“I started in my father’s darkroom, retouching negatives at 5 years old,” recalls New York City-based photographer Paul Aresu. “My father was a wedding photographer, with 10 studios and maybe 50 photographers working under him.” In his late teens, Aresu was already shooting weddings for his dad. “It grew from there.” He achieved a BFA from New York’s School of Visual Arts and went on to assist Pete Turner and Tom Arma for several years. “I learned a lot about the business from them.”
Philippe Halsman, in his book Halsman on the Creation of Photographic Ideas, talked about an ad he’d shot, where he had to show a car making a splash as it was driving through a water-filled trough. But rather than give it the traditional treatment of the day, he sought to make a real splash with the picture, so he lit it differently. Shooting at dusk, he positioned flashbulbs so they hit the “wings,” as he called them, from each side. Like Halsman, photographers specializing in automotive are finding ways of introducing unusual and unique twists to make the shot stand out. Peter Dawson is one such automotive photographer who takes a particularly keen interest in dealing with challenges outdoors, on location.
Jeffrey Totaro (www.jeffreytotaro.com) didn’t plan on becoming an architectural photographer. After graduating Drexel University in 1991, he became an architectural engineer. In his job, he found himself working alongside architectural photographers and was soon assisting them, until finally he found the allure too great and switched careers. Now he runs his own studio near Philadelphia.
Jonathan Robert Willis knew where he was going at a young age. “In school, imagery always spoke to me louder than words and numbers. My interest in black-and-white photography was sparked during my high school years by music-industry portrait photographer Michael Wilson, a family friend. His work really resonated with me and I just fell in love with the idea of making pictures for a living and shooting the music that I listen to.” In fact, Willis switched to a public school “because that school had a decent darkroom that nobody was using. I knew I wanted to make photographs.” It was there that he taught himself black-and-white processing and printing. And in college, “I pretty much lived in the darkroom.” Fast forward and we now find Willis comfortably settled in his Cincinnati, Ohio-based studio, although we may find him shooting on location just as much, if not more. Willis’s creative team consists of first assistant Scott Meyer and digital retoucher Patrick White, with Laura McMurray serving as production assistant/studio manager.
Mark Katzman has been shooting professionally for over 25 years. Originally, he studied filmmaking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In college, and for a short while thereafter, he found he could earn money by taking pictures of baseball teams.
How do you photograph a duck pumping gas? When Aflac came to New York advertising photographer Chris Collins with just such a dilemma, this problem solver had the answer and years of experience to back him up. One duck was a given: they'd use a very sophisticated puppet designed (and finessed over the years) by noted Hollywood model-maker Stan Winston. But they'd also...
Chris Vincent knows how to make a splashy shot for his clients. When it comes to liquids—pours, spills, splashes, and explosions—Chris Vincent (www.cvincent.com) has done it. That and the more sedate still life studies where all is quiet and calm.
One moment you can find him photographing people diving off a boat in Bali, the next focusing on a businesswoman returning to a hotel restaurant in Bangkok to savor the haute cuisine, and then back in his studio capturing a telling portrait. That’s the life of an advertising photographer specializing in portraiture, lifestyle, and fashion, as David Allan Brandt knows it.
"The Great Swamp was a treat," observed one of the photographers from the American Museum of Natural History's photo studio after returning from a trip to photograph this New Jersey marshland. "Nothing like slogging around in chest waders and dodging mosquitoes (unsuccessfully, I might add) for four hours in really nice smelling swamp water," he...
Automotive photography involves more than cars, although these vehicles make up the bulk of this genre. Automotive can also mean motorcycles and practically any motorized conveyance that hits the road. Tackling these vehicles may appear overwhelming at first, but not to veteran automotive photographer Richard Izui.
“I can trace my roots in photography back to when I was a student at the Ontario College of Art (Toronto),” Andrew Eccles recalls. “But there was one problem: back then, I found it intimidating to approach people with the camera, so I avoided photographing them.
“Then I came to New York and started studying magazines such as Rolling Stone, and, through a...
Shooting professionally since the 1970s, San Diego-based Marshall Harrington (www.marshallharrington.com) has employed various processes and techniques, film and digital, that give him a competitive edge. In my book, Location Lighting Solutions (Amphoto), Harrington described his work as “visual semiotics,” explaining...
Chase Jarvis is one of a new breed of successful young photographers who’s at the top of his game. His use of social networking has brought him an enormous following while his exploration of radical business models is opening new markets. Best known for his lifestyle and sports images, the creative and financial success of his personal projects has earned him top corporate clients like Nikon, Reebok, and Microsoft.
Shutterbug: You have no formal training as a photographer, yet arguably you’re one of the top photographers working today. How’d you get there?
Chase Jarvis: I wish I could answer that in a sentence. I think maybe the shortest description is by being incredibly curious and very hardworking. And throw a whole bunch of luck in there, too. There’s a lot of timing and luck involved in anything I do.
David Hume Kennerly has led an amazing career as a photojournalist. In 1968 he photographed Robert Kennedy at the California presidential primary moments before he was gunned down at the Ambassador Hotel.