ABOUT - Art M. Altman


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About: Art M Altman

EVOLUTION:  I learned photography when I was young, shooting film on fully manual cameras, developing and printing my own work in a darkroom. This lifelong hobby became an obsession in 2012 when I left my research job in Silicon Valley and moved to NYC, where I found some of the world’s most dedicated and talented teachers, along with a welcoming community of photographers and a wealth of opportunity.

HEADSHOT CREW:  There I joined Peter Hurley’s “Headshot Crew” — an ongoing headshot “boot camp” providing detailed guidance and ruthlessly perceptive criticism.  With intense focus on posing, lighting and methods for generating natural expressions, advanced members of the "Crew" regularly turn out pristine, flattering headshots and portraits.

PASSION:  I love to photograph people: headshots, portraits, families, live performances, social events.... I dedicated myself to learning and practicing, and soon folks familiar with my work were offering to pay me to do just the type of photography that I love. I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can choose my opportunities carefully and provide very competitive rates for high quality work.

STUDIO:  As word got out, people began to stream into my studio for headshots. My studio camera is hooked up directly to a computer, so images that we take appear instantly on the a large screen. Clients see in real time how something as simple as a subtle head turn or slightly more “sneaky” smile transform an image, making it “pop”.  These are many of the most gratifying moments.  

SUPPORTERS:  I’ve been fortunate to have had many wonderful early supporters, such as Melissa Jane Kronfield, who invited me to photograph her ongoing series of charitable social events, and booking agent Sam Varela, who invited me to photograph an ongoing series of comedy performances at New York’s “Cake Shop”, Littlefield and Bell House. Jazz performers, such as Tamara Usatova, Vivienne Aerts and the Yaniv Taubenhouse Trio began to rely on me regularly for their performance photography and marketing shots. Young rock & roll bands began to engage me to photograph them at funky venues on the Lower East Side. Limmud NY had me photograph an entire 4 day conference on my own and were thrilled with the results. Fist bump to Off-Broadway actor Ben Curtis (“Dude you’re buying a Dell!”) who has been a huge supporter of my music, event and headshot photography.

FLOW:  Time flies by when I have a camera in my hand. I get into “flow”, everything vanishes other than my subject, background, lighting and camera settings. The interaction with client is sweet as we explore alternative poses, lighting and expressions. I use “direction by misdirection” to craft a fun headshot experience for engaging, natural smiles.

PRAISE:  The praise from my clients is very consistent and very gratifying. The look on their faces is priceless, as they see photographs of themselves begin to emerge, and they realize how extraordinary even they can look in an image. “More beautiful than at my wedding”

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