NEW WORK: ICONOCLASTS FOR SUNDANCE

Photograph ©2010 Doug Menuez
Every once in a while one of those really special assignments come along, this year there have been a few but now I can share one that has been personally very important to me: ICONOCLASTS. Recently we wrapped this project which we’ve been working on all year with Radical Media for the Sundance Channel to document the Iconoclasts series. The show is running now on the Sundance Channel and it is definitely worth checking out. You can see three galleries of edits of my work on my main site here: Doug Menuez

You can also read more about it here on the Stockland Martel blog: Interview: What does it take to photograph “Iconoclasts”? « Stockland Martel

This really was a once in a lifetime chance for me to do what I love to do, which is document everyday life, but in this case with leading cultural figures, some of whom like Dr. Jane Goodall, with whom we spent a week in the Congo along with the marvelous Charlize Theron, have dramatically impacted the world and how we think. I was essentially embedded with the documentary film crew in order to shoot a photo essay of the creation of each show, which features an interplay and dialog between two fascinating cultural figures. I shot stills while they shot cinema verite and also was asked to shoot portraits for the Sundance ad campaign (now in Vanity Fair), busides, web promotion, etc.

My killer first assistant Demetri Fordham (and when shooting locally also with my insanely good digital tech Quinton Jones)  travelled to Australia to shoot Cate Blanchett with environmentalist Tim Flannery at Cate’s theater company and with a Komodo dragon, to the Congo to shoot Jane Goodall with Charlize Theron at Jane’s chimpanzee research station, in New York we shot Hugh Jackman with restauranteur Jean-Georges boxing and cooking together, to the Bahamas to shoot Lenny Kravitz with director Lee Daniels where Lenny was recording his upcoming new album, and to Chicago to shoot director Ron Howard with Phoenix Suns basketball star Steve Nash where Ron was shooting a new movie. The last show was shot most recently in NY with painter Chuck Close and magician David Blaine where we visited Chuck’s Soho studio and David’s inspiration Houdini, at Houdini’s grave in Queens.

What was so cool for me was having shot many, many artists, actors, musicians over the years, but particularly in my early photojournalist days in the 1980’s, there was a wonderful, easy atmosphere and complete access. Back in the day, you rarely had publicists controlling the shoots, unlike now where there is intense control. You also usually had much more time to spend with people in the early 80’s. Of course there were publicists but rarely did one ask what lens you were planning to use or approve your idea before you shot, and it was very rare that anyone asked to approve the work before publication. You could sometimes get days or a week with someone and document their daily life, building a rapport and from which would come candid moments as well as a meaningful portrait. The magazine might only want and need that portrait but you were given time to get it in an organic way that involved a lot of trust on both sides. Now with the relentless onslaught of paparazzi and general nasty coverage of personalities there has come a natural desire by the artists to control their image.

This makes sense but it leads to an impossible situation in terms of getting natural, documentary images. There has been a breakdown of trust. The publicists are just doing their jobs, even if with someone they trust their efforts actually can work against the best interests of their clients in terms of getting images that really stand out and show their clients in ways that resonate with their public. But I can’t blame them. And for Iconoclasts, a rare truce is invoked, honest interplay between the personalities on the show ensues and the results are fascinating. Anyway, this shoot was a rare breathing space for me to photograph some really innovative, creative people doing amazing work in a truly intimate way. Just a sheer joy for me and I thank Radical and Sundance and the Iconoclasts themselves of course for the stunning opportunity.

Thursday
04
November 2010

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NEW EDITS ON MAP

Please see our new edit of hands now on Menuez Archive Projects:  Menuez Archive Projects Home I’ve always been obsessed with how hands express so much of a person’s character. Along with the eyes, hands can be almost another form of a portrait. And also ck out Stockland Martel’s blog about this edit here:

Doug Menuez on photographing hands « Stockland Martel

Wednesday
13
October 2010

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RICK SMOLAN IS OUR NEW GUEST CURATOR!

I’m delighted to announce that our new Guest Curator at Menuez Archive Projects is my dear friend and mentor Rick Smolan. He has taken a run through the archive and come up with not one, but four interesting edits. Rick has been a huge inspiration as a photojournalist (many covers of Time, National Geographic, etc) and then book creator and publisher, and has been a huge influence on my career. Shooting the Day in the Life books each year was a highlight for me. Rick was the guy who taught me in the mid-80’s what a model release was among other things. And how important those could be even for photojournalists who might later want to sell stock. Hello! Each month or two we feature a new picture editor, art director, photographer, or friend of photography to share their take on what they find in the archive. They say every photographer needs and editor, and I believe them. Please take a look at what Rick put together on MAP: Menuez Archive Projects Home click “Guest Curators”

Monday
04
October 2010

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NEVER SHOOT KIDS OR ANIMALS

HA! Why can’t I get that simple, age-old rule from ancient photo wisdom figured out? Because kids are endlessly fascinating. And unpredictable. And chaotic. And that’s good fun. I also think I’m attracted to shooting kids because I grew up so fast and am now starting slowly to regress to a second childhood. At least that’s a goal. And although I’ve shot kids all over the world in various cultures, becoming a parent really gave me a heightened awareness of the curious child mindset. I love to try to imagine what they are imagining. But today we are launching a special edit called “CHILDHOOD” on Menuez Archive Projects and featuring a tight edit from our archive of some favorite shots of children. You can read about it on the Stockland Martel blog here and see it by clicking the link or image below.

Doug Menuez on photographing kids (hint: Forget about being the boss) « Stockland Martel

Menuez Archive Projects Home

©2010 Doug Menuez/ Menuez Archive Projects

Wednesday
22
September 2010

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NEW WORK: MENUEZ ARCHIVE PROJECTS

I’m very happy to announce that we’ve just uploaded 1000 new sports images on Menuez Archive Projects. Take a look at a tight edit called “Performance” here: Menuez Archive Projects Home As we move past the sweltering summer, grateful to finally have working AC, it’s time for new work to go up at Menuez Archive Projects. We’ve done some really cool edits and will be posting a new edit every week for the next 8 weeks. Check out Stockland Martel’s new blog about the first batch of sports images called “Performance”  here: Doug Menuez on capturing “the soul of sport” « Stockland Martel

Wednesday
15
September 2010

NEW SANTA FE WORKSHOP + CONTEST

I’m delighted to announce I will be teaching again at the Santa Fe Photo Workshops this winter AND you can win it (or another of your choice) by entering the first ever Santa Fe Photo Workshop Contest. The theme is “FAMILY” and the deadline is September 15, with $14,000 in prizes! Crazy, I know. Let’s go! Photography Contest | Santa Fe Photographic Workshops Santa Fe, New Mexico

My new workshop is called “The Human Experience: Making a Difference with Your Photographs,” February 13-19,  2011.  It’s about how to take your personal projects and give them structure and creating synergistic funding opportunities, how to do traditional and self-published books, new models for distribution and marketing and non profits and all that good stuff, more details soon. But I want to find photographers who are trying to make images that are meaningful and help them find ways to realize their projects. Not easy!

Santa Fe Photo Workshop Contest: Family

Wednesday
08
September 2010

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YOU: NOT A GADGET!

Will the human race be subsumed by self-aware computers as they gain super intelligence and take over the planet? This is the “Terminator” type scenario envisioned as somehow a happy thing by the fans of the future melding of man and machine known as the Singularity.  Are we falling into a trap with our misplaced faith that computers are somehow able to replicate human experience? Does this mean Facebook and other social databases demean and diminish human randomness and experience? Are we willingly destroying our individuality in favor of a borg-like hive mind noosphere cult?

Yeah, kind of, yes, to all of the above,  according to Jaron Lanier, the multi-talented scientist who lead the development of virtual reality among other projects. His recent book, “You Are Not a Gadget” is a thoughtful argument against the rising tide of mob mentality and misplaced faith in technology and computers that is destroying our individual humanity. It’s an incredibly eye-opening read I highly recommend. He’s not against the internet or new technology. He is carefully constructing an argument in favor of deeper thought, awareness and planning to prevent mob rule and the loss of our humanity.
Will humanist concerns guide technology development to leverage our brains with better tools, not supplanting them? Yes, perhaps if enough people read this book.

Web resources related to the book You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier

Saturday
04
September 2010

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STEPHANIE MENUEZ JOINS MAP!

I’m thrilled to announce that Stephanie Menuez has joined Menuez Archive Projects as Director of New Business & Marketing. Many of you know her from her 13-year career as a top rep in San Francisco, though I knew of her long before that—she’s my sister. Here’s a shot of us my dad took when we were like 3:

©D. Barry Menuez

Steph has had her own amazing career off broadway in the 80’s and then in Hollywood in movies, got tired of that and we started working together in the mid-90’s as I was entering a new phase in my career. She has an incredible eye and is now a painter. Her intuitive way of working with people and generous spirit has been such a strong part of my work in the past. We’ve not worked together for the past five years so it’s a great reunion!

In her new role, Stephanie will serve as our client’s guide to unlocking the creative potential of MAP’s vast archives of exclusive stock imagery by doing custom searches. And she’ll will work closely with our superagents at Stockland Martel to support their sales efforts on our behalf. She’s also looking forward to hearing about what you’re working on. In fact, if you’re in New York and want to meet up for lunch, give Stephanie a call (212.336.1561) or email her (stephanie@menuez.com).

Stephanie Menuez joins Menuez Archive Projects as Director of New Business & Marketing « Stockland Martel

Thursday
08
July 2010

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OWN THE ANGST!

We’ve started to actually sell some of these off my www.menuez.com site and people stop me here in NYC on the street so I thought I’d put a spotlight on this particular shirt below. I started mumbling this to myself when I started having my various epiphanies about how to build a satisfying creative life for the long term. You have to deal with and let go of fear, first of all, and if you are a freelancer / artist then you’ll have plenty to deal with. No matter how successful, we truly never know when the next job is coming or if we’ll sell another print or whatever. There are no guarantees in life and for those not regularly employed and who rely solely on their talent and vision to feed themselves and families, well, it’s doubly true. This t-shirt is like a daily mantra to get over that wierd vagueness. Staying positive and believing in yourself no matter what happens or what the critics say. Or what the economy does! We will survive! Embrace the angst!

Available at www.menuez.com > commissions > information > store   or  Doug Menuez

Tuesday
01
June 2010

NEW BOOK: EVIDENCE OF LOVE

Please check out my new book now on sale at Blurb– EVIDENCE OF LOVE ON PLANET EARTH: PHOTOGRAPHS 1978 – 2010 | By Doug Menuez | Category: Arts & Photography | Blurb — our first book from Menuez Archive Projects. An edit of the archive for a show we did to launch and is on the them of love. Don’t we all want to find true love? Edited by famed Picture Editor Karen Mullarkey (Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone). Hope you enjoy. Artist’s statement below…

EVIDENCE OF LOVE ON PLANET EARTH: PHOTOGRAPHS 1978 – 2010

We all want to be loved––it’s built into our DNA. Along with the need for food and shelter, love, or the lack thereof, is clearly the main driving wheel of civilization and the arts. No matter how cool or important you are, how hip your clothing, friends or hang-outs, deep down you want to find and connect with that one person who will make life worth living. You just do.

Some say that every film is a variation on one of only six or seven themes from life. Most of these themes center on  love––the loss of love, the triumph of love, the betrayal and deceit of false lovers, and so on. We need love so badly that we often trivialize that need until it becomes a trite subject, masking the pain of such a profound and crucial component of our human psyches.

These images were pulled from my work going back 30 years and show moments that reflect a fundamental aspect of being alive: the act of loving another human being. Love and lust are intertwined, and there are consequences to both, of course. Selecting photographs around this theme from my archive was a wonderful revelation in that I found I’ve been particularly alert to love in its various manifestations over the years. I guess that makes me a voyeur.

Thursday
20
May 2010

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