Ask me anything…
What’s your opinion of graphic artists who use photos as the groundwork for their art, a la Shepard Fairey?
See, I always use photographs as reference for my art, Norman Rockwell, Alphonse Mucha, Maxfield Parrish… a lot of fine artists, illustrators and graphic artists based their artwork on photos. Mike Dringenberg even bought a camcorder and video’d models for his references when he was drawing the Sandman comic book. There’s nothing wrong with using photos as reference for art… even artists who are fantastic at drawing from life use photo references.
The problem with Shepherd Fairey, specifically, is he’s citing the practice of “referencing” but is closely copying (in many cases duplicating) the image he uses, creating artwork that he then slaps his copyright on and claims as an original creation, but he’s using someone else’s photos. The artists I listed up top all shot their own photographs as reference in their work.
I might be a little more sympathetic to him, but if you look past his altruistic defense of using the Obama image as grass roots activism without motive for profit, he has a history of lifting images from other sources for profit on his commercial products. Also, if he hadn’t lied to a judge and falsified court documents about which Obama image he used.
Great critique of his work here: http://www.art-for-a-change.com/Obey/index.htm
While “referencing” is certainly something you learn in art school, it doesn’t equal making a copy of an image. I know a lot of fans use photos of actors and bands they find off the web and in most cases are shooting for a close to exacting reproduction of the figure in some other medium…pencil, charcoal, even digital drawing, and that’s great for practice… the problem comes when it’s posted on the web to show to friends/other fans, because technically it’s copyright infringement of the original image and if you use an image from a photog or agency who’s protective of their work you could end up with some trouble.
One of the reasons I got into photographing bands was to be able to paint bands from my own reference photos. I’m a professional illustrator… it would cause me enormous legal trouble if I did a painting of Davey Havok and used someone else’s photo. (I’ve seen Marvel comics have to replace 3 small panels in a 100+ page graphic novel because a photographer recognized the artist had used his photos as reference). A fan has far less a chance of getting sued or sanctioned over it even if a photog sees the art and objects, but they should still accept it’s possible.
For pros, I’d say take your own photos or license an image as reference and then you can make it as close a likeness as you want, or it’s going to catch up with you someday. For fans, I always recommend using photos that you can ask the photog for permission to use… or if you absolutely must use something you see online, a press photo is probably far less likely to cause a problem than someone’s live shots or fan photos since those have been released to publicize the band.
How do you block your photos from being taken from flickr and put onto tumblr?
I emailed Tumblr at firstname.lastname@example.org, which is the same address used to file copyright complaints to have reposted images removed (see http://bit.ly/cpNKpV for how to do that), and requested they block 3 of my websites on their bookmarklet app.
Send them the link to your Flickr photostream, and when they block it the bookmarklet app will give an error message saying they should contact you for permission to use the image. http://bit.ly/c4RbsT
People will still be able to repost images if they grab and upload them other ways, but it won’t be as easy as just a mouse click with an official Tumblr utility.
Why do you care about who uses you photos? Isn’t okay if they leave a watermark? Just asking
I’m a professional photographer and my photos are my livelihood. I’m not paid to photograph a show, I’m only paid when images are licensed to a magazine, website etc., and individual images might be licensed multiple times during my lifetime. Often they are licensed for exclusive use for some period of time. When I’m 80 years old, hopefully someone’s still going to be licensing photos I took when I was 30.
When images are taken and reposted around the web (for free) it ruins the value of those image and destroys my ability to support myself and my family. Media outlets will not license images that have been posted and reposted. Media outlets wanting exclusivity won’t license an image someone has taken off my licensing site or my agent’s website and reposted on Photobucket,Tumblr, message boards etc.
The watermark is there to identify my work but it’s also a warning that you shouldn’t be using the image without licensing it. (however, the law is that images don’t need to be marked, they’re still protected by copyright) Leaving the watermark on but using it without the copyright owners permission is STILL copyright infringement. STILL not legal.
Favorite Muse album. DECIDE.
You stated on Twitter that you are “straight-edge” so wouldn’t the Vicodin nullify all your work?
If you mean to imply that someone who is straitedge’s beliefs are nullified by taking a medically prescribed pain killer for a partially crushed vertebrae and a bone spur and damaged disk protruding into their spinal cord, you are incorrect.
While some straightedge people try to avoid taking even prescription medications (wherever possible), the movement’s avoidance has always been of RECREATIONAL drug use and mind altering substances. I’m not scoring vicodin in the alley so I can go get wasted with my friends at a club, or drinking absinthe and taking bong hits until I’m so wasted I don’t remember where I live. THAT wouldn’t be straightedge. But I’ve never done that and never shall.
So no, taking vicodin under doctors orders for excruciating pain from a damaged spine (for the first time in over 3 years since the last procedure to push the disk back into place) doesn’t “nullify all (my) work” any more than being anesthetized to have surgery for it or taking antibiotics for an infection does.
Cake or pie?
DOOM Cake! WIth frosting. Lots and lots of frosting. Followed by a sugar coma. Then more frosting.
WHY NOT ZOMBIES? IT’S ALWAYS ZOMBIES. ALWAYS.
How long have you been a Vegan/Vegetarian?
Since around 1987.
best/weirdest band merch in your collection?
A Janet Jackson “Letterman-style” Rhythm Nation tour jacket her publicist gave me for doing some art. It’s gorgeous all in black and silver with huge embroidered patches. Unfortunately it 1) is an XL in mens sizes, 2) has leather sleeves.
Only reason I’m asking this anonymously is because I dont have an account, but how exactly did you get lyme disease?
I was bit by a tick while camping.
What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up on?
How many AFI shows have you been to? Which was the best?
Since 12/06 (post-coma) I think there’ve been 15, and the best was absolutely the Crash Love record release show at The Roxy in 9/09. The stage was about 3 feet high and Mark/PanasonicYouth was crushed up against Davey’s riser, and I was crushed up against Mark’s shoulder, so I was basically 18 inches from Davey a large portion of the show. I am not any type of Davey Havok groupie, but holy fuck, that guy is amazing live. Also, it was fun seeing all the times he grabbed Mark and shoved his face/microphone in his face so they could both scream the lyrics into it. I died a little not having my camera (oh thanks, KROQ), even though Hunter was kind enough to try to get me a photo pass. I was a little doubtful how much I’d come to like the new songs when I first heard the new album, but the ones they did during that performance blew me away.
I had tickets to the Long Beach show in 9/06 where they taped the DVD but was still too ill to go… I ended up seeing them in San Diego for a radio show 3 months later and got knocked unconscious during their second song after being brutalized by drunk kids during My Chemical Romance’s set, stayed for the rest of AFI but ended up in bed for 3 weeks recovering… thus cementing my hatred for radio shows and venues that serve hard alcohol at all ages events.
If I asked you a question in Elvish, would you answer it?
Quenya or Sindarin?
What lenses do you use in concerts? How many camera bodies do you usually take with you?
Right now I’m only carrying a Nikon D700 body and 2 lenses. I haven’t upgraded all my lenses for an FX camera yet…I use a Nikkor AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED 99.9999% of the time, and a AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D that I take out when it gets really dark (but prefer using a zoom lens to a prime).
If I could afford a 2nd body I’d wait for the Nikon D4 to come out. Before I got another body I’d want to add a AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED and the new upgraded AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR lenses to my kit.
How does one become a band’s “official” photographer? What does the job entail/What service (besides the obvious) are you providing that differs from other (staff) photographers?
I am still working on this one myself. One off shows friend’s bands, sure… going on tour, much more difficult for a woman (due to ingrained sexism in the industry). For small bands it helps if you are a friend, if you know how to drive a moving truck/RV, can serve as a guitar/drum tech, and if you don’t mind being stuck behind a merch table part of the night.
For major bands, ditto on being friends with them, but you’re more likely to get that work by a combination of that and their management/label being familiar with your work and wanting/needing photos done.
If you had to pick: NIN or AFI?
I first saw NIN in 1990 opening for Jesus & Mary Chain, think Trent Reznor is flat out musical genius, and would probably have his babies based on that alone. However, AFI has given me so much more… reminding me of growing up in the Bay Area, allowing me to be part of an amazing community of fans online and irl, and producing beautiful and at times haunting music that I will practically cripple myself to experience live.
I thought I was going to be your first question, but I guess I’m not. Boy that takes the wind out of my black sails. No wait…Were you really in a coma for 7 years?
I was in medically induced comas on and off for most of 4 years, with a few years of suffering (but conscious) on either side of it.