Name: Maja Saphir
Role at Fast Company: Web Photo Editor
Titillating Fact: I am a Chicago native. I was adopted at 5 weeks old. My mother’s family is Swedish and Croatian, which is why I have the “j” in my name. My father’s family is from Vienna, Austria, and Illinois. My great grandfather on my dad’s side, Julius Hess, is the inventor of the early incubator for infants at Michael Reese Hospital. It was called the Hess Bed. In the ’60s, after he died, The Smithsonian visited the hospital to collect the incubator for their archives and an exhibit, but at the time, they had difficulty finding it because the nursery ward had been using it as a flower pot.
I can’t remember how I was introduced to DigitalRev TV, but it’s a fun way to keep up to date on photo gear, tricks, and tips. They also do a cheap camera challenge asking professional photographers to shoot with random hacked and cheap gear. The most memorable one I’ve seen so far was asking cinematographer Philip Bloom to shoot with a Barbie camera.
I discovered hilarious makeup artist Kandee Johnson doing photo research and I’ve been a subscriber to her blog and videos ever since. Her Duck Dynasty makeup tutorial is pretty great.
Shabazz Palaces is the newest group formed by Ishmael Butler, who is also known as Palaceer Lazaro (formerly Butterfly of jazz–hip hop group Digable Planets). It’s crazy futuristic space-age hip-hop, and I just saw their show here in Chicago. You can catch their album, Black Up, on YouTube, complete with spacey visuals.