• 10.29.14   Don Sumada Takes it Home

     “E ‘Ike Hou Ia Lana’I,” the title of Don Sumada’s latest editorial for Four Seasons magazine, translates from Hawaiian into “To know Lana’i once again…” Offering a visual representation of natural grace, it references the Four Seasons Resort on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, one of the quieter Hawaiian islands, less populated by tourists. It’s an apt title for Don, as this shoot was exactly that: knowing Lanai once again. He was born and raised in Hawaii, so he was right at home during the shoot. Don and the rest of the crew traveled all over the island, getting a taste of every environment the island has to offer, while make a stop over or two at his mom’s house. In fact, Don’s mom and her friends created all the leis worn in the editorial. Don is known for his luxurious styling using rich fabrics and tones. The contrast between these incredibly sumptuous garments and the raw natural spaces adds an element of contradiction resulting in inviting looks with unfamiliar context. Donna Karan in the desert, Michael Kors on a dirt road, Salvator Ferragamo on a weathered wooden dock, Marc Jacobs with no shoes on a wet beach. Grace is injected into the lonely landscapes, like a surprise oasis of beauty.
  • 10.30.14   Jeremyville Visualizes The Reality of Data Mining

    Personal privacy is under attack. The invasions into our daily lives have been decried from one narrative edge to the other. Whether it’s Google tracking your online shopping to tailor your ad experience on Facebook, to the inspection of data usage to secretly change your cellular experience, companies are mining data that has often not been knowingly handed over. That has been the story for the last couple years as this practice becomes more developed. But Kate Kaye from Advertising Age wanted to dive a little deeper and see what the real life abilities of these companies are. What she found may surprise you: the data mining isn’t as sophisticated as you think, and has the potential to become even less effective. Kate Kaye lives in Jersey City which is widely ethnically and financially diverse, and therefore location based data represents such a spread that it's hard for companies to simplify neighborhoods like her into easy data bites. To help tell the story of this foggy data, Ad Age contracted Jeremyville to illustrate the madness of collecting this data. On her three-week sojourn, Kate Kaye voluntarily had three separate companies track her movements and lived life as normal. Her typical three-week experience brought her from Jersey City, throughout Manhattan, from buying groceries to donating blood. Jeremyville had to capture this breadth of lived experience from one side of the Hudson to the other. The challenge of these data companies is to discern between different city dwelling citizens, so Jeremyville captured the confusion and energy of New York and New Jersey on the cover of Ad Age’s “The Data Issue.” Whether doing their laundry, shopping, or fishing in the river (which always yields alarming results), the movement of so many people is hard to track successfully purely because the volume of data is almost impossible to penetrate. Jeremyville’s aesthetic lends itself to movement and confusion, while keeping it playful and exciting. It’s a constant battle between data creators and data sleuths, one chasing the other who doesn’t realize they’re being chased. Volume and variety is what creates the challenge and Jeremyville was able to capture this perpetratorless chase through his energy and style.
  • 10.29.14   The Passion of Brian Doben

    Some artists work on passion projects to fill the time between commercial projects, using them as a font of inspiration. Where commercial projects are usually directed by the goals of a brand and have very specific parameters, a passion project allows an artist to explore what they care about, and find their own corner of expression. For Brian Doben, his "At Work" series has always operated as a passion project. It started off simply enough: to document people in their own space, doing their own work. It's a representation of how these people have chosen to spend their lives. But as Brian has continued his on going series, "At Work," it has blossomed into something bigger, and Elle Decor took note. For their latest issue, Elle Decor had Brian continue his "At Work" in "Fashion Forward," a piece for their Inspiration section. Doing what he does best, Brian entered the spaces of seven of New York's most consequential designers, the creative minds behind some of the most successful, or up and coming brands. Coming from the fashion world, this was the perfect pairing between photographer and assignment. "It was great to combine both worlds,” Brian says. “I really love the passion. I got to meet with the designers and see where they are in their life, at home or in their studios, and talk to them about their story." But "At Work" has changed Brian. It's allowed him to be a more generous artist, and that generosity appears in his frames. "Before 'At Work' I used to walk in with an armada, both in terms of crew and over thinking the scene,” says Brian. “The project is right in front of you, and the magic is two feet in front of you, and my job is to kind of sit back, see it, and then capture it. I walk into the space and I let them talk first. And I find when you do that and you listen, and you don’t interrupt there’s a trust that comes.” By staying quiet and listening, the subjects open up and allow themselves to be truly seen by Brian and his lens. Brian brought those lessons to another shoot with Meredith Viera for People Magazine, and even though the two of them only had an hour, they found a way to be incredibly productive. "She’s just so real and so grounded,” he says. “She’s just a really wonderful woman and has such a positive light about her. Being around people like that, and photographing them, it’s so inspiring, you just feel their positive energy.” Not every subject is able to open up for a photographer like Meredith Viera did for Brian. It all comes back to how his passion project has afforded him the lessons to more effectively do what he is interested in. Artists have their passions, and when fed well, they recombine into their commercial work, building and growing off of one another, creating the perfect path.
  • 10.27.14   Good Wives and Warriors Show You What Imagination Looks Like

    The human imagination is like a string of infinite length with infinite knots. It cannot be untangled, anymore than a person can be fully known and understood. The complexity that imagination represents is mysterious and enticing, but remains as shadowed as ever. But that doesn’t mean we can’t understand parts of it. The cover story for September’s New Scientist is an eye-opening piece on how the human imagination has affected and changed the course of human history, and examines the value in the pursuit of that which is unreal. Since the imagination cannot be known, and is as feral as a wild animal with every resource in creation, and out of it, creating a visualization representation of the imagination is an impossible challenge in its own right, but Good Wives and Warriors were on hand to put the cover, and supporting imagery, together for New Scientist. Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell, the constituent parts of Good Wives and Warriors, had the experience to draw from when it came time to decide what imagination looks like. As artists, they’ve lived in that energetic space. Speaking about a particularly creative time they said, “Our heads had the space to expand and we created work that when we look back on it, we have no idea what we were thinking, so I think we must have been in some dream-like state while creating.” The daydream has a tendency to run right out of the dreamer’s head upon completion and the return to the real world. For their cover, we see a suited man in consideration, and an overfilled world is spilling out of his head, too large to be contained. But as Becky and Louise will tell you, you don’t always have to rely on imagination. The real world has as much to offer as the interior world. “The real world is so strange and fascinating that we don’t really need to work purely from our imaginations! So, we collect as many inspiring images as possible when we approach making new work.” Starting with those images as source materials, they use their creativity as the glue that connects all those elements, becoming the visual ambassadors between ideas, completing original ideas off of naturally disparate pieces. As wild and untamable as the imagination is, there is a lot of shared experience when it comes to the daydream. The magazine wanted to hit these familiar notes to give a base from which to build familiarity for the viewers. “New Scientist was quite specific about the style and imagery they wanted to represent imagination,” Good Wives and Warriors explains. “There were specific references to children’s imagination so we had to include a number of clichés like dragons, mythical creatures and unicorns. We needed to represent imagination, not really use our own, so it needed to have conventional and recognizable links to the article.” As unique as all of our internal experiences are, Good Wives and Warriors represented something from each of our own personal worlds.
  • 10.28.14   Robert Maxwell Introduces Eddie Redmayne

    The Ice Bucket Challenge gripped the nation this Summer, inspiring thousands of participants to get involved with raising money and awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Before the disease was known by that name, British theoretical physicist and cosmologist was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease related to ALS. It was to be a terminal diagnosis, expected to claim his life within two years. He was 21. Today, he is 72, and although he is almost entirely paralyzed, continues to stay active in the scientific community.  The upcoming film, The Theory of Everything, looks to tell Stephen Hawking’s story through his time earning his PhD during and after his diagnosis, and the relationship with his first wife, Jane Wilde. Regardless of the emotional dexterity needed to play the role, the physical demands are extreme, and Eddie Redmayne was cast to portray Hawking’s entire physical and emotional journey for theatergoers, and Robert Maxwell was recruited to capture Eddie for the cover of Variety. For all the energy and style around The Theory of Everything being a faithful period piece, the image that Robert took of Eddie for Variety is a very contemporary representation of the young, virile actor. This is not a mistake. “I tend to keep things really simple… I don’t think a whole lot about the shoot before I shoot,” explains Robert. He deals with the person in the room, and doesn’t try to guild the lily. “I feel their personality and kind of try to take a cue from that.” Eddie’s other major release this year, Jupiter Rising, is an interplanetary SciFi epic full of zero gravity battles and futuristic weaponry. But The Theory of Everything is an intimate drama about the relatable struggles of life. That focused, intense energy is calibrated perfectly for Robert’s own temperament. “I’m a loud guy that takes quiet pictures,” explains Robert with a healthy laugh. Sophie Haig, another member of the B&A family was on hand to groom Eddie and add to his effortless look. Eddie Redmayne has been on international movie screens for the better part of a decade, but The Theory of Everything represents his first major lead role. In a way, we’re being introduced to him for the first time, and Robert’s image is the perfect introduction. It is a personal introduction, almost as if we’re mid conversation with the actor. It’s intensely open and available. Almost a moment stolen from an impossible history. How does Robert do it? “I don’t know how I do it, I just do it,” he explains. The photographer’s job is to capture and present moments that will never happen again. But Robert’s images give us the opportunity to see those moments, but also offer experiences we could never have ourselves. The Theory of Everything opens November 7th.
  • 10.24.14   Marc Hom Reveals The True Story to People Magazine

    Stories are all about relationships. The actor’s trade is to form relationships with people they don’t know, and dive into them on screen for the benefit of the viewer. It is acrobatics of the heart, and perhaps the most crucial work an actor does. When Billy Magnussen and MacKenzie Mauzy were gearing up to appear in the movie musical Into the Woods with Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp, they had to meet each other for the first time. Every relationship starts with the first meeting, we all know first impressions are key. And since MacKenzie was to be the damsel in distress Rapunzel, and Billy her prince, this relationship was going to be important. According to People Magazine, Billy’s first thought about MacKenzie was: "I was like, 'Oh, she's cute!'" MacKenzie was a little more coy, saying, "He's not so bad." MacKenzie had to find something to love pretty quickly to sell the relationship to the viewers. And she did. When Marc Hom caught up with the pair for the feature in People Magazine, they got intimate very quickly. In the musical, Rapunzel’s prince falls in love from a distance, so it stands to reason their relationship would start off the way it did, with Billy feeling an immediate attraction, and MacKenzie taking her time. Marc was sensitive to the dynamic and ensured it would appear in the images. The moments that Marc shot show a couple who are confident, but Billy presents a clear protective streak for MacKenzie. Whether it’s offering a coat, a steady arm, or a place to relax, Billy reflects his prince in their dynamic. MacKenzie is soft, feminine, but pulsing with energy, projecting self-assuredness and comfort. Marc has made a name for himself highlighting the inherent grace and power that comes naturally with being a woman. He has shown in campaigns that every woman is powerful, beautiful, and worthy of respect and admiration. But relationships are equal, and as powerful as femininity can be, masculinity can be just as graceful. Billy’s look is strong, but boyish, prototypical of a prince. There’s an elegance and openness, to him. An invitation. And Marc dialed it up for the shoot, positioning Billy in ways that he could be vulnerable as well as strong. As artists work together and create relationships for roles and performances, sometimes that work spreads into reality, creating a brilliant residue that lives on after the final cut. The filming for Into the Woods completed months ago, but the relationship that Billy and MacKenzie built lives on in their behavior, and in front of Marc Hom’s lens, to be appreciated for the beautiful story it creates.  
  • 10.23.14   Olaf Hajek Takes Commercial Work Personally

    Olaf Hajek is a painter by trade. He creates work and exhibits his fine art, as well as working on commercial campaigns with a more marketable angle. But for Olaf, there isn’t much distinction. He sees all his work as one body, with no lines drawn between the different spheres. “I don’t make any distinction anymore between personal art and commercial work. I can define them a little bit, but the consequence has to be that this is my style and there are varieties of everything possible,” he explains. “I really do love both worlds. I think both of them influence each other.” For his latest project with J F Schwarzlose, the German perfumery, he approached it as he would any piece of personal work, with the added benefit of having a brief. The perfumes themselves are old scents from a defunct German company that was creating their mixes for Berliners in the 1920s. The company found the old recipes and mixed them back together for this special edition release. They grabbed Olaf to create special art boxes for the packaging, all inspired by the scents’ original provenance. When lined up, the boxes create one image, something that Olaf and J F Schwarzlose were acutely aware of and used to their advantage. “We had the idea to create a little storyline so if you put all these fragrances together you have one image, which somehow leads you through the day,” says Olaf. “And each perfume has the name, which is the inspiration starting point.” The day that Olaf and J F Schwarzlose constructed is as wild as the scents they present. The story starts with a man on the first moves of the day, the scent named “1A33,” off the old license plate code for Berlin. This man meets an ethereal woman at the Brandenburg Gate, before immersing themselves in the experience of hypnosis, a huge fad in Berlin during the 20s. They disappear into the night, intoxicated and in ecstasy, experiencing the evening through the surreal. The man finally emerges from the intense experience like a fresh breath, almost as if he were waking up from a beautiful dream. For J F Schwarzlose, the inspiration was inherent in the project, but for his own work he looks elsewhere. “I love folk art, I love the simplicity,” Olaf explains. “I create a lot of art which has something to do with African themes, so I’m always inspired by the exotic themes of the world, which are put together into my own style. I collage the idea of the world to my own creations.” His work becomes a veritable safari of influence, walking the line between historical styles and dreamlike images, always coming back to the handmade product of his work.
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