20
Mar

Don’t Talk To The Cops for City Arts

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

Don't Talk To The Cops shot for the cover of City Arts by photographer John Keatley.

For those of you who are fellow Seattlites, you may have noticed City Arts has been gaining great momentum as the go-to arts publication around town.  They have been doing a great job covering culture, art, and music, and are not afraid of going out on a creative limb so-to-speak, to bring their audience something fresh and original.  I got to shoot the Seattle based hip hop group Don’t Talk To The Cops for the cover of the March issue.  This was a really fun shoot, and I was excited to get to throw in a slight nod to those amazing laser portrait backgrounds we all coveted back in the 80′s.  I think the hardest part was picking out the right turtleneck and NFL game day jacket.  After that was decided, it was smooth sailing and a lot of laughing.  I can’t say I’ve made it through the article exposing bubble tea, but the cover image is certainly reason enough for picking it up :) (not to mention it’s free).

Big thanks to Art director Dan Paulus, editor in chief Leah Baltus, and Don’t Talk To The Cops.  This shoot was a fun collaboration of talking through ideas and inspirations with Dan and Leah, and I love how it turned out.  I met Dan and Leah for the first time, when I was photographed as part of the City Arts Future List late last year.  Retouching by Gigantic Squid.

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.

07
Feb

Preparing For The Philippines

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News

As you may know, last January I traveled to Liberia with a team from MiiR to document the clean water wells they are funding in areas that don’t have access to safe water.  It was an incredible experience for many reasons, but it also opened my eyes to a much bigger world than the one I live in on a typical day.  A lot has gone on and been discussed in the past year since I went on that trip, and one of the many things I came away with was a newfound excitement and desire to help educate and inspire others to bring about positive change by using the unique gifts we all possess.  I really love the work I get to create as a commercial photographer, and I find myself laughing a lot which is such a blessing.  But because of my experience in Liberia, I have decided that I want to be about something much bigger than myself.  I want my brand to be something people not only associate with creative photography and portraits, but also with a love for justice and for others.  I am still processing what this all means, and how it will play out, but one thing I know is that I would like to be involved in at least one campaign per year where I can help tell a story that needs to be heard.  I want to be a voice for the voiceless, and help those who can’t help themselves. Even though my efforts have been focused on overseas projects so far, I believe there are stories and challenges right here in Seattle that need to be brought to our attention as well.  I think there is something to be said about traveling overseas, and getting out of ones comfort zone though.  It is good to experience new challenges and different cultures, but I hope to also find stories to be involved with in the States at some point also.  Unfortunately, the story I am going to document in the Philippines is also a serious problem right here in Seattle.

That being said, at the end of the month, I will be traveling to the Philippines with an organization called Arts Aftercare.  It is a nonprofit bringing the arts to survivors of slavery, which was started by my college friends Curtis and Grace Romjue.  The purpose of the trip is to train care workers in a new art therapy curriculum which will be introduced to survivors of sexual slavery.  I will be photographing survivors, youth advocates, and trying to tell the story of what life is like for people who are trapped in slavery, as well as those who have been freed.  Thankfully, I will be traveling with my good friend and filmmaker Eric Becker who will be telling the same story through video.  It will be a collaborative effort, and I am really excited to start working on this so we can shine a light in the dark places of the world.  I was shocked to recently find out that modern day slavery is a bigger problem today than slavery has ever been in the history of the world.  What’s even worse is that not only are many of the slaves children, but they are forced into sex 10 to 20 times a day.

A friend of mine emailed me me a video this morning about a girl who had been sold by her mother into sexual slavery.  I could only watch about 2 minutes of it before I turned it off.  This sucks.  I hate reading about this stuff, and it is beyond sad.  What is wrong with people? is the question I find myself repeating over and over.  I leave in less than a month, and I thought I should start writing about my thoughts as this assignment approaches.  My hope is that some of you will be inspired to take action, and in turn tell your personal network about the work that needs to be done.  I also feel like I need to do what I can to prepare myself for what I will be confronted with.  As my wife reminded me today, I tend to cover my ears and walk out of the room when I hear her nurse friends talking about something that makes me queazy.  I guess if I am being honest, I like to be comfortable, and I don’t like to be burdened.  Not really the best way to live life, as nobody ever said life was meant to be comfortable.  I also feel like you never know what is possible until you put something out there.

I know there are many of you who are already involved in fighting modern day slavery through organizations like International Justice Mission and others.  My hope is that by sharing this, some of you may feel inclined to help fight for justice by giving of your unique gifts.  Maybe you are a medical worker, a writer, a teacher…  The possibilities are endless.  We are also still looking for funding for a portion of this trip, so there is also a financial need at this point.  If you are interested in becoming involved, you can write me (john@keatleyphoto.com) or Curtis Romjue (curtis@artsaftercare.org / www.artsaftercare.org).  You can donate through the Arts Aftercare donation page and mention this trip in the comment field aftercare.org/donate.  If you have any experience with social justice, or working around such a heavy situation, I would love to hear from you.  It’s going to be a difficult trip, and I know I am going to need help and encouragement.

Thanks for reading.  I hope to share more about this soon.

01
Feb

January Links

Posted by Izzy / Filed under Press & Interviews, Review

Is January already over? Somebody pinch me, this cannot be real! It has been an exciting month in the Keatley offices, and it looks like it is only going to get better from here! Last month John proved to be a very popular guy around town, with many great blog and editorial mentions regarding his work throughout last year. Some of the more notable ones, well worth a read are the City Arts feature that you can see here, and the interview Mull it Over did, seen here. Very exciting.

In addition to John’s photography getting some great attention, the blog has too. Photoshelter’s 2011 round-up gave mentions of the blog, one for John’s VSCO Film review, and the other for the ever-popular Christmas photo and Woodsman short film that accompanied it. If you haven’t watched it yet, do, and if you’ve already seen it, you probably want to again so, here’s the link.

Plenty more great projects in the works, so stay tuned!

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.

03
Dec

We Are Hiring A Marketing Director

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News

12/23/2011 UPDATE: The position has been filled.  Thank you so much to everyone who helped spread the word and for your interest.  Merry Christmas.

We are looking to hire a marketing director, and I thought I would post the job listing here in case any of you are interested, or know anyone who may be qualified and interested.  The requirements and application process are described below.  Thanks in advance for your interest, and for passing this along.

Location: Currently we operate out of a small home office in West Seattle, but construction of a new West Seattle studio is underway and near completion.

About us: We are a commercial photography business that focuses on editorial and advertising photography, both locally and nationally. Our business has steadily grown over the past ten years, and the photographer has been recognized by multiple national and international contests and awards.  He has photographed Fortune 500 CEO’s, National bestselling book covers, and many celebrities.  His work has appeared in Time, Wired, Forbes, Inc., Fast Company, and Glamour to name a few.  We consist of one full-time photographer, a part-time office manager, and frequently work with freelance artists on a per-project basis.

About you: We are looking for a business-minded individual who is passionate about marketing, social media, and networking, who wants to make your mark on a business and help it grow.  Skills that are required for this job: self-motivated/driven, detail-oriented, organized, relational, flexible, an appreciation for creativity, and a sense of humor.  While this job will start as a part-time position (20-25 hours a week), through your efforts and tireless pursuit, the position can grow to full-time.  Your job duties will immediately include establishing a yearly marketing plan, managing the blog and social media, developing relationships with current and prospective clients and sponsors, handling press inquiries, and scheduling speaking engagements.
Are you the person at a Christmas party who can walk up to someone you don’t know and have an interesting conversation?  Then you would be our ideal candidate, someone who is great with people, and can make a great first impression.
Are you the person who can persuade a vacation rental owner with a no-pet policy to allow you to bring your pet?  Then we need you, because your strong communication skills and persistence will help us achieve and even exceed our goals.
Are you the first among your friends to get the flu shot when winter approaches?  Then you are the person we are looking for, who is always ahead of the curve and has gotten things done before others even realize it needs to be done.

You will be a key contributor and play a pivotal role in determining the direction and the success of this business.  This job has tremendous growth potential, and we hope great personal satisfaction.

Qualifications:
College degree required
At least one year of marketing experience (internships included).  However, if you blow us away with your resume, application, or interview, we would be willing to look past this.
Must be flexible and a hard worker
No third party agencies/recruiters

How to Apply:
Respond to this ad with an email containing your resume (inline or attached as a PDF) and cover letter.  Also, answer three (3) of the following four (4) questions in your response (your pick).  A short paragraph on each should be sufficient.  All inquiries will be replied to and kept in confidence.
1. We are big believers that details make all the difference.  Tell us a couple details about your car (or the bus if that’s how you roll) that you especially like or dislike.  And then tell us what you would do differently if you ran Ford or Metro King County Transit.
2. A new bakery opened up in your neighborhood three weeks ago, but nobody is going to it.  If you were the owner, describe what you would do to attract customers, and keep them coming back.
3. What do you like about Arrested Development, and give us your opinion on why it was cancelled.
4. List two statements, rules, or principals that you have found invaluable in your life/work experience, explain why they are so important to you, and list examples of when they have applied.

  • Location: West Seattle
  • Compensation: Depends on qualifications – but negotiable
  • This is a part-time job with great potential to become full-time.
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
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

09
Nov

Bill Gates & Dustin Moskovitz for Forbes

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Editorial Work, Lighting Technique

Why are Bill Gates and Dustin Moskovitz, the richest and youngest billionaires in America, laughing?  Let’s just say my joke was so funny, someone bought it, and I no longer have the rights to tell it…  I have wanted to photograph Bill Gates for a long time, and my opportunity finally came around a couple of months ago when Forbes called.  Dustin, is one of the four co-founders of Facebook, and since he is 8 days younger than Mark Zuckerberg, he is the youngest billionaire in the world.  As you would expect, time was extremely limited for this shoot.  We were given one and a half hours to set up the studio shot, and then I would have the first 10 minutes of the interview, and the last 10 minutes of the interview to take pictures.  Immediately after the interview we had 3 minutes for hair and makeup and 7 minutes to photograph both Dustin and Bill.  It was a whirlwind, but I am really happy with how everything turned out, not to mention it was a pretty cool experience to sit in on a conversation with these two.  You can read the Forbes article here.

Here are a couple of shots I took after the shoot of the studio lighting setup.

For the interview image I used a Canon 5D Mark II with an on camera flash which I bounced off a wall to fill in with the natural light coming in from the back windows.  The studio setup was a bit more elaborate, and I used my Hasselblad H3DII-31 Camera with the Hasselblad H 80mm Lens for the portraits.  For lighting, I used two Profoto Giant 150 Silver Reflectors.  One as the key, and one for fill.  The Wescott 45” Umbrella was used to brighten up the right side of the background, and I used two Profoto 1×3 Softboxes as edge lights for the subjects.  A lonely Elinchrom Ranger head on an Elinchrom RX 1100 Watt Battery pack snuck it’s way in, poking out over the top of the seamless as a hair light.  Aside from the Ranger, the Profoto lights were powered by Profoto Acute 2400 watt power supplys, and one Profoto AcuteB2 600Ws AirS LiFe Power Pack.

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.

08
Nov

Backyard Office: Siding and Drywall

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Backyard Office

Things are moving along at a pretty good pace now.  Over the past couple of months, there were a few setbacks which held things up for a while, but it looks like we are in the home stretch at this point.  The last few windows were supposed to arrive today, but didn’t, which was a bit of a bummer.  I felt like a kid at Christmas waiting for those dang windows, but hopefully they will arrive tomorrow.  Maybe Santa got stuck in the chimney or something.  Who knows.  There is actually going to be another window on the front where the large area of wood siding currently is, so once that is in, it will look quite a bit different.

I am really happy with how the wood siding turned out, and I love the stain.  I went to great lengths to find that stain color, and even worked my way onto several construction sites before I finally tracked it down.  It was worth the extra effort though, and turns out it was one of the colors we thought we hated when we were going through small color swatches.

Hopefully the windows will arrive tomorrow, and I will post more pictures when they are in.