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Celebrity Photography

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Casey Curry is a celebrity, portrait, and fashion/beauty photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Casey has worked with A-list celebrities such as Michael Caine, Kate Winslet, Billy Bob Thornton, and many others. To see more of work, visit his liveBooks8 website: www.caseycurry.com.

I’ve been studying light and taking pictures since I was the was a child although my start in the industry began with an assisting job for David LaChapelle. His creative approach fused with the talented photo crew he surrounds himself with set the bar for the level of production I wanted for my sets. From then, it’s been a slow burn of testing, developing my craft, and shooting commissioned work. As my aesthetic matures, so does my need to push the limits of what I can deliver for my clients – this can only be found through constant testing. I’ll often watch a film or look at a classic painting and think, “Oh that look would be great for this band/upcoming project.” It’s a continual path of discovery. I never stop learning.

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Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

CC: Clean, minimalistic, modern.

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

CC: Since I started constructing the layout and curating work, it’s been a daily effort. From here on out, I plan on updating my site on a bi-monthly basis.

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Q: How do you choose the photos you display on your homepage?

CC: The homepage is intended to give viewers a taste of each section of the website. Additionally, each image is meant to showcase the diverse approaches I’m capable of.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

CC: It’s been years since I use the old liveBooks, so I can’t attest to how much it differs. I can, however, say that it is the best self-managed website I’ve user, and I’ve used quite a few of them. The functionality is superior. It is not only user-friendly, but also technically superior with the built-in SEO and design customization capabilities.

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Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

CC: Although it’s important to stay true to yourself, get feedback from peers in your field – or better yet, from those you draw influence and aspiration from. I always try to surround myself with people who I feel are better than me, and I took the same approach when building my site. Also, you need to strictly limit the content you display (that’s where the help of others can really come in handy). It should only be the best of what you have to showcase and it needs to take your viewers on a cohesive journey. A good portfolio is one that doesn’t feel disjointed and doesn’t ever get boring.

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Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com.

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Michelle Coursey is a professional make-up artist based in New York City. Her work has appeared in national and international magazines, television shows, runways and the red carpet. She has a natural talent fro making women feel beautiful and a special gift for creating flawless, beautiful faces through make-up and airbrushing. She has worked alongside famous make-up artists such as Pat McGrath, Dick Page, Tom Pecheux, and Charlotte Tilbury at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks and the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. To see more of Michelle’s work, visit her liveBooks8 website: www.michellecoursey.com.

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I’m originally from Oregon and came to NYC to study acting but quickly switched my focus to makeup after graduating from college. I didn’t want to sit behind a desk all day and wanted to be doing something creative and then stumbled across a book about the business side of make-up and decided that is what I wanted to do. I did a ton of test shoots and got my portfolio together and eventually got some regular clients and an agency. I’ve been full-time freelance for about 12 years now. I work on a combination of commercial, editorial, fashion runway and red carpet projects.

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Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website in three words?

MC: Clean, fast, striking!

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Q: How often do you typically update your website?

MC: It really depends on how much new work I have coming in, but on average I’d say once a month.

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Q: How do you choose the photos you display on your homepage?

MC: I choose the photos based on how much I love them and also which photos have gotten the best response in general. I like to choose a range of dramatic and natural looks so clients can see my range immediately.

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Q: What is your favorite new feature of liveBooks8?

MC: Ease of updating and an easy backend. I love being able to see how design changes will look as I’m doing them.

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Q: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

MC: Keep it as simple and impactful as possible. Most clients won’t look at every photo so make sure your best work is front and center.

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Have a website you’d like us to feature? Email us at social@livebooks.com.

As the end of the year approaches it’s an opportune time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. We decided to check in with longtime friend and celebrity photographer John Russo to see what his most memorable moment was this past year and what he plans to do in 2013. And the answers sound fabulous!

What was your most memorable moment from this past year?  

Shooting the Hugo Boss Fragrance Campaign and getting to travel all over the world to do it.

What is your biggest goal for 2013?  

To play more tennis and see the Greek Islands!

How has liveBooks changed your business?  

liveBooks plays a huge role in my business. My clients love how my photographs are displayed. We are constantly uploading new images to our site. It’s so easy and fast!

Photo courtesy of John Russo

Irving Penn, one of the masters of photography, died Wednesday, October 7, 2009, at the age of 92 at his home in Manhattan. Penn leaves behind him a wealth of iconic imagery, from portraits of cultural leaders to obsessively exact still lifes. Photography Now has a great selection of Penn’s work online and the Getty Center in Los Angeles is showing Penn’s exhibition “Small Trades” now until January 10, 2010.

Scientists Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith, inventors of CCD (charge-coupled device), will be sharing this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics with Charles K. Kao, the “Father of Fiber Optics.” Although the duo had moved onto other research projects, their discovery made digital imaging possible, from point-and-shoots to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Both Outside and Esquire launched a moving magazine cover this month, with the full videos available on their websites. Alexx Henry, the photographer behind the new Outside cover, made a name for himself doing a “Living Movie Poster” for the movie Mrs. Washington. It’s the second time Greg Williams has shot a moving cover for Esquire, after the first one featuring Transformer star Megan Fox.

Fashion label Ralph Lauren landed in hot water this week with a “poor imaging and retouching” job on one of their advertising images. After Boing Boing brought attention to a photograph of already thin Filippa Hamilton photoshopped to unltra skinny, Ralph Lauren’s legal department sent the blog a take down notice. Bad move. Now The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post, Yahoo!, Jezebel and ABC News have jumped on it. PDN has the details.

Photographer Chase Jarvis, a long-time proponent of iPhone photography, this week announced the launch of his iPhone application, Best Camera. The simple, elegant photo editing app also allows you to share images to Facebook and Twitter, as well as TheBestCamera.com, the app’s new community photo sharing site. A master of cross promotion, Chase has also simultaneously released a new book of his iPhone photos, The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You.

In a bizarre twist on the celebrity-photographer love-hate paradigm, PDN reports that Agence France Presse staffer Yuri Cortez and freelancer Rolando Aviles are bringing a suite against Tom Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen for an incident where their bodyguards demanded the photographers’ memory cards and then shot at them when they refused to comply and fled in their SUV.

We were excited to see the name of Istanbul-based photojournalist Lynsey Addario on the list of the 24 new MacArthur Fellows for 2009 announced this week. Each of recipient of the “genius award” will receive $500,000 in “no strings attached” support over the next five years.

Photographer and film director Richard Patterson released a new stop-motion music video for Iranian rock band Hypernova this week, which was created out of about 16,000 still photographs made with the Canon 1D Mark III and the new Profoto Pro-8 Air. Since releasing, along with a behind-the-scenes making-of video, it’s been viewed almost 40,000 times.

The Associated Press came under criticism this week for requesting that the organizers of Noorderlicht International Photofest, which starts tomorrow in the Netherlands, remove an essay from its event catalog. The essay, written by former Magnum Photos president Stuart Franklin, was supposed to accompany AP images from the Gaza Strip, according to this AP statment. More from both sides at PDN and the British Journal of Photography.

Starting this week, Getty Images will represent the Los Angeles Times’ archive of celebrity portraits through its Contour division, according to a press release published in PDN.

For those wishing they were at Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, this week — there’s an app for that. If you have an iPod, you can download the free application here and see some of the exclusive images from the festival.

Less than a year after the demise of Digital Railroad, Image Warehouse announced that it will cease operations by the end of September. Carroll Seghers, the company’s founder, sent out the announcement earlier this week to all users of its services, at least giving them a little more time to find alternative storage that Digital Railroad supplied.

New York Magazine last week published the most in-depth article yet chronicling the sad financial downfall of celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz. The question on everybody’s mind is how a person who’s making an annual salary of $2-to-$5 million could run into a debt of over $24 million. The Wall Street Journal blames it on her “leverage-and-live-large lifestyle.”

In a surprising move, Time Inc. has purchased a house in Detroit to serve as a long-term base of operations while its publications document the struggle of the nation’s automobile capital. This seemingly unprecedented move will allow Time’s journalists to cover the story not only as observers, but as part of the community.

The iPhone emerged this month as the most popular camera on Flickr, ousting the long-reining top uploader, the Canon Rebel XTi. We’re not surprised considering how easy  iPhone images are to upload and the improved picture quality of the new 3GS. At the time of writing this post, the XTi has climbed back to the top of the chart, but we’re betting Canon is paying attention and expect to see wi-fi upload capabilities in their DSLRs soon.

Matt Mandelsohn’s The Lesson of Lindsay is a beautiful story of young girl struggling with personal tragedy. The fact that the piece was turned down by every potential publisher, one because they wanted “happy” news stories, is just a tragedy. A Photo Editor boils it down to the “duh” soundbite that publishers still refuse to listen to.

A former photo editor herself, Jessica now crafts the blog The F Stops Here, explaining what photo editors do and sharing important photo news. She also offers her expertise to the photography community on RESOLVE, with helpful posts like this one with tips to help editors find your photos.
Images from a search for "Las Vegas, Atlantic City, luck, risk, chance, chances" on iStockPhoto.com

Images from a search for “Las Vegas, Atlantic City, luck, risk, chance, chances” on iStockPhoto.com

Detail Your Descriptors

Most photographers know that properly captioning and keywording their photographs is crucial if it’s going to show up in an image search, either on a stock site, on their own site, or, increasingly, on a Google Image search. What may come as a surprise is just how detailed those descriptors need to be — down to the color of the model’s shirt.

“For me, a good caption describes the scene exactly.”

For example: Smiling brown-haired Caucasian woman drinking coffee, sitting at the kitchen table. Now go even deeper for the keywords. The woman is smiling, so be sure to include “happy” as a keyword. What does the kitchen look like? Is it modern? Traditional? What is she wearing? If she is wearing a turtleneck, include that since it suggests a specific season. In fact, include the season. All of these details could be important to the person looking for the photo.

Think Like an Editor

Another concept to consider when keywording is atmosphere and mood. A lot of photo editors are looking for an image to illustrate a specific concept. In addition to describing the scene, imagine what ideas your photograph could be used to convey.

For example, if you have a close-up of a pair of dice, think about what that could represent — Las Vegas, Atlantic City, luck, risk, chance, chances, (include singular and plural; photo editors have different searching “styles”).  Or a road sign, those can also be used to illustrate other concepts such as “choice,” “fork in the road,” “decision.” All of these should be included in the keywords.

To help with this more conceptual keywording, look at magazines and see how images are used to illustrate different stories and concepts. Begin thinking like a photo editor, not only when shooting, but also when captioning and keywording.

Check and Copy Edit — Again

One thing you can do to help those photo editors looking for your images is to spell things correctly. There have been times when I purposely misspelled something in a search in order to find what I was looking for (after spending hours trying different keywords). Double, triple, even quadruple check your keywords and captions, then have someone else “copy edit” them. You never know what errors a fresh pair of eyes may find — and who might find your images because of your diligence.

When RESOLVE was just a fledgling, we ran two posts from Greg Gibson titled “It’s never too late to start a personal project.” Since then we’ve seen so many great personal projects, and heard about even more that are still just ideas. By highlighting our faves in this new “It’s Personal” column, we hope to encourage more photographers to turn their great idea into a great personal project.
Elliott Erwitt and Jim Marshall, from Tim Mantoani's "Behind Photographs" project. ©Tim Mantoani Photography Inc.

Elliott Erwitt and Jim Marshall, from Tim Mantoani's "Behind Photographs" project. ©Tim Mantoani Photography Inc.

Name: Tim Mantoani
Website:
www.mantoani.com
Age:
40
Location:
San Diego
Full-time job:
Photographer

Personal project name and description
Behind Photographs — I have been shooting portraits of photographers for the past 2.5 years on 20×24 Polaroid. Each photographer is holding an image they are known for. As many of these photographers, like Polaroid, fade away, I hope these images will be a way for future generation to appreciate the contribution these artists have made.

When and why did you start it?
I started shooting in Dec ’06; I always wanted to try shooting with the 20×24 Polaroid. Since it is expensive to rent, I wanted to shoot something that meant something special to me. I knew both Jim Marshall and Michael Zagaris and asked them to bring in a favorite image to hold for a portrait. It all snowballed from there.

What is your favorite image so far?
Too many great images and memories to call out a single image.

What has been the most challenging thing about the project?
Cost and time. I have really maxed myself out financially shooting this project, but it is all starting to come together now that people can see the work. Sadly, some of the participants have passed away, but it is a great feeling to know that I can help keep their legacies alive.

What has been the most rewarding thing about it?
Being able to spend some time with each of these photographers, to hear their stories and collaborate on the final image.

In your ideal world, where would this project end up?
I would love to see this project in a large venue where I can show all of the images at full size.

Do you recommend personal projects to other photographers, and why?
Every photographer has a personal project they want to shoot. JUST GO DO IT!!!! There will always be a bunch of reasons not to: money, time, risk. But at the end of the day, the images you shoot for YOU are the ones that will be your best and the most rewarding. The roller coaster is more fun than the merry-go-round.

Be Part of the RESOLUTION: Do you have a personal project or know of one that you’d like us to highlight on RESOLVE? Add your suggestions to the comments or email us.

Ted Barron at the Boogie Woogie Flu blog posted two very cool MP3 tracks of Weegee and Henri Cartier-Bresson speaking about photography. The Online Photographer also pointed us to some other audio clips of radio interviews with Weegee from 1945, including an explanation of how he got his name.

Kodak announced on Monday that they will retire the 74-year old Kodachrome film because, quite simply, it’s not selling. Is it ironic or perfect timing that National Geographic Museum’s new exhibition, which runs through September 7, is “Kodachrome Culture: the American tourist in Europe“?

The best-remembered Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett died of cancer on Thursday at the age of 62. The New York Times had a nice tribute, and Bruce McBroom, the photographer behind the actress’ iconic poster, shared the story of the serendipitous shoot.

With the recent Iran media ban, there is a growing concern for the lack of professional conflict coverage. Paul Melcher had a great piece on why war photographers are rarer than ever. A timely wake up call for anyone who really cares about photojournalism.

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