Fabian continues to build his already-impressive body of work. Just released is this commercial for Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo's recently-launched CR7 Denim range, directed by David East. Fabian has worked on campaigns for many high-profile South African brands including Investec, Vodacom and Hunter's Dry. Fabian is available as both a director and cinematographer. You can view more of his work here:
Peter De Mulder discovered photography at a young age. He was only five years old when he swapped his teddy bear for a 1950's Leica. Peter likes to think that the camera had obscure magic powers. Shooting with it was quite tricky, as it was not a reflex camera but one with a telemeter. Focusing at that young old was a challenge and when he succeeded to take a sharp picture with it, the feeling of victory was intoxicating. Learning to shoot on an analogue camera taught Peter about natural light. His belief to this day is that Photoshop is a tool, but not the means to an end.
As an adolescent, Peter's uncle introduced him to black and white printing. In the strange red atmosphere of the dark room, Peter felt there was no possible return. He was infected. His passion for the art of photography is contagious, it's the air he breathes. Looking at his photographs today, one could arguably say that the camera he once thought to be a mystic talisman is the medium through which Peter channels his own magic.
A true master of his craft, Peter shoots action sports, including campaigns for Nike and Coleman, and fashion. His work has been published in Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie-Claire and Elle to name a few.
Peter is also most well known his underwater photography. He creates incredible scenarios by submerging with his models. Peter talks about developing his craft in an interview with Vendome Magazine
How did you land your first big job and which one was it?
I was still a student in photography , the CEO of an important advertising agency had seen my year’s end exhibition and asked me if I wanted to shoot for them a campaign competition, no fee attached of course. It was a series of shots with wind surfers running with their boards and sails to the sea, Hobbycats sailors in action etc…The agency didn’t win the competition but sold the whole concept to a big bank client they had, with a fee…. I followed the Ecole Supérieure Des Arts Visuels De La Cambre, section photography. I had already notions of photography and printing before.
You’re especially known for your underwater photography, most of it being fashion photography. How did this concept come to your mind?
I was near the island of Spetses on a short trip with my best friend, a former dancer of Maurice Béjart. We were free diving and for no reason my friend started an improvised underwater ballet. I looked at that no-gravity feeling, the strange underwater light, the way the body moves and changes in this strange world. I immediately started to research the best way to solve all the technical problems attached to underwater photography. There were no digital cameras at the time, and I wanted to shoot with mid-format film. The challenge was to understand how the underwater light works, to anticipate the blueness of the colors and to build an underwater housing that would fit my mid-format cameras. When I look at them now, they are quite primitive and clumsy tools but they did the job.
Under-water fashion photography is challenging. First I am free diving in 90% of the underwater shootings, so are my models. It’s physically challenging but for me staying underwater with scuba gear and waiting for my models to perform deprives me from a constant contact and lead with them. I can’t measure their state of fatigue or cold if I’m not putting myself in the same conditions, I can’t give them directions or encourage them if I don’t pop at the surface constantly with them. As I’m shooting most of my work in the ocean, I have to adapt to its various conditions. Creativity is at stake but so is safety. Not to say that at the end of a day of shooting you will not find me on the dancing floor.
Your motto is “I don’t think pictures have to justify their existence”; what’s the meaning of it?
It’s actually a Richard Avedon’s motto, a great invisible mentor for me. It means for me that pictures have an existence that makes explanations or justifications unnecessary if they’re good pictures. Everyone should be able to relate in one form or another to pictures he/she sees without any explanations attached, the world and emotions that the pictures shows are there to be digested without a bible of explanations. If a written explanation is needed, I feel those pictures haven’t succeeded to tell their own story. To me, photography means freedom, a way to express the mosaic of emotions encountered on this planet, being beautiful or frightening, a picture says everything it needs to say in the fraction of a second it took to capture it.
You have also extensively covered India with your photography, and showed through it parts of the world that one must see to believe. What made you fall in love with India?
As you get submerged underwater and have to accept it to live the moment with peace, so is India where you get totally submerged by it’s energy, people, strangeness and closeness at the same time. The idea is to let go, not resisting the elements, same as for the ocean. I didn’t find yet in another place on this planet such a variety of what human kind can offer, from worse to incredible, from ugly to marvelous. Pictures of Cartier Bresson and Don McCullin have haunted me when I was a young student and at 24 I made the leap of faith.
What’s the most valuable thing you learned from your time there?
That time has another dimension, or many other dimensions…
I got 3 top crazy experiences in my career: underwater fashion shooting in the Maldives while the monsoon still hanged above our heads, a campaign for Coleman shot in the US and Costa Rica where I ended up climbing in the forest canopy, feeding alligators with melting marshmallows to be able to shoot them from close in the Everglades, sleeping in a tepee in South Dakota while a roaming bear tore of our food trash, riding horses the same day and being ejected from my mount when she came face to face with a snake etc…and finally the multiple Kumbh Mela I attended in India.
Peter is available on special commission in South Africa.
Travel and food photographer Russell Smith visited India earlier this year.
Russell visited tourist attractions, places of natural beauty as well as urban spaces frequented by locals.
The exciting element of Russell's travel photographs is that he depicts every place he shoots as the people who live there experience it. He does not simply take a photograph of a beautiful palace. He shows it in context: on a busy city street with women walking past on their way to do their laundry. A lush forest scene is shown to us from the viewpoint of the children who play there daily. His images capture beauty in the everyday lives of the inhabitants. Exotic places are not just monuments of a foreign culture but living, breathing spaces. He shows us that history is not of the past, but is a story that continues to be told. A photograph ceases to be a moment in time. It is many moments exisitng both harmoniously and in contradiction to one another. This imbues his beautiful images with meaning, making them both accessible and aspirational to audiences.
Russell worked as an art director before pursuing a career behind the lens. He specialises in food, travel and portrait photography. He has worked with many celebrities in the South African food industry including Luke Dale-Roberts, Pete Goffe-Wood and Liam Tomlin. His skill in shooting both their portraits and cuisine allows the viewer to really engage with how these chefs' personalities are reflected in their food. Once can almost taste the pictures.
See more of Russell's work here.
Artists & Legends are thrilled to announce that we are now representing acclaimed German fashion and celebrity photographer Yves Borgwardt.
Born in Frankfurt in 1983, Yves completed his professional apprenticeship in analog photography and worked as an assistant to prolific fashion photographers before taking on his own fashion and commercial clients.
His work has featured in publications such as Harper Bazaar's, Interview, Men Health, Stern, Vogue and Zeit Magazin. Borgwardt has shot campaigns for adidas, Bayer Healthcare, Mercedes Benz, Nokia, Silhouette Eyewear and Sony Music. In recent years, Borgwardt has developed a penchant for photographing celebrities. He has worked with a host of household names including Audrey Tautou, Billy Idol. Bob Odenkirk, Daniel Bruehl, Daisy Ridley, Grandmaster Flash, Herbert Groenemeyer and Paul Weller.
In 2012 Borgwardt was nominated for Lead Academy's Lead Award in Fashion Photography. A selection of his photographs were featured in The Visual Leader Exhibition at The Deichttorhallen, a world-renowned centre for contemporary art and photography in Hamburg.
One of the most vibrant personalities we've encountered on set, Reinout Steenhuizen is an unquestionably talented cinematographer. Professional, hard-working, and simultaneously the life of the party with experience in a wide range of mediums from feature documentaries to music videos to slick television commercials, he is an asset to any team. Artists & Legends is so excited to be working with Reinout. He is based in the Netherlands and available to work throughout the world.
See his portfolio here.
It ain't easy being a cult video game character and pop culture icon. Misconceptions abound.
Devon Krige was given the unprecedented opportunity to follow document the day-to-day activities of Mario, protagonist of the Super Mario Bros. franchise.
See Devon's portfolio here.
A creative agency is a reflection of the clients it serves. Artists & Legends is dedicated to building long-standing relationships that go beyond one-time projects. We strive to provide value and service on a consistent, on-going basis, anywhere in the world. We are excited to share our latest campaign for TomTom, shot in Portugal.
Creative producer Debbie Bacher and director/ cinematographer Fabian Vettiger reunited, are currently working hard on another TomTom campaign back in Cape Town. Photographer Stephen Greeff joined the creative team for a very special 6-day production. The fruits of this wonderful teams labours will launch later this year.
For now, see exclusive behind the scenes images and videos via our Instagram.
Tiff Gravel is currently on assignment in northern Uganda, documenting the work of community members and Hope for Humans, who use traditional music alongside Western medicine to aid Acholi children diagnosed with Nodding Syndrome. This terminal disease, under-researched and without a cure, stunts children's physical and mental development and is characterized my 'nodding' seizures. The disease first appeared in Uganda in the squalid and unsanitary Internally Displaced Persons Camps . The Nodding Film contextualizes the emergence of Nodding Syndrome as the Acholi people experience it, as a direct result of the decades of war and genocide they have endured.
Available on assignment for both film and photography projects throughout Africa, see more of Tiff Gravel's work here.
Photographer Stephen Greeff and make up artist Charmaine de Kock collaborated to create The 7 Sins, a concept-based beauty shoot. Exhibited in Cape Town, the installation comprised of an edgy fashion film and portrait series based on the concept of the seven deadly sins.
Greed, Vanity, Sloth, Envy, Wrath, Lust, Gluttony
What drew me to the idea to shoot the 7 sins
as a beauty portrait series
was to encapsulate the irony of beauty
which is, in general, idolised in society.
These sins lay hidden in your
emotions and thoughts and often stay
hidden from the face which the world sees.
Even the most glorified of us are guilty.
There is no escaping your emotions and thoughts
as they are the very definition of your character.
It is only when you catch yourself being overly sinful
that you may start to act otherwise.
But be warned,
the sins can act simultaneously.
Do not judge yourself too harshly.
This series is not meant to make you go and repent your sins.
Artists & Legends is thrilled that photographer Stan Kaplan has joined our impressive line-up of creatives. Stan has worked his way up from experimenting with his father's camera to learning from top professionals as a photo assistant. In recent years, he has established himself in his own right, as an energetic force behind the lens.
The Artists & Legends team are excited to share the new TomTom Rider 450 video. Produced in Cape Town earlier this year by Debbie Bacher, the video was shot on various mountain passes through the Western Cape. Director/cinematographer Fabian Vettiger took full advantage of the incredible scenery, creating visuals that truly captured the spirit of the open road. See exclusive shots from behind-the-scenes below.
The Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg has become a sanctuary for Zimbabwean refugees. The Church has opened it doors allowing hundreds of people to settle in its halls, corridors and stairwells. Although the church has provided a safe haven for refugees, it is struggling to cope with the enormity of the situation.
In March 2008 during the first Zimbabwean election period, Ilan Godfrey spent time with the church inhabitants as they waiting in anticipation for the election results to be announced. Most people have no interest in returning to Zimbabwe to vote even though they wanted to see an immediate end to Robert Mugabe's long and traumatic reign. It became apparent that a lot of people feared for their lives. In some cases the refugees did not want to be clearly identified or make their names known for fear of reprisals against their families back in Zimbabwe.
The growing incursion of illegal immigrants contributes to unlawful squatting in South Africa. Most arrive destitute, jobless and homeless. This results in the large majority finding their way to squatter areas. It is estimated that 80% of illegal immigrants inhabit informal housing settlements and squatter camps. This body of work reflects the ongoing struggle of people standing together against one man's ideals.
Last year blind contour artist Ian Sklarsky was commissioned by Yotel in New York City to design and illustrate an adult colouring-in and activity book as a welcome gift for guests.
See more of Ian Sklarsky's work here.
Alistair Redding's Calais documents the experiences of those living in the Jungle Refugee Camp in Calais, France. The images illustrate the limbo in which refugees find themselves: they have escaped the unbearable circumstances of their countries of origin but are unable to function as fully-fledged members of society in their new homes.
Essential to Redding's practice is constructing his photographs in conversation with his subjects. In this way, they are given the ability to build their own narratives in collaboration with the photographer and they are validated in a space and time where they have previously been marginalized.
See more of Alistair Redding's work here.
Stylist Richard de Jager brings his incredibly ability to combine the avant-garde and street style to Smirnoff's third iteration of their "We're Open" campaign.
Set in an African context for the first time, this edition documents Congolese-French DJ Jeffrey Jewell engaging with people through music and dance on his first visit to South Africa. Jewell becomes a role model for others with albanism, who are discriminated against and ostracised from society throughout Africa.
We're Open promotes inclusivity while celebrating diversity. It is a reminder of Smirnoff's history of supporting minorities, having sponsored Gay Pride for 16 years.