BIG IDEA: We stopped by Baker Street Advertising to meet the creative behind beloved California icon campaigns from the San Francisco Giants to Sun-Maid Raisins. Jack Boland's award-winning team ideates and executes from their Embarcadero office, situated near a Hitchcockian favorite, Coit Tower.
BIG IDEA: Christena Reinhard's love of fashion pairs powerfully with her desire to fund nonprofit organizations compassionately shaping their communities.
CHALLENGE: The only challenge to photographing Christena is getting her to stand still. We punted on that, opting instead to run alongside her as she showed us around her warehouse studio. On site she accepts high-end pieces and resells them to fund donor-selected partner charities or choose any 501c3 non-profit big or small.
BIG IDEA: San Francisco Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Aparna Venkatesan, studies the first stars and quasars in the universe, cosmological reionization, the physical conditions in early-universe galaxies, and cosmological element synthesis.
CHALLENGE: Along with the early stars and quasars, Aparna lectures on various cultural understandings of the heavens, so for her session we comingled textures and lighting varieties to reflect the breadth of her interest. We made photographs in her lab, surrounded by models of the universe she explores.
BIG IDEA: Long Beach stylist and florist Inessa Nichols Designs dreams of masculine floral pairings—reviving 19th Century ideas about the potential of gentlemen and flowers.
CHALLENGE: We wanted to push against gendered ideas of colors and florals and come away with an inspiring collection of possibilities for imaginative floral usage for a new sector: men. Collaborating with Inessa Nichols Designs is always a joy. The only real limitation we faced was the setting sun.
BIG IDEA: During a recent trip to Italy, we took a playful stab at entering the ongoing conversation between tourist and host country, learning a little Italian along the way.
VISUAL CHALLENGE: Capturing, with humor, some of the interesting and awkward juxtapositions between elegant landscapes and desperate acts of tourism.
BIG IDEA: California State University, Long Beach, has been hosting an annual Pow Wow for the past 45 years. Lakota, Diné, Kiowa, and other tribes from North America arrive to dance and celebrate language and culture on one of the few campuses that boasts a program dedicated to the academic pursuit of tribal studies.
VISUAL CHALLENGE: Our clients wanted undirected action that reflected the power of the dancers and respected the flow of the event. So every photograph had to be made using a hands-off, photojournalistic approach.
BIG IDEA: Slow Roll Chicago is a community-based organization utilizing bicycles to connect a diverse group of people, transform lives, and improve the condition of communities by organizing community bicycle rides and other bicycling-related programs throughout the greater Chicago area.
VISUAL CHALLENGE: Oboi and Jamal suggested shooting in Historic Pullman, built in 1880 as a workers' housing development. The neighborhood has gone through a renaissance in past years. Slow Roll's mission is social and this neighborhood's desire to acknowledge, recast, and revitalize the area's history echoes that of the organization.
We were elated when Momentum Magazine picked up the story of Slow Roll's good work. Grab a copy of the July 2015 issue and read all about it.
BIG IDEA: Fat Forward operates with the radical understanding that you should love the body you are in. That body-shaming isn't ok. That it isn't a public service when you air your exasperation at the large-body sitting next to you on the plane. That we're all in this together.
VISUAL CHALLENGE: Most lifestyle websites use a mixture of thinner-than-average models, flattering angles, and PhotoShop to idealize beautiful people in beautiful surroundings. Travel photography is meant to incite desire—to see spectacular places, to be bikini-ready.
FF's editors challenged us to capture the pleasure and discomfort of being a traveler of size—flipping visual expectations upside down and continuing their vision of creating a forum in which travelers can exchange honest information and reviews of lodging, transit, and accommodations.
BIG IDEA: In our ongoing quest to support all things local, here's Nola's own HH Whitney House. There's an art to the kind of hospitality practiced at the B&B—an ability to anticipate not only what guests need, but what would make their time in town extraordinary. Glen and Randy's investment in their family—biological, adopted, and guest—and their ongoing warmth makes this my sweet home away from home.
VISUAL CHALLENGE: We wanted to get at the warm, familial nature of a stay at the HH Whitney, so we had little Randi give us a tour. Welcoming me at the door, she launched into an introduction of the solarium. Gorgeous, I said. It's your room! she replied happily. I traipsed around her claw-footed, tropical gardened, Italianate surrounds as she showed me around the place with the polished grace of a petite princess.
BIG IDEA: Keith Ekiss was a Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford from 2005–7. His poems and translations have appeared in Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, New England Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, and elsewhere. His creative non-fiction has been anthologized in Permanent Vacation: Living and Working in Our National Parks. He is the translator of Eunice Odio's The Fire's Journey (Tavern Books, 2012).
VISUAL CHALLENGE: Photographing writers is very interesting work. So often they are more comfortable represented by words. Images, not so much. We worked with Keith in his handsome live/work environment, the San Francisco apartment where he does the bulk of his writing. The generative space was lent a visual sense of his voice to the photographs.