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Spitfire by Michael Stonis

Michael Stonis made his debut on Ben Trovato with a big bang back in October last year, and ever since we’ve been waiting patiently for the opportunity to present more work by Michael for Ben Trovato. Today the day has come, and we’re finally pulling wraps off of his latest story for us, Spitfire.

The story features an almost nostalgically beautiful Codi Babcock roaming around at a Long Beach tire repair shop. Cowboy Tire to be more specific. “It’s my friend Nate’s family owned tire repair shop. He’s thrown few parties there in the past and I remember the location being very photogenic,” Michael tells us.

With Spitfire Michael wanted to capture the urban Southern California feel, and pair it with simple and natural styling. “This shoot was planned 2 weeks in advance in hopes of a warm sunny day. It turned out our shoot would be on one of the coldest and rainiest day’s of the year. I had a text completely typed out to send to the team that we would have to reschedule,” Michael reveals, adding “Just as I was about to send it Codi (model) said she was on her way to the shoot and ready to brave the weather even though it was hailing where she was. So we decided to give it a go.”

He continues: “- I wanted this shoot to look and feel very natural. I also wanted the shoot to feel natural producing it. I usually map out all of my shoots down to the very last detail but for this series I wanted to see where things landed organically with each look. It was very freeing for me to shoot with a great crew and familiar location.

In addition to Codi, Michael’s team consisted of wardrobe stylist Rachel Pollen and her assistant Kolbie Richardson, makeup artist and hair stylist Kerrie Urban, and Michael’s own assistant Connor Stewart.

Stylist Rachel Pollen says her own inspiration for the editorial came from 90s grunge and 60s Pop and Op Art. “My challenge was to create a look cohesive to an automobile junkyard. I needed to find clothing to compliment the natural elements such as wood, aluminum, and mixed metals. Chipped paint and rust were visual elements that enhanced our theme. I wanted the vibe to feel vintage, and the styling to look like what you would find at a thrift store. I used denim in almost every look but in different washes. Pops of color were added to each look to make it playful and fun. Also, I built on the idea that things last forever and you wonder what the story is behind every item. The entire environment was a step back in time and gave the impression life moved slower.

Photography by Michael Stonis
Assistant: Connor Stewart
Styling by Rachel Pollen
Stylist Assistant: Kolbie Richardson
Makeup & Hair by Kerrie Urban
Model: Codi Babcock @ M Model Management