13
Sep

Henry Seattle Weekly Cover

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

Mural painter Henry photographed by John Keatley for the cover of Seattle Weekly.

I photographed Ryan Henry Ward for the cover of the current Seattle Weekly.  It looks really beautiful in print if you are in Seattle and are able to track down a copy.  There is something about the rough matte newsprint, muted colors, and heavy contrast that really makes this image stand out.  As the copy indicates, if you live in Seattle, or even visited recently, you have probably come across at least one of Henry’s colorful murals which are spread across the city.  He just finished his 120th mural in the last 3 years.  He has also sold over 2,000 canvases, which is impressive, but even more so when you hear he has only been painting full time since 2008.

Henry signs all of his murals with a big “Henry” in black on a white circle.  It’s hard to miss, and most likely a big part of his success and brand recognition.  Since his work is mostly cartoon-like animals, I thought it would be fun to photograph him in costume as if he were one of his creatures.  My art director, Boo Davis, came up huge in finding this narwhal costume, and big thanks to Henry for being willing to go along with this idea.  It took some warming up to the idea on his part, but I think it turned out fantastic.  The horn was a little problematic, and made the shoot take about twice as long as it needed to, but he was really patient and made it work.  You can read the article about Henry on the Seattle Weekly website.

03
Sep

Michael Arrington

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

Michael Arrington photographed in his home by John Keatley.

Spending the afternoon with Michael Arrington at his home was a pretty fun experience.  I don’t usually have the opportunity to photograph highly successful people away from their offices, let alone at their homes.  I only got the call from Inc. Magazine for this assignment the day before the shoot, and I was asked not to take an assistant, given some privacy and security concerns.  Thankfully he was not in any huge hurry, so I had time to set up properly without rushing too much.  It was also a good exercise for me to remember how all of my gear works.  I can’t let myself get too soft.

For those who are not familiar with Michael, he is the founder and former editor of TechCrunch, a technology blog.  Michael has been called one of the most powerful people on the Internet by Forbes and Wired, and in 2008, he was listed by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.  Just days ago, the news broke that Michael has left TechCrunch to start a $20M venture capital fund.

Michael has been described as controversial and outspoken, and when Michael found out that I have never tasted coffee, he pushed harder than anyone ever has to try to get me to break.  He also jabbed me quite a bit for using a Sprint EVO.  Hey, I’ll let people make fun of me all day long, as long as I’m getting great images out of it.  Strong personality, for sure, but I really liked him.  He was fun to work with.

Read the Inc. article this photo shoot was for: The Way I Work: Michael Arrington of TechCrunch

17
Jul

2011 PDN Faces

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Awards, Editorial Work, Personal Work

The 2011 PDN Faces issue is out, and Plants Vs. Zombies is a winner in the Celebrity/Editorial Portraits category.  My Liberia series also won, under the Environmental Portraiture category.  Last year, my portrait of Annie Leibovitz was the feature image in PDN Faces.  It’s a thrill to have my work included in the contest again.  Last July through April of this year felt like I was going at 200 mph non stop, and it’s nice to be able to slow down a little bit in the summer and reflect back on the work I have done this past year.  It is even more satisfying to have that work recognized by the various contests I have won recently.  Now it’s time to get busy again.  Lots to do and look forward to.  The new Keatley office project, the 2011 Christmas photo, some new video projects, and hopefully more fun work as well.  I just finished a short video about my experience in Liberia this past January, and I will post it shortly (tonight).  I think you will like it.

Side note: Co-founder of PopCap Games, John Vechey (pictured above) trumped my award just a little when PopCap was acquired by Electronic Arts for $1.3 billion,  just days after the PDN award became public.  Congrats John.  Dolla dolla bills, y’all.  I like to think the awards for this picture is what pushed EA to pull the trigger.  Not that I am surprised, because just days after I photographed TechCrunch founder and CEO Michael Arrington in his home, TechCrunch was purchased by AOL for $30 million.  You seeing a pattern here?  I can’t legally promise companies will throw millions of dollars at you after I take your picture, but…  Hey, that could make a great promo.

The list of this years Faces winners is on the official contest website.  I haven’t had a chance to see the issue in person yet, but I am looking forward to sitting down with it.

10
Jul

Hope Solo

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Editorial Work

USA Women's Soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo photographed by John Keatley.

Congratulations to Hope Solo, the U.S. Women’s goalkeeper and the entire U.S. Women’s team.  I didn’t get to watch the match today, but I hear it was pretty incredible.  They beat Brazil to move on to the Women’s World Cup Semifinals.  It came down to Hope making some great saves including one in a penalty shootout.  Here is a video recap with all of the action.

This image is from a shoot I did with Hope a few years back for Seattle Met.

20
Jun

Howard Schultz Portraits

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

Howard Schultz photograph by John Keatley

Howard Schultz headshot portrait by John Keatley

This has been a big year for Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks.  There has been a new company logo, the 40th anniversary of Starbucks, and Howard’s new #1 bestseller book Onward, which I shot the author portrait for as well as some pictures inside the book.  I have been keeping pretty busy photographing Howard over the past few months with everything that is going on.  Some of the images have not been released yet, but one of my favorite assignments which I can show was for The Sunday Times Magazine.  I got some great shots from this one, including this 2-page spread, and the headshot outtake.  You can click on the spread to get a closer look if you are interested.   To get the expression, I sang several songs from The Tales of Hoffmann by Offenbach which I think everyone enjoyed quite a bit.  It seemed to be going well at first, but then I got distracted somewhere around Act 2 while trying to adjust my camera focus and my pitch went slightly off.  I will admit it was not my finest moment, and clearly some in the room were not impressed.  Nonetheless, my off key falsetto created a nice expression which went along perfectly with what the magazine was looking for.  Despite the successful outcome, that will most likely be the last time I ever sing at a photo shoot.

30
Mar

Dan Savage

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Blog, Celebrity, Editorial Work

Dan Savage portrait for Time Magazine by John Keatley.

I photographed Dan Savage for the March 28, 2011 issue of Time Magazine.  Dan is a sex columnist (Savage Love), and the founder of the It Gets Better YouTube campaign supporting bullied gay teens.  Thank you to Marie Tobias at Time for working with me on this assignment.  It was a lot of fun to think through the lighting for a Black-and-White portrait for a change.  There aren’t many assignments for B&W these days, and it really does take a different lighting approach than working with color.  This is my favorite image, as well as the one running in the magazine.

05
Aug

Wexley School For Girls

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

Cal and Ian of the Wexley School For Girls at the Wexley office in Seattle.  Assigned by BusinessWeek.  Photo by John Keatley.

Cal writing on Ian of the Wexley School For Girls at the Wexley office in Seattle.  Assigned by Seattle Business Monthly.  Photo by John Keatley.

Headshot of Ian Cohen of the Wexley School For Girls.  Assigned by BusinessWeek.  Photo by John Keatley.

Headshot of Cal McAllister of the Wexley School For Girls.  Assigned by BusinessWeek.  Photo by John Keatley.

Cal and Ian of the Wexley School For Girls going up for a header in Sounders FC uniforms.  Photo by John Keatley

Behold.  The Wexley School For Girls.  What!?  An all girls school run by these guys?  Yes.  Wexley is a very exclusive all-girls school (Ad Agency) run by these two guys.  Cal and Ian.  And one of the highlights of my job is working with these fine people.

When I first met Cal and Ian, they didn’t know anything about advertising.  They were a lounge singer duo in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.  I was hired by BusinessWeek to photograph them for a story about the resurgence of lounge singers in Metropolitan areas.  That is how the sexy lounge singer portrait came about.  At some point during the shoot, I said,  ”This should be great advertising for your act.”  And Ian said, “What the hell is advertising?”  I laughed, but he wasn’t joking.  He had no idea.  I told him to look it up, which is exactly what he did.  They read everything they could find about advertising, and before long they decided to open up their own ad agency.

The next time I photographed them, they were no longer singing Elton John, but they were making ads.  And good ones at that.

In the last year, I have photographed Cal and Ian a few more times, as well as worked with them on a handful of ad campaigns.  It’s not every day that an assignment or ad campaign comes around that allows you to work with such creative people who are willing to experiment and have fun.  You might look at the quirky Wexley office, and think that it’s all fun and games.  But they take what they do very seriously, and they are dang good at it too.  Just look at the success the Seattle Sounders FC (a client of Wexley) have enjoyed.

I have a couple of earlier posts about ad campaigns that I have shot with Wexley.  (Here) is the post about the Seattle Sounders FC billboard I shot earlier this year, and (here) is the post about the Human Wrecking Balls print campaign from late last year.  In just a few short weeks, I will have some new Wexley related content and videos that I will be able to share.  In the meantime, (here) is a hilarious video called “Winner Take Steve” written by Wexley, and directed by Jared Hess.