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May Featured Member Timothy R Lowery

May 2013 - Lowery

 Photo and Interview by Mike Morgan

Timothy R Lowery is an APA|DC member based in Washington, DC who photographs fashion for editorial publications both here and abroad. He was interviewed by our April Featured Member, Mike Morgan at the end of April.

 

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Mike Morgan: So, let’s start at the beginning. Tell me how you got started with photography?

 Timothy R Lowery: I started my journey with photography when I was fifteen, actually. I bought my first camera…a Canon AE-1.

 

M: My first camera as well!

 T: My older brother had bought a Canon AE-1 while he was stationed inVietnam, and when he came home he was taking lots of pictures; and you know, I looked up to my big brother and I wanted a camera like his. So I worked for a year and a half after school and did whatever I could do to earn what I could earn, and I finally saved up enough money and bought the Canon.

 

 

M: Sure.

T: I immediately felt a connection to photography. I was hooked the first time I pressed the shutter release button! Soon after purchasing my camera, I started taking photographs for my high school newspaper and annual. I took advantage of any opportunity to shoot.  Back in those days, it seemed as if I were neglecting something essential if a day went by without me doing something related to photography. Toward the end of high school I was looking at enrolling in the Art Institute of Atlanta and pursuing a career as a professional photographer.  But I was dissuaded by members of my family who felt like a more prudent decision would be to get a business degree at an in-state university, so that is what I wound up doing. Even while in college, I continued to shoot as much as I could. . but by the time I graduated so much was going on: becoming an adult, trying to get a job, all that stuff; and over time I stopped taking pictures and for many many years I did not pick up a camera except maybe a “point and shoot” camera while on vacation. For twenty-years after college I was very focused  on my commercial real estate career, leading successful projects throughout the country.

 

 

M: So how did you get back into photography?

 T: In 2010 I was feeling a need for a creative outlet. . .and at the same time a really close friend of mine was going to Aveda Institute. As part of the learning process, local photographers would come to my friend’s school and shoot portfolio sessions for them.  I flippantly said one time to my friend “I could shoot better images than what you are showing me”.  My friend said, “Well, why don’t you do it?”. . .and that’s really how it all started. I went and bought a new camera and I bought some constant lights (I didn’t have strobes back in those days) and I started shooting hair shots. That’s really how it started. Eventually I started shooting once a month for Aveda, shooting all of their students’ portfolio work.  So my progression was very organic: nothing was planned, nothing was strategic, nothing was really thought out. It was more responsive than proactive.

 

M: So how did you get from that point to shooting these very involved fashion editorials, in such a short span of time?

 T: The next level for me was working with a local fashion designer who had seen my work and asked me to shoot her look book.  Accordingly, I evolved from hair to fashion to editorial, and again it was very organic. Just to fast-forward, two years later my most recent editorial is coming out in Zink Magazine in June, and at the same time I’ve negotiated rights for Velvet Magazine in the UAE to have the exclusive Middle-Eastern rights, so there’s been a lot that’s happened in two years.  One thing has led to another thing. . .and eventually better models, better clothes, better stylists, better equipment has been the result.

 

M: That’s amazing, so in that short of a period of time?

 T: Yes, two years!

 

M: That’s incredible, meteoric. 

 T: Well, meteoric is going from obscurity to Vogue. So I don’t feel like it has been meteoric…but it has been an amazing journey in a short period of time.

 

M: You’re in a very interesting space in your career right now with your successful commercial real estate career and the success of your editorial photography.

 T: It’s a very interesting space, and you know I’m constantly asked: Would you want to be a photographer full-time? And I always say I would love to, but I’m not 20-something years old any more and I’m not at that point in life where you just drop everything and go, “Oh, I’m just going to go and live out of a suitcase and shoot pictures.”  But I do have a passion for photography and I love what I am doing.  I’m learning something new every day.

 

M: I think it’s a very unique story, and I think most people who have the financial means or money from some other source and decide that they’re interested in photography, they’re dabblers you know? They’re just going to do a little bit here and there, there not going to commit to building a talented team around them and then actually producing truly impressive, very detailed work, and if they’re shooting fashion they’re not shooting it with such technical precision and the type of forethought that you’re obviously putting into it.

 T: I really do put a lot of forethought into every editorial that I shoot…and as far as technical precision, the last two years have taught me so much about the technical aspects of fashion editorial photography. . . from good composition to lighting!

 

M: I think your work is pretty amazing. I’ll be honest with you, when they told me I’d be photographing and interviewing you I was not familiar with your work. I went to your website, and I said who is this guy and what is he doing in DC?

T: From a fashion photography standpoint, it’s a great question!

 

M: You know when photography students come to me and say they want to shoot fashion I tell them, “Pack your bags, go to New York or LA, you’re not going to be able to build a career here.” So I think you’re in a really unique position, and an enviable position. For most photographers it’s the financial burden of running the business and having access to capital that stalemates their creativity and wears them out.  

T: I’m deeply sympathetic because I know that’s many photographer’s plight, and so when I look back on my life in hindsight, I kind of owe my family a debt of gratitude in one regard; because my business career has created this vehicle that now allows me to financially shoot what I want to shoot.

 

M: So having said all that, tell me a little bit about where you draw your inspiration from and, even when you were starting, how did you determine what your end goal was, and how did you decide what kind of images you wanted to create in the first place? 

T: When you ask that question, I immediately think back to the end of 2010, and I was shooting the look book that I referenced a bit ago, and I remember saying I want to devote 2011 to just learning how to shoot fashion editorials. What I loved about editorial was the story, and I wasn’t sure how you tell a story in pictures when it’s all fashion? So some talented friends and I started brainstorming about some stories we wanted to shoot.  The first editorial I shot, Center of Attention, I didn’t even know what to call it, to be honest with you. I came down to a furniture store in Georgetown and told them I needed some furniture for a photo shoot, and believe it or not they loaned it to me.  I had a local model, not even agency represented. . .and I found a local stylist.  We put all this together and that was my first experience with editorial.  Truthfully, we didn’t even have a “story”. . .we created the story after we shot the images.  So I learned it is much better to go into the shoot with a story rather than vice versa.

 

M: How did developing a storyline change things on your shoots?

T: Soon after that first editorial shoot, I decided I wanted to do an editorial inside an office space about a group of people who work together. . .I named the editorial “Taking Care Of Business”. This time I went into the shoot with a whole storyline and I knew the characters and how I wanted to shoot them. It made doing the shot list so much easier!

 

M: When you’re developing your story, and say it’s an editorial client, do you run your storylines by your editor and do they ever contribute to it? Or is it just a private conversation that goes on with your team and crew?

T: It goes both ways, because if it’s for submission you have total control, but if you’re shooting for a magazine they have certain parameters you must follow. You know a lot of times they want to approve the talent, they want to approve the stylist, and many art directors want to be right there viewing every shot.  Thankfully most of the magazines that I have worked with and worked for, have just allowed me to be me and use my own creativity rather than imposing their vision for the editorial.

 

M: I have to say, it’s an enviable position to be in, when you’re just going out there and you’re making the art you want to make, and along the way you’re getting work published. 

T: That’s exactly it, from my perspective it’s like painting a beautiful painting. You know many of the great painters were dead long before their paintings were ever appreciated; imagine the rejection in that. And you know, we’ve all dealt with some rejection.  But I never take it personally because at the end of the day this is my art. I want everyone to love it, but if you happen to hate it, it doesn’t degrade the fact that it’s art in my opinion, and that’s really how I see photography.  Even in portraiture or architectural photography. . .it is art!

 

M: One thing that I think makes this so unique is your talent level, I mean there are so many people who just have an interest in photography, but the key is not just your influence in business but the fact that people can look at your work and say, “Ok, wow, this guy really knows what he’s doing, he’s coming here to actually do something – he’s not just some hobbyist using up our time.” 

T: Well, I’m very serious about my photography. . .but let’s be honest, everything is about aesthetics in photography. So either you have an eye for it or you don’t.  I personally believe that it is a god given talent or universe given talent, however you want to say it. I didn’t ask for it, but I’ve always had it…and I am very appreciative for whatever level of talent that I have been given.

 

M: Tell me a little more about working with a team, and what that’s like in terms of the genesis of coming up with a storyline to how you game plan.

T: It all begins with a concept, and to be honest with you the team brainstorms, so it’s not always my idea.  But usually it’s an idea and then the first thing we do is a mood board: you go to the internet and you pull images that are inspirations, that have the same feel, the same mood, the same setting, some commonality and we create a mood board and then the mood board is circulated amongst the team and we start talking about what kind of clothes we want to shoot, what resources do we need, what fashion houses can we pull from, etc. Then that leads to talking about the hair, the makeup and the location where we are going to shoot the editorial.  I then reach out to the modeling agencies once we decide what kind of model we want.  And I have to say that I am very thankful that we have been able to have models come from New York to DC to be featured in our editorials.

 

M: I think you’re the reason why they’re willing to come to DC.

T: Well, thank you. . .I always take good care of the models and try to make their experience on set as good as I can make it.

 

M: This is a fascinating story, it’s so different from the path of most working photographers. So I did have one last question for you: what is does the future hold for your photography, what do you hope to eventually accomplish with this second career?

T: That’s such a difficult question for me, it really is. I want to keep taking photographs, and I want to keep telling stories, and I want to keep creating my art.  I’ve made a conscious decision that I’m not going to put my camera down again. So that’s where it begins for me.  I’d love one day to be able to work with certain magazines, and hopefully continue to grow, and have them say “Hey, we’ve got this amazing project we want to shoot, and we think your aesthetic would be right for this.” However, I don’t have a crystal ball, and have no idea what tomorrow holds, but I hope that I get to one day be able to spend a good portion of my time doing what I have a passion for.

 

M: Well, it sounds like you’re making it happen.  It’s pretty nice to be in a position to write your own destiny and do it the way you want to do it. 

T: It’s getting easier and thankfully, I have more options these days. . .and I appreciate all that is currently happening with my photography.  As I said before, it’s been an amazing journey!

April Featured Member : Mike Morgan

April_MikeMorgan

 Photo and Interview by Mike Olliver

 

Where are you from, and how did you enter the DC region? Where do you currently live?

I’m originally from a little town called Pacific Grove, California. I was going to college out west and suffering from wanderlust and decided I’d take some time off from school and travel. I ended up in Baltimore and thought I’d better start looking at going to school again; I chose the University of Maryland and I’ve been in the area ever since. After I closed my studio in Silver Spring, my wife and I moved to Annapolis for a couple of years, and now we’ve just bought a house out on Kent Island.

 When did you realize you would become a professional photographer?

 Well oddly, I think it’s more accurate to say I had a moment when I realized I *had* become a professional photographer. I started shooting after college and followed a few opportunities and my career took off pretty early, but initially I thought I’d ride it out for a while and then start applying for grad schools. It didn’t slow down for a very long time and I was having a lot of fun along the way, and at a certain point I realized this is what I was doing with my life. It was never a goal when I was younger though, I always thought I’d have a much more traditional job.

Read more

NEXT STEP: Copyright Infringement

APA_NextStep-2

Design  by LMS creative + branding +advertising

NEXT STEP: Copyright Infringement

 

You know what copyright is. You know someone has infringed on it. So now what? Send them a letter? An angry phone call? Find a lawyer? It is difficult to know when and even how to begin to pursue a copyright infringement case.

On March 28, APA|DC welcomes the experienced copyright attorneys from DunlapWeaver, who will lead a lively and informative program about the intersection of photography and intellectual property law.  The attorneys who will be speaking have literally pursued copyright infringement claims on behalf of copyright holders against thousands of individuals.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to ask questions and learn about copyright law, including methods to combat infringement, options once an infringement occurs, and reasonable expectations in cases of intellectual property dispute. Specific case studies will be used to illustrate points and concepts. We will also hear from a photographer who has been through the process and can talk about his  personal experiences. Licensing images to the government also involves its own unique issues. The attorneys will discuss these specific considerations as well as other copyright-related topics.

This presentation is intended to empower photographers to control and profit from their own intellectual property by demystifying the process of maintaining and protecting that copyright. Photographers, illustrators and artists in all genres who earn a living from their copyrighted work are welcome.

 

When

March 28, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. (Program begins at 7 pm and will run until 8:15pm. There will be time for questions afterwards.)

Where

The West Penthouse
1301 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

Closest Metro : McPherson (Orange and Blue) ; Farragut North (Red)

Price

APA/ASMP/ASPP/WPOW/NPPA  –  $10 in advance / $15 at the door.
students  –  $10 in advance / $15 at the door.
General Public  –  $15 in advance / $20 at the door.
 

GET TICKETS THROUGH EVENTBRITE HERE!

 
 
 
 
DunlapWeaver has achieved national recognition for its work defending the intellectual property rights of photographers, movie studios and other copyright holders against online infringement and illegal downloading. They have offices in Washington, DC, Leesburg and Richmond, Virginia,  and Naples, Florida.
 
 

dunlapweaverLOGO
 

Join APADC for a night of discussion about how creatives should handle copyright violations
Starts: 03/28/2013 06:30 pm
Ends: 03/28/2013
Duration: 2 hours:
1301 K Street Northwest
Washington, DC
20005
US

A letter from Mike Olliver, outgoing chair. March 1, 2013.

Dear photo community and esteemed creatives: 

This year marks a turning point for our local chapter of APA DC. 

I’m very happy to report that effective March 1st, we’ll have a new Chairman. Matthew Rakola will head a new guard of energetic and dedicated board members, who are already hard at work on this year’s programs and community outreach.

I believe the chapter is well positioned to provide continued support for photographers, creatives, educators, and other artists who wish to participate within the photo community. This chapter was formed by some exceptional volunteers — giving selflessly of their time and dedication.

I feel the same about APA DC as I did when I joined the board in 2004 — happy to be a part of an exceptional organization, and excited about its future. I believe in APA and its mission. The nine years I’ve spent as a board member have been quite valuable to me, both from a personal and professional standpoint. There are many successful local photographers who are APA members, and I would love to see them give back to their community. We would welcome your contribution of time and expertise in support of our local board.

APA DC has created a schedule of recurring monthly events, which will give photographers and creatives a chance to collaborate, and build working relationships over the course of 2013. We will continue to heed the requests for both seminars and workshops geared toward success in the contemporary markets. And, of course, we are always looking for the most inspirational artists to come and present their work and success stories.

It has been my privilege to serve the photo community, and I am much richer for the experience. Thank you for your support, and many thanks to Matthew and our new board members for carrying the torch.

All the best, 

Mike Olliver

 

[Thumbnail Photo by Amie Chou]

March Featured Member: Mike Olliver

March Featured Member Mike Olliver

Interview and photos by Amie Chou

 

How many years have you been in photography?

I’ve been making my living from photography for almost 15 years.

How did you get started in this field?

Purely by chance. I was working at a post production facility, and my company asked me to take some stills during a video shoot — of the late Steve Irwin, “Crocodile Hunter.” There was another photographer, Steve Barrett, who had been hired by the client to do a portrait of Mr. Irwin. He and I started talking, and next thing I knew, I was taking longer lunch breaks to assist him on local shoots! I became increasingly smitten with the variety of assignments and flexible schedules, and within a year, Steve introduced me to Mike Langford, of Capital Color (a well-respected Q-lab specializing in E-6), and I began working there part-time. I was able to meet a lot of prospective clients (photographers) and began assisting a stable of photographers on a regular basis. This allowed me to jump full-time into assisting, and eventually, I was able to “cut the cord” and make the jump to full-time shooter.

Who are your photographic or artistic influences?

I couldn’t name anyone for you. My inspirational sources are constantly evolving. If we’re speaking of the formative years, it would be a very strange juxtaposition of National Geographic and Playboy Magazine. (Sorry, Mom!).

How long have you been in the area and what brought you here?

I originally came to DC in 1990, just after I graduated from college. A friend lived down here, and since I played guitar, he invited me to live in his basement, and join his band. I never intended to stay in the DC area, but ended up staying here until 2004, when my wife Linda and I moved to Baltimore.

What do you think are the biggest challenges facing photographers in the metropolitan DC area?

I think it’s the same as it would be everywhere – a lower barrier to entry for the aspiring photographer, which creates a larger pool of photographers competing for a dwindling amount of decent jobs. We have the added problem of not being regarded as a production based area, so for bigger jobs, especially involving outside agencies, clients tend to look at our shooters last, even though the job may be in our back yard.

Can you define a specific “turning point” in your career? Read more

APA|DC’s Magic Hour|Happy Hour, Feb. 20th in Silver Spring

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We’re making the trip a wee bit easier for our northern neighbors (Ahem, Maryland) by having this week’s Magic Hour|Happy Hour at Jackie’s Sidebar in Silver Spring on February 20 from 6 to whenever pm.

Parking is easy and cheap/free. It’s a hop, skip and maybe a couple of jumps away from the Silver Spring Metro on the red line.

Celebrate the holiest of lighting conditions, the “magic hour“, by joining us for a drink or two inside the confines of a dimly lit bar.

The Where:

Jackie’s Sidebar

8081 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD
 

The When:

6pm – 8-ish pm

The Cost:

Free, of course!

Nov. 15 Silent Auction Items to Benefit APA|DC Programming

Many thanks to our amazing sponsors for putting together such a fantastic line-up of items for our Silent Auction. The proceeds from this event will be used to promote, educate and inspire photographers in the metropolitan Washington, DC area.

Many of these items will go for 30-50% off their regular retail price. But, the only way to bid is to go to the Chris Crisman event on November 15th. Click here to read more.

 

In no particular order, the items up for bid:

 

Red River Paper (Value $TBD)

A selection of inkjet paper from Red River Paper.

 

LowePro Photo Hatchback 16L AW  (Value  $ 99.99)

Sleek and modern outdoor daypack design offers a casual, yet high-performance carrying solution. Multi-functional compartments provide versatile organization of camera gear, tablet and creature comforts. Removable, padded camera box with storm-flap closure and grab handles offer customizable storage for a complete camera kit; remove it to convert bag into a fully functional daypack.  Body-side, hatchback opening – Padded, front stash pocket – Tall, stretch-mesh side pockets – Roomy upper compartment-  Built-in memory card pocket .

 

 

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended (Value $999.00)

Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 Extended software delivers even more imaging magic, plus the Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine for blazingly fast performance. Retouch with greater precision, and intuitively create 3D graphics, 2D designs, and movies using new and reimagined tools and workflows.

 

 

BlinkBid Software   (Value  $229.99)

Estimating, production and invoicing software for creative professionals.  Shockingly easy to use, yet incredibly powerful, Blinkbid will help you manage the business side of your creative life. Prepare bids, produce jobs, and invoice for the delivery of the your creative effort, easily.

 

RimeLite 47 inch Grand Softbox #GSB-47 with Dynalite Speed ring #SDL-16 (Value $415.00)
The GSB-47 is a 47? Grand Series 16 Sided Softbox which is designed to offer the ultimate in soft light with consistent edge-to-edge coverage. The GSB-47 comes with a front diffuser to provide professional balanced soft light.

 

 

 NIK Software / Complete Collection Ultimate Edition (Value $499.00)

The Complete Collection includes all of Nik Software?s latest award-winning plug-in software titles for Photoshop®, Lightroom® and Aperture? including: Dfine® 2.0, Viveza® 2, HDR Efex Pro? 2, Color Efex Pro? 4 Complete Editon, Silver Efex Pro? 2, and Sharpener Pro? 3.0.

 

 FANTASTIC BOOKS FROM O’REILLY MEDIA (Valued at over $300.00)

Titles Include: Social Media Marketing for Digital Photographers, The Art of Photographic Lighting, Marketing Fine Art Photography ,
Photoshop CS6 Unlocked, HDR Photography Photo Workshop, Macro Photography Photo Workshop , Nik Software Captured, Sixty Tips for Creative iPhone Photography,  and more.

 

ThinkTank Photo CityWalker 20 (Value $139.75)

THIS HASN’T EVEN BEEN RELEASED YET! These lightweight, soft and refined messenger bags have a hip hugging form and room for a tablet. The fully removable insert allows you to convert from a camera to messenger bag.

 

LowePro DSLR Video Fastpack 250 AW (Value $149.00)

Fast access and flexible organization are key elements of this protective, yet lightweight design. Pack your gear in the dedicated camera compartment. When it’s time to shoot, grab your gear from the fast-access, side-entry pocket. A purpose-built audio compartment includes a convenient headphone strap and a removable Custom Audio Utility Pouch for accessories like cables, cords and a receiver/transmitter set. A separate laptop pocket keeps your workstation within reach.

 

1 YEAR PHOTOSHELTER STANDARD ACCOUNT (Value $ 329.00)

Includes 60 GB Storage 10 Customizable website templates- Use your own domain name – E-commerce for selling prints or downloads as stock photography Enhanced SEO – Photographer Directory Listing- Dozens of ways to get high res files to clients.

 

Lensbaby Gift Certificate (Value $300.00)

Gift certificate that’s good for a Composer Pro with Double Glass Optic. The Composer Pro offers smooth focus and tilt/swivel ability. The Double Glass Optic allows you to highlight one area of your image with a tack-sharp Sweet Spot of focus,  while the rest fades away to beautiful blur. Tilting the Composer Pro lens body lets you move that sweet spot anywhere in your image. The gift certificate makes the lens available for SLR mounts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, and Olympus E1 cameras and mirrorless mounts for Samsung NX, Panasonic Lumix, Olympus Pen, and Sony NEX systems.

 

ThinkTank Photo Airport Ultralight V2.5 (Value  $169.00)

The Airport series of backpacks have an ultra efficient design that maximize space for your gear and still meet airline carry-on requirements. When you?re getting on a plane you want to be sure that your bag will fly with you, that?s why we design and test our bags for the traveling photographer.

 

LowePro Flipside Sport 10L AW  (Value  $124.00)

Lightweight photo daypack with a sleek and low-profile shape provides a minimalist and technical carrying option for outdoor and action sports photographers. Body-side access and removable, adjustable camera compartment with storm-flap closure offers water-resistant protection. Ultra-secure tripod attachment -Hydration-ready pocket offers easy-access to a 1 liter hydration reservoir.

 

ThinkTank Photo  Retrospective 7 (Value  $154.75)

Inconspicuous, soft-sided shoulder bag with a simple exterior that blends into the environment while carrying photo gear. We?ve included a rear pocket which will hold your iPad or an 11? Mac-Book Air.

 

 

MORE ITEMS ARE BEING ADDED ALL THE TIME SO CHECK BACK!

Check Your Ego at the Door – An Estimating Workshop with Wonderful Machine.

The ugly truth behind the glamorous world of  professional photography

is that most of us spend our days just trying to get work. 

 

And once you get that request for an estimate, what next? How do you turn all of your hard earned marketing efforts into paying work? “Check Your Ego at the Door” is a natural follow-up to our recent “What’s Working Now” marketing panel. this roll-up your sleeves workshop, aimed squarely at working photographers, will help you to land that job.

Wonderful Machine will give you the tips and tricks you need to pull together a polished estimate for any client or project. After a brief pricing and negotiating primer, we’ll dive in to a practical workshop building estimates from real case studies. This workshop offers attendees the rare opportunity to build and hone your estimating skills in a low pressure environment and ask all of the questions you may otherwise be reluctant to ask in a working scenario. The open, collaborative nature of the workshop will give you insight into the production approach and pricing paradigms of the DC photographer community. Attendees will leave this workshop with a much better understanding of pricing and negotiating in general and the DC market specifically. Attendees will be building estimates in real time and submitting for open review. Please be prepared to share & collaborate, bring your laptop and check your ego at the door.

Craig Oppenheimer, a producer at Wonderful Machine, has worked on dozens of estimates of all sizes and types for Wonderful Machine photographers throughout the country. His write-ups have been featured on the popular professional photography resource blog, www.aphotoeditor.com

 

This workshop is hands on and will be limited to the first 20 people to sign-up. 

When: Thursday, November 15th, 2 pm – 5 pm.

Where: Josephine Butler Parks Center, 2437 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

Cost: $95 (APA/Wonderful Machine members) ; $120 non-members

 

Ticketing for APA/Wonderful Machine Photographers is Under Way! General Public Ticketing begins Nov. 10!

Register Here!

 

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© Copyright 2018, American Photographic Artists Washington, D.C.