Herring&Herring Photography represents the collaboration of renowned international fashion photographers Dimitri Scheblanov & Jesper Carlsen. Having built successful careers as an art director for fashion photography and as a fashion photographer respectively, Dimitri and Jesper teamed up in 2008 and now share the work of directing and shooting photos for a range of international clients.
By interjecting their own personalities, senses of humor and individual perspectives, they have together developed a unique style. In the process they have begun publishing their own, branded Herring and Herring Magazine. Phase One recently had an opportunity to speak with them about these projects.
For you, what is the purpose of a printed magazine in a digital world?
The way viewers experience and interact with images today is totally different from what it was even a few years ago. This is why we cut out the text, articles, columns, trends. When I buy a magazine, or look through the ones I subscribe to, I rarely read anything. I look at the pictures and throw it out or keep it based on the quality of the images.
So our "magazine" reads way more like a monograph, or an exhibition, or even an Instagram page. It’s a total visual experience. No literacy required. It’s something that you want to keep because it’s beautifully printed and produced.
We also found that it’s a bit of a relief to the celebrities in the magazine that they don't have to sit through another interview to promote a project. Instead they get to be creative and have fun on a very collaborative shoot.
This is your second issue, what have you been doing different?
Our first issue, Fit For Print, was dedicated to fashion, which was most of the work we were doing at the time. For that, the very first thing we did was create mood boards for the concepts we wanted to execute. Using those mood boards to explain each concept, we reached out to stylists and then agents to secure models we liked.
Framed is different both in the visual direction and process. It is wholly celebrity driven, so our approach was to first make a list of artists/celebrities that we were really interested in shooting. FRAMED is all about character, it’s about looking at familiar faces in new ways.
We changed the printing, design and scale of this second magazine. I like the idea of each issue feeling like its own thing. The consistency is in the general idea of the publication, not in the small details. Changing those small details is what makes something unique. So the aim moving forward is to have more of that surprise factor. The next issue will have some pretty crazy collaborations and physical things in the magazine that have never been done before.
What did the Phase One camera system bring to the job?
Working with Phase One camera system, we’ve found that the overall image quality is far superior to anything we’ve ever worked with before. When we shoot with Phase One, we treat each image as a precious thing, almost as if we were shooting with film.
What about the distribution? How are you promoting this issue?
The distribution is also totally different. The first issue was sent directly to a select audience of approximately 1000 creatives. FRAMED will be on newsstands worldwide.
We feel that printed magazines are the best way to show photography. For us producing the magazine is a great promotional tool for our photography. It’s why we started publishing. Although we are really social people, we both feel quite uncomfortable going to parties to mingle and talk up our work. We’d rather that our work speaks for itself. This is totally us -- no filter; no compromises.
To promote the magazine, we wanted to give an incentive for pre-orders and also a gift to both our fans and the fans of the celebrities we shot. By pre-ordering, every purchase is automatically entered for a chance to win a huge 24x36 print of the winner’s choice from the magazine, autographed by us as well as by the celebrity in the photo!
Once the issue is out on newsstands, we will be doing an Instagram campaign, inviting fans to take pictures of themselves with their favorite covers and posting them with the hashtag #HHFramed. This will be another way to win a print.
It’s incredibly fulfilling and fun to work on the magazine. It almost feels like a break from real work, which is what any worthwhile experience should always be. Because we take the pre-production and post-production process so seriously, we get to have a lot of fun on set. The time flies, and we get to collaborate with other creative people and make our favorite images… what could be better?
What made this issue easier, based on your previous experiences?
Because Fit For Print was done on a kind of whim, we didn't have a proper schedule in place. The first issue -- from concept to layout -- was made in two months. This drove us a bit crazy. It was way too much work to get done in that timeframe, especially when you consider we also created an exhibition at the same time, and we were making and editing videos for most of the editorials in the magazine. Plus we were building the website to host video content! We were physically and emotionally exhausted. Jesper lost his voice. I think we took a month off after the magazine came out. We didn't see each other until we were back to normal.
So, for this second issue, we chose to spread the production time to about six months. At the same time, having had that crazy experience with the first issue prepared us for one of our trips to L.A. where we wound up doing 12 shoots in 6 days! That was pretty crazy, but because we’ve become masters of pre-production, it was actually a really easy and fun time. We also gave ourselves about a month for post-production and layout. This felt like a real luxury.
What made it harder? How did you challenge yourself to improve / make it different?
Going into the entertainment industry was challenging only because we had very limited experience with it prior to this project. Now we love it. In many ways it makes a lot of sense for our personalities and the way we like to work. At first, it was unthinkable for us to do a shoot in three hours . . . then we actually got it down to two … a 10-page story in two hours! We love challenges and thrive on coming up with ways to improve the process.