• 9.9.14   Tom Corbett: It's in the Bag

    Photography is as much about improvisation as it is planning. When Tom Corbett and Cosmopolitan UK were planning their “It’s In The Bag” story, they had put together a different kind of shoot. But, like a lot of things in this world, some of the elements they had planned on didn’t come together, so instead they took what they had and shaped it into a fully formed piece. When their location didn’t work out, the shoot moved into a studio, which presented a series of challenges. Not least of which is adding extra interest. A white background keeps everything looking clean, but requires the addition of interest points. Tom found that interest in adding some dynamism to the images. “I always like to play with a little bit of movement. It really comes back to capturing a moment,” explains Tom. After experimenting with a few different moving elements, they found that everything looked best when injecting that movement into the model’s hair. “With the help of the wonderful hair stylist, Heath Massi, we managed to find ways of adding some sense of movement into the story by getting things around her to move. It was an attempt to add a little spontaneity, movement to the story.” It wasn’t just the movement that Tom eked out of the model. “I find adding movement to a story makes it easier to express something a little bit more,” he says. Instead it’s about bringing more to the picture to engage the viewer. “I try to add another layer to the image. It’s pretty important,” he explains. It’s about telling a story, instead of just having the model be a hanger for the fashion. An extra bonus to this particular type of exploration and play is that the model gets personally engaged. Tom’s proud of the little bit of goofiness and spontaneity that comes through in the model’s work. It all comes back to serving the communication behind the image. “I always try to just give it another edge, another layer, another point of interest,” Tom says. With those elements, it will always come through. And that story did come through, as the extra Cosmo Fashion supplement chose this shoot as their cover. A little improvisation can go a long way.
  • 9.15.14   Robert Maxwell Finds Quiet Potential

    The last time Robert Maxwell was in New Orleans was before hurricane Katrina hit the city, and even nine years later, the change is obvious. It's quieter there than it was before. The pride is still there, and the native love for the place goes unchanged, but the tourists have dwindled and left behind a silence and stillness. “It broke my heart,” Robert explains. He was there on assignment from New York Times Magazine to photograph Quvenzhané Wallis, the unbelievably young actress who burst onto the scene in 2013 with her Academy Award Nomination for Beasts of the Southern Wild at the remarkable age of 10. Unlike the rest of his visit to New Orleans, his experience with the young actress was not heartbreaking at all. Instead, he found something beautiful.  The Wallises invited Robert into their home to photograph their daughter. What he found was no actress, no stage mom, no ignored siblings. "I spent about an hour and a half, two hours with her father in the backyard,” Robert tells it. “What a solid, solid foundation that little girl’s got. Unbelievably so. Discipline, love, morals. It was really refreshing.” What we see in Robert’s photograph is the stillness and quiet that Robert felt on his visit to the city. Quvenzhané is at the family pool, her pants rolled up, her legs in the water. She has scripts to the side and one open on her lap. She's in control. She's young, we can see how young she is, and we know it's her future on her lap, her choice to pick one of these scripts to work on. After an Oscar Nomination and the lead in the upcoming Holiday Blockbuster Annie, she has her choice to make, and in the rarest of moments, we see this young girl in that decision. What is remarkable, almost alarming as a viewer, is to see this girl in this decision alone. Her family supports her and her choices, and always have, but there is no pressure to make any decisions or go in any directions that she doesn’t want to go in. “I was in a wonderful home with a young girl that whether she wants to be a movie star or anything else will achieve it,” Robert says. Her parents don't feel or express the need to direct her away from where she wants to go. Robert met the rest of the family, and each of Quvenzhané’s siblings have their own hobbies that are equally supported in the Wallis home. "They each have their own thing," Quvenzhané explains to NYTimes Magazine. In their plot of New Orleans, Robert found the same quiet and stillness as the rest of New Orleans. But in this home, it's a quiet support, a quiet collective to bolster every dream. Whether it's the little league game on Saturday, or a big Hollywood opening. Every Wallis will have their moment, but today belongs to Quvenzhané.
  • 9.12.14   Pete Fowler Tames the Bricks

    Although Pete Fowler loves painting murals, it’s an unlikely convergence of style and medium. For his latest work with Converse ccontracted by the agency Amplify, he was tasked with bringing his very graphic, clean style to a brick building with a lot of protrusions and items attached to the exterior. “This wall is a brick building, so the surface quality is what I like to call ‘cross country painting,’” he says with a laugh. Like moving across the landscape, he met hills, valleys, boulders, and cliffs that complicated what he had planned. But that’s okay, he was able to adapt. “There were little areas here and there where the image had to be tweaked,” he says. He and Converse went back and forth quite a bit to make sure everything was right. But it all starts with a sketch. “Everything I do starts with a pencil sketch, doesn’t matter what it is,” he says. “There was quite a lot of planning.” Before even starting the painting, he had planned about 95% of the image, giving himself that little bit of flexibility to ensure perfect execution. Working from a very detailed set of materials that Converse had provided him, Pete drew his inspiration from the story of the brand in addition to the iconic Chuck Taylor. He looked mostly to the people that he imagines wear those classic shoes. “The people that go out to gigs, people who kind of stay up all night and have a good time. Maybe play in bands,” he muses. “People grabbing life by the horns.” After he says that, he excuses the pun since a bunch of his figures have horns and antlers. The figures in the mural are classic Pete Fowler. Not only are there bold lines and a fluid energy, but there are skulls, a musician flying through the air, and even a hint of a goatee by a moose in a hoodie taking a photo on its smart phone. Pete lives in Shoreditch, London a very trendy, culturally aware neighborhood filled with the kind of energy that he drew from. But, despite the cool color palette, he’s not in his blue period. “I work very intuitively with color, really,” he explains. “I wanted to come up with a color palate that was quite rich but also limited. I wanted the balance of the colors to be very important but also not to overcomplicate what’s actually going on.” Keeping the palate tight allows the mural to pop where it is. Regardless of whether the sun is hitting it straight on, or it’s a cloudy day, the combination of vibrant blues, light purple, and the contrast of white and black make for an image that stands out on a stylish street. In a neighborhood with old buildings and fresh energy it’s the perfect convergence for The Monsterist, as he’s known on Twitter, to background his work.
  • 9.5.14   The Daily Vertical Sojourn of Josh Cochran

    Every form of media has its strengths, but if you really want to grab attention you need to challenge those strengths. Reinterpreting the medium and how it’s used changes viewers’ interaction with what the piece is communicating. That’s exactly what the US Open and illustrator Josh Cochran are doing for their #StoryoftheOpen Billboard in New York City. Sitting a hundred feet above NYC’s Midtown Tunnel is a billboard that welcomes travelers into the borough of Queens that is hosting the US Open. Since day one Josh has been making daily trips up to the billboard to paint the highlights of competition. That means every day the piece changes along with what’s actually happening during the games. Keeping work that dynamic and flexible presents a challenge. The piece is always fluid. “I’ll do a painting one day and it’s going to affect the next day’s painting,” explains Josh. “The space is going to change and the over all color scheme is going to change.” It’s constantly in flux. The piece cannot be planned, since it’s all about telling the story of what’s actually happening at the Open. It’s honest and in line with fans’ experiences. To chose the moments that Josh highlights is a positive process of impressions. The team behind the US Open pays attention to what moments are significant within the competition, then they watch social media to see what fans are reacting to, and finally, says Josh, “one of those moments is chosen and I interpret that and put it up on the billboard.” That means every day he’s receiving a new assignment, translating it into his style and then journeying up that 100 feet to paint it onto one of the most viewed surfaces in the world. Josh has been doing this every day since the beginning and still has some time to go. The final matches aren’t until Monday. “I feel pretty good. Definitely tired, but I’m feeling good,” he says. But he’s saving the most challenging part of the painting for the end. “I’m planning on painting the winners, but really big, like 20 ft tall,” he explains. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of pressure, but it’s paying off. “It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done. On the other hand I’d also say it’s been one of the most rewarding because I’m up there painting huge figures and it’s super fun,” he says. “I’m in the field, I’m painting, it’s very Zen. I don’t really think about anything, just the work. And it’s great.”
  • 9.10.14   Marc Hom Bucks Tradition for Authenticity

    Marc Hom has spent the last few decades photographing some of the most famous, recognizable, and beautiful faces in the world. It has helped him to build the tools and relationships to photograph anyone he wants, in almost any situation. But when it came time for the campaign with the German lingerie company Triumph, they went in a completely different direction. Even though Marc could get anyone in front of his lens, with Triumph they decided to photograph real women who weren’t models. It was a specific and calculated choice. “I find it very fascinating to make real women look incredibly sensual and beautiful," Marc says. “Beauty really comes from within.” Of course any model or famous face would have looked fantastic in Triumph's collection. But they wanted something authentic, surprising, and empowering. The casting included women from all walks of life, all in different places on their journeys. They represented different races, different age groups, and therefore, different ideas of what is beautiful. “Every woman has her own inner beauty. It’s up to me to find it, or for her to come forward and be relaxed about having a picture taken.” It was Marc's job to connect with these women in ways that could comfort them and bring out the beauty they already had. Maybe Marc's work with Triumph offers a lesson for all of us. As Marc says, “I think if you’re happy and you’re confident and you feel good inside: that’s what makes a beautiful woman.”
  • 9.8.14   Rod Hunt and Kate Moross Get Personal on Oyster Cards

    Transit is personal. Every day 1.1 million people use the Transport for London transit system to go home, go to work, visit loved ones, or see the city. Between the Underground, Overground, Boris Bikes, and London Buses, there are thousands of ways to access London, and every rider has their own style and preferences. The system is omnipresent within the city, and the Oyster Card is the key to the map. The Oyster Card lets riders access almost any aspect of the public transportation system, so it goes with any experienced Londoner wherever they go. This season TfL teamed up with a bunch of artists to design a series of special edition wallets to hold these Oyster Cards. Rod Hunt and Kate Moross were two of these artists who put their personal experiences into the project. Rod Hunt opted to take cues from the actual transit map. On his wallet we see a spread of bus lines moving, converging, and winding around each other. Stops are clearly marked and parks are ready for picnics. On top of the lines are mini double-decker buses, known as Routemasters, the red London icon, zipping from end to end. It's a combination of graphic interpretation and illustrative realism. As the bus lines zig and zag over his design, between the parks and stops, his map spells out “London takes the bus.” This conceit wasn’t forced into existence, it was directly inspired by his experiences. “I found inspiration by looking at the Key Bus Routes in central London map and seeing that it almost looks like the map is spelling the word ‘Bus’ in route lines,” Rod explains. Sometimes you have to fight for ideas in the dark of night, and wrestle them into submission. But other times they reach out and smack you in the face. Kate Moross' wallet features sayings and phrases from all around TfL. Using bold, saturated colors reminiscent of the bus lines and maps. From a distance the words blur into a bright camouflage, a distinctive aspect of Kate’s work. Like Rod, the inspiration for this design was taken directly from her own experiences riding TfL. “I ride a new Routemaster every day and I find myself looking at and reading the various stickers and signage around the bus,” she explains. “These polite messages, statements, and warnings are very much part of the Transport for London experience and so I decided to illustrate all the messages in a new Routemaster and highlight the words that other commuters might miss.” She’s taken an aspect of the bus system that might otherwise go unnoticed and put it directly in the pockets of the riders. Transit is personal, and Londoners have their own personal affinity for the TfL system. “I love getting the bus,” Kate says, and these wallets let riders put that right into their pockets.
  • 9.11.14   Mark Hunter and Wildfox Grow Together

    Mark Hunter has shot 10 Wildfox campaigns over the past five years. That's a solid working relationship. Over that time, the photographer and clothing brand have developed a concrete trust. "We’ve definitely evolved together: them as a brand and me as a photographer," explains Mark. "And it’s been really nice to grow and sort of try to outdo ourselves each season." Trust engenders courage providing room for exploration and growth. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. They've gone from shooting standard campaigns in their shared hometown of LA to traveling internationally, instituting vibrant variation, and keeping their models fresh faced. These extra pieces add to “It just elevates the brand. It just makes everything more exciting.” As the campaigns have gotten more sophisticated it reflects on Wildfox’s identity. At the same time, their more ambitious concepts have forced Mark to experiment and grow in ways that other photographers never expect to be tested. "I’ve gone into meetings to talk about shooting for other brands and one of their first questions is 'You’re not compositing all these girls' heads in Photoshop?'" He's not. Instead, he's able to get three perfect performances out of three girls, all at the same time. He’s not only working with the models in a surprising and constructive way, it’s the same with the brand. “The creatives and I, we can sort of read each others’ minds,” he says. “We know we’re getting the shots and just moving on. It lets us have a really good fluidity throughout the day.” The relationship not only allows for them to expand and explore, it creates a short form of communication that provides more space to work. Both Wildfox and Mark are growing together. As they expand, they expand together. “I’ve accumulated an arsenal of new ideas to get greater depth,” says Mark. “ It’s not my first rodeo.” So far, Mark has shot 10 Wildfox campaigns, and there are even more on the way. They’re going bigger and bolder every time. Each step, each shoot, each campaign is greater than the last. Stay tuned.
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  • 15 sept - most men have #erections every hour to hour and half during #sleep.  16 sept - A single human male produces enough #sperm in two weeks to impregnate every #fertile woman on the planet
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  • #PCH1 #BigSur ...it keeps on coming... What a trip!
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  • One of my favorite artists @deladeso illustrates my summer with this one. @miss_tina_louise see more art on www.thednalife.com #digitaldeathandgrime #illustration #art #summer #pineapples #design #thednalife #deladeso
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  • The monkey is out of the bag http://ymlp.com/zK9Tde. #mike mignola #statue #monkeywithagun #bigshottoyworks
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  • Another beautiful hike with this beautiful girl @avivaandthegiantpeach  #cobrafitnessclub
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  • Swimming clears my head....for a lil bit.
#swim #magispirits #keeperofourmemories #memories #tobyssecretsociety #garybaseman #baseman
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  • Mazaltov @donbert @castrodisiac #boilermaker #eastvill
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  • Out on the town with my new/old #kodakbrownie 127
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  • We climbed many steps without inhalers for a lovely view @babyhippie #businessasusual
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  • #niecesleeps Mondazzze
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  • #GoOrangeNYC is doing a good thing right now. Look them up. Help make it happen. Feeding people just by eating!
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  • Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf says that in order to save the Net, we must keep it open. From his essay in the September issue of WIRED: “The value of an open, fully connected, and accessible Internet should not and must not be underestimated. Societies of the 21st century everywhere on the planet deserve nothing less.” (🎨 The Heads of State)
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  • Cat and dog.
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  • Last one from la playa for today
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  • Desert fire gif detail. Put this on my tumblr
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Events
  • 9.20.14
    The Melty Misfits Series 2 Release Party

    Join Buff Monster Sat, Sep 20 from 3-6pm at PIQ’s NYC store in Grand Central Terminal

  • 10.6.14
    Pop Chart Lab Talk @ Apple Store Soho

    Join Pop Chart Lab for a talk at the Apple Store Soho October 6, 6-7pm

View Past Events
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