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January 25th, 2012

Who’s Shooting What: Nigel Parry, Peter Lindbergh Shoot New Campaigns

PDN advertising photography-Who's Shooting What

©Peter Rad--From an anniversary campaign for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, featured in PDN's Who's Shooting What column.

In the latest installment of PDN’s Who’s Shooting What column, we feature Nigel Parry’s work for the MSNBC “Lean Forward” print campaign,  Peter Lindbergh’s work with actress Gwyneth Paltrow for the Coach spring/summer 2012 campaign, a nude by Emily Shur for an advocacy campaign, plus a lot of other assignment work by photographers from all over the country (not just LA and New York). We also name the ad agencies and creatives behind the assignments for Bally, AOL, VW, Frito-Lay, Cocoa Metro and other clients.

Another special feature of the latest Who’s Shooting What column is our first-ever WSW Quiz, where readers can test their skill at separating advertising fact from fiction.

If you would like to see your advertising work featured in future installments of Who’s Shooting What, follow the submission instructions here for consideration. Please note that WSW is primarily for advertising assignment work. Editorial work is rarely included.

Now, for the fine print: you have to be a PDN subscriber to access the WSW column, which is behind our pay wall. Subscription information is available here.

January 20th, 2012

Annie Leibovitz, On the Trail of Bygone Celebrities

©Annie Leibovitz--From "Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage." Something on TV got Elvis Presley all shook up. Leibovitz took this photo in a storage room at Graceland.

New work by Annie Leibovitz goes on exhibit today at the American Art Museum in Washington, DC., and it’s only distantly related to the celebrity portraiture she’s so famous for:  Leibovitz has turned her camera on the personal effects and ephemera of celebrities from bygone eras, especially notable women.

The exhibition, called “Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage,” includes 60 personal images she shot from 2009 through 2011 while traveling around the US and elsewhere. Among the images are landscapes, but the images of things left behind by famous people are the draw.

Those images include a photograph of Louisa May Alcott’s dolls; a close-up of a something-of-hearts playing card signed by Annie Oakley, with a bullet hole that the famous markswoman put through one of the hearts; an Emily Dickinson dress; and Georgia O’Keefe’s pastels. Famous men are also represented: Leibovitz includes a photograph of TV set that Elvis Presley shot through with a large-caliber bullet sometime in the 1970s.

Leibovitz is a celebrity herself because of her commercial portraits of so many icons of pop culture.  But she has published and exhibited several personal projects in the past, notably images of her parents and her partner, the late Susan Sontag, and compiled much of it in her book “A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005.”

January 18th, 2012

4 Useful Lessons from La Redoute’s Nude Man Fiasco

Was the photographer blind, inattentive, or just following the, ah, brief?

Somewhere, a photographer has been scolded–or worse–for a catalogue image that embarrassed his or her client.

The image in question, for La Redoute, a French clothing company, shows happy kids frolicking on the beach in bathing suits–with a naked man emerging from the water in the background. The company removed the image from its Web site and apologized publicly after some shocked customers complained.

A BBC report about that apology notes that the error was “compounded by the fact that La Redoute provided a magnifying glass so that people could examine the beachwear close-up.”

This piece of news made the viral rounds a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps you’ve already heard about it. But we wanted to point out the silver lining: There are lessons to be learned from the unfortunate mistakes of others. In this case, they include:

–When location scouting for a kids’ catalogue shoot, avoid nude beaches.
–If someone on set says, “There’s a nude guy in the background, but we can fix that in post,” don’t just say, “Yeah, yeah” and forget about it.
–Have someone review your images for nude guys (and other glitches you’ve tuned out) before you send them to the client.

The magnifying glass raises pesky questions, though. Was the nude man really an error, we wonder? Or was he planted intentionally in a perverse kind of “Find Elmo” game–that came complete with a magnifying glass–in order to generate publicity for the company?

So that brings us to Lesson #4: If a client asks you to plant a nude guy in a catalogue image, go ahead and oblige them. Just ask them to leave your name out of it, so when they send their public apology to the BBC, it doesn’t look like you screwed up.

December 21st, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Jerry Ghionis’s WPPI Speaker Video

This year, organizers for the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Convention and Trade Show invited their headlining speakers and renowned industry leaders to express what WPPI means to them. They got a lot of great videos in response to the request, but one of our favorites was done by Melbourne, Australia-based Jerry Ghionis. Inspired by the recent Old Spice commercials, check it out to find out what WPPI means to him.

September 16th, 2011

Q&A: Zombie Engagement Photographer Speaks!

©Amanda Rynda

Photographer Amanda Rynda’s “zombie engagement photos” were an Internet sensation this past week, ending up on blogs and websites all over the world.

We caught up with the Los Angeles-based Rynda and asked her a few questions about how it felt to “go viral” and whether she thinks her ghoulishly good photos might start a new trend in wedding photography.

See the full zombie sequence and Rynda’s other work here.

PDNPulse: Please give us some background on you and your photo business.
Amanda Rynda: I’m a color stylist for Disney by day and took up photography this year in my spare time to have a new creative outlet. I’ve been working as an associate photographer with LA-based wedding photographers, Jen Harris and Charise Proctor on the weekends.

PDNPulse: How did the idea come up to do the zombie engagement shoot?
Amanda Rynda: Juliana and Ben asked me to shoot their engagement session but they weren’t into a soft, PDA filled engagement session. They wanted something fun and quirky to show off their fun-loving and creative personalities. Juliana came to me and said, “Ben and I want to survive a zombie attack and then hug because we’re in love.” It was such a fun idea, I knew right away we’d have a great time making it happen.

PDNPulse: Had you ever done anything like this before?
Amanda Rynda: No, I’ve never shot anything like this before. I’m pretty new to photography so I haven’t worked with too many clients of my own yet. I’m just so happy to have been given the opportunity to work with people as fun, creative and eager to open up as much as Ben and Juliana did for this e-session. I hope that trend continues.
(more…)

August 31st, 2011

PDN Video Pick: On Assignment with Jimmy Chin in Yosemite

Adventure photographer Jimmy Chin recently shot a feature story for National Geographic about the derring-do of modern day rock climbing, and Renan Ozturk of camp4collective.com made this behind-the-scenes video of Chin at work. It’s full of spectacular views, sweaty palm moments, and insight about how Chin works while dangling from a climbing rope on El Capitan and other Yosemite cliffs.

August 26th, 2011

Friday Pre-Hurricane Fun: Blog Reenacts Silly Stock Photos

It’s Friday and everyone here in New York City is more than a little on edge because of this supposed “Storm of the Century” that’s headed our way.

To take our mind off fast approaching Hurricane Irene, we’ve been getting a few laughs from this Tumblr blog entitled “Stocking Is the New Planking” where stock photos are reenacted for fun and general amusement.

We really know what the point of it is but that’s probably the point.

Stay dry, friends.

(Via psfk)

July 26th, 2011

If Photography is Dead…

Why are there still so many boring panel discussions and blog articles asking if photography is dead?

Joerg Colberg, creator of the photography blog Conscientious, confronts this question head on in a new YouTube video. His solution: We admit photography is over. “I think it was good while it lasted,” Colberg deadpans for the camera.

Of course this leaves some issues unresolved. Like, what should Colberg do with all his photography books? And what else can we discuss in seminars and panels? The death of Facebook?

Colberg’s declaration of the death of photography has been met with good cheer. As one commenter on Colberg’s video says, “Now that that question is over, we can go out and take pictures.”