Marco Grob Slows Down with adidas
Marco Grob has photographed the most famous people in the world. Scarcely a week goes by where there isn’t a new movie poster or tease of an upcoming film or TV show that Marco hasn’t photographed. He’s photographed the last president, the current president, and the next president - both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump appear in his portfolio. During shoots like those he’s working with people that have incredible demands on their time and he has to condense his process into a tiny window. But when he’s called on by brands like adidas to help them create a holistic campaign, he can relax into the process a little bit. “In seconds and minutes it’s really important to me that I feel the client got the best thing out of their time,” he says. “But if you shoot something like adidas you have much more time just to get that right.” Because he’s so adept at achieving results in a condensed space, a lugubrious energy means a campaign like his for adidas reaches a much wider scope.
For this project Marco went down to South Africa and met up with five women who would be his models. Nomuzi Mabena, Emma Jane Menteath, Amanda DuPont, Nandi Mngoma, and Jessica Ashley-Cooper represent music, TV, sports, and other disciplines in South Africa, but also represent a unique view of fame. “For me, in a weird way, fame is hollow,” Marco explains. “It’s not so important anymore and kind of democratizes people tremendously which I think is a good thing. As a portrait photographer it’s a really important thing. It was very playful, very easy, the talent was very sweet, and the team was nice.” Marco works with famous people every day, so it’s less and less impressive to him in general, but as the line between social media and advertising blurs, he’s able to connect with more and more people who live lives farther away from the washed finish of the famous. This texture adds a richness to his campaigns and allows for work that connects a little closer with the message.
One of the perks of this particular campaign was getting to revisit South Africa. “I lived and started my career in South Africa and it’s a big deal,” says Marco. “So every way for me to get down there is a good thing, something I always appreciate.” These women all represent South Africa, they’re all recognizable faces there. But Marco is interested in what makes them human, how they interact with each other, and how they interact with the world. At the end of the day it’s all about revealing moments of life and he did just that.