Posts by: Heidi Volpe

The Daily Edit – Gabriela Herman: Conde Nast Traveler

- - The Daily Edit

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Conde Nast Traveler

Creative Director: Yolanda Edwards
Photo Director: Nancy Jo Iacoi
Photo Editor: Leonor Mamanna

Photographer: Gabriela Herman

Heidi: How did you break into travel photography?How you do you describe yourself: travel/lifestyle?
Gabriela: I’ve always been a traveler. When I was just 10-days old, I was already on a boat headed to the island of Martha’s Vineyard. My mom is Brazilian and we went down every other year for the holidays. In college, I managed to study abroad for three semesters (and they subsequently made a rule limiting students to two semesters only, which I like to think was because of my travel). I never set out to be a travel photographer, but perhaps I was always destined to be one?

Starting out, I used to say that I was a portrait photographer. That I loved the interaction with people and that connection was what it was all about. But then, I started shooting a friend who is a chef and a farmer and ended up with a portfolio of food photography. So I started getting hired, and sent around the country, to shoot outdoorsy food scenes. Now I still get hired to shoot portraits and food, but also travel stories.

Travel photography is actually a perfect mix of everything I love to shoot because you need to have great portraits, great food shots, landscapes, tell stories… basically a bit of everything. I’m still shocked that I get paid to travel. I was in Hawaii in December on a shoot and I thought to myself, ‘wow, I’m actually living me dream.’ I realize how fortunate I am to be able to say that.

When you are on personal travel, are you always shooting? Can you actually turn off work mode?
I am never not working! Even if I don’t have my camera with me, my eyes are always looking for a shot (or, more likely, editing photos, or updating my website, or networking or one of the other million tasks it takes to be a photographer) . And these days with my iPhone, I always have a camera with me and have become hopelessly addicted to instagram. I was recently on vacation in Istanbul and even though I had my DSLR with me, I ended up taking far more shots with my iPhone than with it.

What sort of direction/shot list did you get from the magazine?
This was one of my favorite assignments from last year. I have a great relationship with the editors at Conde Nast Traveler. Many on the team came from Martha Stewart Living, a publication for whom I was already a frequent shooter.

Going into this assignment, I had already worked with the writer, Stephen Orr, and the editors knew my style so everything was very organic. Stephen had previously taken this road trip and had written up notes on each location, so I had those as a guideline. I knew the hotels where I would be sleeping and the restaurants where I should be eating, but there was a lot of freedom to also just shoot what looked interesting along the way. These are my favorite kinds of assignments, where I really get to spend time and explore a place, versus the kind of assignments where there is already an image in mind that needs to be executed.

Do you typically travel with the writer?
It depends on the shoot and the location and the scheduling. I had a travel story here in Brooklyn for French Glamour where the writer came from Paris and the two of us explored the neighborhood of Red Hook together. In Hawaii, the writer happened to be living there at the time, so I was able to meet up with him for one of the days and he showed me some of his favorite spots off the beaten path.

Whether in person or just over the phone, its very beneficial to connect with the writer beforehand, and even be able to reach them throughout the trip as they have usually already done the exact same itinerary and thus can give you tips and reconditions to make your job go smoothly.

How many days was this shoot?
I think it was four or five days. I was actually already in Marfa the weekend prior to attend a wedding, so I was able to shoot some images that I knew were on my shot list ahead of when the job officially started.

What do you love about being a wandered armed with a camera?
I love how photography can take me to the oddest places, ones I would never imagining visiting were it not for photography. Marfa is a great example — it’s a strange little gem of a city located in the middle of nowhere in west Texas. This trip was the second time that photography took me to Marfa. I had been there once before for Phoot Camp, a creative retreat for photographers, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to be back there shooting on assignment.

After Phoot Camp, I stuck around and went on a little road trip with a few friends. We ended up driving through Big Bend park, arriving in the ghost town of Terlingua and randomly spending the night with a middle- aged man who opened up his gorgeous home to five total strangers. I never thought I would be back there but, lo and behold, guess which ghost town was on my shot list for this assignment? I remembered where his house was and drove by. He wasn’t home, but I left him a note and memories flew back of the morning dance party on his patio.

The Weekly Edit- The Hollywood Reporter

- - The Daily Edit

Screen shot 2014-03-24 at 8.43.47 PMPhotographer: Mary Rozzi

 

Screen shot 2014-03-24 at 8.48.43 PMPhotographer: David Needleman

 

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Photographer: Mary Rozzi

 

Screen shot 2014-03-24 at 8.44.11 PMPhotographer: Blossom Berkofsky

 

Screen shot 2014-03-24 at 9.09.20 PMPhotographer: David Needleman

 

Screen shot 2014-03-24 at 8.47.30 PMPhotographer: Joe Pugliese

 

Click here for galleries and video of the issue.

The Hollywood Reporter

Creative Director: Shanti Marlar
Photography&Video Director: Jennifer Laski
Design Director:  Peter B. Cury
Deputy Photo Editor: Carrie Smith

Answers compiled by:
Photo/Video director: Jennifer Laski 
And Photo Editors/Producers:
Carrie Smith
Moira Haney
Audrey Landreth
Michelle Stark
Kayt Fitzmorris

Heidi: This portfolio is comprised of variety of photographers, and you had several different photo editors working on this. How far out did you have to start planning and since it’s so fluid how did you direct and unify this project?
THR: Being that we’re a weekly, shoots are generally last minute but with special issues, we usually have a little lead time. Thankfully, our Style Editor, Carol McColgin, is very organized. That said, our last shoot with Dakota & Elle Fanning and stylist Samantha McMillen was done 2 days prior to closing. We are accustomed to the hectic schedules of our subjects and their availability so turnaround on many shoots is insane. There often isn’t time to map out a grand plan, but as each shoot comes in all of the photo producers are able to discuss and collaborate on what is going to work best for the package. Having produced 400 photo shoots just last year, the photo department has a shorthand when it comes to a unifying aesthetic. It’s a total team here and we bounce ideas off of each other all the time.

What was the overall direction for the project, and where did the essence of the idea come from? 
This issue is a great opportunity to celebrate the behind the scenes ‘magic-makers’ who aren’t normally in the spotlight. Carol McColgin, comes up with her wish list of top stylists and books all of the talent. It’s great, because the talent is enthusiastic and grateful to participate simply to support their stylist. The stylists and their celebrity clients are usually good friends so its a fun collaboration from beginning to end. The general direction for this years package was beautiful portraits as usual but taken to another level with High fashion. It was fun to get the stylists out of their usual functional on-set uniform and glam them up to give them the star treatment usually reserved for their talent and to showcase them in a way that no other magazine does.

Was that cover image shot specific for the cover or was this an outtake?
Everything is a ‘cover try’at THR. In the end, the art always dictates what works best for cover. We shoot 2 looks with variations and then we see….. The beauty and sweet dynamic of the trio and the  buzz of Lupita at the time made it the obvious cover for us.

You have several different photographers in the portfolio, were they selected on their work alone or  did talent have a preference?
Fortunately people trust the work that we do at THR. With 50 original covers a year, people can see the kind of work that we continuously churn out. We find them saying to us “We trust you, we love what we see on The Hollywood Reporter covers..” A portfolio is a great opportunity to hire a balanced mix of our tried & true photographers with a few newer talents.

How important is video at THR  and what roles does it serve?
Video is vital to THR and a large part of what we do on a daily basis. Video is part of the complete experience now, no longer an afterthought. The content created on individual shoots is original and it allows our photos to come to life in a way that goes well beyond B-roll. Additionally, we have our successful Roundtable Series (which aired on PBS SoCal this past Oscar season) and a major video presence at various festivals and award shows with our THR video lounge.

You are a weekly, with a ton of shoots each week.  The title seems to be getting bigger all the time, which is rare for magazines these days.  And, now you’re working on Billboard too. How big is the team? Does Jennifer use a team of freelancers?
It’s kind of like being on a crazy train or roller coaster ride. Everyone we work with is with us on this  fast-paced locomotive and any photographers that come on the train with us,  go on the ride with us, and understand our deadlines. With the support of our Creative Director, Shanti Marlar, and her team, there is a definite collaboration between photo and art department which is extremely important. She is willing to take risks and we brave exciting ideas together. We are super busy managing two titles now. Its about having a team of people (staff and freelance) who truly trust each other and we can get the work done. There’s no time to micro-manage or second guess. Being budget conscious makes us more thoughtful about what we want and need to get. We don’t need to be overwhelmed by the do-dads of production. It’s liberating in a way that as it forces you to take simple, honest and beautiful portraits. We are excited about photography and luckily we have the opportunity to do it week after week.

The Daily Edit – Julia Fullerton-Batten: Blink

- - The Daily Edit

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Ikebana: Ikebana is commonly known as the Japanese art of flower arrangement and origami the art of folding paper. However, the Korean term for paper folding is ‘ikebana’. In Korea the spiritual aspect of ikebana is considered very important to its practitioners. Things in nature are appreciated. Koreans are inspired to identify with beauty in all art forms. In this image we see a two-fold use of ‘ikebana’, the paper folding and using the end product for decoration of a tree.

 

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Fish: Koreans love raw fish and raw shellfish. They are a staple component of the Korean diet, especially raw fish, ‘hweh’.

Forest:  In this scene the artist skilfully hijacks a hoarding hiding an industrial site that is artistically painted as a forest. Reflecting back to the past, the women are burdened with bundles of wood to fuel the fire at home.

 

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Ladder: Beset by invasions from neighbouring countries, including most recently by North Korea, their blood brothers to the north,  this image symbolises the resistance of the South Korean folk to these attacks.

Harvest: Like its neighbouring countries, Japan, China, and Indochina, Korea is also a tea-drinking country with a rich ceremonial tea culture. In this image Fullerton-Batten captures the impression of Hanbok-clad women harvesting tea in the middle of Seoul. In reality the tea plants are boxwood plants.

 

 

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Rickshaw: For many thousands of years Korea was a single, independent kingdom  and resisted many invasions. But the country was defeated by Japan in 1910 and occupied to the end of WW II in 1945. At the end of the war Korea was divided into two nations, south and North Korea along ideological lines. This image reflects back on the Japanese occupation with a Japanese ‘rickshaw’ being drawn by Korean bearers.

Rope: At the end of WWII Korea was split into two separate nations along ideological persuasions, South Korea and North Korea. Tensions built between the two countries. On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, starting a bloody war that lasted more than 3 years and involving more than 20 countries. The image ‘Rope’ symbolises this war and the continuing political struggles between the two nations in the form of a tug-of-war between the two participating countries.

Blink Magazine

Creative Director: and Founder: Aram Kim
Photographer: Julia Fullerton-Batten

Heidi: What drew you to Korea to create this body of work?
Julia: I was asked to exhibit work from several of my projects and host a ‘talk’ at the Dong Gang Photofestival, curated by Louise Clements and Joanne Junga Yang, title, UK PHOTOGRAPHY NOW: The Constructed View. The Festival is held at several venues in the city of ‘Yeongwol”. I try to organize a personal shoot whenever I am asked to travel somewhere specifically for an exhibition opening. In this instance I decided to extend my stay in Korea by  eight days and complete the planning of my project, as well do an unplanned visit to “Everland” for a shoot there, similar to one I had done in Tokyo on a similar visit several months prior.

Korea has fascinated me for a while now, with its history, and its long term unresolved tensions between North and South Korea. I therefore decided to use this opportunity to combine the Festival with a personal shoot in Seoul. I had quite some time in which to prepare my ideas for the project. This I finally decided would be an attempt to combine the traditions, culture and history of South Korea against the modern architecture of Seoul. I did a lot of research online and also liaised closely with people in Korea.

In the three months of preparation for this project did you work with any native Koreans that had cultural knowledge?
I worked very closely with a local Korean producer, a location finder, local stylists and hair and make-up artists. This cooperation also helped me with ideas for the shots. For one thing, although I had heard of the Hanbok traditional dress before, I had never actually seen it. Many of us in the West are aware of recent Korean history – the Korean war and the current political tensions between South and North Korea, but minor cultural details such as not using green paper for wrapping presents I found by searching on Google.

I also worked with Kim Aram, the editor and owner of the Korean ‘Blink’ Magazine. She helped me find the girls for the shoot by blogging about my visit to Korea on Facebook. We had many responses. Although I didn’t meet the girls until the day of the shoot, I had a lot of contact with them by email beforehand. The props that I used were sourced from prop houses in Korea, as I wanted to give a feel of authenticity.

I took my London assistant, John, with me to Korea as we work very well together and we were able to prepare many details of the shots ahead of time.

You had mentioned you arrived during monsoon season, how difficult was that for you personally and your equipment? 90% humidity seems quite high and yet the women look so cinematic and perfect. What were the obstacles in those conditions?
The date of the Festival was, of course long fixed, and it just happened that it took place in the middle of the Korean monsoon season so there as no way to avoid that at all. Before we flew to Seoul there were heavy rainstorms. I was told that 6 people had sadly been washed away by severe flooding along the river.

Upon arrival in Korea, my producer told me that some locations would be too dangerous to shoot at, and that I would have to rethink my ideas. This was worrying as I had each location, each model and each prop all mapped out in my head. However, I was very lucky as the weather changed and the dangerous areas were opened again by the authorities.  We just needed to go there and see if it was possible to shoot.

I feel now that a lucky star was following me during those intense 5 days of shooting. The rain seemed to hold off until the moment that I put my camera back in its case. On other occasions, we would get up at 4am and it was bucketing down with rain, and I prepared mentally to drop a shot or two. But again, upon reaching the location the weather had miraculously cleared and we could shoot in the dry after all.

The humidity was very tough. As neither John  nor I were used to it, the humidity was quite a challenge for us both. John suffered in particular as there was considerable physical effort involved in moving lighting from one location to another, and in setting up and changing power-sources when daylight changed.

The girls also suffered. They wore layer upon layer of material in their Hanbok dress. Fortunately, we had hired an air- conditioned bus for them to escape into and cool down. I also tried to prepare everything and then get them on to the set at the very last minute.

As you explained, the contrast of the austere backgrounds and Korean traditions is at the core of this work.
On your site  Images 1-8 PERSONAL section 3  it looks as though some were shot during your three month stay. How was your approach to these images different from the Korean traditions body of work? 

 

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I spent two days with my London assistant in a fascinating place called “EVERLAND” We were accompanied by a local assistant from Seoul, who helped to  translate and set up the lighting. Yong-sik Shin from Hasselblad also joined us as he wanted to see me on a shoot and he very kindly organised access to the location, as well as a loan of a Hasselblad camera.

“Everland” is a huge theme park in Yongin, Geyeonggi-do province. It is South Korea’s largest theme park, with about 6.6 million visitors annually. It is a truly spectacular place to visit, filled with fantasy buildings, thrill rides, fairground attractions, African safari bus rides, parades and festivals. I didn’t have enough time to see it all, so I concentrated mostly on one area, the “Caribbean Bay”. I approached this shoot in a totally different way from how I normally arrange a shoot – nothing was planned or organized, we just turned up and walked around (with permission of course!) with a suitcase full of lighting and approached visitors to photograph. It was very refreshing to be more carefree with the approach. This is probably the closest I will get to being a reportage photographer, except when I photograph my boys!

The Daily Edit – Angela Cappetta: Built on Toil Promo Piece

- - The Daily Edit

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Built on Toil

Designer: Liron Kormas, Kormas Studio

Dancers: Joffrey Ballet School

Photographer: Angela Cappetta

What inspired you to develop this body of work, is ballet in your background?
I trained until I was about 20 but was never professionally serious about it.  Since I live nearby, I’d see the dancers everyday.  At the deli, coffee shop, drug store.  I wanted to photograph them in their environment, but that was all I knew. So one day I sat down and wrote a letter to the director of the Joffrey.

Included was a project statement for pictures which didn’t exist yet. It was called: Built on Toil, which likened the trainees to soldiers doing a job under command of a general. I saw it clearly: TriX and a 6×9 punched up with the bare bulb of a Lumedyne. All I needed was for him to say yes. Later that day he wrote back (I almost fell off my chair.)

He explained that as he is bombarded with requests from photographers he customarily says no. However, he was so struck by the clarity of the proposal, he offered complete access for as long as I wanted. The next day I started, and continued for two years.

Is your intent an art book or self published piece?
At first, I just wanted to photograph, but now that its been a few years, I’ve roughed up the prints in my darkroom and have a better idea of how the pictures should look.

The current promotional piece, designed by Liron Kormas of Kormas Studio, for now, is the bridge between this and a future book, which I’ll work on next.  This iteration of the project was entirely Liron’s idea.  She asked me if she could design it and I jumped at the chance.  She’s brilliant.

How do you think your images express discipline before maturity, as that is normal practice in ballet to start at such a young age?
Discipline is something that has to be cultivated very early in order to shape any athlete.  In that regard, it’s a very adult series of decisions to be physically and mentally challenged so seriously.  Then, the dancers grow into the discipline, and they decide what their aspirations are.  Some continue training, others start auditioning.  One of the trainees from the Joffrey got a job in the touring cast of Cats right out of conservatory, another dances with a company full time.  They aren’t all that lucky but I don’t think that matters to them.

Were the dancers self conscious around you?
I’ll admit there was a lot of me trying not to get kicked in the head. But these are consummate professionals.  That’s part of their training.  An elephant could drop in the center of that studio and they wouldn’t break focus. On the floor in the middle of their routines with my gear in their faces, they’d glide around me.

What tools did you use to break into their inner circle?
The dancers were incredibly gracious.  They welcomed me.  I’m still in touch with them.  I even cast one as a model for an upcoming editorial.

How long has this this body of work taken you to shoot?
It was a two year shooting project and another year of printing. But it percolated years before that.

What did you learn about drive and determination from these dancers?
I’m interested in photographing the fundamental basis of life as it is meaningful to that particular journey.  The takeaway from every project is different.  This one was a parallel to my own daily discipline to live an artist’s life.  You’re in it or you aren’t.  If you’re not completely, totally 100% there, then you shouldn’t even bother.

Seeing the dancers working together reminded me that having a community of respectable colleagues is important at any stage of development.  Some of them would show up at night, go into an empty studio, push play, and hit their routines hard, just to do it.  It was beautiful to watch.

When I was in my darkroom. I’d see that determination in the tray and something would amp up inside of me and I’d readdress how the print looked or what I wanted from it. It was infectious.  I’d look at my feet, which were in fifth position.

The Daily Edit- Backstage Magazine: Stephanie Diani

- - The Daily Edit

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Backstage

Creative Director: Robert Wilson
Art Director: William Scalia
Photographer: Stephanie Diani

Heidi: How often do you work with Backstage?
Stephanie: The creative director of Backstage, Rob Wilson, and I have worked together on a number of shoots in the last few months and he emailed me with several possible opportunities for cover projects in early January. Gillian’s cover was set for my first free day so we confirmed the shoot date a week or two before talking about concepts.
Rob is awesome in that he encourages me to do my thing, but gives me enough direction that I have a starting point or a vibe for the story. I will generally browse through my file of “I want to shoot this” images and send him a half dozen ideas and we’ll narrow it down from there.
I was pleased that of the three images I liked most, two were selected for print. Here’s the outtake:
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What sort of art direction did you get?
The first direction he suggested was bright and poppy so, after researching Gillian a bit and getting an idea of how she might photograph best, I sent him some high key portraits samples with bright wardrobe and soft light; a few were shot against vintage-y colorful patterned wallpaper. In all of the lookbook images, however, wardrobe played a vital role and, as there wasn’t budget for a stylist, he suggested we change direction and go for a simple George Hurrell/old Hollywood style that would be more dependent upon lighting and hair and makeup.
I’m a fan of noir films, and I’d been wanting to shoot something moody with one or two lights and a fresnel spot, so it was an easy yes for me. We traded photographs of Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich and he ironed out the when and where (the Backstage magazine studio, aka conference room) with Ms. Jacob’s agent and publicist.

 

Did you know you were only going to have 10 minutes?
The week of the shoot Rob asked how long I’d need and if I could get some variations in twenty to thirty minutes. [ it was ten minutes for the cover, ten minutes for a second option.] I said sure no problem, but asked if I could arrive two hours ahead to set up in order to be totally ready for her. 
 
What sort of prep did you do and what did you learn from this job?
The night before the photoshoot I picked up a Profoto fresnel head and a roller stand at Samy’s and set it all up in the living room of our apartment to run some tests. 
 
Lesson #1: It’s difficult to focus a fresnel spotlight on yourself while also shooting the tests because it’s such a precise light source. 
Lesson #2: It’s not just the fresnel that creates narrow shafts of light, it’s also a matter of flagging the hell out of a set. Even at its most focused, with the attached barn doors shut pretty tight, the spread of light was greater than what I wanted.
The test session, though I was wetly glowing from running back and forth between the camera, the fresnel and the subject’s chair, was invaluable and my assistant and I had everything set up in under an hour the next day. Rob and I had discussed using the images in black and white, but I decided to bring the mocha seamless because if they decided to use the shot in color it would provide a neutral but warm-toned palette for her fair skin.
How did you approach the subject, I’d imagine it was a greet and then right down to business with little time to settle in with talent.
She arrived right on time with her publicist, and hair and make up artists, pretty much camera-ready. We decided on bare arms and shoulders because the wardrobe she was wearing was a tad perkier than the look of the shot. She was prepared and focused and immediately channeled old Hollywood.
I was shooting tethered so Rob and Gillian’s people could get a sense of what we were getting, and my assistant tweaked the spot and held a reflector as needed. Halfway through I asked her to lounge back onto a chaise to give Rob a similar but slightly different second option. He asked to see everything afterwards, and ended up using three shots in the article, one in black and white. He also designed the graphics for the cover and the article.
Please enjoy the story here

The Weekly Edit – Zach Gross: The New Yorker

- - The Daily Edit

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The New Yorker

Photo Director: Whitney Johnson
Photo Editor: Jessie Wender
Photographer: Zach Gross

When did you start shooting and what process and direction did it take?
I started photography when I was 15. I was very into abstractions of all kinds and experimenting with alternative photographic processes without using the camera, I would make my own negatives out of plastic and other transparent materials using ink and paint. I also shot landscapes and some portraits.

What sort of cues surfaced alerting you to your gifted eye / talent for taking photos at such a young age?
I simply wasn’t into the regular school format, I didn’t understand a lot of it. I felt a huge relief with the white sheets of photo paper I could fill them with anything and explore things in a very open way, it felt hopeful. Teachers started wanting to buy prints, so that got me thinking.

I see you have a love for B&W, what and who were you influences?
I would say Man Ray was a big influence, his work and ideas really clicked with me early on. I love B & W there is simplicity and timelessness to it.

I understand the New Yorker gives you quite a bit of freedom, what sort of process do you develop with them to earn that? Congratulations.
I met with the photo editors a few times over a couple years before receiving assignments, They wanted me to answer key questions about my direction and what types of people I wanted to photograph. They helped me understand my work better. They have a really wonderful understanding of photography. They were/are influential to me.

Clearly you are connecting with your subjects. How are you developing that connection and typically how much time do you spend with them?
I think people are interesting. I like to understand and know them… and I want to make them look good. The average time is 2 hours… really depends on the dynamic. Could be longer could be shorter, its always different.

Do you study your subjects before hand?
Depending on the project, but I usually research what they do, what they’ve done and what they look like.

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You had this image selected as one of the 12 standout portraits for the New Yorker in 2012. What resonated with you in making this image? How did it all come together for you?
The picture of El-P was from my first assignment for the New Yorker, I felt like I had to rise to the occasion and everything just came tougher really smoothly. I think it was a turning point in my photography for more reasons than one. This picture brought together a few sub threads going on within my work. It helped me understand my work in a more mature way.

What can you share about this recent New Yorker project?
Some shoots are smoother than others.

 

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What can you tell me about the Carbonscapes?
The Carbonscapes are photograms, no camera involved. I’ve been making them ever since I started out in the darkroom 10 years ago, they evolved from Rayograms. It took me a long time to understand what they were actually about, and the explanation is still forming but, I’m interested in the very large and the very small more specifically outer space and the microscopic. I’m drawn to ideas that embrace the natural connections between those perceived separate worlds. The work is about exploring imagination and science.

The Weekly Edit – Cover Trends

- - The Daily Edit

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Cosmopolitan

Creative Director: Stuart Selner
Art Director: Victoria Horn
Temporary Art Director: Angela Lamb
Picture Editor: Joan McCrea
Assistant Picture Editor: Gemma Roberts
Photographer: Peter Pedonomou

 

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V Magazine

No Masthead available
Photographer: Mario Testino

 

-3Allure

Creative Director: Paul Cavaco
Design Director: Deanna Filippo
Photography: Nadine McCarthy
Photography Editor: Holly Watson
Photographer: Mario Testino

 

I thought I’d take a look at what the body language may be saying in these three covers.  It’s sorta looks like evaluation, interest and a little bit of flirt.

According to Psychology Today the parts of your face that reflect how you feel are called “display rules.”  The tiniest movements around your eyes, face and mouth are referred to as “micro expressions.” Along with expressions and rules, body language or kinesics reveal one’s emotional state.

Kinesics is the study and interpretation of non-verbal behavior related to the movement of the body and face. These movements convey many specific meanings that can be linked to personal, situational and or cultural norms.

So, what do all these hands near the face mean? and what messages do they send to potential viewers?
Here’s what I turned up:

1. Miley Cryus wants you to know she’s sexy.
When a woman caresses her lips, neck, or collarbones, she’s sending  a signal of interest.  This is commonly a subconscious way of drawing your attention to these areas, reminding the onlooker she’s sexy.

2. Is Winona Ryder evaluating her success?
Chin resting on thumb, index finger pointing up against face translates into evaluation. This is a more reliable signal of evaluation than the full hand support, the middle finger commonly rests horizontally between the chin and lower lip.

3. Is Penelope is genuinely interested?
Interested gesture is shown by a closed hand resting on the cheek, often with the index finger pointing upwards. Should the person begin to lose interest but wish to appear interested, for courtesy’s sake, the position will alter slightly so that the heel of the palm supports the head.

ESPN Technique: John Huet and David Nadeau

- - The Daily Edit

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Freestyle Mogul Skier – Heather McPhie – Moguls run
See ESPN animations here and the technique fully explained in this animation

JohnHuet_SkiJump-1Ski Jump – Sarah Hendrickson – Ski Jump takeoff
See ESPN animations here and the technique fully explained in this animation

ESPN

Creative Director, Print and Digital Media: John Korpics
Senior Director, Photography: Karen Frank
Senior Art Director: Chin Wang
 Associate Art Director of Digital Media: Heather Donahue
Senior Deputy Photo Editor: Nancy Weisman
Photo Editor: Nick Galac
Photographer: John Huet
Retouching: David Nadeau

How did this project for ESPN come about and how did you make it your own?
JOHN: The first Technique assignment was with figure skaters for their December issue. While I thought the magazine was doing a great job, I wanted to add an extra layer to the final image and make it a little easier to understand the athletics going on. The skaters were throwing a quad, and this team is the only one to do so in competition. Impressive. Since the athletes are spinning in the air 4 times, I wanted to avoid the 16 image sequence looking cluttered, and make a more interesting image.  I added a ghosting effect in post, to delineate complete rotations full color images were added in the sequences.

Are the lights an issue for the athletes? How fast is the camera capturing images?
The motor drive shoots 14 frames a second, however, when I do some of the shots at night, it slows down quite a bit.  The final composite is usually a collection of maybe 3 or 4 takes.

For the ski jumping shot how many remote cameras did you set up?
We have about 15 set up and we got two 4-6 second takes each shot, errors and do over’s aren’t really an option.

How do you know where to set up your remotes? Did you know how far she’d jump?
We were testing our equipment on the previous jumpers, and I assumed they’d all be about the same distance.
Then along comes this young 18 year old, unassuming girl. Takes her first run and goes twice as long, and twice as fast!

What was the most challenging of these assignments so far?
I’d say the bobsled event. I couldn’t use any flashes, only hot lights, it was at night, the athletes were all in black, in a black bobsled going over 90 miles an hour.
The low light slows everything down so I had to be certain everything was in the same position in order to get the sharpest and most accurate shot I could. Each of these events has specific needs, and I love all the problem solving that comes with it.
You can’t show up and set things up. You have to study the environment, and make choices from there.

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Figure Skating Pair – Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir – Quad Throw
See ESPN animations here  and the technique fully explained in this animation

Retouching: David Nadeau / Rhymes with Pixel

About how many images do you have to review before selecting the right move?
DAVID: For the skaters, John narrowed it down to about 70 shots that had the cleanest look at the quad throw, that’s not including the stage shots of the empty rink. The freestyle ski shot had 166 (I know he had a big remote set-up for that one). For the bobsled, we had about the same number. He relied heavily on multiple cameras for that one too, since the bobsledders were only able to do a few runs for him.

Do you study the sport prior to piecing these together?
I did. I believed it was important to understand exactly what happens in each event to effectively distill the action into one composed image. I did take liberty with some parts just for artistic sake. For the most part though, I did everything I could to be true to the action.
I also studied the previous technique features that ESPN had done. John and I talked a lot about really making the shots beautiful both in the action as well as the background. We wanted to make a visually interesting stage for the action that didn’t detract from what was happening. We also believed we could come up with a really interesting technique for ghosting the shots. I’m very proud of what we made up.
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2-man Bobsled – Steve Holcomb and Steve Langton – Bobsled Start
The technique is fully explained in this animation.

 

 


Which posed the biggest challenge for you?

The biggest challenge was definitely the bobsledders. Beyond the technical aspect of it being a high-speed shot of a black sled with two guys wearing all black shot at night, getting all of the shots laid out together was especially difficult. I tried for a while to get the track and sledders to be aligned in kind of an S-curve across the page. That blew up in my face. Eventually, after playing around, I came up with a bit of a fish-eye lens look. That format was able to capture all of the action while highlighting the crucial moment when the sledders enter the bobsled.

For the skater’s throwing the quad, how many images do you like to include to show a complete rotation? How did you determine what is the right amount?
I played with the sequence of the shots to see what looked right. We were very lucky that John was able to capture her facing almost exactly front, left, right and back in a couple of the throws. That allowed me to have an order to the images of her in the spin instead of a bunch of random, confusing shots. Each spin shows her facing each cardinal direction. I think that’s one of the big reasons that this shot succeeded so well. If I had just slapped a bunch of shots her together, you wouldn’t be able to follow the action. This way you have touch-points and order throughout the move. We also wanted to give a brighter highlight to one direction of her facing in each of the four spins. We believed it would give the guys at ESPN good reference points to call out parts of the action.

Figure Skating Olympic Athletes: Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir   ( see them skate here )

I understand that you two are the only team to throw a quad in competition. 
Were there any different focus tools you used to perform the move for the photo shoot that were different from competition?
Athletes: Because of the difficulty of executing throw jumps, I need to keep my focus directly on the element and not on my surroundings. Even in the competitive program, where everything is timed so carefully to the music, I need to shut out everything and zero in on my technique.

Did you find any of the lights or the equipment distracting?
Yes, there was a very specific area we had to do throw in, the rest of the rink was pretty dark, that made it hard to find my landings. When we were doing the throw there was a series of flashes and made me disorientated at times.

What are you thinking about, lets say 4 seconds or so before the move, to prepare for the jump?
Focusing on my key points for my throw, such as stay low, follow through, and over the right.

It’s not uncommon to have a photographer ask you to repeat the action, how many times did you throw the quad?
I would estimate that we did about 20 throws. But, I cannot be sure because it was so cold, I think my brain froze after 15.

What was the most challenging part of doing the shoot for you?
I would say staying warm. The rink was freezing and in between each throw I would run over and put my jacket on.

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For more of Johns work visit: official Olympics Instagram @olympics and visit his personal site here

The Weekly Edit – Milk : Delphine Chanet

- - The Daily Edit

 

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Milk

Art Director: Karel Balas
Graphic Design: Alice Lagarde, Melanie Gueret

Photographer: Delphine Chanet
Stylist: Shino Itoi

Do you do your own casting?
Absolutely, I’m obsessed with casting, what ever I’m doing I always keep an eye out, I don’t want to miss a child, I cast in the streets, my friend’s kids, everywhere….I always search for news faces.

The children are so composed, almost like paintings, how did you create that environment?
I draw my pictures before the shoot, so I know exactly what I want, what type of attitude, composition, frame, light but I also like to be surprised by the situations, the kids, and hoping for happy accidents.

What was the creative direction for this project?
My project was to create images “à la manière” of a dutch painting, searching for a certain intensity and trying too find the deepness of my models. As in dutch painting I’ve used one directional light, similar to a natural cold morning light coming from a window. With one difference to this genre: I wanted to play, to pair the picture with a bit of artificial. I did this by using rays of color block light and having  very artificial colors for the fashion styling (done by the stylist Shino Itoi).

The soft light demands very long and static poses, otherwise it would have been blurred or out of focus. Thanks to those situations I had time to encounter my models.

My main goal and focus was to find a way for Instantaneousness, spontaneity and honesty in this very restrictive shooting condition.

Can you share something about the shoot with us? Something memorable?
Nothing memorable in fact, everything was so organized. Everybody was quiet easy to shoot even the two pets. Don’t we say that the hardest subjects to shoot are kids and animals?

There’s a unique quality to your striking portraits of the children, as viewers we forget we are looking at images of children, and feel like we are looking into the eyes of an experienced adult. 
My major goal, whatever the story, is to capture the beauty of the kids natural essence, it means being as honest as possible by respecting their true personality and sometimes it can difficult oh yes! I’m really searching for a natural look. I don’t like them to play the adult, to pose like the stereotype adult, and I avoid frameworks that put them in situation of trying to be like adult.

I really let them do what they want, not directing so much. I follow them, I respect what they want to give me during the shoot.

Maybe this is why we can feel them as human beings but not specifically as children.

You are a maverick in children’s fashion photography, what inspires you?
I’m always searching for grace and spontaneity. Also I want to have fun and be free to create my world.  Too much commercial approach to children’s fashion photography can be very boring. My daughter – Thais – inspires me so much, and she makes me reconnect with the childhood world, so creative and intense. A big part of my inspiration comes from her.

How often do you photograph your children?
Well all day to be honest, its so much fun!

The Weekly Edit – Who Shot it better?

- - The Daily Edit

 

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Men’s Fitness

Consulting Design Director: Joseph Heroun
Creative Director: Andy Turnbull
Photo Director: Jane Seymour
Associate Photo Editor: Henry Watson
Photographer: Peter Yang

 

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Men’s Health ( US )

Creative Director: Robert Festino
Director of Photography: Jeanne Graves
Art Director: Thomas O’Quinn
Deputy Director of Photography: Don Kinsella
Photo Editor: Mark Haddad
Photographer: Sam Jones

 

 

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Men’s Health ( UK )

Creative Director: Declan Fahy
Photo Director: Cat Costelloe
Art Director: Jamie Sage
Deputy Art Director: Marianne Waller
Picture Editor: Alexandra Kelly
Photographer: Patrik Giardino

 

Weekly Edit – Architectural Digest China: Ben Miller

- - The Daily Edit
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Architectural Digest China

Talent (Indigo Communication): Michelle Liu
Visual Director: Leon Sun
Photographer: Ben Miller

Heidi How did you end up working in China on this particular project? Are you sending promos internationally?
Ben: I used to live in Shanghai, so am familiar with the culture and speak the language.  My wife’s parents still live there, so in an effort to see her family more often, I decided to start exploring the market there last year.  I went on a couple of trips and called a lot of agencies, knocked on a lot of doors, and made some good contacts.  I have not done any mailers yet, but the meetings alone were able to get bids on a number of large projects, plus a few editorial assignments.  I also have some informal collaborations with some of the larger production houses there, who are putting my name in the hat for larger projects.
How much are you working here in the US?
I am still working more in the US, I am signed by FRESH Artist Management in NYC, which is part of Greenhouse.  They have been great and helped me out on a ton of large projects and bids last year.  The reception in the China market has been very encouraging as well, so I intend to pursue work on both sides for the foreseeable future.  Some of my bigger clients in 2013 included Dr. Pepper, Adidas, GAP, Ted Baker, Lucky Brand, HUE, Indah, and editorial in Rolling Stone Russia, Ladies Home Journal, Leveled Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler.  I am mainly doing Ad and fashion jobs, but would love to do more editorial.
I assume you speak Chinese, is that right?  
Yes i am fluent in Chinese, which helps a lot.  Most people in Shanghai speak good or decent English, but it does show a level of respect to make the effort to learn their language.  The work of foreign photographers is very popular over there, but most foreigners cannot speak, so it loses them a lot of jobs.
Were there any obstacles to this shoot?
In China, budget is always an issue.  The rates are not the same as in the West, unless you are already a super famous photographer.  So, this means being more creative and figuring out ways to deliver value.  Also, I had to have a Chinese bank account to accept payment for the job, which was fairly easy to do, but an extra step.
What, if any are the differences in how the work flow, production works compared to a US equivalent magazine?
Since it is owned by Conde Nast, it is pretty much like working with any NYC Based magazine.  Similar job roles, people to deal with, editing process, etc…
How did the creative process unfold for this project? Do you get much direction?
I worked with Leon Sun, the Visual Director at AD China, who is a super nice guy with a ton of vision.  He already had a very established concept as far as styling and talent goes.  This freed me up to focus on lighting, composition, color, etc…  We shot everything in a day at a beautiful retail space called Design Republic in Shanghai.  This included a key portrait, and a number of food and table shots.
How does the equipment rental/gear sort out?
I flew my laptop, camera, and one case of lights from the US with me. I have a set of stands, modifiers, and other grip that remain at my parents in laws’ house for all my China shoots.  For larger productions, there are great resources such as Central Studios or Amanacliq, who can rent you any of the standard gear at western prices.
Do you have a stable of assistants you work with over there?
I have a couple of good guys I know, and a number of rental houses I can call on when needed.  The quality of assistants is generally not as high as in the US, so more oversight and tutelage is usually required.

 

 

The Weekly Edit: Who Shot it Better?

- - The Daily Edit, Working

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Bon Appetit

Creative Director: Michael Axe
Deputy Art Director: Mike Ley
Photo Director: Alex Pollack
Photo Editor: Susan Getzendanner

Photographer: Michael Graydon
Food Stylist: Nikole-Kerriott

 

 

 

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Martha Stewart Living

Creative Director: Matthew Axe
Deputy Design Director: Jen McManus
Photo Director: Jennifer Miller
Deputy Photo Editor: Linda Denahan
Photographer: Anna Williams
Food Styling: Jennifer Aaronson

 

 

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Food Network Magazine

Creative Director: Deirdre Koribanick
Art Director: Ian Doherty
Deputy Art Director: Marc Davila
Photo Director: Alice Albert
Deputy Photo Editor: Kathleen E. Bednerek
Photographer: Johnny Miller
Food Styling: Christine Albano

 

 

 

WSJ Magazine: Lawrence Beck

- - The Daily Edit

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Wall Street Journal Magazine

Creative Director:  Magnus Berger
Design Director: Pierre Tardif
Photography Director: Jennifer Pastore
Photo Editor: Damian Prado
Art Director: Tanya Moskowitz
Assistant Photo Editor: Hope Brimelow
Photographer: Lawrence Beck

 


Heidi: This is your first editorial commission, congratulations and what a treat for WSJ. What was it about this project that made you accept?

Lawrence: The Diego Della Valle/Coliseum shoot seemed the perfect subject for my first editorial commission, in addition to the fact it was for the WSJ magazine, which is beautifully printed and of very high quality and content, the subject matter was right in line with what I’ve been working on for 4 or so years in Italy, and more specifically in Rome.

You have the wonderful gift of creating portraits of the most spectacular pockets of nature, be in gardens or thickets. What is it about landscape/nature that captivates you?

The most captivating element of photographing nature and the union of human-made and the natural, has been the core subject matter of my photographic oeuvre for more than 15 years.  I was extremely lucky growing up in a beautiful setting such as the Italian Alps in summers, and being able to look at great artworks in Italy, fresco cycles being amongst my favorites.  The “Thickets” series represents a kind of “all over” photography, relating to Pollack’s drip paintings and abstract-expressionism as a whole, and the notion of “all over painting”.  The “Italian Gardens” were inspired more from early Renaissance painting were perspective was just being figured out and has a similar look and feel to the inherent flatness of a photograph, specifically in artists such as Masaccio, Piero della Francesca and even from Giotto, who painted a century earlier.

How did Italy’s crumbling Colosseum and the Italian billionaire (Diego Della Valle) who’s funding its restoration project come about? What intrigued you about this?

The commission from the WSJ came about through the gallery that represents my work, The Sonnabend Gallery in New York.  There was interest shown in my photography because of my concentration in photographing gardens, villas and ruins in Rome over these last years.  The idea of photographing the Coliseum made me happy and stirred up excitement within me, though the prospect of making a portrait of Diego Della Valle was intriguing mostly because the vast majority of the portraiture that I have done over the years is of my family, my wife and my young daughter.  The whole thing became a challenge, shooting digitally, which is not what I normally do, and having time constraints which is something that I’m not used to.   With my own work, I still shoot film and use a view camera, which allows me to utilize the inherent camera movements that come in very handy in certain cases of fine focus and depth of field.  It would have been much more difficult to shoot a portrait with a 4 x5”, so I shot with a DSLR and a medium format digital camera.

What are you considerations when executing this type of work?  Did you propose this project to the magazine or did they reach out to you?

Diego was extremely friendly and generous with his time.  We basically started down in the Coliseum, in the cavernous ground level maze of tunnels and passages used to keep animals and the other players who performed on the stage of the Coliseum just above us.  We moved to the top level of the edifice and that is where I ended up getting the best shot of Diego, used in the magazine.  The project was not something that I had considered bringing to the WSJ personally, not really knowing that this is something to consider, though in hindsight, it worked out beautifully and opened a door to editorial photography.  I fully enjoyed the experience, and have a greater understanding of the technical challenges inherent in this type of project, along with the logistical problematic such as the trip from New York to Rome.

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Your work is so dramatic and refined, how do you feel about the quickness of imagery floating about today. Can you share some of your more personal work from your iphone and your thoughts on the brevity of images these days.
Do you enjoy instagram?

For many years, I shied away from digital capture, believing that it was not true photography,  but was forced to learn it when ektachrome was discontinued and reproducing artwork  (painting and sculpture) had to be done digitally.  What has really intrigued me is phone photography, the immediacy and quality of the image and the ability under the proper circumstances to make a decent 8 x 10” photo.  I have come to fully embrace the digital medium, learning Photoshop in the process and being able to use this brilliant new tool, which I believe is one of the greatest inventions in photography.

You can see the complete WSJ story here

The Weekly Edit – Vanity Fair: Peter Crawley

- - The Daily Edit

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Vanity Fair
Design Director : Chris Dixon
Photography Director:  Susan White
Art Directors: Julie Weiss, Chris Mueller

Illustrator: Peter Crawley

Are your editorial projects mostly headlines that have to do with style/fashion?

Headlines and typographic treatments work well for editorial pieces. But I have also worked on logos / idents for titles such as Wallpaper* and Wired.

What made you choose that particular color palette for the headline, Best Dressed?

I worked closely with the Vanity Fair Contributing Art Director, Hilary Fitzgibbons to decide on the type and palette. We wanted something bright and engaging on the page, but a palette that felt fashion led.

How long did that headline take you create? In total, it was probably around 5 days – including initial sketching, experiments, computer work and crafting the final piece.

Do you send out promo’s to magazines? How did they discover you?

A few years ago I sent out quite a lot of promo material to magazines and potential clients, which lead to some nice projects. I also seem to get a lot of work through various blogs and previous projects. The great thing about the internet is that your work can take on a life of it’s own, cross international boundaries and reach people you could never have imagined.

Heidi: Are those different widths of string or are they doubled?

Peter: It’s actually a bit of both, to add interest to the piece I decided to add as much texture and change of density as possible.

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What was it about a road trip across America that inspired you to do this work?

When we were driving across America, we had a paper road map. Each night we marked our progress on the overview map of the country, It was great seeing our route develop in front of us in a very analogue, permanent manner. Between the five of us, we must have taken around 5000 images, narrowing these down to just a couple of images to print and frame for the wall proved impossible. So I set about capturing the trip in an analogue hand crafted manner. The materials referenced naval / military maps and traditional book binding techniques.

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Do you mind sharing you process? Are you using a paper piercer and then straight edge?

Each piece varies slightly depending on the subject matter, but the general process is the same. I collect source material for research and sketch out ideas. These ideas are digitised in order to create templates and guides. The guides arranged, and using a standard dressmakers pin, I pierce the paper. The paper is then stitched by hand.

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For the architecture pieces are you tracing photographs/blue prints. Tell me how you executed the empire state building.

I tend to use a combination of photography, tracing and sketching. The Empire State Building image was taken in person on the upper viewing deck of the building. The image was simplified via a process of sketching and tracing, and a vector outline was created which was used as a guide for the final hand stitched piece.

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Do you think you’ll ever create portraits, landscape? ( meaning drift out of type and architecture )

I have created a couple of abstract landscapes previously – Sau Paolo and Los Angeles. Portraiture has always interested me, so I think I will experiment with this at some point.

Do you shoot your pieces or send the originals?

The images on my website are shot by me, but the client tends to shoot the originals for the final print version. A lot of my clients are global, so it’s easier to send them the piece and allow them to experiment with lighting, angles and crops, ensuring the get images they are happy with in a short period of time.

The Weekly Edit: Marie Claire Jonathon Kambouris

- - The Daily Edit

Maire Claire

Artistic Director: Alex Gonzalez
Creative Director: Nina Garcia
Design Director: Byron Christian Regej
Photography Director: Caroline Smith
Associate Art Director: Wanyi Jiang
Senior Photo Editor: Ashley Macknica Barhamand
Photographer: Jonathon Kambouris
Heidi: How difficult was it to shoot the crystal embroidered objects?

Jonathon: Photographing accessories can always be tricky but the challenge to make a still object look beautiful and interesting is something that I really thrive on. For this story my goal was to capture a mood and make the items glow. To bring out the crystals and jewels it was really about creating texture. My lighting process used soft light to create an edge on the items which separated them from the black background and then I mixed that with a harder light to create texture. The combination of this lighting was key to making these items sparkle.

What made you decide on black for the background?

The creative direction and inspiration for this assignment was to have a bunch of flares exploding off of the jewels. I figured the best way to capture this would be to photograph them on black. This complemented the accessories well and set a moody background to create beautiful and sexy lighting.

I assume all the star burst flare added in post. Did you have a special technique for that? How do you know when to stop adding more?

There is a crazy amount post work that can be done now a days, but I always approach every assignment trying to capture as much in camera as I possibly can. There were a few techniques I used with lighting and lens filters but in the end the intensity I desired for the flares could not be captured in camera. On-set my retoucher and I played around with different techniques in photoshop to create these intense light flares. It was a lot of trial and error. We would see how one flare would look and then I would go back to my set and light the accessory in a way that would naturally complement the flare that was going to be added. It was really about experimenting with adding and subtracting the flares and lighting until it felt perfectly balanced. Post work is so important, especially with still life photography so I have had to learn and really understand what I need to do in camera to create a seamless and natural transition from capture to final retouched image. As a photographer you really need to not only think about what you are shooting but also plan before you shoot and after during the post production processes. It is really important to be very detailed oriented through out each one of these phases. My retoucher and I have been working together for a good amount years now. We have really learned a lot from each other and it has been an excellent collaboration.

Are those items you shot purple, red and green respectively?  or did you add that light detail?

These items were actually black with clear and black beaded jewels. I originally shot the items as they were designed with no color and they looked very beautiful, but the editor in chief really wanted to see color in these shots. Adding color brought out an other dimension and in the end it was very fitting for this story.

What was the biggest challenge if any for this shoot.

I always feel like the biggest challenge in photography is visualizing an idea in your head and trying to translate that into a successful photograph. It is really about problem solving. For this specific assignment the flares needed to be added in post, which created a huge challenge; on-set there was no real reference point to start with while I was shooting. The hardest part was visualizing the right lighting for the accessories that would look natural and balanced with the flares that were going to be added. The key to making this story successful was having a deep understanding and connection between what I capture in camera with lighting and what needed to be accomplished in post.

 

Do you shoot for Marie Claire often?

Over the past year I have shot numerous accessory stories for Marie Claire and it has been an incredible collaboration. Their creative team is so talented and comes to me with fantastic inspiration and they really push every story to the creative max. It is obvious that we want to create thought provoking imagery of accessories and I think we have managed to accomplish this ambition successfully. It is an absolute wonderful creative process and I am really proud of the work we have accomplished together.

The Weekly Edit – Who Shot it Better?

- - The Daily Edit

 

Cooks Illustrated/ Holiday Entertaining

Design Director: Amy Klee
Photo Editor: Steve Klise
Photography: Keller + Keller
Styling: Catrine Kelty

 

Better Homes & Gardens / Holiday Recipes

Art Director: Gene Rauch
Photographer: Andy Lyons
Food Stylist: Jill Lust

 

Martha Stewart Living

Creative Director: Matthew Axe
Photo Director: Jennifer Miller
Photographer: Marcus Nilsson

Savuer

Art Director: David Weaver
Photography Director: Chelesa Pomales
Photographer: Michael Kraus
Food Styling: Penny De Los Santos