By: V. Mahfuz
Hosted by professional Photographer, Leo Martins, and Veja’s Art Designer, Daniela Giorno, The Lion Workshop occurred on a Monday, the 16th of October in the foyer at 3:30. Throughout the hour-long workshop, students had the privilege to learn about the production process at Veja, and the thoughts behind a magazine cover.
The workshop begun with the introduction of the two charismatic speakers, who started by stating what their jobs required, their inspirations and examples of covers they designed, describing the process behind each one. Daniela explained how her role consisted of “determining, adjusting, modifying and controlling the potential of information”, as she needs to choose which pictures would convince strangers to buy her magazine, what would make it stand out from other magazines in the news stand. She also has to think about her target audience by putting herself in their own shoes, as she must make the cover appealing to as many people as possible even though she does not know them.
Daniela Giorno also mentioned a few of her inspirations, such as Wes Anderson, Billy Wilder, Saul Bass, Mauricio Lima, Paul Rand, Steve McCurry, Annie Leibovitz, George Lois and many others. Among these, Daniela showed us a few examples of their work and the amusing story behind them. One of them included the work of Annie Leibovitz on the famous ‘Rolling Stones’ cover, which consisting of John Lennon, completely naked, and Yoko Ono, a Japanese artist who refused to take off her clothes despite Annie Leibovitz’s attempt to show “intimacy”.
Another “legendary” example includes the work of George Lois, who designed the cover of memorable boxer, Muhammad Ali with arrows plunged across his chest to represent how society was “attacking” and “killing” him for multiple reasons, such as refusing to join US military against a war he disagreed on, and for his conversion of faith to Islam. Muhammad not only lost his boxing title because of this, but was almost imprisoned. Lois explained that his reasons for Muhamad’s stance in the cover was because “There were many, many paintings of him, and I was trying to find one where his body was solid and strong, but his arms were behind his back and he was in pain." The iconic cover was published in April of 1968, and gained a lot of popularity since.
Furthermore, Daniela explained how a weekly “reunião de pauta” works at the magazine, when writers and editors get together to discuss the events to be published on their next edition. The ideas are then proposed to the editors, who decide what will make the cut.
Leo martins was also keenly involved when it escalated to the “brainstorming” session. This consisted of deciding what picture would be presented on the cover, and how much information it displayed. Leo also talked about the different types of photographers, such as “street photographers”, “gastronomy photographers”, “sport photographers” and so on. However, he divided these photographers into two categories; the ones who are quick and alert, and the ones who get to think about the setting up, angle and lots of other factors about the appearance of a picture: street and sport photographers, for example, always have to be sharp when working, as they only capture a ‘fraction of a moment’. These often produce a conceptual cover. “Gastronomy photographers”, on the other hand, have more time to prepare the picture’s setting, layout, angles, with time to adjust the details.
However well thought a cover may be, photographer Leo Martins also explained about the common obstacle encountered when models, weather or any other factors don’t go as planned. When Leo was photographing artist Alex Hanazaki at the new Casa Cor edition, he had the innovative idea of shooting Alex in the ‘raining section’ with a transparent umbrella his girlfriend brought last-minute - highlighting how a photoshoot not only depends on those involved, but the surrounding environment. Even though Leo was lucky enough to be shooting someone that agreed with his ideas, the minor inconvenience still played a role into turning such cover into a very engaging and well-known cover.
At the end, our team of editors posed for a cover photo which Daniela Giorno was too kind to edit into what it would be like if they made it onto the magazine, as seen above.
It was a great experience, and we thank the guest speakers for such an entertaining talk!