Tag Archives: Contract Photographer

‘Americans’: Christopher Morris Captures a Nation Divided

My latest book, Americans, is the second in a series about America, even though I had no idea it would become a series when my first book, My America, was released in April 2006. That book examined Republican nationalism in the country during George W. Bush’s two terms as president. But in Americans, I’ve taken real pains to make sure there’s no political photography. There aren’t any portraits of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, and no pictures of rally signs. Instead, I sought to make an anthropological study of America—not for this week, or for this past election cycle—but a body of work that future generations could look back on to get a sense of the country’s mood.

What I found, in the eight-year period during which these photographs were made, is an America severely divided. With two long-running wars and an economy slow to recover, there is a real sense that the country is in a depressed state. Traveling across America in several road trips, I found that the mood among citizens wasn’t upbeat or lively; people are really polarized in their political positions, yet everyone is concerned about the economy and what that means for the welfare of their families.

The book contains only a handful of formal portraits. The rest is reportage—pictures taken when people were alone, pensive in thought. I looked for these moments to convey this feeling of loss and depression that I felt across the nation.

Americans recently headed to the polls to elect their next president, and on Election Day eve, there wasn’t a clear frontrunner. In fact, many polls showed voters divided near evenly between Obama and Romney—a poignant indicator that despite the winner, Americans may very well continue to be divided.

Christopher Morris is a contract photographer for TIME and represented by VII

Americans, published by Steidl, will be available in early December.

Tearsheet of The Day | Time magazine’s Commemorative U.S. Election Special

Spent yesterday evening reading Time magazine’s latest issue, a U.S. election special, dated November 19, 2012, which came out last weekend. Thought I had had enough of the elections, but ended up staying up late into the night having found the magazine’s articles, commentaries, and photographs, pretty much unputdownable. Thought I’d share some of the issue’s brilliant photography here.

Brooks Kraft was following Obama for the magazine during the end of the presidential campaign. Below a terrific double spread of a photo, which can also be seen in the Lightbox slideshow, Last Days on the Road with Obama.

pp.38-39. Time (Int’l ed.). November 19, 2012.
Photo © Brooks Kraft for TIME
Caption: Stumping to victory. On the trail in Richmond, Va. – a state Obama narrowly won.

The issue also includes some brilliantly fascinating and quirky photos by Grant Cornett documenting the presidential campaign through physical objects. The work can be seen on Lightbox gallery, A History of the Campaign in 100 Objects.

pp.60-61. Time (Int’l ed.). November 19, 2012.
Photos © Grant Cornett for TIME
Left: Rick Perry’s Boots
Right: Michele Bachmann’s Suit

Finally, there’s also stunning portraits by the magazine’s contract photographer, Marco Grob, of some of the politicians who we might see running for the US presidency in four years’ time. The portraits can be seen on Lightbox under the title, TIME’s Class of 2016: The Political Leaders to Watch.

pp. 90-91. Time (Int’l ed.). November 19, 2012.
Photos © Marco Grob
Left: Condoleezza Rice, former Security of State, Republican.
Right: Joe Biden, Vice President, Former Delaware Senator, Democrat.

Brooks Kraft (American) is a New York born photographer based in Washington D.C. whose work is licensed through Corbis. His work appears frequently in Time.

Grant Cornett (American) is a Texas born photographer based in Brooklyn.

Marco Grob (Swiss, b.1965)  is a Swiss portrait and fashion photographer based in New York. He is a contract photographer with Time magazine.

Tearsheet of The Day | Yuri Kozyrev photo of Saddam’s ‘rat hole’ in FT Weekend

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, unveiled their survey of war photography, WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath, on Armistice Day yesterday. The FT Weekend magazine featured some of the work from the exhibition in their latest issue. You can view the FT article and slideshow here.  You can also read about the show over at Photo District News, which interviewed the exhibition’s curators.

Below war in Iraq photograph from 2003 by Yuri Kozyrev, which FT Weekend ran as a double truck.

p. 20-21. FT Weekend Magazine. November 10/11 2012 issue.
Photo © Yuri Kozyrev.
“A journalist climbs out of the hole where toppled dictator Saddam Hussein was captured in Ad Dawr. Iraq’s defeated leader raised his arms out of his ‘rat hole’ and said he was Saddam Hussein and that he wanted to negotiate. “ Iraq. December 15, 2003. Inkjet print.

Yuri Kozyrev (Russian, b. 1963) is a member of Noor Images and a contract photographer with Time magazine.

TIME’s Class of 2016: The Political Leaders to Watch

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney fought for the presidency this fall, TIME contract photographer Marco Grob was crisscrossing the country to meet the men and women who may be doing the same four years from now.

From September to October, Grob, a Swiss photographer based in New York, traveled to 10 states and Washington, D.C., to shoot the 13 political leaders who comprise TIME’s Class of 2016 (Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo were photographed earlier this year). “This series was very exciting because the fact that one of these politicians could be the next president was always on my mind,” says Grob, who took a variety of different kinds of shots and snapped extra rolls of photos to memorialize the moment.

Some of the subjects in Grob’s essay are American political royalty. Among the luminaries on TIME’s list are a First Lady (and now Secretary of State), a First Brother, six current and former governors and the current vice-president. Others, like San Antonio mayor Julián Castro and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, are rising stars – members of the fastest-growing demographic group in the U.S., men marked for higher office within their parties.

In the space of a single 48-hour stretch, the whirlwind assignment whisked Grob from Palo Alto, Calif., to Columbus, Ohio, to Baton Rouge. None of the subjects hinted at their political aspirations, and Grob preferred not to ask. “I don’t talk to them about their plans. I actually think it’s better if they don’t think I know much about their political careers,” he says. “They feel they can open up more.”

Breaking through that veneer of formality was one of the tasks confronting Grob, whose portfolio of portraits for TIME includes comedians and actors, world leaders and Ground Zero first responders. Politicians are trained are trained to stay on script. Grob’s challenge was to get them to veer from it. “Politicians, of all my subjects, are the most self-aware. They’re careful not to lose any voters, so they don’t get into anything controversial,” he says. His trick? “I always let them smile for a couple frames, but then I aim to make a more thoughtful portrait,” he says. “When you smile, you cover up your true face—that’s just what humans do.”

Alex Altman is a Washington correspondent for TIME. Follow him on Twitter @aaltman82.

Marco Grob is a contract photographer for TIME. View more of his work for TIME here or on his website.

The Men Behind Lincoln: Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg by Marco Grob

Ever the director, Steven Spielberg was already thinking about the next shoot at his portrait sitting with Marco Grob for this week’s issue of TIME. Spielberg was curious about the photographer’s plans to photograph Daniel Day Lewis, who plays the 16th president in the director’s forthcoming Lincoln, later in the day. His schedule was free—so Spielberg offered to come back and help Grob with the shoot. “Spielberg is an icon, and to have him shoulder to shoulder with me as I shot was quite amazing,” Grob says. “He ended up directing Daniel’s gazes and poses, and talking to him during the shoot to create a really casual atmosphere.” Spielberg limited his creative input to Lewis, though, even at Grob’s insistence that he review shots, which ultimately suited the photographer’s nerves just fine. “To have a very famous voice in your ear, at your shoulder, as you shoot could be quite stressful, to put it mildly,” Grob says. “But this was obviously an incredibly fun and memorable experience.”

Marco Grob is a contract photographer for TIME. View more of his work for TIME here or on his website.

TIME Style&Design: Peter Hapak Photographs Marion Cotillard

To prepare for his cover sitting with Marion Cotillard for TIME Style&Design’s fall issue, photographer Peter Hapak hit the archives, collecting pictures of Paris and Parisian fashion during the 1930s, including the work of famed French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue. Studying images of women in restaurants, chatting with friends or simply roaming the streets of the city, Hapak easily understood why Paris has long been considered a fashion capital of the world. “All of the women looked like they had walked out of a fashion magazine,” he says. “Fashion is such a big part of the culture there, and you can even feel that history when walking through the city today.”

Peter Hapak for TIME

TIME Style&Design Fall 2012

On set in Paris this August, Hapak tried to evoke this era, capturing Cotillard in designs by French fashion houses Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, along with other designers like Andrew Gn and Dries Van Noten. “She’s the representation of the French woman for me—elegant, but not too stylized,” says Hapak of Cotillard, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2007 for her portrayal of French singer Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. “With the cover look, it felt like she was pulling a dress out of her own closet. It went so well with her style, and she felt really confident in it, that you would have never known she was dressing up for a shoot.”

Peter Hapak is a contract photographer for TIME. In December of 2011, Hapak photographed The Protester, TIME’s Person of the Year. 

More: See all of TIME’s Style&Design coverage

Mustafah Abdulaziz, USA v. Japan, Times Square

Mustafah Abdulaziz, USA v. Japan, Times Square

Mustafah Abdulaziz

USA v. Japan, Times Square,
New York City, 2011
From the Memory Loss series
Website – MustafahAbdulaziz.com

Mustafah Abdulaziz (b. 1986) is an American documentary photographer. Over the last three years he has taken road trips across the United States to work on a series of pictures called Memory Loss. By using road trips as the vehicle to leaf through chance encounters, he attempts to craft a short story solely from the pages he relates to. His work invites the viewer to land on his page and address a commonality in how we live and what we think is important. He has been a member of the international photography collective MJR since 2008. In 2010 he worked as the first contract photographer for The Wall Street Journal. In 2012 he was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. He is currently developing two other projects from where he is based in Berlin, Germany.

Still Nutty: Portraits of Jerry Lewis by Marco Grob

Earlier this month, TIME sent contract photographer Marco Grob to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) in Nashville to photograph comedian Jerry Lewis. Now 86 years old, Lewis, profiled by Richard Zoglin in this week’s issue of TIME, is filling his days directing a musical version of The Nutty Professor—adapted from the film he originally wrote and starred in back in 1963. The new stage version, in collaboration with the late composer Marvin Hamlisch and lyricist Rupert Holmes, is being performed at TPAC through the end of the weekend in a bid for a slot on Broadway.

Although he’s photographed subjects as diverse as Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga, Grob still felt nervous as he waited for Lewis to arrive for his portrait shoot. Experience photographing other comedians led Grob to expect Lewis to be a handful—a worry that proved to be completely unfounded when the legendary funny man showed up.

During the ten-minute shoot, Grob learned that Lewis shared a passion for photography. ”He carries a camera with him everywhere he goes,” says Grob. “It’s pretty much the same equipment we use to film. He’s very professional.”

Grob was also excited to photograph a man he had grown up watching on television. “He’s a legend in Europe,” says the Swiss-born Grob. “It’s always fascinating to meet people who were around all my lifespan, especially someone with as crazy a career as Jerry.”

Marco Grob is a contract photographer for TIME. View more of his work for TIME here or on his website.