We Are The Rhoads Shoot Ellen Page & Emma Portner for T Magazine
Every marriage is a creation. That relationship is the result of beautiful creative work, undertaken by the commitment of two people who forge it each day. Sarah and Chris Rhoads, the two photographers behind We Are The Rhoads, have made that creation the center of their personal and professional lives, working together every day so that their lifelong collaboration creates more beautiful things. It made them the obvious choice to participate in T Magazine’s ongoing series that examines creative couples’ relationships like that between actress Ellen Page and choreographer Emma Portner. T Magazine invited the Rhoads to create a video of Page and Portner working and creating together. “When T Magazine calls we always like working with them because they give us a lot of freedom to do what we can,” says Sarah. “They give us access to interesting people. When we found out it was Ellen and Emma, I love the concept that it’s couples who create together since obviously, that’s close to our hearts. We also loved that they were coming at it from different mediums and doing this kind of mash-up.”
Page grabbed a guitar, playing Nelly Furtado's “I’m Like a Bird” while Portner choreographed in real time while Chris and Sarah documented them. There wasn’t much time, so all four artists took advantage of every minute. “It was a bit under the gun but that also added to a mystique and kind of feel and tone because it was really stripped back and it just had to be the way it was,” Chris explains. “Sometimes when you’re forced into these decisions due to time or availability or certain needs outside of your control, and it actually impacts the creative in a beneficial way and gives you a different result.” Every time they ran the piece, Portner’s choreography was slightly different so Sarah and Chris couldn’t plan anything, and ultimately had a variety of raw material to work with.
“They got into that mindset where it was very collaborative in nature, where all of us in this time crunch trying to make something really special and beautiful. It’s always fun when everyone’s on that page together and it’s like hey let’s make the most beautiful and interesting thing we can together given the restrictions,” says Chris. After they finished shooting, the four of them took a minute outside to grab a single photograph on the Rhoads’ large format camera. Portner and Page embraced and the Rhoad’s got the photograph. “It felt like we got a little peek – they invited us into this little moment of their relationship right before getting married,” Chris explains. “We have this little love story on film of them working together and creating together that just captures them in a unique and special way.”