Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Quote of the Day

From Pentagram's Michael Bierut:

"Speaking as someone who has enthusiastically sold out, every time I've done something just for the money, no matter how much they paid, it was never enough."

It's A Maui Thing

When the immensely talented Saedene Ota calls, it's always with some tasty potential assignment and always a great opportunity to flex creative muscles. Sae, besides being the Creative Director of SaeDesign, one of the state's most sought after graphic design firms, is also the force behind Maui Thinga new activewear/youthwear clothing line based on Maui. Launched, presumably in response to the popular Ainokea (translation: "I No Care" for our pidgin challenged readers) line of T-Shirts & stickers/decals, Maui Thing is a company making a difference for our island youth by transmitting the positive messages of community, conservation & environmentalism. Maui Thing's logo, an illustration of an octopus... and their motto, "Stuck On Good..." says it all.

Needless to say, when Sae called a couple of weeks ago asking if I was interested in shooting a new marketing campaign for the line, I was down for the task. Sae assembled a great crew of young, fresh and very cooperative talent for the production... most of them having never modeled professionally before. Add the very talented make-up artist Ryan and hairstylist Michelle to the mix and the day of shooting became almost effortless, very fun and extremely productive. The Market Street area of Wailuku, just steps outside my studio door & Kepaniwai Park on the way into Iao Valley served as location backdrops and lent a real island flavor to the production. Hat's off to all the young people involved. You did absolutely great & I had a blast working with all of you!

You can find Maui Thing clothing and accessories at their retail boutique located at 7 North Market Street in Wailuku. Telephone: 808.249.0215. You can also shop online at the Maui Thing website here. Get your kids "stuck on good" today.

Here are a few outakes from the day of shooting:
Models Cierra & Jaren take shelter under a leaf of haleconia

Tiare strikes a glamorous pose

Jaren strums a uke

Cierra basks in the Market Street sun

Kaui in front of Iao Theater, Wailuku

Cierra & Kaui by the Kepaniwai waterfall

The talented talent: (l-r)Kaui, Jaren, Cierra & Tiare

Monday, August 24, 2009

Be There!

Behind the Scenes/ Food Photography

I recently received an assignment for HMSA's Island Scene Magazine to capture still life images of gourmet and healthy burgers... the usual beef along with a burger made of ground ahi and one of ground chicken. The recipes were the tasty concoctions of Maui Meadows resident Kristine Snyder, an amateur chef who has won several national recipe contests over the years, some of them with prizes in the six-figure range. (wow!) Kristine has appeared on the Food Network and is always coming up with new and tasty (not always reports her hubby and human guinea pig, Dan) recipes for future competitions.

On a recent sunday afternoon, the Snyder's welcomed myself, art director extraordinaire Jonathan Tanjii, and a writer from Island Scene (her name escapes me at the moment... sorry) into their lovely home where we proceeded to convert a shaded lanai into a food studio. Kristine cooked her fabulous recipes... I styled, propped and captured images of each of the three delicious burgers, Jonathan pitched in as defunct assistant as well as art directing each shot.  The shots... or at least one of them, is being considered for the cover image of the issue containing the story (fingers crossed!).

Afterwards, Kristine & hubby Dan invited all of us inside, where mass quantities of each recipe were freshly prepared and quickly devoured by the hungry crew, yours truly included.

So... a belated mahalo goes out to Kristine & Dan for making the day so enjoyable, productive & succesful. I wish I could post the completed burger images here & now. Unfortunately, the "first right of use" embargo granted to Island Scene prevents me from doing so until after print publication. Look for tear-sheets to be posted once the 'zine is out. Another big mahalo to Dan for the behind-the-scenes pics posted below.

Monday, August 17, 2009

More On the Financial Predicament of Annie Leibovitz

We've been hearing a lot this past year about Annie Leibovitz and her financial fiasco. 

Arguably one of the greatest portrait artists of our time, Miz Leibovitz has had a super-sized career spanning four decades, creating many of the most iconic portraits of celebrities and pop-culture personalities ever snapped. Until very recently, most of us assumed that Annie must be wallowing in fat wads of cash given the rumours about her reported fees, editorial deals & contracts with the likes of Vogue, Conde Nast, Rolling Stone, American Express and others. Last year it was disclosed that exactly the opposite was true when a stylist, lighting and rental houses and other vendors began suing Annie for non-payment of tabs racking up to $700,000 plus. Then, the reports began surfacing that Mizz Leibovitz was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and had pawned her complete works both past & future to survive economically. 

For the past year, we've been provided tantalizing glimpses into some of the causes of her financial problems but never much of a complete picture as to how this could possibly happen to, ostensibly, the most recognized photographer of the day.

This weekend, New York Magazine, published a rather detailed accounting of Annie's woes, painting the most complete picture of the her impending financial ruin to date. I also note that the article quotes the sister of Leibovitz's long time love, writer/intellectual Susan Sontag's sister, Maui resident Judith Cohen. You can find the complete article here.

Thanks go out to photographer/blogger Andrew Hetherington of the famed What's the Jackanory blog for posting the link, along with an interesting portrait of Mizz Leibovitz by John Keatley, in this morning's entry.

Another Trip To Hana

Family have once again invaded the island. My cousin Allen and his lovely wife Janice, along with their two daughters (I suppose they would be considered my nieces?)Jenelle(20)& Brittany(16)have been staying at my place for much of the last week and have been making the rounds of the island. 

On Saturday, we took advantage of the splendid weather conditions to drive out to the remote east-side of Maui, the Hana District. Driving a feisty, candy apple red Mustang convertible around the myriad hairpin curves, sometimes barely avoiding oncoming traffic, and over the 50 plus one lane bridges, we were treated to beautiful vista of the rugged Hana coastline, abundant waterfalls full after the rains of last weeks storm, lush tropical jungles and incredibly picturesque beaches. Thank God for Hana, as we island residents often proclaim. Though only 52 miles or so from the airport, the trip to Hana is an adventure in defensive driving and takes a bare minimum of two hours each way to enjoy the drive at a leisurely pace and enjoy frequent stops to swim in the waterfall pools and scenic stops along the way. f you plan to go... give yourself at least a full day and leave early in the morning to make it back before dark.

It's a trip I seldom make these days but having family & friends visit the island always produces an opportunity to go troppo and act as tour guide. Here are a couple of pics from out outing....

  Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees, Keanae Arboretum
Jenelle (l) & Brittany (r) enjoying Hamoa Beach

Friday, August 14, 2009

Creative Advertising Solutions

Thanks to fellow photographer/blogger Bruce DeBoer at the Permission to Suck blog for posting this YouTube video offering of some pretty ingenious ideas for using advertising to really grab your attention. Even better is that almost all of the advertising is photography driven. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Maui Photo Festival Workshop Schedule

This just in... the Maui Photo Festival, being held over a four day period September 16th through the 20th and the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa on beautiful Kaanapali Beach has just released the schedule of workshops, photo safaris, and other lectures-activities and more. There are some really top notch presenters coming to share their knowledge with us, including Russell Brown from Adobe Systems, Portrait & Advertising Photographer Jack Resnicki, noted Travel Photographer Rick Sammon and a whole slew of other masters of the craft. Just click on the schedules below for a larger view.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Congratulations Are In Order

Fellow photographer, artist, inspirator and friend Gwen Arkin was has had one of her photogravure prints accepted into Women In Photography International's Summer '09 juried exhibition. Her submission to the "Trees" category, Ohia, Lost not only made it through the jury process, but also received and Honorable Mention. You can find it here. Congratulations, Gwen!