July, 2017

shaun fenn for sap and apple

Apple and SAP announced a new partnership mid-2016 to develop powerful native apps for the iPad and iPhone which the companies say will revolutionize the mobile work experience, as well as an iOS software development kit and training academy so that businesses can easily build native iOS apps specifically for their needs.

Flash forward a year, and the two companies were ready to launch a dedicated website for the project. For website and expo creative, they turned to photographer Shaun Fenn.

I’ve shot for SAP for years—I’ve been all over the world for them. What happens pretty consistently is that when we start working with a client, we establish a connection and they keep coming back,” said Shaun.

The project involves using SAP know-how to power the backend of B2B software designed exclusively for Apple products. Shaun’s task was to convey that partnership while ensuring that the Apple products look really beautiful.

The shoot took place over two days in Brooklyn in office and warehouse environments with representatives from both clients in attendance. While the resulting images are casual and approachable in tone, the authentic moments here were created from scratch with a focus on Apple products. The intense planning and pre-production that went into the project leading up to the shoot allows for these moments to unfold organically on set.

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We had creative input from two global Fortune 100 companies, and we had to come up with something that makes everyone happy in a short period of time and under budget. These library shoots take a lot of planning, but the execution has to happen really fast ” said Shaun.

One thing we’re known for is our ability to work effectively. We get there, we execute, we’re professionals. I think that’s one of the reasons for the long-standing productive relationship. In today’s world with the tight budgets and timelines, we have to make something wonderful in a very short amount of time. ”

Despite the planning and pressure to perform on set, Shaun says everyone had a good time and it shows in the quality of the images. “Apple loves the images and SAP loves the images, and now we’re talking about another project,” he added.

Special thanks to Art Producer extraordinaire Marc for his continued trust in us, and to Dave from Apple for the great project. Link here to the SAP Apple microsite.

randal ford is on key, offbeat for austin’s kmfa

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, Austin’s classical radio KMFA launched a new campaign On Key, Offbeat, celebrating eccentric Austenites who enjoy the station. Austin advertising agency Archer Malmo enlisted Randal Ford to shoot a series of photographs, one of which was recently selected for the Communication Arts 2017 Photo Annual in the Advertising Category.


The image, unofficially titled “Dolls” features a room filled with collectible dolls (some valued at several thousand dollars) provided by the members of the Austin Doll Collectors Society. Member Mary McKenzie volunteered to represent the club in the photograph.

Randal’s team built a set, which was basically just a chair, rug, and shelves, in the doll club’s regular meeting location and filled it with dozens and dozens of dolls—princesses and ballerinas, Little Red Riding Hood and an Eskimo, hyper-realistic babies and life-size boy in a baseball uniform.

The large dolls—they were the size of a toddler—standing in the back and a baby doll in a white dress sitting in the front on the floor were especially unsettling. And then we have this perfectly normal woman sitting in the chair, drinking her tea, and listening of course to KMFA. The effect was somewhere between eccentric and creepy,” said Randal.

It’s the juxtaposition of Mary’s nonchalant nature and this unusual world of doll collecting that makes the image so shocking. It was just one of those really interesting, weird, and wonderful portrait opportunities.

Thank you Archer Malmo for the great opportunity!

annabelle breakey’s personal perfume project

Renowned food and still life photographer Annabelle Breakey has a passion for perfume. Her most recent personal project takes three of her favorite fragrances and presents them against elaborate and whimsical backdrops inspired by the fragrances themselves.

As a food and still life photographer, a lot of what I do is beautiful and fairly straight forward. I love the world of fashion—who doesn’t like glitz and glamour and makeup and shiny bits and sparkle and splashes?” laughs Annabelle. “What I wanted to do with the perfume is to talk about the essence of the nature of the subjects.

24, Faubourg, named for the address of the first Hermès store in Paris, is an homage to the company’s roots in the equestrian world. The background is a piece of calf leather toned to resemble an iconic Hermès scarf. The reigns, bridles, stirrups, ribbons, and flowers are all individual photographs married into a single image in post-production.

Leather doesn’t bend like that, so we had to bend it, pin it up, photograph it, and composite it together. We shot about 50 photographs to make this single image. We could only find one riding crop, so we had to shoot it four times. I wanted the light to be coming from the back right corner. I wanted the lighting to be authentic, so I’d rather move the object and shoot it in the space it’s going to be than cut and paste it,” she said.


Annabelle says the McQueen Parfum by Alexander McQueen is her absolute favorite fragrance. For the photograph, she was inspired by the feathers on the shoulders of the matte black bottle. The fragrance has tuberose in it, which gives it a sultry quality, and she wanted the image to evoke a magical and alluring feeling. Her first concept was based on the sculptures made out of feathers by a conceptual artist she came across in Paris. She built an elaborate background of feathers, but realized it was too busy. So she bought orchid branches and a brass birdcage and painted them black so as not to overwhelm the bottle.

It ended up being a lot more simple than I thought it would be. Perfume bottles are so small and shiny. You have to simplify the background so that the focus is on the bottle alone,” said Annabelle.


Valentino is known for contrasts. They shoot fashion and accessories in unusual locations, on the top of a mountain or in a dark alley. The style is at once tough and oh-so-feminine. For the image of the Valentino Donna fragrance, Annabelle headed to Chinatown to pick up Buddhas, firecrackers, roses, coins, and jade. She photographed all of these items individually in different compositions to create a unique background.

I wanted to create all these metaphors in the wallpaper, and then keep the image of the bottle really simple,” she said.


The images are featured on her website and in her portfolio, which she says she doesn’t get to present all that often, but when she does, the large, colorful images make a wonderful impression.

This project was just for fun. I wanted to do something a little more conceptual, with a higher level of thinking, and to execute it with photographic perfection. I wanted these images to look exquisite and delicious and natural and naturally occurring. You can do that with fragrances because they’re such amazing subjects,” said Annabelle.