Thursday Tip: How to Get Celebrity Publicists to Say Yes
Celebrity publicists are often quick to reject good portrait ideas from photographers and photo editors. They’re afraid photographers will make their clients look bad. But Greg Garry, photo editor for OUT magazine, has strategies for getting around their caution.
“One of my secret weapons is I usually present my favorite idea second,” he says. “You [present] the most outlandish one first so they can say no immediately, and then you say, ‘OK, well how about this,’ and you’ll have the actual idea you want to do.”
Another solution is to get the celebrity on board with the shoot, and essentially bypass the publicist. “Most of the time the celebrity is into whatever you want to do. They want to make an interesting, creative picture too.”
Nina Robinson (@arkansasfamilyalbum) photographers her family and their community in rural Arkansas.
Saumya Khandelwal’s (@khandelwal_saumya) images follow the daily lives of young girls in Uttar Pradesh, India who are forced into early marriages.
Isadora Kosofsky (@isadorakosofsky) has explored social issues in America, including the impact of substance abuse, poverty, mental health and mass incarceration on American families.
The grants are provided to help photographers pay for expenses for the production of new work. The judges for the grant were photojournalist Adriana Zehbrauskas (a previous winner of the grant); artist Eleanor MacNair; Nicolas Jimenez, director of photography at Le Monde; filmmaker and photographer Jeff Frost; and Azu Nwagbogu, director of the Lagos Photo Festival. Entrants were nominated by photo editors and art directors throughout the photo industry.
Work by the winners will be exhibited at the Getty Images gallery in London, and promoted through Getty Images’ website and social media channels,
Getty Announces ,000 Bursary for Emerging Photographers
Getty Images has announced the creation of the Getty Images Creative Bursary for photographers who are under 30 years of age or have been working for three years or less. Getty plans to give $10,000 per quarter to help emerging photographers fund “dream projects,” the agency said in an announcement last week. Each quarter, a panel of judges will choose three photographers, splitting the $10,000 among them: $5,000 for first place; $3,500 for second place; and $2,000 for third.
“This new Bursary is a dream project of ours,” said Getty Images Senior Vice President of Creative Content Andy Saunders. “We are committed to supporting and fostering photographic talent, and are looking forward to working with a diverse group of young and emerging photographers, helping to enable their creative vision.”
Photographers who are thinking about applying should be sure to read the fine print. The terms of the bursary stipulate, among other things, that photographers who accept the funding “agree to grant Getty Images a worldwide, royalty free, perpetual license to render the project available for license on its platforms.”
The application period is open now through the end of December for the first bursary. Applicants are being asked to submit a project proposal and visual brief, and are encouraged to submit ideas in any genre of photography, from conceptual fine-art to traditional stock.
Judges for the first round of funding will include Saunders, Flak Photo’s Andy Adams, fashion editor and stylist Jeanie Annan-Lewin, Diversity Photo co-founder Andrea Wise, and fellow Diversity Photo co-founder and photo editor of ESPN’s The Undefeated, Brent Lewis.
The Getty Images Creative Bursary is part of the wider Getty Images Grants initiative that includes the Editorial Grant, Chris Hondros Fund Award, Emerging Talent Award and Instagram Grant.
Photog Terry Richardson Banned by Conde Nast, According to Leaked Email
Conde Nast magazines have blacklisted photographer Terry Richardson because of numerous allegations he sexually assaulted and harassed models and stylists, according to a report in The Telegraph. The newspaper reports that an email circulated to Conde Nast magazines says the publishing company “would like to no longer work with the photographer.” In addition, any shoots planned with Richardson or any unpublished stories he shot should be “killed or substituted with other material.”
The email, signed by James Woolhouse, Conde Nast executive vice president and CEO, is reported to have been sent out Monday October 22, one day after The Sunday Times of Londonpublished a story asking why Richardson, who has never been charged with a crime but has been accused many times of sexual assault, is “still feted by fashionistas.” The story called Richardson “the Harvey Weinstein of fashion.”
Numerous models have said that Richardson exposed himself to them, forced them to perform fellatio and abused them in other ways. (See PDN‘s 2014 story on the allegations, and calls on his clients to stop working with him). In 2014, model Charlotte Waters published a graphic account of being mistreated by Richardson, and other models said he would ask for sexual favors during casting calls. Claims by Waters and others lead to calls for Richardson’s clients to stop working with him. But the following year, his images appeared on the covers of Harper’s Bazaar.
In 2010, model Rie Rasmussen said Richardson’s victims feared retribution. “They are too afraid to say no because their agency booked them on the job and are too young to stand up for themselves.”
Richardson’s clients have included Conde Nast’s Vogue and GQ, Hearst’s Harper’s Bazaar, as well as Vice, Purple, i-D, H&M, Equinox and other commercial and editorial clients.
What We’re Liking: Women Photograph’s “Week in Pictures Gender Breakdown”
Women Photograph, the online database of women photographers around the world created by photographer Daniella Zalcman, is posting weekly Twitter threads to keep the gender disparity in photojournalism top of mind.
The “Week in Pictures Gender Breakdown,” as the threads are titled, tally how many of the images used in the “week in pictures” features of major media outlets are made by women. The decidedly sarcastic and scolding tone reads a bit like tragicomedy.
Sigh. It’s Monday, so y’all know it’s time for the Week in Pictures Gender Breakdown. IT WAS NOT A GOOD WEEK. #WPGB
This past week, three of the six major media outlets reviewed by Women Photograph didn’t publish a single image by a woman in their “week in pictures” slideshows. The Atlantic was the most balanced, with a meager eight of 35 images in their slideshow made by women.
Though this survey is limited to news photography, the posts offer a useful reminder of the photo industry’s entrenched gender imbalance. Of the 136 images published by six media outlets in their recent “week in pictures” slideshows, just 11 were by women, or roughly 8 percent.
Women Photograph also just published a quarterly analysis of the A1 featured image bylines. It looks at how many of the lead photos published in the first three quarters of 2017 by eight newspapers around the world were shot by women. It’s worth reading and sharing.
Zalcman tweeted about the results, “Continuing to accept a status quo where men are considered our primary storytellers means we accept that women’s voices do not matter.”
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award Goes to Brent Stirton for Rhino Poaching Photo
South African photojournalist Brent Stirton’s grisly image of a de-horned black rhinoceros, killed by poachers in South Africa’s Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park, won him Wildlife Photographer of the Year honors in the annual competition sponsored by the Natural History Museum, London. Stirton was honored Wednesday evening in a ceremony at the Natural History Museum. His image was chosen from among nearly 50,000 entries from 92 countries.
Stirton made the image as part of his project “Rhino Wars,” an undercover investigation for National Geographic into the black market for rhino horn, which is fueled by demand in Asia. “The horn is part of an ancient Asian medical system and today is seen as a curative for everything from Cancer to Kidney stones,” Stirton writes in a statement published on his website. “Essentially keratin, a mild alkaline substance identical to fingernails, the horn is ground down in grinding bowls and mixed with water. This is then ingested by the sick and the wealthy of Vietnam and China, the imbiber hoping for miracle cures, when in fact science shows us it has a placebo effect at best. The use of horn dates back over 2000 years but the recent economic rise of countries like China and Vietnam and the subsequent wealth of the new upper class has had disastrous effects on the world’s remaining rhino population.”
Jury chair Lewis Blackwell said of Stirton’s image: “There is a horrible intimacy to the photograph: it draws us in and invites us to explore our response and responsibility.”
“This shocking picture of an animal butchered for its horns is a call to action for us all,” added Natural History Museum Director, Sir Michael Dixon, in a statement.
Daniël Nelson’s image of a nine-year-old male gorilla eating breadfruit won him Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Dutch photographer Daniël Nelson was named Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his image of a nine-year-old gorilla that lives in Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Republic of the Congo.
Now in its 27th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award includes an exhibition featuring the images of the winners and finalists, as well as a catalogue of the work. The exhibition opens at the Natural History Museum, London on October 20, and will continue through May 28, 2018 before touring internationally.
Past Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners include Daniel Beltrá, Paul Nicklen, Michael “Nick” Nichols and Tim Laman.
PhotoPlus Preview: Gerd Ludwig’s Tips for Making Strobe Light Nearly Invisible
National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig is a master of TTL-flash photography, which he uses in striking ways to illuminate subjects and emphasize his message. At the same time, he avoids the obvious “strobe look,” making images that appear (almost) to be lit entirely by ambient light—even when he’s shooting in near-darkness. In his PhotoPlus Expo seminar called “Minus 2/3 – The (Nearly) Invisible Strobe,” Ludwig will show his work and explain his gear and methods in detail. For a preview of the seminar, he shared several of his tips with us:
1. E-TTL strobes made strobe photography incredibly easy, but as a general rule, set your E-TTL strobe at minus 2/3. The reason is because the manufacturers’ settings result in strobe output that is too strong
2. Use your strobe to direct the viewer’s attention to something in the picture you want viewers to focus on. The most important thing is to take the flash off the camera to do this, focus it (zoom it in), and have your assistant hold and direct it for you. When I shoot without an assistant, sometimes I ask a bystander to hold my strobe for a few shots, and I tell them where to direct it.
3. To make the strobe less visible, use gels on the flash that reduce the bluish tint that normal flash creates. I adjust the gels to the ambient light but I try not to match it exactly if I want to put an emphasis on a person. For instance, if I have an extremely warm environment indoors, I put on a gel that is slightly less warm than the ambient light so it directs my viewers’ attention to what I’m strobing. I have a pack of gels to accomplish that and they are all hand-made. I will explain at the PhotoPlus seminar how I do it.
4. When photographing dancers at night, for example, I make use of this full collection of colored gels and I aim for a combination of sharpness and blur in the dancers’ movements: some are frozen by the strobe light, while others, illuminated only by ambient light, appear blurred.
PhotoPlus Preview: Bob Sacha’s Top 5 Video Production Tips
Bob Sacha, an award-winning director and cinematographer and former staff producer at MediaStorm, will return to PhotoPlus Expo this year to off the seminar “How to Produce Award-Winning Video.” Sacha will explain how to use audio as the foundation of storytelling, with tips about how to interview subjects to elicit surprising information and authentic emotion; how to switch your visual thinking from still photography mode to video mode, and other topics essential to good video production. For a preview of his seminar, he shared with us his top five tips for shooting video:
1) Sound is the most crucial element of video, more important than any visual or image. People will watch a film with great sound and bad visuals. But people will not watch any film with bad sound.
2) Use a tripod. Only amateurs shoot video without a tripod or monopod.
3) Use a wireless microphone on your subject all the time, and always use a lav mic for interviews. If you’re only using the camera mic, your sound is destined for heartache.
4) Shooting a sequences is the video version of writing a sentence. This is the best example of how to show a sequence from the smart folks at StillMotion. If you shot every scene this way, your video would be awesome. Also, think in terms of scenes, with a beginning, middle and end. Avoid thinking about random shots used to cover the interview, which is also known as B-roll.
5) For multimedia/video, you should shoot at least 50 percent close-up or super close-up. If you don’t have at least one shot of every person with nothing but their eyeball filling your viewfinder, you’re not close enough. The reason is because most people will be watching your work on their smartphone. On small screens, close-ups work better than wide or medium shots.
Most of us have the luxury of screwing up in private (or semi-private). But if you’re a photographer working an event, chances are fellow photographers are there to see your shame. And if not, there’s usually someone else lurking with a smartphone.
Via FStoppers, this blooper reel of photographic mishaps should bring a rueful grin to your face. Some of these look a bit contrived, while others aren’t all that amusing (how many times can we see a hapless wedding photographer tumble into a lake), but there are a few gems in here.
Workshop Preview: Lowrider Culture in Northern New Mexico
Photographer Don Usner photographs lowriders, among other subjects related to his lifelong love for Northern New Mexico’s natural and cultural history. The cars, he says, “are incredible creations, beautiful art pieces.” But he adds that his work is “more about the people and seeing the cars as an expression of their cultural ethos. What’s exciting and rewarding about this kind of photography is the engagement and contact with people and the exchanges of ideas and inspiration about art.”
Usner will be teaching a three-day workshop this month at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, introducing students to lowrider culture and how to photograph it. He shared with PDN some advice he’ll give his students about approaching subjects, overcoming fear, and making photographs that tell human stories.
PDN: How do you get students to see not just cars, but the larger car culture?
Don Usner: For me, it’s about communication. If I form a good relationship with the person I’m photographing, and I have a meaningful, warm exchange, that’s the most important thing. If I get a good picture also, that’s icing on the cake. But the first step to getting a photo is establishing a relationship that is mutually trusting and open. There’s a notion among photographers that you go in and get the shot and get out. I’d like to cultivate the notion that it’s more about forming a relationship that both people [photographer and subject] feel good about. Then if there’s a photograph out of it, that’s even better.
PDN: What’s your advice to students for developing those kinds of relationships?
DU: I tell them to be open, to be curious, to be inquisitive and to listen and try and really appreciate what the person is presenting. I also advise that if somebody is not comfortable having their picture taken, you courteously acknowlege that and say and be content with the exchange regardless of the outcome photographically. It lends a sense of trust that allows people to be more themselves, and share more of themselves.
PDN: What do you find the students struggle with the most? What’s the biggest challenge for them?
DU: People have a fear of approaching strangers and asking to take their picture, and being comfortable in the role of a photographer. That is somehow intimidating for people. I find that students are tenataitve about being open and saying, “Here’s who I am, I want to know who you are, and I want to tak eyoure picture,” and getting past that fear that you’re going to be rejected, or that you’re violating somebody’s personal space.
PDN: How do you help them get past that fear?
DU: I encourage them to be curious, open, light, respectful, and to show some of themesleves, too. Make it a two-way conversation, and open up avenues for dialogue: “ I used to have a ’57 chevy,” or whatever. It’s all about the attitude and openness and not being apologetic about the fact that you’re a photographer. In my own practice, I have a camera around my neck, I get out of my car, I walk right up to people and the camera’s right on me, so there’s no secret, and there’s no mincing words: “I’m a photographer, I’m here, I want to meet you, I want to learn about you”. And I’m not ashamed of it, you know?
PDN: What’s your advice for students who are introverts, or who aren’t good conversationalists?
DU: Just to be yourself. If you’re an introvert, that’s OK, but you still have to make contact. And you can do that in the context of: “This is kind of awkward for me. I’m not used to engagine people and asking to take their picture, but I’d like to do it.” It’s just a matter of honesty. I’ve had tremendous introverts do really well, because people relate to that: “Oh, yeah I’m kind of an introvert, too, and we can do this without a lot of words.” You don’t have to pretend or project but you have to overcome your own fears of trying to make a point of contact, whatever the tone of it is.
PDN: How do segue from making a connection to taking good pictures?
DU: It has to be a spontaneous process. If the moment arises, you ask: “Can I get a picture of you by your car?” Or: “Can you show me how this part of your car works?” Fortunately, this particular population is proud of their creations and not camra shy. They’re more than happy to cooperate. Then technique comes in: how to compose a picture, how to include important elements of a car or its environment. I don’t like to isolate cars as objects, but to see them in context. What’s the yard like, what’s the garage like, what’s the family like that’s often nearby? It’s about the physical environment and cultural enviroment, and tuning into that to find compositions that include elements that tell the story about this culture and these individuals. Its ultimately about telling the story.
PDN: How do you get it all into one frame?
DU: You look for the salient elements that tell most eloquently the story your’e seeing, or that reveal the character of the person you’re photographing. As a fallback, you can use a wide angle lens and photograph the car from every conceivable angle. But more intelligently, or sensitively, it’s noticing that, well, this guy is really into this aspect of his car—maybe it’s his connection to the mural that’s painted on it. That’s where his passion is, that’s where he’s invested himself, so I want to get him talking about that, and pointing to it or being near it. I was in a guy’s garage and he’s really into speed. On the wall was a picture of his car with the tires really burning up in a drag race. So his portrait was with that [picture] beside him. It’s a process of trying to become aware and keeping open to what’s presenting itself. There’s always a photograph presenting itself. It’s just a matter of opening yourself up to realize it.
Usner’s workshop, “Exploring the Lowrider Culture in Northern New Mexico: Capture to Print,” takes place October 14-17 in Santa Fe. See complete details at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops website.