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Wednesday February 2nd, 2011

We’ve just had a one month rotation of ads on the Creative Review website, using four interesting and unusual shots by WM photographers (see ad one and ad two). You may have already seen these ads on the CR site, but here’s an exclusive: only on this blog will you find the story behind the picture. Take a look below at the photographers explaining what went into each shot.

Stuart Conway / England
I was assigned by the Sunday Telegraph in London to go to shoot some reportage of the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah. It’s in a gorgeous location in the middle of a rugged landscape chosen to be as close to a Martian environment as possible. Astronauts and scientists from around the world come for two weeks at a time and have to live in the pod and only venture outdoors in their space suits to conduct experiments. They also have a 40 minute delay programmed into their comms systems equal to what the delay is on Mars. Visually it was very interesting and the geology the surrounding area was stunning, I only spent the day.

Whilst I was shooting I turned round and a couple of Geologists on motocross bikes skidded to a halt, lifted their helmets and introduced themselves. They then offered me a couple of dinosaur bones they had just picked up. They had been exploring on their bikes, as this area has produced a lot of amazing finds. All in all a good day of shooting and a great cover for the supplement with a great spread of photos.

Aki-Pekka Sinikoski / Finland
This photo shoot was a perfect example of how international this business is nowadays. I travelled from Helsinki (Finland) to Berlin (Germany) to take photos for a Norwegian band called Casiokids. This photo was made for their latest album, which was released in Europe by Universal Music and in the States by the Polyvinyl Records. The CD version of the album came out here in Europe as a digipacked double CD. The awesome package included more than 30 picture taken by me.

The concept of the shoot was something that I came up together with the graphic designer who made the cover. We wanted the pictures to tell kind of a short story about lonely and depressed party animals gathering together to get wasted. So it is a kind of alternative version of the “forever young” dream that the music business normally wants to show. Both the band and their record labels simply loved the idea.

This particular photo shows a bunny girl getting dumped by her date via telephone on a Friday night.

Carmelo Donato / New York
It was actually a really simple concept. I like to experiment with light as often as I can, to be able to show some of my clients different options of lighting. This was just another day in the studio having a great time. Calei’s features were perfect for the dark background and minimal lighting. I think the combination of the three gives the shoot a dream-like feeling.

Nick Aldridge / South Africa
Dinosaur sculptures in museums from the 60’s are kinda chubby, with mouse eyes and no muscle definition. Dinos from the “Jurassic Park”-era are kinda like Schwarzenegger, rippling muscles and super-aggressive. Dinosaurs from kids’ T.V. are cuddly and cute. So it occurred to me that they say much more about us than they do about the actual bones.

This picture is from the dinosaur park at Sudwala Caves, Mpumalanga, in the north of South Africa. I loved the idea of the family portrait featuring imagined relatives. I love the intergenerational nature of the picture. I love and humour of the family and the affection with which they look at the dinosaur above the granny.

So many of the images we see of dinosaurs are tableaux that are designed for us to imagine the dinosaurs in their “natural habitat,” but the family photo is such a bizarre addition to this scene with fierce velociraptors that it always makes me chuckle.

So much of my work as a photographer is about portraying the world without tourists in it, in order to attract more tourists—the tropical beaches, the romantic restaurants, the exotic destinations. So having someone in the picture taking a picture that they’ve set up, and its kinda cheesy, helps me to laugh at myself too.


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