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.

07
Feb

Instagram

Posted by John Keatley / 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.

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!

03
Jan

Diver In The Desert

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

Diver In The Desert by photographer John Keatley.

Happy New Year!  2012 was a great year for me, and as fun as it was, I am looking forward to 2013 even more so.  This is one of the many projects I was working on last year, flying down to Death Valley for a week, as well as trips to the Salton Sea and Apple Valley, California.  This image is part of an on going project I have tentatively titled Divers In The Desert.  I hope you like it.  I have been dreaming about this image for a few years, so to see it come to life is a really exciting process and feeling for me.  I would not have been able to do it without the help of many wonderful people.  Izzy Atwood.  I really can’t say enough about the work she does.  Laura James, who helped us source some beautiful vintage diving suits and gear.  You would not believe how difficult and time consuming it was to get some of the gear we worked with.  This suit took about 10 months to come up with, and Laura hung in there with us the whole way through.  Ian Goode and the fine folks at Gigantic Squid who make my pictures and visions come together to make pure magic.

I first became curious about landscapes a couple of years ago when I shot my Falling Bodies series.  That work was definitely part of my influence in creating this project, and I’m excited to see how it evolves from here.  Rather than wait until this entire project is finished, I thought I would just share the work as it is complete.  So here is to creating work we are excited about, and here is to creating great work in 2013.

If you like this image, you can buy a print in our new online shop for as low as $20.  Thanks for your interest and for stopping by!  I hope the new year is starting out great for you!

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10
Dec

What A Bunch Of Lazy Pelicans

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

Every year I get more and more excited to create and show our annual family picture.  It’s hard to believe this is the 4th year we have done this!  Each year has felt like a different process, and the one comment I get more than anything else is, “Where do you come up with this stuff?”  I like how the concept for this year’s picture came about, and thought it would be fun to share the story with you.

This fall, our family vacationed on the Washington coast for a week, which was pretty amazing. On a number of days, we noticed there were hundreds of pelicans and seagulls standing on the beach, staring out at the ocean for up to 7 hours at a time it seemed.  Not that I was timing them or anything.  I had better things to do than worry about how long birds stayed on the beach.  But seriously, get a job you lazy birds.  Nobody could figure out what the heck they were doing out there just staring at the ocean.  One day I went for a long walk on the beach.  Every once in a while a wave would wash over a sand dune, and these tiny fish would get beached for a few seconds until the next wave washed over and they swam away.  After seeing that, I’m guessing those lazy birds were just sitting on the beach, waiting for a free lunch.  The pelican equivalent of day drinking panhandlers.

On the last day of vacation, I got it in my head that I wanted to create an image with a bunch of birds in it.  As much as I had grown to resent their laziness and lack of drive, I took my camera down to the beach with my sister, and tried to sneak up as close as possible to get some pictures.  Well, aside from being extremely lazy, these pelicans are also very cynical with some serious trust issues.  I don’t know if I could get closer than 75 feet to them without every single bird flying away.  Talk about bird issues…

Our daughter Isla does this really cute thing, where she puts her hands out in front of her like a T-Rex, and bobs up and down while she takes big steps toward the person she is going to “scare”.  My sister joked that it was too bad we didn’t have a pelican costume for Isla, so she could sneak up and get closer to the birds.  That was it.  The clouds opened up, I heard angels singing, and I saw God smiling at me.  Thanks to my brilliant sister, Allison, I knew what had to be done for the 2012 Keatley Family Picture.  With a new focus and determination like never before, I came up with all kinds of tactics to get the lazy birds to fly in all different directions, and I shot about 1,000 images of birds for the next 30 minutes or so.

Once back home, I began researching costumes and decided I wanted them to look frumpy and not very realistic.  The idea was not to make us look like actual pelicans, but that it would be overly obvious we were in these sad costumes, which at least some of us did not want to be in.

I would like to thank my family for putting up with the things I ask them to do and wear for these pictures.  Isla, I swear you will thank me in 20 or 30 years.  Thanks to my sister,Allison, and her husband, Simon, for helping me chase and herd birds on the beach like a bunch of crazy people.  Thanks to Nichelle’s mom, Denise, for making the perfectly frumpy costumes, and thanks to one of my best friends Ian Goode, from Gigantic Squid, who made the retouching magic happen.  Thank you for your interest in my work, it’s a blessing to get to do this for a living.  Until next time, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all.  Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

Below is a little collection of images from this project.  The first group of beach and bird pictures are a few of the images used to create the environment.  The second grouping is a little behind the scenes look at the human / pelican studio shoot, and the final group contains some of my favorite outtakes that didn’t make the cut.  Enjoy.