Los Angeles-based commercial, portrait, and editorial photography team Rickett + Sones recently had a giggle-worthy assignment for the cover of Adweek. The cover features a fun shot of comedian/actor/director Scott Aukerman, co-creator of the viral video series “Between Two Ferns.” Ryan and Sonia shared some insight and behind-the-scenes photos with us below — check it out!
How did you get involved with this shoot?
The photo editor at Adweek reached out to us and asked if we’d be interested/available to shoot the cover of their Watch Awards issue. We had never worked with Adweek, but we are always eager to work with new clients so without hesitation we said yes. We were even more excited when we found out we would be shooting the creators of Funny Or Die’s “Between Two Ferns.” The show won the GoldWatch Award in the “Originator” category for the episode starring President Barack Obama and Zach Galifianakis.
Were there any challenges involved with this shoot?
The magazine’s initial concept was to shoot Scott Aukerman and Mike Farah, the executive producers, alongside cardboard standees of President Obama and Zack Galifianakis. The shoot was on a Tuesday and the magazine confirmed with us on the Friday before, so that didn’t give us much time to track down the cutouts. We called every place in town and nobody had what we needed, so we had to custom order the cutouts and have them shipped overnight. Then we had to track down the ferns. Apparently it isn’t fern season in Los Angeles, because we had to visit four different places until we finally found two ferns that would work.
Once we were on set we quickly realized that the cutouts weren’t going to work, so we shot a plate of the standees alone just in case the mag wanted to use them in a composite.
I imagine working at the Funny or Die studio would be a comedic experience, did anything funny happen?
Everybody at the studio was extraordinarily awesome. The office is bright, modern and all around good vibes. We didn’t have much time with Mike and Scott, but it was really fun to work with them and give them direction. Scott was especially animated. He could not keep a straight face and had us all laughing out loud. He was playing with the ferns and pulling them in closer to his face. About halfway into the shoot the stands that the ferns were hanging from actually tipped over and the ferns came crashing down just as we were taking a picture. You can see Sonia’s hand fly into the frame to catch the c-stand. Luckily nobody was hurt and the guys just laughed it off as they brushed the leaves out of their hair.
What has the reaction to the image been so far?
So far we have had a great response to the image. The magazine was pleased with the imagery and so are we.
Anything else you’d like to add?
After all was said and done and the magazine went to print, we reached out to the editor and asked her how she found us in the first place. Her response … Wonderful Machine.