Junior Style London are thrilled to be able to share ‘Max & Zeke’ an editorial which appears in Eclipse, the 11th issue of Hooligans magazine. Photographer Amber McKee reflects on the shoot in her own words, below.
Zeke smiles at me with his bushy orange hair. “I am Zeke, this is Max. I am older, but you can’t tell, can you?” Max, with his bright red mohawk cocks his head at me as he stuffs Chinese take-out in his face. Their dad Thor, chuckles to himself from the other end of the table. Their dog Dixie is sitting on the floor staring at me.
Zeke is 11 (orange bushy hair) and Max is 9 (red mohawk). The brothers live just a few miles from me in Oakland, California with their dad, Thor. One of my best friends Mathew, is their next door neighbor. I knew of the boys because we had occasionally jumped on Max and Zeke’s trampoline while nobody was home.
When their neighbor Mathew called me, describing with excitement Max’s new red mohawk, I knew I had to meet them. I called their dad and invited myself over. The house was perfect. Max and Zeke were authentic, polite, and had the wildness of young boys that every adult envies. I loved them.
Apprehensively, I described how the photo shoot for Hooligans magazine would work with wardrobe, and hair and makeup. Surely, they were going to think I was crazy. Not knowing the attention span it would require of them, they thought it was going to be cool. And it was cool. It took a couple of weeks to coordinate schedules. Summer camps were ending and the new school year was beginning.
I gathered some of my favorite people, wardrobe stylist Leo Plass and Hair and Make Up stylist Sara Chestnutt-Fry. We did the shoot in about 3 hours, including pizza. Max and Zeke blew me away. They gave me a few minutes per shot before the “how many shots are you going to take?” came out. But I only needed a few minutes.
They looked at the camera and at each other with honestly, switching from cool, to boredom, to nothing but giggles and back again in the corse of few minutes. The shoot was cool. Max and Zeke are cool. My stylist team is cool. I started this shoot with an idea of how I want it to look and then the images present themselves. This shoot in particular was really about the boys. All the styling and pre-production, and editing turns the shoot into a story, but the images are cool because of Max and Zeke.
Casting is key. People are so unique and interesting, they can’t really be created. I would never have been able to create boys like Max and Zeke. They had to be found—and I was lucky to have found them.
You can purchase a copy of Hooligans Magazine Issue 11 here.
Photography: Amber McKee
Wardrobe Styling: Leo Plass
HMU: Sara Chestnutt-Fry
Models: Max and Zeke
Images 1,2 &3; Zeke – Zara Top, Smiley T-shirt, H&M Pants. Max – Zara Vest and Sweater, H&M Pants, Timberland Boots.
Image 4; Max – Otherwild T-shirt, Zara Pants.
Image 5; Max HANES Top, Zara Pants.
Images 6,7 & 8; Max – Zara Top and Trousers, Zeke – Micheal Kors Shirt and Zara Trousers and Shoes.
Image 9; Zeke – H&M Shirt, GAP Trousers.
Image 10; Max and Zeke – H&M Trousers.
Image 11; Max – H&M Jacket.
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