Brian Doben and UPS Find Essential Common Ground
We’ve known since he began that Brian Doben’s 'At Work' series would be an inspiring project for anyone who would take a look. The series grabbed UPS’ attention and used it as inspiration for their latest campaign. “UPS came to me because of the At Work project and how I capture the authenticity of the moment and the subject in that series,” explains Brian. “They essentially wanted to create images that felt as tangible and as honest as possible because it’s really what the UPS brand is. UPS believes in small business whole-heartedly and will work with them to develop a strategy to grow. I never knew any of this!” It’s a little known fact that when Amazon was still in its infancy, UPS took the gamble of partnering with them after Amazon had been turned down by other carriers. Obviously the relationship proved very successful, thanks to the opportunities UPS was able to offer.
That passion for the underdog and understanding how entrepreneurs and passionate business owners do their work every day is a bold line through the campaign. It brings us into the working lives of these people who are, in all essence, the root of how these companies work. When a business is only a few characters, their work is so much more about the people because they make up how the business runs and what the business is. UPS has made themselves about connecting people and creating systems that allow those connections to interact most seamlessly. “What I tried to do was create images that really told the story of the person and their business,” says Brian. “My concept for At Work is about embracing and celebrating the person behind the work. I truly feel like UPS has that same feeling of wanting to help and appreciate small businesses and wants them to grow and thrive.” Making each of these characters unique and personable is a part of the challenge of photographing real people who aren't models. While Brian draws out their personalities, B&A stylist Karen Schijman helps them look natural and composed at the same time.
Each of the images offers a glimpse into the daily operations of real businesses that partner with UPS, but perhaps none are as affecting as the image of the baby in the hospital. This ad is particularly meaningful for Brian who accessed his own familial understanding guaranteeing a successful composition. “Creating that image was quite powerful for me because I, as a father, know what it’s like to feel helpless and the touch of my child is incredibly powerful,” Brian says. “What it came down to was my own feeling of when you touch your child you’re willing to walk through fire. You will do anything for your child.” Brian already takes all of these photographs so personally, but the challenge here was ever deeper and it paid off.
For Brian, it’s a dream come true to have his passions taken on by brands and Art Directors like Melissa Hoke, who want to tell stories the same way that he wants to tell them. “I’m just so honored and grateful for these opportunities that embrace the authentic image,” says Brian. “It’s so moving to me that we’re going to that place of honest imagery.”
The Power of Collective Individuality with Karen Schijman
It’s a sincere challenge with any group of artists to make sure that every voice is heard. Each member of a creative collective is crucial to maintain artistic integrity, and to guarantee that the group reaches the potential built within it. For a musical group this is ever more important, so that every instrument, chord, and note are struck to create the final harmony. Harmonies come from different notes playing fully, so each member must be unique and play full out.
When Stylist Karen Schijman was faced with styling The Mowgli’s for their latest album Through the Dark she had to balance the distinct styles of seven different artists, while creating a cohesive look. “Working with a band of seven people is not an easy task but they all have such great personalities and talent, they can make the clothes their own,” Karen explains. It’s important to her that they adopt these styles all their own, making the fits look like a natural extension of their own styles. As Karen explains, it’s all about “maintaining a balance of making everyone happy and letting them all still have their individual personalities shine through.” When certain aesthetics require a limited color palate, Karen is able to work with shape, texture, and accessories; it’s all about creating cohesion out of individuality. And for Karen, that’s par for the course.
The Mowgli’s are currently on tour down the East Coast, and will continue their tour through the US (with a few stops in Canada) through May 31.
Karen Schijman Helps Morgan Kibby Find Herself
If you’ve got a spine that likes to keep it moving, you’re already familiar with M83, the French electro pop group that delivered hits any self respecting mortal wouldn’t be able to help themselves from grooving out to. Perhaps their most famous song of late memory is Midnight City, a track cowritten by Morgan Kibby who has since forged off on her own. White Sea, as she is known when she slips into her richly colored gowns, just released a debut album whose photographs were styled by Karen Schijman.
Like a bolt from the core, Morgan Kibby bears forth her music as a revelation, a bold departure from her time behind a keyboard. That was a part of the challenge for Karen. “For the tour [with M83]… the looks I selected for her were more flowing and had movement to them,” Karen says about Morgan, pre-transformation. “When we started thinking about her own project, White Sea, she is the front woman and she wanted to create a persona.”
For Morgan, working with Karen was more than just picking the right dresses. “I remember stepping on stage in New York in my first K. Schijman creation and I was transformed,” Morgan recalls. “I owned my performance in a new and staggeringly more confident way… I finally understood the role and creative genius of the incredible designers, artists and stylists so many gifted female musicians surround themselves with."
The work on White Sea’s album, In Cold Blood, is dark, moody, and severe. Karen says, “we went in a David Lynch, Mulholland Drive feel, more dramatic and film noir with a strong female persona.”
Where M83’s aesthetic was about dream-like alternate realities, and nostalgia driven playdates, White Sea hooks you with contrast and shadows. It’s a real departure for Morgan, shepherded by Karen. But this new Morgan isn’t something that was created in a vacuum, it’s an expression of who Morgan was all along. Karen explains, “It is always a challenge to create a look without looking like a character that the artist is hiding behind or that have been styled like.” Now that Morgan has come out from behind the keyboard we get to really get a good look.
Karen Schijman Styles the Timberland Campaign
Karen Schijman styles the latest campaign for the Timberland woman's collection. The company is known for their rugged boots and gear. The campaign focuses on the strength and stylishness of the brand's footwear and outerwear. Three models are styled in Timberland trekking through the brand's typical environment-the great outdoors. The campaign was shot on location on the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
Schijman has collaborated with Timberland for the past four seasons. For the Fall/Winter campaign she wanted to stay consistent with her previous work for the brand. Schijman used different layers of textures, "with splashes of color to show flare and individualism and to give the surroundings a feeling of warmth." She says the crew she has worked with for several years is like family and that they always end up having fun on the shoots, even in inclement weather.
The campaign is out now in London and on display at their Regent Street store and in Oxford Circus.
See more of Karen Schijman's styling work here.
Production: Artifex Productions
Stylist: Karen Schijman
Photographer: Jay Clark >
Abbey Drucker and Karen Schijman Celebrate the Holidays with Stila Cosmetics
Stila cosmetics celebrates the holidays with a new color wheel eye shadow palette and lip glaze collection. Abbey Drucker and Karen Schijman collaborate with Seesaw to help Stila showcase their signature looks with an advertising campaign in W magazine. Can't get enough of Stila? Download the special app that demonstrates all of the various beauty options with Stila products.
The full-page Stila ad:
Behind the scenes:
Client: Stila Cosmetics
Campaign: Holiday 2011
Creative Director: Randy Herbertson
Stylist: Karen Schijman
Model: Amanda Ganz at NYM2
Photography: Abbey Drucker>