20
Jan

Macklemore Man Of The Year

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Celebrity, Editorial Work

Macklemore The Source Man of the Year cover by John Keatley.

Another amazing shoot with Macklemore!  Goes without saying, but The Source Man of the Year cover is a pretty big issue in the hip hop industry.  I’m so happy for Macklemore and all the amazing things that have happened this past year for him and Ryan Lewis.  The first portrait shoot I did with the guys was 2 days before The Heist came out.  This shoot was just two days after The Heist World Tour came to an end, and that really put it in perspective for me just how far these guys have come in such a short period of time.  Although, that’s not really accounting for the years of hard work they put in before the world started paying attention.  Well deserved if you ask me.  Now go get em at the Grammy’s!

Below are some of my favorite images from this shoot as well as some fun behind the scenes pictures.  We have a behind the scenes video in the works as well, so stay tuned for that.  Enjoy!

Macklemore and his brown bear by photographer John Keatley.

Macklemore in a suit by photographer John Keatley.

Macklemore in his Cadillac by John Keatley

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

Macklemore and John Keatley photo shoot.

And that’s a wrap.  Thanks to my great crew for making this big production come together so smoothly.  I think we wrapped around 1:30 am, but everyone hung in there tough.  Behind the scenes pictures by the wonderful Olivia Lazer.  Makeup by Katya Gudaeva.  Styling by Cara Aeschliman.  Production by Taylor Reed and Pat Vong.  Retouching by Gigantic Squid.  Assisting by Gregg White.  And thanks Macklemore for the hat!

22
Aug

Wexleynauts

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Editorial Work

Cal and Ian of the Wexley School For Girls by photographer John Keatley.

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.


The three cosmigos.

29
Nov

Ballet Meets Burlesque

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work, Tear Sheets

The Nutcracker is a serious holiday tradition here in Seattle.  People seem to get pretty excited about it, and it’s a big deal.  I went to see it with my family several years ago as a Christmas present I believe.  I can’t remember how long ago exactly that was, but then again, I can’t remember much about the Nutcracker either.  I fell asleep…  I guess it was just not my cup of tea.
What’s that?  The Burlesque Nutcracker?  Now that might hold my attention.  It may not be a show grandma and grandpa are going to take you to for Christmas, but at least now I’m intrigued.

City Arts has been doing some really great things in Seattle with the arts for the past few years, and I have enjoyed working with them recently.  For this assignment, I was tasked with photographing classically trained ballet dancer turned burlesque artist, Lily Verlaine.  She is co-producer and Artistic Director of Land Of The Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker.

I had the opportunity to meet with her the day before the shoot to go over wardrobe options, and while we had some great pieces to work with, I wasn’t seeing exactly what I was hoping for.  I briefly described my idea of something that says Burlesque, classy, and Holiday’s at the same without coming off too costume’y, but no luck.  The next day, Lily showed up to the shoot arm in arm with designer Danial Hellman and this beautiful piece that he custom made the night before.  It was exactly what I had described the day before.  Wow!  That never happens.  That’s what you get when you work with professionals.

I really enjoyed showing something a little more sassy and pretty in this shoot, and I think the cover turned out perfectly.  It says Burlesque and Holidays at the same time without being too loud or flashy.

Big thanks to City Arts Art Director Dan Paulus, and Editor in Chief Leah Baltus of City Arts for working with us on this.  Thanks as always to Gigantic Squid for the beautiful color grading and retouching.  Beautiful.

 

05
Nov

Jayme Hall of Alligator Performance

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

Chad and Jayme Hall shot for Inc. Photo by John Keatley

Jayme Hall CEO of Alligator Performance. Shot by John Keatley

I shot these images on a sweltering hot day this past summer in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for Inc.  Big thanks to Photography Director Travis Ruse for the call on this one.  One of the things I love about editorial photography is the opportunity to talk with a wide range of successful and interesting people.  Some of you may not know this, but I actually majored in Business Administration in college, so dissecting and understanding how different companies work is really fascinating to me.  Alligator Performance Co-founders Chad and Jayme Hall did not disappoint.  Their story was one of the most fascinating success stories I have ever heard, and I left the shoot feeling like I got to see something really special.  I highly recommend reading this article on Alligator in Inc.

21
Aug

Not Your Mother’s Peaches

Posted by Izzy / Filed under Editorial Work

Some might find it ironic and nostalgic (our favorite hipster description as of late around here), others might simply call it a way of life — call it what you like, the artisan food movement is BIG, and if you don’t keep on your toes, you might fall behind.  One week mushroom foraging is the trendiest of trendy, the next week it’s goat farming and cheesemaking.  We got a real kick out of this lately when John shot the Seattle Weekly cover story highlighting (and kind of poking fun) at the whole phenomenon.

Apparently my ‘hipster-esque’ kitchen fit the bill location-wise, and the next thing you know we were all jammed in there dumping large cans of Safeway peaches into Mason jars prepping for the shoot – slightly ironic, slightly nostalgic, and downright hilarious.  The photos of this began as outtakes, and actually turned out being what they ran with.  The model in her kitsch Anthropology apron, can in hand, and the rest of us just out of the frame in stitches.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the whole slow and local food movement is awesome, and to prove it, here is the pickle recipe I can’t wait to take a stab at (courtesy of a childhood friend who has recently made some great waves in the food world with her super legit food blog).  Thanks Anna, and especially thanks to Seattle Weekly Art Director Jane Sherman and all of the great folks over at Seattle Weekly!  We can’t wait to do it again soon.  As always, gigantic thanks to Gigantic Squid for retouching.

19
Jul

Don Mattrick for Forbes

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

Portrait of Microsoft's Don Mattrick for Forbes by John Keatley.

Safe to say Don Mattrick has one of the more exciting jobs at Microsoft.  Sitting around, playing Xbox all day.  Must be nice.  But sometimes, when he’s not playing Xbox, Don get’s his picture taken for Forbes, and that’s where I come in.  And speaking of exciting jobs, I can’t even begin to explain how much furniture was moved around for this shoot.  I think the PR people thought I was a little crazy, but if you ask me, it was totally worth it.  In fact, I think it turned out so good, Microsoft may even decide to re-arrange the whole room.  That’s called value added.  Don’t worry, no charge.  That’s how we do it.

Don Mattrick is the President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment business.  i.e. Xbox…  It’s a big weapon for Microsoft right now.  David Ewalt wrote the story for Forbes that this was shot for, which you can read here.  Photo Editor Gail Toivanen, and retouching by Gigantic Squid.

P.S. People always ask me about backstory, so I know what your next question is going to be.  ”John, what was he saying when you took this picture?”  He was saying, “John, how are you so friggin funny!?  You crack me up.”  Thanks Don.  That’s really nice of you to say.

09
May

Radar The Talking Dog

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

Meet Radar, the talking dog.  What was he saying when I took that picture?  Oh, just the usual.  ”Hey buddy, you sure take a lot of pictures.  Wow!  How many pictures are you gonna take?  Ok, I think you’ve got it by now.”  You would think Radar is a celebrity of CEO going on like that.  But seriously, does it not look like he is talking in the first picture!?  Such a beautiful, expressive animal.  I haven’t seen that much expression from any of the humans I have worked with lately.

So who want’s the real story?  Radar is actually a service dog for a boy with autism.  I shot this assignment for VIV Mag, and these are two of my favorite outtakes.  I set up a raised platform in studio to photograph Radar, and he was not very excited about being on off the ground.  It took several tries, and a lot of patience, but I got some beautiful images as a result.  They say you should never work with children or animals, but sometimes it’s the most difficult challenges that pay off the most.

Thanks to VIV Mag photo editor Daniel Montoya for working with me on this.
Retouching by Gigantic Squid.

24
Apr

Angeles City

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work, Travel

This is the fifth post in this series. You can see all of the posts by clicking on the Arts Aftercare tag.

Required Reading: I highly recommend reading the Wikipedia page on Human Trafficking in the Philippines.  It will give you better context for my story and the situation in places like Angeles City.

The final destination of our trip was Angeles City, the second largest sex tourism destination in the world.  This was a difficult way to end the trip, but at the same time, I’m really glad I didn’t start the trip with this.  It was a dark, heavy place, and I was definitely out of my comfort zone.

While I was taking pictures in front of a bar on the Walking Street, a man approached me and asked me to take his picture with a group of bar girls (pictured below).  After the group shot, and an off-color comment, the man introduced Becker and I to his girlfriend, who is in the next picture.  He told us what a great time was waiting to be had in Angeles, and we chatted with him for a few minutes.  Before we parted ways, he asked how he could get copies of the pictures I took.  He gave us his email address, and after we returned to our hotel that night, we looked him up on Facebook.  Turns out, his name is Michael Wiener, and he is a former New Mexico State Senator, and the current County Commissioner in Bernalillo County.

Angeles was a strange place, because for the previous 8 days in the Philippines, we saw very few caucasians.  As soon as we arrived in Angeles, we saw hundreds of middle aged and older white men everywhere we went with young Filipino women.  I saw some extremely disturbing things, and felt a heavy darkness in Angeles.  I don’t really know if it is necessary to go into any detail about all of that stuff, but I also don’t really feel like talking about it any further.  I think these images say what I feel needs to be said.

This is the one picture from this series that is not from Angeles.  Pegasus is in Manila, but it fit so well with this series, and I had to find a way to show it.  The sign says it all.  Pegasus is a high end club that is known for selling very young girls.  They charge $500 just to get in the door.

Bernalillo County Commissioner Michael Wiener.

18
Apr

PREDA Foundation

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work, Travel

This is the fourth post in this series.  You can see all of the posts by clicking on the Arts Aftercare tag.

I love and hate these pictures.  From a photographic standpoint, I am really proud of this series of images taken at the PREDA Foundation.  On the other hand, I hate that these pictures need to exist, and that this is a story which needs to be told.  It seems impossible to ignore the devastation and loss of innocence these images also represent.  But fortunately I do see hope in these images as well.  I believe we were created with the capacity to choose great evil, but thankfully we also have the choice to love, which I believe has the power to overcome all else.  At PREDA, I met some wonderful people who have made the decision to simply love, and care for the people who have been exploited and experienced so much devastation.

I arrived at PREDA with only 2 hours to work with before Becker and I had to take a taxi to Angeles City.  It was a bit hectic when we arrived, and we didn’t have much back story or time to prep for this stop.  After meeting Alex, the program director, I asked if I could take a tour and look around.  The tour started in the administrative offices, followed by the kitchen and then some classrooms.  It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for or interested in.  Eventually, we went down a hall and into a large room filled with colorful metal bunk beds and bright blankets.  Half of the room was lined with large windows, streaming in midday light.  As I took it all in, I asked my tour guide what the room was, and she told me it was the girls dorm, for children 9 and under.  To clarify, these are children age 9 and younger who have been sexually abused both commercially and domestically.  Unbelievable.

I started the day expecting to make portraits, but this room was speaking to me, and drawing me in.  I didn’t have my camera with me, and after looking around for a moment, I burst out of the room, and down the hall to get my camera and tripod.  I think my guide thought I was a bit strange, leaving the way I did with no explanation, but I couldn’t move fast enough.  I was in a zone.  I spent maybe the next hour shooting these images of the girls dorm, although it felt like I was only there about 5 minutes.

Girls lockers.

Primal therapy room.

Father Shay, founder of PREDA Foundation in Olongapo, Philippines, on Subic Bay.  Father Shay has dedicated his life to fighting for children who have been sexually exploited both commercially and domestically.  He has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize 3 times, and I sincerely hope he is recognized by one in the near future.

I just can’t decide between these two portraits.  It is usually pretty easy for me to make these kind of decisions, but there is something about each of these that I can’t get past.  It doesn’t help that everyone else I have asked have said both as well.  What do you think?

Father Shay’s desk.  Nearly 40 years of hard work has happened here.  I can’t even imagine the phone calls, letters, and meetings that have taken place here over the years.

PREDA Foundation is a service provider for sexually exploited children in Subic Bay, Philippines, which infamous as a destination for sex tourism. From their website:

“In 1974, with Filipino helpers, Fr. Shay Cullen established the PREDA organization (Peoples’ Recovery Empowerment and Development Assistance Inc.) to give shelter and protection and recovery to victims of abuse and more importantly to change this unjust situation in society that abandons children and criminalizes them and prostitutes them or allows them to be abused without getting help and justice.”

PREDA provides many crucial services to the children, including residential care homes organized by age – one for girls as young as 9 years and under.

 

16
Apr

At Home in Manila

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work, Travel

This is the third post from my assignment in the Philippines for Arts Aftercare.  You can see all of the posts from this trip by clicking on the Arts Aftercare tag.  For those of you who are just joining in, the following portraits are of people who have been affected in some way by sexual exploitation.  Some of the people are volunteering, or caring for survivors, some of the people are survivors, and one person is simply family member of a victim of sexually exploitation.

Some of my favorite moments in the Philippines were when I was able to walk through neighborhoods, and photograph people in their homes.  It took several days before I was able to find transportation, and arrange times with people, but once I was able to establish some trust and familiarity, things began to fall into place.  I only wish I had more time in Manila to take more of these.  I have intentionally left out some of the names for various reasons.

The mother in this family is a volunteer at Samaritana, where she teaches women how to sew.  I photographed them at their home just outside the garbage community in Manila.

Jonathan Nambu is the co-director of Samaritana with his wife Thelma.  They were our wonderful hosts while we were in Manila.  I photographed him at his home in the backyard.

This young woman is in the Samaritana program for women who have been sexually exploited.  She lives in a small home with a large number of her family members along with extended family.

This is the girls father (pictured above).  He collects recyclable garbage for a living, and has a small shop in the front of the family’s home.

I was able to spend quite a bit of time with Krys on this trip, and got to know her a bit more than others.  She works at Samaritana, and spends a good amount of her time on the streets at night forming relationships with pimps, and women who are being exploited.  She has such an amazing heart, and her story is deeply moving.  This shoot was especially fun, because we got to ride a trike, transfer to a jeepney, and then take a long walk to get to her apartment where this portrait was taken.  I’m a sucker for a good trike ride on the deadliest highway in the world.

This woman also works at Samaritana, and she lives in a squatter community, which is like nothing I have ever experienced before.  A squatter community is exactly as it sounds.  People build homes right on top of, and next to each other, regardless of who owns the land.  Power lines and other resources are spliced, and it looks a bit like controlled chaos.  From a photographic standpoint, one thing I love about many of these images, is that there was often only one natural light source in each home, which provided a single stream of beautiful light to work with.

Survivor in the Samaritana program, photographed in her friends home.

I shot all but one of these images on my Vanguard tripod.  It was fun to work this way for a change with natural light.  It made me slow down and take a different approach.  I even slowed down my breathing, to accommodate the timed exposures.  I feel a deep connection with each of these images, and I also feel a different kind of appreciation for these because of the process.  I am really looking forward to creating more work like this at some point.