Today’s Edition :: Inside Altpick Members’ Studios

Today’s Edition of “Inside Altpick Members’ Studios” features some of our favorite commercial illustrators and their work spaces.  Here’s a glimpse inside where magic happens!

©Nicola Boccaccini

©Nicola Boccaccini

©Nicola Boccaccini

©Nicola Boccaccini

Photographer and Illustrator Nicola Boccaccini is based in Italy and is the founder of Little Busy Bees and father of Little Bunny.  Explore more of Nicola’s work on his website and Altpick page.



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©Chris Sickels/Red Nose Studio

©Chris Sickels/Red Nose Studio

Chris Sickels of Red Nose Studio creates 2-D and 3-D illustration, character design and development, and lo-fi stop motion animation.

His 3-D illustrations are built from a variety of materials. Sets and puppets are combination of wire, fabric, cardboard, wood, miniatures, found objects and anything within arms reach at the time.  See more of Chris’ work on his website,  Altpick page and Magnet Rep website.


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©Tom Cocotos

©Tom Cocotos

At the age of one and a half Tom Cocotos rolled off his diaper table;25 years later a delayed neurological reaction caused him to abandon an electrical engineering degree to pursue one in art.  He’s inspired by rides on the NY subway system, dolphins that resemble Jimmy Durante, and eccentric people. His passions include volleyball, poetry, interesting scraps of paper and studying the lives of famous magicians.  See more of Tom’s work on his website and Altpick page.

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©Eleanor Grosch

©Eleanor Grosch

Eleanor Grosch (now Dalkner) is a contemporary modernist with a big ol’ smile. She’s known for her simplified, playful illustrations and bold, colorful design work.

Eleanor has always loved drawing animals. Her nature inspired artwork for band posters got her clients like Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie, Edwin McCain, Elefant, and Dave Matthews Band early on.  See more of Eleanor’s work on her website,  Altpick page and Magnet Rep website.


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To see more of the artists’ work go to their website and Altpick page:                 Photographer and Illustrator Nicola Boccaccini                                                                  Illustrator Chris Sickels of Red Nose Studio                                                            Illustrator Tom Cocotos                                                                                            Illustrator Eleanor Grosch





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Gina Binkley Brings Her Photography to the Forefront

REV4914 3 Born in the sunny southern U.S., illustrator and designer Gina Binkley is the granddaughter of two tobacco farmers. Her rural upbringing nurtured her interests in folk art, quilting, antiques and animals. She uses these passions from her early years as inspiration for her work today.

-9870lo Gina has created photographic assemblages and still life collage for many publications including the New York Times, Time Out NY, Harvard Business Review, Fast Co and the Chicago Tribune. She has also provided conceptual images for many book covers. Her assignments and commissions for assemblage and still life has inspired her further foray into commercial photography assignments. She retains a keen interest in photographing objects but her love of portraits and place as well as beauty and romanticism has set the course for the next phase of her photographic work.  To see more of Gina’s work go to her website and Altpick page.


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Brian Cummings Rolls Out In Style With BECK’S

static.squarespaceIt’s tailgating season and nobody is gonna do it better than this sexy beast.

Beck’s (AB InBev), has rolled out their Mercedes G-Wagon, mobile marketing juggernaut, just in time for summer in Miami. Designed by ACD and sweet ride enthusiast, Joe Wieneke (Group 360°), it is an exercise in straight up pimping.

Brian Cummings and crew were asked to do some promo shots of said sled and Brian’s reply was, “OK, we’ll shoot it on white, real nice like. Nothing fancy”. Joe’s reaction was “Meh. Go all out with it?”. Well, stellar direction gets stellar results.

Cummings’ studio is rather large with 30′ ceilings and garage entry, so shooting large pieces (motorcylce, compact car, full size game room, etc) are possible. But, he had yet to attempt something of this size before. Their column width throughout the studio is 16′ apart. The G-Wagon dimensions run : 6.74′ wide x 15.5′ long x 6.4′ tall. So, imagine maneuvering this beast into position between each column (think Austin Powers driving a mini-cart).

If you look on the inter-webs, there are several informative videos on how to light automobiles. Most of these use some form of a Chimera F2x strip bank (see photo).



Unfortunately, when you do not own one, nor could rent one locally, what do you do? Improvise.

A 20′ sectional overhead butterfly frame with silk (w/ combo stands) was rented and modified to size to just squeak over head of the wagon. From there, the crew boomed 5 heads (with open reflectors), lining up in a row from hood to spare tire. Utilizing two stripbank soft boxes aligned vertically with the front and back ends of the vehicle, they were able to create a linear light source across the body panels.

For details of the tires and rims, they used a single head w/ open reflector in combination with a large bounce to add just enough kick light. Shoot and repeat.

Beck's G-Wagon - Side

Beck's G Wagon - Rear


Client: Anheuser Busch InBev

Agency: Group 360°

CD: Mason Magyar

ACD: Joe Wieneke

AE: Michelle Fahy

SrExperiential Producer: Megan Eads

Assistant: Alex Grman

Digital Tech: Meg Hensley

Producer: Amy Kubala

Reposted from Brian Cummings’ blog.

To see more of Brian’s work, go to his website and Altpick page.

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Altpick Connects :: In Review

Missed some Altpick Connects’ blog posts?  Here’s a round-up of some recent stories:


To read the blog posts and see more of the artists’ work, Click on the links below:

1399346584Joa7IyBonnie Holland: Blog Post |Website | Altpick



Richard Borge:  Blog Post |Website | Altpick

John Borge: Blog PostWebsite



Matthew_Bowie_LA_Project_61-1024x768 Matthew Bowie: Blog PostWebsite | Altpick



Suite380_Biltmore_0659_r1c2flatweb George Kamper: Blog PostWebsite | Altpick

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Photographer Matthew Bowie’s LA Project


In Los Angeles many young talented men and woman are working hard to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Photographer Matthew Bowie had an opportunity to reconnect with Elaine Hayhurst, who he had worked with last year for a feature with Eloquent Woman Magazine.


Lance Reed has been out of work since 2012. Matthew met him when he got on the bus at 3:30 a.m. He was traveling to Labor Ready, a day labor employment service, to try and get some work. When asked about his life he said, “to live and learn to grow into perfection. It’s a journey into perfection”.


Alice Nahin picks up a photograph from a bag that sits to the right of her television and says, “His name was Mel, he died a year ago”. Alice is referring to her husband of 62 years. The couple met in 1949 at a New Years Eve party hosted by Alice. At the time both were dating other people. In less than 2 years they were married.

Alice thankfully can still remember certain memories of her life but many she cannot since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 2 years ago.

Alice mothered two sons, Bruce Nahin and Richard, by Mel. When speaking about her children she sat up and said, “I feel happy when Bruce visits me”. Her son, Bruce, visits every Saturday. Alice currently resides in Belmont Village, a nursing home for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, located in West Hollywood.


Laura Beth Vorgias has been a flight attendant for 3 years. Her father was a commercial airline pilot and one of the reasons she gravitated toward the profession. At the age of 27 she says, “I’m at a place in my life with no drama and things are better than ever”.  She hopes to continue working as a flight attendant for several more years so she can continue to travel the world and pursue her passion for photography, which you can check out online at:


Daisy Hamilton often spends time in a meditation room she set up in one of her closets. She lights candles, burns fresh dried sage, and practices breathing techniques to center her energy, a practice Matthew was not familiar with.


“She said I was the first photographer allowed in her meditation space, which was also a first for me.” comments Bowie.  Daisy works as an international film distributor. She said, “I get to share stories around the world but also have to cater to tastes that I don’t personally stand behind…and that sucks…but since I also work with a start-up tech company I can also work on something with noble intentions”.


Darryl D. points to the Milk Weed plant which caterpillars eat before becoming butterflies. Each year butterflies come to mate, lay eggs and when those eggs hatch a Caterpillar is born..

Caterpillars feed on the Milk Weed leaves for about 2 weeks. After that time, the caterpillar will create a chrysalis, commonly known as a cocoon, and emerge as a butterfly in approximately 2 weeks.

Matthew Bowie’s career began as a photojournalist. He desire to spend more time producing images has led him into advertising and editorial work.

“I love working collaboratively to create an image that captures the authenticity of a person or place. The reality of a person, place or idea is what motivates my images.”

To see more of Matthew’s work go to his website and Altpick page.


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George Kamper Builds Photo Library for Biltmore Hotel

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

New York and Miami based lifestyle and travel photographer George Kamper was recently tapped to produce a photo library for the highly renowned Miami Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

Steeped in History, “The Biltmore in Coral Gables, Florida does resemble the finest in classic Mediterranean architecture, it is neither an Italian palazzo nor Iberian castle. Instead it is the centerpiece of George Merrick’s vision of Coral Gables as an elegant, stately suburb, which he called “The City Beautiful.” 

History of The Biltmore | Our Resort | The Biltmore Hotel in Miami


©George Kamper

by George Kamper

We felt at home in this venue having photographed here on several occasions, including the Miami Tourism campaign, which focused Miami as a sexy lifestyle destination in a Mediterranean setting.

Palme Dor_Biltmore_0353_r4flatV2

©George Kamper

The shoot was coordinated by the Hotel’s head of Marketing and came off without a hitch! We worked together seamlessly. I am so impressed that Danielle was able to bring her prior experience as a model and coordinator to our shoot. Needless to say, having the Hotel coordinate the shoot could have been a little risky from a production and coordination point of view. Danielle has amazing taste and was able to cast models, coordinate wardrobe through their on site store, handle all the scheduling, as well as make great suggestions while on set!

“George is a gifted photographer with years of experience in fashion, lifestyle, travel, and tourism” said Danielle of their experience on the shoot.  He has highly skilled technical abilities and a discerning eye. George is cool and calm, hard-working and relentless in his pursuit of a great shot and his client’s best interest”.

Pool_UnderWater_Biltmore_0069_r1flatweb copy

©George Kamper

I brought in my crew, a digital tech, 2 assistants, and a great make up artist. The rest was left to Danielle.

Not only did they put us up in beautiful rooms and suites, but they allowed us access to the restaurants on site, the pool, and a little leisure time to catch our breaths at the end of the shoot. Some of the final shots came from our scouting and attending the sublime  “Sunday Brunch at the Biltmore”.

We coordinated the final selects and retouching between Danielle, her agency and ourselves.

©George Kamper

©George Kamper

Working in partnership with the Hotel, we could freely speak up and make suggestions, help select final images and  make suggestions for crops and retouching.

We shot roughly 6 to 9 scenarios a day, mostly with talent. Began our days at daybreak and ended just after sunset. Almost all of the shots were lit with one portable flash, and reflectors. We’ve been working in a new way, usually finding the light instead of manufacturing it… This approach allows us the advantage of producing a variety of perspectives  and allowing the shots to look more organic.

We had originally reviewed some loose layouts, but during the shoot we started with an idea, and ran with it.

We shot everything from a heroic shot of grandfather and his grandkid on the famous Biltmore golf course at dawn, to kids underwater and a multigenerational family enjoying the grounds.

For more information on George Kamper’s work go to his website and Altpick page.

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Richard Borge and John Borge :: OBJECTS Found and Claimed

The idea of OBJECTS Found and Claimed  came to the artists Richard Borge and John Borge, when they both realized that they each work with found objects.  Although the brothers have a totally different creative process and styles, both create something new, claiming the object as their own. “We share a fascination with finding objects – that become subject matter in the creation of new work.”, Richard commented.

©Richard Borge

©Richard Borge

As an illustrator, Richard Borge commonly uses found objects in his work, often creating work built in a sculptural environment.

Richard: “I am always finding beauty and oddness in objects, usually when I am not looking for it. Working with found and created objects has been a passion for my entire career, and I find that a large part of what I do as an artist is find (and expose) beauty in ugly things. My fascination with old surfaces and textures comes largely from the sense of time and history that it gives off. For example, a merry-go-round that has been in use for 20 years will have a much different energy that a brand new merry-go-round. Through the wear and tear marks on the surface, repaired parts, repainting and modifications, we will see a story and get us a sense of time not found in a new one. This story and sense of time gives it a certain “life”, not yet breathed into the shiny new merry-go-round. This can be in the form of a rusty surface, a distorted shape or a distressed toy. When working with a found objects, it generally gets modified and tweaked until I feel it’s mine (claimed).”

©Richard Borge

©Richard Borge

“My work will be primarily large archival limited edition prints of objects, toys, masks etc. that are created via a combination of sculpting and assembling found objects. I will show both prints of the objects (sculptures) as well as some of the actual objects (sculptures) themselves.”

©Richard Borge

©Richard Borge

As a photographer, John Borge builds still life imagery in the studio from objects found, and from objects in their existing environment.

©John Borge

©John Borge

John: “When I first began working in the photographic medium, I was drawn to the nearly instant gratification of being able to record a scene and reproduce it as a photograph in a matter of hours. Much of the process was simply recording a scene – a group of objects, an activity, a pretty face – more than thinking of it as creating something new.  Over time my vision has evolved into a sense of creating a new thing – not just recording something that already exists. In building a still life, I often work in the opposite direction as Richard and deconstruct the setting, simplify it to make it clearer in meaning. My fascination with working with found objects is different than Richard’s in that I often go out and search for a specific type of object, bring it back to my studio and recreate it using light and shadow. In addition, the idea of claiming a found object carries through to the process of creating a still life with objects found on location, through the use of light, angle and placement of objects within the camera frame.”

©John Borge

©John Borge

“My work will mostly smaller prints in the 16×20 range with 3-4 large (30×40)0 prints. large prints using a variety of photographic methods – Polaroid prints, silver gelatin prints, watercolor prints – of found objects.”

©John Borge

©John Borge

Richard and John have both worked as professional creatives for over 25 years – most often in the digital environment. It was when they each started  creating work on Instagram that their discussion of this idea of claiming a  found object as their own began. “This method of instantly creating  new work and publishing it worldwide in a matter of seconds – we make a new thing, a new piece of art and claim it to as our own brought to the light the idea that this is what we each have always done in our separate creative lives – claimed found objects as our own, re-creating them as a new thing.”, says Richard Borge.

Small archival rag paper prints of both Borges Instagram feeds will be woven throughout the exhibit. These small prints will show a certain similarity in the way they both see the world and will help to bridge both their visions.


Both Richard and John were born on the island of Madagascar – albeit 8(?) years apart. Both attended high school in Fargo, ND and both are graduates of Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Both have built their careers in the field of graphic communication for advertising and promotion. Richard has been based in New York the past 20 years, John in Fargo.

©Richard Borge

©Richard Borge


While in graduate school at University of Arizona in Tuscon, Richard’s career path went in the direction of illustration /design, and most recently motion design / animation. A self-taught photographer, assignments led John through journalism, documentary work and finally to the field of advertising and promotion. Both have received numerous awards and accommodations for their work and continue to work as professional creatives in their fields.

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Richard Borge and John Borge’s Objects Found & Claimed exhibit’s opening reception is this Friday, May 16, 2014, 5:30-7:00pm at the Rourke Art Museum Moorhead, Minnesota.borge_show_rourke

To see more of Richard Borge’s work please visit his website and page and John Borge’s work also visit to his website.


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Photographer Bonnie Holland :: Life Through Rose Tinted Glasses

1399346584Joa7IyBonnie Holland has always been inspired by the beauty that surrounds her.  She chooses to celebrate, revel and embrace these beautiful and fanciful things, like umbrellas sheltering us from falling roses or paper boats taking us to slay paper dragons.  It’s romance, fashion and the promise of happy days.  It’s a wink and a smile, a blend of reality and imagination. 1399346571o1uXtq 1399346562p4llzv Excitement, creativity and retouching polish are the building blocks of every shoot for Bonnie Holland.  Let her show you her vision through her rose tinted glasses! 1399346559MuulKi 1399346519JnNTUu   Check out more on Bonnie Holland’s website and Altpick page.

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This Week’s Member Focus Round-Up

Tim O’Brien is an illustrator and portrait painter whose intricately detailed and imaginative illustrations have been published most notably in TIME Magazine as well as Der Spiegel, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, TV Guide, The Atlantic Monthly, Business Week, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, PlanSponsor, National Geographic, Playboy, Penthouse and many others. Tim has designed several US Postage Stamps.

Georgie Fearns, a London based freelance illustrator, with tons of experience in the world of illustration specializes in fashion and lifestyle illustration. Over the last couple of years, Georgie has dipped her toes into the world of children’s activity books.

Kent Smith’s mission is to open people’s eyes to the extraordinary in what might seem ordinary. As a professional photographer, his portfolio includes sports, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment images.  “My philosophy is to make heroes out of everyday people,” Smith said. He strives to capture the true emotion, personality and intensity in each of his subjects.


After working 9+ years as a graphic designer, Sarah Ferone turned to illustration full time in 2012. Sarah’s studio is based in Philadelphia, but she works with clients all over the world.

To see more of the artists’ work go to their websites and pages.

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Today’s Edition :: Altpick Members :: From Their Studios

©Stephanie Diani

©Stephanie Diani

As we continue with “From Their Studios” series,  this edition features some of the world’s top commercial photographers and their work environments.  These talented photographers: Stephanie Diani, Mark Peterman, Kevin Steele, Simon Puschmann, and Gene Smirnov, give us an inside look into their inspiring surroundings.

©Stephanie Diani

Stephanie Diani, Los Angeles-based photographer has a quirky sensibility and a knack for making something out of nothing.  She has scuba dived in Fiji and Belize, jumped out of an airplane, has earned a black belt in Korean karate and has been swept off her feet by Fabio. People ask her all the time if she’s from New York.



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©Mark Peterman

Photographer Mark Peterman explores narratives through photographs, film and multimedia.  Although his work is at home in the post-modern world it is very informed by history.  A desire to be creative on a daily basis fuels his curiosity about the human experience and he documents things in sketchbooks as a way of remembering his life.



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©Kevin Steele

©Kevin Steele

Photographer Kevin Steele sees the world as authentic, emotional, time slowing, cinematic imagery.  He creates a connection in an image that range from quiet and still to explosively dynamic.  He loves photographing people with a zest for life and approaches every assignment as an opportunity to create something extraordinary.




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©Simon Puschmann

©Simon Puschmann

Award-winning commercial photographer, Simon Puschmann, defies all photo categories.  For more than 20 years, he has been creating his own brand of dramatic, unexpected imagery.  There is no doubt photography found Simon and Simon found photography.




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©Gene Smirnov

©Gene Smirnov

Philadelphia-based photographer, Gene Smirnov incorporates a blend of environmental portraiture with some lifestyle elements into his music, corporate and youth culture photography.



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Be sure to visit and the photographers’ personal website to see more of their work.

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