bryan Adams’s studio last spring.

Real Housewives of Vancouver Season II key art. A game changer for me here on the West coast.

Real Housewives of Vancouver Season II key art. A game changer for me here on the West coast.

My daughter back from Miami and having some professional make-up applied. This would later become the album cover for Fur Trade.

My daughter back from Miami and having some professional make-up applied. This would later become the album cover for Fur Trade.

A personal studio still.

A personal studio still.

Publicity portrait for a friend turning the children's book into a motion picture.

Publicity portrait for a friend turning the children’s book into a motion picture.

Album publicity for Last Gang Records. Zero photoshop here. C-Print images sent down to Chicago to be made into puzzles, then frozen in blocks of ice and reshot in their organic natural state. 8 months of work.

Album publicity for Last Gang Records. Zero photoshop here. C-Print images sent down to Chicago to be made into puzzles, then frozen in blocks of ice and reshot in their organic natural state. 8 months of work.

Personal body of work using the Spanish Civil war as inspiration, primarily the work of Robert Capa and the first real 'media war'

Personal body of work using the Spanish Civil war as inspiration, primarily the work of Robert Capa and the first real ‘media war’

Killing Season III publicity for AMC

Killing Season III publicity for AMC

Pilot publicity for CW network. My first big US job, and big deal for me and even bigger deal with Frank Ockenfels III shooting the hands portion in LA a few months later. Retouching done by John Crawford who brought all elements together. First billboard....stoked.

Pilot publicity for CW network. My first big US job, and big deal for me and even bigger deal with Frank Ockenfels III shooting the hands portion in LA a few months later. Retouching done by John Crawford who brought all elements together. First billboard….stoked.

 Publicity work for Lab Magazine, shot this before a show in Portland last fall on Type 55 Polaroid.


Publicity work for Lab Magazine, shot this before a show in Portland last fall on Type 55 Polaroid.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been in the industry now for just over a decade, but only started calling myself a photographer with conviction for the last four years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?  

I held my first camera at the age of ten and my first Polaroid was of Lady Diana at Expo 86. I still have that picture. I got my feet wet scholastically at Ryerson University taking darkroom and theory classes. It wasn’t until a fortuitous opportunity came along at Westside Studio to ‘first’ under Chris Gordaneer that things really began to take shape. I did almost three years there under his wing really learning the business, production and direction first hand. After that I kept my training going and started assisting with Frank W. Ockenfells III, Nigel Parry, Andrew Eccles and Kevin Lynch.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

Frank (fwo3.com) has and continues to be a constant source of drive and inspiration. At the beginning I was all over the place and trying to weave in between different arenas to stay versatile and fresh. My book was everywhere and filled with music, portrait, advertising, fashion and personal work…a nightmare to get in front of an art director or potential client. Some of the best advice he gave me early on was remove myself from thinking I was going to change the market in any regard. This was in Toronto at the time and he told me to create a book that was clean and on brand, the rest would come, but don’t think by pushing your vision that the work will come your way.

This was also at a time when I was unsure of my place in the industry. There was no money in music, didn’t want to stray into the fashion, advertising wasn’t my biggest draw and felt somewhat lost as to the direction I should be heading. Staying close to a classic portrait foundation was essential and wanted to still work with actors and musicians who brought something personal to the table. Staying inside the entertainment industry was a perfect fit and now my primary drive for work and finding new clients.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

I think that should come naturally to any artist. Motivations are a huge catalyst for any creative endeavor. You wake up, get out of bed each day and push yourself with the only a reward being reached once the project/piece has fully been realized. Getting noticed is part of the territory that falls into the tasks column of this profession and can sometimes cloud efforts I find.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

Not at this point in my career. The biggest struggle I have with clients at present is primarily budgetary. They go through my book with big eyes and seem frustrated they cannot get this look for a quarter of the budget.

I got a call from an East coast record label this year and he said to me; ‘We hear you’re the guy to call when we want an amazing shoot with zero money.” Flattering and insulting at the same time. And yes I bust my ass for every production and have done so since the beginning…..some of that has crossed over from the start and I still look at every opportunity to be shooting as a gift. It’s very lucky to love what you do. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing because we’re all peppered with a little production, post-production, lighting and skill sets that we have had to earn along the journey to get into that professional realm. You’re getting the full combo package having me on set.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

Always looked at traditional means of exposure from the other side of the river bank. I could not really afford to get my work into annual submissions and thought staying original was a better means of getting noticed.

The first of which was an event I created and co-founded called Drawn to Develop. It worked directly with Street Kids International who supplied drawings from street kids around the world that I then allocated to the best Canadian photographers working at that time who had to render the drawing into a finished photographic piece that we auctioned off at a gala event in Toronto during the fall of 2008. It did 4 strong years and has raised over $140,000 for Street Kids International since its conception. That gained a ton of attention due the ambitious amount of work involved and curious nature of the project.

“Who are you exactly?” Got that a lot of that, but getting Floria Sigismondi to create an image from a drawing was worth every hang up.

From there I did a few curated shows; tried to stay relevant as best I could before moving out to Vancouver in the fall of 2010. Then I went back to square one on the ol’ rolodex and the phone went from ringing every once in a while to almost never.

Covet was started to make my presence known in Vancouver. It was also me throwing a wrench into a photographer’s inspiration to see what comes up. Bring 30 photographers to the mix who supply a subject and location that they themselves hold dear. At random each of us chose from the two groups and went out and created an original piece for the show. Did that two years in a row, got on the map and earned the attention of one of my biggest clients of my career.

Is there a formula for any of it? Not a chance. Everything I do inside the professional circuit is based upon working hard and knowing that there is someone younger and hungrier out there behind me.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

Eventually these efforts will run themselves short and just be in vain.  Staying true to you audience and finding your stride is key. With the tireless dedication this craft demands it crucial to make your efforts worthwhile and garnish a return.

Would you plant a garden for your neighbors?

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Constantly. My ambitious cup is always brimming over with ideas and creative ventures. Have been slowing down the project scopes as of late and asking myself more questions than just running out into the night with a burning spear, full of rum and generally running amok as I did in my 20’s. Trying to embrace a fully realized project from conception to hanging have become important lately, while still keeping content and intention at hand.

Having my commercial work grow into what I’m now showing now is starting to allow those questions relevance.

I’ve been failing upward for years and am really excited for the next couple of years.

How often are you shooting new work?

As often as possible.

I’m just now getting serious with all the extra work I shot this year and getting ready to rotate the portfolio, the website and putting together a small promo from some recent time in Japan.

————————————————————

Brendan Meadows is a photographer based in Vancouver, Canada.

He began his professional training at Westside Studio in Toronto. Today, after a decade of experience in advertising, publicity, editorial, music and portrait photography, Brendan has developed into a versatile professional, known for his ability to comfortably weave through many different arenas. His professional travels have taken him from the Swiss Alps, to the Arizona desert, to the high Arctic and the Caribbean, shooting everywhere from grand hotels to gritty slums.

The dominant thread in Brendan’s signature style is his strong interest in photographing people. He considers this focus to be his greatest strength and concentrates the bulk of his creative efforts towards creating images that celebrate all aspects of humanity. Brendan has produced pictures that brim with conviction, demonstrating a vision that is both raw and precise.

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

Art Producers Speak: Timothy Archibald

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Timothy Archibald

Editorial Photo Illustration shot for Bloomberg Business Week ,  4/2013 for a story about the Matchbox company.

Editorial Photo Illustration shot for Bloomberg Business Week ,
4/2013 for a story about the Matchbox company.

Image from a self promotional series from 2010 titled “Babes In The Woods”

Image from a self promotional series from 2010 titled “Babes In The Woods”

Portrait of a Mother and Son for a story in Scientific American about strides in Autism research. 8/2013

Portrait of a Mother and Son for a story in Scientific American about strides in Autism research. 8/2013

Photo Illustration for a story in Family Circle magazine about pre-teens and compulsive eating disorders. 4/2013

Photo Illustration for a story in Family Circle magazine about pre-teens and compulsive eating disorders. 4/2013

 Portrait of the Wear Twins for UCLA Magazine, 2012

Portrait of the Wear Twins for UCLA Magazine, 2012

 Self promotional image created with stylist Shannon Amos 9/2007

Self promotional image created with stylist Shannon Amos 9/2007

Photo illustration for Family Circle magazine about Mother / Daughter relationships. 5/2013

Photo illustration for Family Circle magazine about Mother / Daughter relationships. 5/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Photographs for the Nokia Lumia Holiday Campaign , shot for Geometry SF. 12/2013

Portrait for TIME for a story on Attachment Parenting. 2/2012

Portrait for TIME for a story on Attachment Parenting. 2/2012

Portrait for On Earth Magazine for a story on Salmon Fishing 9/2013

Portrait for On Earth Magazine for a story on Salmon Fishing 9/2013

Portrait of Tiny House Architect Jay Shafer 3/201

Portrait of Tiny House Architect Jay Shafer 3/201

Portrait of Jessica Mah for Silicon Valley Bank. 2/2013

Portrait of Jessica Mah for Silicon Valley Bank. 2/2013

Image from book ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder.

Image from book ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder.

Image from book ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder.

Image from book ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been doing Timothy Archibald as a commercial and editorial photographer since 1999. Previous to that I spent 8 years as a newspaper photographer for The Phoenix New Times. It was the golden era of the alternative press: 1991-1999. The paper hired me to do all the photography for a weekly paper- two picture heavy stories a week as well as restaurant review photographs and live music photos. I worked all in black and white, shooting TMax and processing the stuff at my apartment. It was myself and 9 writers, and I really learned the power of storytelling from those writers. That job taught me how to tell a story, develop a voice, yet still package it to look like something that would fit in a newspaper. A very important 5 years in terms of figuring out how to make a living. Before that job I was just kind of a guy who took cool arty photographs. After that job, I felt I had something that just might sustain me.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I had the greatest education I could really ever hope for I think. As a teenager I was allowed to take college photography classes taught by Martin Benjamin at Union College in Schenectady N.Y. That was four solid years, ages 14 – 18, and then continued working for him on my summers home from college. He teaches photography as expression- he introduces it to the students as a tool to learn about the world and to let the world learn about them. Powerful stuff from the very start….and at an age where I wanted it badly. After high school I went to college at Penn State and was an Art major, really just wallowing in all of the arts…something I had no inherent talent in at all! But it was a small enough art department that simply by taking it seriously, I was able to define myself. If I did attend some big art school at that time, I know I would have been crushed like a bug.

I am a big believer in that lesson I learned there in college: you may not be the best at something, but if you find a place where you can thrive, or be comfortable, it will allow you to be your best. And sometimes that place is left of center, or small, or corporate, or not what you were expecting. And it’s not really about competing, or being the best, but it’s about being able to create a space to be able to grow, to nurture your skills.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

Well, I always thought of myself as someone who had a long relationship with photography, rather than someone who really “got into this business”, but of course I am in the business.

I have a really vivid memory of being a senior in college and standing at a newsstand looking and being riveted by the work of photographer Brian Smale. He was working in only black and white at the time, had a hard flash in his images that suggested darkness of a sort, and his people…the vibe from the people in his pictures was just really emotionally three dimensional. I felt I knew these people, and Smale’s style packaged it all for maximum effect. I remember looking at that work and saying “ Wow…he is doing it all, and it looks like it’s his job too…!”

I’m sure that moment led me to see the editorial market as one that would reward you for having a strong voice. Now at didn’t have that voice myself at the time, but I felt that if I could cultivate one, there would be a market that would appreciate it.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

I am a big believer in the idea that your photographs should grow with you, they should mature with you, and they should reflect you like any art you’d create would.
Our work, commercial or not , is something that if you do it right, and listen closely, your work can grow as you grow…and recede as you recede as well. Right now I’m a big believer in trying to listen to the shift that work may need to take, and I think it is evident in the work we show to the market place. But it did take a while to reach that point of making something, creating some product out of all that “listening”.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

For me, if I am brought in on a commercial job, corporate job, editorial job, anything really, it seems that it’s already past the point of everyone accepting the quirky nature of the work. That fight has already been fought. The tricky part, of course, is delivering the image with all of the unique human qualities everyone is expecting, but amidst the confines of this commercial production. Because of course, you want everyone to get what they are hoping and dreaming of from your work. By the time the photographer is called in on a project, the creative have lived this thing for months. I think it’s my job then to bring their dreams to life in a way, get them excited about this thing that was exciting in the beginning, but may have gotten a little stale to them in the process. And of course, if your work is a little bit off base, you tend to view your supporters, clients, anyone really, with such a strong sense of loyality…you want to really bring them what they hoped for from your work in the first place…you want to let them have the magic.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

My personal projects really are the things that seem to resonate with the creatives. Now it doesn’t mean they can really hire me to do work that looks like that…but it is the thing that gives me some traction. And really at this point, I wish it was my commercial work that everyone was gaga over…but that really doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards…or stars…or anywhere really. But with that knowledge, it does allow you to abandon some markets and try to passionately pursue other markets. I am a big believer for setting yourself up for success- getting yourself in the position to do the work that just flows out of you, whatever that is.

But for me, the large personal projects have been the things people always want to see and discuss: Sex Machines: Photographs and Interviews (2005 ) and ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I Wonder ( 2010) are the bigger ones that have become books, but I’m always working on smaller ones that never get beyond my website and spam mail, but they do give people something to grab on to, something to follow.

Now we have, of course, the free social networks at our disposal. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr…and what is next? Though I laugh about these things, I do embrace them and really think they have allowed me to extend into an audience in a way I never was able to before. Via my blog and the various social networks, I’ve tried to create and maintain a persona that gives people a good feeling for what it’s like to work with me. I’m a true photo geek, I totally love sharing other people’s work, I’m fascinated by the history of photography ( and it’s seemingly diminished importance) and I like to be a busy working photographer and a curious Dad to my two boys. I want these concerns to come through in my online persona and I feel they help others relate to me as well. Now this is a lot to communicate, but over time online, it can come to the forefront. In the past our attempts at sharing anything from our life was so few and far between, it just wouldn’t happen. It was then all about the work, but the barriers between creatives and photographers were immense. Now, it’s a bit more slippery, in a good way.

All that said, we just were offered the opportunity of spending a week “taking over” the Smithsonian Magazine Instagram page. It was my first shot at playing the Instagram game, and I gotta say it was a manic constant and total blast.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

Oh, well that is the million dollar question that will haunt photographers to the day they die…or the day photography itself dies! Work needs to speak the language of the marketplace, that is true, but then it also needs to be GREAT and unique as well. Add super consistency to that, and a nice personality, let’s say some physical attractiveness maybe…and well…maybe that it the key to success? Really, anyone who answers that question with confidence I’d be immediately suspicious of. But we do see people who have cracked that code: their work is intellectual and visceral and they are still doing massive campaigns and printing money. Now…some people may say my work has those first two elements, but those last two points have been elusive to me. But I’m always working on something, so I really can not complain.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

I go in phases: each super serious personal project seemed to take 3 years of shooting and then two years of blowing it up into the media stratosphere. Then after those periods I seem to put the self expression aside and focus on my career with a bit more intention. Right now I’m putting a lot of energy into shifting the work into this new phase that is just a bit more human and less ironic. I wanted to find a way to tap into the raw energy people responded to in the ECHOLILIA work, but try to speak that language in my assignment work. And only now, three years past the book publication, does it seem like I learned how to do that. And even that is like…oh, trying to tap into some emotional rawness that is kind of an intangible. It’s not like you can just rely on a technique. But I’m 46, I’ve been doing this for a while now. I think I can tap into this stuff I searching for, but I really couldn’t have done it earlier.

How often are you shooting new work?

This summer I had an intern, first time ever, and her marching order was to produce commercial looking work with me using her energy and enthusiasm…and a tiny non existent budget. Summer’s coming to a close and it is exciting for both of us to see these images blossom. So here a little structure did help it all come to fruition and most likely was more productive for everyone then some make work project like working on a data base or something that we’d all rather not do.

Now I should note that this first ever intern is a mom of 3 pre school kids and went to NYU as well. She’s got as real a life as anyone and talked her way into creating an internship that didn’t exist at all. So there was a drive there, and it would have been silly to not think that she would bring something startling to the mix. I knew there was something there. One of our first pictures from this internship is included here.

But the point I’m trying to make here is don’t stop listening to life. Don’t feel you’ve heard it all before, you’re bored and jaded, there is nothing new and you can’t get out of a pattern. When I was younger I feel like I needed my work to shout and be extreme, to find things people have never seen before. Now I feel there is a lot to come from simply listening and seeing the wonder that sometimes comes out of what is right in front of you.

——————————————————————————————-

Timothy Archibald ( b. 1967, Schenectady, N.Y.) is a commercial and editorial photographer living and working in San Francisco, CA.

His commercial clients include Crispin Porter Bogusky, TBWA Chiat Day, American Express, Skittles, TIME, National Geographic, and Scientific American.

Archibald’s personal projects have appeared in the collections of Videotage in Hong Kong, The Australian Center for Photography, The Museum of Sex, NY and The Catskill Center for Photography in Woodstock N.Y. He is the author of Sex Machines : Photographs and Interviews ( Process, 2005 ) and ECHOLILIA / Sometimes I wonder ( Echo Press, 2010 )

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

Art Producers Speak: Henrique Plantikow

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Henrique Plantikow. I’ve been keeping my eye on him and feel he is prolific and fresh.

This guy is showing us his lip tattoo.

This guy is showing us his lip tattoo.

This is part of a series I photographed called "The Trestle". I had heard of this location; the only way to get there was by swimming or walking on the broken bridge and jumping in.

This is part of a series I photographed called “The Trestle”. I had heard of this location; the only way to get there was by swimming or walking on the broken bridge and jumping in.

I took this photo at the swimming pool where I used to live.

I took this photo at the swimming pool where I used to live.

I met these siblings in New Hampshire; they were traveling from California with nothing but a backpack each. We shot these at a local laundry mat.

I met these siblings in New Hampshire; they were traveling from California with nothing but a backpack each. We shot these at a local laundry mat.

I prefer not to comment on this one.

I prefer not to comment on this one.

I think what makes this portrait interesting are the New England fall/winter colors, everything is so muted.

I think what makes this portrait interesting are the New England fall/winter colors, everything is so muted.

Kids have so much energy and life; it's always a fun experience working with them.

Kids have so much energy and life; it’s always a fun experience working with them.

This is one of the photographs I stumbled on. The power of photography, is the ability to capture a moment that's gone forever in a fraction of a second.

This is one of the photographs I stumbled on. The power of photography, is the ability to capture a moment that’s gone forever in a fraction of a second.

I love improvising and making it up on the spot; this was photographed in an apartment in Boston.

I love improvising and making it up on the spot; this was photographed in an apartment in Boston.

This is from a recent library of images I took for Samsonite's back to college campaign.

This is from a recent library of images I took for Samsonite’s back to college campaign.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been shooting professionally for about 2 years, before that I stayed busy building my portfolio.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’m mostly self-taught. I studied graphic design in school, and learned things like composition and color theory, that also apply to photography. I learn by doing; I got a piece of advice from Kurt Markus that I’ve taken to heart. He said to me “if you’re curious about how photography works, just go out and try it”. I did, and photography became a process of self-discovery, I started going out and finding what was interesting to me.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
The reason I got into this business was because I fell in love with telling stories and creating moments. I was also inspired by the work of Bruce Weber and certain independent films like “Y Tu MamĂĄ TambiĂŠn”. What inspired me was the freedom to create something original.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
This might sound cliché but I find inspiration in the people around me. One of the things I enjoy doing is street casting; going to an unknown place with strangers and getting them to open up in front of the camera. The process is one of the rewards for me. I’ve made many friends because of photography.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
It depends on the client; some are more conservative than others. At the end of the day, I’m there to bring the art director’s vision to life; it can be tough for them when they have good ideas turned down by clients. That’s why I keep creating personal work, I’m in control.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I focus most of my attention on creating new work. I’ve also relied on in-person meetings and referrals. Meeting someone in person is important for me; I’ve been told that I look much different than what they expected. I started blogging recently; it gives me a chance to talk about my work. I also signed with an agent that has been showing my portfolio all over.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
The biggest decision you make when you decide to become a photographer is: what will I shoot? I think there are two schools when it comes to this. One way is to pick a category of commercial photography, and build a body of work around that category. This is easier in the short term because you have a map to follow. But you’re second-guessing and copying what’s already been done.

The 2nd way is to develop your personal voice. This is harder in the beginning, and will take longer to get noticed. But in the long run you’ll create work that’s authentic to you.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
All the time. That’s when I’m having the most fun…

How often are you shooting new work?
It depends on the week; I like to keep it spontaneous. One thing I do is, go on a sprint of shooting, then I take some time to review and edit what I got.

Born in a small Brazilian town, Henrique grew up a very free spirit. His earliest memories include walking around his neighborhood hanging out with his friends getting in to trouble. He believes that from this time on he was subconsciously drawn to street culture, an ever present theme in his photography today. However, photography was not Henrique’s first love or foray in to the commercial world, he actually began as a graphic designer, a skill he believes informed his overall aesthetic. After 7 yrs of staring at a computer screen for 9+ hrs a day, a tired Henrique picked up a camera and has yet to put it down. His images have graced the pages of Dazed & Confused, Flaunt, Paper, and Out. Clients love his raw, authentic style, energetic work ethic, and desire to tell stories through his images.

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

 

Art Producers Speak: Guy Neveling

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Guy Neveling. His work is unique in a way that it has never lost the soulfulness of pure image making and certainly translates to art. So much so, that he was approached by a gallery in Paris for some of his commercial pieces.

Argentine Polar Station in the Antarctic.

Argentine Polar Station in the Antarctic.

I grabbed this shot of a young father playing with his kids while we were doing a tech recce for an up coming car shoot.

I grabbed this shot of a young father playing with his kids while we were doing a tech recce for an up coming car shoot.

Campaign for the VWR32 illustrating the speed of the car.

Campaign for the VWR32 illustrating the speed of the car.

Campaign advertising the VW Eos glass top car.

Campaign advertising the VW Eos glass top car.

Dead calm in Ushuaia on the southerly tip of Patagonia.

Dead calm in Ushuaia on the southerly tip of Patagonia.

Laundry day on Tristan da Cunha island in the South Atlantic.

Laundry day on Tristan da Cunha island in the South Atlantic.

‘Step and repeat’ shoot we did for The Times newspaper. We did two ads back to back in just under a 24hr day. More info on this shoot can be seen on the F-Stop blog  http://www.thefstopmag.com/?p=460

‘Step and repeat’ shoot we did for The Times newspaper. We did two ads back to back in just under a 24hr day. More info on this shoot can be seen on the F-Stop blog http://www.thefstopmag.com/?p=460

New personal project here in Cape Town.

New personal project here in Cape Town.

Midday snooze in Cape Town.

Midday snooze in Cape Town.

Sadly, due to the last pro film lab shutting down in Cape Town, one of my last commercial shoots done on film.

Sadly, due to the last pro film lab shutting down in Cape Town, one of my last commercial shoots done on film.

Personal shot.

Personal shot.

Grabbed this shot passing time while waiting to attend a book launch.

Grabbed this shot passing time while waiting to attend a book launch.

I shot this dilapidated house on Deception Island off the Antarctic Peninsula.

I shot this dilapidated house on Deception Island off the Antarctic Peninsula.

Part of a new personal collaboration, Main Road Chronicles.

Part of a new personal collaboration, Main Road Chronicles.

Part of a three shot campaign for Bovril

Part of a three shot campaign for Bovril

How many years have you been in business?
All in all counting early press days before advertising, for around 25 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Self taught.

After spending a little over two years on submarines while completing my mandatory national service, I managed to sweet talk my way into the naval photo department for my remaining year. I waxed the perfect B&W print on government time. About a year later I would be chased out of the darkroom by an irate editor of a top Johannesburg newspaper wanting a picture for his 8 o’clock deadline, lesson two; no time for Ansel Adams type printing in a busy big city newsroom.
During the day I would cover all the chaos of the dying apartheid system with its many township riots and inner city bomb blasts, and by night head home to my apartment and practice my lighting on bowls of apples. By the end of most days I would have B&W contact sheets of utter mayhem alongside colorful 4/5 trannies of bowls of fruit. It was an insane way to learn photography. Learning is a never-ending process, Cartier-Bresson wasn’t mincing his words when he said one’s first 10 000 pictures would be your worst.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Into photography itself there are many influences ranging from vintage to present day. Julia Margaret Cameron, Clarence White to mid century Edward Weston and Robert Capa etc.

Strong influences for getting into advertising would be John Claridge and Harry DeZitter as well as directors such as Tony Kaye and Tarsem.

Much closer to home, I owe a huge amount to Shahn Rowe. He pushed and encouraged me to hit the pavements with my first ad portfolio (remember the bowls of fruit?). Shahn also sold me my first 4/5 camera and a studio light and let me pay it off over a period of one-year. I was officially open for business.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I try turn left while others are going right, meaning I try not get caught up in the latest Photoshop trend or look. I think that’s a dangerous path to go down for self-preservation and longevity for maintaining a love of creating pictures. It may sound a bit lame but there’s always a voice in my head that asks ‘how would I shoot it?’ before I hit the release.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I’ve never really heard of that with the agency’s I usually work with. The clients trust the agency’s creative selection process. On big jobs there could be anywhere between 5 to 10 photographers being called in to do a treatment. The agency’s creative then chooses their preferred guy and presents their choice to the client along with a rational as to why they have selected a particular photographer.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
After years of A3 printed books I tried the IPad portfolio and wasn’t wild about it. The thing is too small to make any lasting impression. I think it was a novelty with its swiping screen and I got the impression the viewers were getting a kick out of the swiping (finger prints and all) than actually concentrating on the work. An A3 print is in your face and I think that alone slows down the viewing process, which is a good thing.

I’m sort of new to social media, I don’t think I have utilized it’s full potential but I think it’s a great way to get pictures out there to an audience one never knew existed. At times it’s interesting chatting with a total stranger sitting on the other side of the globe about pictures.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I spent too much of my earlier years thinking I need more of this or more of that in my book in order to get the phone ringing, with a result that my personal work may have suffered. I think I also spent too much time worrying about getting printed ads in my book. One needs printed material to prove your worth, but maybe I chased that side a little too hard. Now I advise anyone starting out to shoot what he or she absolutely loves, work on the thumbprint first the rest will follow. Embrace everything, become a strong photographer in all sense of the meaning. The direction will eventually find itself.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes the older I’m getting the more I’m concentrating on personal work. It gets more important as time moves on.

How often are you shooting new work?
I try keep a few things on the go simultaneously, that way when I hit a wall or something isn’t possible at the time on one project I skip to the other, it also serves as the ‘over night test’, meaning shots always look different with fresh eyes in the morning.

Guy set out as a press photographer in the mid 80s, covering South Africa’s transition to a fully democratic society. A chance meeting with fellow photographer Shahn Rowe exposed him to the possibilities of commercial photography. Guy swopped riots, tear gas and rubber bullets for the more relaxed atmosphere of a photographic studio with its coffee on tap and piped music. A move to Cape Town in ’91 had Guy open his own studio where he worked for a number of years before handing it back to the landlord: the open road and the challenge of location work beckoned.

Guy has won numerous awards at the various international advertising festivals that include D&AD and Cannes Lions. He’s also served on the Loerie’s print craft judging panel for the past number of years.

His work has been selected for the Lurzers Archive Special, ‘200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide’.

Guy has always believed great ad photography worthy of galleries; an ambition recently realized when a gallery in Paris selected a number of his works, one of which was a picture commissioned for a financial institute.

www.guyneveling.com

 

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

Art Producers Speak: Patrick Ecclesine

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Patrick Ecclesine. I like working with Patrick because he has a vision that elevates anything I have ever had in my mind when approaching a shoot. He has a bank of knowledge and creativity that allows me obtain more than I anticipated and more concepts and ideas I haven’t even thought of.

Tim Roth

Tim Roth

Isabel Lucas

Isabel Lucas

Shia Labeouf

Shia Labeouf

Jessica Pare

Jessica Pare

Blair Underwood

Blair Underwood

The Blacklist for NBC. This is an example of my commercial work.

The Blacklist for NBC. This is an example of my commercial work.

Slow Kiss - Plate 19. This is an example of my personal work. Slow Kiss is a four year collaboration with Director/Producer Daniel Sackheim. We're creating a neo-noir narrative told in the still format.

Slow Kiss – Plate 19. This is an example of my personal work. Slow Kiss is a four year collaboration with Director/Producer Daniel Sackheim. We’re creating a neo-noir narrative told in the still format.

Slow Kiss - Plate 25

Slow Kiss – Plate 25

Slow Kiss - Plate 26

Slow Kiss – Plate 26

Slow Kiss - Plate 29

Slow Kiss – Plate 29

Slow Kiss - Plate 33

Slow Kiss – Plate 33

Slow Kiss - Plate 14

Slow Kiss – Plate 14

How many years have you been in business?
Twelve years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I did two semesters of photography in high school and then quit when classes got into color printing, which, for some reason, I had little interest in at the time. That was the extent of my formal training.

Who was you greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
A rock and roll photographer named Barry Schultz. He’s a great guy originally from LA’s San Fernando Valley, who spent years traveling with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and a bunch of other legendary rock groups of the ’70s. My dad met Barry in the waiting room of the Hollywood hospital where Barry’s daughter and I were both born and our families became intertwined. Because Barry’s wife is Dutch, they decided to live in Holland where they built a very successful stock footage company.

During my freshman year in college I went to Europe. In Amsterdam Barry gave me a dozen rolls of positive film that he wanted to test and, for six weeks, I traveled through Europe documenting the trip with my Pentax. Later, Barry developed the film, which was nice, because I was broke and probably would never have got around to it. I still remember the serious look on his face when he called me into his office. With all the slides spread out on a light table, he said, “This work is excellent. Really, every frame could be a postcard. You could do this professionally. I mean it.”

I don’t know if he meant it, but I believed him. Later, when I came up against a lot of resistance, I’d go back to that moment and it gave me the courage to push through all the naysayers. That one moment gave me the confidence I needed. Sometimes all you need is someone to believe in you so you can believe in yourself.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Personal work. It is an absolute must. It is how you develop a point of view and find your visual integrity.

Do you find that some creative love your work but the client holds you back?
The key word in this equation is client. If you’re taking a job, then your responsibility is to the client. Period. You may be hired for your personal vision, but if you’re selling a product, whether it’s an entertainment property or toothpaste, you have to frame that product according to the client’s needs. Granted, you have to bring your point of view to the work, but it’s not about your ego. It’s about servicing the needs of the job.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
The entertainment community is tight-knit and difficult to break into. Once you’re in the door and people see you’re not leaving, word spreads on its own. Thankfully I have some great clients who have been incredibly supportive of me throughout the years, which has allowed me to focus on my personal work. I keep tap dancing around social media but, outside of Instagram, I’ve had trouble truly embracing it. I’d much rather spend my time with real people in person. I go to New York quite a bit where I’ll meet with anyone and everyone. I’ve been reaching out to other markets because I’d like to spread my wings and collaborate with people in other fields, but it’s tricky because I’m labeled a celebrity shooter. I never thought that could work against me, but sometimes it does. Mind you I’m not complaining. Lately I’ve been shooting for Vanity Fair. It was always a dream of mine to contribute to Vanity Fair so I’m really proud and grateful for this.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Buyers need to see that you are capable of executing the sort of work they’re hiring for. They’d be putting their jobs on the line to take chances on unproven talent. On the other hand, if you’re chasing the ever-changing landscape of shifting desires and tastes by replicating the current climate of what’s popular now, then you’re sacrificing the one thing you have of value as an artist: your point of view.

The issue this question raises is one of art and commerce. You need the commercial jobs to finance your art, and you need the art to stay inspired, create fresh work, and get the commercial jobs. It doesn’t matter if you’re an art director, a designer, a musician, a painter, a filmmaker or a photographer, the reality that any artist working in the commercial medium has to face is that they must fight for their creative every step of the way. It is disheartening to see your best work get quashed and never see the light of day. The only way to prevent getting jaded or turning bitter is to create work that speaks to you individually. Personal work is essential because it transcends words, salesmanship, or any attempts at imitation. It is the spark that ignites the connection between creative people and is your greatest currency as an artist.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes.

How often are you shooting new work?
As much as possible. I’ve always been intrigued by the gap between stills and motion. I believe there’s a lot of ground to break in this arena and I’ve been testing, experimenting, and refining. Recently I’ve been mounting RED cameras to drones that I’ve had custom built. The technology is mesmerizing, allowing for spectacular visuals. I’ve also been collaborating with director and executive producer Daniel Sackheim. We’re working on a neo-noir narrative in stills that we call Slow Kiss. It features lavish production values, recognizable actors, and unfolds like a movie within a book. We recently hit a wall with financing, but I expect the project will soon regain traction because it’s truly unique and ambitious.

For me, images are all about telling a story, and every good story has some mystery to it. Like life itself, you can never say with certainty where it’s headed. All you can do is your best work and hope that people take notice.

PATRICK ECCLESINE has lensed over 100 publicity and advertising campaigns for the film and television industry. A frequent contributor to Vanity Fair Magazine, Patrick is an award-winning photographer, director, avid surfer, and ten-year member of the I.A.T.S.E. International Cinematographer’s Guild.

His 2009 book, Faces of Sunset Boulevard, tied for first place with Annie Leibovitz’s book, Work, to win the prestigious 2009 SCIBA Book Award for Arts & Architecture.

Patrick was born and raised in Hollywood, California, earning his B.A. from the University of California Santa Barbara.

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

 

Art Producers Speak: Christian Kozowyk

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Christian Kozowyk because I loved working with him and thought other art producers might like to learning more about him.

This was a fun one that we shot before a rowdy night out on the town.

This was on a shoot for Ford. Halfway through hanging out with this guy he tells me he can do a backflip and then proceeds to breakdance—probably the most spontaneous thing that worked out during a shoot.

Outtake from a night off during a production in Portugal. This guy was looking for his friends. I didn’t speak Portuguese.

Outtake from a shoot. Still finding that prickly grass in my black Nikes.

Second time in a convertible on the PCH.

This is a seaside town I happened upon while traveling through Europe.

First time with a water housing. I got a black eye from it.

The pier was so icy this day that I almost slipped into the lake. Loved this family.

Kids are so easy to photograph.

Genuine as you can get. Real is real.

I used to skate with Perry when he was 2 years old. His dad and I built a concrete skate park together in New Hampshire. Now he’s all grown up and traveling the world.

Hairdoo. You meet a lot of people in this world and sometimes you just have to use nicknames. He had amazing energy—the day after the shoot he drove his motorcycle from LA to NYC.

Family dynamics are always fun. We had packed up the cameras and were getting ready to leave when this just happened. It was worth taking them back out.

Double vision.

Military salute. This guy wasn’t looking at the camera; he was looking through the camera. It was cold.

I’ve lost track of the number of sunsets I’ve caught on the Williamsburg Bridge. Whenever I’m in town I ride my bike there every night.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been using a camera since I was 18, shooting professionally for five, and with my agent Candace Gelman for three.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

A little bit of both—I went to college for art, but I think school can only teach you so much about being a working photographer, and I’ve definitely learned a lot more out there experiencing things and meeting new people.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

Honestly for me it is more of a what. It will sound cliché but there is no shortage of inspirational photographers that are committed to the process, and people who have been amazing mentors to me. They have all inspired, supported and taught me over the years, but at the end of the day the real draw for me to get into the business was a basic need and drive to learn more about myself and the world around me. I am all about leaving a positive mark with my life and I believe that through photography I have the opportunity to work towards that goal. The process of photography is my life. It is a way for me to be constantly growing and evolving. It allows me to live with an open heart and to give back in a way that hopefully inspires other people. When it’s all coming together, it’s an amazing feeling and one that is endlessly motivating. How could you not get hooked on that?

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

For me, it’s about the people and how the moment fits into that scenario. I am constantly re-discovering myself through my work and I’ve learned that following your heart trumps all. I’d like to think my work stays fresh because the people I shoot make it so, and my role is more about creating a space to allow that authenticity to unfold, finding stories that exist and becoming part of them. Trends come and go and most ideas are not necessarily new ones, so it’s really about being able to sit with someone and capture their spirit and energy in a frame. That’s always fresh. Real just does not get old in my opinion. It’s about keeping things authentic by just being authentic—and finding a team of creatives that are working with a brand that have that same vision and energy to put into a project.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

Naturally every situation and client is different. We all have our specific job to do as part of the creative process, but sure, there are times when you’ve got the creatives in line with your vision, but the client is hesitant—it’s a trust thing and a comfort level. I like to be very involved in the pre-production and I love to collaborate from the beginning to the end. Our approach and strategy are honed in to a ‘T’, so there are no questions in the client or agency’s mind before the shoot starts about what to expect as the outcome. Again, my work is all about that real look and feel, capturing the essence of people in a way that only happens when people are comfortable. I’m not typically amped on things being overly mapped out with no room to breathe, but it’s important to find balance with the client’s needs and expectations. I think the goal with the client’s expectations would be to take away that sort of focus group mentality and get down to what really matters in telling the story—finding people that are authentic and that everyone can relate to. Gearing our productions this way allows for those real moments to happen. I enjoy encouraging clients to let go a bit and am inspired to help brands connect with their audiences in a real way.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

Building a strong web presence is important. I update my website whenever I have new work to show, keep up with social networking and my Tumblr. Staying in touch with the folks I have collaborated with over the years is something that’s important too.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

Follow your heart. Find out what you’re good at within the medium and go for it. It’s about what you believe in and what you love, and that’s a journey in itself. Before you go and sell something, you have to have a mission statement; a mantra that you will live and die by—you have to know what you’re selling. The rest will follow.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Every time I pick up the camera I am shooting for myself, whether it’s for a commercial job or not. It’s that simple. The thing about photography that never gets old is its ability to keep me present, grounded, in the here and now, and to appreciate people. It’s an opportunity to sit with new friends and old, to document life, enjoy it, and participate in it. It’s beyond the aesthetic. You have to know yourself in order for that complete package to unveil itself, whether it’s knowing when to direct and when not to, or disarming a situation despite the cameras, the layouts, or the shot lists so that you can focus on people and their emotions. Whether I am capturing a group of friends or a family dynamic, I try to create space for things to happen in a natural, unforced way for myself and for everyone involved. Photography is an exploration, an experience, a record—both personal and shared—a reminder for us all to stop and smell the roses.

How often are you shooting new work?

I am always working on ideas when I’m not in production—we always have something cooking. We have been shooting about two to three big commissioned projects every few months.

Christian lives his work. For him, it’s less about documenting a subject than truly getting inside the subject matter and living it. He specializes in capturing real moments in a unique way. His distinctive, consistent style and creative approach have helped brands define themselves, while earning Christian many industry awards, including: Communication Arts (advertising and photography), One Show, Addys, American Photography and PDN (photo annual) to name a few. He has been selected for Archive Magazines-”200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide” since its inception and highlighted in the Communication Arts Advertising Annual in the “Fresh Section”.

Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, Christian and his team collaborate with creative teams worldwide on award winning advertising campaigns and slice of life projects. When he’s not on location or shooting personal projects you can find him hanging with “Peu Peu” – his French speaking cat, yelling at the bird that lives on the piano to stop screaming, working on his usually not running vintage Harley, playing the guitar, or wave hunting for ‘not close outs’ while avoiding broken glass, dirty trash bags, needles and ice storms at Rockaway Beach, usually at 67th Street.

Christian Kozowyk
www.christiankozowyk.com
christian@christiankozowyk.com
718-916-5510
Candace Gelman & Associates
www.candacegelman.com
415-897-0808

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

Art Producers Speak: William Anthony

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Associate Creative Director: I nominate William Anthony. I’ve floated past him in the industry circles for the past eight years or so and have had the pleasure of getting to see his career evolve. He’s an amazingly talented dude.

Georgetown’s legendary Hat ‘n Boots used to be a roadside gas station in South Seattle. The boots were the bathrooms. (I didn’t notice the MS13 gang tags until after I got my film back.)

Male burlesque dancer shot for Portland Monthly magazine. I won my first journalism award for this shot. Not sure how I feel about that. (Before you ask: gaff tape.)

The legendary Burnside skate park in Portland, OR. I had my 4x5 camera that day to take photos of the park itself when I met two train kids from Georgia. This guy was shredding—barefoot.

My good friend Daniel G. Harmann in the recording studio.

I was recently commissioned to photograph production stills for Duff McKagan’s forthcoming documentary It’s So Easy and Other Lies. This was backstage before rehearsals of the live-reading show at the legendary Moore Theatre in Seattle. Duff’s seen here with his guitar tech Rob.

This little guy’s facial expression perfectly fit the sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge from Vista House just outside Portland, OR.

Boston Marathon bombing icon Bill Iffrig for Runner’s World magazine. In addition to the shot list from RW, I just had to get a shot of him from behind, matching the perspective of the now-infamous Sports Illustrated cover photo of him on the ground with Boston PD officers over him.

Impromptu portraits, shot with my iPhone and posted to Instagram.

Jimmy from the now-defunct Seattle band The Divorce, from KEXP.org’s First Annual BBQ. They couldn’t afford a rental stage so they used a flatbed truck. The results were EPIC.

At the end of 2012 (and the WORLD), I was commissioned by Marie Claire UK magazine to meet and photograph two female “preppers.” The subject in Spokane, WA had weapons all over the house. Some hidden, some in plain sight.

Farmer and activist Ramsey McPhillips on his property in McMinnville, OR. In the background looms a growing landfill threatening his crops. Shot for Portland Monthly magazine.

Brian Aubert, lead singer/songwriter from the Los Angeles band Silversun Pickups. Their breakout single was a song titled “Lazy Eye.” Brian didn’t hide his. For KEXP.org

Portland Fire & Rescue, Search & Recovery Diver Lt. Rich Tyler for Portland Monthly.

How many years have you been in business?
As a photographer, almost 10 years. But I have been a creative professional for 17 years now. I started out as a graphic designer in ‘96 and then moved over to the advertising world as a studio manager for an award-winning boutique in Del Mar, CA called Big Bang Idea Engineering around 2000. I transferred up to Seattle with them and soon moved to another agency as an Art Director. It was the ad world that really opened my eyes to professional photography. I saw so much good work cross my desk. I ended up being that art director shooting black and white set photos while on agency shoots that I processed myself. Around 2004 I thought I would try shooting as a career. I gave myself one year. If I was in the black after 12 months, I said to myself, I’ll stick with it. And here I am, almost ten years later.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Self-taught. I did, however, take a Photo 100 class with darkroom lab. That’s kind of what bit me. It was an elective for a graphic design degree (that I never finished), but I was hooked the first day in the darkroom.

The steepest part of my learning curve, however, came when I got my first DSLR in ’03. Around the same time I started volunteering my time as a photographer at the amazing public radio station here in Seattle, KEXP 90.3 FM. They were relaunching their (now-revolutionary) web site and needed photography content. Since I had virtually no money to donate at the time, I gave them my time and they gave me an endless stream of incredible subject matter and the creative freedom to try new things. I wanted to be to KEXP what Charles Peterson was to Sub Pop. I shot for them for three years straight and still do to this day. The station is now a world leader in online radio and their YouTube channel is incredible. So proud to have been a part of that station.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My good friend Catherine Ledner. Back when I was an art director, I found her on Getty and hired her for a job in Los Angeles in 2001. We became instant friends and still are. Her sense of humor, talent and unending encouragement are probably my most consistent motivator.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I try to stay as open-minded as possible. I see myself as an assignment photographer in the truest sense of the term. When I get calls, especially cold calls, on the other end of the line is an experience I may or may not have any history or knowledge of. Whether an editorial assignment of a story or a commercial assignment where my responsibility is to help craft a predetermined narrative, I approach each assignment/job with fresh eyes. I’ve been doing this long enough to have the confidence in my skill set that I know my personal style will come through in the end. And ultimately, that’s why I like to think I get hired, for my perspective.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Not really. It depends on the client—and the agency. As I mentioned before, I’ve been on the other end of the phone before, and have had to have those conversations with clients as part of the creative team. So I understand the responsibilities creative agencies have to their clients. The good agencies know how to not only get amazing creative work, but satisfy the creative brief, strategist, media buyer, etc. It’s a juggling act but what I think separates the good agencies from the legendary ones is the ability to manage all those moving parts like a surgical team. By the time I come into the picture, (post-awarding), the process has begun and I’ve already been chosen for my aesthetic. So there’s rarely a request to “be” something else other than myself.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
In addition to the usual gamut of mailers, e-mails, phonecalls and agency visits, social media has helped me enormously. I can’t stress it enough. I have a very active and robust Instagram feed. But I am really careful to handle it like a visual diary and not a portfolio. (I make that clear in my profile.) I stick to iPhone photos as much as possible and when I post non-iPhone work, I make it very clear. Instagram fits my personality perfectly. I have adult ADHD, so things tend to catch my attention for just a moment or two. Tops. My feed is made up of anything that catches my eye. That said, I do curate it carefully. Editing is still important even in something so casual. My feed gives potential art buyers and photo editors not only a glimpse of my unfettered eye, but also my personality. A client once likened me to the slow food movement and called me a “slow artist.” Someone whose holistic vision really can’t be accurately seen unless you spend some time with it. I like that. I’ll take it. Also, if a client follows me for a while, and I follow them, we begin building a rapport early so that should we be lucky enough to work together, we kind of already know each other. It really does prime the pump. Lastly, and importantly, Instagram has led to actual, real jobs. Jobs I wouldn’t have had otherwise. So it’s not just a diversion for me. It’s a necessary tool. It’s not for everyone, but I am glad it’s available because it’s a perfect fit for me.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Show “yourself,” not just a body random of work. I remember the days when the only ways to find new shooters were the annuals and directories. There are so many other avenues now. Avenues that can give a deeper view into you as an artist and as a professional that were simply unavailable in the past. I work with a lot of musicians and seeing their business model transform from one of major distributors (major labels) to self-publishing ended up being a blueprint for the commercial visual arts. I love my Tumblr feed. I follow a few curated feeds that show me new artist everyday. (Don’t forget to credit the artist, Tumblrs. I need to find them somehow!) My advice is to get your vision out to as many of these curators and tastemakers as possible. But make sure it’s YOUR vision. It’s really the only thing separating photographers these days. Lighting styles, color-palettes and unique camera tricks are all great, but what separated Hemingway from Huxley wasn’t their typing techniques. It was what they were writing.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Always. It’s the art director in me. Finish one campaign, on to the next campaign. The next adventure. The only way to hone your vision is to do the leg work. If something interests me, personally, I always try to find a way to get to shoot it. I maintain a “Personal Work” section on my web site for just this purpose.) Commisioned work is important, but personal work is raw. There’s no outside influence so you are seeing EXACTLY what I want you to see.

I am in pre-pro on two personal projects now. One that will definitely happen and one that I really hope happens. (The green light depends on a lot of unknowns at this point.)

How often are you shooting new work?
Constantly. I couldn’t stop if I tried. (See also: ADHD)

William Anthony is a former advertising art director, commercial & editorial photographer, husband, eternal optimist and annoying grammar cop. West-coast based, but well-traveled, William has become expert at photographing people, places influenced by people and animals acting like people.

He currently lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and two cats despite being a “dog person.”

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

Art Producers Speak: Sam Kaplan

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Sam Kaplan.

Fortune Magazine - World’s Most Admired Companies (GE and Coca-Cola)

Bloomberg Markets - 'Drenched in Debt' story on debt and the White House

Men'€™s Health - Story on blood vessel constriction.

New York Magazine - Satchels

Personal project - Runts and Nerds

Personal project - Big Red Gum

Personal Project - Dental Picks

Personal Project - Pencils

Personal Project - Pringles

New York Times Magazine - Black Bass

Fortune Magazine - Story on #1 Businessperson of the Year (Starbucks CEO)

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been shooting on my own for about two years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I majored in Studio Arts with a concentration in photography at Wesleyan University but I learned more about the creative process from the conceptual sculpture classes I took there. In terms of technical knowledge, I learned most of what I know from assisting and shooting.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
When I moved to New York in 2007 I wasn’t even aware that you could be a commercial photographer. There’s not one specific person that inspired me to get into the business, but I was definitely influenced by many of the photographers I assisted.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I try to shoot for myself as much as possible. Trusting my instincts at all stages of a shoot is very important to me. I feel that doing personal work and pushing myself in that way can really inform my assigned work.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Every assignment is different. With still-life photography, some of jobs are very straightforward, other times I’m being hired to bring more of my personal vision to the process. Each assignment is a collaboration in order to find the best visual solution to a problem.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I send out high-quality mailers two or three times a year. I spend a lot of time conceptualizing, shooting and physically making the mailers. Editorial work is a great promotional tool as well – every story I shoot could reach far more buyers than an e-promo or mailer.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
It’s not the right move. Buyers want to see your voice and that comes through in work you’re passionate about. Despite this, still-life advertising can be very technical and it can make the agency’s client apprehensive if they don’t see a comparable shot in a book. I’m sometimes asked to do a test shoot for larger campaigns to show the client what they are looking for. I see doing this type of work as an investment that hopefully pays off down the road.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Shooting successful personal work is extremely gratifying. I try to plan most of my personal projects in advance and I’ve found that the more time I spend thinking about something the better the end result will be. There is a freedom to shooting personal work is always exhilarating.

How often are you shooting new work?
As often as possible. The rhythms of client work often dictates when I have time to work on personal projects.

Based in New York, Sam Kaplan was born and raised in Boston, MA. He moved to New York after graduating from Wesleyan University. His clients include The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Fortune, Men’s Health and Budweiser. He is represented by Candace Gelman & Associates. http://www.samkaplan.com/

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

Art Producers Speak: Philip Habib

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Philip Habib. Philip is a well-established photographer in New York, who has created iconic ad campaigns throughout his career as well as many amazing personal series. His latest “tip of New York” series is my current fave. It’s poppy and graphic and was totally appropriate this summer in New York with his sherbet colored backgrounds. Philip is a consummate pro: an iconic image-maker, a fantastic problem solver and an overall great guy!

How many years have you been in business?

I don’t consider photography a business. It’s my love and passion and sometimes I am lucky enough to get paid for it. I started shooting when I was sixteen so, a long time ago!

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I attended Mallinson’s School of photography on the Isle of Wight In England and then continued at the New England School of Photography in Boston. I discovered Photoshop when it was first Introduced and taught myself how to use it.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

I wasn’t inspired by any one person – I was inspired by a generation of artists who could express themselves through their art. Many were musicians, artists, filmmakers and photographers, themselves. I suppose, like them, I was just looking for a way to express myself, and photography came very naturally to me. Many years ago, I discovered that my great-grandfather was a photographer in Florence and my grandfather was a photographer in Paris. My parents didn’t share this information until I was well into my career. I found out years later that my parents were actually surprised by my choice of career, and didn’t want to encourage it, nor let my grandfathers’ be my influence.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

I try not to over think my inspiration. Everything around me is an inspiration, and everything around me changes daily, I just keep photographing to stay fresh. The day I stop is the day it isn’t new and fresh for me. Like a French Baguette, it’s only fresh for one day!

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

Rarely, my work seems to appeal to both. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Most of the issues arise on the shoot, and to resolve these, I cover as many versions as possible so that they can carry on the discussion in post-production.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I use all the social network platforms. I send regular email blasts to Client’s and I distribute a mailing when I’m working on a new project and want art buyers to visit my site to see it. I also have very supportive agents, Matt Coogan & Darren Jordan at Anyway Mgmt. They are ‘live’ social net-workers, they do regular portfolio reviews, have probably met most art buyers for lunch and, as an added bonus, have a wonderful gallery in Brooklyn where they have had showings of all their photographers. These are always well attended and a lot of fun.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

The market has changed so much in the past 10 years, but one thing remains constant-people. You need to show them your vision, and something that stands out. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Really the simpler, the better. Especially when you are showing an art director. You hope that in someway your can inspire them.

When I first started out, I just showed 12 images of erasers, pencil shavings and pencils. Yes, a little scary, but people remembered, because nobody else was showing such a limited portfolio. When I lived in Paris, I showed a personal series on fruit, and the art director gave me a huge campaign for the then-new Renault Megane. I didn’t have a single car shot in my book! That was France. It rarely happens here in the US, as clients are more involved. You need to get an adrenaline kick out of showing your work, otherwise it’s no fun.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

I would say most of my work is personal work, and that’s what propels my commercial work. My personal work is really what pushes me artistically to break new ground, and my commercial work is more about the production aspect of how to create an image in a short period of time that will have my sense of aesthetics and fulfill the vision of both the client-and the Creative Director. I actually love that challenge.

How often are you shooting new work?

Well, not including my i-Phone, weekly.

Philip Habib, of Anglo-French heritage, was educated in London, Paris and Milan. He has been shooting commercially for over twenty years in Europe and the United States. His distinctive still-Life style has earned him industry acclaim numerous prestigious awards on both sides of the Atlantic. Advertising campaigns include Absolut, Smirnoff, Master Card, Canon, Sony, and Renault among others. Philip has lived and worked in New York since 1996, with his wife and three sons.

Contact: www.philiphabib.com

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


 

Art Producers Speak: Johann Wall

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Johann Wall. We use him all the time. He takes amazing photos of people and I love the way he always captures a person’s essence.

This is a portrait of the author Esi Edugyan. I like windows, cars, mirrors. Peaceful introspective moments.

I felt I needed to get some fishing pictures one day so I went salmon fishing with Patrick very early one morning. This is when the fog is burning off.

This was in Berlin. Again my love of mirrors and quiet moments.

This is Leeroy Stagger. We were photographing his press and record pictures. You sometimes have to go all over the province in your van just to get a great picture in your van.

A story about students at a particular school. I felt like this was the way to bring out this scene with vibrant colour and contrast.

This was the first campaign that I felt really utilized my way of seeing things and directing groups

Family landscape in Bulgaria. I rented an apartment there for a few months one year as I had fenced with a Bulgarian from Sofia in university.

The Hotel Vancouver. I often take people somewhere and just wander around seeing what we can come up with.

A cyclist in Sugoi.

One of my old favourites while working on a documentary film about exotic dancers.

West Coast of Vancouver Island, Okanagan Spring Beer!!

How many years have you been in business?

It must be coming up around 15 years now since I was consciously taking photographs that I wanted to show. More like 10 in a sort of commercial/editorial professional sense though.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

Both. I learned how to develop in the darkroom at the University of Victoria where I was enrolled in the writing program. A friend slipped me into the photojournalism lab and showed me the process.

When I moved to Liverpool, I was supposed to photograph the Manic Street Preachers for a little magazine so I went to the library to learn how to take photographs in the dark. Push processing! We set up a darkroom in the closet to develop.

The following year I received a grant to attend photo school for a year. I loved it, being able to learn, make friends and try out things without any concern other than photography. I assisted in London for a while as well as in Vancouver on gallery shoots. I liked London the best as I worked with a woman who shot country Vogue style advertising stories so we’d stay in castles and remote estates. She used almost exclusively modified natural light so there were a lot of massive reflectors and diffusers.

I’m glad I studied and assisted because I gained a real technical knowledge and understanding of creating and modifying light. I don’t usually use much equipment but I’m glad I know how to use it if necessary.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

I think my greatest influence was Wolfgang Tillmans’ first book. It’s a wonderful collection of photographs.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

I don’t know if I’m pushing the envelope! I just like making as beautiful a photograph as I can.

I like to think of all my work as one multilayered story which I keep adding to. I have a consistent aesthetic to my imagery and I am very happy that I’ve found that. I guess by creating new photographs I am keeping my work fresh. I don’t really like terms like pushing the envelope.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

I think people all respond to the storyline aspect of my photography. So they would expect me to create a story and usually that means I am instructed to do whatever it is I do to make that happen. I’ve been on tripods tethered a few times photographing group scenes where I’d normally be moving around amongst the talent whispering the odd instruction in their ears. So that was sort of limiting, as I couldn’t be right in the scene. I think that was the creative’s tethering me though, not the client.

I’ve been sent out on my own a lot, even on commercial jobs, to just bring back great pictures.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I send out some postcards now and then. If I’m in the right mood I’ll make up unique packages for people I like at magazines or agencies. I’ve always loved post and letters.

I do some email newsletters but I haven’t quite gotten used to that so they are not on much of a schedule. I get good interest when I do send them though!

Magazines are great.

Work with people who love Instagramming so you don’t have to spread the news yourself.

I sometimes have no idea how people hear about me though. I’ll get a call from a Zurich newspaper out of nowhere to shoot a story and wonder how that happened.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

I think everyone shows work they think people want to see. Whether a buyer wants to see it, you will never know until you show it to them. I don’t know what people want to see, and how can you?

My first website had 14 pictures on it and almost all of them were blurred because I really liked that look then. I got a national magazine cover and the photo editor said, “ Johann, we really love your pictures but would you mind not blurring this portrait?”

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Of course.

How often are you shooting new work?

I do try and photograph people as much as I can but I’m not someone that photographs everything they see. I like to have moments to think and then I do other things and then I’ll decide to make some new pictures. I like limiting my image making. I am creating new work in my mind a lot though.

Johann Wall is a Canadian photographer based in Vancouver.
Phone: 604 725 8865
Email : johann@johannwall.com
www.johannwall.com

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

Art Producers Speak: Peden+Munk

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Peden+Munk, these two young talented people, Jen and Taylor, work in a symbiotic mode I’ve never before seen. Each is a creative enthusiast and each has the technical acumen. There were times during the 2 day shoot in which they would seamlessly interchange roles while shooting.  After the shoot we walked away with a modern arsenal of imagery that helped to forge the success of our clients new website. I cannot say enough about the value reaped from the talent of this gifted team.

Manresa. Bon Appetit.

Egg Primer. Bon Appetit.

The Grilling Issue. Bon Appetit.

Campfire Potatoes. Bon Appetit.

Steve Livigni. Bartender. LA.

Pour Vous. LA.

PokPok. Bon Appetit.

Egg Primer. Bon Appetit.

Mark Houston. La Descarga.

Beer. Advertising Renaissance Hotels.

How many years have you been in business?
We have been shooting together for 7 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
For both of us it started with a passion for photography which led us to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Taylor’s father is a photographer – music, interiors, and portraits – and his mother was a creative director at Elizabeth Arden, so he grew up in a very artistic environment.

My father gave me his old Pentax when I was about 11 years old. I have been shooting ever since that day.

Then while at Art Center, renowned Los Angeles photographer Paul Jasmin encouraged us to work together. In his class we shot fashion and portraits and with his words, “show me where you live” in our head, we started to develop our narrative, story-telling style.

One of the first projects we shot under Jasmin’s tutelage was called “Breathless”. Inspired by the 1960 Godard film of the same name, we set out with two models and drove through the streets and alleys of Los Angeles abstractly interpreting some of our favorite scenes from the film. In the end we had a beautiful book of images and realized that our collaboration was something special.

Jasmin’s encouragement also gave us a great sense of freedom. It was liberating to know we could dream and conceptualize anything we wanted. More importantly, it pushed our photography in a direction where it had never gone before. Then the lines began to blur: whose image was whose? We realized it didn’t matter because we had spawned what is PEDEN+MUNK today. Jasmin is still an inspirational mentor.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Our subjects inspire us. Often that inspiration is more instinctual than intellectual. It’s a nuanced dance between capturing a moment and creating a reality.

We keep our work fresh by approaching it as storytellers, rather than as pure documentarians. One photograph can be powerful but we find creating a narrative with many images is more effective. It allows us to deeply engage the viewer so they understand what we see and how we see it.

Sometimes that narrative is revealed in the editing process. Of course we initially compose our images with a linear sense of what we believe the story to be but like any art, photography is fluid so we have to be able to adapt as we go. In the end, we create a focused representation with a clear beginning, middle and end.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
There are always politics in business. But the key to success is working hand in hand with the creatives to achieve the best possible work for the client. That means pushing the boundaries as far as you can, while keeping in mind that the commercial process is always a collaboration. The ideal day is when everyone feels like their vision was acknowledged, respected, and exceeded their expectations. That’s when solid teamwork can produce beautiful results.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Personal connections and networking are vital to our success. Whenever possible, we schedule one on one meetings. And we believe a strong promotional piece is one that will never be thrown away. It’s all about quality, simplicity and great design.

We also use Instagram. There we can connect with clients on a more personal level. It also lets people know where we are and what we’re working on. Additionally, we work with our agent, Jodi Rappaport, who is a loyal advocate. All of these tools help us develop our career and continue to do the work we love.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Be true to yourself. Only show work you’re passionate about and that represents what you want to do every day.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
We’re grateful that our assignments allow us to shoot artistically so the need to shoot personal work is fulfilled every day. We feel lucky to have this creative freedom.

How often are you shooting new work?
All the time.

Peden+Munk (Taylor Peden and Jen Munkvold) are a photography team based in NY and LA.
Their editorial work can be seen in Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Glamour, Gather Journal, and Garden & Gun. Other clients include: Electrolux, Newcastle, Renaissance Hotels, and Crate&Barrel. Peden+Munk also photographed THE GRILLING BOOK: The definitive guide from Bon Appetit.

Peden+Munk are represented by The Rappaport Agency. (www.rappagency.com)

Website: www.pedenmunk.com
Email: us@pedenmunk.com

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

Art Producers Speak: Sophie Ebrard

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Sophie Ebrard. I love her work and she was a joy to work with. Experimenting with natural light and preferring the surprise factor of film for her personal work are two factors among many that give her images a sense of genuine warmth. This is both rare and beautiful amongst the current climate of overly produced and manipulated images.

How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been shooting professionally for 3 years.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I’ve always been taking pictures. My dad is a keen photographer so in my childhood I always had access to a camera.
After graduating from university, I went straight into advertising. It felt like the right thing to do at the time. It took me almost a decade to realize that my childhood passion for photography was what I wanted to do for a living. Three years ago, I left my well-paid job and started a new career.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
Difficult question as there are so many talented people who I admire and who have inspired me. William Eggleston, Henri Cartier Bresson, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton…are some of the photographers who have had a great influence on how I approach my work.

But I would say, I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t had guidance by some of my very good friends who are also photographers. They have inspired me since the beginning of this journey.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
As a photographer, you are constantly trying to find your voice. You can only find it by trying new things and be in the constant look out for projects that suit you. If you stay true to yourself, you will ultimately find a voice, yours. The result will be new, fresh and hopefully inspiring to others. If you like the result, there’s a good chance someone will notice it and will want to hire you for that.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
Today consumers are bored of overly produced and manipulated images so brands want documentary style images: reality a little bit enhanced.
They want some of the grittiness, but is has to look beautiful.

I believe possess a good eye for reality. I have an instinct for finding the beautiful in the supremely ordinary. I like to make normal things appear special. My style seems to appeals to both art directors and clients. So far, I’ve been lucky enough to work with great clients and art directors who like the way I see the world and who share my vision of the work.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
I try to keep my website updated by posting some new work regularly. I use social medias. But I would say my agents in London and in the US do most of the work. I’m fortunate enough to have great representation.

I’m working at the moment on my first solo exhibition. The project “Porn Set” (working title) is a series of visual investigations into the porn industry. I have followed a director on his shoots for the last two years (in LA, UK, Spain…). As a woman, I’ve tried to capture the beauty and aesthetics of the human body instead of focusing on the sexual encounter, and the primal nature of sex. We rarely see the behind the scenes, the beauty and the emotion that comes out of it. My eye was focusing on the essence of the beauty of the moment.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Never do work primarily because you think it will sell. Never compromise. The minute you do so, you lose your edge. Margaret Thatcher once said: “ If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromised on anything at anytime, and would achieve nothing”. Not sure I would want to comment on her politics but this sentence seems very true for me as a photographer.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
As a photographer, you need to be feeding your soul as much as possible. Shooting commissioned work allows me to have the freedom to shoot as many personal projects as I want. It’s art and commerce.

How often are you shooting new work?
As often as possible. For personal projects, I mainly shoot when I’m abroad. Light is very important in my life and in my work. And I like being in another country. It makes me look at things differently and pay attention to simple details, much more than I would in my day-to-day life. I try to use natural lighting as much as possible. I love to play with flare, contrasts, light and the shadows.

SOPHIE EBRARD
www.sophieebrard.com

REPRESENTED BY

* Wyatt Clarke&Jones (Worldwide)
www.wyattclarkejones.com
+44 20 7580 7570
james@wyattclarkejones.com

* Judi Shin (USA)
www.i2iphoto.com
+1 (917) 721-5385
judi@i2iphoto.com

Sophie Ebrard is a French, London based photographer. She has in the past shot commissioned work for companies including Adidas, Monocle magazine, Stella Artois, EMI music…

Sophie Ebrard’s photographs are as eclectic and full of life as the photographer herself. Experimenting with natural light and preferring the surprise-factor of film for her personal work are two factors among many that give Sophie’s images a sense of genuine warmth. This is both rare and beautiful amongst the current climate of overly produced and manipulated images. Yet she is not flippant in her art, choosing to connect with the subjects in her photographs on a personal level. Even her pictures that are absent of people aren’t without their own touch of personality and narrative. Sophie’s work is straight from the heart, and comes from her unyielding passion for photography, storytelling and light.

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

 

Art Producers Speak: Andrew Reilly

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Andrew Reilly. Aside from talent for creating an image without it coming off as contrived or staged, he is one of the most even-keeled photographers I’ve had the pleasure to meet; his disposition conveys itself to his subjects as well, resulting in creative apogee.

This is from a recent shoot for JanSport (via the agency teak digital). An amazing project a 10- day road trip from San Francisco to Austin for SXSW...we had a great group of people an all keep in touch.

This is from the same JanSport shoot...while waiting for a light to change I asked a few of the models to run around the street with their lucha libre masks..The combination of set up shoots as well as spontaneity made this an ideal project.

This is an image from a series of a friend skating a well-known spot, “the pit”.

Over the last year or so I have traveled with the band J Roddy Walston and the Business...this image comes from that series.

A random portrait I shot in San Diego.

A personal test kids at night.

Another image from my shoot for JanSport...pulled over along the side of the road rushing to take advantage of the light.

A test shoot in Los Angeles.

This was shot for UGLY motorbikes a custom build shop in Southern California.

From a series on the band Dead Feather Moon.

A personal test kids at night.

A test shoot in San Diego.

A portrait from the pro-bono work I did for the ABC Youth Boxing Foundation.

How many years have you been in business?
I have been shooting commercially for about 4 years now but always seemed to have a camera around and was shooting for myself year’s prior.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught? 

I am self-taught but there have been previous careers, which have translated well to my career as a photographer (most notably working in the editing department of several national TV productions).

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
My grandfather, an avid amateur photographer.  

He was an architect in the Pittsburgh area, where I grew up.  He got to a point in his life when he no longer was able to use a camera as effectively as he had and passed all of his equipment on to me.  

I first started shooting urban scenes and would often take those images over to his place and have him review and critique them.  He was always very honest in his critique which at times was difficult but made me all the more proud when he liked an image…and in time he liked more and more of the images i was presenting.  I am honored to have had that time and those memories with him.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Much of what I shoot is based on my past…I shoot quite a bit of kids/teens/youth lifestyle and have found that these images show in some ways the life I have lived in my youth (what I did or wished I had done).  I think it is that touch of reality that people connect to and provides the room to be called fresh and creative as opposed to contrived.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
I have been very fortunate to work with very creative clients who have trusted my work and me.  Each job certainly presents its own unique challenges, but establishing a high level of communication between all allows for creativity from you, the agency, and the client.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
This year I have really placed a focused on setting up meetings with art buyers/art producers. I was recently in Chicago/Minneapolis for an assignment and added a few days to my trip. With the assistance of my rep we were able to setup 16 reviews between the two cities.

Prior to that I attended the NYC fotoworks LA event and was able to get in front of some great art buyers/producers. I have also set up several reviews on my own around Los Angeles or on various trips to San Francisco. In the next month I have a job in Boston and will set aside a day or two for meetings.

Aside from these face-to-face meetings I am also using various social media outlets (tumblr, instagram, facebook, twitter, blogs, etc), source books, direct mail pieces, and of course email promos.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
Shoot what you love in the way that you love it.  In doing so people will connect to your work more honestly and get a sense of whom you are and what you are trying to present.  You will also be more content doing the work you love as opposed to chasing after something you think someone wants to see.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes, always and very much so.  

I predominantly get hired to shoot people in commercial assignments, so with my personal work I tend to mix up the content as much as possible whether its landscape, architecture, or street photography…

I also feel it is important to use a variety of cameras (film, Polaroid, point and shoot digital, phone, or video) as each provides a different perspective of your subject which may later be translated into the project you are getting hired to shoot.

How often are you shooting new work?
I’m shooting new material all the time and try to make a point of shooting a larger project at least once a month.

A goal at the beginning of this year had been to donate my time/photography to a local charity…after searching around I stumbled upon a local foundation, ABC youth foundation, which assists at risk youth by structuring an educational program around boxing. After contacting the foundation I shot a few images for the program, which will be used on their site and various promos. The foundation also plans to use several images in a silent auction to help raise money for the program.

For me new work such as this recent pro-bono collaboration along with my usually personal work/testing really helps keeps my client work fresh and relevant…plus I just really love photography and shoot as often as I can.

Andrew Reilly is a Southern California based photographer traveling and shooting often for clients such as JanSport, Toyota, EA Sports, Mattel, Bank of the West, and many others.

www.andrewreillyphotography.com
andrew@andrewreillyphotography.com
443.676.1926

Artist’s rep
www.emissaryartists.com
liz@emissaryartists.com

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

Art Producers Speak: Mathew Scott

- - Art Producers Speak

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

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Mathew Scott with Hello Artist.  He is brilliant and has worked with us on several projects.

From the series "Jerkin Crews, Los Angeles" photographed for XLR8R Magazine

Sonia Boyjian, photographed for Russian Vogue

Toro y Moi, photographed for Nylon

Seu Jorge, photographed for Now and Again Record.

Adam "Doseone" Drucker, photographed for Anticon Records

Heather Fedewa, of Wax Idols, photographed for Self Titled.

I shot this while on an assignment, using Coachella as the theme for the shoot... This was a pretty hectic three days.

This is from a few days of shooting for myself, while exploring parts of California I had not yet been to. This image was taken in Palm Desert, CA.

Out-take from a shoot in Mission Beach, San Diego.

This was shot in the farm lands of Illinois, while working on one of my first advertising assignments.

From a shoot in San Francisco featuring Wildfox swimwear.

How many years have you been in business?

I have been shooting for about 6 years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?

I studied photography at the Academy of Art, in San Francisco. I also feel like I learned a lot from actual experience, especially those first few years out of school. I’d say it’s a good mix of both.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?

I have had many different influences through the years, when I was in school, I was motivated by the creative environment I was in, seeing what everyone else was creating, and really getting an idea of what was possible. After school, I had the opportunity to assist some very busy, and talented photographers. That really helped ease the uncertainty I was feeling about being a freelancer, and motivated me to stay focused, and keep working. A few of my early influences, and people who’s work I still admire would be Arnold Newman, Larry Sultan, Jim Goldberg, Joel Sternfeld, and William Eggleston… Just to name a few.

How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?

My inspiration comes from the fact that I do what I love for a living. Every assignment presents new challenges, and I really enjoy that. The feeling you get when you work through an idea, trying different things that might not be working, then you get that moment where everything comes together… That feeling never gets old. I am always trying to one up myself, trying to make each image my new favorite photograph. It can be a little unhealthy at times, but it’s what keeps me going.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

That has not been an issue as of yet. I feel the assignments I get allow me to be creative, but I also go into a shoot knowing that I am there to create images for someone who has specific needs. Sometimes I get the chance to shoot my own variations, and they end up working out, sometimes I don’t. Either way, I get to bring someone’s idea to life, which is something I really enjoy doing.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?

I use social media quite a bit, mainly Tumblr. It’s a really easy and effective way to get your work in front of a lot of people. I also send out the standard emails, promo cards and booklets, as well as face-to-face meetings. I try to use as many methods as I can, and stick with the ones that work.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?

I’ve always thought that trying to cater to everyone sounded impossible, so just show what you truly enjoy shooting, and keep your edit tight. I feel that showing personal work can be a great way for people to get an idea of who you are, so I always try to show personal projects that I have shot, or am working on.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

I am. I just finished up a few shoots with a friend of mine, who is a great stylist. We both had some down time, and decided to work together on a few ideas. I also have a couple other personal projects I am working on. I don’t tend to force those, as there is never really a deadline, so when it feels right, I will head out and shoot for a while.

How often are you shooting new work?

I try and shoot as often as possible, on average, probably once or twice a week. I don’t really like sitting around, so when I get the chance to work on something new, it’s always welcomed.

Mathew Scott was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. At age 21 he moved to San Francisco, where he studied photography at the Academy of Art. Mathew currently splits his time between San Francisco and Los Angeles, working on a variety of commercial, editorial, and personal projects.

www.mathewscott.com

represented by Hello Artists-  www.helloartists.com

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