Dallas/Fort Worth

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Dallas-based Jonah Gilmore recently shared a bit about his background and business with us:

Internationally-published photographer Jonah Gilmore grew up in the northwest, and has been shooting professionally since 2002. One of his first endeavors was starting a portrait and wedding studio in rural Eastern Washington State. From Washington he moved to Southern California in 2007, where he expanded his portfolio to include fashion, editorial, lifestyle, and advertising.

In 2011 Jonah moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where he currently resides, shooting lifestyle, advertising and a variety of commercial projects. Over the last 3 years he has been shooting an increasing number of commercial video projects as well under his company Studio Rocket Science.

Jonah’s creativity and flexibility of style in photography generates business in a wide variety of projects. He enjoys shooting everything from fashion & lifestyle to fine art and events. Jonah tailors his work to best suit the style of each of his clients to meet their needs. If he has to label his style he calls it “A.D.D. style” with a chuckle. A style that cannot be boxed into any given type, but rather is molded to every specific project.

He has also recently launched a new lifestyle photography brand in DFW called “Be+You”. Be+You is all about self-expression, having passion, and loving life.

Be+You, Defining Lifestyle Photography in Dallas Texas. Lifestyle & Editorial Photography by www.facebook.com/studiorocketscience Be+You, Defining Lifestyle Photography in Dallas Texas. Lifestyle & Editorial Photography by www.facebook.com/studiorocketscience

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Product photography

Dallas-based commercial photographer Aaron Doughterty shares some background on his work:

“I was drawn to the photography through my fascination of symmetry. At a young age the 35mm frame became a template to fill. I grew up near Chicago which gave me a surplus of industrial design to aim at, it consumed me.

Photographers Lewis, Baltz Bernd/Hilla Becherand and Harry Callahan’s work influenced me to understand that simple can be stark, beautiful and complex in other ways. Texture and shape are paramount to how I light and frame my compositions.

In my commercial work I love to approach a scene with simplicity in mind and emphasize the subtle to not so subtle details that others passively overlook.”

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Jeff Stephens ©

I met Maureen at the first ILTP Dallas happy hour and later had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with her over coffee. She’s full of energy and joy and is a powerhouse at representing some high quality photographers coming out of Dallas.

Mindy Byrd ©

Mindy Byrd ©


What is the Photo Division? How did it start and come to be where it is now?

The Photo Division was really borne out of me wanting to be a champion for creatives. I am the middle person, the connection between art and commerce. The Photo Division represents four amazing photographers that bring such a diversity of insight experience and inspiration: Jeff Stephens, Thom Jackson, Claudia Grassl, and Mindy Byrd. I am fortunate every day to get up and go to work with them.  I started the agency five years ago. The name is a play on an industry term of “divisions,” many other agencies represent other talents: hair and makeup, stylists, etc. – but we focus solely on photographers– hence The Photo Division.
No day is boring and every day is a whole day.  I wake up and hit the ground running .
So four is sort of the most manageable number? 
For me, it is the magic number right now.   Everyone deserves time and attention, I can’t be overextended. They deserve it and should have it. There is also this ripple effect, so that it is never just the photographer I am dealing with – each photographer relationship branches out into another connection of clients and crew , etc. There are definitely days when one photographer needs more than another, but I want to make sure if that photographer calls, I can talk to them.  No day is boring and every day is a whole day.  I wake up and hit the ground running .
Is it easy to keep client connections outside of Dallas?
It’s a matter of staying connected and constantly building new clients. But I have to say, the Dallas market is positively thriving and keeps us quite busy! We have so many great clients here . Sometimes I barely have time to raise my head above the city limits ! But I just came back from three shoots in New York City and client visits there. I met the art buyers at Victoria’s Secret and their building is huge and a bit imposing with security, but when I finally got through, the art buyer greeted me wearing Converse High Tops. I love it! 
Thom Jackson ©

Thom Jackson ©

If you are a photographer looking for an agent, my advice is to play the field a bit before you settle down, you know, date around.
What all do you do?  You represent the photographers but what does that entail?

We take it basically from beginning to end.  We are the ultimate crowd pleasers– trying to keep everyone happy, clients and photographers. It’s like planning a fantastic dinner party, you have to serve the right food, invite the right people and then make sure they are all seated next to the right people– except that it is not an occasional event– we do it every single day! 

If you are a photographer looking for an agent, my advice is to play the field a bit before you settle down, you know, date around. Interview several agents before you choose one. You have to like and trust that person because ideally this will be a long term relationship. They are representing you and your work, so understanding your vision and style is paramount.

Claudia Grassl ©

Claudia Grassl ©

Be genuine and have your own voice. There should be a gravitational pull as to why the client would choose your work other than the 5 other portfolios they are looking at .
Do you have any advice for photographers who want to work commercially or editorially?
Great photographers are like great musicians . Music , art and photography all cross over for us at TPD .  If you are a musician you must know how to play your instrument to create what you intend for people to hear.  If you are a photographer you must also know your craft in such a way that your vision shines through . One is hearing and one is seeing . Show me the way . Be genuine and have your own voice. There should be a gravitational pull as to why the client would choose your work other than the 5 other portfolios they are looking at . Your images need to speak for themselves . You are always going to morph a little bit as you live your life, but figure out a base first and evolve from there.
Jeff Stephens ©

Jeff Stephens ©

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Tammy Theis, Founder and Creative Director of Dallas-based Wallflower Management, a talent agency, talks to ILTP about Texas fashion photography, Erin Wasson, and great shoes.

How did Wallflower sprout?
I was a fashion writer and stylist for The Dallas Morning News/Fashion for 21 years. I always had in the back of my mind this wish to do something that had my stamp on it, that was completely my creation—and I always wanted to use the word Wallflower. I left the paper to freelance in 2006 and then met Brenda Gomez who had been a stylist and booked models for Neiman Marcus advertising—we worked together at another agency and had great working chemistry. I kind of hit the wall with what I could do at the other agency so I left. Brenda followed shortly after and we decided to open Wallflower, a boutique agency, similar to small, selective agencies in New York. We opened Wallflower Management July 6, 2009.

I believe in including the staff in lots of creative decisions—I think that’s how you get the best results.

What is the role of a Creative Director at a talent agency?
Well, basically I oversee all the creative aspects of the agency—scouting, model development, photo editing, design decisions, etc., but I am not an autocrat. I believe in including the rest of the staff in lots of creative decisions—I think that’s how you get the best results.

When I was in Los Angeles a couple years ago I saw Erin Wasson walking down the street, pretty much owning the sidewalk on her way out of Fred Segal, how did you discover her and how does Wallflower go about finding new talent?

Erin was this curly headed, gawky 15 year old, skinny as a rail, all legs and arms—but her face was undeniable. The shape of her eyes, lips, nose—perfect.

I was at the newspaper when I first saw Erin. Fashion!Dallas was doing a model search with Kim Dawson Agency, and I asked our receptionist to see the entries that had been mailed in so far. She handed me a box and I dug through and came across these snapshots of Erin in her Irving home—taken by her dad, I found out later. Erin was this curly headed, gawky 15 year old, skinny as a rail, all legs and arms—but her face was undeniable. The shape of her eyes, lips, nose—perfect. Her smile was gorgeous. I remember calling Lisa Dawson and saying, I found our winner—because we were a bit worried with our first search that we wouldn’t find anyone. I remember doing her first shoots—she was so cute and like a sponge.

How much of your time is still spent styling? Do you still get to go to the big fashion shows in NYC, Paris, Milan, etc.?
My styling keeps getting less and less, though I hate that because I feel it’s important to my creativity. I stopped going to the shows when I left the newspaper—the budget for that was pretty much done anyways. I do miss the shows, but not the grind of covering them! Brenda and I are most likely going up this fashion week to see our models on the runways and visit agencies.

Does Wallflower plan to keep growing and representing more of other talent such as make up artists and stylists? Any plans to expand beyond Dallas? (Austin could use the help!)
We have been slowly growing—we want to stay boutique so we can continue to give that one-on-one management and attention. We rep one makeup artist/hair stylist, Shane Monden who is extremely talented and we rep two stylists, Uel White and Graham Cumberbatch (Graham is in Austin and featured in a previous ILTP interview). We chose them because they are very Wallflower. Not sure if/when we might expand to other markets. We do have ideas about our expanding our brand in other ways.

Texas is full of amazing photographers! Dallas has a community of talented photographers, and young shooters pop up every day.

What is your opinion of Texas photography and photographers?
Texas is full of amazing photographers! The Amon Carter Museum commissioned Richard Avedon’s In The American West. Noted Dallas photographer Laura Wilson, who assisted Avedon, is a great photographer in her own right. Keith Carter lives and works in Texas. Dallas has a community of talented photographers, and young shooters pop up every day. I’ve been amazed at the work of Lauren Withrow, who started shooting for Wallflower around the age of 16—but she was no novice—she was directing and seeing things in a very advanced way. Kids amaze me these days. I do wish there were more photo/art galleries or shows that focus on photography.

What are the benefits of working in Texas/Dallas?
Well, the cost and ease of living here makes it viable. Studios are affordable. There are great models, great scenery, though sometimes you have to travel a ways and/or battle the heat. Most importantly, there are clients.

I prefer artistic photographers—I don’t necessarily look for someone who is just technical but whose photos have no soul.

What traits do you think talent agencies and models appreciate most in photographers?
I like photographers who have a style, a point of view. I don’t want to see a group of work that is all over the place. I prefer artistic photographers—I don’t necessarily look for someone who is just technical but whose photos have no soul. I love black & white photography and I still love film. I think as an agency creative director, I give photographers a lot of latitude—I don’t like to dictate what photos I want them to shoot of a model—I want them to shoot their concepts and what inspires them—it invariably results in better photos.

How has the demise of print and the surge in digital publications changed the way you do business? 
Well, I am not sure about the demise of print. It seems like there are more magazines every day—mostly out of Europe but beautifully printed publications—I love visiting Book People in Austin to find lots of my favorite magazines—I’m an addict for sure. There are plenty of on-line pubs too though. It really doesn’t change the way we do business—we of course love being able to send our models’ portfolios by email and handling so much of work efficiently through technology.

What is Wallflower’s take on social media for your business? What platforms do you use?
Well, I’m proud to say Brenda and I were the first agency in Dallas to have a blog (we were with another agency at the time but we started it). We have a blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for Wallflower.

What is Wallflower direct?
That is for models who have other “mother” agencies, meaning they are out of town and we rep them for our clients who have budgets to pay for travel.

I love the latest issue of the Wallflower zine, can you tell us more about that?
Thanks! When we opened I thought a zine would be a great idea for several reasons: it would scratch my itch of always wanting my own magazine (watch out what you wish for!), provide a creative forum for all of our talented photographers/stylists/hair and makeup artists/models as well as provide tear sheets for our models’ portfolios. It’s been well received—as soon as we publish one all of the photographers are emailing about the next one. This last one, the beauty issue, was our biggest yet with over 80 pages.

Favorite place to shoot in Texas?
That’s hard. I loved shooting in Palo Duro Canyon. I used to love shooting in Venus but it’s not as small town as it used to be. I’ve shot in Marfa and that was fun. I do love desolate open spaces, which there are plenty of in Texas. Of course in the summer, a nice air-conditioned studio is awesome—and I love simple studio photography.

Favorite Texas food?
Sonny Bryan’s BBQ in the old location on Inwood Blvd. I love Stoneleigh P burgers too.

Favorite pair of shoes?
My new Acne blue suede ankle boots from V.O.D.

Favorite place to shop for fashion?
V.O.D., TenOver6, Urban Outfitters and lots of other Dallas stores, but I buy a few really great things a season and wear them to death. I am a minimalist and pretty much wear a uniform of black skinny jeans or trousers and T-shirts. I love Acne and R13.

Matt Hawthorne ©

Dallas’ Matt Hawthorne chatted with us recently about his transition from from skateboarding to photography, uses of Instagram hashtags, lighting for action shoots and maintaining an upbeat environment on set.

Did you go to school for photography? How’d you get started?
I was a Radio, TV and Film major in school and also a sponsored skateboarder. My sponsors were always asking me for images of myself skating for promotional purposes. Eventually, I asked my dad to show me how to use his old Olympus manual 35mm camera. I would set up the composition on a tripod and have a buddy snap the shot when I was in the air. Eventually, this led to adding a fill flash to illuminate shadows on my face. The next thing I knew, I had four canon flashes on radio slaves and was changing my major to photography.

In the end, skateboarding is what got me into shooting action sports.

How did you start doing fitness and sports work?
After finishing school, I started photo assisting Dallas-based fashion shooters and really connected with the studio lighting scenarios. Since I was already shooting with multiple lights for my skateboard photography, that type of lighting made sense to me; working with those guys really helped me push myself with mixing in studio techniques with action photography. In the end, skateboarding is what got me into shooting action sports.

Matt Hawthorne ©

Who were your mentors?
I worked a lot with Jeff Stephens, who has an incredible eye for lighting subjects. With Jeff, I learned a lot about minor or subtle tweaking with lights to make a huge difference. Some professional shooters, whom I have always admired their work and who have been an influence on me from afar, would be photographers: Grant Brittain, Carlos Serrao, Troyt Coburn, Nadav Kander, and of course legends like Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Chuck Close.

What techniques do you like using when lighting a moving subject?
Lighting a moving subject has more parts than can be talked about here, especially if shooting outdoors. However, I mainly use the same light shaping techniques with slightly different strobe equipment. Strobes with higher flash duration are key. I have incredible photo assistants, and we brainstorm together to push technique and are constantly trying new things. I also really love shooting natural light just as much as with strobes.

Matt Hawthorne ©

Describe your dream shoot?
Oh wow, dream job?!! Geez, I feel like I’ve already shot some of my dream jobs! One of those jobs was a week long Gatorade production in Florida at the Gatorade Sports and Science Institute. Another dream job was  getting to photograph my all time favorite artist Barry McGee! When I think about dream jobs, the thoughts are really just getting to work with an awesome team, on cool concepts, at cool locations, with great talent. With that in mind, the specific client doesn’t really matter so much to me, just as long as it’s creative and fun! I just feel blessed to be doing what I’m doing!

A stale and quiet set is much more intimidating and stressful, a fun upbeat environment is better for everyone!

What’s one piece of gear you can’t live without (besides the camera of course)?
Well, obviously if you forget anything it can be a huge disaster, but one tool I hate not having is my music. Thats why I now keep a mini speaker in my camera case at all times. There is a larger boom box that stays with the gear and is the main music source, but music is huge on set. It helps calm people down and relax, even if its upbeat and loud. A stale and quiet set is much more intimidating and stressful, a fun upbeat environment is better for everyone!

Matt Hawthorne ©

What do you like best about using Instagram as a professional photographer?
I’m sure there are some photographers who have landed a job from Instagram, but I have not and dont think I will. I just love having a mobile portfolio of my journey of home and work that is so easy to manage. I also don’t really care about followers, I mainly do it for myself so I can look back at everything I’ve done the past couple years. I started posting on Instagram right around when my son Oliver was born, every post of Oliver has an #OliverWilks (Wilks being his middle name) hashtag, and its so awesome to click on that hashtag and see him grow up from birth to his recent 2nd birthday. Those are aspects of Instagram I love! I also know a lot of creatives like seeing professional photographers personal work, so my Instagram portfolio can fill that need. I have a nice tumblr site that grids all my Instagram images linked from my site and blog.

I started posting on Instagram right around when my son Oliver was born, every post of Oliver has an #OliverWilks hashtag, and its so awesome to click on that hashtag and see him grow up from birth to his recent 2nd birthday.

What’s been a favorite campaign to work on? Why?
LifeTime Fitness has been an incredible client for me, and a huge part of my growth as a fitness / sports shooter. They have an in house agency with some extremely talented creatives who are constantly pushing their brand and me with visuals. We’ve done everything from hanging off rock-walls, to underwater swimmers, to triathletes, to creative fitness. Shooting for LifeTime Fitness for a few years now we’ve done 7 or 8 large production shoots including several Dallas shoots, and shoots in Scottsdale, Miami, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Chicago. They are an amazing client in that they trust my opinions and really listen and mold their ideas to how I can achieve them best. They are the type of art directors every photographer hopes to get to work with and it has been an amazing experience! They also make my work look good by creating award winning print pieces and designing great ads with the images.

Matt Hawthorne ©

Why have you chosen Dallas as a your home-base?
Family kept me here initially. Then, after considering a move to LA, I realized the market in Dallas was less saturated and would make it easier to be noticed. There are some really great agencies and brands here in Dallas that I’ve gotten to work with on some really cool campaigns including MockingBird Station, Dallas Opera, and several of last years’ JCPenney catalog covers. I do market myself nationally too and have also landed several large clients out of Dallas that either I travel with, or they come to Dallas. I really don’t think where you live is as important as some people think. If you have a style that a client wants, they will figure out how to make it work.

Summer get away spot?
Anywhere I can spend time with my family!

Matt Hawthorne ©

Justin Clemons ©

Justin Clemons, a University of North Texas alumni, is an editorial and commercial photographer based out of Dallas. Some of Justin’s clients include Texas Monthly, NY Times, and American Airlines. While Justin travels some for work, he says he is most inspired by Texans!

How did you get started in photography? 
I started taking some photo classes in college, and enjoyed the classes so much that I just kept taking more and more until I decided to make it my major. Strangely, I never really considered myself very creative growing up. I was actually an embarrassment in high school art class, but I absolutely loved the process of creating. In college, I learned to loosen up and not to be so controlling, and I  also learned about design, composition, textures, concepts, etc.

The biggest component that pushed me into pursuing photography on a professional level was my professor Dornith Doherty.  She saw something in my work and told me that I could make it in the real world doing photography. I interned for a summer putting together kitchen appliances and cabinets to be photographed by a JCPenney’s photographer and loved every minute of it! During this time, I learned about lighting techniques, business strategies and dealing with clients, and I finally started to make the leap toward having my own business. From then on, I worked on building up my portfolio and started pursuing editorial work.

I think it’s really important to have your business and brand spread out like fingers in lots of different areas instead of just one single promotion tactic.

How do you manage the business side of photography? How do you promote yourself to potential clients?
Oh my gosh! So much time and energy is put into getting estimates together, producing jobs, managing assistants and crew, dealing with clients, billing, TAXES, post-production, promoting, updating websites, updating blogs, updating work on other websites and being active on social media. I am forced to do the business side. Business isn’t my strong suit, but I make it happen.

I think it’s really important to have your business and brand spread out like fingers in lots of different areas instead of just one single promotion tactic. I have both an editorial and an advertising list.  I try to do a printed piece about twice a year.  I am working on a magazine size promo piece at the moment. I am on some websites that show photographers and their work in order for creatives to go and find good shooters.  Some of these have a monthly fee and some are free like: PhotoServe , Wonderful Machine , and FoundFolios. Hopefully, I Love Texas Photo soon too, haha. Carissa (my rep) sets up lots of book showing at ad agencies and I try to stay pretty consistent with updating my blog.  Social media is playing a decent size role in promoting these days as well.  It’s just a good way of showing that you are busy shooting cool stuff and helps keep your name and work on people’s minds. I mostly use Instagram (@justinclemons).

What would your ideal/dream assignment be?
I recently shot a job for a publication called Whiskey Advocate. The piece was focused on a small whiskey distillery in Waco, TX called Balcones.

It was one of those jobs where at the end of the day, I got in bed thinking, “Today was a really amazing day!”  And then I thought, “I actually get paid to do this!”

It was just so much fun walking around this whiskey plant having Chip (head distiller and owner) explain the whole process while showing you the storage of old wood barrels and letting you taste all of their amazing whiskeys  (After I got my shot of course)! I love learning new things and experiencing new things. I love people that are specialists in what they do and love doing it – people that had a dream and followed it. So, maybe my dream job would be traveling around shooting people that are creating something they love and learning about their process while I’m there.

Justin Clemons ©

Why have you chosen Dallas as the place to work and be?
It’s pretty simple really… family. Dallas is where both my wife and I are from, so we have a huge web of friends and family around here.  It would be difficult to leave that behind.  And since graduating college in 2003, I have had 10 years of making connections and relationships in the Dallas photo world, connections that continue to lead to jobs. It would be really hard to start that whole process all over again somewhere else. I really like the people in Dallas. I just wish we had better weather and terrain.

Who have been or are your influences and mentors?
Like I said earlier, my professor Dornith Doherty was a huge mentor for me. I share studio space with Andy Klein, Scott Slusher and Matt Hawthorne, which is an amazing privilege. All three guys are extremely talented in different areas, and we all get along really well.  It is so helpful putting together a series or promo piece and being able to get them to come look at it and get their opinion. Specifically those who Influence my work and style, I would have to say people like…  Eric Ogden, Peter Yang, Dan Winters, Chris Buck, Chris Crisman and Julia Fullerton-Batten to name a few.

Where do you find inspiration in Texas?
I find inspiration in the people of Texas rather than a location.  There are some extremely talented and interesting people that are doing really creative things that I am challenged by.  If I were forced to name a place, I would have to say my backyard.  Just sitting back there on a nice day smoking a cigar and sipping on scotch relaxes me to the point that my mind can wonder.      

Justin Clemons ©

Do you feel that social media (twitter, facebook, and instagram) has impacted or changed the way you do business? Has it helped more than hurt?
For better or worse, it has changed things somewhat. Negatively, it adds another thing for me to do.  I always feel like I’m not Instagraming, tweeting or on Facebook enough.  I always feel behind in those areas, and when I do make time for it, it seems it’s when I’m at home or at dinner with my wife and daughter and should be paying attention to them. On the positive side, it is a way for people to see that I’m busy and I’m shooting interesting work.  Social media is a good way to keep on the front of job giving people’s minds.  I do have some art directors and creative directors I know that follow me on Instagram. It just raises their perception of you. When you are posting images from shoots or BTS shots from locations or you are just able to make everyday life look cool in photos, they put a higher value on you and your work.  They feel they can trust important shoots to you.

Who are some of your most recent or notable clients?
Some recent clients include: Texas Monthly, D Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine, DFW Airport, and Walmart.

When you are posting images from shoots or BTS shots from locations or you are just able to make everyday life look cool in photos, they put a higher value on you and your work.

What is the must have item in your camera bag aside from the camera? Most interesting thing in there?
Wrigley’s Doublemint gum is a must.  No matter how cool or good you are, if you got skanky breathe nobody wants to talk to you.

Justin Clemons ©

What goes into setting up a portrait shoot for you?

 I just like to be as prepared as possible, because I don’t like surprises.

I’ll answer this as if I was shooting an editorial portrait….

I want to shoot in a place that describes what they do visually, but isn’t cluttered or boring.  If people will give me the time, I try to show up at least an hour and a half before I am supposed to shoot the portrait.

When I get there, I meet the contact person and get them to give me a tour of the facility in order to scout where I want to shoot.  While I am doing this, my assistant is unloading all of the equipment from the vehicle.  I’ll pick out two locations (minimum) where we can shoot.  I explain to my assistant what lighting I want to use and where we will be shooting first, and we get to work putting it all up.

Once the lights are up and placed in the area I feel is good, my assistant stands in as the subject, and I photograph him. We make tweaks and changes until I’m excited about the image.  We will do this at the two or three locations I have picked before the subject arrives.

The subject is sometimes in a hurry and doesn’t have a whole lot of time to shoot, so we are as prepared as we can be.  If the subject is in a hurry or doesn’t like pictures, we still get good shots, because we have everything set. They can just walk up, shoot and they are done.  If the subject is cool and doesn’t mind pictures, its even better.

We can take our time, try different things, add in some relevant props, have him move around some, and get amazing shots. So much of it depends on the subject. But even if you have a boring, crabby subject, if you have cool composition, great lighting and interesting background, you can still get a good photo for your client.  I just like to be as prepared as possible, because I don’t like surprises.

 

Irby Pace’s exhibition Pop opens March 9th, 2013 7-10pm at the gallery 500x in Dallas.

Irby Pace creates his art by reverse engineering everyday common objects and devices. This is driven from his childhood where he would take things apart, then he would figure out how they worked and put them back together or found other possibilities for the devices. He sees the artistic possibilities in all of the things around him and he uses this to his advantage. For example in the work Pop! Pace used helium balloons, string and smoke canisters (used in paintball matches) to create the photographs. Irby Pace was born in Odessa, Texas. In 2005 he moved to Lubbock, Texas to attended Texas Tech University where he received his BFA in Photography in 2008. He received his MFA from The University of North Texas in 2012. Currently he is Adjunct Professor at the Art Institute of Ft. Worth where he teaches Photography and El Centro Community College where he teaches Photography and Digital Art in Downtown Dallas. He is also a member at500x, Texas’ oldest, largest artist run cooperative gallery.

 

Allison V. Smith

The Gallery at The University of Texas at Arlington presents Kim Cadmus Owens / Allison V. Smith.

Exhibition Dates: February 25 – March 30, 2013 (closed for Spring Break March 11 – 16) and the Reception: Friday, March 1, 5:30 – 8:00 pm Gallery talk during the reception beginning at 6:30 pm

Kim Cadmus Owens

Dallas based artists, Kim Cadmus Owens and Allison V. Smith both portray vividly colored landscapes in their work, but each through her own unique style and media. Owens’ paintings, drawings and prints reimagine the urban landscape in abstractions that convey a sense of dynamic movement in static settings. Smith’s photographs capture quirky rural Texas vignettes in evocative compositions that express a subtly minimalist aesthetic. Both artists communicate the idea of personal experience of place in their distinctive imagery.

The exhibit and all events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 10 am until 5 pm Monday through Friday and noon until 5 pm on Saturday. The Gallery is located in the Fine Art Building, room 169, at 502 S. Cooper Street, Arlington, TX.

For more information contact Benito Huerta or Patricia Healy (817) 272-5658 or www.uta.edu/gallery.

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Zizzo ©

Jonathan Zizzo is a commercial photographer based out of Dallas. His social media bio reads “Conceived in the backseat of a Chevy Nova at the Dinosaur Valley State Park. Mother was a gogo dancer and father was a trucker. I’m a great photographer.” So we sat down with him to find out more.

How did you decide or know photography was what you wanted to do?
I started out as a Fine Art Major at Kilgore College. I was very interested in art, so I studied graphic design. The graphic design program did not inspire me though. I was completing projects before other students and didn’t feel challenged. While at Kilgore, I was required to take a photography class and began to shoot for the student newspaper. I loved the responsibility of creating pictures for a story and fell in love with the program.

Who have been some of the influencing mentors you’ve had?
Rufus Lovett is the reason I got into photography on a deeper level. His sense of humor made it fun to show up to class. Rufus, the photography instructor,  is a Texas monthly contributor.  Rufus was also a Assistant to Ansel Adams at one time.

I know a lot of people ask you why you don’t move to LA or NYC with the type of portfolio you have. Why Dallas?
Dallas is where it is happening for me. Dallas is home to 18 Fortune 500 companies. We have major advertising agencies here that hold the keys to some of the most extraordinary brands of all time. If I did move to LA or NY, I would be starting over.

For me there is always the opportunity to do work for companies and agencies in both of those cities. By the time I’m 50 or 60 years old I don’t want to be in a city that is for the youthful entrepreneur. I don’t want that midlife crisis to be happily unmarried and be begging for a transition to the simple life. I’m a country boy at heart.  Moving to NY or LA is so cliché’ Like this is Texas we are supposed to be the big bad and the ugly. Those places are only “cool” by a popular opinion. There’s a lot of opportunity in this City and I’m proudly an ambassador to change the mentality or preconceived ideas that people have formed about Dallas.

How did you get into photographing celebrities? What do you enjoy most about it
I was a Staff Photographer at Envy Magazine a publication that was here in Dallas for a few years. I don’t think people ever realized all off those celebrity covers were shot here in Dallas.

What are you currently working on? Do you have anything big happening for you in 2013?
I’m working a portrait series for Zodiac Watches.  I am shooting professional athletes & celebrity personality’s people who most would consider legendary types. Starting 2013 with a project like this is great!

Jonathan Zizzo ©

What inspires you or what do you look for when shooting portraits and fashion?

When I’m shooting a portrait of someone. I’m interested in creating an image that shows a likeness of the person. The moment that I come into contact with this individual I am studying their body language. Looking for nuances, things that might make the picture more interesting. I like saving room for spontaneity. When I’m shooting fashion i’m looking for models that can take direction well & move well. I’m inspired by guys like Lee Clow and George Lois. Life is so inspirational, I’m interested in a broad spectrum of things. I like to wonder around 99 cent only stores and look at everything on the shelves and take a mental image of things I can buy as a prop for only a dollar. I think it’s important to not lose your sense of wonder. Stay as curious about all things as possible.

Jonathan Zizzo ©

What is #iamthezizz?
It’s basically just a user name!  Coaches and friends growing up started calling me the Zizz, so I embraced it! I’ll eventually have to switch it up as I get older, I am sure. My middle name is Buck. I’m really looking forward to changing my name to that when I’m much older. Buck Zizzo is pretty bold! I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Do you have any hobbies?
I’ve been riding BMX since I was 14. Unfortunately, all of my friends (my age)  have real jobs and I don’t get to spend as much time with those guys scootin’ around the skatepark as I would like.

What are your thoughts on Instagram?
Instagram is a basically digital pollution. That is highly addictive and everyone is contributing to it. I know a lot of photographers who take it really seriously. They are probably out there right now kneeling down pointing and clicking trying to find that artistic angle. It’s even worse when they use the phonto app, throwing typography over their photo like it’s as popular as a Taylor Swift album cover. Shooting pictures with your iPhone, worrying which application or filter to use, is for the consumer you guys. Listen, NO Art Director should give a rat’s ass about  what you’re doing with your iPhone. I understand mobile technology is on the rise but I use the internet as a form of dialog to draw people in, form a likeness, and build relationships with people who “like” what I’m interested in. Trying to prove to everyone that you’re such a badass with your iPhone makes no sense. Stop already.

Favorite place for drinks?
Cosmos, I go there because I want to have a drink and be around folks that are there for the same reason. It’s no glitz, no glam. Just a place to divulge into adult beverages!

BBQ?
Peggy Sue’s in Highland Park of all places. It has this mom and pop type vibe to it. They haven’t changed the price of their menu items based on their zip code. I’m a patron and whoever is reading this should be too!

What’s in your camera bag right now?
I’m currently shooting with a Nikon D600 24.3 full frame HDSLR. I’ve had shutters go out on previous bodies, so I don’t see the point in dropping 7 grand on a body. If I was making payments on a camera like that I’d be really ticked off at Nikon and Canon right now. This camera is terrific. It does exactly what I need it to. There are so many rental houses in Dallas, which is very fortunate. It’s easy to get your hands on something with more resolution like a Hasselblad or a Phaseone camera  if you need it. I also use Speedotron Lighting equipment. My 2400 packs boss hog electricity and trips breakers watch out.

Jonathan Zizzo ©

Richard Krall ©
Mariah Tyler talks with photo rep Jennifer Dunn of Sister Brother Mgmt about representing artists, living in Dallas and the importance of collaboration.

In a nutshell, what is Sisterbrother Mgmt.?

Sisterbrother Mgmt. is an agency representing photographers and stylists.

How did sisterbrother come about?
When the economy tanked in 2008, our industry and local market were pretty profoundly impacted and though I worked at a fantastic studio repping a handful of really talented shooters, we felt it too. Our staffers were made freelance and, eventually, I was the last one on the payroll. If I had stuck it out, everything would have been fine – that studio is thriving today. But I couldn’t risk being jobless with two kiddos at home. So Sisterbrother Mgmt. was born overnight.

Why Dallas?
I was born and raised in Dallas. My family is here, my kids call Dallas home. Sentiment aside, Dallas also has a great photo industry. Diverse and lucrative…

What is the creative process in coming up with concepts for shoots?
I love that element of what we do but, honestly, I’m not all that involved with it. I offer inspiration by sharing with my artists imagery that calls out their name to me. I’m sure they fold that into the mix of visuals that seem to be stirring in them all the time. For commercial projects, concepts often originate many steps ahead of our involvement, but it’s always nice when an art director asks for collaboration from the photographer and stylist.

What do y’all look at for inspiration?
There is a fair amount of influence from the “usual suspects” – magazines, blogs, art, music. But it’s so personal, it can come from anywhere, right? Our families, the weather, travel…

Do any of the stylists work with non-Sisterbrother photographers and vice versa?
Most definitely. Inclusion is a really important part of my business ethos. I encourage the stylists and the photographers to work with whomever they feel moved to work with. And I feel pretty strongly about giving credit where credit is due, roster talent or non-roster talent. There’s enough to go around. And creativity is a tricky enough beast without unnecessary limitations on partnerships.

Styled by Brittany Winter & Photographed by Chris Plavidal ©

Who are the people represented by Sisterbrother?
Darren Braun, photographer
Richard Krall, photographer
Chris Plavidal, photographer
Steven Visneau, photographer

Samantha Collie, stylists’ rep.
Mari Hidalgo, stylist
Stephanie Quadri, stylist
Brittany Winter, stylist
Jennifer Bigham, assistant stylist
Olivia June Preuss, assistant stylist
Dana Stalewski, assistant stylist
Shannon Webster, intern

How does someone who is interested become a part of Sisterbrother Mgmt.?
Well, I’m reeeeeally selective. Because I invest so much energy and time in the artists. And because, and I know this can off cheesy, we are a family and while I have the final word, there is a lot of input to consider from the team. For photographers, I hold portfolio reviews quarterly and this is where I find the talent I’m most interested in watching. And for stylists, they tend to evolve from interns, to assistants, to stylists.

Where do you see Sisterbrother in 5 years?
I do have a five-year plan, but I’m not gonna share it right now. :) We’ll be making beautiful images.

Steven Visneau ©

Favorite brunch spots in Dallas?
Brunch is my favorite meal! I like my neighborhood spots, Oddfellows, Hattie’s, Jonathan’s, [in Bishop Arts] in Oak Cliff. And I like Vickery Park and Taverna, too, if I can be convinced to cross the bridge on a weekend.

Top 3 go to spots for photo shoots?
I don’t think there are many repeat locations (other than our own studios). Collectively, in the past two weeks, we’ve shot at the Driskill Hotel and the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin, a vintage car showroom in Terrell, the Winspear Opera House, underwater in a backyard pool, the beach in Tulum, Mexico and many many studios.

Styled by Stephanie Quadri ©

Recent, notable clients?
We always love working with all of the different Neiman Marcus teams. Great art direction, great merchandise, great models. And we did a project last week for The Atlantic Monthly. Ooo, and Corona. Yeah!