Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ted Baker A/W 2013 Lookbook | Fall Preview

Most happy again to bring you the latest from Ted Baker. What I love about Ted Baker's new fall collection most is... it's presentation, capturing the nostalgia, glamour and romance of the past, creating a story that blends perfectly with the line's wonderful aesthetic. Hope you enjoy it as much as I had presenting it.

Please click here to see the entire collection at Ted Baker. Cheers!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Guest Post | Photographer Benjamin Kanarek | “Infinite Creation” for Harper’s Bazaar

About Benjamin Kanarek

Born in Toronto, Canada, where he grew up, Benjamin Kanarek fell in to many things by accident. Photography, Web Concept development and Creative Direction are just a few examples.

He played drums in a few punk rock groups, one of which was the “Existers” with the single “Telex Love”. Another, “the Poles” with Canadian Fine Artist Michaele Jordana. In the subsequent time frame, he entered Carleton University in Ottawa, where he studied Architecture and went on to work in several companies including WZMH Architects who were best known for designing the CN Tower in Toronto and Ron Thom who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright.

After a serious accident where he fell from a five meter mezzanine, he literally fell in to photography. Benjamin was never an assistant to another photographer, his second ever shoot was an advertising campaign in Toronto. He moved to Los Angeles and stayed there for just over a year and moved to New York. In New York, he shot quite a few campaigns for Macy’s, The May Company, Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as the Dayton Hudson Christmas book with Andie MacDowell, Elle MacPherson, Bitten Knudsen, Brooke Shields. He also shot several covers for VOGUE South America and VOGUE Mexico. He was the first Canadian photographer to ever shoot Kim Alexis for the cover of Chatelaine magazine.

He moved to Milan where he shot for Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan. He came back to Toronto where he shot for Sears and got back to Europe. After six weeks in Paris, he was given an opportunity to shoot the Haute Couture for L’Officiel Paris. Since then he has shot for several prestigious magazines and advertising clients.

Benjamin has worked with some of the classic Super Models like Kim Alexis, Elle MacPherson, Bitten Knudsen, Brooke Shields and also Angie Everhart, Laetitia Firmin-Didot, Kelly Lebrock, Roberta Chirko, Carol Alt, Helena Christensen, Kirsten Owen, Karen Mulder, Adriana Sklenarikova Karembeu, Janice Dickinson and recently with Du Juan, Alexandra Richards, Lydia Hearst, Irina Lazareanu, Daisy Lowe and Actresses, Andie MacDowell, Carole Bouquet, Vahina Giocante, Joséphine de la Baume, James Bond Girl Bérénice Marlohe…

Benjamin collaborates with Video and Co-Creative Director, Frédérique Renaut and shares his time between Paris and North America.

He has consulted as a Creative Director for world-wide agencies and clients.

In 2009, he launched “The BK Blog” with Frédérique Renaut as a response to a need expressed by more and more fans and photographers asking him advice about the inner field of the fashion photography business. (source:

Dovile Virsilaite in “Infinite Creation” video directed by Frédérique Renaut 

Dovile Virsilaite dons Haute Couture in “Infinite Creation” for Harper’s BAZAAR by Benjamin Kanarek 

For the complete editorial, click HERE to visit Ben’s official site, click HERE
The Team Photographer: Benjamin Kanarek Model: Dovile Virsilaite at Oui Management Video Direction by Frédérique Renaut Styling by Vanessa Naudin Hair by Tié Toyama, at Calliste Make-Up by Carole Lasnier, at B-Agency Manicure by Lucia Cheptene, at B4-Agency Photo Assistants: Paul-Antoine Goutal, Claudia Waldmann at Studio Daguerre Stylist Assistants: Coline Peyrot Shot at the Studio Daguerre in Paris Post-Production: Ashish Arora


Friday, July 5, 2013

Interview with Michael Labica | Absynth Photographic

Absyth Photographic’s vision is certainly unique... The creative duo of Michael Labica and Sandrine Dulermo work hard to capture the magic a camera can summon under the brightness of light, or hidden deep in shadow. For over a decade, they have been experimenting to reach a certain perspective, to show a deep appreciation and concern for what is and what could be… beautiful. Even more so, they strive to make each feeling palpable... tangible.

The artists they work with must place their trust in them, for the duo fancy an ever-changing approach, setting out to capture the not-so-natural expressions… the unusual, all the while avoiding the mundane. Challenging talent with unusual styling, poses and designing sets often askew and off kilter. One must enter a world of momentary fantasy. Take risks… and play a game. Michael and Sandrine encourage the artists to challenge the norm and themselves… to reach for something more.

Practicing photography like craftsmen, treating the studio more like a laboratory, they challenge perspective, experiment and continuously seek new techniques to enhance their creative vision.

About Michael and Sandrine

By age 13, Sandrine was already smitten with photography. Preferring to skip school so she could run off to shoot her little brothers with her Zenith in the woods. By 18, she had her first campaign for a perfume company, which in turn, then led to her very first exhibition.

Michael, a former student from Louis Lumière, Paris, was first enticed by cinema but instead found him self learning the ropes as a creative working in the advertising world. Despite the fact he was never a model student, he learned his lessons quite well and soon developed and expanded an extensive list of corporate clients, but even in success, there was something missing.

Then Michael met Sandrine… a moment when everything seemed to fall into place and together they found expression through a lens, as a team their creativity sparked to new heights. London became their cradle of creativity and home. Their work and family life all take place in the heart of their beloved photo “laboratory,” Coconut Studios, which is located in West London.

Jonathan: A hypothetical... Harper's calls... has an exclusive preview of McQueen's 2014 Fall Collection, Sarah Burton wants... say Codie Young for the spread, the rest is up to you and Sandrine. What happens next? Could you tell us a little of the process going into a project from start to finish?

Michael: We will have a happy moment to start as we love Alexander McQueen.

I would imagine the idea would come quickly. We would start by creating the main character of the story and place it within the scene (i.e. where she would come from, how does she looks like, etc.). Inspiration comes from many sources (art, locations, movie, music, dreams, etc.). We would then draw a storyboard and source the suitable location.

If we decide to do a set build, we would design/make the entire scenery by working closely with our much-loved scenic painter/set builder, Jude Singleton. As we have our own studio, we have also the capacity to create, do the work on a specific set until we are completely happy.

On the day of the shoot, Sandrine would be behind the camera and I would be myself sorting out all the lights and ensure the set up is as originally envisioned. Our photo shoots always tend to be very hectic and ambitious, so it's normally a long day for us. After the shoot, we usually take a little bit of time before previewing at the images, we then do an editing and select our favourite images and then do our own post-production during our spare time.

Pre-Raphaelite | Amica
Model: Bianca O’Brien
Stylist: Marie-Louise Von Haselberg
Hair: Gerard Hawe
MUA: Jo Frost @ CLM

 Jonathan: The colour sense of your work is wonderful... playful and vibrant, what are your thoughts on colour and the importance it plays?

Michael: We both very much love black and white images so unconsciously, our use of colours is always full on. A very colourful image makes an amazing black and white.

In our minds, the extended use of colours bring our images somewhere between surrealism, exoticism and poetry. Surely not what you see in our everyday lives, the main idea is to create harmony, we mostly do a coloured fill light to create an artificial atmosphere.

Viva La Vida | Amica
Model: Agnes Sokolowska @ Modelwerk
Stylist: Laurent Dombrowicz
Hair: Keiichiro Hirano @ DWM
MUA: Marco Antonio @ DWM

Jonathan: As a professional can you tell us what was your big "AHA!!!" or possibly "Eureka!!" moment? The point where, maybe you weren't there yet but just knew you were on your way.

Michael: Our "big AHA" moment is probably when Sandrine and I originally met in a south-of-France photo lab. We both were on our way for a good life doing something we both loved doing… We can't however really say we've had our "Eureka" yet. We are still searching…

I envy Paolo Roversi, Sara Moon, Helmut Newton and few others for their distinctive styles!

Lily in the Sky with Diamonds | Plastic Dream
Model: Lily Cole @ Storm
Fashion Director: Neil Stuart
Hair: Garry Gill
MUA: Julie Jacobs @ One Makeup

Jonathan: Professionally, what is your camera of choice?

Michael: We own a Hasselblad H2, 80mm lens with and phase one digital back. Very basic, we like it for its simplicity and technically, there is no limitation, like on a SLR with shutter speed. Saying that, we are now very interested by the new Canon/Nikon as they are very flexible with the ISO.

Orient Express | Amica
Model: Hilda Lee @ Modelwerk
Stylist: Laurent Dombrowicz
Hair: Keiichiro Hirano @ DWM
MUA: Emma Miles @ Emma Davies

Jonathan: What was the most hysterically funny thing to ever happen on a shoot?

Michael: Well, I can't really think of anything specific to be honest, it's more about crying with us. They are so many stories I could come up with but they are always more dramas than hysterically funny moments on a shooting day.

Omaggio Cocteau | Italian Amica
Model: Luize Salmgrieze @ Elite Stockholm & Dave Norwell @ BMA
Stylist: Laurent Dombrowicz
Hair Christos Kallaniotis
Make Up: Phyllis Cohen @DWM

Jonathan: If you had a pick a favourite shoot so far, which would it have been? Why?

Michael: The one shoot I loved the most - not only for the images we created but also for the fun we had on the day was, in fact, a test shoot we did with actress Anna Friel.

We met Anna via our favourite make-up artist, Karen Alder. It was a summer evening at Anna’s house in Windsor. We started by a bottle of wine and end up drinking all night, David Thewlis singing Johnny Cash songs in his guitar.

From this moment, we end up shooting a "Gothic" themed story. Few months after, we found ourselves in the middle of the winter with freezing temperatures, shooting Anna in various locations from Oxfordshire to Windsor without any budget. Anna is a talented actress and we loved this experience. The images of this shoot, taken 7 years ago, never were published yet.

Gothic | Test Shoot
Model: Anna Friel

Jonathan: Okay, I am pretending to be a young photographer with more talent than sense (business sense for sure), what advice could you give me, something you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?

Michael: I would probably recommend becoming an assistant to the best photographer around you, it is the best way in. It might take a few years for you to fly on your own but you will be able to connect with so many people; from stylists to make-up artists, from models to publishing people, etc. Doing so, you may even end up testing with top assistant stylists.

Alessandra Ambrosio | Plastic Dream
Model: Alessandra Ambrosio @ DNA NYC
Fashion Director: Neil Stuart
Hair: Eamonn Hughes @ Premier
Make up: Kenny Campbell @ Premier

Jonathan: Thanks so very much, Michael, and thank you, Sandrine for spending a little time sharing your world and thoughts with us. Wish you much happiness and continued success. Cheers!

Michael: Thank you, Jonathan, it was a real pleasure to meet you.

To check out Michael and Sandrine's Coconut Studios click HERE
To see more of their amazing work, click HERE