George Elder Interview: Photographing the Most Fashionable People in NYC

Written by Freddy Martinez

George Elder

Above is a Roberto Cavalli two-piece suit. I’ve never worn one. In fact, I’ve never held one between my fingers. Even better, this Cavalli’s probably worth more than my crap car. And although this photograph of it could fit in any high-end fashion editorial, it isn’t a fashion photograph, nor is it a celebrity portrait. It’s a street photograph, one stranger being photographed by another, made for the sake of fashion. It’s a genre of photography about those who actually have the time and confidence to wear a two-piece mustard yellow Cavalli suit.

And it’s street fashion photographer George Elder’s job to find these people. Getting his start with Four Pins then Complex, Elder walks block-by-block, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, looking for New York City’s most fashionable. It’s easy to see the appeal. You still get the thrills of meeting new people and the inspiration of seeing what the most stylish are wearing. And it can also get you noticed. Besides Complex, Elder has also shot with other top fashion magazines like Vogue and GQ.

In this brief interview, Eldermann talks about how he got his start in photography, explains his approach to photographing strangers, and reveals his ideas on fashion.

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Anna Wolf Interview: How to Impress Clients with a Clean and Modern Aesthetic

Written by Freddy Martinez

Anna Wolf

Since graduating from Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, fashion photographer Anna Wolf has shot with more than seventy of the biggest names in fashion, advertising, and print. They include industry giants like Cosmopolitan, New York Magazine, Levi’s, Microsoft, L’Oreal, and Yves Saint Laurent — to name only a few. She also has shot in some of the most beautiful places in world, including Italy, Thailand, and Argentina, and even spent a year living in Mexico City to learn Spanish. Currently, Wolf spends her time between New York and Los Angeles.

When I asked her what have been the greatest lessons photography has taught her, she insightfully compared photography to life therapy. “It is such a challenging path,” she says, “It really makes you look at yourself and your place in the world. Each shoot is so different and you get kind of thrown into the mix with all of these incredible and sometimes crazy people and situations.” And although she knows photography has taken much out of her, she continues because she believes it’s something she was always meant to do.

In this interview, Wolf talks about what photography means to her, explains her approach to portraits, and reveals what it takes to make clean and consistent work.

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Day XIX Interview: Two Thrill Seekers Explain How to Find More Adventure in Your Photography

Written by Freddy Martinez

Jeremy & Claire Weiss Photography

Whichever genre you choose to shoot reflects the majority of who you are. It’s hard to imagine a street photographer suddenly turning coat for a glamour portfolio mid-career — or vice versa. It’s an obvious point, I know, but I’d say it’s what probably divides all the genres into their respective photographers. If you’re cerebral and free-associative, your photographs might lean toward being moody and dramatic. If you’re analytical and fastidious, you might be attracted to geometric design and abstract form. If you’re easy-going and energetic, your photographs might look like these captured by Day 19.

Day 19 makes photographs that look like advertisements for the most thrilling life ever lived. In some of their very best, I’ve actually shook my head and wondered if I’m missing out on some cinematic adventure. The thrills are that contagious. Jeremey and Claire Weiss, the artistic and romantic partners behind Day 19, must have a serious grip on fast-living. And although they were both late bloomers to photography, having started studying in their early twenties, they’ve now collected a impressive resume, having worked with, among many others, Nike, Rockstar Games, Vibe, and Rolling Stone.

In this interview, Jeremy Weiss explains how Day 19 started, talks about their adventures with photography, and reveals how they’re able to create such energetic photographs.

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How to Tell a Story in a Portrait: 6 Fashion Photographs & 6 Real Fictions

Written by Freddy Martinez

Yumna Al-Arashi

In the world’s greatest short story, written like something Jorge Luis Borges would tell, there exists a sentence which captures the entire universe in the image of a single word. The reader, once encountering it, would see a world thereto entirely unknown open up, and, within it, she’ll finally remember what the ancients called life’s essence, what poets describe as light within light, and what a photographer once called our atomic instances. Out of all them, it’s the photographer, she’ll say later, that comes closest to explaining what she saw. Eventually, this reader would become a photographer, and the story, now taking her part, would repeat itself, for infinity.

When you sit down and stare at your favorite photographs, what do you see? What do you feel? Are you sure that what you are perceiving truly existed? Most photographs are taken within a short burst of light. If we average it out, I’d say it’d be 1/100th of a second. 1/100th of a second is quicker than the quickest glance. 1/100th of a second is shorter than shortest memory. 1/100th of a second is the slightest twitches, the tiny instances that build larger worlds. When I look at photographs, when I’m asked to write about them, the only help, the only context, the only voices I hear are illusionary. How could I trust that moment? What am I seeing?

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XTRAPOP App for iOS: Put More Panache in Your iPhone Photos

Written by Freddy Martinez

Image-3

What happens when the PhotoWhoa office gets a brand new iOS app to play with? Puro magic, that’s what. Above is co-founder Kevin Tang — the wizard behind the veil finally revealed! — looking like a cross between a fashion-minded viking and a debonair bandit. The photo was made using XTRAPOP, available now at the Apple App Store. Besides being incredibly easy to use, it’s a great new way to accessorize and glamourize your every iPhone photograph. Get it now!

Click below for two more pics (including one of me)!

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Kristina Loggia Interview: How to Capture the Most Important Details in a Portrait

Written by Freddy Martinez

Kristina Loggia

Seeing a master at work, you learn the powers at play: An image may alter your life, a photobook set its course. For New York photographer Kristina Loggia making photography was never a conscious choice. Harry Callahan, Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange, and Margaret Bourke-Smith were all fixtures in her childhood. Before she found her photography, she found theirs. And now that the years have cycled through, she still carries them.

“No space is just a ‘space’, no object just an ‘object’. Everything has a history and holds meaning,” Loggia says about her approach to portraiture. Like the greats she grew up revering, Loggia knows that the details that explain a person are never hidden. They just need to be pulled. Some come quietly, whereas others impress so heavily they’re impossible to ignore. But no matter how small or messy, Loggia is always looking for those little details that sing.

In this interview, Loggia explains how her parents influenced her photography, talks about her influences, and reveals why details always matter in a portrait.

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Ben Zucker Interview: How to Capture the Best Environmental Portraits

Written by Freddy Martinez

Ben Zucker

E.B. White, one of the most studious writers that has ever lived (he co-wrote “Elements of Style” but is best know for “Charlotte’s Web”), once remarked that, “Commas in The New Yorker fall with the precision of knives in a circus act, outlining the victim.” Of course, Mr. White was only slightly exaggerating. The New Yorker has never been known for taking things casually. Their copy desk, like the content and the artists they’ve asked to contribute, has always sought exactitude. They know good work rarely comes easily.

So when they call, it’s probably best if you pick up and listen. New York photographer Ben Zucker did just that. Having met one of their photo editors while assisting years before, Zucker was asked to contribute for their recent Journeys issue. Zucker seemed to fit the part exactly. They were looking for a strange way to see NYC, and he was known for being adventurous, and as an avid sailor, he could photograph the city from its seldom-seen-from waterways. Never intimidated, Zucker accepted and, at 24, is well on his way to proving that The New Yorker always discovers the greatest talent.

In this interview, Zucker talks about his feature in The New Yorker, explains how he crafts environmental portraits, and reveals some secrets about finding work in New York City.

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NYC’s Met Releases Over 400,000 High-Res Art Images for Free Download

Written by Freddy Martinez

If art is your thing, then the world just got a little better for you. New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has just okayed the free educational use and download of over 400,000 artworks in their collection. This means as long as you’re not commercially benefiting from the image, feel free to download it and paste it into any scholarly essay, treatise, or manifesto, you can write up. It’s all part of their Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) initiative. Just go here and find anything with a OASC tag. If it’s marked, then enjoy yourself an image so large it’ll make you squeal.

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Catie Laffoon Interview: How to Make Your Portraits as Honest and Expressive as Music

Written by Freddy Martinez

Catie Laffoon

Los Angeles photographer Catie Laffoon loves music. You could even say that she loves it more than photography. Though, like a perfect couple, they never fail to support each other. Her playlists set the tone of her shoots, musicians dominate her portfolio, and her approach to portraiture is based on how music affects her. As she told me, “I want to see your eyes and know every feeling that’s passing through your body. And that’s how I approach shooting a live show, the same way I approach a portrait.”

It’s no surprise she’s been featured by all the music loving magazines, like Vanity Fair, Interview, and Billboard, as well as record companies like Interscope, Warner Bros., and Columbia Records. In shooting her friends like the biggest bands, shooting large festivals like the most intimate of moments, and capturing a person’s most personal song, Laffoon makes portraits that flawlessly combine two ways of seeing the world, getting closer to that more immediate image, that genuine expression, music always seems to uncover best.

In this interview, Laffoon talks about how she got her start in photography, explains how music fuels her work, and reveals how she achieves honesty in her portraits.

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Brad Zellar Interview: One of the Best Photography Writers Explains What Makes a Photograph Great

Written by Freddy Martinez

Brad Zellar

You will see things that no one ever looks at or sees closely . . . ”

In Catch and Release: My Photographic Journey, photography writer and journalist Brad Zellar writes about a man who, realizing he’ll never capture a photograph as beautiful as what he sees around him, digs a hole, purposely beside his two dead dogs, and buries every single photography equipment he had ever owned, burying them along with the entire promise photography had for him. Caught with the empathy to see, this man releases his desire to capture. He abandons all that he loves simply for loving it too much.

“I look at photographs and hear voices,” was the Zellar quote that led me to this story. It was a tweet for a short interview from the Paris Review. I read it in a frenzy. And when I got home, I read as much as I could about Zellar. Soon, I realized (though before sending the questions) that Catch and Release was about him. Zellar actually did quit believing that he could become a photographer — actually got rid of his equipment, too. Yet unlike the man in that story who never expands beyond his hometown library, Zellar is now one of the best photography writers in the world.

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