He & Me Create Balance for Audi
When Audi called photography duo Tom Mennemann and Yona Heckl, also known as He & Me, the car company had a secret. They were sitting on their brand new S8 model and needed an amazing shoot to celebrate and unveil the vehicle to the world. But no one could see the car or the images before they were revealed. The shoot had to happen completely in secret, away from anyone’s eyes, so Tom and Yona met the car and the team at Audi’s private racetrack. One of the crown jewels of the Audi brand is their racing program, so He & Me teamed up with Pierre Kaffer, one of the car company’s drivers, to be their model.
The S8 represents a unique mixture of Audi’s performance sensibilities and extraordinary luxury, so they concepted a visual language that would combine these two things in a way that was captivating and even a little bit surreal. “We thought it would be a nice look to be a little bit more aggressive because it’s the luxury limousine of Audi but the S8 is the ‘speed luxury’ version of it, so we just thought it fit better in this kind of racing character,” explains Tom. “And because it’s a limousine and not an racing car, the styling concept was a nice suit with the helmet to show that mixture.” The resulting creates a new world that shows off this dichotomy that may feel unprecedented, fun, and incredibly attractive.
To make this shoot happen they were able to use Audi's racetrack totally alone which not only made the shots possible but also made the whole experience extra enjoyable. “We were the only ones on the racetrack and it felt like our course, so we could do whatever we wanted which was great. Pierre brought us in the car and while shooting we were doing 240k/hr (149mph) so that was really amazing,” says Tom. “We never felt unsecure. Once there was a rabbit on the racetrack and he needed to do a little turn which was quite a little bit freaky, but it was okay,” Tom says with a laugh. They were able to strike a balance between being true to Audi’s heritage while mixing a stylized version of Audi’s story. The S8 represents luxury and performance in one, offering a unique balance, the same balance that He & Me was able to bring into a new visual language for the car company.