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Phoot Camp 2011 Roster
The all-stars attending Pictory’s creative retreat for photogeeks.
More than 200 people sent enthusiastic applications to trek out to an RV park in Marfa, Texas with a bunch of strangers. I don’t have anything fancy to offer them or any elaborate tricks up my sleeve. I just get 30-some-odd photographers with talent and passion up to their gills, and I put them together in a campground or an estate or an RV park. It wouldn’t work without the creative energy, willingness to share, and startling spirits that they each bring.
Check out their submitted self portraits and some excerpts from their applications to see what I mean about this group of inspiring all-stars.
Big thanks to our main sponsor Virb.com for helping us make it happen again this year. Virb.com is one of the easiest ways to build your own website. Their simplified platform allows you to easily create unlimited pages, customize themes, add your own domain name, connect your Flickr Sets and so much more.
Published May 4, 2011
Intro by Laura Brunow Miner
Third Time’s the Charm ∞
A compulsion to overdo it, shared by many of my fellow Phooters, is part of what I see makes an ideal camper. Sometimes, the enthusiasm can border on “too far,” like when the park ranger has told you to stop shooting and you put the camp’s stay in jeopardy by reaching for just a few more. Or, is streaking through the group shot at the last minute just enough? Did Nate Bolt need to risk dangling his $3,000 camera atop a 20 ft. painter’s rod with a duct-taped plastic, tripod on the end? Not necessarily, but did it help make a kick-butt collaboration and set a good example for continued pushing of envelopes? Absolutely. The list goes on and on to no end. Either way, the excess is definitely not for everyone, but I can only hope the rest of the old crew would agree in terms of new recruits, “A: You can never go too far. B: If I’m gonna get busted, it is NOT gonna be by a guy like that.”
Photographer: Ryan Schude
Freelance photographer living and working out of the Forge Studio in Los Angeles, California.
Prepping For Texas ∞
I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since last year’s Phoot Camp. I can still feel all the creative energy that filled the mansion that weekend — everyone running around trying to get their shot, shouting “NATEBOLT!” I’m so thankful that I was able to be a part of last year’s event because it was truly life changing for me. It was definitely the highlight of my 2010 year and I would give anything to make more memories at this year’s camp, collaborating with amazing photographers but also spending time with people I’ve grown to really care about. Also, the horse is non-returnable.
Photographer: Daniel Lee
I am a student studying photography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Blog: http://today.danielseunglee.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/danielslee Flickr: http://flickr.com/daniel_s_lee
A Tribute to Phoot Camp ∞
This self portrait is a tribute to last year’s camp. I’ve jammed as much of it into one photo as I could, but what’s still missing are the awesome people with big hearts and inspiring ideas.
Photographer: Mark Lobo
I’m a photographer from Brisbane, Australia. Always keen to get involved in fun, creative projects with a difference!
An Army of Me (And Friends) ∞
Last weekend I went out with two friends, Mona and Matt, whom I met at last year’s Phoot Camp. I had my shot in mind, but then Mona shouted, “Run! You need to get one running through the frame!” I jumped off a dune; I ate sand. Not only had we recreated a little slice of what Phoot Camp is about on the beach, we also shot an image together with a whole lot more heart.
I’d be most honored to attend Phoot Camp this year because I want to continue to grow our photographic family: strengthen the existing bonds and form new ones. There might be an army of me, but I’m nothing without my friends.
Photographer: Cody Bratt
Cody is a San Francisco based photographer, tech nerd, and part-time long haul trucker. He often takes photos of haunted locations in the dark by moonlight, but he’s breaking that habit.
All the Way from Brighton, England ∞
I can’t wait to come back to the US for my third Phoot Camp. I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it this year, but my wife said “You have to go!”
I’m sure I’ll take lots of my signature montage portraits using a Lomo LC-A+ with cross-processed film! (as approximated in this film self portrait)
Photographer: Kevin Meredith
Kevin Meredith is a photographer, writer, and teacher in Brighton, England.
Phoot Friends Forever ∞
Steph: What better way to apply to Phoot 2011 than to travel to Europe with photographer and fellow Phoot alum Nate Bolt, become inspired by the gadgets lying around in our luggage, come up with an idea for a collaborative portrait, and shoot it together at a monument at sunset?
Nate: When Phoot Camp friend Steph Goralnick and I visited the Eiffel Tower, it was only to try out snapping iPad portraits and to reconfigure physical space with real-time iPad photos. We found that quickly changing lights made this difficult, but cannot WAIT to try it with a few photographers who have a few strobes and iPhones between them… the kind of thing you might find at Phoot Camp.
Photographer: Nate Bolt / Steph Goralnick
Nate Bolt is problematical. Steph Goralnick is a photographer and graphic designer who lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Black and White ∞
I love making things. I love helping others make things. I love problem solving. I love to document. I guess that is why I want to go back to Phoot Camp.
Photographer: Chad Nicholson
LA. NYC. MN. I take photos of people having fun and try to capture the world in which said fun happens. Sometimes I get paid for my photos of Improv Everywhere to be in magazines and papers all over the world, most of the time I get paid to make movies and music videos.
Homage to Donald Judd ∞
Donald Judd moved to Marfa, Texas from New York City in 1971. He bought two large hangars and some smaller buildings and started to permanently install his art. I love Judd’s minimal approach and his use of constructed objects. I’m looking forward to exploring these objects and their environments in Marfa.
Phoot has become one of my annual creative retreats, an escape from the daily ritual, something I very much look forward to.
Photographer: Michael O'Neal
Michael O’Neal lives to make things. Whether it’s the work he creative directs for Apple, the photographs he shoots religiously, the music he records, or the projects he develops with his trusted collaborators, Michael is always creating. Listening. Seeing. Engaging. Understanding. He is impossible to separate from what he makes. Michael currently lives in San Francisco.
Art for Art Sake ∞
My love of photography started from taking photos of my rearview mirror to keep from falling asleep while driving in the mid-90s. Since becoming a professional photographer, the hobby that turned into a business has turned into, well, a business. I have at times forgotten the simple joy I used to get from taking photos that came out exactly how I saw it. This photo was taken for myself. Phoot Camp helps me remember to take photos for fun.
Photographer: Mona Brooks
True story. In the Summer of 2008, I met Dave Johnson at a party at Ghirardelli Square. I told him I wanted to become a White House Photographer. He said one of his good friends is involved in the democratic party as a volunteer corrdinator and would love to set me up with her. Weeks went by with no word. A month before the 2008 Democratic National Committee, I got a call from Dave saying he hooked me up as a staff photographer with the DNC. I was ecstatic, no pay, but ecstatic none-the-less. A week before I was to arrive in Denver, I got a call from DNCC CEO Leah Daughtry. Leah told me she wanted me to be her personal photographer for the full week of the DNC, chauffeur, hotel accommodations and all. Turns out Dave Johnson’s friend is Peggy Cusack, Chief of Staff to Reverend Daughtry. Her right-hand woman, if you will. My motto since then is to tell everyone and anyone what I want to do. Because you never know who you’ll meet that can help you go to the next level
Let’s Go Play in the Desert! ∞
I bring a slow approach to photography to the group. I’m drawn to the analog aspects of shooting and want to share my love of letting go of the bells and whistles of digital photography to other Phooters. I also have a fearless DIY spirit: MacGyver with a camera. Can’t find the right angle? Let’s see how we can use a camera strap and tripod to shimmy up a tree. Do you prefer staying dry? I think we should wade through that river to get to a better location. Broken camera? Rip that sucker apart and let’s fix it!
Photographer: Matt Nuzzaco
Matt is a photographer, traveler, and technology dilettante that lives in San Francisco, California.
I love collaborating. Phoot Camp allows me to collaborate with people with talent that surpasses my own. When we combine skills and talents it can turn into something beautiful. I was glad to carry this back to real life when I worked with fellow Phooter Ryan Schude on a project for a client I could only dream about.
Photographer: Paul Octavious
I’m a photographer and designer in Chicago.
Phoot Camp allows me to collaborate with some of the most talented photographers from around the world. It’s a shared experience you can’t get anywhere else. Life-long friendships are created in just a matter of a few days. Texas is my home and I want to share it.
Photographer: Cody Austin
Cody was born, raised, and still resides in Houston, Texas. He enjoys taking photographs, riding his bicycle to the local sandwich shop, and watching live music (especially if there are lasers involved).
The Big Out There ∞
Unlike most of the photographers I know, I am also a painter. I belong with the Phooters in Marfa because I am unlike them, in many ways. What we share is an obsession with images. What I bring is a preoccupation with place. My studio consists of two places, one is a discrete white room in my back yard, and the other is the big out there.
And dry jokes.
Photographer: Robert Josiah Bingaman
Robert is an artist living in Kansas City, America.
Phoot or Die ∞
I’d kill to go to Phoot Camp again. Last year I felt lucky to have been selected to play and make photos amongst friends and photographers whom I had admired for years. This year, with our bonds and connections only strengthened, I’d feel lucky to be able to spend a creative and inspiring weekend in Texas with my closest camera compadres.
Photographer: Lauren Randolph
I am a photographer in Los Angeles, and I carry my camera everywhere.
I provide an excellent source of silliness and professionalism. I love making pictures. I love people.
Photographer: Dan Busta
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, while most kids his age were hanging out at malls, Dan Busta found his passion of photography by capturing photos of skating. He quickly became a staple in the industry as one of of four leading photographers by the age of 19. His sport documentary work has brought him around the globe to countries such as Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Peru, and Serbia. In contrast to his past works, Busta recently has been concentrating on photographing human emotions. He delicately controls and composes people and props to build each picture which is inspired by master painters of the neo-classical and romantic era. Busta still keeps it real by attending an annual skatepark tour through the Rocky Mountains, where he jumps off a 40-foot bridge into the Colorado River. Busta works out of his Los Angeles Studio, The Forge.
Vote Tyler Sharp for Photo Camp 2011 ∞
Include me in this year’s roster, and I give you my Texas word that I will plan and arrange things for the group that will not only make it the best Phoot Camp yet, but make it an unforgettable Texas experience as well. I have already been talking to Marfa natives about local ranches and farms that could be used as location shoots. Through some of the ranches, I plan to assemble a crew of cowboys, ranch hands, farmers, and rough types from West Texas to help fulfill everyone’s photo fantasies. Say the word, and I will proceed with due diligence. I’m your Phoot Camp man in Texas.
Photographer: Tyler Sharp
Tyler Sharp is a photographer, writer, and videographer in Dallas.
Self Portrait in the Alvord Desert, Oregon ∞
So why am I perfect for Phoot Camp? Well, photography is obviously my passion and it takes me all over the world. I’m drawn to a diversity of subject matter, specifically people. I have an outlandish sense of humor, work well with large groups, can take the bull by the horns, and well, can make a decent photograph, IMHO. I learn from others, and I also share with others.
Photographer: Matthew Brush
Professional Photographer based in Portland OR. Specializing in Sport Culture, Lifestyle, and People. Grew up in the greater Seattle Area. Graduated with a degree in Media Arts from the Art Institue of Seattle in 2000. Am a self taught photographer, and love to shoot constantly. Moved to PDX (Portland for those who don’t know) in August of 2005 for a change of pace. Still living here.
Pick Me ∞
Why I’m great for Phoot Camp? I’m a technically advanced photographer with a lot of experience from ambitious and collaborative projects. I shoot a large range of subjects and draw a great deal of material from my profession as a radiation worker. This means I travel to environmentally polluted sites to perform hazardous waste cleanup. I document these restricted sites and the workers involved in the projects. At Phoot Camp I aim to connect with other photographers and draw from their experience and input. The informal structure and legendary setting looks to be a great opportunity for me and my photography.
Photographer: Neil Berrett
I am a photographer and radiation protection worker splitting my time between Oakland and Berlin.
Liz on Left ∞
I’m a crazed, photo-driven girl living in Portland, spending night and day taking pictures. I work full-time as a photographer for the Portland-based company McMenamins—which also allows me to be the house photographer for two of Portland’s biggest music venues (and a lot of small ones, too). I also get to photograph the second largest UFO festival in the United States (so I have a lot of material for campfire stories), as well as lots of beer, art, and fun events.
I will bring awesome campfire stories of aliens and Bigfoot, some whiskey, and an eager, observing camera to record the moments in-between. I’ve never been to Texas, but I know I like the light there.
Photographer: Liz Devine
Photographer based out of Portland. I do it all, full-time photographer for McMenamins, freelance for the newspaper Portland Mercury, beta tester for Lensbaby, and I love working with musicians.
Self Portrait with Self Portrait ∞
I follow over 200 photo related blogs (including many past Phoot Campers) because I love to know whats going on. And I really do believe that all the online connections bring people together offline. In fact, I have a photo series examining just that. My portraits of Bloggers has been making the rounds recently and been featured extensively online, at Wired, the Atlantic, etc. I love the intimacy that forms, if even for a brief second, between subject and photographer, and it is this connection that drives me to keep creating.
I also speak four languages, kick ass in boggle, love hosting whenever possible, can make a mean caipirinha, don’t mind doing dishes, am secretly obsessed with a cappella and have access to a summer house on a lovely island that could one day be a destination for a future Phoot Camp!
Photographer: gabriela herman
Gabriela Herman is a fine art, portrait and lifestyle photographer who is recognized for her intimate approach and ease with her subjects. She was born in Newton, MA and settled in Brooklyn, NY after enriching her photographic palette through her many experiences living abroad. She learned to eat crepes in the cafes of France, get lost in the zocalos of Mexico, and dance samba in the streets of Brazil, all with camera in hand.
This is me at my battlestation. Its the one place I am in complete control. I am forever a street/portrait photographer and a VHS artist/archivist. I am one part of www.everythingisterrible.com, which is a found footage collective, and have spent the last year documenting my life on tour with the other six members and a whole world of creative collaborators. ANYWAYS. This picture is me giving a primordial scream in front of all that empowers me, every video I have ever watched and every book that has ever inspired me while perched atop my grandfathers desk (which I travelled over a thousand miles to get and from which I work every day). It’s where I feel power. I am relaxed and nearly naked which is natural. I am wearing a shark hat and a tiny fanny pack which is unnatural.
Photographer: Joel Barhamand
I am a photographer and video artist in New York City. I grew up outside of Chicago, where I started studying/playing with/and working with photography and video at 16. I went to school for photography at Ohio University which is where developed my style and met my comedy collaborators whom I still work with today at everythingisterrible.com.
I would be right for Phoot Camp because I am truly passionate about photography, community, and West Texas. AND, I will bring chocolate chip cookies for all who attend, PLUS I am a champion armadillo wrestler! Okay, I made that last part up.
Photographer: Matthew Mahon
Matthew Mahon is a freelance advertising, commercial and editorial photographer, based in Austin, Texas.
Think Tank! ∞
My name is Beto, I’m 37 years old and I’m a Mexican photographer based in Buenos Aires. In 2000, a fellow photographer and I set out to document humanitarian work for children in need all over Latin America with a small grant stipend to cover costs. I left Mexico on January 4th., 2001; I did not know at the time that I wouldn’t set foot again in my country until September, 2004. Our meager funding was cut after two years, but we carried on in hopes that everything would be ok. As soon as we were left without money strange things started to happen; every time we were at our lowest something mysteriously came to our rescue. One of the many things I learned in this four year adventure is that when you dream with conviction — not just dreaming aimlessly, but dreaming plus positive action — you can do anything. I came back to Mexico, 25 pounds thinner, way tanner, super tired but super happy. During my journeys I saw things that simultaneously broke my heart and gave me hope for mankind.
Oh right! My self-portrait! It’s called Think Tank. A while ago I discovered that my best ideas always come when I’m in the shower.
Photographer: Beto Ruiz Alonso
Freelance photographer and artist, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Date with Donald Judd ∞
My first ever paid photo job was at Tru Restaurant in Chicago. I was sent to capture the spirit of the restaurant, intimidated but thrilled to have the opportunity. On that shoot, I photographed the Donald Judd sculpture that is hanging above my head in this photo. I went back to that same location to make a self portrait because it is where I began to realize that I was talented. Because Phoot Camp will be in Marfa, TX this year, I thought it only fit to honor Donald Judd.
Since that first job, I’ve graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in photojournalism, studied at the Danish School of Media, worked on projects in India and Italy, attended Eddie Adams Workshop and was recognized by Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Through all of these experiences, I’ve developed a fresh, colorful and sincere style that I apply to documentary photography, food photography, portraiture and photojournalism.
Photographer: Anjali Pinto
I am a freelance photographer based in Chicago, Il with fire in my belly called hunger. I love the culture and experience of dining because I’m happiest when surrounded by people. It’s in my nature to share and to listen, which is why a dinner party is my favorite type of party to host. I have a big smile and a bigger laugh.
Skipping School and Reading Elkins ∞
My self portrait: While I was still in school I made sure to be as self-referentially self-referential as possible. Everything else you should know: I’ve shot for a variety of clients in fashion, and exhibited photographs and videos internationally. I also am the owner/creative director/seamstress of the fine luggage and accessory company Draught Dry Goods. Plus, I’m a good listener.
Photographer: Caesy Oney
Caesy Oney is a multidisciplinary artist and designer currently residing in Montana by way of Portland, Oregon by way of Montana. He received his BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2008. He is the owner and creative director of Draught Dry Goods, a fine luggage and accessory company founded in 2011.
The Boy from Hawaii ∞
I may be a scrawny gay boy covered in tattoos who loves punk rock, but I still remove my fedora when entering an elevator or building. I collect vintage cameras and discarded photos from thrift shops. I dedicate my life to recreating bygone eras.
One of my tattoos is an i-Ching diagram that means “Dependent Light”, which means that we are all candles. Someone lit your candle and while you should never forget who lit your candle, you should also go around lighting other people’s candles as well.
Photographer: Cheyne Gallarde
I was born and raised in Hawaii, where I currently reside. It’s the hub of cultures, races, and a time capsule of architecture and fashion. I am a graphic design school dropout and a stage theatre veteran. Somewhere in between those two passions is where my style evolved. Due to my unique style, my photography clients are far and few, but for the precious few who trust my vision, the value of our collaborative artwork is through the roof.
Make Friends ∞
Why do I play well with others? I love to learn! One of my best friends in Chicago, Mig Reyes, speaks to design students that are getting ready to graduate. My favorite piece of advice he includes in some of his talks is: “Networking is Bullshit. Make Friends.” As a self-taught photographer I have found this to be so true. Education isn’t about making things in isolation or gathering long lists of contacts. It’s about connecting with other people who inspire me.
Photographer: Lucy Hewett
I am a graphic designer in Chicago who’s letting my curiosity get the best of me, while collecting people and experiences along the way.
I like humor, family, ghosts, making art out of junk, ideas that I would have never thought of, people that live their lives, and the desert. I’m pretty sure I was born in the wrong time, but I’ll make it work.
Photographer: Michelle Newman
I’m an artist and photographer based in Seattle or hiding out in southern California.
Self-Portrait at 30 ∞
The self-portrait above was taken on the eve of my 30th birthday. It was shot in my hometown of Athens, Alabama in my grandmother’s bedroom among many of her favorite things: kitty-cat branded bed sheets, the lord Jesus Christ, and the colors pink and purple.
It’s no secret that Phoot Camp is THE nexus of collaboration and inspiration that helps photographers further their vision. I would absolutely love the chance to inspire and be inspired by this year’s roster at the event in Marfa, TX. I feel like it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that would play greatly in the evolution and direction and my work.
Photographer: Michael Clinard
Michael Clinard is a photographer with roots in the Southeastern United States but now calls Seattle home. His narrative, conceptual style is informed by graduate degrees in new media, photography and art history. The son of an Ecuadorian mother and her Tennessee stud, he is from the era of 8-bit Nintendo and unsupervised bottle rocket wars.
Reflected Self-Portrait ∞
I’m neither an artist nor a professional; I’m just “good at taking pictures.” Since I first snuck my parents’ Kodak Disc camera into middle school (and experienced the epiphany of seeing those pictures), I’ve tried to carry a camera with me because I love it so much. It’s just so damn FUN to photograph your life and the people who make your life meaningful. Friends, family, coworkers, strangers – for me photography has always been about PEOPLE. I’ve enjoyed being with them, photographing them and compiling some proof that we were here and had a good time.
Photographer: Christopher Butler
I am a guy in Los Angeles.
Red Cross Ride Along ∞
I consider myself lucky because I get to do what I love for a living. I work as a photographer full-time with clients that include AOL, StudioNow, and HGTV, but more importantly, photography has enabled me to give back; specifically in my capacity as a photographer, I’ve traveled the world and been able to contribute my skills to some of my favorite philanthropic organizations. Most recently my camera has taken me to orphanages in the Philippines, and the highland communities of Guatemala, not to mention just about every corner of New York City, the place that I’ve called home for the past 7 years. The photo above was taken while I was working with the Red Cross in Queens.
Photographer: Lisa Weatherbee
i’m a NYC based photographer with a particular interest in editorial/documentary work. I strive to make my photographs feel the way the heart remembers them.