• 9.21.18

    Yuko Shimizu Gives Face to SK-II's Regional Exclusives

    Japan is known the world over for cutting edge skincare, earning global fans for dozens of brands that offer their own varieties of scrubs and serums, masks and toners. All of those products find themselves wrapped up in trends that aren’t only based on what’s available but also what the communities are using. For SK-II, a Japanese brand that caters to consumers all over the world, those trends come and go, but they’re always aware of their customers. SK-II recently invited Yuko Shimizu to create a bevy of unique boxes for specific markets, and Yuko created a collection of different pieces that plays on the cultures, aesthetics, and habits of those different markets. 

    SK-II is based in Japan, but their products are distributed everywhere, especially in Asia. So, Yuko created six different illustrations that were affixed to packaging that made its way to Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, China, and Japan. She filled each image with cultural references specific to the exclusive release locations. The China image features a Chinese woman covered in hibiscus flowers in front of Shanghai’s skyline, while the Japanese image finds a woman weaving through bamboo in front of a sea referencing Hokusai’s famous block print under a red rising sun. Every image features Yuko’s signature sense of humor, her loyalty to detail, and astounding creativity.

    The process was far more expansive than what we get to see in the final compositions, and if you’re curious to see more head over to her blog for some added insight. 

    The boxes were made available exclusively in the markets described at the local airports and catered towards women who partake in the Art of Travel. Plus they were limited edition, so if don’t have a box already: you’ve probably already missed out.

  • 9.20.18

    Taylor Rainbolt Vibes with Migos and Finish Line

    It’s not every day that Migos opens a car wash, but in a recent campaign with Taylor Rainbolt for Finish Line, they did just that. Taylor met up with the hip hop trio to pop off on the whips, for the latest in the ongoing Shoes So Fresh campaign. Taylor captured a series of images that highlight Migos’ favorite products from Finish Line’s current selection. “We’re trying to create the vibe that it’s a party all the time, so it’s a lot of loud music, a lot of talking to talent and getting them excited and recreating almost an 80s party scene with the lighting and everything,” Taylor explains. “[Migos is] like actors in a sense where they just want the product to be amazing and do the take over and over again until they felt like it was right, so that was really great, it was a really great collaborative.”

    Riverdale actress Vanessa Morgan was also in attendance for when the party moved out to the pool. 

    You’ll notice a lot of the images are from different mediums, including digital and Polaroid, and that’s something that Taylor really enjoyed. “It was really cool because [Finish Line was] really adamant about me using film and stuff like that so I got to mix digital with film and play around with it,” Taylor says. “People like having tangible things and being able to process really fast. So, I’m getting what they are actually giving me. The mood is more authentic and we’re taking our time because I only have so many Polaroids in my camera.” With each moment being precious, a ton of care was brought into the creation of every image. The results are calibrated and carefully constructed in such a way that feels effortless. And when you’re partying with Migos and Finish Line that’s exactly what you want.

  • 9.18.18

    Ryan McAmis, The Economist, and the Face of the 21st Century

    The Digital Age has done more than merely change how we interact with one another socially, it’s also reshaped the entire economy. With these new relationships have come new jobs, and some of those jobs are super niche. Emoji Designers, playlist curators, international tutors, all these specialized jobs (and hundreds more) are only possible thanks to our online culture. And some of them are a little hard to explain. The Economist recently started a series on the 21st-Century jobs and asked Ryan McAmis to help bring them to life. Each article describing the stories behind these particular careers is preceded with a 3D mixed media collage from Ryan that offers a characterization of the worker and their unique career.

    Because Ryan uses a bevy of different materials, each creation is filled with different textures and colors, as well as surprising depth and emotion. Because of the sophisticated simplicity of the compositions, Ryan has to be careful about the choices he makes, and that affords him the opportunity to experiment a little bit. In the latest piece about the Emoji Designer, Ryan saw the chance to include a special light feature for the first time ever. He used a dollhouse light to give the designer’s phone a familiar glow. “I don’t know why, it just kind of pops into my head and it just works,” says Ryan. “And then after I photographed it, I tweaked it in Photoshop to make it look even better.”

    Part of the fun of these pieces is introducing whole new careers to an audience that’s generally of the traditional capitalism and commerce model. Ryan similarly doesn’t run into these unique careers frequently, so he’s finding it to be an educational experience himself. By approaching it this way, he’s become the ideal voice to introduce The Economist’s readers to this newer edge of the economy. “I’m terrible with technology so the one I’m doing today I had to do a lot of research on so I’m learning a lot,” explains Ryan. “I’m trying to explain it to people that don’t know either.” All of us, whether we’re creating brand new jobs for ourselves or watching them form from the outside, are better served by actively pursuing a greater understanding of the new economic landscape. Thanks to Ryan and The Economist we can learn a little more every day.

  • 9.17.18

    Shotopop Is Full of Surprises for Foot Locker and ASICS

    Sometimes sneakers are more than just sneakers. Foot Locker’s latest collection with ASICS, the Dojo Collection, tells a whole story about integrity, courage, and discipline – thanks to Shotopop. Before the shoes released, Shotopop directed and animated an anime series of five episodes with Luka Sabbat on his own samurai adventure. Ghosts, ramen, and a lot of akido converge in a campaign that extends beyond the animations. After all, the Bushito code is all encompassing, so why shouldn’t a sneaker campaign be, too?

    The Sun and The Snake is the name of the collection and the animations, but it also represents the two dojos of two classes of samurai that Sabbat’s character is torn between. The Snake is where he has been training while his shoes were stolen by the nefarious Rising Sun. Over the course of five episodes, Sabbat is tested. His skills, his courage, and his loyalty all come under fire and the question is how he will come out the other end.

    Creating five minutes of original animation is a massive feat, especially when creating a new world. Shotopop developed the characters and aesthetics before Sabbat was even cast, so while Shotopop had some images locked down, they tailed the characters to match the actors who would play them. (You can see the behind the scenes development and how these changes were implemented if you head over to their Instagram.)

    But the artistry didn’t stop there. ASICS even used art from Shotopop on the packaging and distribution of the sneakers.

    The series is a lot of fun (and plenty funny). We won’t spoil it, but you may find that ultimately everything is not what it seems.

  • 9.12.18

    Remain Calm with Kyle Bean and The Observer Magazine

    Calm is an elusive emotion. It seems like the world is set up to stress us out – and for good reason. When we’re stressed we act impulsively, and not always in our best interest. That can mean buying products we don’t need or indulging when we normally wouldn’t. That’s for most of us. But some of us have to act valiantly under pressure, under stress. For those people, they have to find a calm in any situation where they can work from a place of power. That’s the topic of this month’s cover story of The Observer Magazine, and the publication invited Kyle Bean to bring the concept to life in a single image. Of course, Kyle went above and beyond.

    Teaming up with London-based photographer Sara Morris, Kyle invested in an inventive concept that he was able to explore in a series of different executions. Remembering the old steady hand buzzer games where the player is meant to navigate a metal wand over a fixed pathway or risk a light and buzzer, Kyle created the same game but used the pathway as a way to communicate. In the first incarnation, Kyle spelled out “CALM” to be emblazoned across the front of the magazine. He kept it going by also engaging the light, and with those two images was able to create a GIF that shows the light blinking as if there were failure. A second version of the concept uses the metal path to illustrate an EKG’s reading of the human heart.

    Both versions of Kyle and Morris’ creation play on what it means to stay calm under pressure, even when the challenge is the calm. These moments are indescribably crucial: Sully Sullenberger landing US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River or South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster ordering evacuation ahead of a hurricane. These choices can often involve the lives of thousands and depend upon acting with a clear head. Finding calm under immense stress is a skill and a tool, and one that you never know you may need until everything is on the line.

    Does that stress you out?

  • 9.11.18

    Serial Cut Glows with Lyft

    Rideshare apps have changed how accessible travel is to the average rider. We no longer have to scour the streets for available cabs or the yellow pages for drivers. Instead, our next trip is at the tip of our fingers when we log into our phones. But once you hail a ride: how do you find the car that’s come to pick you up? Lyft has solved that with Lyft Amp, a window display in the driver’s car set to alert the passenger they’re picking up. The brand most recently contracted Serial Cut to help them promote the new service and the results are glowing.

    Most riders have to read practically every license plate that drives by them when searching for their ride, but the Lyft Amp emits a colored light to make it easier. Serial Cut jumped on that feature and showed it off without even picturing the product in the trio of ads. Instead, Serial Cut created a series of three dimensional CGI cityscapes, in locations familiar to rider shares. There’s one at the airport, another in a skyscraper downtown district, and a third in a more residential neighborhood. Each cityscape shows a glow coming from the street showing a Lyft driver coming to pick up their passenger.

    Each ad is angled to the massive fleet that works with Lyft to turn their cars into moneymakers, creating a sense of industry and self-reliance, while also tugging on the pride that comes with personal responsibility. By hiding the car in each composition, Serial Cut allows the audience to imagine themselves as the driver, picking up their new passenger, creating a relationship with a customer and engaging self-reliant industry – all while lighting up someone’s trip to their next adventure.

  • 9.10.18

    Marco Grob Shows Two Sides to Jonah Hill for New York Magazine

    Jonah Hills’ big break came more than 20 years ago when he starred in Superbad alongside Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. He continued to prove himself a formidable actor over the coming years, but his original pursuit was always to be on the other side of the camera. This year we’ll finally see Jonah Hill in the form he always imagined for himself, the role of Director. This week’s New Yorker features a cover story about the writer turned actor turned director with photographs by Marco Grob. Marco offers two portraits of Hill, the cover is a complex black and white while the inner photographs is a much more straightforward color image.

    On the cover, Marco engaged every bit of light mastery, employing a collection of sources that cover together on Hill’s face, freezing him into a dynamic representation that is scarcely offered in traditional portraiture. The composition is exacting with an entire light meant just to highlight his left eye, creating a look that is striking. It pulls Hill out of the expected trope of a youthful funny man into the aesthetics typically reserved for Orson Wells and Alfred Hitchcock. A duotone blur at the edges of red and blue add to the otherworldly quality of the image. 

    On the inside of the magazine, Marco offers a more convention photograph of Hill, one dressed in the clothes he wore to the companion interview, once that invites us to the table to sit with him and hear him and his story. It’s not the same story that we’ll see in Hill’s upcoming mid90s, nor is it the story whose lines he’s spoken for the last two decades. It’s his story, one that he’s still writing but we’re welcome to hear.

  • 9.7.18

    The Selby Shows a New Side of Polo Ralph Lauren

    When brands come to photographers it’s for one of two reasons: either the photographer fits exactly with the brand’s established aesthetic or they want to explore something new. The Selby’s latest campaign with Polo Ralph Lauren is in the latter camp, an opportunity to play in the middle ground between the brand’s heritage and Todd’s techniques. And the results are a lot of fun. “Polo Ralph Lauren has such a strong singular image around what they do and then I have a strong point of view about what I do, and they have such a clean aesthetic and I’m a maximalist, but we connect on the positivity,” Todd explains. “Everything I do is an endorsement of the people that I photograph. I find these amazing people and share them with the world. And I think that Polo really celebrates people and personal style, and I think that celebration of American style was the way that we connected.”

    The shoot was an exposition of families preparing to go back to school. We think of Polo Ralph Lauren as an exclusive fashion brand, but this was a great opportunity to present a more accessible identity. “It's nice that Polo Ralph Lauren is a fashion brand but it’s also embracing people,” says Todd. “They’re not preaching exclusivity or exclusion, so it’s very inclusive which is very American and also very positive. I really appreciate that.” Todd’s work has always been an expression of authenticity and an invitation into the lives of his subjects, and they were able to do that while still showing off the best from what Polo Ralph Lauren has to offer.

    “It was really cool,” Todd says. “They were really open with me doing my thing. Once we found these great families and got them in the clothes, it was very them but it’s also very me. So, it was kind of one of those ideal situations.”

  • 9.6.18

    Andrew Rae Brings Our Pollutant Monster to Life for The New York Times

    In the deluge of news that we all face in this era, some critical stories go underreported, not least of which is our global pollution crisis. We hear a lot about greenhouse gasses, but plastic landfills are overwhelming our ecosystems and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now twice the size of Texas (or about three times the size of France). Some scientists and engineers are on the case, but little will be done until the population calls for it, and the population must be educated. The New York Times is taking that responsibility personally, and they made plastic pollution the cover story for the latest issue of The New York Times For Kids with a massive illustration by Andrew Rae.

    “Attack of the Plastic!” the cover proclaims, under Andrew’s threatening, four-armed, wide-mouthed monster made from a pile of plastic waste. The polymer kaiju is threatening enough that it’s devouring the E off the iconic title of the paper, reminding us that no one is safe or out of reach. But Andrew’s contribution didn’t end at the cover. The rest of the insert is filled with kid-friendly characters made from assorted plastic detritus. A toy frog head walks on a series of computer cables, while a rubber duck is chauffeured on a chariot made from a plastic pail and toothbrushes. A pill bottle is lashed to a ketchup bottle by a USB cord, forming a Frankenstein-esque body under a smiling (but spookily apathetic) bear’s head.

    Andrew’s illustration is deeply detailed, filled with shopping bags and instruments, bottles for shampoo, and conditional, and creams. There are ice trays and lawn chairs, dolls and cassette tapes, barrels and sleds. And behind every piece of a trash is a human hand that put it there. That’s the final message from this issue of The New York Times For Kids: this is our problem that can only be solved by our solutions. Andrew shows us the Goliath, it’s now up to us to take the mantle of David and defeat the monster of our own making.

  • 9.6.18

    Victor Henao's Light Touch Underscores Elegance for Harper's Bazaar

    Your wedding is no time to play it safe and this summer Harper’s Bazaar proved the point highlighting 14 surprising wedding dresses choices they picked for beach weddings. The story, photographed in Turks and Caicos, features makeup by Victor Henao whose balance of light and texture make the models look as natural as they do elegant. His masterful eye proves you don’t have to get gussied up to match the high fashion choices on the momentous day.

    With photography by Christopher Ferguson and styling by Carrie Goldberg, Victor and the creative team were able to create captivating images that feel luxurious without being distracted by fashion. Each image is a holistic composition where every element suffuses into a balanced aesthetic. Victor's light touch expresses energy and grace in a way that feels supremely authentic. 

  • 9.5.18

    A Dose of Magical Realism from Tom Corbett and Alexa

    With Labor Day in the rear-view mirror, the summer is unofficially over. But for the purists, there are still a few weeks left and Tom Corbett is taking advantage of the extra time. After the runaway success of his cover story with Sofia Boutella on The New York Post’s fashion imprint Alexa, the publication decided to run another summer issue, this time focusing on couture. They brought Tom back for the cover story again.

    Tom and his team headed into Long Island to Old Westbury Gardens where they used the expansive, well-manicured but often wild, grounds of the historic location as a contrasting backdrop to the luxurious fashion. That tension made for a project with a singular tone. “It is just this magical, ethereal place and we were trying to conjure that moment, in a way,” Tom explains. “It just happened because the clothes and the gardens were so beautiful.”

    The entire story can be summed up in the cover image in a garden feature referred to as “The Temple of Love” that looks out over a pond from the cover of aged trees. “It was magical. We got there at just the right time, we scouted it and we had some inkling that the light might do that but it was beautifully backlit and to me, that was the perfect moment, we got very lucky,” Tom explains. “It draws it into this magical realism moment which is very interesting. It’s something that is realistic but magical at the same time.” The value of a season is how much we are able to submerge ourselves in the changing natural beauty around us, and Tom was able to harness the soul of the summer in a fashionable way that inspires the imagination.

  • 8.27.18

    We Are The Rhoads Open Abercrombie & Fitch's Icons to an Inclusive Future

    Abercrombie & Fitch was unstoppable in the 90s and 00s, but as the world changed so too did the culture around the brand. What worked so powerfully for them a decade ago was no longer the best way to court a developing community, so over the last number of years the brand has shifted its mission. For the last few seasons, Abercrombie has partnered with We Are The Rhoads to help inject a kind of accessible authenticity to the brand, but this time Chris and Sarah Rhoads wanted to bring back hints of the iconic imagery that defined Abercrombie in their last era. “One thing we really wanted to come to with this campaign was to really push the client to honor some of their heritage and the great iconic imagery they’ve done in the past but to do it in our way,” Sarah says.

    “It makes it a challenge for us to figure out the best way to show them that the iconic Bruce Weber images from their past are amazing, and they didn’t have to be afraid of that,” Chris explains. The Rhoads had already created two different campaigns for the brand before and were able to use the trust capital they built with Abercrombie to lead the brand where they wanted to go.

    “We were actually able to push them out of their comfort zone and give them the confidence to let us do it our way,” says Sarah. They rolled up her sleeves up, figuratively, and at one point even rolled up the sleeves of the models. Even though each of the models had been carefully styled by the brand’s team, Sarah wanted to do her own remix on it, subverting expectations and opening the whole shoot into a new avenue. The Rhoads asked for the freedom to play outside the confines of the pre-styled looks set forth by the brand, to shoot something for themselves, and the client loved the imagery that came out of that so much that they used many of them in the campaign. “We just got to freeform and it was really, really nice,” Sarah explains. “There were some moments that felt really good, and I was proud of the images that we were able to make.”

    Ultimately the Rhoads took those recognizable images from the last decade of Abercrombie and reformed them in the image of Abercrombie’s new direction that’s accepting all customers and accessible. “I think what Chris and I do is so much about that: creating something that feels aspirational but very much feels attainable and you can reach across the aisle and touch and feel it and you want to step into it,” Sarah says. This campaign has the same soul as those classic images from the past, but in a way that feels inviting. It’s the perfect blend for Abercrombie: an honoring of their past with an invitation to be a part of their future.

  • 8.10.18

    Andrew Fitzimons Styles Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian for Calvin Klein

    The Kardashians and Jenners are back with Calvin Klein in the latest campaign for #MYCALVINS. All the sisters are there, but it’s Kourtney Kardashian and Kylie Jenner whose hair was styled by Andrew Fitzsimons. The photographs, shot by Willy Vanderperre, are presented in black and white, and present the sisters as a family, inviting us to join in. “Join our family,” is the slogan, and who better than Andrew to create covetable hairstyles that feel as glam as they do accessible. 

    Andrew’s consistent work with the Kardashian and Jenner clans has raised him to prominence as a stylist, but don’t let that scare you off. His social media is full of tips and tricks so that you can achieve the very same styles in your daily life. Take a look through this new, beautiful campaign with Calvin Klein and then head over to Andrew’s Instagram and learn how you can bring the same taste into your style.

  • 7.26.18

    Kyle Bean Mixes It Up for Google

    As business becomes ever more global, it’s imperative that professional peers be able to communicate and collaborate as effectively as possible. Google’s fix for this challenge is Hangouts Meet, an extension of their Hangout service that allows collaborators to come together in the most effortless way possible in a professional setting. Google just relaunched the service and brought collaboration into the DNA by inviting artists like Kyle Bean to create images that act as the backdrop for their user interface (UI). “They’re seeing it as a collaboration with a bunch of artists who have distinct styles,” says Kyle. “It’s really cool and they were really open. Basically, they wanted us to create some nice visuals that respond to their themes. They loved the initial sketches that I produced for them so the process was very straightforward, and it was one of those situations where I wish every job was as smooth sailing as that one.”

    Kyle employed his signature papercraft and photographic collaboration with longtime creative partner Aaron Tilley to create a series of three duos of images that are inspired by Hangouts Meet functionality. Kyle’s images include a bunch of cogs fitting together to create a machine, a series of different colored balls coming together to form a multicolored group, and a trio of paint buckets pouring into one robust mix. All of the images are expressive and engaging, but the paint buckets raise a bunch of questions for us, not least of which is: How? “That was responding to an idea about this coming together of people almost like the idea of a melting pot, so I liked the idea of using paint and showing that mixing, so we actually shot paint,” Kyle explains. He set up each paint bucket individually and photographed them separately.“Essentially that image is made up of four images, but all captured in camera, there’s nothing added in post or anything,” he says. What we see in the final composition is each of those captures brought together, but nothing was edited to change how it looked on the day.

    Kyle prefers to only work that way, doing his best to create a set up that’s as close as possible to what the final image requires. There are very good reasons for this: “You’re capturing what you’re seeing, it just means that you have more control. If I was going to try to pour all of them at the same time, inevitably I’d end up with a mess on set,” Kyle says. “Plus it’s a little bit of magic.” Abd we all could use a little bit of magic.

  • 7.25.18

    Tom Corbett Brings the Hamptons to the Next Level

    Every summer New Yorkers flock to the Hamptons to spend the season in style. It’s more than just a destination on Long Island, it’s a lifestyle, and the New York Post’s fashion imprint, Alexa, went right along with the party. They invited Tom Corbett into the fun to shoot the cover story for their Hamptons Issue, a story they created with actress Sofia Boutella. She used to be a dancer, most notably in a handful of Madonna’s music videos (in addition to a blistering amount of other work), which ended up making the shoot with Tom even more successful. “She’s a very interesting actress… She was amazing,” Tom says. “Her understanding of her body and how it relates to clothes, and the scenery, and her understanding of photography was amazing. It really was. She made it effortless.” Because of her command of shape and understanding of composition, Tom was able to work with her as a collaborative equal and create holistic images that work on every level.

    Sofia was the star of the story, but the setting was just as important. Tom used each environment to elevate the images. The Hamptons are known for the gigantic houses and refreshing pools, but Tom kicked it up a notch to show us more than we normally get to see. It’s not that we’re just getting a different angle of landscaping: he’s presenting it all with a new point of view. “I was trying to use the house in an interesting way rather than just sitting in the living room,” Tom says. “We were using interesting elements, graphic elements, architectural elements. Modern houses are such a pleasure to work in.” This is not the Hamptons as you’re used to seeing them, this is the next level.

  • 7.24.18

    A Window into Andrew Zuckerman​'s Creative Mind

    Andrew Zuckerman recently sat down with Graphis for an incredibly in-depth interview about his inspiration, process, and the creative future (he doesn’t worry about the future). If you want a window to the inner workings of the artistic mind, this interview has it all.

    Best known for his incredibly vivid and detailed imagery of animals, Andrew describes how he’s able to make images like this happen: “I think your work is an extension of your own spirit, and if you naturally connect with the world around you and are curious and have a desire to meet others on an emotional common ground, that’s going to come through,” Andrew tells Graphis. He doesn’t draw a distinction between photographing animal subjects and human subjects, everyone is unpredictable, so he approaches each project with creative openness, shirking expectations. Instead of planning for a series of potential outcomes, he stays in the moment, remaining agile for whatever appears on the day.

    Andrew’s process is about being an observer of the world and keeping his eyes on what’s in front of him. If you stay aware, art will find you. “Inspiration is absolutely everywhere,” he says. “I don’t seek it. I think if you’re living in the world and you’re curious, you’ll find inspiration in unexpected places.” He finds incredible details in everything that he photographs, and then isolates them so that we are drawn in to see exactly what he sees. As Bjarke Ingels explains in his forward to the Graphis interview, Andrew’s work can inspire us all to look closer.

    “Andrew Zuckerman is a present-day Renaissance person,” Ingels says. “I had truly never seen an elephant until I saw it on Andrew’s wall (and now mine). Just as his work happens at the intersection between art and technology, his home and studio are like curated encounters with birds’ nests, space gloves, from different ages all fusing together in an obvious yet unpredictable coherence… I always leave excited about the world and what’s in it.”

    Ultimately every artist is creating a career that will span far into the future. It’s an important consideration whenever an artist is making work, but Andrew doesn’t want to be weighed down by the future. He can’t let that be a magnet that pulls him off balance. “I find that thinking about the future makes me really unproductive, so I try to stay in the moment,” Andrew explains. After all, photography is a medium that is about capturing moments as they happen, and the only way to capture them is to experience them in real time.

  • 7.20.18

    Kyle Bean's Delicious TV Spot for Land O'Lakes

    Do you ever wonder what it takes for food to get to your table? Even something as seemingly humdrum as butter has an entire industry behind it before its a part of your dinner. Land O’Lakes invited Kyle Bean, through Hornet, to help them bring that process to life, so Kyle created an animated TV spot that explores the relationship between the farm and pat of butter on your plate using his unique aesthetic and brand of animation. “My approach to animation, as in a lot of my work, is there’s always a physicality to it and I like to keep things as tactile and in camera and as real as possible,” says Kyle. “That’s my slightly stubborn approach to things. Where possible: keep it real and make it physically, that’s my mantra. And luckily for me, it was an approach which the client was really into.”

    Even though Kyle and his team started with a slightly different path in mind, they were provided enough time from Land O’Lakes that he was able to develop and optimize the concept and create a beautiful stop-frame animation made entirely in camera. “We were able to really meticulously plan it and get a really great team,” Kyle explains. “It evolved naturally through conversation with the agency and with the client to become something a little bit more immersive, more detailed, and more textural. Initially, we were thinking it would just be a simple paper craft kind of scene and then it ended up evolving to something where this entire real table top in a set that becomes a very textural miniature farmland.” That’s right: everything you see in the spot was created in real life, the trickery is everything that happened in the moments between the frames. 

    Stop-frame animation can get complicated. There are hundreds of elements to prepare and balance, but the challenges are never quite what you’d expect. “In some ways, the animation shots that seem quite complex were the easiest ones,” Kyle explains. “Obviously, I look at it differently from everyone else because I can see the shots that were really tricky to get right versus the shots that weren’t. And generally speaking, if I were looking at it purely as an outsider, I can tell that the shots that work best are the ones that were the easiest ones.” When all is said and done, everything flows flawlessly and Kyle’s magic is that it all looks easy because it’s all seamless.

    If you're interested in understanding the process better, don't miss the Making Of video at the bottom of this post!

  • 7.19.18

    Thayer Allyson Gowdy Soaks Up Summer with Vera Bradley

    Your bag says a lot about you. It’s how you bring your life with you, carrying all the accoutrements to live effectively. Vera Bradley makes some of the most expressive accessories in the industry, directed towards a specific consumer, requiring the market to speak to their unique clientele. The brand recently decided to take a different tack in their campaigns and recently asked Thayer Allyson Gowdy to help speak directly to their customer base. “In their previous campaigns they were doing very conceptual work, beautiful fashion conceptual work, and then they brought me on to do slice of life and really capture the spirit of Vera Bradley,” explains Thayer. “For them it was really like capturing the essence of Vera Bradley in the summer.”

    Thayer travelled to Indiana for the shoot, the home base of the brand, and soaked up what it means to celebrate the summer in that lifestyle. She and her team, including all the models, set up some great experiences and then let everything unravel naturally to capture the most authentic imagery possible. “It was very personal to the brand,” Thayer says. “In Indiana it’s all about lakes, all about lakes and we went to the little town, some little downtown area, the movie theater, the little local ice cream parlor, and we really tried to get a day in the life of a group of friends going to the lake. And it was a blast.” They spent all day just having a wonderful time, using the Vera Bradley products in the most genuine ways possible.

    This newer direction for Very Bradley was the perfect convergence of style for Thayer who loves to work in this way. Whenever she’s in control of a project, this is exactly the way she approaches it. “It’s really nice as a photographer when you get asked to do campaigns that are what you love to do and you’re good at,” says Thayer. “That doesn’t always happen, but this was literally everything I love to do… So it was definitely like a dreamy job to get to do.” By setting Thayer free to create the best imagery possible, the collaboration came to completion and they were able to create a campaign that elicited incredibly positive feedback.

  • 7.16.18

    Steven Lippman Jumps In with Showtime's 'The Affair'

    Sometimes the greatest damage we do to each other is damage of the heart. Showtime’s explosive series, ‘The Affair,’ explores the myriad ways we destroy each other in the confusing space between love and infatuation. Since the very first season of the show, Steven Lippman was brought on with the team to create their key art and this fourth season is no exception.

    Steven has photographed surf culture since he was a professional surfer himself, bringing the camera into the waves along with his board. Not distracted by the gravity of the water, Steven is able to capture the dynamism, drama, and stories that unfold in the crashing of every wave and on the stillness of every nautical mile. From the beginning of ‘The Affair’s’ tenure on television, Steven has used his expertise with water photography to create unique images that not only reflect the west coast setting of the show, but also the chaotic nature of the ocean and how the characters are often tossed in the currents of their personal lives to great effect. Sometimes he creates images that make it seem the characters are drowning – they often are drowning emotionally – sometimes they’re covered in anonymity provided by the opacity of the sea.

    Steven has followed the stories of these couples and their overturned lives, creating imagery that matches them, year after year. As they change and develop, while their relationships tumble and build, each moment is distilled and represented in what Steven does, giving us the slightest peek at what the audience should expect to experience with each new season. He manipulates the stories differently each season and it’s always an apt metaphor.

    There’s only one way to get the whole story but in his contribution, Steven gives us an intoxicating taste.

  • 7.13.18

    We Are The Rhoads Divulge the Secret of Celebrity

    As a culture, Americans share a reverence for celebrity. We see these cultural leaders as separate from ourselves, but photographer duo, We Are The Rhoads, don’t have the luxury of keeping that distance. The job of the photographer requires that Chris and Sarah Rhoads come in constant contact with these figures, and demands they always find ways to connect with them. Sarah and Chris have learned a lot about how we treat celebrity and how to break through the wall that separates “us” from “them.” “A lot of times people have a tendency of treating celebrities not as humans,” says Chris. “What we find is just how normal and sweet most of them are.”

    Just in the past few months, The Rhoads have photographed figures like Pierce Brosnan, Mila Kunis, Jake Johnson, and Hannah John Kamen for editorial shoots and ad campaigns, but even as each project has different parameters and needs, the center of the work is always the same: find an honest moment with the subject.

    Photographing the range of celebrities they do, The Rhoads created a simple strategy for this work. It has nothing to do with ego. It has nothing to do with performance. Instead, it’s about being human. Most celebrities have incredibly demanding schedules which means they may not have a lot of time to offer to Chris and Sarah, but even if they only have a few minutes The Rhoads spend as much of it as possible getting to know the person they’re photographing to close the distance between subject and shooter. That time is crucial. “The time that we’re developing a rapport with them outside of the time that they’re in front of the camera is actually more valuable to us than I think the time when they’re in front of the camera,” Sarah explains. “If we have done our job - whether it’s two minutes or two hours that we get to talk with somebody on the human level - then we’ll get amazing results in front of the camera even if we only have a few minutes. It’s all about being humans together.” Every moment they spend connecting with their subject blooms into greater results.

    Even if you’re not a photographer, there’s a lesson to take from what Sarah and Chris have learned: we’re all humans having a human experience. “At the end of the day, we’re all just people trying to do our best and dig as deep as we can to try to produce something that we can be proud of. Meeting people on the human level always elicits the best outcome in every aspect of life, not just taking photographs,” Sarah says.

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