The Daily Edit – New York Magazine: Tim O’Brien


New York Magazine

Design Director: Thomas Alberty
Illustrator: Tim O’Brien

Heidi: Were you aware they were not going to run cover lines or was that a surprise and a testament to the power of art?
I initially worked up a very quick comp, which was e-mailed back with a size adjustment and some minimal type.   I don’t really focus on type unless a client has a ton of type to deal with and needs me to know, to provide more area for it.  I do think that minimal type with a strong visual can make a cover more powerful, but a clever tag also adds to the art at times.  A story has to be fully understood, so universally known to be able to run without type.  I do not know the decision making in this instance but am glad it ran without type, of course.

How did this idea come about?
The prompt was that Cuomo may be leaving, and it is the end of a dynasty.  The initial sketch had a Mario Cuomo element.  Quickly it became about a resignation that already will have happened, so that was likely a more significant point to cover as a cover story.  Had the story started a resignation, perhaps this image might not have happened.  It is a story of leaving, of ending, of removal, of vanishing.  Visual analogies based on this premise would have been a starting point.  Removing a portrait from a wall meant as an honor is quite a demotion.  Naturally, a formal portrait would have a full upper torso involved, but to get Cuomo’s head bigger for a quick audience read, it had to come in closer.

How much iteration did you do from your first sketch?
This was a fast-paced situation, so it was pretty streamlined. Usually, a client needs to see a few approaches, but when something is fluid, and a quick sketch starts the conversation, we needed to build a boat while paddling.

Is this your first time working on a dynamic political situation/assignment?
No, I’ve been an illustrator for over 30 years.  I’ve done covers for New York Magazine for a few decades now and many covers of magazines, most notably over 30 time covers, including the Bin Laden X cover and the Trump underwater series.

How does photography influence your work? or what other creative outlets do you have aside from your illustration work?
As a student, to get photo-reference, I was trained as a photographer.  I really don’t follow other realist illustrators, though I admire and respect their work.  I tend to look for problem solvers and those with the ability to create evocative, poignant moments.  This is often photography.  Robert Frank was an early influence.  To be very honest, working with talented art directors has taught me so much about image placement and how to pare down an idea to essential elements.  I’m always a student.

Is your work space quiet or filled with the news and music in the background?
If I am doing sketches or reading a manuscript, I need the silence of music without words.  However, once I start doing the final art, I often listen to the news as it is happening, or listen to music or binge-watch things I’ve seen before, so I don’t have to look at the screen.

Tell us about your collaborations
As for collaboration, several years ago, I had a mid-career retrospective of my work at a local university. It was a nice honor, but in doing its curation, I began to really recognize that almost all of the work came from a talented art director who reached out. Some of the ideas were mine, some were from all these creators, and I really could see just how much of my career highlights is owed to working with others. I get to take a few bows here and there, but it is a collaboration that is the key to my longevity. These client platforms raise the art to a level that makes the pieces more meaningful. A TIME or New York Magazine logo drives home the poignancy.
For this project, I worked with New York Magazine’s Design Director, Thomas Alberty.

The Daily Edit – Plotting for Change: Kriston Jae Bethel


Photographer: Kriston Jae Bethel

Heidi: Along with taking photographs, what else are you involved in?
Kriston: I’m definitely the kind of person that needs to be doing something! Right now, I’m the head girl’s cross country coach at my high school alma mater in suburban Philadelphia. Cross country taught me so much about pushing past my limits and how hard work can lead to success, and it’s great to be able to pass on these lessons. It’s incredibly important to me that these young women gain these experiences, learning that they can accomplish so much, both on their own and with the help of a team.

I also teach from time to time as an adjunct instructor in the journalism department of my other alma mater, Temple University. I never saw myself as a teacher, but mentoring young journalists is a great way to give back to the university that believed in me and set me up for the success I’ve had today.

Aside from that, I started playing music when I was 8 years old, taking after my father in that regard, and play about four instruments, in addition to singing. I mostly spend my time singing at karaoke these days (aside from the pandemic). In the past year, I’ve also really gotten into rock climbing. Its been great seeing my progress from a beginner at V0 and no rope experience, to more intermediate sends of V6 and 5.11c, some getting lead certified. While this has mostly been in a gym with a mask on, I’m excited to see where these new skills will take me

How much time did you spend at the farm?

I spent a couple hours at the farm, as Devon and Daekweon showed me around. They’ve built up a lot! It was great to just meander about with them and hear about all the work they’ve put into it. They both were very generous with their time, despite Daekweon having another engagement scheduled. Having photographed politics and sports, it’s always a blessing to not feel rushed to photograph, edit and file!


How did you connect with Devon?
Devon and I mostly talked about the meaning of Life Do Grow Farm. You see, it represents more than just an urban farm, but the idea that Black people can have ownership of their land, something that has been kept from us for generations. First as slaves, then as share croppers, and even today, with the difficulty in which Black farms and businesses struggle to receive loans. I do think there’s something wonderful that only a century and a half ago, a man like Devon would likely have been forced to work the land. Now, he’s his own master and the prosperity he’s worked to build can be passed down, while benefiting his community. I think a lot of people misunderstand photographers as thoughtless button pressers. The truth is, we need to have an understanding of what it is we’re creating, if we want our work to have meaning.
Having covered Philadelphia for years, I talked to him about what it means to be a Black man with a farm in North Philadelphia, a section of the city that is often only talked about in terms of gun violence. I remember saying to him, “Who says North Philly can’t be beautiful?” And it’s true, as long as there is the will and proper support to help make that happen.

How long did you wait before pulling out the camera?
When I first pulled up, I don’t even remember if I took my camera out of the car. Sometimes I don’t, I just want to give someone a chance to know me before I start putting a camera between us. We probably had a relaxed conversation for about 5 to 10 minutes, just to hear about his day (spoiler: it was extremely hot) and what he was working on. Since this was for a brand, I also made a wardrobe suggestion and living near the farm, Devon was able to make a quick change. In the meantime, I hung out with Daekweon and some other staff from the farm. They had just come back from a trip to New Orleans and we’re feeling really inspired.
When the camera does come up, I make sure to tell people that I’m still listening to them, so they don’t feel like I’m ignoring them or that they need to do anything different. You never know what kind of experience someone has had with photographers in the past and establishing that trust is a key part of my process.

Tell us about the moment they were on the bench smiling.
So that was actually pretty simple. I saw the light and asked Devon and Daekweon to grab a seat on the bench. Then we all just talked. I positioned myself pretty far back with a long lens, so they could could feel like they were together, while staying engaged with them the whole time. They really do love one another and it was really important that I capture that. One of them made a joke and they both lit up with laughter. Again, when thinking of how Black men are frequently portrayed in media, I feel a responsibility to break those stereotypes and show that we are capable of strength through love.

 

Kriston Jae Bethel

610-213-6978

www.kjbethel.com

INSTAGRAM  |  TWITTER  |  VIMEO

The Daily Edit – Jeremy Koreski


Jeremy Koreski

Heidi: You’ve spent your entire life in Tofino, Vancouver Island, how has living there informed your photography?
Jeremy: Growing up in Tofino definitely influenced the way I see the world. My parents were always taking my siblings and I on adventures and would try to do at least one international trip a year. Looking back I didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time until I started seeing other parts of the world.

Have you ever lived anywhere else? 
After graduating high school I spent a few years living in Europe and then spent two years studying photography in Vancouver.

You published This is Nowhere in 2015, how did your work evolve from that process? 
When I first thought of publishing This is Nowhere, it was the first time I felt I’d created a body of work worth showing. It featured places I like to go, places I like to explore, my backyard and places that I feel are important to preserve. The process only deepened an interest in exploring and documenting more of my backyard.

Are you revisiting any of the same areas to show progress in preservation, or lack thereof?
There are places that have actually changed before our eyes while on trips. During evenings at one of my favorite camp spots we watched across the channel as trees were felled and logging trucks worked around the clock to extract an old growth hillside.

You recently photographed TJ Watt of the Ancient Forest Alliance for Patagonia’s The Cleanest Line. The photos are both haunting and beautiful, how does a project like that impact you?
It’s very impactful to be moving through active logging zones, one minute you are sitting next to a 1000 year old cedar in a pristine old growth forest  and the next you are in the middle of a clearcut the size of a football field where the destruction feels like a war zone. I do try and see both sides of the argument and would 100% back a well managed forestry industry, but I disagree with cutting any more old growth. Once the last of the old growth trees are cut they’re gone for good.

Does the impact change once you get distance on the work?
Honestly I feel more impacted when in the field shooting. For me it really hits home that even though not everyone agrees with each other we need to find a way to come together and figure out the best path forward. Unfortunately when it comes to environmental issues they seem to be more and more polarized and that’s not going to get us anywhere. I really do think that we as a human race need to find a way to work together no matter what our opinions might be.

How did you and TJ meet? 
TJ and I met at a photography show he and I were both participating in. It was organized by a mutual friend.

When TJ and I finally agreed on a day to meet up we drove for about two hours to one of the environmentalist roadblocks and unfortunately arrived 5 minutes after they’d put into motion a drill. For the next couple of hours we hung and chatted until the road was opened up again.

What struck you about TJ and his work?
Something that impressed me about hanging out with TJ was his passion for large old growth trees. He’d seen some new aerial imagery of the area and had spotted a massive crown of old growth cedar in one of the photos. He’d never noticed it until the forest near it was cutdown. We had to hike in a little ways to get to the base, but it was a must stop on the way home.

 

The Daily Edit – 400 Years Project: Sarah Stacke

This is a photograph of Genevieve Iron Lightning of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation from a series made to pay homage to our ancestors being captured in time and forever “changing the narrative” of our people in photography. Spearfish, South Dakota. January 2021. Photograph by Eunice Straight Head
Dr. Sara Jumping Eagle Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge. Resides and works on Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Pediatrician & Adolescent Medicine specialist, Mother and wife. “Save our children, Save our future, Save sacred places. We are here to protect our land and our water. Our thoughts for the future go seven generations.“  Photograph by Erika Larsen

A young Cahuilla boy explores his tribal lands. Photograph by Gabrielle Norte

An Iraqi Golden Division Counter Terrorism Unit Humvee drives towards the frontline in Mosul as two residents carry a white flag on Nov 12, 2016. The Golden Division suffered over 50% casualties retaking the city from the Islamic State during the Battle of Mosul. Photograph by Gavin Bryan John
The work of Kali Spitzer (Kaska Dena & Jewish) embraces the stories of BIPOC, queer and trans people, creating representations that are self-determined. This traditional tintype photo of Larissa Lorraine Grieves (Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Cree, Blackfoot from the Pikuni Nation, Metis, Swedish, Irish and Scottish) was made in 2021.
Inside his studio in Asheville, North Carolina, artsist John Henry Gloyne (Eastern Cherokee, Pawnee, Osage) adds the finishing touches to a painting titled, “The Process of Weeding Out.” October 9, 2020. Photograph by Madison Hye Long
Courageously Take a Stand – July 3, 2021, marks the 300th anniversary of Hans Egede’s arrival to Nuup Kangerlua, Greenland, with the mission of reestablishing contact with the Norse settlers, who occupied this region in the southwest of the country from 986 until c. 1400. Egede’s mission was to convert the settlers from Catholicism to Protestantism. He found no trace of the Norse and instead found the Inuit. With permission from the Danish Crown, Egede shifted his mission toward converting the Inuit to the Christian faith and began the colonization of Greenland. With diptychs made from archival images by John Møller, the first Greenlander to work as a photographer, who was active in Greenland from the early 1890s through the mid 1920s, and images made by me, I’m having photographic conversations with the past. The theme of these conversations is centered around colonialism and its long-term effects. Photograph and words by Minik Bidstrup
Dana Daylight. From the series “Osage Cooks” Photograph by Ryan RedCorn.
This photo was created in 2012 to share Christopher Chavez’s concerns regarding water rights and the significance water holds in his culture and village of Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domingo) but also to engage others in thinking about the precious resource of water and how it affects all of us in New Mexico. Photograph by Shayla Blatchford.
Elder Joyce “Hoh Tin Ee Mi” Big Soldier stands in the dance arena of the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. She is a respected elder of the tribe and participates in many tribal dances and ceremonies. Location: Perkins, Oklahoma. 2019. Photograph by Tom Fields


The 400 Years Project

Founder: Brian Adams
Founder: Sarah Stacke
Founder: Sheena Brings Plenty

Background info:
The 400 Years Project looks at the evolution of Native American identity, rights, and representation, and provides opportunities to Native storytellers across the Americas. The Mayflower and its aftermath has become the first and most culturally iconic story told to many young Americans about the country’s founding and initial relationships with Native people. But the stories they’re told of flourishing friendships, discoveries, and untouched wilderness are harmful myths. It’s well documented that the Vikings explored North America in the 10th century, and of course Columbus landed in 1492 carrying disease, death, enslavement, and displacement. By 1650 –– 30 years after the Mayflower –– an estimated 90% of Native people had died from European diseases.

Using the Mayflower’s 400-year anniversary as a jumping off point, Brian, Sheena, and I wanted to create something that provided a narrative of Native empowerment and also recognized the devastating effects of colonization.

Have you noticed an increased interest in your project as we reckon with a long overdue shift towards greater cultural acknowledgement and representation?
We’ve received many gestures of support since we launched last year. 400 Years has been invited to speak at several venues including universities, photography summits, and organizations interested in archives. We’ve gotten a number of emails from people who are using the platform as a resource for research or have questions about where to find more information. Our Instagram community has also grown tremendously in recent months and we increasingly see the work of 400 Years contributors in major publications, which is awesome.

What were the challenges or unforeseen obstacles for this project?
The biggest expected challenge has been securing funding to commission more photo and text essays. As founders we haven’t paid ourselves. We hope to do that eventually, but the priority has been paying the authors, photographers, and photo editors for commissioned and licensed work.

We’re always looking for ways to raise funds for future photo essays and other work. The total compensation offered to the photographer + photo editor currently ranges between $2100 and $2900 for each photo essay. The texts and special projects vary in cost.

An unforeseen obstacle was finding a publication to feature the collective when we launched in November 2020. In The 400 Years Project, the issues addressed are not tidy and history is not linear. We’re grateful for recent press like NPR, BuzzFeed, and aPhotoEditor.

The resilience of the virtual pow wows was powerful. Did any other projects form due to COVID restrictions? (that project was particularly reflective of the times)
Tailyr’s story about the virtual pow wows in the times of Covid-19 was exceptional, I agree. As far as I know, none of the other projects formed due to the ways the pandemic was restricting cultural lifeways and traditions, but I imagine the processes the photographers used to create their series were affected in one way or the other by the pandemic.
Overall, the pandemic was a persuasive reminder how fiercely the keepers of knowledge need to be protected and why the commitment to preserving and recording stories is as urgent as ever.

How did this project inform your own work as a photographer?
As a photographer, storyteller, and human I am constantly learning and I have the people who share their lives with me to thank for that. I look for stories that bring a solutions-focused balance to the narrative of underrepresented people and places. 400 Years has informed that approach. It has also reaffirmed the importance of giving back and getting out of the way.

What power you see in collectives?
Along with helping storytellers document their own communities and providing avenues for the stories to reach broad audiences, our goal at 400 Years is to create a groundbreaking pictorial collection of Native America by Native artists and allies. We certainly want the opportunities and visibility generated by 400 Years to contribute to a more equitable media industry. We are also firmly dedicated to supporting the creation of work that falls outside of the editorial template, or any known template, and is a critical addition to the history of photography. That’s the power I see in the 400 Years collective.

Have any of these images gotten licensed?
NPR licensed photos for a recent feature. National Geographic has also been very supportive of 400 Years. Through an assignment they funded a portion of “Cherokee Lands.” And the National Geographic Emergency Fund for Journalists provided funding for the creation of work about the response to the Covid-19 vaccine by four 400 Years contributors

Who curates the library portion of the project and how is this list different from other collectives that bring balance to native storytellers?
Sheena Brings Plenty curates the contemporary photographers included in the library and I curate the historical photographers.

The 400 Years Library is different from other collectives because we include historical photographers plus a range of contemporary photographers from enthusiasts, to emerging, to professional. Our criteria is that the person is Native and is dedicated to the craft of photography.

Amos Dick (elder) and Joseph Glada tending to their moose meat in 2019 outside of Ross River at Amos’s cabin. Photograph by Robby Dick.
Cherokee Female Seminary graduating class, 1902. Oklahoma Historical Society, Jennie Ross Cobb Collection.
“A portrait of an Indian woman.” c. 1902-1933. Image courtesy of Richard Throssel Papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

We chose this approach because it contributes to an understanding that cameras have been in the hands of Native photographers since the invention of the medium and Native people have incorporated photography into their lifeways since the 1800s, both as patrons and creators. We want to take concrete steps toward decolonizing the archive. The inclusion of enthusiasts and emerging photographers alongside professionals leaves room for vital stories, perspectives, and styles of photography that don’t typically find a place in popular media publications.

Tell us about the artist in residence program.
At its core it is a place for photographers and other storytellers to collaborate with 400 Years. It’s not a one size fits all residence. We’re interested in working with photographers, writers, archivists, historians, and others to create and share work that sheds new light on the understanding of Native America. With the first artist in residence, Minik Bidstrup, we supported him as he made a series of diptychs using archival and contemporary photographs. Vanessa Tignanelli, the second artist in residence, is working with Nippising First Nation on a story about the decolonization of the land and we are providing mentorship as she develops the work.

Had you done a collective previously?
This is my first rodeo with a collective. Brian Adams is founder of Indigenous Photograph.

Will you be adding to the photo essays?
Absolutely. In the coming weeks a new photo essay by Minik Bidstrup will be added to the collection. He was the recipient of our first open grant call. We’ll also be adding the work about the response to the vaccine that was funded by Nat Geo.

Click here for more information or how to include your photography in our 400 Years Project.

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – The New Yorker: Evan Angelastro


The New Yorker

Senior Photo Editor: Marvin Orellana
Photographer: Evan Angelastro

Heidi: How did this project come about for The New Yorker?
Evan: I was contacted by Marvin Orellana, a senior photo editor from the magazine to photograph this scenario of a classic VW Bug being installed inside the MoMA. I’m so happy we were able to collaborate on this shoot and I was really excited that it was so focused on two worlds I love colliding, cars & art.

Did you scout the location for this image?
I had about 15 minutes prior to shooting the car to get my sense of the space & track the route the vehicle would take from the elevator to the gallery – although I’m a fan of the MoMA & have been many times before.

What was the direction from the magazine?
The magazine was looking for one standout image of the installation occurring – specifically the process of the installation, wheeling the vehicle in.

Did you follow the car drop point to the building?
I followed the car from exiting the MoMA elevator to its home in the gallery – probably about 200 ft. The whole process lasted about 3 minutes & to be honest it’s a type of scenario that I really love being in, with something very interesting happening very quickly. The thrill is wonderful. Also seeing the MoMA freight elevator & behind the scenes action at my favorite museum was very, very cool.

Overall, it was a quick, exciting experience & something I’m very grateful to have been able to work on with Marvin and the New Yorker.

The Daily Edit – Vogue India: Snigdha Kulkarni


Vogue India Digital Cover


Art Director: Snigdha Kulkarni
Photographer: Shane McCauley
Fashion Stylist: Ria Kamat

Heidi: How did you art direct from Bombay?
Snigdha: The unexpected covid lockdown initiated art direction and shoots across borders. With remote shoots becoming the norm, team Vogue India could reach out to creatives across the globe and collaborate with them even more easily. I had the pleasure of remotely art directing the very exciting January 2021 Janina Gavankar digital cover in California; while pulling an all-nighter here in Bombay. It was my first cover experience, definitely a memorable one.
We started off with ample planning and prior discussions over several calls. The actual shoot was all done on one long zoom video call, while we coordinated with the on-ground team in LA. Shane McCauley, our very talented photographer was our eyes and ears. Four steaming cups of coffee, twelve look changes and about seven hours later when I almost caught the sunrise in Bombay we called it a wrap!

How did the concept come about?
For our January issue we were looking at a fresh start, a new beginning away from the initial chaos of the pandemic. Our theme was a ‘2021 vision board’ – all things we expected from this new year. We aspired to be outdoors, carefree, happy and joyous. Thus the fashion was kept minimal, the hair was wispy and natural, the make up balmy and bare. I visualised it to be a reflection of 2020, a year we slowed down and connected with nature.

Why California?
Our direction for the shoot was very clear and I could instantly picture it – organic and raw under the California sun. Los Angeles as it is surrounded by mountains made for a stunning backdrop and the most beautiful natural scenery.

How long have you been at Vogue and what are your duties?
It has been over 3 years at Vogue, in my time here my duties have vastly expanded. As a designer I have always been keen to broaden my boundaries. From editorial design, art directing shoots, working on brand design, digital events and commissioning artworks I have also delved into some illustrations for the magazine. I frequently write online articles for our Vogue.in website (with a little push from my editor Priya Tanna) which has helped me hone my communication skills – something I will always be thankful for.

How much digital work are you doing?
Amongst many, one of the largest digital assets I enjoyed working on has been our first digital event, the Vogue Beauty Festival. Spearheading the design language and supervising multiple design teams for two consecutive years now has been a thrilling experience. The design language extends onto the event website, social media promotions, event design, marketing and PR plans, etc. as I design and look into the details.

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – Ankita Chandra: Vogue Arabia


Vogue Arabia

Photographer + Creative Direction: Ankita Chandra

Heidi: Was this the first time women were involved in UAE camel racing?
Ankita: Yes, the two all-women camel riding groups we trailed for this feature are both the frontrunners of women camel racers in the UAE: The Arabian Desert Camel Riding Centre (ADCRC) and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC)

How were they received, smashing stereotypes doesn’t come easy.
Even though in camel racing is entrenched in Emirati culture, it has historically been male dominated. In a country where women have enrolled in the army and run for election, female representation in camel racing is a fairly recent development. Just this year in January, the first ever all-women racing team was set up and I think it’s only a reflection of the changing times in this region. Women are slowly but surely staking their claim in various aspects of Emirati culture and social norms – taking their equal place in society – which is largely encouraged and received well.

Did  you encounter any opposition pitching this idea?
Not at all, ideas like these are encouraged and welcomed at Vogue – that is actually one of my most favorite things about working here at Vogue Arabia – that we’re constantly pushing the envelope and dive into real women stories here in the Middle East. What I particularly find rewarding as a photographer and journalist is being able to tap into women’s stories and relay them from a woman’s lens – something I increasingly find to be a profoundly underrated perspective.

How long are the races typically?
Typically in a camel race, distances range from 2.5 miles (4 km) for younger animals to 6 miles (10 km) – and the race lasting anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes.

Were there any difficulties with the shoot, the desert is a harsh environment.
This shoot was probably one of the most difficult (and naturally, most rewarding) shoots I have ever done! Turns out, camels can be moody beasts! It was a 11 hour shoot, deep into the wild deserts of Dubai – with me running up and down the dunes for hours, orchestrating some of the group shots of the women on their camels, in the sweltering desert heat. It took everything in me to get it right. I also learned the hard way that Camels are very unlike horses – once they walk a stretch, there’s no going back!

 

The Daily Edit – Christopher Dowell

Chris Dowell

Heidi: What circumstances led up to photographing that stand of trees? It’s much more abstract than most of your work.
Chris: After spending most of the winter cooped up in my tiny apartment in Chicago, I was determined to escape for a week to our family cabin in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. I wanted to catch the last few days of small game season and to see our property in the winter for the first time. It ended up being an unsuccessful hunting trip due to the few feet of snow from a recent storm. I decided to relax, take in the harsh beauty of winter, and make some photographs. The thing that stood out the most was the view of the island from the sky, our family refers to it as “Blueberry Island”, but it has no official name. Usually cut off from the rest of the woods in the warmer months, it was now re-connected to the woods and the animals that surround it. It was such an incredible reminder of the ebb and flow of the seasons; something so inaccessible in perfect weather becomes shelter and fresh forage in a bitter winter.

Tell us about the tracks in the snow.
I always love finding tracks, especially in the winter when you can follow them for miles or until you bump into whoever has been making them. They are like a journal of that animal’s day; they stopped here for a bite, got spooked by something, bedded down for a nap. I wish I could identify all of the tracks going to and from the island. I know there are plenty of whitetail deer, coyotes, and even a pack of wolves. I love how the snowmobile mixed with the tracks, a visual reminder of how intertwined man and nature are.

Why black and white?
When I shot this image it was a fairly gloomy overcast. Any shades of brown in the trees that might of come through on a sunny day were completely washed out and grey. I decided to commit to the muted palette and let the beauty of the tracks and abstract patterns they made stand out. This image was a Finalist for Modern Huntsman‘s first photo contest.

What projects have you been photographing?
Right before Covid hit, I started to look into different types of sustainable agriculture and hunting. When the pandemic came down in full force and we watched the grocery store shelves empty, I decided to start photographing farmers in my area. I wanted to understand what the local agriculture system looks like and what it means to provide for yourself. I found it fascinating that a network of small farms can be much more stable than these large corporate producers. I started visiting local farms and started to learn to hunt in earnest. It is so fulfilling to not only learn about their stories but to get to see them in action as well. Each farm I visit becomes a short photo story of their land, crops, or livestock aided by portraits. These are the stories that need to be told in order to help us appreciate where our food comes from and what it takes to get it. My goal is that these small visual histories will help reach audiences that might not normally give where their meat and veggies come from a second thought.

How is your panic garden doing a year later?
Flourishing! My Fiance and I have since moved away but my dad has expanded it, and it is now a small community garden with some of the other families in the neighborhood planting and tending to it.

How has wildland firefighting influenced your photography?
It helped solidify a shift in my work and propel the next stage of my career. In school, I was shooting a lot of fashion and surf. But it wasn’t until I started working on documentary-style photography later in my college career that I started to know where my passion and purpose would be in photography.  When I first arrived in Montana, I really wasn’t sure which professional direction would help me fulfill my goal of being a documentary photographer. Having a life-changing opportunity to fight wildfires in Montana gave me some space from my photography work and showed me the power our world has to destroy and create despite any plans we might have. It taught me how capable people are when truly pushed, and how important training and preparedness are, no matter what you are doing. I wanted to bring these lessons into my work and what I chose to photograph.


 

The Daily Edit – Architectural Digest: Pankaj Anand

Architectural Digest

Art Director: Priyanka Shah
Editor in Chief: Greg Foster
Photographer: Pankaj Anand

Heidi: What does mango season represent to you? 
Pankaj: The mango season represents a lot of childhood memories for me as we had summer vacations from school in the season and would absolutely devour anything with mangos. Climbing trees to pluck the ripe mangos, hogging on a mango only meal etc.

It’s been a difficult year for India, was this a moment to find joy and celebration in color and creativity?
Indeed it was. Not just for me, the entire team. Everyone from Greg Foster the editor in chief of AD who remotely monitored everything,  the lighting crew, production helpers in the studio were thrilled to see the outcome on screen during the shoot. The 2 days of the shoot made us forget the challenges outside the studio for the duration. To be honest it hasn’t been easy to conduct shoots as often as before for obvious reasons and the mango shoot really filled in the vacuum for doing something satisfying creatively after a long gap.

What has this past year taught you as a creative?
The past year has definitely taught me to be more patient and flexible for approaching any kind of project. More importantly it made me realize that over a period of time only good work can sustain. The surge in the online consumption of creativity has given us more than enough options to find inspirations. So only something remarkable can be remembered.
 
How did this idea come about for AD, and what are the dates of mango season?
Priyanka Shah the art director and stylist of the shoot came up with this idea of romanticising the love for Mangos in the way that she knows best. She came up with some sketches and got us all hooked on the idea. From early March to late June is the approximate season for Mangos. There’s usually a bling of yellow every shopping place you go to thanks to mango-mania that is basically unanimous all over India.

How much time elapsed between the sketches and the sets?
It took a little over 2 weeks after the sketches were finalised to bring everything to life. From finalizing numerous products to organising a large enough studio space for the sets to accommodating the extensive inventory. The actual set making was about 3 days as the flooring and the walls had to be constructed and finished with a special texture and tone to give a sliced mango effect. The final touches happened right until we got our first test shot since the details needed a final approval from the camera view finder and lighting set up.

Did you have natural light in the spaces, or was that lit?
This was an artificially lit set to achieve the right amount of the shadow play and to light up the areas and products in the shot properly.
An elaborate plan for lighting was discussed as the space we shot in was not a conventional studio, it was an experience center area which we were generously allowed to completely transform for the shoot by Ishan Thacker of MAY Projects India.

What type of mood were you going for with the light and images?
The mood of the images was to bring the feel of open courtyards of traditional India homes that enjoy well lit spaces in the house throughout the day. The lighting was to bring in a sense of a summer afternoon and early evening. The attempt was to keep the look and feel realistic and natural, and to bring out the feel of mango in the photos.
 
Conde Nast International has gone through global change, how has that affected your work, if at all?
Indeed it is a big change and I think it will affect my work. Hopefully in a good way. I have been contributing to all four Condé Nast India titles (and international as well) for over a decade now. It took me a long time to find a sync with the various teams and deliver consistently. A lot of times I was entrusted with a shoot not just because of my talent but my temperment with the team and understanding of the particular editorial imagery. With an increasing trend of remote operations and teams merging nationally and internationally it will be a new ball game to find a sync with editors and creative directors from afar that you have never met before. Besides that, it’s a good time to explore the horizons of meeting creatives from everywhere.

What are you looking forward to this year in publishing?
Of whatever is left in the year and next I am looking forward to see how the print editions will perform. Theres has been big shift in the content creation already I feel. Lots of online creators have taken over and it will be interesting to see the contrast between quality and quantity.


When I was the Creative Director at Vogue India, we worked together photographing Chef Rene of Noma for a story by food editor Sonal Ved, tell us about this portrait.
It was win-win opportunity for me. To do a portrait of someone like Chef Rene, see the inside of a world class restaurant like Noma and to work with you. When Sonal Ved first asked me for the shoot it was an instant Yes. I firmly believe in the thought that, just like an athlete is as good as his/her coach, a photographer is also good as his/her creative director. To prepare better for the shoot apart from my home work of research about Rene I spent considerable amount of time in the restaurant a day before to familiarise with space and figure out different options for the next day. Rene is a busy chef, so to make the most of his limited time the test shots from the previous day were very helpful. Link to the story is here

 

The Daily Edit – Giles Clement

Giles Clement

Heidi: Do you travel with a mobile dark room?
Giles: When shooting tintypes or ambrotypes, yes.

What is your set up?
Really depends on the project I’m working on. For digital work I use a Fuji GFX medium format digital back and lenses. For my 4×5 film and wet plate work I use a Sinar 4×5 F2 body and a variety of lenses including an 1849 Petzval portrait lens. For 8×10 film and wet plate work I use a Calumet C2 body and a Wollensak 16” f/3.8 petzval lens. For 16×20 I use a camera I designed and built myself fitted with a 500mm f/4.5 Goerz Dogmar lens originally designed for aerial reconnaissance in WWI. Lighting equipment varies and ranges from small battery powered monolights for film and digital work up to 20,000 watts of power from several Speedotron power packs and heads.

If you need to send materials ahead of time, how difficult is that?
I’ve worked on streamlining my wet plate set up so my entire darkroom fits in one pelican case and the rest of the gear flies with me.

Do you take both traditional and tintype images on projects?
Yes, there’s often images I see which simply aren’t best suited for the tintype process and I don’t like to be limited by one medium. I had been working with the tintype medium for 8 years prior to covid and while I really enjoyed the process, it’s also been refreshing to work with digital again and be able to create color work.

What have you been working on recently?
During covid I’ve been making a series of images of fellow artists in different cities around the country. These images have been made into sets of postcards which have sold with the proceeds going to the artists featured. It’s a small way for me to highlight artists who inspire me and also to be able to give them a bit of a financial boost during difficult times. Those images can be seen here. (below images is a selection from the Seattle shoot.)

With things opening back up a bit more I’m also starting to prep for a couple of projects. Those include a cross country road trip music video with a Philadelphia artist, a shoot with a jean company out of North Carolina and a longer term project featuring art teachers from around the country.

The Daily Edit – Indian Renaissance: Shahzad Bhiwandiwala


Shahzad Bhiwandiwala

Heidi: How did this come about?
Shahzad: I had started working on my graduate thesis project, Royalty, in the fall of 2019. The project was my way of commenting on the circuitous route of fashion where designs go in and out of style and make a resurgence at a later point in time. The primary focus was on how contemporary royals would adorn themselves while taking direct influence from traditional historic styles.

Unfortunately, by the spring of 2020 we were in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and I returned to Mumbai. As an Indian, I have rarely seen Indian artists tackle “what if” scenarios relating to Indian Art and cultural history. Keeping this in mind, I repurposed some aspects of royalty and came up with Indian Renaissance – What Could Have Been. A “what if” scenario where Indian royals were inspired by the European renaissance, specifically the high renaissance period, and how that historic change would have translated to modern day Indian fashion. I had always been curious about how the European renaissance would have influenced India and this project brings these thoughts and ideas to visualization and is presented through the perspective of a single fictional royal family, The Garhwal Gharana aka The House of Garhwal spanning generations from an alternate timeline 15th Century to the 21st century.

How did this story call on your culturally rich background?
As a Zoroastrian I understand the power of inspiration and adoption when it comes to attire and garb. My ancestors, having fled persecution many millennia ago, sought refuge in India when they landed at the port of Gujarat. This is spoken and recorded history that is passed down from generation to generation highlighting how we adopted and transformed, among other things, our attire at the time to blend in with our new home. As an artist I find myself revisiting this idea of transformation across many of my projects and it is most evident in Indian Renaissance. As for the visual approach for the project, in terms of lighting, posing and composition, I credit that to my love for cinema and my years of performing in musical theatre. I always ask my subjects to embody a character I create for them. The character has its own life, personality, desires, dreams and hopes. I ask my subjects to embody these characters and that is what I feel makes them feel larger than life.

How long have you been working on this series?
I started conceptualization for the project in March 2020 and completed the first phase in December 2020. I am currently planning out a second phase for this project that would focus on ordinary people as opposed to royals.

Who did you collaborate with for the styling, hair and makeup? 
To execute the styling of the project I reached out to the amazing folks at The Costume Team (TCT) who helped bring my vision to life by creating some pieces themselves and bringing on board both new and established designers and jewelers as Gaurav Gupta, Begada, Amani and many more.

For hair I worked with my frequent collaborator Sanam Jeswani and for makeup I had celebrity makeup artist Fatema Maqbool come on board.

How many models did you cast?
All the models were cast after going through a list of around 40 models.

Has this body of work been published?
It has been selected for Communication Arts Photography Annual 2021 as well as the AI-AP American Photography 37.

 

The Daily Edit – Brett Williams Childs: Against Monolith

 

Photographer: Brett Williams Childs

Heidi: Why did you title this series Against Monolith?
These portraits are part of a series exploring the individuality and historical representation of people of color. Using the history of film photography and also Kodak films and guide literature, I explore the struggle of maintaining individuality in a much larger social structure. Historically, individual people of color were often viewed as monolith, a singular mass distinctly lacking individual identity. “They all look the same;” the sentiment is unmistakable in American history.

In your mind, where did this sentiment begin?
This sentiment is echoed by the history of Kodak films. For decades Kodak film was unable to correctly capture the skin tones of people of color because their film emulsions were formulated to render a correct Caucasian skin tone. In addition to this, Kodak would send test negatives to color processing labs along with a color correct photographic print made from the negative. Using this, photo labs were able to calibrate their machines and the chemistry used to process the film in order to obtain color correct prints from any negatives they processed.

When were you able to frame this in your own life?
I first noticed the shifting of skin tones growing up when looking through family photos but didn’t read about the technical details behind it until many years later. My first time reading about the technical issues and Shirley Cards was in maybe 2011 or 2012 when I was working at Bart’s Books. I was very interested in visual media theory at the time and a book on that subject came in which included the paper by Lorna Roth titled “Looking at Shirley, the Ultimate Norm: Color Balance, Image Technologies, and Cognitive Equity” which outlined the history of Kodak film formulations and the Shirley Card. This was a couple of years before I even applied to ArtCenter but that paper stayed in my mind as I learned more and more about photography and began other projects.

What were the the scenes in the color photographic prints?
The negative that Kodak sent included a scene containing various textiles, a color chart, and a single white female model. Nicknamed “Shirley cards” after the Kodak employee who modeled for the negative, these were used all across the country to make sure that customer’s pictures were delivered with correct color.

How would you describe the images of darker skinned subjects?
Photographs featuring darker skinned subjects were often incorrectly rendered, sometimes as a smear of black in the photo completely lacking details – recognizable only by the whites of their eyes and their teeth, if they were smiling. From a distance these portraits are also textureless in appearance. Unvaried and lacking the possibility for details; a deep black on the surface of an unchanging white ground. The work of philosopher Paul Ricœur posits that the formation of individual identity is in large part shaped by ones ability to recognize another, and to be recognized by another. It was a compounding lack of recognition, however, that led to individuals disappearing from their film images. Film manufacturers being unable or unwilling to recognize the needs of a group directly led to the inability to see the individuals pictured. With the images from this series I aim to rework that failure to compel the viewer to recognize the individual pictured. As one gets closer to the artwork, details emerge, forcing you to confront the individual before you.

When did Kodak address representation in the calibration cards?
The first multiracial Kodak calibration cards didn’t actually appear until the 1990’s.

When did you begin Against Monolith?
It was after seeing the Kerry James Marshall show at the MOCA that I began to put together the Against Monolith project. I went to that show many times and couldn’t stop thinking about how he rendered and painted all the skin tones, it was so striking. I think often the conversations around this part of Kodak’s history get stuck in circuitous arguments debating whether or not Kodak films or employees were racist and I was much more interested in using this to explore the entangled web of individuation, individual agency, and its intersection with collective agency and behavior. I wanted to use the history of film photography, as well as Kodak films and guide literature, to explore the struggle of maintaining individuality in a much larger social structure. Because one form of recognition is intimately linked with individuation and another form of recognition is intimately linked with photography and visual representation it seemed to be an effective way to examine both.

The Daily Edit – Frank Ockenfels 3


Variety

Creative Director: Raul Aguila
Photo Director: Jennifer Dorn
Photographer: Frank Ockenfels 3

Heidi: Where were both of these subjects located, did you have to go travel to them each time?
Frank: Lin was in NYC and Jon was in LA so I did the photoshoot before and after their interview on zoom. Jon was first and I created a light set up to matched the plates I shot weeks ago in NYC. While the interview was going on I worked with the videographer in NYC, setting the lights in a studio so I could repeat the same lighting with Lin.

How did the idea come about, aside from necessity?
When I was approached about the cover, I was heading to NYC for a job. Since Lin wasn’t available to shoot while I was there, I suggested that I shoot plates up and around Washington heights in a David Hockney style. The request from Jennifer and Raul was to come up with a collage idea that brought them together even though the weren’t.

What motion camera/lens were you using for the motion?
The videographers both use the Canon C200s. The higher quality the capture the better the image. Over Zoom I worked with them setting the lights, then directed both the videographers and subject.

Did you do anything special for shooting off the screen?
My digital tech, Chris Nichols and I tried many different cameras, lenses, monitors, and exposures to come up with the recipe that works. Along the way each failure created interesting outcomes and unusual abstract captures. If I just tell you you’ll miss out on the fun of the creative journey.

Was it an impossible edit?
It’s interesting when capturing images off motion because you can rewind to catch certain subtle things … if they weren’t moving too fast. It’s  interesting to see that moment before they look in the camera, moments that are less guarded or over thought.

What were you looking for in each of the stills for the final select?
I wanted to feel like I’d walked up and found them in conversation.

Was this more intimate?
I have done different approaches to this and it was most intimate when I shot the Chicago 7 cover for The Hollywood Reporter. I sent each actor a light kit and diagram how to set up the lights and then worked with them setting it up and placing the camera.

What other creative solutions have you discovered during COVID?
I have been lucky enough to do several projects on location since all this started. It’s great for a few reasons. One, to see that creatives aren’t letting what’s going on stop them from trying to push on with great key art concepts. Two, the trust they have in me because they cannot be present to execute on their ideas. I believe we must be open to learn new things everyday and must embrace change and the challenge of the moments we are given. This is how we grow.

 

The Daily Edit – Jason Thompson: Patagonia Journal

Anne Gilbert Chase on her first climbing expedition in Pakistan. A country with beautiful people and big mountains.
The experience was unique for Anne Gilbert, being 1 of 2 western women on the trip in a country that, for the most part, doesn’t treat women with much respect. The climbing aspect of the expedition was frustrating with weather that didn’t play nice. 30 days were spent in base camp to attempt Pumari Chhish off of the Hispar glacier. The team never had more than 1 -2 days of good weather. Six days were needed to attempt the unclimbed Pumari Chhish East.


Patagonia Catalog

Photographer: Jason Thompson

Heidi: How has your mountain guide experience informed your work?
Jason: I spent from 2005 until 2013 working for a mountain guiding service throughout the PNW, Alaska and a bit in South America. I used this opportunity to hone my knowledge of being in the mountains as safely as possible. I know I wanted to be a photographer but I also wanted to be an asset to any creative project in the mountains. Guiding taught me more about understanding empathy and supporting others emotionally and physically. When photographing, immersing myself in other cultures, viewing my experience through my lens, I try to put myself in my subject’s shoes and try to express the emotions that they are feeling. I search for an understanding of what it might be like, to be in their shoes at that moment in time. Practicing how to ask questions to aspiring climbers, I was able to work with, allowed the climbers and me to build trust with each other in the mountain environment. I met people in a space that was, most of the time, completely foreign and new to them while trying to provide an exceptional experience in the mountains. I could empathize with them when climbing North America’s highest mountain, Denali, 20,320ft. It is physically and mentally challenging. Teamwork and grit can achieve big goals. Risk/hazard assessment is an essential component of guiding. Some percentage of my work is performed in venues with hazards, avalanches, seracs, weather, etc My brain is on overdrive assessing factors of the hazards that I and along with the people I am working with exposing ourselves too. Mountains are not an inherently safe and tranquil space. I think there is this misnomer in American society that wilderness, mountains are this calming grounding space though they certainly can be, they are also savage and have the potential to cause emotional pain to us.

Guiding requires constant assessment, calculations, risk vs reward. Has your photo decision-making become more refined with this deliberate practice?
Yes, completely. First, I choose to accept the risk associated with making a shot, or not. In skiing, I might have a frame idea/angle that would put me in an exposed situation, i.e. on a slope steep enough to avalanche at the same time as the skier. Climbing is a little different, I feel like I have a more significant margin of safety using ropes and other technical gear. But there are still many hazards packed into alpine climbing in the mountains.  But anticipation, and an understanding of how the climber or skier will move in the terrain, helps me to compose something that meets the requirements of being safe and making a compelling creative visual. I find satisfaction in being able to anticipate when that next “moment” might happen. My creative approach is much more documentary or photojournalistic in style, and I think that is what I strive for in my work. At the same time, checking all the boxes of creativity, composition, anticipation, right moment, and safety of all involved.

Is your enjoyment of nature ever in conflict with enjoyment of making images?
No. There is not a right and wrong way to experience nature so long as we respect the land. My connection with nature is with my camera – it always has been since I was a young person tromping around in Olympic National Park. I found beauty in capturing the light as it changed, intricate details on fern leaves, nasty weather, and other people’s physical and emotional experiences in that space. This connection to nature helped ground me and teach me humility as a young person because I realized the power of mountains. Like earlier, when I talked about experiencing cultures and newness that I am not familiar with, through my lens and how intensely engaged I am, it is the same when in nature for me. I am drawn in, more profoundly, by the experience of looking through my lens.

How do you process not making a summit?
The self-talk usually starts with disappointment, then acceptance, then asking what I learned, identifying progress points to be implemented next time. Obviously, we all want to summit and achieve our goals, but in moments of struggle, we learn, grow, and creativity can flourish. A quote I once heard and have forgotten who said it went:  “The summit is for the ego but the journey is for the soul.” I’d share this with the climbers I worked with when I was guiding and it still rings true for me. Time on the summit is probably less than 1% of any trip.

Do you feel like you still succeeded?
Yes, because as long as I am with good people and present in the experience, coming out of the mountains safe, as better partners while honing my craft is a positive experience to me. At the end of the day, if a summit happened or didn’t happen that is the story, that is what I document, the moments that did happen.

How did this trip advance your growth as a photographer?
In two ways.

The first was realizing how stressed I felt during the trip not having shot any climbing. The weather was just not working with us and we never had a weather window to confidently commit to starting up the wall. But I think I grew into the belief that I am there to document, as creatively as I can, the moments that were happening. Not the ones in the future that I couldn’t control. It’s tough though, right? Knowing I am there in part to make visuals of products with specific climbing intended use and not having a chance to do that was tough. I think that is disappointing from a creative standpoint similar to the climber perspective of not having a chance to summit or even try to climb! But I think this trip helped me let go and realize it’s ok and that I document the moments that do happen. That is how it is.

Secondly, I’d been feeling really restless with my growth as a photographer leading up to my time in Pakistan. I think, mostly, because I didn’t have a personal project going and hadn’t for a while. I was too focused and maxed out on hustling for enough gigs to pay the bills (reality!). My Dad had instilled in me a love for growing fresh vegetables. Maybe a year before this trip to Pakistan I started getting interested in researching, networking, and learning about holistic agriculture practices, organic regenerative agriculture, permaculture, and Indigenous agriculture beliefs, etc. I was fascinated by what I was learning. Looking back, the Pakistan trip was a marker for me to branch out and try to shoot something that would push me as a photographer. I think I needed a subject to shoot that would provide me with a different sense of purpose in using my camera.

What are you working on now?
Kind of a lot. I feel like I’ve had the gas pedal pinned for a bit now. As I mentioned, my Dad instilled in me a love for healthy food and gardening. About 3ish years ago, I became curious about holistic agriculture practices, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, growing healthy soils and producing healthy foods. So I started to research these topics, and I got excited about storytelling around it. It felt like I had discovered a way that my camera could make a positive impact in society. Researching and networking and getting to know who has a story to share has been productive. This topic is so out of my scope of everyday work, but something I love about photography are the many different ideas and people my camera has exposed me to. Currently, Emily Stifler Wolfe and I have received a grant. We are actively looking for additional funding for a three-piece story in collaboration with Montana Free Press about how regenerative agriculture is transforming the economics of rural Montana communities. I am a firm believer that healthy communities have healthy food access. Storytelling in this vein excites me because of the impact my images could have on the health of the land and other human’s physical and mental health.

I also have nearly completed a 12 month UX/UI program. This is something I fell into with the arrival of Covid-19. I decided my skill set needed to diversify. I see this space of UX and holistic agriculture practices merging with storytelling of growing healthy soils, and healthy communities. Some percentage of my work needs to have a purpose and a positive impact. The UX program has been a good challenge in learning again! Learning about human behavior and how crazy we all are is really fascinating! What excites me about adding a UX design skill set is the chance to use a design thinking approach to solving problems with the human at the core. I believe storytelling and creating a narrative is an integral part between us that produces a conversation to develop solutions to problems. Literally designing applications to make people and our land healthier through storytelling is really appealing to me. We’ll see how everything shakes out but I am looking forward to seeing where UX design, storytelling, and agriculture intersect. Of course, I plan to continue shooting projects that are focused on climbing and skiing in remote regions of our home planet.

The Daily Edit – Lisa Thackaberry: Art Center

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Lisa Thackaberry

Heidi: How long have you been teaching editorial photography at Art Center?
LIsa: Close to 9 years

What is the main goal of this class?
I use magazines, which are a highly evolved communication format, to help students understand their own work and the content needs of their future clients – art directors, photo editors, art buyers etc.  By asking them to pitch an idea and then shoot, edit, sequence and design a feature editorial layout they can see the kinds of images they need to execute a compelling story with dynamic flow from the perspective of an art director/graphic designer.

How does the headline and text get created?
I also ask them to use words in the form of headlines, sub-heads and pull quotes to give further meaning or transformation to the images they create.  We also look at American magazines of the 20th century to provide historical context and contemporary international magazines to see the current explosion of creativity and changing economic basis of editorial print.

What are you observations?
The subscription/ad sales model is declining and being replaced by magazines as an extension of brand representation or passion projects by creative people drawn to the tactile expression that print magazines offer.

What have the students taught you this semester?
How kind and patient they are with adapting to online learning.  I love seeing how supportive they are of each other and inspired by their intelligence, talent and thoughtfulness. I miss us sharing our final projects on paper.

 

 

The Daily Edit – Somira Sao


Somira Sao

Heidi: How did your photo career start?
The start of my photo career was driven by a personal desire to understand my history as a Cambodian refugee. I was born in a Khmer Rouge work camp in Kampong Thom Province during Pol Pot’s occupation of Cambodia. My parents and I survived mass genocide, fled the country, and were relocated to the USA through UNHCR’s refugee resettlement program. We were moved from refugee holding camps in Thailand, the Philippines, and San Francisco before being placed a final time on the East coast. I was three years old when we landed in Portland, Maine. Twenty-six years later, I decided to return to Cambodia for the first time and searched for work as a photographer.

Before then, photography was pure art for me. I shot Polaroids, 35mm and medium format. I built a darkroom so I could process film and make silver gelatin prints. I loved shooting, never cropped images and even filed out negative carriers so I could print full frame. My first digital camera was a cheap point and shoot that I used to document the music, art and night scene in Portland. For my first trip back to Cambodia, I got a digital SLR and shifted completely away from film. I met my extended family and worked with NGOs based out of Phnom Penh. Over the course of two years, I visited 15 provinces documenting eco-tourism, education, HIV/AIDS, water/sanitation and land-mine survivors’ programs. Images I made for the Australian Red Cross and AUSAID’s landmine survivors’ program became part of an exhibition that traveled around Australia to help promote landmine awareness and raise funds to support survivors of detonated UXOs.

When did you start taking family photos?
As soon as I became a mom.

You’ve been involved in voyaging some time now, when did you decide to call the water your home?
Our voyaging program has been to make fast long distance ocean passages together as a family (usually 4000-6000nm non-stop), allowing us to see the world together via wind power. We started in June 2011 when we left Portland, Maine and sailed non-stop across the Atlantic to Cherbourg, France with our two oldest kids (ages 2 and 9 months at the time). We have been sailing and living on the water ever since, trying to get our kids on as many different boats as possible.

 You are the mother of 6 beautiful children, how have you seen them grow and shape shift to this alternative lifestyle?
The life that we have made with our kids has given them the ability to not only navigate the oceans, but a real practical knowledge of how to navigate the world, different people, cultures and political situations. They are learning how to problem solve, adapt quickly to change, be resourceful when resources are limited and understanding what it takes to complete and accomplish hard projects. We try to surround them with inspiring people who are doing really cool things. They are seeing that there are no rules when it comes to life choices, only that by following your passion you can find the inner motivation to push hard. These strengths we instill in them are more and more evident as they get older and especially apparent in contrast to kids their own age who have had a different type of upbringing.

What has living on the water taught you about motherhood and your photography?
Being on the water, disconnected from the normal grid has given me a unique perspective on the value of time, personal consumption, and how little you really need to raise strong, healthy confident kids. As a photographer, I’ve found that no matter where we are, every single day there is always some form of beauty to be found through the lens, whether it’s on an intimate level between your immediate family our out there in some wild amazing place.

When did you decide to travel with your children?
All my children have been on the go from the moment of conception. In 2007, when my husband and I decided to start a family, he made me promise that if we got pregnant, that we wouldn’t stop traveling. I agreed, so I guess it was at that moment that we decided a settled life in one place was not in the cards for our family. During my first pregnancy I had a smorgasbord of medical records from Cambodia, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad, Bermuda and USA. My oldest of six was born in Jackson, Wyoming and we were on the road with her starting when she was a month old. Each successive pregnancy was similar.

The most radical adventure baby was my 3rd born who sailed in utero in the high latitudes through the Southern Ocean, Aussie Bight and Tasman Sea (Cape Town to Fremantle to Melbourne to Auckland). She was born on the floor of my midwife’s house in Auckland, New Zealand, caught & cord cut by by my oldest daughter (age 4 at the time). She moved onto the boat when she was less than 24 hours old. As a family we have been traveling internationally, in nonstop motion (with no land base), since September 2008.

How has Patagonia influenced your photo career?
Just after my oldest daughter was born, I got offered a follow up field assignment with the Australian Red Cross to re-visit and photograph the beneficiaries of their landmine survivors’ program. I was really excited, as I felt I could make some compelling images the second time around, with more trust built between me and my subjects. I wanted to work but did not want to leave my family. I asked if I could bring them with me on the assignment (personally covering their travel expenses), but they felt it was too risky for me to travel with a child.

I felt very torn between work and being a parent during this period as I felt my career was just starting to grow. I am sure many first-time mothers can relate to this. That was when my husband introduced me to Jane Sievert who was the head of the Patagonia photo department at that time. I told her about our plan to cycle high quality dirt roads with our 2-month-old daughter through Chile and Argentina, starting in Chiloe and then making our way south through Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. The plan was to travel super light, with mountain bikes towing two single track trailers – one with a custom-built dodger to carry our daughter and the other with our camping gear. Jane was excited, supportive and willing to work with me and look at my images. We did our route as planned, but then we kept on going. Next we cycled a section of the Chilean surf coast from Cobquecura to Curanipe, then through the Atacama Desert, then went to Iceland to cycle around the island from hot spring to hot spring.

Over the course of 10 months, working with no laptop (as it was too much to carry with touring gear), I used a stand-alone card reader/hard drive. I sent Jane images from our trip that were quickly edited on low quality computer monitors at random internet cafes.

Through this first expedition, Jane had created an outlet for me to work on my art while raising my kids. I have felt that support from her and everyone else in the photo department for all of our adventures over the last 12 years. This relationship with Patagonia helped me realize I did not have to make a compromise between work and being a full-time mother. From that point forward, I chose to search only for projects where I could work and bring my kids along. Amazingly I found clients who let me bring my whole wild crew with me on commissioned photo shoots. I became a freelance writer and interviewed people for stories with my kids listening, learning and participating. My husband and I started a marine services business together that allowed us to work with clients using our virtual, floating office or do deliveries or refit projects where the whole family was welcome. Work choices always weighed in the quality of life that we could provide our family. Quality being measured not monetarily but instead in things like time together, opportunities for experiential education, access to good food, clean air/water/dirt, nature, sports, etc.

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – El Salto: Byron Maher

El Salto

Art Director: Byron Maher

Heidi: How did this idea come about?
Byron: This idea came about to illustrate an article about racist bullying in schools in Spain. This is a delicate yet invisible topic and is not given enough importance by teachers nor senior leadership in schools. Because of this, we had to look for an image that expressed the true severity and consequences of racism going unchecked. Straight away we thought of the white pencil as a representation of the KKK but we did not know how to execute it. Then we remembered one of the posters of the movie Blackkklansman by Spike Lee. The idea of presenting a close-up of a pencil fit perfectly. In fact, I copied the hollow of the eyes in the exact same way as the Blackkklansman poster. I usually get a lot of inspiration from films.

How many issues have you designed? Is this job your act of resistance?
The newspaper I work for has already published 48 issues. I have put love into designing each and every one of them. One of my tasks (among other not so fun things) is to create designs and illustrations around social or political issues. This is my job. However, to work for a newspaper like El Salto, without bosses, self-managed and free from advertising revenues from dodgy companies, makes every day an act of resistance in a capitalist system.

When did you know art and social justice was your calling? What was some of your early work like?
At first, design was a way of making a living and I did advertising work for small companies and design studios from the age of twenty. I started to use design for social issues during the 15M indignados movement. There I saw a clearer objective for my designs and I began to make posters for protests against the government and visuals for self-managed film festivals. During these years, I also began artistic projects with other artists and activist groups.

You take images and also draw, does one inform the other?
Yes, without a doubt, although I am clear about the differences, I think that working with different disciplines enriches the projects and gives you more freedom when thinking and carrying out different concepts.

What role does art have in the world today, in your mind?
It is necessary to clearly differentiate between the art circuit/market and artistic processes that happen outside of the mainstream. In the art circuit, art plays a deactivating role and ends up serving as another spokesperson for reproducing discourses that perpetuate oppressive systems, even if they seek otherwise. The space and the environment ends up deactivating any act of dissent, turning it into a product. Fringe art is a wonderful field to explore and many projects and artists have been hitting hard.

What would you tell your younger self?
Everything will be turn out ok.

What are you working on now?
These days I am working on designing anti-fascist posters. The extreme right in Spain has carries a lot of support in the news media and there they are given a voice. We must prevent fascism re-entering Madrid via these extreme right parties in the next local elections.

Featured Promo – Joel Goldberg

Joel Goldberg

Who printed it?
I printed it with Mixam – they were extremely helpful throughout the process, allowed for a great deal of customization, and I was very pleased with their paper options/printing quality.

Who designed it?
I did! I’ve always had an appreciation for design and took a few classes in some of the appropriate adobe programs throughout my college career. Since my design skills are limited – I kept the book simple and practical. Imitating a cookbook style was the goal since I wanted this booklet to have a purpose.

Tell me about the images?
Throughout the year 2020, as work was sporadic (pandemic…), I had more time to dedicate and brainstorm about personal projects that I wanted to execute. I had dozens of ideas written down into a notebook, but an idea I jotted down which focused on citrus seemed the most relevant and intriguing. Originally, the project was going to cover lemons, limes, and oranges, with a sweet, savory, and drink image/recipe to go along with each.

I strive to provide a purpose, or message through my photography, which can sometimes be more challenging, or secondary, when comparing food photography to portraiture, or documentary photography. I kept brainstorming about how to make this project mean something, rather than just a collection of pretty food images…That is when the cliche phrase “When life gives you lemons” popped into my head. Although cliche, I ran with it — it was the perfect way to introduce my food photography, which might seem “irrelevant” during such a trauma filled time, and make it relevant, by reminding ourselves that throughout all of the stress, anxiety, sadness, and trauma we’ve all experienced this past year, it has been up to us to find the light to keep going. For years, I’ve worked on developing an artificial light setup that replicates a very specific form of natural light, not one that is direct and harsh with shadows that are dark and defined, and not one that is diffused by clouds, but a unique in-between. I finally nailed it about 2 years ago, and this book is a great example of that.

So, I decided to ditch limes and oranges (for now!) and run with just lemons. I put together 3 recipes with some inspiration from a variety of notable food publications.

The first pair of images of a Penicillin Cocktail – which is made up of a lot of immune-boosting ingredients, like honey, ginger, lemon, etc. I thought it was the perfect cocktail combination for the topic + time.

The second pair of images, Pasta Al Limone — is a classic Italian recipe, which incorporates all the works….parm, butter, carbs, etc. The addition of lemon juice and a lemon garnish really brighten and lighten up the dish.

The third pair of images – Candied Lemon Donuts is another riff on turning sour to sweet. It’s a simple recipe that doesn’t create a frying oil mess in the kitchen. Candied lemons are great for a number of things, and in this case, I loved how they photographed on a white glazed donut.

The book’s packaging is also carefully chosen – freezer vacuum seal bags which food is typically stored in, which was perfect for a book on food!

How many did you make?
3 dozen. The 3 dozen covered my current client base, a majority of prospective clients that I’m currently building relationships with, and a couple of close friends who wanted a copy for themselves.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Once or twice a year, no more than that unless it feels absolutely necessary. I would much rather put a great deal of time and effort into one solid promo, which will leave a lasting impression than send them out frequently, and be less effective. The timing is important too. I sent this out at the beginning of the year 2021…the book’s theme touched on turning a new page or finding light in a dark time, and the new year was a great time to capitalize on that.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely…just sending out a book won’t do it though. It still takes being consistent, building and managing your relationships with clients, and great work, to leave an impression. I have to remind myself that every day!

I think of it like hammer and nail. The nails are the client outreach, emailing, the social networking, relationship building, etc. A really good promo is your hammer. It’s your tangible work that shows your style and what you can do, allowing potential clients to pin you up on their board of people they might hire.

As a photographer, I know that my clients manage hundreds, if not thousands of emails from people just like me, who are trying to get their foot in the door. This promo has helped me get my work/name out there, but on its own, it won’t win me a job. It takes a village…

I once was told by an Art Buyer, when I showed up to a meeting with a physical portfolio, despite everything going digital, she said “there’s still nothing like printed, tangible work, nothing will replace it.” My printed portfolio allows you to remove+replaces an image at any time. She took advantage and kept one print for herself during our meeting!