February, 2012

mca on the road: chicago

Last week I posted a photo from the second stop on our agency road show, Chicago, where I spent a week with four of my photographers (Matthew Turley, Jamie Kripke, Jim Salzano and Margaret Lampert) attending portfolio shows at the Chicago agencies and spending day and night together sharing inspiration, meals, stories and too many cab rides to count. It was an honor to walk into agency after agency with my group of incredibly talented, professional and genuinely nice photographers. Margaret Lampert, I think speaks for all of us when she said she is “pretty sure we made quite an impression.”

“Last week I had the extraordinary experience of spending four days with Marianne Campbell (hereafter to be referred to as ‘our fearless leader’), Matthew Turley, Jamie Kripke and Jim Salzano. We met in Chicago…traveling in from various parts of the country…New York, Utah, Boston, Colorado, and California…all of us very much looking forward to an exciting week of portfolio showings.

It’s always so rewarding to go into the agencies and have a chance to meet so many wonderful people…and to connect face to face over the work. That goes without saying. In this day and age when there are so many image makers in the world one has to hope that personality and who you really are, at heart, not only makes the work what it is but also makes people WANT to work with you. I want to believe that’s the case anyway. We are a pretty charming group (at least…we like to think so) so I’m pretty sure we made quite an impression. If it wasn’t our charm that impressed then it was our overwhelming numbers. I mean…how often do FOUR photographers from a stable traipse around to meetings all week with their fearless leader????

I found myself marveling at my good fortune. Our time together was filled with wonderful conversation, laughter, friendship, mentorship, and a level of comfort and caring that one rarely finds in a ‘work’ environment. We are a family. That’s the way it felt the moment I met Marianne and all of the photographers in our group and that feeling continues to grow and deepen.

What can I tell you…I feel truly blessed.”

rj muna for odc/dance downtown

I will soon have a very exciting announcement here on the MCA blog. For now I can just say that it has to do with RJ Muna and his inimitable writing style and sense of humor. However, I couldn’t wait and asked him to write something for the launch of the agency blog. RJ recently finished a project for long-time dance client ODC and has given us a sneak peek into his collaborative process with the ODC choreographers. The images can currently be seen around San Francisco on buses, billboards, and community posters and of course on the ODC site.

“Sometime during each year’s brainstorming session with Brenda Way and KT Nelson, (ODC’s choreographers), which usually includes meandering digressions, a few inane non sequiturs, and a bottle of wine, the subject of photos for the upcoming season will come up. In one of those rare moments, someone – I think it was me – said , ‘Well, what about squares?’ I’m not really sure if it was an idea for a picture or just an inane non sequitur, but with reassuring confirmation Brenda said ‘I like squares, squares are good – I was kinda thinking about a square area in the middle of the stage for one of my pieces – is there any more wine in that bottle?’ And like the epiphany that it was, I said ‘Not in this bottle, but we can open another…’

A good while later, after more arm waving and even more digressing, someone said – I’m pretty sure it was me – ‘Well then, what about squares within squares?’ There you have it, ‘Birth of an Idea.’ And like so many ideas born out of a bottle, one version wouldn’t do, there had to be four or five that no one could decide on. So, being of not so sound mind (or body), I blurted out ‘Well, let’s do them all!’ Enough said.

The concept came down to a series of images created from different scenes in which there was a uniform square within the square frame of the picture. All the inner squares are exactly the same size and in the same location. Here are just a few for your viewing pleasure. They will soon be on busses and Bart stations, brochures, kiosks and posters all over town. See if you can find the squares, they’re kind of hidden…”

christine alicino in stereo

Photographer Christine Alicino, in partnership with long-time commercial collaborative partner Art Director Ursula Brookbank of Nordstrom, present a show of In Stereo, a two-year-long photo and video project begun on the lunar new year and opening February 23rd at the Echo Park Film Center. In the first year, Christine and Ursula, living on different coasts, each took one photo a day on their mobile phones. The photos were sent at the end of each day with no knowledge of the other’s subject or image. For year two, Christine and Ursula each took one video each week with the same parameters. The images and videos were not discussed or written about until they met up at the end of each year.

“There seems to be a synchronicity occurring when both images are viewed side by side, they some how depend on and inform each other while conveying a sense of time’s passage,” adds Christine.
The show opens tonight, February 23rd at 8pm at the Echo Park Film Center.

chicago roadshow

I don’t think words will quite do justice to describe the incredible week I had showing portfolios with 4 of my photographers, but stay tuned as there will be more about the Chicago Roadshow in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here is a group portrait taken on the streets of Chicago by Matthew Turley, but art directed by everyone; Jamie Kripke, Margaret Lampert and Jim Salzano (looking here like the lead singer of our band).