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.

06
Dec

More From Wexley

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Commercial

Wexley School For Girls CFO / COO Jerry Barnhart. Photo by photographer John Keatley.

You may have seen this shoot I did for Wexley School For Girls recently.  It’s definitely one of my favorite shoots, so naturally I was excited when they hired their new CFO / COO, Jerry Barnhart, because that meant he would also need a portrait, being senior leadership and all.  Not much else to say about this one, other than it’s completely awesome.  I hope they hire 5 more people soon.

29
Nov

Ballet Meets Burlesque

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

The Nutcracker is a serious holiday tradition here in Seattle.  People seem to get pretty excited about it, and it’s a big deal.  I went to see it with my family several years ago as a Christmas present I believe.  I can’t remember how long ago exactly that was, but then again, I can’t remember much about the Nutcracker either.  I fell asleep…  I guess it was just not my cup of tea.
What’s that?  The Burlesque Nutcracker?  Now that might hold my attention.  It may not be a show grandma and grandpa are going to take you to for Christmas, but at least now I’m intrigued.

City Arts has been doing some really great things in Seattle with the arts for the past few years, and I have enjoyed working with them recently.  For this assignment, I was tasked with photographing classically trained ballet dancer turned burlesque artist, Lily Verlaine.  She is co-producer and Artistic Director of Land Of The Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker.

I had the opportunity to meet with her the day before the shoot to go over wardrobe options, and while we had some great pieces to work with, I wasn’t seeing exactly what I was hoping for.  I briefly described my idea of something that says Burlesque, classy, and Holiday’s at the same without coming off too costume’y, but no luck.  The next day, Lily showed up to the shoot arm in arm with designer Danial Hellman and this beautiful piece that he custom made the night before.  It was exactly what I had described the day before.  Wow!  That never happens.  That’s what you get when you work with professionals.

I really enjoyed showing something a little more sassy and pretty in this shoot, and I think the cover turned out perfectly.  It says Burlesque and Holidays at the same time without being too loud or flashy.

Big thanks to City Arts Art Director Dan Paulus, and Editor in Chief Leah Baltus of City Arts for working with us on this.  Thanks as always to Gigantic Squid for the beautiful color grading and retouching.  Beautiful.

 

23
Nov

The Keatley Store

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News

I am pleased to announce the grand opening of the Keatley Store, where you can buy prints of some of my favorite images, a Keatley shirt, as well as some other fun limited edition items.  Just in time for Christmas I might add.  After moving in and decorating our new studio this past year, I realized just how fun and meaningful it is to own and display artwork.  I have so many images I would like to share with others in the form of prints, and the store provides an easy way to do that, at really reasonable prices.  I will be adding new images and switching things up from time to time, so check back often.  There are still spots available for the Un-Workshop as well if you are interested.

Keatley shirts are an exciting item for me because of the back story.  Not many people know the full story, but I first made Keatley shirts about 10 years ago.  My friend, Joe King, is the designer who made the Keatley logo, as well as convinced me to change the way I was branding myself.  When I first started my business, I was doing business as John Keatley Photography.  I hired Joe to come up with a logo for me, and in addition the many options he came up with, he created the keatley logo which felt more like a major brand than a freelance photographer.  Just for fun, I made 10 Keatley shirts, and gave them to my friends and roommates.  As people saw the shirts, I began getting additional requests, so I made a few more.  This continued to happen, and demand grew pretty quickly.  I eventually made a small online store to sell them and help free me up from meeting up with people and collecting cash.  As the shirts got out into the wild, a friend at MTV passed a few out to some bands, and they began making appearences at concerts and in photos.  I also had a lot of enthusiastic friends in Young Life and college helping me spread the word, and before long, I had sold a couple of thousand shirts.  My good friend Bryan Pape sat me down at one point, and talked with me about getting serious about shirts and maybe making a business out of it.  The truth of it was, it was fun to see the shirts on random people all over the world, but it was getting to be a lot of work for me to be shipping and everything that goes with it.  I was also trying to grow a photography business at the same time which was what I was really passionate about.  Keatley shirts helped a little as I did get some jobs from people seeing them, but I was spending a lot more time selling them than I had ever anticipated.  After a couple of years, things died down a bit as I chose to focus on photography.  Who knows what could have happened if I put more time into it, but I can’t say I have any regrets about sticking with photography  :).  The funny thing about the whole Keatley shirt craze was that most people who bought a Keatley shirt, had no idea what Keatley was.  They just liked how it looked.  Some of my friends made up a different story every time someone asked them what Keatley was.  I’ll never forget the time I was walking through the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and I saw someone who I didn’t know wearing a Keatley shirt.  Crazy!

I don’t expect to sell thousands of shirts this time around, but I still think it’s an awesome design and a fun shirt.  Instead of printing on 100% cotton this time around, we are using tri-blend material which is even more comfortable, and holds up better than cotton.  It also has a slightly heather look to it, which gives it a vintage feel.  Pick one up for yourself in the store and see what all the buzz is about.  Thanks for reading the story.  It’s fun for me to share since I haven’t really shared that story with too many people.

12
Nov

The Keatley Un-Workshop

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Events, News, Workshops

WHAT!!!?  That’s right.  This is happening.  It is with great pride and excitement we invite you to the first ever Keatley Un-Workshop, taking place in beautiful Seattle, WA.   We know there are a million different workshops out there that you can go to, but true to the Keatley style we have pushed ourselves to create a photographic learning experience un-like anything you’ve ever imagined.  We decided to go all out in every aspect of the Un-Workshop, including set building, tons of gear, gourmet food, an exciting venue, and this amazing limited edition artwork we commissioned Invisible Creature to create for this event.  And that’s just the beginning.  You can find out much more about this on our new Workshop page, but sign up soon because space is limited.  We can’t wait to see you in February!

05
Nov

Jayme Hall of Alligator Performance

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

Chad and Jayme Hall shot for Inc. Photo by John Keatley

Jayme Hall CEO of Alligator Performance. Shot by John Keatley

I shot these images on a sweltering hot day this past summer in beautiful Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for Inc.  Big thanks to Photography Director Travis Ruse for the call on this one.  One of the things I love about editorial photography is the opportunity to talk with a wide range of successful and interesting people.  Some of you may not know this, but I actually majored in Business Administration in college, so dissecting and understanding how different companies work is really fascinating to me.  Alligator Performance Co-founders Chad and Jayme Hall did not disappoint.  Their story was one of the most fascinating success stories I have ever heard, and I left the shoot feeling like I got to see something really special.  I highly recommend reading this article on Alligator in Inc.