WHAT!!!? That’s right. This is happening. It is with great pride and excitement we invite you to the first ever Keatley Un-Workshop, taking place in beautiful Seattle, WA. We know there are a million different workshops out there that you can go to, but true to the Keatley style we have pushed ourselves to create a photographic learning experience un-like anything you’ve ever imagined. We decided to go all out in every aspect of the Un-Workshop, including set building, tons of gear, gourmet food, an exciting venue, and this amazing limited edition artwork we commissioned Invisible Creature to create for this event. And that’s just the beginning. You can find out much more about this on our new Workshop page, but sign up soon because space is limited. We can’t wait to see you in February!
Posted by Izzy / Filed under BTS
One word sums up the experience of working with the team at the Seattle based ad agency, Wexley School for Girls: AWESOME. The long and short of it, is that these guys and gals are a riot, and life is never dull when working or hanging out with Wexley. They never so much as bat an eyelash when John shows up asking them to take their shirts off, dress up in chicken costumes, sprawl across the baby grand, or any other fantastically strange idea John has thrown at them over the years. Well, actually, not everyone was on board with this concept off the bat, but everyone came around eventually after a good pep talk.
Most business executives need headshots for speaking, press, articles, etc., and the leaders at Wexley are no different. These portraits are of the Wexley senior leadership team. As you can see, not only are they all pretty much topless, but they have Sara Coates and I smashing and manipulating their faces with our hands. At least the men do. The women got a couple of male interns to stand in, and it just so happened to be their first day on the job. It was awesome, and one of those shoots where we were laughing so hard we cried a little. Some people may have cried from awkwardness too, but it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes. Thanks Wexley for being great sports, and for working with us to create such awesome photography. I like to think this kind of work is the stuff that stands the test of time.
These pictures have already received some of the greatest comments on Facebook. It’s almost like a social experiment the way some people are so confused by these portraits. ”They aren’t really going to use those for press are they?” Yes, yes they are.
Here is a quick behind the scenes video of the shoot. Can’t wait to see what happens next time.
Thanks team Wexley, and thanks as always to Gigantic Squid for retouching!
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Personal Work
Can you relate? You wake up in a haze, thinking a cup of coffee will do the trick. Trying to start your day out on the right foot, but instead you get a mouthful of bitter disappointment.
I had several goals pinned on the wall as I began the process of putting together this personal series. Shoot in detailed environments. Experiment with backlight where a light source is visible, or has a prominent role in the image. And finally, have fun with facial expressions. That was the easy part. The hard part was coming up with the concept to make all of the elements come together. Gives you a whole new appreciation for copywriters and art directors!
Thankfully I work with some incredible people, and after some brainstorming, the bad coffee face idea was born.
So how does a personal shoot like this come together? A lot of hard work, and a crew of talented and creative people. The car shoot was the first of the three, and this BTS video by Eric Becker is a good walkthrough of what it all looks like on set.
The second shoot was the kitchen image. Locating and securing the home was by far the most difficult part. After finding and locking in the location, we received a text the night before the shoot, which said it was no longer happening with no explanation. I knew that kitchen was perfect for this shot, so after a lot of leg work and negotiating, we were back on track. There is a certain mindset I feel is invaluable and absolutely necessary to make it as a photographer. Tattoo these phrases on your arm, and never forget them. No excuses, always ask questions, politely don’t take no for an answer, and do whatever it takes to make it work. There is always a solution, no matter what the problems you are faced with. Wrapping your mind around these ideas will help prepare you for the struggles you are guaranteed to face as a photographer on almost a daily basis.
I wrapped this series up with the park bench shot. I scouted several parks in Seattle until I found a bench I really liked. It ended up being in a large forested park, which was a perfect place to shoot. The permit was affordable, and it was a wide open space without crowd’s of people and traffic to worry about. After the shoot with the bench and model, I woke up at sunrise the next day, and shot around an urban neighborhood near downtown Seattle. It is important to make sure the light and angles of the environment match the light on the bench and model so the finished product looks as realistic as possible. I made sure all of the landscape images I shot had the sun in the correct place according to where I placed lights on the model shoot. I also used a tripod so my camera height and angle was the same as it was during the model shoot.
I love working like this because it gives me complete control of the final image without being restricted by certain realities.
Thanks to my awesome crew for helping make this project shine.
Talent: JJ Kissinger, Gabe Rodriguez, Katelyn Price
Production: Elizabeth Atwood
Retouching: Ian Goode / Gigantic Squid
Assistants: Will Foster, Gregg White, Oliver Ludlow
BTS video and stills: Eric Becker
Hair and Makeup: Cara Aeschliman
Wardrobe: Bryan Carle
Thank you’s also go out to Seattle Parks and Rec and Windermere Capitol Hill.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work, Tear Sheets
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.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work
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.
Retouching by Gigantic Squid.
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!
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.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Contest
We just gave away a Vanguard GH-100 Pistol Grip Ball Head, a Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 v2 camera bag, and now we will be wrapping up what I like to call “Second Christmas” by giving away two copies of Visual Supply VSCO Film. For those of you who are not familiar with VSCO Film, it is an incredible film emulator that plugs into Lightroom and ACR to make your digital images look like film. Another benefit of VSCO Film is that it doubles as an incredibly fast workflow for editing your digital images. I wrote about my experience with the emulator a few months back, and you can read my review of VSCO Film here.
All you have to do to enter and win a copy for yourself is ReTweet our contest tweet with #keatley on Twitter, or like AND comment on the contest post on the Keatley Facebook fan page. After that, you are entered to win! One winner from Facebook and Twitter will be randomly selected tomorrow, January 20th at 4pm. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see if you won.
Thanks to everyone for participating this week. It’s been fun hearing from many of you, and even more fun giving some awesome gear away.
Be sure to check out more of the great products from Visual Supply, Think Tank, and Vanguard as well as follow them on Twitter for updates, and new offerings – @VisualSupplyco, @thinkTANKphoto, and @VanguardPhotoUS. Good luck everyone!
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Contest
We just gave away a Vanguard GH-100 Pistol Grip Ball Head, and now it’s time to give this bad boy to some lucky winner. Behold, the Think Tank Urban Disguise 40 v2 camera bag. It’s an awesome camera bag that converts to a messenger style bag with tons of pockets and compartments to store all of your gear. I have been using Think Tank bags and organizers for about a year now, and I am a big fan of many of their products. You can find out more about Think Tank and this bag on the Think Tank website, and be sure to follow Think Tank on Twitter (@thinkTANKphoto). All you have to do to enter is ReTweet our contest tweet with #keatley on Twitter. You will be automatically entered to win! The winner will be randomly selected tomorrow, January 19th at 4pm. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see if you won. We also have 2 more great prizes we will be giving away on Twitter and Facebook tomorrow, so even more reason to check back.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Contest
It’s that time again, we have lots of great photo stuff to give away, so get ready for a week packed with daily contest giveaways! We are going to kick things off with a Vanguard GH-100 Pistol Grip Ball Head, which allows for quick positioning of your camera when using a tripod. You can check out more about it here, and be sure to follow Vanguard’s awesome tweets (@VanguardPhotoUS). All you have to do to enter is ReTweet our contest tweet with #keatley (which is probably why you are here reading this in the first place!). You will be automatically entered to win! The winner will be randomly selected tomorrow, January 18th at 4pm. And be sure to stay tuned, we will be announcing new giveaways throughout this snowy Seattle week.