Category Archives: Accessories

Studio News: Jameel Mohammed in Vogue!

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Jameel Mohammed: Khiry Collection featured in Vogue, September 2018

 

 

Studio News  by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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LEARNING CURVE

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Kudos to my former Fashion & Photography student Jameel Mohammed for being featured in the September issue of Vogue for the launch of his Khiry jewelry collection!  To see additional work by my former students at the University of Pennsylvania, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/tws-portfolio-reviews/

 

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Bob Shell: Car Reviews in a Photo Magazine?

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Cars. Rush Hour Boston, Mass. Photo: David Pang, Copyright 2018

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 Bob Shell: Letters From Prison #24

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Letters by Bob Shell, Copyright 2018

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CAR REVIEWS IN A PHOTO MAGAZINE?

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At some point in the mid-90s, Don Cooke, our national sales manager at Shutterbug, had an idea to diversify our advertising base. Glenn Patch, Sbutterbug’s owner, had a policy that there would never be any tobacco ads in his magazines, so we turned away their money, but what about car ads? The car companies had crazy money to throw at magazines, too. Don had worked for car magazines in the past and knew everyone in that business. He thought a series of articles on cars for photographers would get the attention of the right people.

That’s why I found myself early one cool desert morning in a parking garage at McLaren Airport in Las Vegas picking up the keys to a sparkling new black Land Rover Discovery. Don had arranged this through the president of Land Rover U.S.A., who was an old friend. I was to take the car out into the desert for a week and put it through it’s paces as a field outfit for a nature photographer. I’d brought a bunch of outdoor gear with me on the overnight “redeye” flight from Charlotte, and I loaded it all into the Rover’s cavernous back.

In the 70s and 80s my “go anywhere” vehicles had been Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruisers, first a 1966 that I bought from Arthur Godfrey (now there’s a story for another time) and later a 1972 that I bought new for $ 3,400. That sounds cheap today, but in 1972 that was a relatively expensive vehicle. The FJ-40 series were built to withstand rough use and to last, but in common with other Japanese vehicles of the day, the steel used to make the body panels was prone to rust. Both of mine suffered from body rust. I see that restored FJ-40s are commanding high prices today.

I backed the Rover carefully out of its parking place and headed out for Highway 15 northeast and let the big V8 open up (I love to drive fast!) My destination, The Valley of Fire State Park. I’d conducted photo workshops there for years, ever since Wayne Collins and David Brooks had hipped me to the location back in the early 80s. The Valley of Fire is one of the prettiest places on the planet, and in all my world travels I’ve never found a better place for photography. The red rocks and clear desert air cast a warm glow on anything and anyone you photograph there. Of course, if you’re doing commercial photography there you need to jump through some hoops, get a photo permit, and pay into workman’s comp for any assistants and models you use. I was keeping it simple this time, no assistants, no models, just me and the car, and a basic photo permit. I did have to get special permission to go off road, and the rangers gave me a limited selection of places where I could do that, and a couple of brooms to hide my tire tracks going off and back onto the road.

You may not know it, but unless you’re that rare person who never watches TV, you’ve seen The Valley of Fire. It’s a favorite location for commercials for cars, and many other products, and as a standin for other planets in SiFi programs.. At the time of writing there’s a commercial for “tactical” sunglasses airing on ESPN that was shot there. Being located not far northeast of Las Vegas, it’s convenient to Los Angeles and the photo and movie businesses. If you saw the movie Star Trek: Generations you’ve seen the Valley. The climactic scenes of the two Captains fighting Malcolm McDowell was filmed on the red rocks there. It was near those rocks that I chose to position the Rover, on top of a big rock.

I’d decided to shoot medium format in case we wanted to use one of the pictures on the cover, so I’d brought my Mamiya 645 Pro and 50, 80, and 150 Mamiya lenses, and several “bricks” of Fujichrome Provia in a Styrofoam cooler. Of course I’d brought a sturdy tripod (I don’t recall which one, probably a Manfrotto) and my Sekonic light meter for both spot and incident readings. I didn’t anticipate needing any wider or longer lenses, but had a 30 fisheye, 40 and 300 in the bag just in case, and I turned out to shoot most of the photos with the 150, a few with the 80. The light was perfect, a high overcast sky serving as a giant softbox. We did use one photo on the cover, and some detail shots with the article. We got a lot of reader feedback, most of it positive, with a few, “Whaddaya think you are, a car magazine??” letters. Unfortunately, the hoped for advertising never materialized, and we never ran any more car tests. But a while later my friend Scott, who worked for Nikon, stopped by my house in his brand new — Land Rover Discovery! He said he’d bought it on the strength of my review. So Land Rover sold at least one car from our experiment. Too bad the advertising didn’t follow, I was looking forward to test driving other cars in a variety of locations.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/09/bob-shell-the-weinstein-matter/

 

Also posted in Advertising, Blog, Cameras, Engineering, Friends of TWS, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel

Light Table: Portrait of the Day

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Deean: Close Ups 1990’s

 

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Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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DEEAN: Close Up 1990’s

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During the 1990’s my studio was located a block away from South Street, one of the most famous streets in Philadelphia for attracting the avant-garde artists, photographers, musicians and stylists who frequented the trend setting strip. It runs East to West from the Delaware River to the Schuylkill River several blocks South of center city.  Because of my studios proximity to South street, I often met interesting characters to photograph for my portrait work. Deann was one of those distinctive characters that I grew attracted to as a subject. One day when I was walking between 6th and 7th streets on South in a neighborhood called Bella Vista,  I noticed she was working at a  body piercing shop just around the corner from my studio which was located at 704 South 6th..  When I discovered where she worked it  prompted me to introduce myself since we were practically neighbors.  During those days, I was intrigued by a  growing interest in the art of tattoo and body piercing as a subject for various series I was working on at the time.  South street was known for attracting all types of unusual subjects.  Deann was not only known for being stylish and having a distinctive look, she also was known for being a perfectionist at body piercing.  On a day that I felt particularly daring in the Summer of 1997,  I walked into her shop and made an appointment to have her pierce one of my ears. The first time I was inclined to have a piercing performed was in college in 1974, after I saw the movie Serpico.  It was a defining display of individuality in my early twenties when I saw the character that Al Pacino played (a police officer) adorn his left ear with a single gold earring. 

So as a way to revisit the nostalgia of the past, and after the successful procedure to pierce my ear was completed,  I mustered up the courage to ask Deean to model for me. I wanted to include her in a series entitled, Close Ups.  She wanted to think about it. On the surface she appeared to be a bit reserved, timid and shy in contrast to her outwardly dramatic appearance.  A short period of time passed and then a magical moment of happenstance occurred.  On a night while I was out at a nightclub photographing subjects for another project, low and behold there was Deean seated at the bar having a beverage wearing a sharp shirt and tie with a conservative pin-stripped sports jacket.  I spotted a simple wall near where she was sitting and then proceeded to turn on my flash as I asked her to turn and look straight ahead so as to feature her distinctive profile.  She eventually agreed.

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To access additional work from Tony Ward’s Close Ups 1990’s, click herehttp://tonyward.com/early-work/close-ups-1990s/

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To access additional diary entries by Tony Ward, click herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/09/beach-report-last-days-of-summer/

 

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Diary, Documentary, Fashion, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Thomas Kramer: From Riches to Rags

Thomas Kramer at Home on Fisher Island, Miami Florida

Thomas Kramer. Photo by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

 

 

Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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FROM RICHES TO RAGS

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A little over a decade ago in the Spring of 2007,  I received a phone call from a journalist from Hamburg, Germany to discuss a photo assignment. He wanted me to illustrate a photo story he was working on for the German Press about Thomas Kramer, a property developer that ignited the real estate boom in Miami Beach during the 1990’s. I was immediately intrigued by the story and agreed to take the assignment.  I met the journalist in Miami Beach, at a cozy boutique hotel  located on Ocean Boulevard.  At a meeting on the eve of the shoot the journalist provided more background about the reason for the story.  I was told that Mr. Kramer had just been sued by one of the wealthiest families in Germany for fraud. The lavish lifestyle that I was about to witness may be short lived.

We arrived at the mansion on the magnificent Fisher Island at around 10:00am the next day to be greeted by a gregarious man who appeared to be happy to have our company as I photographed him around his lavish estate. Mr. Kramer mentioned the suit quite openly during our time together but evoked a certain confidence throughout the day that he would prevail.  During our lunch break, he had several servants serve us a wonderful lunch with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables lean meat and fresh juices.  There were a few ladies around as well since he was known for being an unapologetic playboy.   After the first day of shooting he  invited  me to a Shaquille O’Neill party (his neighbor) who also resided on the tiny exclusive island.

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Thomas Kramer on his way to a Shaquille O'Neil party

Thomas Kramer on his way to Shaquille O’Neil’s party.

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One of the most memorable moments of the photo shoot with Thomas Kramer was when he invited me and my assistant to visit his master suite.  I vividly recall seeing in his bathroom, a massive amount of fragrances of all the various designer brands that lined his vanity of excess.  During the tour, in the same setting, was a security door where he placed his palm on what appeared to be a keypad. He said it was his safe room. The room was not that big like other rooms in the mansion, but it was lined floor to ceiling with a seemingly endless supply of various types of  guns and other weaponry. Clearly the man was paranoid and for good reason.

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Thomas Kramer and his Gold cross.

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It would take another 10 years, but on September 28, 2017; Thomas Kramer lost his battle in court and received a $192.4 million judgment against him.  His greatest paranoia may have been realized.  The plaintiffs in the case used that judgment against him to credit bid foreclosure and ultimately take title to his luxurious lifestyle and property. He seemed to have had fun while it lasted.

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To access more Diary entries by Tony Ward, click herehttp://tonyward.com/2018/04/diary-a-fashion-shoot-at-the-jersey-shore/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Environment, Fashion, Glamour, History, Men, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Travel, Women

Catherine Trifiletti: Lookbook Summer 2018

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Lookbook Summer 2018

 

 

Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2018

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To access the Catherine Trifiletti Lookbook Summer 2018. click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/gallery/catherine-trifiletti-design/

 

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