• 6.19.15   Marc Hom Keeps it Moving with Mika

    If you’re familiar with the work of Marc Hom, you’ve become accustomed to dramatic images with rich colors and luxurious lighting. There is a stillness that suffuses his work, a calm passion that is signature to Marc’s photographs. But for his latest cover with Vanity Fair Italia, Marc went in a slightly different direction. “There's movement to it which I like. It's a bit more loose than other things that I do,” says Marc about his latest cover with Vanity Fair that features European music sensation Mika. Mika expresses himself in many different arenas, and operates with a distinct intensity. But for this shoot, the two artists met in the middle and worked off each other’s creative impulses. Mika and Marc have worked together before, so they already had a rapport walking into this shoot. That helped them jump right in and get started. The last time they worked together, they created images that really sang Mika’s creative energy. When Marc compares this shoot to the last time, he says it’s, “Not so extreme, not so elongated in his poses. A little bit more straight forward. A little bit less quirky.” Mika is known for his explosive energy, so he and Marc found a way to be honest to both of their ways of working. In developing a pared down experience, Marc and Mika got to the root of their collective passions and found a natural stillness at the core. “I think there was a certain effortlessness to it which is always great,” says Mark. “Mika knows what he likes. I think we just have good communication with where we want to take pictures. When that’s in place it offers another kind of freedom to do what you want to do,” says Marc. As their creative relationship develops, they’re able to follow different lines of inspiration and energy, composing images that are unique and honest. Even though the images offer a calmer quality than what we usually see from Mika, Marc made sure the energy on set stayed high so the images would remain dynamic. “When you work fast you keep the rhythm up - I like that. We didn’t take too long between each change and you just keep going.” The constant flow of communication between Mark and Mika made for a collaboration that was honest to both of their styles, and a look at their shared work.
  • 6.30.15   It's Wild On Set with Mark Hunter and UE Boom

    Mark Hunter’s work is filled with a signature energy. He honed that look when he was photographing nightclubs, and has carried it into his commercial work, creating space for those energies to converge when paired up with the right brands. UE Boom, a portable speaker company, is one of those brands that he’s found synergy with. “I’ve worked with UE Boom now for a few years on different projects, and there’s something about their product that just creates an insane energy,” he says. “What’s so great about working for them is they want to show the versatility of the speaker and all the fun things you can do with it. So we always try to push it to the limit." And for their latest campaign, they did push it to the limit. Mark and his crew traveled to Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles with their talent to throw a massive party and shoot the campaign as the celebration went on. “We had a slip-n-slide, we had water balloons, squirt gun fights, we did a little barbeque,” says Mark. “When I do these kinds of lifestyle shoots, I really want to set up an environment where my models are going to actually enjoy themselves.” Basically, Mark lets his on camera talent jump into the party and then he grabs his camera and captures as many authentic moments as he can. It’s the only way to ensure that every moment will reflect honest moments and energy. With that many people running around, water flying every which way, and the music dialed up to 100, it can be challenging to coordinate everything. But for Mark, that’s a part of what makes it so great. “It’s a delicate balance when you’re directing the talent to act natural and look out for the product. It’s a very overwhelming set but it’s sort of how I thrive,” he explains. At the end of the day, it all works with Mark’s style to create the best campaign possible. “It’s not posed; the images are reacting to the elements and what’s happening. It is one of the best translations of my photography style into a commercial situation.” For a portable, waterproof speaker the energy that Mark Hunter brings to all his shoots was exactly what they needed.
  • 6.29.15   Polyester Makes Limitations an Asset for Smile Train

    Every year more than 170-thousand children are born with cleft lips or cleft palates. These conditions make it difficult or impossible for them to eat, breathe, or speak properly. And, as non-profit Smile Train points out, it also hinders their smiles. Smile Train uses their donations to provide surgeries for as many of these children as possible enabling them to lead rich and productive lives without being encumbered by the disability they were born with.  Just recently, Smile Train teamed up with Polyester Studio to help get their message out there. That message? That Smile Train makes more smiles possible. As they tell it, every child smiles as much as 400 times a day so they should look and feel their best. Every dollar that Smile Train receives helps them reach out to as many kids as possible. The themes of Smile Train’s work is neither easy nor cheerful, but when the non-profit is successful it can be a celebration. That’s where they started with Polyester: to bring a piece that highlighted the joy and hope of their work. It is a short and condensed piece, but full of bright imagery. A delightful deluge of smiling children one after another flash over the screen in a very limited color palate. It is a celebration of joy and laughter in a short amount of time, and a reminder of the benefits of Smile Train’s work. Limits, like the narrow color palette of the spot, are rarely considered a blessing when we think about placing boundaries on art. But Jeremy Dimmock from Polyester says that they can actually help an artist reach potential. “The more restrictions you put on creative people, the more it allows them to push further in other areas,” he explains. Polyester was limited in the amount of time they had for the final piece, but also by the color palate. They were only allowed white, and two blues. But because of these limitations it makes the piece communicate better. By excising the excess, it clarifies the message. “It doesn’t seem totally chaotic because it’s such a wonderfully limited palette and it is so nicely graphic,” says Jeremy. “The limitations kind of give direction, letting us know what we have to do and go for it.” This spot is just one of a collection of pieces they're completing for the non-profit. We've included another one of the fruits of this ongoing collaboration.
  • 6.26.15   The Individuals of San Francisco by Jason Madara

    Any city, any community, is a collection of people. Its make up and status as a destination is reliant upon the people who populate it. Few cities are better known for their people than San Francisco, full of radicals and businessmen, hippies and the old guard. Jason Madara counts himself among the artists of San Francisco, operating his studio out of the City by the Bay. But it was George McCalman, Art Director of McCalmanCo, who proposed they take a look at their community and document the individuals that make San Francisco so unique. Jason and George have been friends for years, even sharing a studio together. The initial conversation for this project, that they call “Individuals,” took place in 2009. It wasn’t until earlier this year, six years later, that they were finally able to get the shoot together. They brought together a diverse group of artists and entrepreneurs from all over the city, people who had supported Jason, McCalman, and their communities, to be the best representation of what San Francisco is. Photographers, Writer, Chefs, Architects, Designers, Florists. These are the people that stand behind storefronts and prepare the morning coffee. They design the buildings and paint the walls inside them. They are how a city works. “For me and George this is to show the creativity of San Francisco,” explains Jason. “It’s such an amazing, creative place where a lot of people just stay in the shadows. They don’t really come out and be seen. Especially artists.” Because of this project these previously anonymous artists will be seen. The array of crucial positions that keep the city moving is juxtaposed against the stark and simple backgrounds that Jason and McCalmanCo chose to set the tone. They’re textured sheets and broad white boards, making the faces of these characters pop out so that we see who they are rather than what they represent. In a city of nearly one million inhabitants, it’s easy to forget that every life is unique. But thanks to “Individuals” we’ll never make that mistake. “Individuals” is an ongoing collaboration between Jason Madara and George McCalman and the shots included here represent the fruits of their first shoot. Jason and George intend to continue documenting the creative people around them with the culminating goal of completing a book. Stay tuned!  
  • 6.25.15   Rod Hunt and Ikea Make a Home for Every Family

    Since rising to incredible popularity over the last decade, Ikea has become synonymous with accessible interior design. Their massive collection and affordable prices mean that there is an Ikea piece that will fit into almost anyone’s life. But not everyone was aware of that. In fact, Ikea found a handful of families who felt left out of Ikea’s identity. So Ikea wanted to show them how much they already belonged. Teaming up with BBDO, Ikea tapped Rod Hunt and famed Russian author Grigory Oster to bring some of Ikea’s stranger potential customers into the fray. Over the course of months, Ikea conducted interviews and accepted submissions from unique personalities. Oster took those conversations and turned them into short stories that were finally compiled into a book called Kvartirovedenie, which can be translated to “Apartmentology.” Then the families worked with Ikea to the find the selection of pieces that were right for them and help them express their identities in their living spaces. Finally, Rod Hunt got familiar with ten of these groups and their new Ikea furniture, incorporating every element into a massive illustration that showed each family compartmentalized as if on one floor of Ikea. This illustration is completely navigable and interactive on their site as a game where you can explore the entire complex. In Rod’s illustration these mini homes fit together like puzzle pieces, showing the irony of how these people who didn’t see themselves fitting in at all now flawlessly share their walls with families who are so different from them. At the end of the day it is proof that there is a space for every family, no matter what they look like, as long as we’re willing to help find them their space. Check out Rod's full illustration, and the video where you get to meet these characters, below.
  • 6.24.15   Jeff Soto Is Repopulating the World's Mysterious Corners

    The problem with the world today, as painter Jeff Soto sees it, is that we’ve become so accustomed to documentation that we’ve expunged mystery. The corners of our world are so photographed and catalogued as we chase the shadows with flashlights that it is impossible for anything to hide. We lift every stone and plunge every cave, threatening the habitats of our imagination with extinction. And it’s a real shame. “I grew up with the idea that Big Foot is probably real, we just haven’t found him,” explains Jeff. “And the Loch Ness Monster is out there. There are all these mysteries. It’s a better world when there’s some mystery out there.” Jeff cannot stand by and let these things happen. So he’s populating this world with as much mystery as he can. In Nightgardens, Jeff’s first ever solo show in his hometown of Los Angeles, he began by exploring traditional painting genres and techniques. Almost every painting started as a landscape, but quickly each found a life of its own. “It’s funny, when I look at the paintings I’ve done for this show it doesn’t really look like landscape painting,” he says. “They all started with a landscape or a loose idea of a landscape. There’s kind of an exploration of the dark and mysterious. There’s a lot that I’ve been thinking about.” As Jeff plumbs these questions, characters and beings show up in his scenes. Their appearance is like a reaction to the extinction of mystery in our world. Almost as if they arrive to be counted at a call for attendance. They show up to prove they’re still there and we should still wonder. We can relax that there is still more to find, still more to understand. Jeff set up Nightgardens as a personal challenge to himself. He’s using it as an opportunity to explore creatively, and scratch his artistic and intellectual itches. “Every painting is a challenge and there’s an uncertainty,” says Jeff, wading into the lands he’s exploring in Nightgardens. “It makes me sad that maybe we’ve found everything or we know everything. There’s no way we know everything, but I just like to think we don’t know anything. There’s a lot more to explore, I would hope.” Nightgardens opens on June 27 at KP Projects / MKG, and will be on view through July 25.
  • 6.23.15   He & Me Make Luxury Relatable for Lexus

    San Francisco is a unique city. Founded largely on the Gold Rush of 1849, it is a mixture of classic charm and brand new styling. Plenty of old money contextualizes the traditional architecture, while the recent tech boom has updated skyscrapers dressed in glass. It is the perfect mixture of luxury and comfortable modernity. The city was the ideal backdrop for He & Me’s latest shoot for Lexus’ NX series. The German photographer duo made up of Tom Mennemann and Yona Heckl brought these sporty and luxurious cars through the city to show off the variable milieus that Lexus’ cars fit expertly within. The Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, Battery Street, and even the California coastline set the backdrop for the cars placing them effortlessly, but also anonymously, within a city that feels international. Major landmarks that identify San Francisco have been largely avoided to make the images as relatable as possible. Bringing a range of experience into the images, set within the borders of the blended aesthetic, allow He&Me’s images to connect to Lexus’ customers. And the range of experience is built directly into how He&Me work. The duo shoots in tandem, using two sets of eyes to see their scenes from every angle.  “Two different cameras. Two different angles. Two different heights. Two different lenses,” explains Tom. “We shoot quite a lot.” That ensures they don’t miss anything, experiencing the cars from every point of view, establishing a frame of reference for every customer. Cars are meant to be used by people, so they have to be relatable while being presented in the best way possible. As Tom tells it, “Our goal is to mix car photography with people photography.” For Yona and Tom car photography is people photography, because even if people aren’t in the frames, they were intended to drive the cars. The two photographers work for the context to make the beautiful machines seem livable, human, and framed to captivate their audience. They understand the cars, and see them clearly, so that the customers don’t need to imagine themselves owning the car. They feel like they already do.
B&A Instafeed
  • It
    likes 19 // comments 1
  • Zeitguised really rocked it out in this CGI animation for @mtv.
    likes 55 // comments 1
  • Today the Supreme Court passed down a ruling that will echo through history. Democracy is not tidy, requires work, and demands civic engagement. Justice Sotomayor - seen here in a photograph by @platon - is one of the nine people who put in this ruling. It is a solemn duty and we thank her and her colleagues for their indispensable service.
    likes 45 // comments
  • Rest in Peace to Michael Jackson, the King of Pop. Illustration by @stan_chow.
    likes 59 // comments 4
  • Keeping it very regal this #Wednesday, like this super classed up pic with HMU by Kirsten Jaeger for @unchartedplay.
    likes 39 // comments
  • If our last post was how we felt on Friday, this Dan Craig piece is how we feel on Monday. #caseofthemondays
    likes 34 // comments 1
  • Okay guys. It
    likes 60 // comments 2
  • Are you ready for the weekend but it still feels a little too far? Here
    likes 90 // comments
  • This past March, @joeyldotcom traveled solo to Kurdistan so he could better understand the complexity of the conflicts in that region. What he found may surprise you, and will certainly deepen your understanding of these events that are so crucial to the world.
    likes 47 // comments
  • If you find us at @lebookconnect you can pick up one of our new pins!
    likes 56 // comments 2
  • Who are you rooting for tonight in #Game6 of the @nba between the #Cavs and #Warriors? @ilovedust brought @kingjames to life in this illustration for @Nike.
    likes 64 // comments 2
  • Congratulations to the cast and crew of @gameofthrones on another viciously successful season. Check out this shot of @emilia_clarke by @marchomstudio for @entertainmentweekly. #got #gameofthrones
    likes 116 // comments 4
  • @kaiandsunny
    likes 40 // comments
  • Are you excited for @oitnb on @netflix like we are? Check out @uzoaduba in the latest issue of @asifmagazine as styled by @staceyjjones. #orangeisthenewblack #oitnb
    likes 40 // comments 1
  • On this #ThrowbackThursday consider this goodie by @jeremyville, "Nothing of true greatness comes easily." #inspiration
    likes 58 // comments 1
  • Did you see that our #WomanCrushWednesday @nickiminaj is on the cover of @cosmopolitan? Environmental styling by @jessenemeth.
    likes 34 // comments
  • @arsthanea makes beauty brutal in this #TransformationTuesday CGI Illustration.
    likes 89 // comments 3
  • Our #MancrushMonday is the ever expressive Nelly (aka @derrtymo) as shot by @jonathanmannion.
    likes 28 // comments 3
  • Rolling up on the #weekend be like... (Composite image by @serialcut with @vasavastudio for @offfest.)
    likes 47 // comments
  • #ThrowbackThursday to when @marchomstudio shot Benedict Cumberbatch for @elleuk. #benedictcumberbatch @benedictcum
    likes 55 // comments 2
  • @serialcut
    likes 74 // comments
  • @elisaflowersmakeup got edgy in her latest shoot with @glwoodphoto. Talk about a #TransformationTuesday !
    likes 64 // comments 3
  • After a weekend like this, it
    likes 45 // comments
  • Bust out that mix tape this weekend like this illustration by @polyesterstudio. Happy Friday!
    likes 56 // comments 1
  • 7.4.15
    Kai and Sunny / Ryan Delahoz 'Matter of Time' Exhibit @ 886 Geary Gallery San Francisco
  • 7.18.15
    Marcus Bleasdale Exhibit, 625 The Price of Precious: Conflict Minerals in Congo

    The ART WORKS Studio, 625 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago, May 23 - July 18  

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