The Daily Edit – Mind Over Mountain: Jakob Reisinger

Patagonia Journal

Photo Editor: Jakob Reisinger

Heidi: Where did this all-female crew go and for how long?

Jakob: These photos were created on the prestigious Bugaboos to Rogers Pass ski traverse in British Columbia during the Spring of 2021. Our snow ambassadors Leah Evans, Marie-France Roy, and Madeleine Martin-Preney had their eyes and hearts set on this project for many years. When the stars aligned, filmmaker Nick Waggoner, with the help of Tucker Anderson and Alex Geary, tagged along to document it.

Why did you provide the crew with disposable cameras?

Early in the planning they had all expressed safety concerns with a large group over 6 people on such a long traverse in remote mountains with no room for error. More people equate to more possible complications. So, we were not able to send along a dedicated still photographer because moving picture was the priority. Single-use cameras seemed like the way to go because of their reliability, ease of use, no battery charging or electronic fails on a 10-day adventure with harsh weather conditions and varying temperatures.

What aesthetic were you going for with BW film?

I chose BW for an elevated but also simplistic aesthetic. I think it works very well in snow environments and big open spaces, like the glaciers on the traverse, and gives nice contrast. To me BW film does a wonderful job conveying the mood of snow—it’s purity and timelessness. We used cameras with Ilford XP2 film stock because those were the only ones available near Revelstoke, B.C. where Leah lives, and a friend of hers had to pick them up the night before the girls left on their trip. Later I learned that there’s actually a Kodak Tri-X single use camera which I would have preferred. We color corrected the images to match Tri-X a bit.

How did your love of the snow and mountains inform this project?

Skiing is my first love and moving through snowy landscapes will always feel like coming home for me. Snow is a gift from heaven and cannot be cherished enough. Using BW film was my attempt to celebrate winter a bit and replicate a sense of adventures past.  This project basically brought together my two biggest passions and I’m so stoked that Patagonia is a place where these photos can shine. I had to pinch myself a few times while working with these images that I’m getting paid to do this 😊.

Some of Patagonia’s founding photo principals are images on speculation, participatory POV, real people doing real things, and what YC calls an honest shot. What other principals did you call in?

The photography ties into our desire to offer a participatory point of view where the photographer is really part of what is happening rather than being an outside observer. This way the photos feel energetic, engaging, and authentic as opposed to staged and ‘commercial’ because that’s how the moments were. The photos came back so personal, fun, and gritty and it really feels like a trip report from the athletes’ personal perspectives. By removing the pressure of a professional assignment and letting the athletes really just have fun with the cameras added an element of realness. They never had to ‘pose’ for a photo, they just did their thing and went full circle by self-documenting it.

 

 

The Daily Edit – Linda Guerrette


Linda Guerrette

Heidi: How long have you been taking photos and how did your parents inspire you?
Linda: I’ve been taking photos for a long time but professionally for the last 10 years. Both my parents had a very strong work ethic but also knew the value of getting away to ski, fish, camp, ride bikes and adventure. I’m very fortunate to have grown up cherishing experiences as a family and individually.

You started out in the ski industry, how many women photographers/coach were on the scene when you started? 
When I started there were few women coaches and even fewer photographers. Times are changing some but there is certainly a large gap in numbers between the genders. It’s encouraging to see more young girls and women becoming creatives in the action sport world becoming role models for future young girls.

What constitutes a worthy spot to hang out while the participants come through?
I like to create a sense of place so I’ll scope out locations that will fulfill that criteria. I like to have the action come to me based on where I position myself. I will generally position myself where body movement and emotional expression can and will take place. I aim to have the subject shape the image. It’s most rewarding when I feel a connection with an athlete through the lens.

What emotions do you look for?
I look for physical engagement first which typically leads to exhibiting emotions of all kinds. The range is from focus, excitement, joy, satisfaction.

Tell us about your relationship with Queen of Pain, Rebecca Rusch and your connection to women’s cycling.
I met Rebecca through FB after one of her Leadville victories. I posted a few images of her race and she liked what she saw and that was my introduction to her. Over the years I’ve worked with various female cyclists. My main focus at any event is to work on giving coverage to the top women, middle of the pack and the up and comers. Women supporting women is vital to the future growth.

How has your process refined over the years?
I’d like to believe I’ve become more creative and innovative at storytelling. I’m more comfortable connecting with the athletes so we can work on creating images together. Let’s face it with social media as it is marketing of self is very important to the success of athletes as well as myself.  Building networks is something I continue to refine.

What would you tell your younger, creative self?
I would say trust yourself and believe that your passions can become a way of life. It certainly won’t be easy but staying the course will be worth it.

The Daily Edit – Colin Wiseman: Writer and Photographer

According to Gerry Lopez, “Bells are one of the things that Japan does better than anywhere else in the world.” Ringing the bells under heavy snowfall on our first day in Niseko at Hanazono, Hokkaido, Japan.


Colin Wiseman

Heidi: How has being both writer and photographer informed your photography?
Colin: The storytelling aspect of being a writer (and editor/photo editor) helps me approach photography with a deeper vision of the final product. It allows me to see the whole story and create a visual narrative that fills in the gaps between peak moments. Sometimes, in action sports and otherwise, the context in between the main objectives are where the true story lies, and it’s important to keep an eye out for the less obvious images that can be the most honest and impactful. It’s easy to forget that if you aren’t focused on a cohesive narrative.

Did you start out knowing you wanted to do both edit and photo/motion?
Ever since high school, writing and photography have both been interesting to me. They’re complementary pursuits, and I found storytelling through both copy and imagery to be a natural progression. Video came later. For most of my career, I thought I wouldn’t want to try to capture both stills and motion on the same shoot, but for some applications—particularly shoots where motion and moments are predictably repeatable—there can be effective balance without watering down the final product.

What have been the benefits of being a “dually” or multi-talented now that we have a thirst for content in the digital world?
For one, a brand or editorial title can save travel costs by sending a single person to get the whole story through copy, imagery, and potentially video. Second, the ability to understand the story in a holistic way—whether that’s a brand story or an editorial story—can allow me to provide a more cohesive and balanced final product as well. And third, photography serves as a visual notebook in a way—the photos bring me back to the moment and allow for vivid, detailed memories to draw upon while writing.

Big picture, with multiple levels of digital media, the content needs of any entity have grown exponentially. Being able to provide everything from stills to video and accompanying copy can feed the various levels of engagement that are all essential to successful tiered storytelling from print to web to social media. As someone who studied sociology for seven years, seeing the big picture is also fascinating to me, and being able to take a holistic approach to media creation is a fun puzzle to put together.

Were there any drawbacks?
It all takes time, and doing both a photo edit and copywriting on tight deadlines can demand a lot of creative energy. Writing, in particular, requires a spark that is hard to explain, and that happens after the trip, or interview, or engagement with the subject at hand. Sometimes when you sit down to write it flows almost effortlessly, but sometimes it doesn’t—the creative inspiration can arrive at odd hours, or even days or weeks after the fact. Photography generally has its creative moments before and during the shoot, but the back-end editing of my own work is more like hammering nails than playing music, which is the opposite of writing.

You recently finished a stint as a photo editor, did that role shed light on the art of pitching in stories and your photo work?
I recently spent about a year working in the photo and copy departments at Patagonia covering maternity and paternity leave for one of their photo editors and one of their managing editors of copy. Before that, most of my back end work had been as an editor, photo editor and content director for The Snowboarder’s Journal, which is an independent print title with a digital property, focused on a very specific core audience. My time at Patagonia certainly helped me understand the high volume of content required to support a larger brand in the outdoor space with strong and specific messaging, which speaks to a large and diverse audience. It certainly helped me understand how stories fit the brand message more effectively, and gave me a better understanding of how photography and copy flows between larger teams and how overall brand messaging flows into category-specific storytelling. Patagonia has a lot of moving parts and fitting work into the right spaces as a freelancer requires making everyone’s jobs easier through clear communication, clear understanding of the brand, and pitching work that fits into the aforementioned messaging pyramid.

Eric Jackson outside of Valdez, Alaska—the image that won Best Mountain Photo for Red Bull Illume 2021

Congratulations on the RedBull Illume award, why did you submit that image?
Thank you. Winning Best Mountain Photo at Red Bull Illume is a career highlight as someone who shoots action sports. I actually submitted that image to the Raw category, so it was a raw file with zero edits in post. The light, shadow, and immensity of the Alaskan landscape fit well into what I saw as a successful raw image, but it ended up winning the Best Mountain Photo award, to my surprise. It was one of a few peak moments from a week in Alaska where we only got a few cracks at shooting big lines in nice light—after two days up there, wind scoured the range, and effectively shut us down.

Getting a high-level snowboard image in Alaska requires both a lot of planning and a lot of luck, and this one worked in a year where not a lot of people had success up in Alaska, so I thought it might stand out from the crowd. To get that shot, I was perched on a giant glacial ice bulge with massive crevasses just below. it was getting late, and we had to get out of the mountains soon. The wind was starting to below, making navigation difficult. Every year I try to get up to AK to shoot, and some years we walk away with nothing, so any successful image from Alaska is special to me.

Photograph by Agathe Bernard: Interview with her can be read here

Photograph  by Ola J. Chowela : Interview with her can be read here


What have you been working on lately that inspired you?
A lot of my inspiration comes from moments outside of work—evening light on my mountain bike above my house, pedaling alone with time to think. A powder day at the mountain with friends. A hike through big trees in clean air. A good conversation with a deep thinker. Things like that. I’ve been consciously expanding my work beyond the action sports realm in the past few years, and that has been both challenging and rewarding. The unpredictability of shooting with kids, for instance, requires a different approach than setting up a portrait or an action shot with a professional athlete. Working with video is also a fun and engaging pursuit, building a story through a somewhat familiar yet somewhat different medium.

During my time at Patagonia, I was able to work closely with the photo director on two projects in particular that really inspired my creative vision as a producer and editor. One was coverage of the Fairy Creek logging protests on Vancouver Island. I grew up nearby, and old growth logging has long been a controversial issue. To be able to provide a platform for Indigenous people to tell that story in their own words was very meaningful to me. Same goes for Patagonia’s strong messaging following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe V Wade. Having a diverse crew of photographers across the country capturing the protests, and delivering a strong message within 48 hours of the ruling, was both challenging and inspirational. To make space for diverse and often underrepresented folx to tell their own stories is incredibly rewarding. I have a lot to learn in how to navigate those relationships, and I’m inspired to do so.

The Daily Edit – Forest Woodward: Personal work, Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Photographer and writer: Forest Woodward

Heidi: Why did you choose to photograph this only in black and white?
Forest: My entry point into the photographic world was, at a very young age, through the alchemical space of the black and white darkroom. It was a place that shaped the foundation of my vision, and my way of seeing in the world. Over the past two decades I have learned to work in color, and it has served me well for interpreting editorial and commercial assignments in the mode of the times. I have always however, reserved a special place in my practice for black and white, a place that I most often visit when I am working on personal stories. It is a way of seeing and working that helps distill the world around me into essence, light and form.

Was it exclusively shot on film? 
Yes – all of the work was shot on film, a mix of medium format and 35mm.

How did your connection to nature, movement and climate work inform this work?
There’s a lot in that question. My work and interest in the human relationship to nature and our effect on the climate goes way back. As does the process of movement through land as a way of coming into conversation with it. Growing up as a kid roaming game trails in the mountains around our home, and later working in the outdoor industry climbing and running and navigating rivers, movement across land has always connected me to a deep source of intrigue and creative inspiration.

Today so much of the work I encounter in the world comes from a place of talking about nature, about the human effect on climate, about what projections of past and future show us. Those stories are important. But I also think we need more stories that are in conversation with the land, that are informed by a process of immersion, a reappraisal of the importance of emotional and immersive relationship to specific biospheres. Lake Powell is running dry, the West is in a mega drought, Glen Canyon was drowned. These are things that we know – that the data reveal, that science supports, and history has catalogued. These facts are important to consider – they will shape the decisions we make going forward, the policies and actions we take both individually and collectively.

But beyond what can be extrapolated through the analysis of data sets in an air conditioned office in DC, I am interested in what the landscape might offer when it is involved in the conversation in a less abstract manner. This is where the “movement” comes in. The idea of immersing in landscapes and spending long periods of time moving by foot (or in this case by paddle) across the land. It is in this way of moving, watching, listening and interpreting (through words or images or other creative expression) that allows (in my mind) a more nuanced  and emotionally vibrant conversation to emerge around the human relationship to the land.

This was an immersive project, you did the writing as well as creating a body of work, what did you enjoy about that process?
Yeah I really enjoyed that way of working. There are some encounters in a project like this that call for a photograph, others for a words. Rarely do I find a single mode of working is the best for all situations. To have the opportunity to weave words and images together, to let them inform and come into conversation with one another allowed for a more relaxed and honest approach. Neither medium was asked to do more than I could will it to do, but through the relationship created between words and photos I feel at times a third creative form emerges in the space between them.

What did this 130 mile packraft* journey teach you about yourself as a creative?
(*it was a mix of packraft and sea kayak and hiking)
This project in particular was a good reminder to carve out longer periods of time to immerse in a landscape, to return multiple times, and to remain curious. I did a lot of research and reading prior to embarking on this project, and so came into the project with a lot of preconceptions. That was fine, important even, but then the work becomes letting go of those preconceptions in order to see what is actually there. This project reaffirmed my beliefs that the best pictures are not the ones that we set out to make – but rather the ones that find us along the way.

My role as a creative is to be disciplined and in touch with my craft in a way that allows it to be a nearly subconscious endeavor. This requires research combined with a technical and physical proficiency with the tools and in the landscapes being navigated. And then, those foundations being set, it requires a letting go, a release of preconceptions in order to actually be present and tuned to the complexities of that which is being experienced. Experiencing. In the rare instances that this is achieved I think the result is to make work that is honest. To me, that is the highest calling of the creative.

What would you tell your younger creative self?
I think actually I’m going to take some advice from my younger creative self, and give it back to my older creative self today. This is from the interview you and I did a few years back for aPhotoEditor, and it grows more true to me with each passing year:

“Do good work. Be kind to the people around you, and to yourself. Balance your idealism with healthy doses of action. Embrace failure and continually seek opportunities to learn – in whatever form or medium they might take. Question societal definitions of success. Make your own. Surround yourself with good people. And be one, as much as you can. Watch, listen, and when the time is right, act with conviction. Be willing to adapt, to move with the currents, to see from different angles, but don’t ever give up on the unique point of view that makes you you.”

Lake Powell

In the spring and summer of 2021, as Lake Powell plummeted toward its lowest recorded water levels since reaching full pool in 1980, Forest Woodward set out on a long unscripted meander through what was once Glen Canyon. Over two visits, in April and July, he sea kayaked and packrafted some 130 miles of the lake as the Colorado River muscled again through long-buried side canyons. When these images were made, the lake surface was between 3,565 and 3,559 feet, on its way down to this spring’s low of 3,522 feet—dangerously close to the level, at 3,490 feet, when the dam may no longer generate electricity. This April, the Bureau of Reclamation announced a plan to push more water down to the lake from Utah’s Flaming Gorge Dam, 730 miles upstream, while simultaneously slowing releases out of the lake from Glen Canyon Dam. Climate and drought may ultimately have the last word on Lake Powell’s future. Until then, these pictures and notes are Woodward’s attempts to hold on to threads of tangled beauty and the strange markings of a shifting world.

Images and words By Forest Woodward

April 4, 2021

I slept by the river last night. Smoked too many cigarettes. I watched a translucent spider weave a strange dance and woke to the Paria greeting the Colorado, the laughter of kindred currents gurgling downstream. Condors dozing, wings wrapped in clay, dreaming Pleistocene dreams in the cradle of a brown god that never sleeps. Breakfast in Page. Last-minute supply run, sunscreen, mezcal, apples, oats, coffee, jerky.

I have four days and a packraft, and I am fairly open to seeing where the wind and my stubby craft will take me. Emergent design if you will. In 2015, I sea kayaked 90 miles from Hall’s Crossing, on the lake’s western edge, to Glen Canyon Dam, and these two trips will mean I’ve paddled it end to end. A rather arbitrary achievement, and one that takes no account of the most interesting part—that the landscape here is never the same twice, and each canyon holds its own beauty and melancholy.

I walk out to a spot below the dam where someone not too long ago sat amidst the hum of turbines and carved the outline of a buffalo into the rock, along with an inscription that everything that was grasped by man would one day be free again. But now it’s gone.. Erased from the soft stone along with all the other marks of passing. I watch a canoe pick its way up the Colorado towards the base of the dam, slow strokes against deep current. It looks cool down there in the shade of the canyon, where the water moves again.

4.8.21
The body of a dead cow lies decomposing in the mud at the water’s edge when I arrive at Farley Canyon, on the north end of the lake. Even in the dark, I can see evidence of a struggle. I wonder how much this scene resembles what John Farley might have encountered when he ran cattle here back in the 1880s, when the Colorado River flowed free.

Trying to pinpoint the exact confluence of river and lake is a moving target, but Farley Canyon seems as good a launch point as any. Before the reservoir flooded this area, Utah State Route 95 crossed the river here, and I figure I can put in at the mouth of the canyon. In the morning, I push off past the dead cow and a couple fishing for largemouth bass. Swamp Donkey Jill, one introduces herself, and offers me some live bait. “Usually the lake’s coming up a foot a day right now,” she says. “It’s sad to see.” She motions towards the mud rings that stretch some 80 feet up from the water’s edge. It’s hard to imagine that a post office and general store sit somewhere under all this silt.

I paddle for a mile, only to find that this finger of the reservoir is orphaned, cut off from the main body of Powell by the receding water. I pack my boat up and hike across mud flats. I check my GPS. It shows me in the middle of the reservoir, surrounded by water on all sides. I look back down at the cracked mud below my feet and walk on, avoiding bubbling sinkholes and gaping cracks between shifting mud pillars. Eventually I reach water. Water moving swiftly in the form of a river. Still no lake.

Unsure of what lies ahead, I cautiously put in, floating quickly through high banks of silt. After a couple miles, the river widens, rushing shallow and fast across riffles of sand. The movement swirls me into a fitful sort of calm, punctuated by the splash of carp and the awkward flapping of seagulls and pelicans. Bewildered and excited, I paddle on until dark and make camp beneath a large sandstone formation called Castle Butte.

The names we name things are telling of our ambitions.

4.9.21

Nothing is fixed, nothing is quite as it seems. All of the death out here—the cow, the drowned cottonwoods, the fish turned wrong side up—is evidence of that, evidence of how this place is ever so slightly out of balance. It is something felt, that can’t be seen from a plane or a boat. You have to get mired in the mud. Struggle to escape. Clamber up rock after rock covered in sun-bleached quagga mussel shells, razor-encrusted tombstones of the nonnative species that have infested Powell. You have to see the death, smell it, hear the buzz of flies, the stench of stagnation. You must also hear the raven’s laughter and the fighter-jet hum of ducks landing in isolated sink pools, the juvenile heron shitting himself as he cautiously learns to hunt, the trio of otters, the coyote who trots away out across the mud flats, seemingly quite content with the state of things.

4.10.21

I stop for lunch at a nondescript break in the rocks. Nudge a beer can out of the mud with my foot. Wonder who held it last and when. Turning it over in my hands, one side is bleached by sun and water, the other side looks like it could have been set down yesterday. I can barely make out the words “Good Luck” in faded print below a logo of a horseshoe. Good luck to whom, I wonder? To the person who threw it overboard? To the one who finds it? To the waters that covered it? To the drought that revealed it? To Glen Canyon? To Lake Powell? I flip the can end over end. Horseshoe

up, goodluck, horseshoe down, bad luck. Or is it the other way round? I wonder at this place, at the way it holds paradox. Does a thing have to be lost to be loved, destroyed to be appreciated? I toss the beer can into the bow of the boat. Horseshoe up, let’s hope we catch some luck—whatever that is.

4.11.21
I don’t think I possess the language to properly convey the strangeness of paddling through the desert as cliffs of sand calve like glaciers around you, rounding a bend only to be greeted by flocks of pelicans and a stagnant lake.

From my camp at the confluence of river and lake, I survey an old uranium-mining road running along the base of an imposing band of red Wingate cliffs, leading back to where my truck is parked. I expected to be able to paddle back to my launch point, no walking needed. But there’s a metaphor here about best-laid plans. The need to adapt. What happens when our best-laid plans rest on a flawed foundation? What does the West look like without her brimming reservoirs?

Me, I can just pack down the raft, strap it to my pack, and hike back the way I came. If only everything were that easy.

7.8.21
My packraft had proved about as efficient in the wind-chopped lake as a unicycle in quicksand, and for my trip in July, I find an old British sea kayak on Craigslist and head for the old Hite boat ramp, four miles upriver from Farley Canyon.

There is no lake now, just sand and rock and the muddy muscular flow of the Colorado carrying the last winter snowpack out of the high country. The flow carries me quickly through the layers of lakebed, 30-foot mud gendarmes calving like rotten glaciers into the flow. I stay towards the middle of the channel, bobbing over 5-foot standing waves carved from the sandy bottom. Dust devils tower and dive. A coyote carefully leads her pups down to the river to drink, scrambling away to a safe distance when she sees me. Rich green grasses have sprouted across the silt plain, and a rogue herd of cattle pause their meal to watch me pass.

Later, I will sit quietly at the head of the lake and watch as three otters play on the long mud banks below Wingate cliffs. This feeling of quiet and space will change as I move down into the reservoir, closer to the marina traffic and weekend crowds, but here, in this landscape of flux, I feel acutely aware of my human presence.

7.9.21
You try to come to a place properly. To greet the raven at the canyon’s mouth. To whistle with the wren as she sits on the lone branch. To walk slowly. To look about. There is a gravity to some places that is felt, not spoken or measured. You give a prayer of thanks; whatever that means to you.

I find the first feather in Ticaboo Canyon, a raven tail, and place it as an offering by the dark pool. The second feather is covered in mud, hung up in some branches. Raven wing. I place it in the creek to rest. The third feather is unmarred, as if just left, curled upwards, the down of a dark chest, I think. I hesitate. Look around. Reaching for it, I place my thumb and forefinger gently on the quill. As I lift it, I hear the raucous calls of a pair of ravens watching from downcanyon. I do not know what they are saying. I don’t know the difference between a good and bad omen, only that it is an omen.

7.10.21
I wake to the sound of wind-pressed waves and the sun low but already scorching across the shimmer of the lake. Pushing off , I soon encounter a Forest Service research crew hauling in an endangered razorback sucker, monitoring the spawning range of the fish. There’s a surprising amount of animal life out here. I’m curious how when a landscape becomes less desirable for humans, it might in some ways become more desirable for other life forms.

Animals I’ve encountered on Lake Powell:

Ravens (a dozen)

Coyote and kits

Blue heron

Egret

American koot

Schools of stripers

Osprey

Golden eagle

Egret

Cattle

Sparrow

Bat

Swift

Weasel

Carp-eating clams

Razorback sucker

Lizards, 4 species

Otter

Human

7.10.11
Walking up from the water’s edge in the side channels of Moki Canyon is a walk through the many cultures of spring breakers that have come and gone here. Glow sticks. Sunglasses. Beach towels, a boomerang, ice bags, squattie potties. These canyons are sacred to many peoples, but none more so perhaps than the spring breakers—at least that is if we are to judge by the artifacts. I grew up on stories of Glen Canyon, but even if the reservoir were to fully drain, it would still leave us with a silted shifting world, far from the Glen Canyon of waterfalls and hanging gardens known by the ancestral Puebloans. I kick at a half-buried piece of towel, unearthing a red Solo cup.

It’s interesting how unaware of their wake people are. In one narrow stretch of canyon, a beefed-out wakeboarding boat throttles past me, shouting out a request for directions, which I give them with the motion of a hand. They wave a friendly thanks, disappearing around the bend as their 4-foot wake ricochets off the canyon walls and threatens to swamp my little craft. They mean no malice—they’re just unaware of their effect, the reciprocity between them and water and rock and me. Somewhere in there I suppose there’s a lesson. We all drive big boats some days.

7.11.21

I race a houseboat from Forgotten Canyon, where the ancient Defiance House sits just above the bathtub ring, to Moki Point. I don’t think they know we are racing, but still I win, and that feels good. I swim in the lake—well, I fall in, trying to get water, but it’s my first swim after many trips here, and it feels nice. The lake is a place of reciprocity, it seems. I pick an old Coors can out of the mud, and not ten minutes later am gifted a full Dr Pepper (my favorite!) floating in a side channel. Maybe the canyon is more like the giving tree—giving a place to keep water, then giving the water away.

People talk about caring about the earth, but what they’re usually talking about is caring about a select few playgrounds, curated parks where they climb or bike or hunt. Would we believe someone who said they loved us but only ever saw us dressed up for Sunday service? To really care for something, we’ve got to become acquainted with all sides of it—the dark, the ugly, and the painful alongside the beauty and softness. In my mind, if I’m going to say I love nature, I’ve got to go out and into these seemingly desecrated landscapes and see if I can sit within them, with the discomfort.

I struggle the 12 miles from Moki Canyon to Bullfrog Marina in a heavy headwind and stash my boat in a cove. The bustling energy feels harsh as I walk down the baking asphalt to the restaurant overlooking the marina. I slurp up a cold beer and fork down a salad, watching the Stanley Cup Finals as the sun ripples red gold across pockets of orphaned reservoir.

As I’m finishing my third beer and getting ready to head back down to my bivy bag, an older couple from Salt Lake City sidles up to watch the game. We get to talking about the glory days, decades past, when the reservoir sat high and proud on the land. They’re water skiers, and they tell stories of carving cursive lines across glassy expanses of water under deep redrock walls, secret canyons and sprawling bays blossoming up from dry earth. A place of endless possibility.

The water skiers mourn the reservoir of thirty years ago. I mourn the Glen Canyon I never knew. And while I get the feeling our political beliefs might be polar opposite, we sit here over our beers looking out onto a lake that is now miles away from where it once lapped at this deck, and we agree, this is sad. Ugly, beautiful, changing, and sad.

We agree the water is leaving the West, and something must be done. We agree that as long as this water is tied up in money, it will be difficult for people to agree what to do with it.

We agree that it would be better if more people understood the finite nature of the systems that support life in the American West. Water is what allows us to be here. When it runs out, so does our time on this land.

The Daily Edit: Ecru: Pam Lau

Photograph by Gladys Lou (2021)
Photograph by Kat Castro (2021)
Photograph by Mark Gallardo (2021)


Ecru


Founders: Pam Lau and Jimmy Vi

How did you and Jimmy meet and is this your first collaboration?
Pam: Jimmy and I met at a photowalk in 2016. At the time we were part of two different grassroots community arts groups in Toronto. Over the years I watched him quit his job as an art director in advertising, teach himself filmmaking, and transition into a music video and commercial director.

In 2019 we loosely explored starting an agency together and called it Ecru. We ran into the typical problems; we lacked strategy and direction. We were all creative people and we had no business dev, ops, or finance. We were just friends that wanted to work on projects together. One of us, Kerwin, ended up branching off and starting his own creative studio

Jimmy and I decided to pivot Ecru away from creative services and instead focus on mentorship and community building.

Tell us about the name of the program.
Jimmy came up with that one. It was 11:55 p.m. We had just spent something like 10 hours working on the grant application, and we had five minutes to come up with a name before the deadline closed. We started rapid-fire brainstorming options and this one was short and catchy enough.

How did this free program come about?
We applied for a grant through ArtReach; a funder via Toronto Arts Council and the City of Toronto mandated to support high-quality arts-making programming for marginalised youth. It took us three tries; the first two years we were rejected. After each time we sought feedback and reworked the program and in 2021 we received funding to pilot the first cohort of ‘Ideas From I’.

The 2021 grant covered 5-9 participants. We received funds from a private donor and were able to expand to 12 participants and offer mico-grants to put towards development of the concepts they made the treatment decks for in the program. This year we’ve received the next phase of funding from ArtReach and have a partnership with Gallery 44 in Toronto where participants can get access to studio space and gear to shoot their projects in the Fall.

How did your career in photography get started and what are you hoping to build with this program?
I’m self-taught and started taking photos in high school, never thinking that I could turn it into a career. I started freelancing during school because I always had a camera on me, and after graduation, I started working at a trade publication called Marketing magazine (acquired by Strategy magazine) that reported on the Canadian marketing, media, and advertising industry. I got to sit in on CDs deliberating over what creative was award-winning and I started to build my network from the conferences and trade shows that I covered.

It was very lonely in the beginning of my freelance career and I felt like I had nobody in my corner. Jimmy and I talked about the stress and high-pressure we put on ourselves to make it work, when it felt nearly impossible. I’m starting to recognize it now as a lack of internal validation after growing up feeling guilty or divergent for wanting something other than what others expected of me. The words “You can do it” and “I believe in you” are extremely powerful when said earnestly. With this program we want to be that extension of support that our younger selves lacked for the next generation.

How does one get involved?
Follow us on Instagram (@ecru.club), check out the application form, and send it to someone who comes to mind. We’re also looking to bulk up the micro-grant portion and are open to sponsorship and donations from individuals, production houses, agencies and brands that identify with the goals of the program.
application form is here

Where can find out the specifics of the program?
We’re sharing the application form, testimonials from alum, and answering questions this week on Instagram at @ecru.club.

What does the program offer?
As photographers and directors, vision and concept is at the core of what we do. ‘Ideas From I’ teaches the importance of communicating your ideas through imagery and words. Participants learn about referencing and develop a concept by analysing and drawing a personal connection to what media and art they respond to.

We walk them through creating a treatment deck and effectively pitching it, and support them through the groundwork of pre-production by offering the resources for them to bring their idea to life. We support a range of experience because even if you don’t know how to technically execute something yourself, you can find collaborators and bring a team together that can make it happen.

Most of all, we’re doing it in an environment where we want participants to feel seen, heard, respected, and validated.

 

The Daily Edit – GEO Magazine: Storm Chasers by Laure Andrillon

 


Geo Magazine

Photographer: Laure Andrillon
Producer: Nadège Monschau
Photo Editors: Nataly Bideau and Magdalena Herrera 

Heidi: How did this assignment with GEO come about?
Laure: I pitched a story idea about storm chasing to GEO in December and this reporting trip happened in May of 2021, which is the beginning of the chasing season in the Tornado Alley. The magazine was interested in the idea of extreme tourism but also intrigued by the environmental aspect of the story, as storm chasers often contribute to field research around tornadoes and their behaviors. There is a lot of unknown when working on such a story. I couldn’t really tell my editors beforehand where we would go, what kind of landscapes to expect, because there is no set route and we would just follow the weather. Although we all hoped I would get to witness a tornado, nothing was certain. Pretty early on, we decided to make this a first-person story about the experience itself: my editors told me to photograph the waiting as much as the thrills, and to take a lot of notes about smells, varying temperatures, whether the air felt humid or dry, in order for my captions to convey a sensory experience.

Did they introduce you to the meteorologists?
I did some research online and had multiple phone conversations with several meteorologists before I decided to travel with Lanny Dean, a 46 years old storm chaser from Oklahoma. He was experienced (he had already witnessed about 600 tornadoes when I met him), good at explaining the scientific side of his job and importantly, he really was a character. He usually only takes 3-4 guests at a time and likes to get to know them really well, so I thought I would be able to tell his personal story and also understand why his guests were fascinated by storms to the point of dedicating their only annual vacation to chase them.

How long was this assignment?
The tour itself was a week long so my total traveling time from California was around ten days. I initially thought of this as a one-off assignment but it may become part of a long term project about alternative ways to experience the wilderness.

How did you earn their trust?
We drove about 1700 miles together, so it gives you quite a bit of time to chat. There were two storm chasers, Lanny Dean and Tyler Schlitt, their three guests, and me. We would share meals, stretch our legs together at every gas station. We tried to laugh together at our own disappointment when a gigantic supercell turned into nothing before our eyes, or when we failed to see a rare cold-air funnel cloud because it took us to long to get out of the van. When we experienced our first tornado from up close, in McAlester, Oklahoma, it created a deep bond between the other guests and I. It was a dream for them and I was there to see it fulfilled. There was a lot of joy but also an element of fear. It is a very unique experience to share with someone.

How did the project inform your photography moving forward?
This project encouraged me to pay more attention to the quiet moments when I photograph. I knew a lot of talented and fierce photographers had already captured the tornadoes in a way I wouldn’t be able to achieve with no previous chasing experience and with so little time. My editors at GEO wanted me to convey the internal feeling of searching for the tornadoes and to give a glimpse of the other side of storm chasing: it’s not always glamorous!

I know you recently finish the program at ICP, what are your future photo goals?
I just moved back to San Francisco after I graduated from the documentary photography program at the International Center of Photography in New York City. I am hoping to find a balance between doing assignment work and developing long term projects. I am mostly interested in stories about the environment, health and aging, and the exploration of alternative lifestyles. I am currently preparing for two exhibitions in the Fall, at the Encontros da Imagem photo festival in Braga, Portugal, and at the Festival for Ethical Photography in Lodi, Italy. I am very excited to explore different spaces where my projects can live: in magazines, on social media, on gallery walls and in public spaces. It gives me the opportunity to work with a variety of editors that often have very different perspectives on my work, which makes it a very good learning experience.

The Daily Edit – TIME: Hugh Kretschmer

TIME

Creative Director: DW Pine
Photographer: Hugh Kretschmer

Heidi: How did the idea for Plastic Waves come about?
Hugh: I had been working on a personal environmental project around water using recycled, repurposed, or rejected plastic sculpted into water effects. I would take the sculptures to specific locations and photograph them in the right light.After about a year, I saw a Robert Longo charcoal drawing at a gallery here in LA, and that was when the idea for Plastic “Waves” hit me. The artwork was from his Epic Wave series, and his masterful rendering of texture made me think of plastic garbage bags. Although a completely different interpretation, this one image out of the series is closest to one of Longo’s waves. It’s the one I saw in the gallery that day. Since then, I’ve shifted away from that first project, titled Mirage, and solely working on the Plastic “Waves” series.

Where did you photograph the sculpture? ( it looks like the wave is built in two pieces)
It was during the early days of the pandemic when every public outdoor space was off-limits, and the beach where I photographed the first one was on that list. So, I had to hike the sculpture and gear up to a fire road near where I live in the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s a remote trail that was closed, but I set up behind a bend at the foot of the trailhead, out of view. Yes, this sculpture was designed in two parts. I wanted to force depth in the image and frame the smaller section in the foreground and close to the lens. It gives the perspective that feels as if you’re swimming in the ocean, watching the wave go by.

What did you use for the waves and the wave’s foam and spray?
The process starts with chipboard as the base that defines the overall shape. Then repurposed pillow batting is applied to the surface, giving the sculpture visual volume. On top of that, I lay an aluminum screen over the entire area that is visible to the camera. The screen provides tooth for the next application, paper pulp made from old newspapers combined with a binder. Once it dries, I laminate black plastic garbage bags to the surface using a spray mount and a hairdryer.

The last step is the most time-consuming: recreating the foam and spray. It’s critical because that is where the eye goes first; the details must be as realistic as possible. That area is made from a translucent garbage bag of different thicknesses, each serving a particular purpose. The foam is loosely crumpled from a thicker plastic to hold its shape, while the spray is made from a thinner version. The spray is where most of my time is spent. I make hundreds of little pompoms that I hot glue to the surface and add hundreds of longer ones that I speckle throughout. During capture, I use a neutral density filter, small aperture, long shutter speed, and an electric leaf blower that gives off the illusion of motion to the spray.

How much testing did you do with the plastic bags?
I didn’t test the plastic bags so much as learn how to turn a 2D artwork into a 3D sculpture. The first wave I attempted resulted in four iterations before I could get it right. That means starting over from scratch each time. I’ve gotten a lot better at controlling the issues by altering the techniques I use and having a complete understanding of what types of bags work best for each area of the sculpture I’m working on. Ultimately, it is all about the light and reflection and how it interacts with the particular garbage bags. I’ve been at this for a while and now design the waves in a specific way depending on the light at any given point in the year. The wave’s design has to be oriented to the right for summer projects, while the winter months require it to face the opposite direction.

What was most challenging about the build for the cover image and the wave image?
Creative Director DW Pines selected a photo from 2020, and I didn’t explicitly create it for the cover. He had already designed the cover with my image and sent it to me with his initial inquiry. But he asked about creating a shot in the week we had, but I told him they can take weeks, sometimes months, to make, and there wasn’t enough time. And time is the most challenging aspect of this work. The process has a mind of its own and is unpredictable, and is due to the materials I use not bending the way I want. However, I’ve changed the techniques to work around those issues. The capture phase of the project is also a challenge because I usually end up photographing the sculpture four or five times before I feel it’s right. Until the sculpture is ready to be photographed, I haven’t seen the sculpture in the intended lighting, and that’s when all the flaws and issues appear. So, I’ll bring it back to the shop, make the necessary changes, take it back to the beach and try again.

What was your intent for these images?
One point I’d like to share is my intent for these projects. Plastic “Waves” and Mirage were both started because I wanted my work to have a purpose, and environmental causes are what these projects’ primary objective is geared towards. I want to benefit nonprofits devoted to water conservation through gallery print and book sales. This syndication is my first opportunity to do so, and I’m very proud to be writing that first check.

The Daily Edit – Dawn Kish photographs Glen Canyon

Dawn Kish

Heidi: How did that camera find its way to you?
Dawn: A few years ago, my friend Richard Jackson and I were working on a large format project together. Jackson is a master printer and makes beautiful photographic prints. Out of the blue he hands me this old Crown Graphic 4×5 camera and says, “Would you be interested in using this camera? It belonged to Tad Nichols.” My jaw dropped. I am a huge fan of Tad’s work and feel like he is the Ansel Adams of Glen Canyon. He photographed Glen Canyon in the 1950’s before it was buried under a watery tomb called Lake Powell. Tad documented the pre-damed canyon with this camera and he did 16mm motion pictures as well.  In 1998, there was a big push to get these important photos published and get his archive to Northern Arizona University (NAU). Tad and Richard became friends on a river trip many years before and he became the printer for his book, Glen Canyon-Images of a Lost World.  Tad passed away in 1999 and bequeathed this camera to Richard.

I told Richard, “No thank you, I’m worried I would harm this historical camera.” This offer made me nervous but I was also elated, but I said, “I’ll borrow it when I have a good project for it.” Well, 2 years later, Glen Canyon started to emerge and Lake Powell’s water levels are at its all time low since the fill up of the reservoir in 1963. Finally, I’ll go see Glen Canyon, a place I never thought I would experience in my life time except in books, photographs, films and Katie Lee songs. And I’ll take TAD (the Crown Graphic) with me. WHOOP!

Why was this body of work important for you to document?
This is a project of LOVE. The love for nature, photography, adventure and the historic significance. I can’t believe this happening. I feel it is my most important work yet to date. Plus, I’m from the Southwest and want to help preserve this iconic landscape. Tad spent time photographing pre-dam Glen Canyon, dam construction, and the resulting formation of Lake Powell with his 4×5



How much did Tads work from Glen Canyon: Images of a Lost World inform your body of work?

His book is definitely is an inspiration. I didn’t go back and recreate his work. I went back to explore and expose what I found and let creativity guide me. This is a creative project and not a replica of the old and new. Though, I do believe there are a few people doing this type of work. The book was my guide and Tad’s spirit to create art and advocacy for our public lands.

Since there’s a significant time and water gap, was it challenging to find the location?
It is still a giant lake. There is still 300 feet of water till you hit the river channel in the deepest parts. But the very outside of the lake is being exposed so you do have a glimpse of what was buried. I feel so honored to get to these places. Glen Canyon is massive and many side canyon fall into it. The logistics are overwhelming and feel I got just a glimpse of what is to be discovered. Tad documented the canyon for over 10 years. I have had 5 journeys by boat so far, that added up to about 12 days on using the camera in the field. I used Gaia maps and marked waypoints of the places on the map that I took the photos. All most all the images look like they are taken underwater by todays maps. Looks like I needed underwater housing and some scuba gear to get the shots.

Just trying to get on the lake there were delays and mishaps of all sorts – bad weather (fucking wind that turns the lake into an ocean), forest fires, road closures, ramp closures, running out of gas, breaking tents, sand in the cameras, sand in your crotch…I’m sure you get the idea. Hahaha. The place is over whelming but over all worth it. The beauty keeps calling me back.

If you were able to connect with Tad, what would your message to him be?
I would thank him for his determination in trying to save this beautiful canyon and documenting this natural wonder before it was all gone. I would tell him I’m going to Glen Canyon with his camera and called it “TAD”. To be honest, I talk to camera all the time when I’m making photos. I ask him to guide me and I usually take a huge breath when I release the trigger cable. I got a little nervous making the exposers on real film. I made sure I backed up my images with my Nikon. You don’t want to mess up because it is not a place you can return to so easily. There is a lot of money and time that goes into one exposer. So I try to relax, concentrate, breathe and talk to Tad and enjoy the beauty of the canyon.

What conservation groups did you work with for this project?
I am involved with the Glen Canyon Institute (GCI) and NAU archive to prepare exhibits about the emergence of Glen Canyon. The work will have an art advocacy message and a percentage of the print profits will go back into these non-profits.  If anyone would like a print they are available. I hope to get a book rolling too but not sure how to do this. I’ve never done a book before but i’m up for the challenge.

What’s your goal with this project?
My goal is to inspire people to not make the same mistake again and fight for our natural world. David Brower, CEO of the Sierra Club during the 1960’s, said, “This was my biggest mistake to let Glen Canyon go under.”

I also started a very personal heart felt film about the making of this project called, Tad’s Emerging World.  I’ll be submitting it to film festivals end of July.

The Daily Edit – Colin Arisman: Wild Confluence Media


Photographer: Colin Arisman
Wild Confluence Media

Heidi: When you look back on your images from the PCT with a camera in hand, how did that experience influence your photographic eye?
Colin: Looking back on the PCT – I had just graduated from college, I had no job or home to go back to. The experience was basically living out of a backpack for 5 months – it was both incredibly stimulating and repetitively boring. It was a fertile environment to really immerse myself in the photographic process and build habits around shooting daily. The hike was really my first focused endeavor into photography but by the end of the trip I had really begun to understand my camera and the fundamentals through daily repetition and experimentation. Looking back through Lightroom, I’m not very excited by the photos I took. I think what the experience taught me as a photographer and filmmaker was that if I’m fully engaged by a personal experience like hiking the Pacific Crest Trail – my creative energy and motivation flows from that excitement. I was so moved by certain moments, those synchronistic experiences of being immersed in nature and I wanted to share that. I learned that a camera could be a way to communicate things that cannot be put into words.

On a practical level, the PCT taught me how to be a “dirt bag”. I decided after that experience that I wanted to become a photographer but it took most of my twenties to pick up momentum professionally and really be able to get the assignments to build my portfolio. If I didn’t have the experience in my early twenties of living out of a tent, living out of a truck, living in shared spaces with seasonal workers, I don’t think I could have survived the lean years when I wasn’t making much at all as a freelance creative. I’ve really committed to pursuing the experiences and stories that I’m passionate about and the PCT was a big part of building that habit.

 

Tell us how this image of Tamo came about.
Tamo and I had the opportunity to travel around Hokkaido, Japan a few winters back in a little camper van. We were working on a documentary film project together and after the shoot wrapped, we blocked out a few weeks to try and visit different backcountry zones around the island. Our budget for the trip was very, very shoestring. We rented the smallest van that we could afford in Tokyo and drove it all the way north, caught a ride on the ferry and finally made it to the perfect zone. We’d tour up into the mountains all day. Make it back to the van by sunset. Visit a nearby onsen, grab ramen and then sleep in the closest parking lot. It turns out that car camping is culturally accepted in Japan, so we were actually camping near other local folks doing the same thing.

After a few weeks, the trip became a wonderful blur of deep snow, gas station sushi and hot springs. Some zones in Japan are just so magical. The snow is so deep and fresh – it is clinging to everything. Skinning up through the ancient birch forests feels just as rewarding as dropping in and going down. This big shelf fungus gave us a laugh, mid way up a tour and Tamo plopped down to pay homage and get some cover from the falling snow.

How did making the Brotherhood of Skiing inform you as a creative adventurer?
Making Brotherhood of Skiing was really an influential experience for me. Previously a lot of my work had focused on “wilderness” and spaces that are mostly absent of people. The National Brotherhood of Skiers is really about community, connection, and celebration through being outdoors together. The opportunity to hang out with NBS showed me how much that kindness, inclusion and joy is often missing from predominantly white recreation spaces. There is just some much love when NBS hits the slopes. After that film I started looking more carefully at what stories I wanted to work on and whose voices were a priority to amplify. It’s about equity in representation but also about keeping the creative experience fun and how much the process can flow when the folks in front of and behind the camera are resonating.

What are you working on now?
This summer I’m working with my partner to finish a remote cabin in the Tongass Rainforest in Alaska. My partner Elsa grew up here in coastal Alaska and part of putting roots down is a commitment to the visual storytelling that we think will benefit this community. I’m trusting that prioritizing personal experience over chasing jobs, will lead me professionally where I’m meant to go. I want to let my creativity flow from what I’m excited about in my life. A lot of my work right now is around documenting maritime and fishing culture. A new wave of Alaskans are striving to live in balance with the land after the decades of industrial excess and exploitation in Alaska. I strive for my photography in Alaska to be a celebration of that movement and the reciprocity between people and land.

Supporting Photographers With NFTs

Part 2 – Buying an NFT

Once you are up to speed on the terminology, licensing and have converted fiat (government-issued currency) into ETH, you can purchase your first NFT (Part 1 of my NFT series is here).

If you spend a few seconds on Twitter anymore, you will see streams of tweets from photographers in various stages of promoting their work in the NFT marketplace. From what I’ve seen, there’s a progression to how most photographers get involved for the first time and continue to promote their work on Twitter:

  1. Talking about your work and posting images on Twitter. Engaging with collectors and influential photographers by retweeting and commenting on their tweets.
  2. Getting an invite to a platform like Foundation.app and setting up your profile.
  3. Creating a collection and “minting” a number of pieces inside that collection.
  4. Tweeting out the availability, then doing a long thread on the collection or each piece to let collectors know the history behind it or your motivations for creating it.
  5. Starting a twitter spaces to talk about the work.
  6. When someone places a bid letting everyone know an auction has begun (when and NFT is bought there’s a 24 hour period where someone can outbid you to encourage a bidding war).
  7. Tweeting out a sale!
  8. Buying NFT’s from other photographers with your proceeds.
  9. Congratulating other photographers on a sale.
  10. Periodic tweeting of the number left in the collection or secondary sales that happen.
  11. Tweeting out a list of photographers you admire, have collected, or interact with.

So I was scrolling when I saw this:

Thought it was a fantastic image so I started following Adam and a week later this popped up on my feed:

I decided immediately that this was the photo I wanted to collect, and after I got my wallet and ETH situated (which took a week), I bought my first NFT. The beauty of the whole transaction was that I was able to find a photographer whose work I liked (I did visit his website several times https://www.adam-powell.net), and he had a project and image that spoke to me, and I could support that photographer with cash immediately. In exchange, I got a photo for my digital wallet that I can also display in an online gallery or digital picture frame. The ease with which it happened (once I had a wallet loaded with ETH)  made me think this is a pretty great way to support photographers.

Adam reached out to me after the sale to see if I wanted to know more about his work, so I asked if I could interview him for this article:

Adam moved to Brooklyn, NY, from East London 6 years ago and started wandering the streets every day, taking pictures with a film camera his dad gifted him. He immersed himself in the street photography scene and was a part of the collective NYCSPC https://www.nyc-spc.com for a while, but then the pandemic hit, and suddenly, there was nobody on the street to make pictures of.

Influenced by the subculture documentary work of Louis Theroux, notably his series Weird Weekends, Adam had visited various niche subculture events and conventions, beginning to explore the stranger sides of the American culture. Adam said, “at some point, a lot of street photography started to look the same to me, and I wanted to reestablish my photographic Identity. I moved away from the well-trodden paths of midtown Manhattan and began making work that reflects how weird the world is in small moments hidden in the every day, right under our noses, in NYC and across the USA”.”

Adam started sharing his work on Instagram, posting regularly, and at first found a lot of community there, but he says, “it started doing terrible things to my mental health.” The number of likes a photo got warped his view of his work, but he said, “it’s a load of shit because an algorithm that doesn’t understand photography controls what gets likes and what doesn’t.”

Sometime in 2020, his friend Zak Krevitt told him he should be making NFTs. Adam had invested a bit in crypto and saw the headlines of artists like Beepel selling work for millions of dollars, then Zach sold a trans liberation march piece (all for charity) for 17 ETH. Around the same time, Adam photographed the capital riot and took these crazy photos that he thought he could sell for a lot of ETH, but when he uploaded the images as NFTs, nothing happened. He told me that at the time, he didn’t realize how much work goes on behind the scenes to make these big sales, so he logged off.

Six months later, Adam had coffee with David Brandon Geeting, who was starting to get some traction in the NFT space and thought there might be some longevity to this now that artists like David, whose work he liked, had collectors buying it. So around the holidays, he dove back in and said he found Twitter to be “a very good place to be, very very supportive where Instagram is just a click world, Twitter is more engaging.”

Adam decided to start with his “6 favorite photos from 2021, the best photos I took that year.” The first photo he minted out of that group sold the same day. He thought, “this is going to be easy,” and slowly minted five more over the course of a few months, and even though a pretty prominent collector bought another one, he didn’t sell any more from that group.

Initially, Foundation, the marketplace where he minted his images into NFTs allowed you to sell individual images, but they changed the policy only to allow collections going forward, so Adam decided the next project would be “Enjoy Your Stay!” which is where I collected my first NFT. No others have sold since I bought my piece, and Adam says he doesn’t know why. The posts he made got good engagement, but the collectors and DAOs he DM’d said the work did not line up with their personal taste, which Adam says is ok because “this is an experiment; I’m not relying on it to make a living.” He says, “If it had sold out, maybe I would not be as motivated to continue to build the work. It invigorated me more.”

Adam told me this winter when he minted the pieces, he had a lot more time on his hands to promote the work and spend time on Twitter engaging with people, but now he’s seeing consistent assignments and doesn’t have time to promote his work. He says the assignment work “will always be number one for me because that’s how I get access to subjects.” He says he’s “worked very hard to get where I am professionally” and “creating personal work is the most important part of my photographic practice” and doesn’t want to give that up to spend more time promoting his NFTs.

I asked Adam about all the work required in the NFT space to promote yourself to collectors, and he said, “it’s not exclusive to NFT; you have to play the game” in every aspect of professional photography. He said, “the people doing well right now are really good at community building and promoting their work/brand; when collectors see that, they see people trying to grow the NFT space.” He thinks one aspect of the space that needs more attention is that it’s becoming a “criticism-free zone.” Adam says, “for good art to exist; criticism is an absolute must so photographers can improve their practice.” Adam thinks the fear of criticism comes from a fear of “offending the collectors and prominent artists.”

Adam says that buying an NFT from an artist is “one of the more impactful ways that someone can work with a photographer.” As someone who’s still establishing themselves, you cannot command much for a print, and the day rates for photojournalism are not high, but “.5 ETH is $1600 and can make a huge difference for a photographer.”

I asked him why he chose to price his work at .5 ETH, and he said, “Firstly, because it seemed on par with others whose work I like in the space, and then a lot of work I see being bought on Foundation is sold at the same price.”

If Adam had been offering prints or a Patreon to support his work, I would not have done either, but purchasing a 1 of 1 NFT seems like a good match to me. I can certainly imagine some future world where I have a digital gallery online displaying the original works I’ve collected over the years. I have stacks of books and prints lying around my house that I never look at, and I feel like I’m more apt to take a quick look at my digital collection than pull out some dusty book I’ve long forgotten. And as a person who collects to support photographers and have something to enjoy, this fits my model well. I do not believe NFTs will ever go away, and it’s something photographers can easily add to their business model right now if they are not relying on it as the primary income source. Many people are seeing outsized success or even defining their careers through NFT sales now, but for 99.9% of photographers, what’s happening with Adam will be more the norm.

Save The Date: ASMP Colorado Presents A Day With Wonderful Machine

Wonderful Machine has a fantastic event planned that you should check out:

The Business of Photography

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Wonderful Machine is teaming up with ASMP Colorado for a fun and informative virtual event covering the business of photography. You’ll learn about current trends in branding, marketing, social media, SEO, estimating, and shoot production from our photo editors, marketing specialists, and producers!

Event Schedule


Opening Conversation

10:30-11:00am ET / 8:30-9:00am MT

As our viewers settle in, moderators Rick Souders of Souders Studios and Bill Cramer of Wonderful Machine will share some thoughts about what they’ve learned in their combined 70 years in the photography business.

Rick Souders | LinkedIn | Website | Instagram
Bill Cramer | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Rick Souders
Souders Studios

Bill Cramer
CEO of Wonderful Machine


Building a Compelling Photography Website

11:00am-12:00pm ET / 9:00-10:00am MT

Join Senior Photo Editors Honore Brown and Deborah Dragon as they discuss what makes a great photographer’s website and share a few examples of successful sites. They’ll cover how to create a cohesive edit and how photographers can present their pictures effectively online to cater to their target audience.

Honore Brown | LinkedIn | Articles
Deborah Dragon | LinkedIn

Honore Brown
Senior Photo Editor

Deborah Dragon
Senior Photo Editor

Read More…
Expert Advice: Building A Functional Photography Website
Expert Advice: Web Design Basics For Photographers


Self-Published Photo Books

12:00-1:00pm ET / 10:00-11:00am MT

We’ll learn how two photographers turned their self-assigned projects into self-published books – and the impact on their photography business. Joining us will be photographers Muhammad Fadli and Tadd Myers. Wonderful Machine Creative Consultant and Daylight Books Cofounder Michael Itkoff moderates.

Michael Itkoff | LinkedIn | Website

Michael Itkoff
Senior Creative Consultant

Muhammad Fadli
Photographer

Tadd Myers
Photographer


Creating Memorable Marketing Materials

1:00-2:00pm ET / 11:00am-12:00pm MT

Senior Designer Lindsay Thompson provides us with a bird’s eye view of the many ways to share your photographs with clients (including emailers, print promos, print portfolios, promotional gifts, PDF presentations, Adobe Express, stationery & business cards).

Lindsay Thompson | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Lindsay Thompson
Senior Designer

Read More…
Expert Advice: Visual Identity For Photographers
Expert Advice: Photographer Logos


Email Marketing for Photographers

2:00-3:00pm ET / 12:00-1:00pm MT

Join Senior Project Manager Nicole Poulin as she breaks down how to identify your elevator pitch and target clients that match up with your goals (touching on client research, individual emails, email campaigns, and client meetings).

Nicole Poulin | LinkedIn

Nicole Poulin
Senior Project Manager

Read more…
Expert Advice: The Best CRM Apps For Photographers
Expert Advice: Why Photographers Need A CRM
Expert Advice: Email Marketing For Photographers
Expert Advice: Client Types: Brands
Expert Advice: Prospect List Services
DemandScience: Which EU Countries accept B2B Emails post-GDPR?
Komyoon: Liz Miller-Gershfeld, V.P Exec. Art Producer, BBDO on How to Show Your Portfolio


Instagram & TikTok for Photographers

3:00-4:00pm ET / 1:00-2:00pm MT

Project Manager Marianne Lee moderates a conversation with two photographers who are producing content for (as well as promoting their business with) Instagram and TikTok. Joining us will be Taylor Brumfield and Andre Rucker.

Marianne Lee | LinkedIn | Website

Marianne Lee
Senior Marketing Specialist

Taylor Brumfield
Photographer

Andre Rucker
Photographer

Read More…
Expert Advice: Instagram For Photographers
Expert Advice: Insight From Instagram Gurus


Top 7 SEO Tips for Photographers!

4:00-5:00pm ET / 2:00-3:00pm MT

SEO Specialist Ashley Vaught shares his thoughts on best practices for attracting organic web searches. He’ll also show how to track and understand the traffic coming to your site.

Ashley Vaught | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Ashley Vaught
SEO Specialist

Read more…
Expert Advice: Search Engine Optimization for Photographers
Expert Advice: Google Analytics Setup
Expert Advice: Google Analytics FAQ


Pricing & Negotiating Commercial Photography

5:00-6:00pm ET / 3:00-4:00pm MT

Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer explains the basics of creative briefs, estimates, terms & conditions, treatments, and creative calls. He’ll also provide insight on how to negotiate effectively with clients.

Craig Oppenheimer | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Craig Oppenheimer
Executive Producer

Read more…
aPhotoEditor: Pricing & Negotiating
Expert Advice: Treatments
Expert Advice: Terms & Conditions
Expert Advice: Estimate Worksheet


The Photographer & Producer Relationship

6:00-7:00pm ET / 4:00-5:00pm MT

Senior Producer Bryan Sheffield will explain his process of producing a big-budget photoshoot including crew, talent, styling, and location needs, how to manage a budget, and put together a comprehensive production book. Bryan will be joined by photographer Emily Andrews to discuss a recent project they worked on together.

Bryan Sheffield | LinkedIn | Website | Articles

Bryan Sheffield
Senior Producer

Emily Andrews
Photographer

Read More…
Expert Advice: How To Create A Production Book
Expert Advice: Hiring Crew


Closing Remarks

7:00-7:30pm ET / 5:00-5:30pm MT

Bill and Rick share their highlights from the day’s events and open the discussion up for anyone who wants to jump in!

Bill Cramer

Rick Souders


As this is an all-day event, please pop in and out of the sessions as needed. We hope to see you there!

Supporting Photographers with NFT’s

Part 1 – Getting my feet wet

I decided to dive headfirst into the NFT world a few months back. I wanted to understand how it all worked, and I gotta say, it’s not really something you can dip your toe in… so I decided the only way to do it was to become a collector.

If you don’t know already, Twitter is the place where most of the NFT action takes place and you will hear lots of discussions about how the photography world on Twitter is so supportive and kind to photographers. After spending lots of time building an audience on Instagram, many are coming over and seem to be having a much better time of it.

I have been on Twitter for a long time and have to say it’s been refreshing to see all the photography discussions on there now. In the past, Twitter was dominated by news organizations, and during the Trump presidency, it was simply unbearable with all the breathless takes every 5 min. Once I started following more people engaged in the NFT photography world, my feed filled with photos.

Another aspect of photo NFT and crypto, in general, is that the slang and abbreviations make it difficult to understand what’s going on. If you are just getting started, you will spend lots of time googling terms and concepts. Here’s a glossary you can start with: https://www.finder.com/nft-glossary Unfortunately, the terms people use make it difficult to follow along until you have memorized and studied a bit. At the root of all this is the blockchain and a token called Ethereum. It’s helpful to watch some videos or visit the official Ethereum site: https://ethereum.org/ to get familiar with the underlying tech. Many photographers would be happy to “onboard” you to this world as well.

As a collector, once you’ve identified an NFT you want to own, you need a wallet to buy it and store it, and before you get a wallet, you need some ETH to make the purchase in the first place. A quick note on Ethereum… the price is volatile, making messing around with this world difficult if you don’t have money you can afford to lose. Since I’ve been involved these last 3 months, I’ve seen the price of 1 ETH in USD go between $2,500 and $3,500. If you buy some ETH at the peak, you can easily lose thousands.

I opened an account at coinbase.com, linked my bank account and bought an ETH. Then I got a Rainbow wallet https://rainbow.me and tried to transfer the ETH over but soon found out that for your own safety, there are delays in purchasing crypto and transferring it out of your account which in my case took a week before I had it in a wallet where I could make a purchase. This is a good thing but be aware that moving between USD, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs can take time.

I should also mention that it’s somewhat trivial for someone to steal all your money (your wallet address is public, and everyone can see what’s inside the wallet). There’s a private key that only you have access to with a passphrase of 20 words that you have to store somewhere that gives anyone access to your wallet. You can put this in a file cabinet in your house (don’t lose it or the wallet is lost forever) but putting it on your computer or backing up to iCloud or google drive leaves you vulnerable to hacks. You can also accidentally click a link and authorize someone to wipe out your funds. If you are playing with lots of money here, you need to take security seriously and it’s not an easy topic to understand. Here’s a thread that explains it: https://twitter.com/punk6529/status/1506175497834795012

Are you still with me? Once you get all set up it’s very easy and fun but there’s a steep learning curve to get started.

Once I found an NFT, I wanted to buy… I realized I had no idea what I was buying, and further research was needed.

Without getting into the weeds too deep, my research revealed that most NFT transactions happen on the Ethereum blockchain because it’s where a contract can be written. You can start here if you want specifics: https://ethereum.org/en/nft/ but what I was really interested in was the license associated with the image you are buying. Turns out there isn’t one. In very simple terms, an NFT is a digital receipt that points to an image. You own the digital receipt in the form of a token. I think it’s common knowledge that you do not own the image, but I don’t think most people know you don’t have any rights to the image either. ZERO. The erc-721 token, which most NFTs use, simply creates a unique digital receipt in the form of a token that points to an image.

But there must be rights associated with NFT photography because marketplaces, wallets, Twitter posts, and virtual galleries display images all the time. I discovered that these rights are given to you by the marketplace where you purchase the NFT. For example https://foundation.app, a popular marketplace with photographers, states the following:

When you collect an NFT on Foundation: 
* You own the NFT that represents the artwork on the blockchain.
* You can display and share the piece.
* You can exhibit the piece on any platform or in any virtual space. 
* You can resell or trade it on a secondary market.

What you can’t do as a collector:
* You can’t claim legal ownership, copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights.
* You can’t use the artwork in a commercial context.
* You can’t make any changes to the artwork.
* You can’t share the work in a hateful, cruel, or intolerant context.
* You can’t create additional NFTs that represent the same artwork.

The actual terms of Service spells it out even further: https://foundation.app/terms

So what happens when you resell the NFT, or the marketplace disappears, or the NFT is delisted because of a copyright dispute? I don’t know, but I have experienced this firsthand and will address it in another article. Let’s just say that as a photo industry veteran, the whole licensing aspect of NFT is stupid. It’s such an afterthought right now, but I’m hopeful that this will change as more people who understand that licensing is everything get involved. We shall see.

I’m finally ready to buy my first NFT, which I will get to in Part 2. But there’s the elephant in the room I haven’t even addressed that makes NFTs a nonstarter for most people. Energy consumption. I believe this will be solved very soon with changes proposed many years ago that Ethereum seems to be on the verge of implementing. If these changes are not implemented, I don’t want to participate in the photography NFT world. Here’s an article that covers the changes https://coinmarketcap.com/alexandria/article/how-will-ethereum-2-reduce-energy-consumption. This series of articles assume the wasteful energy consumption of doing things on the blockchain will be addressed.

The Daily Edit – Brendan Davis: Patagonia Spring Journal 2022


Photographer: Brendan Davis
Photo Editor: Jakob Reisinger

Heidi: The use of natural light for the portrait is striking, how did that come about?
Brendan: This whole run was meant to shed light on the impacts of the potential catastrophe of copper mining in the Boundary Waters. I have gotten to know Alex fairly well over the course of this project and I have become aware that a lot of his life is dedicated to shining light on how amazing the Boundary Waters are to different people, whether it’s doing this run, bringing his kids on canoe trips, or in his work as the government relations director for the Save The Boundary Waters organization. He wants people to feel its importance. I wanted this photo to put the light on Alex and bring the important, yet often quiet, work he is doing out of the shadows.

For this image set Alex completed a 110 mile traverse in wild temperature swings, how much running did you do and what was your approach?
I ended up doing about 46 miles that day. Which is probably close to the longest I have ever gone and definitely the longest I have gone with a camera in my hand. While photographing something like this I find it really important to be with the subject as long as possible. Alex was going 110 miles and moving as fast as he can do that and I didn’t want to slow him down with setting up shots. I took photos stride for stride with him. Often in motion or I’d run up ahead and wait for him to pass. I press the shutter between steps as both feet are off the ground and I am floating for a fraction of a second. In the rare moments of pause, or exhaustion however you might look at it, I’d take notice of how Alex was feeling or how I was feeling and attempt to capture that how ever it may be. I was only doing less than half of the running Alex was doing so when things got hard for me I knew he must be feeling it to. Running and feeling it all with him I am able to get as close to the experience as possible leaving very little room for over romanticizing anything.

What was the biggest challenge for this shoot?
Well, I think just running 46 miles is hard. The trail is grueling with constantly going up and down or making windy turns. There is a reason most people experience the Boundary Waters by canoe instead of on foot.

It was hard to focus on making sure Alex was moving along the way he needed to be, taking photos on assignment, and taking care of myself all at the same time. Something had to fail a little bit. On the day of the run temps got up into the 80s with very noticeable humidity. Early on in the run I had thought there would be more opportunities for water refills and  I drank my two flasks early and was left with no water for about 2-3 hours. Eventually, I got what I needed, but my body was already going through the motions of crazy dehydration and the water consumed couldn’t catch up fast enough. Which culminated in my quads locking up rather intensely at mile 26. So intensely that it looked like there was a softball about to burst out of my muscle. It was so painful I actually fell to the ground and then threw up. This put me in a strange place because we were really far out there and obviously I was not going to ask Alex to wait for me. The only way out was the 20 miles of trail ahead of us, the 26 miles behind us, or hitch a ride on a canoe.  Alex and Clare Gallagher, another runner helping pace and crew, kept going ahead as I figured out how to get my legs moving again. Before Clare left me she shared some salt pills and said see you later.  I envisioned all the possible scenarios, the worst being that I would just sit there in the middle of the trail unable to move for hours in the middle of the incoming storm. Thankfully I got moving again and caught back up to Clare and Alex as they stopped to refuel with friends who had canoed in the day earlier.

Thankfully my hydration mistake wasn’t worse.

How much planning goes into a project like this, since you’re working with multiple people, one being mother nature?
No matter how much planning is done, while documenting an adventure there is always some acceptance of chaos. I am able to control the gear I bring, the amount of training I do beforehand, study maps, set visual goals, and just expect it to be hard.

Logistically, this sort of trip has so many moving parts so everyone needs to know they can trust each other to be organized and situationally aware to keep each other safe. Nature is rapidly changing in the spring and obviously not able to be controlled so we did what we could to prepare.

Thankfully, Alex is a master planner. He had multiple spreadsheets, the whole map labeled with mileage markers, and had coordinated with friends and family on where they had to be, and how they would get there. Which sometimes involved canoes. There were a few other runners who helped support him on the trail by keeping him company and making sure he was eating, drinking, and moving properly.

You’re known as a high peak runner, how did that translate into this project?
I’m really lucky to live a life that allows me to run in mountains all over the country. I have been running since I was a kid and competed throughout college. A lot of my closest friendsI made friends by running. It’s how I enjoy spending time and I owe a lot to the people and places I have shared miles with. Running has been a deeply important part of my life and I am grateful to be able to join people like Alex who also see running as something greater than logging miles.

It is easy to hear about someone doing a 110 mile run and understand that it is a difficult task. I like to think that being a runner myself and understanding the nuances in the process of even simply trying to accomplish something like this helps me know where to look for meaningful moments during the physical and mental highs and lows.

What have you been working on recently?
I am just finishing up a multimedia project called “Home 2 Home” with fellow photographers Forest Woodward, Joe Grant and musician Christopher Parker. A couple years ago Joe ran the entire 500 miles of the Colorado trail and we all photographed the experience on 35mm and 16mm film. The culmination of the project is a zine, short film, and an album. It’s all being presented this week at 5Point Film Festival in Carbondale. The whole concept is about home and the humbling and joyous journey of being there. I am really excited about how it all turned out and that we were able to put it in print!

The Daily Edit – Ancient Forest Alliance: TJ Watt


Ancient Forest Alliance

Founder and photographer: TJ Watt

Heidi: Nearly 1/3 of your life has gone to protecting the old growth and co-founding Ancient Forest Alliance. When did you realize you could blend photography and activism as a career?
TJ: I started to consider that possibility during photo school way back in 2007 when I was volunteering with environmental groups and shooting photos to help with their campaigns. I could see it was a powerful tool but it was hard to imagine it becoming a full time job though. Then, in 2010, the opportunity arose to launch the Ancient Forest Alliance with my friend Ken Wu. All of a sudden I was able to dedicate the time needed to explore and document the forests of Vancouver Island and BC. There were surprisingly few, if any people doing that at the time so it was exciting to get out there and really start highlighting the good and the bad. Here we are 12 years later, stronger than ever.

When you came across the 216 foot tall Douglas fir called  “Big Lonely Doug” standing tall amongst the clear cut on Vancouver Island, what emotions came up when you took photos of the tree?
Seeing Big Lonely Doug for the first time was heartbreaking. I had gone out that day in February 2012 to explore that exact location and when I arrived, all the trees were freshly cut down. Two years before I had explored the forest adjacent to Big Lonely Doug (now known as Eden Grove) and was returning to see what else lay hidden in the woods. I often wonder how history could have played out differently had we found Doug before the forest was clearcut around him. We had recently been successful in protecting Avatar Grove just down the road and with that momentum, we might have been able to do the same there. But things didn’t go that way. Maybe Doug’s higher purpose was to draw lasting attention to the plight of ancient forests in BC to the world abroad, which he continues to do to this day.

What’s your creative approach to photographing a 216 foot tree from the ground?
I’ve captured photos of Doug in a variety of ways: wide angles from the base, telephotos from a distance, fisheye from the top, drones from the air, and hanging out the side of a helicopter. It’s been a really interesting subject and friend to return to time and time again. Of course, one of the most unique things about Doug is that you can actually see the full height of the tree from top to bottom. Placing a person at the base really gives you a sense of the monumental scale of a tree that’s more than 4m or 12ft wide and over 20 stories tall. When we teamed up with professional tree climbers to help measure the tree, having a person dangling from the side of the trunk was also a wild perspective.

Did you expect these images to go viral?
In this case I think we did. As a photographer trying to explain a complex issue, the more you can distill the various concepts and feelings into a single image, the greater the impact be. Big Lonely Doug tells the whole story in one scene. It highlights both the beauty and grandeur of BC’s ancient forests and their unfortunate destruction. I think it also shocked people that logging like this was still happening during modern times here in Canada. It looks more like a scene out of the 1800’s before people may have known better. But instead, here we have the second largest Douglas-fir tree in Canada, surrounded by giant stumps, in a logging operation approved by the BC government. People were shocked and still are today.

Tell us about your photography process and set up, since you are in several of your own photos I assume to add scale and a human element.
Since I’m often exploring alone, I have to be self-sufficient. In my pack I carry my photo gear, tripod, food/water, and emergency gear and communication. Pre-trip, I will have scoped out a specific forest via satellite imagery and then have those maps loaded on my phone in the field. I then hike in and when I find something I would like to photograph, I set up my tripod and walk into the shot. I can control my camera from my phone which helps me determine where to stand and not have to run to beat the timer! Having a person for scale is the only way to truly grasp the size of these trees or stumps. I feel it also allows people to step into the scene and imagine being there themselves.

How difficult is it to get to these groves?
Most of the areas I’m photographing are quite remote and difficult to get to, which is a big part of why conservation photography is vital in getting the word out far and wide. Here’s a trip from yesterday for example: woke up at 4am, drove four hours to reach a remote valley, bushwhacked and photographed from dawn to dusk in a beautiful grove of giant trees that sadly are at imminent risk of being cut down, then a four hour drive back home, arriving at 10pm. The terrain and weather can be challenging as well. There are no trails in the woods or clearcuts so it’s up and over logs, skidding down steep slopes, scrambling through bushes well over your head, getting cuts and bruises from various sharp things, while often getting completely soaked from the rain (it’s a rainforest after all). But on the other hand, being alone in a forest that looks like something out of a fairy tale can also be one of the most peaceful and serene experiences a person can have. You’re surrounded by five hundred to one thousand year old trees, colorful little mushrooms, sunbeams cascading through the foggy air – it’s worth every bit of effort. Especially knowing that it might not be there the next time you arrive.

“Art is the highest form of hope,” is a line first expressed by the German painter Gerhard Richter in 1982, with your photography what are you hoping for?
My hope is to make people stop and feel something. I believe art can open doors into a person’s heart where it might otherwise be closed. Once that door is open, new information can be allowed in, including ideas and views they might not previously have been open to receiving.

My hope also is to expose the magnificent beauty and continued destruction of highly endangered ancient forests in BC to as wide of an audience as possible, ultimately helping to bring about the change needed to protect them.

Right now we are at a critical point in the history of the campaign to save ancient forests in BC. The government has accepted – in principle – recommendations from an independent science panel to temporarily defer logging of millions of hectares of the best old-growth across the province, pending approval from First Nations. This is in response to years of public pressure, fueled in large part by viral images we have shared of giant trees and giant stumps. Ultimately, permanent protection is  necessary because, under BC’s current system of forestry where trees are re-logged on average every 50-60 years, old-growth forests are a non-renewable resource. Tree plantations do not adequately replicate the complex and diverse ecosystems that they’re replacing, so we have just one chance to keep ancient forests standing for the benefit of the climate, tourism, wild salmon, endangered species, and many First Nations cultures.

Though it’s sometimes too late to save the trees pictured in my photos, I hope the images motivate people to get involved and advocate for the protection of the forests that are still standing.

Aside from social media and its ability to scale and tell the uncensored truth of the logging, what other photo based technology are you using to protect the trees?
In recent years I’ve found the use of drones really helpful. Technology has come a long way and now in as little as five minutes you can be up in the air, surveying and photographing forests or clearcuts from above. It’s such a unique perspective and cheaper/easier than flying. My next experiment with drones is to try and retrace flight paths after a forest has been cut to fade between the standing and fallen trees. Trail cameras are also pretty handy as well. I’ve just experimented using the basic game cameras you can buy online but they’re proven useful at capturing images of wildlife such as black bears and elk undisturbed. I keep hoping for a photo of a cougar.

How can folks help and get involved?
We need everyone involved at this critical time. Folks can learn more and take action on our website at www.ancientforestalliance.org Sign up on our email list and follow us on social media so you hear about the latest action alerts, photos, and news. And always remember, we have more power than we think we do. Collectively, we can – and will – change the world.
AFA Instagram: www.instagram.com/ancientforestalliance | @ancientforestalliance
Instagram: www.instagram.com/tjwatt | @tjwatt

 

 

The Daily Edit: Wink Face Photography: Wendy Domanski


Wink Face Photography

Photographer: Wendy Domanski
Instagram

Heidi: Who is more nervous on set, the dogs or the owners?
Wendy: It can be a combination of the two scenarios. Sometimes the dogs are a little shy when they see the camera or hear the shutter. If I am using off camera flash some dogs can be a bit nervous with the bright flashing lights. I always take extra time with the nervous dogs and start to desensitize them with treats if they are food motivated. The dogs are rewarded with a treat every time the shutter is pressed so they view it as a positive experience. The is especially true for dogs at the shelter that are often coming from a loud and stressful environment. The key is to go slow with them and help build trust before you can even think about bringing the camera out.

For the 2-legged people on set, a lot of times they’re worried or anxious about their dogs not behaving perfectly. I always try to have a conversation with them prior to the session and communicate with them that not everything is going to go perfectly and that’s okay. They are dogs or cats or whatever pet it is. There is a lot that is going to go wrong. I always tell them, if I wanted to photograph perfect dogs I’d be a stuffed animal photographer and what’s the fun in that?!  If the owners are stressed the dog will pick up on it and it will ultimately translate to a stressed-out dog which clearly doesn’t make for great photos. I want it to be a fun experience for the dogs and the humans so I’m always very reassuring and joking with the owners to help put them at ease and laugh a lot at the “bloopers” so they know it totally normal and part of the experience. At the end of the session I hear more often than not from the owners they had so much fun.

What are some of the creative ways you have to engage the dogs?
Every dog is different and it’s important to learn what motivates them. The best way to do that is to have a conversation with the owners prior to the session. For dogs it could be a ball, a treat, their favorite toy, or maybe certain words they react to. I’ll ask the owners if their pet is nervous around new people, loud noises, whatever it might be. The more information you have on the dog in advance the better it is so you can be prepared for the session. Noises are also a great way to get their attention.  I always have my bag of every noise maker in the world including whistles, squeakers, and duck noise makers to name a few. I’ve also perfected a lot of silly noises myself to help get the dog’s attention. I often get a of strange looks from the owners and anyone observing the session wondering where the crazy sounds were coming from — “Did your camera make that noise?!” which always makes me laugh. I wish my camera made all those sounds and it was so easy.  My dolphin noise is a classic example. You have to be prepared to do whatever it takes to get the dog’s attention and not care how crazy you look.  I find that this helps to put the humans at ease too. If they’re also in the photos I’m getting genuine smiles from people laughing at me and having fun and I’m just fine with that.  An important point to make with the noises however is that you must be prepared to the take the photo right after making the noise as each sound will only work once, maybe twice and then it’s time to go to the next trick in your bag.

How has this type of work informed your photographic eye and you as a creative?
The key to pet photography — especially dog photography — is to engage with the dog and bring out their unique personality. If a dog is happiest at the beach and running and jumping in the water then naturally we will pick a beach setting and we will do action shots. If a dog is nervous around other people or pets we may choose a quiet park.  Based on how the dog is reacting and I may help put them at ease by choosing a longer lens so I can give the dogs more space.  For the happy go lucky dogs that are playful and quirky I will often use my wide angle lens and get up close and personal to show off their funny expressions. This is often my favorite lens for pet photography not only because it helps bring out their fun features, but also to help incorporate the background or sky that is often an important element in my photos.


Your photography also involves outreach and rescue, how did that come about?
I’ve been very active in animal welfare and rescue long before I became a pet photographer. In fact, it was the main reason that I became a pet photographer. I wanted to help take beautiful photos of the dogs at the shelter to help get them noticed and adopted faster. At that time I was in medical device sales and had no idea how to use a camera nor did I even own a fancy camera.  I decided to take a leave of absence from my job and attend photography school in Montana the summer of 2015. While I was there I volunteered at the local Humane Society and Animal Control photographing their adoptable dogs and cats. This not only helped the shelters but it gave me valuable experience photographing animals and learning the craft of pet photography.

I fell in love with photography so much that when I returned home I took a leap of faith, quit the sales job and pursued pet photography full time. Keeping true to my mission of helping animals in need, in addition to booking regular client sessions I continue to donate a substantial amount of time photographing animals at local shelters as well as donating photography sessions to benefit numerous animal welfare agencies including C.A.R.E4Paws in Santa Barbara, CA.

What type of change have you seen since the onset of the pandemic?
The biggest change has been the amazing number of people who have adopted or welcomed pets into their homes. I have had an increase in client sessions wanting to photograph their new family members. Sadly, as people are going back to work many dogs are ending up back at shelters and shelters across the country are filling up once again.

What is the main difference for you photographically, beside verbal (words) between dog and people portraits? and how are they similar.
For me the main difference between photographing people and dogs is that people often require a lot more direction and posing. They look to the photographer for more guidance and can be self-conscious about their appearance.  They may want techniques to help minimize whatever their perceived issue is or ask me to “Photoshop it out” if possible. But it’s exactly the opposite with a dog — whatever makes them different is what I want to capitalize on. If the dog has big ears then perfect, I want to get those ears in all their glory. If it’s a dog with a big head, long tongue whatever it is that is unique to them, I want to show it off. I feel like more people should embrace those unique things that make them so different.

Regardless if it’s a dog or human that I’m photographing, the most important things to do are to make a connection with them, put them at ease, and always have fun. I don’t want any forced smiles. For people that may mean I’m using my Midwestern sarcasm to make them laugh. For the dog, I’m probably doing something odd or funny or making the dolphin noise which many times works for both.

 

 

 

 

The Art of the Personal Project: Collin Erie

 

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

 

Today’s featured artist:  Collin Erie

“How we perceive and make sense of the world around us is becoming challenging. As our reality becomes more and more influenced by our screens, I wanted to find a way to visualize this subjective human experience in our contemporary culture.”

 

To see more of this project, click here

Instagram 

 

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSeaseInstagram

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

 

The Daily Edit – 30 Moons Apart: Hashim Badani

30 Moons Apart

Photographer: Hashim Badani

Heidi: How were the first few months of lockdown in India for you?
Hashim: The initial months of lockdown in India skewed all sense of distance and direction. I was living close enough to my parents to spot their home, but further than I have ever been in every other way. I decided not to visit them through this period, which felt particularly surreal during the month of Ramzan.

How did you cope?
I borrowed a telescope and found it bridged the gap a little. I called Ma and asked her to come to the balcony. I was able to spot her–a white speck. This became a routine, even a strange mode of communication. I would make photos of her through the telescope, and she would make some pictures aimed in my general direction.

In between, I found myself collecting pieces of the city that surrounds us. Otherwise receding images gained focus–the fact that we’re a port, or that the sea is never far. This is where my father went to work; these were some of the places where I grew up. All seemingly unreachable but carrying a sense of familiarity. Much like the moon. The moon that dictates the beginning and the end of this month.

Maybe it is the strange solace we seek from traditions when times are tough. In the end they only fit right, together, in the lunar chart made over thirty days.

This grid of images shot through the telescope is a map of many things, but most of all it is a way home.

How did the pandemic force you to find creative solutions for self expression?
I think when the pandemic began and the world went into various states of lockdown, there was a massive urge for me (and I believe many others) to learn or create something during this period but then the numbers started rolling in and the devastation was extreme. People were losing loved ones. India saw a huge urban to rural migration crisis as the government had left its citizens with few alternatives. At some point we started looking inward and reflecting on what mattered to us. The work borne out of that stems from a similar space.

How did this new act of “seeing”, be it through binoculars or a telescope, push you as an artist?
It made me rethink my relationship with photography. One which had so far followed the more linear approach of having a brief and finding a way to translate it. This was more organic. There was no brief. I was responding to how I was feeling. That in some strange way altered things for me and now I find myself more curious about the idea of photo fiction rather than just documenting.

What made you keep the edges of the images organic?
When I began looking at the images together it was fairly obvious to me what I was going to do with them. The imperfect circles of the images were what got me to that decision.

What are you bringing forward from the last two years, and what are you leaving behind creatively?
A large part of my decade old career has involved traveling. Mostly internationally. The pandemic turned that on its head. I wasn’t certain where my next gig would come from if I wasn’t allowed to travel. It took me a good year to make peace with that and change my approach to make work with what surrounds me. So far it has been rewarding. I am no longer excited by the idea of ‘skimming the surface travel editorial’ type of shoots that I once truly enjoyed. I want to find ways of doing work that is more immersive, closer to home or the idea of home.

Are you still selling prints in order to support those in need?
My print sales are currently not associated with any organisation but please keep an eye on my instagram handle for regular updates.

What projects are you working on now?
I am currently pursuing assignments that I am not certain I would have made the time for in the past. Some perhaps not as much about the images produced but the learnings they allow. I am currently in the process of documenting the palliative care work done in India by the Cipla foundation. At the same time I am quite excited by the idea of photo fiction and the path it allows me to take to narrate certain stories. One of them is called #makingupmanto. The series allows me to relook and document South Central Bombay through the life of a prolific and controversial writer who briefly lived in the city during the country’s partition years. I have also found myself on the other side of the camera hosting and participating in non fiction shows this year and it has been an interesting experience.

John Davidson – Featured Promo

John Davidson

Who printed it?
Smartpress. I’ve used them for the last couple of years, and the quality has been excellent every time. For photographers, color accuracy is obviously one of the first things we look at and I feel they do a great job in that regard. Their pricing is also very fair, helped in part by the flexibility they offer in terms of production quantity.

Who designed it?
It was a collaboration between myself and Peter Dennen of Pedro + Jackie. I usually have a fairly clear idea of the overall look and feel I’m after, but Peter was particularly instrumental in putting this one together.

I’ve worked with Peter on web edits, print book edits and a couple of promos. It’s always a conversation, which is as it should be, I think. Obviously one characteristic of a good conversationalist is the ability to listen, and Peter is not only good at that, but he’s good at parsing the necessary information from the conversation. He’ll also tell me if he thinks I’m headed in the wrong direction, which I appreciate. Of course, I’d like to think that doesn’t happen too often! But Peter has frequently made visual connections in my work that I might otherwise have missed.

Tell me about the images.
I conceived of this promo mostly as an introduction to this element of my work for potential clients who might not already know me or my work. With that in mind, I drew from a larger body of work rather than the most recent work specifically.

One of numerous privileges of my long relationship with Texas Monthly is that I’ve covered Texas far and wide… and as we know, it really is far and wide.
I think there’s only one image that’s not from Texas (it’s potentially a little awkward thematically, but I don’t think it registers in a huge way visually), so I think it really grounds me as a Texas-based photographer (for better AND most definitely for worse!).

How many did you make?
60. It’s a 28 page booklet, and it’s a fairly targeted campaign. I felt that I could order more a little later if needed.

We also designed a large-format hardcover print book that was largely based on this booklet. I intended ordering a handful of these books, thinking I’d show them at portfolio reviews and also send a couple to the likes of Wonderful Machine for them to show at their client meetings. Then the pandemic happened before I had chance to order them.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
In a normal year 3-4. I try to put together one booklet or at least a tri-fold, and beyond that, I typically send out a couple of postcards every year too.
But of course, this wasn’t a normal year…

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
How much space do we have to devote to this subject?! Typically, I would say yes. The message when it comes to effective marketing seems to be about consistency across multiple channels. As many of us would admit, this a theory that isn’t always put into practice with as much reliability as we’d like… That said, I think a good printed piece is always going to resonate. Done well, it shows an extra level of care and attention to detail.

However. What about in the midst of a pandemic? What about now that work culture has irrevocably changed, and many art buyers, art directors, and editors won’t be returning to the office with anything approaching regularity? Truth be told, these promos were delivered to me literally DAYS before we went into our first lockdown. I sat on them for a year because who was going to be in an office receiving them? I finally reached the point that I felt they had to go out if they were to represent current work in any way. I sent them out in the knowledge that a significant number of them wouldn’t reach their intended audience, yet 50% of something beats 100% of nothing.

Meanwhile, the email boxes of industry creatives overfloweth. Honestly, I empathize with them. Who can possibly keep up? But right now, even as many emails will go ignored out of sheer necessity, it’s still the best option we have in terms of reaching creatives. This is obviously a time to nurture established relationships as well as seek to make new connections.

With all of this in mind I recently worked with a designer to create an attractive, adaptable email template, hoping to up my email game. Whatever we can do to grab a moment’s attention, right?