Quicker, nicer, better
Welcome to our freshest website. We redesigned it so that you can quickly get to some of the nicest imagery, created by some of the bestest photographers of our time. You will find a PDF-generator, your own light box and further sharing functions for your convenience. For the first time we'll also be sharing some moving images with you, produced on location of various shoots. Have fun exploring!
David Maurer: Lotus Series - Retro meets Future
Now here's an über cool stretch of car shots if ever there was one! These are the visual feasts that come to fruition, when you simply let the guy with the vision do his thing. And in this case, the man with the vision is David Maurer. Our Frankfurt based super hero for all things made of metal with wheels or wings ( BMW, Audi, Lufthansa) took it upon himself to revive the somewhat unsung cult status of the Lotus Éclat 22 – and perhaps an unsung mechanic turned electro god?! Don't you just love those 80's RGB disco portraits?! Pimp me up David! – Deliberately combining the natural light in an abandoned industrial hall with unusual and progressive lighting tricks he has ended up creating this stunning retro future clash where the gritty contrast of the industrial surroundings comes face to face with the beautiful streamlined 1980's contours and reflections of the Lotus, a car which, at it's time was one of the most minimalist and futuristic looking things on wheels – let's just call it “futro” shall we… because if you ever want to come back to the futro again, David is the one who can take you there. Fast forward and rewind all at the same time…
Christian Rolfes: Monster Attac
Christian Rolfes loves to go to town, especially when it comes to letting his imagination run wild… Rolfes, who sure has a playful and quirky streak in him, has shot for the likes of Adidas and Der Spiegel, and top advertising agencies DDB Düsseldorf and Jung von Matt, and was voted Talent of the Year 2011 by The Art Directors Club Germany. You just need to give him a concept – in this case the festering evils of the big cities - and the freedom to go a bit bonkers in his studio, and before you know it, he'll be building whole imaginary cities out of cardboard and other things flying about in the studio that he can get his hands on, including tights. Yes, tights. Stress, pollution and other similar “angsts” of ours caused by the pressures and intensities of the cities have manifested into giant angry and all consuming monsters made out of stuffed tights. They really do have an unsettling nature to them don't they? Yet Christian still manages to keep it all gloomily tongue in cheek. What a fun shoot! So next time you have an assignment to shoot some crazy bulging tights-monsters - Who you gonna call?!
Denis Ignatov: In Wonderland with Mickey Rourke's girl
You can tell, that Denis Ignatov is really in his element when he gets to build elaborate almost cinematic trailer trash sets where he can shoot beautiful women to his hearts delight! This time he had the opportunity to shoot the elegantly chiseled model Anastassija Makarenko for HUF magazine. Anastassija also happens to be Mickey Rourke’s girlfriend of more than just 9 ½ weeks. They now live in Germany together, and apparently she has tamed him - well, with a sickle like that, I think pretty much any man would (have to) behave! Entitled “Wonderland”, we find her musing about in a neon lit twilight zone caught somewhere between the theatrical underworld and death’s favourite playground where he hangs out on his day off. Lavishly trashy, with dark and mysterious undertones, this is one gorgeous shoot, thanks also to the excellent styling by Rolf Buck. With brilliant lighting and stunning set design, Denis really has triumphed here and got the very best out of himself and his team. Next up – Vogue!
Lutz Hilgers: Reflections
Lutz Hilgers has shot for many high profile brands, such as Lavazza, Villeroy & Boch, Nokia and Sony to name a few. From fashion and lifestyle to architecture and interiors, his expertise is very wide ranging, making him one of those much sought after all-rounders who is equally great with people places and spaces alike. Recently he has been capturing his everyday observations in cities such as London and Paris, whilst on the go. The use of reflections often involves richly saturated colours that Lutz brings to our attention.
This all becomes a part of his language with which he layers surfaces and space, thus helping us create a portal into deeper dimensions within our mind’s eye and making us contemplate the seemingly mundane from a very private place. Lutz thereby invites us to go on an inner journey of our own as we dive into his photographic wanderings.
Nick Ballon: Halifax
Halifax, the musically inclined UK banking and insurance company that just can’t stop singing it’s way to our hearts, recently appointed the very talented young Nick Ballon to shoot full length portraits of their staff as a special run of alternative cover press ads for the Guardian. The agency behind this commission, which in fact was inspired by Nick’s series documenting another London based ad agency, Mother, where he was given all access to collect his obscure and charming impressions and upfront portraits on softly muted coloured backgrounds. Here, the Halifax staff are set against even more vibrantly glowing backdrops of peachy yellows, corals and fuchsias, making them pop out all the more in all their humanness which Nick manages to expose with a certain degree of collected casualness. The beauty here lies within the stillness of the apparent vibrancy. No need for song and dance.
Julia Fullerton-Batten: A Testament to Love – Cinematic Still Life of a Love Story
London based award winning photographer, Julia Fullerton-Batten presents us with a personal series she shot this year, entitled "At Testament to Love". She has created cinematic, Edward Hopper-esque stills that capture just one brief moment – the moment shortly before or after a dramatic point – of a love story. Charged with intrigue, we the viewer, are automatically drawn in to weave a web of stories around the dramatic clues we pick up on. Do we see empowered women, who have chosen this new path ahead of them, or do we see tragedy and victims of love? What we then realise, is that by placing the character at such a dramatic crossroads in their lives, we become the protagonist. It is our own deepest, most internal emotions, wishes and fears that are thus exposed by Julia, and any negative judgment we make, is ultimately, the self-criticism we need to work on most in our lives. Heavy stuff, huh?
Tillmann Franzen: Teatime at Catherine Palace with the BMW 7 series
Being an enthusiastic and passionate BMW driver himself, Tillmann was more than thrilled when Intersection Magazine invited him to shoot a lovely outdoor story of the newly revamped BMW 7 series. The shoot took him to the Catherine Palace, 25km outside of St Petersburg, where he popped in for some afternoon tea – and with a car like that parked outside the opulent rococo style palace, you might begin to feel more at home there than is appropriate… Officially the fastest limousine in the world, the “make over” of the 7 series is mostly internal and packed full of technical gadgetry, which would make even James Bond’s buddy Q suffer from a serious case of inventors-envy.
Denis Ignatov: ic! Berlin Designer in Eyewear Mag
Denis Ignatov, true to his style, continues his run of high impact portraits, this time with a commission for Eyewear Magazine to photograph Ralph Anderl, eyewear designer and founder of ic! Berlin. In the interview, we discover that this man is full of contrasts and extremes, who chooses to live his life to the full and be a minimalist at the same time. From headstands, to long cold showers and inspiration from Bach to salad, he appears as complex and simultaneously straightforward as his portraits do. Anyone with a room full of tatami mats at home has got to be philosophically inclined..! I can’t help but think what a befitting choice Denis was to shoot this story, and wonder if he too stands on his head sometimes to see the world from a different perspective.
David Maurer: Sexy Forklifts for Crown
I don't think I've ever seen an advert for a fork-lift before, have you? And certainly not as sophisticated and stylised as this one! But this oddly shaped gadget designed by the brand "Crown" is meant to be the bees knees in the secret world of fork-lifting – so much so, that none of the business managers want to spread the word of the source of their success – so the agency had to call upon David Maurer to do it for them. I can just imagine the art director going "Yes, more! More sexy please, that fork-lift has got to look sexy..!" And when you're shooting fork-lifts, it really is all about the lighting. You want a sexy fork-lift? Call David Maurer.
Julia Fullerton-Batten: Hornbachs Dreamy Immortality – The Diary of a staircase
Well here's an interesting challenge Julia Fullerton-Batten was faced with. Hornbach is a German home improvement centre, also providing parquet and stair casing to the highest standards, but they wanted to give their products the personal touch, and visualise the long lasting durable quality of their products whilst bringing up the connotations of heritage and legacy. So rather unusually, the creative concept was to blend the wooden surfaces in with the faces of those who had "laid the path" so to speak, or built the solid stair case that has seen so many generations and family stories pass by on it. Julia nailed the brief (and the parquet? Who knows..!) with her ethereal portraits of the older generation who's wood laying legacy we so unassumingly tread on today. She thus captures the dreamy immortality with which Hornbach aim to inspire the next generation of DIY enthusiasts. There are many ways to heaven, and here you have the Hornbach way.
Julia Fullerton-Batten: Retro Chic - Kids Editorial in Telegraph Magazine
The Telegraph Magazine commissioned Julia Fullerton-Batten with this rather intriguing fashion shoot starring Estela Andres and Charlie Dulieu, both just 6 years old. Retro chic is the motto, in impeccably styled interiors with 50's decor, and some very serious kids playing "grown ups". Resonating with Julia's personal series "Mothers & Daughters", this shoot has that same slightly unnerving but curiously pulling effect on us. Julia obviously knew exactly what she wanted from this shoot and has gone into great lengths to get every detail right, as is always the case with her highly narrative shoots. And somehow, I can't help but see a bit of an innocently spoilt little madame (much like Mad Men's Betty) coming across in that misty glare of Estela's, which she pulls off so effortlessly.
Tillmann Franzen: Böwer exclusive furniture collection
For this absolutely gorgeous still life series Tillmann Franzen collaborated very closely together with furniture designer Eric Degenhardt on developing the creative concept of the shoot and it's minimal yet striking set design, allowing some basic structures and materials to appear as honestly as the products themselves. Degenhardt was commissioned by Böwer, a German interiors and furniture company with carpentry history dating back to 1888. The style has evolved with the times, and in this collection you can clearly see Degenhardt's influence by Dieter Rams, which he moves on to a whole new generation. Tillmann's studio lighting is highly considered as is every single angle and those wonderful highlights of smooth turquoise and fiery bright red. I think I have a severe case of furniture envy!
Denis Ignatov: Backstage at Circus Traber
Germany based portrait photographer Denis Ignatov went off to do his own project and visited Circus Traber, a long standing, traditional family circus which travels all over Germany with 40 people and 70 animals. In this sneak preview, Denis demonstrates his gritty film noir style here in these shots of two Traber brothers who sure know how to juggle and balance a chair on their chin. As you do. Other performances include an impressive dressage show with horses, daring trapeze artistry and hula-hoops with little Angelie, just 5 years old. You'd think work is all fun n games for the artists and acrobats in the circus, but the Traber kids still have school to attend and exams to write - in a virtual classroom! But then again, that's kinda cool isn't it?
Tillmann Franzen: Industrial landscapes and trucks for Kranunion
Quite simply put: Truck Porn. That’s what this is. Who would have thought you’d find yourself drooling over charcoal ridden, industrial landscape shots of trucks and diggers with great big man-sized wheels – but you do, just like any 5 year old boy would. And Tillmann Franzen, was the lucky lucky boy (SO jealous!!) to go shoot these big boys for the German Kranunion – btw, check out their website, it’s pretty cool – there are Tucans, Pelicans and Condors to be seen amongst other fascinating industrial creatures. What an awesome assignment, and what awesomely gritty shots Tillmann has come back with!
David Maurer: ŠKODA summer images
David who has a thing or two for shooting cars, planes, trains and anything propelled by speed, is clearly Škoda’s top choice when it comes to shooting their campaigns. This season’s “Visage” summer campaign for the Sky Blue Collection by Skoda is in a way, a campaign in a campaign. So glamorous, so shiny (thanks to David’s excellent lighting of course), it’s just too tempting to walk past… Want a make-over? Get a Sky Blue Škoda! Don’t bother with the hairdresser, that only lasts a couple of weeks.
Dean West: Yearning for the endangered rainforest
Perhaps somewhat inspired by Thomas Struth’s series “Paradise”, Dean West set out to document the intensity of the temperated forests of the Pacific North West, in the US with this stunning series entitled “Olympia”. Being very aware of how precious and less and less accessible a patch of nature has become to our city dwellers, in a society which is also consuming the world’s natural resources at an alarming pace, Dean wanted to very consciously take in every single luscious detail he could capture in these forests, and preserve them in super large scale limited edition wall prints, creating the most hyper real, engulfing effect on the viewer. Where Struth’s intentions and effects were more cerebral, West’s series is very different from this and much more “experiential”, with an almost physical and immediate impact on us. Impressive stuff whichever angle you look at it from.
Julia Fullerton-Batten: Intimate portrait series
Now for a very touching personal series by Julia Fullerton-Batten. Eerie at first impression, when we delve deeper, we learn that these images are of people who are visually impaired in different ways, from different stages in their lives.
Julia left the choice of location to make up the background up to her subjects, and hence created a series of images that carries strong emotional meanings for her sitters.
The photographs conjure up a poetic sensory perception of the emotional relationship between the space and the sitter, such as Alan, 50, who suffers from glaucoma describes as follows: “Even now I can walk to the edge of my village and scan the rim of the opposite hills, getting that sense of space, of distance. Consciously breathing it in. Drinking it in. In case it fades.”
Reality fades into a delicate visual memory for these courageous people, and Julia has brought this visceral notion across with great artistry.
Denis Ignatov: Y – conductor portrait
Denis Ignatov who is known for his intense and iconic portraits, was recently invited by the Konzerthaus Dortmund to photograph Yannick Nézet-Séguin (also known as “Y”) for their print campaign promoting this highly talented young conductor.
The campaign celebrates the French-Canadian artist from Montreal’s residency with the Konzerthaus Dortmund, where he will be based exclusively for 3 years.
Denis created something rather unusual for this genre, dramatizing the portrait with a more modern transcendental touch, to reflect Y’s unique style and talent in a field otherwise dominated by an older generation. Not all conductors look like mad professors.
Nick Ballon: Looking for traces of formerly glamorous South American airline Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano. Book and exhibition in London
Nick BALLON spent six months in Bolivia for his latest book project. Here he photographed and documented the last two remaining airplanes – including the eponymous Ezekiel 36:36 – from the formerly glamorous South American airline Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB).
Founded in 1925, this is not only one of the oldest airlines, but also played an important part in the history of its country. The privatisation in 1994 marked their downfall, which is pervaded by corruption and mismanagement.
Ballon says: ‘the story of LAB is in many ways the story of the Bolivian people, caught between past glory and grandeur, and a promised future that never seems to arrive. It is the story of an airline waiting for a miracle…. On the second trip, there was fresh news of a $30m investment from Russia, so there was excitement about the possibility of flying by Christmas. I couldn’t help but get caught up in their yearning to fly again.’
The Ezekiel 36:36 book also contains archive material from the airline company as well as Nick’s photographs of the machines and last remaining staff. You can see the images from the book in London until 31 August as part of an exhibition (KK Outlet, 42 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB).
You can purchase this book via the website they created especially for this purpose: www.labproject.co.uk
and at any good bookshop. The first edition (£25) will be published in a print run of 500 including an airline ticket and as a special artist edition in a print run of 50 including a signed print.
Nick Ballon: IKEA Summer Campaign
Nick, who is usually known for his portraits packed with calm concentration and his landscapes of often mundane yet poignantly beautiful and amusingly dry observations, points his lens towards our back gardens for a change. Featuring Ikea’s new range of gardening furniture, to have full control over the shoot, the team at the London based agency decided to head to Cape Town for this production. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, except, the grumpy little gnomes who aren’t too happy about us having too good a time in our otherwise neglected gardens, with one even packing his bags to go find a quieter place. Hey ho…
Denis Ignatov: WELLA Trends 2013
Wella and Denis Ignatov had set themselves a rather elaborate task when shooting the newest lookbook of hairstyle trends for 2013. The trends first had to be developed in collaboration with Wella’s top hairstylists, for Denis and the agency to then work on the creative concept together, for each new trend. From cut to colour, tone to texture, everything has been considered, even style variations per trend and the set design to go with it. There’s Echo, the edgy yet minimal statement trend which is quite short and sharp for those too cool for school; Decibel, the short or long cut with plum highlights that can appear soft and feminine or be styled up for that night out to a rock concert; Allegra, the classic elegant look which can be fiery at the same time – Which dress darling? Just go as you are! - and last but not least Fusion, the Asian inspired bobbed cut, with gorgeous blends of fuchsia and smokey colours. Shot in Düsseldorf, with 7 stylists on the go, and 9 models to pamper to, Denis wrapped it all up professionally to set the Wella trends for 2013 with his immaculate attention to detail and his perfect glossy finish. Can I have a make-over, too, please..?!
Tillmann Franzen: Mercedes A-Class stylish in AD Magazine
Bordeaux, Rhône, Alsace? No, this is not the South of France. We’re talking Stuttgart here, a little town on the outskirts called Uhlbach to be more precise. And who better to send there to shoot the brand new Mercedes A-Class amongst the cascading vineyards than Mr Tillmann Franzen? Tillmann, who nails pretty much every brief you give him, really enjoyed this shoot, commissioned by AD Magazine to feature the dynamic new design of the A-Class. He even got to meet Mark Fetherston, the man himself responsible for the exterior design of the car. Who would have thought that the otherwise classically minded brand Mercedes could be this stylish and sexy?! Thanks to Mr Fetherston and Mr Franzen we no longer need convincing…
David Maurer: ŠKODA Yeti campaign in Prague
David Maurer, was off to Prague this time, to shoot a Yeti. What’s a Yeti doing in Prague you might ask? Being highly experienced shooting car campaigns, David was commissioned to create the latest Skoda Yeti campaign. This neat 4x4 which has won many awards, is all about finding that perfect balance between city life and off-road adventure – for those who want it all in one - and Prague proved itself to be an ideal backdrop for this dual concept, in terms of its relatively unrecognisable aesthetic, its proximity to beautiful untouched landscapes and from a production point of view. With his technical finesse, David blended the two together creating an entirely new landscape – quite a feat when you have to consider all these elements such as horizons, angles, lighting, shadows, reflections and what not… And he makes it look so easy!
Sander Foederer: METRO CASH & CARRY report 2nd part
Part two of Sander's trip to 5 countries for Metro Cash & Carry was to visit their branch in Paris. The self-service wholesale retailers are particularly known for the quality of their highly fresh produce. This time Sander accompanied some of Metro's customers along the way in their shopping experience, from selecting the freshest greens and vegetables to visiting their businesses where product meets end user. Sander tells us the human stories that lie behind the wholesale industry, like that of the charming grocer who knows his apples from his pears, or the gourmet chef who runs a fine restaurant down town á Paris. Alors, bon appetit!