Entries were up 3.6% this year for a total of 8,594 submissions. With such a substantial quantity, it’s inevitable that emerging visual trends quickly become clichés in a matter of hours.
“How many more photos could we see of Africa, Iraq, cowboys, amusement parks, motels, animals, even strippers, without thinking is this good, or just more of a retread,” said juror Craig Clark.
For juror Nan Oshin, “It seems as though photography in general is somewhere between trends—images driven by the German architecturally-influenced idea of photography (à la Andreas Gursky) and the image as kitsch.”
Several jurors offered constructive criticism. Doug Pedersen saw a number of great series brought down by the inclusion of weaker pieces. “I often found myself voting great work out because the entrants did not take the time to really consider what images they should be putting together,” he said.
“It’s time for photographers to step back from Photoshop,” advised juror Craig Cutler. “Just because you can make a perfect image doesn’t mean you should. The heavy retouching created a lifeless illustrative quality in many of the entry images. I found this especially disturbing in location work.”
“People will remember an image that has a good concept and forget a beautiful image that lacks one.” —Craig Cutler
When asked about how photographers might increase future revenue, Pedersen suggested they offer an extensive stock collection of their imagery through their own Web site. “It would be great to see more photographers do this,” he said. “Art directors and designers would welcome this new source for imagery, and photographers would certainly welcome the ability to make a few bucks off of work they’ve already shot.”
“Think up good photo-driven stories and then pitch them to the appropriate magazines,” juror Hannah McCaughey suggested. “I wish photographers would make more pitches. Just one great idea can get you a big shoot.”
This year’s jurying began on Sunday morning, April 25th at our offices in Menlo Park, California. We worked in two large conference halls especially built for our competitions, each equipped with a projector for slide entries and six rows of tables for tearsheets and proofs.
The jurors worked in two groups of three; I was the sixth judge during the screening process. All but the smallest categories had been divided so each team screened half of the entries submitted. The jurors alternated between viewing a carousel of slides and then a set-up of print entries.
“A good solid photograph is something that speaks to you the instant you see it.” —Craig Clark
The final voting took place on Monday with all five jurors working together. Print entries were again spread out on the tables. Two paper cups, one white for “in,” the other red for “out,” with slots cut in the bottom, were placed upside down to the right of the pieces. The jurors voted by putting a colored tile into the bottom of the appropriate cup. The different colored tiles allowed us to make sure that every entry was voted on by every juror. Finalists on slides were voted on by each juror checking “in” or “out” on scoring sheets.
Judges were not permitted to vote on projects they were directly involved in. When a judge’s piece was in the finals, either Jean Coyne or I would cast the fifth vote.
One-hundred and ninety-four entries were chosen representing the work of 167 photographers. These accepted entries were treated as equals in the design of the Annual. Decisions on size and placement were based on reproduction evaluations, pacing and the need to control press channels and ink usage for web printing.
I would like to thank our jurors’ conscientious efforts in selecting the 45th Photography Annual. —Patrick Coyne ca
Craig Clark is a senior designer at Tolleson Design in San Francisco, California. An honors graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Craig started his design career as an intern with April Greiman in Los Angeles, and has worked for Cahan & Associates in San Francisco, Frankfurt Balkind and Doyle Partners in New York City. His work is included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, has been shown in national exhibitions and has been recognized by AIGA, Communication Arts, D&AD, Graphis, I.D. and the Type Directors Club, among others. After his design career ends, Craig is planning on becoming a rock star or comedian, whichever comes first.
Craig Cutler has over twenty years of experience behind the camera. Trained as a graphic designer, he started his career as a still-life photographer. Today, based in New York City, he divides his work equally between portraiture, location and still-life for both editorial and advertising clients. Cutler’s work has received several notable awards and merits from a wide variety of publications including The Art Director’s Club, Communication Arts, Graphis and The One Show. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Craig lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children.
Hannah McCaughey is the creative director of Outside magazine based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she started working in October 2001. Before that she was the deputy art director at Esquire for two years in New York City. Her first job out of Barnard College (where she received a B.A. in American History) was as a secretary for the fashion director of Rolling Stone. She then got to know and love Fred Woodward (just down the hall), the then creative director and one day got up the nerve to tell him that she wanted to do what he did when she grew up. Kindly enough, he helped her develop a plan to study design at Parsons School of Design which she did until he finally hired her as a designer (even more kindly). She worked for Rolling Stone as a designer for two years before going to Esquire. Now she lives in an eight-year-old house on two acres of land in Santa Fe with her fiancé Stephen and her fourteen-year-old dog Lovey.
Senior art directo/photo editor
Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine
Nan Oshin is the senior art director and photo editor at the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine. Prior to this, Oshin was the art director at San Francisco Focus. She designed the format for and art directed Angeles Magazine, a monthly lifestyle magazine and redesigned and subsequently art directed Designers West Magazine, a shelter publication. In addition, Nan designed books for WW Norton, Price Stern Sloan Publishers and Knapp Communications, including books for Bon Appétit and Architectural Digest. She started her editorial career at GQ magazine after graduating from Art Center College of Design, and served on the faculty and as an advisor in the Art Center photography department for twelve years, co-chairing the department for three years. She has won numerous awards, been published in and juried shows for the Society of Publication Designers, Communication Arts, the Western Publishing Association, Women in Design, the APA, Photo District News, CMYK, American Photography and American Illustration.
Loeffler Ketchum Mountjoy
Doug Pedersen is an art director with Loeffler Ketchum Mountjoy in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before moving to the cooler climate of that state, he spent many hot summers in Fort Worth and Austin, Texas, where he attended The University of Texas. He has worked on numerous accounts since joining the agency in 1997. His work has been featured in Archive, Communication Arts, D&AD, Graphis, The Kelly Awards and The One Show. When he’s not thinking about advertising, he enjoys avoiding yardwork and adding to his collection of movie soundtrack scores.