Objects of Desire: Accessories, Cosmetics & Product-centric fashion imagery - Page 2 - the Fashion Spot
 
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09-08-2011
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image: " bold-fashioned "
Harper's Bazaar January 2001
Photographer: Louis Ernesto Santana
Creative Director: Michel Botbol


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INTERVIEW: Richard Pierce, Legendary Still Life Photographer by Sam Lim for static.lookbooks.com :


Still life photographer Richard Pierce has been steadily redefining the rules of beauty photography since his first editorial campaign in American Elle.

In his early days of shooting editorials, he deconstructed cosmetics for the first time, offering a multitude of possibilities in the way beauty products were advertised. Today, among other things, Pierce can be credited as the current image-maker for beauty megabrand Clinique.

Following in the footsteps of the legendary Irving Penn, Pierce’s techniques and creativity have elevated the brand image and its famed marketing metaphors to iconic global status.


Pierce’s photos appeal to the senses, creating still images that are bold, meticulously graphic, and utterly restrained.


I sat with him to discuss his innovation in the field, what it really takes to make an object come to life, and what reflections he has to share with those who follow in his legend. I also invited some of the co-conspirators from his career to reflect on his talent and comment on his future as a creative. Reflections from Cornelia Adams, his longtime agent, Jim Nevins, the Global Creative Director of Clinique, Merrilee Hesterfer-Diaz Director, the Global Art Producer of Clinique, and Amy Belledin, Chief Creative Office of New Balance, are sprinkled throughout the story.



How did you get into the photography industry?

I got my first camera, a Kodak Swinger, in seventh grade. Around the same time I took a photo class where we made a pinhole camera and had to develop our own film in the darkroom. From that point on, I was pretty much hooked and was constantly trying to find avenues of how I could learn more. After studying photography, I moved to Los Angeles. There was a big opportunity there to work for a lot of different photographers and learn the basics, with a strong influence from the movie industry, especially in rigging. You had all the best equipment, so you could learn the best techniques. After learning and working a lot, I realized the market for what I really wanted to do wasn’t there so I came to New York to do still life.



What made you choose still-life over celebrities and cars?

It found me as much as I found it. Whenever I had still life assignments, those were the most fulfilling and the best work I’d produce. I was most drawn to the cosmetic industry. I could pick the items up, think about them, and work to create really compelling photographs.



“You can tell by looking at his work that he sees the big picture, that he would get the aesthetic right. I think he could work on anything from art to beauty to food to fashion, and do something above and beyond.” - Merrilee Hesterfer-Diaz Director, Global Art Producer Clinique



You started out shooting a lot of food as well. Did you find a lot of similarities between shooting food and beauty?

In either case, if you’re working with an object it all comes down to lighting, texture, and feeling. In food photography, if you feel like you can lick the photo and eat it, then it’s a good photo. That same principle can relate to cosmetics: if you can see something and you can feel like you can touch it, feel it, to me you’ve made it real, and you’ve captured the essence of the object. If it can look better than it does in real life, you’ve accomplished a goal.



You were one of the first photographers to manipulate and deconstruct cosmetics, taking them out of the container and creating images. How did you come up with those styles?


At that point, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle Magazine were very influential on my career because they gave me extreme flexibility. I would get cosmetic products, experiment, and then send them all these different shots. Deconstructing the product and adding that textural element to the image really changed the way things were shot. Those magazines put a lot of faith in me to expand into what I thought the products could be. I tried and tested and just shot as much as I could, and over time developed and perfected techniques that I preferred.



“Clients really trust him, and because of that he’s had some of the most successful launches in the history of some products. With Clinique, their team comes up with the main concepts, and it is up to Richard to take those ideas and synthesize them into something iconic. Their idea might be a leaf, so they will come with a garden and then that gets synthesized down to a photograph.” - Cornelia Adams, Pierce’s Agent

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cont


How did you develop ideas for creating the sets?

I just focus on the subject and really let it talk to me, like the Cosmetic Whisperer. I find sometimes when I have too many premeditated ideas, I get stuck in the box and don’t move far enough from it. You have to ask yourself questions, like what is the essence of the object?



When you’re off set, where do you find creative inspiration?

I like a lot of art photography books, I visit museums and galleries, and I listen to all types of music except for polka and country western. I collect pieces that inspired me to get into photography, prints of the greats like Irving Penn, Brett Weston, Edward Weston, the old masters. When I hit those inspirational moments, it can be very prolific.


Since there is so much consistency with the product, how do you make it modern and keep it fresh?

We’ve had to change lighting techniques over the course of time. You need to experiment and keep the “me” elements in it, but change some of your angles, perspectives and techniques. It is a constant battle. The toughest thing in this business is to constantly change because it’s very competitive with an influx of new faces and new ideas.



“Richard is really good at construction and architecture in his sets, he’s so involved. With Clinique, it is about asking the photographer to interpret our brand DNA in an interesting manner. Boiling things down to being very simple is always the hardest part, and Richard does that very well.” - Jim Nevins Senior Vice President, Global Creative Director Clinique



How did you learn your lighting techniques?


Lighting is part of your identity, like your fingerprint. I mix up my techniques and after thirty years of experimenting I’ve had the opportunity to work with those different styles and perfect them.

The exploding glass shot is one of my favorites. How long did it take to get that right?

To get the glass bottle shot, we broke about 300 of them. That might seem like a lot, but the testing process is actually much faster now with digital because you can see what you’re doing right away. Sometimes with cosmetics you are shooting one piece and you only have a few of them, so you need to make it work.



“I love his work, he is always coming form a creative point of view. He finds a way to evolve a concept or idea to a place you really love, and turns it into a piece of art. Richard has always been able to put product first, and whatever you are asking him to shoot, it looks like the most important, more precious thing he’s ever touched.” -Amy Belledin Chief Creative Officer, Worldwide New Balance



When you’re designing a shot, what are key elements your look at to get it just right?

When I see a product, I determine what needs to be accentuated: the components, the interesting edges, the colors, emphasizing the texture. You find those key elements in the object and exploit them. It’s about construction too. Stacking things, rigging them in interesting ways. I like to stack as naturally as possible—by balance and a prayer. If you can stack it in a way that is stays for three seconds before it falls over, that’s when you know its the successful stack. The natural tension makes people question if it’s real or not, and that’s very powerful.


Looking back on your career what advice do you have for aspiring still-life photographers?

Shoot, shoot, shoot and shoot some more. You have to follow your gut instincts. Don’t think of what the client wants, because they want what you’re doing. If you can show them something compelling that will get their original ideas moving, then you’re going to succeed. They want to be inspired by you and they want the unexpected. The most successful photographers in this business have a style that’s compelling, a style that inspires everybody else, not one that was dictated to them.


View his work here


source: static.lookbooks.com

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18-11-2011
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The New York Times T Style Travel Spring 2010
Photographer: Raymond Meier
Fashion Editor: Melissa Ventosa Martin




source: issuu.com via Flashbang

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'SURREAL REVEAL'
The New York Times T Style Women's Summer 2010
Model: Sarah Blomqvist
Styling: David Vandewal
Hair: Duffy
Make-up: Peter Philips
Manicure: Rica Romain


source: Flashbang via nytimes.com

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11-06-2012
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i have no idea who shot or styled this but I love the clever styling and textural contrasts!


Neiman Marcus ad c. 2009

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23-11-2015
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Yet another wildly popular thread I started

Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation
Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 13, 2005)


source: shoes.about.com

From Amazon.com:

''Product Description

Long before their supporting role in Sex and the City, Manolo Blahnik's shoes were legendary—exquisitely detailed, unabashedly luxurious, and impossibly sexy. The epitome of sophistication and taste, they have graced the feet of royalty, supermodels, and movie stars. In these breathtaking pictures by Blahnik's longtime friend, photographer Eric Boman, the shoes take center stage in a dazzling array of intriguing and often lighthearted scenes and settings. A white leather stiletto plays an incriminating role in a suggested crime worthy of Hitchcock. A pale green mule nestles among ferns in homage to Blahnik's recurring botanical themes. The straps of a sandal echo the strands of spaghetti in which it lays entwined. Boman's unerring eye and oddly keen understanding of Blahnik's creations make for spellbinding pictures, full of wit, playfulness, and sole. Elegant allusions to Blahnik's eclectic influences abound—from the cinema to history, from the natural world to art and literature. As covetable as a pair of Manolos, this is a book of consummate creativity, addictive power, and unrivaled individuality: a cult object on a cult designer.

About the Author

Manolo Blahnik was born in the Canary Islands. He studied at the University of Geneva before moving to Paris and then London to work as a set designer. On a trip to New York in 1971, Blahnik was sent to show his sketches to legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland, who famously suggested, "You should do shoes." He lives in England.

Eric Boman, originally from Sweden, has worked in London, Paris, and New York for, among others, Vogue , Marie-Claire , Yves Saint-Laurent, Vanity Fair , The World of Interiors , and House & Garden . Since 1988, he has increasingly explored art photography
and still-lifes. He lives in New York.''


credit: mateica83
source: pomodoroebasilico.blogspot.com

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... continued Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation


credit: mateica83
source: stylemoodboard.blogspot.com

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... continued Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation


source: stringmagazine.ca


credit: mateica83
source: elblogdepatricia.com

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...continued Blahnik by Boman: Shoes, Photographs, Conversation




credit: mateica83
source: elblogdepatricia.com


The END. Major props to mateica83 for all your work in collecting and uploading these lovely images by the immensely inspiring US VOGUE still-life veteran

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07-01-2018
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Harper's Bazaar Russia April 2013
На Шаг Вперед (A Step Ahead)reprint

Photographer: Dan Forbes
Fashion Editor: Sam Broekema


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Wild Things: Toss aside that bioengineered tomato. The next century's freshest, most flavorful produce is actually ages old.

Harper's Bazaar September 1995
Photographer: Ilan Rubin
Food Stylist: Denise Cantor
Journalist: Dwight Garner

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Calvin Comes Home: Calvin Klein has launched a home collection that provides the same elegance for the home that his clothes have always bestowed upon the body

Harper's Bazaar September 1995
Photographer: Oberto Gili
Journalist: Wendy Goodman

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