Contributors: Every Picture Tells A Story

<< Back to Robb Report, September 2005

    To prepare for the fashion shoot that would become “High-Fashion Fliers”, Los Angeles–based photographer Susan Anderson went to the movies. To be more precise, she visited the library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. “The question was how to create a series of images that wasn’t just models posing in front of impressive backgrounds,” says Anderson. In this case, those backgrounds were a Dassault Falcon 900EX business jet and the Hangar One private air facility in Scottsdale, Ariz.

     

    Like most photographers, Anderson tries to form a narrative with her images. Yet fashion shoots can present a challenge. “It’s difficult to hold a narrative together when you’ve got different clothes in every shot,” she explains, “so you need to introduce some mystery into the shots to bring the reader in. The solution was to create photographs that would hint at a story without really telling one, and I liked the idea of suggesting a thriller, planting clues and creating mystery in the shots.” For inspiration, she consulted the work of Alfred Hitchcock, a master of the genre. “I’ve always been influenced by Hitchcock’s design sensibility, especially the way the color palette is controlled in his films,” says Anderson, who has a degree in photography and filmmaking from the Art Institute of Chicago and previously worked as a television production designer. “The clothing and locations are designed to work together in a deliberate way.”

    In addition to viewing Hitchcock stills at the Academy’s library, she looked at photographs from several James Bond films, because, Anderson says, Hangar One “could be the set of a 007 movie.” Certainly, the Bond character, as debonair as he is, would fit the clothes she photographed.

    Jan Morgan’s fascination with fast cars is, he claims, “the result of exposure to such machines at a tender age. My auto-immune system was not properly developed.” At the age of 4, he was driving a lawnmower engine–powered go-kart that his father had built for him, and before he reached his teen years, he was dismantling his mother’s Mercedes and his father’s Chevelle. “Fortunately, I was able to put them back together,” says Morgan. “Dad was surprisingly cool about this, and he added to my tool collection.”

    Morgan has continued taking apart cars and putting them back together—including his neighbor’s Rolls-Royce Phantom, Bugatti Type 57, and Ford Model T—and he has tinkered with his two airplanes, a Mooney 231 and a SIAI Marchetti, which he flies on business trips and in competition. “I got about 20 knots more out of the Mooney and about the same out of the Marchetti,” says Morgan. “I won a few races here and there.”

    His next project could be a Noble M400 like the one featured in “A Noble Pursuit”, the story that he coauthored with Robb Report automotive editor Gregory Anderson. “Here in the U.S., the engine has to be installed—about a 40-hour job,” says Morgan, whose garage now houses a Renault R5 Turbo 2, a Westfield XI, and a Mercedes C280, all of which he drives regularly. “I’d rather work with one of the experts, but I might do my own installation.”

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