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Featured Contributor: Robert Kerian Los Angeles based...

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Featured Contributor: Robert Kerian 

Los Angeles based automotive, landscape and commercial photographer Robert Kerian has taken the phrase “aesthetically pleasing,” and elevated it to the next level. An adventurer in his own right, Robert has the remarkable ability to create imagery that encapsulates the spirit of a nation in under fifty photos. 

His landscape work nearly transcends the lifelike and looks as though it could be the sets for the next big fantasy trilogy. He has a talent that can only be described as instinctual and intuitive. One look at his work and you are instantly transported to the vast lowlands of Burma, the mountainous regions of California and the immense fields and captivating abandoned buildings in rural America. 

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Pairing luxury cars with opulent views, Kerian captures the speed of the automobiles, the rush of the sport, the acceleration of the drive and the velocity of the vehicle. After speaking with Robert, it became abundantly clear why his line of work lead him to photographing the thrill of freedom out on the open road. A visual adrenaline junkie, Robert’s incessant motivation, lust for life and wildly creative spirit has allowed Kerian to stand out amongst his peers as a true visionary. For the past sixteen years, Kerian has been astounding viewers with his sought after prowess and expertise. 

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I had the pleasure of speaking with Robert Kerian and discussing his personal favorite things to capture, the connections he’s made with his subjects and the creative freedoms his assignments allow him.

The photos you submitted from Wasteland Weekend 2014 look absolutely insane - and I mean that in the best way. After reading that it’s the “World’s Largest Post-Apocalyptic Festival,” my mind has been running a mile a minute trying to envision how that might pan out. I figured I’d wait to hear from the pro himself. Can you please tell me all about this event and what brought you to photograph it? 

I’ve been covering Wasteland Weekend for a couple of years now. I never knew anything about it until a German magazine ‘Grip.de’ gave me the assignment to cover it. It’s basically a bunch of people taking over a part of the desert and creating a post-apocalyptic world. It has been compared to Burning Man, but it’s nothing like that. For me, it was like walking into a “real life” Mad Max - a film that not only captivated me, but actually inspired my love of cars and counter culture. I was immediately at home and completely captivated by the light and the subjects. I go there to be free and ignite my passion. Today, I am engaged as one of their contributors as well as many media outlets like Yahoo.com and other global social media.

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While you specialize in creating some of the nation’s most luxurious automotive photographs, making magnificent automobiles look even better, it is some of the black and white city work you captured that truly piques my interest. The decrepit buildings, abandoned architecture and dilapidated homes that resonated strongly enough within you to create an album dedicated to these structures. It seems the aesthetic choice to depict these landscapes in black and white enhanced your vision tenfold. Can you tell me more about these places? What inspired you to step back from the usually color saturated, breathtaking landscapes you often photograph and choose a grittier scene?

I have always been inspired by places that are in transition. I’m not quite sure exactly what draws me to this. Maybe it’s because I’m always shooting pristine subjects like cars and products and this is my way to cut loose. My father was a photographer and my earliest memories are in the darkroom. I grew up shooting B&W and it is a luxury for me to shoot in B&W. I love the tonality, especially when printed properly! This is a series that I have been shooting since becoming a photographer. B&W is the only way to capture the grittiness of cities like Detroit. I first experienced Detroit at its lowest economic state. The lights were off because the city didn’t have the funds to keep them on. The skyscrapers were standing but completely abandoned. Entire city blocks and row after row upon row of homes were empty. Since then, much of the city has been bulldozed and leveled in the name of progress. I was fascinated at how an entire population could just pick up and leave. It’s a story that has been repeated throughout our country. It fascinated me to learn more about the social and economic issues behind this movement. This series is my visual documentary and commentary about our morality as a civilization. My goal is to create an exhibition or book.

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So I watched the Little Tribe! Pow music video you directed and absolutely loved it. Since I was a little girl, watching music videos by the dozen has been a huge pastime of mine. When getting into photography, was motion work always your end game? If not, when did the opportunity to direct music videos present itself, and how much of the finished product is your vision embodied? 

My original intent was to be a Cinematographer. A bad accident on a film set caused me to change directions and apply my lighting skills to another craft. That’s how I started shooting commercial advertising. Now I’m shooting more and more motion projects and I’m back as a cinematographer/director. It was an unconventional path to get here, but I think its made me much more rounded than if I just stayed in the film business and worked my way through the Hollywood system. I was on a photo shoot with Pow and we hit it off. We had a lot of mutual friends and the vision was there. We made it happen. I have to give a lot of the credit to the team who helped shoot and to Shinya, the editor. The vision of this video is really from Pow and I helped her bring it to fruition.

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Under the category “Life” on your website, there are 40 images of individuals with remarkably different stories. There’s the child batman standing alone in an empty room, a proud man standing tall decked in pins wearing bandana-clad pants, and a guy riding his bike below stormy skies. These are just a few of the stories I want to explore further. While it is clear that some of these photographs likely fall under the advertising category, I’m curious to know what brought you together with the other subjects, and what you saw within these images that you want others to as well?

One of the real benefits of my car work is the travel. I get to explore some really unique places. This brings me the opportunity to meet unique people from all over the world. This project started out as just a way to show my friends and family what people looked like in say, ‘Fort Wayne, Indiana’. Its grown into something more. I need to keep shooting and letting this work evolve. It’s really a work in progress and I honestly hope it’s never completed. To answer your question, I want people to realize that if you are from LA and you think that’s reality, you are wrong. What I’d like people to take away from these photos is a feeling of compassion. In all of them I try to connect with the subject on a ‘soul’ level. I’m deeply spiritual and I can feel the energy of people. Sometimes good, and sometimes not so good. For whatever reason, I see a lot of pain and struggle in these particular subjects. I want people to have compassion. 

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What advice do you have for aspiring artists, struggling artists and successful artists alike? 

Simple. Learn your craft. Respect the craft. Assist as much as you can with a photographer who does the kind of work you like to shoot. Shoot as much as you can…keep shooting. Don’t stop shooting. Experience being so broke from photography you have to decide whether to process a roll of film or eat. Know what it means to be in the game for the long haul. I mean yes, it’s great when you are on top, but there will be extremely tough times. Acknowledging the tough times and surviving them is part of this journey. If you came into this rich and without struggles, God bless you. That hasn’t been my journey and I can’t relate. Persistence is the answer. 

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To view even more of Robert Kerian’s work, visit his site

Emerging Talent: Mikel MuruzabalWe had the pleasure of...

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Emerging Talent: Mikel Muruzabal

We had the pleasure of connecting with Barcelona based advertising, fashion and architectural photographer Mikel Muruzabal regarding his most recent works, inspired style and industry origins.

How would you describe your style?

Sleek, sharp and with a touch of surrealism. I do mainly fashion, architecture and landscape - apart from 1-2 personal projects per year. 

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How did you start shooting?

I started in photography as If I were seeking my own place in this world, because I was living a life that I didn’t like too much, and (via self-taught) I think I found it, because I haven’t stopped shooting since then. I think photography is a way of seeing and understanding the world and society around us.

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Who has inspired your style?

Myself, what I experienced in my childhood, my education, my family, everything i’ve ever seen in my life and I liked for different reasons, the music I’ve heard and the books I’ve read…There are many photographs that I love, all with such different styles. Honestly, I have never followed one too closely in particular. If I had to say a couple of names, I’d say Dali and Möebius (the French comic artist). 

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What are some of your recent works to note?

The last project I’ve done, apart from the usual works for clients, campaigns, etc. is a series based on the Masai tribe of Africa. I’ve been reading about them the past year, and I was impressed by the habits and traits that define this particular tribe. I contacted with an anthropological museum in Spain to see if they could leave me some original features such as spears, antlers and other items they use every day. I photographed these items in the studio on a black background and added fire to the objects. The images show objects outside their usual context, but turning into icons that are consumed by the devastating fire of the struggle for survival in all areas of their life, their contradictions, fears and victories. 

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To view more of Mikel Muruzabal’s work, visit his site here

Roster Refresh: ehmanagement Liz Heres, President and Owner of...

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Roster Refresh: ehmanagement 

Liz Heres, President and Owner of ehmanagement, lets us in on the newest talent to join their roster!

Founded by Elisabeth Heres in 2007, ehmanagement is a photo agency specializing in artist representation and production. Various photographers represented work in fashion, lifestyle, beauty, interiors and travel. Ehm also offers full-service production for editorial, advertising and catalog jobs with a professional and personal approach.

Introducing Artist: Charles Masters

Charles Masters is a lifestyle and food photographer based in New York. To see more of his work, visit his site here.

Notable Clients: Target, Gap, NFL, Nordstrom, Estee Lauder, Jo Malone, Real Simple, W Magazine

Current Projects to watch for: New beverages portfolio and latest stop motion reel.

Introducing Artist: Alix Martinez

Alix Martinez is a Connecticut based underwater, kids lifestyle and fashion photographer. 

Notable Clients: Oil & Water, Hyatt, Marie Claire Enfants, Breyer, Petite Parade.

Current Projects to watch for: Latest Sports Underwater project.

To view more of his work, visit his site and Instagram

Featured Contributor: Steve WilliamsOrlando based photographer...

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Featured Contributor: Steve Williams

Orlando based photographer Steve Williams has earned a special place on the FoundFolios blog, returning as an ongoing installment in our featured contributors section. 

With 25 years of experience under his belt, Steve Williams is no industry rookie. From corporate and conceptual to architectural and editorials, Williams has established a technique within his work that proves successful time and time again. 

On his website, he writes, “Combine a good idea, beautiful light and superb composition, and you get a lasting image. It’s that easy, just like playing piano—all you have to do is hit the right keys at the right time.”

Recently, Steve reached out to me to let me know about an incredibly special event he had the honor of not only attending, but participating in. 

On his blog, Steve writes, “We were asked to shoot video and stills for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella when he visited the UCF students responsible for Limbitless Solutions. This is the group that has created very low cost arfiticial limbs for children using student designs and 3-D printers in the UCF mechanical engineering lab.”

Limbitless Solutions is an incredible non-profit organization entirely devoted and dedicated towards building and creating a “generation of innovators who use their skills and passion to improve the world around them.” In creating personalized bionics and solutions for individuals with physical disabilities, Limbitless is a truly outstanding name in technological advancements. “We believe that no family should have to pay for their child to receive an arm. Now we want to lead by example and encourage communities to innovate with compassion.” 

In trying to fully grasp and understand what Limbitless truly does,  I came across this video on their website.  

Of the pictures below, Steve writes, “Mr. Nadella talked with the students about their products and got hooked up to a functioning arm. I tried it myself, and have to say that it’s a very weird feeling to move your hand and have an artificial limb mimic your movements!”

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Just last month, Steve let me in on another amazing opportunity he was given. Steve was approached by Mount Dora Christian Home and Bible school and asked to help them rebrand and revamp their image. Steve went above and beyond and created an awesome video showcasing the school and utilizing time lapse motion work, smiling faces, sporting events, graduation, charitable events, extracurriculars in action and their magnificent campus. 

Of this assignment, Steve writes, “After 70 years as the Mount Dora Christian Home and Bible School, the leadership wanted a new image and a new name: Mount Dora Christian Academy.  We were asked to create an upbeat video to a contemporary Christian song that would entice new students and their parents. It had to reflect the school’s diverse students, show off their various sports, music and theater programs, give a feeling of academic excellence and community service, all while showing off their nice campus. My video partner/editor Dan Dennis and I used camera drones, gimbals, jibs and sliders to create a feeling of action and excitement in the dozens of clips used in the final video.”

To see more of Steve’s work, visit his site and his blog

Roster Refresh: Claxton Represents/Sarah Claxton Artist...

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Roster Refresh: Claxton Represents/Sarah Claxton 

Artist Representative Sarah Claxton, of Claxton Represents, gives us the 411 on recent roster addition, photographer Kate T. Parker.

Claxton Represents was developed and created by Sarah Claxton, keeping handpicked creative solutions for clients at the forefront of their ongoing mission. Sourcing creativity as their primary driving force, Claxton Represents hosts a variety of different photographers, ranging from specialities in lifestyle and portraits, to architecture, still life and youth culture. 

Introducing Artist: Kate T. Parker

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Kate T. Parker is an Atlanta, Georgia based photographer who specializes in capturing kids, lifestyle and portraiture. To see more of Kate’s work, visit her site, her Instagram, her personal project Instagram, her Facebook and her twitter accounts. 

Notable Clients: Girls on the Run, Athleta, Staybridge Suites, Blue Sky Agency, Verizon, NFL, Sprout / NBC Universal  and so many more coming soon!

Current Projects to watch for: “Strong is the New Pretty” - The Book! Coming fall 2017. Staybridge Suites campaign rolling out now. Verizon online coming in the fall. Sprout coming soon.

Featured Contributor: William GeddesLifestyle, still life and...

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Featured Contributor: William Geddes

Lifestyle, still life and interior photographer William Geddes, showcases all the beauty life has to offer within his work. A beautiful snowfall, an afternoon spent at home with family, a jump in the lake – the precious moments. 

Perhaps he has tapped into the moments in-between the moments. The moments we are blessed to have, the ones we hardly ever stop to ruminate over. Through his lifestyle photography, Geddes successfully captures the simple pleasure of snuggling close in bed, baking with family and friends and picking berries in the yard. His work depicts a simplistic joy that is too often overlooked; a sense of fulfillment that comes from the uncomplicated occasions. 

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Geddes has worked with clients such as Samsung, LG, JC Penney and Mannington, while his photography has been featured in campaigns around the globe. In 2009, Geddes was the recipient of Canada’s Northern Lights Awards for Excellence in Travel Journalism and Photography. 

I had the pleasure of catching up with Geddes regarding his daily inspiration, the balance he created to quench his artistic thirst, and his “aha” moment where he discovered he would be a photographer for life. 

What initially drew you to interior and lifestyle photography?

There is a bit of a road before the commercial work of interior and lifestyle photography, you know. But my earliest pictures - without any formal training - showed a strong interest in composition and lighting, as well as people. So unconsciously, I was drawn to these areas. And, I guess, this is where you start - with what you are unconsciously drawn to.

At the Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops) - where it really all started for me, I took a few workshops right after college. Then I worked there in the darkrooms printing images for the classes. One summer, I got the opportunity to assist Arnold Newman, who taught there for a long stretch. He had an assignment for Town & Country, which he shot between a workshop he was teaching. It was natural that I had initially gravitated to his work because his style is really a synthesis of an interior photograph and a portrait photograph.

Later, when I went to NYC to assist, I worked for portrait, lifestyle, interior and architectural photographers. When it was time to go on my own, I focused exclusively on interiors. But I soon missed the people in my pictures. So I brought that aspect in as well. Ever since, its been this back and forth between the two, and often combined. 

I’m sure it would be easier in terms of the business to focus on one thing. But I am a little restless visually. And having variety is refreshing because each appeals to aspects of my personality. The quiet and exacting part of me appreciates the interior, and my more outgoing side likes the looseness and fun of portrait and lifestyle.

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For you, was it always photography? Or was there a moment when you knew photography was your calling? 

My mother had a drawer full of little instamatics that I fiddled with. And I built a teeny darkroom that was not very light-tight. So I did photography from a young age. But also in grade school I did theater lighting, which I loved as well. So the visual arts were always there simmering under the surface. But it was not until I arrived at the workshops in Maine that I had that “aha” moment. i remember walking into the gallery to register for my workshop and there were all these prints on the wall - didn’t really matter whose they were - and just knew this was the world I wanted to be in. Of course, I had no idea beyond that. 

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From where do you source your daily inspiration? 

Well, for one, my wife, two daughters and a dog keep me on my toes. If things aren’t good on the home front, not much else is good. 

I have lots of photography books around my studio and home that I constantly pick through. Lately, I have been picking up books from the very early days of the medium. Books from guys like Hill & Adamson, a pair who worked together in Scotland in the late 1800′s. Or the travel books from Egypt and Africa by George Hoyningen-Huene in the 1930′s. Bruce Weber has a series, All American, which have been collecting that I really love. I still think it’s the best format for looking at photographs - books. And I see shows as often as I can in NYC.

I litsen to lots of jazz music, too. Django Reignhardt being a favorite. Some old-timey jazz like Lester Young with Billie Holiday, Miles Davis for sure. Ella Fitzgerald. Pianists like Art Hodes, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell. Roots American music I like very much. And it keeps being reinterpreted by so many artists like Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand album. 

Travel, too, is a huge source of inspiration for me. I tend to photograph wildly on trips we take

And there is tactile stuff like roaming through flea markets and picking up things to photograph. For example, I just started this series, just for myself - photographing old farm tools juxtaposed next to succulents which is looking kind of cool and promising. 

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I watched, and loved the Hot Bread Kitchen and Richard Wrightman Design videos you filmed.  What brought you together with these businesses and individuals? What inspired you to connect with and showcase these small businesses?  

I started learning about video several years ago when the technology made it all more accessible, and when things were clearly moving toward online as a destination. I loved it from the get-go. I wanted to build this portfolio immediately. I knew about Hot Bread Kitchen through my neighborhood, and the complex story behind their mission. I thought a video could go a long way to distilling their mission simply - as only a short film can do. I approached the founder and CEO and we collaborated on bringing the video to life.

The effort was well worth it, as a producer at Ogilvy & Mather saw the piece and they hired me to direct footage for a related project for their client - Barclay’s Bank. 

The same with the Wrightman video. I looked at his website and knew there was a story that was not being told that people would love to hear. 

I think that these short video formats are an ideal tool for all businesses to tell their story in a way that photographs cannot - or in a way that is different from how photographs can tell a story. 

What advice do you have for struggling artists, aspiring artists and successful artists alike? 

I can only speak from my own experience. My worst fear is complacency. If I find myself struggling with the work, I try not to sit around thinking about it. I tell myself to keep moving - literally - as well as producing work both for commercial portfolio and for myself. If the images and videos keep rolling in, I can’t really say I’m stuck. Not everything works, but by the time I realize that I am on to the next thing. It’s a constant flow. For people just coming into the business, it’s really a multi-media space now. 

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To view more of William’s work, check out his site, his linkedin, twitter and his instagram

Featured Contributor: Ryan Carville Every so often, a call for...

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Featured Contributor: Ryan Carville 

Every so often, a call for change will inspire a movement, break down barriers and shatter norms. Be it a series of words, of songs or of images - often it takes the birth of a creative, collaborated brainchild to set the stage for an honest and well-deserved platform. Art is the medium we choose to awaken, influence and empower global and local communities. Art is what brings us together, and incites a riot within our hearts, minds and bodies. It is not what sets us apart. 

As Marcel Proust once said, “Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.” If it is true that life imitates art, photographer Ryan Carville has allowed us all to see as he sees, granting his work the agency to speak volumes reflecting the realities of present day politics, equality and fundamental human rights.

And if a single spark can incite a wildfire, the following images shot for Love Inc. Magazine comprised the matchbook. It took the brilliant minds of several creatives to breathe life into their vision from origin to execution. And as every creative endeavor actualizes into a reality, it was not without some trepidation. 

In a Huffington Post article regarding the shoot, Brittny Drye, the editor-in-chief of Love Inc., said, “We were treading a fine line between people interpreting this as extraordinary or insulting. However, after I saw Dylan come out in the first look…I cried. I literally cried. As makeup artist Cali Jeffries and hairstylist Jessica Watkins were putting the finishing touches on him, I knew that something truly magical was happening.” 

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It is that very magic that galvanized an absolutely groundbreaking movement. And I was absolutely honored to speak with commercial, event and travel photographer Ryan Carville – the visionary behind the lens. 

Below is what Ryan shared regarding the themes and visuals that inform and influence his work, the key to capturing the perfectly candid photograph and the chance moments in which he sources his inspiration.

I can’t get enough of these images you shot for Love Inc. Magazine. And at such a pivotal point in time for same sex marriage. Can you tell me how you linked up with Love Inc.? And how this whole photoshoot came to fruition?

The transgender cover shoot and editorial was groundbreaking and I was proud to be a part of it. It caught like wildfire on social media and amongst the wedding community. The concept was a brain child of Krista Roser, who is the fashion editor and head stylist for Love Inc. She and Brittny wanted to embrace the beauty that lies within every bride or groom no matter what “gender” you subscribe to. The challenge for this shoot was to make images that were stunning, but not cliché. Striving to make portraits that showed off the beauty of being yourself. Dylan, the talent, was incredible in creating the sense of owning his sexuality in a classic tux to a gorgeous gown. It was truly a team effort which is how all my shoots run. It takes a village to create.

Love Inc. and I have been together since the birth of their magazine. The founder and editor-in-chief, Brittny Drye and I cut our teeth in the industry at the same time in New York City. We met on a photoshoot for Elle Décor - she an editor’s assistant, and I a photo studio manager. We hit it off instantly and became good colleagues and eventually friends. 

It was her dream to create the first wedding magazine that just celebrated the wedding. Not type castings of straight or gay…just beautiful, human love. It took some years to make this dream come to life, but Brittny did it. She called me up and in a very sweet, southern tone (that she has being a native of Tennessee) told me she finally pulled it together and needed a photographer to shoot her covers and fashion editorials and couldn’t think of anyone else she could trust to help her vision come to life besides me. Honored, I humbly accepted and three covers and editorials down we are going strong. 

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Just when I nearly pinpointed you as a portrait photographer, I came across your travel photography. There is such a heightened sense of awareness present in these images. There is as much a sense of celebration as there is a universal curiosity, hope, struggle and kinship. What is it about this variance of photography that speaks to you? And that you wish to convey within your work?

My travel work is something very special to my heart. It has only begun to take shape over the past three years, but I love creating these images. There is a rush for me when I walk the streets of an unfamiliar place. My senses are heightened and everything feels enhanced. I begin to notice all the small details that may otherwise be dismissed. All of my images are actual moments. No production, no staging, no bullshit. These are real people in their true surroundings doing normal things and there is power in that. Being able to capture a moment when someone isn’t aware of your presence is the key. 

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From portraiture to product stills, travel and kids - your portfolio encapsulates an incredibly wide array of subject. What do you tend to gravitate towards within your work, both personal and commercial? What are your favorite things to shoot? 

Since day one, I would ask the opinion of more experienced photographers and their advice was mainly to specialize. But that wasn’t a word I was comfortable with. I am a seeker by nature and to only capture one aspect of life - commercial, travel or personal - would feel limiting to me. The one piece of advice I received that resonated with me was, “Whatever you decide to shoot, just shoot who you are.” And so I did. 

I began to build a portfolio specializing in what I love most and what interests me the most - light. It didn’t matter to me what the subject was, if I could master the light I was fulfilled. The more I shot like this, the more I began to focus on how to make whatever was in my viewfinder look its most compelling. My interest in a particular subject matter varies. Too much of anything is never a good thing. I don’t like to be put into a box as it limits my creativity. I will say that my current photographic mood is texture. 

I’ve worked with photographers in the past who kept somewhat of an ongoing theme present within all of their work. Would you say there are common themes stringing all or some of your imagery together? Or do you like to keep all of your work uniquely singular?

If I had to find some commonality to connect all of my work, I would go back to the light. Albeit that the lighting styles do vary, the consistency is in the quality and narrative my lighting tells. 

For you, was it always photography? Was there that one moment where things kind of just fell into place for you? Or was it a slightly messier journey than that?

The journey was a messy one. After taking a 101 course at high school, I had already begun to be drawn to photography. Tradition areas of study: doctor, engineering and business were the areas I thought I would end up studying at college despite the pull of photography. 

Then a life changing event, my mother passing away, forced me to reexamine my choices and really focus on living a life that was going to be fulfilling to me. Photography was the course of study I then began pursuing. Once I finished college, I moved straight to NYC to start my adult life with a camera and a suitcase. I took any job in the industry that I could get. The goal was to make money, be connected and learn how commercial shoots were run. PA, prop stylist, studio manager, photo assistant, digital tech - I worked them all!

Then a good friend of mine told me that If I wanted to truly become a shooting photographer, I needed to devote time to it. To take the risk of not working for other photographers and start shooting myself. Taking his advice, I began to focus on shooting for myself and things honestly just started to happen. Slowly, the phone calls and emails started coming from clients wanting to work with me as a photographer. I have just made the move from the East Coast to the West Coast and in some ways that process is starting again. It has been a ride of ups and downs, but I love my work and am very much looking forward to all the new opportunities. 

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From where do you source your inspiration? 

My inspiration comes to me like a dream. Fleeting moments that appear in front of me so vividly that I am able to feel with all of my senses. The look of a stranger’s face or the way a scarf is blown by the wind. This occurs across all aspects of my work from travel to still life. It’s seeing and acknowledging what has been placed before you. Of course, I also study and marvel at the work of the masters, and my source of inspiration is the world that I am presented with. 

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What is your one piece of advice for aspiring artists, struggling artists and successful artists alike?

Be your best resilient self. If you are trying to do what has been done, you will almost always end up being the best copy. 

To view more of Ryan Carville’s work, visit his site

Art Director InspiredCreative Gonzalo Gallego tells us a bit...

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Art Director Inspired

Creative Gonzalo Gallego tells us a bit about his experience in his field, his vast array of projects and the things that keep him inspired each day. 

Creative: Gonzalo Gallego

Art Director: Gonzalo Gallego

Present Agency: Young & Rubicam Colombia

Current Clients: Colgate Palmolive (Speed Stick, Axion, Suavitel, Fabuloso, Protex and Palmolive). 

With over fifteen years of experience as a creative and a fascinating portfolio of clients including Colombina, Honda, Colgate, Avianca, RCN, Sharp and Banco de Bogota´ among others, Gonzalo began his journey in Bogota working alongside the renowned and successful communicator Diego Aguayo, who made it very clear that creativity comes above all things. 

Three years later, Gonzalo returned to his hometown in Cali to work as an art director at Ogilvy & Mather, for accounts such as Bridge, Mint Frost, Chocobreak, BSN, GNC, Staff, El Pais and WWB Women’s Bank. In 2007, he made his move to Young & Rubicam, bringing all of his experience and contributing to companies such as Honda, Goodyear, BonBonBum, Nucita, Millows, La Constancia, Van Camps, Comeva, Calzatodo, Carvajal, Emcali and Deportivo Cali.

Currently, Gonzalo is a passionate Art Director for Colgate Palmolive Personal Care for the Latin American region. Within the same company, he is working for well known global brands such as Speed Stick, Axion, Suavitel, Fabuloso, Protex and Palmolive body soaps. 

What keeps you inspired?

Aside from my son, Benjamin, to whom I devote my life right now, it is essential just knowing that through a good idea we can make a brand sell more today than yesterday and more the following day. For any brand, innovation is the key and being part of that keeps me inspired. 

Falling in love with the product is a must. Knowing where it comes from, what its purpose is and thinking for hours, days and even months of what it is that makes it different and how we want the shopper to perceive that. 

With Protex specifically, it is as if the product has passed through a second laboratory where substances or chemical components became strategies and ideas. The machines are transformed into design software and the product comes to life and ends up with a personality that in some cases becomes a lifestyle. 

The shopper has become more demanding and easily differentiates good from bad. This is why it is harder to come up with experiences between consumers/shoppers and brands that are different and engaging enough to make them do that transaction. 

Although it sounds strange, it inspires me to know that what I’ve done and still do, serves a purpose and lives in the streets, on tv, radio, network, even supermarkets. And, of course, if God, the idea and the shopper allow me also in their heads. 

“Soccerbacillus and Blockoccus” is the result of talent, love, drive and the belief that we can communicate in a different way what brands want to communicate to their shoppers. At the end, what we can’t ever forget is that we should put creativity and innovation above all. 

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Team accredited with the campaign:

Agency: Y & R, New York, United States

Executive Creative: Gloria de la Guardia

Creative Director: Leo Gomez, Renata Maia

Copywriter: Leo Gomez, Renata Maia

Art Director: Gonzalo Gallego

Digital Artist: Andrews Uribe

Studio: Jorge Chamorro

What a Rep Wants; What A Photographer NeedsWritten by Jennifer...

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What a Rep Wants; What A Photographer Needs

Written by Jennifer Perlmutter

It is the ultimate catch-22 in the photography industry: a photographer wants/needs a rep but does not have the client base to attract one. At the same time, the photographer cannot get said client base without a rep.

Why is this the case?

It is my belief that the saturation of the marketplace has presented an imbalance to the once level playing field.

Reps want and need successful talent while buyers often want vetted talent since they are typically trusted with large sums of money and their clients’ creative needs.

Where is the balance?

Many reps are still willing to work with photographers who they believe in IF they are getting the bites but not necessarily landing the projects. This tells the rep there IS existing interest and that they can push that curiosity further with your existing nibblers and their personal client base. This perfectly illustrates a rep’s first WANT: a working photographer or one with significant interest.

What does this mean for the photographer in terms of what they NEED from this situation?

Photographers need to partner with someone they trust has their best interest in mind. Someone who will not only go after an existing client list, but who is able to identify new avenues for your work. If you aren’t getting the nibbles, make sure to keep your targeted marketing efforts up!

Let’s focus on the word PARTNERSHIP for a moment. Reps WANT a photographer who will be their partner in promotion. The only way a rep can continue reaching out on your behalf is if you are consistently providing them with new work to share with creatives and buyers. You need to perpetually be prolific. Be the Madonna of photography and change and adapt with the times. Keep up your portfolios, social media, networking…these are all attractive opportunities to a rep.

What do you NEED from this arrangement?

You need a rep who is going to give you direction and feedback. Someone who can meet with buyers and glean insights as to what you are missing in your portfolio or what would make it stronger. If you have a great portfolio, a kicka** personality, and a buttoned up production, then you need to be guided and challenged to be prolific in ways that will further assist in selling your work. At the end of the day reps and photographers want to make money and create great imagery.

Reps WANT a photographer with passion and drive.

Ideally, an artist who is supporting their own outreach and not just relying on the rep to go out there and do all of the work. Reps can speak on your behalf but at the end of the day YOU are the artist. You are the person creatives want to meet. You are the person creatives will be on set with. You are the one bringing their ideas to life. Reps wear many hats. One hat is to sell, another is to negotiate and close. Their last is to manage your career. All of those things combined keep a rep very busy.

So what do you NEED from this?

You need a roster you believe in; a mission you believe in. You need a person or people you believe in to handle your career with honesty and integrity. You need someone willing to share information so you have the ability to navigate this ever-changing landscape. You need someone flexible who is willing to compromise on terms (as they are different for every rep). You need someone as excited about your career as you are.

What a rep WANTS and what a photographer NEEDS is simple:

Partnership. Trust. Passion.

Brands on The MoveSeptember 2015We’re back with  the latest news...

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Brands on The Move

September 2015

We’re back with  the latest news brands on the move in the ad agency world. Here’s what this month in BOTM looks like!

Heather Elder Supports FreelancersA few months ago, an art...

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Heather Elder Supports Freelancers

A few months ago, an art producer friend called to ask if I knew of any freelancers looking for work. I did, so I shared their names with him. A few days later, someone else called and asked the same question, but for a different city. The following week, another person. In the span of a week, I was asked three times if I knew of any freelance art producers.

By the third call, I realized there was a real need for a central website for freelance art producers to showcase their work and share their contact information with other producers looking to hire them.

So, I created one. It is called FreelanceArtProducer.com.

Why did you start FreelanceArtProducer.com?

When we first started our blog, Notes from a Rep’s Journal the idea was simple; to start meaningful conversations with people in our community about important issues in our industry.

We wanted to create a space that our entire community could discuss what was on their mind but as well as share with each other all the things that make our jobs special. So many of us do not have a team of people to answer our questions so we need to rely on each other. The blog was designed to provide a place for all of us to share resources and information and start conversations on a bigger platform. Drafting off of this, along with Brite Productions, we co-founded The Community Table. These are round table events hosted around the country with industry leaders talking about the most relevant and current issues. The conversations are then posted on our blogs in their entirety, with the idea that there is nothing more powerful in our industry than education.

We care very deeply about community and for the past five years, our blog and the Community Table have allowed us to foster that in a unique and relevant way. So, FreelanceArtProducer was an obvious next step for us. What better way to connect a group of people in our industry than to help them make meaningful connections among themselves?

Why aren’t you charging for this site?

The site is not much more work than our current blog and to charge for it did not seem in keeping with the sense of community we want to foster. If someday it gets popular enough and the upkeep is such that we need to hire someone else to handle it, then we might consider charging but for now it is free to join and free to use. 

What do you get out of it?

First and foremost, we are filling a need in our industry and we like that. It fits with who we are and have become over the past five years. It is about community and the very idea that we are more powerful together than we are alone. 

Second, while we build this site, we will get to connect with the freelance community in a way that we have not been able to before the site. Because freelance art producers move around so much, they are hard to keep in touch with consistently. If we were more connected with them, we could include them on our blog, invite them to events such as Community Table and other gatherings, and hear what they have to say about issues. In our opinion, they are an underrepresented group in our community. 

Why would I want to be on a site with other freelance producers?

Great question. We understand that the freelance community can be very private. You have your contacts and the regular people who call you. If you promote yourself on a site with other people won’t they be tempted to try someone new? We can see the point, but ask you to think about the power that could come with being part of a community of freelance art producers. Imagine the new opportunities that might come your way if a person who didn’t hear about you via word of mouth, found you on this site? And, imagine how great it would feel to cheer lead for your community some?

And, think about the future. You are a dynamic group of creative and resourceful art producers. We know what you pull off every day. We can only imagine what wrangling you all together will lead to eventually. We suspect even bigger, better and more important things that we haven’t even discovered yet.

How will you promote the site?

We are committed to promoting this site. To do so, we will create a blog post for each member that celebrates something special about them. It may be an interview for the Insider Art Producer series, or it could be something specifically geared toward that art producer. A contributing author to our blog, has already agreed to help create interesting content with the participants.

We believe that so much of what makes being a success in our business is the power of word of mouth. So, we are asking that everyone consider being generous with their social media channels to help promote the site and the blog posts about the art producers. We know it seems odd to think about promoting an art producer other than yourself, but we believe in the power of community and supporting each other and know that it works. This is of course not a requirement, just a hope of ours. 

As well, we have partnered with our friends at FoundFolios and they have offered to share the profiles of a few of the freelancers in their bimonthly newsletter, which is sent out to 80k creatives internationally.

Who do I ask if I have other questions?

Email Heather or call her at her office 415.931.7709. Or, leave a comment on this post. 

How do I sign up?

That’s easy. We can get your profile done right away while you work on gathering any other items you may want to include. Check out this link: Want to be on the site? If you made it this far, thank you! And, if you like the idea, please spread the word by sharing it on social media. 

A Sample of Featured Producers:

Marissa (McCreay) Serritella

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Jenny Taich

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Melanie Tongas

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FoundFolios Acquires ThePhotocloserFoundFolios is excited to...

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FoundFolios Acquires ThePhotocloser

FoundFolios is excited to announce the acquisition of ThePhotocloser and the hiring of founder Frank Meo as the Director of FoundFolios.

By combining ThePhotocloser with the state of the art resources and professional manpower of FoundFolios, we have created a powerful marketing tool. FoundFolios connects with over 200 creatives daily, supports in-bound requests for assignments along with continued email, direct mail and newsletter outreach monthly. FoundFolios is fully engaged in their community through events and have a great creative following through their social media platforms. Partnering up with companies like Lürzer’s Archive and Heather Elder’s Freelance Art Producer - you’re in very good hands.

Frank Meo has over 25 years of experience representing photographers and Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalists; securing them highly valued commercial assignments. He has worked on hundreds of company photo libraries and client campaigns including American Express, Acura Motorsports, U.S. Coast Guard, Xerox, ESPN, Citi, Nike and others. Photographers represented by Frank have worked for major newspapers, magazines and TV stations around the globe.

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Emerging Talent - Sean DuFreneSean can be described as a man...

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Emerging Talent - Sean DuFrene

Sean can be described as a man with a vision. In the words of Photography Consultant, Amanda Sosa Stone, his work can be described as “journalistic with layers of what I call the Sean DuFrene angle of reality skewed”. Growing up in Huntington Beach, CA,  DuFrene had plenty of experiences to fuel his imagination, allowing his quirky side to play out in his photography. It’s important to Sean that his imagination and enthusiasm blends to create thought-provoking imagery.

How would you describe your style? 

My images are bold and quirky with a strong narrative. My specialties include conceptual, portraiture and lifestyle photography.

How did you start shooting? 

Early in my career I worked as a photojournalist for the newspaper, The San Diego U-T as well as other newspaper outlets. After that, I studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. This effort earned me a Masters of Fine Art degree in photography. As a gesture of gratitude for all of my hard work, Google personally dedicated a few pages to me.

Who has inspired your style?

Guy Bourdin, Helmut Newton, Steven Klein, Chris Buck.

Any recent work we should be aware of?

I recently created images for The Surfer’s Journal. The magazine article is due out in March 2016. The story is about Peter “PT” Townend - the first world champion in surfing - and his career. Scott Hulet, Editor and Jeff Divine, Photo Editor, wanted me to give the pictures a treatment similar to an earlier project I created called the “Jack” series

To view more of Sean DuFrene’s work, check out his site and Instagram.

Art Director Inspired: Rob StoryAssociate Creative Director, Rob...

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Art Director Inspired: Rob Story

Associate Creative Director, Rob Story sheds some light on what keeps his creative juices flowing, what keeps him fulfilled and how he’s continuing to master his craft.

Associate Creative Director

Proof Advertising - Austin, Texas

Current Clients: San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau (primary), Columbia College, ERA Realty (as needed).

What inspires you daily?

Art in general. I am a very sick man when it comes to living, breathing, eating, sleeping and collecting art. I would say that I spend about 85% of everyday thinking about paintings, drawings, photographs, doodles, sketches, etc. It’s something that just comes naturally to me and is as necessary to my happiness and well-being as air and water. I come from a long line of artists and art collectors on both sides of my family, so somehow it’s ingrained in my blood.

As a result of my vice, I see A LOT of art on a daily basis. Whether it’s via my never-ending search for 16th-20th century paintings and drawings (for my collection) or by way of my quest for new, young calligraphers, illustrators, street artists and photographers to collaborate with on work projects, I’m looking at art. Art, art, art. Never stops.

As far as the world I work in, though, typography has been a true love since my days as a poster/fanzine artist in high school. Poster artists like Art Chantry, Günther Kieser and Micael Priest and album cover artists like Hipgnosis and Reid Miles were incredible sources of inspiration. Music was (and is still) a big part of my life, so music-related art was what I looked to when I began finding my way as an artist. When I became a professional, I continued to refer to the work of my “music art” heroes, but my universe expanded a bit. What inspired me as a young advertising Art Director came in the form of work by editorial Art Directors like Fred Woodward and DJ Stout. One thing I learned pretty quickly was that when budgets are low (or there isn’t any budget at all), type is your savior. It’s free, and if you’re skilled enough, it can become the art. Nobody exhibited this talent for making art out of type better than DJ and Fred. I mention my history because it’s still relevant. The best way to answer the question (what inspires me daily) is to mention these types of designers. I still look to their work, as well as to the newcomers in these genres, for inspiration.

Illustrators old and new are also sources of inspiration. I have always had an incredible amount of respect for the way a great illustrator can describe a concept visually, and how they are able to pull the viewer in and create a compelling argument as to why one should buy a magazine or a book, go see a movie or buy a toy. Of course they are liars. The best in the business. More often than not, the contents of the book or magazine, or the excitement of a movie or toy, isn’t nearly as interesting as the picture on the cover, poster or box promised it would be. But that’s the game. I’ve known it since I was a kid, and I admire it. These days, the world of illustration has become a mish-mash of retouching, photography, and old-fashioned “handcrafted” drawing and painting. But it’s still the same beautiful lie. And when I see the best examples of this craft, I become inspired to be the best liar I can be.

How do you stay inspired?

I do the work. I don’t just “manage” the work. I don’t just “go to meetings about” the work. I do the work. I design. I draw. I concept. I don’t let that knife edge get dull. It’s a funny business, advertising. An art director might climb the ladder of success and then look behind at their skill set (what made them famous) lying in the mud at the bottom of the ladder. Forgotten. We sometimes forget that becoming a creative director (what we all aspire to be, right?), takes us further and further away from what we’re good at. I’ve always felt that I wanted to keep my hands on the wheel and do the work until I simply couldn’t anymore. Through this exercise, I will (theoretically) become better and better and more and more knowledgeable. As an art director, I don’t get better at my craft by going to meetings. Curiosity, exploration and knowledge of what’s going on around me inspire me daily. As far as I see it, that’s the only way I will be fulfilled and master my work.

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Brands on The MoveNovember 2015We’re back with the latest brands...

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Brands on The Move

November 2015

We’re back with the latest brands on the move in the ad agency world. Here’s what this month in BOTM looks like!

An Interview with Lürzer’s Archive’s...

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An Interview with Lürzer’s Archive’s Editor-In-Chief

Michael Weinzetti is Editor-In-Chief at one of the industry’s most coveted magazines. We had the pleasure of speaking with him about advertising trends and who in the world is “killing it” right now.

photo by Carioca

Q: Why do you think Archive is one of our industry’s most coveted magazines?

Archive is very popular with advertising creatives because each issue is a quick way of finding out what great advertising – print and film –looks like. Since the work has been selected from hundreds of submissions – about 7% of the work submitted actually makes it into the magazine – it is assured you get to see the very best. Archive Magazine is a time saver. If you go online and look at the various sites that present current ads, you’ll have to wade through masses of inferior or – at best – mediocre work before you find the really good stuff. With Archive, you just get the best, the kind of work you want to see. This is something that has been proven time and again, when at international ad festivals the winners of Lions, Pencils or whatever the trophies are called, for the most part, have been featured in our magazine long before.

Q:  So what’s the process to submit an ad to Archive?  Does it cost anything?

It’s easy. Log on to our website www.luerzersarchive.com and go to “Submission”; follow the instructions depending whether it’s print work or films. The work you submit must be published, and approved and paid for by a client, which is to say no free or on spec work, is and has always been free of charge. Many years ago we used to run a campaign for creatives to submit their work to our magazine with a headline that summed this up very well: “Show us you’re good for nothing.”

Q:  So once it’s submitted, what’s the process of being selected?

Even after almost 30 years at Archive, I still look at every single print submission myself and then decide whether or not to share it with our readers. To do the same with film submission would take too much time, so our editorial staff in Vienna does an informed pre-selection. As for the digital work featured in Archive, we have a guest judge for every issue – usually a well-known Creative Director from some major digital agency, or the head of an ad agency’s digital department. They then provide us with what he or she thinks are the top 15 digital works at the time.

Q: There has been a decline in American submissions. Why is that?

We have not seen any such thing. It is in fact quite the opposite. We get more American submissions than ever, from agencies all over the US and Canada. The US are almost always among the top three nations contributing to the campaigns featured in each issue of the magazine – print as well as film.

Q: What would you say to advertising creatives wanting to get exposure?

Have a look at the work featured in our magazine and then look at your work. Do you think it could be placed among the campaigns featured in Archive magazine and seen by ad creatives, your peers, all over the world without sticking out like a sore thumb? If yes, what are you waiting for? Go to www.luerzersarchive.com and submit whatever you want to show to the world. It’s never been as easy as it is today.

Q: What’s your favourite “print” advertising trend right now?

Nowadays, clients as well as young creatives are crazy about doing digital/interactive work (which I think may be a passing trend but it’s still very notable at the moment.) Campaigns are very rarely print-led anymore. Which often means a smaller budget for print. This again can mean that creatives have to try harder to come up with interesting ideas. They are no longer able to rely only on execution. To that point, they might have to find cheaper ways of executing these ideas than they did perhaps 20 years ago. This has led to a certain preference of using illustrations instead of photography although the advent of digital imaging has also meant that the lines between the two media have been very much blurred.

Q: Which country is killing it right now? (i.e. doing the best work)

South-American countries for sure and not only just Brazil which, of course, has a long and brilliant tradition of print work that goes back more than 30 years. Their way of doing print had a lot to do with the fact that their advertising had to speak to a large illiterate population. This led to more visual-based ads rather than copy-based ones. With the rise of globalisation this became a preferred method of advertising throughout the world. Clients, especially multi-national ones, wanted their ads to appeal to the largest number of people possible and words had a tendency to get in the way of that.

Q: What would you tell the photographers and illustrators who covet this magazine as well?

If you want to share the work you have done for agencies or perhaps clients direct, make sure that they submit their campaigns to Lürzer’s Archive magazine. Or, submit that work yourself after having checked with the ad agency involved. We do need the whole campaign, not just the illustration or photograph you have created for them (i.e. with headline and logo and all that is part of a proper ad). An exception to this is when you submit for our bi-annual “Special Edition” books on Photography, Digital Imaging or Illustration. Then we’re interested in seeing the original work contributed by you to that campaign. Apart from the special issues, you can submit editorial or even self-promotional work. There is always the possibility of taking out paid ad pages in Lürzer’s Archive. If you do that, you’re bound to reach exactly the target you should be aiming at: Creative Directors, Art Directors and Art Buyers. All those “decision makers” are not only keen on seeing their work featured in our magazine but they’re also interested in finding out what’s hot in advertising right now and what the latest trends are.

The Art of InstagramPhotographer Kevin D. Liles worked with...

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The Art of Instagram

Photographer Kevin D. Liles worked with consultant Jennifer Kilberg and remembers her pushing to be smart about the work you put on Instagram, which can have a huge impact. She mentioned that being part of communities on there was important, and using specific hashtags and tagging brands and other influencers was key. Shortly after Kevin started his own personal marketing campaign, he landed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons to shoot for their social media accounts, namely Instagram.

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Because the Falcons where tagging him in their posts, Kevin’s account started growing pretty steadily (few hundred a week). He was also posting their photos and tagging players and using hashtags.

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A couple of weeks into this, Instagram listed Kevin as a “suggested user” and his account exploded from 1,100 to 80,000 in two weeks.

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Roster Refresh - Homestead CreativesHomestead Creatives is a...

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Roster Refresh - Homestead Creatives

Homestead Creatives is a premier artist agency and production company based in Austin, Texas, founded by Shannon McMillan and Maddie Hamilton. Homestead unites and showcases independent local photographers, designers and advertising creatives on a national level, and one day will be worldwide.

Matt Lief Anderson

Style: Lifestyle landscape, travel, fashion & music

Social Media:

Instagram 

Tumblr 

Flickr 

Notable Clients: Vice, Poler, Pitchfork, Stance, Corona, Huffington Post

Current Projects to watch for: Ignant and Pitchfork 

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Cody Hamilton

Style: Transportation, conceptual lifestyle and still life

Social Media: Instagram, Facebook

Notable Clients: Goodyear, Southwest Airlines, B-cycle, Southern California Association of Governments, TEXpress, Walgreens, Ace, Zales, Travaasa Experiental Resorts, Great Raft Beer, Hops N Grain, Verb Hair Care

Current Projects to watch for: Currently working on personal projects that translate his conceptual style into motion

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Dave Mead

Style: Weird & unusual, conceptual portraits

Social Media: Instagram, Facebook

Notable Clients: AARP, Ace Hardware, Adpeople, Amex, Amplify, Anti Burglary & Theft Prevention Authority, Arnold, AT&T, BMW, Chipotle, Converse, Curves, GMC, Harley-Davidson, HEB, Hewlett-Packard, Hyatt, Krispy Kreme, Nike, Pacifico, Popeye’s, Progressive Insurance, Radio Shack, Rolling Stone, Sony, Southwest Airlines, State Farm, Vans, Yeti

Current Projects to watch for:  Fun Fun Fun Music Festival and directing for San Antonio Tourism

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Buff Strickland

Style: Lifestyle, travel, food, kids, hospitality

Social Media: Instagram, Tumblr

Notable Clients: AARP, American Express Custom Publishing, Bloomberg Magazine, British Airways High Life, Coastal Living, Everyday with Rachel Ray, Food & Wine, Food Network Magazine, Garden & Gun, Good Housekeeping, Gourmet, HGTV, JW Marriot Magazine, Ladies Home Journal, Martha Stewart Ominmedia, Men’s Health, Parents, Real Simple, Redbook, Storey Publishing, The Wall Street Journal, This Old House, Travel + Leisure, Woman’s Day

Current Projects to watch for: Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch and joint venture with Southern Living and JC Penney


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Andrew Yates

Style: Versatility (yes, that’s a style): Still & Motion - Healthcare, corporate, industrial, technology, documentary

Notable Clients: Southern Comfort, Budweiser, Dell, AT&T, Costa Del Mar, Christus Health

Current Projects to watch for: Cowgirls of Texas and New Mexico

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Brett Stiles

Style: Illustrator

Social Media: Instagram, Flickr

Notable Clients: PetSmart, Nike, AT&T, Pennzoil, Southwest Airlines, Pebble Beach, Livestrong Foundation, Nabisco, American Legacy Foundation, Truth, United States Air Force, Marshalls, Kohler, Lone Star Beer, Firehouse, Interstate Batteries, Vans

Current Projects to watch for: Wine bar restaurant branding package, Family fresh branding package. Providing families with a convenient and affordable way of eating more fresh fruits and veggies everyday. Documentary film titles, 50 state stamps

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Emerging Talent: Taylor Horne“I think my biggest fear as an...

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Emerging Talent: Taylor Horne

“I think my biggest fear as an artist (and when I walk home alone at night) is that people might try to put me in a box.”

Name: Taylor Horne

How would you define your photography style?

A mixture of punk rock grit with a traditional refinery.

How did you start shooting?

I started taking photographs when I was 12 years old. My mother had this camera in the closet and I got her to put some film in it for me. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania so really it all began with landscapes. I tried painting and drawing but I just couldn’t recreate what I saw. When I was 14 I took a class at school where I learned traditional 35mm black and white film photography and darkroom techniques. I really fell in love with the chemistry of photography and the permanence of the medium. I was an angst-filled teen that had trouble really expressing how I was feeling; I turned to art as a way to do so. I loved being able to make people feel something from looking at my work. When I grew up I moved to different cities and eventually ended up in New York City. My parents are Christians and I grew up with that religion being so important in my family. I never believed in any of it. I always had a love for the macabre and esoteric. After I had been living on my own for a while, I was able to feel comfortable accepting that side of myself and was no longer afraid to explore and express it. Since that self discovery I started creating work that people really started to notice and I met other people with the same interests. Now I feel like I am creating what I was originally always afraid to.

Who has inspired your style?

My work is mostly inspired by old occult photographs and paintings. I love Edward Gorey’s illustrations or Tim Burtons drawings. I try to have a literary component to my work and I frequently read and reference the works of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. I also have an extensive obsession with 80’s cult horror movies.

You can see more of Taylor’s work visit his site and give him a follow on Instagram

Stefen Chow Photography’s 2015 RecapIt has been a ride.In 2015,...

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Stefen Chow Photography’s 2015 Recap

It has been a ride.

In 2015, Stefen Chow traveled to 17 countries for various assignments. He climbed the Dolomites, photographed at the Hollywood sign, flew over playgrounds across Singapore, and also opened exhibitions in Hong Kong, Paris, Singapore and Beijing. Chow directed two international motion campaigns and had the chance to work with some of the most exciting companies and magazines this year. He spoke at multiple TEDx conferences, and his work is now collected by the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

It has been a ride. Check out this 1 minute video recap he shared with us.

To see more of Stefen’s work, visit his site.