New boutique photographer talent agency Phenomena has quite the roster. This month’s release features a lineup of six of today’s best multidisciplinary imaging talents, whose diverse backgrounds span feature films, documentaries and fine art.
“Most agencies are the same,” says founder Sarah Mahini. Phenomena’s goal is to “create a bridge between luxury fashion brands and the arts, creating meaningful content in a world saturated with images.”
Mahini previously represented talent such as Martin Parr, Craig McDean and Mario Sorrenti on Katie Backer and most recently on Magnum.
“With brands there is a desire to tell real stories,” he explains. “It’s more representative and interesting to have photographers who actually speak to their audience, so the idea is not just to work with fashion photographers, but also artists and image makers who really have something to say.”
Phenomena represents the commercial photography of Pierre-Ange Carlotti, Gaspar Noé, Diana Markosian, Amanda Charchian, Nabil and Fenn O’Meally, worldwide, exclusively.
“Everybody’s doing something that’s a little bit out of character and really using their own voice,” says Mahini.
Most of the Phenomena roster is filmed in analog format. While brands once resisted the idea of relinquishing the control that digital photography brings, “there’s been a massive shift in the industry back to the art of imaging,” he notes.
Pierre Ange Carlotti Provocative, youth-driven and often sexually charged imagery has found favor with Saint Laurent, for whom he directed a short in September to celebrate his appearance in Paris with celebrity hangout Sushi Park of the Angels.
Gaspar Noé whose films like Irreversible, enter the void Y Aeternal Lux with Charlotte Gainsbourg in collaboration with Saint Laurent have been selected in several editions of the Cannes Film Festival.
Fenn O’Meally has directed films for some of the world’s biggest brands including Nike, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Prada and Miu Miu. She was recently named a director to watch at the 2021 Ad Age Creativity Awards.
Trained fine art photographer Amanda Charchian has worked on photography and film projects for Gucci, Cartier and Bulgari alongside musicians such as Billie Eilish and Alicia Keys.
The images of documentary filmmaker Diana Markosian have been exhibited at the MoMA in San Francisco with a short film that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, as well as projects for National Geographic, Time magazine Y Vanity Fair.
Nabil collaborates with artists from Travis Scott and Kanye West to The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar. He has worked on cross media projects for Puma, Nike, Coca-Cola and adidas.
She reveals that O’Meally is currently working on a big project with a music industry artist and that Nabil is releasing a book on Jamaica, while Carlotti’s next project for Kering-owned Saint Laurent releases, it is imminent. Four of the Phenomena list are working on a collective book project commissioned by a luxury brand.
Mahini emphasizes that the agency is not just about attracting brands for campaigns, but also about supporting art projects. However, she also stresses the importance of choosing the right projects. “It is important to say no. To really protect the creative energy of an artist and how they use it.”