Bringing Still Portraits to Life: Lupine Hammack's Collaborative Motion Project with SLATE
Translating still life lighting into a moving portrait can be complicated and might turn others away from such a project. However, Lupine Hammack is excited by complex ideas. His alchemic mind is always buzzing with ideas, so when Brian from design studio SLATE came to him asking if he could create slow moving portraits of a dog to highlight new veterinary medicine technology, Lupine was all in.
Boring is not a part of Lupine’s vocabulary. And while Lupine’s work can be fantastical, vibrant and full of novelty, his brilliance lies in his ability to ensure that monochromatic visuals are not monotonous. For this project, the secret was in the lighting. Lupine worked and reworked the still life lighting in order to show Kiwi, the talented Weimaraner model, and her graceful movements to highlight individual parts of her body. If you’re not familiar with the technology the brand is using, Lupine’s imagery communicates its function in an approachable and beautiful way. Lupine explains more.
"When you work with someone like Lupine, who is willing to put the Jules Verne suit on and jump in to explore, it makes the creative better and the experience more rewarding." -Founder and Creative Director at SLATE, Brian Steele
What was your most memorable moment on this project?
When Brian from SLATE, an SF based design studio, initially reached out he shared with me all of these beautiful visual references of still portraiture. Then he told me that he wanted to make one of these still life, studio lit portraits move - I was all in. He explained that he was doing a rebrand for a company that was at the forefront of vet technology and being a dog owner myself, I was intrigued. He wanted us to shoot slo-mo footage of a dog that he could then have a VFX team lay CGI over to show the physiological systems treated by the brand.
I remember starting to picture it in my mind. By lighting our dog as a still life and then capturing slow, graceful moving portraits we would be highlighting the beauty and soul of the animal in an authentic way. Learning to translate my still life lighting into motion has been no small feat, and it is especially memorable when you’re working with someone who has as keen of an eye as Brian.
What did you learn on this project?
How to train a skittish Weimaraner to stand still. No, not really, we had a great animal trainer on set and Kiwi was a professional model through and through. What I did learn throughout the process is to appreciate the community we have here in the bay area. Brian, the founder of SLATE had been on my radar for some time, we’d connected here and there and I loved his vibe. He struck me as genuine and talented. Partnering with him on this project reinforced the importance of connecting with and supporting our local creative community.
What do you hope people learn about you and your work after viewing this?
I hope that the motion this partnership created reinforces the idea that complex ideas, products and technologies can be presented in really clean, artistic and bespoke ways. Lighting a beautiful silvery Weimaraner and allowing her to move and show her natural beauty spoke to the magnitude of the technologies offered by this tech brand in a really relatable way. I loved having the opportunity to say a lot by showing a little. Pretty cool.
Follow Lupine on Instagram for more imagery created with an alchemic vision.