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.

05
Dec

Merry Christmas From Up In A Tree

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Keatley Christmas, Personal Work

Merry Christmas, everyone.  I hope you are able to look back at 2011 with fond memories, and look forward to 2012 with excitement and anticipation.  That’s how I am feeling right now.

Here is the highly-anticipated 2011 Annual Keatley Christmas picture.  It feels so good to have this one in the can, and to finally get to look at it.  (You can click on the image to get a closer look.)  This year, we are living the good life, up in a tree, because that’s how we roll in the great Pacific Northwest.  Sorry to break it to you, but red flannel is the new cheesy Christmas sweater.  I know, just when you finally got around to planning that sweater party.  It’s not too late to trade ‘em in for flannel and an axe though.

As you may remember, in last years picture, we were with our yeti in the middle of Fargo.  (You can see all three of our Christmas pictures by filtering the posts with the ‘Keatley Christmas’ category.)  It went over pretty well, and because of that, I put a lot of pressure on myself to repeat or even outdo it this year.  Long story short, I over thought the whole idea and couldn’t come up with anything for about 5 months.  This has been a year of great learning and growth for me as a photographer.  I have had some things I had to really wrestle and struggle with for a good part of the year, but in the end, I feel like I came out with a much better perspective and idea of who I want to be as an artist.  It was only after I made some of these realizations that I was able to come up with this idea.  It was a difficult, but worthwhile process, and  I love how this picture turned out.  I think it’s a lot of fun to look at, and something I am really proud of.  Our dog, Oliver, on the other hand, well, he is just glad to be out of the tree.  In hindsight, it is also probably really fortunate that we did the yeti last year, because I can just about guarantee Isla would have passed out from screaming if we tried that this year.  She was so young last year, she didn’t have a clue what was going on.

If lumberjacks and outdoor types sound familiar to some of you, it is probably because of my short promo video, The Woodsman, shot earlier this year.  You can watch it at the bottom of this post.  It is worth pointing out, that lumberjacks and woodsmen are not necessarily a tight knit group, but they have been known to fraternize from time to time.  All that to say, for me, I guess you could call 2011 the year of the lumberjack / woodsman.  Who knows what 2012 will bring.  Stay tuned.

It’s been really fun to hear from so many of you about how you look forward to our annual Christmas picture.  It means a lot to us, and it makes it that much more enjoyable for me to work on knowing how much some of you enjoy these.  I am already looking forward to creating next years.  Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you will like, tweet, or share this if you enjoy it.

Photo Retouching by Gigantic Squid.

22
Nov

Coach Romar

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Editorial Work

Lorenzo Romar with the Dawg Pack.  Photo by John Keatley.

UW men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar holding a giant picture of his face.  Photo by John Keatley.

Portrait of Lorenzo Romar by photographer John Keatley.

Go Huskies!  Ok, so I didn’t go to UW, but my wife did if that counts for anything.  Over the past several years, I have learned to enjoy Husky athletics because of my strong sense of Seattle pride.  I follow the football team a little more closely than the basketball team, but it was still really fun to photograph Lorenzo Romar, the Husky men’s basketball coach.  He is one of those people who commands your respect when he walks into a room, but I also found him to be very kind and personable.  I think a good gauge of success is when strangers carry around giant cardboard pictures of your face.  That’s when you know you have really made it in life.  Something I think all of us should strive for.

How was work today honey?
It was great!
Did you get that promotion they promised you?
No, but my manager did hold up a big cardboard picture of my face at lunch.
Oh, that’s wonderful!  Congratulations honey.
Yeah, it was awesome!

Many of you have asked about editing commercial work with VSCO Film, and how it looks with images lit by strobe.  I busted these images out after I started using VSCO Film, and gave them new life with just a couple of clicks.  All three of these images were lit with strobe, so hopefully this gives you an idea of what is possible.  I think it works just as well with strobe as it does with natural light images.  If you are unfamiliar with VSCO Film, it is a film emulator that plugs into Lightroom or ACR and makes digital images look like film.  Not to mention, it is an incredibly fast alternative to Photoshop actions and other Lightroom presets.  It really is an amazing tool for photographers.  So far I am editing images 10 times faster than I was before, and I am getting better results.  Here is the VSCO Film review I wrote last week.

I used Kodak Portra 400, and Orange Skin Fix + on these images.  You can see a cool video tutorial and find out more about VSCO Film here.

Material Connection Disclosure

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.

01
Oct

New Liberia Images

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

I added a couple of new images to the Liberia section of my website.  Check em out.

21
Sep

I’ve Been Framed

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

Thank you to everyone who wrote in and asked the fine folks at FRAMED to do an interview with me. It was very flattering to get the call to do this, and fun to spend the day with Melissa and the whole crew. I am blown away by what a great job they did with this video from top to bottom. They actually made me look somewhat respectable, which is no small feat.  In about 15 years, when Isla is an unruly teenager, I am going to make her watch this video, and then I will look her in the eyes, and say, “Respect”.

I know that 36 minute ticker may scare some of you, but I got several comments and emails today from people who said they didn’t plan on watching more than three minutes, and ended up getting sucked in and watched the whole thing.  Hopefully that is incentive enough to press play.  Even if you only have time for three minutes.  There are no axes, or wood carving in this video, but there are a couple of pretty funny moments with a (Spoiler Alert!) karate master.  Which reminds me, I am really excited you get to meet some of my creative companions who pop up in the video as well.

As always, thanks so much for your interest and support of my work.  It means a lot to me, and thank you again to FRAMED!

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

10
Jul

Hope Solo

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Editorial Work

USA Women's Soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo photographed by John Keatley.

Congratulations to Hope Solo, the U.S. Women’s goalkeeper and the entire U.S. Women’s team.  I didn’t get to watch the match today, but I hear it was pretty incredible.  They beat Brazil to move on to the Women’s World Cup Semifinals.  It came down to Hope making some great saves including one in a penalty shootout.  Here is a video recap with all of the action.

This image is from a shoot I did with Hope a few years back for Seattle Met.