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Photographer Of The Year Shoot-Out 2005

To see all the entries for each photographer, click on image or gallery link! More photos of the photographers at work coming soon!


Pressure Cooker: With the clock ticking, Andrei Jackamets used his time to arrange setup shots for the assignment, "Eating in Times Square." Sometimes, though, you just grab a kabob shot or give a clown a slice of pizza, and add some Photoshop fine-tuning.
Andrei's Gallery

On Day One, when Jackamets pulled “Eating In Times Square,” his approach was methodical and businesslike, reflecting his career as a commercial photographer. He called more than a dozen restaurants—from a rib joint to Manhattan’s poshest spots—hoping to arrange setup shots. “This isn’t a business for shy people,” said Jackamets, who was frequently turned down or ignored. But when he broke through, he struck gold. The chef at the Marriott Marquis hotel welcomed him, and prepared dishes that Jackamets set on a table overlooking the neon of Times Square. “Here’s an idea I came up with at 10 a.m. Now it’s 8:30 p.m., and there it is.”

Mike Peters used his outgoing, street-shooter persona to enlist the notoriously photo-shy people in Chinatown. Vendors and restaurant staffs that typically shoo away photographers posed for the easygoing pro. “I just try to stay relaxed and loose,” Peters shrugged.

Me & my melon
When it came to Day Two’s watermelon assignment, Peters’ approach paid huge dividends.

Given a melon, each photographer could do whatever he wanted with it. The only guideline: get a great photo.

At first, Peters asked tourists at Rockefeller Center to pose with the watermelon. Interesting, but not great. Then he spotted a bench. He put the melon down and captured how New Yorkers reacted—they ignored it! Wonderful! He did the same at various spots, including a shop, where he convinced the manager to place the melon in the window alongside the trendy goods.

On Day Three, Peters pulled an assignment in rainy Coney Island.

“I could’ve gotten every cliché that’s out there,” he said. “But I wanted to get under the surface and talk to people, react to things, and look for moments.”

When shooting “Eating In Wall Street,” Michael Soo faced a major hurdle—this was his first time in New York. He barely knew where Wall Street was. “But,” he said, “I shine when I’m asked to do the unexpected.” He persuaded a restaurant to set up a meal for him to shoot, and cajoled passersby to pose (a man in a red shirt and hat drinking red Gatorade in front of a red sculpture).

With the watermelon, Soo went where he feels most comfortable—into the studio. Between macro shots of watermelon slices in seltzer and smoke and a beautifully lit shot of the melon and a papaya under the sheets in the makeshift studio of his hotel room, Soo proved to be a master of controlling light and his vision.

He also did it with Day Two’s portrait. Each photographer was given time with the same model. And Soo pulled winning shots out of his bag of tricks—actually, two cases of gear and props. (“I could take only two pieces of luggage on the plane,” he laughed, “so I didn’t bring many clothes.”)

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