Stories are made and retold with these new entries to Graphis’ Photography 2023. While the focus may be on the models, architecture and building materials play an important role as well, whether it’s obvious or not.
We all know the book and film, The Wizard of Oz, and love the characters and story. But what if we reimagined the story in a more contemporary time period? That’s what Laurie Frankel—retail graphic designer, art/creative director, photographer, and Graphis Master—did with her glam green entry “Oz” (above). Known for her portraits, still lives, and building interiors, Frankel was the best choice for Clé Tile’s advertising campaign. The company specializes in artisan hand-made tiles for home creatives, and they needed help promoting their Cinema Collection tiles.
Working with Sarah Lonsdale, a creative director at Clé Tile, Frankel tried to capture a sense of wonder, mystery, and an upbeat mood for her images. She used Clé Tile studio interiors for the photoshoot and combined 60s and 70s counterculture for an eclectic vibe. The unnamed model, dressed in glittery green, relaxes on a couch. Calling to mind the movie, a motion blur effect is added, drawing the audience’s attention to the linear and curvilinear lines while adding to the series’ mystique.
Amyn Nasser grew up in Zanzibar, and in 1981 began shooting fashion, architecture, and erotica photographs. Though he is self-taught, he has gained numerous famous clients over the years, including Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Prestige International. For the latter, Nasser shot Ashley Graves, an American model, in the photography series “Palm Springs Shu Shu Life Editorial” (above). Photographed as part of a 16-page contemporary lush lifestyle story, Graves shines in a gorgeous wardrobe, featuring a short-cut leopard jacket by Ann Klein, a red satin bra by Fleur du Mal, pink pants by Emilio Pucci, high-heeled shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti, and long-feathered earrings from the Shreya Collection.
As much as Graves was the star of the shoot, equally important was the setting. The images were taken on location in Palm Springs at the Stanbridge Estate, a lovely mid-century style house built in 2009 and owned by Joelle and Steve Stanbridge. Nicknamed “Shu Shu” after Joelle’s nickname “Lady Shu Shu,” the estate mixes old Hollywood glam and the hippie movement, which was what Nasser was going for. He plays with light, emphasizing the scenes’ bright natural lighting with high-contrast colors and highlighting the large black and white photos in the background. Their size and rich black tones complement the colorful Graves.