Michael D. Davis is the photographer’s friend. Mike Davis is a photo editor. Photo editors are people photographers have a love/hate relationship with. In this interview with Mike Davis you come to see that the photo editor has the photographers best interest at heart. I found my time with Mike to be refreshing. It was one of the most laid-back interviews I have ever done and one of the most significant. Mike’s approach to what makes the perfect photo is almost spiritual. Honestly, this may be one of the most important interviews I’ve ever done. Mike gets down to the essence of what a photograph is about. He feels even the journalistic image that tells a strong story must have more to stand out above the rest. For it to be really special, it needs 5 elements that Mike goes on to share with us. Continue reading
Kevin Russ, by his own admission likes to take the path of least resistance. This path has taken him from a shooting studio work (on a DSLR), being one of the first photographers with iStock and later becoming one of their inspectors. To now shooting almost exclusively with his iPhone and living out of his car. He sells his images both on iStock as well as society6.com, a social media website that sells prints and kitsch with your images on it. He goes where he want to go, he shoots what he wants to shoot and he lives by his own rules. Kevin Russ is his own man. Continue reading
Douglas Kirkland is one of photography’s legends, there’s no other way around it. He’s made a treasure trove full of images of the greatest personality that we saw in the latter part of the 20th century. And by greats I mean the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Mick Jagger, Sting, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rod Steiger, Peter Faulk, Michael Caine, Dr. Stephan Hawking, Morgan Freeman, Orson Welles, Andy Warhol, Oliver Stone, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich, Peter O’Toole, John Lennon, Brigitte Bardot, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and of course Marilyn Monroe to name only a few. It’s as if you are not famous without having a Kirkland portrait. I can imagine the Hollywood dinner parties, “Darling, you won the Academy award, how droll. But, have you had your portrait made by Kirkland”?
It’s not just the celebs either. If you are a famous photographer who do you go to get your portrait made? Well, Gordan Parks, Arnold Newman, Mary Ellen Marks, Pete Turner and Howard Bingham all went to him. The man’s freaking amazing and I am proud to have had this chance to interview him on Depth of Field. You might imagine a man with this kind of pedigree might come off haughty or stuck up. But if it’s Douglas Kirkland you’d be wrong. My conversation with Kirkland was as personable as if he was my uncle and he was willing to give help and advice like a long time mentor. There’s no question you’ll enjoy this interview with one of photography’s greats.
Douglas Kirkland has two websites:
A lengthy collection of images from the shoot with Marilyn Monroe HERE.
Brian Smith has carved out a name for himself in photographing the rich and, as he puts it, the infamous. His list of subject is far too long to write out here, but here is just a sampling; Venus and Serena Williams, Gene Hackman, Cindy Crawford, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, The Bee Gees, Antonio Banderas, Shaquille O’Neal, Alan Greenspan, Don King, John Turturro, Anne Hathaway, Ben Stiller, Sylvester Stallone, Pope-John-Paul-II, Wynonna Judd, Richard Branson and many, many more. It is important to note that Brian Smith is not a “one trick” pony. Brian worked for years in photojournalism and has made several iconic and historically important images. If you are over 40, you probably remembers Brian’s iconic image of US diver Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board while competing in 1988 Olympics. Brian peppered our time together with advice and pointers that every photographer will find helpful. You will enjoy this one!
Visit or follow Brian:
I have been looking forward to talking with Michael Yamashita for years. Yamashita is a National Geographic icon. He has shot more than 30 stories with the magazine, many of which became cover stories. Specializing in Asia, he has shot stories on Marco Polo’s journey to China, the Great Wall, The Age of the Samurai, Korea’s DMZ and much, much more. Many of his stories have been turned into a National Geographic Channel documentary, The Ghost Fleet, won Best Historical Documentary at the 2006 New York International Film Festival.
Yamashita’s prior book, Marco Polo: A Photographer’s Journey , sold over 200,000 copies worldwide in its initial printing . Marco Polo is also the subject of his award-winning National Geographic Channel documentaries, Marco Polo: The China Mystery Revealed, in which Yamashita retraces the 13th-century Venetian’s epic excursion to China. His other books include The Great Wall: From Beginning to End, Zheng He (Discovery), In the Japanese Garden, New York from Above and Mekong (River): A Journey on the Mother of Waters.
In this interview Mike Yamashita gives us a wonderful look into what it is like to have been a National Geographic photographer for 30+ year. We also talk about what does it take to make a great photo and so much more. Mike is easy going and open. No pretense with this man. By the end of this interview you will believe Mike Yamashita is they guy that lives next door, only with a much cooler job.
Visit Mike’s Website HERE
Follow him on Facebook HERE
Follow him on HERE
You can listen to more Depth of Field podcasts HERE.
Michael Freeman is one of the photographers I had wanted to interview for a long time. His book on composition, “The Photographer’s Eye” had become the first book I hand to new photographers. It is destined to become the classic treatise on composition – a must read for every photographer.
Michael is one of the most widely published photographers in the world. He has worked for most major international magazine and book publishers in a long career. A leading photographer for the Smithsonian Magazine for three decades (more than 40 assignment stories), He has also published more than 120 books on subjects as varied as Angkor, Sudan, ethnic minorities in Southeast Asia, the Shakers, and contemporary Japanese design and architecture. His 50 books on the practice of photography are standard works, and have sold almost two million copies in more than 20 languages. His contribution to teaching is the photography courses at the UK’s Open College of the Arts, now to degree level in the national curriculum. London-based, Michael Freeman travels for half of each year on shooting assignments, principally in Asia. His latest large-format reportage book is The Tea Horse Road, the result of a two-year exploration of one of the longest trade routes in the ancient world, between China and Tibet.
You can listen to more Depth of Field podcasts HERE.
Eric Kim says, for him street photography happened by chance. “I was standing at a bus stop and I saw a man with horn-shaped glasses reading a book. There was something so genuine and unique about the moment. My heart was palpitating and the second I brought my camera to my eye, he looked directly at me and I instinctively clicked. My heart froze, but I made my first street photograph, without even realizing it.”
Eric Kim is another one of those “nice guy” photographers. There is not a lot of ego to have to sidestep to hear honest views and listen to his story. I appreciated that. Eric seemed to be open and willing to have his ideas and thoughts challenged or at the very least poked that by me in this interview. We talked at great length about his definition of street photography and we got into the differences between social documentary and social commentary in photography. I think you will enjoy getting to know Eric, I know I did. You may not agree with his approach or all of his views but you’ll definitely learn to respect the man. Eric travels the world teaching people to face their fears by photographing strangers in some of the most interesting and challenging places. He’s done collaborations with Magnum as well as the Invisible Photographer. His motto is “Aways shoot with a smile, and from the heart area.”
You can follow Eric Kim on:
You can listen to more Depth of Field podcast HERE.
Jerod Foster is an editorial and natural history photographer based out of Lubbock, Texas, as well as a photography instructor at Texas Tech University. His work focuses on features and environmental portraits for magazines, books, and commercial purposes. Jerod contributes to the Manfrotto School of Xcellence, an educational resource for amateurs and professionals alike. He is also a partner and editor for Badlands Design and Production, a publishing house that focuses on high-end coffee table photography books. I met Jerod online like so many of my friends these days. Then one day I get an email from him that he wants to interview me. Wait ! – That is my line. I am the one who does the interviewing. Well, it turned out he was writing a book for our good friends at Peachpit/New Riders entitled “Storyteller: A photographer’s Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures“. After the interview, which ended up in the book, by the way, I realized we had a lot to talk about. So we decided to continue with our conversation here.
Check out Jerod’s website HERE
His portfolio HERE
His book HERE
I have known Keith Talley for years. Keith he is a commercial photographers out of Texas. Not the glam kind that take shots of sexy models in skimpy underwear. Keith’s has more talent that that, he makes vinyl flooring look sexy. Frankly, that’s talent. When he is not traveling all over the US shooting industrial product for clients, he is playing golf. Apparently, pretty darn good at it too. I wouldn’t know, all I ever hit is air when I play the silly game. When he is not doing that he is giving his time to some charity or church traveling to Africa or India shooting projects for them.
In this episode of Depth of Field I speak with Keith about making a living in hard times. What’s the secret? He had his best year last year and in a small town like Temple, Texas! I chose Keith for this interview for just this reason, I wanted folks to hear the story of a working photographer, not unlike themselves. Sometimes our guests can seem bigger than life and I listeners might feel they are almost surreal. Not Keith, he works hard and make a great living and like all my guest, is a great person at the core.
Visit Keith’s website HERE
Follow him on Facebook HERE.
You can listen to more Depth of Field podcasts HERE.