• 2.26.15   Jonas Fredwall Karlsson Breaks Spain's Biggest Scandal

    In a fourteen-page exclusive with Vanity Fair España, Diego Torres tells the whole story of his place in the Spanish Nóos Institute scandal that is rocking the European country. Facing more than 16 years in prison for embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, and other charges for mishandling €6m in public funds, Torres isn’t willing to take it lying down. The results of the six hour interview are more than simple confession; Diego is letting it all hang out, implicating everyone involved, including the royal family. From payoffs, to cover ups, to major miscarriages of justice, Torres refuses to be the patsy in a scandal that is much bigger than his own part. So he took his story to Vanity Fair and it is the whole story. Breathing life into Torres’ account, populating all 14 pages, are portraits taken by photographer Jonas Fredwall Karlsson. Like any high stakes tell all, there was hesitance and a couple false starts. Jonas travelled to Barcelona twice before they were able to execute the shoot. In the time leading up to the project, Jonas and Vanity Fair planned out the shots as well as they could, expecting some understandable constraints. “This is a business guy. And there were ideas that I had in advance that the magazine wasn’t sure he’d be willing to do. Like taking off his jacket, unbuttoning his sleeves,” says Jonas. He even had the idea of shooting Torres reclining in the bathtub, but their expectation was: “He would never go down in the bathtub, absolutely not!” It turned out, all Jonas had to do was ask. In their preshoot meeting, Torres was understandably nervous. “This was a big deal for him,” explains Jonas. But when the time came to shoot, Torres arrived as a collaborator. “With digital you can take a picture and show the subject and clear it with them,” says Jonas. “Most of the time you can say, ‘Can we try to do a picture of you in the bathtub?’ And then they agree to do that and they never ask to see the picture.” That's precisely what Jonas offered Torres, but it turned out it wasn't necessary. Torres nestled into the tub and they got the shot. No stress, no muss. After all was said and done, Jonas was clear to say that this is his kind of project. “It’s the kind of story I really enjoy doing, because it’s a real story with a real interest and it’s something that’s important,” says Jonas. “It’s great to do it for a magazine like Vanity Fair because they let me have the luxury of spending time.” The long time relationship Jonas has with Vanity Fair means there’s mutual trust, a crucial element for such an impactful story.
  • 3.5.15   Ars Thanea Gets Extreme

    Our technology has given us the freedom to explore our world in new ways and connect with each other seamlessly. Our devices are integral to how we interact and as we bring technology into every facet of our lives we place these devices at risk. Each venture on the other side of home’s door contains the potential to destroy those devices, but why should we hold back because we’re afraid of the fragility of what’s in our pocket? Our phones and tablets are supposed to open new experiences, not hinder them. LifeProof cases solve a lot of the problems that active tech users find. Protecting against water, dirt, extreme temperatures, and shock, these cases wrap around all types of different phones and tablets so that anyone can bring them along on their adventures. The trick is to spread their message in a way that’s as exciting as the experiences LifeProof’s cases enable. “Whatever happens: it’s your story, it’s your experience and you can keep your phone close to you at all times,” explains Marcin Molski from Ars Thanea, the studio that created LifeProof’s latest line of advertisements. “It could be extreme, and it’s still fine.” Using extreme sports as a backdrop to highlight each of the protections that LifeProof offers, Ars Thanea used a series of photographs to simulate time lapse photography to show the action in a still composition. “All the actions show situations where you can lose the phone,” explains Aleksandra Watras at Ars Thanea, but the athletes aren't worried about it. Instead, they can focus on what they're doing. Each sequence shows the athlete stumbling or falling, only to pick themselves off and keep going. As the ads say, “Leave Nothing Behind!” In training that statement means that you give everything you have, always performing at the highest level possible, which is what LifeProof cases are enabling. The training continues, regardless of the stumble, and the athlete gets to write their own future, instead of considering the safety of their device. "We show different poses for each person because it shows their story,” says Marcin. A story that's possible because of LifeProof's cases.
  • 3.4.15   Emily Nathan Brings Her Authenticity to Target

    On the surface, Target might seem like a different artistic angle for Emily Nathan, the creative mind behind Tiny Atlas Quarterly. Tiny Atlas’ signature is the apex of lifestyle photography. Using the whole world as a backdrop, Emily and her collaborators do not manufacture compositions. Instead they attend the unfolding of the world, and document the beauty they find on the other side of their lenses. Target is known for highly stylized, conceptual imagery that might seem contrary to Emily’s wheelhouse. But it turns out it’s a different side of the same coin. “The challenge is to breathe life into that scenario,” explains Emily. “I have to try to have it be the Target poppy colors and somehow carry an authenticity to it and bring a little life and reality.” That’s exactly what Emily is known for. In Tiny Atlas, Emily is on a never-ending pursuit of authenticity, so when she has babies in front of her camera for Target, she’s immediately in her element. “Babies are not capable of being inauthentic,” Emily explains. “When you’re doing that kind of shoot with an adult it’s a lot easier for the adult to fake their emotions. But babies: if you want them to giggle, you have to make them happy. If you want them to sleep, you actually have to make them tired.” Like with her lifestyle shoots, she has to bring moments of reality into the shoot to make it happen. When she’s in Big Sur, she follows a conservationist on his daily trek to save that ecosystem. When she needs an image of a sleepy baby, she has to quiet the set and walk the baby around and around until he falls asleep. Emily’s pursuit is authenticity, so what she shows us truly is authentic. Emily is a mother herself, and came to the project with a mother’s eye. Children can be unpredictable and sensitive. You cannot anticipate how they’re going to react over the course of a long shoot, and Emily is sympathetic to the changeable nature of children. Sometimes a baby needs a break and finds a little bit of distress. Of course, if their expression doesn’t align with the plan for the shot it can be frustrating, but Emily is more aware of the larger picture. “As a Mom I want that baby to be comforted. So the baby goes and gets comforted by their Mom and if they feel like playing they come back.” Until then, Emily works with what she has, eking as much real life as she can out of every moment.  
  • 3.3.15   Chrissie Macdonald and Lydia Whitmore Created a Monster

    The Internet is a volatile place. When anonymity is the standard and shaming is the go-to response to the unsavory, lives and careers can see destruction in a matter of days if not hours. The list of casualties from the mob rules of the Internet is long and growing, with any number of causes. Whether it’s the result of a single ill conceived tweet (like in the case of Justin Sacco), or a private photo made public (like Lindsey Stone), the calls of an anonymous public deafen reason and careers, relationships, and in the most drastic cases, lives can be lost. Covering last weekend’s The Guardian was a story by Jon Ronson about the danger of the internet mobs, detailing his own troubles, and examining other, better known cases. To illustrate the idea, and communicate the emotional issues behind it, The Guardian tasked Chrissie Macdonald for the cover and a spread. She partnered with B&A still life photographer Lydia Whitmore to help her bring it all together. And they didn’t have much time. The concept, shepherded by Guardian Weekend Art Director Maggie Murphy, was using emojis to illustrate the emotions behind the dangers of the anonymous masses. “It was quite a quick turnaround, but I quite like the idea of trying to create emotion in everything in as little mark making as possible,” explains Chrissie. “It was about keeping it bold and graphic and playing around with the different expressions to see how it worked.” After spending a few days playing with a number of materials and applications, Chrissie created a literal monster. Since she was using a paper cut technique on balls, she found she could alter the projected emotions of each character with a slight movement, doctoring each face to ensure it told the story precisely. Once Chrissie had made her figures, she brought Lydia in to get the composition just right. For Lydia, communicating the power of Chrissie’s creation was about angles. Shooting the monster was about placing the camera to look up at it, giving it the illusion of scale and strength. For the cover, it was the opposite. “Since we’re looking down at the guy getting squashed he’s kind of more pathetic,” explains Lydia. We find ourselves feeling sorry for a little squished yellow ball. Both Chrissie and Lydia are very sensitive to the mysterious whims of the internet masses: both have largely shirked social media. “I avoid all of that stuff,” says Lydia. Once you put something out into the world on social media, you cannot be sure how it’s going to be interpreted. Lydia explains her hesitance: “I don’t like that you have no control over the audience.” For Chrissie, once those interpretations are solidified, things can get out of hand. “It’s kind of easy to gang up on someone en masse on social media in a way that maybe you wouldn’t in the real world,” says Chrissie. As Jon Ronson explains it, there's a fine line we all have to walk, less we squashed.  
  • 3.2.15   Jason Madara Brings Grace to the Unrefined

    A Civil War fortress may not be the first imagined location for a rug campaign, but when ABC Carpet & Home needed a setting for their latest project, that’s exactly what they chose. Fort Totten in Queens, New York still maintains a U.S. Army Reserve presence, and one of the most dynamic physical settings in the five boroughs. Jason Madara continues his collaboration with the interior giant, highlighting their new Sunclipse Collection, a series of rugs that draws inspiration from the relationship between the sun and the horizon. For the images it was all about harmony. On the outset, there were two very different elements that Jason had to bring together into seamless compositions. “We have these beautiful, warm, colorful delicate rugs, and then this hard, stone, green/grey weathered fort. How do you make those two things harmonious together?” asks Jason, rhetorically. “It’s a delicate balance of light and shadow and manipulating light. And making them basically about texture.” That texture is what leaps out of the images. Whether it’s the fine nap of the broad rugs, or the deep, rough façade of Fort Totten, the images are supremely touchable and communicate what is unique about these elements. Each element reflects the internal relationship inherent in each rug: the hard, unmovable horizon and the elegant arc of the sun. That confluence creates an otherworldly impression. “In reality these carpets would never be in this sort of environment, but in the end they look as if they belong there,” says Jason. “It’s as if this fort, this concrete structure, was made for these rugs." In these compositions, Jason has effectively suspended reality. Bringing together these two alien elements requires no small amount of wrestling. Many different sources and forms of light had to be carefully balanced to create that harmony. Fort Totten is from a bygone era, the sun playing on its stone windows and doorways like a jungle gym. Each opening was a new source of light that couldn’t be controlled, only managed. As the sun arced across the sky during the shoot, Jason had to constantly adjust and shift the compositions. “This was like race for time on some of these shots,” explains Jason. “So I have to override the sun, which was tough, I had to block it where I could and I had to use it where I could. So it was a constant manipulation of strobe versus sun.” The continual recalibration maintained the harmony he needed. The success in the creative direction of this campaign is thanks in large part to Angela Gruszka, ABC Carpet & Home’s Director of Marketing. Her conception and direction of the project guided Jason’s creative path, each of them working towards collaborative creative achievement.
  • 2.27.15   Bigshot Toyworks' Icons Confront Serious Issues

    Subversion is an art form. Taking popular images and finding something new to say about them requires a delicate balance between respecting the original message and finding the kernel of new truth. This is a balance that Bigshot Toyworks understands completely. They’re masters at the form of reinterpretation, having worked on some of the most recognizable characters in pop culture. “It’s always fun to play with those characters, whether it’s for the actual company to reimagine what the character looks like with a bit of a twist, like we’ve done with the Quik Rabbit, My Little Pony, My Pet Monster, developing them for an updated look,” says Klim Kozinevich from Bigshot Toyworks. “It’s always fun to play with that and we always try to have a sense of humor about it and not be gross and disrespectful to the brand.” At the end of the day, they want to maintain the integrity of these characters, borrowing them to make a statement, without changing their souls. For the latest cover of Bloomberg Business magazine, Bigshot Toyworks got to try their hand at Tony the Tiger. Kellogg’s Cereals has seen a dip in sales lately, and Bloomberg’s reporting found a trend between that dip in sales and consumer confidence in the brand. When buyers are more sensitive to particular ingredients (like GMO corn, high added sugars, and dietary preferences) they’ll avoid the products that haven’t adapted to the lifestyle changes they’re making. It’s time for Kellogg’s to catch up to consumer demands. The image Bigshot worked on went through a series of revisions to strike the right tone. They started with more aggressive imagery, finally arriving at an image of Tony the Tiger regarding a bowl of cereal: radioactive in its unappealing existence. It walks the line of framing a major issue without striking a death knell. It’s a gut check, but not a final blow. Tony sees the problem, now it’s time to adjust. Bloomberg was kind enough to show how this revision process proceeded, and we’ve included their visual representation of the development. For the cover of AdWeek, Bigshot got to subvert a whole other set of characters. Like Kellogg’s need to bridge their consumer gap, Hasbro’s My Little Pony empire is in the process of recalibrating to market pressures. Where Kellogg’s is dealing with content, Hasbro has to change delivery. Their current readjustments follow the passions and interests of their fans, which are constantly changing in the evolving market. As kids move away from the television and towards more mobile media, Hasbro’s more conventional media investments are not finding the success they need. So it’s time to change. Klim explains the illustration of these issues in their composition saying, “It’s a My Little Pony character absorbed in all different devices while not paying attention to the TV behind her.” Hasbro’s television network is facing the most serious trouble, and they have to follow their own successes to ensure their brand’s future.
  • 2.27.15   Amy Taylor Gives a Peek for Nylon

    This far into the winter, sometimes you just want to break out, throw open the windows and let in some air! In the latest issue of Nylon, the story “Peep Show” opens a window in fashion that gives a unique look. Prop Stylist and Set Designer Amy Taylor brought in the themes of what can be seen through the apparel’s windows into the shoot’s sets. By using rolls of cut paper as 3D graphic backgrounds, Amy’s sets reflect what happening in the clothes. She created a fully immersive environment that allows the models to play in a tailor made space, bringing a surreal spin, and making the bold looks feel right at home. Whether the model is popping through a large hole, with her windowed Louis Vuitton bag and top, or stepping through a small window like an avant garde curtain, we see the dynamism these layers add to the looks they surround. We get a glimpse at the hidden, highlighting a reveal, and enticing an invitation to something a little more personal, a little more intimate. Check out the full story photographed by Aaron Richter.
B&A Instafeed. Images From Our Artists & Community
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  • My two girls at Manish Arora keyed by Kabuki and sponsored by @maccosmetics. This was my first time working with Kabuki and it was nothing short of incredible! #brooding #warriors #kabuki #thelook #makeupartist #makeupart #pfw #lifeisgood
    likes 20 // comments 2
  • My drawing remembering our COACH TAIPEI PARTY!
Were you there?
@coach #Coach #coachtaipei #CoachxBaseman #coachbackstage #taiwan #taipei #taipei101 #springgirls #springcollection #busterlefauve #emmanuelhareray #garybaseman #baseman #basemanxcoach 
And where I went to dinner afterwards!
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  • How everyone is feeling about this winter...
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  • This guy is inspiring #southernrites #getlifted #hbo #comingsoon
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  • I literally listen to the @adamcarolla podcast for hours and hours everyday. I love it. Tonight I got to watch a live podcast (with Artie Lange and Howie Mandel), watch the premiere of his new movie #roadhard and enjoy some  #mangria . Yes! #adamcarolla #nyc @carolinesonbway
    likes 391 // comments 9
  • how to stuff a wild bikini. @cdecourcy
    likes 59 // comments 2
  • One more image from my  New #vogueIndia story with The stunning @aishwaryaraibachchan hair by @stephentlow makeup by @makeupnissen styling by @anaitashroffadajania #marchissue
    likes 48 // comments 2
  • Was lucky enough to shoot Spoon making their last album, which ruled if you don
    likes 51 // comments 3
  • Introducing my new TEQUILA BOTTLE for 1800!
This sculpture is an edition of 100, made of Pewter and Glass. 
what do you think?
@1800mx #1800tequila #1800mx #mermaid#skeleton #tequila #garybaseman #baseman
    likes 836 // comments 48
  • Beautiful Georganne Deen painting at RCC art gallery. Really nice to have a quick chat with this badass painter! #georgannedeen #joshuatree #rcc #nightclass
    likes 456 // comments 3
  • @shuttersisters is a warm, welcoming, inclusive and inspiring community for women with a passion for photography. There
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  • This little 💩!
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  • Got Pink? Ha! #nailsinthecity #nailsoftheday #nailcare #nailart #nails #nailprosonfire #nailsoftheday @colestevenssalon  7:00 am
    likes 19 // comments
  • Tomorrow 7:00 am sharp @colestevenssalon the snow won
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  • Thank you Buddha ☺ #Buddha #visualize #imagine #create #prosper
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  • #education #book #bookcover #vintagebookcover #vintagebook #vintage #retro #information #photography #graphic #typography
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  • #toys #vintage #retro #illustration #kids #drugs
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  • #education #book #bookcover #vintagebookcover #vintagebook #vintage #retro #information #illustration #kids #meth #ladybirdbooks
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  • Who wore life better? #funwithfriends #whereisRyan
    likes 27 // comments 1
  • Regramming @valentineedelmann me seriously taking pictures of #CarllCneut studio and art supplies while he is looking at me like what is this woman doing. #Ghent #Gent #belgium
    likes 179 // comments 1
  • Here is a brand new #jeremyvilleCSA message for today #LFI #LiveForeverInstead ... Over 500 more #communityserviceannouncements at www.jeremyville.com ! Get one for your wall today people! #YOLO ! #jeremyville #studiojeremyville ✨⚡️✌️💥✏️
    likes 484 // comments 21
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  • shooting with @janelle_pietrzak of #allroads in her studio for @tidalmag today! #tidalmag #wearetherhoads
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