IDRIS + TONY INTERVIEW
Idris and Tony have been combining their technical and creative skills since 2005 to produce Portrait, Landscape, and Fashion images. Idris Rheubottom is a native New Yorker and graduate of Emory University in the field of Economics, but has always been intrigued by the power of the camera.Tony Craig grew up in rural Illinois, moved to New York City and enrolled at The New School University with a focus on documentary filmmaking. In 2011 they premiered their first exhibition titled GRAB documenting contemporary Native American life at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Together, their work has also been featured in film, television, advertising and international publications.
Greatest inspirations or influences?
Tony: There are always ideas floating around in our heads, but I think we’re most inspired by the subjects that we shoot.
Idris: We tend to work very organically which allows us to really feed off of their personality and energy.
Most memorable shoot to date and why?
Idris: We had to photograph a subject named Angeline, a self-proclaimed celebrity. Anyway, we had just finished shooting Wilmer Valderrama and Seth Greene, who were people that we had fun shooting. With this lady and her stipulations we could only walk away with one frame, and every time we took a picture, she’d have to come off of set, off of her pink corvette, look at the picture and approve or not. If she didn’t like it we’d have to delete it, and she’d go back on set, take another picture, then come back off. It was kind of the worst shoot I’ve ever had to deal with, and Tony got so irate that he shut down.
Tony: I was done *laughs*
Idris: So it was memorable in a negative way, but still very memorable. We got the shot though, that’s kind of all that matters.
Most interesting response to your work so far?
Idris: We recently got posted by Danny Schmippler on a blog called the Underwear Expert. He wrote this interesting write up on one of our editorials we did.
Tony: *reading* “One of the better photography duo’s out there, Idris and Tony hit one ball after another right out of the ball park. They’re seemingly capable of working in a variety of photographic mediums, transferring from color for one series to black and white in another, using different backgrounds, effects, lighting and angles, like they are a master of all.” It was nice to know that someone gets us, because we tend to go all over the place despite the confines that this Industry can put on photographers.
Up and coming projects you are working on?
Tony: We have a coffee table book of portraits coming out in February of next year, which we’ve been working on for the past three years.
Idris: It’s a 21 year retrospective of talent that has worked with LA based production company World of Wonder.
Tony: And then we’re working on our next exhibition as well as some other projects that you’ll just have to wait and see.
Best part about living/working in Brooklyn?
Idris: There’s a lot of culture in Brooklyn, and a lot of innovative things happening in Brooklyn, where as in a lot of areas you don’t really get that, it’s kind of stagnant. In Brooklyn it’s constantly changing, evolving.
Tony: Not to mention more space for the money.
Fashion icons in your opinion?
Tony: I would say that we’re quite down to earth people. Even though we shoot and work in fashion, we don’t live and breathe it. Although, Halston had a pretty glamorous life!
Favorite websites, blogs, publications?
Tony: As far as publications go, we love Dust, Arena Homme, Hercules, Carbon Copy, Made In Brazil...
Idris: I like homotography…they feature a lot of our work *laughs*. Fucking Young has a great blog as well and were excited that they've developed a print publication inspired by youth.
Tony: …Jhendi Re:Loaded is great for inspiration as well. I really like his aesthetic. There’s definitely more…
Anything else you'd like to share?
Idris: We have a dog named Marshall, and a cat named Miss Kitty.
Ksenia Kahovich, Idris +Tony