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ANNOUNCING: My Latest TV Documentary Project “Portrait of a City” with PBS

A few years back you may recall I dove head-first into a project that explored my home city of Seattle. I interviewed, photographed, and filmed the movers, the shakers, and the changemakers to better understand the culture of my city’s beating heart. 106 influencers in total, across almost every creative discipline — music, food, theater, athletics, activism, education, you name it. I went on to publish a 250 page fine hardback fine art book, gallery show, a line of wine, a line of chocolate bars, sold out of nearly everything and donated all the money to charity. We called this project Seattle 100 (<-- bunch of photos). Here's the original launch blog post.

Like the city it covered, that project has continued to evolve. So today, I’m stoked to share with you here the arrival of Portrait of a City, a new documentary TV project I concepted, directed and co-produced with the help of my friends over at our regional PBS station, KCTS 9. In this show and series of short interstitial interviews we take a look at how music has shaped the character and culture of Seattle. From bands like Nirvana to Macklemore, I dug into innovators past and present, asked them to share their reflections, ideas, and passions for this unique force within our community. You’ll hear from KEXP music curator John Richards, cellist Joshua Roman, actor Sarah Rudinoff, DJ Riz Rollins, music impresario David Meinert, SubPop Records’ Megan Jasper, musician John Roderick and more.

Check out the KCTS online schedule to find out when Portrait of City is running on the boob tube near you or -if you don’t live in the region- watch it above.

Here are some regional upcoming air dates:

Thursday, November 28, 10:00 pm on KCTS 9 HD – Seattle/Yakima
Thursday, November 28, 10:00 pm on KYVE 47 – Yakima
Tuesday, December 17, 11:30 pm on KCTS 9 HD – Seattle/Yakima
Tuesday, December 17, 11:30 pm on KYVE 47 – Yakima
Tuesday, December 31, 09:30 pm on KCTS 9 HD – Seattle/Yakima
Tuesday, December 31, 09:30 pm on KYVE 47 – Yakima

And keep your eyes peeled for more interstitials to be released over time… the one that’s in circulation now is an interview with red hot homie Macklemore.

The filming seems utterly simple – which was the goal – but it was a little more complicated to get the look we ended up delivering. Keep your eyes peeled for a behind-the-scenes outline of the unqiue way in which we filmed this with 2 matching cameras, some teleprompter magic, and various other smoke and mirrors. Below are a few of those characters featured in Seattle 100 and Portrait of a City: Michael Hubb, Megan Jasper, John Roderick and Dave Meinert, along with some snaps of the gallery installation from the launch of the project.

chase jarvis seattle 100 portrait of a city

gallery opening - photo thx to

chase jarvis seattle 100 portrait of a city gallery

seattle 100 launch - thx for the photo

chase jarvis seattle 100 matt dillon

chase jarvis seattle 100 director lynn shelton

chase jarvis seattle 100 the blakes

chase jarvis seattle 100 ra scion

chase jarvis seattle 100 weirdo jeff jacobsen

chase jarvis seattle 100 book cover

[NEW] Free Music Downloads from chasejarvisLIVE bands

chasejarvis_mygoodnessI’ve heard through your shout-outs + tweets + views + comments n such that most of you love what we’re doing with music on #cjLIVE. Those of you who pay attention to the show might have noticed that we have been on a bit of a hot streak with new music over the past couple of years. Here’s a few of my fav highlights from the very earliest moments of these now well-known musicians:

_Macklemore & Ryan Lewis brought down the #cjLIVE house before you knew their name with tracks from their 10 million singles sold + independent platinum album The Heist such as “Can’t Hold Us”

_The Lumineers delivered a gorgeous version of their platinum hit “Ho Hey” 6 months before it was a hit.

_We Are Augustines rocked the studio with a series of live sets from “Rise Ye Sunken Ships.” and kicked off a worldwide tour with sold out dates across the US and Europe.

_Reignwolf melted our faces with a crushing performance “Bicycle” as part of our special Capitol Hill Block Party episode. Now he’s on fire too…

For years I’ve heard – ‘hey chase = why don’t you start a music label’… And truth be told, I thought about it for about a quarter of a hot second and then remembered that the music business is a gnarly business and…oh yeah…I’m a photographer. Duh. BUT… that doesn’t keep us from continuing to collaborate with emerging bands to highlight and distribute their music. So, while we’ve been all YouTube and uStream distribution to date, we are happy and proud to announce we will now be offering free downloads of some of this amazing music. First up in this endeavor is –MY GOODNESS– where we are offering downloads of their tracks filmed on our show, direct to you….Their performance on cjLIVE is here in video form, but now you can also download all these My Goodness audio tracks on SoundCloud FOR FREE. Please enjoy – go grab a track and share w your friends – it’s an amazing summer rock album.

Our plans include doing more of this in the future. Hope you dig it and thanks for being a part of our own little tiny #NoLabel movement.

my goodness chase jarvis

addendum for the music lovers….

Collaborating with these musicians and others has always been one of my favorite parts of the gig – exploring new music and sharing it with my friends. Little known fact: Macklemore first performed “Wings,” formerly known as “Air Jordans”, in my studio as a part of my Songs For Eating and Drinking underground series… The project is on hold right now, but the music and vids are still out there online. Check it.

Horn Toot! Study Reveals that Creativity & Culture Drive Economy

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chase jarvis seattle 100 congressman jay inslee

Yours truly pimping with Congressman Jay Inslee @ Seattle 100 launch - photo by pal Michal Garcia

The goals of creative expression are to make statements, to generate awareness, initiate reflection, feeling or action. We want the art to do work.

Such was the case with my Seattle 100 book & gallery exhibition. But, in truth, I had little understanding when I published the project how much or what kind of ‘work’ it would do. As it happened, the city appropriated the project as it’s own and generated a great bit of awareness on TV, radio – local, national, and all the proceeds went to charity. I thought the project was a success with simply that as the measure.

But today we’re celebrating a new milestone – something beyond my wildest dreams for the project… TheSeattle Mayor’s Office of Film & Music released a study that it has been quietly conducting for more than a year about the economic and cultural impact of the subjects of the Seattle 100 and their leadership by measuring the impact that art, creativity, and culture have on the economy of our city.

The results are very cool IMHO, having revealed that the personalities and their cultural categories we featured contributed more than $13 billion to the local economy as well as more than 170,000 jobs. While big numbers are impressive, what matters most to me is that it appears that results study of my creative project will directly inform, shape, and impact Seattle’s public policy. For, ultimately, the study reflects that creativity and culture drive business rather than the other way around – something that the Mayor has made clear that he will embrace in future decisions.

And while it’s not always–or even often–that art has such an obvious connection to social change, let the times like this remind us that creative toil is not lost.

From the foreword of the study…

The cultural identity of Seattle has long been appreciated for making Seattle a great place to live. But, as our economy has evolved over the years from traditional natural resource-based industries, our city’s cultural assets have proven to be an important factor in our current economic strength. This cultural identity now makes Seattle a great place to work.

As the Seattle 100 beautifully profiled leaders who are powering our city’s creativity today, I wondered about their measurable impacts to our region. Working to answer this question, I learned these individuals represent a substantial portion of our economy and form our vibrant identity to the world.

The Seattle 100’s impact demonstrates that innovation and creativity are Seattle’s new natural resources, fueling job creation and worldwide recognition. The results of this study position these cultural leaders in a new place, as an economic engine that drives our economy.
With this recognition comes an obligation to nurture our culture in order to continue enjoying economic prosperity. The result should be a commitment to understand and foster the value that the Seattle 100 and other cultural leaders bring to our city.

It is my hope that this uniquely presented information will be as useful to you as it has been to me in providing a heightened appreciation of culture as a true economic driver of the region.

James Keblas, Director
Seattle Mayor’s Office of Film & Music

In the even that you’re interested in reading the 52 page study, you can check it out here at the

The 11×11 inch, limited edition Seattle 100: Portrait of a Citybook is available here via Amazon while supply lasts.

Click thru the gallery images atop this page to check out the full story including some behind the scenes, or go here to the Seattle 100 microsite, or check out the S100 portrait gallery here on my main site.

Frame More Than Just Pictures — Frame Pixels Too

Multimedia Station for Seattle100 Gallery[The debate continues about whether or not iPads are good portfolios for photographers and filmmakers. But those considerations aside, one thing I KNOW is that the iPad is great for is displaying photo & video content in a gallery setting, or on a studio wall in a waiting area. So in pure coincidence with Apple’s announcement today that the iPad2 is now available (early), Dartanyon has written up a post about how we made our custom iPad holders that were crazy-popular at my most recent gallery opening…]

Howdy folks, Dartanyon here. As Chase said above, iPads make amazing devices to display multimedia content. The screens are bright and crisp and photos and videos really shine. They also have the great advantage of allowing viewers to navigate and select the content they want to watch instead of waiting for a looping video feed to get around to the interesting part. As such, I’d like to walk you through how we went about creating some custom iPad holders for our recent Seattle 100 gallery show. And note: the price for this DIY project is scalable based on materials used and the results are great.

We wanted the iPads to function as video players that were user friendly, secure, and artfully displayed.  We quickly discovered that there was no commercially available solution for what we were trying to accomplish.  So what’s next?  Go custom. Continue Reading →

Printing & Hanging a Photography Show

Seattle100 Pop Up Gallery

Seattle100 Pop Up Gallery - Quiet Before the Storm

Everyone on the our team brings an expertise and excellence to the group that is unique. As an example, Scott’s Photoshop chops are stellar, Kate is an uber-producer, Erik is the bees knees with digital cinema, and the list goes on… One of Dartanyon’s strong suits is digital printing. He’s been around digital output from the near beginning of color desktop printing. For previous gallery shows, we’ve always outsourced the printing and the framing. For the Seattle 100, I wanted for us to take on these roles. As such, I learned a ton from D–even if it’s just the basics–in the process of printing this pop-up show last fall and thought it would be good to have him share that knowledge here. Take it away Dartanyon…

Dartanyon here…and I’d like to take you on a little tour of how we went about printing and hanging the Seattle 100 Pop Up Gallery show. I should forewarn you though, this is just one method for printing. There are many ways to skin this cat. This way is by no means the only one, and it’s not the absolute BEST one. It’s simply one that I think has broad appeal because almost anyone can tackle the project with the right equipment, time, and understanding. As such, I’ll be walking through the following with the Seattle 100 project in mind so that we have something concrete to discuss, along with a rationale/decision process for the choices we made in hopes you can apply this to your future fine art printing needs.

    1. Printer Selection
    2. Paper Selection
    3. Profiling and Printing
    4. Drying
    5. Mounting and Hanging

1. Printer Selection and Setup. Chase was adamant that we bring the printing of this show in house. We wanted the creative control. Great blacks and Continue Reading →

Aperture vs. Photoshop in B&W Post Production: More Notes From Scott

Aperture Finished File

Aperture Finished File

Photoshop Finished File

Photoshop Finished File

Note: NO, we didn’t have too much eggnog and accidentally re-publish a post from just before the holidays… We did, however, get a TON of reader requests from a lot of y’all who are using less and less Photoshop, and asked Scott if he could get similar results in Aperture or Lightroom. Short answer is YES. To that end, Scotty re-worked this image using Aperture and wanted to share his process with you here. Take it away Scott!

Update: I just heard that this black & white work from Seattle 100 was just featured today in Communication Arts! I’m a huge fan of Comm Arts… very humbled and very stoked. Please check it out here. [thx Lou Maxon!]
The above file on the left was processed entirely in Aperture. The above file on the right is the Photoshop version that we discussed before the holidays. One can certainly nitpick to find details that are different between the two, I know I did, but that would be missing the point.

Speaking of the point, let me get to it. These two images were processed with different RAW algorithms, retouched, adjusted, smooth, and sharpened with different tools with different abilities and nuances. People will rant and rave ad nauseum online about the differences between software offerings. Yet despite all of the obvious discrepancies between the Aperture and Photoshop methods, the net result is very much the same. The vision is important, the method is not. Join me after the jump to learn more. Continue Reading →

Tips on Black & White Post Production [Scott’s Guest Post]

Finished Image

Since each of my staff are experts in their own right, fielding a growing amount of questions from you fine folks–and it’s nice to get a change in perspective–you’ll be seeing more and more posts from these talented people in weeks and months to come. Today, Scott takes the reins and answers a popular question about making great black & white images, with a case study to show you how. Take it away Scotty…

The world is not black and white…but the Seattle 100 post production is.

Following up on the popular guest blog post I penned about the sand jumper image, I thought I’d use this platform to respond to the string of questions I’ve been getting about how we got the striking high contrast black and white aesthetic in the Seattle 100 project.

In the tradition of this blog, this is not going to be a tutorial, rather a theoretical discussion with some visual aids to help illustrate. Post production, like photography is a vast set of tools which give an artist infinite ways to arrive at a finished product. Do not get caught up in the tools, they’re just tools.

Glad that’s out of the way. Now, here’s the theory of the Seattle 100 post production… Continue Reading →

Get Some: Tasty Holiday Tidings Like Wine & Chocolate

chase jarvis seattle 100 wine chocolate

Quick diversion from the normal banter here…

What goes well with the holidays and photo books? Wine and chocolate. Wine and chocolate?

Hopefully you’re aware of my latest photo book project, Seattle 100: Portrait of City (hardback 10×10″ 240 pages, 300 photographs – all my proceeds go to non-profit I’ve alluded to it in some posts before, but as a side show, we got together with a few friends and made some very tasty Seattle 100 wines and a Seattle 100 chocolate bar. Sorta nuts (A.D.D anyone?) but it turned out pretty darn swell.

Those two partners, Small Lot Wine Co-op and Theo Chocolate, have connected to create a holiday gift pack and have asked me to share it with you. If you dig such stuff, here’s what I know… Continue Reading →

Chase Jarvis SOCIAL on Tuesday 10/26 in NYC

chasejarvis_socialCalling all NYC friends – It’s been a while since we got together in person, so let’s do it.

We’re bringing the whole Chase Jarvis Crew to the fantastic ACE Hotel in NYC next week and we’d like to kick it with you, have a cocktail or a coca-cola and meet you in person. I think they’re even giving us a special party room so we can make a ruckus. ALL ARE WELCOME.

I’ve been asked by the ACE Hotel cultural engineers to chat about the Seattle 100 project and sign books for 20 minutes (which I’m very glad to do – they will be on sale at the event). Immediately following we’ll let that deteriorate into some good old fashioned socializing.

Here’s the deets:
WHO: You and me. Your friends and mine.Tuesday, O
WHAT: Chase Jarvis SOCIAL. Meet other creative people. Hang out.
Bring the innernets into the flesh.
WHEN: Tuesday, October 26. 9:30pm – whenever
WHERE: The fabulous ACE HOTEL. On 29th at Broadway.

All are welcome, but space may be limited. The only requirement is that you RSVP. Send an email to with Chase Jarvis Social in the subject line. Beyond that, Fan me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter in case of updates. Hope to see you there!

Seattle 100 Official Launch: Book, Gallery, Website, chasejarvis LIVE

I’m excited and proud to officially announce today the launch of Seattle 100: Portrait of a City. This project–a photo, video, and ethnographic study–is the culmination of a 3-year long labor of love where I’ve identified more than 100 people who are driving culture in/around Seattle. If you’ve been following along here for the past few weeks, you’ve seen me writing and vlogging about it. Well, now it’s finally here. And like many of my projects, this is more of an ecosystem, comprised of several components…in this case a book, a gallery show, a website, and a live broadcast. Here’s a note on each: Continue Reading →

Seattle 100 Project: Just 3 Weeks Out [But Shipping Now?]

In the 8 weeks leading up to my Seattle 100: Portrait of a City launch, I promised to be blogging, vlogging and any other sort of ‘ogging one can do, as well as answering questions to share the behind the scenes of what’s going on with the project. I’ve been doing some o’ that and now we’re just 3 weeks out…sorta, but better.

If you recall, in similar fashion to The Best Camera Is the One That’s With You concept (book, iphone app, online community), this Seattle 100 project is an entire ecosystem: a book, an edition of fine art gallery prints, and a burly website.

While the “official” launch of the project is not until October 21st, but the book is shipping [read on…] Continue Reading →

6 Weeks Out – What Happens When Launching a Book [Vlog]

Last week when I announced my newest book, Seattle 100: Portrait of a City, I promised to blog, vlog, report and otherwise share the behind-the-scenes process of what it’s been like so far in taking this project to print AND what’s going on in these final weeks prior to the official “launch”. Lots to report. My hope is that this can help anybody who is heading into a book project or perhaps considering it…

Hundreds of questions poured this week about the process, so in this chasejarvis CURRENT video I recorded last night at 1am, I tackle a handful of those questions and rattle on a bit about what’s going on this week. Bear with me on my yapping. It was late. I was knackered. I’ll be doing one of these every week till the book hits shelves in October, so lemme know what you want to hear more Continue Reading →

Introducing My New Book… Seattle 100: Portrait of a City

Chase Jarvis book Seattle 100: Portrait of a CityFriends! It’s been a long time coming, but today it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you my third book, titled Seattle 100: Portrait of a City.. From the back cover:

Seattle 100: Portrait of a City is the culmination of a three-year personal project by renowned photographer, filmmaker, and social artist Chase Jarvis. Both a creative project and an insightful ethnography, Seattle 100 shares—via more than 300 stunning black-and-white portraits and biographies of each subject—a curated collection of artists, musicians, writers, scientists, restaurateurs, DJs, developers, activists, entrepreneurs, filmmakers, and more, all of whom are defining and driving culture in Seattle. Some faces you will know, other names you may have heard in passing, and others still have been unknown to you until now. What’s common among them is that they are all innovators, leaders, trendsetters, and pathfinders in their own way.

With this book, Jarvis has carved out perhaps the first ever snapshot of a city’s culture through its people. And it’s inclusive. Descriptive rather than prescriptive. It’s a 100, not an exclusive the 100, and it invites each of us to survey our own surroundings, our lives, our friends—and those not yet our friends—that make up the place we all live, whether that’s Seattle or anywhere else. Individually, the images and words here introduce you to 100 engaging and important people. Collectively, this portrait of a city tells a fascinating, interwoven story about a unique and vibrant place.

Beyond the photos and commentary by Jarvis, there are pithy musings by a select handful of subjects on the topics of art, food, community, region, culture, and film. In addition, each of the subjects shares their favorite things, places, and doings in and around the Seattle that they have explored, discovered, and rediscovered time and again.

So that’s a summary. But there’s 3 important points I’d love to share with you.

1. Behind the Scenes. In an attempt to continue to pull back the curtain, from NOW till launch I will be blogging regularly, video blogging AND answering all your questions that come in via blog post comments, my @chasejarvis Twitter handle, and Facebook page, about the process of making a book. All the steps between today’s announcement and the launch of the book… So ASK AWAY! Nothing is off limits…the press stuff, the promo videos, the closed-door meetings, as well as the craziness leading up to the launch of…get this…an entire Seattle 100 website and the curating and hanging of the Seattle 100 gallery exhibitions, opening in October. If I can legally share it, I will.

2. The book is available for purchase NOW. Please buy a copy today. It will not ship until it hits warehouses on October 10, but the print run is limited and the publisher, Peach Pit/New Riders (Division of Pearson) expects it to sell out quickly. It’s a hardback book, 240 pages, 10″x10″. The publisher initially suggested a retail price to be $70, but thanks to their willingness to help make this book more broadly accessible, we agreed to a suggested retail price of $39.99. BUT, if you buy from one of the online retailers below, you can pick up this book for $26 bucks. Yes. A large format, hard backed art book for $26 bucks. And the kicker? I am donating 100% of my artist proceeds from this book to the amazing non-profit arts and culture organization So if you buy the book, you get art and you help support the arts.

Buy from Amazon online here: Seattle 100: Portrait of a City
Buy from Barnes & Noble online here: Seattle 100: Portrait of a City
Buy from Borders online here: Seattle 100: Portrait of a City

3. A few of the images from the project–but not necessarily the ones in the book–can be seen via this gallery on my site: Chase Jarvis Seattle 100.

And the Seattle Times had a nice, substantial writeup that nailed the front page here…check it: Seattle Times on Chase Jarvis and Seattle 100.

Looking forward to turning this process inside out over the next 8 weeks. Thanks for all your support. First look at a stack of proofs after the jump Continue Reading →

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