Chris Hollo: The Door Project

My friend and colleague, Chris Hollo, a photographer from Nashville, has been featured in aCurator, an online photo magazine which features large full-screen images showing the works of photographers from all over. Chris is a commercial shooter who does advertising, editorial, people, and music. He has worked with many Nashville acts, and is the official photographer for the Grand Ole Opry.

Chris’ recent The Door Project took about six months to complete principal photography, but, then nearly another six months to complete the post. Chris said it was a lot of fun, but was a good deal of work with props, styling, and wardrobe, too. After really soaking it up on his website, I think the best part about it is the way it illustrates all the various human interactions we can have, just at the front door of our homes. His humorous peek, and sometimes stark reality, has captured the quirky human element which we all come into contact with, from time-to-time.

Chris has also jumped into the blogosphere recently, and you can follow his progress here. Chris has a lot of experience in the photo industry and a great personality. It comes through in his writing.

Interview with Chad Holder, Creator of Padport

Padport is in the iTunes App Store

I’ve been hearing for some time now about Padport. A few friends of mine knew who was developing the app (they wouldn’t elaborate) but, kept it very hush-hush, only to say that it was a portfolio app for the iPad, and that it was going to be all the rage. So, when I heard about the release of PadPort in the iTunes App Store last Wednesday afternoon, I decided I would get to the bottom of it. I made a couple calls and found out that a photography colleague of mine, here in Minneapolis, was the brain-child of Padport. I gave him a call and he agreed to this interview.

APhotoAssistant: Today, I’m speaking today with Chad Holder, a successful commercial advertising photographer from Minneapolis, and the creator of Padport. First thing, Chad, please tell us just exactly what Padport is and why did you decide to create it?

Chad Holder: PADPORT is a self contained, customizable portfolio for the iPad. It shows your images, your videos, and your contact information. It has an ABOUT  section where you can tell the viewer a little about yourself. We also tried to think beyond the photographer and planned for Models, Art directors, Stylists, Reps, Illustrators, Architects, Cabinet makers, Jewelry makers, really anyone who wants to show their works through a digital portfolio. [Read more...]

Photographers Value A Photo Assistant’s Mojo

Whenever I meet photo students and new assistants, they will sometimes ask me what it is that they need to know to get the good assisting gigs with all the great photographers. In turn, I will ask them why any photographer should hire them at all. Most students will say something like they love photography or know Photoshop inside-out. New assistants and others might respond with something along the lines of them being a hard worker, a quick learner, or know this-or-that brand of lighting or camera gear. This is all fine and dandy, but, I try to get across to them that in addition to a little knowledge, a good attitude and work ethic, that they need to have something in their arsenal that will make them especially unique to the photographers they work with. To have a skill, ability, network, or service that will uniquely benefit their photographer clients and set them apart from all the other assistants. [Read more...]

Reasons to Take Photographs

As photographers, we might say we take photographs to earn a living… to make money. Others might say that we communicate or illustrate our client’s product in a way they want it presented. And, still other shooters may argue that photography is to document an event, news, or some special occasion.

But, what about all the other reasons to take a photograph? Think back to when you first picked up a camera and discovered the magic of freezing time and getting your film back from the lab. Or, maybe you processed the film and printed the negative yourself, and saw the image materialize in the developer. What was the motivation you discovered about taking the shot in the first place? What captured your love-affair with photography?

Here’s some of my early recollections of why I took photographs.

1.    To remember what the clouds in the sky looked like just before that big storm.
2.    To show my friends the first northern pike I caught.
3.    To show mom where we went on our summer boy scout trip.
4.    To show how crazy me and my brother were when we stuck grapes in our nostrils.
5.    To show grandma and grandpa where we went on our family vacation to the Black Hills.
6.    To show friends how enormous the road-side dinosaur was at the rest stop.
7.    To capture the warmth of a sandy beach with palm trees.
8.    To illustrate the rocky hike up the mountain in the heat of the desert.
9.    To show friends and family back home how insane the traffic is on Los Angeles freeways.
10.  To capture the magic of a beautiful sunset in the Boundary Waters.

Of course! We tell stories with our photography… whether we are working for a client, snapping graduating sons and daughters at commencement, or taking vacation photos of wild bears in Yellowstone. But, sometimes, we get caught up in the frantic craziness of everyday life and our passions, as professional photographers and creatives, get clouded a bit by all the deadlines, budgets, layouts, and last minute art direction changes. Take a few moments and travel back in your mind to when you first snapped the shutter….

Why do you take a picture? What are some of your special memories of photography, before you shot for money?

WordCamp MSP

First crappy snow in Minneapolis

I ventured out into the snow early this morning to make my way to WordCamp MSP at the Best Buy HQ. Roads were pretty bad already at 8AM with lots of sloppy slush being thrown up onto everyone’s windshield’s from passing cars. Be careful out there Minnesnowta!

This is my first ever WordCamp and I believe it’s the first-ever WordCamp in the Twin Cities. WordCamp is a day of workshops for bloggers who use WordPress. After a few sessions this morning I am swimming with new ideas for content and delivery. Lunch was pretty good, catered in from Buca. Looking forward to the afternoon sessions.

If you’re a WordPress user and can brave the roads I recommend that you come check it out. Registration is open all day, I think.

WordCamp MSP

How To Make Traveling as a Photo Assistant A Snap

Working as a photo assistant and traveling to a location shoot can be a lot of fun. I’ve had many, many opportunities to travel and work on location, and one thing that each has in common is that every one is different. Working with different photographers will inevitably lead to traveling to many different locations, working on various types of shoots, with many different types of people. So, I guess the other thing that all location shoots have in common is that they are hardly ever boring. But, it can also be a lot of work. If you like lugging gear, working your butt off from sunrise to sunset, overcoming adversity, dealing with weather and other uncertainties of the road–then assisting on location might be the life for you.

There is both an art and a business to traveling and photography. The photographer must know what the client expects from them. As a photo assistant, you must know what the photographer expects from you. If there is a producer, they will handle many of the minute details. But the photographer and assistant will need to be on the same page with concern to ad layouts, gear to bring or rent when arriving, job roles of everyone on the production, and catering to the client. Sometimes, the assistant will double as a mini-producer and handle, or assist, with such things as car rentals, hotel reservations, getting lunch, pulling permits, scouting, and scheduling. Making it all work takes resourcefulness, creativity, hard work, and many times, a lot of overtime.

[Read more...]

How To Get Under an NHL Player Without Getting Hurt

Bauer -> Behind The Scenes from Jonathan Chapman Photography on Vimeo.

Here’s a great little behind the scenes video shot of Jonathan Chapman and his crew doing a very interesting shoot for Olson and the Bauer Hockey Athletic Camp 2010. I’m not posting this just because I am a huge hockey fan (well, maybe a little), but I just wanted to show that there is still some great imaginative work being done out there. I love it when everyone puts their heads together and pulls-off something fun like this!

You can see Jonathan’s blog at Jonathan Chapman Photography/Intrigue.

Booking Gigs, Scheduling Conflicts, Holds, And Photo Assistants On-Ice

Well, shoot! I’ve been crazy busy. Hardly enough time to think let alone get caught up, here, on the blog. My apologies for leaving you hanging. Being extra busy the last couple months has lead to some scheduling conflicts when booking shoots, so I thought this was a good opportunity to talk about them here on APhotoAssistant.com.

Many freelance photo assistants may have one to five photographers who they always work with, almost exclusively. If you’re not there yet, no worries, you will get there. Lately, I’ve been working, a lot, out of town. Traveling, and just being generally busy, will easily complicate your schedule and make it difficult to always be available to the main core of photographers you work with. It’d be great if everyone was so busy that we could just book 3-5 days each week with the same photographer, but let’s face it, that’s probably not gonna happen–unless you are a full-time studio assistant. A good gig if you can get it, but that’s whole different topic for another time.

[Read more...]