Editorial, Commercial and Travel Photographer Susan Seubert Gives TEDx Talk at EHC

Editorial, Commercial and Travel Photographer Susan Seubert Gives TEDx Talk at EHC

TEDxEHC1 (1)Last month I was invited to give a TEDx talk at the Emory and Henry College in Virginia and it was a smashing success!  This was my first TED talk and I was asked to address what it’s like to have a DIY career as a travel photographer for big name clients like National Geographic  and the New York Times. It was a challenge to memorize a 12 minute talk because although I’ve done a lot of public speaking, I’m used to the crutch of a podium and my computer for prompting me in the right direction.  The other pressure came from knowing that you have 6 or so video cameras trained on you, recording your every breath.  It took many meetings over Skype with the TEDx committee at the college to settle on the final monologue, which focuses on the importance of other people who help make your career and dreams possible.  The talk offers some encouraging words for young photographers, so feel free to share this with anyone who you feel might benefit.

Enjoy and thanks for visiting!

Susan Seubert’s Fine Art Exhibit, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”

"Entwined", 50x40", Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plat Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

“Entwined”, 50×40″, Digital Pigment Print from Wet Plate Collodion Negative, 2015, edition of 15, signed, numbered and dated on verso, model: Twinka Thiebaud

April 2015 is “Photo Month” in Portland and to celebrate I’ve mounted an exhibition at the Froelick Gallery entitled, “The Fallacy of Hindsight.”

You can read a review of the show by David Stabler here.

“Looking back, all of us could have made different choices that would have affected our lives today. A job taken or not. A relationship pursued or not. A relocation at a pivotal moment. Susan Seubert’s small, evocative photographs at Froelick Gallery spring from her past, documenting choices she made over the past 25 years.”

The work addresses notions of hindsight bias and memory. In conjunction with the Photolucida Events, I’ll be speaking at the gallery on April 25th at 11am.  The talk is free and open to the public and I hope to see many of you there!  The Froelick Gallery is located near the intersection of NW Davis and Broadway at 714 NW Davis in the DeSoto Building.

Following is the press release:

“In her solo exhibit, renowned photographer Susan Seubert will exhibit two distinct bodies of work on the subject of hindsight bias. 100 Memories, a series of 100 5″ x 5″ photographs recreating moments from the past 25 years of her life, alternating between literal depiction and emotional interpretation of events. Through these she examines her own choices and biases. The High Arctic is a series of photographs taken in June 2014 in the archipelago of Svalbard, where “the vast fields of broken ice sheets demonstrate global warming in the most literal of lamentable illustrations”. Entwined, a stand-alone work, shows its subject holding a large ball of twine which wraps around her face, conjuring feelings of being bound by one’s own thoughts while also possessing the means to control them.”

Here is a glimpse of the installation:

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert's show, "The Fallacy of Hindsight"

The installation at the Froelick Gallery of Susan Seubert’s show, “The Fallacy of Hindsight”




Photographer Susan Seubert speaks for National Geographic Seminar on The Travel Assignment

Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Lower Vieux Quebec, also known as Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada          image copyright © 2014 Susan Seubert

Public speaking, for me, was once a terrifying prospect.  Standing on stage in front of an auditorium full of strangers, lights low with maybe a dim spotlight on me, huge images projected on the screen behind me: this scenario was petrifying. Yet over the years, it’s become much easier for me to stand in front of an audience and speak.  Perhaps it’s from practice or maybe it’s simply the passing of time, but either way I am now much more familiar with myself and what I do than I was when I gave my first formal lecture.  It was to the Society for Photographic Education’s Conference at Evergreen State College in Washington.  I was 22 years old and had to excuse myself after the first sentence came out of my mouth as I thought I might pass out.

Thankfully, that was not the case these past two Sundays when I had the opportunity to speak alongside National Geographic Traveler’s Director of Photography, Dan Westergren.  I had been asked by the National Geographic Seminar program to prepare a day long talk about “The Travel Assignment”, something with which I am now familiar.  The day was broken up into several segments in order to address the subject in as comprehensive a manner as possible in under 6 hours.  Dan and I took turns speaking depending on the subject. Occasionally we would interject a relevant story or address a specific audience member’s question during the other person’s presentation.  My subjects were the following: “How Portraiture Can Inform a Larger Narrative;” “What I Carry in My Daily Camera Bags and Why (using pictures to illustrate not only the gear, but also examples using different lens lengths, hello Canon and Think Tank!! );” and finally to present two stories shot on assignment for the magazine.  Dan’s topics were: “Photos We Love and Why;” “Histogram, White Balance and Composition;” “Mirror-less Cameras;” “Using Light;” and “Essence of Place.”

A highlight of the program for me was Dan’s opening sequence of, “Photos We Love and Why.”  November 2014 is National Geographic Traveler’s 30th Anniversary, and I am humbled and pleased to have one of my images included in their 30 Greatest Travel Photos in 30 Years.  Because these were the images Dan chose to show as part of the program, I was able to explain the behind-the-scenes of my image chosen, and Dan described the criteria he and his editors use in the selection process for the photos published in the magazine, and how those criteria had changed over time.  Considering that over 30 million images have been submitted to National Geographic Traveler and of those, approximately 34,000 have been published in those 30 years, I feel very fortunate that one of mine landed in the chosen 30.

In both Los Angeles and Portland, our audiences were terrific!  Everyone was engaged, positive, asked great questions and seemed pleased to have spent an entire Sunday in a darkened room, looking at pictures with Dan and me.  In fact, one of the winners of the 2014 National Geographic Traveler Photography Competition was in attendance at our Portland seminar. One of the many benefits of attending these seminars is that we allow a good amount of time for questions where anyone in the audience can ask and we are right there to answer.  Our goal is to be there to not only provide insight and information about the world inside National Geographic Traveler Magazine, but also to tailor the day for interaction with participants.  I always dine with the guests so we can possibly continue talking during lunch. Participants also received a handout which has not only the information we address during the seminar, but also a list of resource web sites for Travel Photographers.

I look forward to my upcoming speaking engagements. I will discuss my work during Portland’s upcoming Photolucida. I am scheduled to give a talk to the students at the Pacific Northwest College of Art during one of their “Career Chat” programs and also at the Froelick Gallery where I’ll be having a show of my work in April. I will be giving another seminar for the National Geographic Seminar program this coming spring. As the schedule becomes available, I’ll be posting about it on my social network pages as well as on this blog.

Presenting my portrait images at the Skirball Auditorium in Los Angeles for National Geographic Seminars, "The Travel Assignment"

Presenting my portrait images at the Skirball Cultural Center Auditorium in Los Angeles for National Geographic Seminars, “The Travel Assignment”

Thank you for visiting my blog and have a great day!

Fine Art and Editorial Photographer Susan Seubert Noontime Chat at the Portland Art Museum

I have been invited by the Portland Art Museum’s Photo Council to give a talk about my work as an editorial photographer and a fine art photographer.  The talk will take place at the museum in the Miller room on Wednesday, February 17th at noon and is open to the public.  There was blurb about the talk on DK Row’s blog and in today’s Oregonian Newspaper. The talk will largely revolve around the broad notion that photography is simply a device used to communicate ideas.  Those ideas can be as distinct as each individual that chooses the camera as their medium.  More to come on Wednesday…  bring your lunch and be sure to not shy away from asking questions!  This is a casual affair.

Here is the press release:

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Jim Leisy (Photography Council)
503.708.3387 / jimleisy@fbeedle.com

“I’ve Led Two Lives”
a public talk by
Susan Seubert

at the Portland Art Museum
Wednesday February 17 at Noon, in the Miller Room

PORTLAND, Ore. —Noted photographer Susan Seubert will be giving a public talk about pursuing two discrete photographic careers: one as an artist and the other as an editorial photographer.

In this talk, I will discuss the challenges and rewards of being both a fine art and editorial photographer, how I’ve kept the two careers separate, and how ultimately they’ve grown to inform and involve one another.  I will show work that spans both careers.
—Susan Seubert

Susan Seubert’s public talk is part of the Photography Council’s monthly “Brown Bag Series”, a series of informal presentations by Northwest photography luminaries, the 3rd Wednesday of every month from Noon – 1 p.m. in the Miller Room at the Portland Art Museum.
This presentation is sponsored by the Portland Art Museum’s Photography Council.

Lecture by:      Susan Seubert, fine art & editorial photographer
Date & Time:     Wednesday February 17, Noon – 1 p.m.
Location:         Miller Room in the Mark Building
Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205
Cost:                Free to the public.  (Attendees are welcome to bring their lunch.)

About Susan Seubert
Susan Seubert was born in 1970 in Indianapolis, Indiana and is an active fine art and journalism photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Her provocative imagery has earned her critical acclaim with inclusion in the Portland Art Museum’s 1999 and 2001 Biennials and most recently in the 2009 Tacoma Art Museum Biennial. In 1999 Columbia University awarded Ms. Seubert an Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for her magazine work. Exacting in her preparation and printing, she is a master with the techniques of silver gelatin, platinum, tintype and wet plate collodion.  Since receiving her BFA in photography from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 1992, Seubert has exhibited continuously in the United States. She was featured at Houston Center for Photography in 1997, and included in exhibit at Exit Art (New York) in 2001.  Currently, her work is represented by Froelick Gallery (Portland, OR), G. Gibson Gallery (Seattle, WA), and the Joseph Bellows Gallery (La Jolla, CA).

About the Photography Council
The Portland Art Museum Photography Council offers members behind-the-scenes access to collections, exhibitions, and curators. The council sponsors annual acquisitions for the Museum’s photography collection and brings renowned international photographers and historians to Portland for public and private events. Since its founding in 2001, the council has sponsored programs by David Byrne, Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, Abelardo Morell, Jerry Ueslmann, and many more. Dues to join the Photography Council are $100 for Members, $200 for Contributor Members, and $500 for the Advocate Member level.

About the Portland Art Museum
The seventh oldest museum in the United States and the oldest on the West Coast, the Portland Art Museum is internationally recognized for its permanent collection and ambitious special exhibitions drawn from the Museum’s holdings and the world’s finest public and private collections. The Museum’s collection of 42,000 objects, displayed in 112,000 square feet of galleries, reflects the history of art from ancient times to today. The collection is distinguished for its holdings of arts of the native peoples of North America, English silver, and the graphic arts. An active collecting institution, dedicated to preserving great art for the enrichment of future generations, the Museum devotes 90 percent of its galleries to its permanent collection. The Museum’s campus of landmark buildings, a cornerstone of Portland’s cultural district, includes the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, the Gilkey Center for Graphic Arts, the Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art, the Northwest Film Center, and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Center for Native American Art. With a membership of more than 22,000 households and serving more than 350,000 visitors annually, the Museum is a premier venue for education in the visual arts. For information on exhibitions and programs, call 503.226.2811 or visit portlandartmuseum.org.

Editor’s Note: For high resolution images please contact Jim Leisy at
jimleisy@fbeedle.com or 503.708.3387.

Florida - holding a baby alligator. Learned a lot about how to hold one.

photo by Chris Hornbecker

Photolucida Portland Talk

Next week I will be giving a talk at Photolucida on Thursday, April 23rd at 11:15am with fellow photographer and all around amazing person Robbie McClaran.  If you are attending Photolucida, please come on by – we hope to at the very least be entertaining!  We will both discuss how we got started, the difference between personal and commercial projects and how they can be related (or not), along with tales from the field.  I worked as Robbie’s assistant in the 90’s and later we shared a studio together.

I’ll be showing a mix of my personal work and my editorial work.

See you then!

Tacoma Art Museum Biennial Exhibition Talk

This Saturday, February 28th, I’ll be giving a talk about my work at the Tacoma Art Museum along with the three other photographers selected for the exhibition: Michael Kenna, Doug Keyes and Isaac Layman.  The title of the half day program is called, “Taking Pictures Through Multiple Lenses: Photography in the Biennial.”  Each of us has been asked to present a 40 minute presentation.  I am scheduled to speak at 11:40am, so if you’re in Tacoma and don’t have anything better to do, please join us!  I promise to try and make you laugh.   I’m looking forward to hearing Doug and Isaac particularly because I don’t know either of these artists personally and their work in the Biennial is impressive.  Michael Kenna is always a great speaker and is the most famous of our lot, so I’m looking forward to hearing him speak again, and interested to see what he’s been up to in Japan, besides singing karaoke, which I understand he can do in perfect Japanese.  Ohio!