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BJ and Richeille Formento met in 2005. Born in Honolulu in 1964, BJ arrived in San Francisco in 1982 to do a BFA in photography at the art academy. In 1999 he left for New York and became an assistant for the greatest photographers: Mary Ellen Mark, Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz. In 2001, he started as a freelance photographer. Richeille was born in London in 1975 and after studying art and design she became artistic director and designer for the biggest brands as well as for independent labels.
Married three months after their meeting, BJ and Richeille combine their talents and then combine commercial photographs and art photographs. Due to the recent economic crisis, the Formento duo decided to make a more personal collection with “Circumstance”, a tragico-romantic cinematographic representation of time. The project is both cynical and haunting, exploring questions of identity and the transitory state of people and places. The initiative of the project is abrupt and sudden, although the concept is considered. In November 2009, the Formento couple decided to pack their bags, gather the three Siamese cats in an 8-meter-long Silver Air Stream, the stereotypical made-in-US Caravanning, future-retro post something, and go full speed ahead. , like an escape, crossing Uncle Sams homeland, a sort of headlong rush, just like their models, of which Richeille made the self-portraits. Here begins the epic, an epic cross-country adventure novel. With a minimum budget, the plan is clear: 5 months, 25 states and 50 women. Their goal is not only to make photographs but to play with the fine line between commercialism and art with an increased social awareness. The project evolves on the margins of reality and fiction in a singularly hybrid montage.

With Google Map as a Backpacker, the two embrace the road, focusing on details, places, meeting women to photograph them the same day. Although the images are staged, the backstory couldnt be more real. Through their work, the artists pay homage to Hitchcock's cinematography, influenced by feminist photographer Cindy Sherman and realist painter Edward Hopper. When BJs lens focuses on the eyes of the (anti)-heroine, Richeille constructs the integration and evolution of the character in the landscape. Together they unfold the hidden history of the Hitchcockian damsels in distress, retracing the iconic paths of the land of the free, displaying mastery in the adjustment of light. An icy and pale light to link loneliness to introspection, against a backdrop of a modern American landscape. Although the location and the protagonist are specific to each shot, the tension rendered by the camera is constant. Each image contains an emotional tension that seems to go beyond the frame of the image, like a cry of psychosis and dread from a suspenseful noir thriller. We really wanted to shoot something that hit the audience, we walked through lands in a recessionary backdrop where people had lost their homes, their families...


  What is a good photo for you?
BJ:;In our personal works, there is a moment when the lighting, location, style, makeup and expression of the models all come together for a fleeting and fleeting moment. We never crop the images, nor do too much retouching in post-production. Im an old school guy and I believe a good photo should already be in the camera. For our more commercial work, a good image is the one defined by Greg Heisler (portrait photographer, author of many Times covers, editors note) is when you look at the subject at hand from one side and the customers expectations of the other, and that you give a photographically appropriate response. »
Richeille This is the one that raises many questions for the viewer.

- How does your partnership work?
BJ:Very homogeneous, we are husband and wife so its a real partnership in every way. We love to travel, we love photography, we constantly talk about the places that interest us and how we can relate to a project that best represents us at this precise moment. Richeille will start with fashion ideas, a color palette, makeup, and the overall tone of the image. I do photography and lighting. But honestly, we are so closely linked that our “Möbius partnership”* has no beginning and no end.
Richeille: The saying goes that two eyes are better than one, well, we each bring our own to the work we do. BJ has his own vision and his ideas, and I have mine, we share similarities in taste so the crossover of ideas works enough to play with two ideas and what
harmonious way. The advantage is that there are always two sides to play in a single image so you can see a lot in what the image is telling, and behind those two sides there is a third one which sometimes comes out of nowhere , just by the simple crossing of two minds at work.

- What is the ultimate lack of taste for you?
BJ: Very good question, for me, its when an image is only technical. Of course, technique is part of photography and plays a major role, however, it shouldnt be the focus of our work.
Richeille: People claiming to know everything and who generalize about an image without knowing the artist.

- Find the continuation of Formento + Formento inNormal Magazine n°1,& n°6 and n°10;-
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