About Jerard

Publisher, writer, photographer. Brand-minded storyteller and business-minded strategist. Jerard has spent most of his career building media vehicles that connect valuable audiences with some of the most well-known brands in the world. Before working with influencers like Chase Jarvis, he spent more than a decade working in the action/snow sports business as one of the primary creators of Freeskier magazine. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and 6 lb dog Ginger. Other passions: Skiing, travel, sailing, surfing, scuba diving, fishing, biking, poetry, beet salad and the occasional bowl full of gummy bears.
Author Archive | Jerard

The Only Subject You’ll Ever Need. Ever

Marcin Sobas has a body of work that speaks to a photography maxim: Nature is still the best subject. The endless cycle of birth, growth, death and rebirth; the arc of the sun and the moon in a 24 hour period; the play of clouds and fog as both filter and subject — your window could look out at a tree on a hill and you could find a million different ways to capture it in a photograph over the course of a year.

A hobbyist, Sobas benefits from his sense of timing and his appreciation for Nature as Subject. His misty hillsides and above-the-cloud compositions are quintessential landscape shots: just the right light, just the right fog, just the right angle.

I popped a few questions the artist’s way to learn a little more about his approach.

Why the fog and the green as subjects?

MS: I have always been fascinated by fog. Mists are mysterious and you never know what will emerge from them. On green fields, the light is discovering their form at a right angle. Some places then look magical.

Do you do commercial work? If not, do you want to?

MS: At the moment, I treat it as my hobby. I really respect commercial work and I’m open to any suggestions and any cooperation.

What is your process?

MS: It all depends on the air and weather conditions. The foundation is good light and then the process is easy.

Can you dive into the kind of gear do you use?

MS: My main equipment is Telelens and sometimes a wide lens. I’m working on a Canon.

What’s your favorite location you’ve shot at thus far?

MS: From the places that I have visited, my favorite is Tuscany in Italy. But for the moment I have not visited too many places.

Anything else you’d like to add?

MS: The whole world is beautiful and amazing. I would love to visit both America and my dream is New Zealand.

Check out more of Marcin’s work here.





Transparent Cameras – Photo Gallery of X-Rayed Cameras


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net

In the shuffle of airport security I like to sneak a peek over the shoulder of the TSA agent and catch a glimpse of my gear as it moves through the X-ray. Shaving kit, headphones, a book, my ipad and usually a camera or two. It’s cool to see a quick view of the inner workings of the things we carry. Even cooler when it’s your camera’s hidden internal magic.

Photographer Blake Billings has created an entire series of that moment with his X-rayed camera photos. Here are the things that are moving around inside the magic light box.

Can you identify the model/make of these transparent cameras? Any of your favorites in the series?


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net


Copyright @Blake Billings, www.blakebillings.net

Original story via our friends at PetaPixel

From Obscurity to Internet Sensation — How Creatives Can Win the PR Game with Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is a media genius who promotes, inflates and hacks some of the biggest names and brands in the world. He’s also the Director of Marketing for American Apparel. Oh, and he’s just 25 years old. His point-of-view is enlightening when it comes to understanding today’s complex media landscape. You might remember that I had him on chasejarvisLIVE last year. Since then his book ‘Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator’ has become a bestseller and his secrets have become well known. After dropping out of college at 19 to apprentice under the strategist Robert Greene (who appeared on another super popular episode on chasejarvisLIVE here), he went on to advise many bestselling authors and multi-platinum musicians. He is the Director of Marketing at American Apparel, where his work in advertising was internationally known. His strategies are used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube and Google and have been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company. Ryan is back in Seattle teaching for creativeLIVE (happening today and tomorrow here) with a course on PR for artists, entrepreneurs and businesses where he will be going deep with some of the topics we touch on in this interview.

CJ:I believe that this is the most exciting time in the history of mankind to be an artist. And I’ve heard you say that we’ve entered a “new economic model.” Do you agree with the fact there is more opportunity for creatives right now than ever?

RH:I totally agree. Look, you could post a video online tomorrow and it could get a million views within 24 hours. You could email a link to your product to a blogger and it could become a major media story within minutes. And what does all that cost? NOTHING. It’s amazing. I don’t think those things were ever possible before, or if they were, you’d have to retain enormously expensive agencies and professionals to help you. So yes, it’s a spectacular time to be a creative. HOWEVER, it’s not always as simple as just posting a video or emailing a link. Look at the people who have managed to have repeated success online–there are methods and tricks and processess that make this replicable and possible and that’s what I’ve spent my time studying, implementing and writing about.

CJ: You are a well-known voracious reader. What books could you recommend for people who are interested in growing their PR and Media efforts?

RH: Believe it or not, I think some of the best books about marketing don’t talk about marketing at all.
I like the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, I think Saul Alinsky’s books on community organizing are AMAZING (Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals). I would also suggest people read Clay Shirky’s book about Here Comes Everybody and the book Blue Ocean Strategy (which is easily translatable to marketing and positioning your creative business). And of course, Seth Godin has laid out probably the best basics in terms of understanding marketing and business in Purple Cow, Permission Marketing, The Icarus Deception and all those books. I tried to write my book to fill in the gaps

CJ: What is the first step for a creative to get their work noticed… from someone besides their mom?

RH: I’d say hold on a second. People think about marketing too early and too late. Before you think about, I want creatives to be POSITIVE their work and business is ready for lots of attention. If your website sucks or your distribution is disorganized, do you really want anyone other than your mom to buy from you? Getting in the New York Times would be a disaster. So hang on a second and make sure your house is in order (and this is something we’re going to talk about in the creativeLIVE class today and tomorrow.
Then I would say: are you ready to be a full time marketer? Because marketing is not something you do two weeks before the product comes out either. It’s a lifestyle. You have to think and breathe it constantly. You have to know the influencers in your space, create messages and content they can spread. You have to bake that into your product. In other words, campaigns take time and resources and unless you’re going to dedicate yourself to doing it–it won’t happen and you won’t get results.

CJ: What are the tools you could not live without in getting your job done?

RH: There’s no question the single most effective tool in marketing is relationships: who do you know? Who can you reach out to to share your message? If you don’t have any answer to those questions it doesn’t matter how many great apps or tools you have. So I want to recommend that people spend less time obsessing about technology and more time with people, building connections, friendships and reciprocal relationships. But personally in terms of tools, I’m completely dependent on Google Docs and Basecamp. It’s how I collaborate with my employees and keep all my research and contacts organized.

CJ: Who are the people you really admire in today’s over-saturated world of noisy content? Who is breaking through that noise and more importantly,why are they able to?

RH: Joey Roth, who I’m going to have on during my class is an amazing example of what a talented, driven person can do–how one designer running his own small business can get more PR and publicity than he knows what to do with. And he gets it for the right reasons: he makes a great product and connects to the right influencers to share it. I’m going to talk to him and get him to share his secrets with everyone in the class.

The term PR is a slippery one these days. There is this blurry line between PR and Marketing now — but it really seems to put the individual creator at an advantage. What is efficient PR in 2013? Is there still a place for Edelman and giants of the PR world? Or are they on their way out in this time of the creator taking control?

RH: To me, PR and marketing are the same thing. And they all come down to a single principle in today’s attention economy: doing interesting things. Businesses need to be create content and messages that facilitate their customers talking about them and their product. That’s PR–giving the public something to talk about and relate to. Obviously there is still a place for PR giants because giant companies have totally different problems than entrepreneurs and growing companies. But if I had a choice, I’d much rather be a creator–operating on a small scale, able to do exciting things and quickly getting my message out.

CJ: Lets assume, with the help of your methodology and a lot or hard work, a creative achieves a level of success. They get the business, the attention, some audience. How do they take it to the next level?

RH:Marketing is how you scale–as they’re calling it now it’s a form of “growth hacking.” At the end of the day, the whole point of market is to drive new business right? So if you’re not doing that with your marketing its just an art project. For me, as I’ve grown my business, I’ve tried to bring people along with me. I am always training new people, teaching them what I know so they can come along and grow. I want to take on new clients so I can give them (and myself) an opportunity to try new things. I think creatives have an obligation to pay it forward and give the same training and advice that people gave them. To me that goes hand and hand with scaling up your business from a one man shop to a two man shop to a many-person shop.

CJ: Final thought: What are the opportunities that you see creatives missing? The things right in front of our faces that can make a massive difference in success that most people walk right by?

RH: The web is infinite. There’s no limit to the amount of content it can produce or the amount of posts that a blog can publish. So stop thinking that getting press is hard. People WANT to write and talk about you. So give them what they want! Stop sitting around and waiting for them to come to you. Embrace this awesome opportunity and use it to your advantage.

Check out Ryan on this week’s creativeLIVE workshop here.
Ryan Holiday currently lives in New Orleans with his rebellious puppy, Hanno.

Digging Out — 30-Hour Timelapse of Northeast Storm NEMO… in 1 Minute

Nemo Timelapse from jere7my tho?rpe on Vimeo.

Pounded with as much as three feet of snow on Friday and Saturday, the Northeast, and especially New England, USA was basically buried by the storm called NEMO.

The region’s residents are still digging out, navigating roads lined by tall walls of snow, dealing with school closures and power outages. But for photographers – these storms bring rare opportunity. The internet has been alive with Nemo shots for days. From the empty and silent streets of Boston and New York, to the awesome 30-hour time lapse of the storm (above) on an unnamed Boston street, there is some unique imagery that comes from these storms. This timelapse captures the storm, more or less start to finish, in 1 minute. Enjoy! Created by Vimeo user: jere7my tho?rpe.

Get Photo Fit — How to Properly Maintain Your Body: Interview with Dr. Kelly Starrett


I originally met Kelly Starrett through my pal Tim Ferriss (cjLIVE episode here) – who had nothing but amazing things to say… Kelly is a coach, physical therapist, author, speaker, and creator of www.MobilityWOD.com, which has revolutionized how athletes think about human movement and athletic performance (and he’s teaching a workshop with our friends over at creativeLIVE today btw…..) In fact, I remember that Tim told me he thought that Kelly could really “help me”. I was curious. “wadaya mean, help me? I’m fiiiine I thought to myself…I’m fit, healthy etc etc.” But it turns out he’s right. Most of us (me included) experience body pain that is the product of not treating ourselves right. So I started listening to Kelly. He’s amazingly articulate and enthusiastic, his deep knowledge, combined with the energy behind his words, have the effect of making you sit up straighter – even over the phone. And guess what. It’s not cool anymore to be unhealthy. It sucks. Especially for us photographers and filmmakers who have to be on set for 12-15 hours per day, holding heavy sh*t, in extreme environments. So, in anticipation of his cL workshop, I caught up with Kelly over the past two days on the phone as he was driving back and forth from a special training session: Taking a ride in the backseat of a F/A – 18 Hornet with the Blue Angels (US Navy Demonstration Squadron). On his trip down he shared that his goal was to pass out as a result of the G-forces….

CJ: Did you achieve your goal of passing out in the back of a F-18?
KS: Yes! It was awesome. My vision closed in and suddenly I looked down and my hand was twitching a bit. ‘I think I just passed out.’ It makes you realize that [the movie]Top Gun is such bullshit. When Goose is moving his head all over the place, ‘I lost him Maverick,” You cannot move your head like that at 7x gravity! It’s impossible. I have a whole new understanding of that the real test of skill in a dogfight is so much about the physiology of the pilot. The force these guys are under is extraordinary. To be concentrating on multiple things while piloting the plane and coping with the physical stress is crazy. I came close to blacking out 8 times and I was just along for the ride. And…I went SuperSonic. Which I think is very cool. I sort of feel like I’m going supersonic in life right now.

CJ: That’s inspiring. What the single most important piece of advice could you give photographers about their body posture?
KS: Well the first piece is – it is impossible to be photographer and be in a great position all the time. Photography is a physical art. You have to accept the physical compromise in order to perform the art. So you must have some sort of physical practice to withstand this compromise. Or eventually, something fails. You blow a tire. You need to have some sort of physical practice. How can you train to sustain to be a physical artist? You need to be in some strength training, yoga, something that will make it a more robust platform. You need to have the basic principles of support. If you know how to organize yourself physically – you can make the most of the weird positions you have to put yourself in. Part of this is dedicating 10-15 minutes a day to ‘undoing’ the bad positions. You absolutely need to do some maintenance. if you’re spending 2 hours a day all hunched up peering through a viewfinder with a 9-pound weight at the end of your arm – you’re going have to undo that posture. Let’s be honest, photographers are not known for their health, right? With the artists and creatives – we tend to see some of the same basic errors. Bad nutrition, smoking, drinking, poor sleep habits – this makes us more susceptible to the problems. Which really makes us less efficient and less optimal in all things. I remember thinking how sexy photography seemed. Then I went with my friend on a few all-day, all-night shoots. The glam is the grind. Don’t fool yourself kids. You have to have the process in place to support the hard work. We’ve already run this experiment 100 million times. We know how to fix it. And it’s easy fix. Figure out what works for you. You don’t have to be an Olympian. You just have to have a practice. Guess what? It’s difficult to take good pictures when your hands are numb. Anyone at the top of their field. What ends up happening to them – is that the work ends up feeling just like that – hard work. It doesn’t feel transcendent. It feels like work. When Chase is working not the most glamourous job in some great location with models and helicopters… I’m betting it still feels like hard work. The highest expression of art is really craft. And it is hard work. Embrace it. Organize for it. If you’re spending more time cleaning and maintaining your equipment, wiping your lenses and stuff, than maintaining your body… you might want to consider that the ultimate camera support is not that fancy tripod – it’s your body.

It’s really three things to remember:
1) Can you be robust enough to maintain positions? This comes down to doing some sort of training.

2) There are some principles that can really help you. So you have to have an understanding of the best positions possible within your daily movement. How to stand, how to sit, how to shoot.

3) Do you appreciate that you have to do some preventative maintenance? You must understand how to fix yourself when you are forced to compromise your best posture and positions to do your job

CJ: Should creatives work out more? Get bigger muscles?
KS: No. Everyone should train for peak physiological health. Look, you’re actually designed to be 110 years old. You need to plan to have the type of function you want when you’re 100. So we train for position and the expression of good human movement. The side effects are: you’ll have bigger muscles, look better naked, have more efficient lungs. These are side effect of being a better and more efficient human. You have to be doing something with progressive loads, something for your cardio respiratory system – there are a lot of ways to skin that cat. Until you have a practice – this is all minutia. People say bigger muscles – I say bigger lungs. You have to have your cardio respiratory system in good condition. There needs to be some heart exercise in your practice. In fact, for the proper expression of human genome you need to exercise hard. For your whole system to organize and work efficiently you must exercise. So what’s your practice? Do we want just functional? Or do we want optimal? The brain evolved to move the human organism through the environment. Cognition and the higher creative processes are actually boot -strapped onto the movement brain. Better movement – better cognition. It’s not an accident that the Yogis understood that better mind practices were linked to better body practices.

CJ: What practice should people do to be better creatives? Meditation? Crossfit? Yoga?
KS: I think meditation and your physical practice can be one in the same. When we speak to artists and creative, it’s also important to note that the creative process in-and-of itself can be a very focused mediation. If you need to meditate on top of that – that’s up to you. Very dedicated exercise is a deep practice. Intense creative work is a deep practice.
So as a creative, if you’re getting that creative focus and finding dedicated exercise that trains, organizes and “undoes” the damage – you’re going to feeling good. What practices should people do to be better creatives? It turns out – eat right, drink enough water, exercise. It’s the same solution for the Olympian as the creative. It simply varies by degree – not kind.

CJ: I hear you drop the phrase, “Practice Makes Permanent.” What does that mean?
That we understand specifically how you can move and organize your creative practices, your craft, so it becomes a wired biological habit. Bring mindfulness to how you move, how you behave. Develop best practices – if you are texting and hunched over on your computer…this might be how you look when you talk to your spouse or your client. Bring awareness and cultivate these practices. If your camera is with you all the time – all day everyday – then how do you organize your posture around it? And when you start to develop better mind and body practices – these patterns of behavior are really skills in the brain. The pathway that you light up most of the time is the pathway that is reinforced physically in the brain. It is important that you realize that you are undergoing practice all of time. Look, I should never be able to identify you by the fact you are photographer – by the fact you are bent over and hunched and look like quasimoto. Finally, search for info graphic “sitting” see the increased risk of heart disease, these are NOT biologically compatible to being an efficient human being. Sitting for two hours is the physiological equivalent of smoking two cigarettes. The health detriments are no different.


CJ: Thanks for your time Kelly. I know I’m thinking a lot more about how my brain and body are organized. Where can we send people to find out how to better manage these things?
KS: Check out my creativeLIVE workshop [happening NOW right here]. Go to our site MobilityWOD.com.

Photoshoot with the World’s Largest Mobile Camera [chasejarvisLIVE re-watch]

Last week we received an early Christmas gift at my Seattle studio. Ian Ruhter and his crew brought the world’s largest mobile camera to chasejarvisLIVE to share the process of wetplate photography with us. Ian’s project has attracted a ton of attention and is a great example of the power of personal work. He transformed his life to follow his dream to do something different in photography. He is living the mantra of doing something different not just better. Ian and I took massive tintype portraits of Seattle music legends Chris Ballew and Ishmael Butler. If you want to see something totally new (old) in photography – watch this episode.

“I decided to invest in myself.” -Ian Ruhter

Finding time to create personal projects has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career as a visual artist. Ian’s commitment to his personal work has been turning heads. A professional snowboarder turned photographer he was at the top of his game as a staff photographer and commercial shooter for the most respected magazines and brands in the snowboarding world. Then, more than 2 years ago, he had a vision of a photo that had never been taken – and he needed to be the one to create it. In a moment he went “all in” and started his pursuit of a new, completely unique, creative experience. He spent all his savings and converted a box truck into a tintype camera and started traveling around the country in his camera taking wetplate processed tintype photos – some of the largest that have ever been created. Check out the video above for a teaser on Ian and his work.

Having Ian on chasejarvisLIVE was a great way wrap 2012 for the show. He was generous with his knowledge, personally showed me how his camera operates and introduced me (and all of you) to the process of wetplate photography. It was an all-around testament to the power of personal work…and the beauty of sharing that work.

Creative Mastery, Power & Seduction with Robert Greene on chasejarvisLIVE [re-watch]

In case you missed the live episode last week – this chasejarvisLIVE with Robert Greene was one of the most powerful episodes to date. The feedback on the internet has been a testament to the impact of the show and Robert’s ability to help people. #cjLIVE trended on twitter! Thanks to all who continue to tune in to my experiment in live broadcasting. You can check out more episodes of chasejarvisLIVE over on my live page here. Huge thanks to HP, Manfrotto, Broncolor and liveBooks for helping me make the world a more creative place. Couldn’t do it with out these great friends.

My time with Robert was priceless. The principles we discuss in this episode of chasejarvisLIVE are gold for any creative working on improving their craft – OR just trying to discover their path as a creative – period. I learned a ton and I’m betting you will too.

Tune in to hear —

_Robert’s advice if you’re feeling “lost” as a creative. How to discover your passion and pursue it
_What Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Goethe, Napoleon and other “Masters” have in common with each other and with you
_How each of us have a unique composition that is our greatest asset
_Why choosing a career path that leverages your individuality and sparks curiosity is essential
_How an apprenticeship is a necessary step toward achieving mastery and fulfillment

You’ve heard that little voice in the back of your head that screams, “I have something to say” Guess what. It’s the same voice that Einstein, DaVinci, Napoleon and Goethe heard. It’s important. It’s what makes you a creative. Robert Greene, has influenced millions of people with his work. With four bestsellers already to his name, including The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction – he is an inspiration and an intellectual powerhouse brought his new book “Mastery” to life on the #cjLIVE stage last week.

Here’s an excerpt from his new book:

Many of the greatest Masters in history have confessed to experiencing some kind of force or voice or sense of destiny that has guided them forward. For Napoleon Bonaparte it was his “star” that he always felt in ascendance when he made the right move. For Socrates, it was his daemon, a voice that he heard, perhaps from the gods, which inevitably spoke to him in the negative–telling him what to avoid. For Goethe, he also called it a daemon–a kind of spirit that dwelled within him and compelled him to fulfill his destiny. In more modern times, Albert Einstein talked of a kind of inner voice that shaped the direction of his speculations. All of these are variations on what Leonardo da Vinci experienced with his own sense of fate.

Top 10 Tips for Success for the Fine Art Photographer — Exclusive Interview with a Collector

Elizabeth Avedon

Photo: Elizabeth Avedon

W.M. Hunt is a champion of photography – A collector, curator and consultant who lives and works in New York. He is the author of “The Unseen Eye: Photographs from the Unconscious,” published in 2011 by Aperture. He is on the Board of Directors of the Eugene Smith Memorial Fund and The Center for Photography at Woodstock, New York, where he was the recipient of their Vision Award in 2009.
Founding partner of the prominent photography gallery Hasted Hunt (now Hasted Kraeutler) in Chelsea, Manhattan, Hunt has been collecting photography for almost 40 years and has been profiled in The New York Times, PDN, Art on Paper, Modern Painters, The Art Newspaper, PBS’ “EGG, the Arts Show”, as well as BBC’s “The Genius of Photography”. Our good friends at the Photo Center Northwest sat down with Bill and he dropped some serious knowledge – including his Top Ten Tips on how to get in front of a curator, collector or dealer. My buddy Rafeal and the PCNW will be dropping by the blog from time to time to bring a unique perspective on fine art photography.

You have a rich history working with world-renowned photographers, many of whom you represented in your gallery. Many of these artists have walked the commercial and fine art routes simultaneously quite successfully. Can you give some examples of artists who have done this successfully?

I love this question because I love working with photographers who have successful commercial practices. There are a number of reasons. One is happiness. Photographers who have a financially successful career are a pleasure to deal with. They eat lunch regularly. When money is not an issue, we can do the show and make stuff happen. It can be a problem when a photographer is very, very, busy – but there is more of a problem if the collaboration and the dialogue isn’t respected. If I say I don’t like something, I won’t say it lightly so we should listen to each other. Absolute single mindedness doesn’t help either the artist of the dealer. I can really finesse an artist’s situation. That has value. The fuller a photographer’s practice is, meaning commercial, editorial, exhibition, publication, etc. the better the work will be. This imagined separation of church and state is blind. Get the money. Don’t whore yourself out, but make stuff happen. Also this kind of artist is a better editor without self-indulgence. They work coherently, they challenge themselves, and they keep moving. If I am asked if I would like to see someone’s personal work or their commercial work, I would rather see the latter because it’s hard to be your own client.

But also, what’s the difference? How many heads do you have? I am suspicious of someone’s work that is totally schizophrenic. Who are you? A successful contemporary example of this is Erwin Olaf, whose work is completely consistent, and the one practice feeds the other.

Photo: Erwin Olaf

Photo: Erwin Olaf

The commercial work challenges him technically, and the other work allows him to develop his eye and his imagination. Ed Burtynsky? Brilliant. He works like a corporation, and I mean that as the ultimate praise. He has vision and politics. He wants to change the world, and he is being effective.

Edward Burtynsky

Photo: Edward Burtynsky

Phil Toledano. The best. He has an imagination that is in overdrive, and he works as a completely contemporary artist, in an analogue and digital world. He works in project form with a beginning, middle and end. He is a total sponge for knowledge and experience, for life. I would have loved to have had a chance as a dealer with Steven Klein.

Photo: Phil Toledano

Photo: Phil Toledano

The example of Irving Penn is worth emphasizing, a singular artist whose style was unique and immediately recognizable, whose technique was virtuosic, and whose drive to constantly reinvent himself artistically was daunting. Brilliant.

Photo: Phil Toledano

Photo: Phil Toledano

Can you provide any insight as to how someone can make the most out of work they have been assigned commercially to pursue also an art path?
Erwin Olaf speaks about how technically the one practice informs the other. He gets to play with new tools when the client is paying, and the client gets to take advantage of Erwin’s genius, which he has been exercising with his personal work. I am still using terms I disavowed in the preceding paragraphs, these annoying genres and abstract vs. real. What is real anyway? The photograph is real but nothing in it is.A good trick though is to sell a photographer’s commercial work, which I have done. Great work is great work.

Photo: Erwin Olaf

Did any of your artists ever have an assignment that later became a successful exhibition, book or body of work?
Editorial, sure. Luc Delahaye was a huge success for me, and it was all work he had done while on assignment. I am sure the magazines might have some argument with him about whose clock he was on, but that’s not my concern.

Photo: Edward Burtynsky

Top 10 tips for photographers who are looking to get their work in front of collectors, dealers and curators like yourself?
Figure out why you want to meet me. Work out if you want to realize something from the meeting. It’s fine to be introduced, but don’t be a jerk. Be smart. I WANT to like you, so help me. Make it worth MY while too.

1. Be talented.

2. Be smart. Think. Don’t be a jerk. Be engaging. If you are determined enough, you can meet anyone at least once. Take the situation seriously; don’t blow it. Take stock of yourself. Is the work fully realized and are you ready to approach museums or dealers?

3. Be focused. Be single minded. Be ambitious. Think in terms of the long haul and the full arc of your career.

4. Be clear. Be able to articulate what you are doing, not so much why you are doing it but literally what it is. Rehearse what you are going to say. Keep impeccable records about your work.

5. Be ready. Have prints, have disks, have a resume, have business cards. Don’t tell me, ‘they’re at home’ or that you are ‘still working on them.’ Give me something to remember you by. Send a thank-you note, even consider mailing it.

6. Be full. Have a life. Teach. Get commissions, commercial work, stock, whatever. Get money, make love, be happy. It will inform the work positively.

7. Be active. Be your own primary dealer. Take responsibility for museum and magazine drop-offs. Approach collectors yourself. Develop a mailing list. Market yourself. Send postcards. Donate prints to charity auctions. Go to openings. Make friends with your contemporaries. Use them. Always ask to be referred. Publish or get published. Get patrons, mentors, advisors. Use them. Bear in mind that if you set your mind to it, you can meet anyone … once. It’s that second meeting that proves difficult. When you do meet that person, be prepared.

8. Be receptive. Take notes. Bring a pencil and paper to appointments. Do your homework. Know what sort of work galleries show before you approach them. Go look. Say hello, but be sensitive to a dealer’s time demands (unless you’re buying something). Have a sense of what’s out there.

9. Be merciless with yourself. Edit, edit, edit. Edit, edit, edit. Take out anything marginal. Make me hungry to see more of your work.

10. Be patient. Please.

Interview and additional reporting by: Rafael Soldi of Photo Center Northwest
The mission of the Photo Center NW is to strengthen the community by elevating the art an appreciation of photography. The Photo Center is a non-profit organization offering a nationally accredited photography program in fine art photography taught by many accomplished teaching artists. They also offer professional facilities rentals (studios, high-end printing, darkrooms) as well as emerging artist support in the form of scholarships, fellowship and artist-in-residency programs, exhibition opportunities, membership and networking events.

Emerging Talent: Niki Feijen’s Interiors of Intrigue [and What Pro Photographers Need To Learn From Non-Pros]

ChaseJarvis_EmergingTalent_NikiFeijen_AmyRolloI was first introduced to Niki Feijen’s work via Amy Rollo who helps me with the Best Photo Locations pieces on my blog. I saw his stuff and, naturally, poked around to learn more about him. Ironically, one of my favorite parts of Niki’s backstory is that he’s not a professional photographer. He has a day job, and photographs his passion – urban exploring. And then something occurred to me: while it may be unconventional thinking, I believe deeply that pro photographers have a lot to learn from those who are not professional. Remember when your next photo wasn’t an “assignment” for a “client”? There’s something healthy about his. The following is Amy’s interview with Niki. The simplicity in approach is eloquent and noteworthy IMHO. Enjoy…

Amy Rollo: Every one of Niki Feijen’s intriguing shots could be featured ANY Best Photo Locations list.  With Tim Burton-esque scenes, intrigue draws you into these realms, yet we’re all terrified of what we may find around the corner. He brings us on a tour of abandoned hospitals, mansions, and churches. At first glance many of his images seem filled with life, sunlight bouncing off of smooth surfaces. Upon closer inspection you notice the decay and rot in every corner.  “Lonely” is certainly a word to describe some these settings, but that sense feels temporary.  Like the family who lives here just went to the movies, but they forgot where they lived and their stuff has been waiting a few decades for their return. Naturally, I had to ask Niki what exactly makes him tick…

Amy Rollo: I understand that you’re not a professional photographer. Do you want to become one?

Niki Feijen: Well to be honest, I don’t think that my kind of photography could work out to be a full time job. If I want to become a professional photographer and do this full time I will need to step away of doing just urbex [urban exploring] photography.  I will have to master other directions, too. I would have to take assignments and I think it would drive me further away from the whole urbex thing. Besides that, I have an awesome job which I love.  In the meantime I can fully practice my crazy hobby. I’m currently in progress of assembling and publishing my very own book. I do not think I have the time and opportunity to do that if it were a full time job.



Why is photography important to you?

Photography is a way to handle my urge to be creative. Since its a hobby I can do whatever I want. I have all the freedom in the world since I do not need to be here or there. I can make a crazy surrealistic shot or show the eeriness of an abandoned hospital. The tension and excitement of urban exploring is also a big fun factor. The rush you get when finding an entrance into a building that has been left behind for 20 years and is in a perfect condition is priceless.


What makes photography art?

Every photographer has their own creative vision. Every photo tells a story just like a piece of artwork. If I can capture a scene and I can transfer the atmosphere of that scene to an audience, I have succeeded. If I can move the audience with my photographs and trigger their emotions, I think that is art.



Talk to me about photo gear, your perception, and your approach

Technology goes so fast right now and there is still the big Nikon / Canon which-one-is-better “war” going on. I don’t think that there are any bad cameras anymore. It’s still the photographer that needs to make the photo and it really doesn’t make that much of a difference with what brand you use. I am very happy with my Nikon D800,  but if i did not have all the Nikon lenses I could just as well have taken the Canon 5D Mark III. I truly believe that mirrorless cameras will have the future though. The flipping mirror is from the 20th century and it is time to move beyond that. The mirrorless camera already has a lot of advantages.  Look at the FPS rate for example. Already they shoot more than 50 frames a second and the whole thing fits in your pocket. In a few years they will have larger sensors and the mirrorless camera will be mainstream. In 10 years we will buy a bulky retro DSLR on ebay to put on display.

 Who or what influenced you to become a photographer?

I have been photographing since I was a kid. Fascinated by the shots of the World Press photo and National Geographic photographers like James Standfield. I wanted to be like them.  When I got my first camera I tried many different directions like concerts, landscape, portraits etc. Many years later i discovered urbex photographty and nothing appealed to me more as that. Trey Ratcliff introduced me to HDR and when I discovered the combination of urban exploring and HDR by the works of Andre Govia, I was hooked. Even today there are a lot of photographers that inspire me. Lee Jeffries for example is a master in black and white portraits. No one can transfer the emotion and pain of a person as well as he can.


 What makes a good photographer?

I don’t think you can define “good photographer”. What is extremely good for one person can be the exact opposite for somebody else. It’s the same thing as Art.





Check out more of Niki’s work on his website and follow him on Facebook.

Go Vote! Dont Cry, It’s Almost Over — Participate & Celebrate

Hi everybody — Jerard here with a guest blog post on election day in the USA! I sincerely hope you are voting today.

Many people are ready for this election to be over. And after today, hopefully without legal turmoil, it will be. It’s so easy to get disillusioned and discouraged by elections. The video above has been circulating the internet since last week and it struck a nerve with millions of people. A 4-year-old Colorado girl is crying to her mother because she’s “tired of Bronco Bama and Mitt Romney.” Abby is expressing how so many people feel. After months and months of posturing, advertising, stumping, speaching and generally blasting the world with the business-end of their political-winded pie-holes…we’re all a bit worn out by “Bronco Obama and Mitt Romney”.

But as an American, the Presidential election that goes down every 4 years is one of the times I actually feel most proud of our process. “WHAT?!” You might say, “Are you crazy? We all feel like Abby or worse!” So why do I feel proud of the process?

Because when I think about world history, and even current history in many parts of the world, the fact that we have a peaceful transfer of power is a beautiful thing. Yes – the election process is painful (just ask little Abby) – but there something admirable in our process here. Around the the world, millions have fought and died to preserve the right to vote. Men and women have marched and suffered countless indignities just so they can vote without persecution. People from across the world have come to America because they would rather live in a land that lets them participate in a process that provides some say in how they are to be ruled. It is by no means a perfect system. But today, the right to vote is worthy of celebrating by participating.


Photo: Macy Neighwander/AP

The scene of President-elect Barak Obama meeting President George Bush at the front door of the White House before the 2009 inauguration is one that has stuck with me. Two men and their wives greeting one another with smiles. All of them with very different views on how things should be done. In that moment, they greeted each other as countrymen. Call me patriotic or a sucker for a photo op – but it stuck with me. This tradition of the President-elect first meeting the outgoing President at the White House for a short meeting and then traveling from the White House together to the Capitol for the ceremony is over 100 years old. It began in 1877, with the inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes. No bloodshed. No fighting (maybe some legal wrangling – eg: Bush-Gore 2000). Just the outgoing President handing the keys to the country to the new guy (hopefully someday a new gal) and saying, “Good luck. She’s all yours.” A nation of more than 300,000,000 people, the world’s largest economy and the world’s largest military moves from one elected leader to the next with ceremony, some level of civility and respect. Photo ops or not – the fact that Presidents from the 1970s to present gather to be in the same photo, despite massive differences in policy, beliefs and ultimately actions, is a testament to our process of a peaceful transition of power. And it starts with our right to vote.

SaulLoeb_AFP_Getty Images

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

So go do it. Whatever it takes. Whatever your politics. It’s worth waiting in line and braving any inconvenience to participate and exercise your right to vote.

Friday Beats – Fresh Espresso

Here’s another joint from the Capitol Hill Block Party episode of chasejarvisLIVE we hosted back in July. Fresh Espresso is the delightfully dope combo of P Smoov and Rik Rude. These Michigan natives have been bringing beats to Seattle with their many musical collaborations for years. Most notably the MCs have mixed it up with P Smoov’s other well-known Seattle group Mad Rad. On Fresh Espresso’s latest album, Bossalona, P Smoov makes the beats, raps, and sings. Rik Rude raps. Trent Moorman rips up the drums and Terry Radjaw is the DJ. This album has been getting great reviews. Here’s a quote from Seattle’s best curator of new music – KEXP.

“This is another smooth and smartly crafted set of hip hop incorporating elements of electro, jazz, R&B and other styles. It’s a fun yet substantial set with synth-driven tracks featuring a variety of funky beats and occasional horns and other instrumentation accompanying the duo’s colorful and sometimes poignant rhymes.” -Don Yates – KEXP

Smoov and Rude’s set on cjLIVE was full of irreverence, masterful tethered samples, witty lyrics and moved along with smooth beats. It was a pleasure having these guys on – and their continued collaborative and creative output in Seattle-based groups continues the enlightened tradition of “206” musicians sharing their talents with each other.

Without a doubt, the audience is the beneficiary of this attitude of sharing. Call it musical transparency. Everyone wins.

Check out Fresh Espresso here and here.
And download Bossalona here .

Emerging Talent — Jared Lim’s Colorful Architecture

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Urban jungles can be indifferent and cold, but Jared Lim has a different perspective. His architectural photos are bright and alive. Regardless of whether the image is complex and kaleidoscopic or simple and geometric, each image contains a captivating structure. Indeed he must make the architects who designed these edifices sing with joy. Click through the images above to see more of Jared’s work.

Jared was kind enough to indulge me with a few Q&A’s:

As I understand it, you started shooting while traveling for work. What is this job that takes you all over the world?

JL: Actually this is a sticky question, just say I work for the travel industry and that gives me the opportunity to travel to most major cities frequently.

What drew you to photograph architecture?

JL: I have always loved geometry, lines, curves, pattern and abstract designs. Architecture seems like a great way to express them.

Do you seek out your locations, or simply happen upon them?

JL: I do not really seek out my locations. These locations are the cities that I happened to be in for my work.

Tell us a little bit about your creative process, both during shooting and in post.

JL: I try to get my composition and lighting right during shooting so as to minimize the amount of post correction work. Post work mainly involves correction of lens distortion and perspective, because I am rather meticulous in my composition. I love strong colors and most of my work reflects that.

Any tips for shooting architecture?

JL: For me, taking pictures is rather instinctive. The facades of buildings give them
distinctive characters, like living things. I prefer to extract designs from building that tell a
story rather than photographing the whole building like Rhythmic Displacement, Braille, The
Non Conformist, Diagonal Path, etc…

Anything else you’d like to add?

JL: Like Chase Jarvis said, “Aim to be different, not better than everybody else.” The whole idea in photography is just to present your own point of view. So be experimental and play around.

Check out more of Jared’s work here.

Bold Advertising —The Miraculous Enlightenment of Kenny Riordon

This is an example of bold creative thinking in advertising. I wish more ads were like this. It’s brilliant storytelling and just plain fun to watch.

Enjoy your weekend.

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