21
Feb

Filmmaker Eric Becker

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

Portrait of filmmaker Eric Becker by photographer John Keatley.

This is a portrait I recently shot of my good friend and colleague Eric Becker, who is a director / documentary filmmaker.  For over a year, Becker has been working on his film, Sound & Vision, which “explores issues facing the nearshore environment. It is a film about the oceans, told through the stories of people working to clean up, protect, and restore habitat in Puget Sound and beyond. The film is scheduled for release this fall.”  I really like this portrait, because it hints at the chaos of documentary filming, while capturing the beauty of the Puget Sound that Becker’s film strives to preserve.

I was lucky enough to see the film at a pre-screening not too long ago, and it is really beautiful.  Not your typical everybody freak out, we have a problem documentary, but one that explains a problem and offers hope, as well as a call to action.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Becker and I will be leaving for the Philippines with Arts Aftercare next week.  I can’t believe it’s almost time to go.

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.

23
Dec

My First Esquire Cover

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

I woke up this morning to get a Twitter mention and early Christmas greeting from @Strobist that my portrait of Annie Leibovitz is on the new cover of Spanish Esquire.  That’s an awesome Christmas present, and my first Esquire cover as well.

Big thank you’s go out to Redux Pictures (Lori Reese and Jesi Bevis, who tirelessly represent my stock archive and editorial assignments) and Esquire.

Esquire Spain
Editor in chief: Andrés Rodriguez
Creative director: Clara Montagut (her design department runs this great blog / found via CoverJunkie.com)
Photo Editor: Diego Martinez

08
Nov

MiiR / ODW Event and Photography Show

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Events

For those of you who attended the MiiR / ODW event this past summer, and had the time of your life, you can now relive every moment through pictures, and watch the documentary Beyond the Bottle which we screened that night.  It’s all right here in this post.  If you weren’t able to attend, you can still look too… just don’t expect to find yourself in the pictures.   If you didn’t attend and are really mad at yourself for missing it, ROAD TRIP!  We are doing it again this coming Saturday, November 12, in good ol’ Boise, Idaho.  Here are the event details and location.

I will be showing my Liberia prints again, as well as doing a silent auction.  The goal is to raise money and awareness for the ODW Horn of Africa Relief Fund.  There will be food, drinks, beats by DJ Domestic, and a screening of the documentary Beyond The Bottle, which I recommend watching if you want to find out more about the clean water crisis.  Hope to see you there.

The following event photos are by my good friends Gabe and Ashley Rodriguez, who are living legends and one of Seattle’s top power couples.  A very big thank you goes out to them for documenting this incredible night. Check out Ashley’s recipe and photography blog Not Without Salt, and Gabe’s photography site GabrielBoone.

John Keatley and Ian Goode.

02
Oct

John McKay Seattle Weekly Cover

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

John McKay on the cover of Seattle Weekly. Photo by John Keatley.

This is the cover of the current Seattle Weekly featuring my portrait of John McKay.  We had some difficulties scheduling this one, and it went right down to the wire.  Thankfully we were able to get some time with John the night before the issue went to press.  I really like this picture.  It is a simple portrait, but there is so much about it that makes it fun to look at.  His eyes are bright and focused, as if he is looking right at you.  One eyebrow is slightly raised giving him a a strong sense of confidence, and maybe even a bit of mischeviousness.  The subtle tilt of his head, and parted lips seem like he is either about to say something profound, or even start laughing.  I never get tired of photographing people, and I love that I learn something new about expression, emotion, trust, interaction, light, and timing every time I take a picture.  As much as I always feel the need to try something different, I don’t think I will ever get tired of photographing faces, because there is always something new to see and learn.

You can read the corresponding story on the Seattle Weekly website here.

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

17
Jul

2011 PDN Faces

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Awards, Editorial Work, Personal Work

The 2011 PDN Faces issue is out, and Plants Vs. Zombies is a winner in the Celebrity/Editorial Portraits category.  My Liberia series also won, under the Environmental Portraiture category.  Last year, my portrait of Annie Leibovitz was the feature image in PDN Faces.  It’s a thrill to have my work included in the contest again.  Last July through April of this year felt like I was going at 200 mph non stop, and it’s nice to be able to slow down a little bit in the summer and reflect back on the work I have done this past year.  It is even more satisfying to have that work recognized by the various contests I have won recently.  Now it’s time to get busy again.  Lots to do and look forward to.  The new Keatley office project, the 2011 Christmas photo, some new video projects, and hopefully more fun work as well.  I just finished a short video about my experience in Liberia this past January, and I will post it shortly (tonight).  I think you will like it.

Side note: Co-founder of PopCap Games, John Vechey (pictured above) trumped my award just a little when PopCap was acquired by Electronic Arts for $1.3 billion,  just days after the PDN award became public.  Congrats John.  Dolla dolla bills, y’all.  I like to think the awards for this picture is what pushed EA to pull the trigger.  Not that I am surprised, because just days after I photographed TechCrunch founder and CEO Michael Arrington in his home, TechCrunch was purchased by AOL for $30 million.  You seeing a pattern here?  I can’t legally promise companies will throw millions of dollars at you after I take your picture, but…  Hey, that could make a great promo.

The list of this years Faces winners is on the official contest website.  I haven’t had a chance to see the issue in person yet, but I am looking forward to sitting down with it.

06
Jul

2011 Px3 Photography Competition

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Awards

2011 Px3 photography competition winning images by John Keatley.

It’s an embarrassment of riches!  I am especially proud of the work I created over this past year, and it is an honor to have that work recognized by the international photography competition ”Prix de la Photographie, Paris” (Px3).  This is my first time in the international game, and all 5 of the images above were selected as well as 2 honorable mentions.

From left to right:

Luke Burbank, host of Too Beautiful To Live for Seattle Met.  Art Director Benjamen Purvis.
Dennis Haysbert for Seattle Met.
Keli Carender, founder of the Tea Party political movement for Seattle Met.  Art Director Benjamen Purvis.
Plants Vs. Zombies / John Vechey, co-founder of Pop Cap Games for Inc.  Photo Editor Monique Perreault.
The Keatley Family 2010.  Personal work / self promotion.

29
Jun

2011 Communication Arts Photography Annual

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Awards

Portrait of Tea Party founder Keli Carender by photographer John Keatley.

Hooray!  My portrait of the Tea Party founder, Keli Carender was selected in the 2011 Communication Arts Photography Annual, and can be seen on page 126.  There is some incredible photography in the annual this year, and I am thrilled to have my photography included in the collection.  166 winning projects were selected from 5520 entries.  What an honor!

I thought it would be awesome to portray Keli as someone from the Revolutionary War Era, and I worked with art director Benjamen Purvis at Seattle Met to make it happen.  I also wrote about Keli and this shoot in a previous blog post if you want to find out more.

20
Jun

Howard Schultz Portraits

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

Howard Schultz photograph by John Keatley

Howard Schultz headshot portrait by John Keatley

This has been a big year for Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks.  There has been a new company logo, the 40th anniversary of Starbucks, and Howard’s new #1 bestseller book Onward, which I shot the author portrait for as well as some pictures inside the book.  I have been keeping pretty busy photographing Howard over the past few months with everything that is going on.  Some of the images have not been released yet, but one of my favorite assignments which I can show was for The Sunday Times Magazine.  I got some great shots from this one, including this 2-page spread, and the headshot outtake.  You can click on the spread to get a closer look if you are interested.   To get the expression, I sang several songs from The Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach which I think everyone enjoyed quite a bit.  It seemed to be going well at first, but then I got distracted somewhere around Act 2 while trying to adjust my camera focus and my pitch went slightly off.  I will admit it was not my finest moment, and clearly some in the room were not impressed.  Nonetheless, my off key falsetto created a nice expression which went along perfectly with what the magazine was looking for.  Despite the successful outcome, that will most likely be the last time I ever sing at a photo shoot.