Meet the creatives responsible for bringing MEGA’s November cover shoot to life as they share their hopes after the pandemic and how they found and continually nourish their individual passions.
Photographed Hannah Locsin in New York City
With a keen eye for the arts, Filipino-American Danilo Hess has always possessed a connection with the craft. The small creative spark first started during his youth, where he would hone his talent through painting and photorealism. In his college years, the spark grew and turned into an ignited flame that casted the light in the darkroom where he eventually found he found his true calling—photography.
Exploring the art for many years, Hess graduated with a course in photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and traveled around the world assisting in both film and digital to learn the ways of the visual language. Today, his work speaks for himself with a portfolio of carefully executed and fiercely creative images that have donned the many pages of high-profile magazines worldwide.
Even as the pandemic hit and brought challenges this year, his distinct style and artistic voice did not falter, “During lockdown when we were not allowed to work, we kept ourselves creatively busy by creating compelling still life shoots”, Hess shares.
Styled our cover star in glamorous Gucci
For Stacey Cunningham, fashion styling was not her first dream that she pursued. With a BFA from Parsons School of Design specializing in womenswear design, she headed down the road to becoming a fashion designer by becoming a design assistant for notable designers such as Vera Wang and Marc Jacobs. Through the experience and working with numerous photoshoots, she discovered that styling was what she loved that most.
Cunningham with her impeccable sense of color and texture is now a trusted stylist with loyal clients from the likes of Elizabeth Arden and Maison Kitsune. Her fresh perspective and hands-on work ethic enable her to go beyond what she is asked for. This is even proven in our cover shoot as she clads Hannah Locsin in head-to-toe Gucci.
Together with Danilo Hess, they form an unstoppable duo that delivers a story with every image they create. Even during the lockdown, Hess shared that Cunningham sewed many masks for NYC area hospitals to keep their creative minds stimulated while serving a purpose. When asked about their hopes coming out of the pandemic, she and Hess wish that the current fashion cycle sees a lasting change in promoting sustainability and harmony with the environment.
Created the surreal world for our cover
The former art director from Ace Saatchi & Saatchi makes the switch and steps in behind the lens. As a freelance photographer, Valenzuela currently strikes a balance in her work by taking part in an art movement called #beautifulhonestthings. The movement calls for creatives to tell a story through a visual collage piece.
With the heart of an adventurer and an observer of her surroundings, the beauty of nature is often the influence for Valenzuela. Her infatuation with collage art began with her composing images from her past travels and turning them into digital collages of reimagined landscapes. A therapeutic way for her to cope during the quarantine and presently the inspiration for the collage series she made for our November cover story. She also reveals that she grabbed the opportunity to further challenge her creativity in executing a collective vision through her art.
Valenzuela hopes that the artworks will cultivate resilience and inspire others to keep on creating. She encourages everyone to look forward to that day that all will be able to bask in the glory of the great outdoors again.