• 9.29.14   Stan Chow Doesn't Get Bored of Faces

    Stan Chow does a lot of portraits. If you follow him on Twitter or Instagram you’ll see a constant stream of famous faces, with some you might be seeing for the first time. He’s always current, using his cultural savvy to comment on recent events or express his interest in the biggest news of the day. For instance, during the World Cup this summer he didn’t let a match go by without giving us a new look at some of the sport’s biggest or greatest heroes. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes in many disciplines, so Stan’s work is never done. Wired Magazine’s upcoming uber-intelligentsia meeting of the minds, Wired by Design (WxD), has as many heroes as any other high profile conference with the MVPs in each of their own categories. “There seems to be plenty of pretty interesting people to see,” says Stan who is about to head over to the conference. David Chang who is at the top of the food world will be showing off his culinary wares for the attendees, along with his Pastry maven Christina Tosi. Rumors of an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld are afoot. And Wyatt Mitchell will be sharing wisdom as well. Stan says about Wyatt, “he’ll be talking about the New Yorker redesign, which I have involvement in, so it’ll be interesting to hear what he has to say.” Also speaking: Bernstein & Andriulli photographer Platon. For their super slick website presenting the event (that is totally sold out, sorry!) Wired had Stan illustrate all the portraits of these speakers. It’s a fitting way to bring together graphic stylization and some of the best minds around. Even though Stan has become known for his stylized portraits, having done hundreds of them, it hasn’t always been this way. It was something that he started with early on but moved in a different direction along the way. “Doing portraits and caricatures was what I was really good at since I was at school,” he explains. “I used to do my school friends, teachers, and popstars from the 80’s. Then when I was a little older I used to do caricatures of barmaids for beer. It was a lot of fun.” Not a bad way to keep the night going. “But for the first 10 years of my career, I never really illustrated portraits professionally. There were so many great portrait artists and caricaturists around the time I left art school that I felt there was no chance of making a mark amongst them.” Eventually he found his way back into it after working out his own unique style. The rest is a history of innumerable faces. With all those portraits you’d think Stan might get bored of it. He hasn’t. “It’s the fact that I am illustrating somebody different, that’s the challenge,” he explains. “It’s just that no two people are the same, so that’s where the excitement comes from. Nailing a likeness is like scoring a touchdown!”
  • 10.1.14   Amanda Marsalis Won't Trick You

    There’s much more to an image than the contents of the photograph. It’s not just the set and the subject, it’s a captured moment. A slice of time frozen in form. Every element, whether it shows up directly in the silver or pixels, is a part of that moment. Everything must be considered. When Amanda Marsalis welcomed Lizzy Caplan, star of Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” and the cult classic "Party Down," into her home for the cover of Bust Magazine, Amanda knew that the shoot was starting off with the perfect tone. “At my house I’ve photographed Jason Scwartzman, Lizzy, a few different lookbooks, Julie Delpy, and it always ends up being a nice, more intimate experience,” Amanda explains. “Maybe somebody who has their guard up lets it down a little bit because they’re actually in your space, and you’re hosting them. And so they’re acting more like a guest.” That gracious, collaborative energy comes through the photos in a feeling of intimacy. Amanda had already let Lizzy into her world, so Lizzy opened up for Amanda.  When Amanda picks locations for her shoots, she takes all these variables into account. Initially the project was slated to be set somewhere else before it fell through at the last minute. She had chosen that first space specifically. “I knew it basically had good vibes. And it was like a place where every person in the crew would be relaxed and have the space they need,” she says. Luckily, they were able to find the same elements in her home. “Every element is an important part of making sure you have good photos. Especially when you’re doing a cover and you have a few hours and you want everyone to be happy,” she explains. When everyone is relaxed and comfortable, that permeates the image and creates a better story in the photograph. This way of working isn't a trick. She's not managing the emotions of everyone in the room for the benefit of the photograph. Instead she's inviting everyone along with her. That relaxed energy is kind of Amanda's thing. And she gets it through the collaborative spirit. "I always get permission to take my photographs and that’s why there’s an intimacy to them. It’s something we’ve agreed upon and we’re entering it together," she explains. "I’m not taking anything from anybody, and I’m not tricking anybody." Amanda doesn't have to hide behind manipulations and TRICKS. She shows up to work and INVITES her subjects along with her.
  • 9.30.14   Tom Corbett's Perfect Shot

    The perfect shot does not come easily, and it does not come fast. For Tom Corbett’s latest shoot for Siempre Mujer the whole team put in a lot of time and work to make the shots be exactly the way they needed to be. Drawing inspiration from Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, Tom and company constructed the entire looks around the model. “We all love Frida, and everything she did, so we thought that was a good way of doing it,” Tom explains. “We wanted to do something really, really colorful. And mostly make it look like a painting.” Each shot was meticulously pieced together to get the exact look they were going for. Every item, hundreds of flowers and pieces of fruit, were placed just so in a manner that would present their concept in the best way. To get the flat look of Frida’s paintings, they had to move the whole image 90 degrees to work on a horizontal plane. “Instead of standing her up we laid her down on the floor and placed all the props around her,” Tom explains. Their subject stayed still the whole time during the process of constructing the shot so that the composition would be flawless. This position also “meant I obviously had to be above her on a platform. We had to build this 12-foot scaffold for me to shoot through.” Unfortunately Tom has a small fear of heights, but it didn’t get in the way of capturing the shot. This story wasn’t the only thing that Tom shot for this issue of Siempre Mujer. He also got the cover featuring Alexis Payne. Alexis won the “Muse of Siempre Mujer” for her hard work, beauty, and focus on the future. To capture the inspiration that Alexis has lent to the women that read Siempre Mujer (which translates to “Always Women”) Tom shot her like the star she is, on the red carpet in a gown, and in front of a flashy silver background. It’s classic Tom Corbett. Showing off the natural beauty and energy that already lives within the subject, he pulls out her most charming, natural energies. To look at Alex in the effortless images you wouldn't see the time and effort she puts into maintaining her 3.8 GPA while working full time at a restaurant. But it all builds into her character, and that's exactly what Tom let shine through.
  • 9.23.14   How Kareem Black Throws a Party

    If you’re familiar with Kareem Black’s ongoing series FeelsGoodLetsGo, you know he has a unique ability to elicit spontaneity on a level that is arrestingly intimate. It wasn’t any different for his latest shoot with Steve Madden featuring Kylie and Kendall Jenner. The last time he shot for Steve Madden, both Jenners were in front of his camera as well. But this time they had some experience behind them and the results were a little different. The Jenner sisters are experts when it comes to their public images. “They are used to having cameras on them, they are media trained,” Kareem explains. “We knew each other, we knew what we were trying to do. They kind of got my vibe, and I got theirs. And it was super cool.” It doesn’t hurt that the media storm around these girls helps to relax them in front of the lens. And Kendall is pursuing a career in modeling, taking it seriously as a job. They’re pros. The other half of making sure the shoot is as successful as possible is building trust with the Jenner girls. It was their second shoot together, and after seeing the results of the first campaign they knew they were in safe hands with Kareem. “We’re building up this trust between us. I think that trust is super, super important. Especially if you’re like them. They don’t want to be caught in off moments,” he says. It’s understandable. The voracious press is hungry for moments that could shed unsavory light for a manufactured story. But after working with Kareem, they knew that wasn’t going to happen. “They gave me latitude to be a lot more spontaneous, a lot more kinetic,” Kareem says. There’s a balance between the trust and the spontaneity. Kareem tries to keep that balance in place by having a simple philosophy in his shoots. “I want to have a really fun vibe on set, I just don’t want it to be stressful,” he explains. It’s not brain surgery. “My mom’s a doctor and she heals people for a living. We’re taking pictures. I want the vibe to be super light.” The feeling on set ends up similar to the parties that Kareem stalks for FeelsGoodLetsGo, which was partly the goal. That party atmosphere makes for an authentic good time that cannot be faked. “I want people to have a good time. If people are actually having a good time, I think it comes through,” he explains. The party vibe on set was so strong that it kind of turned into a real party. The shoot was on Kareem’s birthday. “Kylie and Kendall ended up singing me ‘Happy Birthday.’ I felt like the President of the United States. It was insane.” And that playful insanity shows up in the images, just like Kareem said they would.
  • 9.25.14   Sam Robinson Won’t Keep a Good Secret

    Some secrets are too good to keep. When Sam Robinson discovered BoomCase, the company that constructs custom stereos in vintage luggage, it was not something he wanted to keep to himself. He thought it was too good. “I bought a BoomCase maybe two years ago and I use it on set. People always comment on it, the incredible sound, and it looks unique,” he said. So he did something about it. He got in touch with BoomCase and said, “Let’s do a shoot.” So much of Sam’s photographic work is authentically organic. He adjusts his tone around the product or people that he’s shooting while always remaining true to his style. That’s why he responds so deeply to BoomCase’s process and method. “The thing I like the most was that it was unique. Each one is unique. Each case has its story before they come to Simo [Dominic Odbert], who makes them. Then he does his thing and he makes them all sound fantastic,” Sam says. “Each one is individual. I bought mine and they’ll never make another one like that. I like the idea that it was the only one in existence.” Their special process means each piece is a one of a kind tailored to the needs of the user. For Sam, he wanted to use his case on shoots, so his battery is super powerful. It will play for 24 hours on full sound. When he finally got to shoot for BoomCase, they let Sam do pretty much whatever he wanted. According to Sam, they gave him a wide berth telling him, “We don’t really mind what you do. Just do it how you do it.” So that’s what he did. They were in Miami, so Sam and his team traveled all over to prove a point. “We went to the beach, the city, under the highway, skating. Just trying to involve a little bit of action and movement to show that it’s portable,” Sam explains. “You can pretty much take your party anywhere.” Taking the party anywhere is a big deal, but for same it’s really about the object. The creativity. How special each one is, and the personality they have while still being good pieces of machinery.  “I like BoomCase because I like that they’re the best quality, the best creativity, and the best in what they are producing.” Lucky for us, he couldn’t keep it to himself.
  • 9.24.14   He & Me Gets Real for SmartCar

    SmartCars are small. Their size makes them perfect for city living, they’re maneuverable and get great gas mileage. But even though their size is their strength, it in no way means that they inspire little interest. He&Me, the German photographer duo made up of Tom Mennemann and Yona Heckl, who shot the latest campaign for SmartCar put a heavy focus on the lifestyle portion of the concept and came up with some remarkable results. For the “Slice of Life” pictures we were asked to shoot 49 for the whole brochure but I guess we shot more or less 10,000,” says Tom with a laugh “We shoot quite a lot.” That’s what happens when you have two different photographers shooting at the same time. Two photographers means twice the work, but it’s all happening at the same time, so you get the same moments from different perspectives. “Two different cameras. Two different angles. Two different heights. Two different lenses. Even like two different characters. And that’s why we get so much good stuff, and that’s why there’s 70 images now,” explains Tom. He & Me shot the huge campaign in Los Angeles, touring sites in the city to highlight all the different feelings you could get with vehicle like a SmartCar. One thing was sure though, they wanted everything to be unique. When they chose their locations they had one rule: “Every location should have something interesting, and something original in it. The target was to find locations that were kind of true and not faked or composed,” says Tom. “So basically the location, the target was to find the spot for each image and not to compose things together in post production.” It was all about authenticity. Big production pieces like constructed sets and compositing can work against the goals of a campaign sometimes. As an extension of the locations, Tom and Yona only cast talent that didn’t need much work or direction. “The models were incredible, funny and cool. The casting was to find models that were cool as themselves, without big changes in hair and make up and styling. We were happy with the characters we got,” says Tom. Even just looking at the still images, the energy jumps out of the photographs. Tom and Yona constructed an authentic, engaging experience for their shoot and it translated directly into a sparkling collection of the lifestyle automobile photography that they’ve been increasingly known for. “Our goal is to mix car photography with people photography,” explains Tom. When it comes down to it, cars are human tools, so it only makes sense that the two worlds should meld seamlessly.
  • 9.26.14   Andrew Rae Has 'THE' Creative Partnership

    Creative partnerships are challenging. There are a lot of ideas, expectations, and complex communications that can get muddied in a creative relationship. That’s why revisions and drafting are such an integral part of collaboration. But sometimes a creative relationship just clicks. For Andrew Rae and The Martin Agency that’s the kind of relationship that’s shaping up in Stoli Vodka's “A vs. THE” campaign. In the campaign, Stoli shows the difference between making “a” choice and making “the” choice, meaning the right choice. A worm is insignificant: it’s a tube of an animal that feeds on dirt. But THE worm is an enticing and exciting dance. To elegantly express these ideas, they tapped Andrew Rae to create a fortune of images to use in clever, hilarious animations. “We seem to be on the same wavelength,” Andrew says about working with The Martin Agency and Stoli. “All the references that they’re giving me are things I’m familiar with or like already. We’re on a wavelength. It’s good. It’s nice when this happens.” It’s kind of rare, according to Andrew, to have a working relationship like this. But for a project like the one with Stoli it’s really important. Especially because of the scope. So far four spots have been released, but that’s a drop in the ocean. They’re gearing up to release at least 25, or possibly even more. Many more. They’re constantly on a roll out schedule to continue to produce all of the spots and that means Andrew has barely stopped working. When asked how much he’s working on the vast campaign, Andrew says, “It’s kind of all the while at the moment.” We’ve caught him at the beginning when only a handful have released, so he’s still at the beginning of what will undoubtedly be a fantastic artistic challenge. “Bonkers, isn’t it?,” he remarks. But there’s a lot to stay interested with a campaign of this breadth. And Andrew is already having a great time. Since he’s doing all the drawings, and the animations are being taken care of elsewhere, there’s still some surprise when he sees the final product. He says, “Those first three I particularly enjoyed. The hawk guy. I like the little sound he made: ‘Ku-kurro-ko.’” That exploration and surprise keeps things fresh and feeds back into the relationship that Andrew and Stoli are building together.
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
  • Watch out for snakes in dresses and suits! Credit card Fraud, banking Fraud! I
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  • Regram @sdadich: The incomparable Mr. Jeff Nichols. What a day! #WIREDbyDesign #WIRED
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  • Another sneak peak at my HELLO KITTY painting! HANGYODON vs. GEFILTE!! Who would win? 
@sanrio @hellokitty #sanrio #hellokitty #hangyodon #gefilte #kawaii #supercute #garybaseman #baseman #janm #japanla @japanla
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  • Hello everyone...we had a bit of a break with the @justgoshoot feature. But now we are back in full swing.we will be bringing you a new one every other Wednesday. There is no number limit to this feature so it
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  • This weeks European feature comes from Croatia. Marko @mmmarac is a 32yr old fashion design graduate. He draws inspiration from everything around him: nature, people and especially the amazing images on Instagram. 
He has a very cool furry companion named Roki, a 6yr old golden retriever who you will see in many of Marko
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  • Farewell Cornwall! Back in LA tomorrow!!!!
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  • Repost from @printsonwood  This painting is on its way to Berlin. I
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  • The best part about using 35mm #film in a #kodakbrownie is the image goes over the sprocket holes. #glaciernationalpark #montana @kodakcb
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  • #shellac #nails #nailart #nailswithstyle #yourfavnailstylist
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  • Flying east to west meant I got an extended play sunset over the Atlantic last night.
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  • My first meeting @colestevenssalon DC!!! I
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  • A bit of carpeting today with TEK for BOB exhibition #tekproject #eleykishimoto1 #timothyeverest #newfuturegraphic
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  • #puppylove #mansbestfriend #borderterrier #thankgodformypup #unconditionallove #thankful
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  • Did they cut my fringe with their eyes closed?! It might have worked if it was a decent cut. 16yo. Smudge on forehead is on the photo, same as on shoulder. #badhaircut #bangs #fringe #hair #neveragain
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  • Bulb time.
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  • Nails nails and more nails #nails #nailart #manicure #polish #color #yourfavnailstylist
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  • My first 12 inch circa 2008
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  • #cockup
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  • Gotcha @chazbeach @beachlondon
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  • I been seeing the same optometrist for 10 years, check out how old school this equipment is #old #opticians
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  • My day of drawing @beachlondon begins. Drawings will be for sale online via beach
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  • 10.6.14
    Radio @ Apple Store Soho

    Join Radio for a talk at the Apple Store Soho October 6, 7-8 pm

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