Viewing entries tagged
inspiration

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NEW POLAROIDS//BAY AREA'S BEST DOG PHOTOGRAPHER JESSE FREIDIN

Sometimes I think I can't cram anything else into my schedule- between a full calendar of Fine Art Dog photography clients, teaching more photography seminars than I've ever taught before, and travelling back and forth between SF/LA/NY, my Summer is pretty busy. But I love being busy. I thrive off of it. I think it has something to do with my genes, coming from a family of very hard working people who have made careers for themselves through a whole lot of dedication and long hours. Ok, so none of them are kooky artists who wear jeans to work and have tattoos and play with dogs all day. But still. As exciting as it is to be busy and have new clients coming through the studio door, I still need to find time to be creative and inspired. This weekend's work trip to LA was a great opportunity to get a little personal creative time in. I love driving. I love long road trips through the middle of nowhere. A 10-day road trip is what brought me to California, and along the way I probably shot through 25 packs of instant film because I was so inspired by everything I saw through the windshield. Driving to LA for work is just as inspiring, heading down the 5 for half a day. This time I brought along one of my favorite Land Cameras (the Super Shooter), and some old expired Polaroid 690 film. Nothing in this world brings me a greater sense of immense joy than holding a Polaroid camera up to my face and creating instant images. When the inspiration in your head becomes a tangible photograph- that is pure magic. And that inspiration keeps me fueled through all the work I do with my clients.

Here's what I created this weekend somewhere between SF and LA, on I5:

Polaroid 690 expired orchard

Polaroid 690 expired

Polaroid 690 expiredPolaroid 690 expired

Polaroid 690 expired

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CHOCOLATE//BAY AREA'S BEST DOG PHOTOGRAPHER JESSE FREIDIN

I always feel blessed that I can continue being true to my roots as an artist, and maintain momentum as a business. I've never sacrificed my style or loyalty to analog photography, and now more than ever I am seeing this dedication being returned to me. And it's pretty exciting. I've got a lot of instant projects on the horizon: The Impossible Dog Portrait seminar with The Impossible Project in New York on May 25th, my Instant Doggie Photobooth which I'll be travelling with this summer on Cape Cod/New York/etc, and my continuing Instant Dog Portrait series with the incredible PZ600 instant film from the Impossible Project. In order to center myself a bit and prepare for all these huge upcoming instant projects, I decided to spend an afternoon in the studio with 2 of my favorite subjects and a few favorite instant cameras. For this special afternoon I decided to pull one of my last rare packs of original stock Polaroid film from my vegetbale drawer (I have 2, so don't worry. I eat my veggies). This pack (Polaroid Chocolate film) was given to me by The Impossible Project over a year ago, when we first started getting to know each other. I had mentioned my instense love for Polaroid, my love for dogs, and my curiosity of Lady Gaga becoming the Creative Director fo the newly revamped Polaroid corporation. As a creative challenge, a very nice lady at The Impossible Project NY headquarters sent me 2 rare packs of Polaroid film- for me to create some wacky Lady Gaga dog portraits. What a silly idea. A few weeks later Doggie Gaga had taken over the world. But I never ended up using the film The Impossible Project sent me - they had sent me a sepia and chocolate toned film- which I had never used before (I decided last minute to go with the dreamy T669, which I knew like the back of my hand). I stored those 2 packs in my fridge for the past year, and pulled them out last night. And was TOTALLY blown away.

 

polaroid dog photo

 

polaroid dog photographer

 

polaroid dog photography

 

polaroid dog photographer

 

I feel so luck to be able to continue my work, and take my intense love for instant photography into this world of modern photography. If you want to learn more about upcoming classes, just click the "CLASSES/TRAVEL" button under "CONTACT"

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INSPIRATION STATION//BAY AREA'S BEST DOG PHOTOGRAPHER JESSE FREIDIN

As an artist, it's inevitable that you'll hit a slump now and again. You don't realize it immediately. But then you do. And in a way, it's a real challenge to get through. Sort of like writer's block. Like someone put a paper grocery bag over your head and then asked you to make your art. Yeah, that sure makes it difficult. But for me, when I hit a creative slump I like to take it by the horns and kick it's butt. I crave inspiration and creative stimulation at all times, so pulling myself out of a slump is an opportunity to refresh my vision, inundate myself with images, music, words, smells- anything that inspires me- and jam pack it into my brain in order to start anew.

Years ago I took a few classes over at City College SF, just so I could get into their darkroom and expose myself to some new techniques. Every day after class I would go to their amazing library and take out a new photography book. Before my next class I would photocopy all my favorite images from that book, and plaster them around my entire apartment. Every step I took I was surrounded by inspirational images. While I was brushing my teeth, eating dinner, working on my portfolio. They seeped into my brain and forced me to push myself creatively. So, whenever I feel that slight dip in inspiration I go to the nearest copy shop and pump their color copier full of quarters- creating a kind of virtual tearsheet of inspiration. I go home, tape them all up, and feel so.much.better.

 

Who's inspiring me right now, you ask?

Annie Leibovitz

Diane Arbus

Elliot Erwitt

David Hilliard

The Impossible Project

Danny Clinch

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A TYPICAL DAY OFF//BAY AREA'S BEST DOG PHOTOGRAPHER JESSE FREIDIN

To celebrate a very exciting, exhausting, and succesful first 1/6th of 2011, I decided to take Monday off, throw the dog in the car, throw a million cameras in the daypack, 3 types of film, snacks for me, snacks for dog, water for me, water for dog, doggie bowl, 27 layers for me, 1 layer for dog- and head to my favorite secret hide-out spot in the Bay Area. A chilly, brisk hike up a small mountain always helps clear my head. I love hiking where Pancake can be off-leash. The feeling of him following me, never worrying we'll be out of synch, makes me feel so connected to him. It's a wonderful feeling. I pulled out two of my favorite Polaroid cameras that have been collecting dust (a 600 model, and one of my many Spectras) and tried out the last of my very very very very expired Polaroid film. Unfortunately, it was all so old and dried that nothing really came out. So I resorted to Ye Olde iPhone 4 - which I love to hate- bc it's poladroid app (fake polaroids, for all you non-nerds out there) is actually pretty awesome.

iphone photographer

There's always some amazing graffitti up here. It's like someone knew we were coming.

 

iphone photographer

Perspective can be so exhilerating and beautiful.

 

iphone photographer

This light got me so jazzed!! The iPhone doesn't really do it justice, but I was buzzing with photo-nerd excitement, juggling all 3 cameras to capture this dreamy winter shade.

 

iphone photographer

 

 

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FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME//BAY AREA'S BEST DOG PHOTOGRAPHER JESSE FREIDIN

Sometimes I sit back and wonder- "Why do I always do things the hard way?" Why use film, why use a fully manual camera that weighs a million pounds, why use a slow lens, why spend so much money on darkroom chemistry, why order only the best, warmest toned, gorgeous hard to find photo paper, why cut my own matts and frames? When so many other photographers out there are doing the exact opposite, why is it so important for me to stay true to my Fine Art roots? I think and think and think. And then I realize- this is not a difficult question.

I am an artist. I am inspired by the tactile nature of my medium, by the mystery of my camera, the magic that can only be found through my lens. If I took all these 'old fashioned' methods away, I would be sacrificing my style. And as an artist, style is a crucial companion.

I've been reading Diane Arbus' biography (see here), and am continually inspired by her explanations of photography. Her thoughts on technique always help me refocus my own creative work. Whether I'm making emotional portraits of our beloved animal companions, or instant Polaroid landscapes, or stories of my home town- I keep coming back to Arbus' words:

“What moves me about...what's called technique...is that it comes from some mysterious deep place. I mean it can have something to do with the paper and the developer and all that stuff, but it comes mostly from some very deep choices somebody has made that take a long time and keep haunting them.”- Diane Arbus

As an artist, working with animals is incredibly inspiring and emotional. I often find myself getting a little misty-eyed when hearing of a client's love for their dog. It is a beautiful and mysterious thing. Just like traditional photography, just like an old manual clunky camera, just like the darkroom. And that synchronicity always reminds me that sometimes a little extra work makes all the difference.

best pet photography

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