BYU students Rachel Ankeney and Michelle Baughan spent almost a year working together on “Editorial Envy,” a coffee table-style book dedicated to their collaboration and time together. Printed this month, “Editorial Envy” is their “passion project” that showcases the power of their cross-disciplinary partnership.
Ankeney, a junior in the advertising program, is the art director behind their book, and Baughan is the photographer. The duo met by coincidence when Ankeney moved into Baughan’s old apartment. After their introduction through their roommates, Ankeney and Baughan have formed an artistic partnership and even refer to each other as “creative soulmates.”
“Working with Rachel has helped make my photos stronger,” Baughan said. “I can focus on certain aspects of my photography and she can head the detailed artistic side of things. It’s brought my photography to a new level.”
Regarding Baughan, Ankeney agreed that collaborating with both a photography and advertising perspective has helped her grow. “Our individual strengths really come together. As a stylist, I’m not always considering what the best light is, and photographers can’t watch everything. Together we can make our vision even more true, Ankeney said.
“Editorial Envy” showcases three of Ankeney and Baughan’s most prominent shoots together, ranging from vintage and preppy themes to whimsical and dreamlike imagery. The book also includes their inspirations, commentary and overall process from their ideation to the final photos.
“The purpose of the book was both a learning tool and a fun memory of our shoots,” Ankeney said. She added that the book helped preserve their time together into a visual, yet tangible work. “As you go through the book, you can see us getting better and better.”
They first started their collaboration for “Editorial Envy” in early 2021 and their final photo shoot was in October. When comparing their first shoot together with their last, Ankeney and Baughan noted they both grew as artists together by trusting each other creatively.
Elsa Hurst, a model and BYU student, is shown in the first shoot featured in “Editorial Envy.” She stated that she loves the vintage and Gucci-inspired elements and the shoot felt “very natural.”
“It’s an honor to be involved in this part of a finalized project. They were so kind and friendly. Getting the shot is the main point, but this felt like it was more than that,” Hurst said.
Baughan said she hopes people viewing the book can feel “creatively inspired” and when she gets further in her career, she hopes she can look back on her old work through this book.
“The biggest thing that helped me grow in the process was knowing that I had a lot to learn from Michelle,” Ankeney said. “She has pushed me to step outside of my comfort zone in ways I haven’t before.”
Baughan’s advice for photographers involves putting oneself out there and meeting and working with as many people as possible. “I have found the most growth through collaboration and it’s amazing how working with one person can open your network to so many other people,” Baughan said.