The modern freelance photographer spends most of her or his work week alone in the glow of a monitor, editing images or trying to pick just the right ones to show clients in order to get more work. It can be a very frustrating experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to share that burden? To display your images to a room full of people who know what it’s like and can even help by lending an additional set of eyes, a pair of ears, and cumulative years of experience?
Our Show-Off series is just that: a space to share your images, get constructive feedback, or just practice talking about your work. We take the number of participants present and divide that into amount of time available to determine the length or each time slot. What you do with that time, usually 10-15 minutes, is up to you. The audience is your sounding board, your therapist, your photo editor.
So, pack as many images as you’d like to share in 10-15 minutes onto a thumb drive, sized at around 2400 pixels wide, and join us! Or, if you’re feeling a bit shy, stop in to see what others are doing and offer some (constructive) criticism and advice.
Doors open at 6 pm and we’ll have plenty of time to socialize, tour HOIST, and get our thumb drives downloaded before we start the program at 7 pm. We’ll have pizza, beer, and other munchies to enjoy during the presentations.
This event is free for APA members and $10 for non-members (this offsets the cost of the food and drink.)
In a nutshell:
Wednesday, May 27th, 6-9 pm. (presentations start at 7 pm)HOIST Studio 2807 Merrilee Drive, Fairfax, VA Just 4 blocks to the Vienna station on the orange and silver lines! There is plenty of free parking in the immediate area. Free for APA members/ $10 for the general public. HUGE thanks to HOIST for hosting this event. Hoist is a fully equipped rental studio available for all levels of commercial, advertising, editorial, personal and retail photography.
It’s been awhile since our last happy hour. We’re changing things up, this time around, and having a members only (plus one guest) happy hour on May 20th at Whitlow’s on Wilson, in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, VA.
Members, enjoy a pair of happy hour drinks on us. Keep ‘em both or bring a friend, we don’t care. Either way we’ll also have some food out will likely be hitting the pool table as well.
While this is a free event, please RSVP to Erika (director at apadc dot com) so we know how many people to expect.
Hope to see you all there!When Wednesday, May 20th 6 – 9 pm ish. Where Whitlow’s on Wilson 2854 Wilson Blvd. Arlingon, VA 22201 steps from the Clarendon Metro Station on the Orange Line Why Because you you deserve to relax a little.
Our first coffee break was such a success that we’ve gotten requests for more. So, please stop by the Cascade Cafe on May 5th for an informal conversation about print promotions. We’re gathering as many examples as we can of successful examples so we can talk about the pros and cons of each style. Please bring your own and share your experiences about the process.
Afterwards, we’ll check out the Memory of Time at the National Gallery.
When May 5 at 11:30 am
Where The Cascade Cafe at the National Gallery of Art Constitution Ave, between 3rd and 9th Streets NW Washington, DC
Why Because we all need a little coffee break.
You’ve read all of the camera manuals, studied the lighting diagrams, and dissected the BTS Youtube videos. But, sometimes, what you really need to hone your craft is to take a few hours to break out your gear and use it in real world environments.
In the new Play Date series, we’ve taken care of the logistics for you so you can do just that. Each pop-in, pop-out play date will be hosted in the kind of location in which we, as photographers, are often asked to photograph. We provide the physical space and time, and perhaps a few pieces of gear, and leave the rest up to you. Arrive whenever you can, leave when you need to. Like a pick-up game of basketball, this is the time to keep your skills sharp and have fun with other photographers.
We’re opening the series at the soon-to-be-opened Dew Drop Inn in northeast DC, near Catholic University. Bars/restaurants can often be some of the most difficult locations to shoot in because of their use of so many indirect AND point light sources. Now is the time to figure out how to manage all of the variables, without the client in the room. We’ll have the run of the space, which includes a bar floor and a patio, from 11 am to 4 pm, and perhaps on into the evening. We’ll have some LED lighting and a few gels on hand to play with, so bring a tripod and a fast lens and let’s play!
Playing nicely with others. At APA, we try to make all of our events a win/win/win for the photographer, our chapter, and the location hosts who, in some cases, are donating the space to us. All we ask in return for this Play Date is that you show some love and tag the Dew Drop Inn and @APADC on social media in any of your shots, so we can help a small business get off the ground. We are not promising the use of any of our members’ photos to the host establishment, but you are more than welcome to work out a deal with them independently.
UPDATE : Jerry and f8 Rentals has come through again! He’s supplying a pair of LED bicolor panels, the Tokina 11-16 2.8 AT-X Pro (Canon full frame) AND the Canon 17mm Tilt/shift! The latter by itself is worth the trip! Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t note that f8 Rentals offers a 20% discount on all rentals to APA members with proof of membership. Email Erika (director at apadc .com) or Matthew (matt at apadc .com) for the code.When Monday, May 11th from 11 am to 4 pm (come whenever you’d like, stay as long as you want) Where The Dew Drop Inn 2801 8th Street NE Washington, DC 20017
There is free street parking in front of the building.How Much FREE for APA members, $15 for the general public. Cash at the door.
You know how we’re all trying to entrench ourselves in social media? Here’s an easy way. APA|DC members, give us a follow on social media and we’ll make sure to follow you back. Instant connectedness. We’ll be #Bff ‘s before you know it!
Our NEW Member’s Only facebook group. This is where you will find people looking for advice, crew recommendations, used gear, or simply a way to vent. Remember, these are your peers so keep it supportive!
Our public facing facebook page. This is where we’ll share member news, repost interesting articles about the photo world in general, and generally keep you in the loop about what’s going on around town.
Twitter. Follow @apadc 2 c articles and find out what ur missing #doitnow #apanational #dcphotoevent
Instagram. We’ll feature behind the scenes images from events, graphics for upcoming events, and we promise to <3 all of your pics.
Earlier this month, APA|DC member Yacouba Tanou sat down with one of the chapter’s up and coming shooters, contributor level member Zach Miller to talk about music, inspiration, and what it takes to make it in today’s photographic landscape.
Interview and images by Yacouba Tanou
I was born in Olney, MD and raised in Gaithersburg, MD. My favorite color is blue. Seafood is my favorite food. I wear my heart on my sleeve, and Meridian Hill park is one of my favorite places in D.C. That’s awesome Zach. How long have been shooting professionally? I have been a professional photographer for 4 years now. Why photography? I was always a shy person and this type of art gave me an outer body type experience. Photography broke me out of my comfort zone and forced me to go meet people. Photographs are moments in time, capturing life. A picture is forever caught, showing our amazing world. This craft allows us to slow down time to gather and collect beauty. Can you recommend any book that helped you along your journey?
I am not really a book person, but I do believe that you are only as big as whom you surround yourself with. The internet is an open book for us to see who is around and see what’s trending. I love portraits and fashion, so my quest was to find who the best photographers in the area were at the time when I started. I wanted to learn what they were doing and to find a mentor to model myself after. What inspired you to become a Photographer? I studied Business Management at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2008, I moved back home to Maryland in pursuit of a music career. In my spare time, I was always traveling and taking pictures. Wow, that’s pretty impressive. Are you still performing music? What’s your Musician name? Yes, I am in a band called G2O. We’re a funk, soul, and rock band. A while back, one of the band members said that I should take a couple of photography classes. Little did I know that those couple of classes would turn into a year of photography classes at the Art Institute of Washington. Who and what inspires your photography? I find myself shooting a lot of landscape and street photography in my downtime. My inspiration comes from Ansel Adam whose work I find very uplifting.
You can find more of Zach’s work at www.zmillerphotography.com
Eli Meir Kaplan became interested in visual media after his parents brought home an early black and white video camera. Eli’s first of many videos on the camera was a stop-motion battle between He-Man and Skeletor, which he made when he was four years old.
Always passionate about storytelling and beautiful imagery, Eli found that his purpose as a photographer was to capture genuine and intimate moments from the human experience. Clients include: AARP, Bank of America, Dwell, Essence, Good Housekeeping, Pentagram, and The Wall Street Journal to name a few.
photos and interview by Matthew Rakola
. . .
Starting with a pair of softball questions: where are you from and how did you learn photography?
I’m from Teaneck, New Jersey. I took a few classes at the International Center of Photography. One of them was a documentary photography course with Andre Lambertson that got me thinking about a career seriously. Then I studied photojournalism as a grad student at The University of Texas at Austin. I started shooting professionally in 2009.
I have to admit– I’ve been trying to come up with a witty little line that describes the huge range of work you in a single sentence. It’s just not possible. You’ve photographed everyone from farmers to restauranteurs to city kids, with an additional helping of soul musicians, athletes, and tradespeople. And, let’s not forget the CEOS, architecture, and your lifestyle images. You’ve raised the idea of being a generalist to a whole new level. Was this intentional?
Thank so much for the very kind words. Of course not! I think I have such a broad range of subjects because I’m indecisive and there are so many subjects out there I want to explore. I’m also always eager to challenge myself and expand my skills. I got into the field purely through documentary photography. I was initially focused on the art world. I went to photojournalism school, but I quickly realized that I didn’t like the assignments I was getting and I started to explore other subject matter and clients. At first I wanted to completely change the type of photographer I was and I tried a bunch of different shoots that didn’t fit my style, but I eventually found that I couldn’t leave my documentary background behind entirely and be somebody else. So in the end the decision was made for me! It’s weird because I still have the urge to do something completely different sometimes but that’s gotten less and less.
So do you consider yourself more of an artist or a communicator?
Definitely more of a communicator. That’s the business I’m in. Any time I try to be artsy it doesn’t work.
Ha! I can relate. So what kind of research do you do on a subject before you make a portrait of the person or shoot a photo story? I’ve talked to photographers who don’t want to know what the person looks like prior to the shoot because they are afraid that it will affect their own images, and I’ve met others who sill spend hours researching how others have photographed a person or shot a similar story. Where do you fall?
Good question! I definitely don’t like to see how others have photographed the person, but I do at least read a bio so I have something to talk about. Sometimes I watch a video clip if there’s one available—I read that somewhere.
How do you motivate yourself on those mornings when it’s just hard to get out of bed?
Good question. I think about prospects in the future that I’m excited about. Projects, relationships that I want to build.
Any pre-assignment rituals?
Bring anything I think I could possibly need. Charge all my batteries. Look up the person I’m photographing. Double check the address. Print out any instructions and highlight them. Load mood boards on my iPhone or iPad.
Making a portrait of a person can occasionally create a very unique bond with them– you’ve literally pixel-peeped at the pores on their nose. Have you ever developed an ongoing friendship with a subject because of a shoot?
Yes! I actually met two of my greatest friends through an assignment for The Wall Street Journal. It was just a couple hours but I thought they were pretty cool. I went back to photograph a portrait of them on my own and ended up hanging out. Actually, they introduced Takoma Park to my wife and I (where we live) and have really become our extended family. Never thought that would happen in a million years.
Did you have a single assignment or event that you would describe as being “your big break”?
Yes, as a photojournalism grad student at The University of Texas at Austin, my master’s thesis was a documentary project about a boy with autism and his caregiver. I aggressively pitched it to a lot of publications and ultimately it appeared on Time.com, which has since been replaced by Time Lightbox. It also appeared on the Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent website. Having the story in the spotlight on those two sites was my foot in the door of the editorial market.
What is some advice you’d give to your younger self?
Just get started earlier. I definitely took my time. I think my brain wasn’t fully developed yet.
At the end of the your photography career, at your induction into the Photographer’s Hall of Fame, how would you like to be described, and who would you like to give the presentation?
I definitely would like to be recognized for projects that had a greater purpose than just the advancement of my career and I would like my images to be described in some way as capturing authentic moments from the human experience. It would be cool if one of my future children gave the presentation. This is all hypothetical of course.
More of Eli’s work can be found at www.elimeirkaplan.com
APA|DC’s Assistant Training Workshop, Part 2 of 3, 2/28, Silver Spring.
One of the most time-honored ways of learning to become a photographer is through assisting other photographers. While it’s a great way to learn the ropes, there’s a base level of knowledge that each assistant should have. This all-day workshop will cover the bases for most commercial or editorial shoots with a budget of under $10,000.
Picking up where Part 1 left off, we’ll jump right into the mix with this fully packed Saturday worth of information, tips, and ideas. We’ll be working at Photogroup/D.C. Studios in Silver Spring, the largest dedicated rental photography studio in the region with Profoto gear supplied by ROOT(EQ) and additional gear courtesy of f8 rentals.
As with part 1, students will be broken into two groups. Group A will learn the ropes in a studio environment, with a focus on larger modifiers, stands, and set management. Group B will learn about assisting in an office-type location, focusing on learning how to work efficiently and safely in a client’s space. The two groups will then switch so both groups get experience in both situations. After lunch, provided, we will have a short Q&A and a quick look at additional kinds of equipment that you might encounter on location. Afterwards, we’ll watch a live shoot unfold with a photographer and experienced assistants, make-up artist, models, and “client” on set. Students will be pulled in to help at various points and everyone will help to strike the set.
THIS WORKSHOP IS LIMITED TO 20 PEOPLE – REGISTER TODAY!
Saturday, February 28th, 10 am to 5:30 pm.PhotoGroup, Inc/ D.C. Studios 8040 Georgia Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20910
$60/current APA members; $75/general Public. Advance Registration Required.
Schedule10am Event begins at 10 am with check-in, coffee, group assignment and introductions. 10:30 Hands-on experience with lighting equipment, grip equipment, and more in both studio and location environments. 12:45 Lunch (provided) 1:30 Q&A and look at additional equipment. 2:00 Live Shoot, including scouting, multiple set-ups, stylist and more. 5:00 Strike set(s). Room is returned to original condition. Informal Q&A.
* As per our usual, there is very likely going to be a social event occurring afterwards. Stay tuned for more information.
Special Thanks to Our Location Sponsor,
And Our Profoto Lighting Sponsor:
And our Equipment Sponsor:
Please join us for this MEMBERS ONLY event on Tuesday, February 17th at Local 16
We know that one of the hardest things in this business is to meet and network with the creatives who license and use photography. APA|DC has teamed up with our peers at the DC chapter of ASMP to help you do just that! We’ve invited members of the DC Ad Club, AIGA, and the Association of Women in Communications, as well as other specific members of the advertising, design, and publication industries to be our guests at an informal, creative industry happy hour on February 17th, in DC. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet the people who use photographs on a weekly basis and who, more importantly, hire photographers.
This is an informal happy hour and the purpose is to get everyone to meet each other.
Here are some quick tips:
- This is not the time and place to show off your images. (That comes later.) Bring your business cards but leave your promos, iPads and portfolios at home.
- Art Directors often say that they want to like the photographers that they hire. Be the kind of person that you would want to hire.
- Don’t lead with your business card. If you talk to someone and find you have a connection and/or could have a mutually beneficial business arrangement, by all means swap information.
- Rehearse your elevator speech. Remember the key words and concepts that you want to convey– what makes you different, what your interests are, etc.– and practice saying them over and over in a slightly different way each time. This way you’ll have something to say but it won’t sound like a sales pitch.
- Above all else, be positive. Enthusiasm is contagious. Always talk about your successes, not your failures.
The $15 ticket price covers one drink, light fare, and automatically buys a drink for a creative. Sorry, no guests at this event– this is your membership working for you!
WhenTuesday, February 17th, 6 – 9 pm
WhereLocal 16 1602 U Street NW Washington, DC
$15, which includes light far and one drink ticket.