Saturday December 7th, 2013
Kid Christmas list.
They know what they want. Photo by Ryan Gibson.
Kanye vs. Creative Director.
Useless stock photos.
Delivery by Drone.
Stage of mind.
Create your own wonderland. Photo by Roy Ritchie.
Plantable wrapping paper.
Professional finger painting.
Winnie Au shoots for L’Arco Baleno, Refinery 29 and GQ.
Jared Soares featured on Photo District News.
Zachary Bako featured in The Wall Street Journal.
Adam Lerner shoots Izod Gift Guide.
Greg Ceo featured on Daily Candy.
Wynn Myers shoots look book for Kelly Wynne.
Friday December 6th, 2013
by Liz Ream
“Real Pets — Not Actors.” This is the slogan printed on the back of the Whole Foods Whole Paws products, emphasizing the fact that they utilize real talent, as opposed to trained animal talent.
However, it did take a special talent to bring Whole Foods the candid shots they were looking for in their recent ad campaign. They found it in Austin-based photographer Nicole Mlakar, who has been photographing animals for years. Nicole tries to incorporate candid, real, and lighthearted moments into her work, so she was excited about this challenging opportunity. A lot of patience and an army of dog treats later, she had a number of adorable images.
Nicole was brought in early to consult on the animals and the outdoor location chosen. All of the dogs were photographed at a park in downtown Austin, while the cats were shot in owner’s homes to keep give the images a very natural feel. The crew worked over the course of two weeks, alternating between dog and cat days. Aside from the sometimes cold and wet conditions, Nicole elaborated on the challenge of shooting animals that are not used to being in front of a camera:
“Animal talent will always be highly trained and used to working with cameras and multiple people on a set. Trained dogs can hold a sit/stay in pretty much any environment and cats know how to work for a camera. It’s a completely different ball game when working with untrained animals. You have to bring every bit of patience you have and a whole army of high-reward treats, toys and sounds. I had a great animal wrangler helping out with the shoot and we did out best to pre-screen all of the pets to ensure they wouldn’t be totally freaked by the experience.”
The feedback from the campaign has been fantastic, as Nicole has received compliments on how “fun and fresh” the images look. Of course, with any job, and especially when working with animals, Nicole has learned to be flexible:
“Ideas, pets, weather, etc. can all change at a moment’s notice and you have to be ready with a fresh approach and new ideas. My team and I were faced with many new challenges each day and I truly feel we handled them all quite successfully.”
For more of Nicole’s work, check out her website.
Thursday December 5th, 2013
by Liz Ream
When I hear Patagonia, I usually think of a really warm, fuzzy sweater that I pull over my head in the winter. Not a herd of Argentine Merino sheep grazing the Patagonia Region of South America from which the brand originates. After speaking with Seattle-based photographer Nick Hall, I have a different perspective.
Nick was recently contacted by Nature Conservancy Magazine about a project that focused on a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, Patagonia and an Argentine science organization all working together to create sustainable merino wool from farmer to the insulated outerwear we see in the stores.
Nick has a long standing relationship with the Photo Editor at Nature Conservancy magazine, and says that shoots for TNC always expand his portfolio. He shoots editorial as well as commercial, and TNC presents opportunities for Nick to keep his editorial portfolio fresh and exciting. Because the magazine is both a journalistic publication and the publication of a large environmental organization, There is a balance that must be hit between journalistic integrity and corporate communications, which NCM does beautifully.
“The Patagonia project was epic in every way from the massive landscape down there to the amount of incredible meat we ate at least once a day if not twice. When I do these assignments I learn so much. I love the opportunity I get with NCM to learn about global environment issues and the incredible conservation work they do with local people.”
The shoot days were pre-dawn to post-dusk, in the Argentinian summer. With this brought the wind, which gusted a minimum of 30km/hour constantly and proved a challenge as the crew was creating portraits with location lighting. Fortunately, one of Nick’s assistants is an avid sailor and was able to rig some lines to hold the gear in position.
Another challenge that Nick faced on the project was photographing the Merino sheep, as he quickly found that they are vastly different from the docile and tolerant English sheep he is used to. However, the crew received a bit of help from some other photographic animals:
“The Argentine Merino sheep are very difficult to get close to when they are out on the grasslands. We tried all kinds of techniques to get close to them and all failed miserably. Fortunately, and on two seperate occasions a herd of horses came to our rescue and posed beautifully in the wind. We also had some successful encounters with Guanaco. And finally, one of the ranches we worked on had a huge penguin colony for us to shoot. Penguins are awesome and very photogenic.”
Nick’s photo editor has been thrilled with the images, and there has been such a positive online response that Nick is launching a shop on his website where prints will be available for purchase.
One of Nick’s personal challenges before landing in Argentina? To eat at least one steak every day and post it on Instagram. He succeeded, but not before becoming “very familiar with the limits of his carnivore-ness.”
View highlights from the trip and BTS footage below:
For more of Nick’s work, check out his website.
Wednesday December 4th, 2013
By Melissa Ginsiorsky
Over the last month, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Thomas Strand, a portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Minneapolis. Tom came to Wonderful Machine looking for a new graphic identity, hoping to elevate his brand and bring in more of the sophisticated work he was looking for. I used his existing logo to create the appropriate stationary needed to fulfill his package.
While stationery might seem insignificant in comparison to a photographer’s website or print portfolio, we’ve found that unique stationery in certain instances can make all the difference. It’s in the stationery and promotional pieces that a brand further takes its shape and is allowed to adapt and evolve across various forms of print media. A business card that has the unique tactile quality of letterpress not only stands out as a unique piece worth holding onto, it speaks to the photographer’s commitment to his brand and his eye for the finite, yet crucial details.
Tom has been a pleasure to work with not just because of his strong work and great personality, but also because he understands the importance of securing his place in his clients’ minds by using these materials. While letterpress business cards come with a greater price tag, Tom understood that he invested in his brand, building a strong foundation that his future clients will take notice of and won’t soon forget.
Tom’s business cards are letterpress printed with black ink on Black Speckletone stock from French Paper, fused to Crane’s Fluorescent White Lettra. Letterpress printing by the awesome Scott McClelland of Paper Meets Press.
To learn more about our design services, please visit our Consulting page.
Wednesday December 4th, 2013
by Liz Ream
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that develops after a terrifying ordeal that involves physical harm or the threat of physical harm. PTSD has become more widely recognized in recent years, and is common among war veterans.
Recently, war veteran and 2013 Tour Divide finisher Kevin Campagna started Pedal Against PTSD, a young non-profit organization that is intended to bring awareness to PTSD and how cycling can help heal this disease. Dallas-based photographer Matt Jones set out to Moab with Kevin to capture him on a multi-day ride, bringing us healing images that are being used for promotions and fundraising for Pedal Against PTSD.
Because Moab is such a vast and remote area, Matt and Kevin were overwhelmed with where to begin. They dealt with the challenges of light, as they spent most of their afternoons and evenings looking for appropriate camping spots. Therefore, they had to take advantage of the early and mid-mornings as prime shooting time. Matt found the shoot rewarding despite it’s challenges:
Our goal on this particular trip was to capture as many images of what a participant would likely experience during a multi-day ride as possible. The adventure is part of the healing process, which is what we worked at capturing. Aside from the location itself, I found enjoyment through embracing the challenge of a new location and a new sport. Everything about this shoot was challenging, but rewarding from all angles. Of course camping underneath the crisp, clear sky in Utah pretty much tops the list!
Through this project, Matt learned a lot about how cycling can help those that fight with this disease, and he has been inspired to help grow the organization:
A victim to PTSD, Kevin has found endurance biking as a vehicle to fight this disease. His story, like many veterans, is one that will inspire many. By providing all gear necessary to go on both single and multi-day, self supported rides, no one will be hindered financially. Hopping on a bike, the open road, nature, campfires, building friendships and healing together is what it’s all about.
Matt plans to keep this project going as Pedal against PTSD grows. For more of Matt’s work, check out his website.