Rieser’s Rise

Fire Expeditors, Springerville, Arizona. From Jesse Rieser’s series The Wallow Fire, 2011

Celebrate the Independence Day holiday (or Canada Day!) with Chris Buck kicking your butt to make you a better photographer. The Surprising Portrait is a five-day workshop with a combination of shooting (largely on location) and critiques, making for an amazing opportunity for serious-minded ambitious photographers to take themselves to the next level – creatively and professionally.

I ran this workshop with Santa Fe three years ago and it was a great success. I feel like I tapped deeply into a part of myself in working with these emerging photographers that I had only scratched the surface of before. It was exciting and satisfying and I’m looking forward to throwing myself into it again.

The workshop runs July 1st to 6th, and it will be a fun and intense week in Santa Fe, but more importantly it will be a chance for a dozen photographers to move to their “A-game.” I asked Jesse Rieser, a young man who participated in the first work shop what he’s been up to. 

One thing Chris said to me, which has stuck in my mind, “You are not here to have fun.  You are here to do a job, and that job is to be the best photographer you can be at this very moment.” He emphasized being prepared: Have 12 ideas, start with the safest stuff first, let the subjects get comfortable with you and then gradually move on to the daring ideas.

The workshop was at a pivotal point for me in my young career; I was starting over, I wanted to create new bodies of work that told stories that were unique and really concentrated on the subtleties of life that largely go unnoticed. Below are some examples of the photography that I’ve created since Chris Buck’s Surprising Portrait workshop three years ago.

The Wallow Fire

From late May to early June in 2011, the land in and around the Bear Wallow Wilderness Area in the White Mountains was remade with a terrible, devastating kind of beauty. A campfire sparked a conflagration that charred 841 miles across Arizona and New Mexico, destroying 72 buildings, 32 of them homes.

Control Burn, Greer, Arizona. From Jesse Rieser’s series The Wallow Fire 2011

Christmas in America: Happy Birthday Jesus

Christmas is complex and at times, uncomfortable in America. But it is also sincere and celebratory, colorful and creative.

Happy Birt, Jesus. From Jesse Rieser’s Christmas in America: Happy Birthday Jesus, 2010

Wirschem Sisters. From Jesse Rieser’s Christmas in America: Happy Birthday Jesus, 2010

The Class of 99 Turns 30

“You are being bequeathed the tools for achieving a material existence that neither my generation nor any that preceded it could even remotely imagined as we began our life’s work.” – Alan Greenspan to the Harvard graduating class of 1999

It’s in this moment of transition that I photographed my classmates in settings relevant to the lives they are building.  The portraits examine what has been gained or lost in the interim. We work to create meaningful lives; we work to understand what “meaningful” looks like.

Erin Brown-Heslin. From Jesse Rieser’s series The Class of 99 Turns 30, 2009

Anthony Collins. From Jesse Rieser’s series The Class of 99 Turns 30, 2009

Tributes and Awards for Jesse Rieser since the Surprising Portrait workshop: PDN Annual (twice), American Photo Annual (three times), Communication Arts, ADC Young Guns 9, Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Winner, Critical Mass Top 50. Plus, Project Features and Interviews on NPR, Esquire Russia, and PDN.

Register for Chris Buck’s The Surprising Portrait:  https://www.santafeworkshops.com/workshops/register.php

This entry was posted in Photographer Colleagues, Public Speaking, Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Rieser’s Rise

  1. Jim says:

    Would LOVE to attend but cannot this year. Will you be teaching this class next year? Best,


  2. Chris says:

    Hello Jim,

    I will not be doing it next year but I will be running some two day workshops in a few months, one in Toronto (in October) and one in Austin, in February of 2013. I hope to see you somewhere along the way.

    Looking forward to kicking your photographic butt.


  3. Jim says:

    Thanks for the info Chris. I’ll try to get to one of those two workshops so the kicking may commence.

  4. Linda Kuo says:

    Really like Rieser’s portrait work. Kudos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s