TOM CORBETT: LOVE IS...
Monday September 21, 2015 / Share
Love cannot be faked. Emotions that run as deep as love dance off the screen and reach out of photographs to grab the viewer and even the slightest bit of inauthenticity will spoil the whole bunch. For Tom Corbett and Cosmopolitan UK that was never going to be a problem. In their latest editorial, “Love Is…,” they cast models and social media stars Jessiann Gravel and Chico Lachowski who are a real life couple (and parents). Whisking themselves deep into London’s Underground they shot their own version of the classic Sliding Doors story.
Photographing in the Underground presents its own set of limits, but Tom turned them into strengths. “When you shoot in the Tube you can’t use any lights, you can’t use any equipment. It’s basically you and a camera,” he says. What seems like a constraint on the face of it turns out to be a crucial element that made the shoot reach a totally new height. “You get a certain freedom shooting that way, by just using available light, by just using what’s there,” explains Tom. “It’s kind of pure photography.” By whittling it down to Tom, a camera, and his models, they were able to keep moving at all times, following their spontaneous impulses from one end of the platform to the other.
Tom and Chico and Jessiann skipped around the station, spending time in the train cars, riding the escalators and ducking into alcoves, capturing the natural charm of these decades old underground monuments. “The lighting in those places is over a hundred years old, and the mixture of fluorescent and incandescent bulbs that have aged for decades give this beautiful, cinemagraphic lighting,” Tom explains. But what comes through even brighter than the lights is the chemistry between the Jessiann and Chico. “We liked the excitement generated by them,” says Tom. “As a couple they’re able to give us more genuine moments than if we were to get two people that didn’t know each other.” Every kiss is an honest kiss, the close moments are a familiar and comfortable love. They know each other, truly know each other. And it shows.
Matching the environmental light and effortless relationship on film is the styling by Shelly Vella, who Bernstein & Andriulli is now proudly representing in the US. Shelly drew inspiration from photographer Frank Horvat's work from the late 1950s and completely reinterpreted the aesthetic for a contemporary audience. Together, each of these elements created a fluidity that Tom has come to love. It’s a style that he builds with Cosmopolitan UK almost every time they work together and he’s happy to make it a habit. “We were able to find what worked and get some great results,” says Tom. “It’s a really nice way of shooting.”