At Design Aglow, we’re often approached by brands asking for a feature or to be introduced to our community. We’ve decided to begin sharing select companies with our readers, in the hope that you’ll find their products as useful as we do. While we receive compensation for these posts, we vow never to promote a product just because we're paid to do so, but instead align ourselves with companies that share our values of integrity and innovation. Chronicle Books’ new release Comic Genius: Portraits of Funny People, shot by Matt Hoyle and introduced by Mel Brooks, is a dream photo project, a fantasy funny league of 90 comedians collected into a beautiful hardback volume. In the book’s dedication, photographer Matt Hoyle describes the process of collaborating on the approximately 10 ideas he presented to each comic for their shoot: “[i]f any struck a chord with them, that would be great. And if any of my concepts inspired their own thoughts, I was honored to turn their idea into a striking portrait.” (And then Mel Brooks talks about cracked eggs.) Hoyle’s results are spectacular: one of the geniuses behind this book is that he allows each funny person to fully inhabit their own frame. While the images are stylistically similar, the subjects are radically different: the great Michael Ian Black and Carol Burnett are pictured back-to-back, sarcastic and silly in their own ways, while Zach Galifianakis and Andy Samberg look the best and the creepiest, respectively, that we’ve ever pictured them. While the photographs are obviously having a conversation, we have to wonder if the comedians are chuckling at each other--and at us. (Confidential to Matt Hoyle: please make this a traveling gallery show.) But Comic Genius resonates with more than just laughter. The portraits are punctuated by notes of melancholy and reflection--what’s behind those sad eyes, Steve Martin?--which makes for a contemplative experience. The Funny or Die videos created to accompany the book are equally awesome: Kermit the Frog busts some banjo chops, Neil Patrick Harris channels Chaplin, and Chevy Chase gets bamboozled by his own book collection. As a holiday gift that’s guaranteed to elicit laughs, Comic Genius is a true collector’s item that would be appreciated by funny people and photography buffs alike. In partnership with Chronicle Books, we’re giving away one copy of Comic Genius! Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to win.a Rafflecopter giveaway
I’ve been taking photographs ever since I can remember, but once I entered the world of wedding photography I felt the need to really understand my gear. Once you really learn your tools, you can worry less about the technical side and focus on putting your vision into that single frame. I feel the faster I can work, and the more intuitively I know my equipment, the more creative I can be. Wedding photography can make you a pro really fast. I think that artistic pressure is what drove me towards it.
As a lifelong fine artist, I didn’t fall in love with photography until post-college. I was a graphic design major who landed a non-creative position in the industry. Upon searching for a creative outlet, and being the hopeless romantic that I am, I discovered wedding photography and was immediately hooked. I poured everything I had into learning the medium so that I could eventually start my own business, which happened a couple of years later in 2012 — also the year I was married.
I am a wedding and portrait photographer based in Portland, but catering to clients across the Pacific Northwest and beyond. As a child, I never imagined that I would pursue photography. I didn’t even own a DSLR until I was 21! However, I remember the day I decided I wanted to learn the ins and outs of photography. I used my college textbook money to buy my first Canon Rebel from Craigslist. I was jumping up and down with joy and scratching my head at the same time because I knew photography would not be simply a hobby.