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Celebrity Photography

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, 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

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

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.


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