Meet CHVRCHES. Pronounced Churches. I got the chance to work with photo editor Deborah Dragon at Rolling Stone a couple of weeks back to photograph this up and coming Scottish synth-pop trio. My photo is out in the current issue of Rolling Stone. The one with Miley Cyrus licking herself on the cover. Yeah, that one. The shoot took place in Minneapolis at the legendary First Avenue Theatre. In the mens bathroom… The CHVRCHES debut album is out today, and it’s pretty awesome. Here is the Amazon link to the album: CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe Enjoy!
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Celebrity, Editorial Work
I am a huge fan of Jeff Garlin. I really liked his work going into this shoot for NY Times Magazine, and I am an even bigger fan after working with him.
My friend Sara Coates was recently cast in a movie called Laggies. They just wrapped up filming, so it should be in theaters next year. On one of the first days of filming, Sara sent me a text message with a picture of Jeff. ”I’m acting with Jeff!” I immediately thought to myself, “I would love to photograph Jeff Garlin!!!” That was a Sunday night. The next day, I got a call from my rep Julia, and she asked me if I wanted to shoot an assignment for New York Times Magazine. The answer to that question is always yes, and then she said, “It’s actor Jeff Garlin.” No joke!
This is actually the 3rd time this has happened to me in my career. Anthony Hopkins, Annie Leibovitz, and now Jeff. So naturally I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking, and “putting it out there”. I always tell my daughter, you’ll never know unless you ask. And now, she has learned the benefits of asking for stickers at any store we walk into. Who knew Chevron had stickers. But that’s another story. I can’t take all of the credit for many of the great opportunities I have had come my way, but this is the type of job where you have to make things happen, and tell people what you want. Even if it’s just declaring to your wife on a Sunday night while watching Netflix that you want to photograph one of your favorite actors.
Jeff walked into the shoot with a Leica around his neck, and I knew right away this was going to be fun. Thank you New York Times Magazine, Gabrielle Plucknette, Clinton Cargill for a wonderful assignment, and thank you Jeff for bringing the magic!
Here is the photo and interview of Jeff Garlin that ran the NY Times Magazine. I was thrilled they chose my favorite image.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Blog
A couple weeks ago we had the sudden urge to wrangle 20 pups into our studio for a day of doggy photography. Here are a few of the outtakes. For more, check out the dog portfolio on the website. It’s been a fun challenge working with animals these past few months. I also just shot my first major dog food ad campaign, so more on that shortly. For now, enjoy!
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Editorial Work
Wait! You mean, there is a 3rd cosmonaut outfit? I’m going to need to wear that… It only makes sense. It will help me understand my subjects and connect with them better. I’m a method photographer, what can I say.
It seems like it was just yesterday I was in this very same room at Wexley School For Girls with Cal and Ian for my first shoot with them. They were flexing on the white baby grand piano. It was magical. Since then, we have done I don’t know how many shoots together, but this is definitely one of my favorite ones.
Thanks to AdWeek for a fun assignment, and thanks to Wexley for keeping the magic alive.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News
Click the image above to watch the full interview.
It’s those three words every mother dreams of hearing. Well, maybe not in all cases, but this time its pretty exciting. And I’ll admit, I am still pretty giddy about this opportunity. Thursday of last week, I was featured on New Day NW (King 5), along with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, and designer Jonathan Adler. Thank you to Su Ring, Meeghan Black, and Mark Klebeck for your amazing support and interest in what I do!
Thanks for watching everyone! Hopefully next time I am on TV, I will be talking about my new iPhone Portrait book. :)
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work
A few months ago, on a Sunday afternoon, I accidentally started a new photography project when I snapped a portrait of a friend with my iPhone. Since that first iPhone portrait, I have photographed over 100 people with my iPhone, and my excitement for this project continues to grow (you can see some of the images on my Instagram stream as well as under the Projects section). I was in Hollywood for work last month, and I photographed my cousin’s roommate Jordan while staying with them. Jordan wrote a short story about his experience of being photographed, and I am so excited to share it with you. Please enjoy, and thank you Jordan!
On Having My Picture Taken
There are certain people that like having their picture taken. They enjoy it because they are good at it. They remember to smile and lift chins so they don’t look fat. They can look happy even if they are not happy. It is comfortable for them to hang arms over the shoulder of the person they are standing next to. When people tell them to scoot closer, they do it happily.
I am not one of those people.
Not that I don’t want to be one of those photogenic people, it just doesn’t come easy to me.
I come home tired from my job and commute. There’s an air mattress in the living room, which seems vaguely familiar. I am struggling to remember something that my roommate Lonnie had told me about–something about someone staying with us for a little while. It is all fairly hazy–I dunno, I’ve been drinking too much lately.
I pour myself some cold coffee left over from the morning pot. I look through the kitchen window and see Lonnie with another guy, presumably our houseguest, and our downstairs neighbor. They’re all talking at the picnic table in the backyard.
I go out and meet John. John is Lonnie’s cousin. Like Lonnie, John is a photographer. I shake John’s hand. I’m trying to be friendly. Lonnie asks me how work was. I growl that it was rough and excuse myself to do some chores. I don’t totally nail being friendly.
Then I’m sorting through a bunch of dirty clothes, trying to break out of my 9-5 work headspace, and getting ready for the writing I’m going to do this night.
Lonnie knocks on my door. This sort of uncommon at our place.
Lonnie asks,”Hey man, would you mind having your picture taken?”
I open the door. Lonnie explains, “My cousin John is a photographer and he really wants to take your picture.”
I say yes, because only celebrities can say no to having a picture taken of them. And also, no one has ever seen me and said, “I want to take your picture.” I can’t quite escape the mixture of compliment and embarrassment that goes along with this.
John is enthusiastic. He has already shot Lonnie earlier in the afternoon. He tells me about this iPhone portrait project he’s been working on as he looks at my shirts–not the dirty ones on the floor, but the few that are still hanging in my closet. I push for a red Pendleton camp shirt, but he isn’t interested in it. He knows what he’s looking for. So I put on an old 70s polyester flannel, which I like, but it is missing the third and fourth buttons from the top. I am slightly worried about this, but it doesn’t seem to bother John.
I follow John around the apartment as he looks for the lighting he needs, which is in Lonnie’s room. I sit on Lonnie’s army cot. John and I talk as he holds his iPhone with both hands. He stares intently at the screen. He puts the phone close to my face, about twelve inches, maybe sixteen inches away from me.
It’s got to be a delicate thing, the iPhone portrait. Like everybody else, I’ll snap off some pictures with mine, and occasionally they’ll look alright, but it’s just a phone, and I don’t care too much. But John’s really working here, looking for a specific thing to show up on his screen. He gives directions like: shoot your chin forward, or look at the top of the phone, or look off to one side. I move my head a centimeter one way, then the other. Later, we move around the room, chasing the light.
John takes, I dunno, less than a thousand photos but more than five hundred. They’re all about the same–I’m not doing much here, just sitting and doing what he asks me to do. At some point, he tells me to look concerned. And my eyebrows squeeze together a bit. Later, he asks me to pretend like I’m about to say something.
At some point, I try to smile, because it’s a photo, and you’re supposed to smile in photos. John immediately tells me to cut it out.
Eventually, John decrees that we’ve gotten it and he says thank you and I say thank you and that’s it.
Later that evening, he shows Lonnie and I some of the shots he had taken that afternoon.
We see the photos from Lonnie’s shoot. They are great, unmistakably great. Lonnie looks earnest and charming, like he might be on his way to sail to Patagonia or propose to his girlfriend.
We look at my photos and they’re the best photos I’ve ever seen of myself. The lighting is warm, my shirt looks better than it looks in real life, all of what anyone could ask for in a portrait, anything you could possibly want. But I look very unhappy in these pictures. My looks range from concerned to sad to angry. I look like someone I do not want to be. John, in the few minutes I had known him, had keyed in on this emotional thing inside me. This was me on a Monday after work.
I thought about this a lot. Weeks later I quit my job, not exactly because of this, but certainly because life’s too short to be a miserable Monday-hating-sonofabitch.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Personal Work
This picture just makes me happy. I feel like I say that a lot, but I have been staring and laughing at this portrait for weeks now. I don’t think Nichelle is going to let me frame it in the house just yet, but I figured I could at least share it with you on the blog. This is one of those images that I don’t really want to talk about very much because I feel like it is enjoyed best as it is, without spoiling it with too much information.
A very big thank you and congrats goes out to my wonderful model in this portrait and my good friend Sara Coates. Obviously she is extremely talented, but she also just landed her first major roll in a major motion picture called Laggies. Go Sara!
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Ad Campaign, Tear Sheets
Whoop whoop! Here are 3 of the 6 new ads I just photographed for Snoqualmie Casino with ad agency Green Rubino. I’m really proud of how these images came together. Lot’s of firsts on this project. I had my first 3:00am call time, first time shooting models jumping on a trampoline in high heels, and first time winning $100 on slots while working.
There are a ton of casino’s fighting for business these days, and most of the ads I have seen all pretty much look the same. A dude eating a big hamburger, a pretty lady rolling dice, and a group of friends out to dinner. Not to mention the photography is usually pretty bad. It’s easy, and what I am sure people have come to expect from casino ads. That is why it was so refreshing to work with Green Rubino on this campaign because it was a well put together concept with high production value. Snoqualmie Casino is going to stand completely apart from the competition. At least until the competition has time to scramble and try to copy this.
As always, a very big thank you to the wonderful people at Green Rubino and Snoqualmie Casino for working with us on this ad campaign. Dennis Budel, Jason Vargas, Joe Quatrone, Peggy, and Michelle Hendrickson, congrats and well done! Time to celebrate.
Agency: Green Rubino
Creative Director: Joe Quatrone
Associate Creative Director: Dennis Budell
Photographer: John Keatley
Producer: Taylor Reed
Hair & Makeup: Cara Aeschliman
Wardrobe: Morgan Dillon
1st Assistant: Gregg White
2nd Assistant: Oliver Ludlow
Retouching: Gigantic Squid
CGI: Vitamin-E Studio
Talent Agency: All About You, Bell Agency
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Ad Campaign
Blogging has been a little less frequent than usual these days, but it’s only because I have been so busy shooting some pretty awesome ad campaigns. We have 3 new campaigns coming out in the upcoming weeks, but before we get to those, I want to share with you this recent ad campaign. It is for the Ski & Ride School at Heavenly Mountain Resort, and worked with Hammerquist Studios. What a fun and hilarious concept. In total, there are 6 different diagnosis profiles, and you can see them in the advertising section of my site. Big thank you’s go out to Fred Hammerquist, Dylan Kahler, and Nick Berry. It was a blast working with you guys on this.
We got to do our own casting for this project, which is something I have really been enjoying. The characters and types of people I like to photograph are a little harder to find, but the thrill of the search and the reward when you find that perfect person is so worth the extra effort.
Thanks to our friends at EVO for the amazing wardrobe and gear we used in the ads. If you haven’t been to the new EVO store in Fremont, you should check it out. It’s an incredible retail space and beautifully designed. Even if you aren’t into outdoor adventures, the store and restaurants next door are worth a visit.
Styling: Morgan Dillon
Hair & Makeup: Cara Aeschliman
Assistant: Gregg White
Retouching: Gigantic Squid
Last month I had the great pleasure of traveling to Dubai to speak and teach at GPP 2013. It was an incredible experience and I was able to meet some awesome people and photographers. GPP was an incredibly well planned and exciting week of workshops and seminars by some of the top teachers in the industry. I tried to pop in on a few different workshops when I had 10 minutes or so to spare, and I learned so much, even in such a short amount of time.
I had many great experiences and interactions on this trip, but perhaps the best part of the whole trip was dinner each night. Not because the food was incredible (Well, Ravi’s was), but it was the people I sat next to at dinner: David Alan Harvey, Greg Heisler, David Burnett, David Hobby, Zach Arias, Peter Hurley, Joe McNally, and on and on. Wow. How fun! Talk about great conversations and stories.
In addition to being one of the teachers, I was also asked to participate in the shootout on the last night of the week. The GPP shootout is a fairly new tradition that has caught on like wild fire. 3 photographers competing against each other under less than ideal circumstances. The rules are explained in the video, but basically you are given an assignment in front of 350 people, and from that moment, you have 20 minutes to think, light, shoot and edit a picture from start to finish. After all 3 photographers have finished, the crowd votes on who they think won. My competitors were Zack Arias, and Lindsay Adler. It was intense, but I have to say, after feeling nervous for about 30 seconds, I really enjoyed it. Not to mention, I love how my picture turned out! Now I have Leibovitz and Heisler in my collection.
So what was the assignment? Create a portrait of one of the greatest portrait photographers of all time, Gregory Heisler. Fortunately, I had gotten to know Greg over the course of the week, so I knew he was an awesome guy, and that helped a bit. Before I packed my bags for Dubai, I had anticipated, or at least hoped the assignment would involve shooting a portrait, or at least photographing a human one way or another. To be at least somewhat prepared, I brought a few props just in case (turtleneck and wig). I only needed 2 of them as it turned out, so I’m going to keep the other options a secret for now.
The video above is condensed quite a bit, so there is a lot you aren’t seeing and hearing, but this is a great recap of how it all went down. Congrats to Zack Arias on winning! He was talking trash all week, and he backed it up by going for the jugular. And by that, I mean he put a teabag on my head. Which I should have been more humiliated by, but I was too shocked at the time to fully know what was going on.
David Hobby (strobist.com) wrote a very flattering blog post about the GPP Shootout from his perspective which is worth a read if you are interested. He has done the shootout before, so he has a good perspective from all sides of the event. Thanks David for the kind words, and thank you Mohamed, Hala, and everyone else at GPP for being such wonderful hosts! I hope you all enjoy watching this, and maybe I’ll see you in Dubai next year.