The stereotype of the photographer is of a lone ego—a man or woman squatting behind a camera, screaming at assistants and cajoling models into their poses through sheer force of will. But Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin are among those who have proved that, as far as photography goes, two minds are often better than one, especially when you take into account the rise in digital post-production and the vast creative possibilities it offers. Below, in their honor, we profile five of our favorite two-man teams at the forefront of contemporary photography.
Blommers and Schumm
Dutch duo Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm’s career took off after winning the Young Fashion Photography Award at the reputable Hyères festival in 2002. With a style ranging from striking and colorful fashion photography to more ethereal, nature-inspired shots the duo have created stories for i-D, Ten and Vogue and shot a pouting Chloë Sevigny for Interview magazine. Recent exhibitions include Amsterdam’s Torch Gallery, Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles, and über cool boutique-cum-art space Colette.
Sanchez and Mongiello
With a touch of Sølve Sundsbø and a hint of Miles Aldridge, the color saturated, hyperreal photography of Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello is undeniably affecting. The duo met in Buenos Aires while studying film and music respectively, and moved to Paris after winning the Picto Prize for young fashion photographers in 2002. Soon after, they held an exhibition at the city’s prestigious art gallery Le Palais de Tokyo. Typically opting for a somewhat surreal and heightened aesthetic (with a penchant for tantalizingly half-open mouths), the pair have shot for the New York Times, Numéro and Vogue, in addition to a campaigns for Loewe, Givenchy and Gaultier.
Broomberg and Chanarin
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin are fearless portraiture photographers who have traveled the globe to document an array of subjects. From refugee camps to war zones, from Tanzania to Patagonia, Broomberg and Chanarin have been working together for over a decade producing exquisitely honest work, often putting themselves at risk. Their collaborative work has included six photography books, exhibitions at London’s Victoria and Albert museum and Amsterdam’s Stedelijk museum, in addition to assignments for the Guardian and Telegraph newspapers. The pair have recently added to their canon the role of curator, taking the position of artists in residence at Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery, in which they put together a display on the little-known Egyptian Surrealists movement in April of this year.
Klinko and Indrani
With their eight-year romance a thing of the past, Markus Klinko and Indrani have pulled a Dolce and Gabbana—staying together professionally regardless of their relationship history. Gaining recognition for their slick celebrity shoots, the pair has captured glossy images of Lady Gaga (in homage to Hello Kitty) Naomi Campbell (for American Photo) and Britney Spears (for Vanity Fair). Their reputation has recently catapulted the pair in front of the camera with Double Exposure, their new reality television show for Bravo documenting their shoots from initial thought to hard copy.
Mert and Marcus
Undeniably influenced by the searing colors of Guy Bourdin, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott are the slick, perfectionists of the fashion photography world. The Turkish and Welsh duo have pioneered the use of digital manipulation, smoothing out the smallest flaws and dimples to create an almost artificial aesthetic, offering radiant editorials in Vogue, Pop and W magazine, as well as attention-grabbing campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu and Donna Karan. Since appearing in the National Portrait Gallery’s 2007 Face of Fashion show, Mert and Marcus have captured portraits of powerful and successful women, including a crucifix-adorned Madonna for Interview magazine and a wind-swept Stella McCartney for Love.