Aurora Photos Action:Reaction project

Here is the image Aurora chose for the Action:Reaction project. Check it out and others at the website at

Congrats to Tom Sperduto on winning APA grand prize

One of my best friends, Tom Sperduot called me the other day to tell me this great and incredible news. He recently won the Advertising Photographers of America (APA) Grand Prize for 2008 photo contest. Not only did he receive a ton of awards, but the prestige of being on the top of the APA ladder right now. That is amazing and I am very happy for him. Tom and I go back a few years, but over the past few we have really become close in our growth as photographers together. I would say we are speaking on the phone weekly (if not daily) about projects, inspiration, ideas, etc. He is a true example of the success that happens when you have a synergistic relationship with someone. This is only the beginning of a long and prosperous future for Tom and I am glad to know him now.

Here is a link to the contest winners.


That really sucks for Digital Railroad users

I received an email today that was pretty scary. When I started getting involved with serious archiving of images, Digital Railroad was one of a few to be considered the ONLY choice for a professional and archiving of imagery. It was a no brainer that if you wanted to operate as a professional, you HAD to have your important images backed up on a server somewhere in case of theft, fire, flood, etc. I thought about it and take a different approach by first archiving to DVDs, then backing up to a Drobo (which is redundant itself, then every year having a hard drive placed in a safe deposit box. There are some guys I know who ONLY use Digital Railroad. They simply import the images from their camera and to the system. I can't imagine the scare this is giving them right now. I guess we all have our own level of fear these days and our own paranoid ways of protecting our valuables. I guess if we ever have an EMP big enough to wipe out all technology, I will be thanking God for my Nikon FM2 sitting on display with the other antiques and the brick of film on the bottom of my stand up freezer.

Here is what I got in the inbox today.

Dear NPPA Members,
In the past, the NPPA had a partnership with Digital Railroad offering our members a service discount. In light of the current news on Digital Railroad we recommend that if you are a Digital Railroad customer, you take action immediately to protect your work. In researching what is available, your three best options are to:
A)   Personally back up all of your work stored at Digital Railroad

B)   Take advantage of the deal PhotoShelter is offering DRR customers to migrate their data:

C)   All of the above

For more information please see the Digital Railroad article the NPPA published, updated this morning, on NPPA.ORG:

Aurora Photos Action:Reaction

Aurora Photos is celebrating their 15th year with a cool series called Action:Reaction. It was my turn to react to a photo of a guy voting. He had a white shirt on with VOTE stencilled on it, a green tea mug with "Change" written on the tea label, a pen in hand and on a black table cloth. His arm was with a tattoo of an aztec indian head on his arm. I had 24 hours to shoot the project. Shot these in the first two.

What do ya think?

Go to Aurora's website to see how this chain has been going. I am pretty excited to be a part of it.  

Japanese Mall fountain---very cool

I am pretty sure Howard Schatz might find this interesting. I can see so many applications for this. I wonder how the hell I could get a hold of this program and tech to use for photography.



about 15 minutes from me is a Polish Ameircan club. They announced
they where having a party that happened last night. When my (Polish)
wife contacted the management, they said it would be fun and 140
people had already paid for entry. So Anna and I decided to see what
we could do and set up to shoot portraits to see if there was
something there. We weren't expecting the crowd to be 40 and older.
This is an example of forcing yourself NOT to expect certain things
because you close your mind off to what is really there. As a
photojournalist, this is imperative to never be biased. to never
'expect' a certain result or what you see in your head before the
shoot. By doing so, you end up missing the story. It is good to
prepare, but never set yourself up for your own failure. I can't tell
you how many times I used to hear guys come back from a shoot and say,
"There wasn't anything there." There is always something there. You
just have to look for it.

Here are a few shots from that last night. Just a rough edit.


Paula Lerner is having an exhibit

Got this from Paula Lerner and wanted to pass it along to all. Paula is an excellent photographer and has a wonderful selection of images from Afghanistan. 

Paula says, "If you are in the Boston area, please join us on 11/2/08.  Please pass this invite on to anyone who's interested.
Exhibit web gallery:
Event info is here:".

      "Metro Boston Photo Exhibit and Multimedia Program"
What: Opening
Host: Ariana Outreach
Start Time: Sunday, November 2 at 4:30pm
End Time: Sunday, November 2 at 7:30pm
Where: Stoneham Theatre/Griffin Museum Atelier Gallery (satellite location)

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

LiveBooks gives awesome tips from the best consultants

LiveBooks has a page on their site that is a wealth of information from some of my favorite marketing consultants. Check it out.

31 days -31 Photos

A friend of mine is working on a project that I think is turning out pretty nicely. You should check it out. It is inspiring and motivating. And for anybody to think doing something like this is easy, try it!

Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale student interview

I was recently asked to have a 15 minute interview for Jade Ferguson, a photography student at the Art Institute. As always, I ended up spending nearly an hour planting the seeds of ideas and inspiration. Her interview was only supposed to be about my experience with assistants and it ended with me teaching her what to learn for being a pro photographer. It is very important to pass this stuff on as much as possible. She drafted it like a Q&A and here is what she sent me. Anna even had a few things to say.

I found Aaron Ansarov through the black book listing. My primary reason for wanting to interview him was because he is in the editorial field, which is where I am looking to go. And also I love how he illuminates his subjects. I especially like the image of the tarantulla, it even seems like it was posing for the shot. "C'mon shoot me."

Interview Summation

1). What is the most important role of an assistant?
     To be the photographer's right hand man, to anticipate the photographer's 
      every move, has a big hand in the success of the photo shoot. 

2). What are the 3 most important technical skills you expect your       
      assistants to have?
      Lighting skills, Detail oriented, and some photography skills.

3). What are the 3 most important attributes you expect your assistants to     
     Great personality, attitude, ambitious, ability to want to do anything, lack of 
     fear, has a good memory.

4). What is the maximum number of assistants you have used and what    
      roles do they serve?
     The maximum amount of assistants i've had on a shoot was three. After the first    
      assistant, the second and third are in a rank structure.

5). What is the minimum amount of assistants you like to have on a shoot   
     and what roles did they serve?
    There would just be me as the minimum and I'd do everything, set up everything.     
    Or I'd have Anna.

6). How do you differentiate between first, second, third, and so on as 
     I differentiate assistants by experience level, personality, technical ability.

7). What is the worst thing an assistant can do?
     Sit and do nothing. Thier attitude makes the atmosphere happy, crappy, easy    
     going. Attitude is a very important element.

8). Do you think it is necessary to have a portfolio when seeking out a    
     photography assistant position?
     Yes! It shows your passion and that it's not all just about the money. 

9). How long do you keep your assistants for before you think they are   
     ready to go out on thier own?
     I have not gotten to that point yet. I did have an assistant for three years before I   
     moved here and I still give him advice when he asks for it.
     (Anna): I think its about three years to learn the basics and do decent    

10). How much experience must an assistant just starting out have to have   
        before you star paying them?
        Well, they're part of my team, I pay them. I'm not one to treat anyone like crap. 
        (Anna) But you know after a couple of days if they are someone you can work       
        with, someone to keep around.

Are you a 'Tree Hugger'? Craigslist listing

Just posted this one on craigslist. Let's see what happens. I am pretty excited about this project.

I will be setting up a studio at the Just Perfect Landscaping & Nurseries located in 
2350 Hiatus Road 
Davie, FL 33325 
on Saturday (25 October) and next Saturday (1 November) depending on turn out. 
I am looking for people of all types, ethnicity, age, etc. Who consider themselves a modern day tree hugger or someone who is concerned with and "embrace" environmental causes. Whether you are an activist who participates in protests or simply someone who believes in planting trees to reduce the electricity bill of your home. We are all doing a part. 
I will be setting up a studio and photographing portraits of people with various trees in various poses. 
These images will be used primarily for my portfolio and stock. I will need a model release signed and will be providing a print to all who participate. 
You can visit my website at ansarov dot com to see more about me and my work. 
Please contact me on my cell at 305-951-4795 or email with any questions. 
Thanks and I look forward to seeing you there. 

Craigslist rocks!

I posted the first ad on facebook and received tons of responses. This is the second posting. See! It is as easy as that.

This is the second round of this project. I am working on a personal project that has already gained much attention. In fact, one of the recent images taken (from a responder to the first ad) will be featured in an upcoming art show during Art Basel. 
Now I am looking for MUCH MUCH more. I need all faces and types. Age, color, gender, etc. I want to have as many people as I can for this project to really grow. 
This requires at most 15 minutes of time and for subject to remain still for up to 10 minutes (sitting in a chair relaxed). No makeup please. NO NUDES! only faces. I will provide a print of my final work as payment for signing a model release. This is an artistic endeavor so only serious applicants please. You can view my website at ansarov dot com for a sampling of past work and experience, but this project is a new direction for me. Email me with a photo of yourself, contact info and when a good time is good for you. I am not turning away anybody right now and will work my schedule around yours. 

Your ad, titled "Face models needed for personal artistic photo project," has been posted as follows: (creative gigs)

Jackson Pollock

Awesome fun site for any Jackson Pollock fans out there.


Richard Avedon

There is a quote that is so inspiring to me it truly describes who I am in my life.



I am updating my website and re acquiring a ton of my old stuff. I
found this image I took about the same time Clinton was leaving
office. Remember when it came out his staff took all the presidential
'nicknacks' ?
Maybe I should send this to Ryder

Key West Tarpon

Anna and I were on a much needed time off in Key West wehn we visited
Robbies of Islamorada. A pretty cool place where there are a massive
amount of Tarpon come to feed. It all started when Robbie saved an
injured tarpon and started to feed it. Soon it started bringing
friends and now there is a bunch that show and a new market and side
show created. I got a little too close yesterday as I was dangling the
bait when a 10 foot long one latched onto my hand. They don't have
teeth to speak of and it feels more like a bit of sandpaper. A kid
came up and was very scared. I am always amazed at where people learn
how to fear things. It seems more and more people are learning how o
fear more than anything else. I gave the kid a fish and said, "It's
OK. It doesn't hurt." Then I looked at my hand and saw all the blood.

No worries. Just little scratches that alwasy look worse than they
are. Anna even got in there to feed. But she was smarter than me than
to let them swallow her arm.


Adobe Photoshop CS4

The new CS4 is out. Here is a link to see videos by Richard Harrington
on the new features.

Great stuff.

Also, check out the Photoshop podcasts. No matter what. It is very
important to keep up to date.


Happy moments

waiting for the elevator

Now you are going too far

I am not trying to advertise this person in the slightest. I am not
promoting or degrading this person. I just found this site and have to
make the statement. How far are we willing to go to make a person look
beautiful? I can associate hat this guy is doing to that of one of
those tourist boards with a hole in the face where you stand for a
photo. Go to this link and scroll over the images to see the BEFORE
photos. I do touch ups, but this is just plain scifi.

Warning there is some grotesque amounts of nudity. Or amounts of
grotesque nudity, whichever you prefer.


Is comedy unbiased?

I think there is a reason why shows like the Daily show on comedy central and Tina Fey get more response than 'mainstream media.' This clip was hilarious.

Life is too short.

It is very important that no matter what it is you do or be in your
life, that you do it with passion.


Popular Photography article

Special thanks to Lori Fredrickson for writing a nice article about
me and the backyard project in a feature in Popular Photography magazine on personal projects.

Check it out at this link


Pop Photo article

No worries. I was unaware they put this story online yet. I use
various lighting techniques. One of them is a box as mentioned in the
article. It is simply a piece of black foam core board you can buy at
wal-mart or art supply. I use a razor and measure the longest into
three sections. This makes for two cuts. I cut two times halfway into
the board and then fold it. This will make for three sides of a box.
Then I take one of the sections, measure half of that and cut on the
other side so it will fold up. I then use another white foam core to
bounce light. I sometimes use large expensive lights made by elinchrom
( ). But when traveling, I use Nikon Sb-800s fired
wirelessly with Nikon's creative lighting system.

I am attaching a couple recent photos to show you.

Hope this helps