You wouldn’t know it from their roster of heavyweight commercial clients—Apple, Chanel, Cartier, to name but a few—but Lucilla Barbieri and Fabrizio Coppi’s roots in still-life photography are surprisingly intimate. The pair first met at design school in Milan in the late ’80s, where they discovered their capacity to, using a large-format camera, turn everyday, household objects into something bordering on abstraction. Before long, they’d also transformed the sparsely decorated, light-flooded living room of their Milan apartment into a photo studio that proved perfectly suited to their experiments. It was there, too, that they fell in love—both as romantic and artistic partners, and they soon began working together under the name Coppi Barbieri. A look back at those early days makes it clear why: their precocious arrival at their signature style can be found all throughout Coppi Barbieri: Early Works 1992-1997, a new book published by Damiani, which is organized by subject material, from flowers they submerged underwater to dresses set up fluttering in front of a fan to common industrial objects like water bottles that, through their eyes, begin to take on the texture and sensuality of human bodies. As the photographer Paolo Roversi writes in the foreword, in a way, their work all falls under the categoray of “portraits.” See how they managed to bring still lifes to life, here.