Tag Archives: Portrait

Updates from Adobe

On the Edge of Failure
By Alejandro Chavetta – I’m in Hollywood to meet photographer Joe Pugliese. I walk past star-studded sidewalks and restaurants you’ve seen a million times on movies and TV, but there are no celebrity sightings, just regular Angelenos going about their business. It’s a fitting match for Joe’s photographs, which bridge the gap between stars and civilians by normalizing the celebrity and elevating the rest of us to a hero expression of ourselves.

Today, Joe is known for celebrity portraits of Jennifer Lopez, President Obama, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many others that appear in such publications as Wired, Variety, and Texas Monthly, but what most folks don’t know is that Joe got his start putting out a BMX zine using his mom’s Xerox machine, a starting point rooted in graphic design that continues to inform his practice even now.

In high school, I made a Xerox zine of me and my BMX friends. I was having a lot of fun with the graphic design and realized that I needed to take some photos for it, so I picked up a yard-sale camera.

I was still more interested in graphic design as I started shooting. And it was a little clumsy because I would shoot and then I would take it to the processing lab, wait a day or two, get back a print that would get messed up, or I wanted it to be bigger or smaller. Photography didn’t click for me until I set up a darkroom. My parents let me black out the window in my bedroom, and I had another yard sale find of an enlarger and trays and caustic chemicals. It was the most rudimentary set-up.

I had a book that showed me how to develop in a dark room. The first time I put that print into the developer and nothing happened, I thought, “Total failure. Why did I bother with this?” And as I’m thinking about the failure, the print comes up, the image appears, and it was absolute magic. I wasn’t a failure. I could shoot and be in control of the output from start to finish. more>

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Updates from Adobe

Nick Rasmussen’s Path to Portrait Photography
By Summer Wilson – Nick Rasmussen moved from Michigan to Los Angeles about nine years ago to attend film school. He became an improv student and performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade; for money, he shot photos for an estate sale company.

Today, instead of photographing people’s knick-knacks, he takes people’s portraits as a way to connect with them. Because Rasmussen has been surrounded by comedians, many of his early photography subjects were actors and professional funny people.

Rasmussen brings several cameras on a shoot, typically starting with a digital camera and then switching to large-format film cameras. A small closet in his living room serves as a makeshift dark room for cutting and loading negatives, and he develops the negatives in his kitchen sink. Once dry, he scans them and brings the scans into Adobe Photoshop for digital editing.

Always pushing his comfort zone and learning new things, Rasmussen feels like he’s a little past the beginning of his career. He’s not content for his portrait photography to exist solely on the Internet.

“The struggle with a lot of this art stuff is you can make it and you can feel good about it, but what do you do with it? How do you make something that goes beyond the Internet?” He’s still working on it. For now, you can see his work on Instagram. more>

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