As is usually the case with portfolios, a new gallery doesn’t necessarily mean that I just recently started photographing kids; prior to this portfolio update I had various kid-centric images scattered throughout my site. But as of this Fall it seemed like the critical mass was there to call it a legitimate specialty area.
Over the years I’ve photographed kids for Fraser, Midwest Food Connection, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, the Seward Co-op and several others. But the tipping point was a book project I did recently with Redleaf Press: a picture book for elementary school-age kids explaining how people come to have different skin colors. It’s called “All the Colors We Are,” and it was a ton of fun to work on. Enough fun to save for its own blog entry, coming soon.
For now, here are a few shots from the new gallery to give you a taste. Photographing kids forces me to move fast, stay flexible, and bring an energy level on par with that of a five year old to a project. It’s a great challenge, and such fun to get in to a goofy space with kids.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years it’s the power of surrounding ones self with a team of specialists all working towards a shared goal. As I strive to improve what I do, and how I communicate that work to the world, I’ve been fortunate to connect with a range of amazing people in the creative world here in Minneapolis. The latest is Debra Valentini.
Debra has an extensive network of contacts in Minnesota that extends into the advertising, design, corporate and editorial worlds. She’ll be showing my portfolio, along with the other photographers she represents, around town, and I’m super excited to have her help in getting my name out. I’m also excited to be in such good company – take a look at her site and you’ll see that some of Minneapolis’s finest photo talent uses her services. Being associated with such a talented group can only help.
If you just happen to be someone who hires shooters and would like Debra to swing by with treats and a big pile of iPads, drop her a line: Debra [at] ValentiniPhotoMarketing.com. We all love the chance to share work.
I’ve been fortunate over the past year – the time since I last did a major reshuffle of my online portfolio – to have been hired to shoot a crazy variety of projects. A few weeks ago I tackled the ever-challenging but ever-fun job of incorporating all that new work into my web site.
My Location Portrait gallery is a good example of the change: roughly half the images are new from the past year. For example, this shot that I did this Spring for Mysterious Ways Magazine, of a dog whose owner credits for saving his life (in a very mysterious way, of course):
This year I’ve done a couple video projects with the Seward Co-op Grocery and Deli in Minneapolis. The first is meant to showcase the work they’ve put in to landscaping and not just fitting in with their neighbors, but sprucing up the place in a way consistent with their values. The piece will loop silently in the meeting spaces in the Co-op’s new location, prior to build out as a way to signal to the new neighborhood the Co-op’s commitment to community integration.
The second was a snapshot of this Spring’s Annual CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Fair to give fans of the Co-op a glimpse of the event’s scale, and to let some of the participating farmers talk about the importance of what has grown to become the largest CSA Fair in Minneapolis.
I recently had the chance to help my friend Stef with some professional portraits, to use on LinkedIn, etc. A few years back she helped me out on my Snack Series, so I was more than happy to return the favor and help her with some more serious portraits. Stef has an interesting day gig, but equally cool is her blogging, which covers living life well. It’s worth checking out.
When an individual approaches me about photographing them for personal professional use, my approach is the same as it would be for an editorial or corporate assignment: the first order of business is to understand a little of the story behind the individual. The chance to have those conversations is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer. Then we talk about possible locations where the person will feel comfortable and genuine, and that will also help tell the person’s story.
For Stef, with her love of, and belief in the power of words, that place turned out to be the downtown branch of the Minneapolis Public Library. We talked on site, and it wasn’t necessarily important to her that books were in the image; it was just the energy of the place that made it right. And I love this shot that we found. It’s modern, bright, interesting – all characteristics that I think define Stef.