I shot this for an editorial. Dani Jo is a creative with skills in modeling and hair and makeup. She sent me a selfie of these incredible braids, which took seven-hours and three people to finish. I had to shoot her in some sort of streetwear style as a taking off point along with British attitude- Amy Winehouse or The Sex Pistols. I pulled clothes from Pretty in Patina but ended up only a granite top from Michelle Consume and these dope Converse brown leather kicks. Originally I lit with big sources cut back with negative fill for a good beauty base. She arrived and I wasn’t feeling it so I struck everything. The considered scope of shooting still and motion I had to audition strobe and continuous light sources. For the second change, I kept it simple and used a Kino Flo mounted low on a pigeon with a grid and Opal gel. I saved the JokerBug HMI and went outside on the dock for change three. It turned out to fit the clothing and feel right. I hope the piece helps get in front of more creatives. What I take away from this is how inspiration can change when you see something you didn’t consider when pre-visualize.
Polaroid 665 provided an instant study how of the light was playing with exposure and feel of a shoot. It was the only instant medium to use a negative, which one could preserve in sodium sulfite and print from. These moments are the positive seasoned over time. The patina is where the caustic jelly to fix the polaroid wasn’t applied well due to moving fast with a large format camera. Polaroid proved an invaluable tool while working with large format film. I adore the latent allure and miss the ninety seconds of anticipation.
Alex Kirts is capable. He’s a bass player in See Through Dresses, designer, and tech weenie who can take a part the amp he plays through. Kirts approached me to do some portraits of the band. He told, “Just make us look cooler than we do”. I pre visualized shooting the group as individuals in a sort triptych anamorphic format lighting them in a kind of “Varga girl candy” high key technique. Alex explained the album artworkwas composed of mostly black and white design elements and wanted my portraits to reflect the concept. Creative collaboration is what drives me and I decided to light low key “Candy” by using gels on all lights in pastel blue, green, and indigo. The band consists of Nate Van Fleet, Sara Bertuldo, who create enigmatic melodies while Alex Kirts, and Mathew Carroll drive the velocity in the bottom end rhythm. They all came to the studio one night, where I turned up some deep house and we joked for quite a while before shooting. Ultimately we all had fun, which is what it’s all about. Most importantly after extensive post work, I realized what I had pre visualized and they were stoked. See Through Dresses is printing the album artwork now. “Horse Of The Other World” is due to drop in June 2017 on their label, Tiny Engines. I’m fortunate to receive a first listen. The music conveys growth in production as it’s very well recorded, mixed, and mastered.
Still life is one of my specialties in that I have the opportunity to style what I shoot. One of my “Guilty Pleasures” is listening to an object- finding or fabricating background elements for conceptual shots. Lighting plays a paramount role in complimenting still life but shouldn’t dictate the approach. Glenn White is a drummer and fashion designer whose launching a new line, DRMHDFLY, focusing on new trends in “Hip Hop Culture” such as the snap back trucker’s cap and scoop cut shirt. He brought the clothes and accessories down to the studio and hung them on the rack. My initial reaction was to contrast- breaking away from traditional street wear imagery creating what I consider “Objects Of Desire” with high key lighting, styling sculptural forms and auditioning props that have a playful sophistication. Ultimately Glenn gave me complete creative freedom, which is a trust that I respect and rare. I organize my work by deciding which items lend themselves to props then shooting the largest objects first down to the smallest to work efficiently. Still Life is inherently very staged so I like to shoot a set up then reset breaking it apart- moving it in different directions to see perspectives I may not have retentively taken into consideration. Glenn said he’s excited moving forward to the next step producing his line, which is the best compliment I could receive. I’m passionate about every aspect of what I’m fortunate to do so- letting inspiration find me and seeking it. I left Glenn with an idea of shooting a Caucasian blonde girl with intricate big volume braids against a really simple background to show how clothes fit and feel. He’s down with it and we’ll move on.
I had done a motion spot featuring fashion designer, Dalton Taylor at a show of his first complete line. I was capturing a story of the chaos in the dressing room before the show began. One of the models, Kailee Lawerence, had a presence- it’s been my experience to recognize good talent. I could tell Dalton was drawn to her as well. I spoke with her agent about shooting a test with her for a still and motion test. My goal was to create a four-page fashion story of stills and a 2 min motion spot for personal promotion while using my experience to mentor/direct a fourteen yr old model with real potential. She’s 5’11” and has this quietly sophisticated beauty. Clothes dictate fashion stories, so I thought of a simple story portraying a girl just finishing a performance at a theater next to her hotel room. She was out of costume and unwinding then playfully auditioning different options of what to wear out on the town with her troupe. She ends up staying in and asking herself who she is- getting lost in the window. Pre-Pro is paramount in producing stills or motion. Scouting location was first, I decided on a recently renovated Deco Hotel. The owner was very accommodating in selecting the right room to augment daylight with both continuous and strobe lighting. Next, I pulled clothes I knew I wanted to stick with youthful yet playfully sophisticated apparel. I chose from a dark and neutral palette- feather vests, leather pants, body suits, halter tops with ornately embroidered tights. I presented a mood board with the clothes and a rough shooting schedule along with a detailed call sheet. The last thing was thinking through my approach and made an equipment list. The day I scouted it was sunny and the forecast for the shoot day a week was cloudy and cold, which became the case. I was prepared and rigged an 800 watt Par light from outside the window through opal diffusion. With such a young model, I knew I have to work with her on taking direction and feeling the clothes. I actually told her at one point just breath to embrace how the outfits made her feel. How did the room feel after finishing your pretend “Performance” at the theater adjacent to your room that you could see? What has the reaction to the images been so far? Peers and some friends in high places have very well received the motion spot in the fashion business. Dalton Taylor really enjoyed seeing it after returning to New York. Kailee very graciously told me it was a special experience for her. It’s continuing to pick up traction as I’m getting to bid on projects for new clients. What I take away is realizing what I pre-visualized and having fun collaborating with a good team. It’s pretty special when Hair & Make Artist suggests building from natural to heavier as the piece progresses. I’m going to use the piece to continue getting it in front of people that I specialize in; youth culture. My focus is on Fashion/Beauty, music, and artists. I’m taking stock in a very extensive early experience in fashion and beauty. My favorite project is the next one. 2:25 min spot- Featuring Kailee with Sasha Models has real potential talent. Wardrobe includes; C. Luce Vest & wool body vest | Bobeau Shirt | Lucy & Co Leather Pants | Christian Louboutin Shoes | Via Spiga tights courtesy of Pretty In Patina.
Needle Drop: Black Sabbath – Planet Caravan (Bambook & Quina Edit) | Objekt- Porcupine