22
Aug

Wexleynauts

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Editorial Work

Cal and Ian of the Wexley School For Girls by photographer John Keatley.

Wait!  You mean, there is a 3rd cosmonaut outfit?  I’m going to need to wear that…  It only makes sense.  It will help me understand my subjects and connect with them better.  I’m a method photographer, what can I say.
It seems like it was just yesterday I was in this very same room at Wexley School For Girls with Cal and Ian for my first shoot with them.  They were flexing on the white baby grand piano.  It was magical.  Since then, we have done I don’t know how many shoots together, but this is definitely one of my favorite ones.

Thanks to AdWeek for a fun assignment, and thanks to Wexley for keeping the magic alive.


The three cosmigos.

15
Jul

I’m On TV

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News

Click the image above to watch the full interview.

It’s those three words every mother dreams of hearing.  Well, maybe not in all cases, but this time its pretty exciting.  And I’ll admit, I am still pretty giddy about this opportunity.  Thursday of last week, I was featured on New Day NW (King 5), along with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, and designer Jonathan Adler.  Thank you to Su Ring, Meeghan Black, and Mark Klebeck for your amazing support and interest in what I do!

Thanks for watching everyone!  Hopefully next time I am on TV, I will be talking about my new iPhone Portrait book.  :)


Me and my girl on our way to the King 5 studio.


With Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman backstage.


Thanks Meeghan for a great interview!

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!

04
Jun

Snoqualmie Casino / Above It All

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Ad Campaign, Tear Sheets

Snoqualmie Casino ad. By photographer John Keatley.

Snoqualmie Casino ad. By photographer John Keatley.

Snoqualmie Casino ad. By photographer John Keatley.

Whoop whoop!  Here are 3 of the 6 new ads I just photographed for Snoqualmie Casino with ad agency Green Rubino.  I’m really proud of how these images came together.  Lot’s of firsts on this project.  I had my first 3:00am call time, first time shooting models jumping on a trampoline in high heels, and first time winning $100 on slots while working.

There are a ton of casino’s fighting for business these days, and most of the ads I have seen all pretty much look the same.  A dude eating a big hamburger, a pretty lady rolling dice, and a group of friends out to dinner.  Not to mention the photography is usually pretty bad.  It’s easy, and what I am sure people have come to expect from casino ads.  That is why it was so refreshing to work with Green Rubino on this campaign because it was a well put together concept with high production value.  Snoqualmie Casino is going to stand completely apart from the competition.  At least until the competition has time to scramble and try to copy this.

As always, a very big thank you to the wonderful people at Green Rubino and Snoqualmie Casino for working with us on this ad campaign.  Dennis Budel, Jason Vargas, Joe Quatrone, Peggy, and Michelle Hendrickson, congrats and well done!  Time to celebrate.

Credits:
Agency: Green Rubino
Creative Director: Joe Quatrone
Associate Creative Director: Dennis Budell
Photographer: John Keatley
Producer: Taylor Reed
Hair & Makeup: Cara Aeschliman
Wardrobe: Morgan Dillon
1st Assistant: Gregg White
2nd Assistant: Oliver Ludlow
Retouching: Gigantic Squid
CGI: Vitamin-E Studio
Talent Agency: All About You, Bell Agency

30
Apr

Heavenly Ski & Ride School

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Ad Campaign

Blogging has been a little less frequent than usual these days, but it’s only because I have been so busy shooting some pretty awesome ad campaigns.  We have 3 new campaigns coming out in the upcoming weeks, but before we get to those, I want to share with you this recent ad campaign.  It is for the Ski & Ride School at Heavenly Mountain Resort, and worked with Hammerquist Studios.  What a fun and hilarious concept.  In total, there are 6 different diagnosis profiles,  and you can see them in the advertising section of my site.  Big thank you’s go out to Fred Hammerquist, Dylan Kahler, and Nick Berry.  It was a blast working with you guys on this.

We got to do our own casting for this project, which is something I have really been enjoying.  The characters and types of people I like to photograph are a little harder to find, but the thrill of the search and the reward when you find that perfect person is so worth the extra effort.

Thanks to our friends at EVO for the amazing wardrobe and gear we used in the ads.  If you haven’t been to the new EVO store in Fremont, you should check it out.  It’s an incredible retail space and beautifully designed.  Even if you aren’t into outdoor adventures, the store and restaurants next door are worth a visit.

Styling:  Morgan Dillon
Hair & Makeup: Cara Aeschliman
Assistant: Gregg White
Retouching: Gigantic Squid

01
Apr

2013 GPP Shootout

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Workshops

Last month I had the great pleasure of traveling to Dubai to speak and teach at GPP 2013.  It was an incredible experience and I was able to meet some awesome people and photographers.  GPP was an incredibly well planned and exciting week of workshops and seminars by some of the top teachers in the industry.  I tried to pop in on a few different workshops when I had 10 minutes or so to spare, and I learned so much, even in such a short amount of time.

I had many great experiences and interactions on this trip, but perhaps the best part of the whole trip was dinner each night.  Not because the food was incredible (Well, Ravi’s was), but it was the people I sat next to at dinner: David Alan Harvey, Greg Heisler, David Burnett, David Hobby, Zach Arias, Peter Hurley, Joe McNally, and on and on.  Wow.  How fun!  Talk about great conversations and stories.

In addition to being one of the teachers, I was also asked to participate in the shootout on the last night of the week.  The GPP shootout is a fairly new tradition that has caught on like wild fire.  3 photographers competing against each other under less than ideal circumstances.  The rules are explained in the video, but basically you are given an assignment in front of 350 people, and from that moment, you have 20 minutes to think, light, shoot and edit a picture from start to finish.  After all 3 photographers have finished, the crowd votes on who they think won.  My competitors were Zack Arias, and Lindsay Adler.  It was intense, but I have to say, after feeling nervous for about 30 seconds, I really enjoyed it.  Not to mention, I love how my picture turned out!  Now I have Leibovitz and Heisler in my collection.

So what was the assignment?  Create a portrait of one of the greatest portrait photographers of all time, Gregory Heisler.  Fortunately, I had gotten to know Greg over the course of the week, so I knew he was an awesome guy, and that helped a bit.  Before I packed my bags for Dubai, I had anticipated, or at least hoped the assignment  would involve shooting a portrait, or at least photographing a human one way or another.  To be at least somewhat prepared, I brought a few props just in case (turtleneck and wig).  I only needed 2 of them as it turned out, so I’m going to keep the other options a secret for now.

The video above is condensed quite a bit, so there is a lot you aren’t seeing and hearing, but this is a great recap of how it all went down.  Congrats to Zack Arias on winning!  He was talking trash all week, and he backed it up by going for the jugular.  And by that, I mean he put a teabag on my head.  Which I should have been more humiliated by, but I was too shocked at the time to fully know what was going on.

David Hobby (strobist.com) wrote a very flattering blog post about the GPP Shootout from his perspective which is worth a read if you are interested.  He has done the shootout before, so he has a good perspective from all sides of the event.  Thanks David for the kind words, and thank you Mohamed, Hala, and everyone else at GPP for being such wonderful hosts!  I hope you all enjoy watching this, and maybe I’ll see you in Dubai next year.

12
Mar

Congrats Catherine Giudici

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity

Catherine Giudici portrait by John Keatley.

Congrats to my friend Catherine Giudici on finding love on The Bachelor.  It became official last night, so I thought I would share a fun outtake from our recent shoot together.  Very excited for Catherine and Sean Lowe.  Hopefully I can share more of the images in the near future.  There are so many great shots!

Gotta run.

20
Feb

Ryan Lewis Portrait

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity

Ryan Lewis in the house ya’ll.  I recently posted one of my portraits of Ben Haggerty a.k.a. Macklemore, and now it’s time to share a portrait of his creative partner Ryan.  They are in the middle of success that very few people ever experience, and this Saturday you can see them on SNL.  Congrats guys!

I’m so thrilled with this portrait.  I have wanted to shoot something with this type of feel for a long time, and it turned out so great.  Big thanks to Gigantic Squid for the retouching.

More soon.

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.