Hallelujah the full version

Hallelujah was a year in the making. A tribute to the life of Sebastian Everidge, Cross Johnson and I undertook this project a year ago. From that point forward every conceivable obstacle to completing the music video was encountered.

Now a year to the date of Sebastian’s death, we are able to release the full video. Filming of the video began in Denver Colorado and was completed in Los Angeles, in the studio, on the streets of the fashion district during a riot (staged), on the streets of skid row among the homeless and on the beaches at night. It is a powerful, emotional work, to show what Sebastian stood for, and the agony those he loved suffered on his death.

Please watch and share this video. The circumstances behind creating this were painful, unjust and a life wrongly taken.

But on the other side of that Cross Johnson is the most brilliant talent I have ever seen.  Please watch and share.

The Million Dollar Photo

potato photo sells for million dollars

The Million Dollar Photo – no it’s not a potato, it’s a statement

You got it right!  The price of this photo is $1,000,000.  That’s one million dollars for this work of art.

I mean, really, it’s a no brainer.  An artist today can give his work to Shutterstock, or iStock and get a quarter when someone licenses it.  Or give it to one of the race to the bottom online art galleries that are selling art for peanuts, or he can say “It is worth more to me to not let you have it.”  And a couple of art galleries have agreed.  I’ll link to them at the bottom of the post.

This is the photo you can’t have.  And the irony here is that only those that it is dedicated to would be able to afford it.

Title of this work is “A Statement to Corporate America.” It is an edition of 1 at $1,000,000 or an edition of 2 at $500,000.

This isn’t to say all corporations are evil (though I know many who would disagree with me at this date).  Truth is we would have miserable lives without what they contribute.  But too many have become too greedy and only take without giving in return.  That is they are creating slaves.

This photo was created as a tribute and a statement to the corporate attorneys who slip clauses into contracts, hidden in the fine print, that strip artists of their right to profit from their work and transfer it to themselves, to the political stooges who on behalf of the recording industry lobbyists slipped a clause into a totally unrelated bill stripping musicians of their copyright, without their knowledge or informed consent; the politicians who promise to help and then betray us; to the stock photo agencies who slashed royalties paid to less than a quarter per image… and then once they destroyed the stock houses that charged and paid fair prices, began to demand quality levels that can only be obtained by funding the costs of high production values. It is dedicated to the tech giants who have worked tirelessly to eliminate any last vestige of copyright protection for artists of all genres and claim ownership of the work for themselves. It is my statement to every client who calls me and asks me to work for free because of the “fantastic exposure” I will get being associated with their brand… to the magazines that now not only don’t pay for the content on which they profit, but ask artist to pay to submit to them…

Without our work, the the tech giants would have no clients…. their devices would have nothing to display. Magazines would look empty and boring with blank pages. A text only ad campaign “our jeans are high quality” will sell no jeans.

You know who you are. You know what I have said is true. This photo is dedicated to you. Take a bow. You have done your job well.

I know the price of this work is high, but I think one of you will feel owning a photo that is dedicated to your hard work is worth every penny of it.

This will be printed on your choice of materials and framed according to your desire. I recommend printing it on a brushed aluminum surface.

Order through SaatchiArt

Order through SoCalArtGallery

Hallelujah: with Cross Johnson

teen choice awards

Hallelujah, music video

Hallelujah was a year in the making.  A tribute to the life of Sebastian Everidge, Cross Johnson and I undertook this project a year ago.  From that point forward every conceivable obstacle to completing the music video was encountered.

Now a year to the date of Sebastian’s death, we are able to release the trailer for the video.  Filming of the video began in Denver Colorado and was completed in Los Angeles, in the studio, on the streets of the fashion district during a riot (staged), on the streets of skid row among the homeless and on the beaches at night.  It is a powerful, emotional work, to show what Sebastian stood for, and the agony those he loved suffered on his death.

Please watch and share this video.  Watch for more trailers and the full video coming soon.

One more screenshot from the video not in the trailer….

teen choice music video

Music Video, screenshot from Hallelujah

Greg Lenz: Why I said “no” to the media

Over my career, I have worked with more than one celebrity.  As a result I understand the situations they face.  As I noted earlier, I have been asked by major media to release photos that were taken for Greg Lenz’s modeling portfolio.

There is no problem with the photos, they are typical of what you would see on any modeling agency’s website.  But I do have a problem with the situation, a big one.  I’m not a fan of sensationalism.  And were I to release my photos, I would become a part of that which I object to.

There is also the matter of my integrity to my clients.  That comes first.
This is my letter to the publication.  It is my official and only statement on the matter:

“I have been giving this a lot of thought.  My reputation as a photographer is based on the trust I have with my clients.  That relationship comes first.  Due to his position as Jennifer Lawrence’s bodyguard, I feel that publicity or encouragement of of an sensationalism where he is concerned is not in his best interest.

For that reason, I will not be releasing rights on any images of Greg for publication.  If I was to do so, I would not be acting in the best interest of my client, and that comes first.

My official statement where Greg is concerned is that he is one of the nicest, most professional and trustworthy people I have ever had occasion to work with.  It is no small wonder that Jennifer Lawrence chose him to protect her (and it is unfortunate she had to do so).

Sorry that I can’t accommodate you more.

Thanks
Mark Stout”

Now, let’s get back to the important things in life.

The magic of an image

Many years ago I would look at the work of notable photographers and wonder just what it was about the image that made it so unique, special.  The marketing gurus like to call this branding or style.  That isn’t it.  Others can copy the image down to the last minute detail, the lighting, wardrobe, location, props, model and somehow they end up with only a pale imitation.

Over the years I started to become aware of something rather intangible.  It is as if the photographer… at least any photographer who is actually worthy of the title… puts a bit of himself into each image he shoots.  Not in a physical sense, it is intangible, but very real.  And it is what make the photograph what it is.  No amount of technical mastery can replace this quality.

I don’t expect this to make sense to everyone.  Even before I started to notice this, I had been featured in a large magazine spread.  While showing it to a friend she made the comment that there was a quality my images had, and that quality was me.  It took me over a decade to finally “get it” and I would say it is the most important thing a photographer can learn.  How to impart that piece of magic, of himself, into his work.

I say that as a lead in to the photos posted below.  Obviously I was there when it was taken 🙂  But it didn’t look anywhere near as magical as it does in the final image.  I believe that this photo transports the person looking at it, in his mind, to a night on a beach… away from his problems and to a place he would rather be.  And that is what I intended it to do.

Mark Stout

Silhouetted man on the beach, copyright Mark Stout

Mark Stout

Man on the beach at night, copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved.

Open House at the Actor’s Menu

I have been hooking up with some of the greatest people lately.  One such group is the Actor’s Menu.  Each time I have been there, I feel I am witnessing something special.  I have flashed back at times while there to a research project I did many years back on some of the more notable celebrities, in particular the life of Marilyn Monroe, and her years spent studying method acting under Lee Strasberg.  It was in those moments, what was passed down, that you learn who Marilyn really was: how different she was than the icon the world knew, and the dues she paid to get there.

When I observe and photograph the class, I often feel that I am part of something special.  Instead of just reading about the lives of those who have become stars on the “silver screen” (yeah, I know, we don’t have too many of those screens left), I get to be part of those lives.  To see them work, struggle, practice, and dig deep within themselves to unleash the creativity that entertains the rest of the world.

I’m going somewhere with this.  We live in an “instant” world.  Someone whips out their iPhone and snaps a crappy picture or a short video of something that is going on, presses a button and it’s on Facebook for the world to see.  That’s not creativity.  It’s an app, a machine.  The gadget is cheating us out of the substance that really matters.

Real creativity exists within us all.  But it has to be nurtured, developed, and the person has to work hard, and often to overcome the most unbelievable personal obstacles to bring it out… and get the nerve to then show it to the world.  And it doesn’t matter what it is the individual chooses to excel in, the dues get paid.

I consider it a great honor to have had the experience of being able to work with so many that have chosen to do just that during my career: to be able to document their success, to help them show it to the world, and to many times help their careers by doing so.

Guess I’m a pretty “lucky” guy.

Here are some photos of the open house.  The ones I have selected were chosen to give you a feel of the emotion, work, dedication and fun that goes into the making of an actor/actress.

DSC_7587DNG DSC_7611DNG DSC_7612DNG DSC_7637DNGcrop DSC_7655DNG DSC_7673DNGhighlightsCrop DSC_7688DNG DSC_7689DNG DSC_7699DNG DSC_7708DNG

 

9th Annual Spider Awards Press Release

Going through my email the other day, I was pleasantly surprised to learn I had placed in the 9th Annual Black and White Spider Awards.  With the esteemed panel of jurors the awards had, I thought the chances of receiving one of the awards would be difficult at best when I entered it earlier this year.

I must say it has been a good year.  Earlier this year one of my photos was selected by Britt Salvesen, curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as part of a fine art photography collection entitled Off the Clock. The work opened at a gallery in Culver City on April 26, 2014, and is currently on tour.  It will end up at the Los Angeles Convention Center for photola in Jan 2015. The Off The Clock Exhibit was created by the Los Angeles Chapter of American Photographic Artists.

The press release issued by the Spider Awards is below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS HONORS PHOTOGRAPHER MARK STOUT FROM DENVER, COLORADO USA

LOS ANGELES 24 October 2014 – Professional photographer, Mark Stout, of Denver, Colorado USA was presented with the 9th Annual Black and White Spider Awards Nominee in the category of Portrait at a prestigious Nomination & Winners PhotoShow webcast Saturday, October 18, 2014.

The live online gala was attended by photography fans around the globe who logged on to see the climax of the industry’s most important event for black and white photography.

The awards international Jury included captains of the industry from The Royal Photographic Society, FoMu Fotomuseum, Aeroplastics Contemporary, Torch Gallery, Stockholm City Museum to Fratelli Alinari in Florence who honored Spider Fellows with 298 coveted title awards and 957 nominees in 14 categories.

“It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 8,508 entries from 73 countries that we received this year,” said Basil O’Brien, the awards Creative Director. “Mark Stout’s  “Animal Magnetism,” an exceptional image entered in the Portrait category, represents black and white photography at its finest, and we’re pleased to present him with the title of Nominee.”

You can view the 9th Annual Winners Gallery at www.thespiderawards.com/gallery/9th

BLACK AND WHITE SPIDER AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in black and white photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in black and white photography.

 

award winning photography

“Animal Magnetism”, nominee in the 9th Annual Black and White Spider Awards

award winning photography

“Abstract Light” on Exhibit with APA LA’s Off the Clock exhibit

Production Stills, Unit Photographer

I recently worked as the unit photographer shooting the production stills of a major music video production.  It is always a joy to work with large and professional crews and this one was one of the finest I have worked with.  Everyone just knew what needed to be done and did it.  The whole crew moved as if one, in perfect sync and not once did I see anyone do anything that would ruin the take or slow the production (other than when the fog set off the fire alarm).

That said, I also couldn’t help be feel a sense of what is being lost in so many other works.  There is an attitude of “anyone can do it” and we have armies of people out there claiming to be experts who have never even seen an actual production.  This shows in the final product, whether it be a photo shoot, or a video production.  I found myself wishing that these people could have the chance to see what it actually takes to do it right.  So often a person entering the industry just doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

I hope some of these photos will give a sense of what goes into the making of a professional music video, and just how beautiful the final cut is going to be as a result.  Watch for it.  It is “Numb” by Amy Kress.

See more photos in the unit photographer gallery on my website.  Watch for updates on the release of Numb on AmyKressMusic.com

production stills

The love scene, copyright Mark Stout all rights reserved

Unit photographer, production stills

The bar scene, copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved

director of photography, production stills

Director of photography nightclub scene, copyright Mark Stout all rights reserved

unit photographer

From the strip club scene, copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved

production stills, commercial photographer

Strip club scene, copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved

unit photographer

Production stills from the strip club scene in music video. Copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved.

commercial photographer

Filming the stripper scene, copyright Mark Stout

movie production stills

Production stills, movie crew and talent. Copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved.

production stills photographer

Unit photographer, filming the strip scene, copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved

commercial photographer

Behind the scenes photo, copyright Mark Stout, all rights reserved.

commercial photographer

Behind the scenes photo from Numb, an Amy Kress music video.

music video

Strip club scene, copyright Mark Stout

Music video

Music video strip club scene, copyright Mark Stout

music photographer

Production stills, copyright Mark Stout

commercial photographer

Producer and camera operator, music video. Copyright Mark Stout

unit photographer

Producer and director of photography. Copyright Mark Stout

movie cres

Movie crew behind the scenes, copyright Mark Stout

movie cres

Aeriel view of the crew, talent and set. Copyright Mark Sout

movie set

The crew loading in. Copyright Mark Stout

Movie production stills

Production stills, Copyright Mark Stout

commercial photographer

Nightclub scene, Amy Kress, Numb, music video. Copyright Mark Stout

movie crew

Talent waiting by the gear truck. Copyright Mark Stout

Music video production stills

Filming the drug deal scene, copyright Mark Stout

commercial photographer

Filming the drug deal, copyright Mark Stout

Thank You to An Unknown Friend

Last night I decided I had to get out from behind the computer.  I grabbed my gear and headed downtown and started trying out a number of experimental techniques I had in mind.

When I get into the creative mode, that is all I think about.  It is as if I enter a different space, a different world.  One where the rules are different, where nothing can go wrong, and I seem to have no attention on anything else.

This isn’t always a good thing.  From the moment I got out of the car, my attention was on the various things around me, and what I could turn them into.  I no sooner finished one picture and I was looking at the next thing I could create.  About two hours and a couple miles later a woman noticed I seemed to be doing something a bit different than just pointing my camera and pushing the button.  I showed her the last image I took to show her how the technique I was using resulted in unique images and we talked a while.

It was then I realized that my camera bag wasn’t over my shoulder.  I remembered for the first time that I had set it on the trunk of my car when taking the first picture and never given it another thought.  With the car being in the nightclub district, there wasn’t much chance of it still  being there… but somehow I knew it was okay.

As I got to where the car was in sight, the camera bag was gone.  I started doing a mental inventory of what was lost, put the tripod in the trunk and was considering retracing my steps once more when I saw the security guard from one of the highrises coming toward me with my camera bag over his shoulder.

He told me he saw it on the trunk and knew it wouldn’t remain there long, so he took it in the building with him for protection.

I can’t tell you how it made me feel. It wasn’t so much that I was spared the expense of having to replace my camera bag as it was what it did for my faith in humanity.  He could have so easily just said “It isn’t my problem” and done nothing.   But instead he took a moment to care enough to do something.  It is what makes people so wonderful and the world a decent place to live.

Here is one of the photos I took on my journey.  The effects were created in camera.

SmokeBreak