I really, really love this headshot of Steven Allen. He is a really nice guy with a wonderful quality about him. Generally, he comes sweet and approachable. That really works for both commercial and theatrical headshots and castings, but with this shot we were going for something abit more gritty and cynical to bounce off of his commercial looks. I like to do this with actors as long as it is right for castings. I don’t know, this headshot feels dead on to me without feeling “put on” or too heavy handed.
– Peter Konerko Photography, the authentic los angeles headshot photographer.
I left my phone in the car when I went into the coffeehouse. Yep, I chose not to look at my messages from my acting clients about headshots…or from my accountant…or from my non-actor clients looking to shoot something for their professional life. I just stood in line and allowed myself to be present and look at what was going on around me. The visuals as well as the sounds. Just taking it all in. It seems so obvious and simple, but I think not being tied to my phone during these “transition” moments means everything. These are the moments when you see that “thing” that inspires a poem or a portrait. A painting or a song. I have been buried in my devices. Not looking up. not living in the present and allowing mother nature to feed.
Peter Konerko is a photographer based in Los Angeles specializing in actor headshots, portraits, and more.
Making some test prints today in the Dahlia Studio. Looking at some older work. Brooklyn 2005.
My Angel read this to me last night:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910
I am in constant flux. Just when things are good and comfortable, I mix it up and make it difficult. Comfort makes me lazy. Lazy makes me angry. Angry makes me a lame Photographer, a terrible Husband, and a deadbeat Dad. I thought for sure there would be a day when I just felt settled or at least calm. Secure in my choices. I feel that to a degree, but I must admit, I am in constant flux. I know I am supposed to feel like this is great and that’s how it is as an artist…but I am almost embarrassed to admit that sometimes I feel like a complete fraud and “being an artist” is the furthest thing from my core. I want the concrete. I want to cross the finish line. As I write this I am realizing it is time to mix it up and dive into the flux again. Open eyes. Look. Digest. Breathe. Click. Process. Print. Rip. Print. Breathe. Finish line disappears. Repeat.
Working on some prints of the Sonoma Coast. Very excited about them. A departure for me. Trying to see outside the box…
This film will be part of the New Filmmakers Festival running this weekend.
click here for the New Filmmakers Festival Page.
click here to watch the 14 min. Short Film (re)birth.
What inspired you to make this film? did you HAVE to tell this story.
I was inspired to make this film because I was in the process of trying to have a baby with my wife and the thought came to me that things would be very traumatic if one person really wanted to have a child and the other person REALLY didn’t want to have a child. What would you do? Is it possible that you would leave your partner for over 10 years to try to find someone else who was willing to have a baby? There are a lot of complicated situations there.
Would you shoot the film if you did not have access to digital equipment?
I probably would not have shot this if i didn’t have access to digital equipment. The cost of shooting film is so cost prohibitive that unless you have a real budget…it makes it very difficult. so being able to do it myself made it easier to do this project.
At what moment during shooting did you think this is going to work or not work?
The final climatic scene in the film is very very emotional. It required a huge commitment from the actors to really bring the pain of this situation. We were over our time budget and the scene was scheduled to be shot at 9pm wasn’t ready to shoot until 2am. The actors were exhausted and we shot it in the middle of the night. It just wasn’t working. It was very disorienting for them and it wasn’t working. The film just doesn’t work without this final scene. At that point I didn’t think this was going to happen. I thought it might not work out. The two actors took some some and worked through some things together and came back and absolutely blew the doors off. It was so emotional for both of them that I was able to only shoot it once. They just emotionally exploded and it was exactly what the scene needed. Once that scene was done…i knew we had a film.
Hi Chelsea. Thanks for the questions. Well, for me, it was a process of increasing responsibility that pushed me towards figuring things out. Quickly. Not all in a financial way but also in an artistic way. My time became more limited and I needed to work more efficiently…which led to more specific work…which led to more financial stability. I focused on executing a single idea rather than just always having ideas. Also, things get very clear when you have people to support. Everything that does not move train forward gets discarded. I also believe that everyone has their own process and personal timelines. I work 60 hours a week but I make time for meditation and physical activity within the 60 hours. This is “work” to me. A holistic approach to life and work. I now understand that everything is connected and I am very fortunate to be able to make my living with my camera. I am also starting to think that the word “work” does not exist anymore. For me it is just “life”.
Color Headshots have been around now for a good ten years in LA and a strong seven in NYC. I know because I was in NYC when the transition happened. I was part of the movement to color…somewhat against my will. I knew it was coming and, hey, it was jump on board or get left behind. Now, I feel like color is everywhere and there is no separation. I’m tired of the “brightest shit contest” that is happening now. It’s tired. Think abou this: when a casting person opens a page it is a mosaic of faces…in color of course. Imagine a strong black and white photo somewhere on that page. Remember that the eye is drawn to contrast. Why did color succeed in the beginning? CONTRAST. NOT COLOR. The same would be true for a black and white portrait or headshot. Think about it next time you shoot a session of post something of yourself. Think of the depth and mystery of a black and white photo nestled in the color mosaic of faces.
jack kehler @ the dahlia studio
Emma Barrow started with me this week here at the studio. She is talented in every aspect of the word.