PHOTO BY BEN EASTER
The Inspiration: The scene in the 1959 film “North by Northwest” when Cary Grant is running across a field with a crop duster chasing him. “I love old movies,” Ben Easter says of his decision to use a motion picture, instead of a still photo, for the project. He adds he also wanted his choice to somehow tie in with Iowa, and although that scene was shot in Illinois, “it looks like Iowa,” he says.
The Challenge: Finding a period biplane, for starters. “What we went through was kind of crazy; I had five people putting out feelers for me,” Easter says. Finally, a friend led him to Brian Aukes of Ames, who has two such planes he flies and rents. To photograph the running Cary Grant figure, Easter shot his camera from a moving van.
The Fun: “Each piece was a blast, but the plane segment was a new experience,” Easter says. “I had my dog, and we stood in the middle of a tarmac while the darn plane flew over us—it was too cool.”
Model: Alex Feilmeier
Plane: Brian Aukes, halffastadventures.com
Clothing: Vintage Suit, Atomic Garage
Stylist: Julie Punelli
Assistants: Pam Dugdale, John Easter, Harriett Easter
Post-production: Eric Brockob
PHOTO BY GARRETT CORNELISON
The Inspiration: The “smirky charm” of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” “Hands down one of the cutest photos I’ve ever seen,” Garrett Cornelison says.
The Challenge: “It’s such a stylish timepiece that reinventing it with today’s fashion and locals can be difficult,” he says. “However, I immediately thought of Jami Graves and of Centro when dreaming up this interpretation. Jami’s wide-eyed look and the restaurant’s expansive layout and ample natural light—the two came together easily.”
The Fun: “This project has been something I’ve wanted to do for some time,” Cornelison says. “There are certain photos that are scorched into our memories, and dreaming up ways to bring them to life with your own friends and resources is a blast. It’s been really exciting seeing the vision come to life. All the contributing photographers nailed it.
“And costumes are always fun. Shopping for props and some of the rare accessories turned out to be quite enjoyable.”
Model: Jami Graves
Hair: Amber Hathaway
PHOTO BY TOM WOOLERY
The Inspiration: A 1967 photo of American chess champion Bobby Fischer. Tom Woolery says the biggest challenge of re-creating older photos is finding era-specific elements, such as clothing and cars. “I wanted to stay true to the time period, so I started looking for a simple photo,” he says.
This photo not only inspired him from a technical and artistic standpoint but from a personal one as well. Fischer “was a rock star but didn’t like the limelight,” Woolery says. “Like him, I want to be considered the best at what I do, but I don’t like a lot of attention.”
The Challenge: “It’s very complex lighting for such a simple photo,” he says. “The lighting is layered.”
The Fun: Woolery says he enjoyed discovering how to replicate the photograph’s lighting patterns. What’s more, “a big part of the fun was being involved in a project with these other photographers and finding out what they were doing,” he says. “The whole thing was exhilarating.”
Model: Adam Cline
Assistant: Mindy Carlson
PHOTO BY ANNA JONES
The Inspiration: The nude centerfold of Burt Reynolds that ran in Cosmopolitan magazine in 1972. “I wanted to choose a photo that was recognizable, and while there are numerous portraits that inspire me, many of them are not by famous photographers or aren’t images that people would recognize,” Anna Jones says. “I also wanted to be playful with (the assignment). This Burt Reynolds photo was a shoo-in because I know this hairy mustached man who’s a perfect fit,” she says of friend and fellow contributing photographer Garrett Cornelison, who served as the model.
The Challenge: “The biggest challenge was getting Garrett to agree, but I was very, very persistent,” Jones says.
The Fun: “The entire project was fun and I thank Garrett for putting himself into this position for me,” she says. “The pleasure was all mine.”
PHOTO BY JOE CRIMMINGS
The Inspiration: Portrait of Marlon Brando from the 1953 film “The Wild One.” “I wanted to play off of the ‘motorcycle gang’ with Dan Koenig, owner of Ichi Bike,” Joe Crimmings says. “Koenig had a perfect bicycle that looked like an old motorcycle that we used for the shot.”
The Challenge: “I had made peace with not having some of the props from the original photo,” he says. “No one has a bicycle trophy just lying around. Well, except Dan. We were looking at the photo for reference while we were shooting in the alley behind Ichi Bike, and he just mentions, ‘Hey, I have one of those trophies inside; give me a minute.’ Sure enough, he comes back out with a trophy that is a dead ringer for the original.”
The Fun: “Working with Dan was an absolute blast,” Crimmings says. “I love that he was fully invested in it. I would have been fine with a loose interpretation of the original portrait, but he was persistent that he have the full leather jacket, hat, etc. Then when he pulls out the bicycle with the headlight and trophy, I was blown away. We had some great outtakes from the shoot.”