03
Mar

Some New iPhone Portraits

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

I’m back in Seattle after some busy, yet fun trips to Portland and LA. Lot’s to catch up on, but I thought I would share a few of my recent iPhone portraits. The project continues to move ahead, and as always you can see more of them in my project section as well as on my Instagram profile.  This is something I have been working on for the past 9 months or so.  I have photographed over 200 people to date so far.  All with an iPhone, and some natural light.  Nothing fancy.  Just getting caught up in a moment, enjoying no frills photography and meeting new people.

25
Feb

Macklemore Behind The Scenes Video

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Celebrity, Videos

A few weeks ago I wrote about my most recent shoot with Macklemore for the cover of The Source.  We also thought it would be fun to share a behind the scenes video to show you how the magic happened.  Thanks for checking it out.  Shout out also to Just 2 Guys for putting this together for us.  Cheers.

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.

05
Dec

Now Represented by Redeye

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News

I am very excited to officially announce I am now represented by Redeye.  I spent the better part of six months doing an extensive search, including, meetings, phone calls, interviewing art buyers, etc.  After all that, the stars aligned  and I knew I wanted to be working with the wonderful people at Redeye.  If you haven’t worked with Maren or Stephanie yet, you will love working with them.  They are super lovely!  I feel very blessed to be surrounded by such hard working, fun loving, personable and honest people.  Here is to a great year ahead, and thanks to everyone for your ongoing support and interest in my work.

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.

25
Sep

CHVRCHES for Rolling Stone

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

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!

28
Aug

Jeff Garlin for NY Times Magazine

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

Actor Jeff Garlin for NY Times Magazine.  By John Keatley.

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.

John Keatley and Jeff Garlin

Jeff Garlin taking my picture with his Leica.

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!

Portrait of Jeff Garlin by photographer John Keatley.

Here is the photo and interview of Jeff Garlin that ran the NY Times Magazine.  I was thrilled they chose my favorite image.

15
Jul

I’m On TV

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.  :)


Me and my girl on our way to the King 5 studio.


With Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman backstage.


Thanks Meeghan for a great interview!

21
Jun

On Having My Picture Taken

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

iPhone portrait of Jordan Jolliff by John Keatley.

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.

Jordan Jolliff
2013

11
Feb

Ohhh Wallace

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

Portrait of a dog called Wallace by photographer John Keatley.

A little over a year ago I got an assignment for VIV Magazine to photograph a service dog named Radar and his boy who has autism.  To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think much about the images after I wrapped up the assignment.  Several months later, I revisited the images with fresh eyes, and 2 of the portraits of Radar jumped out at me immediately.  There was something very human like about his expressions and how he was coming across in the portraits.  It looked like I photographed him in the middle of a conversation.  This got me thinking about some new ideas, and lately I have found myself photographing dogs in a way that makes them seem more human than animal.  It’s been a fun process, and today I thought I would share one of my recent favorites from my adventures with dogs.  Say hello to Wallace the French Bulldog.  How perfect is that name.  Wallace.  I love it.

On a personal side note, as a kid, I really wanted to be a dog trainer.  I have always loved dog’s, but at some point in my life, I liked them so much I wanted to work with them for a career.  Looking back now, I suppose it is only fitting that I now find myself working with dogs, and thoroughly enjoying it.  And if you ever find yourself at our studio, ask me about the silly tricks Oliver, our small Pomeranian can do.