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03
Oct

Louie Gong and Eighth Generation

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Louie Gong City Arts cover by John Keatley

Portrait of artist Louie Gong by John Keatley.
Portrait of Louie Gong by John Keatley.

I love making portraits of other artists.  True, a portrait of anyone is a wonderful mystery waiting to be unlocked, but I always have an extra sense of excitement before I make a portrait of an artist.  I think it is because they are often willing to experiment and collaborate, and are more willing to be patient while I exact my desire for perfection and exploration.  Louie Gong was no exception.

Louie Gong is an artist, activist and educator, among other things.  His heritage is Nooksack/Chinese/French/Scottish, so he brings a really unique perspective to his work, along with a modern sense of style.  His murals are incredible.  When I first saw his work, it felt somewhat familiar in the sense that there is a fair amount of Native American art here in the Pacific Northwest.  But very quickly you realize that something is different about this piece: a modern sensibility that at the same time still feels authentic to its roots.  Then I start to see the Chinese influence which seems so subtle at first glance.  It’s quite brilliant.

Louie just opened a really cool new store here in Seattle called Eighth Generation.  I want the blanket he is wearing, which he also designed.  Christmas wishlist…  If you aren’t in the Seattle area, fear not, they have a great online store as well.

This shot was a collaboration with City Arts art director Dan Paulus.  Thanks Dan!  Here is a link to the full article on City Arts.

07
Sep

BECU Member Portrait Ad Campaign

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While I didn’t use my iPhone to make any of these member portraits or videos for BECU, it was my iPhone Portrait project that helped shape the direction of this ad campaign by DNA.  It is incredibly gratifying to work on a project like this, when there is a close tie to something as personal as my iPhone Portraits.  Exploring the human face through photography and video is the one thing I have never grown tired of.  Every new person I photograph presents a new opportunity (or sometimes a challenge), and I am always learning from the experience of photographing people.  Below are some of the portraits I made from the nearly 50 people I photographed for this project. Everyone is an actual BECU member. Working with “real” people is a lot of fun for me because they don’t come in with any expectations as to what they think I want them to do. And there are always some surprises, which I think makes the portraits all the more interesting.

If you were watching the summer Olympics this year, you may have seen these commercials, which I directed.  The billboards, bus wraps, posters, etc. are all over Seattle, as well.  Big thanks to BECU and DNA, especially Lianne Onart, Dave Echenoz, Molly Woodruff, and Dan Gross.


BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.
I always try to keep people on their toes and make things as fun as possible. To me, that means taking awkward pictures of the ACD Lianne and BECU member, Kiki.
BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.
My daughter, right as she discovered / I taught her, you can yell, “M&M’s” on set, and they will magically appear.”
BECU Own It credit union ad campaign. Portraits of members by photographer John Keatley.

Big thanks to my wonderful crew. Projects like this are a total team effort. Not to mention it wouldn’t be nearly as fun without all of these great people.
Producer: Kort Havens
Digital Tech: Lonnie Webb
1st Assistant: Brian Jones
2nd Assistant: Peter Hanson
Stylist: Alexis Steinman
Stylist Assistant: Gwen Stubbs
Hair & Makeup Artist: Jenny Verador
Hair & Makeup Artist: Haley Olsen
DP: Matt Daniels
Sound: Scot Charles
PA: Audrey O’Neil
PA: Hugo Garcia
PA Camera: Sacha Benis

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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05
Oct

Kickin’ It With Michael Bennett

Posted by / Filed under Editorial Work, CELEBRITY

Big thanks to Jane Sherman and Seattle Met for this fun shoot with Seattle Seahawks big DE Michael Bennett.  I am a huge Seahawks fan (ok, who in Seattle isn’t right now…), so making a portrait of one of my favorite players was an exciting opportunity.  Thanks also to Michael and Pele for letting us set up a studio in their home.  Go Hawks!

23
Sep

Members Only Club

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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

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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.

18
Jan

Macklemore Rockin’ The Thrift Shop Fur

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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!

11
Oct

Jeopardy Champion Ken Jennings

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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…

08
Nov

Backyard Office: Siding and Drywall

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Things are moving along at a pretty good pace now.  Over the past couple of months, there were a few setbacks which held things up for a while, but it looks like we are in the home stretch at this point.  The last few windows were supposed to arrive today, but didn’t, which was a bit of a bummer.  I felt like a kid at Christmas waiting for those dang windows, but hopefully they will arrive tomorrow.  Maybe Santa got stuck in the chimney or something.  Who knows.  There is actually going to be another window on the front where the large area of wood siding currently is, so once that is in, it will look quite a bit different.

I am really happy with how the wood siding turned out, and I love the stain.  I went to great lengths to find that stain color, and even worked my way onto several construction sites before I finally tracked it down.  It was worth the extra effort though, and turns out it was one of the colors we thought we hated when we were going through small color swatches.

Hopefully the windows will arrive tomorrow, and I will post more pictures when they are in.

15
Sep

Backyard Office: Framing

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A lot has happened since I last posted about our backyard office, including the most dramatic change in the construction process, the framing.  Going from a concrete foundation to the complete structure of the building is a pretty crazy change, and it was so exciting to finally see the outline of what it will actually look like.  We have been dreaming, talking, and planning this thing, but seeing it in person is so much better.  All the framing happened in about three quick days, and since then, they have finished the plumbing, roofing, and electrical.  We are waiting on inspections at this point, and then on to sheet rock and insulation.  I’m not holding anyone to this, but it sounds like everything could be done in about 4 weeks.  Even though this has taken a lot of time and energy as far as making decisions on our end, Nichelle and I were both just talking about what a fun process this has been.  I know a lot of people hate the idea of going through construction or a remodel, and inevitably things do come up from time  to time, but we are lucky to have a great contractor who has made this whole process super smooth and easy, and has allowed us to have a lot of fun so far!  It’s fun to wake up each morning and see who is out back working and what changes are taking place.

Previous post in this series: Backyard Office: Concrete Foundation

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