Giving Back

image (c)Bonnie Rae Mills

Ellen had the opportunity to participate in a planning retreat in Lake Tahoe for the Young Photographers Alliance. Spending 2 ½ days with a group of dedicated and determined smart thinkers – some of the best in our business – was inspiring and energizing. In a startlingly short amount of time, the YPA has picked up momentum and buzz. So happy to be part of this. As we build NEAT Production, we are committed to basic clear principles (of course we want to make great images and pots of money for us and our clients), but it’s equally our responsibility to proceed consciously as to how we interact with our clients, crews, our environment and all the diverse communities we touch.

All the world is a stage

(c)Eric Raptosh

Jumping on board with Eric to style a travelling troupe of UK performance artists was a no brainer  this past September. The five friends whom Eric met on Venice Beach had just come from Burning Man and were game for an impromtu shoot with us. Showing up with bags and suitcases of costumes, hats, jewelry, scarves, boots, kilts, and one piece custom made monkey leotards, Barbara likened styling these guys to being a kid in a candy shop.

Shifting the thinking

(c) Eric Raptosh

Waste and lack of consistent recycling policies on shoots has long been an irritant.

Those little plastic bottles are just so wrong, as are the plastic utensils, paper coffee cups, styro-foam food containers. We suggested to the crew that we try to eliminate as much waste as possible. So on the next shoot (with a theme of Eco-Living, curiously enough…) we invited both cast and crew to bring their own water bottles and coffee cups. We brought cutlery, plates, cups and linen napkins, along with cotton towels for cleaning rather than paper towels. At the end of a 10-hour day, with a crew of 20, we were surprised and gratified to see that we had not even filled one trash or recycling bag.And that was just the small victories behind the scenes; the images are just stunning, great prop, set and wardrobe styling and gorgeous models. One of the best days ever!

Casting

(c) Eric Raptosh

The brief calls for authenticity, real relationships and respect. Gotta love Craigslist, people watching and street casting. We produced an urban lifestyle in a stunning loft DTLA with this vibrant gorgeous couple. Their energy and obvious love made the pictures, don’t you think?

Downtown

(c)Peter Bohler

Shooting three models in five downtown LA locations in under six hours is the kind of thing that makes us excited about our job. The images from this night time shoot with photographer Pete Bohler are both creative and architecturally beautiful, showcasing some of Los Angeles’ unique character and personality. From metro stations to bus stops and dark freeway underpasses, Pete did an amazing job recognizing beauty in places that few people see it.

They said it would happen this way

(c)Eric Raptosh

So, Robert Kent (from the Compassionate Eye Foundation) introduced us to Eric Raptosh and his wonderful team . This has resulted in a summer full of producing some of the best stock imagery we have ever worked on; pooling talent, expertise, philosophical view points, applying Eric’s unique eye for composition and subject empathy but reinventing it for tried and true stock concepts with a twist. Loved working with our ‘tweens; and we continue to reaffirm that the most simple images are the most true.

Summer Solstice – 2009

Compassionate Eye Shoot

(c)Tim Pannell for Compassionate Eye 2009

Summer Solstice – 2009

A good friend and colleague, Andrea Rosenfeld told us about the Compassionate Eye Foundation (http://compassionateeye.org) a month or so ago. She is one of the City Chapter Heads in Los Angeles and asked if we were interested in getting involved in the shoots. After quickly checking our schedules, we saw we were (pretty) available.

The month of June proved to be an exhaustive, exhilarating, challenging time, when we worked with tremendous talent to produce and create 7 complete stock photo shoots and a wrap party and a book and an A/V show – relying heavily on donations, volunteers, our phonebooks and the kindness of strangers. We were so pleased to be part of making pictures that will help build schools. There was an underlying joi de vivre permeating the experience and the experience of every participant. It is safe to say that this experience has helped form the genesis of NEAT Production.