July, 2016

fear no mess : annabelle breakey, m/h and method

Annabelle Breakey teamed up with the amazing creative agency MUH-TAY-ZIK | HOF-FER to shoot Method’s recent Fear No Mess campaign. The assignment was nine wild and wacky shots portraying a series of “messes,” the kind any active family might find themselves in.

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It was a big crazy day of shooting at Annabelle’s studio in San Francisco. They had ice cream sandwiches, silly string, ketchup, sparkly purple glue, grass-stained socks, cotton candy, caramel apples, corn dogs, Cheetos, and a very unfortunate incident with a strawberry-filled crepe.

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All the concepts were in place and there were some loose parameters—the agency had these crazy ideas—but it was up to us to make them happen in a whimsical way. We basically had free reign to execute their ideas,” said Annabelle.

Food stylist Abby Stolfo brought in a cotton candy machine and set about making a barrel of candy apples and corn dogs. “It was a food fest,” said Annabelle.

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Meanwhile prop stylist Emma Star Jensen was dealing with the silly string. “Silly string doesn’t do what you want it to do—it doesn’t do what you think it’s going to do—but it was so much fun to work with. I think that photo is my favorite,” said Annabelle.

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There was silly string everywhere, there were Cheetos everywhere. Everybody had Cheeto hands. Photography can be quite serious sometimes and it’s really intense. Our whole goal was just to act kid-like and make these images in a really playful way, it was so liberating.

 

The images were used on Method’s website and social media, and have gotten a really positive response.

We had a huge crew and it was are really long and challenging day. But really it was also so rewarding because the team was just great to work with and it was fun to be in this playful environment where you could just make the biggest mess you want.

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When I reached out to creative director Tony Zimney to ask about shooting with Annabelle, here was his response:

I can’t say enough good things about Annabelle. She was quick and efficient and the photos turned out marvelously. We shot nine setups over the course of the day involving talent and food and retouching and she turned everything around in lightning speed. The shots weren’t easy. Shooting spilled food from underneath a plane of glass and catching ketchup flying through the air. But Annabelle was kind and collaborative and made every photo look better than we could’ve hoped. She was the perfect partner to make messes look beautiful and artistic. I can’t wait to work with her again.

A huge thank you to Tony, Joel, Molly and Michelle from MTZH for the fantastic opportunity to collaborate. We can’t wait to work with YOU all again.

randal ford for purina and the martin agency

In his first collaboration with The Martin Agency, photographer Randal Ford was hired to shoot an integrated print and live action campaign for Purina Mills’ entitled Animals Speak Louder Than Words. The campaign consisted of four print executions and a :30 broadcast spot. Having Randal direct the live action and shoot the print made for a stunning campaign showcasing a cohesive aesthetic.

The concept was simple: Shoot the most beautiful animals that could be found on an extra black background and place red quotation marks around them as they peer proudly out of the darkness.

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Most of Randal’s work with animals is shot in Los Angeles because there are a number of studios set up to work with animals and an abundance of animal trainers to work with. The Purina Mills project however was shot in Dallas because that’s where they were able to find the caliber of show animals they were looking for.

This campaign is targeted to people who really know animals, so we wanted to find the absolute prettiest show animals possible,” says Randal. The campaign images include a horse, a cow, a chicken, and a very regal looking pig.

Because we were using show animals rather than actor animals like you would find in LA, they didn’t necessarily have a lot of on camera experience. They’re not super well trained. For example, it was difficult to get the pig to stand with his head up, because that’s not how pigs are designed—they’re designed to have their nose on the floor. Every animal has some different challenge, and there’s a certain amount of control that you sacrifice when shooting them, which is one of the reasons I like it so much.

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However despite their lack of Hollywood experience, Randal says the animals didn’t have a problem getting used to the powerful strobes he was using.

This is such a simple concept but it still tells a story—I think those are the hardest to come up with, but I think they’re also the most powerful. The Martin Agency and the creative team really did a great job coming up with the concept for this project,” says Randal.

Randal’s images for the Purina campaign just won in the 2016 Communication Arts Photography Annual. The opening spread of the CA gallery of award-winners includes this quote by one of the judges, Lionel Ferreira; “The creative mix of concept and craft still owns the day.” What a perfect quote to describe The Martin Agency’s simple and stunning concepts and Randal’s gorgeous imagery.

Take a look at the behind the scenes of this amazing shoot.