It’s official!!! Jason Koenig and I directed a music video for the song “Arrows” by Fences featuring Macklemore and it comes out this Monday! Holy Smokes I am excited about this. You will be able to see it on Youtube, so get ready. More soon. Thanks for watching!
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under News
Home stretch! It is almost time, and this MTV News post is a nice little teaser that something amazing is about to drop. Stay tuned. This is what making a music video 24/7 looks like.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Editorial Work
It has been a while since I have blogged by the look of things. No, I am not getting lazy, or losing my edge. It is just that I am coming off of a 2 month long video project working 18 hour days, 7 days a week. Holy smokes! Somehow I was also able to sneak in a few quick photo assignments where time permitted. One of my most recent shoots was for the Wall Street Journal who called me to photograph Bill Gates with his favorite business book, “Business Adventures” by John Brooks. Needless to say, thanks to Bill, this relatively unknown book is now a New York Times Bestseller. It’s a really interesting read, and you can read the Wall Street Journal article here as well as watch a video about Business Adventures and John Brooks.
The copy of “Business Adventures” Bill is holding in this picture is the actual book Warren Buffet sent him 23 years ago. You can see from the wear on the dust jacket, it has seen some use over the years. Pretty fun assignment. Thanks Ronnie!
Behind the scenes photograph by Olivia Lazer.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Awards
There are a lot of contests and awards these days, but the the one I get most excited about and the one that means the most to me is American Photography. I let out a little scream today, when I got an email telling me my portrait of Macklemore has been selected into American Photography 30.
Here is a little more from AP about this years book:
“From 9,644 pictures entered by 873 photographers, magazines, agencies, publishers and schools, the jury selected, by a majority vote or better, only 357 images to appear in the book and represent the best pictures from 2013.
American Photography 30 will be printed in full color and distributed worldwide in hardcover immediately after The Party and BIG TALK, November 5-6, 2014 – our two annual launch events in New York City that celebrate the winners. All Selected photographers and entrants will be invited to attend both events with our compliments.”
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.
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.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Ad Campaign, BTS
I feel like I am beginning to repeat myself a little, because each ad campaign I have done this year feels like one of those dream jobs. This one for Washington Healthplanfinder was no exception. With Obamacare rolling out I got to work with the folks at GMMB on this hilarious ad campaign. If these images don’t convince you to get yourself some health insurance, I don’t know what will.
The first shoot (the seagull attack) took place on our own private ferry at 4:30am on a beautiful Sunday. It was maybe one of the coolest things I have done on a shoot. Drifting around in the Puget Sound at sunrise. Beautiful!
The next shoot was a 4:00am call time, which feels so early to me! Not a morning person, but the show must go on. The skateboard crash was the hardest and most technical of all the shots. Although my assistants might disagree since I have no idea how they managed a 12×12 and two 7 ft. softboxes on a windy ferry.
The roofing accident shot was at the end of a very long 12 hour day, but it was so fun. The talent with the nail gun, Gabriel, had us all dying with his dialog. I like to give people scenarios to work with when shooting this type of work. I find it helps me work through the situation, and also helps the talent get into character and make the image more believable. There are a lot of little details to think about on a shot like the roofing accident. What are these guys doing? What is happening on and off camera that I want the viewer to think about? Are the interactions of the two guys on the roof believable? And so on.
So for this shot, I explained to Gabriel:
You are putting a new roof on your home before the winter hits, and your good friend is helping you because he owes you a big favor (You traded him Russell Wilson for Trent Richardson in your fantasy football league.). You are almost done with one side of the roof, when your neighbor walks by and see’s you up there. He gives you a puzzled look because he knows you are not the handiest guy on the block. Hey, what the heck are you doing up there!? he yells. Gabriel looks back at his neighbor with a big smile, and says… And this is where Gabriel took over with his improv. ”Oh, we roofin’ man! Yeah, we roofin’!” ”What’s it look like we doin’ up her man, we roofin’!” You might think over an hour of this might get old, but somehow it didn’t. We just laughed, took pictures and, yeah, we roofin’.
Here are some of my favorite behind the scenes images from this shoot. Big thanks to my new rep Redeye, Kontent Partners (who are super amazing people, and amazing at what they do), GMMB, Gigantic Squid, Cara Aeschliman, Gregg White, and so many more. I am blessed to work with such fun people.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under BTS, Celebrity, Editorial Work
I am a huge fan of Jeff Garlin. I really liked his work going into this shoot for NY Times Magazine, and I am an even bigger fan after working with him.
My friend Sara Coates was recently cast in a movie called Laggies. They just wrapped up filming, so it should be in theaters next year. On one of the first days of filming, Sara sent me a text message with a picture of Jeff. ”I’m acting with Jeff!” I immediately thought to myself, “I would love to photograph Jeff Garlin!!!” That was a Sunday night. The next day, I got a call from my rep Julia, and she asked me if I wanted to shoot an assignment for New York Times Magazine. The answer to that question is always yes, and then she said, “It’s actor Jeff Garlin.” No joke!
This is actually the 3rd time this has happened to me in my career. Anthony Hopkins, Annie Leibovitz, and now Jeff. So naturally I am a big believer in the power of positive thinking, and “putting it out there”. I always tell my daughter, you’ll never know unless you ask. And now, she has learned the benefits of asking for stickers at any store we walk into. Who knew Chevron had stickers. But that’s another story. I can’t take all of the credit for many of the great opportunities I have had come my way, but this is the type of job where you have to make things happen, and tell people what you want. Even if it’s just declaring to your wife on a Sunday night while watching Netflix that you want to photograph one of your favorite actors.
Jeff walked into the shoot with a Leica around his neck, and I knew right away this was going to be fun. Thank you New York Times Magazine, Gabrielle Plucknette, Clinton Cargill for a wonderful assignment, and thank you Jeff for bringing the magic!
Here is the photo and interview of Jeff Garlin that ran the NY Times Magazine. I was thrilled they chose my favorite image.
Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work
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.
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!