Tag Archives: ann street studio

Men In This Town

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This past year my friend Giuseppe Santamaria not only published a new book but started a print magazine, MITT, which is a quarterly digest on the “Men In This Town”. I love that living and working in New York introduces you to an array of amazingly ambitious and talented people and I was beyond thrilled when Giuseppe emailed me to ask if I would be a contributor to their 2nd issue. One problem, I told Giuseppe: I had to be honest, I’ve never done a men’s fashion editorial, and I actually know nothing about the men’s fashion world other than the fact that John Jannuzzi works at GQ and I love the way men look in suits.

One of the characteristics that I possess that has really changed my life is my natural ability to say yes to anything I find a challenge. I love climbing the mountain and slaying the dragon, killing the fear of unknown, so I got to work. I emailed John, I think the subject line was something to the effect of “HALP”. John put me in touch with the amazing stylists at Carson Street Clothiers in Soho, James Ralston & Justin Doss, and I asked Porsche Cooper, hair & makeup artist for one of my favorite shoots of all times, to also jump off the cliff with me. It’s really a wonderful thing to ask people for help, being vulnerable is important, and having the end result a collaboration of parts you couldn’t have found success without. 

Then we had to find our model.

Here is where fate played a role. Enter: Eduardo Ramos. A charming Cuban American, model, writer, and actor. His presence on set was magnetic and we were all totally sucked into his latin world. He shared with us stories of visiting his family in Cuba, the way it really is there and not the touristic description of the vintage cars and cigars, but the day to day way of life living in a communist country.  It was fascinating and changed the entire photoshoot on the spot. I had him speak Spanish to the crew while I photographed him, and we looked for ways to shoot beyond the clothing, into the person before us.

I talked to Giuseppe afterwards and said, “You have to interview this guy for the magazine, his story is so interesting and relevant to what’s happening in culture” which is exactly what Giuseppe did and you can read all about it in the article “¿QUE ES CUBA?” in the June issue of MITT.

Below are some of my favorite photographs from our sitting-

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Above Suit by Eidos | Shirt by Umit Benan | Slippers by MELINDAGLOSS | Panama Hat by Carson Street X Cappellificio Biellese

Below Grey Donegal Suit by Camoshita United Arrows | Polo by Camoshita | Shoes by Lemaine

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Natural Sculptures

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A few years back I met Bess Wyrick. She was doing a floral instillation in Gramercy Park’s Rose Bar — a giant hanging skeleton made from white flowers. I had always thought about flowers in the sense of arrangements but never really in the form of a live sculpture. There is something I really love about the idea of creating art that can only last and be appreciated for a short amount of time before its organic nature recycles back into the earth. An amazing example of that is in the whimsical work of Patrick Dougherty which blows me away.

Whenever Bess is in New York we try to collaborate. Most recently I asked Caroline to come by the studio and pose for me, something we have been doing together for years now. Bess, being the sculptor she is, created this spring garden nymph moment around Caroline’s delicate body which, to me, is reminiscent of the fleeting weeks when we get to dance under the pink shade of the cherry blooms before nature moves on to the green gardens of summer.

This May I’m going to be heading out to L.A. to spend a weekend retreat at Rose Story Farm (remember how we had roses shipped from them for this beautiful shoot?!) with Bess doing a workshop on flower arranging and creative expression. It’s going to be a lovely group of women, so think about joining us if you out in L.A.! More info on the workshop can be found here.

Happy Spring!

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Portrait of a Lady

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Doing a beauty video for Elle and Clarins had me thinking a lot about French beauty. In particular, how effortless and tasteful they are when it comes to skincare and how you makeup your face for the world to see. Every time I am in Paris I feel so inspired about the celebrated form of beauty French women have. To me, they are the most beautiful women in the world which I like to think goes beyond lucky genetics and has something to do with yummy french beauty products.

Kelly and I wanted to do a shoot for her sister Erin Framel on her birthday to mark this time in her life and celebrate all our collaborations. Many people go into behind the scenes to make a photo-shoot happen and Erin has produced, styled, and even modeled in many of our editorials and commercial shoots as a way to say thanks. With French beauty and one of my favorite fashion photography books, Woman in the Mirror, as inspiration we capture Erin in this timeless moment.

We let Elle & Clarins on set to see how we work and play together and here are the final images from this day of beauty….

Cover images~ Pamella Roland Gown || As29 Earrings

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Behind The Scenes

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For the past couple of months Kevin and I have been working on the video for the Tiffany CT60 launch that took place last Thursday at the Tiffany 5th ave. flagship store. The concept to the video was to shoot four dynamic and influential New Yorkers and take a glimpse inside their New York Minute.

I love authenticity. It’s very important to me to have everything mean something especially when it comes to shooting real people and talking about New York City. We started the process by extensively researching each of the four guys and making a list of specific questions to ask them about their history with the city, their approach to personal style and how they spend their time in New York. We interviewed each of the guys for about 45mins, taking notes on their favorite places to eat, shop, walk, live, and why, then wrote outlines for the videos based on their answers. We shot them at their favorite time of day in NYC which serendipitously built out a perfect day from morning to night. We had them move through the city the way they do on their own, and had them style themselves how they wanted. This was their story, after all. How we choose to spend our time, much like style, is a very personal thing.

We shot everything on the RED Epic with Canon’s new CN-E 35mm T1.5 lens,  used a Cinevate Atlas slider for moving shots, Gitzo tripod for stationary shots, and then hand held in between. When shooting Marcus Samuelson at his Harlem restaurant Red Rooster we used a Litepanels Astra light for illumination in the kitchen shots and a California Sunbounce reflector at all other times. The best new addition to our workflow was using a 7″ SmallHD field monitor. Unlike a large monitor which we use in studio, this allowed me to be close to both Kevin and the subject and made directing while being on the move so much easier.

Here a a few behind the scenes shots taken over the course of our 4 day shoot by our studio assistant Diana and some of the stories that come with shooting such dynamic personalities on the streets of New York…

Below, shooting Alexander Gilkes at one of his favorite restaurants Sant Ambroeus in Soho. For one of Alexander’s “in my New York” shots, we wanted to show him at work as an auctioneer. I have  never been to an art auction before and this one at Phillips was particularly exciting as he was auctioning photography. Everyone from Avedon to Penn and more contemporary photographers like Hiroshi Sugimoto. A high part of the evening was this Helmut Newton selling for just shy of a million dollars. Also, Alexander is married to fashion designer Misha Nonoo, a friend, CFDA incubator designer, and creative collaborator

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