Perfect Marriage of Art and Artistry
Following is a press release regarding my foray into creating Mini Cooper photographs for Crevier Mini Cooper in Orange County, CA. I’ve posted here in it’s entirety.
And in case you’re wondering, NO, you cannot simply drive up on the beach – nor did I…
(Orange County, California)
Capturing beauty and poetry on film is a hallmark for International Hall of Fame Photographer Mark Jordan. Recently, he was asked if he would take his huge talent and lend it to photographing a slightly different subject, a car.
Not just any car, but the very striking and character driven MINI Cooper from Orange County MINI Cooper dealer Crevier MINI.
“When approached to photograph the Mini Cooper my first thought was an orchestrated cacophony – I knew I was up for challenge, but would need to tuneup on the finer points of ‘auto-capture’ before the actual performance. It was a mixture of visceral passion for the exquisite lines of the Mini, combined with a twist of apprehension for never having photographed an automobile… professionally. Regardless, I could not have been any more excited and leapt into the project before logic gave me reason to bail.”
As a Master Photographer and member of the American Society of Photographers, Mark has captured poetic portraits for over 30 years. From the pages of People magazine, to the halls and walls of homes and museums, Mark has also received international recognition for his work from such organizations as KODAK, WINONA International, EPCOT Center, FUJI Corporation and Professional photographers of America, Germany and Norway.
Here, he was asked to capture the character of the MINI Roadster and MINI Countryman in and around Orange County California.
“Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel and create images of the Mini similar to those typically seen in promo brochures, we all agreed that a different approach was demanded – one that not only sported the Mini amid the environs of O.C, but reveled the character of the car as how everyday owners actually enjoyed their Minis.
I had heard the rave reviews about the Mini Cooper and anticipated a great ride, but having yet to own a Mini (much to my wife’s chagrin), let alone drive one, we hadn’t a clue of the thrill was in store for us. We strapped ourselves in and quickly discovered we would do best to simply surrender to the spontaneous whims of its wickedly nimble disposition. I must tell you, you don’t drive a Mini, it drives you. It’s like walking a pit-bull on a leash – you can fight it or just let it go. We chose the latter – oh my Lord, the rush is indescribable!
Oh, to the point, our new Mini lead us to the environs of the beach, parks, and backroads of O.C. Surprisingly, it also drove us to the gates of the Festival of the Arts. I think for all its gutsy, raw power, it’s also graceful and refined – a true work of art.”
We then asked Mark what aspect of photographing the Mini Cooper posed the greatest challenge.
“The ultimate challenge in capturing the Mini is that though it definitively exudes a personality all it’s own, it is not a person – and I specialize in photographing people. Whether it’s the celebrity calling for a new headshot or the family next door needing a portrait for their mantle, the milieu of my existence is people. Thus, the first step I took was to revisit the attributes that inspire me most about portraiture. And for me, photographing people is primarily about relationships – the connection. It’s about putting myself in the shoes of another, sitting behind their eyes and seeing the world as they do.
Therefore, the first task at hand was to see the world through the eyes of a Mini (fortunately for me, awaiting on this side of the windshield sits a comfy cockpit). Not only that, I felt obliged to do so in a way that genuinely reflected the fervent affections of the Mini owners everywhere. There’s a reason why owners are so passionate about the Mini-experience – in fact, it’s not “mini” at all – it’s something else altogether – something unique and inexplicable.
My goal then was to discover and capture it.
However, as I began I didn’t have to look much deeper before yet another challenge arose. While the key component in capturing people is honesty, the art of it relies on the intuitive – it’s instantaneous and imperceptible. Once the instant is gone, it’s gone forever. Though we’re well aware that the quintessential difference between the painter and photographer is the moment, considering the defined purpose of my Mini photographic excursion, I’d have to manage both the moment as well as the artist’s interpretive, keeping them in context and at the forefront of my Mini endeavor.
So then, what does all the mean in the real world? Well, on the one hand there’s the magnetic aesthetic of the Mini to contemplate, while on the other there’s the instant flash of improvisation. Not only would I be relying on the serendipitous interactions of people, I’d also be contending with the synchronization of the Mini’s most arresting attributes along with this momentary spark of human appearance – and all within a hasty widow of usable light. Yes, challenging, but doable.
Master Craftsman Photographer
American Society of Photographers
International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum
Orange County Photographer of the Year
3-Time Honoree -EPCOT’S World’s Greatest Photographers Exhibit
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