Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Commercial Photography Week Continues

And just as I was wondering if Commercial Photography Week should either come to a close or be made an annual thing, the Acura OUTLOOK Magazine arrives today.

Elegantly designed and printed on thick coated stock by Story World Wide in NYC, assigned by an early fan of ECHOLILIA. This project arrived yesterday and kinda reminded me that the process sometimes works. In addition, of course, to the million other things we do at the same time!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Runner's World 2 / 2012

Just got a copy of Runner's World's February issue in the mail today. Right in the middle of Thanksgiving we were trying to put together this very affordable and very story-boarded photograph and I was reminded really just how hard it is to produce anything around any holiday. But...it landed.

Lot's of sketches, lots of fedexing of clothing and juggling of dates and wow...by the time we arrived in the studio the hardest part was behind us. Andrea Maurio of Runner's World handling it all with charm and patience. Me? I was just trying to find a way for it not to look like a stock photograph. And once you get that in your head it's hard to shake it. Tyler Wood, starring as the interview-ee, tapped into his acting skills and brought his character to life.

Micah Bishop, always elegant, managed the wardrobe and Studio 308 SF was our location. We rented a natural light studio and then set up a bunch of strobes to look like better natural light. Can you fool Mother Nature? Prolly not.

For me...this is the year of the Commercial Photograph, so every opportunity is one that I jump on....

Below are the sketches that led to the end product above. Enjoy.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Year Of The Commercial Photograph

So this is the Year of the Commercial Photograph.

Brooke Embry of Tidepool and I have been discussing the year past, and have been pondering the idea that all the attention that ECHOLILIA has gotten, and that we have fueled for sure, may have derailed the commercial career a bit.

Is this true? Hard to say...especially in these current times when every consultant and every creative is asking to see "personal work". But it's a balance...once these images are identified with you, they become your brand...they become you, for better or worse. Alec Soth, in his first blog, wrote about this insightful sentence in 2007 in a post about a visit I paid to his class. He was referring to the book Sex Machines : Photographs and Interviews:

 "After publishing this provocative book, Archibald’s “sentence” was pretty much carved in stone. This seems to be one of the side effects of photographing something especially juicy."

His words actually rang true for years. But I kinda think ECHO eclipsed it, and my sentence may have gone from being the Sex Machine Photographer to being the guy who photographs his kid. The Dad Photographer. And of course there is now a new project that is odd and about family and really there is nothing commercial about it at all, but my energy is flowing there.

But oh...let's forget all of that work. That doesn't put food on the table. Let's now close our eyes, focus on craft, and steer our efforts toward the pleasure and joys of Commercial Photography. Will it rewrite my sentence? No. But balance is the goal that keeps all of these things afloat. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

ECHOLILIA : Copies Still Available

I get so many notes these days from people looking for ECHOLILIA at their local bookstore and they are leaving in confusion. Sorry all, we never thought anyone would want it in the first place.
But for the record, the books are in stock here in our two car garage, ready to be signed and gift wrapped if you need that service....


See ECHOLILIA at Photo Eye Bookstore HERE.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More Real Life Science Fiction

Been away from the blog for a week working on all sorts of things, really. It'll start cooking again, don't worry...

Walking into our location and finding a audio engineered robot in a cardigan always makes us think the photograph will go well. More on this shoot in the week ahead.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Singular Beauty : Cara Phillips

Cara Phillips' project Singular Beauty is on Kickstarter and almost has reached it's goal...but it needs a little more. I've always respected this project, but the Kickstarter video tells the backstory in a way that makes it almost as fascinating as the project itself.

Write what you know...isn't that what they say?

Watch the video and learn more about the project HERE.

Sunday School

It kind of feels like Picasso's Guernica, but the After School Special version.

Details of a large scale public art project currently in progress at the UU church we go to. Dipped into the ever flowing river of parenthood, the one that never stops, and pulled these pieces out.

Scraping together some other bits and pieces of the year ahead and trying to tie up loose ends from 2011 this week...so maybe nothing to report on the blog...it may be quiet?

Stay tuned to Stereoscopy Photographs, it seems like all my attention and energy flows in that direction these days. And commercial photography of course...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stereoscopy Photographs Have White Space

Remember to visit Stereoscopy Photographs.
Words and images and a shout out to the work that is inspiring it.
Visit it, see it, read it, follow it HERE.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Little Brown Mushroom : On Marrying A Photographer

Great dialogue...priceless really, on the complexities of being married to a photographer over on Little Brown Mushroom. It's all good, it's all required reading no matter what role you are in. Here is a well thought out glimpse into the life from Alec Soth's wife Rachel:
I knew that I wanted to leave a comment on this post (first time ever leaving a comment on the blog), but it has been really difficult figuring out what to write. Being in a relationship with a photographer can be a wild ride no matter your gender.
When things are going well it is fantastic! The creative juju is flowing, work is being made, and praises are being sung. We have been lucky enough to go on adventures to amazing places, and see wonderful things.
For those of us in relationships with artists, and for those familiar with the creative process, we know that there are times when it doesn’t go well. There are times when the juju stops, and work becomes really difficult to make. This may happen for a variety of reasons, but when it does, it is not a happy time.
It has been hard for me to accept that for Alec to make photographs, he has to go out and become engaged in the world without me, sometimes for long periods of time. If he didn’t go out on his wanderings and look at things, he would be miserable. I would be miserable, because Alec would not be Alec. Having said this, it is lonely sometimes.
It’s easy to lose yourself, especially when your partner is successful. I think the goal is to be passionate about something, keep your life rich, fill up on things that make you feel good and are meaningful to you. Ask for what you need. It has taken me a while to understand this.
Marriage is a puzzle. This life is crazy and unpredictable, but so is everyone’s! We are not different or special. We are all just figuring it out as we go along.
I have become a stronger woman. Our marriage is well rooted, and still growing. We have two beautiful children. I am married to a complicated, amazing man that I love. I am grateful for this wild ride we share.

-Rachel Cartee Soth

Soth ( Alec) has always been interested in the balance between family and the creative path. He acknowledged it a bit in a brief entry on the time I went to his class as I was wrestling with what became ECHO, and hit it solidly in this post about fatherhood. This is the stuff that people really have ignored discussing for so long, its great to see the dialogue opening up.

Read it all HERE.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Back when this project came out the publishers and I had hoped and kind of expected some type of blessing from the powers that be at JUXTAPOZ. Then it was not meant to be.

I was happily surprised to see this on their site Friday nite. Sometimes things take time.

See it HERE. Buy Sex Machines : Photographs and Interviews HERE.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

American Photography 27

American Photography 27, bigger than any phone book if you all still know what those things look like, came in the mail the other day.
Happy to see ECHO, as well as so much fascinating stuff, too much really to do justice to. Here are some great spreads I grabbed from Peggy Sirota, Tim Flach, Tony Fouhse, Michael Lewis and Balazs Gardi.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good Morning, Mr. Gehry

Good Morning, Mr. Gehry.
I think I used that line back in 2011.
Well...here we are, first spam of the year.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Best Photo Books Of 2011

Oh...I almost forgot. It's January 2nd and everyone has come out with their lists of the best photo books of the year...from every different angle and every different author. Here, we live very simply: we choose one book. This year...we chose two.

Cruising by Chad States and Low Life by Scot Sothern.

A book about marriage, secrets, parenting and giving voice to the voiceless, Sothern's book feels a bit like Studs Terkel, but the person confessing this time is the author. Shot between 1986 and 1990 but blown into the publishing stratosophere in 2011. You'll never forget where you were the first time you dug into Sothern's story. I already wrote about it HERE. Buy it HERE.

Cruising by Chad States first came to my attention as a self published Blurb book. Next thing I know it's out via powerHouse and is stately and beautiful. The publisher for once describes the book better than anyone with the following intro:

Sit in your car in your car and wait or take a walk through the trees.

“Cruising” has always been a part of gay culture; the word itself is a code, innocuous to outsiders, but representing an incognito hunt for sexual partners to those in the know. Over the years, men with particular desires found spaces—certain parks, public restrooms, and roadside wooded groves—out of sight and yet in plain view, where they could meet, and with the use of silent signals and cues, pair off for intimate encounters. It is these spots, nationwide, and the men making use of them, that Chad States photographs in Cruising.

Buy CRUISING by Chad States HERE.