A Dozen of Marta Soul’s First Kisses

We like to think of first kisses as epically romantic moments ripped from Hollywood scripts and suffused with giddy elegance. In reality they’re not like that. Instead they’re mostly fumbling and nervous on street corners or dark bedrooms. But they feel romantic and special, like the beginning of a beautiful secret, a precious stone forged between two people. After ending a fifteen-year relationship, photographer Marta Soul missed the feeling of thrilling newness and decided not only to see if she could find it once again, but also to see if she could capture it on film and share it with an audience. Thus was born her series “Idilios,” which borrows its name from a Spanish word for which she says, “I haven’t found an equivalent term in English.” Unlike “romance” or “love,” idilios describes the very moment two people fall in love, unblemished by the impurities of human relationships. To


Ole Marius Joergensen Makes the Familiar Strange

Even though we’re made to feel like the world is getting smaller and smaller, there is always more to explore. Even if we didn’t spend most of our time sitting still in front of screens and instead dedicated our lives to seeing the world, we’d scarcely be able to scratch the surface of this planet in our lifetimes, not to mention any others. Some lands are so alien to us that they seem like entirely other worlds, a sentiment that Ole Marius Joergensen explores is his series ‘Space Travels Through Norway.’ What started as a three day trip around Norway evolved into much more fantastic implications when he packed a spacesuit into the car that he and his friend would be sharing. The deal was simple: Ole would pay for the trip and his friend would model whenever asked. The simple introduction of the space suit completely changes what would


Reshaping the Human Form with Alyssa Boni

Few artists understand the human body like Alyssa Boni does. Her medium is photography where the form is captured in reality, not a faint representation of an idea. She uses that power for its strength in a range of styles, perhaps most contradictorily in her portraits and still life. These two ways of working offer different routes of expression, each showing off Alyssa’s mastery in different ways. Her portraiture uses expression and energy as the vehicle in photographs that speak to the viewer directly through body language. Wide eyes and bright colors communicate, bringing dynamism that reverberates through simple propping that engages the audience into seeing beyond the focus of the model. The whole image turns to a celebration, moving the eye from corner to corner. In her still life, Alyssa subverts the idea of portraiture by using her models as the canvas. In a particularly arresting series, her subjects


Everyday Is a Good Hair Day with Dorit Thies

The average person has more than 100,000 hairs on their head; talk about a mass to manage. But when an expert gets their hands on it and really knows what they’re doing, hair goes from a collection of thousands of riotous threads to a single flowing medium that can drift, drip and move into sculpture and form. Dorit Thies is an industry go-to for beauty and lifestyle photography, but her series on hair goes the extra mile to show us how compelling a properly composed coif can become. In this aesthetically tight shoot, models wear nothing but luxurious locks and subtle make up. What’s on their head becomes the fashion, with curls cascading from the scale to the scapula, and pin straight looks blooming into a spray that offer movement and lightness against the static softness of the model’s exposed body. The images are at once comforting and surprising in


Layla Sailor’s Photographic Communion

When Pantone named Rose Quartz and Serenity their “Color of the Year” it was groundbreaking because it was the first time in the history of the distinction that the brand chose two different colors instead of just one. The move surprised many, but it didn’t surprise Layla Sailor at all. The photographer plays with color and energy a lot as it is, but that color combination is something she’s always loved using. The poppy warmth of Rose Quartz balances right off the cool energy of Serenity, offering a dichotomy that matches Layla’s point of view. Her photographs ooze style. Whether she’s playing with intense hair pieces, dramatic make up effects, or expressionist sets, Layla consistently pushes the envelope to compositions that intrigue and challenge her viewers. When she works with subtlety, her mastery of color and balance is still in play. Instead of extremes in color or setting, she displays


Learn from Master Photographer Scott Markewitz

Most photographers don’t spill out of the womb ready to go. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that photographers capture the amazing moments they do thanks to years and years of studying their craft. It’s a focus that they hone for their entire careers in an attempt to make every shot better than the last. Unless you’re one of the lucky few born brilliant and you want to try your hand at the art form, one of the best things you can do is take a lesson from a professional like Scott Markewitz. The sports photographer has made a career out of taking unbelievable photographs of athletes in intense moments. There are a lot of learnable skills to achieve results similar to his and he’s offering a course where students can study his methods. The course is in its seventh year, and has proven results with students year after year. Steven


Stephanie Rausser Keeps It Bright with Mozi Magazine

Recently Mozi Magazine caught up with Stephanie Rausser to feature her work and talk about how her craft and what advice she has for photographers that are coming up behind her. For Stephanie, photography is all about the challenge. She keeps with it because of how it tickles her creative impulses. “I love commercial photography because it is problem solving, and I have learned to be a great problem solver with my camera,” Stephanie tells the magazine. Not only is she solving the conventional problems that photography presents, like composition and lighting, but she also infuses all of her work with an energy that is as bright as a summer day. Like a fresh breath or an invincible glimpse of the sun, Stephanie’s work will always leave you feeling brighter than before. This energy comes from her models that are always in a good mood. That’s a part of her


Stephanie Keith Makes Intimacy with Strangers a Gift

Cities are a concentration of humanity pooled together, but sometimes they feel like the most isolated places in the world. The mass of people in one place allows for a type of anonymity that happens once faces become a part of the background. In cities you can find moments of stillness and solitude in a crowd of millions. Windows end up being half glass and half mirror, depending on how the light flows through them or against them. Stephanie’s personal project ‘Portrait: Reflections’ examines what we reveal when we feel alone among the people, and what can be found just by looking out the window. “New York is a city made of reflective surfaces, plate glass, shiny metal buildings that we interact with all the time,” Stephanie says. The images feature (mostly human) subjects captured in moments made still through the click of a shutter. “I’m using these reflections as


Landscaping as Natural Communion in Corey Hendrickson’s Documentary

Our adoption of technology has allowed us to interact with other people and the world in totally unique ways, often deepening the relationships that we have. It’s far easier to learn about and understand other cultures, learn about different places, and connect with people on the other side of the planet. But what technology cannot do is stand in for a relationship with the natural world. In Corey Hendrickson’s short film with Jungles in Paris for Great Big Story, he explores the human relationship with the earth in the simple action of cutting grass. ‘Every Blade in the Field’ follows a group of grass-cutters in Addison County, Vermont who see a field of grass as a living, breathing ecosystem that deserve the full attention of anyone interacting with it, and not the blind violence of motorized spinning blades. Where a lawnmower is an assault not just on the small ecosystems


Christin Rose Shows that Girls Will Be Girls

Every girl is born with expectations of how they’re going to act and present themselves as they grow into the world. It is often against their own peril that they go against the predestined definition of what it means to be a “lady,” and that litany of expectations can be both unnatural and destructive. In Christin Rose’s latest project “She Plays, We Win,” she hopes to dismantle the way we think about girls in sports. This is not necessarily the field for the tomboy or the rink for the prissy skater. In fact, what Christin’s project proves is that sports are not a gender identity issue, they don’t have to imply anything about the player or what it means to be a fair representation of the player’s gender. They are a personal identity issue. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach is quick to speak saying, “Sport is a powerful platform


The Magic of Spontaneity with Kareem Black and Smirnoff

The secret to Kareem Black’s success is engaging with his subjects and allowing them to speak through what makes them unique. This was particularly true in his latest campaign with Smirnoff where they wanted the images to feel improvisational and full of life, while crisp and clean as if they were well scripted. So they brought in models who were exactly what they were supposed to be. “If we’re going to have ravers, let’s have actual club kids. Let’s get them to bring some of their own stuff so we’re actually shooting these people and not our interpretations of what these types of people might wear. That authenticity added to it,” Kareem explains. They blended their directorial elements with what their subjects brought and it combined into moments that were as authentic as could be. When Kareem and Smirnoff first sat down, the liquor brand had a wish list they


Stephen Wilkes Proves Everyone Reads The New Yorker

Reading is not dead, despite what we’re supposed to believe, and publishing institutions are as strong as ever. Readers consume more information today than any time before, and we get that news largely from the same space. The publications that set their roots almost a hundred years ago are still largely read today and The New Yorker Magazine is no exception. In fact, it’s the rule. To illustrate this fact, The New Yorker teamed up with photographer Stephen Wilkes, thanks to SS+K, to create a campaign that visualizes that enduring reality. Whether it’s a subway train or lounging on Jones Beach, it’s always the right time to pull out an issue of The New Yorker and catch up on what’s happening in the world. That’s exactly what Stephen and his team drew from to create these images. Alyssa Georg, Art Director at SS+K, credits Stephen for making this campaign possible.