Shiny Still Lifes: Photography 2021 Winners

Some of the best work from our 2021 Photography competition were still lifes. Whether shiny, sparkling, or colorful, these photographers captured a range of textures, sheens, and forms that in turn captured our attention.

Canadian Graphis Master Joseph Saraceno is a commercial photographer who unassumingly found his passion for photography as a teenager before gradually nurturing it into a thriving career. Today, he’s been able to work with numerous major publications and companies around the globe. In this Platinum-winning still-life, Saraceno joined Schön! Magazine in their exploration of “Malleability” (above, left) through 2019’s trends for bags. Styled by Wilson Wong, the editorial showcased purses by designer brands such as Nathalie Trad, Martine Ali, and Ambush. In this particular photograph, the Japanese fashion label Ambush, known for finding inspiration in the mundane, took the concept of a used soda can and turned it into wearable art with a metallic silver “can” clutch bag. Through the lens of his camera, Saraceno captured and elevated the bag’s best features, exaggerating the bags’ shiny dented exterior and emphasizing its seemingly pliable exterior as it is posed against the smooth flat steel surface of the set.

In his second Platinum-winning photograph, Saraceno teamed up with Wilson Wong once again to create still-life images for the coffee table book “High on Design” (above, right). Published by the international publishing house Gestalten, the annual book discusses the latest product design trends across different industries. For their 2020 edition, the publishing house focussed on products coming out of the booming cannabis industry, and they elected Saraceno and Wong to arrange and shoot product images for the book’s spread. The selected photograph from the series features modernist, gold-brushed cannabis accessories. Positioned under bright studio lights and styled with high-end jewel-toned furniture, the photo perfectly encapsulates how the cannabis culture has rapidly grown from a niche underground market into a stylish and sophisticated activity since its legalization.

Laurie Frankel is an award-winning photographer and Graphis Master based in San Francisco. Her dual experience as a photographer and creative director lends her a unique perspective on every project and has allowed her to work across numerous industries and genres, including fashion editorials, food advertising, and fine art. In her 2021 Platinum-winning work, “Tilt A Whirl” (above), Frankie transforms everyday items into an eye-catching composition. Using books, paperweights, dice, and even food, Frankie carefully arranged the items into a dynamic structure, accentuating their textures, materials, and colors. The result is a well-balanced photo that demands attention and guides the viewer’s eyes throughout the image.

Call for entries is open for our 2023 Photography Annual! Click here to enter or learn more!

Author: Graphis