t e e h s f o o r p th
Magazine of The Quarterly rk Chapter rtists | New Yo A ic h p ra g to ho e American P
Supporting Photographers and the Business of Photography
proof shee t Winter 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ Vol. 2, No. 1
A Still Life: Robert Tardio Reflects on 33 Years of Commercial Product Photography By David Byron Rice
Illness and Perceptions Rafael Vasquez and Tatsuro Nishimura
Why Photographers as Entrepreneurs Need to Worry About Mental Health By Jose Rosado
Board Profile: Alley Maher
The APA|NY Proof Sheet is a quarterly magazine, published by the New York Chapter of the American Photographic Artists. Copyright 2017 APA|NY; all rights reserved, collectively and individually. Content, either images or text, may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent from the photographer, writer and APA|NY.
Supporting Photographers and the Business of Photography
About APA|New York APA|NY is the Northeast regional chapter of American Photographic Artists (APA), covering the entire area from Pennsylvania and Ohio up through Maine. As part of the country’s leading non-profit organization for professional photographers, we organize events, negotiate benefits for our members, hold seminars, promote our members’ work, organize photo contests, and much more. Our mission is successful photographers; our goal is to establish, endorse and promote professional practices, standards and ethics in the photographic community as well as provide valuable information on business and operational resources needed by all photographers. We seek to motivate, mentor, educate and inspire in the pursuit of excellence and to speak as one common voice for the rights of creators. APA|NY is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit organization run by and for professional photographers. Our all-volunteer Board works hard to promote, within our creative community, the spirit of mutual cooperation, encouragement, sharing and support. APA, and APA|NY, continue to expand benefits for its members and works to champion the rights of photographers and image-makers worldwide. APA Members include professional photographers, photo assistants, educators, and students. We also welcome professionals engaged in fields associated with photography, advertising, or visual arts but who themselves are not professional photographers. Membership types can be found at http://apanational.org/join.
We welcome you to join and get involved.
Reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org 217 E. 70th Street, #1514, New York, NY 10021 212.807.0399 Twitter: @apanewyork • www.twitter.com/apanewyork Facebook: @apanewyork1 • www.facebook.com/apanewyork1
Winter 2017 3
photo assistant list rental studio list
Ron Jautz Alley Maher email@example.com Tony Falcone firstname.lastname@example.org
contributing photographers Robert Tardio, Rafael Vasquez, Tatsuro Nishimura, Monica Stevenson, John Kuczala, Alley Maher, Rhea Anna contributing writers David Byron Rice, Jose Rosado, Tatsuro Nishimura, Alley Maher, Rafael Vasquez advertising | email or call for a media kit Dhrumil Desai
letters to the editor: please email comments and suggestions to email@example.com proof sheet design: daniel carmin-romack www.rtwerk.net Illness + Perceptions article designed by Rafael Vasquez
APA|NY Board of Directors Michael Seto Co-Chairman Ron Jautz Co-Chairman Bruce Byers Treasurer
www.michaelseto.com www.jautzphoto.com www.brucebyers.com
Scott Nidermaier Sponsor Liaison
Lisa Saltzman Membership
Alley Maher Assistant Liaison Tony Falcone Studio Liaison Sharlene Morris Legal Affairs Dhrumil Desai Social Media
www.alleymaher.com www.tonyfalconephoto.com www.sharlenemorris.com www.dhrumildesai.com
Thank You to our Volunteers Winter 2017
National Executive Director J uliette Wolf-Robin Membership Representative J eff Kausch â&#x20AC;˘ firstname.lastname@example.org
APA | National
Alessandro Casagli, Ron Amato, Alan Mahon, Ari Burling, Jennifer Taylor, Nicole Pereira, Sue Barr
APA National Office 5042 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 321, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Letter from the Chairmen Welcome to the New Year. We hope the first two months of 2017 has been great for you and your business. APA New York is in good shape and planning a robust schedule of events for the year: talks, panels, networking opportunities, as well as our spring Portfolio Review. We strive to create real value for our Members – tangible business benefits and discounts on all manner of services – such as Zipcar, Apple Store, NYC studio rentals, business insurance, etc. In many cases, the aggregate discounts add up to more than our Membership Fee! Our Chapter engages actively with all segments of the photography community to expand name recognition, mindshare, and grow our membership. Yet, many photographers in our community still hesitate to join a trade association like APA. The mission of APA is to help our Members be successful in their photography business. With this in mind, our Board of Directors formulated these three guiding principles for 2017: 1. How can APA best serve our Members and what benefits our Members most? 2. Which benefits cause photographers to join APA and boost our membership? 3. How can we promote our Members and APA to potential clients? Our Chapter’s sustainability depends on our Members. Without your regular participation, our strength and voice wanes, and our ability to help you and the community declines. The Board needs more input from Members about their priorities and expectations so we can address those areas that concern you the most. Please let the Board know how the NY Chapter can serve you by emailing email@example.com. In these times of dramatic changes to our industry and challenges to our businesses, only by banding together can we support one another and strengthen our ties with colleagues and clients. Now is the time to be involved and to be active; join APA!
proof sheet Winter 2017 5
A Still Life: Robert Tardio Reflects on 33 Years of Commercial Product Photography By David Byron Rice
Robert Tardio is a noted still life photographer. He’s also a self-confessed control freak. But more about that later. Raised in Mendham, New Jersey, and Potomac, Maryland, Tardio began what would become a life in photography when he found an old Canon his father had bought at the PX when he was in the military. His father encouraged him, and he honed his skills throughout junior and senior high school, eventually saving up enough money from part-time jobs to buy a Nikon. The idea of doing photography for a living took hold when he became photo editor for his high school yearbook. Learning about design and layout and spending long nights in the darkroom was a great experience. “That really solidified my interest in photography,” he says with a laugh. “I was basically a working photographer—for no pay.” After graduating from high school in 1980, Tardio majored in art and minored in political science at Colgate. At the time there was still a “bright line” between art photography and commercial photography, he says. “The commercial art world was frowned upon, but that’s where I was headed. My goal wasn’t to be an artist, but to be a working photographer.”
And that’s what he’s been. He moved to New York City after graduation and has been there ever since. He opened his first studio in 1987 and currently has 4200 square feet of space with a full-time studio manager and a “trusted and reliable team” he can assemble quickly when a client calls.
Winter 2017 7
Clients call frequently—Tardio’s new website lists more than 50 companies and nearly 20 magazines— but he puts his down time to good use. An example is the series on glassware that includes the image on the cover of this issue. “That was not a client shoot, it was a test shoot,” Tardio explains. “We’re constantly testing here, trying to come up with new ideas to present to clients.” Motivated by the desire to add some “really clean and graphic” images to the website (and in part by his love of wine), Tardio says, “I bought a lot of wine glasses and just started rigging and playing.”
proof sheet Winter 2017 9
The resulting series was the product of three or four days of playing with different arrangement of glassware, which Tardio calls “a very technical and challenging subject matter. It’s always fun to put beautiful things on the set and make them look beautiful and unique in a way you haven’t seen before.” It hasn’t all been about playing with stemware and other beautiful objects. Tardio has seen radical changes during the past three-plus decades: technically—from 8-by-10 to 4-by-5 to digital— and financially. “2008 and 2009 were the roughest we’ve ever been through, for sure,” he says. “There were definitely moments I thought this business was done, and not just mine. This industry seemed to be collapsing. But it has come back and come back pretty strongly. But it has changed.” The competition is stiffer, there’s less work at the high end, and it helps if you have the resources to promote yourself, Tardio says, but hard work and skill still make a difference. “The one thing I have to say about this business over the long run is that to some extent—to a large extent—it’s still very much a meritocracy. You can determine your own fate in that if you work hard and stay current, you can continue to stay relevant.”
proof sheet Winter 2017 11
If the financial changes demand flexibility and the never-ending struggle to stay current, the technical changes have been positive, especially for a control freak, Tardio says.
proof sheet Winter 2017
“In general, still life photographers are control freaks,” he explains. “We love to control every aspect of the process. And the digital world has given us so much more to control. It used to be you took the picture and you were kind of done. Now good clients are coming for ideas, and if you put ideas out there and you find a receptive audience, you are much more involved in the creative process.”
Tardio occasionally turns his creative attention to human subjects, but he is always eager to get back to still life work. “I am a product photographer at heart, but I do love breaking it up. We do some pharma where we shoot people and we have done some beauty over the years, and I love it. I don’t know that I would want to do it everyday, because again, it’s the control freak in me. When you shoot people you give up a little bit of control. It’s fun and challenging in a different way. I enjoy doing it, but I always come back to still life because it’s where my heart lies—because I can control everything.”
When you ask Tardio what brings his clients back, he jokes that it’s the cappuccino and the snacks. But seriously, he adds, “We try to create a fun and easy-going and creative environment for people when they are here, and I think that’s appreciated and I think it’s definitely one of the reasons why people come back. There are a lot of good shooters out there, that’s a given. We try to make people comfortable and we try to do beautiful work, but in an environment that makes them feel welcome and enjoy the process.” After 33 years, Tardio says, he still loves his job. “It’s really about, at the end of the day, trying to create something beautiful.” n
Photographer Robert Tardio attended Colgate University where he studied art history, photography, and film, and received his B.A. with Honors in Fine Arts. He moved to New York City to pursue work as a photographer and opened his New York studio in 1987. He works on advertising, editorial, and design assignments and has received numerous awards in recognition of his creative efforts including a Clio and an MPA Kelly award. He has also been recognized by numerous publications including Print Magazine, Communication Arts, Art Direction, Graphis, PDN/Nikon, and the APA awards book. Contact Info: Robert Tardio Photography www.roberttardio.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
Studio Phone 212-254-5413 Represented by Janice Moses proof sheet
www.janicemoses.com • email@example.com
Winter 2017 15
ASSISTANTS Alessandro Casagli 4 years, 1st-3rd Assistant 646 881 4793 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.casagli.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Still Life, Product, Portraits, Location
Adam Coppola 203 415 9851 • email@example.com www.coppolaphotography.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Still Life, Product, Portraits, Location, Video
213 255 5145 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.dhrumildesai.me Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Portraits, Location
Tony Falcone 1st Assistant 718 702 5563 • email@example.com www.tony-falcone-9pqb.squarespace.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Product, Portraits, Location
Alessandro Casagli 4 years, 1st-3rd Assistant 646 88 Alley Maher 4 years, 1st-3rd Assistant 203 733 7981 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.alleymaher.com
Specialities: Lifestyle, Fashion, Portraits, Location
All assistants are APA Members in good standing and have the work experiences listed. If you are an assistant and would like to be listed, join APA and request our assistant form by emailing email@example.com
Danielle Maczynski 1st Assistant 908 268 6142 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.daniellemaczynski.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Portraits, Location
Alyssa Meadows 1st Assistant 484 788 5534 • email@example.com www.ameadowsphoto.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Portraits, Location
Dan Orlow 18 years, 1st-3rd Assistant 617 460 5773 • dan@danoassists www.danoassists.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Still Life, Product, Portraits, Location, Video, PA
S TUDIO RENTAL S Studio Name
20/20 Kre8tivHauS StuDiOs
Hudson River Studios
Union City, NJ
30th Street Studios
Hudson Yards Loft
Hudson Yards/Hell’s Kitchen
Michelson studio I
Michelson studio II
Photo and Video Studio
Shade Studio NYC
Ten Ton Studio
Lancaster City, PA
CAMART Studio Rental
LightSpace Studio rental
Roger SallS Photography
Photo by Professional Member Monica Stevenson of New York, NY | www.monicastevenson.com
By Jose Rosado
Why Photographers as Entrepreneurs Need to Worry About Mental Health
There’s a time in society where certain things cannot continue to be ignored and with the worrisome period we’re in with immigration policies, rallies and riots, today is no different. Yet, this article isn’t going to address any of those issues, there’s a more dire topic that needs to be talked about. The entrepreneur lifestyle has been widely glamorized the last few years with TV shows, movies, free 7-figure webinars and conferences widely available. Yet, many people don’t make the connection between the Silicon Valley startup types and photographers—but we’re both creative entrepreneurs and business owners. Many people only associate photographers with the art side of things, a dangerous misconception that leads many to believe what we do is all fun and light-hearted—which we know is not the case in the day-to-day grind.
Thrust into Entrepreneurship Throughout school, class never really clicked for me, I was the student everyone liked but never expected to amount to much. Yet when I got to college something changed; I worked hard, applied myself and graduated with Honors in 2006, then applied to grad school. Two years later, I was an MBA graduate ready to tackle a career, but in the midst of a recession, traditional jobs were hard to find. I fell in love with photography in college and helped put myself through Grad school by working at a high-end family portrait studio. After that I was booking commercial and corporate work for a day-rate of a couple thousand dollars. Even with that early success I decided to stop shooting and search full-time for a “real job” only to come up empty again. Frustrated and beaten down, I became depressed. I picked up my camera again, but the idea of starting over was so daunting. Anxiety and a lack of self-confidence caused me to second guess every single decision which only drove me deeper into depression. I had finally come to grips with the honest truth. I was deeply depressed. The stress and burden of running my own business, while simultaneously feeling like a traditional career failure caused the issues to bubble to the surface.
The Real Issue We Need to Address Depression is a real and growing problem and creative people are especially susceptible. According to a study by the University of California 1 out of 3 entrepreneurs are living with depression—photographers fall into those numbers. And The New York Times recently reported that suicide rates are at a 30 year high, with creative entrepreneurs being especially effected. Yet if you Google ‘suicide and entrepreneurs’, of the top 10 results on the first page only three articles have even addressed the issue in the last year.
If that sounds alarming, it is—but the issues of people not being more open is understandable.
changing careers, currently working towards becoming a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist.
Talking about depression and mental health is uncomfortable and social media doesn’t help. In the last decade, we borne witness to the rapid onset of social media and the stranglehold it took on our society. But for many of us who utilized social media as a tool to market our business and services, we suddenly felt the pressure to make our entire online presence be a highlight-reel to attract new clients and business, leaving the very real side of anxiety, fear, depression, doubt, and imposter syndrome to fall by the way side.
While my story has somewhat improved, the truth is there’s still millions of people worse off who suffer in the darkness, desperately in need of help.
In interviews for my podcast, The Angry Millennial Show, I’ve talked with photographers like Chase Jarvis, Jeremy Cowart, Peter Hurley, Michael Grecco, and others, about the very real notions that they struggle with daily, even with their previous successes. But it’s hard for most creative types to be open about their struggles, whether with their mental health or their business, out of fear of losing clients and scaring off potential clients. The truth is, we are the first generation of small business owners where our online presence directly effects our bottom line. And the pressure to keep the picture rosy can be both daunting and intense. No wonder depression occurs in such high numbers.
There needs to be more support groups for creatives. A safe place where individuals can have open conversations about the real issues we all face on a daily basis in the industry. With that in mind I’ve recently started an initiative called, Creatives Against Depression, to help raise awareness for mental health in the arts & entrepreneurship community; we sponsor talks at colleges, facilitate support groups and remind people they are not alone in their struggles and that it’s OK to talk about them. If you’re interested in starting a support group in your area, please contact us via the website for help. Finally, if you know someone who is struggling please be strong enough to openly start the conversation with them, ask them if they need help and refer them to the proper services they need. You may be the one person who makes them realize their life is valuable and worth living. n To view Jose’s work: www.joserosadophoto.com
What We Can Do as an Industry Mental health issues never really go away; it’s a daily struggle that leaves you refining your tool-kit to combat the triggers. proof sheet Winter 2017
While I still struggle with anxiety, depression, and other diagnoses, it hasn’t all been bad—I’ve had some failures and some successes both of which I look back on fondly. I’ve found my calling with helping others, teaching photography, podcasting, serving on multiple community outreach boards and becoming QPR & Mental Health First Aid Certified; I
APA MEMBER BENEFITS INCLUDE: APA Chaptersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Membership Benefits, Legal Consultations and Referrals, Premium Video Vault (Members Only) and Public Video Vault, Portfolio in APA Creative Network, Discounts on Events and Competitions, APA Member Pro Media Card, Access to Members-Only Content, Professional Insurance Plans, Join a Chapter Success Team, Chapter Portfolio Reviews Head over to http://ny.apanational.org/chapter-benefits/ for details.
Thank you to our generous vendors. www.l-db.com
Winter 2017 45
BOARD MEMBER PROFILE
New York City offers countless opportunities to learn about and partake in all aspects of the photo industry. For someone who is just getting started, this can be extremely exciting. But without the right support and guidance, it can also be daunting, overwhelming, and seemingly impossible to break into.
Since working in the photo world typically means freelancing or working for yourself, it takes way more than knowing that one person, a coffee meeting, several emails and signing a W-9. It takes a community of people who are willing and able to have your back for every step of every day.
As with other industries, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all about who you know. Connecting with that one right person can get you a job that sets you in the right direction.
It may sound like an exaggeration, but just about all of the work and career development that Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been lucky enough to receive since moving back to the
city, originated with referrals, advice, or insight from fellow APA members. These members are at all different stages in their careers; trying to break into the industry, have decades of experience, or are somewhere in between. They make up a community of teachers and classmates that functions somewhat like an educational curriculum.
My APA story started almost two years ago. I was living in Connecticut, assisting photographers here and there, and kind of felt that I was floundering. After assisting on a shoot one day, former ASMP National President, Shawn Henry, asked what my career goals were. I probably shared too much: to find a consistent freelance job, move back to the city, get involved in the photo scene, assist on big shoots, and learn photography and business skills from experienced professionals. At the time this felt like a lot. And it was at a time when I viewed photography from the perspective of a lone wolf. Long story short, Shawn connected me with Tony Gale, President of APA National, who suggested I attend APA events and referred me for a job that I still have today working as a studio manager for still life photographer David Arky. After expressing an interest in getting more involved in APA, I was invited to attend board meetings (note: we love it when members join us at board meetings, so reach out if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested). I had some ideas to support photo assistants and after a few months of implementation, I was asked to join the board as photo assistant liaison.
While I’m still photo assisting and plan to do this for a while, there’s no room to get comfortable there. Everyone talks about the challenges during the transition from assisting to being the photographer. This is another area where fellow APA members continue to push me along, by delegating projects and opportunities that force me to shoot and consider my artistic goals. It never feels like a good time to work on personal projects, and so they set deadlines that make the transition impossible to put off until tomorrow. I know why I came into photography: to photograph women for advertisements in a more authentic, diverse and empowering way, while taking into consideration posing, hair, makeup, model, location, lighting, composition and story. At least, that’s what I say when I’m asked. Then the APA community responds: how can I help and what are you doing about it?
I look forward to continuing to be a part of this community and to give back to it by supporting fellow APA members and partners. We’re always looking for new opportunities to support our photo assistants. If you have ideas or would just like to get involved, please reach out! To learn more about Alley Maher visit: alleymaher.com
Photo by Professional Member John Kuczala of Maplewood, NJ | www.kuczala.com
Photograph by Professional Member Rhea Anna • www.rheaanna.com • Buffalo, NY • 716.830.8883