LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, the photo festival in Charlottesville, Virginia, announced today that is ceasing operations due to lack of funding. A statement from the festival’s board, posted on the LOOK3 website, says, “While our event was beloved by many in Charlottesville and in the international photography community, we unfortunately do not have the financial resources to continue.”
The festival had grown out of slide shows that National Geographic photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols hosted each summer in his backyard in Charlottesville. The LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph became a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2006. Its sponsors have included Canon, Fujifilm, Leica, National Geographic and Adobe.
Over the past ten years, LOOK3 had hosted portfolio reviews, exhibitions and talks by Joseph Koudelka, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Donna Ferrato, Larry Fink, Richard Misrach and others. In 2010 and 2014, it took hiatuses to offer LookBetween, a gathering for young and emerging photographers.
Quick Tip: Dominic Bracco II on Writing Better Pitches and Grant Applications
Photographer Dominic Bracco II says working closely with writers has contributed a lot to his success. He has produced and published stories with two writers in particular: Erik Vance and Jeremy Relph. “Collaboration is huge. It’s been really good for me economically,” he says. “A lot of photographers don’t think like writers, but freelance writers are good at approaching magazines. They write really good pitches.”
Bracco has worked with Relph in Honduras on a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He has also successfully pitched environmental stories with Vance to Harper’s Magazine, Scientific American, bioGraphic and other publications. “It wasn’t easy at first, but we have a track record,” Bracco says. “We know what our beat is, and publications and funders know that we know what we’re talking about.”
By pitching constantly, and observing how Vance and Relph pitch stories and write grant applications, Bracco has improved his success rate. “My early pitches were long and wordy. I had a tendency to blab on endlessly,” he says. Now, he opens with a one-sentence theme, explaining what the story is, and why the reader should care.
Jurors for grant competitions “have to look at a ton of work, so yours better be damn good, and your writing better be concise. You have to punch them right away,” he says.
Report: Terry Richardson Under NYPD Investigation for Sexual Assault
Photographer Terry Richardson is under investigation by the New York City police department, following accusations of sexual assault by two former models, according to the New York Daily News. Through his attorneys, Richardson has denied the allegations.
Caron Bernstein, a former Ford model, told the Daily News last month that Richardson sexually assaulted her at his studio in 2003.
Both models have told the Daily News that in recent days they’ve been contacted by detectives with the NYPD’s Special Victims Squad. NYPD Detectives have also contacted Model Alliance, an advocacy group that is cooperating with the investigation, according to the newspaper.
Richardson’s attorney Lisa M. Buckley denied Jones’s allegations last month, calling her an “opportunistic publicity seeker” in a letter to Huffington Post. Another attorney, Brad D. Rose, denied Bernstein’s allegations on Richardson’s behalf, telling the Daily News that Bernstein posed willingly and that any contact she had with the photographer “was consensual.”
Over the last several years, Richardson has been accused repeatedly of sexual assault and harassment—often by exposing himself and forcing alleged victims to perform oral sex on him. But he has never been criminally charged, and many clients have continued to work with him.
One exception is Condé Nast, which blacklisted him last fall, one day after The Sunday Times of London published a story calling him “the Harvey Weinstein of fashion” and questioning why he is “still feted by fashionistas,” despite the accumulating allegations against him.
PDN Video: Daniel Castro Garcia on Photographing Refugees Differently
Since 2015, Daniel Castro Garcia has been photographing African immigrants and refugees in ways that challenge the conventional, one-dimensional narratives that have dominated news coverage here and abroad. He won the 2017 W. Eugene Smith Grant for his project, called “Foreigner: I Pera N’Tera.” In a recent interview with PDN, he explained his unconventional, collaborative approach (see “Fund Your Work: Daniel Castro Garcia Explains How He Won the 2017 W. Eugene Smith Grant“).
This exclusive PDN video features excerpts from our audio interview, with Castro Garcia discussing several images from the project and how he made them.
Nancy Andrews, Mustafah Abdulaziz Win Alicia Patterson Foundation Grants
The Alicia Patterson Foundation has named its 2018 fellowships to support in-depth reporting on long-term projects. Two of the eight winners are photographers: Mustafah Abdulaziz of New York City and Nancy Andrews of Pittsburgh. All the fellows are awarded either $40,000 for a 12-month grant or $20,000 for a six-month grant. Information on all eight fellows for 2018 can be found on the Alicia Patterson Foundation website.
The eight fellows were selected by a jury that screened applicants’ lengthy proposals and their past work. Abdulaziz plans to continue his ongoing project, “Water,” which looks at water use and scarcity around the world. Andrews will work on “Necessity or Threat: The Pipeline-Building Boom in Appalachia.” The fellows were chosen by three jurors: Sandy Close, founder, Pacific News Service and New America Media; Ellen Warren, a Chicago Tribune columnist; and Kristal Brent Zook, a Hofstra University journalism professor and a 2005 Alicia Patterson fellow.
The Alicia Patterson fellowships were founded in 1965 in memory of an editor and publisher of Newsday. Among the photographers who have previously won fellowships are Andrea Bruce (2011), Alessandra Sanguinetti (2010), Tomas van Houtryve (2008) and April Saul (2014).
Agency Stockland Martel Closes. Challenging Market Not a Factor, Founders Say
Stockland Martel, the photography agency founded 30 years ago by Bill Stockland and Maureen Martel, closed on December 31, 2017. In a statement published on the Stockland Martel website, the founders said they were retiring from the photography business, and said they “are looking forward to enjoying life at a slower pace, exploring new interests, and spending more time with family and friends.”
Their statement acknowledged the challenging market for advertising and editorial photography, but if downward pressure on the value of photography factored in their decision to call it quits, Stockland and Martel didn’t say so. “Together, we built a business that we will forever be proud of, one that endured and thrived despite the many ways in which commercial photography has evolved since we began in 1983,” they said.
The agency’s employees, photographers and some of their clients were informed of the impending closure in November.
Stockland Martel represented some of the biggest names in photography, including Lauren Greenfield, Nadav Kander, Matthew Rolston and Art Streiber among many others. The agency did not provide details about who would represent their artists.
Stockland Martel is the latest major agency to close its doors. Vaughan Hannigan and Getty Reportage closed their doors in 2016, and Jed Root also closed in 2017. In announcing Vaughan Hannigan’s closing, the agency’s cofounder Bill Hannigan said that “large shifts happening in the creative industry” made the agency’s “boutique model of working with a limited number of unique artists…challenging to sustain.”
R.J. Kern, who began his career in 2012 as a wedding photographer, will published his first monograph this spring featuring his exquisite pastoral portraits of sheep and goats. It is one of several personal projects he’s been working on for the past few years. As he worked on those projects, Kern was connecting with other emerging artists for peer critiques and to learn as much as he could about the art photography business. He made some connections as a user group leader for Pictage, the now-defunct online photo storage platform. He also met peers and mentors at industry conferences and portfolio reviews.
“One of my favorite things about portfolio reviews is expanding your peer group, and looking at each other’s work until 1:30 in the morning, critiquing and sequencing and editing, and sharing ideas,” Kern says. He got ideas and advice about everything from building a website and finding a publisher to landing a gallery, structuring limited editions and pricing his work. “These are things that are vital to artists’ careers that they don’t teach you in art school,” he says.
His own toughest challenge was figuring out how to write a good artist’s statement and talk about his work. His peers served as a sounding board, “and helped to fine-tune the message,” he says.
PDN Video: Damon Pablo Escudero Talks about Street Photography
While earning a living as a commercial director, Damon Pablo Escudero has been pursuing his passion for street photography for more than 20 years. He said in a recent interview with PDN that he was inspired, like so many other photographers, by Robert Frank’s The Americans. Among the images in that book, “There aren’t that many juxtapositions, or interactions with backgrounds. There are some but it’s a lot of just: this is what life is,” Escudero says. Influenced by Frank’s imagery, Escudero looks for simple but expressive compositions. “One thing that’s not my favorite is that over-juxtaposed style where a little girl is eating a scoop of ice cream and an old man walks by with white hair, or a kite flying and an airplane goes by, or lines in the street. Mine is more documentary street photography. It’s more of a feeling than a clever moment.”
Andrew Seng, for a project called “Interracial Intimacy.”
Ines Della Valle, for “Spiritual Path of Ancient Egypt,” about the foundations of western spirituality.
This year’s winners were selected by Yunghi Kim and Contact Press Images director Jeffrey Smith. Applications were up more than 30 percent this year to 83, including 33 applications from women, Kim says.
“It was a challenge to narrow it to ten,” she said in a statement announcing the winners. “I am immensely proud of all the entrants of this grant: all are committed photographers who are part of our photojournalism community, all attempting meaningful work as best as they can manage, often under difficult circumstances.”
The grants are intended to help photographers “start, further or finish a project,” or to help cover “everyday life expenses,” according to the competition rules. To apply, photographers must be members of the Photojournalists Cooperative, a Facebook group for professional photographers only.
Kim initiated the grant two years ago to emphasize to photographers the importance of copyright registration, and to give back to the photo community, she says. She funds the grants with money she collects for unauthorized use of her work.
“YES it makes a difference if you copyright register your work and everyone should make a practice of it in your workflow. Thing of it as digital teeth brushing,” she says on the Yunghi Grant website.
How to Keep Client Contacts Up-to-Date and Organized
To keep track of photo editors and creatives as they move to new jobs, Emiliano Granado relies on social media to see if they post news. “I’ll take a screen shot of that to remind myself or ask [an assistant] to update their mailing address,” he says. Photographers Ricky Rhodes says he uses Instagram to keep track of art buyers and photo editors he knows. “People tend to move around a lot in this industry and I find this the easiest way to keep up with everyone that I’ve met.”
Rhodes also creates “simple Word documents full of notes” from in-person meetings. “After a few years of meetings across the country, it gets hard to keep track of everyone you’ve met, what clients they are working with, and what you talked about when you met,” he explains. He categorizes his notes by city, so he can reference them when he travels back to a place. “The notes that I keep really help me remember minute details that I may otherwise forget.” See more in our story “How to Build and Organize Your Marketing Database.”