I often say that I am on the wrong side of the desk in this business. I see the layouts and estimate the jobs that bring our photographers all over the world. I email them while they are in the Bahamas, Skype with them while they are in South Africa, hear about the latest hip hotel they tried out in NY and see photos of wrap dinners all around the world. If I were on the other side of the desk, I could be out there with them on all those cool shoots. Instead, I live vicariously through them.
Well, Chris Crisman had a shoot of a lifetime recently, and I would have LOVED to have attend. Not only did he get to unrestricted access to Virgin Galactic, but he met Sir Richard himself.
I think I need to start speaking up and offer my services as a roadie!
The shoot was a once in a lifetime experience for sure, it is no wonder he wrote a three part blog post about it. Link to the posts below to see behind the scenes of his day.
By now you should have received the latest AtEdgeMacroview13. As always, it is full of talented photographers and inspiring imagery. At Edge always does an incredible job curating the work that is being produced by the photographers advertising in their invite only publication. It always an honor to be seen with the other photographers that are showcased in the book.
This month, it is particularly exciting in that AtEdge has featured Chris Crisman on the cover. The image is a popular one whenever we show the portfolio. It is of Tumblr CEO, David Karp.
Link here to see the blog post Chris shared about the shoot.
Happy Holidays everyone. Lauranne, Taya and I hope you are surrounded by friendship and family this holiday season and are able to take some time off to enjoy everyone you love.
We wanted to take this time to thank all of you for your support for our blog. We had no idea when we started this almost two years ago that it would be embraced by the community as it has. The conversations we have had this year are compelling, interesting and fun! We really appreciate how you all engage with the blog and help keep it alive. It is a special part of who we are at Heather Elder Represents and we have you to thank for that.
Since our offices will be closed until Monday, January 7th we will be taking a break from posting. Until then, enjoy some of our most popular posts this year.
• We had some really wonderful Art Producers interviews for our Art Buyer Insider and Solving Mystery Series. Sandy Boss Febbo, Char Eisner, Suzee Barabee, Jason Lau, Lisa Crawford, Beverly Adler, Julie Rosenoff , Cindy Hicks and Ken Zane just to name a few.
After the success of Julianna Baggot’s book PUR, Grand Central Publishing released the second book in the series, Fuse. And, once again, Kevin Twomey had the honor of photographing the cover. And this time, it didn’t feature butterflies. It featured a pelican. When we asked Kevin to share some of his experience with us, here is what he wrote.
“There are times when I become so wrapped up in the technical challenges of an assignment that not until its end do I realize how inspiring it was. The photographing of a pelican’s wing for the cover of Fuse, the second book in Julianna Baggott’s post-apocalyptic trilogy, was just such an assignment.
From the photograph, you can see the impressive 8-foot wingspan of Neptune, the year-old pelican we had the pleasure of showcasing for this assignment. The relationship with his trainer, Joe Krathwohl, was heartwarming; the pelican toddled behind Joe everyplace he went, even waiting outside the bathroom door for him. Joe’s knowledge and passion for his work soon prompted us to bestow upon him the title of “bird whisperer”.
But what really inspired me was the turbulence generated by the powerful flap of his wings. It brought to mind the chaos theory quote about how a bird (or butterfly) flapping its wings can affect the future course of weather halfway around the world. It generates the indescribable feeling of being at the source of something simple yet incredibly powerful, and not yet knowing in which direction it will go.
And how privileged I felt to be able to capture that moment, from our chaotic environment of passion and expertise and inter-species relationships, when the bird flapped his wings.”
We had the honor of being Heat’s first portfolio show in their new space. And, what a new space it is! We have visited many agencies and this by far is one of the coolest, we have never seen anything quite like it. (And I am not just saying that because my husband works there – even the SF Egotist likes it!)
While we were there, we found out some interesting things about Heat that you may not know.
1) Nei Caetano, Digital Creative Director, is also an artist and Steve Stone (aka Stoney) felt that his work would make a great statement displayed in their new space. So now, when you head towards the kitchen, you can see Nei’s work from floor to ceiling. Check out the photo to the left.
2) They named the agency Heat because they felt that an agency is more than just the partners and it’s harder to feel a part of something if you’re working somewhere that’s named after a couple people than an entity that includes all the individuals. Plus, every brand could use a little heat.
I have been representing Hunter Freeman for almost 15 years now and I am still constantly learning from him. He has a professionalism and approach to business and life that I model as best that I can in my own business and life. He is respectful, thoughtful and truly a genuine person. He makes everything he does seem effortless. And, for those of us who strive for this, we know how hard effortless can be. It is no wonder then that the photo shoots he orchestrates are well oiled machines where the clients walk away happy.
Hunter recently produced and shot a complicated campaign for Executive Creative Director Sunny Teo and Senior Designer Gigi Lam of DAE and Wells Fargo. It was complicated because not only was there a variety of talent and ethnically specific wardrobe to manage but there were multiple locations and many shots in one day.
The first scenario was a series in a Chinese “Saturday school” classroom, which included multiple repositioning and relighting options. Following that scenario, in a different area of the location, was a scene shot in an Indian Kathak dance studio, which had a group of Kathak dancers in the background.
The day had a schedule and Hunter depended on the crew to help make it run smoothly. As a team they had to load in gear, props and wardrobe, light and prop the sets, direct talent into wardrobe and makeup, postion them on the set, shoot them (minor detail, right?), and then wrap out of the location within the scheduled ten hours.
When it went off without a hitch, I asked him to share with me what made it work. Of course the list is straight forward and all about common sense. But then again, so is Hunter.
Here is what he had to say about his experience:
1) It was very organized. My producer, Sue Pinkerton, put in more than enough time on the front end (as did the prop stylist and location scout), and it paid off when I shot. The timing during the whole day, the arrival/departure of talent, prep areas, lunch break area, really everything, had been considered and squared away ahead of time. There was no room for error and every scenario and every need was well thought out.
2) We were flexible. When the client had specific needs that changed, we were able to move quickly to adapt our talent, props, wardrobe, etc., to those needs. On any shoot, anything can change, and the fact that everyone was aware that things could change, and was prepared to handle it, proved invaluable. No time wasted scrambling for an unexpected change of wardrobe, or an added prop.
3) The whole crew was thoroughly professional. I am so grateful to work with people who are so patient and SMART. I try to always hire people who are smarter than I am, and they’re intelligent enough to think, plan, and act in advance of the day’s events. No egos, no problems.
4) We didn’t lose the forest for the trees. Focused: Everyone was keeping an eye on all parts of the shoot, so that no details went wrong or, worse missing. The stylists were extremely organized and laid out everything we would need. The hair and makeup stylists more than kept up with the shoot, and were there on set when needed. Photo assistants were always right there to move a light, change a flag, raise/lower the tripod – you name it, they did it.
“The bottom line is that everyone acted as part of the team – always keeping an eye on the goal. I know that the ideas are obvious but I remind myself all the time that it is the obvious details that can make or break a shoot. If I get the easy ones right there is plenty of time to spend on the more complicated ones.” – Hunter Freeman
Who would have thought that a simple request to a recent client to share his observations about a shoot would lead to such a lovely reply. It is not everyday that a client is able to take the time to reflect on their experience with the studio and then share it with the group. Well, Group Creative Director Eric Harris of Tracy Locke did just that. And for that, we are grateful.
Here is what he felt compelled to share:
“Leigh Beisch is a rare breed of photographer. One who truly drives the creative process; one who goes beyond merely capturing the result of it. For many reasons, it was clear to me from the beginning that Leigh’s vision would define not only our time in her studio, but also the outcome of our entire project.
First of all, what a rare occurrence in this industry to stumble across a photographer/stylist relationship like Leigh and Dan Becker. They compliment each other so well, and they speak very highly of each other (even when they think the other isn’t listening!). As the line blurs from styling to shooting, one of them is there to complete the other’s sentence… Visually. I can’t count how many times Leigh – looking at the monitor – would ask Dan to move a shred of parmesan, or add a small puddle of sauce to the dish. Only Dan had already done just that. And the difference in the shot was night and day. It’s an art director’s dream.
Speaking of art director, it’s clear that Leigh’s wheelhouse sits on an AD’s foundation. She injects and demands the highest quality design into every single shot. She deliberately and carefully affects every element of every photograph, and she does it seamlessly and gracefully. I found it particularly interesting that Leigh did not have a prop stylist on set with us. Leigh is so capable and confident in her tabletop styling that she understands the physical presence of a stylist isn’t necessary. When sifting through the props on set, I knew they were meticulously combed over by Leigh with her unwavering eye for what would support the brief. Props that added life. Props that added soul. Props that told a story.
Just like in her work, at Leigh’s studio it’s the details that make the difference. The little things: The quarry of cordial glasses resting on the hearth. The herb garden just outside the kitchen. Bella, the bloated little pug that sits around all day licking her chops. A sushi lunch on the picnic table in the backyard. These are not typically things we see in studios. These are all the makings of a home. And that’s how I felt when I shot with Leigh.
At home. It was the icing on the cake of beautifully strategic (or strategically beautiful – depending on your stance) work. “