The diverse imagery in the book (also viewable at tonystone.com) addresses the varying levels of risk that advertisers in different markets and cultures are willing to take, Blackwell notes. Moreover, the variety of techniques and treatments - from ambient, low-lit shots, to digital manipulations and stark, highly detailed closeups - helps to underscore the reasons why Stone makes a point of not billing itself as a stock house.
"Stock is usually associated with a pile of stuff that was shot off the cuff, but this really isn't how we work," explains Blackwell. For each new collection, Stone employs its own research division to pinpoint upcoming trends in the industry. Blackwell and his art directors then work closely with photographers to capture those ideas on film.
When the book was being developed, its working title was The Body, but the Meet Me moniker emerged as the creative team realized it wanted the pictures to speak to its audience as intimately as bodies do with each other. "We're looking for the pictures to connect with people," says Blackwell. "The body is the way we meet each other - the ultimate connection point."