This Week in Photography Books: Peter Funch

 

Have you heard about the Uighurs?

In Xinjiang?

They’re people, of Muslim descent, who are getting royally screwed in China these days.

According to reports, as many as 1 million Uighurs are locked up in re-education camps, in Western China, where they’re forced to eat pork and renounce their God.

Happy times!

Seriously, as far as dark humor goes, when I was discussing the Uighur situation with friends in London, I joked that at least they weren’t getting discriminated against, really.

China will re-educate anybody!

(And of course I’m joking.)

The story got a bit of press last month, as I recall reading an editorial or two about the situation. In one article, (maybe in the Guardian?) it mentioned they were using surveillance tech, and digital tracking, to follow people by their routine.

Meaning, any deviation from your normal physical travel route, or usual digital activity, and they would have reason to be suspicious of you.

While Sartre suggested that Hell is other people, the Chinese are using tech to turn your regular routine into a form of prison, if not outright torture.

Welcome to 2019!

(Cue the creepy music. Maybe low-tone piano, with a lumbering pace?)

I’m thinking of this today, having just put down “42nd and Vanderbilt,” a superb book by Peter Funch, which came in last year from TBW Books. (But was published in 2017.)

I told you guys that in the midst of a crazy summer, filled with travel and adventure, there might come a time when I’d lean back on a book review, just to catch my breath.

To create an interval, of even a week, in which I can let my experiences settle into memories, and then decide which ones are worth sharing. (Because everything feels intense and fraught with meaning, when you’re on the road and in the moment.)

So a few minutes ago, I was on the floor stretching, when this book caught my eye on the shelf, still wrapped in plastic. Paul Schiek, a friend of the column, and publisher of TBW Books in Oakland, has been kind to send books over the years, and I haven’t had the chance to review them all.

This one, apparently, was shelved without being perused.
(My apologies.)

We’ll rectify the indignity today though, while also highlighting an amazing project that I’m glad to know about.

I mentioned previously that I’m coming out with my first book this year, and just wrote a statement about how I’m always going on about context, when I write for you.

What do you need to know to understand a book?

Well, this one cuts to the heart of it like the evil dude in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. (Sorry for conjuring that visual.)

The book opens with a short statement: “Between 8:30 am and 9:30 am, from 2007 to 2016, at the southern corner of 42nd St and Vanderbilt Avenue in New York City.”

In other words, you don’t need to know anything more than that.

When I first hear 42nd St, I think Times Square.
Midtown.

All the tourist hustle.

But immediately, it becomes clear this is not a story about tourists. Given that I wrote last month about NYC becoming a global city for outsiders, this book presents a series of images that is as old school as it gets.

Shit, it makes me think of Old New York in the best possible way.

Because right away, you notice that people are repeating. With ever so slight differences.

Clothing choice.
Wind in the hair.

These people are on their morning commute!

Commuters!

I love it.

But where?

New York City is famous for a grid, and the Avenues along 42nd Street are numbered.

Where’s Vanderbilt?

I thought about it for a minute or two, and though it should have been obvious, it was not. So finally I opened up Apple Maps. (I’ve been breaking my no-research rule more often lately.)

Of course, Vanderbilt runs alongside Grand Central Station!

Not only are these people commuters, they might not even be New Yorkers. Because the photographer brilliantly stationed himself right next to the biggest transport hub in the city.

(I didn’t know Vanderbilt, because as a Jersey Boy, I’ve always used Penn Station. The trains from NJ don’t go to Grand Central.)

These pictures are so damn good.

The book is like Where’s Waldo mixed with William Christenberry, with a touch of Paul Graham thrown in for good measure.

Just fantastic.

And perfect for an early summer’s day.

I wonder if the streets of New York smell like garbage yet?

Bottom Line: Amazing, conceptual NYC street portraits that play with time

To purchase “42nd and Vanderbilt” click here

 

 

The Art of the Personal Project: Kate Woodman

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:  Kate Woodman

Growing up as a kid in suburban New England, there was always something enchanting about the west. Stories of entrepreneurial pioneers leaving everything they knew and heading out into unchartered territory read like epic fairytales–the great American quest into the vast unknown, with trials and tests around every corner, and insurmountable obstacles overcome by singular resolve, spontaneous ingenuity and some good old fashioned luck.

I think like most Americans, I have a tendency to romanticize our history.  I am often confronted by a sense of nostalgia for times gone by—a compelling ache for experiences I did not experience and never will. This nostalgia has been an ever present theme in my life since childhood, and as an adult has manifested in my work—first as a historic preservationist and then as a photographer.  It inspires in me an insatiable need to preserve that which is lost, whether through the restoration of a house or the creation of a visual narrative—ensuring that its memory is honored and lives on.

But nostalgia is a funny thing. It is a non-experience, an artifice of memory, and like the great American fables of the west, and it glosses over the day-to-day minutia and trivializes the mundane.  But there is beauty in the quiet moments interspersed between the pivotal plot points. Beauty in the last rays of sun hitting your face as you pick fresh flowers for your table; in the dust filtering the light as you pull today’s laundry off the line; in the warped and weathered wood of the front porch railing; and in the cool night air settling in as you check your herd before turning in for the night.  This series seeks to marry the romantic idealism in my mind’s construct of the era with the mundane day-to-day life of the pioneer by creating a cinematic visual narrative.

The series in part is inspired by the location itself. The Dalles Mountain Ranch, located in the rolling hills of the Columbia River along the historic Oregon Trail, was settled in the 1860s. The land proved to be harsh and unsuitable for farming, forcing the settlers to ranch cattle rather than harvest crops.  It was eventually lost in the Great Depression and subsequently whittled away parcel by parcel until eventually purchased by the state and designated as a preserve.  The ranch is an archetype of the fate of American ranching and now stands as a melancholic relic of an irretrievable time long since past.

 

To see more of this project, click here.

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 @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

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.

 

Pricing and Negotiating: Multi-City Portraits for Tech Company

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Environmental portraits of employees in six cities

Licensing: Unlimited regional use of up to nine images for one year from first use.

Photographer: Portraiture specialist

Agency: Medium in size, based in the South

Client: Technology company

Here is the estimate:

Creative/Licensing Fees: The goal was to capture environmental portraits of nine employees in front of various landmarks within six different cities. Three of the cities would focus on just one employee, and the photographer would capture two employees in each of the other three cities. All of the locations were within driving distance of one another. Upward pressure was placed on the fee due to the unlimited use requested; however, we were able to limit the licensing to regional placement for just one year. The geographic reach was even more limited, with each image being advertised only within the city where the photo shoot took place. Considering this, I priced the first six images at $2,000 each, and the three photos of employees in the same location at $1,000 each. I then added $1,250/day as a creative fee for each of the six shoot days, which brought me to $22,500. It conveniently broke down to $2,500/image. I often increase the creative fee closer to $2,500-$5,000/day, but the nature of the project and my inclination to a tight budget made me err on the side of caution.

Pre-Production: I included five pre-pro days for the photographer to line up the project or for a producer to help with pre-pro work. It included three days to work with scouts in each location and two additional days to line up crew and make travel arrangements.

Assistants: I anticipated that the photographer would bring a first assistant (who would double as a tech) and a second assistant for the entirety of the trip/shoot.

Hair/Makeup Stylist: While the talent would be asked to arrive camera ready, we included a stylist for each of the six shoot days to help with touchups and manage light wardrobe adjustments as well.

Equipment: I included $500/day for a basic grip/lighting package that the photographer would bring, rather than renting.

Mileage, Parking, Misc: I included $100/day in mileage and $50/day in miscellaneous expenses for each day, then rounded down a bit.

Meals for Crew, Per Diems: This included $50/day for the photographer, first assistant, and second assistant — covering each of their travel/shoot days. I added $30/day for lunch to cover the hair/makeup stylist. We anticipated half-day shoots at most, which is why we didn’t initially include catering.

Lodging: I anticipated $250/night for two rooms, for six nights.

Location Scouting, Location Expenses, Permits: I included two and a half days per city for each of six cities. It was a challenge to estimate, and I initially anticipated at least three different scouts would be involved — each of which could cover multiple locations, but we could have potentially needed a scout in each of the six cities depending on availabilities and the demands of the areas. They would have to make recommendations from their files, scout the location in person, pull permits, negotiate location fees if necessary, and potentially be on-set if needed. I felt 15 days total would cover the task collectively. I included $250 per city for miscellaneous expenses like mileage and meals that the scouts would likely incur. I included $500/city for permits and marked additional location fees as TBD because we wouldn’t know of any additional costs until specific locations were dialed in. Some public spaces might only require a permit, but other “recognizable” landmarks may need a location fee or a necessary payment to acquire a release. Other locations might not demand any permit depending on the local film office guidelines but could require a space for staging. I felt that the expenses we included were a good start based on the initial project description; however, we anticipated that we’d have to re-address this as the scope of the project solidified.

First Edit for Client Review: I included $1,000 to account for the photographers time to go through the assets each day and compile web galleries for the agency to review.

Color Correction, File Cleanup, and Delivery: I included $100/image for basic post-production.

Results: The photographer was awarded the project.

Hindsight: Initially, we discussed a relatively lean production level with the art buyer, assuming each day would likely be a half day and the client/agency contacts on site would be minimal. We ultimately received a lengthy list of attendees, and it became clear that they needed a higher level of production on-site. The photographer, therefore, brought on production assistants in each city to be dedicated to client services.

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

The Daily Edit – Suitcase: Catherine Hyland

- - The Daily Edit





SUITCASE

Creative Director: Sebastian Bland
Editor: Olivia Squire
Photographer: Catherine Hyland

Heidi: What were some of the challenges with the shoot?
Catherine: One of the challenges was aligning energy and the personality I wanted to capture, this becomes difficult with a communication barrier at play and a middle aged translator interpreting my direction. What they’re feeling becomes a mystery. You can’t communicate to say – I’m a nice person and I want to make you look good! So that whole thing is totally cut off. Who knows what we would have made if we were able to have a laugh together.

I know you had a turning point with this project. Tell us how that came about.
Getting out of Ulaanbaatar immediately opened up new possibilities. “Ideally, you don’t really want to be doing things impulsively,” Catherine says. “But at the same time I think that’s when some of the best work gets made. When we were trying to get the older sumos together in the gym, it was actually very stale compared to the rest of the work we made.”

Do you have a journal or a way of keeping track of your story ideas? Can you describe your process for crafting something that feels the creative pursuit?
Yes, I have a journal that I use to keep track of my ideas. I also do quite extensive research into projects before they are undertaken, sometimes I will have been researching projects for a few years before they come into fruition.

Did the images come before the film you did with We Transfer?
They were shot at exactly the same time, on the same trip. I went out there specifically to make this personal project on The Rise of the Mongolians which was funded by WePresent/WeTransfer.

How did you gain acceptance into the community in order to make the work?
On this particular trip we had fixers who helped translate and introduce me to a mixture of people in the Sumo community.

How long were you there?
2 weeks

Was this the first time you were working with Suitcase?
No, they had previously published my project ‘Wait-And-See Pudding with Patience Sauce’, shot in on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean.

The Daily Promo – Gabriela Hasbun

Gabriela Hasbun

Who printed it?
White Wolf Web Printers. From day one George had the vision to print this series on newsprint and he was on point.

Who designed it?
George McCalman of https://www.mccalman.co/

Tell me about the images?
The images are from two rodeos in California that I’ve been documenting on and off for the past ten years. One is the Bill Pickett Rodeo (an all-black rodeo) in Oakland, CA and the other is the Silver Buckle Rodeo in Taylorsville, CA. I attended my first rodeo back in 2007 in Oakland and the following year I took my RZ and that was that. All of the series is shot on film. I fell in love with the people, the fashion, the horses, and the landscape.

I love learning about this part of American culture that is so foreign to me. I am a fly on the wall with my favorite camera and a couple of lenses and nothing else. It’s majestic. With this promo, I wanted to create something that editors would keep or pin to their walls. I knew it was time to share work I am deeply connected to, especially personal work of mine they might not see me share regularly.

How many did you make?
1000 printed copies

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Once a year

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I think art departments are quite overwhelmed with email outreach these days so I’m hoping it’s nice for them to receive a thoughtfully designed and edited zine.

The Best Work I Saw at Photolucida: Part 1

 

Part I

My father always said, American politics acts like a pendulum.

It swings to the left and right, at its edges, but seems to course correct before going too far in either direction.

In general, I agree with him.

But my Dad also said that Trump would be removed from office within his first year. (He was sure of it.) As did my brilliant, former graduate-school professor, and he has a PhD.

Each went so far as to pick out a 3 month window during which Trump would go down in 2017.

Honestly, though, I never believed it.

Not for a second.

I countered that no matter how guilty Trump was, no matter how obvious the crime, Republicans would always have to fold en masse for Trump to go down, and I didn’t see it happening.

No matter what.

“If the Republicans won’t turn on him, they can’t convict him in the Senate,” I said, “which means he can do whatever the fuck he pleases.”

And here we are, in 2019.

So it’s no surprise that Bob Mueller comes out and says that he didn’t charge the President because he didn’t have the constitutional authority. And then he drops, “When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation…”

It’s been noted that that Mueller said, “when,” not “if,” while beseeching everyone to take him at his literal word.

So we wonder how much further it can go, this erosion of our checks and balances?

Do the Republicans want to control everything forever?

One party rule?

Now Trump is again “joking” about serving 4 or 5 terms.

At what point do we take that seriously?

Countries that support one-party rule are not democracies, nor republics. They’re autocracies, or communist entities, or totalitarian states.

A healthy America needs two healthy political parties.

These days, it’s hard not to wonder if our system will withstand the Trump years?

 

Part II

I stayed with my buddy Hugo in London last week. (He made appearances in the column in 2012 and ’13.) Hugo will turn up in the London stories, for sure, though his black Porsche has been sold, I’m afraid.

“Hugo at the bus stop”

As soon as we got to discussing American politics, (Hugo grew up in NYC, but has lived in England since 2007,) he just kept talking about “Divide and Conquer,” shaking his head.

Like, could you Americans be so stupid as to fall for this shit again?

He and I commiserated, as when we were at Pratt, in the early aughts, Post-Modern theory was all the rage then as well. Identity politics were a part of it, but back then, it was more Derrida-heavy.

Like, “Nobody can say anything about anything, because all language is a loaded construct. Every single word can be deconstructed, so nothing means anything in the end.”

It depends upon your definition of the word “is.”
That sort of thing.

These days, it’s been taken a step further, to become: “Nobody can say anything about anything that is outside their personal construct of: gender, class, social status, sexual orientation, race, age, etc.”

Strategically, “Divide and Conquer” works, which is why some rich folks dispatched Steve Bannon over to Europe to organize the far right groups, and simultaneously attack European Unity.

(If you’ve been reading the news, it’s been working. Beyond Italy and Germany and France, even in England, Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party is thriving.)

But in the American left, and especially in media and the arts, identity politics taken to this extreme is literally succumbing to a divide and conquer strategy.

I’ve written about this stay-in-your-lane-ism for several years, and was perhaps early in identifying it. So let me be the first to say, I think the wave may be cresting.

These ideas were so out there, so front-and-center at Photolucida last month, I expect that we might see a restoration of balance, with respect to any room for concepts of Universalism, or General Humanism, within the photo community.

(Has the shark been jumped?)

At the reviews, multiple photographers showed up at my table near tears, or having recently been in tears, as their work had been attacked for being improper, based upon who they were.

I really don’t know how many people I met who told me their photographs had been considered controversial because they weren’t of a certain ethnic or racial group, or class, so they should not be commenting outside their lane.

Lots of hurt feelings, that’s for sure.

 

Part III

Why ask these questions?
Why go here today?

Well, we’ve found ourselves in Part 1 of The Best Work I Saw at Photolucida, but we’ve done it in a round-about way.

Rather than do a book review, or show you jpegs of portfolios, we’re going to take a short look at three books that ended up in my bag during the week.

The first is “Across the Omo Valley: The Ethnic Groups of Southern Ethiopia,” which I was given during a review by Kelly Fogel.

Now, Kelly was obviously white, and seemed to be a young Jewish-American woman from LA. (She later added that she’s blonde.) Kelly sat down to show me photographs from Africa that seemed to hybridize fashion and art into hip, stylish documents.

I liked the photographs right away, on merit, but could see where the problem was.

Which Kelly quickly confirmed.

She said something along the lines of “What is a white, blonde female photographer from California allowed to shoot these days?”

It’s a paraphrase, yes, but I heard some version of that sentiment again and again. In each case, I assured the photographer that I was open-minded, and willing to consider their work in the context they presented to me.

(I got a lot of smiles of relief each time I said that.)

Ideas flow in cycles, just like politics, and life itself.

I agreed to show Kelly’s work here on APE immediately, but it wasn’t until this morning that I re-discovered she’d slipped me a slim book, and I’m happy to share it with you here. The text pages confirm that Kelly works with organizations, and teaches teens.

 

Now that I think about it, both of the other books I’ll show today were slipped to me by friends, one old and one new, and they both made it into the same little bag I raided this morning, looking for a story to write.

First off: “Days on the Mountain,” by Ken Rosenthal, published by Dark Spring Press in Tucson.

Ken, like Hugo, has made appearances in the column before, as he was with me on that legendary, (and scary as Hell) meth-town-pit-stop in Van Horn, Texas on the way to Marfa.

We’ve been doing these stories here for 9 years now, and I’m lucky to have had friends who pop up now and again over time.

With Ken, though, I haven’t seen much of him the last few years. You’ll have to trust me that he’s been dealing with some really difficult family issues. The kind of shit you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

He’s also a guy I helped get out of a mugging in Tucson back in 2010, and he recently had his next-door-neighbor accidentally shoot a shotgun shell through his wall, right above where his young daughter sleeps.

In other words, luck is not always kind to Ken.

But he’s also a very successful artist with gallery representation, exhibitions, books, you name it.

All the trappings of success.

So when he gave this book to me, I teared up as I flipped through it.

The work was just so different from what I was used to seeing from him. It’s raw, and personal in a way that stripped back artifice.

It’s as close as a diary-for-sanity as I’ve seen, (given that I know him,) and the beauty of the book felt sweeter to me, knowing it was well-earned.

Bugs and bats and bees and trees.
Nature and forest and summer in Washington as salvation.

Not a bad way to kick off the post-Memorial Day weekend summer season.

 

But I like to keep it real, so rather than end typically happy, like Hollywood would, I’m going to finish up with a Hollywood story, but not the one you’re expecting.

On the first morning of the festival, at the first reviewer breakfast, I had a date to meet and chat with Alison Nordstrom, and she kept a seat open for me as a result.

Next to my reserved seat was a young guy I hadn’t met yet: Gregory Eddi Jones, an artist, writer, educator and publisher based in Philly.

He got his MFA at the Visual Studies Workshop, and was a part of a Rochester-NY-educated crew that I’m just learning exists in the wide Photo Land.

Greg and I hung out a few times, and I got to see some of his new work, which is currently being exhibited at the Foam Talent exhibition in London.

In Portland, on the last morning of the event, just as people were departing, Greg gave me a copy of his 2014 book “Another Twenty-Six Gas Stations.”

(Pause.)

OK. Did you have your judgmental thoughts yet?

About how nobody can possibly bring anything new to Ed Ruscha’s classic-LA concept?

Are you done?

Because I had the thought, and I saw it flash before a few peoples’ eyes when I described the book to them too.

But…these are screenshots from gas station surveillance video feeds broadcast online.

The mayhem and horror predate the Trump era, obviously, because the project is 5 years old. Yet it feels so NOW, so of the moment, so “Cops” on Molly laced with fentanyl.

I love it, and I bet you will too.

See you next week.

The Art of the Personal Project: Agnes Lopez

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.

This past Monday we celebrated Memorial Day and it is such a honor to feature these Fallen Heroes.  #neverforget

 

Today’s featured artist:  Agnes Lopez 

A recap from when this project was first posted. Let’s honor these men who recently passed.

From the artist:

“Creating portraits for this ongoing project has been an incredible experience, though days like Memorial Day make me sad when I find out that more of the people I have photographed are no longer with us.

Emilio Teodoro passed away on Saturday, May 25th. It was an honor to meet and photograph him. I will always remember the smile on his face when he received the Congressional Gold Medal. Mr. Teodoro was a 99-year-old Filipino-American WWII veteran who finally received his award after more than 70 years of waiting for his service to be recognized.

His story, like many of the FilVets I met, is one of perseverance, sacrifice, and dedication to family and country.

 

Mariano Aquisap was a veteran of three wars who received his Congressional Gold Medal in March, 2018. I shared his portrait on Veterans Day last year because the ceremony where he was honored was so emotional and cathartic. Mr. Aquisap passed away in April.

 

Flaviano Diala, was a Bataan Death March Survivor and Filipino World War II veteran who passed away in January.

Unfortunately, the brave veterans who are still here are not likely to be with us much longer. My hope is that their fight won’t be forgotten and that more people will learn about the sacrifices made by the Filipino-American people during the war and afterwards.

The Faces to Remember Project was recently on display at the Florida School of the Arts in Palatka, Florida and at the Riverside Fine Arts Series in Jacksonville, Florida. Additional shows in the Northeast Florida region will be announced soon.

To see more of this project, click here.

 

Agnes Lopez is an editorial and food photographer with a home base in Jacksonville, Florida’s historic Riverside-Avondale neighborhood.

Agnes traverses the Southeastern US and beyond with her camera in search of inspiration in the form of exceptional meals, her subjects ranging from the fine cuisine of award-winning restaurants to food trucks and their street fare.

Her work appears regularly in the pages of food and lifestyle publications across the US.

She is available for assignments worldwide.

 

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 @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

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.

 

Art Producers Tell All

- - Working

AP 1: I never look at mailers.
AP 2: I look at every single mailer.
AP 3: I got a bottle of tequila!

All joking aside, Heather Elder has an awesome podcast you should be checking out called “Dear Art Producer” where she’s asking the questions all professional photographers and reps want to hear the answer to. If you’ve been in this business long enough most of it is pretty reassuring stuff that we already know: some read every email, some look at every promo, some don’t. There is no magic bullet and you keep all channels open and active to reach them. There are a few surprises too like a mixed bag on use of instagram and that motion is not coming out of the broadcast department as much as in the past and they are looking for photographers who can do it all fast and loose (cheap).

Give it a listen and drop a comment if you find anything surprising. Looking forward to more of these.

The Daily Edit – The Atlantic: Hashim Badani

- - The Daily Edit

The Atlantic

 Art Director: Arsh Raziuddin
Photographer: Hashim Badani
Writer: Ross Anderson

Heidi: The Atlantic discovered your work via instagram rather than a site. Tell us how you use the app and how it’s moved your work forward?
Hashim: As we have witnessed, Instagram and Twitter have been powerful tools in letting one take control of their narrative. I use my feed to post a blend of my work which alters between documentary and fashion. It lets me blur lines. I use Instagram stories to document or voice my opinion on the everyday while I curate my post to lend itself to a larger cumulative narrative on how I perceive and experience the world.

How do you curate your feed?
It doesn’t follow a pattern. It might vary between something as whimsical as a play of colour to something more relevant as participating in a larger discourse we might be collectively encountering. I also use it to create short fiction stories on Bombay.

How did this project push you creatively? 
It was a unique editorial project to be a part of. Mainly because the narrative moved so fluidly between places, science, faith and Ross’s (the author) own experiences. That was the challenge and joy of it. Arsh had a certain vision that should brought to the table too. All in all It pushed me to look at the space we inhabit beyond our everyday perspective.

Why do you use long form captions on some of your images?
An image can be read in a number of ways. I completely enjoy the process of creating make-believe scenarios around them. The text is a way of doing so.  A series I really enjoy working on is called #makingupmanto. Manto was a prolific author who lived briefly in pre-partitioned Bombay. I wander the same streets of Bombay that he might have and imagine different scenarios he might have found himself in. Sometimes I add contemporary references. In a way, the captions to these images are a projection of my concerns on the current political landscape.


Things had to change. And still, nothing changed. It seemed like the saffron skies were here to stay. Manto packed the last of his bags, said his goodbyes. Kadar, the watchman at Mohmadi Mansion was his last farewell .Teary eyed, he told Kadar of his predicament-this was never home. Kadar didn’t care. He had dozed off. Manto disappeared into the crowd.

Lost in the music, Manto made his way to Madanpura. It was one of the few areas in Bombay where life started early. The morning azaan wend its way around streets tread by children headed to the madrasa, before heading to Christ Church or St Agnes school. Mill workers heaved in clusters toward New Great Eastern Spinning & Weaving Mills. In the early hours, the sky had turned a pale pink, the kind before a storm. Safiya would be awake any minute. He picked up the pace (continued as instagram highlight).

How does each genre of photography point back to one another ( portrait to street photography, fashion to photojournalism?)
I have never thought about photography in genres. It has always been more a byproduct of my curiosity and my need to tell a story. For now, I lean on photography to do so but I am open to exploring other mediums as well.

What was it about Hashim’s work that awarded him the project? 
Arsh: We thought Hashim was the perfect person for this piece. I wanted someone familiar with Delhi who has a versatile background. Hashim seems to have experience with portraiture, fashion, street photography, and photojournalism. He has a great way of using textures and colors and I knew it would play into the animals and birds well.

 

What type of direction did you give him?
I gave Hashim a list of shots that I would like and updated him on lines of the piece that were the most important. It was hard to capture everything, especially because much of the piece was not focused on Jain’s themselves but on the animal mind and treatment of animals.

Did the writer travel with him?
No, the writer was based in Washington DC. He did help with the shot list, though. He visited earlier that year.

Impressions from Portlandia

 

It took me 23 hours to get home from London yesterday.

No lie.

It was a walk to a train to a walk to a plane to a walk to a plane to a walk to a train to a walk to a 4.5 hour car ride.

And it was so, so, worth it.

So very, very worth it. (Trust me, the stories will be crazy!)

But London will have to wait for a bit, as I’ll likely intersperse some of those articles with the pieces we’ll be doing soon about the Best Work I Saw at the Photolucida Festival in Portland.

Not today, though.

Today, rather than drop you into London, May 2019, where about 30% of my brain still seems to reside, I want to think back, just a few weeks, to my odyssey of a trip in Portland.

Seeing the East Coast, West Coast, and then Europe in 6 six weeks is not really something I could have planned.

It just happened.

Each city has its own particular flavor, its special brand of cool, and while London may be my favorite global megapolis at the moment, Portland is a proper little, boutique city in comparison.

I flew in to Portland from Albuquerque, (via Phoenix,) and almost immediately I knew I was “there.”

Walk out the offramp, there was a Columbia outerwear store, a Pendleton blanket stand, an “Only in Oregon” wine shop, and so many cute locally owned restaurants you could blind-fold yourself, spin around, point at any of them, and it would likely be good.

(Vietnamese? Thai? Pizza? Deli? And so on.)

Returning home, I noticed a sign that said that the law required all stores to charge the same prices in the airport as they do in-town. So my amazing Pad See Yew noodles were only 8 bucks, and I saw bottles of water for sale for $1.25.

It’s the kind of thing they might mock on “Portlandia,” but really, what’s not to like?

Mostly, I think that’s my take away from Portland.

What’s not to like?

Separate your preconceived notions about twee, or meet-cutes, or whatever Carrie and Fred might have mocked, and I thought Portland was rad in just about every way.

I admit, though, I was a bit disoriented at first. Coming into the city from the airport.

Like any good city should, you can grab a train right there, (light rail in this case,) that will bring you right into the heart of town for something like $2.50, in 45 or 50 minutes.

All the way along, through, we were in tight corridors. And everything was green and lush!

Tree canopy

Train tracks cut into ravines. Or buildings pressed in on either side.

Always pressing.

I couldn’t get a sense of where I was?

It felt like the route was pinched in.
Claustrophobic.

It was weird, which was a word I heard like 573 times during the week I was in Portland.

Weird, weird, weird. (Fedora stores and steam-punk style and Satan bars.)

By the time the train found the city proper, the buildings had crept even closer, and the entire train corridor and street were seemingly 40 feet wide.

I could barely breathe.

If I were Rodney Dangerfield, and had a collar to loosen, I would have done so in just that moment.

Gulp.

But then, and only then, did the train pass the basketball arena, make a sharp bank to the Southwest, and cross the Willamette River on a multi-purpose bridge.

Steel Bridge

Whoosh!

All of a sudden, your eye is torn in two directions at once.

The cute, shiny downtown in the glowy-evening-light, set against some green hills to the Southwest, and then, off to the North, on the East bank of the river, a huge working tanker ship at an old industrial shipping dock, right there in the heart of the city.

They literally sit opposite each other.

The working, worn, and maybe-less-than-shabby-chic part of Portland, the timber town that still has logs floating in the river, to the trendy, foodie, hipster, cultured, amazing, progressive city it’s become.

But as soon as that big open view was there, it was gone.

Poof.

And we were back in the congested feeling again, on the other side of the river.

I’m not sure this is correct from above, but I felt like downtown Portland was a blanket you’ve thrown on the ground, and it folds in weird ways.

When you’re in the folds, you can’t see the blanket. (If you’re a small spider, for example.)

But my first full day, after my first session reviewing at the festival, I went on a long walk with my good friend Heather, heading back to the river to cross at the Steel Bridge, before making it back on one of the more southern bridges, which was high enough for the first big view.

Mt. Hood.
Covered in snow, conical and majestic, looming to the East.

That helped a little.

It wasn’t until the next day, though, when I climbed the biggest hill I could find to Washington Park, and then jumped on a statue pedestal to get higher, that I felt like I could breathe.

I caught a big vantage, oriented myself in space in a new town, and then things settled in nicely, vibe-wise.

Truth be told, Mary Jane is legal in Portland, as it is in Colorado, and I went to a cool dispensary called Serra, with a buddy, and picked up a little something for the off hours. (The place was both stylish and reasonably priced, and the staff was nice. Thumbs up for sure.)

Walking to Washington Park

As my Park Walk was free time, after I did my Lewis-and-clark-like survey from a peak, I dropped a bit deeper into the park, and was immediately surrounded by 100+ft tall trees.

Entrance to Washington Park

Doing my Lewis and Clark impression, I bump into a statue in their honor

View from the Pedestal

So beautiful.

But once I turned another corner, I saw a swing set, up the way.

Nobody was there, nor was anyone even around.

Noticing swing sets was more a parent-move than stoner-sensation, but soon I was there, partaking in public, (maybe a no-no, but again, no one was even around,) and then I set my stuff down.

And started swinging.

Above me, the sky was purple-blue, and the trees were touching its belly like they were tickling a new dog.

Up, I pumped the legs.

UP.

Soon, I was as high as I could go, and then I leaned back and stared up at those trees as the motion made my belly feel like Free Fall at Great Adventure in Jersey circa 1996.

For a moment, I wasn’t a Dad.
Or a portfolio reviewer.

I wasn’t a writer.
Or an artist.

I wasn’t a Democrat.
Or a martial artist.

I was a kid on a swing set, truly, humbly amazed at the beauty of the sky, and the trees, and the flowers around me.

All the while, hoping that I wouldn’t let go, or lose my grip, or vomit all over myself.

(No vomits in Portland, but I did have a proper incident in London. We’ll get to that another time.)

After playing, I headed back down the hill into downtown, and everywhere, there are clusters of street food stalls.

One after the other. With infrastructure and everything.

I’m not sure I’ve seen a street food culture like that anywhere in the US, and again: what’s not to like?

There is much more to tell, including clueing you guys in on some of the places I ate and drank, (including one bar you will NOT believe I went to,) but those will come in future articles.

I promise.

Rather, as I’ve been all praise so far, I want to keep it real and point out that Portland, too-nice or not, is far from perfect.

No place is.

Public green on the Willamette River

The stereotype of the “Portland Street Dude” that you have in your head is very real, as is the “Portland Street Dude with Pitbull,” a difficult subset of the culture.

So many gaunt, sad-looking white guys with obvious drug problems, and no proper home.

The homelessness crisis is not quite as dramatic as it is in California, but it is pretty damn obvious in Portland too.

Really, it made me think, as I’ve pieced my West Coast travel together in the past few years, that there is a permanent street class now that rivals what we saw in all those photographs of the Great Depression.

It’s a hard fact, and one that California, Oregon, and (probably) Washington will have to grapple with heavily in the coming decade.

Not to leave you on a downer, but I’m pretty jet lagged at the moment, and just dropped 1500 words on you, so I think we’ll call it a day.

PS: I got a shiny new iPhone in Portland, so as of my London trip, we’ll have 4k video and much improved photographic technology on these articles going forward.

The Art the Personal Project: Cade Martin

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:  Cade Martin

I WAS 7 WHEN THE VIETNAM WAR ENDED. I know what I do, as most my age, from movies and documentaries. And most of what I encountered was about the ground troops, rarely about the pilots.

So when an opportunity arose to attend a reunion of F-105 Thunderchief pilots in San Antonio, I jumped at the chance.  These reunions are where the Thunderchief pilots have maintained their shared past and let one another into all that they have been and done in the years since. And owing to special circumstances, they welcomed us in—just me and a small crew.

As a photographer, I have always been comfortable learning through the lens, looking for what needs to be communicated in the architecture and life in faces.  I have used a similar approach before, renting space and setting up a booth. I like to go to the source for these group portrait projects, embed myself in the space and community they share.  Here we set up in a conference room and would pull each pilot aside during breaks in their conversations.  Over the course of three days, I observed lives reconnecting and experiences being relived. As they talked to each other, and then later through our interviews, I heard the things said echoed in what I saw through my lens—brotherhood, support, joy, pain, pride and life.

Once jet-fueled cowboys, they are still walking with a swagger born of knowing themselves. Among these F-105 Thunderchief fighter pilots, there are no secrets. They all know who they are. And by capturing their faces to accompany their stories, I hope more people can know who they are.  It was such an honor.

While I have many personal projects under my belt, I can say that Over War has been one of the most in-depth thus far; evolving from what I had envisioned as a series of Air Force pilot portraits to a project that – fifty years later -ultimately gives voice to these men who had a unique vantage point on the Vietnam war – an airborne perspective as they flew over the conflict below, the result of true dedication of time, energy, resource and heart by so many.

Anthony Cushenberry

Ben Bowthrope

Jessie Henderson

John Piowaty

To see more of this project, click here. And here

If you would like to download a PDF of the promo for this project, click here

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. Her Twitter feed is branded with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

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.

Marketing: Twitter: Using it as a platform to get current information on potential clients. Many times it is more up to date than an agencies website.

- - Marketing

The other week I got a twitter notification, adam&eveDDB had a huge win as they were awarded AOR for Playstation.  It was also tweeted by Adweek.

It was on Adweek on line, but many times you need a subscription to read the articles on account wins or articles of interest.  This huge win was not featured on their landing page but within the sub-categories.  So it was hard to find.

If you congratulate Adam&eveDDB on this win, you stand out among your peers.

I have positioned my Twitter account to only follow accounts of agencies, trades, advertising experts and others who offer value to forward valuable information to my clients.  You can create a separate Twitter account just for your marketing research.  This allows you to focus on personal emails verses a large list of email blasts.  Instead of relying on another company to have accurate clients/brands listed, your separate business Twitter research account only follows the companies you want to work for, allowing your marketing to be more accurate to your work and their needs. Stand out.

If you take a few minutes from time to time, you can see so much that would be valuable in your marketing in “What’s happening?”  For example, a One Show Pencil is an honor for an agency to win, so I follow the The One Club.  On Friday, one of the gold winners was in their tweets:

If you click on the tweet you get the entire team who worked on the project: https://www.oneclub.org/awards/theoneshow/-award/32564

You can click on someone’s name and it shows all the awards that person has won at The One Club for that year.

(Some other awards are Cannes, Clio, Communication Arts) and local ad clubs)

In todays market you have to stand out above your competition, and reaching out to agencies and companies you admire will do just that.

 

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 @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

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 Best Work I Saw at the Denver Portfolio Walk

 

Tick tock, goes the clock.

Tick tock.

It’s counting down the minutes until I need to pull out of my driveway tomorrow.

(Tick tock.)

It’s an early departure to drive 5 hours to Denver, fly to Charlotte, change planes, and then end up in London on Thursday morning.

(If everything goes as it should.)

I’d by lying if I said I was back to normal after the NYC/NJ and Portland double-double.

I’m not normal at all.

But, (and this is a big BUT,) every now and again, being jet-lagged can be a good thing. Like my wife said, right now, for me, it’s the equivalent of hair of the dog.

Since I already feel like that, I should be able to get a lot more accomplished. (If I don’t sleep, so what? I’ll sleep for a week when I get home.)

If I get hungover, so what?

I won’t drink again for months.

London and more await, but first I have to get through SO MANY THINGS on my To-Do list, then pack, and then wake up before dawn too drive over the Rocky Mountains.

The likelihood of the sun being in my eyes as I drive East over La Veta Pass tomorrow? 100%!

All that hustle to get to Denver, because the flights were 1/3 the price of flying out of Albuquerque, which is two hours closer to my house.

$500 vs $1500?

One is doable, the other is not. (Editor’s note: I did pay to upgrade my seats later today, as they were going to put me in the middle, near the toilet, with no overhead bin space.)

So Denver International Airport it was.

The Mile High city.
Home of the Broncos and the Denver Nuggets.

A boom-town for sure, but are they all, these days? The good ones, I mean?

It is one thing I’ve begun to notice, as I’ve traveled around the past year or two. It seems like Denver, San Diego, LA, San Francisco, Oakland, Portland and NYC are all booming.

Cranes everywhere.

Perhaps it’s time to extrapolate all those numbers about the rapid urbanization of America? I mean, I can’t speak to Des Moines, or Little Rock, or Baltimore, but I just read that they’re expecting 50% of America living in 8 states in the coming years.

That’s nuts.

People flock to places like Denver because of the confluence of economic opportunity, world class leisure activities, high-end-bougie-lifestyle, like-minded politics, clean air, (for now,) and (at this point) we have to mention legal marijuana too.

Denver just grows and grows. (Higher and Higher.)

Ask anyone who’s been around the Rocky Mountain West the last 25 years, and miles of what were once open prairie or farms, all along the I-25 corridor, have become suburbs to the point that distinct cities have nearly merged.

The Colorado Springs-Denver-Boulder-Ft.Collins metropolitan area is massive, with a serious population, and it’s nearly seamless in 2019.

(Nearly. There are still a few pockets in between, and even in places like Boulder, farms still maintain micro-pockets, like Gunbarrel.)

I was last up in Denver in late March, as you may know, because I wrote about my exploits here. It was a travel piece, sure, but it also set up the premise of today’s article.

In order to visit a few friends, I drove up to Denver to attend the open portfolio night at the Month of Photography 2019, which took place in downtown Denver on a Saturday night.

I parked in a spot that while convenient to the hotel bars, seemed like it would feel sketchy by the end of the night, and sure enough, I was griping my pocket knife like it was a Hattori Hanzu sword.

But that was the end of the night.

I turned up at the space, and after heading up the stairs, I met a very large crowd. The event was definitely well attended, but there was little of the pushing and shoving that you get in other cities. (Maybe none? I’m not sure anyone pushed or shoved at all.)

Almost immediately, after saying hi to a lot of people, I decided to look at the work seriously, and I met Stephanie Burchett, who reminded me we’d hung out at an after party at Medium in San Diego last October.

(For the record, as I learned the other week in Portland, I always remember a person’s name, work, face, or the circumstances under which we met. Sometimes some of the above, but always one.)

Stephanie had recently graduated from an MFA program in Tucson, and was displaying a small fabrication of images on both sides of the border wall.

I asked if it was a mockup, and she seemed surprised, even though she admitted she made large scale installation in grad school.

It was only meant to be what it was, she said. And I kind of like that, as its intent makes it weird and a little sad. Throw in the video-still she showed me from a grad school show, in which she facial recognition tagged white people in lynching photos, and I knew there was material in Denver to publish.

I told Stephanie that if I could find even a few more people to feature, I’d do an article. Then it became a game and a race, because my friends had worked all day, and wanted to leave to party.

Needless to say, there were enough people, or there would be no article.

 

So rather than go in order, which we never do anyway, I’ll tell you about Ellen Friedlander.

Ellen was one of those few people who stick in my mind, because these days, I try to publish as much work as I can. Very rarely, I’ll say no to someone, and then think about it afterwards, because I feel like perhaps I should have given them the benefit of the doubt.

Ellen qualifies, as I met her at Medium in October as well, (small circuit, the portfolio reviews,) and we spent the entire 20 minutes, or most of it, doing critical feedback. I spent so much time telling her how to improve that I didn’t really get to evaluate her work properly.

Well, here Ellen was, and with her daughter and sister to boot! I got to tell all three that I regretted not helping her, and then I offered to publish her work on the spot.

There was a very happy woman before me, it’s true, but she also said that the critique had been very helpful, and that her new work had grown as a result.

A win win for sure. As to the pictures, they’re street photography horizontal composites, as Ellen spent years living in Hong Kong, and traveling the world.

Chris Sessions was a good sport about my smash-and-grab approach. My friend and colleague, Jennifer Murray, the Executive Director of Filter Photo told me I needed to see his stuff, and within ONE photograph, I knew we were good to go.

Chris is doing a long-term personal project on Charros, Mexican horse riders in the greater Denver area. The image of the dude hovering in air may be one of the best individual photographs I’ve ever seen at a review.

A lot of what I saw that night was not to my taste, which is not uncommon in non-juried reviews. The community spirit and vitality are as important as anything. But it does mean that the good work jumps right out.

Especially when the light/color/sky leap off of an indoor table, at night, under artificial lighting conditions.

That’s what happened with Kevin Hoth.

I saw the images, told him who I was, and said I’d like to show them just for how beautiful they were.

Aren’t they?

Speaking of beauty, I thought Angela Faris Belt poetic landscapes were also gorgeous. Exquisite.

But then I learned they depict ancient, endangered Bristlecone Pines, and she photographed with expired Polaroid film.

Normally I’d write more, but sometimes it isn’t necessary.

It’s funny how sometimes you need to travel to see people from back home. (Not far, in this case.) I went up to Philip V. Augustin’s table like a shark, as he’s a Santa Fe guy, and I’ve seen his work many times over the years.

I wanted to look at some of his perfect gelatin silver prints, made of real light shapes in the studio. Coincidentally, I saw a few on the wall, framed, at Obscura Gallery in Santa Fe last Thursday, and they were really sharp.

Last, but not least, (as I often say,) we have Carl Bower, who I met on the portfolio review circuit 9 years ago, and probably hadn’t seen in 6 or 7 years.

I’d known Carl for his work about beauty pageants in Colombia, but this work was very different. The images were presented with text on the white background, as Carl was asking people to discuss their Private Fears, as he used his art to combat the same.

 

The Art of the Personal Project: Lee Jeffries

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:  Lee Jeffries

Found on Instagram: Lost Angels

To see more of this project, click here.

To purchase prints on this and other projects, click here

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 @SuzanneSease.  Instagram

The Daily Edit – Alistair Taylor-Young: Fashion and Landscape Photographer/ Director

- - The Daily Edit



Photographer: Alistair Taylor-Young


Heidi: You’ve been shooting for Conde Nast Traveller for the past twenty years. How has your eye evolved; your experience of landscape and the world changed?

Alistair: The eye evolves in tandem with ones’ personality. As one matures, so does the eye and our interests. Our personality notices certain things, we become intrigued in different things throughout our life, so when traveling I may turn left down a street I might have found uninteresting before. I travel quite differently than I used to. I’m trying to describe a feeling and a sense, more than photographing a place, in fact had a chat with my younger self very early on in my career, I understood that my landscapes should  not necessary to be representative of the place, we have post cards, brochures and guide books for this,  but should represent my personal feeling of where I’ve ended up. It’s vital for myself as a photographer to have an opinion, no matter what you are taking an image of. It must be personal, and I try very hard to ‘ milk ‘ every opportunity I get, to dig deep and to manage to represent what ever I’m shooting to mirror my feeling. I have taken it with my eyes, the camera just records it for me. Same for a beauty brand, perfume, fashion or landscape. The gesture or a hand, a look, or an attitude of a model, it all stems from the center of a personality. Every personality is unique, so should creativity.

Can you tell us how your fashion points back to your landscape/travel and vice versa?
Shooting landscapes, I’ve understood, that the further I am from the airport, the more interesting place I am in. The harder the struggle to arrive the more the reward, art imitating life I guess
 If I produce a set of images that I myself find acceptable, and that can stir an emotion, then I will submit them to my editor. It could be just a dusty track in a certain light, and somehow I notice it and it becomes magic, so when I’m shooting, I don’t stop until I feel I have this.
The same goes for the majority of my fashion work, even if it’s often diffused by commercial restraints and needs of what ever client I am working with. The imagery must first pass my litmus test. I must find the magic.

What would you tell your younger self  creative self about having such diversity in your work? 
My diversity you mention is perhaps the result of an impatient wandering eye, coupled with an appalling memory, and my need to capture to remember!

What type of terrain do you love?
I love inhospitable places, the harshness is often rewarded by a beautiful smell. Danokil is an extra ordinary place. Completely Biblical, I have the feeling nothing has changed in the past 2000 years. Erta Ale is still bubbling and fussing away, The salt on the dry lake is still being harvested as it was thousands of years ago, The sulphur pools still smell the same, and it’s still considered the hottest, most un-hospitable place on earth, but in this wonderland it fires up the soul and ignites the passion to capture the invisible emotion just in order to remember.

The Daily Promo – Sarah Rice

Sarah Rice

Who printed it?
Modern Postcard.

Who designed it?
HAM, out of Portsmouth, NH (haighandmartino.com). I’ve designed promos myself before and I hope I never do again, it makes all the difference in the world to put your work in the hands of really talented designers. I got new-everything with this promo – they designed a new business card, and redid my website so it matches what they came up with for my name.

Tell me about the images?
This image is pulled from a personal project of mine focused on 72 acres of land in Virginia, where people have been living communally for over 25 years. I’ve been making trips since 2011. I’ve never sent out a promo from that body of work though. I often make longer promos from commissioned work but this time around I wanted to send something that gets to the core of what my work is about in just one image – I like the challenge of distilling that down.

This specific frame came about after I decided to switch up my process. I had been shooting this project on one camera with one lens, no cropping. I started that way to give myself specific parameters to work within. But after years of that, one day I decided to use a much different lens and immediately made this image as a result. Rules are only helpful until they’re not I guess.

How many did you make?
This run was 250.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
In my work dreams I get them out 3-4 times a year, but in reality I would say definitely twice. Hopefully more.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I do. I know people in the photo world are inundated with images, so it’s nice to have a way to remind them about your work, or introduce them to your work if you haven’t met yet. The promo process is fun because it’s so direct – this neat little package that I can create to represent me accurately and exactly shows up right at your desk. I also really appreciate the opportunity to create something new, especially this time around from a project I’ve spent so much time on. Promos, zines, prints, I find they all help me look at my work in a different way.

NYC in the 21st Century, Part 2

 

Change is hard.

That’s the truth.

As much as change makes us better, though, we rarely seek it out.

People don’t choose it, if left to our own devices. One needs training, which art school often provides, to temper our natural fear of change, and to learn to trust its inherent process.

Most of the time, though, change is thrust upon us.

It drops out of the sky, like an asteroid, ready to lay waste to the dumb dinosaurs below.

That’s far more common, right?

I mentioned this today, (writing on Wednesday,) because by the time you read this, it will likely be public knowledge that the New York Times Lens blog, my erstwhile employer, is shutting down at the end of this month.

Dead.
Done.
Kaput.

You guys know me, and writing as I do here, straight from me to you, is my particular speciality. Yet for 6 years, I learned how to write like a proper journalist.

No fucks, or shits. No first person narrative.

Thanks, NYT, I appreciate it!

But I only wrote a handful of times a year at Lens, by the end, and the money won’t make a difference in my life. (Though, like working with teenagers, I’ll miss the action.)

Rather, I feel for all the photographers who won’t be spot-lit across the globe. That blog had reach, and reach can = impact.

Speaking from experience, having “The Value of a Dollar” go viral from Lens MADE my photo career. That work is on the wall in a museum in Germany now, in 2019, and that never, ever would have happened without Lens.

These days, there are other places to publish such work. Sure. But for the photographers, losing Lens means losing opportunities.

And other places will have to pick up the slack.

Here in my column in APE, I’ll tell you that we intend to do just that.

For the rest of the summer, we’ll have portfolio review articles, exhibition reviews, and adventure pieces from the field. Between Denver, Portland, and wherever the hell I end up in Europe next week, there will be many stories to tell.

And I intend to show you the work of DOZENS of photographers.

There will be much to see, and after years of book reviews, we’re going to chill a bit on that, and bring them back at the end of summer. (Unless I need a brief break from all the action.)

Speaking of action, given the headline on this piece, I should be talking about my take on New York City and New Jersey in the 21st Century.

The Big Apple, and one of its primary suburban arms.
(Two thirds of the Tri-State Area, if you will.)

When last I left you, we’d talked about the development of NYC architecture, specifically Hudson Yards, and how a new NYC was rising in the ashes of the old.

View of Hudson Yards from the South

Global replacing local.

Sure enough, when I spoke with a long-time New Yorker in Portland, and mentioned that I’d written about the Hudson Yards Project, his first comment was to complain about how it impacts locals.

I shit you not.

The first words out of his mouth.

Change is not only scary, but it doesn’t always work out for everyone. Particularly, when people aren’t actively working to embrace change: to learn and grow from it on purpose.

(Or when they perpetually get the crap end of the stick b/c of Capitalism, Racism, etc.)

I’ve had some nasty headaches the last few weeks, and I’m sure it’s because I’ve been pushing myself so hard to have new experiences this past month.

Making new neural pathways makes us smarter and better, but I’ve found that it can nearly cause a migraine. (As did all the Op-Art I saw in Portland, but that’s another story for a different day.)

Whether it’s the New York Times deciding there’s no money in a photojournalism blog, or a proud city regaining it’s mojo in 2019, change is only predictable in its unpredictability.

So while I can laud NYC for its ability to provide the most amazing 14 miles of eating, walking and looking a husband and wife could ask for, and will tell you about it briefly, I get that the “New” New York has more than its share of detractors.

As I’m pretending to be my former mentor Tony Bourdain for the summer, (#RIP Tony,) I’ll first share that Grand Sichuan, on 9th between 24th & 25th, on the edge of the Chelsea galleries, is totally boss.

I love it, have always loved it, and recommend it highly.

As Jessie and I ate our cold spicy noodles and egg rolls, sipping our (complimentary) tea on an extended walking break, she reminded me of the time my cousin Ron took us there for the night with his wife.

Back in the early aughts.

Ron was something of a foodie, had gone to culinary school, and knew to order off the Chinese Only menu. (We had chicken that was killed that afternoon.)

We drank, ate too much, and laughed all night. A few months later, Jessie and I had Christmas dinner at Ron’s house, and decided to move back to New Mexico.

Unfortunately, Ron died a few years later.

He was one of the early victims of the opioid epidemic. A nice Jewish guy from Jersey.

The canary in the coal mine.

(Hard to segue off of this, now that I think about it, so let’s just keep going.)

Jessie and I ate our way across New York, and thank god we were burning the calories.

Concrete architecture at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel

Because as soon as we walked East from the Tribeca waterfront, near the Holland Tunnel this time, we stumbled, quite literally, upon the cronut place.

THE cronut place.

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel Bakery. We read a sign about the line as we were walking by, but there were only 5 people in it. So we joined up, waited a few minutes, and then had some great coffee and pastries.

The salted caramel eclair was divine, the almond coconut chocolate croissant was really good, and the Nutella milk bread was highly disappointing.

They have a lovely outdoor courtyard that was quiet and spacious, which I highly recommend, and the massive Cafe Au Lait powered me up for the walk back to our hotel in Koreatown.

At the recommendation of Darren Ching, of Brooklyn’s Klompching gallery, we went across the street from our hotel to Madangsui, a Korean BBQ place, and ended up eating everything the next morning as breakfast. (As I told you in Part 1.) The food was brilliant: kimchee pancake, and a stone bowl bulgogi bibimbap that the waitress turned over table-side.

Koreatown

Yes, we ate in New York. The food was so good, and surprisingly affordable. As for the art, Jessie and I visited the Rubin Museum, in Chelsea, and saw some transcendental Tibetan and Buddhist work, including a re-created shrine that gave me goosebumps.

Recreations of Buddhist art depicting Yogic poses.

Five stars for sure.

But anyone can tell you about New York City.

New Jersey, though, requires a deft touch. (Me and David Chase. A short list.)

New Jersey never really changes, I thought. The shore, the nasty refineries along the Turnpike.

Bruce Springsteen, and the Best Pizza in America.
Skee ball and strip malls and Down-to-Earth people.

The world I knew was made of 2nd and 3rd generation Americans, the children and grand-children of immigrants who arrived at and ultimately fled New York City.

Mostly Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, and Jewish-Americans, with some Central European/Slavic folks thrown in there as well.

In my town, though, we also had a large contingent of Asian-Americans, which was somewhat rare. (Back then, I didn’t distinguish between Chinese-Americans and Korean-Americans, Indian-Americans and Pakistani-Americans, as I would now.)

We had all sorts of Asian-Americans growing up in my hometown of Holmdel, NJ, because there was a gargantuan Bell Labs facility in the center of town.

A massive complex, set a half-mile back off the road, with a trippy-ass-space-ship looking tower in the front, which was as strange as it sounds.

For the uninitiated, Bell Labs was an offshoot of Alexander Graham Bell, and for much of the 20th Century was the most important research facility in the world.

In the world?

Sure. Why not.
Along with Livermore and Los Alamos, I guess.

It was right there in the heart of Holmdel, a place where they discovered, invented or refined radio wave technology, lasers, internet stuff, and all sorts of things.

It was a Nobel Prize factory, in the middle of corn fields that had been tended by Dutch colonists since the 17th Century. (Legit 1600’s for sure.)

And then…

Mergers. Breakups. Bankruptcies.

All of a sudden, it was Lucent, and then it was gone.

Out of business.
Permanently.

So an enormous building sat there empty, for years, reeking of the ghosts of America’s past

Until…

Now.
2019.

The present.

An Orthodox Jewish developer came along, called it Bell Works, and turned the entire Saarinen-designed-space into a mixed use development. Hotel, conference center, restaurants, shops, an indoor soccer field.

What?
And indoor soccer field?

Bell Works

Saarinen’s design touch.

The Holmdel Public Library moved in, and they have a museum area dedicated to Bell Labs and its history. Plus, the place backs up on public park land, so it can be accessed on foot as well as by car.

I was flabbergasted.

Jessie and I ate samosas from an Indian-American-run convenience store INSIDE Bell Labs. With tamarind and cilantro chutneys. And it was really good!

Back in the 70’s and 80’s, you could have pizza or Chinese food, burgers in bar joints, or maybe Jewish Deli, and that was about it.

But it’s not the 20th Century anymore.

Not by a long shot.

And New Jersey, like its big brother NYC, also suffered tremendously from Hurricane Sandy as well, which I wrote about here back in 2013 or ’14. (Even I lose track sometimes.)

Sure enough, just like NYC, the Jersey Shore, which had been annihilated by Sandy, is now thriving.

Booming. Exploding!

I read in the Star Ledger that Pier Village, a shore development in Long Branch that DID NOT EXIST when I was in high school, was adding an additional 450 condominium units.

450!

And then I went there, as my buddy Felt moved into an ocean-front apartment last year. (My wife and I helped him decorate the place on a stoner ramble through NYC last April that I didn’t write about…)

Me and Felt, (who’s real name is Matt,) hung out at the Bat Mitzvah in North Jersey that drew me East, where thankfully the Italian-American food was flowing, and I drank Hennessy all day like it was going out of style.

Then I got to visit Felt’s apartment a couple of days later, and walked down a corridor so long that I got scared of “The Shining,” forgot about the reference, and then got scared of “The Shining” again, because the walk was 3 minutes long.

Looking Northeast at Pier Village

Looking Southeast at Pier Village

That’s how big they’re building these things.

And as Sandy destroyed so many buildings, clearing land, new developments were everywhere, trying to peddle chic.

Chic?

“South Beach at Long Branch” is a thing.

It’s not a joke. It’s real.

My theory is that once the Millennials decided Asbury Park was cool, as it gentrified, and they lacked the same biases against Jersey that their parents had, (Hamptons or bust,) it only made sense that these other beach towns, closer and MORE accessible, would start getting hot.

But trendy?
Like Miami?

I don’t buy it.

Rather, I think anyone who hangs out at the Jersey Shore will just end up getting Jersified.

So do ya-self a favuh, eat some great calamari at Rockafellers, ride some waves this summuh, and make sure ta tell ya friends.

You know what I’m sayin’?

My Aunt and kids after dinner at Rockafellers.

 

The Art of the Personal Project: Fernando Decillis

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:  Fernando Decillis

Patria Gaucha

In Uruguay, the gaucho is a national symbol of character. He is honest, self-sufficient, proud but humble, generous, brave, and most of all; he is free. The gaucho lifestyle is solitary, nomadic, gritty, and full of rich traditions. In the open grasslands, gauchos round-up cattle and wild horses. they hone skillful tricks to bend the will of large herds.

As a child in Montevideo, I remember seeing these dignified horsemen towering above my head as they paraded through the streets with their wide-brimmed hats, ponchos, boots with spurs, sheepskins, leather whips, and long, sheathed knives during the gaucho festivals. Since I left thirty years ago, I have dreamed of going back to photograph the heroes of my childhood.

Every year, in the small village of Tacuarembó, Uruguayan gauchos travel from all over the country for the Fiesta de la Patria Gaucha. They share traditional yerba mate, cook over open fires, and compete against one another in games of skill with wild horses and cattle.

The weeklong festival ends with the jineteada gaucha, where gauchos compete to ride untamed horses. The display of skill and showmanship highlights the bravery of the gaucho lifestyle, and the relationship between the men and the animals they live alongside.

To watch untamed horses in the wild is to behold the spirit of life itself, expansive, driven, without limitation. These are the faces of the men whose lives are rooted in a tradition of breaking that spirit, to carry humanity farther and faster toward one another and into the unknown.

 

To see more of this project, click here.

 

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 @SuzanneSease.  Instagram