When we first encountered Roberto Alessio Westbrook‘s images, we were immediately attracted to his ability to tell a story in a single frame. We reached out to learn more about Roberto’s training and influences as a photographer and he shared his playful yet informative bio. It opens: “I was born in Naples, Italy on January 6, 1978. I never liked my birthday and I think this is because it’s the same day as the Epiphany, which in Italy is marked by an ugly old witch named Befana who brings gifts or charcoal. I never got charcoal, but I was scared of the witch.”
He was gracious enough to also share the back story on a few of his terrific images.
“I got into stock photography after I was asked to shoot an image library for a large corporation. On that shoot, I learned that I am pretty good at working quickly and delivering many images. I like working in short spurts with a loose shot list. This image for example was created during a 2 hour shoot in Bangkok, Thailand. We shot other situations of two businessmen getting lunch and walking through the city, but this picture really captured the excitement of a big, foreign city.”
“I love using people I know as models. This teenage girl was actually a friend of one of my assistants. I hired four of his friends and we went down to the beach with a few ideas, some props and an adorable puppy. Natural light is very important to me, so we shot around sunset to get this really warm and soft look.”
On April 28th more than 100 photo professionals gathered in Seattle for ASPP’s 2nd Annual All-Day Workshop. The theme of the workshop was “Branding & Marketing That Works For Photographers and Creatives.” Among the many presentations delivered, Eric Baumgartner, Chief Creative Officer at Wunderman provided one of the days most succinct and memorable insights for photographers to consider before investing time and money in promoting their work to creatives:
Just Be: Inspiring. Astonishing. Beautiful. Hilarious.
When I reflect upon the photographer’s and images that resonate with me long after the page turns, these attributes pretty much nail it for me. Show me beauty, humor, inspiration and innovation, I’m yours.
For more reflections and other highlights from this workshop, check out Bill Cramer’s post on The Wonderful Machine Cog.
Invited by a friend to attend a fundraising luncheon for Wellspring Family Services, I was on my way to the event when I encountered a “child army” clutching sign boards on the sidewalk. In the mid-day sun, I had to do a double take. For a moment I thought these were real kids. The images were rendered perfectly to scale and beautifully reproduced.
Originally created as a guerrilla marketing campaign, Wellspring partnered with Hydrogen Advertising in Seattle and Getty Images photographers provide assignment photography services pro bono. To protect the privacy of Wellspring clients, the talent used for the shoot were Wellspring staff, board members and friends.
Patricia Gray, Community Relations Manager shared the back story of the campaign: “When we first launched the “Don’t Just Look Away” campaign, we covered an 11 block radius in Seattle’s downtown core with 300 signs. Volunteers started at 7AM and posted the signs at heavily trafficked intersections to catch early morning commuters. After the initial event, we then scheduled impromptu ‘appearances’ of the kids in neighborhoods throughout Seattle which really helped extend awareness of our message throughout the community.”
And talk about results: The first campaign generated more than $450,000 in donations. And Hydrogen netted an ADDY Award for their terrific work. This year’s event netted another $473,000. But most importantly, during the last year, the financial support generated by the campaign helped provide housing and family services for more than 4200 Wellspring clients in King County.
Smart Campaign + Powerful images + Effective Execution = Big Results.
We loved this image when it first came across our desktop, but clearly we are not alone. American Photography 28 recognized Thomas Brummett as a jury selection award winner. We contacted Thomas and he shared this back story:
“This is my 4th award from American Photography Awards. I made this image on vacation. There was a big storm coming in and the waves were up so the surfers were all out. I love these days as the beaches are empty and only the hard core guys are in the water. I spent about 4 hours shooting the surfers with my old handmade Hasselblad 503cw and a digital back. The reason I still prefer the older cameras (without the internal menu configuration) is they are very, very fast to adjust f/ stop and shutter and give you a choice of film or digital on the fly. All my fine art work is still shot on black and white film with a Hasselblad and a very cool Zork lens configuration. For these images I make unique one of kind prints on old Agfa paper I have been hording.”
Having recently returned from an adventure in Marrakesh, Morocco, Inti St. Clair submitted to Evolve this set of provocative images that left our editors wanting to know more. We spoke with Inti and she shared these reflections about her time there and the inspiration behind this body of work:
Why Marrakesh? “I am an avid traveler and love new adventures. Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Europe to attend a friend’s wedding. Since I was already on the Continent, I thought it would be cool to extend the trip and travel to Morocco where I had never been. I especially wanted to visit the walled Old City of Marrakesh and experience first hand the mystique of this special place.”
Iconic Morocco: “These lanterns were just everywhere we turned. I fell in love with the multitude of designs, shapes and colors and would have loved to take some home. Alas, they were just too big to get into a suitcase. So the pictures will have to do.”
Treasures in the Market: “One of the many charms of Marrakech is the open-air market divided into “souks” or sections each featuring a particular category of product for sale. Of course, I was drawn to the antiques section and came upon this incredible cache of cameras for sale. How could I resist?”
Hot air: “After arriving in Morocco, we planned to visit several adjacent towns and cities. However, we came to realize that the distances between many of the places we hoped to visit were in fact many miles apart and would require hours stuck in transit to get to each one. As an alternative to arduous road travel, one morning we woke at 3AM and hopped a sunrise ride on a hot air balloon. Not only was the balloon a picturesque alternative, it also provided an efficient way to experience a variety of terrain and topography. We took off pre-dawn and, once air born, realized we were hovering over what seemed like an endless desert landscape.”
Why iPhone: “Of course I travel with a DSLR. But the spontaneity of the iPhone is really ideal. Manipulating the images with the apps also brings me back to my days of processing film. The instant gratification, creativity and doing-it-in-the-moment- wherever-I-am, are very freeing and fun. It’s quintessential play time for me— I just love it!”
Thanks Inti. So do we.
See more of Inti’s other iPhone images.
Today Evolve Images is excited to announce our partner program for EvoRights. We are especially thrilled to have In Transit Images as our charter partner in the program. Sincere congratulations to our friends Bob Hendriks, Alex Duchene-Zimmerman and the entire team at In Transit for the terrific work they’ve done in launching their website and being the first partner to integrate the EvoRights licensing model.
Why EvoRights: When we started Evolve we believed in the premise that once a creative finds a great image it should be easy to license. “Easy” means fast, simple and fair. Traditional royalty free licenses meet the criteria for “fast” and “simple”, but we believe don’t return enough value to photographers. Traditional rights managed licenses may be “fair” to copyright holders, but are overly complex to execute and manage and imply a level of protection to the photo buyer that is vague at best and misleading at worst.
Therefore, we set out to develop a simple way for creatives to license images while still preserving value and compensating photographer’s fairly for their work. We developed EvoRights as a simplified rights licensing model that focuses on four primary attributes of an image license that are value drivers for both buyer and photographer: The market classification (commercial or editorial), the intended media (print, digital or both), duration and geographic distribution.
By isolating these core variables, we believe we capture the critical value drivers of an image license. Moreover, traditional rights managed images do not account for the intrinsic value of an image– especially as related to production value, uniqueness and overall difficulty– or simplicity– to produce. The EvoRights model allows us to reflect the intrinsic value of images in our pricing without bogging down the licensing process. Read our previous post “All Images Are Not Created Equal” for more insight on our approach to align value with price.
We’re on a Mission: In addition to our drive toward simplicity, we believe removing complexity will make licensing of rights managed images more accessible to more buyers — especially those who have been acclimated to licensing only royalty free and/or microstock content. And that feeds our broader mission to create a sustainable creative economy: where artists are compensated fairly for their work ensuring a supply of professional quality images for creatives to choose from for years to come.
But we can’t do it a lone: In creating this new model for licensing images, we understood that our humble little agency would be the only one on the planet taking this novel approach to licensing images. And, with hundreds of thousands of active image buyers in the market we also recognize we face a critical hurdle in adoption. So, rather than keep this cool piece of intellectual property all to ourselves, we decided to make it available– at no charge– that’s right, FREE – for any agency or photographer who shares our goal to simplify image licensing.
Join Us: Rights. Simple. To learn more about EvoRights Partner Program, read today’s press release and check out the information we’ve posted on our website. Questions? Please email us or, even better, post your comments below so other potential partners can benefit from the dialogue as well.
During the month of April we’ve been featuring this wonderful image from photographer Françoise Gervais in our “What’s New” email campaign. When our editors selected the image for the campaign, I too was immediately taken with not only the beautiful lighting and rich tonality, but also the bovine’s evocative expression that seemed to beg for a headline or caption. Françoise shares how she turns the simple into the sublime:
“I came about to create this image as part of an editorial assignment on diet and nutrition for Men’s Fitness Magazine. Living in and working from a downtown LA studio at that time gave me few options to come up with a real cow for the shoot. So we did the next best thing: headed straight for the prop houses! I can’t recall at this point if we ended up with a once real cow “beautifully restored” or one made from scratch. She did the trick for my assignment, however, and the shot later won an honorable mention in the APA/LA Awards.”