Sharing experience, advice, and photos to all with the shutterbug.

Posts tagged “photojournalism

Portraits of the 99% exhibition catalog

For the last month or so I’ve been talking to various art galleries and collectors about having an exhibition of the “Portraits of the 99%” series. The images are 12×18 and are mounted on 7/8″ thick wood with a white vinyl siding and they are absolutely beautiful. However, it’s very impractical to carry around all 354 of them to show to people, so I’ve put together an exhibition catalog that features all of the images up until now along with some behind the scenes photos, a forward by myself and a few color versions of the portraits. It’s a 26 page perfect bound catalog a book practically, and I’m really excited about it. You can get your hands on one for $20.00 from Magcloud, as well as a digital download for 5.00. The entire catalog is online for preview as well, so you can also just check it out and let me know what you think.

All proceeds from the sales of these catalogs go into the mounting and framing process in preparation for exhibition. You can get it HERE.


Crowdsourced funding – Putting your audience in the spotlight

Those of you who were there at the beginning of my “Portraits of the 99%” project probably saw my IndieGoGo page, which I was using to raise money to continue the project. The fund raiser was successful, I raised almost 2500.00 between donations at the site and private donations from funders in San Francisco. This allowed me to travel and work on the project more or less full time and get it published in numerous print and online publications. It’s a pretty interesting resource that’s become available thanks to the internet. It’s especially useful for Photojournalists who rarely get their travel expenses covered by magazines and newspapers anymore.
Crowdsourcing is great because you can show something to the public that you’re excited about and if they’re excited about it as well – you can raise the money to make your vision happen. But there’s a few things you need to consider before you start spamming your friends with a link to your kickstarter;

Know your audience

Since your audience is your source of funding you can’t just start a project about anything. You need to think about your project and who your audience is. Who else would like to see this project happen? What age group does this project appeal to? Are you photographing the rise of the hipster trend in foreign countries or are you covering elderly men adjusting to retired life at home or in a home? These obviously have different audiences. Do some research – find out who’s already involved in the things you want to explore and get funded.

Make it awesome

You can’t post up a few scans of some sketches and drawings of the photos you want to take – you need to already have the project going. This shows initiative on your part, that you’re actively working on the project and will make potential supporters more likely to help you out. It has to have some semblance of completion and it has to look good, it has to look AWESOME. Below is my video pitch which featured me shooting and interacting with people, as well as photos and interviews with protestors. Make sure you keep it short and sweet.

Have rewards

Your audience needs some encouragement to get involved aside from the satisfaction of helping you fund your awesome project and a tax write-off. The best way to do this is reward them with different things depending on the amount they donate or pledge. For a donation of say, 10.00 supporters can get a nice hand written thank you card or a “thank you” credit in your project. Other amounts can get them access to behind the scenes stuff, prints, posters, books… the possibilities are endless.

Follow up, be involved and deliver

This is the most important thing. Be actively involved with your audience. Send them updates and pictures of work in progress. And ALWAYS deliver on your promises. Don’t just say you’re having an exhibition of the completed project at the MOMA if you actually don’t. You’ll upset your audience and it’s just plain dishonest. Always be upfront and transparent with what you’re doing, what you’re capable of doing and how you’re doing everything.


IndieGoGo: Takes 4% if you reach your goal, 8% if you don’t. Disperses within 7 business days after fundraiser has ended.
Kickstarter: Takes 5% and disperses ONLY if you reach your goal. Seems to be more focused on products and inventors.
Emphas.IS: Tales 15% and disperses ONLY if you reach your goal. You must get your project approved before you can begin funding. It seems to be THE place for serious photojournalists so it carries a lot of prestige.

Great video on crowdsourcing:

The places I grew up

Some of you may know that I grew up in a small town named Abrams in Wisconsin, just a few miles north of Green Bay. Recently I visited my home town again with the intention of documenting the places I would go to regularly when I lived here. The economy has not been very nice to these cities, with a lot of buildings abandoned or something else entirely now. Things change, and while change can sometimes be sad it can also be beautiful.

Portraits of the 99% – Madison and Milwaukee WI

Over the holidays I made my way out to the Midwest to visit some friends and family and also made contact with some of the Occupy Camps in Wisconsin. I ended up combing their photos because there was a disproportionate amount of people at both camps, but I also managed to catch the “Solidarity Sing-along,” which is a group of about 30 to 50 people who every day come to the State Capitol in Madison and sing anti Governor Walker songs. They all consider themselves to be supporters of the 99%.

I’ve also started working with Marcel Kuemmet of Wisconsin Confidential. We’re working on a video piece about myself and the project for promotional purposes as well as documentary purposes. He’s been filming the shoots and travels as well as assisting me.

Soon the images will be for sale at printed by me on Archival Matte paper to the highest professional quality. If you buy a print all proceeds go back into the project for travel and furthering the project. You can also buy a poster, a book will be out soon and you can just donate a few bucks. Every little bit helps.


After all of the hard work I’ve put into my “Portraits of the 99%” project (With still a lot more hard work to come in the future) I’m proud to announce the launch of, a site dedicated solely to the project. The IndieGoGo page is what initially got this project off the ground, but it’s going to expire soon – so I wanted a more permanent place that people could go to donate, buy prints and posters or just look at all of the photos. The site not only showcases all of the portraits but it also has a schedule of my travel and a press section to show when and where the images have been published.
If you’re interested in purchasing a specific print go and check it out. The portraits are sorted by city so if our photo is on my site or your friend’s photo or you’re a collector choosing a favorite this is the place to do that. All of the money goes back into the project (After shipping/printing costs etc) and will contribute to me traveling the country and documenting this massive upheaval of people across the world.

Thank you once again for all of your support. It really has been amazing and while it’s a little late it’s looking to the be one of the main things I am thankful for this year.

Occupy California: Portraits of the 99% (Berkeley)

Occupy Berkeley was definitely the smallest occupy protest I have shot thus far. But like a small, midwestern town the people were absolutely wonderful. Only got about 20 portraits total, but I’m happy with the quality of the individuals we’ve captured today.
Don’t forget you can donate and help make this project happen by donating at the Indie GoGo page. Donations go towards travel expenses and you’ll get some cool free stuff out of it like signed prints, posters or even a book!

Portraits of the 99% (cutting room floor)

Some left overs from my edits of the OccupySF portraits. I was much pickier before about what I was posting, but now I’ve decided that all of the portraits need to be seen.
Don’t forget that you can help me continue this series by donating a few bucks to my Indie GoGo page!