Mark Hill | The soul of a portrait

 

"When you photograph a face, you photograph the soul behind it" - Jean-Luc Godard

Mark has a innate ability and compassion to capture the human spirit through his work. The depth and complexity of a person's narrative lives in every portrait. 

To uncover the story behind his work with Turner Broadcasting, Scripps Networks, American Cancer Society, AT&T and many others click here

Josh Franer | TBWA World Health + Mentor

Director + photographer, Josh Franer, collaborates with TBWA World Health to create informative and educational content for healthcare client, Mentor.

Mentor is a leading supplier of medical products for the global aesthetic market. Together, they build a story around the innovation, quality, safety, and performance of Mentor's products for surgeons. 

For more of Josh's portfolio click here.

Credits: Director Josh Franer, DP Matt Ryan, Producer Chris Cummings, Colorist Aidan Sanford, Composer Joe Corcoran, Agency TBWA, Production Through The Woods.

Sock It to Me! Behind the Scenes of the Feetures Shoot with James Quantz Junior

When Charlotte, NC-based ad agency BooneOakley reached out to Agency MJ for help on a new athleisure campaign for their client Feetures, we knew just the guy for the job.  

Enter James Quantz Junior.

A sports and commercial photographer with an incredible talent for capturing compelling action shots, James has produced work for Sports Illustrated, ESPN, the Atlanta Falcons, the Charlotte Hornets, and more. (Not to mention his work for Bacardi Rum, Las Vegas Convention and Tourism, and Grand Central Publishing including the book jacket for Chelsea Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me.) He’s been with Agency MJ since 2011.

Born out of a desire to create a better running sock, Feetures launched in 2012 with a mission “to be the most recognized performance sock in the world.” Fusing original design with new technologies, Feetures provides premium socks for both everyday activities and athletics. They look good, they perform great, and, oh yeah, they come with a lifetime guarantee. Sign us up.

Together, BooneOakley and James set out on the one-day shoot at James’s Columbia, SC-based studio to capture images for web and print. “They had been doing environmental portraits, so this go-round they wanted to do in-studio type work,” says James. “To further enhance that we shot with a black backdrop and black acrylic flooring to get the reflections of the socks. In each image, you get the actual sock and its reflection.”

The shoot featured one male and one female model, each showcasing a variety of Feetures socks in multiple settings, a mashup of both fashion and function. And when you’re shooting awesome socks, you gotta keep it laid back.

“I like to keep things light and fun on set,” says James. “I like to let people be themselves. When you’re casting athletic people, you kinda just let them do their thing.”

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James also knows though, after more than 15 years in photography, that when it comes to any kind of athletics-based photography, your subjects have to go all-in. “For staged movement to look real, it’s got to be real movement. You have to give 100% in front of the camera, as if you are on the field,” he says. “If you’re going to jump or swing a golf club, you’ve really got to do it.”

Although most of the images would be used for web, James also made sure they would be picture perfect for tradeshows (think life-size cutouts). To ensure enough resolution, James shot with a Phase One medium format camera. “It’s a little trickier when you’re doing action because it fires one frame per second where other cameras might give you five, even ten, frames per second. So, you’ve basically got one chance to catch it.”

James is a pro though. One chance is all he needs. Like he tells his athletes, “You do what you do, and I promise you I can catch it.”

See more images from the Feetures shoot at Feetures.com.

Interested in working with James? Check out more of his work here, or contact Agency MJ here.

Mark Hill shoots The General

 

Shooting Shaquille O’Neal is always fun and I knew the assignment to photograph him for The General Insurance campaign would provide interesting challenges.

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First thing you need to know about working with O’Neal is that he is tall – like, really tall. He’s easily more than a foot taller than me. I needed a way to elevate my lens to his chest height that also gave me freedom of movement. Once we had the seamless built and the lighting set, my assistants built a “runway” of apple boxes for me to walk on.

The client wanted images of O’Neal interacting with “The General”, their animated character to be added in post-production. The character is about five-feet tall so we used a short C-stand - and even our petite client – as points of reference for Shaq work with.

Shaq is not shy about saying so if he feels something is off. For example, he wanted the cuffs of his pants to be lower than the wardrobe stylist did. He had no problem speaking up – calmly and in a friendly way – to get what he wanted. 

Shaq is also very interested in the craft of photography.  Both times I have done portraits of him (the first for his TruTV show “Upload with Shaquille O’Neal”) he has quizzed me on why I use certain light modifiers and how my direction translated into better photographs. All in all, he is easy to work with, playful on set, and open to ideas that translate to better pictures. - Mark Hill

Hubert Kang | Metropolis at Metrotown

With nearly 400 stores and services, Metropolis at Metrotown in British Columbia has something for everyone. With TWICE/DDB Canada at the helm, visual storyteller and photographer Hubert Kang brought to life the must-see attractions, world class restaurants, and myriad of retail stores in the latest campaign "Life Happens Here". 

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Check out the "Life Happens Here" campaign in living color! 

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Credits: Photographer Hubert Kang, Producer Amy Jones, DP + Co-director Hamish Hamilton,  Editor Mike Southworth, Photo assistants Marlin Olynyk and Nik Molson,  Hair/Makeup Lucyanne Botham, Wardrobe Stylist Joanna Kulpa, Prop + Food stylist Angie Martin,  Agency TWICE/ DDB Canada, Creative Director Tim Hoffpouir, Designer Chloe Lan, Project Manager Chloe Hoppie.