Posts by: Heidi Volpe

The Daily Edit – Men’s Journal: Dustin Aksland

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Men’s Journal


Photo Director:
Jennifer Santana
Deputy Photo Editor: Michele Ervin
Photographer: Dustin Aksland

Your bio mentions a few filmmakers, what type of impact have these creatives made on you?
Films have had a huge impact on my life. My Mother is a huge fan of films and I grew up going to the theatre and watching all genres of movies with her. To this day we talk about what films we are watching and review them. I believe watching films helped my visual vocabulary. I was the skater that stole my mom’s video camera and filmed everything my friends and I did and then would come home and edit the footage straight from the camera to vhs, pause, play, record, rewind, record etc.etc.

Were you familiar with David Gelb’s work prior to the shoot?
Yes I’d seen “Hiro Dreams of Sushi” and was a fan of the film. I had also seen the first season of “Chefs Table” and enjoyed that as well. I took the assignment because I was interested in talking with David about food and travel.

Why did you choose this location, was it about the food ( for the subject? ) and the location ( for you? )
I’m not sure if David or the magazine chose the location ( Ivan Ramen) but David was familiar with the restaurant and the food on the menu. The magazine wanted David to be holding food or eating. I’d never been to Ivan Ramen and did not have time before the shoot to scout so I figured I’d sort out the shooting location once I arrived. I settled for the counter and a front table near the window for the ramen slurping image ( used in TOC ).

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
The magazine wanted the images to be loose rather than formal and like I mentioned above they wanted David to be eating or have food in his hand. It’s challenging to photograph people while they eat so I knew we would have to have fun with this shoot. Thankfully David was game and we ordered some ribs and ramen and he wasn’t afraid to get messy.

How if at all were you directing him during this portrait? What was happening at that moment?
I had a feeling going into this shoot that it would be a collaborative project considering David’s background shooting in kitchens / restaurants around the world. David asked what my ideas were and I gave him a quick rundown and he was game. The magazine wanted to David to eat a pork bun but the restaurant didn’t have one on the menu so we both thought ribs would be a great option. I asked David to sit sideways at the counter so we’d be able to see his face and then told him to chow down. David being a great director knew how to play it up for the camera and gave me the great “finger licking good” pose.

The Daily Promo – Steve Pomberg

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Steve Pomberg


Who printed it?
Paper Chase Press printed my piece. They are based in Los Angeles, were awesome to work with, and I think they did an amazing job.
Who designed it?
Dana Silberman is a fantastic art director (and conveniently my wife). She designed the front and back cover and eagle eyed the entire piece.
Who edited the images?
I did most of the editing and Dana gave me some great feedback/input regarding layout and pagination.
How many did you make?
I had 100 books printed this time around.
 How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try and do an annual printed promo and keep my website current.
Tell us about your inspiration for this promo.
For this promo piece my intention was to share unpublished personal work that would appeal to potentially new and current editorial/commercial clients. I wanted to showcase my ability to work on location and in the studio so the selected images oscillate between those spaces. I grew up skateboarding and surfing so I wanted to give a nod to the the activities/subcultures that really got my creative juices flowing and inspired me to pick up a camera. Recent trips to Croatia and Nicaragua along with some of my favorite spots in the southeast provided me with vivid environments to experience and photograph. I am an avid art and record collector, and am fascinated with the concept of “Analog Versus Digital’ so I also included images that reference those areas of interest.

Havard Business Review: Ian Spanier

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Harvard Business Review: Greg Louganis

Harvard Business Review: Greg Louganis
 

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Harvard Business Review

Creative Director: Matthew Guemple
Art Director: Annie Chin
Photographer: Ian Spanier

Heidi: Where did you find the empty pool?
Ian: I was fortunate this pool in Hollywood was empty, and close to Greg’s home. Originally I tried to get access to an olympic pool, and was surprised it wasn’t so easy and the magazine was dead set on an empty one anyway.

Contextually there are many layers to this story, how did you approach that visually?
( this was about his decorated career as well as his activism )
I love stories that have a deeper level. I didn’t get to scout the pool, so I worked with what was there. I did research on what direction it faced and any other factors that would affect my shoot plan. The big plus signs were an added bonus, given the connection to HIV Positive, so I was lucky there, and to be honest the location as a whole was not great– the pool was dirty and with a small crew (me and one assistant) we couldn’t clean it up that much. B&W helped there as well. Greg was really nice, and I made a couple extra portraits of him for him.  In return, he invited me to the screening of his latest short film called Saber Dance– where he plays Salvador Dali.

How did you get Greg to relax, become at ease?
Whenever I shoot celebrities or athletes there’s a bit of the unknown that doesn’t come into play when shooting non-celebrity subjects.  I always ask my client how much time we will have, but assume time could be less (so if I only get two minutes, I am prepared to work within the limitation)  If there’s more than one set-up I will have both ready to go, so I can quickly move my subject from set to set. I think this helps my subjects know that I am prepared, from there it’s less about the lights and camera and just gaining their trust. There is a lot of psychology behind photography. I like to review what the assignment is with the subject to make sure we are on the same page and usually I say something about me not being able to tell them how to just be themselves, but I am happy to suggest small changes from behind the camera.  I do this just between us by having that conversation closely with my subject; no publicist, no assistants, and no crew hearing this part. I’ve found this to work well for me, particularly in quick situations. There’s a sense of trust that needs to be earned, often immediately. I like to think by putting them in charge out the gate, the subject either relaxes and does their thing, in essence appears as they want to, and I then choose when to press the shutter. If they are stiff, I take over.  Ultimately, either scenario I am actually in charge. I like to think it’s almost like hypnosis, the moment I lull a subject into a place of comfort is generally the best part of the shoot. Sometimes I find the strobe firing over and over, or even the sound of the shutter does this, and other times I gain that trust by sharing an early frame when I know it looks good. Whichever gets things headed in the right direction.

How has your skills as a former photo editor come into play?
When I was a photo editor I would work directly with creative and art directors to formulate ideas for photo shoots, those years of experience really helped me the more I was on the other side of the shoot. I’ve always been an “ideas guy” so when I am given the chance to be part of the pre-shoot creative process or even make the call entirely at the shoot, I feel confident I can deliver. It’s great when a client comes to me with a distinct idea, as I have the opportunity to do their idea and time permitting any of my ideas, which only adds value to the project. When the art direction is unknown I feel pretty confident at this point that I’m being hired to come up with a solution. In the case of this shoot, the art director at HBR had presented the idea of shooting in an empty pool, and the section is always in B&W.  I was also given the copy, which always help me know the mood the magazine wants. These are the best scenarios and are most like the scenario when I was on staff at magazines. Since the magazine is on the East Coast I would take the lead producing the shoot. I do work with producers (or my agent) for larger production shoots–  but as a result of my past as a photo editor, when it comes to producing a shoot I can manage it just fine. Although it was not a factor in this shoot,  one other aspect to my past is that I would always be in the position of having to manage the client’s budget. When shoots come with a smaller budget, it’s not ideal, but it’s a reality of a lot of shoots. I believe that it’s my job to make any size budget work– and at least visually appear as equally well produced as the big budget shoots.

Since you’ve been in the industry on both the hiring and shooting level, what has been the biggest impact you’ve seen in editorial shoots?
I think the biggest change today aside from shrinking budgets is the immense need for content. Digital is a big factor of this, as when we shot film there was almost always an end in sight.  The decline of magazines and rise of social media is the other. Shots lists have climbed and the client’s need for assets for all the various outlets– far beyond the assignment alone are almost always a part of the shoot. I am often asked to shoot beyond any shot list, and even do both stills and video during the same shoot. This being the new reality, like everything else, it’s all about adaptation. Photographers have had to adapt to the rapid changes or be left behind.

The Daily Promo – Jennifer Rocholl

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Who printed it? 
Southern California Graphics in Culver City

Who designed it? 
The amazing Jean-Marc Durviaux and his team at DISTINC_.  Jean-Marc put so much individual attention, thought, and care into my project.  This is the second promo he’s designed for me.  The previous one placed 2nd in the PDN promo awards in 2009 (just behind the DS reps’ promo and yes, it’s been that long since I last did a printed promo!).  There is so much heart in this design agency, I really adore them.

Alexey Brodovitch’s design work was the inspiration for this project.  Brodovitch is a master of juxtaposition and extreme scale and his layouts remind me of contact sheets that have been cut into strips.   Jean-Marc thought it jelled perfectly with the spirit of my work and ran with it.  It was his idea to integrate graphic elements and type to give a hint of how my work could potentially look as an “already consumed” product.  (Yes — Jean-Marc, I’m glad you talked me into this!)

Who edited the images? 
I presented Jean-Marc with a very broad edit from my entire body of work and he made his selects from there.  It was necessary to get fresh eyes on my work because I tend to get stuck on which photos are my favorites.

How many did you make?
2,000.  1,800 were blessed during a candle lit ceremony and sprinkled with unicorn dust, packed into hand painted envelopes, and mailed out.  The lovely NIkki (pictured) came over and spent about a week painting those envelopes on a tarp in my driveway, sometimes with the help / hindrance of my kids.  I really wanted each one to have a “I made this for you” aesthetic.  The remaining 200 are waiting to be handed out at meetings and mailed out to anyone else who’d like one — just hit me up.

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How many times a year do you send out promos? 
Since this promo was a substantial production and big cost, it will be my big annual hit in addition to a New Year postcard I sent earlier this year.

The Daily Edit – Aliza Eliazarov: Modern Farmer

- - The Daily Edit

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Modern Farmer

Editor In Chief: Sarah Gray Miller
Creative Director: Maxine Davidowitz
Photo Director: Lila Garnett
Photographer: Aliza Eliazarov



Heidi: What was the tipping point for you to leave teaching and become a photographer? or do you view the switch simply as photography is your vehicle to teach rather than the classroom?
 Aliza: I studied Environmental Engineering in undergrad and went on to get my masters in Creative Arts In Education. When I was a teacher in LA I integrated photography throughout the curriculum and also took classes at OTIS ( they had a great deal for LA public school teachers). I became more and more invested in photography as an anthropological and educational tool – especially the long term project. I was a tenured teacher at the time and took a leave of absence in 2007 to go to Bolivia and document President Evo Morales’ efforts to reallocate farmland to indigenous people.

During that time, I also had some really talented photographer friends who mentored and encouraged me to pursue photography more seriously. I applied to The International Center of Photography’s Documentary and Photojournalism Program and went there from 2008 – 2009.

Your portraits of the animals are so stately, do you treat them as you would a human subject? Or in other words, how do you get them to react ( do you talk to them, have treats, or is it patience? )
Animal photography happens in the space between fear and poop. Every animal is different, and it’s hard to predict how an animal will react to standing in front of flashing lights in a studio setting. Some freeze, others run or fly into the lights and others will try to go through the backdrop. Some animals are surprisingly calm and curious. You really never know and the farmers are always surprised by which animals end up being the best subjects.

Patience is critical. I like to give each animal at least 10 -15 minutes to get used to the situation. It also gives me a chance to observe and get to know the animal and get a feeling for his/ her personality and outstanding physical traits. On set I’m pretty quiet and let the animals roam within the studio space we have built. Often it is during those times that I get the most interesting photos. Sometimes you only get a few seconds of prime shooting, so you need to be ready.

For Modern Farmer I need to get very specific photos of each animal– a tight portrait with the animal facing both left and right and full body shots – all on both black and white backgrounds (in addition to more creative shots). For those, we want ears forward, long necks, and heads held high. I have the farmer or my assistant  talk to them, call them, make noises, hold treats in front of them. We do whatever it takes to get the shot. It can get pretty comical and hectic on set when birds fly behind the backdrop or a 1,400 pound draft horse decides the shoot is over. It can get pretty stressful, but I love it.

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Tell us about how your body of work shooting animals developed, did it grow out “Sustain?”
I began shooting animals while photographing farmers and chickens for two personal projects: SUSTAIN and 2 Chickens In Every Garage.

SUSTAIN is a long term documentary project on the sustainable farming movement.

2 Chickens in Every Garage is a series that looks at the backyard chicken movement across America and the role chicken enthusiasts have played in changing city ordinances and reshaping our relationship with our food and food sources. To make this work, I joined chicken enthusiast meetup.com groups. I visited enthusiasts in several cities around the country and set up a studio with black backdrop inside of the coop in order to isolate the chickens from their environment and force the viewer to consider the chicken.

Modern Farmer Photo Director Lila Garnett was familiar with my chicken work and published the series on Audubon.com when she was photo editor there seveal years ago. When Lila moved to Modern Farmer 5 or 6 years later – she reached out to me!

 

Do you have a team of wrangles that you work with, or have your developed enough experience to handle things are your own?
I work with one photo assistant and the farmer/s on set. Everyone helps to keep the animal in front of the backdrop and the space safe for everyone on set.

You often shoot for Modern Farmer, what was different or unique about this project?
I just finished shooting my 5th cover story for Modern Farmer and will be shooting 2 more this summer. Honestly it’s my dream gig and I feel so honored to be involved with this publication.
The pre-production for these shoots can be tricky and Photo Director Lila Garnett and I will work closely together to try and find the farms with all of the breeds we need to shoot for the issue. Sometimes it means traveling to 3 or 4 farms.  We try our best to find farmers with multiple breeds and are in the same general region.

I then travel to the farms and set up a studio on location, typically in a barn– many of which are old and rickety. Sometimes I will stay on the farm for a few days, and other times we break down the studio; travel to the next farm and do it all over.

Scheduling farm animal shoots is tricky when you have to work with weather, breeding, molting, sheering and other things that effect what the animal will look like or availability of babies.Chickens are my first love in terms of photographing farm animals, so I was really excited to shoot the chicken cover story for Modern Farmer. I love the variety in breeds and plumage and more than anything, I love the way  chickens move, twist and contort. Shooting the chickens also felt like I had come full circle so it was extra rewarding shooting this cover.

What was the biggest surprise you had on set?
There have been several, most of them poop related:

-A chicken laid an egg in the middle of this shoot for Modern Farmer.
-A giant draft horse backed up and peed all over the white fabric backdrop. I spent the next morning at the laundromat.
-Duck poop is the worst and gets everywhere.
-Alpacas don’t poop on set because they are like cats and only go in a communal litter box area.
-On my most rece   nt shoot, the cover animal I flew across country to photograph, suddenly grew ill and died hours before I got there.

Best advice for anyone shooting an animal?
Poop happens. Be ready for it.

 

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The Daily Edit – Bon Appetit : Alex Lau

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Bon Appetit

 

Creative Director: Alex Grossman
Photo Director: Alex Pollack
Photo Editor: Elizabeth Jaime
Photographer: Alex Lau

Heidi: How many choices of doughnuts did you go through after arriving at this one?
Alex: I probably went through 9 variations of doughnuts, with about 4 options of each doughnut.

Did you buy a dozen of the same kind of doughnut to avoid denting the icing?
Fortunately, I didn’t have to buy any doughnuts with my own money, but Blue Star was kind enough to give me a fresh doughnut to work with if I had dented or messed up the icing.

Who was the food stylist?
It was a collaborative effort between me and my photo editor Elizabeth Jaime via email! I was in the middle of a multi city shoot, when Elizabeth told me she was adding another shop to my shot list. She had mentioned it was a cover try, and that I should run through as many options as possible. I basically sent her screenshots as I shot, and readjusted based on her comments.

What were the icing or color considerations?
Since it was a cover option, our creative team is always looking for something that pops in terms of color. I was told to look for doughnuts that had a distinct pattern or nice color since it would be featured by itself on white. I had some trouble with the doughnut flavor that I was originally assigned, since the glaze was too glossy for the harsh/poppy light that I was using, so we had to switch to a doughnut with a similar tone, but with a more matte glaze.

Are the most simple food covers the most difficult?
I wouldn’t say that they’re the most difficult, but that they’re just as challenging as propped out shots. If a food shot is propped out, that gives you more options than doing a standalone shot on white. This makes the onus on the food looking good by itself, as opposed to relying on context and props.

Favorite doughnut?
I think my favorite doughnut was definitely the cover doughnut, which is the Blueberry Bourbon Doughnut. I’m not even a fan of doughnuts but had to eat a couple before leaving.

 

The Daily Promo: Stan Evans

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Stan Evans


Who printed it?
Modern Postcard out of San Diego Printed it. Ture Lillegraven referred me to them. They are reasonable priced and efficient.

Who designed it?
I designed it. As far as the concept, I’ve been shooting a bit of motorcycling lately and it seems the market has been saturated with café racers, sunset shots and generic side of the road shots.  While some of those photos will always be timeless, I wanted to capture something that flew in the face of that. High-end motorcycles are precision machines and the apparel motorcyclists wear for protection at those speeds has many features and functions.  I wanted showcase a seamless connection between man and machine;  inspired by the work of artist HR Giger and director James Cameron did on the “Alien” series. It’s dark and moody but in a stack of sunset motorcycle work it sticks out.

Who edited the images?
I edited the images and did the post-production myself.  I had pretty clear vision of wanting to mix crisp product photography with dynamic action.  The photos themselves have very little photoshop.  Some of the on location photos had a bit of light spill because you are capturing things at speed but overall that it was getting the right mix of portraits and action so it flows nicely

How many did you make?
I made 200. I sent out about half of those. I handed out probably another fifty. I still have a few on hand to leave behind at meetings.  I’d be happy to send more out, shoot me an email if you are interested:  stan@stanevansphoto.com

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Usually 3 to 4 times a year. I do one larger one and 2-3 follow-ups.

How did this idea come about?
Originally I pitched this idea to a company for a shoot and they passed but the problem with good ideas is they stick, so I made this promo.  A promo is the best manifestation of what you can do with your own mind on your own time.  If you can get people to believe in that, they will believe in you and help manifest bigger dreams and ideas. People will say “no” to your ideas but you need to have the resilience to come back and define those ideas, shoot them and take them to fruition if need be.  Practice until you get to a point where people will take notice.

Later after they saw the promo they came back and commissioned a shoot. It also led to a recent work with Cycle World, which was pretty cool because I’ll be frank; I’m a portrait photographer that likes shooting motorcyclists and hearing their stories. I have an instagram (@upforadventuress) dedicated just my moto exploits but I separate the two because I don’t want to be stamped as just a “moto photographer.” It’s a great outlet to show that world as I see it without any constraints and it’s made my overall photography work better but I enjoy seeing and shooting many things.

Special thanks to Adey Bennett (model), Jeff Moustache (the assistant on the shoot but a talent photographer in his own right) and Yamani Watkins (an executive producer /co-founder of Karma Media Group  an amazing mentor for me in LA )  who all helped tremendously on this project.

 

 

The Daily Edit – Oprah Magazine: Jonathan Kambouris

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The Oprah Magazine

Photographer: Jonathan Kambouris
Prop Stylist: Marissa Gimeo

Heidi: What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Jonathan: O, The Oprah magazine approached prop stylist Marissa Gimeno and myself to photograph Mac’s new line of cosmetics for the O, Beautiful! page in the June 2016 issue. The client wanted to emulate the Navajo print of the packaging and create the pattern with the actual cosmetics. I love a good graphic pattern and I was completely on board with this concept!

How did this mosaic pattern idea develop?
We were inspired by the print on the actual packaging so we narrowed down which print worked the best. I did a few sketches with the idea that one of the actual products would be photographed on top of the pattern we were creating, possibly a lipstick or eyeshadow. In the end we decided the strongest composition would be to create the pattern out of the eyeshadow, blush and powder textures with no product on top.

Tell us about the actual build and was the crumble a happy accident?
The magazine supplied us with the product from Mac. However, there was not quite enough to complete the entire pattern. Marissa and I discussed the best way to tackle this challenge. In the end, I decided it would be best to create at least half of the pattern(specifically the top half). Once I got the light tweaked I had to shoot this in a few different stages. There was a good amount of planning  on set to ensure that this image was successful. I wanted to capture everything in camera rather than flipping it in post so the lighting felt consistent and natural with the way it falls off on the bottom. So I photographed each half and then flipped it on set and recaptured again. Once I captured the entire background we played around with different options for the top element. My digital tech quickly composited the several captures so we could see it as one image and decide what we needed to capture more of. In the end the top crumbled piece was a unanimous favorite. We did several variations and really perfected this crumble to make sure it felt natural and perfect. It was not necessarily pre-planned, however, it evolved very intuitively on set and the end result captured exactly what I wanted the image to look like.

How long did it take to build?
Marissa Gimeno: It took me half a day to measure and cut the risers for the composition prior to the shoot. On set, it took approximately 3 hours to apply the makeup to the risers and finesse the final layout.

Did you need to have special tools to handle the makeup?
Marissa Gimeno:
Nothing too unusual that couldn’t be found in a still-life stylist’s kit such as palette knives, makeup brushes and a little ingenuity.

The Daily Promo: Heather Byington

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Heather Byington

Who printed it?
Vista print made the post cards, envelopes were hand crafted by me.

Who designed it?
I did.

Who edited the images?
I did.

How many did you make?
452, though some were sent back, so roughly 420 made it out into the world. I sent promos to only to the agencies I had direct contact details for.
815 postcards were sent, just as a solo card/promo piece, these were all marketed to “art director/buyer”.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
This was my first real “big push”.  I have sent out a card here or there a couple times before, but nothing to this level. This is the first time I have heard anything back.

Tell us about the promo concept.
Anthology of Muddled Nightmares is a collaboration between myself and Mitchell Walter. I’ve always had an eye for the dark and macabre, but I balance it with visceral emotion and undeniable beauty.  Mitchell is a professional creative writer; he has always been smitten with short stories, finding their blend of narrative content and poetic metaphors powerfully engaging.

Having a mutual admiration for each others’ work, we decided to collaborate on Anthology of Muddled Nightmares. 

The Daily Edit: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis

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Marie Claire

Creative Director: Nina Garcia
Design Director: 
Clare Ferguson
Photo Director:
James Morris
Photo Editor: 
Fiona Lennon
Art Director: 
Wanyi Jiang
Associate Art Director: 
Melanie Springhetti Teppich
Photographers: Keirnan and Theo
Food Stylist: Victoria Granof

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
We definitely do our best work when clients let us do our own art/creative direction. Collaboration is fun, but it can sometimes lead to too many compromises. True creatives trust their artists. James (Photo Director) allowed us to be ourselves. He was a pleasure to work with.

What background is this particular shot and what was the through line with the styling and overall look to this story?
Our thread for this story was to create a loose social narrative. We try not to get too literal. We also like to give context, so that images aren’t just product shots. We usually find materials we think are beautiful and exciting, and see what works.

How did you overcome the reflections in this shot?
We don’t try to overcome reflections too often. In the case of mirrored objects, we just try to make it work in our favor.

Do you have a lead food stylist you collaborate with?  Is it typically Maggie Ruggiero? I love her work! I see you both work on Gather.
We work mainly with Maggie Ruggiero, and Victoria Granof. They are both absolute pro’s.

Do you both shoot the assignments?
Yes, we are truly a team. We also both do set styling, though Theo is really the Eleanor to my Steve Zissou.

What are each other’s strengths?
I suppose that Theo is a little more left brain to my right brain… but that can switch depending on the circumstance. Either way, we even each other out.

How did you two meet and tell us how your working relationship unfolded.
We met in college, and started living together soon after. We got married in 2009. The thought of working together dawned on us early, though we weren’t sure it could work. However, after almost two years now (and a few tears), it’s been a wonderful collaboration. We definitely overlap in so many ways.

The Daily Promo – Steve Simko

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Steve Simko

 

Who printed it?
I sourced it through FOXTONE PACKING in New York City. He’s a print broker and is known for his foil stamping expertise.

Who designed it?
Myself and longtime friend/designer Peter Scherrer at STUDIO MOUSETRAP here in Los Angeles.

Who edited it?
Myself. I had originally chosen a different image but felt it like I might have missed something in the first edit and went back a couple weeks later and found this timeless image.

How many did you print?
500 total with 300 for the mailing and 200 for hand outs.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
2-3 times a year with a very specific target of photo editors and art buyers.

Tell us about this image.
This image is from a personal project I photographed with Michael Wilkinson (Oscar nominated costume designer) and his husband Tim Martin. I had shot Michael a couple of years ago and they came to me with an idea for a project they were working on for their new branding company and asking if I had any interest in shooting some Haute Couture clothing. Yes, please !

The Daily Edit: Miller Mobley

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The Hollywood Reporter


Director of Photography:
Jennifer Laski
Photo Editor: Carrie Smith / Jennifer Sargent
Creative Director: Shanti Marlar
Photographer: Miller Mobley

Rangefinder

Writer: Libby Peterson

The photograph for the Rangefinder cover was originally commissioned by The Hollywood Reporter.
I think it’s important when great images get a second life and I enjoy the fact they chose this cover image to honor Miller’s career.

You have a portfolio chock-full of celebrity portraits, what made this one unique?
I think there’s a lot of simplicity in this photograph that makes it beautiful. The lighting is simple and understated, the clothing is dark and not distracting. The warms colors of the highlights go in hand with the blues and greens in the shadows. And of course, the subject. Walken was one of my dream subjects (probably one of most photographer’s dream subjects), so to be able to have a portrait of him that I’m proud of is special.

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Do you have a process or narrative for your cover shoots that you try to build from?
Every cover shoot is different. Sometimes there’s a narrative or concept and sometimes it’s just about getting a moment in an uncontrolled environment. I go into every photo shoot with a plan, but also let the “happy accidents” happen. There’s only so much you can control in the type of photography I do.  It’s in my nature to have a strategy when there’s pressure on the line and not a lot of time. With that said, you have to leave room for the un-expected moments.

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Have you ever become starstruck and if so, how did you overcome that?
I will always remember the moment, when my team and I were waiting to photograph President Obama and the First Lady. We had been invited to the White House to photograph them for a cover. We had set up all of our lighting, tested, and were now waiting for them to arrive. I’ll never forget when the doors opened and I overheard from the secret service that the President was about to enter. That was probably one of the most surreal moments in my career. It has nothing to do with politics, but more with the honor of being invited to the White House and having 5 minutes of time with the most powerful man in the country. Once they walked through the doors to greet myself and my team, I remember thinking to myself I can’t believe this moment is happening. It was pretty cool.

How much time did you have for this session?
Unfortunately, only about 15 minutes. As I mentioned, this image was originally commissioned by Jen Laski at The Hollywood Reporter. I was photographing Walken because one his films, “A Late Quartet” was about to hit the screens. I was only given 15 minutes and we had to shoot this in an office building in Manhattan. These are not rare circumstances for me. I thought using a background and doing some simple lighting would justify a classic portrait. Sometimes it’s just good to stay simple.

What type of direction did you get for this project?
Jennifer Laski, the DP at The Hollywood Reporter, who originally commissioned this photograph, told me to get something that feels timeless and iconic. Jen and team at THR are very good about giving the photographer an idea about what they’re looking for, but also leaving room for the photographer to bring back something that’s authentic to his/her style and taste.

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What advice to do you have for anyone that has no experience with talent agents and publicists?
Be kind and easy to work with.  It’s obvious advice, but goes a long way. The entertainment industry is small and very connected. Word gets around if you’re a good photographer to work with or if you’re a difficult prick. That’s not to say that photographs need to be a pushover or a people pleaser on set. I think it’s important to push the limit and get memorable images. At the end of the day, photography is a people business and clients/publicists/agents/actors/musicians/etc. want to work with someone who is enjoyable. That’s just my take on things.

The Daily Promo: Ryan Geraghty

- - The Daily Promo


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 Ryan Geraghty


Who printed it?
I had my promos printed though Moo. I made test prints through a couple different vendors, but Moo seemed to have the best color and paper quality.

Who designed it?
The promos were designed by me. It’s important to me to keep a simple design that focuses on the images and my style of work. I like to shoot food clean and messy, and I wanted to keep the theme of the promo consistent from front to back.    

Who edited the images?
I did the editing myself, but I always have my girlfriend look over most of the work I send out. Having a second opinion is invaluable when looking at my own images for a long amount of time, and she is incredible at catching any small detail I may have missed. In my personal work editing is very light, mostly color correction and contrast adjustments. The bulk of the work is done with styling and lighting before the camera is even turned on.      

How many did you make?
I had about 30 promos printed up but only sent out 12 in total. This is actually my first time sending out any kind of promotional material, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of feedback I would receive.      

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Going back to the last question, this is my first time sending physical copies of promotional material to anyone. I mostly promoted myself online while getting my degree. Now that I’m beginning my career, I’ve talked to established professionals I respect who advised me to get my work out there. I’m hoping it will land on the right desk.     

The Daily Edit – ESPN: John Huet, Karen Frank, Kristen Schaefer Geisler and Bill May

- - The Daily Edit

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ESPN Magazine


Photography Director: Karen Frank
Project Photo Editor: Kristen Schaefer Geisler

Creative Director, Digital and Print Media: Chin Wang
Art Director: Heather Donahue
Senior Designer: Linda Pouder
Photographer: John Huet

Karen Frank
Kristen Schaefer Geisler

This story comes with such gravity for the sport, how did that added layer of importance influence your edit? It’s not often one gets editing opportunities like this.
Karen Frank: 
John’s images beautifully capture Bill’s athleticism, grace, and optimistic spirit.  The poetry of the underwater images speak to Bill’s quest for excellence and his ability to succeed as a male in a female dominated sport, and evolve the sport in doing so.

What was your biggest challenge logistically?
Kristen Schaefer Geisler:
 Our biggest challenge was getting this shot before the swimmers left for Russia to compete in the World Synchronized Swim Championships; finding time when the three swimmers’ schedules could overlap in between busy lives and schedules.

What type of direction did you give John for this?
KSG: I assigned the shoot to photographer JOHN HUET after noticing on his website that he had shot syncronized swimming before. I talked a lot with the writer of the story Taffy Akner, who had just spent days with Bill and could describe in great descriptive detail Bill’s personality, which helped us conceptualize direction and a shot list. We asked John to capture beautiful underwater synchro swim pictures with his duet partners, above water portraits, as well as a-day-in-the-life of Bill May backstage at his Cirque du Soleil O show. We got access to photograph him teaching an abs class to his fellow Cirque dancers and putting on his show makeup before going onstage.

I know it’s unprecedented for ESPN to devote this many pages to a story, what moved the needle for the team to green light this?
KF: There is a strong commitment to long form journalism at ESPN.  Taffy’s story about Bill was so compelling, and John’s images were so strong, that we all felt it was necessary to give this story lots of room in print as well as digitally.

What made this project a stand out for you?
KSG:  This story is visual and theatrical; both in the synchronized swim choreography as well as the Cirque O show – we needed a photographer who could capture Bill’s personality and bring artistry and point of view to the pictures.

In a few words what is the most rewarding part of your job at ESPN and how has this title impacted your career?
KF: There are so many stories that can be told through the prism of sports.  ESPN recognizes the power of visual storytelling and the rich opportunities to do so across all its platforms.  Working across those platforms has broadened my vision of how photography can be leveraged and sharpened my ideas about how the story is told in each medium.

 

John Huet

Heidi: Did you do have to adjust your shooting style at all for something this unique?
John: 
I don’t really adjust my style for different projects, nor can I really define my own style.

This simple story sum things up nicely – Alfred Eisenstaedt was hired to shoot our college portraits. He came into my class of 20 kids, and he asked everyone, “What kind of photographer do you want to be?” I was one of the last kids to be asked, when it was my turn, I replied, “fashion photographer.” He asked why. He’d not asked any of the other kids this follow up question. I panicked and blurted out, “Because I like girls!” Everyone in class had a good laugh, and then Alfred later explained that being a fashion photographer is no different than being any other type of photographer. You have a subject in front of you, treat that subject in front of you the same as you would a gown on a hanger.  It becomes a portrait of a gown, just as if a person was standing there.

So, I don’t look at myself or categorize myself as a sports photographer, I see myself as a photographer, and I see the subject in front of me as a subject. At the end of day, all photographs are solved with the same notes, regardless of the subject matter.

Was this pool designed as a viewing room?
No, I’m a certified diver. I was underwater.

You have a long running history with the Olympics, what spoke to you as a photographer about this project?

Synchronized swimming is really beautiful. It’s very similar to figure skating, especially in pairs. The artistry, the incredible athleticism. Most people don’t understand the caliber of these athletes. My prior experience with shooting synchronized swimming had been at the Olympics. In Athens and London, I shot from an underwater window, and in Beijing, I shot from above the window. So much of the SS routine and so much of what is going on happens underwater, so I wanted to be under the water to capture this experience.

If I had more control for this ESPN project, I may have done things differently, maybe picked a different pool. What you have to keep in mind is I’m working with world class athletes, training for a World Championship a month before their event, so I can’t do anything to screw up their routine or throw them out of whack. I have a deep understanding that athletes have rituals and patterns, everything needs to follow their well-laid-out plans. I had about 1/2 hr to do the deck images. They do a series of poses before entering the water, then I captured what I could capture while they were doing their routine underwater. Practice was about 3 hrs. I was allowed to be in the pool, only to watch and, of course, not get in their way.

For the out of the water shots, how if at all did you direct them and how much time did you have?
I didn’t have to direct them at all. It was awesome to have their coach right there directing them, perfecting their moves while I was shooting. I got another 1/2 hr at the end of practice; talked with them for about a minute above water, then we went underwater. We communicated via hand signals, and I tried to direct them to where the light was best.

Did you propose the variety of color and BW to the magazine or simply turn in the images?
I proposed this, along with running the images upside down. I sent in about 80 images, which I shot over three days, but it was more like a  2 day shoot since it was so broken up.

I scouted, shot some of the scout, then the next day shot all of the images in the water, then I went back to their practice, even though this wasn’t part of my schedule; I did that for me. Bill had a big send-off party at O, the Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas, which I also photographed. He and the two women in the photographs, Kristina Lum and Christina Jones, were doing a performance at O. I shot Bill getting ready for the show and shot the first portion of the show under the window, which was really tough because it was so dark. Bill would come over to the window, mug for the camera and then swim off.

With every job, I have the same process. I do an edit after looking at everything. Once I have my edit, I’ll retouch the images and then send in only my retouched files. For this particular project I ended up going back to review the shoot, and over the course of 2-3 days, I sent in small batches of additional images because I kept changing things, looking at images differently.

How did the idea of these surreal, upside down images develop?
I first did this with the Athens SS Olympic images and then with London, presented them upside down. Underwater, everything is upside down for the swimmers, so this a play on the mind’s eye of the viewer. Underwater, they look like they are standing there, with no restrictions of gravity, so they appear relaxed, standing on top of the water. I wanted to use the pool light to signal this was the surface of the water (again to reinforce the mind’s eye play), to always have the pool light acting as the surface of the water or the “ground.”

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Faces of Choice

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Bill May

You’ve been photographed many times, what was different about shooting with John?
Bill May: 
The difference between John and many other photo shoots was that John had a very clear idea of what he was looking for and what would create the most beautiful images through a collaboration between us as the athletes and him as the photographer. Many times a photographer will come in and shoot solely a stale image of only part of what we are trying to represent as synchronized swimmers. John truly showcased the athleticism of a sport that, unfortunately, often has a reputation as simply just a show sport.

Did you free form poses for John, or did he direct you when you were out of the pool?
John was our eyes, so we would begin by free-forming poses, and John would take what we presented and elevate it to something amazing.

Tell us about having your dream taken away or shelved for almost a decade, and then re-present itself.
I would never say that my dream was taken away from me because my career in Synchronized Swimming was much bigger for me than a few competitions. I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t taken the path I chose to take. However, I believe that timing is everything. I was very lucky to continue to train and be involved in synchronized swimming in a show, so when the opportunity arose, I wanted the challenge. I think the interest is much greater for men in synchronized swimming today than it was a decade ago. There is a possibility that if it had been added to the World Championships 10 years ago, it might have fizzled due to lack of participation. Now I am once again in full training, hoping they will create an Olympic Synchronized Swimming event for the Mixed Duet.

What advice do you have for any athlete who has the seemingly impossible dream in a mostly female sport?
The advice I have for any athlete is to do the sport that you love, first and foremost, before worrying where it will take you. Everything else will fall in line, and the rewards will be much greater than when relying on a what is and might not be possible. We cannot all write our future, so I truly believe that the happiness we create for ourselves today is what gives us our happiest memories in years to come.

What impact do you hope this story has for the sport?
The Mixed Duet is a brand new event at the World Championships and major international competitions, and I think through John’s pictures it shows as a beautiful, and more importantly, an athletic event. We are in a big push to get this Mixed Duet event into the Olympics, and I think his photos have created an interest that makes people want to see more. I truly believe he has helped our sport, and above all, the Mixed Duet in so many ways, and I am forever grateful. It was such an honor to work with John. His professionalism and talent are unrivaled. He was so respectful of our time and photographed with ours and our sport’s best interest in mind.



 

 

 



 

The Daily Promo: Kyle Johnson

- - Working

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Kyle Johnson

Who printed it?
This piece was printed by the incredible team at Blanchette Press in Vancouver B.C. This promo is the second piece I have printed with them, going with well respected offset printers sets a high bar for quality.  I had the pleasure of going up to B.C and directly working with owner Kim Blanchette on our press day. It was interesting to see exactly how the analog process works and the subtle changes Kim would make to get the best images possible. He told us “Our goal is to create 3 dimensions existing within 2d space”. I truly think the difference in offset vs digital quality is worth the extra cost and most professionals in the industry appreciate the print quality when looking at the piece.

Who designed it?
I teamed up with the designers at Shore (www.madebyshore.com) for this promo. We had worked on a similar print promo last year together and decided to keep the design similar referencing last years piece yet changing some things on size, color, etc.. Joe & Julian have become close friends over the years and they have a good feel for my aesthetic as a photographer.  I like how they use design elements that feel consistent with my style. It’s not “over designed” and allows the photography to be the focus.

Their passion for design and creating a quality print piece is another reason our collaborations have been successful. They know that although I might not be their biggest client, I share a love for quality and the final piece will be one we are both proud of and that I am willing to invest in. I have to thank them for also finding the interesting paper stock we used on the “faux cover” as well as the addition of white foil lettering for such a clean finish.

Who edited the images?
The initial edit was done myself. I had some favorite images that I knew I wanted in there. I did however work with my agent Maria Bianco before finalizing the piece. I really enjoy the editing process with her. I think personal promotion is a great chance to re-visit shoots from the past year and find some hidden outtakes that may of not made the final story. Pairing unrelated things you wouldn’t expect can make a great overall piece. Maria has a real talent for editing and helped me pair of some of my favorite spreads. I also think its important to mix some personal work with things from jobs. It shows photo editors and art buyers the images you truly love to make.

How many did you make?
I decided on making 500 for this piece. The price for offset printing isn’t cheap and you often do save money if you get a lot made, however for a special piece like this, I wanted it to be limited and directed at specific clients. I didn’t need to spend too much money sending it to tons of people who don’t make sense for my work.

How many times a year do you send out promos?
I try to do one special high quality promo book piece like this one, as well as a few smaller postcard type mailers throughout one year.

The Wall Street Journal Magazine: Jennifer Pastore

- - The Daily Edit

 

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June 2016 Issue  |   Walk on the Wild Side  | Photography by Mikael Jansson Styling by George Cortina

June 2016 cover story: Click Here

 

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The Wall Street Journal Magazine

Editor in Chief: Kristina O’Neill
Creative Director: Magnus Berger
Photo Director: Jennifer Pastore
Senior Photo Editor: Damian Prado
Assistant Photo Editor: Meghan Benson
Photo Assistant: Amanda Webster
 Design Director: Pierre Tardif
Art Director: Tanya Moskowitz
Art + Production Assistant: Caroline Newton

Instagram: @wsjmag #wsjmagazine

Location projects always seem to have unique challenges. The Kenya shoot looks flawless but were there obstacles or triumphs along the way that you can share?
It’s true, location shoots are always challenging. It takes a lot to move a large crew into the middle of a 7000-acre conservancy in a remote corner of Kenya. For this particular story in our upcoming June 2016 issue, out on May 28th, photographer Mikael Jansson and stylist George Cortina brought their enthusiasm for the environment and the culture of the area with them to Kenya, which helped to smooth out any bumps along the way. It also resulted in 34 pages of fashion and landscape photographs that I think capture the romance and wildness of this dramatic location. Also, for the first time in the magazine’s history, we had two different covers. One features Anna Ewers and the other Edie Campbell. Some of my favorite photos from the story are of Edie riding a horse through a herd of zebras and Anna in the afternoon light walking through the bush.

When we last spoke in 2014 the magazine had just begun dipping into the celebrity territory. How much has that shifted since then, and is this now a regular cover theme?
We have definitely expanded our coverage of celebrities in the magazine, but we still approach our subjects (celebrity or not) with a light hand in the way that we photograph and style them. We try to capture their essence in the most natural way possible, which usually means making the shoot experience as comfortable as possible for everyone. We spend a lot of time before the shoot thinking about the creative approach that we want to take as well the interpersonal dynamic of the photography team that we assemble and how it will all work together on the day of the shoot. Hopefully this consideration leads to a feeling of ease on set that allows for moments of surprise and alchemy during the shoot.

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November 2015 / Innovators Issue  | Angelina Jolie Pitt  |   Photography by Peter Lindbergh Styling by Anastasia Barbieri

 

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For the innovators issue with Angelina Jolie on the cover, why did the magazine choose to celebrate her?
It was a natural fit for us to honor Angelina Jolie Pitt in our November 2015 issue with an Innovator Award for so many reasons. She wears many hats – not only is she a Hollywood icon as an actress and director but she is also a notable humanitarian and has managed to blend these two worlds in a very powerful and innovative way. When it came time to photograph Angelina, Peter Lindbergh was an easy choice for us. Everyone involved with the shoot shared the same goal to create images that were both intimate and very strong. Peter had expressed a desire to photograph Angelina so when the opportunity arose, it was exciting to be able to commission him to photograph her – there was so much respect between them on set which I think comes through in the photographs.

 

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February 2016 Issue  |  What’s Upon a Time in Antarctica   |  Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

 

 

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Jamie Hawkesworth is primarily a fashion photographer, what was it about his work that you assigned him the landscapes?
I first came across Jamie’s work after seeing his Preston Bus Station project so my first impression of him was as a portrait and landscape photographer, not so much fashion. I think Jamie’s photographic aesthetic is so distinctive, it almost doesn’t matter what he photographs. I know any images that we commission from him will be very clearly him – his palette, his printing (he prints everything by hand himself) and his voice. Knowing that, it is exciting to send him to these far-flung places such as Azerbaijan, Lagos, Kashmir and, most recently (for our February 2016 cover story), Antarctica to see what he will come back with. (Note: we have another very exciting destination coming up this fall so keep an eye out.) There is always a give and take when it comes time to edit which goes with the territory when sending a photographer off on these very special, un-boundaried projects. There is a thrill in seeing where it all lands and of course, seeing it in the magazine. We are incredibly fortunate to have the freedom to publish these types of open-ended travel stories at WSJ.

Are you working with a core group of photographers now?
We have tried to strike a balance between working with a core group of photographers in order to establish the visual point of view of the magazine and the need and desire to bring in new talent.

 

What are you looking to do with the photography in the next two years?
I hope to continue to nurture our existing relationships with photographers and to continue to find exciting assignments for them. At the same time, I want to push things, bring in new photographers and continually refresh my own eye so I can bring more ideas to the magazine. I work very closely with our editor-in-chief Kristina O’Neill and creative director Magnus Berger and we have a continuous brainstorming conversation going, which never ceases to inspire and motivate me.

Where are you sourcing photographers?
I look at everything: museum and gallery shows, books, magazines, blogs, social media, photo fairs – you name it. I also rely heavily on our incredible photo team Damian Prado, Meghan Benson and Amanda Webster who are out there pounding the pavement looking at work, finding new talent, pitching ideas and generally bringing their enthusiasm and passion to WSJ. Ideas can come from anyone at the magazine; all of our editors are out in the world digesting imagery and ideas so it is always welcome when someone brings something new back to the fold.

Are you on the lookout for emerging talent as well? 
Absolutely, identifying and nurturing emerging talent is a one of the primary joys of this job for me.

 

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May 2016 Issue |   A Sense of Order  |    Photography by Zoe Ghertner Styling by Brian Molloy

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March Men’s 2016 Issue   |   Who the &%!#@ is James Corden?  |  Photography by Inez & Vinoodh Styling by David Vandewal



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November 2015  |   Innovators Issue Karl Ove Knausgaard  | Photography by Juergen Teller

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November 2015  |  Innovators Issue  |  Thomas Heatherwick  |  Photography by David Bailey

 

 

The Daily Promo: Jordan Pay

- - The Daily Promo

 

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Jordan Pay

Who printed it?
Peczah in Salt Lake City Utah printed it.

Who designed it?
Sam Rodgers designed it ( samsonrodgers@gmail.com )

Who edited the images?
I edited the images

How many did you make?
400 printed

How many times a year do you send out promos?
Send out once a year. I am putting out promos of personal work hoping to attract work that would fit what I love to shoot. Shooting personal work feels more inspiring, rather than putting in stuff that was shot for someone.

The Daily Edit: Trevor and Ty Paulhus

- - The Daily Edit

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SLAM

Photographer: Trevor Paulhus
Illustrator: Ty Paulhus
Creative Director: Paul Scirecalabrisotto

 

Trevor: ( the photographer )

Do you and your brother Ty often collaborate as a team?
We have talked about doing things together for years, but didn’t actually follow through with it until recently. He works a full-time job as a creative director and has a family, etc… and I live half-way across the country from him and am always busy as well, so it continually got put on the back burner.
But last year I got asked to shoot a fashion editorial for a publication’s “Art Issue” and I figured it was the perfect opportunity to pull in my brother. They gave us the freedom to run with our own concept, so we had a lot of fun figuring it all out together. I added some of the work from that series to my printed portfolio, did a little marketing push of the series online with social media and email blasts, etc… and people seemed to really dig the combination of our styles. Since then, he and I have been fortunate enough to get asked to collaborate on quite a few things as a team.
How did the concept come about? 
Paul from SLAM reached out to me directly with tears from the first fashion spreads Ty and I did. And simply asked if we would be interested in doing something similar for their upcoming cover/feature with Russell Westbrook. I have worked with SLAM for many years on many past assignments, so for me, it was rather standard in terms of my role behind the camera. And again, Ty and I were given pretty amazing creative freedom to simply work together as a team like we had on previous projects. I was asked to capture a few specific static portraits as well as some specific poses to help the flow of the illustrations and Ty was given some loose direction of them wanting things to feel a certain way, but besides that, Paul pretty much just let us do our thing.
Was Slam his client or your client?
SLAM was my my long-time client. It was really great to get to mix it up and do something different this time around.  I’m a huge basketball fan and the people at SLAM are all top-notch folks; have consistently been one of those clients that I feel really fortunate to have a long-standing connection with.
Growing up did you two always draw and take photographs?
Yeah. Absolutely. We used to draw together all the time, but Ty was always more into it than I was, and way better at it. My father is a graphic designer and used to take us to his studio after school. We would sit there for hours playing with his markers and pens while he worked. Ty and I both eventually went to college for illustration, but I ended up changing my major, I just didn’t have the passion for drawing. Eventually, I found photography after years of searching for a medium I connected with.
What was your first collaboration with your brother?
Our first collaboration was a series titled SCHIZOPHRENIC for a fashion editorial (mentioned above). Still one of my favorite things we have done together.

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Ty ( the illustrator )

What collaborative skills have you learned or better developed working with your brother?
Getting a chance to work with Trevor has been really great, we’ve talked about collaborating on a project like this for a long time. We already knew that we’ve got similar tastes as far as art & design goes, so I felt pretty comfortable going into the project. Being more open to feedback & change was definitely one of the skills I developed more while working on this project. Typically, I think about how an illustration works by itself, but in this case, the drawings needed to work as one with the photography, so finding that balance needed some back & forth which wasn’t always as easy as we wanted because we both have strong opinions on how we think it should be. Having those conversations with Trevor was alot of fun though, I value his opinion.
How many sketches did you go through for each final piece and what is your process?
My process for this project was a bit different than normal for me. Because I have a really loose, organic style that makes use of mistakes, ink bleed, drips, splatters, etc, I kept my sketches to thumbnails to get a sense of placement and a general outline of the page. Once I had an idea of how the photos & drawings were going to work together, it was a lot of iteration to get the lettering and drawings just right. I would use a lightbox to paint over the photos, building up textures & drawings, then I’d take all of the drawings and scan them in, putting it all together in Photoshop. By the end of the project, I had a huge pile of sketches & drawings for each illustration (around 20 each. I must have drawn each of the words 50x each until I thought it was just right.
Are you illustrating full time for your full time job?
No, I’m an Art Director at a company in RI that does web & app design. Outside of design, most of my art has been paintings and personal side projects that rarely saw the light of day. I went to school for illustration (Massachusetts College of Art), and after college I focused more on graphic & web design, only pursuing illustration work when fun projects like this one come up, but lately I have made more of an effort to get more regular illustration work.
How did you know at such a young age, illustration was your passion?  
I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist, even when I was much younger, making artwork was the only thing I ever wanted to do. Trevor & I have a lot of artists in our family (our dad & grandfather are both graphic designers & artists), so it seemed natural. We were always encouraged in whatever we were doing. I grew up with a nonstop barrage of comics, video games, skateboarding, graffiti and music. The unconventional creativity that permeates skateboarding & graffiti is massively inspiring to me, and really helped to shape the way I look at art, and life in general. I’d be destined for failure if I were to try to do anything else.