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Making a Splash with the ASMP Central Florida Life Members

Style is Just Self…


On September 13, 2008, the ASMP’s Central Florida chapter honored Life members Joe Barnell (56 years), Burton McNeely (48 years), Dennis Hallinan (54 years), Jack Mitchell (34 years) and Augusto Valentin (37 years) in a celebration of their work and careers at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa.


Event pictures © Justin Richards, of the International Academy of Design and Technology, with a Canon 50D on loan from our CanonUSA representative, Chuck Luzier, whose closing remarks summarized the value of this event to all who attended.

Joe Barnell expounded on his knowledge of photography to the group assembled at the event. Shooting over 1,000 Readers Digest covers took him around the world, from the Orient, to Europe, and we saw the incredible versatility of his work. As a founder of the stock agency Image International in 1964, turning into Shostal Associates and finally selling to Superstock in 1990, Joe still receives the many payoffs from his images. Throughout his career, Barnell enjoyed the luxury of world travel, after having graced our country as one member of “the greatest generation.”


Burton McNeely shared with the audience his extensive knowledge of stock. How to shoot it? What you got paid for it? How to list? How were the images used? How do you make a good image better? How do you shoot marine subjects? McNeely also answered the most important question of all: What images sell? A self-prescribed Florida Cracker with a keen sense of design, lighting and technical know-how, he divulged his greatest secrets. Viewers observed the evolution of his marine photography, witnessed his innovative techniques, learned the history of stock and watched as his equipment transformed from his trusty Hasselblad to the digital system that he now employs.


Dennis Hallinan’s images appeared courtesy of REview/Jupiter Images and his story was told by Burton McNeely. As Cypress Gardens’ chief photographer, Dennis took many images. He, too, was involved with stock and today his images are a vivid reminder of how great photographs are timeless. His forties and fifties pin ups are as relevant today as in the past. Beautiful design, color, and humor graced the show.


Lastly, Jack Mitchell showed his iconic images. Artists’ environmental portraits were breathtaking. Texture, shape, design, and most importantly lighting to perfection were on display, a true professional in every sense of the word. The essence of human kind captured for history. The stars: Arnold, Al, Meryl, and Debbie. Robin and his genius. Warren and John at their sexiest. His portrait of John and Yoko was record setting for People Magazine in 1980. And dancers, and dancers and great dancers. As noted, Jack is currently working on his fourth book and the Smithsonian has recently acquired a large collection of his work.


The life certificates were awarded at the end of the event with a quote from the ASMP’s first president, Philippe Halsman, which read, “Shouldn’t we — as it is done in a democratic society — unite our forces, take the leadership and try to make the ASMP the instrument and the symbol of our thinking and our aspirations.”


To the ASMP, “Life” is defined as 25 years or more dedicated to the art and expression of photography. These members deserve our praise for their longstanding efforts and our thanks for their many years of inspiring images. We can only congratulate these gifted gentlemen on adding to the archives of American photographic history. And to Jack Mitchell, Happy 83rd Birthday!


Below, read more about their work and view image galleries selected from their rich and successful careers.


Thanks go to CanonUSA and IADT for their support of the ASMP. A special thank you to our three presenters: Jesse Adair (ASMP Student Liaison, West Coast Board Member), Bonita Saldana and Jeff Chambless — all students or emerging artists with great dedication and foresight. They knew where to get the goods — from the originals.


—Jay Carlson

Burton McNeely

Burton McNeely is a world-renowned outdoor and underwater photographer who worked on assignment from the late 1950s until the mid 1970s for publications such as National Geographic, Life, Time, Sports Illustrated and Saturday Evening Post.


After the large magazines started folding, McNeely switched to advertising photography, specializing in travel and recreation, and photographed major ad campaigns for Chrysler Marine, Ski-Doo/Sea-Doo, Chris-Craft, Hatteras Yachts, Harley Davidson and Eastman Kodak, among many other clients.


Throughout his professional life McNeely has been equally active in stock photography. In 1974, he was one of 75 photographers invited to start a new kind of stock photo agency, The Image Bank, which went on to revolutionize the stock photo business worldwide. McNeely’s images are now licensed by Getty Images, where his hurricane photographs and fishing action images still sell regularly throughout the world.


Open a gallery window for selected Burton McNeely images


Today, McNeely expends most of his energy managing and transforming his longtime Tampa, Florida photo lab, Creative Color, Inc., into a “one-of-a-kind” digital photo and graphics service. This company provides innovative displays and high quality graphics for display and wall décor uses, and outputs Giclee art prints for leading artists and photographers. As part of Creative Color, McNeely has created two exclusive in-house photo and art files featuring his own photographs and works by many other world class artists. With one file edited especially for display graphics and the other for wall décor usage, McNeely has created a unique source for photos and art that can be leased for display or purchased as murals or prints.


Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell (b. 1925) learned basic photography from his father and by avid reading of photography magazines. He has earned his living from photography since age fifteen, when his first nationally published photograph appeared in The Complete Photographer.


Mitchell moved from Florida to New York City in 1950, four years after being stationed in Italy as a U.S. Army public relations photographer. At the suggestion of modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn, he concentrated on photographing dance and dancers. Continuing success in that field became the portal to his work with major creative and performing artists of all disciplines.


As the photographer for American Ballet Theater for ten years, Mitchell shot all the photographs for their souvenir program books from 1960 to 1970. He also produced souvenir book photography for Boston Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Pennsylvania Ballet, Houston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and San Francisco Ballet. He has photographed most of the world’s leading dance companies for The New York Times and for Dance Magazine.


The July 2003 issue of Dance Magazine featured Mitchell’s 168th cover photograph for that publication. His photographs of performing and creative artists have also appeared on the covers of and in Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, People Magazine, Newsweek, Time, Life, Vogue, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Madam Figaro, Stern, and virtually every domestic and international publication featuring photographs of arts personalities.


Open a gallery window for selected Jack Mitchell images


His portrait of musicians John Lennon and Yoko Ono was used on the cover of the circulation-record-setting December 1980 Lennon Memorial edition of People Magazine. But Jack Mitchell is best known for his numerous special assignment photographs for the Arts and Leisure section of The New York Times from 1970 to 1995. When he closed his New York studio on December 17th, 1995, the Times published a full page illustrated article about his work and career. Annette Grant’s opening paragraph stated, “They come in tutus and togas, in waistcoats and wigs, sweaters and jeans. They get there by limousines, on the subway, by foot. Virtually everyone who is someone in the arts has found a path to Jack Mitchell’s photography studio on East 74th Street near First Avenue in New York.”


After a forty-five year career in New York City, he now resides, in semi-retirement, in Florida, producing black-and-white exhibition prints from his vast negative files and working on the concept and content for a book of his fifty five years of dance photography.


Joe Barnell

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1925, Joe Barnell’s earliest interest and love was flying and airplanes. Photography was another of Barnell’s early interests, and he was a member of his high school camera club. Barnell graduated from Manhattan Aviation High School and enlisted in the Army in September 1943, shortly before he turned 18. His time in the service increased his interest in photography and he volunteered to run a Service Club darkroom and Camera Club.


After returning to civilian life in May 1946, Barnell got a job as a photographer’s assistant and print slosher with Sarony Studio on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The studio had a great reputation dating back to the turn of the last century, and Barnell learned a lot about black-and-white photography. Deciding that he wanted to work in color, he attended the Modern School of Photography under the GI bill and graduated at the top of his class. Referred to the publication Reader’s Digest by his school, Barnell was hired to work in their darkroom in October 1948. After about six months time he was given his first photographic assignment: to travel to Montreal, Canada to shoot covers for both the French and English Canadian editions of the magazine. Barnell’s first cover was published in December 1949, the start of a wonderful career.


For the next fifteen years Barnell spent 6 to 8 months per year traveling abroad to Europe, South America, Japan and Asia. Working for various Reader’s Digest international editions over 1,000 of his images were published as covers. His work was also published by countless other publications — magazines, text books, calendars, album covers and in feature spots like Holiday magazine’s “Places of the Month.”


Open a gallery window for selected Joe Barnell images


In 1963, the co-founder of Reader’s Digest decided that the magazine should start using paintings, rather than photographs as the cover of the magazine editions and Barnell found himself out of a job. An inquiry he made to the Digest to allow him to license the rights to the pictures he had shot for the publication resulted in the generous return of all his original images. With a large file of pictures now in hand, Barnell and a partner opened their own photo agency and studio, Image International, and also developed a close working relationship with the Shostal Press Agency. A few years later they joined forces to become Shostal Associates.


Barnell joined the ASMP in 1952 and has remained a member ever since. Over the years he had the privilege to work with the ASMP on early pricing guides and other areas of mutual interest. In the early 1980s Shostal and a few other stock agencies got together to form the Picture Agency Council of America (PACA). As image duplication opened the international market to photographers and stock agencies, this brought in the deep pockets, which acquired many agencies big and small. With no family to carry on his business, in 1990 Barnell and partners sold Shostal Associates to Superstock, so that he could retire in 1991.


Dennis Hallinan

Winter Haven, Florida-based Dennis Hallinan began his career in the 1950s as chief photographer for Cypress Gardens. While on the job he learned that it was possible to earn extra income by freelancing for a photo agency in New York, which would license the rights to the images sent in by photographers and send back a check. Hallinan thought it sounded like a good deal, so he sent some pictures to the Freelance Photographer’s Guild (FPG), and they sold immediately. He continued to send pictures and, by 1965, he was able to leave his staff position to become a full-time freelance stock photographer.


Mentored by the agency’s owner, Selma Brackman, Hallinan traveled across the United States and around the world to shoot whatever it was that clients were looking for — families and lifestyle images, travel destinations, nature, scenics and then some.


Open a gallery window for selected Dennis Hallinan images


In addition to hiring models for his stock shoots, Hallinan often used family and friends in his pictures, including his four sons, and then their children as the years progressed. With a stock career and an image archive that now spans half a century, Hallinan’s collection is a deep well of the styles and fads, fun and sun, work and leisure of our culture in the second half of the twentieth century.


Hallinan’s images are currently represented by Jupiter Images’ (re)view collection, and they have graciously provided the images featured in this gallery.



Editor’s note: In the Fall issue of the ASMP Bulletin the Jupiter images Web link was inadvertently left off the credit for Dennis Hallinan’s image that was featured in the Parting Shot section on page 35. We apologize for this omission.