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March 2015 Featured Member: Eli Meir Kaplan

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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.

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photos and interview by Matthew Rakola

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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More of Eli’s work can be found at www.elimeirkaplan.com

January 13th Coffee Break

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We here at APA|DC never like to sit still. We like to mix it up and try new things. Having said that, we’re trying out a new event that involves… well… sitting around and talking.  In addition to our regular happy hours, we’re going to occassionally organize an afternoon coffee break to give all of you a chance to stretch your legs, look at the world from a slightly different perspective, and talk about a topic that is relevant to what we do as self-employed photographers.

On January 13th, please join us at the Kogod Courtyard (that’s the awesome covered space between the Portrait Gallery and the American Art Museum) for some coffee and a very casual discussion about your new year’s goals and resolutions. We’ll talk about some organizational, emotional and creative strategies and figure out how we can help each other succeed. Afterwards anyone interested can go see the very cool Richard Estes exhibit at the Art museum as a group.

If you work downtown, spend your lunch with us!

When

January 13th, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

Where

The Kogod Gallery, enter either the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of American Art
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Why

You work hard, you need a coffee break.

APA|DC Photographer’s Survey: Using Assistants

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If you’re a professional photographer who uses assistants, please help out the industry by taking a moment to fill out this ANONYMOUS google survey. The responses will be used to help with assistant training and help to educate everyone in regards to going rates and common practices. The results will be made available at a later date.

 

 It should take less than two minutes and your help is very greatly appreciated. Please share this with your peers!

 

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE!

 

November 2014 Featured Member: Tracey Brown

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When you meet Tracey Brown the first thing you’re likely to do is smile. This is probably because she was smiling first and once you see it, you just can’t help but join in yourself. It’s just one of those things. Such was the photo shoot and interview.  A commercial and editorial shooter, Tracey photographs people and building equally well, an enviable skill. Her very graphic style is a natural fit for her many corporate, medical and architectural clients, yet it complements, rather than overpowers, the subject’s personality. The shoot took place in her fantastic studio on the third floor of an old factory in Baltimore– one of those with incredibly high ceilings and the old wooden floors that most of us can only dream about calling our own. The space is light and airy with just enough eclectic props to make it feel personable but without the slightest sense of clutter.  It’s the kind of place that just makes you want to create images…

Photos and text by Matthew Rakola

 

Okay, first question. Tell me about Paper Camera. What’s in a name?

I decided on the name Papercamera, as I was looking for a name that fit my business and was memorable.  My name is unfortunately very unmemorable!  Papercamera to me describes what I do, as I’m working with a camera, but my images get translated into annual reports, brochures, magazines, and the like.  It’s also a nod to my background in Studio Art, which is what I studied in college.

 

So you studied studio art in college – what led to the transition to photography? Do you ever wish you had gone a different route?

I studied everything in college- drawing, photography, painting, ceramics, printmaking.  I would say that my twin passions were photography and drawing, but photography made more sense as a career, since I wasn’t interested doing illustration commercially.  I don’t have any regrets over the way anything turned out, and I’m happy with the direction of my career.

 

Do you think that this background has influenced how you shoot? Can you see any similarities, stylistically between how you illustrate and how you shoot? Composition? Color Palette? Lighting?

Yes, I believe it does.  In both drawing and photography, I am drawn to the effect of light and contrast, as well as texture in my work.    A good image to me is where the light works as a player in the image, setting the scene and creating the feel of the finished image.  I think that’s what draws me to architectural and interior work especially, but I try to use it in all of my work.

 

how did you find work when you were starting out in the business? And, is it different than how you find new clients now?

I’m sure I’m not the poster child of how to run a business!

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I found work in unexpected ways when I was starting out.  Sometimes, I would get a job referred to me from a photographer I assisted when the job was too small for them.  I would also research clients I wanted, ones I thought I would be a good fit for and contact them and try to meet and show them my work.  This is so unpredictable though.  Sometimes, I would come out with a good feeling and never hear from them.  Other times, I would hear from them months later and get a small “tester” job to see if I was a good fit with them.  I would also do mailings to keep my work in front of people I was interested in working with.

I definitely think I find clients differently now.  This is partly because I’m more experienced at it and understand the business end of things better, and partly because of where I am in my career.  I think making connections with people is still critically important, but I think social media is also important because it’s a great way to get seen and keep your work in front of people.  It’s definitely still a multi-pronged approach.

 

So a mysterious benefactor hands you a blank check and tells you to spend two weeks on any project you’d like, what would you shoot?

I’m not sure if I need a blank check to do this, but I would love to photograph the old mills surrounding my studio that aren’t rehabbed yet.  I love all of the textures, the light, the history of these places.  They definitely have personalities that I like to document, sort of like portraits of places.

[Too bad the blank check couldn’t buy me a building!  Or access to places.]

 

Hey, why not? When we were shooting we talked about how we both loved to have a shooting space to call our own, even if that’s not where we make the majority of our pictures. What kind of building would you buy? And what do you think it says about you?

I would definitely buy an old industrial building, as I love the character of old buildings.  There’s just something about the quality of the materials used, and the attention to detail in these older buildings that is missing in so many structures.

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So what do you think that says about you?

I think it says that photographers generally enjoy having interesting locations to work with!   (laughs)

Seriously though, I think it says that I appreciate the built environment, especially when done well.  These spaces often have great light, because the builders wanted to bring in as much daylight as they could to light their space, since artificial lighting wasn’t the best at that time.  These spaces tend to be a great combination of wonderful light, great textures, and solid construction.  These spaces often have great nooks and crannies that are great to explore.  I like exploring and working with what I find.

 

You started your business in 2000. If you could text message your younger self, and offer one piece of advice, what would it be?

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I think I would tell my younger self to position myself for growth.  I became a photographer because I am passionate about the art, not because I’m a business person.  In the beginning, I knew less about running a business than I do now, and getting any type of work was a big deal to me.  I would text myself the importance of how to price myself, when to start passing on certain jobs to be open to other opportunities, and just the importance of doing what you’re good at and outsourcing other tasks, rather than trying to perform every aspect of my business, so I can focus on the things I am essential for.  I think that these things help one do more of the type of work they want to do.

 

Last one: three words that describe you as a photographer. 

Creatively. pursuing. perfection.

See more of Tracey’s work at www.papercamera.com

APA|DC Photo Assistant Workshop, Part 1: Introduction

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One of the most useful ways to start a career in photography is by beginning as an assistant. But, the common problem persists, how do you begin your career as an assistant with no experience as an assistant? APA|DC is offering a 3-Part series on assisting to help interested students and new photographers make the transition. While no amount of workshop instruction can replace on-the-job experience, each session builds on the previous one and covers a comprehensive list of topics, ensuring that participants are introduced to standardized material, appropriate for each level.

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Part 1 of the series is a basic introduction to assisting, comprised of a gear demo, presentation on roles and responsibilities, and a panel discussion with veteran photographers and seasoned assistants. It is designed for people who are new to the photography world and have no or little experience on a photography set. We’ll cover the basics– the sorts of things that you need to know whether the project is studio-based, architectural, or location portrait.

 

Attendees will immediately break into two groups  for two 45-minute sessions of cursory- yet very fast-paced- information about the real world of assisting. There will be a lot of ideas, tricks, and know-how packed into these two sessions– attendees will want to take notes.

•  The 1st section will give students a look at (and feel for) some of the basic photography gear that they would be likely to encounter on a small photography set, from cameras to lighting gear to grip equipment, courtesy of f8 Rentals. We’ll cover the proper way to wrap a cable, set a light, and secure a set as well as many other fundamental skills.

•  The 2nd section consists of a presentation covering the rights, responsibilities, and general etiquette for assistants. We’ll go over an assistant’s tool bag, location etiquette, roles and responsibilities, and some strategies for billing and invoicing.

After the two sections conclude, we’ll all come together for a panel discussion with photographers Renée Comet, Jon Feingersh, and Max Hirshfeld, and several experienced assistants to hear stories, opinions, and thoughts on how it all comes together. Hear firsthand what photographers look for in assistants, what some going rates are, and a few anecdotes from the field.

Thursday, November 20th, 1200 U Street NW, Washington DC. (1/2 block from U Street Metro on the Green & Yellow lines)

Schedule

5:00 pm             Registration Begins

5:30 – 6:15          1st Section

6:15 – 6:30         15 minute break and switch sections

6:45 – 7:30         2nd Section

7:30 – 7:45         15 minute break, gather in auditorium for panel discussion

7:45 – 8:30         Panel Discussion with photographers and assistants

9:00                    Must be out of facility.

This will be a very busy evening so all students must plan on arriving on time.

 

Price

Students/APA contributor and supporter levels $25; General Public $35;

APA Leader, Professional, and Associate levels – FREE

Space is limited, REGISTER HERE to guarantee your spot.

 

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John Harrington – Real Business, Real Estimates, Real Life

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Real Business, Real Estimates, Real Life: Surviving and Thriving as a Working Professional

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Harrington Portrait
Join John Harrington, author of the best-selling ‘More Best Business Practices for Photographers’, for an insightful and solutions-oriented presentation on how to generate more revenue from the assignments, through pricing examples and discussion, negotiation strategies, and demystifying licensing of your work.

Unlock the mysteries surrounding how to price your work, and learn ways to negotiate from a position of strength. When it comes to licensing, how do you write a license that gives the client the permissions they paid for, without leaving loopholes you could drive a truck through?

Through a series of actual negotiated assignments, we will break down the negotiation and explain how to plan for the questions you’ll get, and to know the best ways to answer them. When it comes to pricing, there seems to be a world of secrecy around rates. We will discuss solutions for stock and assignment pricing, as well as discuss tools for you to establish your own. When it comes to licensing, we’ll discuss and explain the standardized licensing solution that is the Picture Universal Licensing System (or PLUS), and how to write a license, where to put the licensing language, and what the best format will be. Throughout the program, all of these elements will be integrated into each assignment discussed.
John will be selling signed copies of his newly released second edition of ‘More Best Practices for Photographers’ at the event.

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When

September 25th, time 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where

The Torpedo Factory
105 N. Union St. 
Alexandria, VA 22314
 
Closest METROs:  King St.  Metro Station (Yellow line) Then connect to the King Street Trolley
 

APA/ASMP/ASPP/NPPA/WPOW member + students : $10 online/$15 at the door.

General Public : $20 online/$25 at the door

APA Members always pay $10. Join APA at the event and get in for free!

RSVP ON EVENTBRITE

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September 2014 Featured Member, Ken Cedeno

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Interview and Photos by Matthew Rakola

 

Ken Cedeno is an editorial photographer based in Washington, DC. With over 20 years of experience and a variety of clients that include The New York Times, The Ad Council, Central American Medical Outreach, Corbis, and Weber Shandwick, he keeps busy. His images have appeared in National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Traveler, Newsweek, TIME, Paris Match, and many more. We met up recently to make some studio portraits and talk shop.


 

Let’s start with the basics: When and why did you decide to become a photographer?

It all began in high school–ninth grade actually. As a young boy, cool sounds were always interesting. One of them was the sound of a motor drive. I started thinking, “hmmm, photography.” I was always drawn to photojournalism–I grew up on LIFE, LOOK and National Geographic magazines.

 
 
 

So it started with the sound of a motor drive, huh? Have you ever pursued music?

Would you count playing the clarinet in 5th grade? In the early 80’s, I was a radio DJ at KWHL in Anchorage, Alaska for 4 years (I was an Air Force brat so I moved around a lot as a kid) and got to go back stage for a lot of concerts. So, to answer your question—no.

 
 
 

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So you went to school at Brooks but only stayed a year. What happened then?

I moved to Chicago for four years and assisted many different kinds of photographers, honing what I really liked to do. And quickly became aware of what I never want to do again.

I assisted in a catalog house and on industrial shoots, and assisted photographers with table top products, cars, corporate, fashion and Playboy. I then moved to Washington, DC where I was a lab tech with AFP (Agency France-Presse) and also got to shoot some assignments, covering the White House and Capitol Hill. After AFP, I started freelancing, which I’ve been doing for the last 20 years. And while I’ve really enjoyed covering politics in DC, I’m starting to focus more on travel and stories. Capitol Hill can get a little dry–people standing at a podium, two men shaking hands, or people testifying at a hearing.  About five years ago, a vacation to Costa Rica led to an assignment for a travel book. There were no stiff politicians, no jockeying with 15 other photographers for the same photo, and no pressing deadlines.  That got me away from the Hill and to places like Haiti, North Dakota, Honduras, Alaska which opened up some opportunities for me to refocus my work.

 
 
 

You’ve pretty much run the gauntlet in the photo world– how do you think that affects how you approach your current editorial work?

Perhaps subconsciously that range of experience kicks in to develop a new look when shooting editorial. I’ll look at a situation and try different angles, locations, and lighting situations and play with it. I’m sure everyone applies their past experiences to solve a present problem—photographers are no different.

 
 
 

Speaking of which, what have you been shooting lately?

In April, I was in Israel and got to photograph Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the West Bank. I send everything worthwhile to my photo agency, Corbis Images, in New York City. The Israel trip provided some incredible images especially because we were there during both Easter and Passover. The religious history goes way back, and the ongoing issues between the Jews and the Palestinians is ever present in the West Bank. Last fall I was in North Dakota for a self assignment covering the rich oil boom and the massive increase in population as well as the ongoing need to increase its infrastructure.

And later this month, I’ll be returning to Honduras to cover CAMO (Central American Medical Outreach), an organization of dedicated U.S. doctors who provide primary medical care and other important surgeries for the local community. Through a friend of a friend, I was asked to help them improve their visual storytelling and the images on their website to help them raise awareness about their mission and work. And while there, I also stumbled on another story of destitute families who pick through these massive piles of garbage—the dump—to earn literally a few dollars a day.

 
 
 

I always ask photographers, “What makes you want to make pictures for a living?” In other words, why do you want to do this for a living as opposed to a hobby– what motivates you to shoot?

I love what I do and never considered photography a hobby. I’m attracted to the involvement of breaking news, and of sharing it. People, places and moments are what motivate me to shoot. Whether it’s a simple portrait, a wedding, covering a protest in Greece or a clinic in Honduras, I like to capture the moment and people’s emotions.

 
 
 

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Is there one specific moment in your career that you wish you had made a different decision? Or, the opposite– can you think of one definitive decision that has shaped your career for the better?

Hmmmm. This one I regret: I wish I had listened to my heart and gone to a photojournalism school rather than to Brooks Institute. Brooks is a really great place for commercial photography, but it wasn’t for me, and I went for the wrong reasons. Had I taken the time to research more, I might have found the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia or RIT in NY. Either one probably would have been a better fit for me. I sometimes wonder where I’d be with my photojournalism today if I had gone to one of the other schools.
 
Follow your passions harder people!
 
 
 

Dream client and assignment?

Well that would be the commonly and often mentioned National Geographic Magazine, who most people would love to work with. There are other admired organizations like the Pulitzer Center, who shed spotlights on stories and issues that are under reported and ignored. There can be many great stories the Pulitzer Center can help push through. As far as assignments, there are many. I think covering the Arctic Circle or the Antarctic would be a fantastic opportunity. Or any location where people just don’t go. You could also throw a dart at the globe and I’d do my best to make the most of that spot and get the best images possible. We’ve all heard the saying that our own backyard has thousands of opportunities …
 
 
 

Thanks for taking the time to do this. I have one last question. I always associate you with eyeglasses? How many pairs do you have? Do you think of it as part of your personal and/or professional branding, or are they simply utilitarian?

I have many pairs and styles and divided into two different strengths. One is used for shooting. I look at the images on the back of the camera rather close to my eyes. The other pair is for editing. The distance of my eyes to the laptop is a little further away. I don’t like the standard glasses for men. They’re very boring. I actually buy women’s glasses. Nothing too feminine– no diamonds and flared corners but a good fancy design is great. I often get great compliments on them with the occasional, “Really?” or “You look gay” comment. I really don’t give a shit if I do. I’m fine with it. I think it’s developed into sort of branding both personal and professional.
 
I just ran into a great friend and colleague, Melina Mara who’s shoots for the Washington Post. We both have the same pair.  [Editor’s note: awkward.]
 
 
 
 

 

You can find more of Ken Cedeno’s work on his website, www.kencedeno.com

Magic Hour|Happy Hour – September 16 – Board Room

 

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Well, happy fall y’all!

While the summer was nice and we here at APA|DC enjoyed it from various places around the world, it’s refreshing to feel the weather changing and we’re all ready to get back to work– enjoying another Magic Hour|Happy Hour, that is!

Yes, let’s meet up and recount the beautiful days of summer– sharing our experiences and coming up with photography schemes for the cooler months. It’s time to meet your fellow shooter (and editor, and art buyer) and plan for things to come!

 

This September we’ll be back in the Board Room in Dupont Circle. There will be the usual assortment of drinks and food and an added bonus– board games, if we’re feeling oddly competitive.

 

Reconnect with old friends and meet the area’s newest transplants.

The When

September 16th, 6 pm to 8 pm (and beyond)

The Where

The Board Room
1737 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20009
closest METRO – Dupont Circle on the RED line.
 

The Why

September 16th comes but once a year.

 

May 2014 Featured Member – Erika Nizborski

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 Portrait and Interview by Jim Darling

This month APA|DC is pleased to introduce you to one of our favorite Assistant-level members, Erika Nizborski. Erika earned a BFA in photojournalism from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2010 and has been cutting her chops assisting area commercial shooters and shooting weddings and events since leaving the photo retail space a little over a year ago. (You might recognize her from the rental department at Penn Camera.) Find out what makes Erika tick, below:

 

Photo and Interview by Jim Darling

 

What are your earliest memories of photography? Do you remember a specific photograph or the work of someone in particular? Or did you grow up in a family that took a lot of photos?

My earliest memories of photography are when I was about nine years old.  I started constructing still life’s with dolls and action figures in my parents basement.  When I was in high school I took my first photography class, my teacher introduced me to the work of Diane Arbus, Duane Michaels, and Ralph Meatyard- just to name a few.  I was instantly hooked and began collecting antique cameras and searching out rare nearly obsolete films to shoot them with.  I stated taking college darkroom classes my junior year of high school because my high school only taught digital photography.  Growing up my family took lots of snap-shots and family movies.  My father loves technology and I remember the day he came home with an early Kodak digital camera, it was 1.5 mega pixels. The photos it produced were terrible, that’s pretty much when the family photos stopped being taken.

 

We met when you worked at the rental counter at the former Penn Camera (RIP). I was new to the industry and you were extremely helpful and taught me something new every time I came in it seemed. How much did YOU learn from working there either from your colleagues or customers? And did many of the regulars share their experience or knowledge?

 I worked at Penn in the rental department for almost 3 years.  Jim, I think you were one of my favorite customers! I majored in photojournalism in college so, I had only taken a few lighting classes.  While working at Penn I learned an exponential amount about studio lighting and grip.  Mostly I learned techniques from my colleagues Anthony Herfort, Ken Hipkins, and the late Harrison Thomas.  Those guys really took me under their wing and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today with out them.  The customers also provided me with a wealth of knowledge.  I got to see trends in rental reservations, I learned what the commercial photographers were using to produce their work, and I saw what the freelance wedding and event photographers where keeping in their bag.

 

You recently completed your first year as a full time freelance photographer. How did school (Corcoran School of Art) and then your experience at Penn prepare you to go out on your own? And how much have you learned on-the-job (if that’s even possible to quantify)?

The Corcoran College of Art + Design prepared me to think quickly in any situation; it was there that I learned how to be a photojournalist- a storyteller.  However, it was my first college The Delaware College of Art + Design where I learned my craft, developed a strong work ethic, and where my passion for photography blossomed. Working at Penn gave me insight into the real world and business of photography.  Now that I have been out on my own for a year I have found that I am still learning something new everyday.  I believe that it is important that we continue to learn in this industry because it is ever changing.  It is hard to quantify how much I have learned, but I still hear the lessons of my first photography professor playing over in my mind on a daily basis.

 

In your own personal experience how would describe the differences in your approach and/or thoughts and feelings toward photography as a profession and as an art form?

There are few people in this world that get to turn their passion into a career. I have seen photographers that have lost their passion for photography and just go through the motions, this for me is when it is no longer is an art form- it’s just a paycheck.  I hope I never lose my passion for photography. I see no reason why professional photography shouldn’t be considered art.  If the drive to create the work is there and the images convey something to the audience why wouldn’t that be art?

 

As a young person in an industry that’s highly influenced or motivated by technology and all things megapixels you are known to shoot and develop your own medium format film. Where does that desire/passion come from?

My first “real” camera was digital.  I am fascinated with history and learning how we got to where we are today. When I was 16 I began getting into film photography because I saw it as a challenge.  I wanted to learn why I was using certain tools in Photoshop. In elementary school I learned that I have dyslexia, I was constantly told I was doing things wrong.  The one class I never got told I was doing anything wrong in was art class.  When I got into the darkroom and began using a manual camera numbers made sense to me.  It was like everything just clicked and numbers suddenly had a purpose. Working in the darkroom helped me overcome my learning difference and gave me confidence.

 

Is there a style of photography that you admire and would like to try but haven’t yet? (Sports, wildlife, high end fashion, commercial…)

I have assisted a lot of studio photographers.  I feel confident in lighting and much of what goes into it yet, I have done very little of it myself.  I would like to someday shoot more in the studio setting whether it is product, food, commercial, or portrait photography is fine with me.  I find it all fascinating.

 

You can find Erika’s work on her website, erikanizborski.com

 

IT’S ALIVE! APA National Unveils New Website

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After a year of behind-the-scenes work with design firm Studio Mister, APA is extremely happy to announce a new national website!

The first thing you might notice is that we’ve moved the site over to a .org, where it belongs.  This reflects our status as a 501(c)6 professional organization with a mission to help support professional photographers. With a completely new interface, this modern design is much easier to read and find out what APA is doing across all of our chapters. News, events, articles and more now appear in a tiled format to make browsing much faster. (We’re visual people, after all.)

It’s now easier than ever to find and take advantage of all your professional discounts and member benefits. Additionally, we have simplified and condensed our membership levels to make joining easier and to give our members the benefits that are right for them.

Another highlight of the new apanational.org will be new a partnership with Behance to host enhanced photographer profiles. This will complement, but not replace, our valuable “Find a Member” feature and makes it easier for clients to find YOU.

 

But, as we all know from Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.” All of these great new changes will require a teeny bit of work from you. If you’re a current member, you’ll have to log-in and update all of your information again. Think of it as some spring cleaning.

To do this, visit:  http://apanational.org/account/check-account/email@addressyouusedtosignupfor.apa, follow the instructions, and if you’re on the monthly plan, re-enter your billing info. (Need a little incentive? The monthly payment will now actually be cheaper than before!)

 

 

If you’re not already a member, now is the absolute best time to join. We’re offering a 20% discount for anyone who joins by May 16th! That means that the most basic level starts at $40 for the first year. That’s about the same as a large fancy latte at Starbucks. (Without tip, of course.)

As with any website launch, there might be a few bumps in the road. Please be patient with us as we work to make your membership a more valuable asset to your career. Feel free to email matt [at] apadc.com if you need any help and let us know what you think.

Share the news on twitter with @apanational or #joinAPA and bask in the glow of an interconnected world.
Are you an APA Professional member with a story to tell? Let us feature you on our website. Email matt [at] apadc.com to find out how.