Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chanel cruise collection for Harper's Bazaar

Chanel asked Bazaar to do a story on their new cruise collection 2013/2014.  I used the movie Indochine as inspiration for the imagery.  Being a french colonial style, it was important that the color tones of the location match and compliment the collection.  I wanted sun washed yellows and faded whites for the background with some hints of earth tones.  The Ho Chi Minh Fine Arts Museum provided the perfect setting.  There were moments where we had to wait for the sun to come out so that all of the shadows were sharp with lots of contrast.  The photographer, Bobby Nguyen, did a perfect job of capturing the feel that I was looking for.  Have a look at the behind the scenes video as well.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Knorr Foods: In store advertising

The new year celebration here in Vietnam is known as Tet.  When I started shooting here, I suddenly found myself creating a lot of advertising for the holiday.  All of the major companies create ads because of the popularity of it all.  It is kind of like Christmas and the entire country shuts down to recognize it.  For this ad with Knorr, the basic idea was to show a family in a warm setting like the kitchen where families always come together.  The little girl is dressed in traditional vietnamese holiday clothing known as an ao dai.  She is passing food to her grandmother which is a symbol of two generations making a connection.  The mother is standing behind her approvingly to ad the third generation to the equation.  Kind of like a "passing of the torch" so to speak.  The mother has a look of approval as she is assumed to have taught her daughter the correct manners of catering to the elders and showing respect.  The final shot was all done in one frame but when used in the stores, the background was stripped out for the brand color green. I saw these point of purchase ads in every shape and form in every grocery store in the city.  Seeing stuff like this used in real life never gets old.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cosmopolitan Magazine: Fashion story from Joshua Tree, California!

One of my favorite places to shoot is the deserts of California.  There is a certain look and feel that only a landscape like that can give you.  With developing a story for Cosmo Vietnam, I wanted to create a real SoCal vibe.  I hired my friend Susanne Kindt to shoot the story in Joshua Tree, California.  She was able to line up a great stylist and pull from many clothing brands that Vietnam does not have available.  The final images were a perfect feel of desert dreaminess!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Esquire: A Woman We Love with Kathy Uyen!

I got to work with my good friend Kathy Uyen for this issue of Esquire.  It was for the section entitled "A Woman We Love" which features sexy starlets.  For this shoot, I wanted to stray away from the typical "bra and panty" styling of the previous issues.  I went with a more athletic look thanks to Nike and shot at California Fitness here in Saigon.  She is typically shot as a very "pretty girl" so I took this opportunity to transform her into a more sexy, athletic warrior.  Kathy is a very strong and independent woman so this was not a stretch for her.  The final images look great and it shows another side of Kathy that most have never seen; strong and sexy!

More Sprite Billboards with Karik!

I'm on my way back from the airport and as I am coming through District 3, I see this street level billboard and almost jump out of the cab!  I love seeing my work at this size!  Karik, a famous rapper here in Vietnam, was really awesome to work with.  We shot all day at multiple locations and he never got tired or quit on me. What else can I ask for in a subject?

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Samsung Refrigerator advertisements

This was definitely one of the cooler projects that I have been a part of.  Cheil Worldwide asked me to shoot their point of purchase advertisements for a new model of refrigerator that Samsung was releasing in south east asia.  The idea behind the images was to create a feeling of freshness that the product would supply.  It is not common practice to refrigerate meat or vegetables in Vietnam so the challenge was to get a potential consumer to see the benefits of cold food storage.  The refrigerator would be perceived as something that would make the food stay fresh and last longer.  With the images, we used a "wet market" theme.  It is also referred to as a farmers market in the states.  Cheil wanted the images that were used inside of the refrigerator display to look like local farmers and meat market butchers who were working.  The fruits and vegetables would be in the the cold part while the meat and fish would be in the freezer.  The main image on the outside of the Refrigerator was cut together in studio.  I had to shoot background plates of the local wet markets and then match the lighting with that talent.  Needless to say, we used tons of vegetables and meat so at the end of the day I got to stock my own refrigerator full of fresh food!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Creative Direction for Harper's Bazaar: Chloe

The fashion brand Chloe was being featured in Harper's Bazaar and I was asked to come up with a creative concept for the shoot.  I had always loved the botanical gardens at the Zoo in Saigon.  They are obviously full of tropical plants so it is very easy to get lost in an environment like that.  The new Chloe collection incorporated a lot of Earth tones and the fabrics that were very light in weight and full of texture.  When I suggested the botanical garden I was met with apprehension from the editor.  When it comes to the city of Saigon, the locals do not see their everyday surroundings in the way that I do.  I assured the magazine that the botanical garden would offer an amazing environment for the story.  I had the photographer use one of my camera tricks to make the images seem very angelic and fantasy like.  The effect worked out very well and created an environment that was like a magical, tropical wonderland.  Sometimes you have to use a fresh set of eyes to see the beauty that surrounds you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sprite Billboard campaign with rapper Karik

I was really excited to work on this campaign for Sprite!  The main reason being that I got to shoot a musician in a style that I particularly enjoy.  Karik is an extremely popular rap artist here in Vietnam and Sprite chose him as their spokesperson.  I spent a whole day shooting Karik on the fly at a skate park, a concert venue and a recording studio in various clothing changes and poses.  It yielded a gigantic amount of imagery.  I am super stoked to see this billboard at one of the busiest intersections of the city.  It came out superb!