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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.

07
Feb

Instagram

Posted by / Filed under News

John Keatley rolling on a light stand at a photo shoot.

And that’s pretty much what I do on a typical day.  It’s a good life, with very few complications really.

So there is this new app called Instagram for mobile phones.  Seeing as I do not consider myself an “early adopter” it took me some time to check it out, much less install it on my phone.  Needless to say, it is pretty cool, and I have enjoyed using it this past week.  I never do anything unless I am all in, so it is safe to say, you can follow me on Instagram and expect a steady stream of photos from my adventures with a camera.  There are a lot of funny moments that happen behind the scenes, so that is what I am going to be focusing on with this outlet.  It will be a different view into my world from what I have been showing on the blog, Facebook, and Twitter etc.

You can find and follow me @johnkeatley or www.instagram.com/johnkeatley

Thanks so much, I’ll see ya out there.

03
Mar

New DEDPXL Digital Download

Posted by / Filed under News, BTS

Wow, this is so exciting!  Introducing our new digital download from DEDPXL and Zack Arias.  Ta Da!  I spent 3 days with the DEDPXL crew last Fall filming this video.  We put together some great shoots ranging from simple portraits to some conceptual work with a set build.  This video series takes you through my personal life, career, failures and triumphs and also takes you on-set, behind-the-scenes to see some of my methods, gear and techniques as well as a full day of shooting.  It could not have turned out any better in my opinion.

This short trailer gives you a good idea of what to expect.  Thanks for taking a look. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response.  Head on over to DEDPXL to download the full video now and enjoy!

Huge thank you to Zack Arias and Bernard Brand for all of their hard work on this.  I am really proud, and happy to be a part of it.

13
Feb

Some Thoughts On Business

Posted by / Filed under News

When I first got into photography, I was still in college, desperately trying to figure out what to do with my life.  I wanted some sense of control over whatever it was I was going to do, but that was all I knew.  When I first picked up a camera, it was for no other reason than to take pictures of my friends jumping off swings, and long boarding down the steep 16th fairway at night.  It was something I enjoyed, but I never imagined that it could actually translate into a career.  Thanks to the kind words of a drug store photo lab manager named Kolene Potter, I decided to become a professional photographer.  All I knew is that she said I could be good at it, and that some people make a living taking pictures.  That was all I needed to know, and I never looked back.  The world of photography was completely unknown to me, and from my perspective, there were no limits.  That was what made it so exciting.  The opportunity to explore and experiment.  The thrill of the chase, and trying to figure out just how to make money doing something I enjoyed.

This took place just as digital cameras were coming into existence, and also when I was still finishing up college, so I didn’t have the financial pressures that exist on me today.  Looking back, it was the best possible scenario for me to begin a career in photography.  But not only was the timing right, there were several people who came into my life and gave me amazing advice.  They shared their time and knowledge with me, helped me with my portfolio, and maybe most importantly, taught me how to bid on jobs.  Every one of those lessons and moments has stuck with me, and I will carry that knowledge with me forever.  I never would have had the opportunities I have today if it were not for those generous people.

In 2013, I taught my first workshop.  It was called the Un-Workshop.  We were trying to break the mold and do something a little different.  The first day was filled with marketing and business lessons, numbers, stories, and goals.  It was everything I could think of that has been helpful to me in my career as a freelance artist.  The second day was all about lighting and production, and if I had to guess, I would say a majority of the people who attended were lured by the lighting.  It just sounds way sexier than learning about business.

I have continued to teach the Un-Workshop over the last couple of years, in Dubai and the Bahamas.  It has been a good workshop, but after collecting feedback from over 60 people who have attended, I have come to realize something.  People always comment that they have fun with the shooting and lighting.  But what they really spend time talking about is the business and marketing content.  To hear things like, I keep the workbook on my desk at all times and always refer back to it, and I just landed my biggest client, and I just won a bid on the biggest job of my career, and Business is better than ever...  That feels really good.  There are so many places to learn about lighting these days.  And lighting is really important for a photographer, don’t get me wrong.  But if I can offer information that can change the direction and stability of an artists career, that is what gets me really excited.

I was with a group of professional photographers recently, and I was really struck by the number of times I heard them say things like, “I’m not business-minded”, “I’m a starving artist,” “I just want to create, I don’t want to deal with self promotion…”  I get all that.  Those feelings are totally valid, but it doesn’t have to be like that.  I know artists are not often considered savvy business-people.  It might be a right brain, left brain sort of thing.  But I also happen to know many amazing business people who are also wonderful artists.  I think what seems to be more the case is that artists are never taught about how to run a business.  How to pitch an idea to a potential client.  How to understand the needs of a client or potential client, and what to actually charge for all of the many different services artists provide.  Over time the artist’s creative drive is locked down in trying to understand the nitty gritty, and the excitement begins to fade.

This is why I love teaching, and why my team and I have created a new workshop called “Survival Guide”.  I believe I have a responsibility to pass on what has been given to me over the years, as well as lessons I have learned from my own journey.  I also believe that with a solid plan, and some basic guidance, any artist can learn to thrive and create work they are passionate about.  It doesn’t have to be a big struggle between creating and business.

Find out much more and sign up at our new Survival Guide page.  See you soon.
Oh, and this awesome illustration for our poster was created by Derek Sullivan.  Thanks Derek!

12
Nov

Tonight I Am

Posted by / Filed under BTS, Ad Campaign

Hotel Tonight: Tonight I Am - auto mechanic / spa by John Keatley.

Hotel Tonight: Tonight I Am - subway / surfer by John Keatley.

Hotel Tonight: Tonight I Am - painting / night out by John Keatley.

Hotel Tonight: Tonight I Am - flooded basement / golf by John Keatley.

Hotel Tonight: Tonight I Am - office cube / beach by John Keatley.

Spontaneous getaway anyone?  Yes please!  My team and I got to work closely with the folks at Instagram and Hotel Tonight on this amazing ad campaign called “Tonight I Am“.  Hotel Tonight is a hotel booking app that let’s you book a great hotel from a curated list of hotels in just 3 clicks.  No matter where you are, or what you are doing, you can book a great hotel without spending hours researching and comparing prices.  To show this, we came up with 6 scenarios from daily life, and styled the subject in each scene as if they are already in the place they want to be.  Travel is just 3 clicks away, and mentally they are already there.  The campaign has done really well so far, and has received a lot of great press, including this article by AdWeek.

Big thank you’s to Hotel Tonight and Instagram.  Let’s do it again soon.
The six set’s we shot on were designed and built by Adi Goodrich and her team (we both have the same great rep – Redeye!).  High five!  Retouching by Ryan Cleary.

Behind the scenes pictures by Olivia Lazer and Taylor Reed.

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.

05
Nov

Food Lifeline Campaign

Posted by / Filed under Ad Campaign

Food Lifeline is a great organization that is fighting to end hunger in Western Washington.  “Working with the food industry and its surpluses, we come up with creative solutions to stopping hunger, including redirecting good food from manufacturers, farmers, grocery stores and restaurants that might otherwise go to waste.” – Food Lifeline website

There are some pretty staggering numbers on food waste in America, so it was especially gratifying to work on a project like this that I know is going to have a positive impact.  For example, did you know nearly 40% or 170 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in America will go to waste?  – via Food Lifeline website

I worked on this ad campaign with the folks at Green Rubino, who I also shot The Recommendeuer with last year.  Big shout out to my friends Joe Quatrone and Dennis Budell who I love collaborating with!

Here is a fun little post production fact I thought you might enjoy.  I photographed each of the subjects bare arms and legs, and those assets were used to make the arms and legs on the apple and carrot.  Gigantic Squid did a fantastic job retouching these, and you can’t help but feel happy that the apple and carrot found good homes.

14
Aug

Arrows Behind The Scenes Video

Posted by / Filed under BTS, VIDEOS, CELEBRITY

Here is the first behind the scenes video of Arrows by Fences featuring Macklemore. This is so fun to watch for me because the last 2 months have been such a blur. As you can see, all of the sets were built in a warehouse and shot on green screen. Ian Hubert, Nate Taylor, and Ian Goode did such an amazing job bringing this to life with stunning imagery and VFX. I hope you enjoy it.

If you haven’t seen the actual music video yet, here it is: Arrows – Fences feat. Macklemore

08
Aug

Arrows Music Video Announcement

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Arrows Music Video poster by John Keatley and Jason Koenig.

It’s official!!!  Jason Koenig and I directed a music video for the song “Arrows” by Fences featuring Macklemore and it comes out this Monday!  Holy Smokes I am excited about this.  You will be able to see it on Youtube, so get ready.  More soon.  Thanks for watching!

07
Aug

MTV News

Posted by / Filed under News, BTS, CELEBRITY

Home stretch!  It is almost time, and this MTV News post is a nice little teaser that something amazing is about to drop.  Stay tuned.  This is what making a music video 24/7 looks like.

Self portrait by John Keatley.

Self portrait by Jason Koenig.

Late night sleep dep portrait of Macklemore by Keatley.

 

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