Chris Crisman Launches his New Website.

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As anyone in this business knows, it is never an easy task to design a new website.   The design alone is a huge undertaking and then the uploading and sequencing always adds weeks to an already long schedule!  Congratulations to you and your studio for a job well done!  The images are large, the navigation easy, there are portfolios and libraries to review and the grid view is pretty cool.  Check it out yourself here.

And, if you like what you see and what to view his portfolio, that is easy enough. We have a video of it here for you.


Confessions of an Instragrammer. By Kevin Twomey.

@Kevin Twomey Instagram Photography

I love how when I see a Kevin Twomey image on Instagram, I never know it is his.  That is because he isn’t taking photographs of the things he does in his studio.  Instead he is photographing exactly the opposite.  And, being that he is a still life photographer, his world has opened up!   

Enjoy a recent blog post he wrote confessing his latest obsession.

“If you have not yet succumbed to the crack-like lure of instagram, all I can say is, don’t start.

It began simply enough, with me capturing stills on my iPad.  The iPad, as it turns out, is but a gateway drug: as a professional photographer, the limitations of its vastly inferior camera soon had me hijacking my wife’s iPhone to capture interesting images during our weekend hikes.  First, it was with her permission, but after I vomitously filled up her phone with my addiction, she cut me off.

I wandered the streets, desperate to fill that 16Gb void in my soul, and soon found a smartphone dealer who would sell me an iPhone. As a still-life photographer, I had been so used to the 4×5, taking my time, carefully crafting my shots, that using something a fraction of its size and weight was absolutely liberating!  I spent more and more hours under the influence of its euphoric filters, convinced that the next hit would yield that elusive high of PhotoShopped wonder.  I found acceptance in the Instagram community.

Instagram takes care of me.  It provides me with apps to nurture my creativity (first one is always free). It feeds my desire to observe and my obsessive need to shoot. After all, they are parented by Facebook, known for respecting -many- of the privacy filters they offer.  Except on January 17th.  Need I say more?

I can stop any time, though.  I can control it.  I’m not like those obsessive users driven to enter competitions, instacanvas and type-those-endless-keywords-on-a-scren-so-tiny-you-might-suck-it-up- your-nostrils-if-you-look-too-close.

It is just that it is my civic duty to mentor the social media generation, to impart professional wisdom gleaned from years of practice.

Or so I tell myself, as i watch my images flash by on my niece’s iPhone, shared and re-shared in a blindingly-fast display of teenage thumbwork.”

To view more of my instagram images please go to :

Heather Elder Represents Rethinks the Agency Portfolio.

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Last year, we decided that it was a good time to create an AGENCY PORTFOLIO.  We had a fantastic group of photographers and many opportunities to show it off.  We didn’t want it to be a typical group book that had a section for each photographer.  While we like those and they are always very strong, we wanted ours to be a little different so that it would stand out more at events such as Le Book’s Connections.

What we came up with was a portfolio divided by SPECIALTY instead of by PHOTOGRAPHER.  We liked this idea because it allowed us to showcase the type of work our group can offer while allowing the viewer to file our group away by different specialities.  Of course it is always our main goal for a creative to learn who our photographers are and what they shoot individually.  This will never change.  But, by offering an alternate way for them to view the work in our group, we are opening up another opportunity for them to remember the work.

More often than not the Agency Portfolio is shown in conjunction with the individual portfolios so if a viewer is interested in seeing more, they can choose to do so right then and there.  This is particularly helpful in a setting like Le Book Connections because there are so many books to view and it can get overwhelming for some. We have found that our agency book provides a breath of fresh air in a crowded market.

Take a look for yourself and see.  It is no mistake that we chose the song, Breathe by Sia as the background music.  Enjoy!

Click here to see the video of our Agency Portfolio

Click here to see the video of our Agency Portfolio

Commercial Photography is Not Dead. Just ask Ram Trucks, The Richards Group and Ten Talented Photographers.

Last night, I watched on Facebook as people commented on the Superbowl commercials.  The best post came from my friend Will Burns, President of Ideasicle, around the third quarter.  It read, ” Do the ads know it is the Superbowl?”  By the amount of similar posts it was obvious that people agreed.

I agreed until the Ram Farmers ad created by The Richards Group aired.  Once that spot hit, Facebook was a buzz with cheers and recognition for a spot well done.  The Paul Harvey speech was powerful, the message was powerful, the farmers of course were powerful.  But, for those of us in the industry, it was also the photography that was powerful.  How nice to see a tv spot, let alone a Superbowl spot, be a hero with photography.  Wasn’t is just a few years ago we were hearing that commercial photography was dying?  Well, thank you Ram Trucks and The Richards Group for reminding us that is still very much alive.

I am proud to say that our photographer, Andy Anderson, was one of the ten photographers that participated in this wonderful project.  Andy was humbled by the opportunity and honored by the chance to document visually his connection to the farming community.   To see what Andy had to share about this project, link to his blog here.

Special thanks need to go out to the Ram Trucks client, The Richards Group, Jimmy Bonner, Rob Baker and Deb Grisham for their commitment to their vision.  And of course to the ten talented photographers:  William Allard, Andy Anderson, Jim ArndtDaniel BeltraMark GoochAndy MahrKurt MarkusDavid SpielmanMatt Turley and Olaf Veltman.

Unveiling Chris Crisman new portfolio at Le Book’s LA Connections today. Can’t see it in person, then check out the video here.

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As all photographers know that creating a new portfolio is always a huge undertaking.  As Chris Crisman explains in his blog post about the process, it indeed “takes a village.”

Months of planning, weeks of designing and days of printing and assembling has led us to today – the day we unveil the new portfolio at Le Book Connections in Los Angeles.  If you are going to be at the event, please do come by and check it out.  We would love to show it off.

If you are not able to see it in person, link here and see the video.

When Personal Work Gets Published. Wayfarer Magazine Shares Leigh Beisch’s trip to Italy.


I always enjoy seeing the personal work that a photographer in our group shares with the world.  While I of course love seeing anything they shoot, I particularly enjoy seeing what Leigh Beisch shares.  This is because she is a food photographer  so when she shares with us something other than food, it is a new insight into her vision.  Seeing the imagery from a recent trip to Italy, it was no surprise to learn that Wayfare Magazine had encouraged her to shoot for them while there. Here is what Leigh had to say about the trip and her imagery.

Here is what Leigh had to say about the trip and her imagery.

“I am excited to see some of my photos from my trip to Rome in the first printed issue of Wayfare Magazine. When I mentioned to a friend and colleague Peggy Wong that I was taking a trip to Rome, she told me that she wanted to see my photos when I returned and that she may want to include them in the first printed edition of Wayfare Magazine (a cool new travel mag that turns that category a bit on it’s head.)

What was nice about this request was that it wasn’t really an assignment. She wanted to see the photos that I would take for myself, she was especially interested in seeing what I shot for my personal series of work entitled “Bodies of Land” which is comprised of out of focus landscapes, or in this case cityscapes.

I also played a lot with Instagram for this trip since I liked the format, the accessibility to capture things at any time and the tones that were rendered with some of the filters. I am usually not a big “effects” photographer, nor do I like a lot of retouching. I liken the filters to using different types of film or printer paper.  ”

Here is the text that accompanies the images in the magazine:

Photographer Leigh Beisch, along with her husband, father, and ten-year-old daughter, forgo their annual trip to Cape Cod for something a little more mysterious. Here we get a light-filled glimpse into the beauty of a region teeming with old world intrigue.

“We decided to rent a small apartment in Trastevere, located on the outskirts of Rome and just south of Vatican City. We booked the apartment for two weeks so we could spend one week as tourists and the next week as locals. While Rome is where scale and extraordinary monuments are on display at every turn, the color and texture of this neighborhood are what captured our hearts. Here we felt like we could experience art, not just see it. The building of our tiny rented apartment had the most amazing rustic front door that was designed to keep out invaders during the medieval period. There was also a stone staircase that was so worn with age that I could imagine a young slave girl carrying water up them thousands of years ago. Staying here instead of a hotel allowed us to let the language of the place—the people, the light, the smells—to seep in and shape our experience. The family and I enjoyed being part of the neighborhood’s everyday routines, sampling from the well-visited osterias and trattorias; shopping at the local designer clothing boutiques; and enjoying the famous Sunday flea market, Porta Portese. One place we frequented was local trattoria La Scala, where my daughter would order her favorite dish of spaghetti con burro e parmigiano, a simple dish of pasta with butter and parmigiano. One of my favorite dishes here was the tagliolini cacio e pepe con fioridi zucca e pachino, a pasta with a beautiful squash blossom layered on top, then sprinkled with parmesan and ground pepper.”

SEE. I spent some time shooting for my personal work  entitled “Bodies of Land,” which is a series of abstract  landscapes that are out of focus with the subject matter being light and color. This allows me to create a more timeless landscape that captures the imagination.

EAT. My father and I woke up early a few mornings to photograph. Before we headed out, we stopped at the local Bar for morning cappuccinos and jam filled pastries. I loved the colorful trays here

Our first morning in Rome, we headed to the Piazza di Santa Maria, where we found a beautiful fountain guarding the entrance to the Basilica of Our Lady, or Basilica di Santa Maria, one of the most ancient churches in Rome. So ancient, in fact, that it’s one of the few churches where you can see Christ depicted as a living prophet, rather than on the cross. It was here that I noticed the light streaming in through the clerestory, illuminating select statues and giving the sense of divine light. This light shaped my experience in Rome, becoming my subject matter and focal point of the trip. The photo of the portal looking out onto the wall with a row of dotted trees was at the entrance to Hadrian’s Villa, a Roman Emperor of the 2nd century AD. The wall pictured here was built to be just one mile long, which was the length of the palace and, according to our guide, the distance that the Emperor’s physician had advised him to walk every day. The morning light of this photo gives us a glimpse into what one of the Emperor’s walks might have been like. From the cobblestone streets and terracotta and maize buildings cast in deep wine hues to street windows dotted with laundry lines, Rome was richer than I had ever imagined. I loved the color of the place, and the way the light would fill ancient crevices to reveal some things and hide others. It felt as though this light held the secrets of Rome.”

To see more of Leigh’s work, please link here.


When the Journey is More Interesting than the Destination.

© Kevin Twomey

Back in October we shared with you some photographs that Kevin Twomey took on a summer trip to Italy.   He included a corresponding post reminding us the importance of slowing down.  Well, Kevin’s trip also took him to St. Moritz. And, it was here that he tested out his newly healed arm after a break and hiked a hard to reach summit.  He recently shared his experience with us and the beautiful photographs that he created.

“While on vacation in Italy, we took an overnight trip to St Moritz and I found the journey far more interesting then the destination. The first leg was from Oltre il Colle to Tirano, where we took the scenic route through windy roads and over the San Marco pass.   We stopped at the pass to stretch our legs and take a few pictures.  What I captured was one of my favorite images from the trip.   I was drawn to the the modern day electric wires that followed over a road  built  in the 16th century. For me, it was about the layering of time.

© Kevin Twomey

I was told that the pass was built as a trade route between Bergamo (ruled by the Republic of Venice at the time) and cities to the north so they could avoid paying the high tariffs to Milan. The modern road over the pass is a favorite for many hardcore cyclists.

The second leg was a 2 1/2 hour train ride from Tirano to St Moritz.  It was a gorgeous ride through the Alps with breathtaking scenery, where the tracks climb at a 7% gradient and stop close to Brenina Pass at an elevation of almost 7,400 ft.  I can only imagine what this trip would be like in the winter!

There are 3 things to do in St Moritz; ski, shop and eat.  Since I am not a big shopper, I was happy to just sit on the slopes of St Moritz (minus the snow), and enjoy my delicious cured meat and cheese sandwich while basking in the sun.

After returning from St Moritz, I decided to hike up to one of the lower peaks of the nearby Mt. Alben. On my way up, I met three lovely people who were on their way to the higher, more difficult-to-get-to peak and was invited to join them. The rock scrambling tested my arm (which I had broken 8 weeks earlier),  but the payoff was worth it when we hit the summit.   The weather was on my side at that moment with storm clouds in the distance to help give me the right atmosphere for my photograph, but far enough away so I cloud return home dry.

© Kevin Twomey

© Kevin Twomey

© Kevin Twomey

© Kevin Twomey

If you would like to see more of Kevin’s work, please link here.

What defines a photograph? Some controversy brewing over on Chris Crisman’s blog.

@Chris Crisman

@Chris Crisman

I always like it when a blog post gets people thinking and talking.  Sometimes the best part of the post ends up being the conversation being had in the comments.  Well, a recent post that Chris Crisman posted on his blog sure is starting a conversation about what defines a photograph.  If it is not created 100% in camera, is it still defined as a photograph?  If it was not created 100% in camera, can it win an award?

Well, Chris Crisman created a wonderful photograph that was recognized by the World Photography Organization’s 2012 World Photography Awards and it wasn’t created all in camera.  The ensuing controversy on blogs worldwide made Chris think long and hard about “What Defines a Photograph?”

Click to Chris’ blog directly to read what he has to say about it and how the story unfolded.

And, please don’t be shy – Chris would love to hear from you.  Be sure to comment on his blog or email him directly from the post.


When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

© Kevin Twomey –

Kevin Twomey spent a few magical weeks in Italy this summer. When he shared his photos and stories with us, we suggested he share them on the blog as well.  Kevin’s account is very beautiful and reminded us of the importance of slowing down.  

“”When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”   When it comes to food, that saying won’t steer you wrong anywhere in Italy you happen to visit and enjoy a meal.

This past August I went to see the in-laws in northern Italy with my wife. We spent a week in the Alps eating, hiking and eating some more. I am a big proponent of eating home cooked meals and locally grown food and I am happy to report there was no shortage of either on my trip.

A mile up the road from my in-laws summerhouse, close to the town of Oltre il Colle, is an abandoned ski resort where a handful of cows graze at the granite peaked base of Monte Alben for the summer months. These cows belong to a local herder, Tobia. Tobia and his brother have lived amongst these mountains their whole lives. Things are much simpler than my current urban city life and it was good to see the old methods of doing things were just the present day routine for people in the surrounding villages.

© Kevin Twomey –

We met Tobia and his brother as they were milking their cows. Sonoyo, my sister-in-law, gets her milk products from Tobia and thinks nothing of the daily errand that I found to be such a luxury. Tobia didn’t have any fancy milking machine, no weird tools or suction devices.  A bucket and an old wooden stool to sit on was all that was required, go figure.

After a few introductions and a brief conversation about weather, health, family and how two of his cows will be turned into Bresaola this fall, Tobia took his bucket full of fresh milk and filled up Sonoyo’s liter bottle.

A few days later we went to Tobia’s house to buy cheese. The first thing I noticed was the breathtaking view surrounding his home. Lush green rolling hills as far as the eye can see, mountains upon mountains towering over on all sides. And the garden! He had a rich array of so many different kinds of vegetables, it was quiet a sight and put my town’s community garden to shame.

© Kevin Twomey –

There was a separate room devoted to storing and aging Tobia’s home made cheese. He had some that was days old to a couple years and he wanted us to taste them all. We had our tasting and made some hard choices of what to schlep back to the states. We walked away with about a two month supply.

It was refreshing to see things done old school style with little fuss producing such high quality product. Tobia has been doing things the same way his father and his father’s father and so on and so forth. Generations not obsessed with doing better but instead knowing what works is sometimes the best way to do it.”

© Kevin Twomey –

If you would like to read more of Kevin’s blog posts, please link here.  He has a particularly moving post that he wrote after the earthquake in Japan.