Singer Kristine W
Flavor Productions photo
To viewers, Korby Banner is known as the man with the makeup touch on W Network’s Style By Jury.
Makeup brushes aside, though, Banner is also a master photographer. Metro readers might know that as he photographs the “After” shots in a Before and After photos printed every week in the paper’s Style by Jury Makeover column.
But glance at his website (www.korbybanner.com) and you’ll be even more impressed with the caliber of his visual artistry, which spans a string of other skills like graphic design and digital photo illustration. He’s also working on a book deal on the cosmetic industry.
But back to the photography. For starters, there’s the celebrity gallery on his site to reel you in. Beyoncé, Jessica Alba, Tyra Banks, Joan Collins, Johnny Depp, Justin Timberlake, Iman, Lenny Kravitz and Harrison Ford are just a few of the famous faces he’s captured on camera. This week he’s off to Vancouver to shoot club queen, Kristine W’s new dance CD cover.
One fateful encounter, in particular, seemed to chart Banner’s destiny with the stars. “Meeting and photographing Andy Warhol when I was young made me examine the Fame Game, and luckily I realized that when someone is famous or rich, they really appreciate when someone is genuinely grounded,” says Banner.
His most fascinating star encounter was with Sophia Loren, whom he has photographed twice. “I learned from her about the essence of true beauty.
It is an artistic expression from inside, which is ageless and not about your actual features,” he explains.
Yes, Banner does try to do the makeup for the subjects he shoots. He also does his own for TV, and being the consummate professional, he has final say over lighting with his segment on Style By Jury.
Banner’s all-in-one type approach to work is rooted with his early days as an airbrush artist and photographer. From there the light bulb went off that a perfect makeup application would mean less photo re-touching on the final prints, and less dependency on lighting and outside makeup artists. Enter the world of makeup.
His venture into TV mirrors a similar fluidity. A contract with Revlon, working Claudia Schiffer, spawned a makeup segment on the Dini Petty Show years before Style By Jury came along.
“My most memorable TV meets cinema moment,” reveals Banner, “was when I was about to shoot Michael Moore. Suddenly he recognized me from my TV show. It seems his wife is a fan and he watches too. I was really flattered.”