In addition to being a photographer specializing in portraiture and food photography, Jung also works as an assistant to San Francisco based, Professional food and still-life photographer, Sue Tallon. Read the interview with Jung below:
Why did you choose to take classes in the Photography Department at CCSF?
What is your role at Sue Tallon Photography?
I have worked with Sue Tallon since March 2016. My responsibilities with Sue are twofold: provide support to her photography work and help manage her studio rentals.
For Sue Tallon Photography (SueTallon.com), I help prep and break down client shoots as well as provide client and crew care during the shoot while Sue is busy photographing. Client and crew care means ensuring that the folks on set have what they need – coffee, food, wifi, gear, etc. I also assist other crew members on-set, especially during load-in and load-out, and will run errands for Sue if needed during a shoot. Additionally, I do some administrative tasks for Sue such as resizing images for her online portfolios, gathering client contact information for marketing, and following up with web account issues.
For SF Photo Space (SFPhotoSpace.com), I respond to and book rental inquiries, manage the studio rental calendar, and make sure that the studios are clean, serviced, and fully stocked, and am on-site to open, supervise, and close the studio for renters. I also help troubleshoot issues that may come up during rentals and assist Sue with marketing, organizing, and other admin tasks related to the studios. Basically, other duties as assigned!
What is a typical day like working for Sue Tallon?
There is no “typical” day with Sue since my schedule is flexible, part-time, and mostly on-call. Some days or weeks are very busy with rental inquiries or shoots or both, and others are quiet. Usually I work during Mon-Fri but occasionally, we have inquiries or renters over the weekend. Responding to rental inquiries and renters is probably the most frequent task I have, and helping to maintain the studios.
How do you feel CCSF PHOTO prepared you for this position?
I learned of Sue Tallon during my first semester at CCSF when I took the lecture series Photo 52: Photographers and Their Images. At that point I had never thought about commercial photography but fell in love with Sue, her story, approach to photography, and work (commercial food/product and conceptual photography). I asked her a ton of questions and although I did not formally introduce myself to her at the lecture, I told myself that I would reach out to her when I felt I could be of more value to her, potentially as a photo/studio assistant. One year later, I e-mailed her, referencing the lecture I had attended, and introduced myself. I related my experience and knowledge in the field up to that point, and asked if she needed an assistant by chance? At the time, she did not but one month later, she had an opening and she followed up with me.
The classes, resources, and opportunities at CCSF Photography helped prepare me to work with Sue. I’ve taken all the lighting classes in addition to other fundamental courses and worked in the CCSF Photo Issue Lab as an assistant. The foundation of technical knowledge and familiarity with photography language and equipment gave me more credibility as a candidate to assist professional photographers and work with a local event photography company before I reached out to Sue. These initial photography work experiences gave me the confidence to contact Sue last year. I’m grateful for everything I’ve learned at CCSF, the access to resources as a student and “young” professional starting out in a costly industry, the supportive folks in the photography department, and the opportunities that have led me to where I am today.
What advice would you give CCSF Photo Students to prepare them for a similar position?
1. Take as many photography classes as you can – both technical and non. Exposure to different photographers and their work, and types of photography will inform or open up possibilities that you may not have considered for yourself. Who knows if I would have otherwise reached out to Sue?
Also, to be taken seriously in the field you must have technical knowledge. I recommend taking all the lighting classes, whether you see yourself ultimately shooting studio or ambient lighting. Light is light and photography is about making images with light so you need to understand how to work with it. Starting out, I was interested in photojournalism, which is more reliant on ambient light, but after attending Sue’s lecture and at the recommendation of a photojournalist, I took the studio lighting classes and fell in love with being able to manipulate light in a more controlled way.
2. Work at the CCSF Photo Issue lab! It’s a great way to gain more familiarity with different types of photographic equipment, and, if needed, build your customer service, organizational, and administrative skills. A lot of my work with Sue is administrative and customer-service related. Having a combination of business, people, and photography skills has made me a more effective assistant to her. And having that combination of skills will make me a more successful professional photographer.
Photography is a second career for me, so I already had a lot of organizational and administrative experience but understanding key terminology and having basic competency in photography and handling studio equipment has been essential. And working as a lab attendant was a fun way to get to know photography students, staff (the lab supervisors are awesome!), and faculty and appreciate the work on both sides of the lab window.
3. Be open to different types of photography work and pay attention to what you enjoy (or don’t) and can do well or not so well. When I worked at the event photography company I quickly realized I didn’t want to continue on that trajectory but I made some great friends and contacts there, and the experience looks good on my resume.
For assisting a photographer on and off set: being observant and anticipating the needs of the people you’re working with, and knowing when and how to communicate with others – often you will be on the sidelines and silent but that doesn’t mean people won’t notice you.
- Exposure to the day-to-day business of photography and/or running a studio
- Networking with other professionals in the field such as other assistants, retouchers, digital techs, producers, stylists, models, etc.
- Potential for mentorship from the photographer(s)
4. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you admire or with whom you want to have a conversation. If you never ask, the answer will always be “No.”
The Fall 2014 line up for “PH52: Photographers and Their Images” featuring professional photographers who come to lecture and show their work at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) Friday nights throughout the Fall 2014 semester has been announced. Be sure to register for this one unit course to secure your seat. This series of lectures is available to be taken for one college credit and there are no pre-requisites. Lectures this semester are free and open to the public as indicated as part of CCSF’s Concert and Lecture Series, otherwise all others require registration. Register online now or stop by the photography issue room (160) to pick up an add code week. Unregistered students may not attend – if you would like to repeat the course, you can do so as a continuing education student, show up to the first class. The fee is $105. REGISTER HERE
PH52-501 “Photographers and Their Images”, (1) CRN 71101 (transfers CSU)
Instructor: Erika Gentry
Location: CCSF, Ocean Campus, 50 Phelan Ave, San Francisco, CA Visual Arts Lecture Hall 114
Meeting times*: Five Fridays, 6:00 – 9: 30 P.M: 10/3, 10/10, 10/24, 11/14 and 11/21
*You may make up a missed lecture or get extra credit by attending an offsite lecure as listed below.
You may also see a list of past lecturers here. For more information and to get an add code for the course contact Erika Gentry or stop by the Photography Lab Issue Room V160. Again – you MUST be registered to attend the lectures. If you’d like to REPEAT the course it is possible for $105 as a continuing ed student. Just ask Erika how.
October 3rd, FIRST MEETING and Program 1
Important orientation, course expectations and opportunity to “add the class” and “head count” needed.
Program #1. October 3 SUE TALLON
Sue Tallon likes to make things which opens her up to a myriad of subjects. Early influences in art and her own drawing, painting and love of composition eventually led to formal training in photography, a few years of assisting, and work as a photographer in L.A.’s art scene for the cities top museums and galleries. Relocating to San Francisco in the mid 90’s, Sue began her commercial career and now shoots product, food and still-life advertising nationally for agencies such as TBWA Chiat Day, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, BBDO, and JWT amongst others.
“The first time you see Sue Tallon’s food shots, you wonder if they’re real. They look like photos, yet their hyper color and their shine and shadows are so graphic, they pop. In a genre that traditionally favors natural beauty, the intense hues and high contrast of Tallon’s still lifes blur the line between photography and illustration and present a fresh approach to the look of food photography. “ I want objects and foods to have personalities,” Tallon said, describing how she pushes color, deepens darks and brightens brights to bring out her subject’s dimensional qualities. The style has a strong commercial appeal and has attracted high-profile clients, including bbdo, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, Kraft Foods, Sonic Corp and tbwa\Chiat\Day.
Photography was an enduring part of Tallon’s childhood during the 1960s and 1970s. Her father was a hobbyist who often annexed the family bathroom for his darkroom. He traveled internationally selling shortwave radios and moved the family from Argentina, where Tallon was born, to Colombia, Montréal and finally Southern California in 1971 for her last few years of elementary school. As she grew, her childhood interest in drawing and painting transferred to the camera, because she liked its “combination of chemistry and light.”
The Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, offered a three-year program in the ’80s and Tallon enrolled after high school. She studied tabletop technique, photo illustration and especially how to use light. “I remember seeing my first print come up from a 4 × 5 negative,” she said. “Up until then, I had only shot 35mm. The leap in quality was a thrill.”- Ruth Hagopian
Rocky McCorkle is an internationally exhibited photographer who lives in San Francisco. McCorkle received his BFA in Photography from The Ohio State University and his MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute.
He has shown extensively throughout the United States and abroad including Boston, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Toronto, and Busan, Korea. In 2012, McCorkle’s You & Me On A Sunny Day was selected as the Analog Winner for EXPOSURE 2011 International Photography Award. McCorkle’s work from this series is in the permanent collection at the Berkeley Art Museum (BAM/PFA) and the Tweed Museum of Art.
A five-year project started in 2007, McCorkle’s sequential photographic series follows widow Millie (Gilda Todar) as her morning routine gets run off-course when her favorite film Sunset Boulevard comes on TV. The movie is especially sentimental because it came out in 1950, the year her late husband, Jack (William Barclift IV), won the Auckland Marathon. In this psychological thriller, Millie is forced by daydreams and nightmares to confront her past. As faint television sounds influence, dictate, and distort her recollections, Millie reminisces about her beloved Jack as a champion long distance runner. Their life replaying in reverse, we see glimpses of Jack before his death in 2004 and back to his moment in the sun in Auckland in 1950.
Program #3. October 24 JANET DELANEY
Delaney’s projects have received numerous awards, most notably three National Endowment for the Arts Grants. Her work is in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum, the Pilara Foundation, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, the Musée de la Charleroi in Charleroi, Belgium, Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, and the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. Delaney has shown her photographs nationally in solo and group exhibitions. In 2011 she was invited to curate an exhibition of contemporary American photography in New Delhi, India. She recently published a book of her 1980’s San Francisco images titled South of Market with Mack Books of London and is now revisiting this district, camera in hand. From January to June of 2015 her early work from South of Market will be exhibited in full at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has taught photography throughout the Bay Area, and for the past 14 years she has been an adjunct lecturer in Visual Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Delaney is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the graduate program at San Francisco Art Institute.
Program #4. November 14 ALEX FARNUM (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC as part of the Concert and Lecture Series)
Alex Farnum was born in Los Angeles, California in 1979. From that moment in time he has not stopped seeking out all the curiousities that life has to offer. His work is a reflection of just that mantra. He is a lover of stories, places, food and friend and the dramatic nature of his work is a reflection of Alex’s huge love for the present day and the importance of capturing it. His sharp-edged charm and unique style has helped him land on-going projects for national publications, international agencies, multigenerational brands and award winning book projects. His core goal in life is not to live forever, but to create photography that will.
Program #5. November 21 SARAH CHRISTIANSON grew up on a four-generation family farm near Cummings, North Dakota. Immersed in that vast expanse of the Great Plains, she developed a strong affinity for its landscape and stories. This connection to place has had a profound effect on her work. Despite moving to San Francisco in 2009, she continues to document the subtleties and nuances of the Midwestern landscape and experience. She’ll share her work including from her most recent project “When the Landscape Is Quiet Again”.
Christianson holds an MFA in photography from the University of Minnesota. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in the collections of several institutions in the Midwest and the National Museum of Photography in Copenhagen, Denmark. She has also received grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Center for Cultural Innovation. Christianson’s first book, Homeplace (Daylight Books, October 2013), documents the history and uncertain future of her family’s farm by interweaving her images with old snapshots and historical documents culled from her personal archive. Her current project, When the Landscape is Quiet Again, examines the oil boom currently underway in western North Dakota.
**Due to a change in course dates, Jessica Ingram has been asked to join us Spring semester 2015.