21
Aug

Not Your Mother’s Peaches

Posted by Izzy / Filed under Editorial Work

Some might find it ironic and nostalgic (our favorite hipster description as of late around here), others might simply call it a way of life — call it what you like, the artisan food movement is BIG, and if you don’t keep on your toes, you might fall behind.  One week mushroom foraging is the trendiest of trendy, the next week it’s goat farming and cheesemaking.  We got a real kick out of this lately when John shot the Seattle Weekly cover story highlighting (and kind of poking fun) at the whole phenomenon.

Apparently my ‘hipster-esque’ kitchen fit the bill location-wise, and the next thing you know we were all jammed in there dumping large cans of Safeway peaches into Mason jars prepping for the shoot – slightly ironic, slightly nostalgic, and downright hilarious.  The photos of this began as outtakes, and actually turned out being what they ran with.  The model in her kitsch Anthropology apron, can in hand, and the rest of us just out of the frame in stitches.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the whole slow and local food movement is awesome, and to prove it, here is the pickle recipe I can’t wait to take a stab at (courtesy of a childhood friend who has recently made some great waves in the food world with her super legit food blog).  Thanks Anna, and especially thanks to Seattle Weekly Art Director Jane Sherman and all of the great folks over at Seattle Weekly!  We can’t wait to do it again soon.  As always, gigantic thanks to Gigantic Squid for retouching.

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.

13
Sep

Henry Seattle Weekly Cover

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

Mural painter Henry photographed by John Keatley for the cover of Seattle Weekly.

I photographed Ryan Henry Ward for the cover of the current Seattle Weekly.  It looks really beautiful in print if you are in Seattle and are able to track down a copy.  There is something about the rough matte newsprint, muted colors, and heavy contrast that really makes this image stand out.  As the copy indicates, if you live in Seattle, or even visited recently, you have probably come across at least one of Henry’s colorful murals which are spread across the city.  He just finished his 120th mural in the last 3 years.  He has also sold over 2,000 canvases, which is impressive, but even more so when you hear he has only been painting full time since 2008.

Henry signs all of his murals with a big “Henry” in black on a white circle.  It’s hard to miss, and most likely a big part of his success and brand recognition.  Since his work is mostly cartoon-like animals, I thought it would be fun to photograph him in costume as if he were one of his creatures.  My art director, Boo Davis, came up huge in finding this narwhal costume, and big thanks to Henry for being willing to go along with this idea.  It took some warming up to the idea on his part, but I think it turned out fantastic.  The horn was a little problematic, and made the shoot take about twice as long as it needed to, but he was really patient and made it work.  You can read the article about Henry on the Seattle Weekly website.

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.

12
Jul

Medical Marijuana Pusher

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Tear Sheets

Medical marijuana leader Steve Sarich on the cover of Seattle Weekly.  Photo by photographer John Keatley

Medical marijuana grower Steve Sarich in his bedroom.  Photo by John Keatley.

Pot plants.  Photo by John Keatley.

Seattle Weekly gave me a call last month with a cover story, and it was so intriguing and different from what I am used to, I couldn’t pass it up.  The subject is Steve Sarich, and it is going to be very difficult to give good description of him without going on for several pages.  Fifty-nine years old, former Penthouse photographer, used to date Anna Nicole Smith, currently dating a 20 year old aspiring model, medical marijuana grower and seller, and he is surrounded by an entourage of young “volunteers” in their 20′s and 30′s, including a personal cook who is really good!  I photographed Steve at his new home in the foothills about 40 minutes outside of Seattle.  He moved there after a home invasion at his previous residence, where he was sprayed by a shotgun blast just before he shot one of the intruders.

When I arrived at his home, I was greeted by a large pit bull and I honestly thought it was over.  I may have thrown my hands high in the air and yelled something.  Not really sure what holding my hands above my head would have accomplished had I been attacked.  Then, I was mistaken for a “patient” and presented with some options.  After quickly explaining I was the photographer and not a patient, I was introduced to Steve and got a tour of the compound.  I know there are some new laws and marijuana is legal with a prescription, but apparently it is legal to grow and sell it now, too.  Growing up with the understanding that marijuana is an illegal drug is a hard concept for me to shake.  All through the day I found myself wondering, “Could I get arrested if this place gets raided right now?”  Not to mention, guns make me a little uncomfortable.

“Marijuana’s never been on a path to greater acceptance than it is now. But to Steve Sarich, the change just isn’t coming fast enough. With his guns, brash manner, and retinue of followers who look too young and healthy to be in need of weed, Sarich is the enfant terrible of Washington’s medical marijuana movement.

Sarich doesn’t exactly shy away from confrontation. Where many activists believe that a quiet, non-profit model of providing pot to patients will keep them in the good graces of legislators and law enforcement, Sarich’s vertically-integrated enterprise has unabashedly mixed medical clinics with pot brownie sales, and scoffed at the legal limit on plants. And sent taunting emails to cops while he does it.” – Nina Shapiro, Seattle Weekly

The cover shot is a perfect example of his brash attitude and confidence.  I asked him if he had a particular strain he wanted to hold and his eyes lit up.  He had just created a new strain of pot and named it “Alloway 420″.  Roy Alloway was a Bremerton drug cop who is notorious for his aggressive tactics.  He retired shortly after this issue came out, but I’m sure his retirement had nothing to do with this story.

Pretty crazy stuff.  If you want to read more, it’s long, but it is an interesting article about Steve and medical marijuana.

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