Reproduced with permission of DMLA
The industry lost one of its finest advocates when Ellen Kasemeier Herbert suddenly passed away on Sunday, January 14th, following a short illness connected with lung cancer. Beloved by so many who worked with her over her long career spanning more than four decades in the business, she leaves a huge void. Known for her kindness, work ethic and passion for photography, she touched the hearts of all who knew her.
Her first job in the stock photography business in the mid 1980s was at After-Image in Los Angeles where she worked under the direction of Ellen Boughn, who remembers her fondly “as a spinning light of energy and passion. Her commitment to her work and to family was stellar … ever loyal and loving. Some of my best memories are from when she was a young mother, delighting in her life with Blake. Finally, I remember her sense of humor and the many times she made me laugh out loud.”
Her list of adventures in the visual media industry also included stints with Adventure Photo, Picture Arts, Punchstock, Ignited Minds, and JupiterImages. She is best remembered for her enthusiasm for the world of photography and the many photographers she tutored and mentored along her journey. She established Neat Production in 2009 a visual professional offering creative trend research, art buying, creative briefs, full production services and support, image, document and content research, rights clearances to agencies, publishing and design firms, film and documentary companies and photographers. Clients included GAIA, deviantART, the designory, British Vogue, Clos du Bois, Frommers, High, Wide and Handsome, Visual Connections and Audi.
One of Ellen’s proudest accomplishments was her participation in the 2005 Oscar winning documentary Mighty Times: The Children’s March, where she researched and created the archival database of over 2,000 still photos, film clips and interviews for Tell the Truth Pictures. She often spoke about how this civil rights documentary was a life-changing experience for her.
Ellen was active in PACA/DMLA and ASPP, holding committee and board positions with both organizations. In recent years she worked with Visual Connections, programming event sessions and commissioning blog articles. Deborah Free, co-owner of Visual Connections, remembers Ellen’s contributions: “Ellen was truly an inspiration. Her positivity, her energy and the support she extended to all are greatly missed. She always gave of herself freely and willingly, and could be counted on completely for any project she took on. I consider myself incredibly honored to have been her friend.”
Ellen’s passion for her work and extraordinary willingness to share her experience, knowledge, ideas and creativity made her a very special and unique member of our community. Michael Masterson, former ASPP President, shared his remembrances of Ellen: “I’ve had the privilege of knowing Ellen as both a colleague and friend for 30 years. She was the consummate producer, both professionally and personally. When you worked with Ellen, you never had to worry – she got the job done and done well. Her love of imagery, passion for whatever she was tasked with, and incredibly high ethical, moral and professional standards endeared her to anyone who ever worked with her. Her dazzling smile always lit up a room and my heart, which is irrevocably broken by her loss.”
Her husband Simon and son Blake survive Ellen. The world is a little darker without her light.
A memorial For Ellen is to be held on February 25, 2018.
A tree will be planted in her name in accordance with her wishes.