Portraits of The Verge
On a hot, sticky day in August 2011, we were invited to the offices of SB Nation on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, to shoot a complete set of portraits of Joshua Topolsky and the entire team behind one of the most eagerly anticipated consumer technology web sites to launch to date: The Verge.
The Verge is an authoritative and comprehensive source of news, reviews, journalistic features and product information covering the world of consumer technology, headed by Josh along with a roster of the industry’s leading writers and editors. The idea was to create images for the site that had a great ‘techie’ feel, inspired by the early advertisements for IBM and science editorials of the 70′s and 80′s – think pictures of Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak in the garage – or early editions of Omni.
But it was also important that these pictures retained the sense of the humor, as well as evoke the unbridled passion for technology that permeates everyone who is part of The Verge. You only have to listen to the irreverent Podcasts by Josh, Nilay and Paul to get a sense of what what drives the whole team.
Though everyone was already working on the interim site This Is My Next prior to the launch of The Verge, many, unsurprisingly, work remotely. The specific date for the shoot was chosen as it was one of the few days that everyone from the east coast, the west coast AND Europe was actually going to be in same room in NYC – some for the very first time.
With the brand new painted logos as the main focal points, the office was turned into a makeshift studio and photo portrait set. The props were sensational – vintage technical gadgets of all shapes an sizes, including a mint condition Apple Newton and some truly huge mobile phones. The choices for wardrobe were eclectic in the extreme – think MadMen meets Wired – and everyone managed to come up with their own individual look, even if that look was to look like they didn’t have a look.
Client: The Verge / Vox Media
Creative Direction / Photographer: James Bareham
Producer: Kyle Kramer
Retouching: The New Cruelty