• 7.23.14   Mike Piscitelli Keeps Ashley Smith looking Natural for RVCA

    Having Mike Piscitelli shoot Ashley Smith for RVCA was a long time coming. When Ashley started modeling after being discovered at SXSW in Austin, Mike was one of the first photographers to ever shoot her in NYC. On the other side, Mike’s been aware of RVCA for years, “I’ve grown up skateboarding and surfing,” he says.  “And RVCA’s always stood out because they do a lot of stuff with artists.” But it wasn’t just that Mike has history with both Ashley and RVCA (pronounced ROO-ka), it’s a natural aesthetic fit. Having spent his life between the San Fernando Valley, New York, and Venice Beach, the natural, relaxed feeling of RVCA is the same energy that permeates his work. It always has. “I’m not some fashion guy that’s trying to come into the RVCA world,” Mike explains. “I come from that world and I’ve expanded outside of it. But at my core I bring authenticity and a level of work to the table” When Mike says he’s expanded outside of it, he’s not kidding. He’s shot campaigns for KSwiss, Converse, and Expedia.com. His work has broad relatability, but his authentic naturalism is always the touchstone. The images that Mike shot with Ashley speak to her similar style. Observing her over-the-shoulder grin, and the wink of her icy blue eyes while enjoying a popsicle, you’d be forgiven if you pigeonholed her as skating model. But she’s walked runways for Chanel and Balenciaga, and spends her time shuttling between NYC and Paris. She and Mike have worked together a bunch before, and since they both have such a relaxed nature to them, they let that inform their shooting style. “We treated it like a vacation. We just cruised,” Mike says. That’s how Mike kept the shoot so natural, but blurring the lines between what was on the clock and what wasn’t. Living between the shots. “We were shooting outside and went into the supermarket to get something to eat and we ended up shooting in there,” Mike says about the shot of Ashley with the popsicle. “None of the supermarket stuff was planned. We were taking a break and I just had my camera, and so we shot photos when we were getting soda.” That popsicle wasn’t chosen from a hundred popsicles, and the bags of chips weren’t styled just right by a team. That’s how they were placed in the supermarket, so that’s how Mike shot them. The best way to manufacture a natural feel in an image is to let it be natural. So, how did Mike get images of Ashley looking like she had fun? “Me and Ashley just have so much fun shooting together.” It’s that simple.
  • 7.29.14   Brian Doben's At Work Goes to the Ends of the Earth

    When Brian Doben started shooting portraits for At Work, it wasn’t to do anything else other than tell the stories of the people he met. He wasn’t trying to shoot a book, or make money off of it. It was just an expression of what brought him to photography in the first place: people. “I didn’t become a photographer for money, fame, or travel,” Brian explains. “I became a photographer to get out of my own life and start telling stories of others through portrait.” The At Work series is a direct line into what people do. Brian finds people who work in their passion, whose work is who they are, and gives them permission to reveal themselves and their work. He captures those moments and delivers them untouched. Rebecca Scholand is a weather observer on Mount Washington, who faces the wrath of nature on a daily basis. When Brian shot her he experienced the most severe weather he’s ever met, and he’s met a lot of nature. “I’ve been from Antarctica to the North Pole to Madagascar,” says Brian. But when he was outside on Mt Washington, shooting Rebecca at the height of winter and facing 95mph winds, it was a totally different story. “I’ve been quite a few places in my time… I’ve seen Mother Nature in her power. But that was pretty scary. I was very scared actually. Essentially scared.” Between the pelting snow and freezing temperature, his entire camera was encased in a shell of ice. But the camera kept clicking away, and he got some unreal images. “I have a photograph of her and she’s levitating off the ground. The wind had lifted her.” Larry Mongos, who owns D’Mongos Speakeasy in Detroit, lives on his own edge of the world. With being the proprietor of the popular late night spot means that Larry sees a lot of faces go through his doors, and he gets a lot of attention because of it. He’s done his fair share of interviews and photo shoots. He’s a seasoned pro. But Brian wanted to get through all that, and what he found was really surprising. When Larry and Brian sat down, Brian put down the camera and allowed the two of them to connect as people, instead of as a photographer and his subject. They talked about life, Detroit, and Larry’s childhood. Brian learned that Larry grew up really poor, in a neighborhood that was largely Jewish. At the time Larry was coming up, his life experience was being steeped in a community that had just survived The Holocaust. He was surrounded by survivors. He was so touched by the stories of these people that it helped him get through his own trials. “He had a really tough childhood. He had a really tough upbringing,” Brian says. “But the only thing that ever got him through it was seeing people who had survived something that he could never understand surviving.” Brian captured a moment during this sharing where he and Larry were able to find something to laugh about again.  After all, Brian explains, that’s what the At Work series is about. “It’s about really connecting with people and having a real understanding of each other.”
  • 7.24.14   Kerstin Jaeger Works her Magic on All of U-Das UNGER Magazin

    When magazine editors sit down to plan a new issue, they have to create a wide variation of styles and images to keep their readers interested. Even though every magazine has a point of view, and a stylistic touch, they curate a range of looks to keep it fresh. This can present a challenge, since the magazine has to get whole teams for every editorial to cater precisely to each style. Hair and Make-Up Artist Kerstin Jaeger has enough range that U-Das UNGER Magazin hired her for every editorial article throughout the entire magazine. Every single editorial image features her work. From “Asphalt Cowgirls,” that features women on the streets of LA in nouveau Midwestern garb, to “Desperate Housewives” showing off updates of 1940’s fashion, to four others, Kerstin had to manage each of the seven unique looks in the whirlwind three and a half day shoot. How was she able to work two stories per day for three and a half consecutive days? The German hair and make-up artist’s response may not be surprising: Organization. “Everything had to go so fast. The days were so short,” Kerstin says. “So it was just good planning and then pulling it through.” But this fits perfectly with how Kerstin prefers to work. “I prefer to plan. It’s a very German thing I guess!” she remarks through giggles. “It’s just good if you know exactly what you’re going to do. It’s nice to be spontaneous, but it helps me to be planned.” By working with the stylists, doing research on the locations and apparel, and planning out the looks, more time is spent on getting the right shot than making sure the models look right. That work was already half done because of her preparation. “It’s like a marathon sometimes, but so much fun. So much fun and so creative.” Kerstin’s ability to reach a great range of looks is likely thanks to her international work. Although Kerstin is German herself, she works prolifically for American companies, and she’s noticed that the German idea of beauty is slightly different from the American idea. “American is more bold in color. In Germany it’s way more natural, and clean,” Kerstin explains. “I would say in the US it’s a little more fun with the color and color variety.” The variety is built into her work, so it's no wonder she was able to pull this off.
  • 7.25.14   Sophie Haig Makes Less Mean More for Refinery29

    Any artist can add more. Layering paint and styles one on top of another until a shiny, crusted mask emerges, creating more distortion than representation. It takes a real artist to step out of the way and enhance what’s already there. Make up artist Sophie Haig’s latest shoot with Refinery29 was about staying fresh in the oppressive heat of Summer, and that means letting beauty shine through with as little work as possible. Sophie has an expert hand, and it takes that kind of knowledge to create such effortless looks, but we caught up with her for some insight. The shoot was profiling "12 Killer Outfits for Summer's Worst Days.” Those days filled with sticky humidity and are so hot it’s like a punch in the face. But, luckily for Sophie and the crew, they got to escape the city for a little adventure on the shoot. “There were no complaints about getting out of NYC and spending the day among beach goers at the beautiful beach and boardwalk!” she exclaims. Asbury Park, New Jersey acted as the backdrop for the free and easy shoot. Since the clothing was going to be light and airy, the make up had to reflect that feeling. In order to communicate that same feeling Sophie wanted, “to show natural skin, with hints of colors and pastels either on the eyes or lips.” This kind of work is Sophie’s specialty and she’s got a few tips for all of us. The heat in Summer can do a number on the skin, so Sophie started everything off with Avene Skin Recovery Cream for some hydration. She tells us that it “can be used on its own or mixed in with your foundation to create a more sheer coverage.” The foundation was applied as a combination of MAC Face and Body with Cinema Secret Ultimate Foundation palettes. She followed that up by contouring the face with Anastasia Contour Palette and Make Up For Ever Soft White/Gold pigment for highlights. The dewy, sun-kissed look on the cheeks is thanks to cream blushes from RMS beauty, Stila, and Make Up For Ever. Make Up For Ever was also featured prominently on the eyelids after curling the eyelashes so they looked bright and awake. OCC Lip Tars helped to bring color in for looks that worked for both day and night. Over all, the shoot was as fun as it looked, Sophie said. “It was a wonderful day, working with such a lovely team of people in such a new beautiful location.“
  • 7.24.14   Studio JeremyVille lends their playful energy to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SWIM

    The words “Fashion Week” inspire thoughts of glamorous influencers fighting through the lightning strikes of paparazzi flashes, overdressed models and fashion editors with pinched faces. Bucking this image, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SWIM Miami went in a very different direction opting for a lighter and more playful energy around their four days of industry insight. To do so they commissioed Studio JeremyVille to help them with an energetic switch up. IMG Fashion approached Studio JeremyVille to create a design that would reflect Miami, the home of the event, that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SWIM could use as a part of their visual identity. JeremyVille and Megan Mair worked together on a piece that was inspired by the aesthetic culture of Miami and would build on what Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SWIM was already doing. Studio JeremyVille says, “The design 'Reflections' is inspired by the vibrant world of Miami Beach, with its classic Art Deco architecture, colorful beach scene and the iconic pool at The Raleigh hotel.  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SWIM went on to use ‘Reflections’ for a host of visual communication outlets. They used the banner for the fashion tents, as wraps on official Mercedes vehicles, street pole flags, and the banner for their official Twitter account (it’s still up!). Adopting the image as a huge part of their visual identity meant that JeremyVille’s typical playful and carefree style left an indelible imprint on such a high profile, international even. The full banner includes images of surfers on and around their boards, friendly dolphins expelling water through their blowholes, beach lifeguard towers, figures in California Dreamin’ revelry, and graphic patterns recalling the design history of the area. As Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week SWIM hit their 10th Anniversary, JeremyVille and Megan Mair reached into the past and looked to the future for a timeless representation to celebrate Miami.  
  • 7.28.14   Get a Taste of Dom Pérignon from Todd Selby's Signature Photography and Watercolors

    A cursory glance at Todd Selby’s book, Edible Selby, is almost overwhelming in its breadth of scope. Todd travelled all over the world taking pictures and putting his impressions down in watercolor. From Mission Chinese Food, to Noma, to Mast Brother’s Chocolate, Todd has taken a bite out of world cuisine. But, in the typical Selby fashion, Edible Selby offers a super accessible take on some of the most difficult reservations in the world. The average reader cannot travel to Denmark and pow-wow with René Redzepi over live shrimp in a brown butter emulsion, or flowers with a sea buckthorn vinaigrette. Todd’s experiential photography brings the viewer in on the pleasure of the moment, only lacking the ability to eat the beautifully composed dishes. It was only natural for Dom Pérignon to tap Todd to document their “Creative Combustion” Project built around Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003. The event was so private, but so expertly constructed, it needed a wider audience, so Todd was their guy. The Creative Combustion project took nine of the most celebrated international chefs and tasked them with building dishes inspired by Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 2003. What resulted were dishes that pushed the boundaries of innovation and creativity and Todd was on hand to bring us all along with him. He photographed the chefs through the entire process of considering their ingredients, preparing the dishes, to serving and enjoying their completed work. It was a comprehensive procedural look, but he also added something a little deeper. Documentary photographs can’t always bring a representation of a full experience. Documentation is limited by access, both physical and personal. But creative representations can give a fuller picture, and Todd Selby offered a whole other level of the experience with his watercolors. Providing clean portraits of each of the participating chefs, Todd represented them in a way that’s more accessible to those of us that didn’t have the pleasure of attending. Todd’s effortless style extended to ingredients and dishes, giving us a look at lobsters, rabbits, and oysters. He breaks the objects down like the chefs do, separating them in to the essential parts so we can consume them in the most pleasurable way. These pleasing consumables were such a triumph that Dom Pérignon even asked him to paint their label in his freehand style, bringing a personal flair to the representation of one of the most widely recognizable brands in the world. As Bernstein & Andriulli now represents Todd Selby for Illustration, we encourage you to check out his portfolio.
  • 7.25.14   Platon's Lens reveals the victims of a Broken Immigration System

    The People’s Portfolio, the philanthropic photography project created by Platon, documents efforts dedicated to upholding human rights and human dignity around the globe. The breaches of these rights and dignities are transnational and international, with no respect to border or nation. These injustices follow the human experience wherever it spreads and spills, and represents one of the most painful connections anyone, and everyone, can share. With the recent humanitarian crisis in the South of the United States, a bright light has been shone on the US Government’s Immigration policy, demanding the question of what Naturalized and Born Americans want to do with the influx of new undocumented immigrants. The edges of that flood of interest has just barely rubbed up against the plight of these undocumented people, and the injustices the system has inflicted upon them. This is where The People’s Portfolio steps in, to show us what we might otherwise not want to see, but what we need to see. The extreme press of focus spurred TIME to pair up with The People’s Portfolio and Human Rights Watch to present a handful of personal stories surrounding the Immigration debate. A series of photographs and videos show a world many in Washington would prefer you not to see. Robin Reineke of the Missing Migrant Project spends her time sorting through the remains of hopeful immigrants who failed to cross the Mexico / American border with their lives. These crossers perish in the desert attempting to enter the US, and when their bodies are found, Robin takes, catalogues, and attempts to identify them.  In the 1990’s the job was terrible but doable, averaging 12 remains a year. Starting in 2001, that number has leapt to 164 average remains a year. “It’s very typical for someone to be unrecognizable even the day after in the heat,” she says while walking through a cooler of filled body bags, almost all of which are tagged “John Doe.” She shows off the thousands of files of all the cases she’s working on, they fill up a bookcase, the top of filing cabinets, and spill onto the floor. “We ran out of space,” she said about all the files. “We need to find more room.”  Sometimes the easiest way for her to identify a body is with the items Robin finds on it. She goes through their pockets and finds what these hopeful immigrants brought with them to keep them safe.  Photos of family members, letters from loved ones, rosaries, talismans, all for naught. It doesn’t have to be this way, Robin cautions. She knows this because it wasn’t like this in the 90’s, this 13 fold increase of deaths is a result of political policy changes. Robin explains the thought process for the new policies of increased border patrol, “If you made it difficult enough for people to cross in safe areas, then they would see how difficult it is to cross in remote desert geographies and they wouldn’t try. They would be deterred. Over ten years later we’ve seen that hasn’t changed.” It has only forced the crossers into more dangerous situations that have claimed their lives. Robin lives every day on the real life front lines of the immigration crisis. She literally handles the victims of the tragedy, witnessing how the vacuum of a missing life can destroy the family that is left behind. “The way that these people are defined as criminals or illegals is an incredibly short-sighted way to look at a human life," she cautions. "How can we come to define someone to illegality? Is that somehow more important than their humanity, than their family, than their hopes and dreams?” Robin's story is a small piece in a large picture of how America's Immigration System begs for reform. TIME also highlighted the stories of Alina Diaz who advocates on behalf of undocumented immigrants who cannot defend themselves for fear of deportation. Marta Garcia who was prayed upon by a lawyer who defrauded her with an illegal visa, and is now being detained in Mexico. And Angie and Peter King, a brother and sister with two different immigration statuses because of an untimely death and a complex system. Each story represents another unsavory complexity that thrives in the limbo of inaction.
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