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

The Power of the CGI & Photography Partnership as told by Hunter Freeman and Michael Tompert

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More and more nowadays, photographers are needing to partner with other artists to help create the content that the client requires.  It has led to interesting partnerships for sure.  On a recent project for Covidien with Lehman Millet, photographer Hunter Freeman partnered with digital artist Michael Tompert of Raygun Studio to interpret the art director’s layouts.  A combination of photography, CGI and a lot of creativity helped produce the final ads.

When we asked Hunter and Michael to share with us what was most note worthy about their experience, here is what they had to say:

Hunter Freeman

“This project was designed to have a lot of CGI in it, and the photography needed to do a couple of things.  First, the captures of the talent had to convey/support the concept behind the ad, and two, the images had to be shot so that Michael would be able to easily integrate them into his CGI work, e.g. having matching perspective, lighting, etc..

It’s a fun challenge to get the talent to imagine themselves in a completely imaginary environment, and all of our group did a great job.  I shot them on a simple white background, and, in some cases, had small structures for them to lean on, or work around.  Mostly, though, I got them to really imagine/believe they were in Michael’s fantastical CGI environment.

Having Michael there to place the images into his illustrations – while we were shooting (!) – was a huge help, not to mention a ton of fun.”

Michael Tompert

“Having worked for and with Hunter on various occassions in the past, I didn’t hesitate when the call came to cover the CGI portion of a project he was intending to land.

I have many projects in the portfolio that are completely CGI, meaning I shoot the pictures not with a camera, but with a raytracer, or raygun, I still prefer working on projects that combine real photography with CGI. It’s kind of a best of both worlds scenario.

It also means, there is a photo shoot instead of just emails, iChats and conference calls. And as photo shoots go, they might very well be the last thing left that hasn’t been virtualized, put on the Internet, or made into an app in the digital image creation process. It’s a chance for everyone from the client, art director, photographer, CGI artist to meet for a day, face to face and learn a little about each other. A great opportunity for everyone involved to stick their heads together and riff on what the image can be or could become and try things on the fly.

And best of all, you get to have a great lunch and cream puff cakes for dessert.

It was no different in this case where we started out quite early in the morning, trying out all kinds of things, from different props, to different lighting and angles and could drop screenshots right into the live 3D scene where the model of the CGI art sculpture lived and building the hospital room in front of the art director as the photos came in to see if everything chimes.

In what was really a very long day, Hunter shot I think 3 or 4 talent in any imaginable pose and all kinds of contraptions that made up the hospital room. it was a little past dinner time before the final file was copied over.

It’s interesting how these two worlds, the CGI and HGI (Hunter Generated Images) are so different, where most of Hunter’s time is spent weeks in advance prepping for the shoot with castings, and wardrobe and props, calendars and travel arrangements all culminating in this one day.  While my world just starts on that day and the weeks of rendering, compositing, art direction, beautifying and finalizing are all still ahead when I leave with the drive.

But for that one day of the photoshoot those two worlds are one and the same.”

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.”

Just sharing: Andy Anderson shoots for Garden & Gun and Wildrose Kennels

If you didn’t get a chance to see Andy Anderson’s spread in the December of issue of Garden and Gun, take a peak at the photos here.  And, if you know anything about gun dog training, you will know that Mike Stewart is indeed “The Leader of the Pack.”  Be sure to seek out the article online  to read all about it.

© Andy Anderson – http://www.andyandersonphoto.com

“To be really good at photography you have to be obsessed with it.” Andy Anderson

© Andy Anderson - wwww.andyandersonphoto.com

Just last week, Greg Bennett, Creative Director at WORKtoDATE  featured Andy Anderson their blog.  He republished part of the interview that Anne Telford wrote about Andy for a  Communication Arts feature story.  It struck me as I read it that Andy’s passion for photography is as timeless as his imagery.

Thank you Greg for sharing Andy’s work and vision.  To see the images featured and read the article, link here.

FoundFolios suggests that Ann Elliott Cutting’s work has become “Unhinged”

Juliette Lewis from FoundFolios recently reached out to Ann Elliott Cutting to ask her permissions to share two of her images in their newsletter.  The theme of the newsletter was “Unhinged; an exploration into what is real and not real.”  Click here for the complete posting on their site.

Juliette asked Ann to provide some background on each of the images.  Here is what she had to say about her Floating House image:

“This piece was created for an editorial assignment for Ladies Home Journal.  The story was about a clean home. Knowing that many concepts are repeated in editorial stories, I try to have fun with the assignments and give them a fresh twist. When I sketch the ideas, the most important thing is to stay at it after all the expected ideas have been fleshed out. Sketching a few more ideas usually is when the gems appear.    That is how this image came about.  (The house model was built by an Architect, and the composite was made by photographing the house on a matt of grass and adding in the sky and flowers.  The Art Director was Clare Lissaman.)

© Ann Elliott Cutting - http://www.cutting.com

Here is what she had to say about the image of  Man and Clouds:
“This image was created for a promo piece. It was a new take on having your head in the clouds.  I thought that taking it on location and having it be as if the guy is put a little off balance gave the concept a new twist.  The final image is a composite with the cloud. “

Curiosity, inspiration and finding your own voice are three of the things that Alison McCreery of POP blog discusses with Andy Anderson. That and how he got arrested in Cuba.

© Andy Anderson

Once again Alison McCreery conducts a wonderful interview.  This time with Andy Anderson.  She always finds a way to bring out the most interesting and relevant stories for her readers.

Together she and Andy talk about the importance of staying curious, bringing inspiration to his projects, and the idea of photographers having a voice.   He shares with her his ideas on collaboration and the details of his “greatest story.”

Thank you Alison for being so thoughtful in your interview and providing Andy with a chance to share his vision with your readers.

Link here for the full interview.