BJ and Richielle Formento are Fine Art photographers

BJ and Richielle Formento are a photography team that makes up Revolvershoots, and I must say I really love their moody images. Their project Circumstance combines a lot of unique locations with models playing dramatic characters to create very artistically engaging images. It's definitely interesting stuff, and you can see how studying under Annie Leibovitz has influenced BJ's work.

This is from their website:

A Glimpse Behind the Scenes

In wake of the recent economic slump, husband and wife team BJ and Richeille Formento, took an exciting turn with their most personal collection of photography to date. "Circumstance" is their tragic yet romantic, cinematic portrayal of a depressing time. The project is both ironic and haunting, exploring issues of identity and the transient state of people and places in one moment of decision (or utter lack there of).

In November 2009, the Formento's packed their home and 3 Siamese cats into their 27 foot silver air stream and began their epic cross country adventure. Armed with a small budget of only for everything from gas to styling, the plan was bare bones: 5 months, 25 states and 50 women. With just the two of them to produce, style and shoot the entire production, their objective was not only to create stunning new work but to balance the fine line between commercialism and fine art with a heightened social consciousness.

With only Google as their travel guide, the two embraced the open road, constantly scouting locations, meeting women then photographing them on that very same day. Although the images are staged, the stories behind them could not be more real, with the "models" and locations often supplying the artists with a place to stay for the night. Living through their work in such a way meant they were able to capture both the fragile state of the economy and society's emotional state of uncertainty, careful to preserve their "quality on a budget" ethos.

The artists pay homage to the cinematography of Hitchcock, with influence from feminist photographer Cindy Sherman, as well as realist painter Edward Hopper. Sherman’s scandalous approach to photographic narrative is merged with Old Hollywood thriller romance. BJ focuses camera lens on the eyes of the heroine, while Richielle constructs reflections of persona in the landscape. Together they develop the missing story of the Hitchcock damsel in distress, retracing iconic trails through our “land of the free,” displaying mastery of light fit for the festering of darkest drama and doubt in both subject and you, most prized audience. Hopper’s theme of solitude and introspection on the modern American landscape seems magically transferred from canvas to photograph. "Circumstance" encompasses the tributes of Hitchcock, Sherman and Hopper at new altitudes, personifying American Beauty as vulnerable yet strong enough to give face to an alluring soul-searching calmness.

Although location and heroine are specific to each shot, the emotional edge caught on camera is universal. The project evolves on the fringe of fact and fiction into hybrid montage, notice ravaged homes in New Orleans to shabby shelters off the beaten path where perverse tranquility, curious beauty, may be found. BJ recounts his initial aspirations: “I really wanted to shoot something that hit home with the audience, we have been going through this recession and people were losing homes, losing their families. I wanted work to show that.”

In this first phase of a cross-cultural trilogy, the artists hope that you may see with your own eyes the paradox of tragic beauty tangled in webs of domestic abuse, mental illness and homelessness. In documenting the in-between moments, the unspoken for thoughts and tension, BJ and Richielle Formento seek to challenge stereotypical portraits of feminine identity that perpetuate destruction of a healthy sense of Self.

--Gigi Sgro

Circumstance 5 from Peggy Peralta on Vimeo.

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5 Comments

I wish I got to see a high-res version of the one where they used the natural light as a striplight and added in the tear... looked incredible!

that's a real tear and not stripped in!

Nour El Refai's picture

This BTS is really amazing, some of the edits i didn't like, maybe not my style, but the environment and the ideas are inspiring.
Besides my preferences, this is a great photo shoot.

Very Nice BJ
(Chris's friend) Good to see your work. I'm starting to do photography too. Not much photo experience but 60 yrs of art experience. Sacramento has a new museum building opening in October. Very hard edge building very East coast. I am sending Christina some of my amateur photos.

I do like this.