A Pacific Northwest Editorial Photographer's Blog


Photos of The Charles Lloyd New Quartet in Seattle

The Charles Lloyd New Quartet with Jason Moran, Reuben Rogers, & Eric Harland playing at Town Hall.

All Photographs on this website Daniel Sheehan © 2009. All Rights Reserved. Please inquire for permission before using.

It was a beautiful new group Charles Lloyd brought to town earlier this month. I have been meaning to post some photos form this performance and here they are. If you missed the show it was a wonderful performance. Charles is one of my all time favorite musicians. And so is Jason Moran. I was happy to get the chance to hear Eric Harland and Reuben Rogers play as well.

These cats were very intense and yet the music was very spiritual.

“Since the 1960s, tenor saxophonist and flautist Charles Lloyd’s life has alternated between periods of musical and personal exploration. After spending a decade or so working as a sideman in different blues and jazz groups, Lloyd hit a goldmine of critical acclaim and popular support in with his quartet’s groundbreaking performance at the 1966 Monterey Jazz Festival (no small feat in a period when jazz’s audiences were largely moving in new directions). This particular group was notable not just for Lloyd’s debut as a fresh and exciting leader, but also because two of its members, Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette, were themselves only a few years away from exploding as widely innovative and influential jazz musicians….

Lloyd’s New Quartet is fortified with relatively young but well-established jazz musicians who are fully capable of sharing Lloyd’s pursuits. A leader in his own right, Jason Moran (piano) brings the group a unique, mature second lead voice. He’s one of those pianists who sometimes convince you that you’re listening to 80 years of jazz piano history rolled into one set of fingers. His heavy left hand will dabble in vintage 1920s stride playing right before flowing through a sequence that breaks into advanced Andrew Hill territory, while his frank, direct solos often develop in unpredictable turns that take full advantage his repertoire’s diverse influences.

On stage, when Lloyd himself isn’t soloing, he doesn’t just stand there; he frequently can’t resist dancing to the pulsing, breathing rhythms provided by his fellow musicians. Reuben Rogers (bass) and Eric Harland (drums/percussion) form a reliable, gregarious backbone that’s perfect for bringing the exotic structures in Lloyd’s compositions to life. Whether the tune is funky, swinging, Latin, or has no definable rhythm at all, the team decorates it with outbursts that always feel natural and appropriate….” – Nathan Bluford from the Earshot Jazz program guide. Jazz Photography by editorial photographer and photojournalist Daniel Sheehan who covers jazz performances, and creates portrait photography for publications and corporations. He is also a Seattle Wedding Photographer at A Beautiful Day Photography, a wedding photographer with an artistic photojournalist style.


Revisiting “The Americans”


So a little more on Robert Frank’s influential book “The Americans”.

Looking In: Robert Frank’s ‘The Americans’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through Jan, 3, 2010.

Frank shot 767 rolls of film on his 10,000 mile road trip across America in the mid 1950’s, a total of 27,612 individual shots in total. He then edited it down and made over 1,000 work prints of different images and after 2 years finally selected the 83 images that actually were printed in the book. Editing is so important and perhaps the hardest skill for a photographer to learn. How to edit your own work. I hope to make it to NY to see this exhibit before it comes down. There is an interesting review of the Frank exhibit at the Met in the Wall Street Journal.

Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans” celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Americans, Robert Frank’s influential suite of black-and-white photographs made on a cross-country road trip in 1955–56.

“In the first room at the Met is a wall of about 80 work prints, most of which have never been exhibited before. They were at one time candidates for “The Americans,” and most were edited out over the two years he spent on the winnowing process.

Almost every one of these outtakes is wonderful—and these are only a sample of the 1,000 work prints he made, themselves a tiny fraction of the rough diamonds still buried in the contact sheets. Many photographers would feel lucky in a lifetime to have captured a handful of the images that Mr. Frank rejected.

Why he chose to publish one picture over another will have many of us studying the excellent essays in the catalog to gain a better hold on his reasoning. Everything was sacrificed to the flow across pages and the four sections of the book. The icon of riders looking at us from a New Orleans trolley car is followed by another frieze-like composition of busy pedestrians on Canal Street moving in apparent isolation.”


Photojournalists and Cowboys – KENNETH JARECKE


Kenneth Jarecke has a photo essay on the Montana State Fair and his thoughts on the comparison between cowboys and photojournalists up on the New York Times photo blog Lens. Some of the comments after the essay are a good read on the subject too.

“While watching the 4-H youngsters going about their business at MontanaFair in Billings this month, I was struck by a parallel. Here I am in 2009, at a fair ground: a photojournalist, making pictures of cowboys in every direction I look. Don’t any of us know that none of us are supposed to exist?…
[…]The publishing industry is suffering through its killing winter right now. Many of the big outfits I’ve worked for in the past won’t survive. That doesn’t mean photojournalism will disappear, it just means that we’ll have to pay for it a different way. As more publications use the McDonald’s philosophy of giving away the hamburger and making money on the fries and soda — but then failing to charge for any of it — photojournalists will have to create a new market for their work.
[…]Professional photojournalists have only their eye, their experience and their work ethic to create lasting images. It has nothing to do with what kind of lariat they’re carrying.
[…] if you can’t make a great picture in your own backyard, it isn’t going to happen anywhere else.”

Ken has an extended edit of the photoessay back on his own website here.

Seattle Photographer Daniel Sheehan specializes in photojournalism, portraits for publications, corporations, and photojournalistic Seattle wedding photography.

Zombies Invade Seattle


There were thousands of Zombies walking around the Fremont section of Seattle Friday night. I was at a bar and spotted this group at a table. I managed to make it out of Fremont and here are some photos I took there. It seems that more than a thousand people participated Friday night in an attempt in Fremont to break the record for most people in a zombie walk. How many exactly will be determined by officials at the Guiness Book of Records who need to verify signatures and pictures of people before announcing if the record was broken. After the walk the zombies went for a viewing of some outdoor movies and a showing of Michael Jacksons Thriller.
Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge. All photographs by seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan a photojournalist who specializes in portrait photography and photojournalism for publications and corporations.Also a Seattle wedding photographer photographing weddings with a subtle, unobtrusive, story-telling approach creating artistic documentary photography ranking among of the best Seattle wedding photographers.

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I looked up the definition of photojournalism in the Random House dictionary and this is what they had:

1. journalism in which photography dominates written copy, as in certain magazines.
2. news photography, whether or not for primarily pictorial media, publications, or stories.
1940–45; photo- + journalism

Related forms:
pho⋅to⋅jour⋅nal⋅ist, noun”
Wikipedia has a more through explanation of the term:
“Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that creates images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, and in some cases to video used in broadcast journalism or for personal use. Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography (such as documentary photography, street photography or celebrity photography) by the qualities of:

* Timeliness — the images have meaning in the context of a recently published record of events.

* Objectivity — the situation implied by the images is a fair and accurate representation of the events they depict in both content and tone.

* Narrative — the images combine with other news elements to make facts relatable to the viewer or reader on a cultural level.

Like a writer, a photojournalist is a reporter but he or she must often make decisions instantly and carry photographic equipment, often while exposed to significant obstacles (physical danger, weather, crowds).”

What is a photojournalist?
Here is the perspective of a photojournalist.
A journalist is someone who tells stories.
A photographer is one who takes pictures of people, places and things in a word – nouns.
A photojournalist combines the functions of both the journalist and photographer tells stories with words but not just the nouns but also the most imortant element in telling a story the action.
A photojournalist is one who captures the action, in a word – verbs.
To tell the whole story from beginning to end the photojournalist needs to use all of the story telling elements. What separates him from just a photographer making pictures is the overarching reason of making the photographs is to communicate to the viewer what happened in the story. Photojournalism is powerful because pictures transcend language barriers. A photojournalist records facts with a camera and presents them to the viewer as truth. This is why ethics are important to photojournalist.
For more interesting thoughts on this check out the blog of Mark Hancock He has thought a lot about this subject and has arrived at the same place I have. See how he explores it further. (He is a good example of a working photojournalist. At least I hope he is still working) Compared to most Seattle photographers I am still practicing photojournalism and a subset called wedding photojournalism. It helps to pay the mortgage since the newspaper business model seems to be crumbling.

Obama – Nov 5th NY Times


Finally got my hands on a rare copy of the November 5th New York Times, thanks to my friends Michael Moss who is a reporter there. I spoke with him on the 5th and even he could not put his hands on an extra copy. There were none left in the newsroom at the paper and there was a line of people in front of the building two blocks long waiting to buy a copy.

He let me know a day later he found one for me. I will put it away and give it to my daughters when they grow up.

Photojournalist John Moore in Afghanistan

af01_16811231 Getty Images photographer John Moore spent some time recently in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, near the Pakistani border, with Viper Company of the 1-26 Infantry, and brought back some striking images, documenting what he saw. You can see 31 of his photos as featured in today’s Boston Globe photo blog The Big Picture.

Vincent Laforet Slideshow

Photographer Vincent Laforet really likes a little widget that Photoshelter has just recently released which allows anyone to embed flash galleries in their (and other people’s) websites.   This tool allows photographers to easily share their images – and perhaps to generate some income.  In Vincent’s case he is promoting the use of the widget and using it as an opportunity to pay for the cost of him hiring a student internship.

Vincent has posted a galley using the widget  on his site and encourging others to imbed it their sites too. You can simply view the photographs within the widget – and if you’d like, you can purchase a print as well. “For years now, I’ve been waiting for someone to take full advantage of the web and to allow photographers to better connect with their audiences. I’ve always found that traditional media rarely offer up a way for photographers to connect directly with their readers/viewers.

I think this is a very cool idea. I like the idea of the scholarship too.. To help him and a student, check it out and purchase one of his prints. He has a great deal for the first picture in his gallery, only $75 bucks.

Bill Cosby & James Moody

James Moody and Bill Cosby
So far over the course of photographing the Earshot Jazz festival, the most surprising mpment was this one. A funny thing happened at the Nordstrom Recital Hall Saturday Nov 1st. I was there to photograph the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra performing with special guest NEA Jazz Master James Moody on sax and before it could start Bill Cosby sauntered out on stage to give his own surprise special performance. He was set to appear next door at Benaroya Hall and had a little extra time so he wandered backstage to see his old friend James.
He came out and with a little instruction to the orchestra he sat down at the piano and started to play Duke Ellington’s “Take The A Train”. He was a big hit and the orchestra and audience loved it.
Afterwards James Moody came out and they told a story about Moody’s 50th birthday they were performing together in Las Vegas but Moody didnt tell it right so Cosby had to retell it.
It cracked everyone up. What a special Earshot Jazz Festival moment.

Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2008 Earshot Jazz Festival


Photograph by Seattle photographer Daniel Sheehan. 

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Power of Photojournalism

A couple of weeks ago I saw in my new issue of The New Yorker the black-and-white portraits of men and women who’d volunteered to serve in the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. The photographs were made by Platon the highly talentated staff photographer at The New Yorker. The photos are more than handsome, assertive, and intimate, they are politically powerful and set off a charge in Colin Powell that according to Maureen Dowd’s Oct 21st, column “Moved by a Crescent” in the NY Times, resulted in him endorsing Barack Obama for president.
Powell noted, both to Dowd and on television talk shows, that it was one of Platon’s images that convinced him to endorse Barack Obama.

As Dowd wrote:

But what sent him over the edge and made him realize he had to speak out was when he opened his New Yorker three weeks ago and saw a picture of a mother pressing her head against the gravestone of her son, a 20-year-old soldier who had been killed in Iraq. On the headstone were engraved his name, Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, his awards — the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star — and a crescent and a star to denote his Islamic faith.
“I stared at it for an hour,” he told me. “Who could debate that this kid lying in Arlington with Christian and Jewish and nondenominational buddies was not a fine American?”

Powell decided he’d had enough of derisive political campaigns that claimed to know which Americans are “pro-America” and which are not. It was one image that clarified his thinking.

View the rest of Platon’s powerful portfolio here.