Monday, 3 December 2012

Interview with Idris + Tony

Hello Guys! Would you like to introduce yourselves to my readers? We are very excited to have you pop by my Wasp Factory for a chat.
Hi, I’m Idris, and I’m Tony!

Talk me through an average day in the life of you two?
Idris: There’s no such thing as an average day for us.

Tony: Well, being creative artists, we never know what the day is going to bring. One day we might be holding go-sees which turns into a photo shoot if we are really inspired by who we see. Lots of editing and post production on a daily basis, and we are constantly bouncing new ideas around.

So how did Idris meet Tony?

Idris: We met about 11 years ago, literally in passing when our eyes connected. It was the Saturday before 9/11. It was love at first sight. 

Aww, that's cute.   Did you begin working together soon after you met or was this dynamic-duo a long time coming?
Tony: We did a shoot together…
Idris: Let’s start from the beginning...
Yes, please do, Tony stop interrupting!
Idris: Tony was modelling and I was working in Finance but trying to get out of it. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew I liked photography. We worked together a couple of times, him being a model and I being a photographer, and from there we started a working relationship.
How would you describe your photographic style?
Idris: Off the top of my head I’d say Intimate portraiture capturing the essence of our subjects.

Tony: I also think there tends to be a bit of sarcasm in our work.

Where do you find inspiration on a daily basis for your work?

Idris: We find inspiration from a lot of places. Everything from the internet to walking around the neighbourhood... I find inspiration just looking at Tony. *laughs* 

Tony: I would agree, I think we find a lot of inspiration in our neighbourhood, and from films. But at the end of the day we’re most inspired by our subjects. 

Which Photographers past or present have inspired you to do what you’re doing today?
Idris: I know Tony is inspired by Richard Avedon…

Tony: And Helmut Newton.

Idris: Bruce Weber, Doug Inglish...
Tony: I also like Michael Thompson, and I love Inez & Vinoodh’s portraiture.

What would you say makes your Idris + Tony work so well together?
Tony: I think it’s a balance between our technical and creative skills. We both have strengths that balance out the others weaknesses, which I think is necessary for a team to produce.
Idris: And to be able to communicate effectively with each other. 

And how do you deal with any creative disagreements that might arise during a shoot? Or do you know each other so well now that that doesn’t happen and one of you just lets the other have his own way cos it’s not worth the argument?
Idris: On set we try to not argue because we don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. Usually the arguments happen before and after, but during we let our creative juices flow. If one person presents an idea, and the other person doesn’t agree, we just let it go.
Tony: But during pre and post productions it’s a knock down drag out fight. *laughs*
Idris, what do you think is Tony’s best quality, and Tony, what do you think is Idris’ best quality?
Idris: I think Tony’s best quality is his attention to detail.
That's a lovely thing to say Idris!  Your turn Tony...
Tony: The fact that he can learn and do anything by reading a book. I think it’s amazing, cause I don’t have the patience for it. I might have an idea and not know how to achieve it, but then he’ll research it then read about it and be able to make it happen.
Idris sounds really boring now Tony. Well done. I wanted to hear a little about your GRAB Exhibition which was on display in the Grosvenor Gallery at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. towards the end of last year…. What was the exhibition about and was it received like you had hoped now that you’ve had a good few months to process everything?
Tony: The exhibition consisted of landscape and portrait images focused on contemporary Native American life. It is centred on Grab Day, a tradition within the Laguna Pueblo where they pay homage to their loved ones by giving back to the community. The project was in collaboration with a documentary film of the same name that premiered at Sundance, and is currently showing on PBS this month. 

Idris: It opened for a three month run at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York. The reception was so positive that they extended the viewing to six months. We then got invited to showcase select images at the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. The fact that we got to show there exceeded our expectations. 
Tony: Many of the original prints from the exhibition have gone into private collections, while others travel as part of a smaller scale exhibition. We also donated some of the portraits to the Pueblo in order to give back as a token of thanks and appreciation for them allowing us to be a part of their lives.


 Which item of clothing in each of your closets gets most wear and why?
Tony: Well we share one big closet…

 Idris: I guess my Yankee fitted cause I gotta stay hood *laughs*
Tony: I would say my combat boots.
Idris: Cause he’s trying to butch it up. *laughs* 
Tony: Cause they’re easy.
Cause you're totally trying to butch it up. *laughs with Idris* 

A guilty pleasure each of you can’t seem to quit?
Idris: Guilty pleasure? So many…
Tony: My cigarettes.

Idris: I guess mine is “tween” novels. Like Harry Potter, Hunger games, vampire books.
Tony: I call it the "teenage girl" section at Barnes and Noble.

Idris: …young adult.
Oh Idris...  

I read somewhere that we might be able to get our hands on an Idris + Tony coffee table book this year… is this something you can confirm OR DENY, and maybe tell us a little about?
Idris: We’re actually having our book release party on December 11th, out in LA.
Tony: It’s a coffee table book produced by World of Wonder, which is a production company based in LA, and we were commissioned to photograph a retrospective of talent that they worked with over the past 21 years. A few notable subjects include Seth Green, Tori Spelling, Wilmer Valderrama, RuPaul, Monica Lewinski, and John Waters. The list goes on and on….
Idris: And the people that work for the World of Wonder Company.
Tony: People behind-the-scenes…
Idris: From the writers, directors, producers,
Tony: Janitors… *laughs* 
Idris: The whole gamut of “Wowlebrities” as they call it, celebrities in the World of Wonder world…

Uh huh, so if a fight broke out between Idris + Tony, Mert & Marcus, and Inez & Vinoodh which fashion photography team would come out of the scrap victorious do you think?
Tony: Well I’m a little scrapper and I love a good fight.

Idris: I’m a lover not a fighter.
 Tony: So I’d say I’d kick everyone’s ass…with my combat boots *laughs*

What happens next?
Tony: We have a couple of projects lined up for next year that we are really excited about…

Idris: Stay tuned to find out…
Thanks guys!

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