PDN Photo of the Day

They Might Be Giants

Though Jeff Stephens enjoys shooting fashion and beauty campaigns, his background is still life photography, which requires a mastery of light, color and reflection. For a 2014 campaign, Stephens used a special set of skills to create carefully composited images of accessories like eyewear, bags, and designer shoes, within different landscapes, for the Neiman Marcus Resort Book.

Nieman Marcus hired Stephens to shoot nine products on white seamless, as well as nine composited shots. Nieman Marcus art director Devin Hall came up with the concept. “[Hall] and I discussed ahead of time on how to execute the idea,” Stephens told PDN via email. “She had a range of stock scenery [and] we picked our favorites in reference to the specific merchandise.” Stephens was left with the task of figuring out the appropriate camera angles and lighting to best match the selected landscapes. “I felt my role on this project was to direct the model and still life, and to deliver imagery that exceeded the art director’s expectations.”

The team, which included Hall, retoucher Joshua Martin and stylists Jocelyn Meinster and Kristen Butler, spent a few days brainstorming the concepts, and Stephens spent three days shooting product. Thanks to careful planning, the composited scenic shots only required four-to-six hours of retouching per image. About four months later, after post-production was complete, the final printed piece was distributed to select Neiman Marcus “Incircle” members (the retailer’s rewards program).

Stephens’ images for the Neiman Marcus Resort Book were recognized in the Advertising category of the 2014 PDN Photo Annual. The 2015 PDN Photo Annual is currently open for entries, with an extended deadline of February 24, 2015. To see more of Stephens’ portfolio, please visit his website or portfolio via his agency, The Photo Division.

Related: Miska Draskoczy‘s “Gowanus Wild”; Mads Nissen’s Ode to the Amazon; Adam DeTour’s Unlikely Cover Models; Antony Sojka‘s photo essay “Tide.”

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