K2 – The Blog

Before They Were Rock Stars – Massimo Gammacurta

There is so much good photography out there – so for us to take on a new artist, they need to have a combination of an incredible eye, beautiful work, a fine-art background, technical expertise, and a fun personality.  And did I mention they need to be drama-free (hence our motto)? Well, we found the PERFECT combo in our newest photographer – we’re thrilled to introduce MASSIMO GAMMACURTA!

Massimo is an artist at heart.  In 2016 alone he had a solo show called “EAT ME” at the Visonairs Gallery in Singapore and was part of a group show “Tempting Art” at the Mudam Museum in Luxembourg (as well as Milan in 2015).  You can see more of his accolades here – there are quite a few!  His work is conceptual, bold, and wonderfully thought-out.  It’s fresh and it’s fun.  And a little sexy – check out his “Kamasugar” lollipops, featured on Juxtapoz!

His clients include:  Adidas, Alife, Armani, Bloomingdales, Bloomberg, Buscemi, Carol’s Daughter, Cinti, Chanel, Esquire, UK Details Magazine, Flaunt Magazine, Gilt Groupe, Glamour Italy, Google, GQ Italy, Guitar Aficionado, Hennessy, Lancôme, Macys, Nike, Revolver Magazine, Puma, Sotheby’s, Surface Magazine, V Magazine, Vogue Italia Accessory, Vogue Gioiello, WAD Magazine, Wired Magazine USA and so many more.

But enough from me – check out his work on our site and see for yourself just how awesome his work is.  And get to know him better by finding out what Massimo was like, you know, BEFORE he was a rock star, by reading below.

Massimo Gammacurta Blog intro

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How did you become interested in photography?  started really early, around 8 years old. My father is a multimedia artist and loves photography so I was lucky enough to start by playing in his b&w darkroom and with his cameras. My dad is also an art history professor so I was always in his library reading books about art and history. I loved modern art, Pop Art, expressionism, dada, surrealism, Futurism that was my cup of tea as far as what I liked in art.

Also the movies were a big influence in my visual development as a photographer.

Movies like “La dolce vita”, “8/12” and “Uccellacci e uccellini” have been a great influence in my work. These director couldn’t be more different, Pasolini is a true realist like Caravaggio, for him death is just death there’s nothing beyond that, it’s reality without any illusions.

Fellini is surreal, the dream, the excess.

Both influenced me because they are so different but unique but what i learned the most from this great artist to escape from stereotypes and to be myself.

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Where are you from originally?  I was born in Rome,  Italy but I’ve been living in the USA for many years.

Having been raised in Rome, where images and art are all around you, where beauty and messages in visual forms are primary, this experience has informed my deep-seeded desire to be a photographer.

What did you intend to do when you “grew up”?  It was either a fine art painter, a soccer player or a photographer but I decided to go for the hardest one to succeed…

What were you like as a teen? Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life? Always energetic, I had and still have a vibrant personality, and very demonstrative, it reflects on my work.

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I recall one instance in London where i lived for a year at the when i was 19 yrs old.

was working as a photographer shooting test for model agency and my english was almost non existent to say it nice. I went to a Burger King in Oxford circus at rush hour time and i remember that I order a burger and a large “cock”. I wanted a coke but my pronunciation was bad and this english lady at the cashier (typical english humor) instead of giving me a coke made me repeat the “cock” word few time until i actually gestured the size of the co(c)ke i wanted it.

I remember all the Burger King patrons started to laugh so much and i didn’t know why until an Italian guy in the line screamed at me in Italian ‘bro you just order a large dick”. Most embarrassing day of my life, never step into another Burger King after that.

What was your first job ever? Assistant for a fashion photographer at 15 yrs old.

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What was the biggest trouble you got yourself into? You don’t wanna know.  I grew up in one of the most dangerous areas of all Italy, I had friends that died and went to jail, I was lucky enough to stay out of trouble.

What was your first job in the photo business?  Assistant and also I was a b&w and cibachrome printer at a very early age. My first job as a photographer was an editorial for a german magazine called “Madame”, I was 18 yrs old and this famous editor chose me to shoot the Spoleto festival event. It was an amazing experience and I had access to all the fantastic artists there and I shot for 3 days straight.

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What has kept your passion for photography vibrant?  To shoot and discover something that I haven’t seen before, to create new idea and to find a way to execute it.  My main motivation is wanting to create a basic tension in the viewer while provoking a personal reflection on certain themes.

What is a dream project in this business? I was lucky enough to achieve few already but probably to shoot an ad for Chanel.

 If you could anything else, what would it be?  That’s easy – a Soccer Player.  Ha!

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Before They Were Rockstars : Daniel Rosenthal

Daniel RosenthalWe’re thrilled to write our newest Before They Were Rockstars, all about our new photographer, Daniel Rosenthal. Generally, we like to categorize our photographers. Lifestyle, still life, blah blah. But we can’t define Daniel. Is he fashion? Sure. The work is sexy and edgy. Is it beauty? Portraits? Lifestyle? Yeah – sometimes. Daniel shoots people in their rawest form, capturing poignant, beautiful moments. And when he’s not doing that, he’s photographing children. His kids work might as well hang in a gallery. It’s gorgeous. And to top all that off, he’s a humble, down to earth kind of guy. You’ve got to meet him, and you’ve got to see the work for yourself. Check it out on our site, with more work going up soon!  And scroll down below to see some imagery of young Daniel.

Now, without further ado, we proudly present Daniel Rosenthal.

Where are you from Originally?

Emmett, Idaho! Home of the Cherry Festival, Aaron Paul, and an outlandishly high obesity rate.

What did you intend to down when you “grew up”?
Be a zoologist and professional football player and have children and a wife by the time I was 27. Instead I am a 32 year old single fashion photographer in NYC. The ideals of children are comically (and fortunately) under informed!

What were you like as a teen? Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life?
As a teen, I would say I was reserved. Calculated. Cautious. Thoughtful. As an adult, I have intentionally preserved certain aspects of all this “seriousness”, but chosen to throw in a bit of spontaneity, laughter, and what I’d call a “measured recklessness”. I’ve learned that life is too short and unpredictable not to at least seek to be present in every moment – good or bad – and accept the challenge of beneficial risk as it presents itself. I moved to New York in the dead of winter with no job, no friends, $800, and a place to crash on Staten Island for a month BECAUSE I saw an opportunity for growth and my intuition told me it was the right thing to do. To continue to say “yes” to living life fully and with as much courage as I can muster is the cornerstone of my adult life.

What was your first job ever?
My dad was a contractor and my mom always had odd jobs growing up. When I was 10, she had a paper route in the country. On Sundays at 4am, I would sit in the back of our bronco with my sister and roll papers and put them in clear plastic sleeves. The smell of the paper and the movement of the car made me sick. Every. Single. Time.

Through my teenage years I worked construction with my dad, and when I was 17 my mom started an ice cream and sandwich shop called The Double Dip in Emmett. It was honestly delicious. I still crave those sandwiches. So fresh, packed with vegetables and roast beef and some mustard and vinegar. Mm… perfection. I worked there through my senior year of high school and then through my first year of college, I served tables at the olive garden.

I had to pay for school myself, but I was determined to still have adventures. After my freshman year, I went to Alaska and worked 2 full time jobs in anchorage. I served tables at a marriot in the morning and then I was a turn down maid in the evening at the Cook Hotel. It was just me and 20 Philippine. They were fantastic. The next summer I worked 4 jobs in Jackson hole (shipping manager at a gart sports, construction, busser at the mangy moose, server at the calico). The fall semester of my junior year I spent in Hawaii where I learned to surf and read entire books in barnes and nobles so I didn’t actually have to buy them. I think I actually read the entire harry potter series there.

The next summer I stayed in Boise to take some summer classes and worked as a bike technician. After senior year, I went to sitka, AK to work on a fishing boat. I worked 14 hour days for weeks on end. I learned that I could be seasick AND haul in an anchor at the same time. I caught a six foot blue shark on a ten foot rope. I was so tired at times that I could sleep sitting up in the rain on an ice chest in the back of a 30 foot boat while it went full speed across a choppy ocean. I got to hold a puffin and I’m FASCINATED by ling cod. I saw a man catch a 120lb halibut on salmon gear. That’s like winning the tour de france on a tricycle.

What is the biggest trouble you got yourself into?
As vanilla as it sounds, I’m not sure I’ve ever been in any real trouble. I had a bit of a rambunctious stage my senior year of high school and I got called to the office a few times but that’s about it.

What was your first job in the photo business?
I think the first gig I ever booked was a wedding in a park in Emmett, ID for $200 in 2007. Interestingly enough, I will be photographing their first child in October!

How did you get into photography? What is it that kept you here?
I got into photography at the end of my senior year of college. It fascinated me. it was the first thing in my life that truly held my attention for an extended period of time. There’s no “conquering” or arrival, only progression. With every shoot I do, I can see how it can be better and I feel a hope and a sense of adventure in it. I always wonder what “will be”. What beauty will I get to be a part of in the future?

What is your dream project in this business?
I think my dream project would be shooting Daniel Craig for the cover of Vanity Fair.

If you could do anything else, what would it be?
Honestly, I can’t picture myself doing anything else just yet. I do have a dream, though, of owning a surf shop on a tropical island and living a very quiet, slow, relational life. Or maybe back in Idaho when I have a family. But for now, and for some time from now, this is where I want to be and what I want to be doing.

Young Daniel Rosenthal

Before The Were Rockstars – Joshua Scott

Posted in Before They Were Rockstars by K2Creative on November 29, 2011

We’re down to only 2 BTWR posts left!  And this is one of our favorites.  Joshua Scott, still life photographer, always had a clear vision of what he wanted his work to look like.  We might say this a lot, but the work mirrors his personality – quirky, fun, bright and full of intent.  We’ve come to the conclusion that Joshua spends more time in his Union Square West studio than he ever could anywhere else.  Sometimes, we’ll get emails @ 2AM as he’s wrapping up retouching for a client – or a test he’s been passionate about.  But the best part of all is that all the hard work has paid off.  Joshua shoots for Marc Jacobs fragrances and his work can be seen everywhere.  Other companies like Fusion Beauty, Technomarine, Neostrata and Kenneth Cole have joined his impressive roster of clients.

But here’s what we love – the success hasn’t gone to Joshua’s head.  The dude is cool.  He’ll shoot anything interesting.  And he finds EVERYTHING interesting.  And, well, we find him interesting.  Took us awhile to get to know Joshua – but we’re so glad we did.  And now we present to you Joshua Scott – Before he was a rockstar.

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Where are you from originally?
I was born in Alaska, moved around a lot up and down east coast and out of the country in Siapan (northern Mariannas Islands). Some time down south in Nashville, high school in Philly, some time in DC, college in Upstate NY.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Older sister is a Spanish teacher living in Ecuador, younger brother, a wooden boat builder in Seattle.

What did you intend to do when you “grew up”?
I always knew that whatever I did wanted to be my own boss and not have a “9-5”. Ironic though because now I work more like 24/7 haha!

What were you like as a teen?  Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life?
As a teenage I was independent. At 16 I figured this is pretty much it, now you just do you. I went to boarding school so parents rules or household did not shape me. I wenr on skateboarding adventures in the city and worked on fishing boat in Alaska in summer.

What was your first job ever?
First job ever was chopping tons of wood for neighbors stoves in Alaska.  7th grade.

What is the biggest trouble you ever got yourself into?
Selling weed in high school.  I was suspended and lied my way out of expulsion. I was also arrested and jailed for stealing alcohol bottles in a club. All that stupid shit. Tickets for jumping turnstyles. running from police for skateboarding/trespassing. Now I’m way to busy being an adult, an artist, and running a business to have time to get in trouble.  🙂

What was your first job in the photo business?
Shot portraits of underground musicians in the hip hop scene late 90’s for cds and such after high school graduation while using another job I had at Motophoto to steal film and get all the free processing and prints..

How did you get into photography?  What is it that kept you here?
I think what struck me the first time that I looked through the lens of a camera is the isolation. When you look through the lens all you see is what falls in the frame. It blocked out all the extra stuff and allowed for a sense of focus which before that I had never experienced. I liked the feeling of isolating one event or object and cutting it out from the rest of the world and thereby making it important. This is what I do in my images. Isolate an object or scene through composition or lighting in order to give it the feeling I want such as importance, strength, a certain meaning, or sense of value.

What is your dream project in this business?
My favorite projects are those where we assemble a team of talent and together we make something that I could never had done on my own. These types of images are bigger than myself and that makes them feel like even greater and more satisfying accomplishments.

I like projects where stylists create something I could never had made or art directors come up with ideas I would never have had. Then I bring that to life or reinterpret it or give it meaning in the final imagery.

If you could be doing anything else, what would it be?
I would be a musician mc/producer, or a professional skateboarder.  Two passions from youth which have pretty much been discarded to focus on photography completely. In life you have to make sacrifices and you cannot always do everything you want to do and you have to accept that. If you accept that it makes you stronger.  Living with regret would just make you weak.

Is there anything else (funny stories, etc…) you’d want to tell us that would work for this?
Sure, I’ve got two:

1.  I arrived at the studio I’m currently in about 1 1/2 years ago and on of my very first first projects was one of my most popular series – the Lola series. I shot large sets full of glitter dropping from the sky and rubber bouncy balls flying around. I used gallons and gallons of glitter and bags and bags full of super bouncy rubber balls. As a result even now a year later we will find a bouncy ball here and there  – or I will spot some glitter in some cracks here and there. This studio is of course clean but it seems I will find reminders of that very first shoot until the day I move out of here!

2.  When I first met Katie and Kristy from K2 they were just starting their company. I was new and they were new. I had only been shooting for about a year and they had only an idea for their company but not even a website or business cards. even though they came to me with almost nothing I saw the drive, ambition, and excitement, and energy they both had. This made me feel that a partnership with them would work for us all. Only about one year later their company K2 has a solid roster of talent that is shooting consistent projects. As far as I’m concerned K2 are the rockstars! haha.

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And that’s Joshua in a nutshell.  Sweet, intuitive, driven, creative, and 100% HUMBLE.  Oh, and did we mention funny?  The guy truly is a rockstar – we’ve never met someone that worked harder.  Now take a look at his pictures.  I don’t know about you, but I think he was one adorable kid.  Can’t imagine that little face getting in so much trouble… 🙂

Before they were rockstars: Seth Kushner

Posted in Before They Were Rockstars by K2Creative on November 7, 2011

We’ve got a special place in our hearts for Seth.  He was one of our first photographers here at K2.  Seth, a portraits guy with a gritty New York style, has his hand on many projects at once.  He’s just finished shooting a fantastic portraits series of real people (and for the first time, we don’t need quotes around the work ‘real’ – these were truly gorgeous non-models) for NY ad campaign.  While photography is a passion, he can’t help but be fascinated by super heroes and the people who create them.    His new new book, titled “Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics,”  should be on shelves soon (Spring 2012!).

As if that didn’t give him enough street cred, Seth is already involved with a new endeavor  – Trip City, which recently launched after much anticipation.  From the Trip City press release:

TRIP CITY is a Brooklyn-filtered literary arts salon launching November 1st, 2011 at WelcomeToTripCity.com. The multimedia website features free content curated by a host of creative heavyweights. “TRIP CITY reinvents the online arts collective with a virtual playground for a diverse set of accomplished and highly individualistic creators,” says Emmy Award winning cartoonist and TRIP CITY founder, Dean Haspiel, “spanning every borough of artistic endeavor from the visual arts to literature, music, video and beyond.”

TRIP CITY is the exclusive home of united individuals exploring new media to achieve a modern salon. Brooklyners Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, Bored to Death), Seth Kushner (The Brooklynites, CulturePOP Photocomix), Chris Miskiewicz (Everywhere), and Jeffrey Burandt aka Jef UK (Americans UK), will release exclusive content at TRIP CITY, combining avenues of expression such as podcasts and profiles, including upcoming portraits and exclusive interviews with Jonathan Ames, Marc Maron, Ben Katchor, Michael Moore, Henry Rollins, Dan Goldman, and Moby. Additionally, a fellowship of regular contributors will provide their original voices to TRIP CITY, including, Joe Infurnari (MUSH! Sled Dogs with Issues, Marathon), Nick Bertozzi (The Salon, Lewis & Clark), Jennifer Hayden (Underwire), Nick Abadzis (Laika), Jen Ferguson (Art in Chaos), Ron Scalzo (Bald Freak Music), Amy Finkel (Furever), Kevin Colden [Fishtown], and The Perv Whisperer (The Perv Whisperer).

TRIP CITY is a digital experience with future plans to take some of the content and perform it live on the road. “Working with so many Brooklyn locals, we have this great sense of community right out of the gate,” says Jef UK. “Then, when we take the next step and turn TRIP CITY into a live event—which is in the works—our tribe is already gathered, so to speak.”

Check it out today.  But before you do, check out below and find out what Seth Kushner was like, before he was a rockstar.   (And make sure to scroll all the way down – his kid and teen pics are my absolute favorites.)

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Where are you from originally?
My mother’s womb, but from there, Brooklyn.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?
Nope, but we had a poodle who my father used to refer to as my sister.  She works in real estate now and it clearly the “successful one.”

What did you intend to do when you “grew up”?
Like many boys, I had my astronaut phase, but for most of my childhood I wanted be a comic book artist.

What were you like as a teen?  Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life?
Yes, every time I’m at a social event and I feel awkward.  I was very geeky, but I discovered photography in the 10th grade, and that helped me out of my shell a bit and gave me an excuse to talk to girls and attend events.  Hiding behind a camera was better than hiding in my room at home.

What was your first job ever?
I worked at the one hour photo lab at the local mall when I was 15.  Let me tell you, you see some odd things in people’s personal photos!  I saw people posing with corpses at funerals, crime scenes, people engaging in sex acts which still make me shudder, etc

What is the biggest trouble you ever got yourself into?
I wasn’t a trouble-making kinda’ kid.  My mom once passed me on the street while I was supposed to be at school.  But it wasn’t like I was out smoking pot, I was taking pictures!

What was your first job in the photo business?
During the summer right after high school and before starting at School of Visual Arts, I was shooting freelance for Scholastic Scope, the publisher’s teen magazine.  The experience taught me how to work with photo editors, write invoices, plan shoots, etc.  All very invaluable for a 17-year old.  Becauce of this, I was always working on building my book all though college.

How did you get into photography?  What is it that kept you here?
I took a photo class in high school because I heard it was an easy A.  I was surprised how quickly I fell in love with it.  That was all due to Howard Wallach, who ran the photo department at my school, which was the most honored program in the country.  Mr. Wallach was the most inspiring teacher I’d ever encountered and there are lots of people working in the industry now who owe it all to him, myself included.

What is your dream project in this business?
Hmmmm….I don’t know.  It would have to be something which was creatively fulfilling AND paid a shit ton of money!
How about top 5 people I’d like to photograph living or dead?  You didn’t ask for it, but here it is-
Redd Foxx
Andy Kaufman
Sean Connery
Orson Wells
William Shatner
OK, so they’re mostly dead.  What does that say about me???

If you could be doing anything else, what would it be?
Realistically, since I do some of the following and gravitate towards them anyway, I would say either writer, filmmaker or graphic designer.

Is there anything else (funny stories, etc…) you’d want to tell us that would work for this?
In 1997, after dropping my book all over town for a year and a half, I secured my first assignment a and it was for the NY Times Magazine.  I was to shoot playwright/actor Eric Bogosian.  I was 23 and still living at home.  I remember I called Bogosian to arrange the shoot and left a message.  Later that day, the phone rang and my mom picked up, and she screamed from across the house, SEEEETH, YOUR FRIEND ERIC’S ON THE PHONE!!!!!  I soon got my own phone line and moved out not long after.

Show us the pictures! (THESE ARE PRICELESS).

 

Before They Were Rockstars – Paula Parrish

Posted in Before They Were Rockstars, Uncategorized by K2Creative on July 26, 2011

Paula Parrish is an artist, and her medium is photography – sort of.  Paula uses various experimental techniques (and very little retouching) to blur the lines of photo, painting, film, and the human form.  In laymen’s terms, her process is BONKERS.  We can’t give it all away – but the outcome is fantastical and sometimes gritty.  And somehow, always poignant.

We’re asked a lot what she shoots – and the answer is, everything.  Paula has been commissioned for beauty, fashion, still life,  portrait, and even landscape work, all in her unique and ever-evolving style.   Katie and I have always respected Paula’s hard work – and are thrilled at where it’s gotten her.  Fine art, commercial work, editorial – it’s all the same to her – she’s CREATING.  Many have taken notice – including Visionairs Gallery in Paris.  Her work has traveled to and sold at Art Basel, Shanghai, and even right here in NYC at the Chelsea Market.  Editorially, she’s shot with Oyster, Twill, No.ise, Planet, Crash, and Bleu (to name a few).  And on the commercial front (because we know ad agencies will want to know), she’s shot most recently for several hotels, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitter, Von Dutch, and Target.

And on a personal note – we’ve gotten to know Paula over the last few years.  She’s always been professional and wonderfully kind – and could honestly be an artist’s muse/fashion icon on her own right. She cares about the world around her, and actually began shooting still photo while  documenting women working in the “hostessing” industry in Tokyo. These days, she’s added amazing mother to her list of accomplishments.  In all aspects of her life  Paula does what she does because she loves what she does.   Without inspiration, she wouldn’t shoot.  Lucky for us (and for you!), she finds inspiration in everything…

And now, we present MS. PAULA PARRISH.

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Where are you from originally?
Wisconsin

What did you intend to do when you “grew up”?
Not that Wisconsin was that bad, but anything that would take me far away.

What were you like as a teen?
I was a cheerleader, shit that is embarrassing, please don’t judge me.

Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life?
Definitely. I wasn’t really afraid of much as a teen. Challenges and obstacles like not having money or a plan have or fears of the unknown never stopped me.  That being said, like when I was a teenager, I still don’t manage money or plan things well.

What was your first job ever?
I delivered newspapers. It was hardcore in the wintertime.

What is the biggest trouble you ever got yourself into?
I’ve been deported from the UK and Hong Kong, which  both seemed to suck at the time, but now it gets me out of jury duty.

What was your first job in the photo business?
Tendencias Magazine in Madrid.

How did you get into photography?  What is it that kept you here?
I was making a short documentary film and randomly began to take photos of the subjects that I was documenting. (western girls working in the hostessing industry in Tokyo).  I fell in love with it from the first roll of film that I shot and changed my life entirely. It’s a good thing because I was a terrible filmmaker.

What is your dream project in this business?
Portraits for NY Times Magazine.

If you could be doing anything else, what would it be?
Working for the Red Cross in Zimbabwe.

Anything about you we should know?
This is random but, one time I was in Thailand trying to make a film about Monkey’s in LopBuri and a friendly monkey jumped onto my shoulders and with a foot on each shoulder, started to give me a head massage. The camera guy had turned the camera on me when I said “oh look, I’m getting a massage”. The monkey kept moving my hair around and moving to rub different parts of my head, ears, and neck. When the camera guy (who knew what was up)  finally moved closer, the monkey was startled &  turned to face the camera and revealed a raging exposed hard-on.  The monkey was making love to my head.

I felt so violated.

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And now for some pictures of our lovely lady (including the violation, haha!).

Paula @ age 19 - we never imagined her with dreads!

Paula being violated by a monkey in Thailand (see above).

Paula today with her adorable son Milo.

Before they were rockstars – Barb Cole

What can be said about Barb Cole?  For starters, she’s one of the most wonderful people we’ve ever met.  In addition, she’s a fantastic artist.  Oh yeah, and she’s incredibly funny and just goofy enough to make her approachable.  Barb is genuinely happy to work, to create, and to be in the water.  We’ve known Barb for 6 years – and have recommended her for jobs, regardless of who she was represented by.  It’s almost impossible NOT to – she’s just that special.  As her career continues to rise, Barbara Cole keeps her feet firmly planted on the ground.  Unless, of course, she’s in the pool.

In Barb’s own words, she “operates as a painter, but employs standard photographic tools.”  While many photographers rely on photoshop, Barb almost always captures everything – color, emotion, movement, light – in camera.  Barbara was again Grand Prix Winner of 6E FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL de la PHOTOGRAPHIE de MODE, Cannes and Dubai this year.   There is a currently a documentary being shot about her work.  She’s just started shooting the most amazing new project (still very hush hush, but I have a feeling the results will be magical).   And somehow, the lady manages to be a mother and wife – and oddly enough, ENJOYS baking her own birthday cake each year!

Barb’s just the best – an absolute pleasure.  And to top it off, she’s had quite the quirky/random life.  Read below and find out how different (and oddly the same) Barb’s life was before she became a rockstar.

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Where are you from originally?
Toronto, ON  C a n a d a

What did you intend to do when you “grew up”?
I was going to be a librarian. Honestly. I was tested for a vocation and that’s what the powers that be came up with!!! I do like to read.  And, I love paper, and real books. No ebooks or audio books for this gal.

What were you like as a teen?  Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life?
D e p r e s s e d .  Yes. *Seriously, I could never have imagined how (good) different my life has turned out. Whew, feel like I dodged a bullet somehow:)

What was your first job ever?
I drove around the city on a Honda motorcyle, wearing a pair of red and white bell bottoms that said “Coke, it’s the real thing.”

What is the biggest trouble you ever got yourself into?
A friend and I skipped school. We got caught by a truant officer, who took our phone numbers. Then, the cop called me for a date and turned my friend Felice in at school.

What was your first job in the photo business?
I was a writer at a newspaper and the real photographers (the ones who were on the payroll) asked me to help them set up their shoots.

How did you get into photography?  What is it that kept you here?
It was a way to get attention. I can’t do anything else and get paid for it.

What is your dream project in this business?
An underwater fashion shoot for Yohji Yamamoto.

If you could be doing anything else, what would it be?
Living in the south of France and taking shots around my villa!  That is, if I had one.

Is there anything else (funny stories, etc…) you’d want to tell us that would work for this?
I made breakfast last week and thought that something smelled funny. Turns out it was my cinnamon toast that I had topped with roasted garlic powder accidently. Also the time I shredded (what I thought was soft cheddar) on my homemade chili and it turned out to be vanilla fudge. I could go on, believe me…

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Again, what can we say?  Our Barb is quite the character (she’s the rabbit on the left!).  And we over at K2 wouldn’t have her any other way.

Before They Were Rockstars – Ashton Worthington

Posted in Before They Were Rockstars, What's happening with the artists by K2Creative on April 26, 2011

Check out our new segment – BEFORE THEY WERE ROCKSTARS.  VH1, please don’t sue us.  You get full credit for the name.

Every month, we’ll give you the inside scoop on one of our photographers – where they come from, their ups, their downs, and of course, how they got to where they are today.

It’s not just a bio of their campaigns and accolades – it’s a look at the heart of these guys.  From high school drops outs to math nerds (no offense, Ashton), former models to prison stories (and even a wannabe French cowboy), our roster surprised even US with their cockamamey stories and strange idiosyncrasies.

While imagery is key for Katie and I when working with a photographer, personality is also a MUST.  We’ve got a soft spot for laughter, irony and subtle, smart sarcasm.  Seems we’ve attracted the right bunch.  Because if you can’t laugh, what’s the damn point?

We love that our photographers come from somewhere else, and some of their pasts are hilarious.  Just like all of us, they’ve got a story.  And knowing that story gives us and our clients a deeper understanding of who we’re entrusting with campaigns, editorials, and our friendship.

Enjoy – these are going to be fun!

ASHTON WORTHINGTON – Before he was a rockstar
Ashton Worthington, our newest photographer, has a name synonymous with what he shoots – CAMPAIGNS.  He’s worked with top-tier companies in the corporate, lifestyle and still-life realms, from Intel to Rocawear.  He also shoots a mean image library and rocks products in-studio.  This dude is no stranger to the world.  As a photographer he’s traveled far and wide on lengthy trips for major conglomerates.  But our Brooklyn-based boy, who insists on writing only in lowercase unless speaking with a client, is an analytical and goofy guy that started out much closer to home.  We keep wondering if he was the 6th member of the Breakfast Club (you MUST see picture below).

Where are you from originally?
baltimore – just like on The Wire.
Do you have any brothers or sisters?
i am a very only child.  i still don’t share well.  don’t touch my stuff.

What did you intend to do when you “grew up”?
photography was always high on the list. both my father and grandfather were amateur photographers, and photography was my first class the first day of high school. something in math or science probably would have been the other option – I was pretty serious about those in high school. I even went to math camp to study non-euclidian geometry one summer. that’s where I held hands and slow danced with a girl (Led Zeppelin stairway to heaven, INXS never tear us apart) for the first time, so it wasnt as bad as it sounds.

What were you like as a teen?  Do you see reflections of your teen self in your adult life?
i think i was very serious as a teen and kind of still am, so yes in that respect. i also kind of still picture myself as a teenager, so definitely. visually, i looked like i stepped right out of a john hughes movie. i sold Z Cavaricci clothes at the Attivo at the mall. i was a horrible salesman but looked totally fly in my high-waist peg-leg two-belt pants and my turquoise and black rayon shirt. i loved that shirt.

What was your first job ever?
see above. technically not my first job, though – my first first job was helping out at my mom’s shop – she had a store selling basket making supplies. I also worked summers running the photostat machine at my dad’s graphic design firm. anybody who knows what a photostat machine is gets a 10% discount. anyone who’s every USED a photostat machine gets 25%.

What was your first job in the photo business?
does photo editor for both the school newspaper and yearbook count? my dad hired me to shoot some still life shots for a college brochure when I was a freshman in college, and I shot a brochure for the Delaware Symphony Orchestra my junior year. After school, I assisted a little and then got a full-time gig shooting the woolworth circular at a catalog studio. dont laugh – we shot it 8×10.

How did you get into photography?  What is it that kept you here?
it’s so thoroughly in my DNA, I think I kind of had to. my dad was a graphic designer but actually majored in photography. my mother was a fiber artist – weaving, macrame, basketry, needlework, knitting. my father’s mother was a woodworker – serious enough that she cut off part of her thumb on the table saw working on a deadline late at night – when she was like 75.  and my mother’s father, by profession a minister (and ambulance driver, and tax assessor), was an amateur photographer, painter and architect.

the cheese keeps me here now.

What is your dream project in this business?

it’s kind of hokey, but I’m not sure I have any one specific thing. I just love working, love shooting. any time someone wants me to push the button, no matter what it is, it’s an opportunity, and I love it. it’s just so cool how many different and random lives and worlds I get to bump into doing this – any and every assignment is a treasure.

If you could be doing anything else, what would it be?

probably architecture – if I could do it without worrying about what clients want or building codes.
Something we think you should know about Ashton:

We have a little AW insight for ya.  Ashton is a thinker – he’s smart and non-reactive, and every shoot he does is an epic SUCCESS.  He’s got one downfall – his face.  We can always tell when Ashton is uncomfortable – or wants to laugh.  His eyes open really wide.  Like, wider than one could imagine.  On a shoot a few years ago with a stylist who had just returned from a chemical peel, Ashton’s face was priceless.  I wish we had a picture.

These days Ashton is a cheese fiend with with a wife and two kids.  His new Brooklyn studio is officially open for business, and he’s geared up for new gigs.  Welcome to the team, Ashton Worthington!!  Check his work out on our website now.  And definitely don’t leave this blog without viewing his prom picture below.  Classic.

Ashton before prom. Breakfast Club, anyone?

recent (and accurate) portrait of ashton, by his 3-year-old daughter.

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