- October 22, 2018 -

Who printed it?
I wanted to print with magcloud initially but I decided to print it locally at the Printing House () in the end.

Who designed it?
Lyndsey Matoushek in consultation with the lovely folks at Wonderful Machine.

Tell me about the images?
All the images in the promo are from my personal projects/ work. I reached out to Wonderful Machine to assist me with a new print portfolio and a mini promo. They felt that due to the strong body of my travel/documentary work, perhaps a separate promo entirely dedicated to my documentary storytelling will be best so we just focused on Lifestyle and some portraits with this mini promo. The promo is a mini cohesive edit that is a similar concept to my print portfolio in terms of image curation.

How many did you make?
I only printed a small batch of 300 copies for targeted prospects and clients.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is the first promo that I’ve ever sent out. I had always relied on face-to-face meetings and phone calls but I felt it was time I switched things up and send out promos. Email campaigns are not as effective as they used to be, in my opinion, especially in Canada with the new CAN-SPAM Legislation.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
The reactions have been positive so far. This is my first printed promo that I’ve been sending out and it’s only been just over two weeks, it’s too soon to tell.

- October 19, 2018 -

 

“If fiction has given more to us than fact, then this is the greatest truth.” Ryoichi/Patrick Nagatani

 

There’s no such thing as truth.

That’s what they teach you in college or grad school, anyway.

Ever beholden to the French Philosophical titans Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, endless professors teach countless students that each piece of information is inextricable from the power dynamics that created and disseminated it.

It is the ultimate example of occupying the intellectual high ground, because the idea can’t be attacked.

If you try to undermine the principles, your counter-argument can be dismantled more easily than an Ikea Lack table. (Unscrew the four legs and you’re done.)

No matter what you say to critique the core essence of Post-Modern theory, your words will be deflected by attacking the vessel that hosts them: you.

Only a person from a very specific cohort, gender, or culture can critique that group, so if you’re not one-of-us, your words are too much a construction of your gender/status/culture for your opponent to give them credence.

(Each word must be parsed for its deeper social construct, like Bill Clinton musing about the definition of the word “is.”)

Unlike a few weeks ago, I’m not actually writing about the powers that be today, nor the intersection of varying levels of privilege.

Nor even will I attack Donald J. Trump. (Well, maybe just a little… for a laugh.)

Rather, I want to poke at some dead French guys, and the manner in which their very important ideas have come to undermine the collective fabric of society. (Since they’re dead, and French, we can mock them all we want. C’est vrai?)

There was something truly revolutionary in Post-Modernism, as it opened the door for various perspectives to be assimilated into the mainstream. (Going back to two weeks ago, Po-Mo was the operating system that allowed for minority voices to be taken seriously.)

By the time I got to grad school in the early aughts, though, I found the ideas a little restricting, with respect to helping us understand the burgeoning digital reality of the 21st Century. How would a philosophy that split the 80’s from the 60’s help us understand a world that was built on binary code?

Now it’s 2018, and we have a definitive answer.

Taken to an extreme, Derrida has given us Orwell, in the form of the President of the United States.

Like him or hate him, most people would be hard pressed to deny that Trump has a problem with the “truth.” He believes the larger narrative, the story he tells himself and his followers, is more important than what’s “true,” because there’s no such thing as true anyway.

I was concerned these radical leftist ideas would be co-opted by the right at some point, and that point is now. Unfortunately, given the stratification of media and information sources, these days there is essentially no way to provide new ideas to people that might challenge their entrenched worldview.

Even speaking for myself, I wonder whether I would be able to give Trump credit if he verifiably saved a young toddler from drowning in a Mar-a-Lago pool?

Can you imagine?

SCENE

A young child, drunk on too much ice cream, is stumbling around the edge of the resort pool. His parents, their backs turned, (they assumed the Burmese nanny was watching him,) are busy drinking gin and tonics, chatting with their neighbors about whether they should invite Brett Kavanaugh to dinner now, or wait until spring when it will seem less trendy.

All of a sudden, little Tad slips on the edge of the pool, and while he’s worrying about dropping his ice cream cone, he loses his balance and falls directly into the deep end.

(Unfortunately, he can’t swim.)

Thankfully, the President of the United States in is residence that day, and happens to be eating a triple-guacamole-bacon-cheeseburger, two tables away.

One might imagine the Secret Service would save poor Tad, but their job is to protect the President. So it’s up to DJT to jump into the pool, still wearing his Gandolfini-esque-POTUS-track-suit, and fish little Tad to safety.

END SCENE

Let’s say that happened.
For real.

How many Democrats in this country would come out and publicly say, “Great job, Mr. President. I really appreciate that you saved that pipsqueak from drowning!”

Would you?

I know this seems like a convoluted thought experiment, a stoner’s version of Schrodinger’s Cat, but bear with me here. In an era of fake news, where any sense of objectivity has been obliterated, what does the word “fact” even mean?

Or “real?”

True story: my 11-year-old told me the other day that he was more interested in the “virtual” LeBron James in his NBA 2K19 video game than he was in watching the “actual” LeBron James play an exhibition game against the Denver Nuggets. (Of course, the “actual” LeBron would appear on the same “digital” TV screen either way.)

To him, in that moment, the “fake” was more intriguing and compelling than the “real.”

I’m thinking about this today, if I’m being honest, having just put down “Buried Cars: Excavations from Stonehenge to the Grand Canyon,” by Patrick Nagatani. (Published by the Museum of New Mexico Press.)

I reviewed one of Patrick’s books last year, as he was my professor at UNM many years ago, and he passed away in the autumn of 2017 after a long bout with cancer.

He probably didn’t need to see 2018, though, as he had a pretty good handle on “truthiness” back when I studied with him in the late 90’s.

This book represents one of his stranger projects, and I recall him describing it to me before I’d read any of the French canon. (I was confused, but excited.)

The book presents this story as straight, all the way until the end, when they release the “truth.”

According to “Buried Cars,” Patrick collaborated with a mysterious Japanese archaeologist named Ryoichi, who had discovered some scientific evidence that would turn world history on its head.

Apparently, a series of sacred sites around the world included contemporary luxury cars that had been buried in previous centuries. The book features diary entries, and carbon dating information that proves that the cars, (like a Ferrari Testarossa,) were embedded in the Earth hundreds of years before they were actually built.

It is suggested that alien beings might have played a role in the car-burials, but whether they did or didn’t, worm holes were definitely to blame.

Wormholes that connected parallel universes in the multi-verse.

Now, if you’ve been reading for the last 7 years, you know I’m a sucker for parallel universe stories. (Though watching “The Flash” with my kids may have cured me of the predilection. Multi-verse stories get confusing VERY quickly.)

Patrick Nagatani conceived and created this project in the late 90’s, but had gone to graduate school at UCLA in late 70’s. These Po-Mo ideas would have been as familiar to him as his favorite dish at the Fronteir Restaurant across the street from the UNM campus.

When I first heard about this, like I said, I had a lot of questions.

What do you mean you have a fake-alter-ego?
What do you mean you made up a bunch of scientific data?
What do you mean you built models and pretended they were real?

You can just…do that?

These days, it seems quaint to think that photography tells the “truth” or provides “evidence.”

But in 1998, in just my second year as an art student, it was revolutionary.

Art is what you want it to be.

If you call it art, it’s art.

It’s not hard to see how that line of thinking connects directly to the underpinnings of contemporary, digitally-enhanced Global society.

Jamal Khashoggi left the Saudi embassy of his own recognizance. The water in Flint is safe to drink. The Arctic icecaps are not melting.

(You get the point.)

That this is a photo book, and one that was tied to a major exhibition at the Albuquerque Museum, seems almost secondary. The pictures of models painstakingly created are cool for sure, but they don’t have the same power they likely had when they were made. (Like Jerry Uelsmann’s stuff.)

Digital fakery is so easy these days that the “fools-the-eye” analog photography here doesn’t seem “real.” It’s more “cute,” and one can see how such work might have inspired contemporary model-makers like Lori Nix.

The “truth” is, I always found this work a tad kitschy, and much preferred “Nuclear Enchantment,” which I reviewed here glowingly last year. (I also preferred his meditative, contemplative, slightly-batshit, masking-tape-Buddhas.)

But I’m very glad this book was released this year, and the project lauded on the walls of New Mexico museums, because it could not be more timely.

As artists, we hope to make sense of the time and culture in which we live. We process those ideas into art for our own reasons, (often because of our need to make things,) but “Buried Cars” is proof that those musings might just be used by future humans to figure out what the fuck happened back then.

(Meaning now.)

Bottom Line: Trippy, intricate, false narrative about the multi-verse

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at . We currently have a several month backlog, and are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers so we may maintain a balanced program.

- October 18, 2018 -

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: 

I recently was able to visit my hometown in southeastern Washington… a place that I couldn’t wait to leave growing up and now a place that speaks to my soul. My hometown isn’t traditionally beautiful or really noteworthy for much. But what I’ve come to learn is that it’s rolling hills of alfalfa and open blue skies had a huge influence on my sensibilities as an artist. Locations that are expansive and free of distractions with simple color palettes challenge me to create.

Before my trip I had arranged a lifestyle photo shoot with a Dodge Challenger in Texas where I live full-time. While traveling back from my hometown the concept for the shoot radically changed. Inspired by my recent trip I ditched the complications of sourcing talent and wardrobe and decided to put my focus on the car. Essentially deciding to strip away everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. Once that decision was made everything else came together and I was free to focus on framing and light.

Simplicity is nothing new, in fact it’s a principle I employ in my commercial work all the time. Going home and seeing the simplicity of the landscapes just reminded me why it comes naturally to me. Less really can be more.

To see more of this project, click .

APE contributor  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 @. 

 

- October 17, 2018 -

Guest post by

I’ve developed a large body of personal work but have never shot commercial assignments. How do I get started?

I suggest you do something that is truly unfashionable these days: Assist. Technology—digital photography, the Internet, social media—has been wonderfully democratizing, making it super easy for anyone to make and distribute work. But the low barrier to entry has also inspired people to skip steps that are essential to their education as a professional photographer. When you assist, you’re getting paid to learn while enjoying remarkable access. You’ll be watching how a pro runs their set, works with their team, collaborates with their clients, and solves problems. You can learn about lighting, directing talent, gear, logistics. You’ll also meet people, from crew members to clients. If I were you, I’d commit to assisting for at least a year. It’s a small investment of time, and you can still shoot your own work on the side. Yes, there are successful young photographers who never assisted. But behind the scenes, you sometimes hear that the producer or art director on these photographers’ shoots is actually running the show because the photographer doesn’t know how to light, what to do when the weather doesn’t cooperate, how to lead a crew. In those cases, it’s unlikely that the photographer will be hired again. To survive beyond a few lucky breaks, you need to prepare yourself, and spending a night or two asking Dr. Google for information does not count. Go the old-school route and find yourself someone to apprentice with.

I’m a portrait, entertainment, and advertising photographer planning to go on meetings with magazines, ad agencies, and movie & TV studios, and I want to print a two-sided promo card as a leave-behind. How do I choose which images to use?

The first step is acknowledging that one card for these three different audiences will not serve you well. To be effective, a promo should be relevant to the recipient. For the magazines, you want to show off your portrait capabilities but not ads or key art that you’ve shot—generally speaking, photo editors don’t want to see campaigns. So consider a card featuring two of your strongest celebrity portraits, ideally ones that either contrast each other in some notable way—serious/humorous, studio/location, natural light/stylized, a single/a group—or that work together to make a strong, consistent statement of your style. For the movie & TV studios, demonstrate your narrative and production skills. Consider showing key art on one side and a publicity image on the other. And for ad agencies, aim to inspire the art buyers and creatives to want to work with you: Show two of your strongest portraits that speak to your capabilities in terms of lighting, production, style, and uniqueness. They’re visual people and love photography as much as you do. Dazzle them; show them what makes you special. As an alternative to all of the above, if you’re presenting to a group, you could print four or five cards, each with an excellent image one one side and your branding on the other, set them out in stacks on the table, and let people choose which card/s they want as they leave. No matter which route you choose, though, make sure you’re making decisions with your audience’s needs in mind. Otherwise, all you’ll be leaving them with is the impression that you didn’t do your homework.

is a marketing consultant based in Los Angeles and the former creative director of Stockland Martel. If you have questions about marketing send her an email and she can answer them here:

- October 16, 2018 -

TIME

Editor: Andrew Katz
Photographer:

Heidi: Athlete shoots can be notoriously short, how much time did you get with the talent?
Christopher: Not always short. Depends. In this case we were supposed to have an hour to set up and an hour with him. We probably could have gotten that but PSG PR was completely disorganized and seemed  not to have even briefed him properly nor prepared on their end. I was quite shocked, frankly. Hence no set up time which is the most ridiculous part of it was we were kept in a holding room, no chance to scout the area or set up until moments before he arrived. I am used to shooting fast but having no chance to set up or understand the space where the shoot will happen is crucial. My advice to photo editors and producers would be negotiating the set up time for the photographer is even more important than the amount of time you negotiate with the subject.

Since he’s a rising star, how did you direct him?
I quickly showed him a photograph I had made of Ronaldo and explained that I wanted to shoot him as a human being, not an object and that it needed to be a collaboration between us. I talked to him like a thinking person and said that, yes, I hope that he looks good in the image but if the image didn’t feel real, no one will care about it or remember it.

What was his reaction?
His face changed and he got into it.

Do you remember the first time you had a shoot where the timing suddenly got cut down to minutes? If so, what was your reaction then, and what is your reaction now?
It happens all the time. Too many times to describe them all here. The main thing I have learned is to always trust yourself and what you do. Know what you want from an image going in. That doesn’t mean to be so planned out that you can’t react. I am talking about knowing what you want an image to be about. For me it’s about authenticity. I stay focused on making a real image and I don’t get distracted or rattled by the time or the “tricks”. Never panic

- October 15, 2018 -

Who printed it?
This promo was printed through Modern Postcard.

Who designed it?
I did the heavy lifting on the layout, design, and production of the booklet. Of course, I went through several layouts and asked for impressions from friends and colleagues before landing on the final piece.

Tell me about the images?
Throughout the past couple of years, I have been working to build up my advertising portfolio to supplement my editorial work. A big goal has been to produce several test shoots each year with an emphasis on higher production and a more refined look. This project came together after a meeting with a producer and all around great guy Jonathan Biebl and his production company Go Atticus ( ) based out of LA. I knew I wanted to go to move beyond Colorado in scope and LA offered a larger pool of models to work with. After throwing around concepts and locations we settled on shooting in Venice to create an athletic piece that I could target a very specific list of sports brands and companies. I wanted to keep true to my style while mixing action, fashion, and portraiture. We got a great crew together and had a fantastic shoot.

How many did you make?
I made 250 promos. I sent out 200 and kept 50 for in-person meetings.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I usually send 1-2 booklets a year and 4-5 single postcards as part of my larger marketing strategy.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
I’ve found marketing to be a tough game that requires persistence and a broad approach over a range of mediums. I still send emailers, but focus more on printed promos, individual postcards, group portfolio reviews, all in an attempt to get as many in-person meetings as possible. It’s difficult to pinpoint any single method as the best approach, but I love the process of developing, shooting and making a printed piece, so there is a personal enjoyment that comes from making a printed piece. Certainly, larger promos get more attention than an email and I usually get a handful of responses from each booklet I mail out. I’d say a goal of the printed promo is more to get a foot in the door for in-person meetings that expecting work directly.

- October 12, 2018 -

 

I’ve lived through three seasons in the last ten days, and it’s making me crazy.

It was 80+ degrees here in Taos until October 1st, when fall arrived in earnest, with yellow trees and cooler days. (Nothing too bad, but definitely not summer.)

Then we drove into Colorado at the beginning of this week, and some freezing rainstorms blew in at 7000 feet, where we were staying.

It was the worst of cold-wet-nasty-late-autumn for sure.

It snowed at the higher elevations, so on Tuesday, we drove over the Rockies, near 10,000 feet for two hours, and there was a blanket of thick snow covering everything.

Sub-freezing temperatures.
Icy roads.

Total winter in every way.

You’re not supposed to experience three seasons in ten days. That’s not the natural order of things.

It’s like living in a jet-lag bubble.

And to top it off, I just got out of the car after a six hour ride, coming back across to the Western side of the Rockies yet again.

More storms. Cold rain this time.

There were sections of slick road where the slightest misstep would have meant peril. We passed chunks of the landscape that had been ripped through by wildfire in June, and already green things had grown up in between.

What I’m saying is, I’m in one of those mind-spaces where I’m a bit bleary, or punch drunk. I’d be willing to consider almost any strange idea with an open mind, because I’m a tad woozy.

Almost boozy.
You know what I mean?

I remember one time when I was jet-lagged, just back from Rome to NYC, and I got hired to scan an old, highly damaged piece of nitrate film. (The kind that could spontaneously combust.)

I’ve never before or since seen a negative as scratched up. It was more like a Seurat painting than any proper photograph. No sane, regular person would have attempted to retouch it.

But I wasn’t sane. I was jet-lagged.

So I started, (just to start,) and constantly moved around to different parts of the negative, in random ways, so that it didn’t seem to repetitive.

In honor of that woozy-brain moment, (and the fact that the film didn’t catch fire and kill me,) I’m going to consider another seemingly impossible idea: what if Evolution had played out in a completely different way?

What if human beings didn’t descend from apes? What if we’re not cousins with chimps, but rather evolved from a common bird ancestor?

What if human-bird hybrids were real, and the god-creatures we see in Mesopotamian relief sculptures were actual beings, rather than scary masks?

What the hell am I on about? Am I actually drunk, as opposed to metaphorically?

This week’s book, “Aunt Paloma Was A Pigeon: An Alternative Theory Of Evolution,” created by Alice Garret-Jones, turned up in the mail recently.

I’m glad it did, because this is one of my favorite books in a long time.

It’s strange and absurd and thoughtful and surprising. The book is exceedingly well done in every way, and as photography makes an eventual appearance, we’re going to consider it enough of a photo book to review here at the column.

What if we evolved from birds?

Pigeons, no less.

In New York City, (and likely elsewhere,) they call pigeons flying rats. People have concocted these metal-spike-impediments to prevent them from nesting in many places. (Have you seen them?)

But Ms. Garrett-Jones presents a parallel universe where things played out differently.

I must admit, I studied Biological Anthropology at Duke, as I needed to take two science classes, and they were reputedly the easiest.

I remember learning the difference between Australopithecus Afarensis and Australopithecus Africanus. Or when Homo Hablis morphed into Homo Erectus.

That we were literally apes, all hairy and making chimp noises, is pretty fucking strange, when you think about it.

Is it that much weirder to imagine we were Bird-People?

Coooooo, coooooooo.
Coooooo, coooooooo.

Or what about Simon and Garfunkel?

“Coo-coo-ca-choo, Ms. Robinson?” Is that some coded shout out to our avian ancestors?

I’m being silly here, and in fairness, the book is serious about it’s charmingly funny conceit.

It has statistics about how male pigeons are better Dads than humans, and uses drawings, graphics and type-face to great effect. Ms. Garrett-Jones considers attention span, so the reading/looking pace is smart and snappy.

I think my favorite page, (though it’s hard to pick one,) is the side view comparison between a human arm and a bird wing. It’s printed on vellum, (one of several surfaces throughout,) and the similarities are so striking.

“Why not,” I thought?

Is it any weirder than coming from monkeys?

That’s about all I’ve got for you this Thursday evening. (Yes, I’m writing at the last minute, by my standards.) I hope you have a great weekend, and that more books in my submission pile turn out to be this good.

If so, we’re all in for a treat this autumn.

Bottom Line: Marvelous, imaginative, mixed-media book about evolution

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at . We currently have a several month backlog, and are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers so we may maintain a balanced program.

- October 11, 2018 -

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: 

KINGS & QUEENS began in 2015 when Léon created a portrait of his friend Micha and his drag queen alter ego Snorella WC. Two personalities of the same individual laid bare; portrayed in juxtaposition, as if each has his or her own life. The blueprint for an international photo project had been formed: KINGS & QUEENS — guys besides the girl they are inside.

The KINGS & QUEENS portraits invite the viewer to enter into the exotic phenomenon of drag artistry, a world which is usually restricted to the clichés of spectacle, fantasy and entertainment. By gazing upon the fierce drag queen, accompanied by her soberly dressed male half, the viewer is asked to consider the relationship between the two personalities: whose desire is satisfied with the transformation back and forth? What does one ‘get’ from the other? And how do they react when meeting each other for the first time? Do they embrace, flirt or argue with each other?

One thing is certain: the depicted subjects were stunned when seeing the images for the first time. On seeing her portrait, drag queen Extasis Liquuid cried out: ‘Finally my two hearts beat in the same rhythm.’

KINGS & QUEENS is now conquering the world. Berlin, Madrid, New York have already experienced the power of drag, with Cape Town, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Rio De Janeiro to follow soon. Exhibitions are usually accompanied with debates and discussions about gender, sex and identity conventions. Ultimately the KINGS & QUEENS portraits will be collected, internationally exhibited and eventually published in a book that captures the magic and reality of what it means to be a drag queen.

To see more of this project, click

Instagram

LÉON HENDRICKX

Léon is a Dutch photographer based in Amsterdam, NL. He started his photographic career as a university scholar, absorbing the theories of visual arts and photography at the University of  Amsterdam, Leiden and the Rijks Art Academy in The Hague. In the meantime, he learned the photographic trade while assisting the artists and photographers of the Dutch fashion and  advertising industry. During these assignments Léon developed his interest and skills for the technical possibilities of photography and how to utilize technology to make his dreams seem real.

Léon is intrigued by the extraordinary. He is determined to bring out the ‘realness’ of his subjects, no matter how bizarre, strange or fantastic that may be. But whether what’s depicted is real or not, he wants to make sure that the viewer believes what he creates.

In his series KINGS & QUEENS, Hendrickx explores the world of drag. For him, drag is becoming another character that resides inside yourself. Léon was fascinated by the question of how (or whether) these two sides of the same person could be reconciled. After much experimentation, Léon found a way to portraying both persons in the same image, thereby showing how two characters, wrapped up in the same body, are intertwined.

 

APE contributor  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 @. 

 

- October 9, 2018 -

Bijou Phillips & Emily Cadenhead, Bill Burgess House, Palm Springs

Cindy Crawford, Big Sur.

Isaac Mizrahi & Shalom Harlow, Pier 59 Studios,

Jasmine Guinness, Zuma Beach

Patricia Arquette, Morgan House, Hollywood

Natalie Portman, Upper East Side, New York

Patricia Arquette, Morgan House, Hollywood

Book Designer: Tom Adler
Writer: Brad Dunning
Photographer:

Heidi: What made you want to keep all your Polaroids? how where they stored, organized?
Dewey: First and foremost we kept Polaroids for practical reasons: the Polaroids were a tool to help organize and identify film rolls. We made grease pencils notes on the Polaroids for the lab techs as color and exposure references for processing rolls of 120 and 35 mm which was considered the “real film”.

Because the Polaroids weren’t considered “important” they were looser.  I would have to reframe a bit when we changed to the Polaroid camera with its fixed lens. That change helped create a new momentum. The honesty of the Polaroid color reproduction creates an undeniable intimacy with the color and light quality of the original subject.   I always thought that Polaroids were worth saving because the image you see is a unique 1 of 1 photo with a surface that actually saw the light reflected through the lens, never to happen again.

Did you know you’d be doing a book someday?
I was working on 2 or 3 long-term projects that I imagined would be presented as books. Those projects were shot on negative or transparency film with the intention of making high quality images. The boxes of Polaroids were almost like scrapbooks of the moments we loved from shoots, testaments to favorite memories and once I rediscovered them, they rose to the top of the list.

How many did you have in total?
There were several thousand Polaroids.  Black and white Polapan, Polacolor, SX70, Fujicolor instant film were all thrown into a box and forgotten.

How long did the editing process take and what elements did a Polaroid have to have in order to make the edit?
I shared the box of Polaroids with my friend, designer Tom Adler, who creative directed many of the shoots included in the stack of Polaroids. Tom took the images and came back in a couple of days with layouts of an edit focused on portraits of Women. Some well-known women, some young faces, some friends and collaborators. All beautiful. I loved what Tom showed us and his first layout is basically what ended as the final book.

What do you miss about Polaroid?  Your work is often described as fun, energetic and your Polaroids have a type of freedom and unguarded moments, how do you satisfy that now?
Like pretty much everyone else I reach for my iPhone when I see something that I want to record quickly. As convenient as it is to have that technology in hand, nothing takes the place of viewing through the rangefinder of the camera knowing you get one quick chance to decide focus, exposure, and composition to make the picture, and you won’t be able to see the outcome for a couple minutes. It’s a risky process, but uniquely rewarding.

How did you and Brad collaborate for the forward? Did you have long chats, give him the box of images to sift through?
I was incredibly lucky to work with Brad on many photo shoots when he production designed and edited print stories. He had a lot of influence on many of the images in the book.  As a matter of fact, a few of the Polaroids used were from Brad’s personal collection from our shoots.  We spoke briefly about some of the specific Polaroids but Brad, who always references the most interesting details, wrote the foreward from his firsthand experience.

 

- October 8, 2018 -

Who printed it?
TranspLAnts was printed by , based in the UK. ()

Who designed it?
I took the photographs and designed the layout. With this particular project, I utilize each subject’s handwriting to give it a personal feel.

Tell me about the images?
In early 2016, I moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles. It was the first time in my 35 years that I’d lived outside of Georgia. I wanted to create a photo series focusing on people I meet – people who have also moved to Los Angeles to start a new chapter of their lives. I wanted to hear about their journeys and experiences. I wanted to learn how living in different places has shaped their existence.

Tell me about the pin and stickers you use instead of business cards?
I went to design school and used to put importance on having a business card. Times change and often social media becomes the calling card. For a photographer it has its pros and cons. Rather than update and print new business cards when I moved, . This was a small token I could give to new people I met and especially neighbors. A small way to say hello and show my appreciation for living in a new place. It’s not something that screams my brand name, but more of a memorable item that can be enjoyed, rather than tossed aside. That’s not a new idea, but I wanted to make something I enjoy, and if someone else happens to also then that’s great.

How many promos did you make?
I printed 100. The zine is 16 pages and labeled as Volume One. I’ve shot over 60 people at this point so I definitely plan to make a second volume.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is actually the first promo I’ve ever sent out. It’s also available for purchase on . I’m always working on personal projects alongside my commercial work and have another printed newspaper in the works that should be finished this month.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Tough to say quite yet but so far transpLAnts mini zine has received some attention and appreciation. I love the idea of someone holding a physical representation of my work in addition to viewing it on a screen.

- October 5, 2018 -

 

There was a dead rabbit hanging from our fence yesterday morning.

(I saw the ravens picking at it.)

I only noticed as I looked in the car’s rear view mirror, ready to drive the little ones to school on an otherwise drab Tuesday.

It was pretty high up there, so I figured a bird had gotten its prey stuck, but then I made the mistake of telling Theo about it.

In a flash, (I have no idea how he covered ground so fast,) he was standing below it, and came back reporting it was stapled to the wood.

Not good.

Not good at all.

It’s twenty-five minutes to school each way, plus the drop off, so I had the better part of an hour to stew on the horror of someone stapling a dead rabbit to our fence, not 100 feet from my house.

I called my friend Ed, who was my mentor at a school for at-risk youth for many years. He understands the community, and what it might mean for someone to do that to us.

He thought we should call the cops, and alert the neighborhood. I agreed, and thinking about it made me so angry as I tore into the driveway at high speed.

But as soon as I exited the car, with my Iphone ready to capture the evidence, I saw the rabbit was gone.

Gone?
Gone!

I ran inside, yelling at Jessie, “Why did you take it down? We need to show the cops!”

“I didn’t take it down,” she said, still in her robe. “I didn’t even go out there.”

I was stunned.

The culprit returned to the scene of the crime to steal the evidence?

Oh my god!
This was a big deal now.

I ran, frantic to the fence, searching for any evidence I could find. Would the cops even believe me?

Halfway down the fence, where it reached about 8 feet high, right there on the ground, I saw a very dead rabbit with its eyes and guts eaten by the birds.

I looked up, and saw where the carcass had been wedged in between two fence planks. They were smeared with guts, in a natural way.

There were no staples, nor staple holes.

I could see how it all went down, and remembered I’d assumed it was birds before Theo came back with slightly false information.

(Only slightly false, but that little detail made all the difference.)

I immediately called my friend, thanked him for his advice, and apologized for the false alarm.

No need to start a neighborhood watch just yet.

It was only nature.

We humans fancy ourselves as distinct from nature, and of course that’s laughable. We’re animals, like monkeys or rhinos and lemurs or emus.

Our big brains and opposable thumbs helped Homo Sapiens evolve into the King of Earth, and sure we know how to shave our faces, but we’re still just animals.

Wearing clothes.

Clothes are what really separate us from everything else; trees and rocks included. We put on clothing as protection each day: from the sun, the wind, the cold, and the unwanted glances of strangers at our private parts.

Fabric provides people with a second skin, and like food, music and dance, the style in which fabric is created represents one of the most obvious ways that global cultures differ.

Our relationship to fabric, when you think about it, is a symbol of our relationship to our humanity, and the power-dynamics that shape how our societies have evolved. (I won’t get started on how women have been constricted by their clothing through various centuries.)

All of this comes to my mind having just looked at “la anatomia es destino/ anatomy is destiny,” a new book by marina font, published by minor matters in Seattle.

First off, I have to give a shout to the packaging here. The book arrived wrapped in tissue paper and tied up in red string. I photographed it before dissembling , so you can see it down below.

Ultimately, this book is a meditation on the near infinite ways an artist can riff off of one essential form: the naked female body.

As you’ll see in the photos below, though, it’s not a book of nude photos.

Quite the opposite.

Marina has used various forms of thread and yarn, or sometimes more random things I can’t identify, (Is that gold leaf in one of them?) to cover this one ubiquitous image.

Before I get started, I’m going to quibble for a moment, because it’s a book review and why not? I thought the opening three images were a bad choice to begin the narrative.

They don’t fit as well with everything that follows, and it took a bit longer to then necessary for me to figure out what was going on. (As far as sussing out the concept.)

I thought the rest of the editorial choices were spot on, and the pictures were cool as hell. You can see in one installation shot how the 2-dimensional-wall-photos connect via yarn/string to 3-dimensional sculptural installations in the real world.

(The book does a good job of translating the 3d into 2d, which is always problematic.)

I have some favorites, like “fire” and “ice,” and the mandalas, but overall, the feminist ideas, and the subversive thoughts about the role of craft practice in high art come through. It’s always tricky for typologies and conceptual pieces to get the right information across via stripped-back systems, and it’s very successful here.

Lisa Volpe, a photography curator a the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, provides and ending-essay that makes these ideas visible and comprehensible for those viewers/readers who might not have connected the dots.

(3 minute pause.)

It’s funny, but I’ve been sitting here for a few minutes staring at this book, trying to figure out how to finish the review. (That never happens.)

As I’m looking, a new thought hits me: check out at all those sewn pieces. I bet each one takes a long time to make, and no small amount of skill.

Each individual piece. And there are so many! Not to mention the time it takes to make each photo-piece, and then photograph it for the book.

A project like this requires patience, and a willingness to put in the time. It’s philosophical in that regard, as is the original premise of all these variations on one female form.

Each one the same, yet different.

Like people.

Bottom Line: Hybrid, beautiful photo-sculptures of the female form

 

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at . We currently have a several month backlog, and are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers so we may maintain a balanced program.

- October 4, 2018 -

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: 

My Venice People project started almost 30 years ago, when I moved to LA to work for People Magazine from my staff position at the Boston Herald. I was still doing photojournalism then, but yearned to be more of a portrait shooter, a Celebrity Photographer. The interesting this when I look at this work is, it’s a blend of photojournalism and the commercial portraiture I am known for. For a magazine or commercial client, I gather props, build sets, find environments and then use hair, makeup and wardrobe to tell a controlled story. A conceptual approach to storytelling, as opposed to the realist approach I learned at the Herald. But all of these people come with an interesting story written all over them; they have strong identities that tell a clear story.

I have then in turn, taking the lighting and the drama that is my style and turned in on them in the streets, most Venice, but also Santa Fe and Miami Beach. The more recent work has never been shown except on my website, but now I have an opening of large prints on October 4that the . Venice on Venice, I guess it’s appropriate.

Luann, All Seeing, Venice, California

Smoking Girls, Venice Beach, California.

Beach Bikers, Venice, California

Banana Boy, Venice, California 2006.

Muscle Man, Venice, California

APE contributor  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 @. 

 

- October 2, 2018 -

Photographer: Mankoff

Heidi: How did this campaign come about?
JR: Medmen reached out to me with a simple concept for their latest campaign. Let’s shoot individual images based on the locations of each of their stores (West hollywood, Beverly Hills, DTLA, Venice, San Diego, Orange County, etc…) and focus on simple clean imagery where the identity if the individual is not as important as their expression of individuality. I was familiar with Medmens previous campaigns in which they have been identifying the stigma that all people consume cannabis. They executed this by showing portraits of a wide range of individuals. I know this to be true, but consuming cannabis is still very much “under the table”, though legal here in California, and Medmen has done a great job making it approachable to everyone.

Tell us about the creative process
It truly was a complete collaboration and Medmen was very open to my suggestions. I scouted locations for three days with them to figure out what would be the best locations and the best times of day to shoot each image. Some initially concepts worked out well, but once we scouted the location, new ideas formed that shifted to what you see today. I believe that a location often dictates the image and its best not to force an image upon it. Medmen was very understanding of the way I liked to work and create and this allowed these images to truly reflect both our visions. Which is why I believe they are so strong.

Were the images shot full length than cropped later as a concept?
Cropping out the heads was always part of the concept, but needed to be shot. Every image was shot on a single frame, knowing that the crop would take away half the image. The actually finished images where much wider then the ones seen on the billboards. It was fun to shoot for a crop that wide. Everything was shot in camera. There were no green screens.

This is a 4 million dollar ad campaign, tell us about its reach.
There are 36 billboards around LA, Wildpostings everywhere, T-shirts and all their delivery trucks (where I believe there are hundreds) all have my images on them. Not to mention ads in local magazines and newspapers. They recently just put up a 7 story tall hand painted mural of my image in DTLA. It’s so cool to see! It really is a big push by them and I think it’s an important campaign to help educate or direct people to start educating themselves on cannabis consumption.

 

You can see J.R.’s full campaign

- September 28, 2018 -

 

The future is scary, and the present is complicated.

That’s the truth.

As I write this, the United States Senate is holding hearings about whether a man who’s been accused by three women of sexually inappropriate conduct should be given a life-time appointment to the highest court in the land.

Mind you, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by a President whose administration is currently under investigation, and there is a not-insignificant chance that the Supreme Court might at some point have to weigh in on things.

To a vast chunk of America, this is one more example of crony capitalism at work, in which corruption masquerades as party discipline, or shared principles, or MAGA.

What it really comes down to, though, is that for almost all of America’s history, Non-ethnic White Christian men ran the country in every way possible.

They got the jobs, they got the girls, the nice cars, the best houses. The stock options, the secretaries who’s butts they repeatedly patted, the second home at the beach, the three-martini lunches.

It was always thus, as the American colony was essentially founded by Non-ethnic White Christian men, and as we’ve discussed in this column in many ways over the years, those with all the power never, ever give it up without a fight.

just last week that to the Woke Left, white men are at the bottom of the social hierarchy, which is the exact opposite of where they stand in MAGA-land.

Of course a shift that radical, coming in a relatively short period of time, was going to cause a backlash in the world of White People. (And of privileged, Washington DC-area prep-school Yalies in particular.)

How could it not?

The reality is that America was never the meritocracy it claimed to be, so minority cultures have fought against racism and classism to try to claim a spot at the table, even if it required drastic programs like Affirmative-Action.

We’re seeing it clearly today, as organizations like and close ranks around their own gender, or racial/ethnic/cultural affiliation, with the express goal of sticking together to battle the White Male Patriarchy.

Speaking as a man who’s often called white, (and also an avowed liberal,) I think it’s great that our media colleagues are now focused on presenting more diverse perspectives, and supporting those whose voices have inappropriately been suppressed by the traditional power structure. (We try to do our part here at APE as well.)

Personally, I’ve started calling myself Jewish-American, because who on the left wants to be considered a White Guy these days? But it’s also true, (I’m 100% Ashkenazi,) and growing up in the 70’s, even in the Greater NYC area, I was always aware that ethnic White people, (Jews, Italians, Irish…) were not in the same class as the WASPS who ran the show.

I was always aware of my ethnicity, even though I didn’t face much overt Anti-semitism. The Holocaust happened only 30 years before I was born, though, so as Jews we felt like a historically-dominated-and-tortured minitory, rather than the rich, elite culture that is so often pilloried by the same right-wingers who hate women, people of color, and fresh immigrants.

(Jews will not replace us.)

Like I said at the outset, the present is complicated. And that sense of fear about the now-and-whats-to-come often breeds heavy nostalgia, the type that fuels the aforementioned MAGA.

Make America Great Again means that this county was once great, and the changes that have come with a more diverse citizenry, (or population,) have made things worse.

The only way to get Great Again is to return to a world where those Non-Ethnic White Christian men run things exclusively, and get to grab all the crotches they want.

(Honestly, just when I think things couldn’t get more surreal, Trump comes out and says that he empathizes with Kavanaugh because he too has been inappropriately accused of sexual assault. Multiple times.)

Whether you think America is great, was great, or will be again, there’s no denying that we often romanticize the past, and deify its heroes, who were living under a very different context and culture.

Take Steve McQueen, for instance.

I admitted two weeks ago that I’d recently gotten into his films, after having caught up on the John Wayne canon 3 or 4 years ago.

I loved Clint Eastwood, growing up, because who doesn’t, but the macho stoicism they represent is a marked counterpoint to the over-the-top, cartoonish masculinity of the action stars of my childhood: Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenneger.

Just yesterday, I watched “Bullitt” for the first time. It was mind-blowing to see how the English Director Peter Yates moved so slowly in his story, taking time for monotonous details that would be cut out of ANY Netflix film in 2018. (Or Amazon. Hulu. Marvel.)

McQueen rarely spoke, and his live-wire energy was barely contained in his body, as he didn’t move very often. There were no character-establishing feats of strength to introduce his talents.

No weightlifting or jumping over walls.

Rather, he was juxtaposed against Robert Vaughn’s slick, patrician, Pacific Heights, rich-Republican-type politician.

When McQueen refused to kowtow to the man who behaved as if he were inherently superior, he announced that middle-class, or more likely working-class White guys had just as much right to this country as did the 1%.

You can’t miss the message if you know where to look. (It helps to know the San Francisco signifiers, like which neighborhoods are WASPY, but really, the point is not subtle.)

Again and again, Steve McQueen just stares people down, letting them know he doesn’t give a shit. That he’s not afraid. That’s his super-cool-super-power. (And he relishes saying “No” to Vaughn, repeatedly.)

Later, they make him sprint in a turtle-neck-sweater and blazer, after he ditches his London-fog trench coat, but other than that, and , it’s mostly McQueen’s I-don’t-give-a-shit-ness that encapsulates the American attitude of the late 60’s that he still stands for.

(Quick sidebar: as “Anchorman” has always been one of my favorite films, I laughed pretty hard when I realized that Ron Burgundy’s turtle-neck-sweater-look, and jazz flute, came straight out of “Bullitt.”)

At one point, early in the car chase, McQueen drives beneath an underpass onto Ceasar Chavez, (then called Army,) and I walked in that same spot just last year, on my way to my old neighborhood.

My mind exploded as I saw the earlier version of the Mission District, representing parts of a city that is changing so fast its residents are either leaving, bitching about it, or both.

“Bullitt” romanticizes San Francisco so strongly that I felt like Tony Bennett was about to pop out of my toilet and sing to me with all his heart.

And it also highlighted the Embarcadero freeway which was destroyed in the 1989 earthquake.

I worked across the street from the seedy hotel where part of the film takes place, yet had never once seen images of how radically different the city was with a concrete highway along the waterfront.

Luckily, San Francisco had a stalwart chronicler all these years. A man with a camera wandering the foggy corners where vice supplanted virtue. A photographer who ran with the famed Herb Caen, and hit all the jazz clubs you wish you were alive to have visited.

That man is Fred Lyon, and I believe he’s currently 94 years old. I had the privilege of a couple of years ago, and as I guess he enjoyed the experience, Fred was kind enough to send me a copy of “San Francisco Noir,” a new book published by Princeton Architectural Press. (With a foreword by PAP/Chronicle Books publisher, and San Francisco scion/mega-collector Nion McEvoy.)

To be honest, (when am I not?) I did find the production values here were not exactly to my liking, with some glossy paper and odd spread-design, coupled with the black backgrounds.

Not only that, but as many of Fred’s best photos went into a previous PAP book, which came out a couple of years ago, this one definitely feels like it’s B-sides and deep cuts.

Criticism done, of course these photographs are fantastic. Thank God Fred was out there, as how else would we have this trove of pictures of men in fedoras, and stevedores working the docks? Women in stockings stepping up onto streetcars, and long vistas up the huge, imposing hills. (My mechanic in SF, back in the early aughts, taught me to put an automatic transmission car in low gear before attempting to drive up the steepest of them.)

I know today’s column is long, and yet much of what I’ve written is not about the book. (What else is new?) But if you think about it, the entire review is about the book.

When people feel threatened, when their lives or jobs have gotten worse, it’s natural to wish things could go back to the way they were. Let’s slap up a wall to keep out the brown people. Take away their right to vote, or rescind their citizenship.

This type of reactionary thinking is not going away. But neither is this new America, I’d venture.

The one in which men and women, Caucasians and people of color, all feel like this country is supposed to be working for them. That the system should not be rigged for the steely-eyed, Christian white guys.

It’s one of life’s little ironies: non-MAGA Americans might not want to go back to the 1940’s and 50’s, but we sure like looking at photographs of what the world was like back then.

I know I do.

Bottom Line: Melodic vision of rakish San Francisco, back in the day

If you’d like to submit a book for potential review, please email me at . We currently have a several month backlog, and are particularly interested in submissions from female photographers, so we may maintain a balanced program. 

- September 27, 2018 -

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:  

Selma

 I have always reflected on my history to inform and influence my projects.   An ongoing approach in my personal projects is to visit locations that have had influential historical events occur.  When I was a child the civil rights movement played as a continual unfolding story via the news on TV.   I remember seeing with horror the images of abuse of the people attempting to march from Selma, AL to Montgomery, AL.  Even then as a child, I wondered  about the madness of how people sometimes treat others.

My project titled Selma starts with those memories of a place and its history.  Although those historical events burned the town of Selma, AL into my mind, this project is not about that particular event.  I traveled to Selma to experience what was going on now, over 50 years later.  Particularly, given the heightened polarization of America currently.

I walked the streets near where the famous images from Life Magazine were taken.  I journeyed by foot to feel the spirit of the place and to meet the people.  The emotions felt on those walks, and the experiences of meeting today’s Selma are what are reflected in this project.   My goal was to create a body of work in Selma that illustrated the dignity and humanity that is in all people, whether historically or more importantly now.

To see more of this project, click

APE contributor  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 @. 

- September 26, 2018 -

Guest post by

Is it boring to name my website portfolios by category, like portraits, lifestyle, etc.?

In a word, no. Category names like portraits, lifestyle, automotive, and celebrity are the photo-industry equivalent of, for example, entertainment-industry categories like movies, TV, and podcasts. They’re universally understood labels, and everyone knows what to expect when they click on or refer to them.

That being said, sometimes it’s necessary to break the categories down further to make them more descriptive (like “movies that make you cry”) because of the sheer volume of imagery. Dedicated lifestyle shooters, for example, will have too much work to present in a compelling way in a single portfolio, so it makes sense for them to create sub-categories that highlight their specialties and make the images easy to navigate: families, kids, seniors, etc.

Some photographers like to play the numbers game: entertainment 1, entertainment 2, etc. This isn’t wrong in any provable way, but it feels like a missed opportunity. And it’s kind of confusing. There’s no aesthetic or qualitative difference between 1 and 2, so do I click on 1 because 1 comes before 2? If I’m not so impressed with what’s in 1, do I bother clicking on 2? Why put your viewers through that decision-making process? Chances are, you have enough work to create two distinct portfolios, like “entertainment: advertising” and “entertainment: publicity.” Or it’s time to do two discrete “celebrity men” and “celebrity women” portfolios. You can also divide by environment and studio. One more thought: Simply doing a tighter edit and leaving it at one entertainment portfolio might also be the way to go. It’s amazing how quickly portfolios grow over time. You have to keep going back and reassessing to make sure they’re communicating what you want them to.

Now, there are some photographers who choose to come up with unusual names for their portfolios in an attempt to look different from everyone else. It’s a strategy, but it’s not one I’m in favor of. Art buyers, creatives, and photo editors have very little time. Think of them when you name your portfolios, and be kind to them. Do you want them trying to solve an anagram in order to decipher one of your portfolio names? No, you do not.

How do I decide which competitions to enter?

Some broad-strokes advice: If you’ve never heard of the competition, chances are no one else has either. Avoid it. Given that you want to be a good steward of your money and time (which are basically the same thing), it’s smart to stick with the big brands: the PDN Photo Annual, American Photography, the APA Awards, Luerzer’s Archive, Communication Arts Photography Competition, the International Photography Awards, and the Graphis Photography Annual. All of the above have earned their status as trusted arbiters of the medium, as opposed to some new website that’s either looking to build its business model off your name and talent or collect entry fees from the growing population of aspiring photographers; their juries tend to be carefully chosen, with jurors who are well placed; and they have the means to properly promote the winning entries—on their website, through social media, and perhaps even through a notable event. Both PDN and American Photography, for example, draw a sizable and enthusiastic audience with their Photo Annual and The Party bashes, respectively.

Once you’ve decided which contests to enter, be strategic about the work you choose to submit. It should go without saying that you should send in only your strongest images, mercilessly pared down to a select few. But think, too, about what your submissions will say about you—and about what you want them to say. Getting into a photo annual or winning an award is helpful to you only if it aligns with your overall strategy. What’s that, you say? We can talk about it in a future column…

is a marketing consultant based in Los Angeles and the former creative director of Stockland Martel. If you have questions about marketing send her an email and she  can answer them here:

- September 25, 2018 -

Photographer Director: Anna Alexander
Design Director: Ivylise Simones
Senior Photo Editor: Amy Silverman
Senior Photo Editor: Samantha Cooper
Associate Photo Editor: Lauren Joseph
Photo Editor: Sara Urbaez
Photo Researcher: Phuc Pham
Visuals Manager: Beth Holzer
Managing Art Director: Alyssa Walker
Photo Fellow: Halie Chavez
Photographer: 

WIRED celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. The magazine selected 25 icons of the digital revolution who have had the biggest impact on the worlds of technology, science, and business over the past quarter-century and hired LA street photographer Michelle Groskopf to take portraits of everyone in the issue. We caught up with photo director Anna Alexander about the making of this issue.

Heidi: Why did you feel it was important for one person to shoot the issue?
Anna: Since this was a very special issue celebrating Wired’s 25th anniversary, I felt that it needed a consistent aesthetic throughout. At the time, way back in March- when we were planning the issue- we didn’t have a design goal since we weren’t quite sure what stories would be the meat of it or what previous Wired signature “furniture” items we would resurrect, so we weren’t sure of the look. We knew we wanted it to be colorful and celebratory. We also knew that we were going to have fifty subjects contribute in some way, so – naturally- I HAD to photograph them all. I get possessive like that. We had been saving up for months, like you would for a vacation- a little out of each pay check (or issue in this case).

What were some of the obstacles, and some of the victories?
The main obstacle for this issue was time. Even though we started MONTHS before the issue closed, it still wasn’t enough time to send Michelle to shoot everyone AND edit AND sleep. There were around four subjects in Europe and Asia, but it would take a huge chunk of the precious time we had to send her there. She did not like hearing that, but I had to make the decision. For once, we actually had the funds to send her everywhere since we had saved for a very long time, but we could get double the portraits done in the US in the amount of time it would take her to go across the Atlantic to shoot only four.
Another huge obstacle was SUMMER VACATIONS. These well-known subjects actually DO go on vacation, just like us! Naturally, we invaded a couple of them on their family holidays. We also only had two cancellations, which were legitimate excuses and we were able to reshoot them. The only thing is that when there is a cancellation, we lost a full day of shooting (she shot around two subjects a day, based on geographic convenience to one another).

What type of direction did you give her?
I grabbed a selection of images from her site, both black and white and color. These were the images that I presented to the editors, so these were what I sent to her. “Like these.” I was honestly very open with art direction for her. I asked for black and white and color, vertical and horizontal, up close and full length and then for her to just go for it. “Do the thing you do that makes you feel it.” I don’t know what I said, but she got it. That is a large combination of frames if you match all of those options up with each other, especially in the short amount of time we had with each subject. I had NO idea how she worked with subjects since she’s a street photographer. They don’t necessarily interact with their subjects. They just compose each frame immediately and grab a shot without getting caught. I have to say, this technique worked really well with this project.

Was this a difficult issue to edit?
YES. Oh, very much YES. She sent so many, which I am very, very grateful for, actually. She also sent them all in high resolution final files, so if we had an emergency, which we did- of course, we were ready to fulfill. The edits that she sent to me had safe headshot shots, wonderful can-we-really-publish-this- shots, feet shots and hand shots. Lots of detail images too, just like what her signature style is.
I had to edit for the print features, then the print photo grid in the beginning of the issue, then for the online edition, then for marketing and promoting of the October anniversary event that all these subjects  are participating in.

 

Read about Michelle’s experience
More information is available at .

- September 24, 2018 -

Who printed it?
Paperchase Press in L.A. produced the promo. I’d worked with them in my previous life as a graphic designer. The quality for the value, especially with this type of printed piece was spot on for me.

Who designed it?
I designed it, with input from the eyes and minds a few trusted creatives. I knew I wanted to do an accordion-type card for this area of my work, as the form factor is initially compact. It took some massaging to land the sequencing in an appetizingly logical flow no matter which side you experience first.

Tell me about the images?
Most are images created for clients in the retail and restaurant space. This is my first mailer in this realm, so I wanted the edit to reflect a more polished aesthetic that might appeal to both editorial and commercial interests. One is from a cookbook I collaborated on with a local chef, and two are spec pieces I created for agency gigs that didn’t pan out.

How many did you make?
100, which went out to a targeted list of restaurant groups, food producers and a small number of related publications in my region.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This is the first printed promo I’ve done for my food work, but plan to do another in the spring.

Do you think printed promos are effective for marketing your work?
Absolutely. A lot of food imagery still ends up in print one way or another, so It’s great for potential clients to see how my work translates. There’s an editorial project already in the works due to the piece, and a few commercial inquiries swirling about. I actually received a phone call from one the recipients just to tell me how “lovely” it is. Whether that matriculates into anything down the road or not, I’m definitely on her radar as a result.

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