Book ‘Em: Photographers Idris+Tony Discuss the Making of The World According to Wonder Pt. 1

World of Wonder The World According to Wonder Shelf Life interview Idris+Tony Book Em JSJ:  Are you happy with the way the book turned out?

TONY: Yeah, it turned out beautifully.

JSJ:  Tell me how the whole project came about.

IDRIS:  Our first project with World of Wonder was Miss Navajo. We did the stills for that film, and then we worked again on Grab with World of Wonder. So it’s kind of our photography connection…

JSJ:  But you come from mostly a fashion background, right?

IDRIS:  It’s not fashion, it’s more fashion portrait. Or: Portraiture in the fashion world.

TONY:  Yeah. Well, we do a lot of things, and we’re a little all over the place, but hopefully in our work there’s a theme that tells our story.

IDRIS:  Yes. It’s important to capture our subject and really get to know them regardless whether, you know, they’re –

TONY:  Dressed or not.  [LAUGH]

JSJ:  How did WOW first approach you?

TONY:  Well, we were coming out to LA a lot. We were coming out and shooting models, and we just started thinking like, oh, maybe we should shoot a celebrity or two…

IDRIS:  And we shot this guy in the shower at Fenton’s house…

TONY:  Yeah, and then RIGHT AFTER THAT he became a celebrity.

JSJ:  Kellan Lutz, right? I TOTALLY remember that! Kellan Lutz showered in Fenton’s bathroom!

TONY:  Yeah. So soon after that, we decided we were coming out to LA for 20 days, and Billy [Luther] called and was like, hey, would you want to shoot –

IDRIS:  Tori Spelling.

TONY:  Tori Spelling, and we were like, yeah, but –

IDRIS:  For what?

TONY:  For what?  Because we didn’t want to be like, oh, hi, here we are, we just want to shoot you…

IDRIS:  ”Hey, Tori, let’s take a picture.”

TONY:  So Billy and Fenton talked about it and they came back with an idea.

IDRIS:  We were going to be out here for 20 days.

TONY:  Yeah –

IDRIS:  They said: “Maybe we’ll do something that collaborates you staying for 20 days.. and World of Wonder’s 20 year anniversary” – which was coming up.

TONY:  And it’s 20, 20… the number 20 kept floating all around.

JSJ:  You REALLY thought it was just gonna be a 20 day thing?

IDRIS:  Yeah, literally it was 20 years in 20 days.

JSJ:  And here you are four years later.

IDRIS:  Three hundred portraits later, and now they’re 21.

(Continue reading after the jump)

JSJ:  How long did it actually take to shoot everybody?

IDRIS:  Probably like three years, over a three year period.

TONY:  Definitely two and a half.

IDRIS:  No, definitely three years.

JSJ:  If you had known it would be a three year project would you have jumped into it as quickly?

IDRIS:  No! If we knew in the beginning it was going three years we probably wouldn’t have signed on. But the fact that it WAS three years and we got the images that we love and went on so many great adventures, we don’t care now.  But if they told us three years ago, oh, it’s gonna take us three years to do this, I’d be like — [LAUGHING] “Ummmm, NO.”

TONY:  I disagree. This book was a collaboration, and it turned out beautifully, and it’s their story.  And we’re so honored to be part of that story, and to have this body of work that we would never have had the opportunity to have had we not known Billy and Fenton.

IDRIS: But three years? Come ON. That’s a long time. [LAUGHING]

JSJ: Have you become better photographers over the course of the time?

TONY:  I think we have. I think we’ve also learned –

IDRIS:  We’ve learned a lot about ourselves.

TONY:  And each other. [THEY BOTH LAUGH]

TONY:  We learned to trust ourselves, and actually trust each other. We didn’t know anything about this project. We didn’t know it would be an eight pound book or anything. We just thought it would be something that would be distributed internally through World of Wonder –

TONY:  [OVERLAPPING]  Yeah, and we’d throw in some pictures, you know.

IDRIS:  Who knew it would be sold on Amazon? Who knew it would be this big? But we just trusted each other, trusted World of Wonder, and so many amazing things have come from that.

TOMORROW: INTERACTING WITH THE CELEBRITIES. WHICH WOWLEBRITIES WERE DREAMS AND WHICH WERE NIGHTMARES.

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