Untitled 2020: Call for Entries Now Open!

APA | San Diego is calling for photography that represents your best work – Images that show your unique vision, creative passion, and individualistic style, titled or untitled. This contest is open to all types of photography and with no regard to specific categories. Submit the work that best represents you as a photographic artist. 20 images will be selected for an online exhibition and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 winners.

20% of the entry fees will be donated to the Arts & Social Justice Fund for The Gordon Parks Foundation

We welcome this year’s judge, Rosey Lakos Director of Photography at Godfrey Dadich Partners in San Francisco. She curates and produces visuals for clients ranging from National Geographic and the ACLU to Nike, Google, and IBM. Prior to GDP, Lakos was an integral part of the WIRED photo department where she produced award-winning features and cover shoots.

You can find full details and submission guidelines at untitledshow.org.
Deadline to enter is 10.21.20.

MEET. Morgan DeLuna

morgan-deluna
© Morgan DeLuna

Meet San Diego based Photographer, and APA member, Morgan DeLuna.

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Poignant
Conceptual
Multifaceted

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
I am crazy about pretty much every style of music, but it depends on the work. When I am photographing someone else, I let them put on whatever they’re into and allows them to feel at ease and confident. I shoot my self-portraits alone, so I select music that puts me in the right headspace for the image I am working on. I could be playing anything from Kitarō to Queen, Marvin Gaye, or Dom La Nena. Setting up the studio is usually something to get my energy up like Classic Rock or P-Funk, for shooting and editing, the selection shifts to the tone of work at hand.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by mystery, wonder, and transformation. I’m hyped anytime I get to perceive reality in a new and fascinating way. It could be environmental, like experiencing a new place, or intellectual, like learning about new ideas in science and history.

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
The challenge of creating a visual that communicates feelings and ideas without words…I do also love that little flutter of excitement when you realize you got the shot.

When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
I like to keep busy. I enjoy reading history and non-fiction books. Before the pandemic, I would spend hours at the library picking out way too many books to bring home. I spend time outdoors and take drives to the desert to stargaze. I dabble in blending essential oils for skincare. Lately, I have been re-watching seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Schitt’s Creek, Bob’s Burgers, and various standup comedy specials because I love to laugh.

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
I begin every day with meditation and yoga. I am more creative in the later hours, so I use the mornings to tend to the business aspects of things. I take care of phone calls, meetings, emails, website updates, writing, submissions, social media, and so forth. In the afternoons, I’ll read, research, and sketch ideas. I also print and make natural light images at that time of day as the light in my studio is best then. I reserve the evenings for studio photography and editing. Pre-COVID, I would visit galleries and museums midday, and exhibition openings in the evenings. Now that things are virtual, I look at shows throughout the day.

Who were your biggest influencers?
My biggest influencers come from different aspects and times in my life. I was a theater kid and fortunate to work for years with a wonderful director, David Braddock, who studied under Marcel Marceau. From David, I learned how to use gesture and body language to convey an emotion or a story in silence. It takes patience, pacing, and thoughtfulness. I utilize everything he taught me when creating images today.
Annie Leibovitz is another one for me. Growing up, my Grandmother would pass along last month’s fashion magazines when the new ones arrived; I would pore over those pages for hours. Annie Leibovitz’s’ photos were my favorite. I loved her color palettes, compositions, and lighting. I think her single light work reminded me of stage lighting which, really appealed to me and became nicely saturated in my mind. Around this same time, I discovered makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin. I became very interested in makeup illusion and fascinated by beauty culture. I would look at the portraits in Kevyn’s books, Making Faces and Face Forward, religiously. After 23 years, they are still on my bookshelf. Later on, I became influenced by Frida Kahlo, John Singer Sargent, Flor Garduño, Imogen Cunningham, and Harry Callahan.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
I was struggling with a creative project when a friend and former teacher, France Marie-Haeger, gave me some guidance. She told me that sometimes there is nothing wrong with the idea, but with the medium. This advice freed me. I began exploring the concept and the aesthetic as a partnership rather than trying to jam an idea into a self-imposed mold. I allow the aesthetic to be fluid and work with the idea.

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was working at a gym to pay for art classes and supplies.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I am an artist to a fault, the medium or form would be different, but I would still be creating. Art is my language, my soul.

What do you do when you get stuck?
Stuck for me equals too in my head, passing judgment on my ideas instead of just trying them out. When that happens, I ask myself “Where is the fear?”, ” What is the thought that is stopping you?”, then I either journal, meditate or go for a walk to work it out.

To view more of Morgan’s work you can follow along here.

Untitled 2020: Meet Our Judge Rosey Lakos

Photo by Bryan Derballa

Rosey Lakos is the Director of Photography at Godfrey Dadich Partners, an innovative storytelling firm based in San Francisco. She curates and produces visuals for editorial and commercial clients ranging from National Geographic and the ACLU to Nike, Google, and IBM. The work may take the form of a magazine, a billboard, or everything in-between. Prior to GDP, Lakos was an integral part of the WIRED photo department where she produced award-winning feature and cover shoots. Before working in editorial, she managed the production of exhibitions, books, and global artist workshops in the fine art photography studio of Todd Hido. A photographer herself, Lakos has a valuable understanding of the craft and is delighted that she has been able to create a fulfilling career from her obsession with the medium. She has also served as a judge for numerous competitions, including American Photography 35 and SPD 54. Lakos has formed a strong network of award-winning photographers across many genres yet is constantly looking to partner with emerging talent and offers 1:1 portfolio reviews and coaching to POC/BIPOC photographers. When not shooting blurry oceanscapes on her vintage Rolleiflex, Lakos is often in the kitchen experimenting with fanciful cakes (or, farther afield, riding a horse over a mountain). She holds a BFA in photography from California College of the Arts.

MEET. Rosey  Lakos

Which photograph do you wish you owned if money was no object?

Well that is a very difficult question, because there are so, so many. But when I think of owning a piece I think of what I would want to live with and what would continue to intrigue me every day. I saw a piece by Dawoud Bey right before lock down called Untitled #25 that is a moody dark waterscape that I still think about. I would be happy to live with that one every day. 

What is your process when selecting a photographer to work with?  

Well it’s not always a linear process, and there are so many factors that narrow down possible options such as location, style and budget right off the bat. I am looking for someone that not only has the right technical skills, but also a personality, and attitude that will bring added value to the collaboration. Sometimes I get an immediate vision for how I see a story or brief coming to life and will think of a photographer whose work I know that would be a good fit right away. But that isn’t enough, because I am very conscious of my responsibility, and my privilege. Creatives are in decision-making positions, and have hiring power to determine how a story will visually come to life, and how it will be seen by hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people. It’s our job, and our opportunity, really, to shape and broaden what that looks like, not only by what is shown in front of the lens, but also by who is behind the camera. So I will push myself to dig deeper, keeping in mind how the photographer’s experience is going to add to the visual narrative. There are so many layers to the process, especially when working on an advertising campaign, that it really is like being a matchmaker. 

What is your preferred method for a photographer to reach out to you?

I will never be mad if someone sends me an email. I can’t guarantee that I will get back to them right away, but it definitely doesn’t hurt. Other platforms like IG and LinkedIn are not ideal. And I always love a good piece of mail, maybe a bit less so during a pandemic, but normally I really enjoy receiving a beautiful printed object I can hold in my hands. 

What makes a great photograph and what is your process when selecting images?

There are so many different things that can make a photograph great, but there is one thing that I feel all great photographs have in common, and that is the ability to evoke emotion. So I trust my heart first and foremost, and make sure that when I am looking at work I am tuned in to the gut reactions I am getting. I like to do one round of this kind of “listening” to do an initial sort of contenders, then I like to step away and come back to it in a few hours or even the next day to narrow down further. 

ENTER NOW

MEET. Rich Soublet

Rich Soublet II© Rich Soublet

Meet new APA | SD member and San Diego based photographer, Rich Soublet.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
The one I’m on! Kidding. I’ve gotta go with Armchair Expert. Dax and Monica are great interviewers and always have interesting guests.

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Authentic. Purposeful. Emotive.

What inspires you?
That’s a big question. I draw inspiration from a lot of places. I’ve always had a very vivid imagination so books are actually a great source of inspiration for me.  Movies as well.

People inspire me. How we are able to thrive, often in spite of ourselves and the world around us, gives me a lot to think about and draw on when making images.

What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer?
Meeting new people and getting a chance to listen to their story. Using their story to tell a new one visually. I guess I could have just stories.

When you aren’t making photographs, what other pastimes do you have?
I’ve been a gamer since before there was a word for it. Video games, card games, board games… you name it. Really I like to play in general. It’s something I’ve always held close as being vital to a full life.

You can also catch me fawning over dogs and cats and every other animal I come across.

When the weather permits I like to strap a piece of wood/fiber to my feet and slide down snow covered mountains… doesn’t it sound a bit crazy when you describe it like that?

To view more of Rich’s work you can follow along here.

The Art of the Digital Portfolio | August 12th, 2020

2020_digi_port_eventbriteThese days, as photographers, our world is seemingly expanding and shrinking all at once and it can be challenging to make a focused statement with commercial photography. Things have shifted, personal meetings are rare, and connecting with prospective clients can be more challenging so we need to show our specialty work now more than ever.

By tailoring our individual approach to a specific client, we can start the conversation quickly and help grab their attention. Photographers have a large digital toolbox that allows the ability to create laser-focused promotions and presentations to help capture the essence of our work and outline our specialties or concepts that may or may not be fully represented on our websites. Photographers should have a virtual portfolio handy or an e-book that best represents who they are and what they do.

Join APA | SD and our esteemed panelists who will be critiquing 3 virtual portfolios, offering their guidance and expertise, and discussing ideas for the best approach to building these tailored digital presentations.

WHEN: August 12, 2020 at 4PM PST

WHERE: Online | Link will be sent out upon registration

COST:  Free to APA Members, Non-Members $10

Reserve your spot today click here!

RSVP by NOON (PST) on August 12th, 2020

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

SUBMISSION DETAILS

If you’re interested in having your digital portfolio selected for review: please make sure you’re available to attend. Submissions must be sent to Wendy Fisk at director@apasd.org and please review the guidelines below:

Please DO NOT send us a link to your website.
We are looking to receive a digital portfolio via a link or PDF to share with the panelists in advance and all digital portfolios should be a curated selection of your work and submitted by Friday, August 7th, at 12 PM NOON PST.

Be sure to please answer the following questions when you send along your submission:

What type of feedback are you looking for?
Where are you currently in your career?
How many years have you been shooting?
Are you moving from one type of photography to another? 

We’ve also included a Digital portfolio example for you HERE.

If your portfolio is selected for review, you will be notified in advance.

MEET THE PANELISTS

DANA NEIBERT (b. 1972) is a trophy husband and photographer based in Coronado, California where he resides with his wife and two children. He pushes Mongo and does not care that you know. His biggest fear is being featured on “Kook of the Day”.

ROSEY LAKOS is the Director of Photography at Godfrey Dadich Partners in San Francisco. She curates and produces visuals for clients ranging from National Geographic and the ACLU to Nike, Google, and IBM. Prior to GDP, Lakos was an integral part of the WIRED photo department where she produced award-winning feature and cover shoots.

Before working in editorial, she managed the production of exhibitions, books, and global artist workshops in the fine art photography studio of Todd Hido. A photographer herself, Lakos has a valuable understanding of the craft and is delighted that she has been able to create a fulfilling career from her obsession with the medium.

HEIDI GOVERMAN is originally from North Salem, a super small town just north of NYC filled with apple orchards and horse farms. She moved to Los Angeles in 1993, fell in love with the weather and easily learned to live without snow.

Before joining Workbook, Heidi spent five years as the Executive Director for APA | LA, a national non-profit photography trade organization, where she found her true passion in supporting artists and their businesses. Heidi is a talker but also a good listener who likes to solve problems.

MEET. Inti St. Clair

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© Inti St. Clair

Meet the talented and inspiring Austin based photographer, Inti St. Clair.

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
Usually I ask the talent what they’re into. I really believe music has a big effect on vibe and mood. Thankfully, I like most everything, so I can get in the groove with them.

Describe your daily or weekly work habits. (Pre-Covid and currently)
Pre-covid I found myself typically working everyday, only taking a day off here and there. I would make time to workout everyday, but usually only for an hour or so. Now I find myself working out a couple hours a day, and taking weekends off. During the week these days I spend time culling my archives and submitting to stock, marketing to keep myself fresh on the minds of creatives for when a project does come up, and updating my portfolios that are online in various places (Workbook, Photopolitic, Komyoon, etc…)

Who were your biggest influencers?
I’ve had a number of photographer mentors throughout the years. Most of them have retired at this point, but I still value the lessons they taught me over the years every day. Jon Fenigersh, Stewart Cohen, and Johnathan Ross are a few of them.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
Don’t get hung up on gear, don’t hire staff unless you have to. This has proved true time and time again. Gear can be rented, and I find I do my best work with natural light anyway. Crew can be hired too, and not having staff during recessions really makes it so much easier and less stressful to navigate your way through.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
A couple years ago I had the realization that I’d reached all the goals I’d set out for myself, which felt incredible. Of course now I have new goals, because if you’re not striving to be better, you’re over, right? The challenges in this job are constant. Occasionally that can be frustrating or overwhelming, but for the most part they keep me going. I love facing a challenge head on; working through it, growing because of it, and succeeding in spite of it. As challenging as photography can be, it’s also constantly rewarding. Photography is never predictable and never boring, and I love that!

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was a chef.

What do you want people to understand about the industry?
It’s constantly changing, and that will never stop. You have to evolve with it if you want to stay relevant and be successful. ALWAYS be shooting. Yes for clients, but mostly for yourself. All my favorite work was self produced.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I don’t know exactly what it would be, but I know it would involve traveling the world. I’m not a 9-5 office job kind of girl.

What do you do when you get stuck?
Travel.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
Pivot.

What is your best advice for your peers?
Create community! Photography can be a lonely and isolating career, and it’s so important to create a community you can connect with to get help when you need it, bounce ideas off of, get help when you need it, talk you off the ledge in dry spells, etc…

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Marketing, not making beautiful photos, is the #1 most important thing you have to do to succeed. Also, I wish I’d gone out on my own sooner.

What is a photographers role now that technology has made it so much more accessible to the masses?
It’s never been about the gear. It’s always been about how it’s used. Yes, there are many more amazing photographers than ever before, but there is no other “you”. I’ve done shoots with other photographers in which we’re essentially shooting the same thing, and yet we all make different images. I love it!

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Ideally I’ll be getting more international photography jobs.

To view more of Inti’s work you can follow along here.

MEET. Marc Morrison

APA_Willie_Nelson_11© Marc Morrison

Meet Photographer and APA | SD member, Marc Morrison.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
Wow pick the top 5 — that’s a tough one but here it goes

@shayanhathaway – site for photographer Shayan Asgharnia his unique photographic eye and many topics that make you think🤙🏼
@yeserodrigueztx – site for an amazing aerial/drone pilot/shooter – did I mention that she is my better half?
@ramonarosales – site for super talented celebrity portrait photographer
@aphotoeditor – site where Rob Haggart assists in keeping all of us visual artists relevant
@strayrescuestl – site for St. Louis Animal Rescue. Really I have no ties to St.L but I’m passionate about animal rescue and what they are able to accomplish on such a grass roots level is nothing short of lifesaving!


What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
Another impossible question as this is a never ending list. Honestly it truly depends on who I’m shooting and where we are. Right now if I had my choice I would be spinning the new Run The Jewels – RTJ4 while mixing in Rage Against The Machine’s live record. When I’m shooting a musical artist I always touch base with their management to find out what they are currently listening to and go from there.

Who were your biggest influencers?
Albert Watson, Richard Avedon, Gordon Parks, Annie Leibovitz, Herman Leonard, Jim Marshall, Pennie Smith, Mary Ellen Mark, Les Stone, James Nachtwey and most importantly my mother who always had a camera with her and is responsible for my early interest in photography and the arts.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
The best piece of advice I ever received was “You want to be a photographer? Ha! Forget about it there are already too many and you will never make it”. I was in university for photoj and working part time selling stereos. I made it my business to know the names of most of the photojournalists and commercial photographers in the city where I lived at the time (I’ll only say it was in Texas).

As it happens photographers love their quality stereos so I found my self face to face with a bunch of the local photographers. I can honestly say that knowing most of them was almost enough for me to change my career path.


What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was super fortunate to be able to attend university and find my passion straight away. After graduation I continued selling stereos while shooting for UPI wire service and stringing for the two major papers in town at the time. After about a year I was able to go freelance 100% and I have been doing so ever since.

What do you want people to understand about the industry?
This is complex for me to answer. I’m currently mentoring two photographers in different stages of their lives. I believe that I’m doing everything possible to remain positive given our current professional climate. I believe now more than ever one must possess not only a tremendous level of proficiency in photography but you must have an unbridled passion as well. Every photographer I personally know is having to scale production sizes way down to meet budgets. This in turn means much more responsibility falls on our shoulders.

I recently read an interview on “The Luupe” featuring Annie Leibovitz’s manager Karen Mulligan. In the context of the interview she says “The budgets of ten years ago don’t exist anymore. It forces you to be more creative and become more collaborative.You have to think – if Annie doesn’t have those budgets any longer than what does that say about the rest of us?
 
To understand our business is to understand the technical aspects of photography as well the legal, financial, promotional, logistical and people pleasing skills we all must possess to make a run at being successful and oh yes take as many motion classes and workshops as possible.
  
If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
If I had the skill set I would be a drumming for a band that produces original high energy sound such as Slaves or Viagra Boys. When we were not recording or touring I would be working with every animal rescue organization that could use my help.


What do you do when you get stuck?
I get on the mountain bike and hit the trails hard. The beauty of riding on rocks and roots is that you can only think about what you are doing at that time. Once you take your mind off the ride you pay the price big time. It’s great to clear your head and ride off last night’s pizza and beer at the same time.

Do you have a favorite podcast?
Oh heck yes about a hundred but a few are: Disgraceland, Crimetown, Heavyweight, Noble Blood and The Ballad of Billy Balls

What is your best advice for your peers?

1 – Do not burn any bridges as the world is so much smaller than you think.
2 – Never accept a shoot unless you are 100% jazzed about it and willing to put in 100% effort
3 – Do not argue with a creative. If they envision one thing and you another — always give them what they are looking for and if there is time – shoot your vision as well. This is especially true with a new client and maybe next time around they will have more faith in you taking the lead.


What advise would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Seize opportunities when they present themselves. I have been incredibly fortunate so far in my career as I have been sent all over the world on assignment. I think of the 20 years of traveling to some of the most beautiful locations in the world — and only a handful of times did I ever build in extra time to be a tourist — dumb, dumb, dumb.  We are not guaranteed tomorrow so you should absolutely make the most of your opportunities.

What do you see yourself doing in five years?
Within the last 5 years we have seen a sizable uptick in requests for motion along with stills projects. Adding a high quality very experienced video production team was one of the best decisions we have made. The ability to respond to so many different creative opportunities should keep us busy for many, many years to come.

To read more about Marc Morrison visit our website.
To view more of Marc’s work you can follow along here.

Inside the Studio with Dan Winters

D_winters_studio-1Photo © Remo Buess

APA | SD welcomes Dan Winters back with a look into his philosophies and stories from a life spent behind a camera. Join this online conversation and hear Dan respond to questions about his photographs and his approach to making art: past, present and future. We invite you to participate and submit your questions for Dan to be answered in this exclusive online event. Be sure to register and submit all questions in advance to director@apasd.org by Wednesday, June 24th, at 6PM (PST) for consideration. Dan will address as many questions as possible virtually on Saturday, June 27th, at 3PM (PST.)

Dan Winters is an award-winning photographer who is best known for his celebrity portraits, photojournalism and illustrations. His work has been featured in a variety of publications including GQ, Vanity Fair, TIME, The New York Times MagazineNational Geographic, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and WIRED. His range of clients include HBO, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, Sony, RCA and Interscope. He’s had multiple solo gallery exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and a solo exhibition at the Telfair Museum Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah. His work is in permanent collections at the National Portrait Gallery, Museum of Fine Art in Houston, the Telfair Museum and The Harry Ransom Center.

Aside from an impressive client list and overall body of work, Dan has a collection of photography books that chronicle his career in photography with one dedicated to his shooting 30 years of New York street photography. He currently splits his time between Austin, Los Angeles and Savannah Georgia with his wife and son.

RSVP for event here.

 

APA Awards Call for Entries is open! Deadline Extended to July 28

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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.

APA members save on each entry.  APA Leader level members save over 35% on each image.

Now is a great time to join APA : enter enough images and your first year of membership can be free.

Like to upgrade? Please email: membershiprep@apanational.org

Awards Deadline Extended: Tuesday, July 28

MORE INFO AND TO ENTER NOW CLICK HERE

Statement from APA

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APA STATEMENT 

Black Lives Matter.
American Photographic Artists (APA) stands in solidarity in the fight against racism and injustice. We support the outrage felt by our community, and we acknowledge that we can be doing more. We have taken the step of creating a National Diversity Committee, and we apologize for not doing it sooner. Our commitment to diversify our leadership at the local chapter level is ongoing- if you are interested in being a board member or have suggestions for how we can improve our commitment to diversity, we want to hear from you.

PHOTOGRAPHING PROTESTS

We know that there are inherent risks in photographing demonstrations. We encourage you to prioritize your safety and the safety of those you are photographing. We have compiled a list of resources for photographers covering protests and we encourage you to read through these before you go out to document:

•    Do no Harm: Photographing Police Brutality and Protests
•    Guide to Ethically Covering Protests
•    NPPA : How to stay safe while working on the street 
•    ACLU: Know your Rights When Photographing a Protest
•    Wired: How to Safely Protest, What to Bring, What to Avoid, and What to do

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 

•    Authority Collective list of Resources for Photographers and Beyond on Anti-Racism

•    Support Photographers of Color

•    Resources to Support Protests and Communities Against Police Violence

•    Art for Social Justice Fund 

 

For more info and resources please click here.