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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

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After more than a century, “the Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to and end. Recently it was announced that in May, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will end after 146 years in business. The news comes after years of declining sales, animal rights protests and rising production costs. In modern times, this 100+ year old traveling act had to compete against the movies, Netflix, Hulu and every other form of entertainment. While I haven’t been to an actual circus in years, I’ve always thought there was something magical and romantic about it.

So to celebrate the final days of the circus, I wanted to share some pictures from this magical world.

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Equal parts mysterious and creepy, I’ve always thought the circus, and particularly vintage circus photos from the 1800-1950s, are so interesting!

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Life Visits the Circus
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It’s that time of year again, the 2013 September issues have arrived! And so have the new fall advertising campaigns. Last Friday I picked up each issue pictured above: the September Elle (600+ pages), Vogue (902 pages!), Harper’s Bazaar, W and New York Magazine. Note to readers: buying and carrying 20+ pounds of fashion magazines home is not easy! After flipping through each, I noticed a few trends in regards to advertising. So many of this seasons campaigns are shot on dark/black backgrounds. Many take place at night. It’s funny how they all do this at once – something must be in the air. I’ve narrowed down to my favorites, and LEAST favorite. Which are you feeling (or not feeling??) … my picks below.

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My #1 favorite: Valentino’s Fall 2013 ad campaign. Love the still-life/portrait painting concept. Love love love everything.

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Coming in a close 2nd is the Fall 2013 Balenciaga campaign shot by Steven Klein and art directed by Alexander Wang. I love how bold and graphic these are. The images are quite arresting, in a good way!

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My last favorite is Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2013 campaign. The photography and styling is beautiful. What is innovative about this campaign is that the de la Renta folks premiered it on Instagram, not in the Sept. issues. The full campaign can be seen in print, but we got a first look (above) on Oscar’s Instagram account.

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I just stumbled across the Spring 2013 Lookbook for Marais USA, a women’s shoe brand with offices in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I’m so in love with these photos! I think this campaign is so fun, inventive and youthful.

Their blog is also pretty cool and their Brooklyn offices look neat too.

Check out the video for their Spring 2013 Lookbook here. Get into it!

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Alec Soth, New Orleans, from Sleeping by the Mississippi

“If you want to be a creative person, then you’re gonna have to be creative in how you put your career together. There isn’t a path. Part of the creativity is making your path.” — Alec Soth

On American Photomag‘s blog there’s a cool series of posts called “How You Living” that interview established photographers about how they’ve supported themselves during their career. I love hearing about how artists and designers transition from school to work and “fame” in the art world. There’s truly no established path to “make it” in the art/design world, but learning from others is a great way to find your own path. I know I still haven’t found mine but I’m working on it.
Check out the full series here.

And if you’d like to see more of Alec Soth‘s photography – check out his site.


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Last week I stumbled across the street photography of Vivien Maier, a nanny living in NYC in the 1950’s that lead a prolifically creative life, but also one that was fiercely private. Some regard Maier as the female Cartier-Bresson but all her work was unknown until just a few years ago. In 2007, John Maloof went to an auction near his home and purchased a unlabeled trunk full of negatives for less then $400. Inside the box contained hundreds of negatives and rolls of film belonging to Maier that had never been seen by anyone else. The find of the century! Since then, Maloof has shared her legacy to the world and is even producing a documentary about her life. Can you imagine if these photos had never been found? And what’s even more puzzling is why Maier kept this all a secret? Even those closest to her had no idea about her secret double life as a photographer, possibly regarded as one of the greatest of the 20th century. Check out a selection of Maier’s work here on her official site, read about her, and watch the trailer for the documentary here. I can’t wait to SEE more and LEARN more about this amazing photographer! Get into it!

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The negatives Maloof purchased in 2007.

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Who could have known these breathtaking photos were contained inside?

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This Christmas I was beyond excited to learn that Grace Coddington’s memoir, Grace was finally hitting the shelves. I quickly ordered the book and over the next few weeks began digesting the bright orange volume. After falling in love with Grace from The September Issue, I couldn’t wait to read a more in-depth account of her life. Of course Grace would have all these profound thoughts on living a creative life and being an artist of sorts, right? Well sadly, I’m left a bit underwhelmed. Her memoir is overwhelmingly surface and gives little insight into her feelings of loss and triumph in her career. She had several highs and lows, but quickly glosses over each subject, one after another. One example that particularly stuck out in my mind,

“.. driving home one afternoon on a visit to London from Paris, I ran into an especially nasty bunch milling about outside my door …  No matter how gently I tried inching my car through the mob, they grew more and more incensed until all of a sudden my little Mini, with me inside, was lifted off the ground and thrown heavily on it’s side. Although I wasn’t injured, I was seven months pregnant .. and the next day I suffered a miscarriage. This turned out to be the only time in my life that I was able to conceive. The incident was one of the most traumatic of my life.”

HEARTBREAKING right? Then literally the next paragraph she switches subjects and talks about how her and Albert (Grace’s boyfriend at the time) had purchased a new apartment in London, despite her frequent travels to Paris, and begins talking about one of their cats. How can his be one of the most traumatic events in your life, and you not talk about it? Isn’t that the point of a memoir – to talk about how you get through these events? I can’t imagine dealing an event like that, but it baffles me how Grace can touch on something so deep without any depth. There’s also a few stories about artists and designers she knew through the years, and Grace talks about how talented they were, and then they died of AIDS. Then onto next subject. I just don’t get it.

I wanted more. I’m sure she got paid a lot to write her memoir, but I was hoping for more Grace! It’s interesting that someone so highly regarded for being a talented storyteller in their professional life would chose to tell the story of their own life in this way. So many of my friends bought the book and just about every person working in fashion, and I wonder if they felt the same? For anyone else interested in the book – I’d suggest to settling with the September Issue, watching the HBO Documentary In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (which was great!), and enjoying her work in the glossy pages of Vogue.

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I’ve been meaning to share this ad campaign since they first started popping up in NYC months ago. Perhaps by now you’ve seen them in a town near you. Above is an image from Aldo‘s Spring/Summer 2012 ad campaign featuring some of the best and most-playful applications of color I’ve seen in quite a while. Each image is a welcome relief from the dullness of winter for sure. Shot by Terry Richardson, featuring Anais Pouliot and Mat Gordon – these ads are great examples of color done right, but not taken too far. This is also one of the first times I’ve seen Terry Richardson do something with COLOR and not on a white background, but I’m all for it.

  Terry Richardson & Lady Gaga, follow Terry on tumblr here.

Typical Terry + Obama!

New Harper’s Bazaar redesign featuring the cover shot by Terry Richardson.

Banana anyone?

Don’t these look great as billboards with the huge Aldo logo?
There’s a huge billboard in Soho, NYC of the first image in this post that always makes me smile when I pass by.

These series reminds me a lot of Gap’s “Be Bright” Spring/Summer 2012 campaign photographed by Chris Craymer, which I’m also in love with.

This is the first time I’ve paid attention to Gap ads in years, I miss the Golden Age of Gap with those great commercials.

Be you.

And kudos to Gap for supporting gay equality with this billboard featuring two men sharing a shirt. Love it.

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