When I realized Bil hasn’t contributed to the newsletter for a few months, I asked him to send me a few stories he was excited about. One was a lifestyle story for a start-up insurance company, it was supposed to be shot in Oakland and eventually shot in San Francisco due to the scouting crews getting robbed by gunpoint. The other body of work is everything I love about photography beautiful, deliberate and thought provoking. I want to hang all of them on my wall, I’ll probably ask him for a print.
Photographer Bil Zelman: How to Shoot Portraits of Challenging Celebrities
Bil Zelman’s work was featured (from 12-21-13-3-16-14) in Dusk through Dawn at the Portland Museum of Art, which included masters such as: Garry Winogrand, Robert Doisneau, Ansel Adams, Minor White, Chris McCaw, Peter Henry Emerson, and Edward Weston. In January 2014, Albert Watson honored his book “Isolated Gesture” with an Art Directors Club Award.
Zelman’s work has been shown or collected by The Museum of Photographic Arts, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Lucie Foundation, FCMOA, The Center of Photographic Arts, The Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Arts, Newspace Center for Photography, The Portland Museum of Art and many others. His most recent book and the current show at Sparks Gallery, Isolated Gesture, was awarded a coveted Art Director’s Club award by Albert Watson.
Peter Berberian: What made you first decide you were going to be a photographer?
Bil Zelman: I built my first darkroom at age nine and completely nerded out on the gear. The processes and chemistry gave me a strong feel for the technical side of photography. Learning it all at such a young age helped me to find my voice later on without all those distractions.
And Here We Are – A Nature Story with Bil Zelman
Photographer Bil Zelman has been on assignment in over 30 countries, shot journalism overseas for VICE and photographed and directed dozens of international fashion and advertising campaigns for well-known brands such as Frye Boots, Coca-Cola, Guinness, and Harley Davidson. His work has been featured in a variety of publications including Rolling Stone and GQ and he’s been selected for Archives Top 200 Photographers Worldwide ten years in a row.
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“Though Zelman doesn’t chase blood and disaster, his pictures are petty crimes in themselves, small assaults against propriety, puncture wounds in the social veneer-
Faces often jut in from the bottom edge of the frame or are lopped off by the upper edge. The mundane becomes theatrically charged, the common looks strange, the rhythm of the status quo gets splintered into tension-‐filled fragments.” Los Angeles Times Art Reviews
I’ve chosen to work with non-profits which are local, for the most part, whose only budgeted alternative would be to have someone on their staff shoot stuff with a digital point and shoot. And who, after a little research, could clearly benefit from my help. I will also admit that I generally only accept projects where artistic excellence is appreciated and encouraged. Something you’re not going to find everywhere.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sarah Staiger is a Berlin-based portrait and fashion photographer who has spent a considerable amount of her professional career in Paris where she learnt her craft first-hand from some big names in the fashion industry.