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

Don’t “Freak Out” – you can now see Hunter Freeman’s portfolio on video.

As with the others in our group, we have created a video for Hunter Freeman’s portfolio.  And, in keeping with his style he chose a song that will make you chuckle. Hint:  See title of this post.  And, to add his own brand of humor, the song is performed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.  Check it out below.

Hunter Freeman’s Video Photography Portfolio

If you would like to see Hunter’s portfolio in person, please email us here.  And, to see more of his work.  Be sure to link to his website.

Haven’t had a chance to see Kevin Twomey’s portfolio up close and personal? See what you are missing.

As I mentioned in our first video portfolio post last week, it is pretty rare when we get to send out a portfolio for a request. Nowadays, they are used mostly for portfolio shows and events.  It doesn’t make them any less important of course.  In fact, I would argue they are even more important now.  They are rarely seen so when they are they need to shine!

We thought it would be great if more people were able to see the portfolio so we asked Marc Viarta, a videographer, to video tape someone reviewing Kevin Twomey’s portfolio.  We added some fun music and posted them to Vimeo.  We will be adding Kevin’s video as well as others from our group to our websites soon.

If you would like to see Kevin’s portfolio in person, please email us – we would love the request!  And, if you would like to see Kevin’s website, please link here.

Link here to see Kevin Twomey’s video portfolio

Birth of a Gummy Bear

When the trend started a few years back where photographers started learning to shoot video, many people wondered how a still life photographer could utilize video and still make it interesting.  Kevin Twomey has shown once again that it is entirely possible to do so by exploring yet another interesting subject, The Birth of a Gummy Bear.  When I asked him about it, here is what he had to say.

“I look at food as a still life challenge, asking myself how I would represent it in a way that stimulates the senses beyond the predictable “mmm, delicious”.   How might I evoke an emotional, rather than salivary, response?

The gummy bear imagery emerged after toying with ideas for a holiday card a couple of years ago, where I explored the after-effects of destroying
candy (mostly by smashing them to bits).  Experimentally melting some pieces, I saw how beautiful they looked as their sugars liquified.  That
led to the microwaving of gummy bears, which then led to my seeking a more precise way of melting: the hair dryer.  As I strategically melted the
gummy bears for my still shots, I noticed how beautifully the thick liquid flowed.  The dynamics were so compelling, I had to film them, not just
melting to their demise, but in a way that celebrates the creation of the beloved candy.”

To see more videos by Kevin Twomey, link to previous blog posts about other videos he created or to his website.

The People Burn Project – An artist works 8 months to create a sculpture just so it can be set on fire.

People Burn Project - Kevin Twomey, paper sculpture

© Kevin Twomey – www.kevintwomey.com

Kevin Twomey recently worked on a project that was unlike any other he had experienced in his career.  It was called “The People Burn Project.”  A project created by Fitzgerald + Co. for Bulwark, a company that make flame-resistant clothing.  Their message is powerful, “Because people aren’t fireproof.”

A mere description of the project could never do it justice so be sure to link to the Bulwark site to watch the 8 month time-lapse video, review the  stills from the day of the burn and to watch the video about the project.

Here is what Kevin had to say about the project:

“In April I went to Los Angeles to photograph a paper sculpture, 16’ in diameter, built by Jeff Nishinaka, an incredibly talented, world-renown artist. Taller than me by a couple of feet and as long a van, the structure took 8 months to build, 2 days to piece together, 2 days to photograph in the studio,  but only minutes to burn.

The project was part of a campaign, created by Fitzgerald + Co. for the company Bulwark who makes flame-resistant apparel. The message was wonderfully simple: paper is no less fragile than life.

With a very tight schedule, needing to photograph numerous angles in a day, we decided we would turn the set into a giant 16′ lazy susan and spin it around until we got the right lighting and camera position. It was a perfect and simple solution.

Artist Jeff Nishinaka had created such wonderful detail and character in the figures that the lighting approach for these figures was obvious:  bring these figures to life by bringing out as much detail and dimensionality as possible.

After the still shots of the sculpture were complete it was dismantled and reassembled in a quarry outside of LA. The final step to this project was filming it while it burned into nothing. Watching this was quite extraordinary. As it was burning I glanced over at the artist. I figured he would be sad to watch so many hours of his work go up in smoke but I was surprised to see that he was enjoying the process from beginning to end.”

Kevin Twomey - People Burn project - Paper sculpture

© Kevin Twomey – www.kevintwomey.com

Kevin Twomey - People Burn project - Paper sculpture

© Kevin Twomey – www.kevintwomey.com

Kevin Twomey - People Burn project - Paper sculpture

© Kevin Twomey – www.kevintwomey.com

Kevin Twomey - People Burn project - Paper sculpture

© Kevin Twomey – www.kevintwomey.com

Click here for Time Lapse Video of Paper Sculpture Creation

Click here for Video Interview with artist and information about the project

More Essence of Wine by Leigh Beisch

© Leigh Beisch www.leighbeisch.com

Since I first posted about the series of work Leigh Beisch has been creating for Alder Yarrow’s blog, Vinography, Leigh has created many more beautiful images illustrating The Essence of Wine.

With each entry, the author, Alder Yarrow,  pairs photography with poetic writing to illustrate the Essence of Wine.  Together, he and Leigh, do so in such a magical way.  Be sure to check out the site for the imagery of course, but the words and the wine selection are just as magical.

Some recent entries have included:  Watermelon, Buttered Popcorn, Tobacco, Oranges and Lime.  To see the full collection, please link here.

See why Kevin Twomey connects his shoot with a pelican to The Chaos Theory. Check out the images and video and see if you agree.

© Kevin Twomey

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.”

Have you experienced the Essence of Wine yet?

© Leigh Beisch - www.leighbeisch.com

I enjoy subscribing to the blogs of my photographers because I receive the posts at the same time as everyone else.  I do not work with them on their content so it is a pleasant surprise to see what they are inspired to post.  Recently, this one appeared in my inbox from Leigh Beisch.  The project she refers to in the post is so beautiful I decided to subscribe to the blog that features the project – Vinography.
Here is what Leigh Beisch had to say about the project on her own blog:
“Wine blogger Alder Yarrow has a way with words which is why so many people follow his blog.  It is also why Art Director/Stylist Sara Slavin and I decided to collaborate with him on this fantastic project called The Essence of Wine.  The first in the series in the introduction, but to date we have photographed images for three other posts:  The Essence of Wine: Earth and The Essence of Wine: Honey and The Essence of Wine:  Vanilla.
Here is his introduction to the project found on his blog www.Vinography.com :
“Introducing The Essence of Wine
Many facets of wine contribute to its allure and mystery. But foremost among wine’s most magical qualities must be the remarkable landscape of flavor and aroma to be found in the glass.
That mere grape juice, given time and the workings of the microscopic kingdom, can yield flavors beyond description has doubtless played a central role in making wine mankind’s most historically sacred fluid, beyond our own lifeblood.
With eyes closed, a glass of wine can transport us not only to climes far removed, but also through time. These journeys are provoked by flavor. Our deep sense memories are drawn from their hiding places, and we find ourselves tasting things that a simple liquid ought not to be able to evoke with such unnerving power.

The flavors of wine are magical and beautiful, and worth celebrating, almost as much as they are worth drinking.

It is my pleasure to introduce a new series of weekly content on Vinography called The Essence of Wine.
This writing and photography project has been years in the making. Or more correctly, I have fantasized about it for several years, and only recently encountered the collaborators that I felt could truly help me bring it to life:

Photographer Leigh BeischCapturing the soul of food is more difficult than you would think. Food photography these days is glaringly unoriginal and boring for the most part — often as hopelessly derivative as it is clinically sterile.  Photographer Leigh Beisch’s images of food possess a rare beauty, poetry, and warmth that capture the energy and allure of great food.

Leigh studied painting and photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Moving from New York to San Francisco with her husband, an animator, Leigh opened her own studio and quickly attracted major clients like Williams-Sonoma, making a name for herself by creating stunning photographs for product packaging and cookbooks.

“My work as a painter influences my photography,” says Leigh. “Color, shape, texture and the boundaries of the frame are subjects in and of themselves and I try to capture an emotional response to the subject and the setting, as much ad abstract paintings do.”Leigh’s visions has led to commissions that range from editorials for magazines to store displays. Her work has won numerous awards including several Communication Arts prizes in photography and design as well as awards from Graphis and American Photography among others. The cookbooks that she has photographed have received awards from IACP, James Beard and Gourmand.
Prop Stylist Sara Slavin:
Requiring equal parts sculptor, chef, painter, and engineer, good prop stylists, especially those that work with food, are worth their weight in saffron.Art director and prop stylist Sara Slavin collaborates with photographers, designers and publishers on commercial and editorial projects throughout the country, with a special emphasis on the culinary and related arts.She has co-authored numerous lifestyle books and has acted as art director and stylist for such books as Odd BitsHot, Sour, Salty, Sweet, Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet and Pure DessertSalumiWilliams-Sonoma EntertainingCountry Cooking of France,Southern Pies and Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter.Her clients include Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, Design Within Reach, Diageo Estate Wines, Food & Wine Magazine, Chronicle Books, Artisan Publishing, Sunset Magazine and 10 Speed Press.Each week, Leigh, Sara and I will be bringing you a bit of visual poetry — an original photograph and some prose — that captures some of wines most essential elements. I hope you enjoy these as much as we are enjoying their creation.

Badges of Distinction – Kevin Twomey shares his experience shooting something unusual.

We always like when our photographers shoot for editorial projects.  They often come away energized and excited about either what they shot or how they shot it.   On a recent shoot for Bicycling Magazine, Kevin Twomey was asked to photograph head badges.  He enjoyed the project so much he surprised us with this blog post.

“One of my recent assignments was with Bicycling Magazine, photographing head tube badges.  Before the project I had never taken much notice because most of todays badges are merely stick-on decals of the company’s logo, like the one on my Gunnar. The attention that was given to creating these badges was quite amazing, as seen in the opening spread of the story.

Most of the badges in the story came from collector Jim Langley, who is very passionate about anything to do with bicycles.  He has been collecting badges since the late 1970’s and now has approximately 600 of them dating from the 1880’s to current day.

After the shoot, I went online to do a little more head tube research and found some people filling the void by creating their own badges. One bicycle shop in Maryland, The Bicycle Escape, created badges out of bottle caps.  Another was a Star Wars Stormtrooper with what looked like a Hello Kitty bow.
So now when someone pulls up next to me on a bike, instead of checking out their components, I’ll be looking for a nice head badge.”

© Kevin Twomey - www.kevintwomey.com