Dennis Murphy: A Great Advertising Photographer Who Barely Photoshops

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My name is Dennis Murphy. I’m an advertising photographer based in Dallas, TX. I’ve shot on four continents for clients such as Ducati, American Airlines, GM, Pepsi, and Nike. My greatest pride is that my photographs reside in the collections of both of my daughters.

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I’m a Photo Editor Taking a Year Off of My Personal Instagram, and It Rocks

I was inspired by Reviews Editor Paul Ip to take a year off from my personal Instagram.

Instagram is toxic, and it’s a terrible platform for photography and photographers. That’s really all I need to say. It’s more designed for someone to stay on the platform and for them to sell you advertising. Can you get gigs from it? Sure. But, you can also get gigs from having a robust website. Anyone looking to spend money on your creative services will do a fuller exploration of the type of work you do beyond your Instagram. I’ve got two Instagram accounts: The Phoblographer’s and my own. Dan Ginn runs most of the operations for the site’s Instagram account, and my personal account underwent changes over the past year. I purposely cut down the number of people I was following to under 100. It helped me focus on specific people when it comes to stories and the fuller feed. I’d get notifications that I was at the end of the feed, and that meant I could close the app and move on to something else. The urge to stay in the app and check out other things was real, but I fought it. And now I’m taking that even further.

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Street Photographer Glenn Batkin Turns His Lens to Ethereal Butterflies

Street Photographer Glenn Batkin tells a story of butterflies in a way we’ve never seen.

“Lucky for me they never asked to see a portfolio because unbeknownst to them, I had just purchased my first digital SLR only a month before,” explains Glenn Batkin to us on how he got into photography. This sense of adventure sets the tone for the experimental playfulness we find throughout his series on butterflies. Glenn is an NYC based photographer and has been shooting for over a decade. His work is mostly documentary-based, and these days he identifies as a street photographer. When you’re used to reacting to things happening in front of you, it may seem that photographing a subject like a butterfly could be almost too easy. But, Glenn does it masterfully in a way we’ve never really seen before.

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Pep Ávila Pictures Children’s Heartbreak for an Emotional Ad Campaign

All images by Pep Ávila. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Of all the things we like asking children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” resonates the most. These dreams mean a lot to young minds and hearts, so watching them crumble or fade is always a heartbreaking ordeal. This was the idea that Barcelona-based photographer and cinematographer Pep Ávila executed into an emotional ad campaign for international independent children’s organization Save the Children.

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Take Your Art to New Heights with Inspiring Words from Oliviero Toscani

Oliviero Toscani’s perspectives on art and photography could change the way you perceive your own art and your creative adventures.

Whatever kind of photography genre or creative venture you’re doing, you’re certainly doing art. Award-winning Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani has one important piece of advice to further your craft, “All art has to provoke something. Great art produces discussion.” If you’re not quite sure yet how to do that, this London Real interview will surely inspire you and give you some fresh ideas on how to create thought-provoking art.

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Infographic Shows How Instagram is Running Social Media Marketing

Instagram is arguably the most powerful platform for marketing now

There’s no denying that Instagram has become the top online marketing tool for businesses of all kinds. Every major company has an account, and even independent brands are banking on it in place of traditional ads. It’s highly visual, has a wide reach, and effortlessly trendy — and that easily sounds like the formula for a successful marketing tool. An infographic shared with us by eCommerce solutions X-Cart reveals the figures behind the influence of Instagram.

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Christian Stoll’s A New York Split Second Perfectly Exhibits the Chaos of the City

All images by Christian Stoll. Used with a Creative Commons License

There have been lots of attempts to try to capture the chaos that is always happening in NYC; and Christian Stoll’s latest attempt puts it all into details that we can look at and observe with great detail. While many photographers try to do things like long exposures to show the trail of people and vehicles, Christian resorted to multiple exposure photography instead. There are a number of photographers who have done this, but none that have combined aspects of contemporary street photography and fine art in just the right way.

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What Photographers Should Prepare For With Instagram

Instagram is evolving as a platform; it’s surely come a far way from just being a place where you slap on a vintage looking filter. Instead, Instagram has become more of a marketing platform involved with advertising and keeping someone going through feeds. Facebook, which owns Instagram, has seen where the social media world is going and is working to ensure they’re always ahead of everyone else. With that in mind, all one has to do is look at the way that modern marketing and advertising is evolving to see how Instagram will evolve.

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Instagram Business Accounts Page Cites 75% of Activity Outside of US

In what’s probably one of the most overdue moves that Instagram could make, the company has finally launchd an update that they’re saying will help businesses a lot more. What brands can now get are Brand assets, that can help them with marketing their Instagram account. Additionally, what brands get is the specific ability to work with partners. These partners can help businesses create specific ad campaigns for Instagram and aid with things like media buying.

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The Hypnotically Beautiful Portraits of Marta Bevacqua

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All images by Marta Bevacqua. Used with permission.

“I was looking for some photos and drawings for my characters in a role-play game online, and when I finally found what I was looking for, I simply continued to browse on websites such as Flickr and DeviantArt, only because I loved looking at beautiful images,” says Marta Bevacqua about how she got into photography. Born in Rome in 1989, her fascination with the art form began in high school. After graduation in 2008, she dedicated all her time to this passion until it became a job.

By 2009, she was part of a collective exhibition in London. Marta then collaborated with Arcangel Images’s staff on book covers–and she continues to do this freelance. Eventually she became interested in fashion photography and did a campaign for Romeo Gigli Eyewear (2011) then started doing advertising campaigns.

Today, she is a fashion photographer–and after discovering her work on Behance we were hit with Cupid’s arrow. Her Instagram portrays lots of her personal work, which we’re positive you’re going to love too.

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Combo Photos: Creatively Merging Two Things Into One

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All images by Stephen McMennamy. Used with permission

“When this all began, there was no goal, i just need a creative outlet, but as things have taken off i’ve been thinking more about the possibility of a book.” says photographer Stephen McMennamy about his Combo Photos project. “There seems to be a lot of interest from friends on Instagram for something like that, but i’m not sure if the general public would be as interested. i’m just happy to have supportive people out there. It’s mainly therapeutic for me, so i’m just glad to have something to keep me entertained.”

Stephen is the genius behind the cool and creative project. Most of it involves food, and that’s partially where he draws inspiration from. Otherwise, Stephen tells us that he randomly looks around and combines things. His appreciation for photography started when he was young back in the 1970’s. Now he works in advertising, and works with loads of other photographers–so he is always surrounded by what he calls the limitless possibilities of photography.

“Initially my curiosity was piqued by photo apps that enable you to post multiple photos at once (specifically on Instagram).” says Stephen in an interview via email with us. “I’d seen a few people post photo collages with no seam (or removing the border) and I really appreciated the clean nature of that aesthetic. from there I started playing around with that same effect, but one time in particular I tried connecting images for a more fluid effect. Specifically combining my daughters head with a birthday balloon.” That’s how he started looking around for objects he could merge together. It started with the birthday balloon image and the Empire State Building/Banana images that you’ll see after the jump.

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Nicola Bernardi’s “What the Duck is Going on?!” Contrasts Rubber Ducks with the Ad Look

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All images by Nicola Bernardi. Used with permission.

Nicola Bernardi is a Melbourne based photographer recently featured on the site in our Creating the Photograph segment for an image from his “What the Duck is Going On” series. He began the series when working as an assistant for another photographer. “At the time, I was focused on that part of being a professional to the point I thought I has lost of bit of that humor and quirkiness that defines who I am as photographer.” says Mr. Bernardi. Understandably, one can become very caught up with improving oneself at certain stages in their career.

One day, Nicola got a hold of a photo of 14 foot tall inflatable ducks in the Hong Kong harbor. And from there, he spurred the idea to create images of bathtubs filled with ducks.

“I immediately thought that a bathtub filled with rubber ducks would have made a killer portrait and before I knew it, I had ordered 251 rubber ducks online.”

Nicola went about gathering some of the wackiest people that he knows–which included his roommate that always looks very serious, a cabaret artist, a drinking buddy, and a burlesque performer. He really wanted to put the viewers right there in the scene and so decided to shoot them all with a wide angle 20mm Nikkor lens. It allowed him to present the bathrooms as grand and larger than they really are. “Trust me, I was the overly big photographer shooting less than a meter away from the subject, crouching and taking the weirdest positions not to get my own limbs in the shot.” says Mr. Bernardi.

He wanted the images to look very advertisement-oriented, and by using a couple of speedlights he started building a very strong contrast with his subjects’ humorous nature. More of the images are after the jump.

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Review: Elliott Erwitt’s Kolor

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If you know the work of Elliott Erwitt, you are most likely familiar with his exhaustive body of black and white work. Whether it’s photographs of dogs, women, celebrities or beach life, his photographs reveal the world from a insightful and sometimes humorous perspective.

Elliott Erwitt’s Kolor is a 448-page book whose images were selected from nearly half a million Kodachrome and Ektachrome slides that Erwitt produced during his lengthy career as a editorial and commercial photographer. Though many of the images were created as part of commissioned work, the images also reflect the photographer’s penchant for creating images for himself, even when on assignment. The result is an alternative look at the world that Erwitt so adeptly documented in black and white.

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Mike Mellia’s Self-Absorbed Photo Project Is a Satire of Our Society

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All images by Mike Mellia. Used with permission

I think that without any argument, anyone can make a powerful defense to say that we as a society are quite self-absorbed. That’s the premise behind Mike Mellia’s project called Self-Absorbed. It is a satire on society’s “me, me, me, me, me, me, me, not you me” fixation via social media and other venues. It is an ongoing project that started in 2012 and in addition to the production of the products, Mike has been creating the items and placing them in bodegas around NYC. Mellia believes that people create the own brand through social media and he combines this belief with iconic advertising in American culture.

We talked to Mike about the project, his creative process, and his views of American society.


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Do I Need a Model Release?

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Do you get signed model releases?

It’s a question that I hear on a regular basis when doing a presentation on my work, which primarily revolves around street photography. It’s also a question that I hear posed to other photographers who produce similar work. The question is asked so consistently that I could set a clock by it when it comes time for the Q&A.

To my ear, the person posing the question may be curious about whether I get model releases. However, what they really want to know is whether they should be getting signed releases.

The answer to that million-dollar question is: it depends.

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DXOMark States That the Pentax Q10’s Sensor is Almost as Good at the Panasonic GF5’s

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GadZooks Batman! Could it be? Pentax has been doing a lot of amazing things (sans having a full frame camera) and according to DXOMark, they’re doing something quite spectacular. The sensor in their Pentax Q10 camera is tiny–we’re talking about nearly point and shoot sized. But the latest lab test results are saying that the sensor is almost on par with the 4/3rds sized sensor in the Panasonic GF5 with the exception of ISO performance.

So why is this relevant? The last time we reported on something from DXOMark, Photographer Bill Wadman who hosts the On Taking Pictures Podcast called us out on it since we stated that Canon needed to pick up on performance. While we state that it’s the photographer who takes the pictures in the end (and the fact that this site puts so many cameras into the hands of a couple of carefully curated reviewers is proof of that) this is news in particular about sensor technology–which also then turns into marketing strategies which are seen in ads on magazines and sometimes this very site. Panasonic recently stated that they want to focus more on the professional user, and this is evidence of a possible wake-up call from professionals who will demand much better performance from their sensors–especially when it comes to working in the post-production phase. If Panasonic is indeed going to rebrand and rethink the G series of cameras, then they’ll need to hit this one hard.

Via Mirrorless Rumors

PS: we <3 Bill and Jeff of Faded and Blurred; and you should defiantly listen to the On Taking Pictures podcast.

Five Racy Camera Ads That Remind Me That I’m Single

No, this isn’t one of them.

Let’s admit it: our society is one that loves to objectify people/things for the sake of revenue. It’s a proven tactic—and it’s worked. Plus, there is something just so alluring about photographers: with our big lenses and all. One of the staples of marketing is appealing to a human need. In this case, it’s the primal instinct to reproduce and have pleasure. These ads tend to stay in the back of one’s mind and in today’s viral society promotes a spread that is almost uncontrollable. This is an ode to some of those ads as well as a bit of an analysis and a history.

Editor’s Warning: Some of these ads may be a bit NSFW. Please exercise caution.

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