La Vie Boheme jewelry shoot

I loved the minimal nature of this shoot. The jewelry designer really wanted a soft, feminine, and organic feel. This was another collaboration with my friends at Farasha. A tiny crew including myself, the model, and two stylists. That's it. Natural light throughout. 

Jewelry designer: La Vie Boheme | Styling: Farasha | Model: Lianna Michelle


At this point in my career I really want to challenge myself by doing something different as much as I can. I tend to carefully plan out all of my shoots in advance, putting a lot of thought and effort into the pre-production process. With this particular editorial I challenged myself to be less organized and more spontaneous. I had a general idea of the direction of the shoot, but I didn't have all of my exact locations scouted or specific scenes in mind. I also wanted to be more free with the way I lit my subjects, trying out new techniques and being less careful. The editorial was mainly an opportunity for Samantha Furden to get some wardrobe styling experience, I think she did a fine job. My dear friends and frequent collaborators Paula J Dahlberg was once again on makeup duties and Chad Seale provided his magic touch on hair. I couldn't be happier with the models we chose for this project. This was my first time shooting Allie Jo Holman, who proved to be not only experienced but mesmerizing, and Mitch Allen was the perfect brother / lover /  ambiguous relationship partner in crime. A huge shout out to the young and talented designer David Hong for lending us a big chunk of his collection for the shoot. I also challenged myself by spending A LONG TIME putting the editorial together as far as post photo processing layering goes. I really wanted to give the photos a dirty, grungy, punk vibe, very New York 1970's. I hope you enjoy TWOISM.

The Aftermath

I love doing personal, meaningful work. This shoot is so special due to the circumstances surrounding it. This is Travis. Travis has been wanting to do a portrait session with me for some time now. A couple of months ago Travis found out that he has cancer, and just like that, everything changed. Luckily Travis has a 95% chance of beating this awful disease, but this news has given our shoot a sense of urgency. Travis wanted me to capture him before all of his hair started to fall out, well, his hair started coming out in clumps in the shower the night before the shoot. Travis has never been in front of the camera, his state was nervous and uncertain. I wanted to capture the raw emotion of what he was feeling, but I also wanted to create some GQ-style images and make him feel his best. Travis was really wanting to get some light & shadow stuff as well, which I'm always happy to do. I'm very proud of these images and our experience doing this shoot is a memory I'll never forget. Photography is such an intimate, vulnerable experience at its best. Putting the subject at ease, establishing a trust and creating something they will cherish forever is what I strive to do each time I step behind the camera.

Emergency Call

I've been focusing more on coming up with singular image concepts lately. Film has always been a huge influence on me, so naturally a lot of my images have a cinematic quality to them. The challenge is to create a story with just one still. My friends at Dexterity Salon wanted to do a color and style on Lex so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to collaborate. I took some behind the scenes video of Jeff and Randi working on hair along with Kristen Packard doing the makeup. A big Thank You goes out to Ron Green at The Green Ant for being so kind and accommodating in letting us use his shop for the shoot. Here's the video along with a few stills from the shoot.

Emergency Call


I've always been a creative person. It all started with music for me, that was my first love. Then I discovered and fell in love with design around the time I was attending college. Photography was part of the mix, but I didn't really devote all of my energy to it until after I was laid off from my job as a graphic designer at an advertising agency. Lots of people lost their jobs in 2010 when the economy tanked. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to really focus on photography and see if I can turn it into a living, a career. The first couple of years were devoted to just getting my feet wet and trying to learn what it takes to create a descent image that actually says something. I quickly realized that I wanted to stand out from other Utah photographers, especially in this day and age when so many people are trying to get into the business. To me, the way to do it is to create interesting visuals that tell a story. I wanted to make sure that I didn't go for the very first idea that popped into my head. I alway ask myself: "Has this been done? Is this cliché? Is this just a pretty picture?" It had to be more than that, it had to be different. Off course everything has been done, but could I put my own spin on it? Absolutely. So I worked hard on creating stories, coming up with concepts, location, interesting wardrobe, hair, makeup, etc. There are so many elements that go into making an impactful image, and you can really create multiple levels of viewership and different dimensions by combining those into one picture. I always ask myself: "Who is this character? What are they doing in this picture?" I want the viewer to feel like something has just happened or something is about to happen when they look at my work. I want to build a sense of anticipation and anxiety. I'm much more interested in raising questions than giving you the answers. After all, isn't that what art is all about?

- Phillip Istomin

MANICPROJECT iPhone6 Wallpaper

I thought it would be fun to create some iPhone wallpaper using MANICPROJECT imagery.
Feel free to download it and share it with your friends. Cheers!