Alex Brannian Renovates Our World
Beauty is its own world. So much in our world is beautiful on its own, but sometimes the easiest way to capture what pulls our hearts is to take something from our experience and amplify it, creating something that looks entirely new. In Alex Brannian’s latest shoot for Lela Rose, the stylist combined elements from all over to create something entirely new, and richly beautiful.
Employing natural elements like flowers and branches, along with human elements (like newspaper and antique furniture), plus some digitally manipulated photographs to enlarge photos of flowers and leaves, Alex stitched together a whole environment that is at once both recognizable and amplified. It’s almost a renovation of what we recognize, to suspend our disbelief and create a space that is familiar and exceptional.
Fast Company Is Delicious with Herring & Herring
It was recently Food Week over at Fast Company, and it was a feast. The magazine spent the week looking at food trends, restaurant culture, and profiling innovators, running stories that examined the world of food from every angle. Photography duo Herring & Herring was on board to create provocative imagery of some of the food world’s most interesting and exciting figures including chef David Chang for a featured profile, and food innovators Cory Carmen and Bryant Terry, as a part of “9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food.” Chefs and photographers have a lot in common, both creating artistry with close ties to science and technology, so they’re well positioned to help each other out and communicate for success.
“The main thing while we were working was they were very open to us putting them into positions, whatever positions look good,” says Dimitri Scheblanov, half of Herring & Herring with Jesper Carlsen. “With any subject you have to make them comfortable with you and prove that you’re not stealing their image but working with them, together, to create a great photo.” None of these taste creators are professional image-makers, they’re focused on a totally different art form. There’s no reason they should be fully versed in front of the camera. In fact, they’re used to being on a different kind of front line. Whether Terry or Chang are working on new recipes in a hidden kitchen, or Carman is trekking through muddy fields to look after her cows, they’re not necessarily used to being seen. Herring & Herring made sure they all felt comfortable, because with that comfort comes great images. Not to mention awesome colors, like those found in Alex Brannian’s set and prop styling in the shoot with Chang.
To capture Cory Carman they traveled to Oregon, to Carman Ranch. They spent the day with her and her husband, learning all about the farm and looking for the right spot to photograph her portrait. The last shot of the day was inside a herd of baby cows. “It was just crazy because there’s a giant herd of them and we’re scared of them because they're big. But they’re babies, so they’re terrified of us and very curious. They basically surrounded our car and they were all staring at us,” Dimitri says. “We just dropped the seamless there and they were so curious that they walked up to it. And then Cory slowly walked in and we shot it from a long distance away from the car.” Curiosity got the better of one calf who started to get very friendly with the purple paper background. “That was the best thing. She started licking it and chewing it,” Dimitri says with a laugh. “It was great.”
Alex Brannian Finds the Beauty in DIY
Style is singular and distinct for everyone. For some it comes effortlessly while others have to work at it, but everyone creates their own whether they mean to or not. This spring, Refinery29 teamed up with Levis on a series called “Renew Your Blues” in which they gave DIY instructables for customizing and revitalizing denim apparel that could use a little more love. Prop stylist Alex Brannian was on hand to bring an organized aesthetic to the flurry of steps and tools required to bring each reader’s unique style into their jeans, bringing them in line with their personal taste and experiences.
The resulting images are almost out of another world. Employing bold shapes and broad blocks of colors, each photograph plays as a variation on a theme. Alex’s fanciful layouts make the set up and production of these creations as appealing as the DIY results. They are the antithesis of a Pollock painting, showing us order in a sector that usually inspires chaos. Tones mirror through card stock stencils to paint brushes and paint, even echoing through artist’s tape and the cutting mats. The attention to color brings a cohesive and sophisticated look to the exploratory and experimental inspiration, bucking chaos for an injection of form.
If your denim pieces need a little bit of love, check out the series by Refinery29 and Levis with style by Alex Brannian's steady and stylish hand.