I have no idea where this was shot,” Kesler Tran says of his third Ben Trovato story. Tran and the three models - Kelley, Leore and Colleen, got in the car one afternoon and set off into the desert with one thing on their mind: Let the location inspire them!

The result is a simple and natural story, with a somewhat dark undertone. “It was almost as if we welcomed the sunset in a spiritual way, after a blistering 115 degree afternoon,” Tran says.

Refugee was brilliantly styled by Kelley, who’s not exactly a newbie to Ben Trovato, having been involved in more than five stories prior to this one.

Although the team was minimal, and the heat unbearable, Tran couldn’t have been happier with the decision to just leave the city and shoot something completely improvised. “And the girls were great, especially considering how hot it was, driving around from one location to the next.


We’ve all wanted to escape our realities from time to time, and maybe especially while in our youth just dying to leave the ever so boring nest. Aris Jerome’s Runaways captures the feeling of that first taste of freedom so effortlessly yet beautifully, where we follow Kianna Stupakoff and Izzy Spain through their blissful journey into the unknown. Their friendship is their safety, and their connection is unbreakable. “They are truly amazing,” Jerome says of the girls, telling us they hit it off from the very beginning.

They would vibe off each other like twin sisters. I couldn’t have asked for a better pair of models to work with.

The film came together as Jerome followed colleague and good friend Joseph Tran as he was shooting the girls. “He asked me to come along and I was just filming in between shots. He had the first locations but we definitely improvised throughout the day. It was very natural.

Jerome started shooting music videos about three years ago, and about a year ago he moved out to the OC and met a photographer named Solmaz Saberi: “- She introduced me to Joseph Tran and I would tag along their shoots and just learn from them.

The Colors of Love by Nicole Hill

Last time you heard from Nicole Hill on Ben Trovato was on New Years Eve just about 6 months ago. We’ve finally, well most of us, recovered from our Ben Trovato New Years Eve, and today we’re substituting champagne, balloons and confetti with a feast of colors! Nicole brought model Jennifer McManis, and her team, to the legendary Salvation Mountain in Niland, California, in order to shoot her third Ben Trovato story, The Colors of Love.

“This story is all about being bold and not being afraid to be who you are.”

Nicole describes her story with great enthusiasm, and continues: “It’s about a girl who is bold, strong, courageous, colorful and free.”

Salvation Mountain and Leonard Knights, the artist who created Salvation Mountain, were actually Nicole’s two main sources of inspiration while planning and shooting the store. “Leonard’s hope in building Salvation Mountain was to spread the message of love. He wanted the world to see this message so that people everywhere would show more love and compassion for their fellow man. He did whatever he could to spread that message. His strength really sparked something in me and inspired me to shoot this story.

As Nicole has shot model Jennifer McManis before, she knew Jen would fit the role of a bold, courageous, colorful and free spirited girl perfectly. “Such a babe, an absolute wonder to work with!” she tells us. “I have shot with Jen several times before, she is such a crack up, always fun, never complains and has a great attitude. Love her!

She has also worked with both makeup artist and hairstylist KC Whitkamp, and stylist Chesley Tolentino before -who actually styled our New Years Eve shoot as well.

Since we decided to shoot at Salvation Mountain, a man-made masterpiece, we wanted to take the clothing and styling to a whole new level,” Chesley explains. “The location was filled with amazing colors, I wanted to make a bold statement with using a lot of color in the outfits as well! Highlighting the top Spring/Summer trends, I styled Jennifer with tons of mix-printing, vibrant color blocking, head to toe florals, and printed maxi-dresses.

“The result: a vibrant, bold, and eccentric piece of art!”

Photography by Nicole L. Hill
Modelling by Jennifer McManis @ Photogenics
Styling by Chesley Tolentino
Makeup & Hair by KC Whitkamp

Sunday In Pomona by Susanne Kindt

Both Susanne Kindt and model Amanda Smith has made it on to Ben Trovato more than most others, and we will never get enough of their amazing work. In fact, Susanne’s debut story for Ben Trovato, Rain, actually featured Amanda.

Today they are reunited on Ben Trovato, with this wonderful story taking place in Pomona, California, where Amanda’s from. “The story is really just about a Sunday in Pomona, just hanging around the place Amanda is from, biking and getting a soda,” Susanne tells us, adding: “I just wanted a very natural and have her do the things she likes to do.

Her main inspiration for Sunday In Pomona was of course Amanda herself, and the California life.

“I love working with Amanda, she has such a unique look and personality!”

Makeup and hair was done by Jennifer Fiamengo, who’s making her debut on Ben Trovato with this story, and Susanne says they would definitely work together again: “Yes, she is such an amazing talented girl!

Photography & Styling by Susanne Kindt
Hair & Makeup by Jennifer Fiamengo
Model - Amanda @ Photogenics

Photography by Maëlle André

Brussels based Maëlle André traveled all over the world and totally fell in love with the United States, especially California: “- The landscapes, the light, the personalities I came across; everything is so amazing over there! It fits perfectly in my rock/blues/retro/Tarantino world and I think about it every day. In photography, I truly admire the work of Guy Bourdin and Neil Krug. I also want to add some photographers I met scavaging the web: Rockie Nolan, Caitlin Bellah, Lauren Withrow and many many more.

We’ve seen her portfolio and it’s truly stunning, but how did it all start for Maëlle? “- Actually when I studied graphic communication I was really bored and decided to enter a photo contest back in 2008. I liked it so much that I discontinued my other projects and focused entirely on photography. But hey, it’s true: I never had any technical course.”

“- My first real project was for a band called Medi (on the Parisien label), the album is due to be released on January. I notice various blogs and webzines are picking up interest in me, I hope that will help me increase my profile a bit. Last month I also did an exposition in a photo gallery in Brussels. At this point I’m working on a forthcoming publication for a fashion magazine, yet another exhibition in Brussels and I have some interest from various musicians as well. The best is yet to come!”

We’re confident to say we will definitely hear more about Maëlle André.

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 1

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 2

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 3

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 4

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 5

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 6

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 7

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 8

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 9

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 10

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 11

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 12

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 13

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 14

Photography by Maëlle André on Ben Trovato 15

Check out her portfolio here.