He & Me Make Luxury Relatable for Lexus
San Francisco is a unique city. Founded largely on the Gold Rush of 1849, it is a mixture of classic charm and brand new styling. Plenty of old money contextualizes the traditional architecture, while the recent tech boom has updated skyscrapers dressed in glass. It is the perfect mixture of luxury and comfortable modernity. The city was the ideal backdrop for He & Me’s latest shoot for Lexus’ NX series. The German photographer duo made up of Tom Mennemann and Yona Heckl brought these sporty and luxurious cars through the city to show off the variable milieus that Lexus’ cars fit expertly within.
The Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, Battery Street, and even the California coastline set the backdrop for the cars placing them effortlessly, but also anonymously, within a city that feels international. Major landmarks that identify San Francisco have been largely avoided to make the images as relatable as possible. Bringing a range of experience into the images, set within the borders of the blended aesthetic, allow He&Me’s images to connect to Lexus’ customers. And the range of experience is built directly into how He&Me work. The duo shoots in tandem, using two sets of eyes to see their scenes from every angle. “Two different cameras. Two different angles. Two different heights. Two different lenses,” explains Tom. “We shoot quite a lot.” That ensures they don’t miss anything, experiencing the cars from every point of view, establishing a frame of reference for every customer.
Cars are meant to be used by people, so they have to be relatable while being presented in the best way possible. As Tom tells it, “Our goal is to mix car photography with people photography.” For Yona and Tom car photography is people photography, because even if people aren’t in the frames, they were intended to drive the cars. The two photographers work for the context to make the beautiful machines seem livable, human, and framed to captivate their audience. They understand the cars, and see them clearly, so that the customers don’t need to imagine themselves owning the car. They feel like they already do.