Justin Hollar and Mackenzie Foy Break Out
Mackenzie Foy is one of the youngest stars to break out this year. She was still 13 when she started filming Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and has since been thrust into a world that requires some grit, and pointy elbows. But she’s doing so with aplomb. Her natural grace and manners are impossible to miss, especially in the pages of W as shot by Justin Hollar. “She was just quiet and well mannered,” Justin explains. “I was a little surprised how quiet she was just because you always assume actors to be these big personalities, but it meant I had to shoot fewer throw away frames in the beginning to get her to relax.” With the intimate, slower energy Justin and Mackenzie were able to connect more quickly. That’s the key to capturing images as successful as Justin’s. In fact, that energy is something that he strives for. “I'm very easy going on set,” he says. “I always try to make whomever I'm photographing feel at ease because it's when they start to feel comfortable that I'm able to take the quiet pictures I want to take.” This approach allows the performances to fall away, and brings forward the internal life to be captured in frame.
Justin extended that effort into the way he interacted with the young star, collaborating with her in a waythat went beyond the call of duty. “I did show her the images as we were shooting, which I don't normally do, but I figured a girl her age doesn't get to see herself like that too often and knew she'd be stoked.” By getting Mackenzie on his side like that, she opened up, and it turned the shoot into a joint effort. They were both working towards the same goal.
For a lot of photographers, W Magazine is something of a benchmark. Having a community or a company put real value behind your work is coveted and rare for any artist. At a lot of publications, photographs are a tool to show off products for purchase, or to get attention. Not so for W. “They're one of the few magazines that has stayed consistently good and still puts photography as a primary focus, and values it,” Justin explains.
Both of the dresses that Mackenzie has on are Valentino, and the looks are valued at over $10k each. They are textbook high fashion and for Justin it's another part of the job. He meets the fashion halfway saying, “The fashion and photo gear on set have similar values.” The composition of the photographs are a culmination of value both in front and behind the camera, whether it’s materials or the people involved.