Saturday, January 31, 2009


Now the election has past and Americans are hopeful. I'm hopeful but the reality for photographers is that were like lone planets spinning in a Universe of our own. Money is tight everywhere. Only a handful of shooters are banking it consistently. I don't see how photographers can ever get rates raised and the basic respect of clients if editors don't have the means to pay them accordingly. It's an ago old problem...the pecking order...and were all at there steps waiting for what feels like crumbs and an occational lump of gold if were talented enough or just rubbing sholders at the right dinner tables I suppose? Budgets are dictated by publishers and have never been huge with editorial clients unless fashion inspired or cover related. The rates have not changed in decades and the rights or getting less. Its not the editors fault, he or she work for the publisher and we just are hired guns. Photographers have to carry there own insurances and fend for themselves daily. Many publications have relied upon there "NAME" and the fact that some of the more revered magazines in AMERICA are weekly which is great for putting a shooters name before potential clients and those powers that be. (The editors HIRING) I have worked for many amazing editors and now everyone is an expert editor and photographer. I think its odd that many have not studied the arts on both counts but rather by the seat of their pants do the job according to the title and not with the greatness of those I've been so lucky crossed paths in my career. Where is photography going? I was so inspired by the batch of photographers that seemed to bring an artful eye to all of us. Weston, Arbus, Michals, Newman, Penn, Frielander, Mann and so many more. The majority of us have to earn a living and seems making a living can rip you away from your original dreams. However fortunate my career may seem to some I tell you it has been hard earned and my first LOVE. Photography still holds my heart for the sake of the journey and the process I am beholden.
I am constantly going between worlds of Magazine, Advertising and Art. I am fully committed to all the best I can but somehow you have to make reality checks. Living in NYC I was working steady and earning my way and now that I've moved to New Mexico I work steady on getting work and I think most of the photographers with or with out reps are doing much the same.
I am thankful for all that comes my way. One has to be flexible to stay in this climate. I keep hearing from shooters that are second guessing what they should do with there lives now? I do understand this feeling where a talented shooter may not be in big demand at the moment but he or she has something unique in the way they see. Don't give up. Everyday do something to make the world see or feel your talent. It can kill a persons spirit if the majority is not bangin your door down for work. Hang in there I say. I think if you love it than keep focused and make projects that make a difference and do what you may to keep food on the table. This is tough times and I don't count on anyone to feed my life. I have a wonderful rep. now but ALWAYS make sure you hustle your work too. NEVER LEAVE YOUR CAREER soley in the hands of others. I did this the last few years and the painful financial loss has been mine to bare. I feel the expense of multiple portfolios is a waste and one can better funnel what money they have into online promotion and shooting. I suggest if you know stories and or clients that you can send to magazines and ad agencies than your helping our community sustain itself. Build relationships with those folks and the value for all will grow. Make lists and manifest it. Care about your clients and their needs and be original. Don't be battered down by online sites that want us to pimp it out free all the time. Value your intellectual property. Look at the bigger picture if your shooting for less than find the good for all and explore your point of view. It's all additude. Make it creative and work for you too. Remember everything is cycling and with the suppose 2012 end of the world coming , well its not that at all ....its the end of the Mayan calendar's dark year's and the BEGINNING of the "light year's" in the new Mayan Calendar so we will move forward and create a ripple of strength by feeding the positive fire. I can and I am and I will be a creative working photographer. I wish all my peers much success and peace in our quest to sustain the passionate eye as image makers.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Art Brewer a household name in surf photography yet not at all limited to it. Sometimes photographers get pigeonholed into a type of photography or a style ... surf, portraits, essays, advertising...the list goes on and on and the fact is some photographers are extremely talented and do many things but few realize how many avenues a shooter has to walk down just to support their lives. Art's career is a great example of just that....we all think surfing but he can do anything needed to make and evocative image. He's chill and he flows with making images to tell stories, be it many or just one as a signature image. Today I received my second book from Art. This one is called "BUNKER SPRECKELS" surfing's divine prince of decadence. The publisher Taschen
Put together by Art Brewer . C.R.Stecyk III. The book is one that you open and want to make friends with right away. Surf culture one can experience with this book. It should be a movie. I want to be on a beach reading it, and better yet being the character Bunker would of been a blast. He seems like the Jim Morrison of surfing, or much like the writer Hunter Thompson. How come I didn't know about this guy? Now their is an entire book about him and he's the real deal. The book is just loaded with timeless images uncensored and each one is leaving you more hungry than the last. Art is the man....he's got the eye and the appetite for life. This book is outright SEXY and makes you THINK....what the hell I'm I doing here on this planet. I need to have more fun. We all get so caught up with bills and positioning our careers that we get derailed. Those of us who actually love what we taking pictures get pushed aside for the flavor of the month, making you wonder what or why were doing what we do. Arts book really reminded me of the great passion of living and being who were suppose to be fearlessly.
The book is full of interview style quotes about a man's cycle of life. Bunker also reminds me of Woody Harrelson living on the edge...maybe normal for him but when your in that sort of vital way of living one doesn't often have time to think about more than just BEING.
Thanks Art for sharing your point of view. Always a pleasure.
This book has a wonderful mysterious allure for me.
Great book go buy it esp if your a lover of Surf and Anthropology. Art was there and his eyes have gifted all of us an interesting journey of a few wild cards. This a good book for a hamock day.


Friday, January 16, 2009


WOW! that's Anotonin to me. We have known of one another for many years in the photography circles of New York City and New Mexico when Antonin comes to teach photography workshops. I originally met him while speaking at the Houston Photo Fest way back when I was based out of NYC. The lights dimmed and the images in bold black and white, gritty appeared upon the screen. It was like a heart beat slow and steady and kept you breathless waiting for the next. It was at this event where I really felt emotionally moved by Antonin's images. One such image was of little girls dressed like angels coming right off the screen into the viewers laps. I was so moved by the grace of his eye and felt at that moment that he was a messenger of a different sort. We connected later after the show where I talked him into trading an image. I wanted the angel girls and he wanted a print I shot of my son at 3 weeks old laying below a large redwood tree shot with an 8x10 camera. So the deal was made and we traded a few years later as I recall. I picked him up on my old BMW bike in Manhatten....I rode up and here's the jolliest guy you will meet toten a print and cigar. I hand him a half helmet and he jumped on the back of my bike ... almost popped a wheelie.....we rode to my place and dropped his print off and got mine. Over the years we connect on occation never enough but its always a pleasure.
God Bless you where ever you are Antonin your a special Spirit.

Monday, January 12, 2009


This is Reid Callanan. I originally met him via Lynn Hughes former rep for Fugi and accomplished photographer/friend. I was called upon to teach my first workshop in NM in the late 80's. I was nervous and felt my mission was shooting, however pursuasive Reid got me on the roster for a week of teaching of which changed and evolved my perspective on the educational front. At first I thought it was the perfect opportunity to "give back" to my photography community but after this experience the gift was mine to have the opportunity and rather large assortment of creatives around sharing and experiencing the totality of photography in all aspects. Now years later not feeling much older but rather a few gray hairs I have returned to the adjunct teaching profession through doing group and one on one workshops with Reid's blessings always. I am very proud to say I am part of the Santa Fe Photography staff/freelance. I am also a big fan of Reid's ability to genuinely pull together some of the finest photographers to impart their professional and personal approaches to being a photographer and making images more special and supporting a rather unique core of creatives as inspiration. Reid is the catalyst for all sorts of learning and sharing. He walks quietly and humbly on our planet but he is solid granite. He has made the Santa Fe Photography Workshops an institution to be respected. I highly recommend the classes here and if your not a group person than I will gladly take your needs one on one and help you make some bold steps toward your dreams.

The Santa fe Workshops

One onOne Workshops with karen

photo by lisa goldman

Saturday, January 3, 2009


A year back Tim Mantoani contacted me to be one of many photographers that he was including in his project about photographer's with key pieces shot during their career. I finally connected with him Jan 2nd 2009 while passing through San Diego where he has his studio and a large format view camera set up....Tim is on his last batches of poleroid film so I feel lucky to be included. Mind you I am traveling with teenagers and a truck and trailer camping for the holiday vacation so the idea of traveling with edition prints was pretty unappealing as well and Tim (the uber guy) totally had his lab hook up the prints for his shoot! Tim couldn't be a nicer guy! Super accomidating. Thanks Tim.

When I first saw the email I found it really interesting to see some of my heros as image makers. I never really slow down and think that I may have contributed many bodies of work in my brief lifetime and I have had many great moments shared with subjects. I feel I have so much work to do and projects to complete which when you get lumped into someone elses projected it can make you think that hey....maybe I have something unique and maybe I have touched others emotionally. I had an amazing career in NYC and miss being in the hotbed of assignment shooting but I think New Mexico has something for the next chapter of my life in photography.
CHECK OUT Tims website (behind photographes project) I shoot 8x10 film pretty regularly still but when you see Tim and his associate working its like surgery. Facebook under photos you can find a few more shots under an afternoon with
Tim Mantoani.