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Posts by: Alison Zavos

We Asked 10 Photographers: Has There Ever Been a Time When You Regretted Not Taking a Photograph?

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Spirit Medium at Taung Pyone Spirit Festival near Mandalay, August 2014 © Mariette Pathy Allen

Mariette Pathy Allen: Yes, many times! Sometimes the camera wasn’t ready, sometimes I just wasn’t fast enough, sometimes I was too shy. Just recently I was in Myanmar photographing “Spirit Mediums”-people who were possessed by spirits. I had confusing moments when I didn’t know if I was allowed to shoot or not, and missed some great moments.

Giles Clarke: Many times…too many times to mention. Usually everyday when I get home from a day out, I think about something, or angle or situation that I could have done better. I am in Haiti as I write this and was at a protest yesterday in downtown Port-au-Prince. A few local press and I were following a man being dragged away toward a police pick-up truck where they began beating him. When the beating started, I picked up my camera and the cops began screaming at me..so I stopped shooting and turned around a walked away… I kicked myself after, as I felt that I’d been intimidated successfully, which was annoying to say the least.

The other time was many years ago, the last time I saw my grandfather. I had just been given my camera – an Olympus OM2. I always regret not taking his picture that day…because it was the first day I had a camera…and the last day I saw him.

Brett Gundlock: Yes, daily. I live in Mexico City, so I am seeing photos constantly. I carry a small film point and shoot camera religiously, but I still have to be in a pretty daring mood to jump in front of a stranger like some crazed gonzo tourist. But that being said, I know that if I am not comfortable shooting and I force it, it is not going to work out. When I am shooting my projects, I have a general rule of not taking a photo until I know the person’s name. I think the biggest strength of my photography is the connection between the subject and me, the camera and actual photo is just a formality. So yeah- I don’t really stress about this. If it is meant to be, it will happen again and probably be better.

The Best Photo Links of the Week (April 11-17)

From highbrow to lowbrow (and everything in between), this is what we found of interest in photo-land this week.

  • Rambo the octopus becomes the world’s first aquatic photographer [Colossal]
  • “Baby Jesus” wins San Francisco’s “Hunky Jesus” contest [Lost At E Minor]
  • ‘Analyzing ISIS’ Photography’ [dvafoto]
  • ‘Remembering Lars Tunbjörk’ [TIME]
  • “If a photographer’s only job is to take the photos, then I succeeded. If my job is to create change, I have failed,” says photographer a year after the abduction of missing Nigerian girls [TIME]
  • How artists are reconfiguring the endless array of selfies, food shots, and vacation pics uploaded by the masses [NYTimes.com]
  • Astonishing photos of China’s “nail houses” [The Atlantic]
  • Sally Mann: “What an artist captures, what a mother knows and what the public sees can be dangerously different things” [NYTimes.com]
  • ‘EyeEm Raises $18 Million in Quest to Sell Your Smartphone Photos’ [Re/Code]

We Asked 17 Photographers How They Define Success As a Professional Image Maker

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© Ricky Rhodes

Ricky Rhodes: I think any photographer who can support themselves from taking pictures is successful.

Chloe Aftel: Making any assignment work. No matter the budget, location, talent, etc. Whatever constraints put upon you, you come out with something awesome. That and being able to pay your bills.

Julia Fullerton-Batten: There are two levels of measurement of success as a professional photographer. The most basic one is that you earn enough to live from your career. The other is that you achieve recognition for your work, be it from agencies, art collectors and the general public.

Matt Black: To be able to show things that otherwise would go unseen. That’s the only reason to do this work, in my book.

Photographers Discuss Why They Work With Offset to License Their Images

Because we profile so many amazing Offset photographers on Feature Shoot, we often get questions from photographers about what it’s like to work with the agency. Well, Offset has recently made it easy for us to answer this question by putting together this engaging video in which some of our favorite photographers (many of which we have profiled on Feature Shoot) discuss their work and why they work with Offset to license their images.

Whether you specialize in commercial, editorial, lifestyle, food, portraits or family moments, Offset is always on the lookout for new and talented photographers to work with. Find out more about working with Offset here, and get ready to share your photos with a global audience of image buyers.

Offset is an exclusive category partner on Feature Shoot.

The Best Photo Links of the Week (April 4-10)

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From highbrow to lowbrow (and everything in between), this is what we found of interest in photo-land this week.

  • Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign [BUST]
  • “40,000 elephants were killed by poachers last year. Drones and supercomputers can stop it” [Indiegogo]
  • Cute photo booth shots of shelter dogs = 93% adoption rate [PetaPixel]
  • ‘France Moves to Ban Ultrathin Fashion Models’ [WSJ]
  • Photos of people endorsing Rand Paul are from a stock photographer [Buzzfeed]
  • “Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915–2015″ reveals just how sexist vintage ads were [The Cut]
  • ‘Huskies looking magical on mirror-like frozen lakes in Russia’ [Lost At E Minor]

15 Pieces of Advice for Emerging Photographers

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© Rob Brulinski

Rob Brulinski: Photograph like it’s your job. Press the shutter button until your eyeballs hurt. Hang out with other photographers, look at each others work, and argue ’til sunrise about it. Drop out of art school and save the money for travel and books. Don’t worry so much about “camera specs,” but know how to use your camera in any scenario you might find yourself in. Learn how to crop and stop counting Instagram likes.

Carli Davidson: Climb that ladder with people you feel supported by. Work hard. Take responsibility for everything. Shoot something every day, even if it’s on your phone. Don’t make excuses for not having the best gear; I’ve known photographers that shoot on 10 year old digital point and shoot cameras and still make brilliant work.

Ricky Rhodes: Keep shooting, keep experimenting. Never settle and always do the best work that you can do. Shoot for yourself and always work to push the boundaries. Stay out of your comfort zone.

Joan Lobis Brown: Keep on taking images. Practice your craft. Sometimes you know immediately when you click the shutter that you have captured something special – I get a kind of rush. It’s that feeling that I strive for over and over again. And then sometimes, I just get lucky and the photography gods give me a gift. In either event, I’m grateful. Have fun. When it stops being fun and you don’t get nervous anymore that you aren’t going to get something good, that’s when I think it’s time to look for something else to do.

Photos from The BlowUp, Feature Shoot’s Live Event Featuring New York’s Finest Music Photographers

Amy_Lombard_28From L to R: Bob Gruen, GODLIS, Chris Stein, Sacha Lecca, Michael Lavine, Josh Cheuse, Danny Clinch, Gretchen Robinette, Rebecca Smeyne, Jessica Lehrman, Ricky Powell

Amy_Lombard_31 Audience at The BlowUp

Amy_Lombard_36Photographer and speaker Janette Beckman

This past Friday night, Feature Shoot hosted our first ever event called ‘The BlowUp,’ where we invited 15 photographers to speak a bit about one of their favorite images.

The Best Links of the Week (March 21-27)

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From highbrow to lowbrow (and everything in between), this is what we found of interest in photo-land this week.

  • Color-Saturated ad shows that love comes in all shapes, colors, and genders [Bored Panda]
  • The astonishing effects of medical marijuana on children suffering from seizures [NYTimes.com]
  • Alec Soth sells Snapchat conversations for $100 [TIME]
  • Moving photo series showing transgender life wins Foam’s Paul Huf Award 2015 [Foam]
  • ‘Historical NYPD Crime Scene Photos to be Digitized and Released to the Public’ [PetaPixel]
  • Instagram deletes menstruation photo by feminist poet, proves exactly what’s wrong with the way we censor female bodies [Emaho Magazine]
  • ‘Ruddy Roye on Instagram, Storytelling, and Risking the “Angry Black Man” Label’ [Vimeo]
  • We can’t get enough of ‘Felines of New York’ [Facebook]

We Asked 17 Photographers: What’s the Biggest Lesson You’ve Learned in Your Photography Career?

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© Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis: To be confident. I’ve been shooting long enough to see current trends in our industry come and go. Although aware of these changing tides; I’ve always tried to continue to refine (and further define) my unique point of view. I’ve seen other photographers try to bend their aesthetic to fit in the mold of the current flavor of the week. For me, part of staying confident (and true to your vision) is standing your ground and doing what feels true to yourself.

Jamie Diamond: Don’t be afraid to take risks or to get it wrong sometimes, your successes and your failures are equally valuable.

Ricky Rhodes: I’m learning more and more to just stay true to yourself. This might sound like common sense, but I think being a good person goes a long way in this industry. Photography is based around relationships, it’s all about who you know and who knows you. People want to work with people they enjoy being around.

Thomas Alleman: As I consider not only my own career, but the successful careers of my friends and colleagues in this field, I find that the greatest resource one has is his or her own character, and the biggest lesson one learns is that that character is the only constant advantage you can wield.

Are you persistent? Are you driven? Do you read novels? Are you a gearhead? Are you empathic? Are you generous? Can you take a punch?

How are you communication skills? Can you write a compelling paragraph about your work for a grant application or a gallery submission? Can you explain yourself to people on the street? Can you persuade someone to let you photograph them, if they’re initially wary?

Can you get on an off a plane with competence, and find a location in a strange town and wrestle a shoot into shape? Can you transmit pictures on deadline? Can you deal with asshole editors? Are you a hothead? Are you a wimp? When the job goes bad, will you blame your assistant? Will you stay up all night for two straight days, to finish a project?

Can you weather the hard times that beset all creative entrepreneurs? Do you have backbone? Are you flexible? Can you make short-term sacrifices for long-term goals? Can you diversify? Can you teach? Can you take assignments? What’s your feeling about money and material possessions? At what point will you begin choosing convenience over excellence, and comfort over accomplishment?

These are character issues. They’re about your skill-set as a grown-up person. The greatest lesson I ever learned was that these are where your power and advantage and success will come from, over time.

Announcing ‘The BlowUp NYC': A New Photographic Storytelling Event Presented by Feature Shoot

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We are very excited to be announcing a new quarterly event series happening in New York City called The BlowUp. Presented by Feature Shoot, The BlowUp will bring together 15 sought-after photographers for an evening of short-form storytelling and insight with each photographer speaking for a few minutes about the story behind one of their favorite images.

The inaugural event will run from 6:30 – 9:00 PM on April 3, 2015 at ROOT, 443 W 18th St, New York City, and will be devoted entirely to music, featuring a diverse set of music photographers ranging from established icons to emerging young talents, including: Bob Gruen, Chris Stein, Sacha Lecca, Danny Clinch, Michael Lavine, Rebecca Smeyne, Janette Beckman, Jessica Lehrman, Roberta Bayley, David Godlis, Ricky Powell, Tod Seelie, Paris Viscone, Amy Lombard, Josh Cheuse, and Gretchen Robinette.

From Chris Stein’s quiet portrait of a glance shared between Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop to Michael Lavine’s portrait of The Notorious B.I.G. in a graveyard and Amy Lombard’s portrait of a juggalo eating the head off a live lobster, the stories they tell will be as varied and interesting as the photographers behind them.

Intrigued? We have a limited number of tickets available for Feature Shoot readers. Tickets are $20 each and will include an open bar from 6:30-7:30. RSVP here and see you there!

The BlowUp is sponsored by our friends at Squarespace, ROOTAgency Access and Voss. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.