OHSU launches war on skin cancer: Start Seeing Melanoma

OHSU launches war on skin cancer with new awareness campaign: Start Seeing Melanoma: The only cancer you can stop with your eyes!

What’s the first thing we did when we got the call for a full-blown campaign, complete with an 18-month media buy that includes billboards, magazine placements, and cinemagraphs? Yeah, we got pretty excited. There may have been a short happy dance. Since social platforms have become the dominant advertising medium, ‘one and done’ feels like the mantra of image use these days. It’s fantastic to know that’s not always the case.

The “Start Seeing Melanoma” campaign was one of those holy grail assignments we’re always hoping for—the ones that give us the ability to contribute to society and to do some very creative storytelling.

Sockeye wanted to literally paint a message across skin with light—which is easier said than done. Their concept called for using bodies as our canvas—to use nudity in a provocative fashion without being exploitive.

Peter suggested we work with 3 dancers for this project, which is exactly what Andy was thinking! They are some of his favorite subjects to photograph—as they truly understand the visual impact that comes from a great pose. He worked directly with each dancer as a collaborator, giving them wide discretion over pose and their comfort level, and inviting them to view the work as he created it.

Behind the scenes – and behind Tony is first AC Galvin Collins adjusting a light.

Work like this hits all the sweet spots for me. I needed to find a technical solution to a tricky lighting challenge—deliver crisp projections, balance the key lights and avoid a slow shutter speed. Once I had a solid technical solution, I was able to put it to work as a creative tool. Having both of those in hand allows me to concentrate on directing and collaborating with my talent on shoot day.

It’s a crazy thrill to be challenged by a project like this, to take my rough sketches and put them in motion, and then to discover all the ways I can build upon that first rough idea

We created still images and cinemagraphs during the shoot

All good projects are collaborative, and this one is a perfect example. We worked hand-in-hand with the Sockeye team to bring their concept to life.

It’s always a thrill to see Andy’s work in the wild—whether via the social channels or on an outdoor board—but it’s even better to know that the work is getting attention and delivering an important message!

This is an exciting campaign and will be rolling out over the next 18 months. Send us photos if you see any of the billboards out in the wild!

As always, thanks to the village that made this possible – to OHSU, to Sockeye Creative’s fabulous team of Peter Metz, Zo Barazzuol (thanks for the billboard shots!), Yen Nguyen and Stacy Lorts, and my team, Terri Lodge, Galvin Collins, Cameron Browne, and Brandon Bondehag. The dancers we feature in this campaign are Kayla Banks, Xena Guitron and Tony Coray. We’re honored to be a part of this family!

don’t miss Galvin and Therese doing their happy dance!

Working with two very different dance companies in just two days.

I was lucky to be able to work with two dynamic dance companies in two consecutive days. The first was the Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater, which brings the energy of Harlem to Portland and the second was Portland Contemporary Ballet—for their 2019 season titled White Dress, which is a metaphor for ‘a choice that needs to be made’.


The effort between the photographer and the dancer is a collaborative one. Dance is a continuous movement, but dance photography is about stopping time, of presenting dance as a singular movement. My responsibility to the dancer is to create an image that conveys the essence of what they do in a single image and in the perfect position.

Dancer in yellow dress on red background
Suspension of time and motion; one reason I love what I do. Capturing quiet moments like this take more work that you’d expect. She’s spinning, dancing, in motion.

For Rejoice!, the goal was to embrace a color palette and to create dynamic energy through that use of color. I was challenged to create visuals that heighten the contemporary and classic African dance roots. That meant finding moments, finding poses, and freezing a moment that hints at the joy and energy of this company. These dancers were fun and collaborative—they truly carry emotion through their bodies, and into their dance.


Ballerina with white dress flowing
I was thrilled to work with Muriel Capdepon of Portland Contemporary Dance for their 2018/19 season.

People ask all the time…’how did you get that job?’ In this case, Therese reached out to Portland Contemporary Ballet to ask for a favor. In doing that, she befriended artistic director Briley Neugebauer . And that led to this incredible shoot for their 2018/19 season brochure!

Portland Contemporary Ballet, featuring, Muriel Capdepon, Victoria Lauder, Katherine Evans, Sara Gilbert, Carla Coelho, Tessa Salomone and Ella Matweyou
Ballerina posing on pointe wearing white dress
Ballerina Muriel Capdepon wearing the white dress.

Capturing quiet moments like this take more work that you’d expect. We started our full day shoot with ballerina Muriel Capdepon wearing the white dress. She makes this pose look simple, but it’s exactly the opposite. Holding that position was near impossible, and the dress wasn’t being cooperative.

Posting Grids (Puzzles) on Instagram

13 members of March Fourth Marching Band photographed on a rich red velvet curtain

Who doesn’t love a giant grid post on Instagram? Well, pretty much everyone. It’s impressive to discover one, but the process of posting one can annoy your followers. Is it worth the risk? The jury is still out on that.

I’ll be posting puzzle/grid of the dramatic image above from a shoot a few years back of March Fourth Marching Band’s 10th birthday anniversary. Their next birthday is in just a few days, on (you guessed it) March 4th, at the Crystal Ballroom.

I’ve been experimenting with grid posts, with mixed results. I’m about to post one on my largest account, @andybattportfolio – I’ve never done one on this account, but the image I’ve chosen is particularly suited for the idea. I’ll be posting 6 squares from one image, and something is happening in every single square. That said, it could become confusing when viewers wonder why I’m posting so many images of the same thing.

Captions to the rescue! I plan on letting everyone know what I’m up to, by naming the images 1 of 6, 2 of six, and so on.

What has your experience been with grids, either in posting, or getting all those weird partial pictures in your feed?

Here’s another sample of grid posting that I’ve been testing on our @badchoicesproject IG account. If you aren’t following it, YOU SHOULD BE!!!


And because I couldn’t resist, here’s an out of focus shot of Andy’s sketch for the shoot. Interesting fact: this is a single shot – no photoshopped heads or bodies added. ALL IN CAMERA!

Musical act March Fourth March Band poses for entertainment photographer Andy Batt
March Fourth is a band anywhere from 10 to 20 musicians and performers. How do you photograph this many people without resorting to using risers?