03
Mar

Some New iPhone Portraits

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

I’m back in Seattle after some busy, yet fun trips to Portland and LA. Lot’s to catch up on, but I thought I would share a few of my recent iPhone portraits. The project continues to move ahead, and as always you can see more of them in my project section as well as on my Instagram profile.  This is something I have been working on for the past 9 months or so.  I have photographed over 200 people to date so far.  All with an iPhone, and some natural light.  Nothing fancy.  Just getting caught up in a moment, enjoying no frills photography and meeting new people.

13
Feb

The Family That Goes To Jail Together…

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Keatley Christmas, Personal Work

Well, you know what they say.  The family that get’s into an altercation with a 65 year old lady with big hair from Texas because she cut in line in front of us at the Nordstrom Santa photo booth together, stays together.  And apparently goes to jail together too.  I’ll admit this is all a bit embarrassing, but as you can see, we were a little tied up so to speak this last Christmas.  Not exactly how we envisioned spending the Holidays, but thankfully everything got cleared up and we are now back home.  I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to do our annual family picture this year, but thankfully one of the guards took this for us, and it turned out pretty good.  It is a part of our story now, so why pretend it didn’t happen I guess.

Oh, and is it too late to say Happy New Year?  Happy New Year everyone.  I hope you enjoy the new Keatley Family Picture.  And some of you thought we weren’t going to do one this year.  Please!

And one more thing.  If anyone want’s to help me pick up trash on the side of I-90 between Issaquah and Bend for the next 6 months, give a holler.  I would love your help.

30
Jan

The Matador From Florida

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

My rep asked me to come up with an image for a valentines day promo this year and the assignment was to interpret the color red.  I had the option of using an image from my archive, or I could shoot something new.  I love excuses to create new work, so of course I jumped at the opportunity.  Assignments like this are great because I enjoy having some sense of structure, or a goal, but it also allows your imagination to run wild by leaving things open.  Taylor and I had some fun brainstorming sessions over this, and our ideas were all over the place.  As usually happens with my personal work, we landed on one idea, and then the more we talked about it, the idea began to shift and change until we got here.  Going into the shoot, the idea was to shoot a different angle, but when working with bulls or other crazy animals, there is an element of taking what they give you.  I really didn’t want them to give me the horns so to speak…  Plus I realized while shooting that I liked this angle better anyway.  As much as we plan everything out, it’s always good to try to stay open to changes and improvements that come up along the way.

This shoot came a few weeks after working with Kodiak bears, and surprisingly enough, I was more scared of the bulls.  Almost terrified even.  It didn’t help matters that the rancher we were working with told me horror stories of people being disfigured and killed by bulls for about 15 minutes before he said, “Well, why don’t we hop in.” Sounds good.  Let’s jump a fence into a field of bulls.  Why am I doing this again?

So there you have it.  This was a really fun project from beginning to end.  Big thanks to Ryan Cleary on the beautiful retouching work as well.  Thanks for reading.  I hope you enjoy the image.

27
Jan

Professional Photographer Feature

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News, Personal Work, Press & Interviews

As some of you may know, last year I began a little portrait project with my iPhone and Instagram.  It began almost as an accident, but quickly became a project very close to my heart.  I have met some amazing people and heard some incredible stories along the way.  Like Jordan’s story for example.  Within just a few months, I got a call from KING 5 about going on New Day NW (watch video) as well as several other interviews.  One of those interviews just came out this month in Professional Photographer Magazine as a full feature.  As a photographer, it’s exciting to shoot for a feature, but a feature about my work is a whole new level of excitement.  Thank you so much to Jade Price and everyone at Professional Photographer for your support and interest in my work.  I feel like I am just getting started with my iPhone Portrait project, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.

13
Dec

The Rider

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

The Rider by photographer John Keatley.

It didn’t take long for the humans to panic.  Government had been spiraling out of control for 60 years, fueled by greed and corporate corruption.  Mankind had finally taken all it could from the earth, until the earth had nothing left to give.  The humans had long embraced the idea, live for today and take what you want.  The cries of those who recognized the consequences of such behavior were left to the minority and written off as crazy.  Men had convinced themselves they were invincible.  Once the Nelson Report came out, and Amazon’s infrastructure collapsed, people began hoarding resources and grabbing all they could for themselves.  Telecommunications were quickly shut down, and in less than 18 months, the US population had been cut by over 75 percent.  Riots, fires, murder, starvation and sickness spread with very little resistance.

As life has always demonstrated, sometimes it takes the loss of one thing to gain another.  Ironic and painful as it was, it took man’s near destruction of the earth to bring about a new relationship between man and animal as it was in the beginning of time.

The Rider has not survived in the new world these past 5 years because of his strength, or because of things taken.  He has survived because of relationships.  Primarily a relationship with his bear and with nature.  These things, which were seen as weak and useless before, have now become what is held most precious in the dark days.

21
Jun

On Having My Picture Taken

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

iPhone portrait of Jordan Jolliff by John Keatley.

A few months ago, on a Sunday afternoon, I accidentally started a new photography project when I snapped a portrait of a friend with my iPhone.  Since that first iPhone portrait, I have photographed over 100 people with my iPhone, and my excitement for this project continues to grow (you can see some of the images on my Instagram stream as well as under the Projects section).  I was in Hollywood for work last month, and I photographed my cousin’s roommate Jordan while staying with them.  Jordan wrote a short story about his experience of being photographed, and I am so excited to share it with you.  Please enjoy, and thank you Jordan!

 

On Having My Picture Taken

There are certain people that like having their picture taken.  They enjoy it because they are good at it.  They remember to smile and lift chins so they don’t look fat.  They can look happy even if they are not happy. It is comfortable for them to hang arms over the shoulder of the person they are standing next to. When people tell them to scoot closer, they do it happily.

I am not one of those people.

Not that I don’t want to be one of those photogenic people, it just doesn’t come easy to me.
*

I come home tired from my job and commute.  There’s an air mattress in the living room, which seems vaguely familiar.  I am struggling to remember something that my roommate Lonnie had told me about–something about someone staying with us for a little while.  It is all fairly hazy–I dunno, I’ve been drinking too much lately.

I pour myself some cold coffee left over from the morning pot.  I look through the kitchen window and see Lonnie with another guy, presumably our houseguest, and our downstairs neighbor.  They’re all talking at the picnic table in the backyard.

I go out and meet John.  John is Lonnie’s cousin.  Like Lonnie, John is a photographer.  I shake John’s hand. I’m trying to be friendly.  Lonnie asks me how work was.  I growl that it was rough and excuse myself to do some chores.  I don’t totally nail being friendly.

Then I’m sorting through a bunch of dirty clothes, trying to break out of my 9-5 work headspace, and getting ready for the writing I’m going to do this night.

Lonnie knocks on my door.  This sort of uncommon at our place.

Lonnie asks,”Hey man, would you mind having your picture taken?”

I open the door.  Lonnie explains, “My cousin John is a photographer and he really wants to take your picture.”

I say yes, because only celebrities can say no to having a picture taken of them. And also, no one has ever seen me and said, “I want to take your picture.”  I can’t quite escape the mixture of compliment and embarrassment that goes along with this.

John is enthusiastic.  He has already shot Lonnie earlier in the afternoon.  He tells me about this iPhone portrait project he’s been working on as he looks at my shirts–not the dirty ones on the floor, but the few that are still hanging in my closet.  I push for a red Pendleton camp shirt, but he isn’t interested in it.  He knows what he’s looking for.  So I put on an old 70s polyester flannel, which I like, but it is missing the third and fourth buttons from the top.  I am slightly worried about this, but it doesn’t seem to bother John.

I follow John around the apartment as he looks for the lighting he needs, which is in Lonnie’s room.  I sit on Lonnie’s army cot. John and I talk as he holds his iPhone with both hands.  He stares intently at the screen.  He puts the phone close to my face, about twelve inches, maybe sixteen inches away from me.

It’s got to be a delicate thing, the iPhone portrait.  Like everybody else, I’ll snap off some pictures with mine, and occasionally they’ll look alright, but it’s just a phone, and I don’t care too much.  But John’s really working here, looking for a specific thing to show up on his screen.  He gives directions like: shoot your chin forward, or look at the top of the phone, or look off to one side.  I move my head a centimeter one way, then the other. Later, we move around the room, chasing the light.

John takes, I dunno, less than a thousand photos but more than five hundred.  They’re all about the same–I’m not doing much here, just sitting and doing what he asks me to do.  At some point, he tells me to look concerned.  And my eyebrows squeeze together a bit.  Later, he asks me to pretend like I’m about to say something.

At some point, I try to smile, because it’s a photo, and you’re supposed to smile in photos.  John immediately tells me to cut it out.

Eventually, John decrees that we’ve gotten it and he says thank you and I say thank you and that’s it.

Later that evening, he shows Lonnie and I some of the shots he had taken that afternoon.

We see the photos from Lonnie’s shoot.  They are great, unmistakably great.  Lonnie looks earnest and charming, like he might be on his way to sail to Patagonia or propose to his girlfriend.

We look at my photos and they’re the best photos I’ve ever seen of myself.  The lighting is warm, my shirt looks better than it looks in real life, all of what anyone could ask for in a portrait, anything you could possibly want.  But I look very unhappy in these pictures.  My looks range from concerned to sad to angry.  I look like someone I do not want to be.  John, in the few minutes I had known him, had keyed in on this emotional thing inside me.  This was me on a Monday after work.

I thought about this a lot.  Weeks later I quit my job, not exactly because of this, but certainly because life’s too short to be a miserable Monday-hating-sonofabitch.

Jordan Jolliff
2013

10
Jun

Miss Sara Coates

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Personal Work

This picture just makes me happy.  I feel like I say that a lot, but I have been staring and laughing at this portrait for weeks now.  I don’t think Nichelle is going to let me frame it in the house just yet, but I figured I could at least share it with you on the blog.  This is one of those images that I don’t really want to talk about very much because I feel like it is enjoyed best as it is, without spoiling it with too much information.
A very big thank you and congrats goes out to my wonderful model in this portrait and my good friend Sara Coates.  Obviously she is extremely talented, but she also just landed her first major roll in a major motion picture called Laggies.  Go Sara!

11
Feb

Ohhh Wallace

Posted by John Keatley / 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.

25
Jan

Vintage Diver Portraits

Posted by John Keatley / 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.

18
Jan

Macklemore Rockin’ The Thrift Shop Fur

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Personal Work

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!