Over the last few months, Andrew Maguire has been getting creative for clients who need to shoot small but still look big. It’s a new challenge that takes more than a great photographer. It takes the experience of having done lots of big shoots for big brands, so you carry their strategy and art direction in your head, even when you’re shooting on your own. Whether Andrew is casting outdoor enthusiasts from his own circle of friends for Eddie Bauer or working with elite athletes from the Saucony running team, the result is the same: work that looks both spontaneously authentic and totally on-brand.
Fashion is a visual medium. But photography isn’t the only language it speaks. Illustration can often be an even more evocative and engaging way to go, and in these days of distanced photo-shooting, it’s a great option. Cindy Salans Rosenheim did the first 6 of these illustrations onsite at Ferragamo stores. In just 5 minutes, she captured the feel and attitude of the outfit, the wearer, and the brand with a kind of unmistakable charm only a great fashion illustrator can achieve. If that’s what she can do in 5 minutes, just think what she could do for your brand.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, I’m once again thrilled to welcome another exciting addition to the FSC family: the award-winning Washington DC-based photographer/director Eli Meir Kaplan. Eli started out in documentary photography, and that experience shines through in the commercial work he does today. He has a sixth sense for finding moments of human emotion and a craftsman’s eye for beautiful composition, color and light. That’s a combination that has worked like a charm for client’s as diverse as AARP, Bank of America, Comcast and BlueCross BlueShield, as well as an impressive roster of major magazines and agencies. We look forward to seeing all the beautiful faces and places he’ll capture for our clients.
Once again, I have the happy task of welcoming a new photographer to our family. John Hafner is based in Missoula, but his studio is, in his words, “God’s great outdoors.” John has shot all over the planet for clients like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Filson, Under Armour and Yeti, as well as on editorial assignments from Alaska to Zimbabwe. And whether he’s doing commercial work or journalism, his images combine stunning technical skill with an expansive, fearless spirit of adventure. That’s a rare combination—and it’s why we’re thrilled to add John’s world to ours.
How can brands stay visible and relevant with the production challenges we’re all facing right now? Writer/director Jef Loeb has found creative ways to give a fresh spin to material shot before the pandemic. “Imagine That” is an award-winning campaign designed to change how people think about energy products. The latest spots, written and directed by Jef, invite viewers to imagine everything from a frisbee game in space to an undersea school bus. He also wrote and directed a video for First Databank based on the idea of “future memories” of diseases cured and medical problems solved. Watch these videos and you’ll see how Jef’s work combines deep knowledge of the industries he’s worked in with a genius for telling stories that help brands connect with people on a human level. That’s the magic that happens when a great director is also a great writer.
In the hands of a great photographer, black and white portraiture has a unique way of seeing the human soul. A powerful portrait starts with a true connection between the photographer and the subject. When that happens, the image helps us see that we’re all connected and reminds us that we’re part of what Edward Steichen called “The Family of Man.” Here are some of my favorite examples from our talented family of artists.
I’m thrilled to announce that Brooklyn-based still and motion photographer Bryan Coppede has just signed with us. Bryan is a master storyteller whose work is both beautifully crafted and deeply honest and relatable, bringing real people and their worlds to life in a truly distinctive way. For Refoundry, a nonprofit that trains formerly incarcerated people to become self-reliant woodworking artisans, he documented the Hand-in-Hand project. When a person is arrested, their handprints are taken for identification; this project reimagines that idea in a powerful, positive light. Participants place their hand in the hand of someone else to be painted, and then, in turn, paint that person’s hand. The resulting hand-prints become art that celebrates the individual and the power of collaboration and community. And that’s just the kind of story Bryan loves to craft.
Like you, I’m following the Black Lives Matter movement with a mixture of hope, grief, frustration and a profound will to do the work necessary to be an ally and dismantle systemic inequality. I don’t want to preach, and I have more questions than answers. But I want to share a simple idea. I’ve just read Robin DiAngelo’s powerful book, White Fragility, and it’s made me realize that the first thing I need to do to address racism is to understand myself in this context. As DiAngelo says, “ If I have no idea how my race shapes me, I am probably not going to be open to any feedback about how your race shapes you.”
Facing up to race and equity starts with self-education, and it starts with all of us. The advertising industry has a shameful record on diversity. IPG’s annual diversity study shows only tiny percentages of people of color in senior levels, particularly in creative. Let’s start working to correct this.
Here are two things I’ve committed to:
Diversifying our roster I’m actively recruiting promising artists of color. Watch this space for news.
Amplifying POC I’ll be regularly showcasing work by our artists that celebrates Black lives and elevates people of color.
I look forward to continuing this conversation with you.
When San Francisco-based Ashley Thompson & Ana Homonnay, who specialize in photographing children and teens were asked by a local high school to help commemorate the grads of 2020, they wanted to bring a bit of much needed closure—and a whole lot of joy. For four days, they scheduled 15-minute appointments with every grad, and, using safely distanced practices, shot a series of portraits of each student—with their families, holding their diplomas, wearing their caps and gowns, and just being themselves. They photographed more than 100 teens. The photos were used in the school’s online graduation ceremony. But Ashley & Anna knew right from the start that the shoot itself was as close to a real-live graduation as these students were going to get. So as each kid came on stage with their diploma, they led the family and the handful of teachers in the audience in a rousing cheer. Some kids laughed. Some cried. And one after another, they relaxed and let their personalities shine through. In the end, what started out as a photoshoot turned into something much more profound. It was a rite of passage—a commencement this class of 2020 and their families will never forget.
Shane Johnson spent his childhood poring over comic books. Now he’s living the dream as an illustrator, specializing in character design and licensed character work for multimedia, advertising, marketing and publishing clients. He also teaches illustration at Central Washington University, and this artwork is from a tutorial he created on isometric perspective (often used for infographics and retro-style games), which teaches students how to go from hand-drawn sketches to plugging characters and scenic elements into an isometric grid. Need character development and illustration? SuperShane to the rescue!