Tag Archives: Fashion Photographer

Boys Don’t Cry: Joseph Cultice

My friends at Baang + Burne Contemporary in New York are opening a new exhibition, Boy’s Don’t Cry, on October 4th. This three person exhibition features the work of Rich Tu, Joseph Cultice, and Chris Jehly. Joseph Cultice, the only photographer in the exhibition. brings his series, The Garden, to the B+B walls.

Joseph comes to fine art photography with a long career as a celebrity and fashion photographer, with a love for shooting musicians.  He is also a well know video director, including his feature, Dead to the World, a documentary about Marilyn Manson’s tour. More importantly, he has gotten stoned with Mick Jagger, been hit on by Freddy Mercury, and joined a prayer circle with the Jonas Brothers. He has been told he looks like Bono, Mel Gibson and Johnny Cash, but only by people with glaucoma.

The Garden is drawn from his personal experience of building a family and the contradictions that come from being a parent, homeowner, good citizen, yet the pull to keep a little bit of debauchery in one’s life is ever present.

Success Stories: Douglas Beasley

Some months ago, I received the beautiful book, Earth Meets Spirit, in the mail.  I was familiar with the name Douglas Beasley as I fell in love with this image that graced the cover of  SHOTS Magazine sometime back, but I wanted to learn more about him.

Known for his Vision Quest workshops and stunning photographs about Native Americans and the American West, Douglas is someone who has found a place in the world where the earth meets spirit. He lives in a passive solar home surrounded by trees in Saint Paul, MN and when not out traveling the world he can be found tending his Japanese gardens or enjoying a strong cup of coffee while listening to loud music.

Douglas received a BFA
from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he also studied Eastern
Religions and Native American culture.  After working in a variety photo studios, he opened his own in Minneapolis, MN with an emphasis on commercial
and editorial fashion. As a strong feminist, he considers himself the
world’s most unlikely fashion photographer. This evolved into shooting
throughout the country for various advertising, educational, public
service and non-profit clients. He currently works on fine-art based
commercial projects around the world.

He has been published internationally
and featured in numerous photo magazines such as Zoom, The Sun, B&W, PDN and PhotoVision. His first book Japan; A Nisei’s First Encounter, offers insight into his journey to his mother’s Japanese homeland. His most recent book Earth Meets Spirit was recently published by 5 Continents Editions in Milan, Italy and is distributed by Abrams.

As founder and director of Vision Quest Photo Workshops, Beasley
provides workshops that emphasize personal expression and creative
vision over the mechanics of camera use. His upcoming workshop, Zen and the Art of Photography at Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon is running September 16th -21st. Douglas has also created Vision Quest cards that help keep photographers motivated.



Tell us a little bit about your growing up and
what brought you to photography?

I grew up in
suburban Detroit, the only Asian kid in an all white school. This sense of
being different really was fundamental to my growing up and at least perceiving
myself as an outsider and as an observer, since I knew I wasn’t like the other
kids and didn’t quite fit in.

How did the book come about? And can you
explain the title and concept?
My photography is
about recognizing the spirit that inhabits all things, animate and inanimate,
big and small. The book originally was a request from my gallery in Italy for a
printed collection of my photographs so they could better define and market me
in Europe. It came together as a result of melding together various past bodies
of work while trying to find the thread that ties them together. I worked very
closely with graphic designer Krista Matison. She is a good friend from my past
and we had always worked well with together. She really ‘gets’ my style and
sensibility but also keeps me grounded in the world of realistic possibility.
The title Earth Meets Spirit originally came from Daniel Kantor, a
graphic designer/strategic marketing specialist and good friend, who came up
with it to describe me and my work while designing my new letterhead and
website. It seemed to encapsulate so much with so few words.

You seem to be drawn to a Native American
sensibility, though your mother is from Japan.  Do these two cultures
intersect for you?

Yes, completely.
Although they both have very different ways of expressing it, both cultures
recognize that everything has a spirit, even rocks and trees.  I found many other similarities in the
spirituality of both cultures, which is why I find myself inextricably drawn to
both cultures spiritual expression as well as to Japanese design sensibility.

Spirituality is a big part of your work and you
look at the world from a sacred perspective. How has this perspective changed
It has let me explore
what I want to learn more about. It gives me the excuse to keep looking. I
don’t know the answers but through pursuing various photo projects I get to
live the questions out loud. Photography gives me permission to explore
spiritual themes and concepts deeper and with more intent.

There is a timeless, slowed down quality to
your images.  What cameras do you use, and what is your approach to making

Although I shoot
digital on commercial assignments, I still use film for all my fine art work.
It slows me down and keeps me very present. The preciousness of 12 frames on a
roll before you have to re-load makes you be careful but the knowledge from the
old days that “film is cheap’ compared to everything else in photography (not
to mention what it took to arrive at a particular destination) helps me let go
and abandon that sense of preciousness.

How do you divide your time between doing
commercial work, your personal work, and teaching workshops?

I do very few
commercial assignments these days, but when I get one it tends to be a good
one, usually involving travel. Commercial assignments are a challenge. You are
forced to be creative on somebody else’s timetable and on somebody else’s
chosen location. There are no excuses. You have to make it work. That is great
discipline for doing one’s artwork where there can be a multiplicity of
excuses. In commercial work you don’t have the luxury of those excuses and I
try and carry that sense of making the here and now work in personal

Teaching and
workshops have become a much bigger part of my creative life and the time and
destinations have become a big part of where and when I do my personal work.

I love your quote, “Photographs symbolize
the beauty that resides in all things, the spirit that inhabits all objects,
the temporal nature of life experiences.”  Are you able to find these
qualities in contemporary digital photography, or is this statement a more
personal reflection of you own vision?

Yes, digital or
film, it’s just a choice of tools. They both still require an eye, a heart and
a soul. The only real difference it what happens logistically after you click
the shutter.  Am just not a fan of
sitting endlessly in front of a computer editing. I find the natural stages of
film; processing, looking over contact sheets, editing, printing; more
personally conducive to my own timetable for getting to know what I have
photographed and what works and what doesn’t. I like the extra time this takes.
It can remove me, in a healthy way, from the moment of exposure and yet with
the passage of time I can stay connected to hear what the images have to say on
their own.

What advice can you give to emerging
photographers on getting their work out into the world?

Take the time and do
the work to learn the craft of photography. Think about the quality of the
photos first, the emerging body of work second, the context within the medium
or our society third and when and where to share them last. Don’t put the cart
(gallery or exhibit space) before the horse (quality, context and meaning).
Then share your unique perspective and put the work out there that you
want others to see not what you think others might want to see. Be very careful
who you take advice from. Develop and learn to trust your own instincts. But
remember those instincts are honed by education, experience and the advice of
trusted mentors or colleagues. Don’t be afraid to change your mind, your
opinion, your exposure, your composition, or your frame of reference as

How does one find an authentic visual voice?

Practice. Abandon
attachment to results. Risk failure. Repeat as necessary. Invest in the time it
takes to really get to know your self. Listen to others when necessary. More
importantly, ignore others when necessary. Tune in to your own intuition of
which of these is right for you at which time. Always see if you can take it
one step deeper…

And finally, what would be your perfect day?

Spending a beautiful
winter day at my cabin in NW Wisconsin. A long walk or ski in the woods with
fresh snow, a fire in the woodstove, a good meal with red wine and friends…

Photographer #450: Sølve Sundsbø

Sølve Sundsbø, 1970, Norway, is a fashion photographer and director based in London since 1995 where he studied at the London College of Printing. While studying he assisted world renowned photographer Nick Knight, who became an important mentor to him. Today Sølve is one of the leading photographers in his genre. Among his clients are big names as Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Gucci. He created editorials for the Italian Vogue, i-D and Interview. His series 14 Actors Acting, made for The New York Times, received an Emmy Award in 2011 for New Approaches to News & Documentary Programming: Arts, Lifestyle and Culture. Solve has an experimental approach to his photography, using a vast amount of techniques and styles, creating larger-than-life, sophisticated and innovative images. He is not afraid to tread uncommon paths. For an YSL fragrance campaign he convinced them to create and use an image of a full-frontal male nude, causing some controversy. The following images come from Interview Magazine: Scarlett Johansson, Vogue Japan: The Virgin Spring and W Magazine: The Everchanging Face of Beauty.

Website: www.artandcommerce.com/ss & www.solvesundsbo.info

Kate Orne

I first became aware of Kate Orne’s photographs when she won the Berenice Abbott Prize for her work with sex trade workers in Pakistan. The series, Brothels and Fundamentalism, captured poignant and powerful images of women trapped in a lifestyle of abuse and fear was deeply felt and appreciated.

Kate is a unique voice in the photography world. She is an editorial and fashion photographer (see image below), a documentary photographer, a fine art photographer, and a humanitarian. In 2002, she created MyFarAwayFamily.com, an organization providing Afghan refugee children with education and their widowed mothers with micro loans and guidance to start their own businesses. Provided food distributions in Kabul and Peshawar among refugees. And she’s one hell of a nice person.

Kate was born in Sweden, and now lives in New York City. One of her first jobs was as an editor for Interview Magazine, but by the mid 1990’s Kate was busy working in all areas of the photo landscape. And within that landscape, she has created a new body of fine art work that is just about that: landscape, but landscape as meditation and inspiration.

The Landscape With: As far back as I can remember, I have been drawn to the wide-open landscape: a canvas of land, water or sky where I feel expansion within and around me. In that setting, my mind is free.

Over the years, I have frequently returned to the landscape, on assignment and for personal work. I’m rarely shooting in a place where there are people – I don’t want them interrupting the pull of natural elements. As I look through the viewfinder, I wait. A shadow, a shape, or some interplay or tension between forms, sparks my curiosity, calling for attention. This is a starting point.

To me art is a form of meditation. In the time when we create, we travel inward. When I photograph, I want to include as much of what is there as possible—both what I can see and feel. My intuition guides the process – a secret language within me, which I regard as the most valuable measurement of honesty. This is what my heart sees.

The feelings that I experience are powerful and the image afterwards brings me back to them. It’s often during the edit, when I look closely at a photograph, that I see what in the landscape captured my attention.

I want it to be the same for the viewers, for them to feel free and have their minds and hearts expand when they rest their eyes on an image. This is why I prefer my work printed on a larger scale, creating a space that invites the viewer inside.

Photographer #418: Jamie Nelson

Jamie Nelson, 1983, USA, is a fashion and beauty photographer based in New York. She studied Advertising Photography at the Brooks Institute of Photography. She graduated in 2005 and has since been productive while specializing in editorial and advertising photography. In 2011 she photographed Dinara Chetyrova for the July issue of Elle Vietnam. The series is colorful, strong and empowering. Her work has been published in numerous publications as Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Vogue and the Cosmopolitan. Amongst her advertising clients are companies as Olay, Sunban Eyewear and Carlos Campos. The following images come from the series for Elle Vietnam and from various other beauty and fashion shoots.

Website: www.jamienelson.com

Stamen: The Cycles of Life as Seen in a Flower

Though the sumptuous images in Dustin Arnold and Nicholas Cope’s Stamen series may resemble a throwback to the romantic oil paintings of the 19th century, they’re actually the contemporary result of a string of combinations: first of ideas, then of chemical reactions and photography.

The seeds of the work were planted back in the late aughts when Arnold, an art director with a background in fashion, and Cope, a still-life photographer with a focus on architecture, first met while working together on a commercial project. They became fast friends, recognizing in each other a desire to go beyond basic editorial work and move into the world of fine art. So they teamed up, working together in their free time. “Besides getting along really well and having similar tastes and perspectives on producing work, it was really an opportunity to do something that satisfied our own desires and own needs,” says Arnold, on the phone from Los Angeles where he and Cope are both based.

They planned to create a series of projects, which they could then distribute via their own periodical publication. Slated for release in early 2012, Stamen is the second project of their endeavor, full of lush images which represent the life-cycle of a flower. The duo say the idea was inspired by the abstract photography Cope had been experimenting with, which Arnold found intriguing and wanted to take further. They then began building ideas off one another’s suggestions.

“It kind of led us to work on something really classical like flower arrangements and to turn it on its head a little and start experimenting with chemicals,” says Arnold. “A very New World thing combined with an Old World thing like paintings of flower arrangements.” The dreamy, hazy look of each photograph was created by combining substances such as dry ice, sodium chloride, lye, and what they dub other “household chemicals you shouldn’t really mix together,” and applying them to traditional floral arrangements.

While the flowers were all meticulously arranged and color was discussed endlessly, the duo really had no idea what to expect once the chemicals were applied and the camera started snapping. “It was all preparedness for what we didn’t know was going to happen,” says Cope, laughing, though he adds that both he and Arnold were more than happy with the final outcome of the images.

Though a team consisting of an art director and a photographer isn’t unusual for any project, Arnold and Cope both say that their method of working together — slowly, thoughtfully, with a curious, rather than a commercial, motivation — is unique and has allowed them to create work that they find satisfying. And though they fully collaborate on their work as they each bounce ideas off of one another, Cope says they don’t compromise anything.

“We’re really just making exactly what we want to make. Which is rare. “

More of Nicholas Cope’s work can be seen here and more of Dustin Arnold’s work can be seen here.

Megan Gibson is a writer-reporter at the London bureau of TIME. Find her on Twitter at @MeganJGibson

Photographer #412: Paulina Otylie Surys

Paulina Otylie Surys, 1979, Poland, is a fine art and fashion photographer based in London, UK. Only recently she has launched herself as a fashion photographer. She studied fine art in Poland and photography in the UK. She uses a variety of camera’s, mostly vintage one’s working with 35mm, medium format and large format film. Currently she is interested in working on other alternative techniques as tintypes and the wet collodion proces. Her analogue images are hand-painted using a mixture of toners, chemicals, inks and dry dyes. The photographs are often described as outerworldly and have a strong relationship with classic photography and painting. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines. The following images come from the series The Deadly Chair of Moros, Sever and Une Belle Sauvage.

Website: www.paulinasurys.co.uk

Photographer #406: Txema Yeste

Txema Yeste, 1972, Spain, is a fashion photographer based in Barcelona, Spain. His career started as a reporter after completing his photographic studies in Barcelona and Birmingham. He was traveling the world shooting images for newspapers like El Pais. He sees this period as very helpful for the photography he does today. His editorial fashion shoots have a narrative quality, build up of story-telling images. This is reflected in the titles given to the series as Spy in Nice, A Summer Waisting or Beyond Love and Evil. Txema is known for his sophisticated style, his experimentations, surrealism and graphic expression. His work has appeared in numerous magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, V Magazine and Vogue. Amongst his commercial clients are major brands as Lacoste, Levi’s and Nike. The following images come from various different shoots.

Website: www.txemayeste.es