20
Mar

Don’t Talk To The Cops for City Arts

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

Don't Talk To The Cops shot for the cover of City Arts by photographer John Keatley.

For those of you who are fellow Seattlites, you may have noticed City Arts has been gaining great momentum as the go-to arts publication around town.  They have been doing a great job covering culture, art, and music, and are not afraid of going out on a creative limb so-to-speak, to bring their audience something fresh and original.  I got to shoot the Seattle based hip hop group Don’t Talk To The Cops for the cover of the March issue.  This was a really fun shoot, and I was excited to get to throw in a slight nod to those amazing laser portrait backgrounds we all coveted back in the 80′s.  I think the hardest part was picking out the right turtleneck and NFL game day jacket.  After that was decided, it was smooth sailing and a lot of laughing.  I can’t say I’ve made it through the article exposing bubble tea, but the cover image is certainly reason enough for picking it up :) (not to mention it’s free).

Big thanks to Art director Dan Paulus, editor in chief Leah Baltus, and Don’t Talk To The Cops.  This shoot was a fun collaboration of talking through ideas and inspirations with Dan and Leah, and I love how it turned out.  I met Dan and Leah for the first time, when I was photographed as part of the City Arts Future List late last year.  Retouching by Gigantic Squid.

21
Feb

Filmmaker Eric Becker

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

Portrait of filmmaker Eric Becker by photographer John Keatley.

This is a portrait I recently shot of my good friend and colleague Eric Becker, who is a director / documentary filmmaker.  For over a year, Becker has been working on his film, Sound & Vision, which “explores issues facing the nearshore environment. It is a film about the oceans, told through the stories of people working to clean up, protect, and restore habitat in Puget Sound and beyond. The film is scheduled for release this fall.”  I really like this portrait, because it hints at the chaos of documentary filming, while capturing the beauty of the Puget Sound that Becker’s film strives to preserve.

I was lucky enough to see the film at a pre-screening not too long ago, and it is really beautiful.  Not your typical everybody freak out, we have a problem documentary, but one that explains a problem and offers hope, as well as a call to action.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, Becker and I will be leaving for the Philippines with Arts Aftercare next week.  I can’t believe it’s almost time to go.

Retouching by Gigantic Squid.

09
Nov

Bill Gates & Dustin Moskovitz for Forbes

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity, Editorial Work, Lighting Technique

Why are Bill Gates and Dustin Moskovitz, the richest and youngest billionaires in America, laughing?  Let’s just say my joke was so funny, someone bought it, and I no longer have the rights to tell it…  I have wanted to photograph Bill Gates for a long time, and my opportunity finally came around a couple of months ago when Forbes called.  Dustin, is one of the four co-founders of Facebook, and since he is 8 days younger than Mark Zuckerberg, he is the youngest billionaire in the world.  As you would expect, time was extremely limited for this shoot.  We were given one and a half hours to set up the studio shot, and then I would have the first 10 minutes of the interview, and the last 10 minutes of the interview to take pictures.  Immediately after the interview we had 3 minutes for hair and makeup and 7 minutes to photograph both Dustin and Bill.  It was a whirlwind, but I am really happy with how everything turned out, not to mention it was a pretty cool experience to sit in on a conversation with these two.  You can read the Forbes article here.

Here are a couple of shots I took after the shoot of the studio lighting setup.

For the interview image I used a Canon 5D Mark II with an on camera flash which I bounced off a wall to fill in with the natural light coming in from the back windows.  The studio setup was a bit more elaborate, and I used my Hasselblad H3DII-31 Camera with the Hasselblad H 80mm Lens for the portraits.  For lighting, I used two Profoto Giant 150 Silver Reflectors.  One as the key, and one for fill.  The Wescott 45” Umbrella was used to brighten up the right side of the background, and I used two Profoto 1×3 Softboxes as edge lights for the subjects.  A lonely Elinchrom Ranger head on an Elinchrom RX 1100 Watt Battery pack snuck it’s way in, poking out over the top of the seamless as a hair light.  Aside from the Ranger, the Profoto lights were powered by Profoto Acute 2400 watt power supplys, and one Profoto AcuteB2 600Ws AirS LiFe Power Pack.

12
Oct

Herbert Has The Last Laugh

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Random

Possibly the greatest portrait ever.  Apparently Herbert sat for this portrait right after he stole some candy, and planted a whoopie cushion.

Found on a wall at Seattle Central Community College.

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02
Oct

John McKay Seattle Weekly Cover

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

John McKay on the cover of Seattle Weekly. Photo by John Keatley.

This is the cover of the current Seattle Weekly featuring my portrait of John McKay.  We had some difficulties scheduling this one, and it went right down to the wire.  Thankfully we were able to get some time with John the night before the issue went to press.  I really like this picture.  It is a simple portrait, but there is so much about it that makes it fun to look at.  His eyes are bright and focused, as if he is looking right at you.  One eyebrow is slightly raised giving him a a strong sense of confidence, and maybe even a bit of mischeviousness.  The subtle tilt of his head, and parted lips seem like he is either about to say something profound, or even start laughing.  I never get tired of photographing people, and I love that I learn something new about expression, emotion, trust, interaction, light, and timing every time I take a picture.  As much as I always feel the need to try something different, I don’t think I will ever get tired of photographing faces, because there is always something new to see and learn.

You can read the corresponding story on the Seattle Weekly website here.

01
Oct

New Liberia Images

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

I added a couple of new images to the Liberia section of my website.  Check em out.

13
Sep

Henry Seattle Weekly Cover

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

Mural painter Henry photographed by John Keatley for the cover of Seattle Weekly.

I photographed Ryan Henry Ward for the cover of the current Seattle Weekly.  It looks really beautiful in print if you are in Seattle and are able to track down a copy.  There is something about the rough matte newsprint, muted colors, and heavy contrast that really makes this image stand out.  As the copy indicates, if you live in Seattle, or even visited recently, you have probably come across at least one of Henry’s colorful murals which are spread across the city.  He just finished his 120th mural in the last 3 years.  He has also sold over 2,000 canvases, which is impressive, but even more so when you hear he has only been painting full time since 2008.

Henry signs all of his murals with a big “Henry” in black on a white circle.  It’s hard to miss, and most likely a big part of his success and brand recognition.  Since his work is mostly cartoon-like animals, I thought it would be fun to photograph him in costume as if he were one of his creatures.  My art director, Boo Davis, came up huge in finding this narwhal costume, and big thanks to Henry for being willing to go along with this idea.  It took some warming up to the idea on his part, but I think it turned out fantastic.  The horn was a little problematic, and made the shoot take about twice as long as it needed to, but he was really patient and made it work.  You can read the article about Henry on the Seattle Weekly website.

03
Sep

Michael Arrington

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Editorial Work

Michael Arrington photographed in his home by John Keatley.

Spending the afternoon with Michael Arrington at his home was a pretty fun experience.  I don’t usually have the opportunity to photograph highly successful people away from their offices, let alone at their homes.  I only got the call from Inc. Magazine for this assignment the day before the shoot, and I was asked not to take an assistant, given some privacy and security concerns.  Thankfully he was not in any huge hurry, so I had time to set up properly without rushing too much.  It was also a good exercise for me to remember how all of my gear works.  I can’t let myself get too soft.

For those who are not familiar with Michael, he is the founder and former editor of TechCrunch, a technology blog.  Michael has been called one of the most powerful people on the Internet by Forbes and Wired, and in 2008, he was listed by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.  Just days ago, the news broke that Michael has left TechCrunch to start a $20M venture capital fund.

Michael has been described as controversial and outspoken, and when Michael found out that I have never tasted coffee, he pushed harder than anyone ever has to try to get me to break.  He also jabbed me quite a bit for using a Sprint EVO.  Hey, I’ll let people make fun of me all day long, as long as I’m getting great images out of it.  Strong personality, for sure, but I really liked him.  He was fun to work with.

Read the Inc. article this photo shoot was for: The Way I Work: Michael Arrington of TechCrunch

17
Jul

2011 PDN Faces

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Awards, Editorial Work, Personal Work

The 2011 PDN Faces issue is out, and Plants Vs. Zombies is a winner in the Celebrity/Editorial Portraits category.  My Liberia series also won, under the Environmental Portraiture category.  Last year, my portrait of Annie Leibovitz was the feature image in PDN Faces.  It’s a thrill to have my work included in the contest again.  Last July through April of this year felt like I was going at 200 mph non stop, and it’s nice to be able to slow down a little bit in the summer and reflect back on the work I have done this past year.  It is even more satisfying to have that work recognized by the various contests I have won recently.  Now it’s time to get busy again.  Lots to do and look forward to.  The new Keatley office project, the 2011 Christmas photo, some new video projects, and hopefully more fun work as well.  I just finished a short video about my experience in Liberia this past January, and I will post it shortly (tonight).  I think you will like it.

Side note: Co-founder of PopCap Games, John Vechey (pictured above) trumped my award just a little when PopCap was acquired by Electronic Arts for $1.3 billion,  just days after the PDN award became public.  Congrats John.  Dolla dolla bills, y’all.  I like to think the awards for this picture is what pushed EA to pull the trigger.  Not that I am surprised, because just days after I photographed TechCrunch founder and CEO Michael Arrington in his home, TechCrunch was purchased by AOL for $30 million.  You seeing a pattern here?  I can’t legally promise companies will throw millions of dollars at you after I take your picture, but…  Hey, that could make a great promo.

The list of this years Faces winners is on the official contest website.  I haven’t had a chance to see the issue in person yet, but I am looking forward to sitting down with it.

06
Jul

2011 Px3 Photography Competition

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Awards

2011 Px3 photography competition winning images by John Keatley.

It’s an embarrassment of riches!  I am especially proud of the work I created over this past year, and it is an honor to have that work recognized by the international photography competition ”Prix de la Photographie, Paris” (Px3).  This is my first time in the international game, and all 5 of the images above were selected as well as 2 honorable mentions.

From left to right:

Luke Burbank, host of Too Beautiful To Live for Seattle Met.  Art Director Benjamen Purvis.
Dennis Haysbert for Seattle Met.
Keli Carender, founder of the Tea Party political movement for Seattle Met.  Art Director Benjamen Purvis.
Plants Vs. Zombies / John Vechey, co-founder of Pop Cap Games for Inc.  Photo Editor Monique Perreault.
The Keatley Family 2010.  Personal work / self promotion.