by Peter Clark
For the month of February, we headed up north to Canada to run ads on AppliedArts.com, Canada’s premier magazine for visual communications. Based in Toronto, Applied Arts has been around for over 20 years, providing the creative community with the latest news and opinions on design and photography.
We promoted four different photographers in four different ads over the course of the month. We had our photographers explain what went into making their images.
This was shot as part of a series for our latest issue of Poor But Sexy. We created Poor But Sexy in 2009 as a biannual collaborative photo project which features our latest work alongside that of other shooters and fine artists. In our last issue, we did an article on Canadian video artist Alison Kobayashi. She is known for her intense character studies and short film work. Given her background, we decided to shoot her first as herself and then delve into a few of her “alter egos.” Working with her was an incredible experience. With every costume change, she brought a new character to life, much like an actor would in a film shoot.
This was a personal project I worked on a little while ago. I wanted to create a flip book as a promo, and decided on melting popsicles. There is another one on my website, Spongebob, that I made the flip book from, but the rocket pop just worked best as a horizontal still, with extra drips added in. In the end, it was a really fun promo, but too expensive to print for a large run. I worked with prop stylist Brian Byrne and we went to a Brooklyn ice cream truck depot around the corner from my studio. I got dozens of both rockets and Spongebobs, which we sat there melting all afternoon (with heat guns). They did not taste nearly as good as I had remembered—I used to LOVE rocket pops.
The image was shot in Raleigh, behind a local bar. At the time I had been looking for a way to kind of ease myself out of the fine art scene, so I did some pro bono work for a local boutique that started carrying Coach purses from the Poppy Collection, as well as help a model out on some portfolio development. The concept came from talking with the client, who showed an interest in “knocking people head-over-heels” with these purses. So I went through different rough drafts and thumbnails, throwing the model down a ladder, off a curb, and so on. I ended up finding this location while scouting and mailed over some test shots to the client—she loved it. So I got the model and a makeup artist, and went in with three Alienbees 350 ws ring flashes, and got it in about 20 minutes (with help on the floating scarf from my assistant).
We were looking for stock models for future uses and put out a general call for interest. Joel LaCoursiere, who’s in the picture, is an actor local to the city who was looking for experience, and we came together to find out how we could collaborate. We spent quite a bit of time on this shoot playing around with lighting styles, and found that this style worked very well with his look. Joel is also very kind, and is from Windsor. Because he’s such a fantastic model, we bring him in as our “handsome buff-guy” stand-in whenever we are proofing buff-guy concepts for ad clients.