Saturday, January 26, 2008

Paul Costello, photographer



You have seen Paul Costello's work a million times, you just may not have known he shot all this good stuff.












Above, Vivienne Westwood wallpaper.. "Imperial Trellis" for cool kids...

19 comments:

Habitually Chic said...

I love his work. Did you know that he's also married to Sara Ruffin Costello, the Creative Director of Domino? That's why he's works a lot for the magazine.

Decorno said...

Hmm... interesting. I didn't know that!

Anonymous said...

This is your gift, Decorno: You're the world's best appreciator.

Suzy said...

His website has far too much fabulousness on it...LOVE that pic of Miles, so cute. Trust HC to know all the goss!

Brilliant Asylum said...

Genius. The biggest thing I have gained from blogging thus far is an appreciation for good interior photographers.

Turquoise said...

Those images are white hot!

Thank you for sharing...

Anonymous said...

Interesting HC that he's married to Domino's creative director. I never put two and two together. This means that the photos you see in domino are their collaboration. They're not just "his" photos. The creative director (just a fancy name for art director) has a very tight control of a photo shoot. Being an editorial photographer is not as creative a job as you might think. The art director/creative director already has a very good idea of what the photo should look like. She/he knows exactly what she wants shot ("give me a full-frontal of the couch"), what colors should be used (because the colors in the room will coordinate with the graphic design of the article) and where the negative space will be in the photo (this allows for headlines, captions and any other explanatory copy). In addition, the photographer must shoot in the magazine's style. Every magazine has certain rules (ie. style guidelines) for photography. This is what gives each magazine its distinctive "look." The photographer must stick to these rules. In the end it's more of a technical job than a creative one. You can't really tell if a photographer is great by looking at his editorial portfolio because the creative director/art director has so much to do with those shots. Bottom line: an editorial shoot is a collaborative process that involves a team that includes the photo editor (who often gives input), art director or creative director (who gives the most input), prop stylist (who will often choose the flowers, pillows and other props that make a photo "pop"), various photography assistants (who are often photographers in their own right) and various other editors who are involved in the production of the story.

Decorno said...

Hmm... good points. Although, I will say that my better half is a creative director, but that he also collaborates with art directors, which means in some organizations, there is a distinction between the two.

Re: "You can't tell if a photographer is great looking at his editorial portfolio..."

I would bet that even without an art director guiding him, Mr. Costello would still produce amazing work.

But you bring up really interesting points.... especially because you do remind us how well-cultivated the visual point of view is in Domino now. They certainly do have a signature style.

I saw that stupid Rachael Ray magazine on the newsstand today right next to Domino and I was amazed how similar the colors, the copy, headlines, etc were to Domino. You know what they say about imitation, huh? :)

Anonymous said...

He is wicked talented.

MABELLE said...

Trust me- he's a genius. Clearly so is Sara, but she is often not present at his Domino shoots, (she's got a magazine to run!) nor is she present at the shoots he does for other magazines and clients. His consistent incredible photos are his own brilliant doing. Sara is an amazing decorator, Paul is an amazing photographer. Thank you Decorno for posting your favorites! They're so inspiring :)

Anonymous said...

If all you needed was someone to dutifully set up a tripod and click a shutter when told to, you could hire an obedient 11-year-old. A smart art director hires a photographer who comes to a shoot with strong ideas and a strong aesthetic.

(Whoever shot the cover of the current Domino sucks, though. Overexposed and out of focus, and not in an artful way. Now THAT looks like the work of an unsupervised 11-year-old.)

Anonymous said...

hmmm... i don't believe i said costello wasn't talented or that an 8 year old could shoot a cover.

what i am saying is that editorial photographers can't take all the credit for a shot. they are working under lots of constraints and direction given to them by creative directors/art directors/designers.

about creative directors. decorno, i believe you said your sweetie works at an ad agency. my comments were about editorial. at all the conde nast magazines the mastheads tend to be top heavy. lots of chiefs with fancy sounding titles. the creative director is the boss of the art department, which includes a slew of "art directors" "style director" and "designers". at another publication the top boss of the art department might simply have the title of "art director." i see that the premiere issue of domino lists sara ruffin costello as simply "style director." now she's "creative director" but she's still doing the same job.

oh and as far as the cover goes, if you don't like it, you can blame sara and a lot of other people for it (including a bunch of suits at Conde Nast), but absolutely do not blame the photographer. the cover is the most manipulated and well-thought out part of the ENTIRE magazine. and this goes for ANY magazine that's sold on a newsstand. there is an entire science to covers. you can bet that anything that appears on a cover is intentional.

Anonymous said...

At the magazine where I work, we do get unintentional surprises on our covers, even though we send a production guy to the printing plant to look out for us while our issues print. Bad things still happen: sharp edges get fuzzy, colors wash out or are distorted, etc. I bet that Feb. cover of Domino was supposed to have a lot more dimension and vibrancy.

As for Paul Costello: You can also say that no writer "can take all the credit" for his magazine writing. The assigning editor, story editor, top editor(s), fact checker, and proofreaders will all change his words, even though the piece is published under his name alone.

Anonymous said...

hey decorno, just noticed the "Imperial Trellis for cool kids"! LOVE.

We should reposition the "KWID" brand as geriatric, right up there with Depends and the AARP and Polident. What do you think?

Decorno said...

Ha! love it.

It is geriatric. Time to say buh-bye to Imperial Trellis. It's starting to feel as dated and as ubiquitous as, say, Merrimeko.

Anonymous said...

Hollywood Regency Hospices!!!

Jennifer Ramos said...

wow i LOVEEEE, THIS post!

Very cute....and the doors are by miles redd ...!

Jen Ramos
'100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards'
www.madebygirl.com

Abbey Goes Design Scouting said...

I LOVE THESE!!! Such inspiration!

amber said...

g r e a t eyecandy, love his work!!