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.

27
Jan

Professional Photographer Feature

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News, Personal Work, Press & Interviews

As some of you may know, last year I began a little portrait project with my iPhone and Instagram.  It began almost as an accident, but quickly became a project very close to my heart.  I have met some amazing people and heard some incredible stories along the way.  Like Jordan’s story for example.  Within just a few months, I got a call from KING 5 about going on New Day NW (watch video) as well as several other interviews.  One of those interviews just came out this month in Professional Photographer Magazine as a full feature.  As a photographer, it’s exciting to shoot for a feature, but a feature about my work is a whole new level of excitement.  Thank you so much to Jade Price and everyone at Professional Photographer for your support and interest in my work.  I feel like I am just getting started with my iPhone Portrait project, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.

15
Jan

Mary Lambert

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Celebrity

Mary Lambert portrait by photographer John Keatley.

One of people I had the pleasure of working with in 2013 was the beautiful and talented Mary Lambert.  Many people know her as the featured vocalist on “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, but I know her as Mary, easily one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard.  I had this old piano moved in for this shot, and Mary played and sang while we set up.  I’m pretty sure everyone on set took extra long to set up because nobody wanted her to stop singing.  It was one of those indescribable experiences, and a highlight of my year.

This shoot was for a great organization called Arts Corps in Seattle.  They do incredible work with young people in low income communities where there is little or no access to art.  It’s a program Mary was a part of when she was younger, and I was thrilled to work with them on this.  You can follow the link above if you would like to find out more about Arts Corps.  Special shout out to Art Director Patrick Mullins!

Here are a few behind the scenes images from the shoot.  I don’t like to brag, but Mary was dying to sing a duet with me, and how could I say no.  It was magical.  People were crying and leaving the room so quickly.  I think it was because they didn’t want ruin the moment.

Mary Lambert photo shoot by John Keatley.

Mary Lambert singing with John Keatley.

Mary Lambert with photographer John Keatley.

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.

15
Oct

PDN Faces 2013 Winner

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Contest

Portrait of Macklemore by photographer John Keatley.

Colonel Meow portrait by photographer John Keatley.

I am so proud to be included in the 2013 PDN Faces contest.  Both of these portraits were selected and are in the September issue of PDN.  I know what you are thinking.  That is a whole lot of fur…

I first photographed Macklemore and Ryan Lewis two days before the Heist was released.  It’s hard to believe that was a year ago now.  A lot has changed since then.

My other furry friend is Colonel Meow.  If you are not familiar with him, he is only one of the most famous cats on the Internet.  So there you have it.  That being said, he was terrible to work with.  He showed up late, was rude and inconsiderate, and he reeked of Scotch.  I have nothing kind to say about him.  But I do like this portrait, and I am glad I won a contest with it.

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.

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.

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

10
Jun

Miss Sara Coates

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!