John Keatley – Creating personal projects

This week, we sat down for an interview with John Keatley, Seattle based advertising and fine art photographer. On this podcast episode he shares some behind the scenes of his recent project “Uniform” and why it’s so important to be creating personal work. We also talk about what is was like when he started off in advertising, and was told “It takes 5 years.”

You can catch John at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York in October on Managing Clients & Workflow on Set (Thu, Oct 20, 2016 – 10:15 AM to 12:15 PM). John and his wife Nichelle also host photographers for a three day workshop in Seattle called Survival Guide.

Until I stared creating work on my own that spoke the language of advertising, people just wrote me off as an editorial photographer.

John Keatley Interview Timestamps

0:40- Uniform personal project

5:12- What goes into planning your personal projects?

9:37- How do you deal with decisions on personal work?

11:52- Journal of Ideas

13:27- Don’t save ideas until you are ‘better’

13:49- “You never are satisfied with where you are at. You’re alway going to be learning.”

14:40- Having a team in place

17:29- Working with your spouse 

21:55- Family portraits on website

25:10- Feedback from clients on family portraits

26:12- Career path

28:40- How did you marketing change over the years?

29:54 “Look, it really takes 5 years”

32:29 “Until I stared creating work on my own that spoke the language of advertising, people just wrote me off as an editorial photographer. “

32:48 – Why did they assume you were an editorial photographer?

34:13-  Building the Survival Guide

37:16- Figuring out who you are and translating that into your work

39:34- Upcoming workshop in 2017

40:22- NYC PhotoPlus Talk “Being on Set”

40:57- Lighting Round questions

41:37- Why Fine Art?

42:50 – What would someone be surprised about you?

45:21 – Liberia

 47:00 – One Light, One Modifier, One Lens

48:00 – Maintaining confidence on the journey

“Hopefully you keep a big picture mindset.”

Uniform

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Annie Leibovitz Portrait

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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

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Keatley Survival Guide

John Keatley Instagram

Knowledge Bombs

“You never are satisfied with where you are at. You’re always going to be learning.” 13:49

“Until I stared creating work on my own that spoke the language of advertising, people just wrote me off as an editorial photographer.”-32:39  

“Hopefully you keep a big picture mindset.” – 48:00