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How advertising and photography brought two BYU students together

One of the images featured in “Editorial Envy” is influenced by the Wes Anderson films. “You do your best work when you enjoy your time, you will perform better if you enjoy it,” Ankeni said. (Rachel Ankeni and Michelle Baughan)

BYU students Rachel Ankeni and Michelle Baughan spent nearly a year working together on “Editorial Envy,” a coffee table-style book dedicated to their collaboration and time together. Published this month, “Editorial Envy” is their “passionate project” that showcases the power of their multidisciplinary partnership.

Ankeni, a newbie to the advertising program, is the art director behind their book, and Bogan is the illustrator. The duo met by chance when Ankeni moved into Baogan’s old apartment. After being introduced through their roommates, Ankeni and Bogan formed an artistic partnership and even referred to each other as “creative soulmates.”

“Working with Rachel has helped make my images stronger,” Baughan said. “I can focus on certain aspects of my photography and she can head the detailed artistic side of things. She has taken my photos to a new level.”

Regarding Baughan, Ankeni agreed that collaborating with both a photography and advertising perspective helped her grow. “Our individual strength really comes together. As a fashion designer, I don’t always think about the best lighting, and photographers can’t see everything. Together we can make our vision more realistic,” Ankeni said.

‘Editorial Envy’ features three of the most notable shots Ankeney and Baughan have done together, starting with oldies and oldies. into fantasy and dream-like images. The book also includes their inspiration, commentary, and the overall process from their ideas to the final photos.

“The purpose of the book was a learning tool and an enjoyable memory for our sessions,” Ankeni said. She added that the book helped preserve their time together into a visual and tangible work. “As you go through the book, you can see that we are getting better and better.”

They first began their collaboration on “Editorial Envy” in early 2021, and their last photo session was in October. When comparing the first shoot with their last one, Ankeni and Bogan noted that they both grew as artists together by creatively trusting each other.

Elsa Hearst (left) appeared in “GNO”, the first photoshoot for “Editorial Envy.” (Rachel Ankeni and Michelle Baughan)

Elsa Hurst, model and BYU student, poses for her first photoshoot featured in “Editorial Envy.” She stated that she loves vintage and Gucci-inspired items and felt the photo session was “very natural”.

“It’s an honor to be involved in this part of the final project. They were so kind and friendly. Getting the shot is the point, but that feels like it was more than that,” Hurst said.

Baughan said she hopes people who watch the book will feel “creatively inspired” and as she advances in her career, she hopes she will be able to glimpse her old work through this book.

“The most important thing that helped me develop in the process was knowing that I had a lot to learn from Michelle,” Ankeni said. “It’s pushed me out of my comfort zone in ways I’ve never done before.”

Baughan’s advice for photographers includes putting themselves outside and meeting and working with as many people as possible. “I have found the most growth through collaboration and it is amazing how working with one person can open up your network for so many other people,” Baughan said.

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