09
Nov

Plants Vs. Zombies

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Blog

PopCap Games co-founder John Vechey with Plants Vs. Zombies zombies in Seattle.  Photo by Seattle photographer John Keatley.

Ever played the video game Plants Vs. Zombies?  If so, then these zombies need no introduction.  The man in the middle is John Vechey, co-founder of PopCap Games, one of the most successful casual game companies in the world.  The first game they created is Bejeweled, which has sold more than 50 million copies.  Plants Vs. Zombies is a really addictive game where you grow plants to prevent zombies from reaching your house and eating your brains.  It is surprisingly kid friendly, and one of those games you just have to see to understand.  I won’t say too much about this image because I think it is enjoyed best without explination.

I will say this was my favorite outtake from a recent shoot I did for Inc at the PopCap headquarters.  Nothing like catching a couple of zombies on break at corporate.

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11
Sep

Bus and Ida May

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Personal Work

Buster Brown

Ida May

Bus By The Barn

Bus and Ida May are good family friends of ours, and they live on a farm near Seattle.  Their farm used to be even larger than it is now, but there is now a major highway, several off ramps, businesses and condos where the cows used to graze.  Every summer for the past several years, my wife Nichelle and I have enjoyed homemade desserts with them on their back porch made from ingredients picked just several yards away.  After spending time with them one evening, I felt compelled to photograph them.  To make things as comfortable as possible, I set up in their back yard, while friends and family came over for dinner.  A good  amount of my studio work is actually done on location like this.  Not necessarily on a farm, but in a place that my subject feels most comfortable.  In this case, it was a farm.  Not to mention, I would choose to work outside on a warm summer evening instead of in a studio any time given the choice.

I have a photography show opening in a few weeks, and the headshots of Bus and Ida May will be two of the 12 or so images on display.  I will have more information about the show shortly, and after I wrap up a few large projects, I will be able to get back to a more regular blog schedule.  Thanks for taking a look, and I hope you are enjoying what is left of summer.

19
Aug

"How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?"

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Celebrity

Portrait of Annie Leibovitz by John Keatley.  An honest look at the great celebrity photographer.

As you may already know, last November I had the privilege of photographing one of the photography greats, Annie Leibovitz.  (Here) is an earlier post about my experience photographing her.  Then just a few months ago, I found out my portrait of Annie was selected for AP25 (American Photography 25 silver-anniversary competition) which is a selection of the best photographs from 2008.  The selected photographs will be compiled in a book this coming November.  Having already written about this, I don’t want to be too repetitive, but Annie Leibovitz is in the news again.  This time, it was not because she offended someone, or got a celebrity to pose nude.  New York Magazine came out with an article this week about Annie, and the hard times that she has come into.  Not to make light of a difficult situation, but I am pleased that one of my portraits was licensed for this article.  Here is a link to “How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz? The $24 million question” written by Andrew Goldman for New York Magazine.  It is a fantastic story, and definitely worth reading.

With all of the news flying around about Annie, I decided to take a look at my portraits of her again.  This picture in particular has always pulled at me.  I have thought about showing it in the past, but there was something that always seemed to make me leave it alone.  Looking at it again now, in light of what is going on, it seemed to take on new life.  This was one of those moments that came and went in a split second.  I had shot several frames already, including the one I have been showing.  There was a moment where she didn’t know what to do with her hands, and maybe felt a bit self conscious about being photographed.  She quickly rubbed her eyes and pulled her hair back from her face and the moment was gone.  I can’t say I captured this image because of some magic of my own.  In all honesty, I’m sure it was an accident I caught this.  But in this portrait, I see so much honesty and vulnerability.  Something not easily captured, regardless of the subject.  A good lesson for me: a great portrait isn’t always created by controlling my subject, but rather capturing an organic moment in a controlled setting.

New York Magazine “How Could This Happen to Annie Leibovitz?” http://nymag.com/fashion/09/fall/58346/

*Side Note*  Thank you to everyone who has written me about the comments not showing up properly in Safari and Firefox.  It looks like the issue has been resolved, and I apologize if you felt that I was ignoring your questions.  I may have actually responded, but the comment just didn’t show up properly.  It turns out that white text on a white background can be hard to read.

20
Feb

My Interview On Feature Shoot

Posted by John Keatley / Filed under Press & Interviews

I am excited to share with you that I am featured on Feature Shoot as of this morning (read here).  There is an interview, and several of my portraits.  Including a new one from American Youth, a photography book which will be in stores May 2009.

“Feature Shoot is a resource for photo editors, art directors, and other industry professionals to discover new photographic talent. We interview and showcase the work of up-and-coming American photographers alongside that of established photographers who have completed a project or whose work has taken on a new direction.”

Special thanks to Alison Zavos!

http://www.featureshoot.com/2009/02/john-keatley-seattle/
http://www.featureshoot.com

This interview has also led to a couple of other blog articles today.  
(here) Lost At E Minor
(here) [EV +/-] Exposure Compensation