Introducing 1854’s Fast Track Vol. 2 winners: Tom Marshak, Caitlin Chescoe, Alexander Komenda

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1854’s FastTrack programme stimulates unsigned talent in the commercial sphere. Here, three of this year’s winners discuss the methods, including their attention to the particular everyday, the honesty of community, and the playfulness from the camera

Tom Marshak originally worked on the fishing boat, yet found “the fish too quiet. ” He left the ocean going industry in 2004, to analyze his lifelong passion meant for photography at Hadassah University, Jerusalem. Now, a decade afterwards, the Israeli photographer offers relocated to London, and moved into the commercial world. “I relocated to England after receiving my Worldwide Talent Visa, ” he explains. “I have had to begin all over again, but this time, the sky’s the limit. ”

Marshak is one of the 18 professional photographers selected for 1854’s Steps for success programme. Now in its second edition, the photographers were selected by a global jury to represent the best unsigned talent working in the industry nowadays. The cohort will be championed amongst talent representation organisations, advertisement agencies and brand names, and will showcase their work in a special booth at LE BOOK Connections Europe , as well as by means of 1854’s own global network.

© Tom Marshak.

Marshak has worked on the project for some 10 years, and is still moving. Titled A Diary , it displays his style. Since last year, Marshak has documented their life, by regularly uploading images to a chronological feed on his website. “The task is made of my memories, plus blends humour, vulnerability, social criticism and empathy, ” he says. “I want each one of these feelings to crash into each other, offering my take on everyday situations. ”

Marshak applies this style to his commercial work, using his experiences to deliver new commissions. “My ambition is to find the right people to work with, and reflect my documentary design into the fashion world, ” he or she explains.  

© Ben Marshak.

Another Fast Track selectee is Caitlin Chescoe, a documented and portrait photographer located in London. Chescoe stresses the importance of real human connections in her work, as she documents life on both a personal and communal level. Projects such as Freemasonry and Feminine Guernsey Open Water Swimmers both track the everyday lives of communities, since the photographer connects with the content in order to deliver more informative work. “Creating a portrait is a two-way thing, ” she explains. “I want to create a relaxed environment, a single built on research, framework, and understanding. ”

As well as these individual projects, Chescoe works inside the commercial sector, fighting to alter what photography can achieve. She has worked with both Material Newspaper and Marie Claire Taiwan , generating portraits of young women. “The image is a powerful device, ” she explains. “We see [images] every day, all day. I want to achieve a realistic representation of people, – especially women  within the commercial sphere. I want to reflect a true society, ” she provides. “Brands have a huge responsibility inside leading the change inside photography. I have the opportunity to shoot with a more female-focused, organic aesthetic, and this can give true people a platform to talk about their stories. That is my ambition. ”

© Caitlin Chescoe.

Similarly to Checoe, Helsinki-based photographer Alexander Komenda knows the importance of collaboration in pictures. When shooting portraits, the particular artist prefers to “start with dinner, ” get to know the subject, and make sure that they have got fun. “For me, collaboration is about the ongoing conversation, the place where all great elements begin, ” he points out. Working in documentary, Komenda employs a “childlike” style, often making sure that playfulness and spontaneity are at the forefront associated with his images. “I wish to present all these different moods and layers, an unlimited search for the unexpected, the particular odd, and the surreal, ” he adds. Komenda’s tasks search for the “glitches” in his surroundings; his images display a comfortable displacement. For Komenda, oddity is at the heart of documentary.  

© Alexander Komenda.

“When I apply this spontaneity to my commercial work, I want to weave my documentary aesthetics into the creative brief, ” he explains. Komenda worked with the Canadian fashion brand École de Pensée, developing a lookbook based on his own ethos of informality – something increasingly popular in the fashion editorial world. “My personal work is always a starting point, and it network marketing leads me to find a style that works with commissions, ” he adds. Through this unrehearsed nature, each image is present within the fleeting moment, an approach that keeps him in the toes. “Simply put, there is absolutely no formula, ” he clarifies.

© Alexander Komenda.

Isaac Huxtable

Isaac Huxtable joined the British Newspaper of Photography in Oct 2020, where he is currently the Editorial Assistant. Prior to this particular, he studied a BA in History of Art on the Courtauld Instititue of Artwork, London.

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