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Emily Shur

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This gallery is a selection of some standout portraits from Review of the Weekend edition of the WSJ. The “Creating” section of Review is where artists and writers, choreographers and composers mingle with monster-truck drivers, magicians, whiskey distillers, tattoo artists and fashion designers. Each week features a fresh subject who divulges secrets to their creative process, along with often-surprising details of the trade and behind-the-scenes dishing. Read on as “Creating” photographers share details about the recent shoots.

Tarina Tarantino, jewelry designer, Los Angeles, CA. Photographer Emily Shur: “Photographing Tarina was like shooting a modern day fairy princess with a
wicked business sense. Her workspace was fun and whimsical, yet busy and organized. I like meeting and photographing successful women who seem to have fun at work and clearly are respected by everyone around them.”

Mark Setteducati, magician, New York, NY. Photographer Shannon Taggart: “Mark is a very interesting guy and I think we both had a lot of fun on the shoot.
Besides being extremely knowledgeable about all things magic, he knows a lot about art. We talked about the art world, photography, and we spent some time discussing the artistic process.
Mark was a longtime assistant and friend of the artist Louise Bourgeois, one of my favorites. I got to hear some stories about her and he even had one of her pieces in his studio. He really became my collaborator during the shoot. We would photograph for a while and then go over the photos and talk about what was working and what wasn’t. His feedback guided me during the session.”

Nicola Formichetti, designer, Paris, France. Photographer Derek Hudson: “Shooting Formichetti was fun despite the fact that his show was the following day and I shot him on the eve of the show between 9 and 10 pm on a sort of impromptu “catch me if you can” kind of informal last minute arrangement. He was decidedly laid back and welcoming. He listened to music on his iPod while he scanned the impossibly thin beanstalk models who drifted in and out of the fitting session in an office at the Thierry Mugler headquarters on the Boulevard de l’Opera. He talked about his mother and the video he has just finished for Lady Gaga in a matter of fact way that I found most endearing. He then proceeded to marvel at my digital Leica camera in astonishment that such a discreet camera could produce such great pictures. I’ve shot my fair share of fashion designer icons, but Formichetti was a treat to shoot for his unprecedented air of ‘no visible stress’.”

Ann Gottlieb, perfumier, New York, NY. Photographer Mackenzie Stroh: “Ann was great to work with because she did not take herself too seriously– she has a good sense of humor that comes through in her portraits. We cast a male model to be shot with Ann– the published photo showed him naked from the waist up, spraying on her latest men’s fragrance. We were not sure how Ann would respond to being photographed with a male model, but she had was game, fun, and had tremendous poise.”

Rob Hall, owner of Almost Human special effects, Los Angeles, CA. Photographer Sam Comen: “Rob Hall’s studio was an embarrassment of riches when it came to props and scenic elements to inspire a portrait of the FX mastermind. Unfortunately, nearly all of those elements were very gory and realistic, and therefore very difficult to use in light current news focused on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting in Tucson just 5 days prior. So my plan was to showcase Rob’s special effects without being grim. I found my inspiration in the studio’s cramped and dusty loft: a set of giant insect legs peeking out behind a foam-rubber human torso. I added a colorful fly swatter, explained my idea to Rob, had my assistants perch on a ladder with the giant legs, and after some work we had our shot.”

Scott Kim, puzzle master, Palo Alto, CA. Photographer Shaun Fenn: “Scott was an intriguing artist blending math and art. It was wonderful to be able to meet at his college professor’s house which was a curvilinear masterpiece of its own. The owner, Dale Seymor had art on display throughout the yard. Scott was really a sweet guy who was calm throughout the whole process. He even created “ambigrams” of my name, and my assistants name, as parting gifts. Meeting interesting individuals like Scott is one of the reasons I enjoy working on editorial assignments.”

Peter Marino, architect, New York, NY. Photographer Francois Dischinger: “Peter Marino suffers no fools!!! We were treated like any grease monkey in a motorcycle garage…He is very funny and had a wonderfully gruff manner on our shoot. There was no prancing allowed and all we did was document this moment of toughness and style. We only spoke of motorcycle accidents. And how to reattach a mangled finger. I completely respect Mr. Marino as a subject and a great talent. I hope that gives you a little window into our shoot..”

Christopher Wheeldon, choreographer, dancer. Photographer Mary McCartney. Lucy Gilmour, Associate Photography Director, The Wall Street Journal: “Mary McCartney photographed Christopher Wheeldon in London at rehearsals for his March 2011 premiere of Alice in Wonderland with Royal Ballet Principals Sarah Lamb and Federico Bonelli. The approach was fast and loose with little time given to the photographer, who was not allowed to interrupt the rehearsal”.

Marie Wright, flavorist, South Brunswick, New Jersey. Photographer Kyoko Hamada: “I had been warned that Marie’s lab might be a bit like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. Upon entering the lab, we were overwhelmed with the smells of bubble gum, lemon, coffee beans, chocolate, tangerine, and what I’m guessing may have been cupcake, soap, vanilla, banana and amaretto, all mixed together in what was an otherwise very stark and minimal laboratory. It was strange to think that the smells which were so omnipresent in the air were completely invisible to the naked eye.
The morning of the shoot was the same day that the big earthquake struck Japan, so I was both anxious about how my mother was doing in Tokyo (she was doing fine), and dizzy from the unfamiliar, and unidentifiable smells emanating from the lab. The combination of my anxiety, and the strong aroma made the shoot a particularly memorable one for me. Marie, the flavorist, was a self-assured, charismatic and very charming women who didn’t dress at all like any scientist I had photographed before. It was great pleasure to meet her and such fun to visit the lab. I am grateful that she didn’t call the Oompa-Loompas when I ended up breaking one of their beakers in all the excitement.”

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