Loading...
30
Jun

Con Man

Posted by / Filed under Personal Work

Con Man. The many faces of Howard Cogitz.

Identity is an interesting thing.  We dress and decorate ourselves to convey a message to others, communicating to them with intentionality or not  “this is what I want you to think about who I am.”  What is interesting about this, though, is that most people don’t interpret our message the way we intend.  Our identity and the opinions of others are inextricably linked together, for better or worse. Our identity forms opinions.  Others opinions mold and form our identity.   
Identity is something I have been thinking about a lot over the last several years as I try to understand more about myself, and how I view others.  In 2015, I created a portrait series called Members Only, where I styled 13 people to look exactly the same.  Once I finished that series, I wanted to explore multiple identities in a single person, and wondered what was the extent of the range of a single human face.   In a portrait, visually, how much can one person change?  With that, I give you Con Man.

Con Man. The many faces of Howard Cogitz by John Keatley.

Con Man. The many faces of Howard Cogitz by John Keatley.

Con Man. The many faces of Howard Cogitz by John Keatley.

Con Man. The many faces of Howard Cogitz by John Keatley.

Con Man. The many faces of Howard Cogitz by John Keatley.

Con Man. The many faces of Howard Cogitz by John Keatley.

Con Man. The many faces of Howard Cogitz by John Keatley.

Howard Cogitz is one of the most prolific American con men of the 20th century.  His first known con was in 1958 while running a fake real estate development company in Florida.  At best count, he walked away with over 3 million dollars from nearly 16 individuals and families.

In 1963 he spread out, with known ties to Las Vegas, New York, and San Francisco.  It seems he may have primarily lived in Florida under many different aliases, which indicates he may have originally been from there.  His main game was to create fake corporations in the real estate business and offer investment opportunities to people beginning to think about retirement.  His work can be traced from 1958 to 1971 when all signs of him vanished.  He was never caught or arrested, although there is record of him receiving a traffic ticket for speeding in Los Angeles during 1964 under the name Charles Barber.


Below are some behind the scenes pictures for those of you who like to see how things are made.  A very big thank you to Jennifer Popochock, Alexis Steinman, Brian Kirk, Viktor Fejes, Duffy De Armas, my wife Nichelle, and Peter Hanson.  Behind the scenes pictures by Peter Hanson.  I feel like this is just the start of something pretty exciting.

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_3766

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_3827

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_3844

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_3859

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_3884

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_3901

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_3907

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_3941

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_4017

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_4032

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_4080

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_4095

John_Keatley_Con_Man_BTS_4117

23
Sep

Members Only Club

Posted by / Filed under Personal Work

I have always been fascinated by faces.  Throughout my career, faces are what I gravitate toward.  But there have been many voices, external and internal, telling me to pull back and show more than just a face.  “You can’t just shoot portraits” the voices said.  I have experienced different periods of time where I have moved away from portraits, or at least tried to.  My general curiosities as an artist have taken me in other directions at times also, not to just make this all about a mental struggle.  I have explored environmental editorial portraiture, conceptual advertising (which I do enjoy), and many other types of photography.  Trying these other kinds of photography have allowed me to figure out what I don’t want to do, and at the same time hone my passion for the things I do want to do.  In that sense, I do not regret these periods of exploration.  If anything, this process has given me even more freedom and confidence to do what I want to do now.  This is the first time in my career that I finally feel like I have figured it out, so to speak.  I have rediscovered what I am most passionate about and what I must do, create the portraits that fill my head day and night.  I am filled with a whole new sense of excitement and creativity that I have never experienced before.  This project means so much to me, and I am excited where it is already leading me as an artist.

Thank you to my good friends, Cal, Ian, and the entire Wexley School For Girls family.

Hair and Makeup by Jennifer Popochock and Nancy Leonardi
Styling by Alexis Steniman
Retouching by Viktor Fejes
Digital Tech Lonnie Webb

11
Feb

Ohhh Wallace

Posted by / Filed under Personal Work

Portrait of a dog called Wallace by photographer John Keatley.

A little over a year ago I got an assignment for VIV Magazine to photograph a service dog named Radar and his boy who has autism.  To be perfectly honest, I didn’t think much about the images after I wrapped up the assignment.  Several months later, I revisited the images with fresh eyes, and 2 of the portraits of Radar jumped out at me immediately.  There was something very human like about his expressions and how he was coming across in the portraits.  It looked like I photographed him in the middle of a conversation.  This got me thinking about some new ideas, and lately I have found myself photographing dogs in a way that makes them seem more human than animal.  It’s been a fun process, and today I thought I would share one of my recent favorites from my adventures with dogs.  Say hello to Wallace the French Bulldog.  How perfect is that name.  Wallace.  I love it.

On a personal side note, as a kid, I really wanted to be a dog trainer.  I have always loved dog’s, but at some point in my life, I liked them so much I wanted to work with them for a career.  Looking back now, I suppose it is only fitting that I now find myself working with dogs, and thoroughly enjoying it.  And if you ever find yourself at our studio, ask me about the silly tricks Oliver, our small Pomeranian can do.

25
Jan

Vintage Diver Portraits

Posted by / Filed under Personal Work

Vintage female diver portrait by photographer John Keatley.

Vintage male diver portrait by photographer John Keatley.

I’ve been shooting a lot of personal work lately in between assignments and ad campaigns.  It’s been making life feel pretty busy, but there is nothing more exciting in my job than seeing a personal concept go from an idea to a finished image(s).  There are a lot of ideas I want to make happen this year, so I hope this is just the beginning.  As a side note, I have become really interested in mid-century modern design and the modern era, and that has had a big influence on my personal work.  I love how these images turned out.  Thanks for taking a look!

Retouching by Gigantic Squid.

18
Jan

Macklemore Rockin’ The Thrift Shop Fur

Posted by / Filed under Personal Work, CELEBRITY

Macklemore portrait. Photo by John Keatley
© John Keatley

“What you know ‘bout rockin’ the wolf on your noggin
What you knowin’ about wearing a fur fox skin” – Macklemore

What a fun shoot!  I had the chance to work with Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) and Ryan Lewis 2 days before their new album “The Heist” came out and they headed out on tour.  It was an incredible day, and some amazing images resulted.  This being my favorite image.  I think…  Ahh, I don’t know, there are so many I like.  Yeah, this is my favorite.  Big congrats to the guys on Thrift Shop going platinum, as well as the incredible success they are having in general.  You guys are making Seattle proud for sure.  If you haven’t already heard The Heist, you should definitly check it out.  One of the best albums to come along in a while, and obviously the music story of the year.  I’m a fan.

I’ll post more images from this shoot when I can in the near future hopefully.  For now, I’ll leave you with this.  Represent!

03
Jan

Diver In The Desert

Posted by / Filed under Personal Work

Diver In The Desert by photographer John Keatley.

Happy New Year!  2012 was a great year for me, and as fun as it was, I am looking forward to 2013 even more so.  This is one of the many projects I was working on last year, flying down to Death Valley for a week, as well as trips to the Salton Sea and Apple Valley, California.  This image is part of an on going project I have tentatively titled Divers In The Desert.  I hope you like it.  I have been dreaming about this image for a few years, so to see it come to life is a really exciting process and feeling for me.  I would not have been able to do it without the help of many wonderful people.  Izzy Atwood.  I really can’t say enough about the work she does.  Laura James, who helped us source some beautiful vintage diving suits and gear.  You would not believe how difficult and time consuming it was to get some of the gear we worked with.  This suit took about 10 months to come up with, and Laura hung in there with us the whole way through.  Ian Goode and the fine folks at Gigantic Squid who make my pictures and visions come together to make pure magic.

I first became curious about landscapes a couple of years ago when I shot my Falling Bodies series.  That work was definitely part of my influence in creating this project, and I’m excited to see how it evolves from here.  Rather than wait until this entire project is finished, I thought I would just share the work as it is complete.  So here is to creating work we are excited about, and here is to creating great work in 2013.

If you like this image, you can buy a print in our new online shop for as low as $20.  Thanks for your interest and for stopping by!  I hope the new year is starting out great for you!

03
Mar

Some New iPhone Portraits

Posted by / 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.

10
Dec

What A Bunch Of Lazy Pelicans

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

Every year I get more and more excited to create and show our annual family picture.  It’s hard to believe this is the 4th year we have done this!  Each year has felt like a different process, and the one comment I get more than anything else is, “Where do you come up with this stuff?”  I like how the concept for this year’s picture came about, and thought it would be fun to share the story with you.

This fall, our family vacationed on the Washington coast for a week, which was pretty amazing. On a number of days, we noticed there were hundreds of pelicans and seagulls standing on the beach, staring out at the ocean for up to 7 hours at a time it seemed.  Not that I was timing them or anything.  I had better things to do than worry about how long birds stayed on the beach.  But seriously, get a job you lazy birds.  Nobody could figure out what the heck they were doing out there just staring at the ocean.  One day I went for a long walk on the beach.  Every once in a while a wave would wash over a sand dune, and these tiny fish would get beached for a few seconds until the next wave washed over and they swam away.  After seeing that, I’m guessing those lazy birds were just sitting on the beach, waiting for a free lunch.  The pelican equivalent of day drinking panhandlers.

On the last day of vacation, I got it in my head that I wanted to create an image with a bunch of birds in it.  As much as I had grown to resent their laziness and lack of drive, I took my camera down to the beach with my sister, and tried to sneak up as close as possible to get some pictures.  Well, aside from being extremely lazy, these pelicans are also very cynical with some serious trust issues.  I don’t know if I could get closer than 75 feet to them without every single bird flying away.  Talk about bird issues…

Our daughter Isla does this really cute thing, where she puts her hands out in front of her like a T-Rex, and bobs up and down while she takes big steps toward the person she is going to “scare”.  My sister joked that it was too bad we didn’t have a pelican costume for Isla, so she could sneak up and get closer to the birds.  That was it.  The clouds opened up, I heard angels singing, and I saw God smiling at me.  Thanks to my brilliant sister, Allison, I knew what had to be done for the 2012 Keatley Family Picture.  With a new focus and determination like never before, I came up with all kinds of tactics to get the lazy birds to fly in all different directions, and I shot about 1,000 images of birds for the next 30 minutes or so.

Once back home, I began researching costumes and decided I wanted them to look frumpy and not very realistic.  The idea was not to make us look like actual pelicans, but that it would be overly obvious we were in these sad costumes, which at least some of us did not want to be in.

I would like to thank my family for putting up with the things I ask them to do and wear for these pictures.  Isla, I swear you will thank me in 20 or 30 years.  Thanks to my sister,Allison, and her husband, Simon, for helping me chase and herd birds on the beach like a bunch of crazy people.  Thanks to Nichelle’s mom, Denise, for making the perfectly frumpy costumes, and thanks to one of my best friends Ian Goode, from Gigantic Squid, who made the retouching magic happen.  Thank you for your interest in my work, it’s a blessing to get to do this for a living.  Until next time, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all.  Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

Below is a little collection of images from this project.  The first group of beach and bird pictures are a few of the images used to create the environment.  The second grouping is a little behind the scenes look at the human / pelican studio shoot, and the final group contains some of my favorite outtakes that didn’t make the cut.  Enjoy.

13
Feb

The Family That Goes To Jail Together…

Posted by / Filed under Keatley Christmas, Personal Work

Well, you know what they say.  The family that get’s into an altercation with a 65 year old lady with big hair from Texas because she cut in line in front of us at the Nordstrom Santa photo booth together, stays together.  And apparently goes to jail together too.  I’ll admit this is all a bit embarrassing, but as you can see, we were a little tied up so to speak this last Christmas.  Not exactly how we envisioned spending the Holidays, but thankfully everything got cleared up and we are now back home.  I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to do our annual family picture this year, but thankfully one of the guards took this for us, and it turned out pretty good.  It is a part of our story now, so why pretend it didn’t happen I guess.

Oh, and is it too late to say Happy New Year?  Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you enjoy the new Keatley Family Picture.  And some of you thought we weren’t going to do one this year.  Please!

And one more thing.  If anyone want’s to help me pick up trash on the side of I-90 between Issaquah and Bend for the next 6 months, give a holler.  I would love your help.

30
Jan

The Matador From Florida

Posted by / Filed under Personal Work

My rep asked me to come up with an image for a valentines day promo this year and the assignment was to interpret the color red.  I had the option of using an image from my archive, or I could shoot something new.  I love excuses to create new work, so of course I jumped at the opportunity.  Assignments like this are great because I enjoy having some sense of structure, or a goal, but it also allows your imagination to run wild by leaving things open.  Taylor and I had some fun brainstorming sessions over this, and our ideas were all over the place.  As usually happens with my personal work, we landed on one idea, and then the more we talked about it, the idea began to shift and change until we got here.  Going into the shoot, the idea was to shoot a different angle, but when working with bulls or other crazy animals, there is an element of taking what they give you.  I really didn’t want them to give me the horns so to speak…  Plus I realized while shooting that I liked this angle better anyway.  As much as we plan everything out, it’s always good to try to stay open to changes and improvements that come up along the way.

This shoot came a few weeks after working with Kodiak bears, and surprisingly enough, I was more scared of the bulls.  Almost terrified even.  It didn’t help matters that the rancher we were working with told me horror stories of people being disfigured and killed by bulls for about 15 minutes before he said, “Well, why don’t we hop in.” Sounds good.  Let’s jump a fence into a field of bulls.  Why am I doing this again?

So there you have it.  This was a really fun project from beginning to end.  Big thanks to Ryan Cleary on the beautiful retouching work as well.  Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoy the image.

error: