Rafael Pinho: Surreal allusions to Dali for HA magazine

Brazilian fire meets Nordic esthetics. What sounds like it could melt the polar ice caps turns out to be a very stylistically confident and wonderfully creative work by Brazilian photographer Rafael Pinho. By order of HA magazine, Pinho was granted the chance to contribute a picture series to the third issue that you’d rather expect in an art magazine than in a magazine for Icelandic architecture. The pictures have a touch of Dalí in them due to their surrealist allusions and their small details. Each picture portrays its own world where, next to the often inverted perspective, the motifs themselves pose riddles. Despite the fact that the basic idea behind these pictures is one of reduction, they depict complex structures which make the viewer curious and which are fun to unravel. Rafael Pinho intertwines man and design and thereby creates new connections. Often, you get the idea only at second sight and you catch yourself enjoying the observation. The only thing that creates kind of a common thread throughout Rafael Pinho’s wonderful journey of discovery is the background colors.

apricotberlin: Down to earth - New motifs for American Apparel

The esthetics of American Apparel’s promotional pictures have always been a controversial subject: maybe they’re too revealing, too indecent, too sexist. There definitely was enough negative press. All this, however, cannot be said about the picture series by the two photographers Jessica Schwarz and Tiago da Silva, aka apricotberlin. Connected to American Apparel’s esthetics on the one hand, they also add a breath of fresh air on the other hand. The duo, who has been working for various prestigious clients under the name of apricotberlin since 2015, has a knack for snapshots. Perfect snapshots. The viewer is on eye level with the model who enjoys a day on a beautiful beach somewhere in the world and this creates a feeling of closeness and intimacy. Feelings on which the brand has depended since the year one. Of course, there will always be critics but hopefully, the people who enjoy apricotberlin’s great work are the majority.

Peter Otto: Time Machine - Meet the futuristic Nissan Maxima

If the comic character Flash was a car, then he would surely be the latest Nissan Maxima model. And if someone is able to catch the car-Flash with a camera, then it can only be Peter Otto. But this doesn’t explain how he got back to 2016 from the future. The amazing pictures of the Nissan Maxima just look fantastic with their futuristic urban sceneries. Where can they have been shot, if not in the future?! Obviously, Peter Otto digitally edited the pictures. Most of the pictures even make you wonder whether they have been made with an airbrush rather than with a camera. If it was Nissan’s wish to present the Maxima as a pioneering car, they managed to engage the visual creator of this fantasy with Peter Otto. Everything about Peter Otto’s picture series just makes you want to get in the car and drive towards the future.

Buki Koshoni: Million Dollar Winnetou for H&M

You can’t help but get the impression that Buki Koshoni did an Eastwood marathon before his shooting for H&M and got the inspiration for his protagonist from anything between Western films and Million Dollar Baby. The wildly made-up, very sporty woman, who is definitely seeking a quarrel, gives free reign to her energy. The resulting video and the accompanying pictures are characteristic for Koshoni. Bursting with vigor, wild, loud, but above all, they’re eyecatchers. Koshoni’s seems to have a talent in general for surprising the viewer with his pictures and there is barely anyone else who manages to do this as brilliantly as him. If you want to hit the bull’s eye, you call Koshoni. And this seems to be getting about. All the better for us, since this way we get to enjoy such great pictures like those for H&M again. Of course, Koshoni definitely aims for the right target group. It is hard to imagine that there is a young woman out there who doesn’t want to be this bundle of energy in the pictures. At least from time to time.2:

Schall & Schnabel: Hello darkness my old friend

Eileen Huhn and Pierre Horn from Schall & Schnabel do not seem to be in as dark a mood as the title “Hello Darkness my old Friend” suggests. At least their internet presence and their previous successes prove a rather illustrious lifestyle. But Schall & Schnabel are a creative studio and the magazine Neverlazy is a demanding platform for creative activities. Of course, the duo came up with something special for the summer edition. In the end, and in contrast to summery feelings, the sun was packed away and melancholy was unpacked. The result is a dark fashion series that manages to depict splendor despite all the melancholy. The model Marlene, who perfectly communicates the vision of a sad soul with her expressive performance, is in the center of the glamour. The weakness she shows is her strong suit. The lost, the wistful. She fits almost perfectly into the montage technique that is used by Pierre Horn and Eileen Huhn in this series. The result is an exciting mixture of colors, collage and authentic pictures of Marlene. But also the setting, the styling and the makeup perfectly add to this project.

Kilian Kessler: Skyfall - Aesthetic machenerie photos for FERAG

It is absolutely incredible that a photographer manages to make an industrial facility look sexy. Not only does the transportation machine Skyfall by FERAG have the same name as the second-to last Bond film, but the pictures of the Swiss photographer’s product presentation show similar esthetics. Before your inner eye you can see the rolling suspension, which looks a bit like clothes bags, glide past you while you can almost hear Adele singing softly in the background and you can almost taste the Martini on your tongue. Daniel Craig would also look great swinging from the suspension. Kessler definitely appealed to a very specific emotional sphere with his pictorial language. You get the impression of looking at a powerful, precise machine that doesn’t make any mistakes and is extremely exciting to look at. One of the reasons for this effect is the fact that the pictures are rather held in black and white tones and therefore there are only a few color statements but those are wonderfully chosen for their interplay with the overall impression. The close-ups of the chrome rails, the reels and other mechanical elements create the impression of looking at real design objects. With his presentation of the transportation machine SKYFALL, Kilian Kessler finds a perfect balance between the objects’ aestheticization and the emphasis of their qualities. It is all about the details!

JehleWill: Always at home with Carado motorhomes

The people of Ravensburg must be a funny lot. The city is not only the origin of one of the most renowned manufacturers of table games, but also of two great photographers who deliver exciting pictures under the name of Jehle Will. For those two creative geniuses Benjamin Jehle and Steffen Will, no motif seems to be too simple to find something unique and special about it. So it is not surprising that a topic as plain and dry as a shooting for motorhomes can suddenly become a very aesthetic eyecatcher for Carado, the motorhome and caravan manufacturer. But that’s not the end of it. Due to the skill of the artists the two protagonists, a couple in their prime of life, gain a dynamic, friendly and playful air in front of the camera. Thanks to Jehle Will, the light flooded caravan becomes a camping oasis and the whole appearance of the pictures can definitely compete with popular campaigns for vehicle bodies. You can feel that a young and extremely promising duo was at work here and it makes you curious about what will come next.

Atli Thor Alfredsson: On the road with Thor and Atli

Atli Thor Alfredsson delivers an interesting and well-executed fashion shooting that perfectly stages the model. These observing photographs, that alternate between black-and-white pictures and colored pictures, all obviously bear Alfredsson’s slightly rough but warm hallmarks. Like nobody else, this man knows how to weave a little magic into his stories and thereby to give these snapshots great space. It is fun to watch him putting his personality into his motifs and getting a little bit of Atli out of even well-known motifs and perspectives again and again. Everyone we know would take this picture series with the greatest pleasure.

Tillmann Franzen: Tea Time in India for Tea Enterprise

The commissioned works of Tillmann Franzen are pictures that carry his very own thumbprint. He has a special talent for finding just the right moment even in his art. What looks like mere coincidence at first sight is in reality an expression of precision and the vision of a goal. With his free work “Tea Enterprise, India”, Tillmann Franzen takes us to his source of inspiration and on a journey through the lens of his camera. We become witness to a perfectly normal work day in a tea manufactory, but with Franzen’s perspective, the scenery seems dreamy. Each picture radiates with an incredible tranquility and we discover what Franzen discovers, we see what seems important to him and we become aware of the small details. The warm colors of his pictures and his reduced use of light sources create a certain magic. Tillmann Franzen’s works make you feel connected to the places depicted.

NEW ARTIST - apricotberlin: From Berlin with Love.

Apricotberlin’s motifs are reminiscent of the pictorial worlds of social media, the visual universes of instagram and snapchat. The duo—Jessica Schwarz and Tiago da Silva—stages short, immersive moments that are sometimes almost melancholic and contemplative, but always poetic and sexy. They have an extraordinary skill in casting. Their models are contemporary icons, simultaneously likable and distanced. Berlin-based artists Jessica Schwarz and Tiago da Silva originate from completely different worlds. Schwarz initially studied business administration, but even then was always looking for a way to express her creative talents. The proudly self-taught Da Silva has roots in textile design. After both discovered photography as their medium, they’ve been devoting all their passion to it, but still find time for extended excursions through Berlin.

Mathilde Karrèr: Gives a Pool Party for Vogue

It is always nice to see when good concepts are being adopted. The fact that the Dutch Vogue has hit the bull’s eye with Mathilde Karrèr cannot be denied. Her fantastic pictures got a place in the latest June-issue again. And true to Karrèr’s form, she came up with a lot of great compositions that perfectly stage the summer collections of various different designers. Throughout these pictures, there is always a golden thread and, if you will, they also tell a little story. At times, they seem like hidden object games because you constantly discover something new and interesting about her work. Anyway, everything points to Karrèr staging the pool accessories of well-heeled bathers in her picture series. She places the items with reckless abandon in her very own esthetic, which the viewer can feel. All these minute details make it pleasant and imperative to look at these pictures just a little while longer.

Oliver Mark: Takes personal portraits of Elīna Garanča

Oliver Mark, the guy whom everybody trusts, has everything a good portrait photographer needs and more. First and foremost, he had enough (and well-deserved) luck to be hired to photograph the internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano singer Elīna Garanča for the Gluck Opera Festival 2016. Considering the fact that she only gets her pictures taken every two years, Mark dealt with a real rarity here. Any possible diva-like attitude aside, the timbre between the two was just right from the beginning and we see a very relaxed and photogenic soprano singer. People just easily open up to Oliver Mark’s much-extolled aura, which proves advantageous to his job. What also plays into Mark’s hands is the fact that he was allowed to take the pictures in the Old National Gallery in Berlin, which he can definitely register as a win and a fantastic setting. Oliver Mark managed to sweeten the pill of having to wait another two years until we see something of Elīna Garanča again.

Florent Petitfrère: Gun

The fashion magazine “Gun“ sees itself as an art and fashion magazine and not as an arms lobbyist. So it’s not surprising that they requested Florent Petitfrère for an editorial series! If you are surprised, be sure that Florent delivers a perfect mix of all his former works. Again he completely satisfies the viewer in various ways, despite the fact that this series is less reduced to his specialty, black-and-white-photography. His pictures, which depict a wonderfully chosen male model, are absolutely to the point. His use of black-and-white pictures, as well as colored pictures, definitely deserves the title “art”. All these pictures are not only taken brilliantly, they are also post-processed in a very distinctive way. Petitfrère creates a collage of various levels, plays with perspectival distortions and a lot more. What really distinguishes him, though, is his eye for the big picture: The picture within the picture which does not only depict fashion but which also creates a certain commitment for and appreciation of it. Petitfrère makes something of his talent and is as enchanting as ever.

Maeve Stam: Raising a smile for Coca Cola

If you’re ever in a bad mood, do this: take a look at Maeve Stam’s website and scroll yourself happy. Because that’s the first thing you notice on the website, the joy, the fun and the happiness that Stam perfectly manages to catch in her pictures. Besides, her gift for perfect timing becomes obvious. Of course, Coca-Cola engaged the young Dutch woman for their campaign with the slogan “Choose Happiness”. It is great to see the same contentment and happiness in the faces of her pictures for the campaign that you also see in the pictures of her portfolio. This is indicative of the fact that she can also summon the Stam-magic under the stress and pressure that working for such a huge client surely comes along with. Maeve Stam is a photographer to keep in mind, especially if you want to smile from time to time.

Anders Jungermark: Juicy

Nobody likes to do a blind bargain. Thus, it is nice to see when companies pay attention and really fill the packing with what’s on the label. And this is exactly what the Swedish company Brämhults does, which produces 100% NFC Juice and bottles it with a serious promise of freshness. The company engaged a fellow countryman in order to communicate this message beyond the packaging: Anders Jungermark. Jungermark’s photography is coined by its liveliness, its esthetic and the fact that it is so invintingly constructed. For Brämhults, he follows a food truck, or in this case rather a juice truck, and catches whatever happens around the juice with his camera. The result is a picture series that convinces the viewer by means of great colors, interesting perspectives and, of course, his talented way with the shutter. Anders Jungermark’s pictures definitely whet the appetite for Brämhults’ products!

Denis Rouvre: LeClerc campain with a spark

If you get the feeling that you know a stranger very well and that you know a lot about him just by looking at a photograph, you are probably looking at the work of an extremely talented portrait photographer. Denis Rouvre, who created an image campaign for the French supermarket chain LeClerc, is a photographer like that. This series is supposed to put the regional suppliers and their products at the heart of the campaign and presents each one of them. It seems to be very important to the company to create a relationship between the customer and the producer. Luckily, they hired Denis Rouvre: Hardly any photographer knows as well as him how to find this certain chemistry. Rouvre’s pictures seem to depict the essence of a person. And in this case, we really mean the essence in its deeper meaning. Rouvre manages to create an environment and a spark that just electrifies the viewer by means of sharp contrasts, special coloring and the positioning of the subjects. And he manages this in every single photograph. Just like the people he depicts, Rouvre is a man who knows his ropes.

Sander Foederer – Exhibition *Private life / public space*

The Dutch art gallery “Seelevel Gallery” did an exhibition about People in the public space lately and managed to get four different artists on board. One of these artists is Sander Foederer, who is, as you can see on his web space, specialized on exactly this topic. Therefore, it is not surprising that he managed again to get a very special point of view on the faces in the public space. This time, he was especially interested in the facial expressions of people who are listening to or watching someone during a gathering. As is often the case with Foederer, he managed to create pictures that are quiet and intimate but nonetheless extremely expressive. He just has a special talent for creating a certain feeling of closeness for the viewer despite the distance. So you can very well imagine his pictures and their viewers. Funnily enough, he created a space where people meet in order to watch something: people who are watching something.

Knotan: Stranded! Sandqvist's new campaign

The fact that Sandqvist hired Knotan again for their summer collection 2016 proves that he is perfectly right with his unconventional way of viewing the world. This time, his models aren’t placed in the forest or the mountains, blinded by a car’s headlights or chased by an armed hunter, this time they find themselves on a ship graveyard. Simply Knotan. It is great to see that Knotan still loves uncommon poses and that he sometimes still puts the model aside in order to stage the perfect product picture. His pictures pour on this particular Knotan charm and hover somewhere between private shots and fashion shootings, artistic photographs and commissioned work. Between those poles…he performs a real balancing act.

Julia Fullerton-Batten: The Curtain Rises

If Julia Fullerton-Batten tackles a project, then it is with full commitment and planned down to the last detail. For her picture series “The Act”, she did extensive research, which is added to the films and texts of the project. The goal of the project was to fully examine the lives of the 15 sex-workers whom she interviewed in order to present their stories to the world. While working on the project, Fullerton-Batten realized that these women are living their lives as if on a stage. She decided to turn this into the Leitmotif of her picture series. Each model is staged on a carefully built scene which corresponds to her profession and which is emphasized by the lighting. The lighting is deliberately cinematic and helps to create an enigmatic interpretation of their everyday lives. Julia Fullerton-Batten’s picture series is fantastic in its use of color and its composition. Despite the fact that the women strike extreme poses in some pictures, they always look esthetic and artful. Fullerton-Batten just has this unmistakable way of giving a face to tough topics. On the one hand, the extreme is exhibited, on the other hand these works always have something smooth about them, which emphasizes the fact that they aren’t judging. It is always fun to look at her new works and to be inspired to reflect.

NEW ARTIST - Maeve Stam: The Eye of Youth

Maeve Stam’s photographs immediately enchant us, because this young photographer’s eye is so youthful and innocent. In her work, Stam articulates a lightness and ease that have become rare. Her pictures smell of endless summers und unbridled life. Perhaps that’s partly due to the fact that she often involves friends in her projects to capture real life in her works. Stam grew up in Utrecht, where she first studied graphic design for one semester. That’s where she discovered the craft of photography and decided to study it in art school. Before graduating, she moved to Amsterdam, where she still lives and works.

Sebastian Artz: On a love trip with a young couple

A photographer who already managed to tame various rock stars in front of the camera and who made an outstanding contribution not only to photography but also to moving pictures, seems to have a magic touch for people and their personal expression. Artz is such a prestigious people photographer who moved from Germany to Los Angeles and who has found his source of inspiration in the city of angels. With his free series “Youth Couple”, he tells the story of a young couple in front of beautiful landscapes but also in funny situations that create a delighted smile on our faces. All these pictures are very close to the people they present and despite them being staged, these pictures depict pure naturalness and they seem wonderfully candid and playful.

Tillmann Franzen: Honoring Boewer's objects

It is highly important to have a feeling for forms, colors and light when photographing objects. It is the combination of all these elements that makes for a perfectly staged product shoot. All of this can be easily found in Tillman Franzen’s works, which is why it was a masterstroke by the Boewer company to hire Franzen for honoring the objects of Eric Degenhardt. Degenhardt’s concepts of furniture contradict classic forms we know of tables, chairs and lamps, which makes it a challenge to highlight exactly these peculiarities. This surely must be one of the reasons why the pictures and their configuration and staging are so perfectly adapted for the interior that they make you want to touch and try what you see.

Kilian Kessler: Captures employees for RIBAG

Considering the fact that RIBAG is a firm that sells innovative lighting concepts, it is hard to stop oneself from imagining how light dawns on Kilian Kessler while working on the realization of their employee portraits. In contrast to common portrait techniques, he uses a simple technique, or rather a very reduced form. What he does is thinking one step ahead. The company works with light. Thus, he decides to work with black and white pictures in front of a dark background. He uses only one light source which highlights the person’s face and the upper half of the torso in the dark. The resulting effect inevitably provides relevance, believability and depth. Kilian Kessler wonderfully relates each person’s importance for the company’s success and the connection to the company’s products.

David Maurer: One man and his BMW 3

One man and his car – with no frills, but with rough edges. This is what the viewer gets to see in David Maurer’s picture series. The car and its driver are definitely the core of these unvarnished, straightforward pictures. What is fascinating here is the way Maurer manages to make both protagonists radiate with power and pride in such a quiet setting and with so minimalist forms. Not only the driver seems confident and calm. David also patiently got to know this exceptional setting in order to catch the perfect moment of the interplay between light and shadow in the end. This does not only make the pictures very esthetic but also a little rough and manly and the contrasts turn even the smallest details into something special. Like the story of two infamous Western heroes, the pictures of this team already cast their shadows.

Schall & Schnabel: Concept, object design and gifs for BMW Zukunftslichter

Schall & Schnabel have proven themselves yet again to be second to none when it comes to creative work. In the context of BMW’s exhibition “Lights of the Future”, they have created and staged an interesting exhibit. The resulting pictures remind the viewer of looking into a well-known toy: the kaleidoscope. It seems to be indicative that the word kaleidoscope comes from the Greek and means “to see beautiful forms” and it can be interpreted as an analogy to the basic idea of BMW’s Lights of the Future. But before we get bogged down in interpretations, it can be said that Schall & Schnabel perfectly managed to depict the alienation of typical car lights and that they skillfully implemented the exhibition’s basic idea. The resulting photos, gifs and videos show a wonderful play of colors created by light reflections that gain a mysterious air in front of the warm blue mist. Schall & Schnabel’s works are and will remain exciting.