Masters Series: Craig Cutler

Masters Series – Craig Cutler

Craig Cutler discovered he wanted to be a photographer when he realized that he wanted to capture the concepts he sketched out as a graphic design student.

Cutler took his first photograph on a field trip for school to an Amish Farm. He was able to sneak several pictures of the farmers with a Kodak box camera he owned and for more than 25 years—since he began his career in 1987—he has turned ideas into images. Today, he is considered by many to be one of the most skilled working commercial photographers in the industry. His list of clients—which includes the New York Times Magazine, Infiniti, IBM, Audi, Microsoft, Samsung, Esquire, ESPN, Starbucks and eBay to name several—proves such.

In a Q&A in the Photography Annual 2006, Cutler spoke to Graphis about his influences, who include Irving Penn and Daniel Jouanneau. He added that he enjoys the portrait work of European photographers Thomas Ruff and Rineke Dijkstra and that William Eggleston always inspires him to look at a location differently.

For Cutler, the emergence of digital technology has both benefits and drawbacks. “Clients expect a lot more. We are constantly sending off files to clients during shoots,” Cutler told Graphis in the Q&A. “I hate that. I can only imagine how nice it used to be before Polaroid came out.”

A bad concept, however, “cannot be saved with digital technology,” Cutler said.

Photographer: Craig Cutler | Title: None | Title: Electron Tube | Client: Craig Cutler CC52

Cutler is a consistent Graphis winner and his “Fin Whale” series of photos, featured at the top of the page, received a Platinum award in the Photography Annual 2013.

Cutler’s photographs featured above received Gold awards in the Photography Annual 2004 and 2013, respectively. His “Electron Tube” photo was part of his CC52 project, named for his initials and number of weeks in a year. In April 2011, Cutler began a new personal work that he would finish in one week. The “Electron Tube” photos were shot using TRI-X film during week 43 of the year-long project. To read more about CC52, click here.

Last year, Cutler teamed with Scott Bremner, a creative director at Siltanen & Partners, to form Cutler + Bremner, an outlet for the duo to pursue projects that are not client driven, Bremner told the Stockland Martel blog. (Stockland Martel represents Cutler for print work.)

To view work by Cutler + Bremner, visit the website here.

The advertising competition features the most compelling and influential advertising of the year. Gold and Platinum awards, along with winning entries, will be published in the Advertising Annual 2015. Submit work to Advertising Annual 2015 competition here.

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