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Francesco Carrozzini Ilona Szwarc Enrique Badulescu René & Radka


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American short stories



Welcome to the land – sorry, to the issue – of limitless possibilities! The


star-spangled banner is the symbol of the American dream. But life in

A special edition of Leica Fotografie International

America is much more colorful than simple red, white, and blue. This is

4th year

why this issue of S-Magazine features a number of prominent photogra-

LFI Photographie GmbH

phers who can tell us more about America – something beyond the stars

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and stripes. The series were photographed using the Leica S, a system that has proven itself equally brilliant in the desert sand and on stage.

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The end product is a kaleidoscope of views on what American culture ac-

The Leica S is unique

Editors in Chief

tually is, as seen through the eyes of outsiders. The five photographers in

in its class. It reveals

Inas Fayed, Frank P. Lohstöter

this issue of S-Magazine may currently live and work in the United States,

its exceptional qualities

Creative Direction

but were not brought up there. In their photo series, produced exclusively

not only in the studio,

for S-Magazine over the last few weeks in the States, they toy with aspects

but also on location out

of the American way of life and clichés from the culture and pop culture of

in the wilds.

the nation.

LFI Photographie and Tom Leifer Design Editorial Office Carla Susanne Erdmann Picture Editor Edyta Pokrywka (S professional loan pool program coordinator,,

Francesco Carrozzini is equally at home in photography and moving

Kelsey Fain (USA), Leo Scott (UK)

pictures. His short films and videos have been shown at La Biennale in

Art Director

Venice and the Cannes Lions, and garnered him an Emmy. The powerful,

Alessandro Argentato / Tom Leifer Design

cinematographic impact of his portraits and fashion work is exceptionally


well-received in the world of glossy magazines. For Carrozzini, the Wild

Sarah Hall, Bernd Luxa, David Rosenberg

West is the distilled essence of freedom and diversity in the USA. He shot


a photographic narrative for us in the vast expanses of California with

Francesco Carrozzini, Ilona Szwarc,

model Suzanne Diaz. Discover the adventures of his strong female pro-

The S Magazine

tagonist as she shows just how the West was won.

iPad app—free

Ilona Szwarc was able to sharpen her outsider’s view of the USA during a year as an exchange student in her teens. With her picture Kayla,

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­Boston, MA, taken from her American Girls series, Ilona Szwarc scooped

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third place in the Observed Portraits Single category of the 56th World


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Press Photo Award. But Ilona Szwarc doesn’t limit her investigation of

identity and identification to American Girls. In the visual novella she

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­conceived and shot for S-Magazine, she transports her tragicomic anti-­


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heroines to the big-city labyrinth of New York City.

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Enrique Badulescu, a man of many talents, not least of them an amaz-

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ing sense of humor, feels particularly at home in international contexts.

in der Nordheide, Germany

The nomadic worker, who speaks several languages fluently, moved to

Leica is celebrating

New York in 1992. Alongside digital photography, the single parent of a

its 100th birthday in

six-year-old daughter loves to work with scissors and paper and give his

2014 – and a whole

creativity free rein. For S-Magazin, he whipped up a cocktail of typical

century of photography.

American style with a tongue-in-cheek approach. Badulescu created a fast

The first special

and furious mosaic-like collage that could very well have elicited an enthu-

edition to appear in

siastic WOW! from the likes of Roy Lichtenstein.

commemoration of

All articles and illustrations contained in the

the centennial is the

magazine are subject to the laws of copyright.

Since photographers Réne Hallen and Radka ­L eitmeritz moved to Los Angeles eight months ago, they have never ceased to rave about the multifarious opportunities offered by the capital of entertainment. For 18 years now, they have been realizing their ideas as the acclaimed duo by the name of René & Radka. In our case, the outcome was a series of portraits enriched with backdrops and props from the film noir era that cost the duo not only the enormous effort they had in casting the roles, but also astronomic insurance premiums. The duo positioned Gavin Rossdale, ­M ichelle Monaghan, Gillian Jacobs, and Lauran Cohan – all four of them rising stars on the US TV serial and movie landscape – at original ­locations in downtown Los Angeles. Curtain up!

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Frontiers The photographer and filmmaker Francesco Carrozzini celebrates the feeling of the Wild West. P. 6 — An American In America World Press Photo prizewinner Ilona Szwarc tells an enigmatic story from New York in pictures balanced between kitsch and sadness. P. 36 — Selling Like Hot Cakes Fashion photographer and artist Enrique Badulescu ploughs his way through the clichés of US consumer culture with a mischievous glint in his eye. P. 68 — L. A. Noir René & Radka, the photographer duo, take us to downtown Los Angeles and let actors glitter glamorously in the style of the film noir era. P. 100 — Photographers Interviews with Francesco Carrozzini, Ilona Szwarc, Enrique Badulescu and René & Radka give rare insights into their ways of thinking and tell us what goes on at sets and locations. P. 155 — S-League International photographers present their most recent publications. An exhibition with the Leica S-System. P. 165 5


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A m e r i c a n

s h o r t

s t o r i e s

Frontiers by Francesco Carrozzini


Photography Francesco Carrozzini Model Suzanne Diaz / Next Model Management Hair Rob Talty at The Magnet Agency using René Furterer Make-up Jo Baker at The Magnet Agency using Giorgio Armani Beauty Assistant Max Montgomery Digital Tech Michele Cipriani Videographer Thomas Moore Camera Leica S with Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH., Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH., Apo Macro Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5


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A m e r i c a n

s h o r t

s t o r i e s

A merican i N A merica


by Ilona Szwarc


Photography Ilona Szwarc Models Aan Steele, Lauren Poor Assistant Carlos Jaramillo Production Harbinger Production Camera Leica S with Elmarit-S 30mm f/2.8 ASPH., Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH., Elmarit-S 45mm f/2.8 ASPH. (CS), Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH. (CS)

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A m e r i c a n

s h o r t

s t o r i e s

Selling like hot cakes by Enrique Badulescu


Diet Coke Costume American Flag Wayfayers St. Marks NY

String Bikini
Eres White Sequined Glove Betsey Johnson Red Glove Lacrasia

Tights Fogal Red Leopard Boots Vivienne Westwood Black Choker Betsey Johnson Balloons Village Party Supply NY

Shirt & American Flag Vintage American Flag Wayfayers St. Marks NY

Boots Tom Ford Shirt Patrica Field Baseball Hat Stylist’s Own

Jacket & Trousers Maison Martin Margiela Mickey Mouse Basket Disney Store Shoes Vintage Army Navy Store

Tights Emilio Cavallin Tank Top Nike Sandals Y-3
Sunglasses with Tide logo Customized

Tights Fogal Sunglasses Linda Farrow For Jeremy Scott

Overall Maison Martin Margiela Mickey Mouse Disney Store White Pattend Oxfords Vintage Army Navy Store

Leggings American Apparel Yellow Leather Halter Malin Vintage Chain Mail Underwear Stylist’s Own Mask
Rubie’s Costumes Scarf Betsey Johnson Boots Vivienne Westwood Gloves Lacrasia

Skirt Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Leather Cuff David Menkes Leather Choker Betsey Johnson

Leggings Patricia Field Mis-Matched Heels Sophia Webster Shirt Stylist Customized Gloves Vintage Umbrella American Apparel

Red Glove
Lacrasia White Sequin Glove Bestey Johnson

Red Body Assembly NY Shoes & Socks Con Dress Hat ’Merica

Bathing Suit American Apparel Mickey Mouse Balls Disney Store

String Bikini Eres
Customized Glasses Betsey Johnson American Flag Vintage

Bathing Suit & Bandana Vintage Leggings American Apparel

Shirt Vintage
Gold Shorts Creatures Of Comfort Socks Blue Star Boots Vivienne Westwood

Capezio Leather Laser Cut Boots Sophia Webster Black Underwear Agent Provacteur Printed Spandex Halter Eckhaus Latta

String Bikini Eres Gun Lighter Patricia Field

Pants & Ruffle Sides Emanuel Ungaro Boots Vivienne Westwood Silk Blouse Marc by Marc Leather Choker & Gloves Vintage

Top & Shorts Patricia Field
Tights Emillio Cavallini Boots
Vivienne Westwood Gloves
Lacrasia Customized Sunglasess Betsey Johnson Brass Choker Aesa

Vintage White Patent Leather Oxfords Vintage Army Navy Store

Floral Bodysuit
Betsey Johnson Leggings
Vintage Belt Malin Vintage Shirt on head Patricia Field Black Leather Gloves Lacrasia Costume on floor

Photography Enrique Badulescu / Art Partner Styling Sabina Schreder Hair Ward Stegerhoek for Livingproof Haircare Make-Up Vicky Steckel / Bryan Bantry using Nars Nails Ana-Maria / Abtp.Com Lighting Director Rodrigo Palma Photo Assistants Daren Thomas, Jordie Turner, Adhat Campos Digital Tech Aaron Griesdorn Fashion Assistants Natasha Devereux, Julia Ehrlich, Stacia Carrington Projections Mihai Badulescu / i + i design Models Sanna B. / One Management New York Dimphy / New York Model Management Quinta / Silent Models Megan Irminger / Supreme Model Management NY

Coke Bottle Costume I Love NY Heels Vintage

Valerie van der Graaf / Supreme Model Management NY Camera Leica S with Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH. (CS), Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH. (CS), Apo Macro Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5 (CS)


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by René & Radka Los Angeles is a city of light. During the day, the dependable California sun shines down on the city and, at night, downtown L.A. sparkles in the bright lights of the opulent movie palaces, famous premiere movie theaters, and glittering vaudeville stages. René & Radka, the photographer duo, has revisited the 1940s and pays homage to the heyday of film noir by placing four star performers, who are currently very prominent, on the familiar stages of vintage movie theaters in downtown L. A. The city as an urban showplace is a symbol for the labyrinth in which the femme fatale is trapped, along with her shady heroes. From the stylistic elements of film noir, René & Radka created a magical world of mysterious glamor with a contemporary look. In this world, the photographers depict the actors not only as characters, but also strip the facades in modern portraits to reveal their true faces, far removed from their roles. Scenes from a theatrical drama in which both past and present celebrate their premiere. Come in and take a front-row seat.

Lauren Born January 7, 1982 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lauren Cohan currently stars as Maggie Greene on AMC’s smash zombie-fest The Walking Dead, which is currently in its second half of season 4. In 2013, Cohan guest starred on an episode of Law & Order: SVU and is a recurring character on Archer. Her additional television credits include a series regular role on Supernatural, pivotal guest arcs on Chuck and The Vampire Diaries, as well as guest appearances on Modern Family, CSI: New York and Cold Case. Cohan’s film credits include Casanova with Heath Ledger and Sienna Miller and Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj.

Top Charlotte Ronson

Top Agent Provocateur Skirt Phoebe English Earrings Erikson Beamon Rocks

Olivier wears Suit & Tie Giorgio Armani Trench Burberry London Hat Hollywood Hatters She wears Trench Burberry London Earrings The Way We Wore Hosiery Wolford

Top Max Mara Skirt Olima Atelier Belt Burberry Prorsum Shoes Christian Louboutin

Dress Max Mara Shoes Jerome Rousseau

Earrings Erikson Beamon Rocks Top Agent Provocateur Skirt Phoebe English Shoes Jerome Rousseau

Top & Bra Adeam Pants Dolce & Gabbana Shoes Christian Louboutin

michelle Michelle Lynn Monaghan was born March 23, 1976 in Winthrop, Iowa. With a slate of roles that reflect her strength, charm and beauty, Michelle Monaghan lights up every film with performances rooted in depth and humanity. For her breakout role in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Monaghan starred opposite Robert Downey Jr. and won rave reviews for her performance in the action adventure. Her other screen credits include the box-office hit, Eagle Eye co-starring Shia LaBeouf; Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere; Niki Caro’s North Country opposite Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand; Gone Baby Gone opposite Casey Affleck and Morgan Freeman; and J.J. Abrams’ Mission Impossible III opposite Tom Cruise. She has also starred in the hit comedies Made of Honor opposite Patrick Dempsey, The Heartbreak Kid opposite Ben Stiller, and Due Date, which had her reteaming with Robert Downey Jr. Monaghan was most recently seen starring in HBO’s drama, True Detective, opposite Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Monaghan recently wrapped production on Ryan Murphy’s highly anticipated HBO series Open, a modern, provocative exploration of human sexuality and relationships. Monaghan is currently in production on the Michael Hoffman drama The Best of Me, based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks.

Top Charlotte Ronson

White Shirt Saint Laurent men Tuxedo Dolce & Gabbana

Shirt The Way We Wore Pants Paul Smith Brooch on tie Erickson Beamon Rocks

Blouse The Way We Wore Necklace Erikson Beamon

Slip The Way We Wore

Gavin Few artists have introduced themselves quite like British-born musician and actor Gavin Rossdale, who arrived in 1994 as the lead singer of Bush, a band whose debut album, Sixteen Stone, detonated on impact by selling more than six million copies. 20 years and 20 Top 40 hits later, Rossdale and his multi-platinum band are still making beautiful music together and recently wrapped a sold-out international tour. As an actor, Rossdale first ventured into film with starring roles alongside Gerard Butler in 2005’s The Game of Their Lives and opposite Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz in Constantine. He recently earned kudos for supporting roles in The Bling Ring, the acclaimed black comedy from Oscar award-winning writer and director Sofia Coppola, and Burn Notice, USA Network’s hit television series. The latter marked Rossdale’s return to television following a 2009 guest-starring spot on the acclaimed CBS drama, Criminal Minds. Next up for him is a new Bush album, due out later this year.

Shirt Ralph Lauren

Suit & Shirt Dolce & Gabbana

Gillian Born October 20, 1982 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gillian Jacobs received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at The Julliard School. A natural talent, with a striking presence and undeniable energy, Gillian Jacobs is one of Hollywood’s most vibrant young actresses. Jacobs can be seen in the fifth season of NBC’s critically acclaimed comedy Community opposite Joel McHale. Next up is the comedy Life Partners opposite Leighton Meester and Adam Brody premiering at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. Following, she will be seen in the comedy Walk of Shame opposite Elizabeth Banks out in theater May 2nd. This Christmas, she stars as the female lead in Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Jacobs recently wrapped production on the drama Black and White opposite Kevin Costner as well as Visions for Blumhouse films. Her other film credits include Bad Milo!, Richard Kelly’s The Box, Choke, Gardens of the Night. Her theater credits include Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s The Little Flower of East Orange opposite Ellen Burstyn and Michael Shannon at the Public Theater.

Top Charlotte Ronson

Dress The Way We Wore

He wears Suit & Shirt Burberry London She wears Dress Maria Lucia Hohan

Hat & Brooches The Way We Wore

Above Hat, Brooches & Suit The Way We Wore Shoes Jerome Rousseau Opposite Dress Maria Lucia Hohan Bracelet Jenny Packham Earrings The Way We Wore

She wears Corset The Way We Wore Earrings Bijoux Heart He wears Suit & Shirt Anthony Franco

Photography René & Radka Stylist Gaelle Paul / Walter Schupfer Management Hair Makiko Nara / Walter Schupfer Management Make-up Michelle Monaghan Kate Lee / Starworksartists Manicurist Cheryl Scruggs / Artmix Beauty Photographers assistant Adam Rondou Digital operator Daniel Kim Production Tony Jay / Artmixcreative Casting director Yvonne Armstrong Actor with Lauren Olivier Debray Actor with Gillian Gary Franco Camera Leica S with Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH., Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH., Apo Macro Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5, Apo Elmar-S 180mm f/3.5 Special thanks to Rhea Rachevsky / Artmixcreative, Gabriel / Mister Vintage Machine, Larissa White / Tanner White Properties, Tarina Tarantino / Sparcle Factory, Edward Kelsey / Million Dollar Theater / Ace Hotel Down Town


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»Typically American« means different things to different people. Just how different, is revealed in the approaches taken by our featured ­photographers. American Short Stories flicks through this diversity and and tells a story in pictures of a unique nature, grotesque big-city scenes, ­pop-culture icons, and glamorous star allure. Here is where the painters with light have their say. They tell us about their background, their experiences, and their thoughts in the run up to a production.



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P h o t o g r a p h e r s

Francesco Carrozzini

Italian photographer Francesco Carrozzini is known for his portrait and narrative fashion work in photography. When asked to take the photo essay he wanted, Francesco ventured west and staged a female lead in the California Desert. The result: a meditation on secrets, solitude and escape.

Many people have »gone West« out of a desire

of familiarity in being somewhere so vast like

to be free from certain social, cultural or eco-

the West, so utterly foreign and a place where

nomic constraints. Was there an element of

you have to surrender control. You can’t see what

that in this for you?

comes next, but at the same time you know it’s

It was definitely about freedom, both sub-

an endless repetition. I like that – simultane-

jectively and literally. As a commercial photog-

ously knowing and not knowing, the surrender.

rapher so much of what we do can be dictated.

The feeling of being lost in something without

This is hard, because of course as an artist, you

losing yourself.

wish to be your own master but then come to re-

alize this is often not possible. That can be both

When we talk about escape, it’s often in the

a challenge but also an opportunity because you

context of getting away from something but it

have to find your voice and your creativity with-

can also be about moving towards something.

in constraints when you work commercially. In

What do you want to escape to?

a way this makes you more flexible and innova-

Love. I think this may seem like the type of

tive so I appreciate that. But to be able to define

answer a man like me would give – the tortured

my own path, pick my own subject and execute it

artist looking for love. But I wouldn’t be particu-

was very much a dream trip.

larly good at connecting images to emotions for

people if I hadn’t had that terribly common, but

We are defined as much by our internal land-

utterly relatable experience of chasing love. So

scapes as our external ones. It seems like both

much of what I make, particularly when it’s suc-

were the inspiration for this shoot. Can you

cessful, is about finding that commonality. The


perfect image that will somehow assist in the

Yes, I suppose I am heavily inf luenced by

»making sense« of what we do and experience.

the desire to escape constraints, but at the same

But for me, it often resolves to this question I

time letting go can be something I struggle

have about love. How do I live it? Like really live

with. I grew up in a place in Italy that was easy

it – in an unselfish, uncontrolling way?

to know … visually at least. You could stand in

one town and easily see the next town. The dis-

Have you ever had that relationship with the

tances were so small – it made it difficult to get

women you shoot?

lost. In America, particularly in the West, it’s

Yes and no. In order to shoot a woman, I have

so different. There is this sense of endlessness

to love her a little bit. I have to imagine that she

and in a landscape like that it can be difficult

is something essential for me. Sometimes they

to orient yourself. For me there is a strange sort

know I am doing this and other times it’s just

Interview Sarah Hall Portrait Francesco Carrozzini

a private exercise. Either way, when I see them through the camera, I can fall completely into them. Immerse myself inside of their bodies, expressions, dreams, ideas … love them in a way that is unfettered and untainted by reality. Of course this is a safe way to love because the camera is there. We are often inspired by the works of others, consciously or not. Was there anything in particular that influenced the shoot?

When I was young I read Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier thesis and it really had an impact on me. I was fascinated by this idea that American culture was evolved by the physicality of the Western landscape and the behavioral and ideological traits it created. I love this idea that we are shaped at the edges of things – that the spaces between where we have come from and possibility are where we create new ways to be. I feel that way about my career. I came from a very distinct point of view, being both Italian and having been exposed to fashion to early on. But then I came here, and I learned how to be somewhat American as well. My photography evolved through all this. Now I am known for the pictures that I take, but I know this is just the first stop.



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Ilona Szwarc

Ilona Szwarc’s work is a photographic exploration of American culture that celebrates the individual through an eye that is both investigative and creative. Often expressed through girls and women, Szwarc’s work tackles universal questions about who we are and at which points do we choose to connect and separate from one another. For this project, she is acting as the director, a guide for her characters to navigate the American landscape theatrically. The work is sometimes dreamy, and other times emotional but always created within Szwarc’s vision.

You were born and raised in Poland; as a

I performed as a researcher, collecting strata by

teenager, you moved to Texas for a year

photographing numerous subjects, in different

where you lived with an American family and

parts of the country, then subjecting my mate-

attended the local high school. You then trav-

rial to detailed scrutiny.

eled around the United States before moving

Furthermore, my decision to use a large for-

to New York in 2008 and graduated with a

mat camera for these projects was driven by the

BFA in photography from the School of Visual

fact that I wanted to describe as much detail in

Arts. Currently you are pursuing an MFA in

the pictures as possible. I was photographing

photography at Yale University.

many different subjects – mostly in similar en-

I have used this duality of cultural perspec-

vironments – that were changing from picture to

tive as a springboard for my work that is rooted

picture only by small details. I had also conduct-

in a familiarity with my subjects but also pre-

ed written surveys with all of my models, trying

sented with a fresh perspective. Although I have

to gain greater understanding of the phenomena

a clear objective with my previous work that was

I found compelling.

anthropological in nature, I always approached

It wasn’t simply a snapshot of America, it

with a collaborative mindset, drawing from what

was more an in-depth visual study of facets of

was out there to inform the viewer of my subjects

American culture. My initial attraction was to

while still maintaining my aesthetic.

the surface, how people looked and what they were involved with, but I mainly concentrated on

A lot of your work has dealt with very Ameri-

the sociological, political and psychological lay-

can issues including this project. And yet, you

ers of meaning. Whereas this new body of work

were raised in Poland. Talk about how that

developed from personal observations of living in

has been for you and if you have faced chal-

the United States and arriving on the surface of

lenges trying to go deeper within American

the American experience.

culture and not just rest on the surface. And,

Being an outsider definitely directs me to-

do you see your work as something other than

wards aspects of American culture, which I

simply a snapshot of America?

might have overlooked had I been raised here.

I produced two bodies of work examining

Meanwhile, I have periodically lived in the Unit-

American girl culture: American Girls, a series

ed States throughout my life and reside here

of portraits of girls across the United States

now, so I feel as if my awareness of my surround-

who own customizable mini-me dolls, and Ro-

ings has grown more acute. My curiosity delves

deo Girls, a series of portraits of cowgirls from

deeper into my environment, regardless of where

Texas. These projects were anthropological.

I live or where I grew up.

Interview David Rosenberg Portrait Matthew Leifheit

How do you begin to work on a project like

are fictitious, and the theatricality is evident, I

My inspirations mostly come from painting

this? Do new concepts form while you are

am not allowing them to escape the uncomfort-

and cinema. Recently I have been looking at Ed-

working? Does the final project come together

able reality of their existence. They feel most

ouard Vuillard, very closely at Henri Matisse,

as you had imagined? Or, is it a more intuitive,

animated and alive through their fantasies but

and filmmakers Catherine Breillat, Michelan-

spontaneous way of working that unfolds

they come back to feelings of introspection and

gelo Antonioni and Robert Altman.

throughout the process?

alienation in the real world. One of the most im-

Notions of aspiration, projection and the

portant threads is the idea of aspirations both

concept of the ideal self have been present in my

imagined and realized throughout one’s life.

work. I have always been fascinated with twins

This new series is a result of some of the ideas that were percolating in the back on my mind for a while. Two aspects from previous

The work looks different because I made an

and doppelgangers, in theory of the other and

projects are evident in this work: An interest in

important decision to retire my 4×5 view cam-

the uncanny. Moreover, I am interested in sym-

characters and in the constructed world.

era and move on to use Leica S. The change of

bols, allegories of life and a challenge of portray-

American Girls dealt with the construction

format, frame and optics felt refreshing and ex-

ing a collapsed lifetime in a single picture.

of childhood, when Rodeo Girls honored the

citing to me. Leica’s large sensor and the lenses

myth of the American West. My subjects always

allowed me to keep, if not improve the detailed

dressed in costumes; they were composing their

description of my photographs allowing the

personas through attire and props. However my

viewer to scrutinize the scenes.

focus gradually shifted from the typology to the individual. Usually I allow a lot of spontaneity and intuition in my work, although here it was limited to

You mention how you don’t like to linger or overwork one setting. Can you elaborate on that?

the scenarios that I already committed to work

I put great emphasis in producing a single,

in. These new photographs were scripted and

outstanding, rigorous photograph. I find it sat-

carefully produced rather than found.

isfying when every image represents a different pictorial idea rather than seeing numerous

Your work has been rooted in a more docu-

angles from the same scenario. My preference,

mentary style. This work is far dreamier. Talk

and what truly energizes me is the discovery of

about maintaining your style when exploring

various images of the same person in distinct

new concepts?

moments of their life.

Yes, that’s true, my work has been rooted in a more documentary style, yet elements of fantasy

Tell me about some of your inspirations that

were inherent to my subjects and I often arrived

influenced your voice both in this series and

at the old adage that »reality is stranger than

your work as a whole? Not just specific people

fiction«. When in the new project the characters

but also abstract ideas.



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P h o t o g r a p h e r s

Enrique Badulescu

The 52-year-old top photographer, who speaks several languages fluently and is always in a good mood, has already had the Rolling Stones in his viewfinder, produced underwater shoots for Hermès, sat on the jury of the TV casting show Germany’s Next Top Model, and is a frequent guest in numerous international fashion magazines. In S-Magazine, he has really pulled out all the stops on the subject of pop art and has taken a humorous poke at some typical aspects of the American way of life. Here, he tells us why humor and music play such a decisive role in his work, what keeps him firmly with both feet on the ground, and when he really takes off.

How did you find your way into photogra-

take time out for a tequila, but today, you have to

like to make things with my hands. Sometimes,

phy? I read somewhere that your dad was a

power up the computer right away. It’s like work-

I take pictures from the plane, just for the fun of


ing on a production line.

it. I made a collage for an exhibition which was part of Art Basel in Miami Beach. I sit on the

That’s right, he was a photographer. But I actually wanted to be an architect. Then fate took

You work frequently in the fashion segment,

f loor a lot and make things together with Fer-

a hand in my life. I took my university entrance

for magazines like ELLE, Vogue, or Harper’s

nanda, my six-year-old daughter. Two drawers

exams at the German school in Mexico. There

Bazaar. Is there anything about the fashion

of the cupboard in my office are full of trash, and

are lots of Germans in Mexico, and my dad, who

business that particularly annoys you? You

we make things out of it. I always tell her »the

also spoke f luent German, had a friend who

mentioned that everyone takes everything

sky’s the limit«, that you can do or make any-

had studied photography in Munich in the six-

much too seriously. Could you go into a little

thing if you try. I learned that from my father.

ties. So I applied for a place at the »Bayerische

more detail?

Staats­lehranstalt für Photographie« – and was ­accepted. The rest is history.

You have to like your job and you have to

You are also highly creative in other things …

take it seriously. But some people get really ob-

Yes, I even once tried my hand as a designer.

sessive about it and end up just two-dimension-

I’ve been wearing bandanas for an eternity. It all

Do you have any photographic role models?

al and tedious. But our art form has so many

started because I was sick of my hair getting in

Did anyone in particular influence your way of

aspects and we call it a job. Back in the eight-

front of the lens at shoots on the beach. So I got

seeing things?

ies, when I began, things were a lot more fun.

together with Codello to design a bandana col-

I always used to flick through Vogue, and the

There were fewer photographers, we did crazy

lection. In really bright and happy colors.

spreads by Guy Bourdin in it paved my way to

things, and the job was, in a way, an expres-

fashion. He shot some amazing campaigns – like

sion of our attitude to life. Today, everything is

How do you position yourself as a photogra-

the one for Charles Jourdan shoes. That really

perfect – probably something to do with compe-

pher – what is »typical Enrique«?

impressed me. Helmut Newton was a big influ-

tition – it’s all a matter of sink or swim. A few

My work has a lot to do with color, and I like

ence, too. Both of them were full of fantastic

years ago, photographers had their own sig-

to follow a conceptual approach. I do a lot in wa-

ideas. The stories they told always had weird

natures. You knew immediately who had shot

ter, and there’s always a lot of action in my shots.

and funny undercurrents.

what. The clients today have also become very

But, at the same time, the pictures have a cer-

cautious. That’s why it is so good to be working

tain softness.

You’ve been in the business now for almost 25

for S-Magazine.

years. What changes have you noticed?

Today, everything has to be done so fast. It’s

How do you loosen up the atmosphere at a What do you do to feed your creative side?


probably also something to do with the phenome-

I travel a lot and watch people. I’m not the

Music, music, music – and more music. I play

non of digital photography. The people just don’t

kind of photographer who has to work nonstop.

almost anything, from reggae to pop, all jumbled

have the time any more to sit down and take a

Three days in the studio is usually more than

together. It’s great to work with talented people

longer look at the pictures. You used to be able to

enough for me. I’m very interested in art, and I

who know how to have fun. I love to laugh.

Interview Carla Susanne Erdmann Portrait Rodrigo Palma

Are there any shoots that stick in your

far as to wear that ridiculous Coke-bottle suit


myself. And then, we also wanted to see if we

The Hermès campaign, around ten years

could work with those projections. On things

ago: ten days in Tahiti, all of it underwater, we

like this, I always like to work with my brother,

swam with rays. It was anything but easy: the

­M ihai. He studied industrial design at Saint

models were fully dressed, didn’t have masks

Martins, in London. In the end, we tried out four

and had to look cool. We spread out the acces-

or five ­different ideas. Try, try, and try again has

sories on the seabed and had to make sure they

always been my way of working.

stayed there. I lost three of the three cameras I had. They got leaky from sand getting into them.

Where did you get the props?

We did it all by holding our breath and without

Sabina Schreder, my wonderful stylist, did a

any oxygen tanks – it was legendary! The people

marathon search on the internet and organized

at Hermès are still using the shots of the per-

everything we needed. Sabina then combined all

fume bottles today.

these things with fantastic designer clothes from Maison Martin Margiela, Y-3, Tom Ford, and

In your spread for S-Magazine, you play

­Vivienne Westwood. Then we gave it a go.

around with elements of pop art. What do you like about pop art?

I love pop art. Always did! Andy Warhol was

Your hopes and visions for the world of photography?

fantastic. His Polaroids and experimental mov-

It must get more spontaneous, it must loosen

ies were pretty impressive. He mixed everything

up, and it must have a bigger element of fun. The

together and invented new forms of art; he broke

world is serious enough – all you have to do is

down the walls between painting and photogra-

watch the news. Everyone needs to get more fun

phy. There was a point when he was overly pres-

into their lives. When you are a photographer,

ent, but he really liberated art.

you have the chance to do it.

How did you develop the spread for S-Magazine?

Well, because it was going to be the A ­ merican Short Stories issue, we tried to approach it in comic style and poke some fun at American ­c lichés. We wanted to show what’s typically American with a dose of humor. I even went so



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P h o t o g r a p h e rs

René & Radka

For fifteen years now, Czech and German photographers, Radka Leitmeritz and René

Text and Portrait

Hallen, respectively, have been working together as the extremely successful

René & Radka

photographic duo René & Radka. For S-Magazine, they took four prominent actors and a modern look and delved deep into the great era of Hollywood motion pictures by revisiting the Los Angeles of the 1940s. In the interview, they discuss the glamor of film noir, famous locations in L. A., the lasting influence of the 1980s movie Blade Runner, and their work with picture-perfect clichés.


What was your inspiration to this story?


You know I love the drama (laughs) and


L. A. has a short but very beautiful his-

tory. Not many people are seeing L. A. this way …

now living in the middle of the movie industry …

we fell in love with L. A. the first time we came

Hollywood is everywhere (laughs). We both always

here many years ago … because of the locations,

got strongly inspired by old movies … there is the

because of the cinematic history … there is the

nostalgia we carry in our work, they were so styl-

beach, the palm trees, gorgeous sunsets on the

ish, lighting was beautiful, actors looked so per-

Sunset Boulevard (laughs), motels, vintage cars,

fect, locations and sets were amazing …

the dessert and the best light in the world … but


But why did you choose film noir for


there is something very unique and this is Downtown L. A. … this forgotten place is like a huge

I love the 40s … and especially the

film set … you can feel the atmosphere from »old

American ones … the movies and pictures from

good times« on every corner … there is the old

that time are like from another world, like a

Broadway, Spring Street, 3rd …


dream … maybe because the 40s in Europe were

I remember the first time when we came here

so sad. In Hollywood, this time was full of pure

scouting … it was giving me goose bumps … the

glamor, cocktails, beautiful dresses, perfect hair.

whole stretch of the Broadway is lined with Art

Nobody could light a cigarette in a more glam-

Deco buildings, old movie theaters, old neons … it’s

orous way then the actors in movies from that

crazy … you feel like you were in NY in the 80s or

time … Did you know that they had a couch to

Chicago or somewhere … but not L. A. It feels like

learn how to do it?

a big American city, but there is not the same city

Yes, it’s crazy … the actors were under

live … most of the buildings are empty, closed down,

contract with the studio and when they were not

abandoned … not many people are walking on the

filming, they cultivated their skills – like they

streets …homeless people in wheel chairs are every-

learned how to hold a cigarette and look irresist-

where … Mexican wedding dresses shops … It has

ible …

this beautiful photogenic patine, like a movie set …



Love that … film noir is so stylish …

and there is the suspense and always a beautiful


And many old silent movies and probably

film noirs had premiere here!

young girl and older gentleman, so mysterious and

RADKA Yes! This was before the industry moved

sexy (laughs) and I like the simplicity of the set-

to Hollywood. The Oscars were here, it was a chic

tings: simple but strong light, the codes … I guess

place to go out … and our favorite movie was shot

I love beautiful clichés in general.



You should tell about, where did we shoot

this story and why …


I think Blade Runner (laughs) is the most

beautiful film noir from the early 80s…


So inspired by the 40s right? Yes …


I love it. You can create a real story.


How did you work on the images con-

it’s full of movie history. And we had the chance

They know how to play emotions … it’s more cred-

to shoot at the Million Dollar Theater with Lau-

ible … and I love to make them look beautiful, dif-

ren and Olivier. You can see this location in Blade

ferent from how they are used to see themselves.

we see mostly black and white images. In order to

Runner … the whole Downtown is there …

And sometimes to make them play in a part, they

keep a modern touch to our story we mixed some

didn’t have the chance to play yet … all three girls

color images into it. We kept the colors not too

were so exited about being in a film noir. Period

saturated, just sometimes with an accent on the

movies are not filmed everyday and this period is

red lipstick or some detail. We also worked a bit on

so flattering for women …

the ambience, darkened the corners of the image


And the amazing United Artist Building,

now Ace Hotel … RADKA

What do you like so much about these

locations? RENÉ

The same as you … I love that they

are all historical Hollywood locations. The Mil-


So are you taking actors now for models?


Not really … I think if we wanted to

cerning postproduction? RENÉ If

we think about the old film noir movies

to make it look more dramatic … no composing … old school photography.

lion Dollar Theater is in the historical center of

work with models, we could just cast models and

Downtown, Broadway, where at the time Holly-

pretend that they are filming … but we wanted the

were going for … it was not an easy project to

wood would screen the latest film noir, lets say

story to be about film, actors, the Hollywood past

shoot, there was a moment I thought we will never

that’s what I imagine (laughs). The Villa loca-

and present … about the transformation the ac-

put it all together (laughs). You know what was

tion for Gillian’s story belonged at the time to a

tor is going through. It was not about clothes and

so beautiful about the end of the shoot? When we

movie director and many actors used to stay at

new collections … our stylist Gaelle mixed today’s

stayed over night at the Ace and late in the night

this house. So it is also full of the spirit of old

designer peaces with real Hollywood vintage. And

when you were zapping on the TV channels …

Hollywood. It was an apartment building where

all of them are the upcoming Faces of today … and

OMG … There was Blade Runner on some channel

they lived before they got famous (laughs). There

they are beautiful … like models (laughs) and you

… it gives me goose bumps again … the best Wrap

is this 80 year old men who still lives there and

know what I love about them? How they can cry on

moment ever! Rachel and Harrison Ford on Broad-

he decorated the whole lobby over the past 40

command (laughs).

way … and the Bradbury building …

years. He was a movie set decorator and collected


props his whole live – it’s magic … The Ace Ho-


Are actors easier to work with? It’s just different … for me more chal-


I hope that people will feel what we


That was crazy … I wish we could

have shot there … but it’s done now and hope that

tel just recently opened on Broadway but it’s also

lenging. You must have a story for them and gain

somebody will like it (laughs). I wish we could

an important monument of Hollywood. Inside the

they trust … but ones you have it, they give you

have more projects like this, with full creative

hotel you can still see the historical United Art-

so much more than just a beauty … it makes

freedom … it’s rare these days …

ists Theater witch they use again for screenings

me think I was a film director for a moment,

and concerts. What is exciting about the Ace Ho-

you know?

tel that with it a new era of downtown is about


I feel the same. Each time we work with

to begin. There are restaurants, cafés, shops

actors it’s like shooting a movie … the only differ-

and Hotels that opens every day in downtown. I

ence is that we would never have the passion to

would say that we just experience a renaissance

work years on a film (laughs). I have deep respect

of downtown.

for film directors … we just create images, witch

We used also this beautiful car, a LaSalle

looks like from a movie, but don’t have to deal with

1939, witch played in many different Hollywood

the big complexity movie making has … we are

movies, and the TV show Gangster Squad etc.

faking it (laughs).

Maybe the first owner of the car was cruising at night on Broadway at the time … RENÉ

How long did you prepare? How long did

we shoot? It seemed like ages (laughs) …


Did you actually do a specific research

on the film noir lighting, can you tell something about the light in the story? RENÉ

The film noir light is a very specific light.

I started to work on research and

It creates the mysterious and dramatic ambi-

moods a month ago. I would go and buy all the

ence in the story. We worked with very hard and

books about film noir, George Hurrell’s glamor

direct spotlights in order to play with very high

portraits … I must always dive deeply into the sto-

contrasts. You light only the important parts and

ries and live there for a while … The preparation

keep a lot of details in the shadows. The light on

was long, to schedule actors is difficult: you can’t

the talents has to be very precise so they still look

just book them like models. They’re filming and

beautiful. It is definitely not a beauty-light so we

have many activities besides this. But in the end

had to be very careful about the direction the light

we had three shooting days …

was coming from. A good help in order to create



We mostly work with models. How do like

working with actors?

suspense is to use fog, exactly as they did in the oldfashioned film noir movies …


Model Agency · Est. 2005 Eppendorfer Weg 213 · 20253 Hamburg +49 40 421076660 ·


Photographer Maximilian Stürmer

clothing Sandro, H&M, asos, Mac

Hair & Makeup Sabine Wicker ·

Models David Marreiros, Steven Lettnin

Stylist Bettina Schönfelder ·

Design The Weavery ·


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As diverse as the 50 States of the Union: international photographers present their latest campaigns and independent projects – all shot with the Leica S. Ongoing chapters of this story of success can be found on and our iPad app.



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s – l e a g u e . n e t

Chad & Paul

Photography Chad Pickard & Paul Mclean Client Rollacoaster Model Nate / ESTABLISHED Fashion Chris Benns Groomer Soichi / SAINT LUKE’S using Bumble and bumble. and Dr. Hauschka Fashion assistant Lucy Hamilton Camera Leica S with APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5

Jonas Lindstroem

Photography Jonas Lindstroem Client Kostas Murkudis Styling Jodie Barnes Model Paulina King / SMC Models Hair/Make-up Ewa Cervena Graphic Design Haw-lin Services Camera Leica S2 with Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH.


Model Agency · Est. 2005 Eppendorfer Weg 213 · 20253 Hamburg +49 40 421076660 ·


Photographer Maximilian Stürmer

Clothing H&M, tibi, French Connection

Hair & Makeup Sabine Wicker ·

Models Johanna Scharlau, Janina Raabe

Stylist Bettina Schönfelder ·

Design The Weavery ·


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S – L E A G U E . N E T

Morgan Miller

Photography Morgan Miller Client Creem Magazine Art Direction J. Matthew Riva / Mister Styling Katerina Simonova Hair Franco Della Grazia Make-up Paul Innis / Maxine Tall Mangement Senior Producer Severine Manuel Photography Assistant Jensen Turner Models Anna Shilling & Neelia Moore / Fusion, Kim Daunais / One.1, Sissel / Red Camera Leica S with Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH., APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5



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s – l e a g u e . n e t

Coco Neuville

Photography Coco Neuville Client Petusa à Paris Hair/Make-up Daniela Eschbacher / FAME Photo assistant Justinien Schricke Model Margo Brière Bordier Camera Leica S with Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 ASPH., Summarit-S 70mm f/2.5 ASPH., APO-Macro-Summarit-S 120mm f/2.5










S – L E A G U E . N E T

S – S Y S T E M ,

Jonas Lindstroem

Chad & Paul

Coco Neuville

Morgan Miller

Chad & Paul

Jonas Lindstroem

Morgan Miller

Coco Neuville

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Profile for LFI – Leica Fotografie International

Leica S Magazine No. 5  

American Short Stories with Francesco Carrozzini, Ilona Szwarc, Enrique Badulescu and René & Radka

Leica S Magazine No. 5  

American Short Stories with Francesco Carrozzini, Ilona Szwarc, Enrique Badulescu and René & Radka