Category "The Daily Edit"
Picture Editor: Rachael Clark
Art Director: Will Jack
Photographer: Emily Shur
Heidi: What was it like to direct the talent, I’d imagine it’s like flipping a switch, and he’s on. How much interaction did you two have?
Emily: We had a good amount of interaction. It’s true that photographing someone at Will’s level is a lot like flipping a switch, but there has to be a good relationship between photographer and subject regardless. He doesn’t need much direction from me, but I do think that he (and most talent) is relying on me to let him know if something isn’t working. I think a thumbs up, a thumbs down, or a suggestion on how to make the picture better is always appreciated, and that’s part of the trust one builds as a photographer. The concepts had been approved ahead of time so we were all aware of the different shots. We would shoot a little, and then sometimes Will would want to see the pictures. Sometimes he would make adjustments after he looked at a few. We’d go back to shooting and he would slightly change his face or body language. I think of subjects like Will as a gift. It’s so amazing to photograph someone who is so naturally talented as a performer. The trick is to make sure the end result is worthy of such a generous gift.
Since he’s been so heavily photographed was there pressure to try and make this shoot stand out?
There’s always pressure to make a shoot stand out. Always. One thing I had going for me with this one was that this shoot was in character as Ron Burgundy which hadn’t been done that much (at least in the past 10 years or so) at the time. I LOVE Anchorman and was beyond excited to shoot Ron Burgundy in all of his glory. I mean, Baxter was there and everything. I was admittedly very nervous before the shoot which is pretty normal for me. I hate that I get so nervous, but I suppose that means I care a lot.
What sort of direction did the magazine give you?
The magazine actually gave quite a bit of direction, which I like. They came up with most of the shots we did ahead of time. The general idea was to do an old school “At Home With…” shoot you might have seen in past issues of Life Magazine with someone like Frank Sinatra. The shoot would be Frank, or in this case Ron, going about his daily business at home being effortlessly cool, but of course with a sense of humor. They sent a pretty detailed PDF with reference images and a shot list. I loved all of it which made me even more excited about the shoot.
A lot of your work has a sparkle of humor, but I wouldn’t call you overtly animated / funny. How does your own personality transcend your work?
Hey, I am funny! It’s true that I’m not overly animated, loud, or hyper….I’m pretty mellow, but I am funny and more importantly, I think I can recognize funny in photographic form. I don’t take pictures because I aspire to be a comedian or an actor or a model. I take pictures because I want to be the best photographer I can be. Photographing a joke is very different than hearing a joke or seeing a sequence of events that results in a laugh. The viewer is seeing a single frame and that’s it. So, the joke needs to be readable in that one frame. It’s not easy, and not even all funny people are good at being funny in still photographs. So, it’s especially awesome when I have the opportunity to photograph someone who gets the process of still photography.
You regularly update your blog, with long written entries as well which I enjoy. Describe this creative outlet for you, do you update on a schedule or when it strikes you?
I really only write when the mood strikes. I used to do it more than I do now, but I try to keep up with it as much as I can. It’s pretty time consuming because I don’t just write stream of consciousness style. I go back re-read things like 4-5 times and make little changes each time. If I don’t have time to write I’ll just post images – outtakes, published images, and personal work. I post images that I like and see which ones other people respond to the most. I think blogs are a good sounding board for new work.
Photo Director: Sarah Rozen
Fashion Director: Jacqueline Azria
Creative Director: Theresa Griggs
Photographers: Williams + Hirakawa
Heidi: What made you choose Palm Springs for location? East coast long winter?
Sarah: We wanted something dramatic and a little Mad Max feel so we originally looked into this cool dam but couldn’t permit that. Then our Fashion Director, Jacqueline Azria, who is French happened to remember always loving the windmills on the drive to Palm Springs.
Did you have a studio day and location day for this?
We actually set up a little studio in the Parking Lot. We shot the on location shots first and then the studio stuff.
What about W+H made you choose them for this shoot?
I have shot a fashion story with Williams and Hirakawa almost a year before in Alaska and had loved the photos. And had been waiting for the right story to use them again for. I liked this one for them because it was completely different than the previous fashion story. They are really good to work with and the results are always stunning.
What makes you stick a mailed promo on your wall? I’m sure you get a flurry?
Something has to grab me. Usually it is different or drama in the narrative. Can’t just be the same old same old.
Are you partial to female photographers? Meaning does gender ever play a role for your projects?
It depends on the story and depends on the subject. I really just try to match the right photographer for each story.
Art and Design Director: Robert Mansfield
Photo Editor: Meredith Nicholson
Photographer: Ethan Pines
Retouchers: Rebecca Bausher and Gretchen Hilmers
Heidi: You were shooting some of the wealthiest people in the US, what sort of production perks came with this? Besides simple things like Formula One cars and NASCAR as a back up?
Ethan: You’d think there would be loads of perks, right? This was a DIY production, like so many editorial shoots. But the benefit of shooting venture capitalists is, they’re the guys with the money. Sequoia Capital (subject of the article, stars of the race-car shot) paid for the Formula One and NASCAR cars, the props to round it out, extra lighting / grip, and my favorite prop stylist Shannon Amos. And the nice people at the Bay Area Discovery Center let us use the location in exchange for, I believe, a fine bottle of Bourbon.
As for the large gathering of company founders, we shot it quickly on the floor of the Tesla Motors factory. The perks were (1) someone brought me BBQ chips and a vitamin water; (2) high ceilings and plenty of shooting space; (3) getting to explore the Tesla factory, which is this amazing confluence of people, technology and robots reminiscent of dinosaurs.
You mentioned this was an ad-scale production. Did you produce this alone or did the magazine help you?
I typically produce my own shoots for Forbes, once they secure the subject. Since I’m the one who insisted the pit-crew shot wouldn’t be too over-the-top, it pretty much fell to me to produce this one.
In this case, I and Andrew Kovacs at Sequoia essentially co-produced it. Andrew and Forbes coordinated the company founders for the cover, all of whom were originally backed by Sequoia as start-ups. Andrew organized the race cars, secured pit-crew wardrobe and props, and helped with various details. I spent three days texting, emailing and phone-calling my brains out to get everything in place. Sequoia was extremely excited about the pit-crew shot, but I don’t think they realized what it takes to produce a photo shoot. All those details — locations, access, parking, power, water, food, shade, props, restrooms, being able to see at 4 a.m., directions, permission, weather, wind — you can’t take anything for granted. Then there’s the actual shoot, when you’re asking business guys to act and inhabit roles — and do it for an hour or so.
The magazine was available for whatever help I needed, from approving locations to using their pull to make things happen. The entire crew helped by working hard and passionately as always. I have to recognize my assistants Brad Wenner and Podbereski, who did a great job on too little sleep.
Scheduling billionaires is no small feat. What was the biggest challenge?
Fortunately it was not me but the the good people of Sequoia who scheduled that group. I’m sure there were scores of challenges I never heard about; all these major company founders were rearranging their schedules and flying in just for the shoot. I did, however, field a lot of questions about what people should wear.
My tough moment came at the shoot when Doug Leone, the head of Sequoia Capital, refused to be out in front of everyone on the cover as Forbes had planned. He wanted this to be about the founders, not about himself. Which is understandable. I’m standing there at the shoot, in front of 14 billionaires who are giving us 30 minutes, thinking, OK, what now? Do I argue on behalf of my client and jeopardize the good vibe at the shoot? No, but maybe there’s a middle ground. We compromised on having him second row, somewhere just off center. I scrapped my pre-laid plan for arranging everyone and did it on the fly.
How many days was this project?
All told, probably seven to eight days. A day of pre-production emails and phone calls from L.A. Two days of scouting and prepro in the Bay Area. Two days of shooting. Two days in post. Not to mention two days roundtrip driving to the Bay Area and back.
What sort of monkey wrench did running out of gas on the freeway do to your productivity?
I’m often overextended and pushing the fuel gauge to E, but this had never happened before. When emails, texts and phone calls are coming and going, it’s easy to forget about gas. I got rescued pretty quickly by the roaming Metro guys who patrol freeways looking for stalled cars during rush hour. What an incredible service. They’re like traffic guardian angels.
The episode actually didn’t hurt my schedule that badly. I was a bit shaken after sitting on the freeway with cars rushing by on both sides. And it made me realize that I need to take a breath.
How much time did you get with the subjects?
For the cover shot we had 30 minutes, which of course just flew by. At the end we yanked away the grey seamless, formed them into a loose line and used the factory as background for another eight minutes or so. For the race-car shoot, we set up from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m., then had about an hour with all the Sequoia guys. I tend to ask for as much time as I can get.
Were you nervous prior/during the shoot?
Oh, sure. Before, during and after. How the hell do you arrange a large group vertically on a plain background, without furniture or a room to rely on? Would they be on time and easy to work with? What do you do with them once they’re arranged? How do you light and shoot two large group setups (grey background, factory background) in 30-40 minutes? I planned a lot of this during the drive to San Francisco. And it’s always amazing how even the busiest, wealthiest people will listen to and grant control to the photographer. You just have to take charge (in a friendly way) and ask for what you want. I told them that they could all go out and destroy each other’s companies if they wanted to when this was over, but here they were all buddies, and I wanted some good loose interaction among the group.
For the race-car shot, we didn’t have a location finalized until the day before. And there were so many moving parts to put together. Makes you really appreciate what producers do. Once I was on board for these shoots, they consumed my days and my thoughts until they were done. I think that nervousness helps you be prepared.
How difficult was it to get your cover shot?
Not easy, but not torturous either. My crew and I showed up three hours early to load in and set up lighting, so I could focus on the subjects when we started shooting. Once we got everyone up on apple boxes and did some positioning and re-positioning, I mostly worked on creating an atmosphere where people felt at ease and trusted me. We got some straight shots, like the one that ultimately ran, some lighter ones, and some with everyone interacting. There were only supposed to be 12 people in the cover shot. And suddenly that night I was counting 14 on the set! That was a little surprise.
The toughest parts were the time limit — I was working like a madman for those 30 minutes — arranging 14 people vertically, watching 14 people at once in the viewfinder, and trying to get quality moments from everyone.
I also try to monitor the small details, like the woman in front placing her hand on her hip. All that being said, the shot on the cover is a single capture. No mixing and matching of faces. No one even blinking in that shot.
What about your work struck the magazine to award you this job?
I think they like the way that I always bring back surprises. And I try to make the business world as colorful and unusual as I can.
Most interesting thing you learned on set with such game changers?
Due to the short time frame, not a lot. You know what I loved seeing? The variety among them. A group of billionaire company founders is no longer a group of middle-aged white guys. They were also very human, easygoing and funny. I’d love to hang out with that group again.
Who’s in the driver seat?
The “driver” in the F1 car is a woman from Sequoia. We even gave her extensions so her hair could be flowing out of the helmet. The location is a walkway in a kids-oriented museum in the Bay Area. We had a NASCAR car as backup, trucked all the way up from L.A. We never even got to fire them up. That F1 car is 16 feet long. It’s a monstrous beauty in person.
Photographer/Creative Director: Ian Spanier
Art Director/Design: Warren Mason
Editor: Brian Dawson
Heidi: What compelled you to do your own magazine?
Ian: Last summer I met with Creative Director Warren Mason to discuss ideas on what together we could create as a promotional piece. Being someone that shoots a wide variety of work it is always a challenge to show all the areas that I work, especially in one place. Initially we thought about making a poster from a personal shoot I did but the more we looked at my notebook of the past year’s shoots the more the idea of making a multipage piece came to light. Warren being a seasoned veteran of magazines, it seemed like a no-brainer to just make our own magazine.
I know you were formally a PD, would you say it’s easy for you to edit your own work? For this project, do you give edited images to design or is this a collaboration?
I’ve always been fairly good at removing myself from the fact that I shot the same photographs that I am editing, so I am able to provide Warren with a very edited version of a story, and/or only a few additional options to consider when I need input. Ultimately I can change an image if he chooses one and I think a different one is better, but he and I have always worked well together- having worked together at one magazine and as well on a coffee table book. I wanted to collaborate with someone on this- which I think it a very important thing to do, particularly when you have a lot of respect for that person. I’ve seen Warren make some amazing layouts so I trust his opinion…and he likes my work- which helps! I was also able to enlist Brian Dawson, a great editor whom I had also worked with in the past. Brian is able to take my medicore copy and turn it into much more concise and clear thoughts. His input on the look of the magazine is also helpful as his years of experience provides one more checkpoint in the process of the magazine as a whole.
Tell me about the process of putting this together? You have an editor and a CD?
I basically create an issue by collecting options for cover, features and “ads” by going through my Lightroom catalogs. Since I made a feature from a personal shoot in the first issue, I now make a point to do a personal shoot for each issue. Personal work of course is important for all photographers and having a place to show it has been great. In many ways I owe that first personal shoot credit for giving us the idea to make a magazine. Now I basically come up with a new mini project for each issue.
From there I create some lores folders and send that to Warren. We have a quick conversation about what what works together. I am trying to keep the variety up, and at the same time make sure that there’s some cohesiveness to the magazine. I also contact one of my clients to get a quote from them about what it is like to work with me. As a whole, the point of the magazine is to give the viewer a glimpse about what I bring to to the table as a photographer, who I am as a person and what it is like to work with me. I think people loose sight that the photography part of being a photographer is just a small piece of the puzzle. Not to discount the ability it takes, but talent in many ways is the given, we are hired for jobs based on the prospect that we can shoot, so getting across how you are to be on set with, what your presentation level is, and how you run your business is what I believe really builds you up as a successful photographer.Brian, as I mentioned is the editor and Warren is the CD.
Do you have a printer version?
Initially I only thought this would be for iPad and issuu.com which is a great site Suzanne Sease turned me on to. As timing was, Blurb offered a printed magazine and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to print out a few copies for meetings and whatnot. I ordered about 20 copies and was amazed at the quality, and as well, the members of Team Braveheart (subjects in the first issue personal project) all wanted copies as well. I was able to send them the link to Blurb and there they could order their own copy. It’s not cheap, but it is very nice.
What other promo materials do you send out?
I send out one-off electronic promo cards regularly to all my contacts as well as to potential clients about every 5 weeks. I also utilize social media a ton, I don’t post personal stuff, minus a comment about the Yankees or Bruce Springsteen from time to time. I don’t believe people care about pictures of my food, so I try to keep it to what I am working on, behind-the-scenes shots and interesting articles or great images from other photographers that I like. I also push to have a lot of meetings. I feel the personal contact is extremely important. Getting meetings is hard, but I am always trying for a few minutes of face time. I do have printed promo cards and such, but the cost of mailing then out doesn’t seem worthwhile to me, I’d rather hand them to potential clients face-to face.
What sort of response have you gotten from art buyers fellow PE, clients?
So far response from art buyers and photo editors, creatives, etc. has been great, recently I switched to showing my portfolio on my iPad, and having a printed piece to show people I think really drives home the right message- I like people to see that my work holds up when ink gets to paper. As well, having a copy on set has been very nicely received, it’s a great conversation piece.
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.
Photographer: David Needleman
Photographer: David Needleman
Photographer: Mary Rozzi
Photographer: Blossom Berkofsky
Photographer: David Needleman
Photographer: Joe Pugliese
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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!
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.
Creative Director: Robert Wilson
Art Director: William Scalia
Photographer: Stephanie Diani
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
No Masthead available
Photographer: Mario Testino
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.
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.
Freestyle Mogul Skier – Heather McPhie – Moguls run
See ESPN animations here and the technique fully explained in this animation
Ski Jump – Sarah Hendrickson – Ski Jump takeoff
See ESPN animations here and the technique fully explained in this animation
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.
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.
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.
For more of Johns work visit: official Olympics Instagram @olympics and visit his personal site here
Creative Director: Kari Young
Production Director: Juli Roos
Photographer: J-Squared Photography
Design+ Photography Director: Hannah McCaughey
Art Director: John McCauley
Photo Editor: Amy Silverman
Photographer: Carlos Serrao
Creative Director: Lan Yin Bachelis
Art Director: Brant Louck
Photo Director: Jo Miller
Photo Editor: Allison Chin
Photographer: Matt Jones
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!
Consulting Design Director: Joseph Heroun
Creative Director: Andy Turnbull
Photo Director: Jane Seymour
Associate Photo Editor: Henry Watson
Photographer: Peter Yang
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
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
Architectural Digest China
Talent (Indigo Communication): Michelle Liu
Visual Director: Leon Sun
Photographer: Ben Miller