HERRING & HERRING

BEHOLD

Photography duo Herring & Herring celebrate beauty in their magazine’s fifth issue, BEHOLD. Capturing a total of 22 subjects within the 200 pages of BEHOLD, including Wiz Khalifa, Adam Pearson, Winnie Harlow, Melanie Gaydos, Jillian Mercado, Roxy Edwards and Laverne Cox, they create a juxtaposition of differing beauty ideals found within a variety of visually-centered industries, including film, fashion, art, dance and bodybuilding. Shooting on the H6D-100c tethered with Hasselblad’s Phocus software, Herring & Herring were easily able to control their studio environment and never lose a second with their subjects, resulting in their fastest issue to shoot and retouch.

Winne Harlow
© Herring & Herring

BEHOLD is your latest magazine issue, focusing on beauty. How did you two decide to focus on this theme? What ideas did you want to get across with your images?

It all started with Adam Pearson. We saw him in a film years ago, but thought he was a CGI character; then we saw a bust of him that a sculptor had done on Instagram and read the text which credited him as the subject. After googling him, we just thought he is our dream subject, so we kind of built the whole concept around him.

The point that we want to get across in BEHOLD is that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder; it’s a totally subjective thing. And beauty is so much more than physical appearance. It’s about spirit, personality, confidence, doing good, and spreading love. We hope that the images and words expressed in the magazine touch everyone struggling with self-image, especially young people, for whom this is such a critical time. Instagram presents a very skewed view of beauty; it’s pretty shallow and one sided, and we really want to impart to them that there is more than the outer you and also the outer you should be as unique as the inner you. Our part was getting that through in the photos, and our subjects did an incredible job expressing that in their own words.

Adam Pearson
© Herring & Herring

How did you two choose the lineup of subjects that you photographed?

We wanted each subject to be as passionate about the theme as we were, so we were looking to tap in to personalities that were already talking about beauty or that we thought could lend a new voice to the conversation. It was important for us to be as inclusive as possible with a range of ages, races, sexualities, genders, and cultures. We also wanted to tap in to multiple industries – film, television, fashion, art, dance, bodybuilding – because each has its own beauty ideals and we thought it would be powerful to show those juxtapositions within the pages of the magazine.

We are presenting both sides of the same beautiful coin; those who fit into traditional beauty ideals and those who challenge those ideals. So hopefully in the end we created a celebration of people who we find truly beautiful and inspiring. This is one of the reasons we gave each subject their own cover. 

Sarah Geurts
© Herring & Herring
Listen to Sarah Geurts' story. Press on the volume button to unmute.

What were your stylistic choices in the studio for this shoot?

Our studio setting is very important to each issue and is highly considered. The color backgrounds were all made from industrial materials that are inexpensive and found in any hardware store. This included pink background paper that is originally used to cover floors in construction, brown butcher paper, plastic white tarp used for covering studio cycloramas, and blue and green tarps that cover pools and sheds.

We wanted to show that these humble materials could look absolutely beautiful with the right lighting. We used controlled and natural light, and sometimes a combo of both in the shoots. We played a lot, more than ever really, on set with each material and lighting choice. It was our most ‘punk’ approach which we loved. It really freed us up and we were able to approach each photo with a fresh eye, mixing and matching color and light, walking our subject from one set to another and seeing what worked best for what they were wearing. 

Jillian Mercado
© Herring & Herring

Wiz Khalifa
© Herring & Herring

Which Hasselblad camera was used to shoot BEHOLD?

We used the Hasselblad H6D-100c to photograph the entire magazine. We have been using it since it came out and absolutely love it; it’s our number one tool. We are as dependent on its consistency as we are on each other. The H6D is an incredibly reliable piece of equipment that is as sensitive as it is tough.

Eve Hewson
© Herring & Herring

What does the Hasselblad system do for your work?

As much as we played and experimented in this issue, it was important to us to set up a consistent language of color and light. We were able to capture it all and control it with the Hasselblad system. Once those parameters are set, there is very little we have to do in post. In fact, this was the fastest issue to retouch. We did very minimal retouching, and some images we didn’t even retouch. Most of the work was done in camera through Phocus.

Using Phocus, how did that benefit your shooting experience with the H6D-100c?

Because we shoot tethered, we really feel that Phocus and the H6D work completely in tandem, now more than ever. One of us can make instantaneous adjustments to the aperture while the other is shooting. We love having that kind of control. To us it means never having to lose a moment with our subject.

Melanie Gaydos
© Herring & Herring

Laverne Cox
© Herring & Herring

Roxy Edwards
© Herring & Herring

What is one of the largest benefits of the H6D-100c’s output?

Working with large files enables us to have the option of taking a photo from 10 feet away and use it as a beauty shot on a cover. The image quality is always unparalleled and looks as good on an iPhone screen as it does blown up to poster size.

Listen to Luc Bruyere's story. Press on the volume button to unmute.

Luc Bruyere
© Herring & Herring

ABOUT HERRING & HERRING

HERRING & HERRING is the collaboration between renowned international photographers/directors Dimitri Scheblanov and Jesper Carlsen. The duo’s photographic approach is based upon conceptual and aesthetic exploration; continuously pushing the boundaries of storytelling through an ever-expanding visual vernacular, creating arresting images which bring personality, humor, and sarcasm to the world of fashion and celebrity photography. For the last four years they have published their annual eponymous monograph: Herring & Herring, which they exclusively creative direct and shoot. See more images from BEHOLD here where you can use code "Hasselblad" to get 10% off any order.

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