Ramping Up Again

I’m glad to be on the back side of the holidays and New Year’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love the celebration, seeing family and friends etc, but being out of any kind of normal routine makes it an adventure. Not that my life has that much routine to begin with, but I came back to my office and desk after 10 days away and it looked like a crime scene. November and December were very busy and I uncharacteristically left for a family vacation with some work still on my desk.

The good thing is when I get the opportunity to step away from my work for a few days it allows my mind to wander, I can get some inspiration from new places, laugh a lot and seek out new ideas and thoughts to move forward with.

I’m an optimist at heart, especially about business and the photography business as a whole. Photography is being used more now that ever before and there are countless outlets that need a refined and experienced vision to convey the essence of a brand, tell a  compelling story or make that one image that makes you feel something.

I’m also a believer that positive thoughts create positive forward moving energy, which is undeniably the best way to start a new year.

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New Work: Wine Enthusiast Magazine

I had the opportunity to recently work with Wine Enthusiast Magazine on a feature story they were doing on Mixologists who are couples. The shoot was really loose, unstructured, fun and just what we needed for what we were trying to achieve. The subjects being really easy going was no small part of this. We gave them some ideas about what we were looking for, but we wanted this to be fun, loose and feel more like lifestyle than portraiture. Kudos to the entire team:

Creative Director: Marco Turelli

Art Director: Dana Buonincontri

Makeup: Rosemarie Stiller

Photo Assistant: Phil Nelson

Location: Lani Kai, Soho, NYC


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Retouching: a rating system?

Today’s New York Times has an interesting story about a computer science instructor and student at Dartmouth who are proposing a tool to rate how much a photo has been retouched.











This comes on the heels of some legislators in Europe who are proposing laws to mandate labeling of retouched photos. This all presumably to let people know the real from the unreal.

The idea of a rating system seems interesting and maybe even necessary in our world of over polished visuals, but I don’t see it getting very far. I’m sure it would be impossible to get the advertising industry on board (why would they agree to this?) and so many magazines are considered “entertainment” or “info-tainment” that is would be policing the magazines that already have decent policies in place about retouching.

Personally, I’m fairly light handed about my retouching. I prefer to make it look as good as I can in camera and spend less time with retouching, but certainly many photographers have styles that are based on the “Franken-image” that is composited, retouched and barely resembles photography when it’s done. Some if it is very nice, just not my thing.

Can a system of rating retouching in photos work? Will Europe or even the US pass legislation about this? (Can our politicians get on the same page about anything these days?)

As technology improves and advances, these questions about what is indeed a photograph will be important to clarify.



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LIFE was born 75 years ago

I grew up in an era when magazines (yes, those old fashioned collections of paper, words and information) were a huge influence in forming my visual literacy.

LIFE was no small part of that and 75 years ago LIFE magazine was born. While not still publishing a print version, a very decent web site still exists and features some really wonderful modern day and historical photography.

To commemorate the anniversary, Life.com has posted a gallery of the best images of their history.

While I’m not usually enamored by such lists and the digital form is much less interesting than a printed version, the collection of images is worth a look.




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Collaboration: FCCF

The way people collaborate is never the same. Even with the same client, the arc that a project takes on is always different from project to project.

I would love to take credit for the creative on this, but it goes to Sallie Mitchell, the Communications Director at the Fairfield County Community Foundation.

Sallie needed a new and interesting way to show how the donors contributions make a difference. In short, who does our money help.

Her idea was so beautiful, yet simple. Let’s produce beautiful full page donor portraits and then widen the shot to show who the donation was helping.

I helped by bringing her thoughts to a completed visual, making sure the locations would work for the concept and providing the team to execute the shoot.

This piece won an award for non-profit communications and the reviewer said he had “concept envy”. I agree.

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