Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cosmopolitan Cover Story: Yen Trang

For the cover story of the May issue of Cosmo I had the pleasure of shooting Yen Trang, one of Vietnam's most popular singers!  She has a history in the music scene here but as of recent has wanted to update her image.  As she has grown and matured it has become apparent that her look needed to be fresh and youthful, while at the same time being sexy and fun.  Cosmo prides itself on being a magazine to showcase the "Fun, Fearless, Female" as is their slogan.  Yen Trang was very professional and we went through an entire wardrobe to find the right look for her.  The result was a great transition from cute, young singer to mature, sexy musician.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Editorial for Dep Magazine

This editorial was a collaborative effort between Dep magazine, myself and the amazing designer Bao Tranchi.  Dep is a local fashion magazine here in Vietnam and is incredibly creative and well made.  The idea was to combine Chanel pieces from their pre-fall 2013 collection with some of the costumes from the movie Lua Phat.  Because the Chanel collection was celtic inspired, it went very nicely with the armor and leather pieces all which were from the mind of designer Bao Tranchi.  Ngo Thanh Van agreed to appear in the editorial as most of the outfits were designed for her.  Because there was a scene in the movie with a circus, we hired some performers to eat snakes and breathe fire, none of which was really safe.  Fire breathers here just have a bottle full of kerosene that they spit to create an intensely heated fireball!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Poster art for movie "Lua Phat"

This was the original project that brought me out to Vietnam.  I have been a long time fan of comics, superheroes, and action films, so the opportunity to create the marketing artwork for a fantasy film was something that I could not pass up.  The Vietnamese title is "Lua Phat" which means "monk on fire."   The film starred Dustin Nguyen, Ngo Thanh Van, and Thai Hoa as warrior monks in a fantasy desert town setting.  Much of the art direction was drawn from old western movies which the english title, "Once Upon a Time in Vietnam," would suggest.  Bao Tranchi did an amazing job ceasing unique and exclusive costumes for the actors.  I spent about a month on set during the final days of filming shooting much of the background elements including buildings, skies and BTS images which gave me a feel for the characters.  Once principal filming had wrapped, I septa a day in studio shooting the individual characters  in various poses for the final artwork.  The images were used in a variety of outlets including standalone cutouts, posters, and billboards.  Below are some of the posters that were hung around the city as promotional tools.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Esquire: A Woman We Love- Ngo Thanh Van

One of my first jobs for Esquire magazine was to shoot and direct a section called "A Woman We Love" featuring Ngo Than Van.  She is one of Vietnam's most loved actresses and revered in the movie industry.  I had worked with her once before and we got along very well, so the fact that we were working together again made it easier.  The important part of this shoot was to take Van into a new direction and create sexy photos that were glamorous and in good taste.  Bringing an American style to the imagery, I chose to have the shoot at a very traditional hotel in the city and make everything very backlit to create a fake sun coming in through the window.  As expected, Van was fearless and worked very diligently to bring an emotional feeling to the pictures.  The end results were not only striking but extremely sexy; definitely a new direction for her.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Cosmopolitan Cover Story: Van Mai Huong

The subject for this cover story of Cosmopolitan magazine was Van Mai Huong.  She is a singer who was discovered on Vietnam Idol as she was the youngest contestant back in 2010.  Today she is a pop music icon and a huge celebrity!  It's amazing what a little bit of TV exposure can do for a career!  Photographing her was difficult because she had very little time and we needed to cover a lot of looks.  Once she arrived on set, she was extremely professional and could turn on the energy and smiles like a switch!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Art of Lashes: Creative direction and photography for Harper's Bazaar

This beauty story for Harper's Bazaar was a real treat!  Not only did I get to do some very creative makeup styles but I was also able to incorporate some really amazing, custom made leather accessories by designer Bao Tranchi.  The concept for this shoot was to create makeup looks that were centered around some very unique lashes.  It was meant to be more artistic than a "ready to wear" kind of makeup design.  Sometimes, with a beauty story, it is not so much about a complete makeup look that a reader can simply replicate and walk out the door with.  When I work in beauty and want to create something really unique, my end goal is to focus more on the artistry of the overall look.  Special attention should be brought to the architectural lines, color combinations, and blending. In the end, with a shoot like this, the reader should have a better understanding of how the individual details mesh together and appreciate them on an artistic level.  It should inspire someone to try out a new color or to take a chance with a bold eye liner and then incorporate them into their daily life.

Special thanks to Make Up For Ever for the lashes

Check out the BTS video at the end.

Friday, April 4, 2014

New work for King Baby Jewelry!

One of my favorite clients, King Baby, asked me shoot their new look book last summer.  They make really unique jewelry and accessories, all manufactured in Los Angeles, CA.  We were trying to think of a location that would compliment the line and after a lot of consideration we decided to just shoot it at the factory offices in Santa Monica.  The King Baby location is a very accurate reflection of the brand's Americana aesthetic so it just made sense that it would be the perfect backdrop.  We spent the entire day moving around and taking advantage of the organic, earth-tone backgrounds and, of course, the custom bike that sits in the showroom.  I always love working with such a classic American companies.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blossom: Creative direction for Harper's Bazaar

With spring around the corner, Bazaar asked me to create a fashion concept that would reflect the floral patterns of the newest seasonal trends.  I came up with this idea after seeing a wall of roses for one of the Tet or Chinese New Year displays at the local markets.  After going over a bunch of drawings and schematics on how to recreate the idea, I was made aware of a wedding photo studio 30 minutes out side of the city.  It encompassed the top floor of the high-rise and had windows circling the entire place.  There were many different sets built for the sole purpose of wedding and engagements photos.  To make everything have a more ethereal and bright feel to the image, and downplay the wedding aspect, I asked the photographer to overexpose the background and simply illuminate from the front with a fill light.  The team moved around the props furiously as each shot was put together very quickly.  With only 5 hours of rental on the studio, had to finish fast.  The results were stellar!