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29
Nov

Ballet Meets Burlesque

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

The Nutcracker is a serious holiday tradition here in Seattle.  People seem to get pretty excited about it, and it’s a big deal.  I went to see it with my family several years ago as a Christmas present I believe.  I can’t remember how long ago exactly that was, but then again, I can’t remember much about the Nutcracker either.  I fell asleep…  I guess it was just not my cup of tea.
What’s that?  The Burlesque Nutcracker?  Now that might hold my attention.  It may not be a show grandma and grandpa are going to take you to for Christmas, but at least now I’m intrigued.

City Arts has been doing some really great things in Seattle with the arts for the past few years, and I have enjoyed working with them recently.  For this assignment, I was tasked with photographing classically trained ballet dancer turned burlesque artist, Lily Verlaine.  She is co-producer and Artistic Director of Land Of The Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker.

I had the opportunity to meet with her the day before the shoot to go over wardrobe options, and while we had some great pieces to work with, I wasn’t seeing exactly what I was hoping for.  I briefly described my idea of something that says Burlesque, classy, and Holiday’s at the same without coming off too costume’y, but no luck.  The next day, Lily showed up to the shoot arm in arm with designer Danial Hellman and this beautiful piece that he custom made the night before.  It was exactly what I had described the day before.  Wow!  That never happens.  That’s what you get when you work with professionals.

I really enjoyed showing something a little more sassy and pretty in this shoot, and I think the cover turned out perfectly.  It says Burlesque and Holidays at the same time without being too loud or flashy.

Big thanks to City Arts Art Director Dan Paulus, and Editor in Chief Leah Baltus of City Arts for working with us on this.  Thanks as always to Gigantic Squid for the beautiful color grading and retouching.  Beautiful.

 

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.

02
Feb

John Perkins Book Cover

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Tear Sheets

The book cover of Love Is The Final Fight by John Perkins.  Photo by John Keatley.

A guy could really get used to this whole book cover portrait thing.  It’s exciting to see your work in full bleed on the cover of a book.  No “10 Secrets to Sexy Abs” or “How to Keep The Doughnuts and Loose The Weight” tips plastered all over the cover.  This is my most recent book cover photo, and as you can see, the subject is John Perkins.  I have already written about John on my blog (here), and I have now had the opportunity to work with him on multiple occasions.  Love Is The Final Fight does not come out until August 2010, but the marketing is getting under way now.  John is a great man with an amazing story, and although I have not read this book yet, I would recommend it solely based on what I know about John.

I hope 2010 is starting out with a bang for everyone!

16
Apr

Big Fish In A Bad Economy

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Tear Sheets

Big Fish Games CEO Jeremy Lewis.  Photo by John Keatley

* If you are using a blog reader, you may need to visit my actual blog to see the slide show of outtakes, and just for fun shots.

If I were starting a multi-million dollar company, I would do everything in my power to recruite Jeremy Lewis to run the show.  He was a thrill to work with, and a great guy to boot.  Jeremy is the CEO of Big Fish Games, and I recently photographed him for the May 09 cover of Seattle Business Monthly.

He seems to have found a good balance of taking business very seriously, but at the same time enjoying life with a good sense of humor.  And I think that shows in these pictures.  As further proof, I was intrigued by the fact that he is reading a biography on Charlie Chaplin, and drawing inspiration from Chaplin’s business savvy.  “In both good and bad times, he did the same thing: He made enjoyable, safe, mass-market entertainment at a great value. He was a true business leader for his times.”

It takes a lot of creativity to find business inspiration from such an unlikely source as Charlie Chaplin, but I like that kind of “outside the box” thinking.  Maybe we could send some of that kind of thinking to the Auto and Financial industries.

Big Fish Games is now the leader in “casual games” and they are quickly growing, despite the slumping economy.

“After netting $85 million in revenue and growing by about 70 percent last year, Big Fish doesn’t appear to be slowing down. This January, Lewis says the company’s subscription base grew 111 percent faster than it did in September 2008, when the stock market crashed.”  - Randy Woods and Julie H. Case for Seattle Business Monthly

Click here to read the entire article in Seattle Business about Big Fish Games, and other companies who are thriving despite the economic downturn.