APA | SD presents: Peer-to-Peer Critique

Do you have a photography project or series that you are passionate about? Curious about what your peers and others think of it?

Join APA San Diego and the photo community for an in-person conversation to share your own work and/or to comment on the work of others. Five photographers will be selected to present and discuss their personal work or project in an in-person critique session. 

Send us a link to your project for consideration. Submissions should be ready to share and present to an audience.

When:
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
6:00 PM PST

Where:
5343 Banks Street
San Diego, CA 92110

Free and Open to All

Email director@apasd.org to reserve a spot or to submit your project.
Deadline to submit is February 3rd, 2023

MEET. Jelisa Peterson

© Jelisa Peterson

Meet Austin-based photographer, humanitarian and APA member, Jelisa Peterson

Photography and Human Communication: For more than two decades, Jelisa has focused on uniting her viewers with her photographic subjects by creating images that resonate the perfect example of love and inspiration. 

Do you have a favorite podcast?
Recently, the podcast I have most enjoyed is Serial by Adnan Syed.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
@annabella_1008
@coblephotography
@stig1964_
@sistersky55
@bulanbannari

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Documentary, environmental portraiture, black and white

What do you listen to when you’re shooting? 
Children’s laughter

What inspires you? 
People who triumph over poverty and scarcity

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
The ability to travel, meet new people and experience different ways of living

When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
I read widely (fiction and nonfiction) and watch a lot of films.

Who were your biggest influencers?
Sebastião Salgado, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Sally Mann

What are the current challenges that you face as a photographer?
My photography is physically and financially demanding, with travel to remote places. It is not getting easier with age.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far? 
On a professional level, validation of my work as something of value in the photography community has been both a challenge and an incredible highlight as many pieces have been shown in a wide variety of venues. Next year will mark 30 years of this adventure, and I am finally getting broader exposure for this work that means so much to me. On a personal level, I love returning to the sites of my shoots and handing out personal photos to the individuals and families of the people I have photographed.  

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was a university student majoring in Anthropology and Women’s Studies.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
If I hadn’t chosen photography I might have pursued a career in family law or related public service.

What do you do when you get stuck?
I take a break. Clarity usually emerges over time, especially when doing film photography.

What is your best advice for your peers?
I get a lot of messages from aspiring photographers looking for advice about how to proceed to build a career. I advise them to remain determined and to use their photography to share their vision and passion with the world.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
1. Use sunscreen.
2. Don’t expect to be able to carry more than half your weight in your backpack and camera pack.
3. Don’t bathe in Lake Victoria

What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
To produce meaningful images of lasting value.

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
I hope to publish the best of my work in book form that will inspire and contribute to the positive portrayal of the African communities I have been privileged to work with.

Check out more work from Jelisa Peterson.

Dan Winters Live at San Diego Air & Space Museum

Photos: © Dan Winters

Time and Space: An Evening with photographer Dan Winters

The San Diego chapter of American Photographic Artists is proud to welcome back acclaimed photographer, Dan Winters, on January 12th, 2023 at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park.

Join us for a special one-night event including a photographic talk and presentation highlighting his work and stories from years spent behind the camera. The event will feature some of Dan’s aerospace photography and discuss his longtime fascination for this technically challenging work.

Doors open at 6 PM and the event will begin at 6:30 PM PDT

About Dan Winters

Dan Winters is widely recognized for his celebrity portraiture, scientific and aerospace photography, photojournalism, and illustrations.  He has won over one hundred national and International awards from American Photography, Siena International Photo Awards, International Photography Awards, Communication Arts, the Society of Publication Designers, PDN, the Art Directors Club of New York, Life magazine and World Press Photo, among others. He was also awarded the prestigious Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography.  He was honored by Kodak as a photo “Icon” in their biographical “Legends” series.  Winters’ clients include  National Geographic, New York Times Magazine, New Yorker, New York Magazine, TIME, Esquire, GQ, WIRED and Rolling Stone among others, as well as a host of advertising, music and entertainment clients.  He has 5 published books and has had multiple solo exhibitions of his work in NYC, Los Angeles, Savannah, Siena, Italy and Madrid, Spain. 

APA Members: $15
Students (with valid ID): $15
Non-Members: $25

Reserve your spot today click here! 
Tickets must be purchased in advance. 

Not a Member?
Our annual memberships start at $50! Join Now!

Untitled 2022 Winners and Gallery Exhibition

Clockwise from left: Rebecca Grant, Art Streiber, Dana Hursey

Thank you to everyone who entered Untitled 2022! Please join us to celebrate the artists at the one-night-only exhibition on Saturday, November 12th, 2022 at Bread & Salt Gallery in the Brick Room. The top three (3) images will be announced and awarded prizes. See all competition entries shown in a rotating slideshow, sip craft beer, and support the photo community. Our APA chapter will donate 20% of the contest entry proceeds to The Gordon Parks Foundation in support of their Arts & Social Justice Fund.

To preview this year’s winners visit UntitledShow.org

Thank You to our jurors:
Katherine Ware, curator of photography at the New Mexico Museum of Art; Photography consultant and curator, Julie Grahame; and Photo editor, researcher and founder of the non-profit, Free Juice, Allison Retina Stewart.

When:
Saturday, November 12th, 2022
6 – 9 PM

Where:
Bread & Salt Gallery
1955 Julian Ave.
San Diego, CA 92113

Thank you to our sponsors:

UNTITLED 2022 Call for Entries Extended!

Deadline extended to Friday, October 14th, noon PDT!

Untitled is an annual competition and exhibition designed to showcase the best work of APA members and beyond – Images that show your unique vision, creative passion, and individualistic style, titled or untitled. This contest is open to all photographers at any level and there are no specific categories so submit the work that best represents you as a photographer. All entries will be curated by our jurors and the top 20 images will be selected to display for exhibition on November 12th, 2022 at Bread & Salt Gallery. The top three (3) photos will be awarded prizes.

We welcome this year’s jurors: Katherine Ware is a curator of photography at the New Mexico Museum of Art; Photography consultant and curator, Julie Grahame; and Photo editor, researcher and founder of the non-profit, Free Juice, Allison Retina Stewart.

We’re happy to support The Gordon Parks Foundation by donating 20% of the entry fees to their Arts & Social Justice Fund.

You can find full details and submission guidelines at untitledshow.org.

Deadline to enter extended to noon PDT on October 14th, 2022.

MEET. Scott Lorenzen


© Scott Lorenzen

Meet Southern California-based photographer and member, Scott Lorenzen.
“I hold onto the stream-wading, tadpole-collecting curiosity of my boyhood, and am driven by a desire to connect with and convey big feelings and big ideas.”

Do you have a favorite podcast?
No, but I do listen to a lot of audiobooks.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
@initiumphoto
@lakeflato
@andyandersonphoto
@motzburger

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Graphic, Emotive, Structured

What do you listen to when you’re shooting? 
Quiet

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
I love having control of my schedule, being able to work with the rhythm of my own creative cycles and being able to swing from brief domestic stints to big extended road trips, camping all over the country while driving to and from jobs with my dog. I love seeing the west and being out in it. I also like being independent; being self-employed feels more natural. Going from feast to famine, living close to the bone when necessary, and looking at my financial life like that of a farmer who know’s that any year may bring drought or locusts. It’s not easy being independent but the benefits of having that bit of liberty outweigh its costs, especially as a creative person.

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
When I am not on the road for work, I move between work-related marketing and admin tasks and going outside to build, fix, BBQ or just re-focus.

Who were your biggest influencers?
Growing up within sight of the Sierra Nevadas and a couple hours from Yosemite my original photographic influences came from landscape photographers like Ansel Adams and Galen Rowell; later on, architectural photographers, landscape painters and writers.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
I don’t know that I have ever been ‘given’ any big advice. But one thing that motivated me to make the decision to do this for a living was realizing that professional photographers weren’t these super photographers, and that you didn’t need to attain ‘super photographer’ status in order to become one. Having the belief that the growth and development really happens after one becomes a photographer is what gave me a pathway into the field.

What are the current challenges that you face as a photographer?
I think I am facing the same challenges as any photographer or artist- the ongoing challenge of connecting to the market while also trying to focus on creating.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far? 
I would say that for me, the highlights have also been the challenges- the art of photography involves trade-offs and the practice of photography has also had its trade-offs. When it’s raining and I’m busy it’s great, but I tend to focus my all energy on one thing at a time and that means that the busier I get the less energy I am putting into the business of actually getting more work.  

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
What wasn’t I doing!?  When I look back on everything I did before finally going into this full-time it’s almost like I was coming up with anything I could to not be a photographer- even though that’s all I ever wanted to be. I have been a wildland firefighter, a restaurant worker, a laborer, a pre-law student, a graphic designer, a commodities trader, a real estate developer, a 7/11 cashier, a restoration project manager even an environmental analyst. All a waste of my time in one sense, and yet everything I else I have done has added a depth of perspective and value to my photography career.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t a photographer I would need to be involving myself in creating a living off the land or I’d just sit around sulking. I could never go back to something that wasn’t creative or something that was under someone else’s control.  

What do you do when you get stuck?
I don’t worry about it. It happens. If something isn’t turning me on I try not to sit on it, I just move to another interest and follow what’s giving me energy. The inspiration follows.

What is your best advice for your peers?
I don’t know if I’m old and wise enough to answer that, but I guess I would say to just pursue whatever is motivating you and don’t get too attached to anything.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
I would tell myself to go for it, stop beating around the bush doing things you know that you don’t want to do.

What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
Technology and accessibility haven’t changed the photographers true role of visual story teller any more than cheap paint has changed the painter’s role or online publishing has changed that of the writer’s. Expression through visual communication is both innate and learned, there are always people who are doing it well and people who aren’t. If anything, technology and accessibility have just added a longer list of tasks to the job that take away from the creative experience side of being a professional photographer.

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
In five years time I hope to be doing more or less what I am doing now, but for more clients with whom I have been nurturing mutually beneficial relationships that help us both grow creatively and financially.

Check out more work from Scott Lorenzen.

MEET. Michael Larsen

Cameron Diaz for USA Weekend Magazine © Larsen & Talbert
Hugh Jackman for USA Today for “Real Steel” © Larsen & Talbert

Meet photographer and APA member, Michael Larsen of Larsen & Talbert, a husband and wife duo specializing in portraiture and lifestyle photography for over 20 years, working and creating for clients such as Hallmark Channel, Warner Brothers, San Diego Zoo, HGTV, InStyle, Entertainment Weekly and more.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
@two3 Frank Ockenfels 3
@victoriagranof Food Stylist, Artist, Director
@shittyrigs
@brianmayforreal
@thomasallemanphoto

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Clean, simple, happy

What do you listen to when you’re shooting? 
Fleetwood Mac

What inspires you?
Great photography, Dramatic Skies, Well Told Stories 

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
1. Travel 2. Satisfying clients 100%

When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
Cooking, Travel, Family, Friends

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
Non-Shoot Days: Sit in front of computer and work on business, Pre-Production, Post-Production and explore social media. Shoot Days: Shoot

Who were your biggest influencers?
Annie Leibovitz
Mathew Rolston
Mark Seliger

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
“You’ll never make it. It’s too hard.”

What are the current challenges that you face as a photographer?
Staying fresh. Getting more work.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far? 
Shooting in Iceland, London, Rome, Hawaii, Mexico, Belgium, Belize, Puerto Rico and all over the US. 

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
Film and Photo-Assisting

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
Chef or Surgeon

What do you do when you get stuck?
Search for inspiration 

What is your best advice for your peers?
Do your best. Ask for more.  

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years?
Relax. It’ll be fine. Keep Promoting
20 years?
Relax. It’ll be fine. Keep Promoting

What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
Providing a consistent product and meeting diverse needs of the client with professionalism and confidence. 

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Photography, Videography, Drone

Check out more work from Michael Larsen.

APA Awards 2022: Call for Entries Now Open!

2021 Portrait Winner © John Davidson

APA AWARDS 2022

Our annual competition is open to all photographers at every level, worldwide – everyone from emerging photographers to established professionals.

Our Judges will select 43 APA Award Winners this year for 14 categories and one Best of Show.

APA Leader level members save 50% on each image and get featured in our awards annual publication.

ENTER THE 2022 APA AWARDS HERE


AWARDS CATEGORIES 

Architecture / Interiors
Beauty / Fashion
Celebrity / Musicians
Conceptual / Altered
Corporate / Industrial
FRESH / New work (Created in 2022)
Documentary / Photojournalism
Food / Still Life
Lifestyle
Nature / Animals
Personal Projects
Portrait
Sports / Adventure
Travel / Landscape
Series / Diptych / Triptych (enter Series HERE)

FINAL DEADLINE, JULY 7, 2022 NOON PACIFIC 

Take a look at the great list of creatives and art buyers/producers, serving as jurors.

Prizes from Sony, Wacom, INOVATIV, StellaPro Lights, PhotoShelter, FOUND, Think Tank, Adobe and more. It just takes one image to win.

An Evening with Pooneh Ghana | May 12th, 2022

© Pooneh Ghana

We’re excited to welcome music photographer Pooneh Ghana for a photographic talk and presentation on May 12th at 5 p.m. PDT. Pooneh Ghana was born and raised in Texas and began her journey as a photographer in high school at age 16 traveling to Austin to attend shows/music festivals with some cheap film cameras in hand.

Pooneh then combined her two greatest passions, a love for music and photography, and began her career working as a freelance music photographer using the skills she learned early on by experimenting with photography. Over the years, she’s created stunning film photos while working and touring with various artists including Tame Impala, The Strokes, Beck, Leon Bridges, Angel Olsen, Cage The Elephant, Glass Animals, Courtney Barnett, Idles, and many more.

Her work has also been featured in a variety of publications such as Rolling Stone, NME, WIRED and Pitchfork.

Today Pooneh resides in Los Angeles, California, and continues to enjoy documenting all aspects of the music world and the culture that surrounds it. From shooting for publications to going on tour, she’s grateful to wake up everyday and do what she loves.

Join us for a special online event on Thursday, May 12th at 5 p.m. PDT

Free to APA Members
Non-Members: Pay What You Wish. All Proceeds go to the photographer.

Reserve your spot today click here! 

Not a Member?
Our annual memberships start at $50! Join Now!

MEET. Rob Hammer

© Rob Hammer

Meet San Diego-based advertising and documentary photographer, Rob Hammer.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
If we’re strictly focusing on photography-related podcasts then I’d have to say The Candid Frame and Visual Revolutionary. Both of them are very educational. 

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
I hate Instagram in a lot of ways. It’s a gift and a curse. As far as living photographers, I’m currently getting a lot of inspiration from people like Walter Iooss Jr., Kurt Markus, and Andy Anderson. The rest of the inspiration comes from gallery accounts that share a lot of iconic photography that they represent. 

What 3 words describe your photography style?
No idea. Never think about that and don’t plan it. 

What do you listen to when you’re shooting? 
It all depends on the client and the type of shoot. If it’s a commercial fitness client then it would probably be some type of Spotify hip-hop playlist or something else that would provide energy. When I’m on the road shooting, it’s a mix of audiobooks, podcasts, country, rap, and rock. If I’m home editing then it’ll be a Spotify ‘Focus’ or ‘Calm’ playlist. I love them for editing because it’s relaxing background noise without any words that keeps you entertained but is never distracting. 

What inspires you?
Can I just say everything? Photo books are probably the biggest source of inspiration and my collection is starting to get out of control. I can pinpoint a drastic positive change in my own photography/career to when I started incessantly digesting photo books. I also travel a lot and try to visit photo/art galleries whenever possible. They have been great. Seeing different styles of art is so informative. Movies/documentaries are great too. They give me so many visual ideas. Reading has also been an amazing tool for learning different ways to tell a story. Sounds weird to type that, but it’s true. Travel, in general, is inspirational. People are inspirational. You can find inspiration anywhere as long as you’re open to it.  

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
That’s changed so much over the years and hopefully it continues to change. Early on I photographed a lot of famous athletes and thought that was so cool and figured it was the way you built a name/career for yourself. Then after a few years, I realized it was all bullshit. Now I could care less about photographing anyone famous. The important thing for me is the final result. If a client wants to make interesting images that happen to involve a famous person, then great. Otherwise, I’m just as happy to shoot a no-name that’s into collaborating and making great images. I love making images. I really do. It’s an obsession more than it’s a profession and my favorite place to do that is on the road wandering around America. Not sure what I’d do without the camera. Making photographs of anything is pleasing to me. Whether that’s for a client or images that will never be seen, it doesn’t matter. 

When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
Backcountry snowboarding, fly fishing, hunting, backpacking, food, and travel. Most of those still involve making photographs though. There isn’t much separation for me, which is a gift. The only activity I ever put the camera down for is snowboarding. That’s a full checkout. Otherwise, I’ll have anxiety about missing a photo during all of the others. The thing I most recently got into is learning to ride horses. 

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
A disorganized wreck. 

Who were your biggest influencers?
That’s a really long list of which I’ll certainly forget a few names. William Eggleston, William Albert Allard, Fred Herzog, Bresson, Saul Liter, Martin Parr, Alex Webb, Joel Sternfeld, Joel Meyerowitz, Ernst Hass, Andy Anderson, Walter Iooss Jr, Harry Benson, William Klien, Yousuf Karsh, Kurt Markus, John Langmore, David Allen Harvey, Stephen Shore, Frank Hurley, Annie Leibovitz, Dennis Hopper, Wyatt McSpaden, Darius Kinsey, and on and on and on. In order to be good at anything, you have to be a student first and never stop your education. And I don’t mean that in the traditional sense. “School” is a very flawed system that needs a massive change. 

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
One thing I regret about starting out was that I didn’t do much assisting. At the time I was arrogant and thought I could do it all on my own, young and dumb, so I was never really around other photographers to get that advice from. I never learned much about photography or the business, which held me back a lot. Even now after doing this full time for however many years, I still think about asking people if I can assist. My desire for knowledge is greater than anything right now. 

What are the current challenges that you face as a photographer?
I’ve always hated marketing so the business side of photography is the biggest challenge for me. And the “business” is always changing. For instance, mailers used to be a way of reaching new clients, but who knows if clients are even in an office anymore so where would you send a mailer? What is the best way to get your work in front of people these days?? Instagram? I have no idea. Setting aside time and energy for advertising has never been a strong point for me but that needs to change.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far? 
Any photographer that is honest will tell you that their career is full of peaks and valleys with really high highs and really low lows. Mine has certainly been that but I’m so grateful for all of the lows, no’s, and downtimes because that’s where you learn the most. In the past, there have been stretches of months and months at a time where the phone just stopped ringing and that’s never good for your head. There are certainly some extremely fun commercial projects I’ve worked on in the past, but the things that stand out the most are the personal projects, simply because of the experiences I had during them and what they lead to afterward. My “Barbershops of America” project was and continues to be really special to me. It started ten years ago documenting traditional barbershops in all 50 states and is still going today. “American Backcourts” has also been a lot of fun and connected me with so many like-minded people. One thing I always find myself grateful for though is the ability to just document things I do with friends and later turn that into a paycheck somehow. This goes back to what I said earlier about not really having a separation between my life and my photography. I photograph what I’m interested/active in and worry about everything else later. I don’t shoot things because I think it will make me money. Clients tend to be drawn to the images because they are real so they’ll end up licensing them. That’s really rewarding. 

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
Had a long string of jobs from private investigator, to carpenter, to bartender, and everything in between. 

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
If I were born a couple hundred years ago it would have been a blast to be a pirate. 

What do you do when you get stuck?
Exercise. 

What is your best advice for your peers?
Personal projects. Personal projects. Personal projects. I can’t stress enough how important, in my opinion, personal projects are. Anything of note that’s been gained in my career has been the result of a personal project. They organically connect you with like-minded people/clients. They are incredibly satisfying and take away the need to ‘sell’ yourself.  People know you’re genuinely interested because they see the passion in the work. And on top of all that, it’s yours. It’s not just something you did for a one-time, soul-suckin’ paycheck. They are photographs that give you the ability to earn from them for the rest of your life. I try to think about my career in the long run and it’s never been about money. The photographs come first. Money comes later. And when it’s all over I’d rather have built something of my own than look back on a body of work that was only created for big companies to profit from. I’ve been lucky to have a handful of really fun commercial clients that have also brought about great relationships. Most companies don’t give a shit about you though. They just want to get as much from you for as little as possible. So why not create something that’s your own that will cause people/clients to come to you instead of the other way around??? 

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
1) Don’t be an arrogant prick
2) Don’t go to college. Instead, spend those 4 years assisting and soaking up every bit of real-life knowledge about photography and the business as you possibly can. 

What is a photographer’s role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
Photography has changed so much because of technology but the goal/role of a photographer shouldn’t change in my opinion. Whether you’re shooting for a client or yourself, you should always be striving to make the best images possible and then do whatever you can to get them out in the world and seen by the people that matter. 

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Working on my own projects with select commercial projects peppered in along the way. Telling stories. I love telling stories, especially about people/professions that are often overlooked.

Check out more work from Rob Hammer.