This Blog Has Moved!

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The Baroness © Emily Shur

There’s no real reason for this picture of The Baroness to be here, but this is a photo I am happy to have people come across as the last picture posted on this blog.  Please join me at emilyshur.tumblr.com for the foreseeable future.  There are all sorts of fun links on there including a soon-to-be link to this blog so that one may peruse its’ lengthy archive in times of boredom.  It’s been fun, WordPress.  Thank you and goodnight!

2013

Well, first off – happy new year.  I truly hope that 2013 is a great year for me, for you, for my family and friends and their family and friends.  I admittedly let my blog go a bit towards the end of last year.  As you’ll see my previous post was to promote the release of Milk and Honey and to toot the horn of the great Justin Van Hoy.  Shortly after that post and the book release party, Justin passed away.  I was in NY when he died.  I was there working – all consumed with my shoots, stressing out, probably complaining about some shit that didn’t matter.  It was pretty shocking to hear that someone I had just seen and given a big hug to less than two weeks prior had slipped away.  I’ve had the misfortune of losing a couple friends far too early for extremely unfair and unthinkable reasons.  The different circumstances of these losses are pretty secondary to the feelings of grief.  Those feelings are the same.  I felt beyond horrible for Justin’s wife, his family, and all of our friends who have been close with Justin for years.  He was a very special, dynamic, talented, creative, and lovely person.  I wish I had known Justin better.  I wish I said hi way earlier than I did, but I am extremely honored to have known him at all.  I will never forget him or what he represents to me which is to do precisely what you want to do with your life.

When I got back home I definitely needed to say something about Justin and not just launch back into self-promotion.  I was extremely busy with work that last month and a half or so of the year and never felt I had an appropriate amount of time to give the thought needed to write something meaningful.  I’m not sure if what I just wrote was as meaningful as I’d hoped, but at least I said something which is more than I’ve done in a while.  In December, my husband and I decided to be spontaneous and went to Japan for two weeks.  We had a great time and returned one week ago.

So, now I’m back.  I have done lots of things in the past couple of months that I want to share and plan on sharing.  I started a tumblr a while ago and have been slowly seeing if that’s a blog format I prefer.  I like that I can link my Instagram photos to it since those have become as much of a journal as this blog.  I’m thinking about making the switch.  The beginning of a new year seems like a good time to change things up.  I don’t want blogging to feel burdensome.  I also don’t want it to be complete fluff.  We’ll see what happens.

Milk and Honey Book Release Party This Saturday at Gagosian Gallery

I’m so honored and excited to be included in Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California.  I mean, the list of artists is pretty major – not to mention quite a few of them are friends so that makes it doubly cool.  Please come and party down with us in Beverly Hills this Saturday!  Everyone’s invited.  You just have to RSVP to the email address in the flyer above (sonny@gagosian.com).  Here’s a little more about the book and the guy who made it all possible, Justin Van Hoy:

“Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California” highlights new work by contemporary artists who are aesthetically and regionally joined through a variety of mediums and demographics. By showcasing unknown and emerging artists alongside established icons who all call California home, “Milk and Honey” recognizes the fact that region and lifestyle directly influence the working process and ultimately the state of contemporary imagery.

 In the same spirit as Roger Gastman, Aaron Rose, and Jeffrey Deitch’s recent seminal MOCA show: Art In The Streets, “Milk and Honey” celebrates a group of contemporary artists with roots across various areas, including graffiti art, surf, and skate culture, and other uniquely californian influences. As is evident in that highly acclaimed museum show—as well as the current Pacific Standard Time show throughout Los Angeles—California affects trends and sets the stage nationally and internationally, for some of the most creative art being made in the world today.

 Artists include: Ed Ruscha, Cali  Thornhill De Witt, Erin Garcia, Chris Burden, Dan Monick, Hassan Rahim, Joey Gallagher, Jared Eberhardt, Steven Harrington, Chris Duncan, RJ Shaughnessy, Pearl C. Hsiung, Harper Smith, Richard Colman, Emily Shur, Christopher Bettig, Barry McGee, Shelley Leopold, Aaron Farley, Sage Vaughn, Ye Rin Mok, Megan Whitmarsh, Florencio Zavala, Mel Kadel, Kevin Earl Taylor, Robert Therrien, Ashley Snow Macomber, Andrew Schoultz, Lucy Rose, Kelsey Brookes, G. Lewis Heslet, Ben Venom, Retna, Greg Bojorquez, Piero Golia, Lana Kim, Travis Millard, Justin Krietemeyer, Aaron Ruell, Ed Templeton, Souther Salazar, Pm Tenore, West One, Bill McRight, Joel Morrisson, Cleon Peterson, Day 19, Damon Way, Six Stair, MFG, Curtis Buchanan & Jon Rajkovich.

 About the author:

Justin Van Hoy is a designer, artist, and curator based in Los Angeles, California. Justin’s studio, The Dutch Press, creates original graphics, design, and branding for innovative entities such as RVCA, R77, OBEY Giant, Falcon Motorcycles, and Gagosian Gallery. Justin is also a co-founder of THIS los angeles, an art gallery in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. THIS hosts group and solo shows, and fosters a creative outlet for a wide network of innovative artists, friends, and family, as well as the community at large.

 Milk and Honey can be purchased at your local bookstore or online.

www.thedutchpress.com

www.thislosangeles.com

www.ammobooks.com

Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann for Time Magazine

All Images © Emily Shur

We did this shoot at 7am on a Sunday morning at Judd and Leslie’s house.  Anderson Cooper and his crew were setting up in the kitchen for something that was happening immediately after our shoot.  Lots of stuff going on!  I have the utmost respect for these two.  I have been a fan of Judd’s work for so long – starting with Freaks and Geeks and just about everything since then.  He has such a great ability to write, direct, and/or produce such believable characters.  They’re believable because they’re flawed, but always likable.  You feel like you know them.  You feel like they are your friends, or you want to be friends with them, or you’re related to them, or you are them.  I had the pleasure of attending a screening of his new film, This is 40, yesterday, and Leslie gives an amazing performance.  She’s always super funny, but this role definitely takes her character into other territories as well, and she is so good.  I’ll post a couple outtakes some time in the near future.

Jon Rimmerman for The New York Times Magazine

All Images © Emily Shur

This past weekend I had a portrait of Jon Rimmerman of Garagiste in The New York Times Magazine.  Story here.  I am extremely self-critical, but I love this picture.  I love this picture so much because I loved this shoot so much.  Jon was the best subject I’ve photographed in a while.  He was so willing and so open minded.  Sometimes people will ask me how I got so-and-so to do this or that.  The answer is I never “get” anyone to do anything.  We, as photographers, can make suggestions, ask someone if they will do something specific, but when it all comes down to it, people do what they want to do or don’t do what they don’t want to do.  I am not going to perform a personality transplant in the span of a photo shoot.  It’s my job to make the subject feel comfortable enough to do whatever they feel like doing in a photograph and be ready when it’s time to capture the moment.  I’ve had a couple people ask me if this picture is the work of fancy computer shenanigans.  The answer is no.  This is natural light.  This is a natural moment.  This is what happens when you receive the gift of a great subject.

I didn’t know about Garagiste before the shoot (which is weird considering my oh so very deep love of wine), but the article is really interesting as is Jon’s approach to wine.  Very refreshing.  I have been enjoying the wine that Jon was gracious enough to give me after our shoot, and every bottle so far has been stellar.  Thank you Jon and Shira and Amy at The New York Times Magazine!

Mackenzie Foy for People Magazine

All Images © Emily Shur

Aubrey Plaza for Bust Magazine

Here is the very pretty Aubrey Plaza photographed for the cover of the latest issue of Bust Magazine.  I think my working relationship with Bust is my most lengthy.  Laurie (creative director) gave me a chance back in the day, and we still work together about 10 or so years later.  I love this magazine.  I love the women they profile.  I love being a part of something simultaneously feminine and strong.  I think we all know I love an animal in a photo.  So, this shoot was especially fun because I got to incorporate my very excellent friend Anna‘s latest addition to her animal family, Charlington Bear Manson Magoo aka Charlington Manson aka Charlie Manson aka Charlie.  Mew!

Here are the images without text:

All Images © Emily Shur

Rian Johnson for The New York Times Magazine

I recently photographed Rian Johnson, writer and director of Looper, for The New York Times Magazine.  The story came out this weekend in their Inspiration Issue.  I saw the movie this weekend as well and really enjoyed it.  Rian also directed one of my favorite episodes of Breaking Bad.  Nicely done, Mr. Johnson.  Congratulations to you.  Here are a couple of outtakes from the shoot in addition to the one the magazine ran (above).

All Images © Emily Shur

Partners Title Sequence

Partners Title Sequence from Emily Shur on Vimeo.

I’m so excited to share this!  I recently shot/directed the title sequence for Partners (8:30/7:30pm Central on CBS).  The show premiered this Monday and will be on every Monday – hopefully forever and ever.  I have the good people at Eight and a Half to thank for a very fun shoot, great editing, and opportunity to see my work in a new venue.

Prom Queens for Lifetime

The First Couple to Arrive

Marti

Marti’s Trucker Arrival

Haley

Holly

Andrea’s Helicopter Arrival

Amber

Serious Dancing

Table Still Life with Eyelashes

Andrea, The Winner

All Images © Emily Shur

Earlier this year I got to go to three proms in three different cities for a new show on Lifetime called Prom Queens.  The series finally began to air last week, and  they started off with the Tatum, Texas prom.  All of the images above (with the exception of the show’s key art) are from Tatum.  I’ll post the other cities I shot as the episodes air.

I grew up in Texas, and I was excited to go to yet another prom in my home state – actually way more excited than I was the first time around at my own prom.  I think I attended for about 20 minutes before my friends and I deemed ourselves too cool to stay.  So, we left to smoke pot in my friend’s Buick somewhere in downtown Houston probably making snide remarks about all the people at our high school who were busy having fun.  Anyway, long story short I don’t have many prom memories.  So, I was very intrigued and excited to experience not one, but three proms in 2012 in different parts of the country and see what high school is like now.  I was asked to document the whole night as well as set up a seamless and shoot portraits of the girls in the prom court.  In the other cities, I was able to follow one girl all day and document her getting ready.

In all three cities, the arrivals were the big thing.  In Texas, they were the biggest and the best.  There was everything from an old school horse-drawn wagon to a pimped out John Deere lawnmower to two different helicopter arrivals.  All of the girls were really sweet and so excited.  Just merely observing, I was excited for them.  I’m not very girly and never cared much about stuff like prom, but it was very cute to see teenage girls genuinely excited about something and not just rolling their eyes and texting which is probably what I would’ve been doing if I was 16 today.  So, I hope they all had a great night and thank you to Lifetime for the awesome shoot!