Holy Granola; So, guest blogger Allen brought you a few of our Shoot! The Day (which is Sunday!) group leader interviews (Mr. Black and Mr. Strobist) while I was sunning myself out East, and now I’m going to take up that interview baton. Except not really on this one, because Allen pretty much conducted the whole thing. I just put in some pictures.
Suffice it to say: This interview is with the awesome Glenn Glasser. He’s a leader!
Heeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Allen. And Glenn…..
Everyone seems to be a few degrees of separation from Glenn Glasser, perhaps in part because he’s a gregarious and genuine person. I first met Glenn last year at a PhotoShelter event because he was friends with a college classmate of mine, and since then, his career has continued to blossom. Most recently, he’s one of the regular photographers for New York Magazine’s “Look Book” where they take photos of people on the street who are typically very fashionable and get their story.
Glenn is leading our “Active Seniors” shoot on Shoot! The Day.
You’re a successful New York photographer, and you also have a ton of
work in the PhotoShelter collection. Is stock photography something
you’ve always considered to supplement your income?
I started out in this game like most others, by assisting. The photographer I worked with used to derive a majority of his income from stock sales. I was fortunate to learn at an early stage in my career to get a model release from everybody I shoot. Every camera bag I own has a few folded releases tucked in somewhere. You just never know.
You shoot “The Look Book” feature for New York Magazine. what is the process
like to stop people in the street and take their picture? what’s your
standard gear set-up?
Photographing passersby against a seamless has always been a
project of mine. The setup is very dependent on weather and is usually
placed in the shade with a flash fill set slightly above ambient.
people on the street has almost turned into a game and requires a great
deal of patience for the right person to walk by. I am always
surprised by the number of people who are willing to pose. I never
have any set up shots on the seamless– I just try to create an environment
where the subject is comfortable.
“My wife mainly wears her own designs.”
Brett Kane, F.I.T. Student
“I think about clothes all the time. Like, literally all the time.”
You shoot a ton of pictures of your family, especially your
grandparents. were they a natural subject for you? do you have to direct
I am fortunate to have all four grandparents around and they are more than generous to pose for me. I have always been fascinated by old couples and the love that they represent. My grandparents are my heroes– and looking up to them as subjects is very natural. I document their stories on audio and video– and from time to time capture how they live and relate to each other at home. I don’t have to direct them so much as I have to speak loud and clear– because I’m often dealing with a 96 year old man who refuses to wear a hearing aid because he thinks it will make him look too old.
With seniors– they have survived, worked hard, lived through war,
made difficult choices, adapted, overcome, witnessed an explosion of
technology over a lifetime, laughed, cried, built, understood,
reflected, and are now eager to impart. I often take ample time during
my portrait sessions to genuinely hear their stories.
You did a series of photos with your grandfather and a very attractive model for his birthday. Can I be your grandfather?
My mother’s father, Poppy, was turning 92 and I wanted to do
something special for his birthday. So I hopped on a jet blue flight
to Hallendale Beach, FL with my good friend Kelly Sebastian and gave
him a model for a day. They walked on the beach and smoked cigars,
went shopping together at Publix, and at the end of the day– they got
into bed together and spooned. I can only hope my grandson does the
same for me.
How do you drum up new business? do you actively send portfolios out,
or is it getting to the point where people know your work and your phone
is ringing off the hook?
I think that it’s important to be honest with yourself in this
business and have an idea of what you want to say. It will only be a
matter of time before others take notice and that phone call comes from
a photo editor. I still get goose bumps, BTW, with any commission. Fame
and fortune don’t happen overnight, and our job is a lonely profession
that requires patience and a constant work ethic. I’ve found that most
of my work has come from meeting people– face to face. I know it’s a
novel concept, but actually meeting people works. I work from about
250 names and addresses that I would like to work with, I always send
out handmade mailers, and I periodically call people to chat about
things other than work or getting work. It’s not the most sound
formula, but it’s just what feels comfortable– and I feel very
fortunate that all if not most of clients are repeat business.
Your website is pretty cool. is it pretty easy to update for you? What
has been the reaction of art directors and buyers to it?
Sincere thanks fer the nod on the website— it’s been a labor of love. I designed and built it with a finished
back end– it’s the easiest site to update and i can place images on a
private and secure address for clients to view images.
Go team go!