August, 2017

jamie kripke’s chicago fieldhouse project

Jamie Kripke’s latest personal project came about somewhat by happenstance: he was doing some photography research for a friend when he discovered the unique story of the Chicago Park District’s fieldhouses. The city began building fieldhouses in the 1850s to provide a year-round community space for athletics, recreation, and other activities. Today, the city maintains some 230 fieldhouses, nearly one for every neighborhood.

This project is similar to the project I shot about the Freemasons in that the buildings are from another time. The kind of sad part is that the buildings are really underused just because of cultural and societal changes over the years. That’s also reflected in our architecture. Many of the fieldhouses are these beautiful old buildings built out of brick and stone and wood,” said Jamie.

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He made four trips to Chicago over the past year; on each trip he visited a few more locations, wandering the halls and grounds with a tripod and his camera. No two fieldhouses are exactly alike. Some have pools, others have libraries. Rather than shoot the buildings, Jamie was looking for the details that make them unique.

It was less about the grandeur of the space and more about what I could discover that was maybe less obvious. I shot the big spaces when they were interesting, but a lot of the project was wandering around looking for these hidden details,” he said.

Taken as a whole, the collection of images tells the stories of the people who have enjoyed these community centers over the past 100 or more years. Some of his favorite images are of the swimming pool with all its textures and colors.

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I wanted to find the common thread that ties all these buildings together. What I discovered was this kind of patina that tells a story,” he said.

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You can read Jamie’s original blog post about this project here, and see all of the images on his website.

jim salzano for burlington coat factory’s #itsmystyle

Burlington Coat Factory has been around a long time—since 1924. Their focus on bringing value to their customers and tried-and-true product-forward advertising has made them a nationally recognized retailer. Recently, they wanted to do something a little different with their advertising. Rather than focus on the products, they wanted to focus on their dedicated and diverse clientele featuring a handful of aspiring artists in a series of videos designed especially for social media.

Jim Salzano was brought in by creative director Dean Stefanides to shoot the videos known by the hashtag #itsmystyle. While this is the first time Jim is working with Burlington, he’s worked on a number of projects with Dean over the years. Jim has been adding more and more video to his portfolio over the past few years (link to view his work with Macy’s and a personal series of videos featuring women in professions traditionally reserved for men).

They cast a wide net on social media to find the talent. Burlington wasn’t interested in more seasoned talent, kids that have already achieved some level of fame. They wanted normal, everyday kids on their way up.

The four selected—a rapper, beatboxer, photographer, and songwriter—are between the ages of 12 and 19. There was early discussion of shooting in a staged environment, but Jim was adamant that for the level of authenticity desired, they should shoot in their each of the subjects’ home environments.

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I just felt that it would be so much more real. I think you have to give people more than what they ask for these days,” he said.

We went to their homes, to see the places where they live, create, and play. Kayciblu lives in New Hampshire but when she’s in New York for auditions she stays with her grandmother. So we packed up and headed on over to grandma’s and shot her right there in the living room.

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In her video, Kayciblu talks about being bullied in the fourth grade and how rapping helped her to get through it (she’s now 12). “I love the spotlight. People are shocked when I tell them I’m 12,” she said.

They also shot B-roll around where the kids lived. Jim brought his camera and an assistant on the scout days so they’d be able to show the agency what each location looked like, and quite a bit of that early test footage ended up in the final spots.

On the day of a shoot, Jim takes up the position of talk show host with his crew behind him. For these types of videos, there are no teleprompters and no script. There’s only a list of questions that have been devised between Jim and the agency, and Jim’s job is to get his subjects to open up and reveal something about themselves.

There’s no intro and they never mention Burlington, except for the super at the end, ‘Burlington celebrates your personal style.’ This is a breakout for Burlington to get closer to their real people talent by shooting them out of the store and in their homes,“he said.

Jim worked with production team Somoroff +. “The collaboration is really one of the things I love about the film business. I think you’re only as good as the people around you.

shaun fenn in peru for robb report

To launch its new Andean Explorer luxury sleeper train, Belmond invited a handful of media on a five-day press tour through Peru’s Andes Mountains. Writers from top publications from all over the world were there, from National Geographic Hong Kong to Condé Nast Traveler. Robb Report wanted to do something different, and called on photographer Shaun Fenn.

The art director said, ‘I want you to tell a story in pictures,’ and the only creative direction was, ‘I want the reader to feel like they were there,’” recalled Shaun. “We were chosen because of the storytelling approach that most of my photography is based on. I don’t do much editorial, but this was one of those rare assignments that sounded too interesting to pass up.

Belmond owns a portfolio of luxury properties around the world, including the Orient Express train, which runs between London and Venice and Paris.

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Belmond had bought this old run down track through the Andes and refurbished it. Then they bought the train in Australia and had it retrofitted, upgraded, and modernized and shipped to South America. They already have a train that runs from Cusco to Machu Picchu, but this is a five-star sleeper train. It runs between Cusco and some of the most remote areas of the Andes,” said Shaun.

Everything on the train is top shelf: from the 24 beautifully decorated rooms, to the piano bar, to executive chef Diego Muñoz.

We were riding along one evening and just before sunset the train stopped. The staff hopped out and set up white tablecloths and Diego taught a cooking class on ceviche,” Shaun said.

The opening spread was shot one morning. The train had stopped for the night after dark and everyone went to sleep. The next morning they woke up to alpacas out the window and that incredible vista of the Andes. Shaun said he jumped out of bed, grabbed his camera, and bolted out the door to capture the image.

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Other highlights of the project included staying at various Belmond properties throughout the trip, viewing the condors of the Colca Valley, visiting the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, and a local style lunch served atop a cliff overlooking a view of the Andes.

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I’d been to Peru but I’d never been to the Andes—very few people have because it’s so remote and hard to get to. But the scenery is breathtaking. Just really stunning. It’s a must-travel location for sure,” he said.

And as for the art director’s instructions to make them feel like they had taken the journey with him? Welcome aboard!

annabelle breakey shakes up tim hortons

A few years ago, Annabelle Breakey was brought on to update the Burger King brand, shooting all new menu boards to be used across the country. The project, managed by Turner Duckworth in London, was hugely successful, and Annabelle was subsequently asked to come on board to shoot imagery for Tim Hortons—flagship banners, in-store experience, advertising, billboard, and web assets.

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For those of you who don’t live in the Midwest or Canada, Tim Hortons is sort of the Canadian equivalent of Dunkin’ Donuts. The Toronto-based coffee retailer, which beats out even Starbucks north of the 49th parallel, is owned by the same parent company that owns Burger King and is expected to add several new stores in the U.S. in the near future.

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The first image she shot was an advertisement for $1.49 breakfast sandwiches. She now receives 4,500 pounds worth of coffee, donuts, sandwiches and more seasonally at her San Francisco studio.

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We just shot new images for fall. It’s really, really fun. Who doesn’t like chocolate, donuts, blended beverages, paninis, and bagels,” said Annabelle.

The company is known for coffee and donuts, but they’re adding breakfast and lunch sandwiches and espresso drinks.

We’re trying to create a proprietary, signature look for Tim Hortons that’s different from anything else in the marketplace. They want friendly, approachable imagery that’s slightly environmental, but first and foremost, it should look delicious. If you look at these images compared to Dunkin’ Donuts or Denny’s or Starbucks, what we’re doing is really different,” she said.

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Big thanks to Matt and Rochelle from Tim Horton’s, food stylist Kim Kissling and prop stylist Glenn Jenkins for the continued collaboration.

bears in bikinis; randal ford for yeti

To commemorate the recent opening of their new flagship store in Austin, Yeti wanted to create a pair of billboards to hang above the store and around town. The first image of a bikini-clad bear was a spoof on billboards run by a local dermatology company.

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Westlake Dermatology placed billboards all over town of models in a white bikini. So we wanted to put a Yeti bear in a swimsuit for our own version of a bikini-clad model,” said Randal.

They found a taxidermy bear (which Randal said wasn’t hard to do in Texas) and custom-made a white string bikini. The images were shot on the bank of Lake Austin. But when the client showed the images to the billboard company, they refused to hang them without the approval of Westlake Dermatology.

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Westlake Dermatology actually approved the images. It was kind of a win-win. It was very clear what they were doing to most Austenites,” Randal said.

The second image required a taxidermy bear sleeve flown in from L.A. and the signature Yeti Rambler stainless steel mug. The image will hang indefinitely above the store in Austin.

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The project was produced by McGarrah Jessee in Austin. See below for the BTS.