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
From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
My business goals have changed a lot over the last few years. This year, my hope is to work on a handful of commercial projects with companies I believe in, and to carve out more time to work on personal projects. Both are important, but I believe growth and your creative voice is developed when you let your imagination run free without the constraints of it being “work.”
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.