We Have A Winner!

Ian Paul, CIO of Naughty America talks with Jordan Yerkes (Director of I.T.) at their Corporate HQ in San Diego, CA, 08/31/2016.I’m honored my portrait ‘Naughty America’, above, is a winner in Communication Arts 2017 Photography Competition. My third year in a row! The assignment: Naughty America, innovators in Virtual Reality porn. The Client: Forbes. My approach: ‘Office Space’ meets VR naughtiness! With much thanks to an awesome client who gives me enough rope to play creatively, but not quite enough to hang myself. Check out more from this project below and at gallagherphoto.com and get the very latest on instagram.Ian Paul, CIO of Naughty America, photographed at their Corporate HQ in San Diego, CA, 08/31/2016.Ian Paul, CIO of Naughty America, photographed at their Corporate HQ in San Diego, CA, 08/31/2016.

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A tribute on Martin Luther King day

Rev. James Lawson, photographed at the Holman United Methodist Church, Los Angeles, Ca 1/12/09. Photograph by Robert GallagherRev. James Lawson, civil rights activist photographed for Time magazine. Lawson, a revolutionary figure in the civil rights movement, invited Martin Luther King to Memphis in April 1968 where he went on to deliver his famous “Mountaintop” speech. One day later he was assassinated.

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Skim- a personal project

Skimboarding at Aliso Beach
The is not surfing. This is running, full-sprint, launching into oncoming waves, 360 aerials, tube-riding before landing back on shore, ideally untouched. This is Skimboarding.
Skimboarding at Aliso Beach
I’ve never really known much about skimboarding, but after seeing a couple of guys casually goofing around at the waters edge in Santa Monica, I figured there has to be more to it. So I decided to follow my curiosity about this under the radar sport. I’m always looking for interesting subjects to shoot for personal projects, ideally that have not been covered too much. What I found was not just a great visual feast of a sport, but a whole sub-culture, all focused at one spot, Aliso Beach, just an hour and a half down the 405 in Laguna Beach, California.
Skimboarding at Aliso Beach
Aliso is where skimboarding was invented in the 1920’s and is still generally considered to be the best place in the world to skim. People move here just to build a life around skimboarding and compete against legends. So I set out to capture the character of Skimboard culture and with the portraits a cross-section of the devotees who make Aliso what it is today.
Skimboarding at Aliso Beach
I shot over the summer months of 2015, leading up to the World Tour event at Aliso called The Vic, on the last weekend in August. After a few weeks I got to know who’s who and a great set of characters were becoming apparent thick and fast. I love to shoot portraits of people who are still effectively in their element, maintaining that authenticity and intensity. I want you to be able to almost taste the salt-water just by looking at them.
Skimboarding at Aliso Beach
But no matter how global Skimboarding becomes, Aliso will always be its home, its proving ground, its Bansai Pipeline. For more go to: gallagherphoto.com/galleries/skim

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Death Row no more

Earlier this year I spent a few days in Arizona on a controversial and emotionally charged Death Row story for Der Spiegel. Debra Milke, from Berlin, was convicted of the murder of her son Christopher in 1990 and had been awaiting her death until March 23, 2015, when her case was formally dismissed. I spent those final few transformative days with her, from going through the dismissal process, to facing the media and finally tasting true freedom again, as if for the first time.

As a photographer, this assignment called on all my skills; as portrait photographer, reportage photographer and news photographer. An intense and hectic combination, but I love to immerse myself in shooting real, honest situations with depth, and it doesn’t get much more real than Death Row. But it was a delicate situation and there was an awful lot of skepticism, doubt and questions flying around about her acquittal in general. This poor lady was literally out of the frying pan and into the fire with the world’s press! So they’re was a lot going on.

But none the less, we had a job to do to tell this story, and on top of that we needed to shoot a cover on a tight deadline, so we created a location studio in her house, as the rest of the world’s press was on her tail. Debra was clearly overwhelmed and emotionally taught with the whole thing. Not an easy situation, but with great help of my local assistant in Phoenix, Madison Kirkman, we pulled it all off.

In the end, our cover didn’t run as it was a busy news week in Germany and sadly a crazy German pilot decided to fly a plane into the side of a mountain. But here’s a mock-up of one option we were working on; Debra Milke before and after a long visit to the big house. To see more of my latest work go to gallagherphoto.com.
Bildschirmfoto-2015-03-19-um_sample
Debra Milke, photograhed at home in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Rickie Fowler wins PGA Players Championship

Rickie Fowler Golf DigestCongratulations to our buddy Rickie Folwer who finally won his first Major tournament this past weekend, and what a nailbiting playoff to decide it too. We got to have fun with Rickie during my first ever assignment for Golf Digest, one of my favorite clients.Rickie Fowler Golf DigestHe’s a first rate Motocross rider it turns out and apparently could have turned pro there too. I think he made the right choice. Good on ya Rickie, although it appears your girlfriend may have stolen all the headlines!Rickie Fowler Golf Digest

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Bora Bora for The Guardian Weekend

travel photography in Bora Bora by Robert Gallaghertravel photography in Bora Bora by Robert GallagherIt makes for an interesting life when one day out of the blue an email can come in and the very next week you’re off to a South Pacific Island for a few days to tootle around and shoot beautifully inspired pictures. What i love specifically about travel photography is that in its very essence it’s your job to immerse yourself in the travel experience. You have to feel it to capture it. That does mean long hours though, as you’ll always be top and tailing the day (shooting at sunrise and sunset) which means up at the crack for the best light, but it does make for a memorable experience!

This assignment was with esteemed writer and columnist Andrew O’Hagan, who was a great travel partner and portrait subject. Like me he had no problem getting into the zone!
travel photography in Bora Bora by Robert Gallagher
And as an extra added bonus to myself, I managed to wangle my return flight at my own expense……
Flight change fee: $100
Extra nights stay on Tahiti: $150
Rubbiing lime juice on hand, feet and butt after getting dragged over the reef surfing Taapuna: priceless!

I’ve always dreamed of surfing Tahiti, so couldn’t let this opportunity pass, but definately had no plan as to how to make it happen (there’s nowhere the rent boards on the island it turns out). But after meeting some awesome people within 24 hrs, I was also able to turn an amazing work trip into a fun little surf trip as well. Life is what you make it and take chances when opportunities arise. Oh, and the $150/ night place on Tahiti? The Tahiti Airport Motel. Great place, very clean, friendly and literally right across from the airport. I walked to catch my flight!

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Forbes cover shoot- tinder

Forbes cover TinderPart of the job description of being an editorial photographer is being able to pull all kinds of productions together in a relatively short amount of time, without of course compromising any sort of quality. It’s a fun and exciting aspect of the game, as well as a nerve-jangling one (but i suspect that’s what keeps us in it, right?). And although this was’nt a huge production challenge in terms of what could have been needed on any given day (which basically consists of literally anything!) it’s always somewhat of a tricky challenge to create an entire photo- studio in someone else’s workspace, one that’s high quality enough to grace the cover of a major newsstand magazine, all within a limited time-frame.Forbes Tinder I mean, it’s not exactly like working in a studio where you’re lighting, spacing and set-up have some consistency and familiarity. No, in this instance we basically have two hours to park, haul a studio up to the ninth floor, construct, concept, test, adjust, back-up concept, test, think, re-think, decide if you actually like the light or even the idea, sometimes start from scratch, hopefully have a cup of tea, enough to re-build your energy, ‘cos guess what, in 10 minutes your subjects gonna arrive and you’ve got to shoot a kick-ass cover. And oh yeah, he’s not someone who makes a living in front of camera, so I’ve really gotta bring it, to get him be there! So, it’s challenging, but also fun in a sort of self-mutilating/ testing ones- self kind of way! Ha. Oh yeah, and we also need a double page spread shot too! Yep, that’s got to be creatively worked, concepted, lit etc.DAVIDFEARN_20141027_TINDER So there’s a lot of work that goes into these location cover shoots in a very small amount of time and I couldn’t even come close to doing it without a great team, who act as a spare set of eyes as well as literally muscle. The trust allows it to become a great little creative menagerie, a melting pot where i’m nothing more than the head chef, as well as kind of circus ringleader! Thanks to a great team guys….Thomas Hencz, Leah Christensen and David Fearns.

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Jim Gianopulos for Ferrari

Jim Gianopalis for FerrariIt’s not everyday you get the run of the entire 20th Century Fox studio backlot, $250,000 worth of Ferrari, oh and yes, the venerable Mr. Jim Gianopulos, CEO of said studio, to play with. But thanks to The Official Ferrari Magazine, that’s exactly what happened back in June.Jim Gianopalis for FerrariJim was actually awesome to work with. I’ve shot plenty of business types, and some you just can’t loosen up, but he seemed to totally enjoy the process and had fun with it. Partly due to the location, the car, and his Godfather-esque looks, i was feeling a kind of ‘Little Italy tough guy from the streets done good’ kind of vibe, and Jim was right there with me. Hey, forgetaboutit! It’s almost like he hangs around with famous actors all day!Jim Gianopalis for FerrariGreat working with you Jim, hope we get to do it again some day. Thanks also to the excellent production team at Ferrari, and Amy Trezise and the location team at Fox.Jim Gianopalis for Ferrari

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Lizette Salas for Golf Digest

LPGA Pro Lizette Salas photographed at Azusa Green Country Club, Azusa, Ca August 8 2014.A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of working with LPGA Tour Pro Lizette Salas for Golf Digest. The editors there are so great to work with, always encouraging to go beyond the obvious ‘golfy’ shot, gives you so much more freedom and confidence to play around and have fun. LPGA Pro Lizette Salas photographed at Azusa Green Country Club, Azusa, Ca August 8 2014.And one thing i learned, if you’re ever short of a wind machine, a leaf-blower works pretty darn well as a stand-in! Especially when subject’s Dad is groundskeeper of said club.LPGA Pro Lizette Salas photographed at Azusa Green Country Club, Azusa, Ca August 8 2014.A fun day was had by all, and i think it shows in the pictures! Thanks Lizette and best of luck, we’ll be rooting for ya. LPGA Pro Lizette Salas photographed at Azusa Green Country Club, Azusa, Ca August 8 2014.

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World Cup self-promo shoot

Much of the life of a professional photographer revolves around creating self- funded personal work, re-enforcing the old adage “show what you want to get hired for” and these projects often become our self- promotion pieces. I also try to tie into what’s current, so i decided to create a piece for the World Cup Brazil 2014.
world cup, brazil, football, futbol, brazil2014As my studio is near the beach, i thought it was a perfect opportunity to create images that have a little Copacabana Beach football- style as well as the classic Brazil World Cup aesthetic, thoroughly encompassing the flamboyant visual beauty that is Brazilian football.
world cup, brazil, football, futbol, brazil2014The World Cup starts June 12th and will feature thirty-two of the world’s top national teams. Even larger in both viewership and revenue generation than the Summer Olympics, the biggest sporting event in the world will take place in twelve separate cities around the country, ranging from the beachfront metropolis Rio De Janeiro to the Amazon rainforest capital of Manaus.
world cup, brazil, football, futbol, brazil2014Big thanks goes out to Devin Trafford and Tadeo Cuerpaso (facebook.com/CUERPASO) for help on this shoot.

Get your samba on!

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inventing the next instagram

Stanford University’s Technology Ventures Program is Silicon Valley’s incubator for the next big thing. A business program where playtime is problem- solving. The brainchild of innovation gurus Tina Seelig, Ph.D and Tom Byers, Ph.D, the program is dedicated to accelerating high-tech entrepreneurship. It’s a high value prize for all at Stanford, and enrollment is limited to a dozen outstanding students each year. Plus you get to wear paper cones on your head all day and call it work!
Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. April 30, May 1 2012. We spent a couple of days with the professors and students of the STVP, poking around the creative hub on campus that is the d.school and generally soaking up the chilled out yet intense vibe that is Stanford for The Times magazine, and let me tell you, these kids know they’re at the center of the business world.

Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. April 30, May 1 2012.

STVP Mayfield Fellows Class of 2012

Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. April 30, May 1 2012.

STVP students Robin Perrani, Jenna Nicholas

Stanford Technology Ventures Program, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. April 30, May 1 2012.

Angela Hayward, manager of STVP.

Tom Byers, Tina Seelig of Stanford Technology Ventures Program

Tom Byers, Tina Seelig, creators of Stanford Technology Ventures Program

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Sasha Grey for Der Spiegel

sasha grey, sashagreyHere’s a fun shoot with renaissance- woman Sasha Grey. This girl’s a good laugh and so easy to work with, hope we get to do it all again sometime soon.
sasha grey, sashagreyA girl who’s resume includes actress, model, author, musician, and former pornographic actress, and all by the age of 24! That’s not messing around! She played the lead role in Steven Soderbergh’s 2009 film The Girlfriend Experience ( and was excellent in my opinion) and is currently in the middle of promoting ‘The Juliette Society’, a fictional erotic novel, released earlier this year. A. O. Scott of The New York Times described her pornographic career as having “an unusual degree of intellectual seriousness about it.” In the words of Andy Samberg doing a Nicholas Cage impression…. “That’s high praise!” She’s an interesting girl, and quite clearly more than just a pretty face. Oh, and her instagram feed…. Sasha gone done got herself a good eye!
sasha grey, sashagreyand of course, suitably inspired, she insisted on getting in on the photo- taking business herself….. my, what a fine looking couple of photogs right there! 😉
sasha grey, sashagrey

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