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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.

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18
Jul

Business Adventures with Bill Gates

Posted by / Filed under Editorial Work, CELEBRITY

Portrait of Bill Gates with Business Adventures. By photographer John Keatley.

It has been a while since I have blogged by the look of things.  No, I am not getting lazy, or losing my edge.  It is just that I am coming off of a 2 month long video project working 18 hour days, 7 days a week.  Holy smokes!  Somehow I was also able to sneak in a few quick photo assignments where time permitted.  One of my most recent shoots was for the Wall Street Journal who called me to photograph Bill Gates with his favorite business book, “Business Adventures” by John Brooks.  Needless to say, thanks to Bill, this relatively unknown book is now a New York Times Bestseller.  It’s a really interesting read, and you can read the Wall Street Journal article here as well as watch a video about Business Adventures and John Brooks.

The copy of “Business Adventures” Bill is holding in this picture is the actual book Warren Buffet sent him 23 years ago.  You can see from the wear on the dust jacket, it has seen some use over the years.  Pretty fun assignment.  Thanks Ronnie!

Behind the scenes photograph by Olivia Lazer.

11
Oct

Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings

Posted by / Filed under Editorial Work, CELEBRITY

Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings for Time Magazine.  Photo by John Keatley.

Jeopardy champion, author, and all around hilarious guy Ken Jennings for Time Magazine.  I don’t want to brag, but I may have stumped him on the pixel count of my Hasselblad H3D…

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