Search Blog


The Workbook Blog is a destination for creative professionals and their agents to share ideas, insights and news. Click here to learn more about Workbook and our services.

Blog » Photography

Inspired by the Rain

Posted by Workbook on 07/22/2014 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlinePhotography
By Scott Lowden

Anyone that knows me would assume my inspiration is the sun behind someone’s head. Of course sometimes we have to embrace adversity and try to pull inspiration from what could be your Achilles' heel. Rain has the potential to ruin an exterior shoot, and after many, many lucky years of never having rain or weather issues during shoots, it seems lately that it always rains part of a day, if not the entire day.

There’s more to this story over at House of Current’s inspiration blog, where I was guest blogger last Friday, but the short version is that I embraced the rain during a shoot 2 weeks ago and ended up with some dynamic images, not in spite of the rain, but because of it. Thanks to Chloe, Maddie, Jennifer, Aerial, Ed, Wendy and…the rain.

(Read more)

Michael Weschler: Tattoo Rescue with Sammy the Contractor & Joey Tattoo

Posted by Workbook on 07/18/2014 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlinePhotography
Great tattoo artists possess extreme skill & a sense of restraint as they channel their expertly controlled violence into art. Some are more trusted than others, so before you get drunk & tattooed, consider the consequences & book a professional. Of course, if this message hasn't reached you in time and you need help removing a failed facial tattoo, there's an app for that to the rescue!

See more from Michael Weschler at his website and portfolio

Blog Roll: July 17th, 2014

Posted by Workbook on 07/17/2014 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlinePersonal WorkPhotography
Workbook clients are out and about in our latest blog roll:

Doug Truppe Represents highlights photographer POBY's underwater prowess as he captures USA Swimming.

The Gren Group showcases Chris Sembrot's latest work for Running Times magazine.

Dave Moser's latest blog features an in-depth look at his client-photographer relationships.

Eli Mier Kaplan recently shot rocker Eric Hilton for DC's Capitol File.

Jim Golden unveiled his latest work for HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams.

Paul Mason: Shore to Source

Posted by Workbook on 07/17/2014 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlinePhotography
Photographer Paul Mason took a 10 day work/vacation up the Northern California/Southern Oregon Coast, then cutting across Oregon to the east side of the Cascades to the small town of Camp Sherman on the Metolius River. He called the trip "Shore to Source", and these images will be used for continuing commercial and editorial promotions.

(Read more)

Cade Martin: Bayou Bash

Posted by Workbook on 07/17/2014 — Filed under:  CGIFeaturesHeadlinePhotography
Photographer Cade Martin's new series features a number of very jolly alligators in the Louisiana Bayou. Here's what he had to say about it:

"I've always loved the bayou outside of New Orleans. On one of my last projects in Louisiana I stayed an extra day and hired an ol' Cajun French guy with a boat to take me out to shoot and explore the bayou. I've been a big comic book guy since I was a little kid, so in collaboration with Souverein, I wanted to do a project inspired by POGO, a comic strip that started in the late 1940's. I was also inspired by A Cajun Night Before Christmas, a children's book."

Tamara Reynolds: Southern Route

Posted by Workbook on 07/16/2014 — Filed under:  Award WinnersFeaturesHeadlinePhotography
Congratulations go out to to photographer Tamara Reynolds, who has an unpublished series of 5 images in this year’s Communication Arts Photo Annual! The printed annual will be out in the July/August issue. This series was taken at a local Nashville high school football game and is a subset of Reynolds’ award winning series Southern Route. In addition to its CA success this year, Southern Route has also garnered awards and recognition in American Photography 29 and 30, Critical Mass 2013. Reynolds was also selected to participate in the prestigious Santa Fe Review this summer. To hear more about the series and end overall experience, take a look at The Bitter Southerner in depth interview and companion article about Reynolds and the Southern Route series.

Hollis Bennett: Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods

Posted by Workbook on 07/16/2014 — Filed under:  FeaturesGalleriesHeadlinePhotography
By Hollis Bennett

The below images and accompanying video were all shot this early summer in the mountains of North Georgia with the folks from Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods. Bill Oyster and his crew make some of the finest fly rods not only in this country but worldwide. Folks seek him and his rods out far and wide and they fish just as good as their reputation. We spent a day and a half in the shop and then out on the water making some casts at huge rainbow trout. Fly Fishing is always described as the ‘quiet sport’ due to its peaceful, methodical nature but when fishing with a bamboo rod you feel a deeper connection. Not only is the water coursing around your feet but you are casting a rod made from what is essentially grass. Once you connect with a slab of a fish you are all connected for the briefest of moments. You (hopefully) bring the fish in, say your hello’s and then as quick as it happen you say your goodbye’s.

Oyster Fly Rods from Hollis Bennett on Vimeo.

(Read more)

Dean West's Jam3 Portrait

Posted by Workbook on 07/16/2014 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlinePhotography
By Dean West

I recently finished a team portrait of Toronto digital agency Jam3. They asked for a Bold & Beautiful style image so that's what I gave them. It also includes little details (axes, bear skins, violin, globes, cameras etc) that all relate to specific clients of the agency. Below are the general concept ideas for the portrait, followed by a notes on a few of the more significant details, which you can see more closely on some of the enlarged images.

Brief/Concept for Jam3 Portrait:

- A tongue-in-cheek overly serious photo in the style of Vanity Fair or a cast photo that is funny because those who know us know that we are quite the opposite. Fun, friendly, all smiles.
- The seriousness also shows a bit of a Jam3 coming-of-age in our industry. More professional, more experienced, more accomplished and more international.
- black on black on black colours, Black and dark colours have always been the Jam3 brand.

Bear: Bear 71 interactive documentary
Violin: Haagen Dazs Concerto Timer mobile app
Mark is holding Bubl cam (camera product we are part owners of and helped develop):
Axe: nod to our Canadian-ness.
Globe: facing Canada
Tom wearing denon headphones: Denon campaign

Dean West is a part of Cake Factory Photo Agency

Making a Photograph: An Interview with Jeff Kauck

Posted by Workbook on 07/15/2014 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlineInterviewsPhotography

On July 16th photographer Jeff Kauck will present a lecture on the subject of inspiration at the Chicago Apple store on Michigan Avenue. It’s hard to believe someone can reinvent the wheel and make artists’ inspiration sound less cliché. But sit and chat with the man whose passion is to solve the equations of his art, and you find inspiration that can assist you far beyond photography.

How did you start your career in photography?

“I started as a watercolor painter. I had ten plus years of watercolor training. At the end of (art) school I knew all the concepts, but my hand couldn’t keep up with what I wanted to accomplish. That’s when I picked up a camera and turned to photography as the solution.”

How has your watercolor background influenced the way you approach photography?

“With me, when you start with explaining my photos, you first need a quick lesson in painting. With most oil painting, you paint from the mid-tones down, meaning highlights are added at the end. With watercolor you must paint from the mid-tones up, guarding the light areas you have because there is no white watercolor paint, that’s it. Most photography approaches light similar to oil painting. For me, light and highlights become priority.”

Jeff, July 16th also marks an announcement for your fine art photography.  Where do you draw some of your inspiration from?

“Photography, like most things, presents its own set of unique problems because there are many things I want a photograph to do. I get so many ideas on how to conquer these problems, which rarely get tackled by commercial photography. Most of the time you create a portfolio and clients want exactly what they see, no deviations from the main path. Nothing may ever come from these images or test runs, but sometimes solutions become personal work. It’s like if the Rolling Stones tried to play something new. People don’t want to hear that, they want to hear the old songs they know and remember.”

What sorts of problems are you solving in your latest fine art?

“I’m interested in exploring the atmosphere between myself and the object. People might argue images are out of focus, but to me there is more clarity and emotion evoked in those images. To explore magnificence in light, something not usually appreciated in commercial work…light is everything to a painter: the color of light and the movement of light. I want to tell a story with my photos.”

Tell me about the subject of your latest fine art photography.

“My wife and I went to visit my brother in Atlanta, and he suggested we take a long weekend on Cumberland Island. We stayed at a B&B, and there I fell in love [with the island]. Cumberland is about the size of Manhattan and has three ecosystems interacting with each other. The project is in black and white and so far, it has taken four months (three visits) to shoot. We plan to return in December.”

Why black and white?

“I had just shot in Paris, where that magic light and surrounding love is a real thing.  I aimed to create impressionistic photography, and with that came color. I couldn’t capture it all in black and white.

“When it came to Cumberland Island, black and white made more sense. With B&W images you are immediately shifted to another place. Tonal photography serves as a gateway to take you to different places. It moves your emotions so much more.”

Part of what makes Jeff’s career so rich is the anecdotes he’s obtained from learning under the greats. No stranger to art school, he continues to make the world his university, taking workshops that in turn open doors to seeds of motivation and opportunities of a lifetime.

“Mary Whyte (watercolor painter) has a lot of workshops. What I always remember about her is she says don’t ask about the tool and technique, ask ‘why did you make that hand move that way? Why did you pick that color for that mood?’  For her, the value and the importance are the details in the image composition itself…what choices are made to achieve the highest emotional response.

“I took a workshop with Ansel Adams, a very nice man, who is passionate as the day is long. John Sexton, his last assistant, once came in to the workshop and said no one was working hard enough. Everyone began to complain they were in the darkroom from 9-5 every day. Sexton said, ‘Stay 9a.m. to 9a.m. the next morning in the darkroom and you will come in with the best print.’ From him I learned you have to go all the way through. It’s like what Arnold Newman (portrait photographer) once said, ’You’re making, not taking, a photograph.’

“I wanted to pursue a particular look for the Cumberland photos. I attended a workshop by George DeWolfe, an early student of Ansel Adams, and afterwards asked him to mentor my project, which he has ever since. He has a skill to get the edges to lift. Being his pupil is not easy. One time I had worked tirelessly over fifty images I then sent to him, all of which he rejected, saying the highlights were all off by one to two percent.”

How has your artistry matured?

“I believe in moving artistry. If you stick to something long enough you get to a point where you can make, in my case, the images do what you want them to do. You already have mastered the tools you have to achieve the photos you want. You are always striving for the fundamentals, but true skill comes from the content of a picture.

“To me making a powerful picture makes the viewer stop in his or her tracks. You cannot accomplish that with just technique, you have to do that with content. “

Walking away from this interview, can you leave our readers with some snippet of the inspiration to come on July 16th?

“Before you make a picture, sketch it out, even if it is a stick man. Don’t take the shot until sketched and [you have] thought every detail through. It is critical to slow down; the photographic process [is] in slow motion. Photographer Robert Frank took over 20,000 shots in one and a half years and walked away with only eighty-seven images. Really think and make your picture. You’ll know you’ve succeeded if it comes out the way you see it in your head.”

To visit Jeff's portfolio, click here.

Jeff is repped by Emily Inman Aritsts' Rep.

Jeff Singer: Marianne Vos for Bicycling Magazine

Posted by Workbook on 07/11/2014 — Filed under:  FeaturesHeadlinePhotography
By Jeff Singer

I've been going to Laguna Seca since I was a kid. My dad would take me there every year to see auto races like the Can-Am series. I even had the chance to drive the track myself years ago (and even spun out in The Corkscrew). This time my visit to Laguna Seca was for Bicycling Magazine to photograph Marianne Vos who was there to race in the Sea Otter Classic.

As the article will tell you, Marianne is a pretty big deal. She's the most dominant cyclist in the sport right now. While setting up for the shoot one person stopped by to see what was going on. When I told them I was a shooting someone for Bicycling Magazine, their response was "must be Marinane Vos".

I didn't have a lot of time with Marianne, but she was great to work with. She was probably tired and the shoot was likely that last place she wanted to be; but she had a great attitude and was relaxed in front of the camera. She had just actually won the Elite Women's Short Track race minutes before coming to the shoot. The next day she went on to win the Elite Women's Cross Country race.

Check out the article in the current issue of Bicycling on stands now.

Original story can be found on Jeff Singer's blog HERE.

(Read more)