Jonathan Mannion Gets Behind the Wheel with Gigi Hadid and BMW
Jonathan Mannion has shot more than three hundred album covers for artists from all over the music spectrum. He's shot for some of the biggest names and biggest personalities and there's little that he hasn't seen. So when BMW called for him to shoot a campaign with Gigi Hadid in the Mojave Desert, he didn't bristle for a moment. “I’m extremely war tested. You can’t really put me in a situation that I’m going to be like ‘Oh my god, what do I do?,’” he says with a laugh. “If you can shoot a picture at the highest level you can do it with anybody. It’s really joyful to create with a different energy and I get almost butterflies of excitement.” Jonathan was attracted to the challenge of it, so he jumped right in.
Jonathan’s experience made him a unique choice for a car campaign with a fashion element but it’s his history working with so many large personalities that afforded him the ability to create something for BMW that would encompass everything they were trying to do in the campaign. “As a character I bring a different sensibility than a typical fashion shooter,” explains Jonathan. “And I think it was just a perfect hybrid of the most beautiful environment in the Mojave Desert.” Jonathan engages his subjects on a personal level, understanding that whom he is shooting knows what they’re doing and it’s his connection with them that's going to show up on film. The photographer is a proxy for the audience and Jonathan takes that seriously.
The M2 cars that BMW provided for the shoot were their own rarity. At the time of shooting there were only six of them in the world, and each one was lined up for Jonathan to photograph. That was a total thrill for him, but nothing compared to shooting Gigi. In the last couple years she’s taken over, becoming one of the most sought after models in the world, and Jonathan totally saw why. “Gigi was… she was a dream. And I can see why she’s omnipresent in the marketplace right now, because she was a total pleasure and joy to work with, not to mention kinda cute,” Jonathan says, laughing. “She’s gorgeous.” Gigi is a unique talent in the marketplace, combining a fresh, funky attitude with indelible beauty. It was her personality that BMW wanted to highlight and Jonathan was the perfect choice to blend that with BMW's special cars to create something truly extraordinary.