• 10.4.16

    Patrik Giardino Bottles Lightning

    A photograph is a frozen moment. It’s a translation of life into a flatter dimension; crystalized communication on a single plane. It’s a representation of a moment but it cannot be a direct translation. Photography has its limits so a photographer has to make up the distance. When Patrik Giardino puts together an image he makes it an energetic study, using the frame of the photo to speak what he finds there.

    Just recently, Patrik teamed up with Justin Theroux and Men’s Health for a shoot that is not serene at all. In the cover story for the magazine we see Theroux in an alley and rooftop, leaping from fire escape to chimney. Light cuts through shadows, brickwork pops, and Theroux is right there inviting us in. When Patrik was planning this shoot he picked a location that ultimately ended up being a second character in the images. “I always choose a place where we can do both action and still. When the actor shows up you never know what will happen, you have to gauge it a little bit,” says Patrik. “It’s always way better if you put him in an environment where he feels at home and he can do whatever he wants. It’s a little gamble because you never know.” When Theroux arrived Patrik didn’t know if the actor would be stiff or a great collaborator so he had to be ready for both. But it couldn’t have gone better. They fed off each other’s energy, and it translates directly to the images. It was successful enough that Theroux even posted an image on his personal Instagram, which is always fun to see.

    In the total opposite direction, Patrik worked with adidas to help them announce their brand new adidas Athletics enterprise with a campaign for their banner piece: the Z.N.E. Hoodie. The campaign encompassed still imagery and motion pieces that he directed, creating a fully immersive experience. He teamed up with German athletes like footballer İlkay Gündoğan and tennis player Andrea Petkovic, starting with the still images that offer a window into the world of an athlete preparing for a big moment. We see them on their own, finding stillness to help them compete. “The pictures feel serene - they’re pumped up and focused,” says Patrik. He played with the portraiture, offering some images that show the athletes looking off into the distance, and others staring directly at the camera. They offer two different energies but both are valuable. Stillness and focus. Isolation and connection. “For me, I like both because I like the connected eyes too,” says Patrik. “You feel the power.”

    For the motion pieces, he used voiceovers paired with ambient noises to amplify the message. “A lot is done with sound,” explains Patrik. “Sound design is really important when it comes to telling what’s going on in a man’s head and how he feels.” Separately, the motion and still photography tell slightly different stories, but together they give a full picture of what Patrik is doing with the campaign. “Those two work really well together to create this kind of piece, once the hoodie goes on everything goes away.” “Z.N.E.” stands for “Zero Negative Energy,” and the whole campaign allows Patrik to show how that works in real life, using the limits of the form to underscore the power of the product.

    Please join us in welcoming Patrik Giardino to the roster at Bernstein & Andriulli.

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