30
Jan

The Matador From Florida

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

My rep asked me to come up with an image for a valentines day promo this year and the assignment was to interpret the color red.  I had the option of using an image from my archive, or I could shoot something new.  I love excuses to create new work, so of course I jumped at the opportunity.  Assignments like this are great because I enjoy having some sense of structure, or a goal, but it also allows your imagination to run wild by leaving things open.  Taylor and I had some fun brainstorming sessions over this, and our ideas were all over the place.  As usually happens with my personal work, we landed on one idea, and then the more we talked about it, the idea began to shift and change until we got here.  Going into the shoot, the idea was to shoot a different angle, but when working with bulls or other crazy animals, there is an element of taking what they give you.  I really didn’t want them to give me the horns so to speak…  Plus I realized while shooting that I liked this angle better anyway.  As much as we plan everything out, it’s always good to try to stay open to changes and improvements that come up along the way.

This shoot came a few weeks after working with Kodiak bears, and surprisingly enough, I was more scared of the bulls.  Almost terrified even.  It didn’t help matters that the rancher we were working with told me horror stories of people being disfigured and killed by bulls for about 15 minutes before he said, “Well, why don’t we hop in.” Sounds good.  Let’s jump a fence into a field of bulls.  Why am I doing this again?

So there you have it.  This was a really fun project from beginning to end.  Big thanks to Ryan Cleary on the beautiful retouching work as well.  Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoy the image.

13
Dec

The Rider

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

The Rider by photographer John Keatley.

It didn’t take long for the humans to panic.  Government had been spiraling out of control for 60 years, fueled by greed and corporate corruption.  Mankind had finally taken all it could from the earth, until the earth had nothing left to give.  The humans had long embraced the idea, live for today and take what you want.  The cries of those who recognized the consequences of such behavior were left to the minority and written off as crazy.  Men had convinced themselves they were invincible.  Once the Nelson Report came out, and Amazon’s infrastructure collapsed, people began hoarding resources and grabbing all they could for themselves.  Telecommunications were quickly shut down, and in less than 18 months, the US population had been cut by over 75 percent.  Riots, fires, murder, starvation and sickness spread with very little resistance.

As life has always demonstrated, sometimes it takes the loss of one thing to gain another.  Ironic and painful as it was, it took man’s near destruction of the earth to bring about a new relationship between man and animal as it was in the beginning of time.

The Rider has not survived in the new world these past 5 years because of his strength, or because of things taken.  He has survived because of relationships.  Primarily a relationship with his bear and with nature.  These things, which were seen as weak and useless before, have now become what is held most precious in the dark days.

04
Dec

We Roofin’

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Ad Campaign, BTS

I feel like I am beginning to repeat myself a little, because each ad campaign I have done this year feels like one of those dream jobs.  This one for Washington Healthplanfinder was no exception.  With Obamacare rolling out I got to work with the folks at GMMB on this hilarious ad campaign.  If these images don’t convince you to get yourself some health insurance, I don’t know what will.

The first shoot (the seagull attack) took place on our own private ferry at 4:30am on a beautiful Sunday.  It was maybe one of the coolest things I have done on a shoot.  Drifting around in the Puget Sound at sunrise.  Beautiful!

The next shoot was a 4:00am call time, which feels so early to me!  Not a morning person, but the show must go on.  The skateboard crash was the hardest and most technical of all the shots.  Although my assistants might disagree since I have no idea how they managed a 12×12 and two 7 ft. softboxes on a windy ferry.

The roofing accident shot was at the end of a very long 12 hour day, but it was so fun.  The talent with the nail gun, Gabriel, had us all dying with his dialog.  I like to give people scenarios to work with when shooting this type of work.  I find it helps me work through the situation, and also helps the talent get into character and make the image more believable.  There are a lot of little details to think about on a shot like the roofing accident.  What are these guys doing?  What is happening on and off camera that I want the viewer to think about?  Are the interactions of the two guys on the roof believable?  And so on.

So for this shot, I explained to Gabriel:

You are putting a new roof on your home before the winter hits, and your good friend is helping you because he owes you a big favor (You traded him Russell Wilson for Trent Richardson in your fantasy football league.).  You are almost done with one side of the roof, when your neighbor walks by and see’s you up there.  He gives you a puzzled look because he knows you are not the handiest guy on the block.  Hey, what the heck are you doing up there!? he yells.  Gabriel looks back at his neighbor with a big smile, and says…  And this is where Gabriel took over with his improv.  ”Oh, we roofin’ man!  Yeah, we roofin’!”  ”What’s it look like we doin’ up her man, we roofin’!”  You might think over an hour of this might get old, but somehow it didn’t.  We just laughed, took pictures and, yeah, we roofin’.

Here are some of my favorite behind the scenes images from this shoot.  Big thanks to my new rep Redeye, Kontent Partners (who are super amazing people, and amazing at what they do), GMMB, Gigantic Squid, Cara Aeschliman, Gregg White, and so many more.  I am blessed to work with such fun people.