21
Mar

On The Road For AARP Bulletin

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

Better late than never I always say.  Actually, I don’t always say that, and it’s not really a good motto to live by, but in this case, it works.  I have been meaning to post these images for a few months, but am just now getting around to it (my bad).  Last Fall, I was excited to see Director of Photography Michael Wichata’s number light up on my phone, as he was calling about a cross country assignment.  I love working with Michael because of the thoughtfulness he puts in to his work, and he is really passionate about photography.  It makes assignments that much more enjoyable when you work with someone who cares that much.  The story is called ‘Will I Ever Work Again?’ and it covers three people over the age of 55 who felt the effects of these tough times when they lost their jobs and had to try to re-enter the work force at a time when there are more people than jobs.

The first stop was Dallas, TX where I met Alejandra Mendoza, who was let go from her supervisor position at a mid-size bank.  It was my first time in Texas, and it was HOT!  In the spirt of everything being bigger in Texas, my assistant Oliver and I went to the biggest movie theater in America (so I was told) and saw Captain America.  Unfortunately we can’t undo that experience.

Our next stop was Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  We arrived late Monday night, and shot first thing on Tuesday.  Florida was a different kind of heat than I had ever felt before, the kind where you could feel your skin melting off after just a couple of minutes in the sun.  This might be why we saw so many people walking to the mailbox, or picking up the newspaper in only their underwear.  Mark Krieger was my subject in Florida, and he lived in a really nice gated community on a series of lagoons.  When we arrived, there was no one at the gate, and no way to call or get buzzed in that we could see.  We couldn’t reach Mark either, so after driving around the community looking for another entrance, we decided to park on the side of the road just to the side of the gate.  After waiting for a few minutes, a car approached the gate and it opened.  As soon as they began moving through, I gunned it and sped in behind them just before the gate could close.  Seems a little anti-climactic now, but at the time I felt like James Bond, and it was more than enough to pump us up after several long flights.

After a quick shoot with Mark, it was back to the airport where we experienced the heaviest flash rainstorm I have ever seen on the highway.  It came out of nowhere, and we saw 6 crashes over the span of 2 miles.  We even got honked at and flipped off for slowing down as we narrowly avoided hitting the car that had just crashed in front of us.  Oh Florida…  Thanks for the hospitality.

Next it was off to Akron, OH to meet Pam Gaul who recently got a job at Bridgestone Tire Company.  The company headquarters was in a really old, half-empty building, and it was one of the coolest buildings I have ever seen, from a photography interest point of view.  We got a tour of the empty part, and it was hauntingly beautiful.  Much of the furniture was left as-is from decades ago.  If only I had more time to explore, there were some really cool rooms to shoot there.

Pam was the inspiration / success story of the article, and her story was really fascinating.  After losing her previous job she joined a job club and was coached on interviewing, applying for a job, and personal presentation.  It’s so interesting, the difference between our own perceptions of ourselves, and how we are actually coming across to others.  After a few adjustments, Pam had a great interview and got a job she LOVES at Bridgestone.  Not to make it sound like it’s just that easy, but it is exciting to see people make positive changes and reap the rewards.

After Akron, we flew back down to Wilmington and then back home to Seattle, just missing Hurricane Irene.  That was one bumpy flight!

Here is the link to read the article I shot these portraits for on the AARP website.

Thanks Michael and AARP.  This was a fun one.

 

20
Mar

Don’t Talk To The Cops for City Arts

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

Don't Talk To The Cops shot for the cover of City Arts by photographer John Keatley.

For those of you who are fellow Seattlites, you may have noticed City Arts has been gaining great momentum as the go-to arts publication around town.  They have been doing a great job covering culture, art, and music, and are not afraid of going out on a creative limb so-to-speak, to bring their audience something fresh and original.  I got to shoot the Seattle based hip hop group Don’t Talk To The Cops for the cover of the March issue.  This was a really fun shoot, and I was excited to get to throw in a slight nod to those amazing laser portrait backgrounds we all coveted back in the 80′s.  I think the hardest part was picking out the right turtleneck and NFL game day jacket.  After that was decided, it was smooth sailing and a lot of laughing.  I can’t say I’ve made it through the article exposing bubble tea, but the cover image is certainly reason enough for picking it up :) (not to mention it’s free).

Big thanks to Art director Dan Paulus, editor in chief Leah Baltus, and Don’t Talk To The Cops.  This shoot was a fun collaboration of talking through ideas and inspirations with Dan and Leah, and I love how it turned out.  I met Dan and Leah for the first time, when I was photographed as part of the City Arts Future List late last year.  Retouching by Gigantic Squid.

22
Jan

Drinks With Murray Stenson

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

I hinted at a fun assignment I was working on last month on Twitter, and now I am excited to to be able to share the images with you.  I had a lot of catching up to do when I first got the assignment to photograph Murray Stenson from Art Director Jane Sherman at Seattle Weekly, but it didn’t take long for me to find out that Murray is widely regarded as the best bartender in the country.  Don’t believe me?Just ask Esquire, Playboy and Tales of the Cocktail.  It felt like when you get a new car, and all of a sudden you realize that just about everyone else on the road has the same car as you.  As soon as I got this assignment, it seemed like everyone I knew was going out to get a drink from Murray.  Apparently I was the last person to know.  I was quite excited to not only photograph Murray, but to also have a drink from him.

I did the shoot at Canon, which is a new bar in Seattle where Murray works, along with an all-star group of bartenders led by Jamie Boudreau who is also the owner.  There is a bit of a wait to get in, but I can tell you the wait is well worth it.  I filmed a short video of Murray mixing and explaining how to make an Absinthe Julep, which you can see below.  And yes, I did get to drink it after we were done filming.  Someone had to, and I didn’t want it to go to waste.  We did have to do 2 takes, but thankfully my assistant handled the second one since we were dealing with 124 proof.  For what it’s worth, I made sure the video was the last thing we did so my pictures wouldn’t be out of focus.

Although Murray has been written up in many other magazines, this article is the first time he has told his story.  It was written by Mike Seely, and is a really fascinating read.  Here is the link to the article if you are interested.  Along with the video, I also included a few behind the scenes pictures at the bottom.

Thanks to Jane Sherman for working with me on this, and thanks to Murray and Jamie for being such gracious hosts and subjects.  Photo retouching by the fine folks at Gigantic Squid.

Behind the scenes pictures by Lonnie Webb.

19
Sep

Germ Free Traveler

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

I shot this fun, quirky portrait for Condé Nast Traveler to go with an article about the crazy new gadgets people are using to avoid all kinds of germs and illness while traveling.  I couldn’t even tell you what half of this stuff does, but I like how the image turned out.  I’m bummed we didn’t get to shoot the SkyRest Travel Pillow, but there is only so much room for ridiculous travel paraphernalia in one picture.  Enjoy, and remember to always fly safe.

Photo Editor: Nelida Mortensen
Model: Rachel Elizabeth / TCM Models
Stylist: Kristie Gamer

31
Oct

John Keister

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Tear Sheets

Portrait of comedian and actor John Keister from Almost Live for the Seattle Weekly cover.  Photo by Seattle based photographer John Keatley.

That’s my portrait of John Keister on the cover of the current Seattle Weekly.  John is best known as the “former host of Almost Live, widely regarded as one of the most successful locally produced sketch-comedy shows—or local shows of any kind, perhaps—in the history of modern American television.” – Mike Seely, Seattle Weekly

The show ran for 15 years, and the cast, along with John included Joel McHale, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.  The sketches on Almost Live were pretty hilarious as well as short and to the point.  Unlike sketch comedy shows these days.  Although SNL does seem to be getting a little better again.  You can find a bunch of the videos on YouTube if you are interested.

It was a thrill to photograph John, and I am really happy with how the cover image turned out.

01
Sep

Jake Locker For Men’s Health

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Tear Sheets, Videos

UW Husky quarterback Jake Locker in a lineman's helmet.  Photo by John Keatley.

If you haven’t seen the September 2010 issue of Men’s Health yet, pick it up now.  I have 6 full pages featuring my favorite football player, Jake Locker.  This was my second time working with Jake, and he is one of the most kind and down to earth people I have photographed.  Now, I know what you are thinking.  Did he bring his pet coyote to the shoot this time?  No, he didn’t.

So, what’s up with the helmet?  And as big as this kid is, how can there be a helmet that is too big for him?  I think it was a lineman’s helmet.  Before the shoot, I requested a ball and a helmet.  Someone from the university brought us one helmet that happened to be several sizes too big.  It wasn’t until we were shooting that I asked Jake to put it on, and we discovered it wasn’t the right size.  I’m totally fine with mistakes like that, though, because it turned out to be my favorite picture from the shoot.  Fun and unexpected.  Outtakes are the best!

For those of you who don’t know, Jake was recently ranked by ESPN as the number one college player in the country.  These rankings are subject to change, but he has a legitimate shot at the Heisman this year if things continue to go well for him.  As a Husky fan, I hope things go well!

I have been working with video a lot more lately.  Some behind the scenes, and also a few photo and video assignments, as well as video only.  I really like how this video turned out, and it should give you a little glimpse into how I work on an assignment like this.

Special thanks goes out to Men’s Health Photo Editor Mark Haddad for this assignment.  I would also like to mention Affix Music which is a great resource for licensing music for slideshows, video’s etc.  Amazing customer service!  They are in the process of rolling out some new license options which will be even more specific in addressing the needs to photographers working with video.

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29
Aug

3ric Johanson And The Photonic Fence

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Tear Sheets

3ric Johanson from Intellectual Ventures and the Photonic Fence.  Photo by John Keatley.

Imagine rows and rows of boxes piled up to the ceiling at your local Costco.  The boxes are matte black with bold white writing and a robot looking face on the front with beady red eyes.  Maybe something like the Terminator, but more kid friendly.  Suburban moms in California and Arizona are lining up to be the first on the block to own a personal laser mosquito zapper.  Jacqueline from Rancho Cucamonga places her new mosquito zapper in the over-sized orange cart, next to her new cooler with a built in iPod dock, and the ten pound bag of chicken strips.  She can already imagine the warm summer nights by the pool, free of mosquitoes.  I envisioned the situation for these early adopters to unfold much like the Cornballer as seen on Arrested Development.  Kids running around the yard with laser burn marks all over their bodies, hair on fire.  You worried about your kids running with scissors?  Forget about it.  You’ve got a military robot with lasers in your back yard.

That was the scenario that popped into my head after hearing the words laser mosquito zapper, but as I found out more about the assignment, I discovered it was not the next ridiculous consumer item at your local big box store.  3ric Johanson and a team of really bright minds actually came up with this idea and made it into a reality with the goal of wiping out malaria.  With a mandate from Bill Gates to think differently about finding a solution to prevent malaria from spreading, the Photonic Fence was born.  The technical description of how it works is a little above my pay grade, but by recognizing the size, speed, sound, and speed and insect beats its wings, the Photonic Fence can differentiate between bees, flies, and even male or female mosquitoes.  Only female mosquitoes bite and carry the parasite causing malaria, so only the females need to be terminated.

3ric works at Intellectual Ventures, which is a research lab in Bellevue, Washington.  In addition to the Photonic Fence, they are working on some pretty amazing projects including a super-thermos to transport vaccines, and a system to weaken hurricanes.  While taking a tour of the lab with 3ric, he explained the reason Intellectual Ventures is so different from other labs is they are encouraged to experiment and push the boundaries of what is currently being done.  Failure is not something they are afraid of, and they have the luxury of pushing the boundaries because they have investors behind them.  Because this type of work is so expensive, however, other labs often don’t have investors willing to take on this kind of risk.

Make is a really cool magazine, and if you get excited about DIY projects, I would recommend subscribing.  You can also find out more about the Photonic Fence and Intellectual Ventures at this page.  I was really encouraged to see some of the top minds working on projects with the single goal of making the world a better place for people who don’t share many of the luxuries we so often take for granted.

I’ll leave you with a super slow-motion video of mosquitoes getting blasted by a laser.  Enjoy.

New Tech Toy I am most excited about right now.

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29
Jun

The Illegal American

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Tear Sheets

Portrait of an illegal immigrant by photographer John Keatley.

Over the past few months, I have had several assignments featuring everyday people facing big challenges.  It’s a nice change of pace every once in a while, and I appreciate the opportunity to meet and work with people who have completely different stories than myself.  It’s a humbling feeling to photograph someone in their 4 million dollar home one day, and the next day photographing someone out in the sticks who is really excited and impressed by my Hyundai rental car.

This portrait is of an illegal immigrant who has lived and worked in America for the past 20 years.  There were no guarantees the subject would show up, which I guess is understandable considering the risks involved for her (being sent back to Mexico).  I was told I could not photograph her face, only her shadow.  However, after I met her and we talked for a while, she said she would let me photograph her from the back which is what I was hoping for.

I bought some small American flags the night before, and asked her if she would mind holding them.  She said, “No, I don’t mind holding the flags.  I love this country.”

Seattle Met / July 2010
Art Director: Benjamen Purvis

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26
May

Photography Talk Video: Chapter Two

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Press & Interviews, Videos

Photography Talk Chapter Two Video from John Keatley on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoyed the first video of my photography talk.  As promised, here is the second video, and number three will be rolling out very soon also.  The third one will be the Q&A session.  I cover a lot of ground in this video including working with celebrities, but the main points are focusing on what you are trying to show in your work, and taking control to make it happen.  Some of you have asked which camera these videos were shot on and although I have recently started to shoot video on the Canon 5D Mark II, I actually used this bad boy to film my talk.

23
May

Photography Talk Video: Chapter One

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Press & Interviews, Videos

Photography Talk Chapter One Video – My Photography Story from John Keatley on Vimeo.

A couple of months ago I hosted a Q&A and spoke about my photography to a group of about 100 people in Seattle.  Many people who were not able to attend sent in questions, and expressed interest in watching a recording of the talk.  Well, the wait is over.  This is the first 15 minutes of the talk and I am going to do my best to have the rest up by the end of the week. So check back often.  Enjoy, and thank you everyone who came out to hear me, and to everyone else who is reading this for your interest in my work.