It’s not every day that you find that the subject you are creating a business portrait of is also a model, but that was certainly the case when photographing Morgan Stanley compliance and anti-money laundering specialist Leo Chan.
In creating these portraits Leo and I wanted to create something simple, classic, and a little iconic that took advantage of all the style and confidence Leo brought to the equation. The addition of a well-tailored suit, a quirky splash of color, and the fact that Leo is also an experienced model made this portrait a lot of fun to work on.
I am always excited to shoot a project like this. As much as I have enjoyed shooting fashion and beauty stories over the years I have found myself drifting away from that lately and gravitating towards what really excites me these days, which is photographing real people with interesting lives and their own sense of style and identity – Cool people who do and make cool things. A lot of my recent personal work is around the idea of making images that tell these kinds of stories while still being very stylish and clean – very me. One of the reasons that this project with Leo is so appealing to me is that it is something of a bridge between these two very different types of projects I work on and very much a hybrid between where I am coming from and where I want to go with my work.
Logan Schott is a model who can’t stay in one place for too long. Since I first worked with him a year ago on a banking campaign Logan has lived on both coasts and made travel between LA, NYC, and Buffalo a near constant in his life, but thankfully I have had occasional opportunities to work with him since then on personal projects and a recent series of images for Cyberoptix.
Logan was visiting Western New York for the holidays from Los Angeles to visit with family and friends, and as usual we made immediate plans to work on something together. The only snag was that the studio was pretty much empty for the holidays, crew members were traveling, some equipment was out for annual repair and maintenance, and even the heat had been running at minimum for days. No crew, no styling team, and very little gear is a bit of a break in how I normally work when I am on a commercial or editorial assignment, but these small projects with friends are always fun – just the two of us working together to make something. One thing we didn’t have to worry about though was wardrobe. Logan is essentially a punk rock fashion boy scout – always prepared, he brought a bag full of finds from his ceaseless thrifting and DIY clothing projects.
This simple black and white portrait was one of my favorites from the shoot (Okay… this was a hard shoot to edit as there were a lot of variations and great frames), and very illustrative of the type of portraiture I have found myself drawn to over the last few months.
There are a few other images from this shoot that I will share soon (probably next week). They have a very different feel from this sombre portrait and I think they warrant their own post.
The last day of winter was a bright and sunny seventy two degrees so I decided to enjoy the weather and moved my shoot with Dakotah outside after our in-studio production a few weeks ago.
Dakotah in studio a few weeks ago – prepping for a shoot
I made these images of Dakotah recently, during a test session on what coincidentally happened to be her birthday. Dakotah and I have had many near misses on assignments prior to this – often coming very close to working together but never quite being in the same place at the same time due to scheduling differences. It took our mutual friend/stylist Nicole Barry to finally introduce us in person last month and make arrangements for this Happy Birthday shoot to happen.
From an assignment a few weeks back – creating images of fitness specialist, lifestyle coach, and model Ryan Ebling
A few outtakes from yesterday’s shoot with Jessica Jean. I had seen this pile of marble from the roadway a while back, and taken a few pictures of it while out walking dogs, but I had wanted to use it in a major project for some time. Jessica was out with us on this assignment and the final series will be coming soon, but here are some outtakes and a preview in the meantime.
Mr. Chops decided to visit the set today
Walking over rocky terrain in a skirt like that can be precarious at best.
The pile of slabs.
The first finished preview. This will be quite the series when its complete, so stay tuned.
I recently had the chance to work with model Kerry Quaile for a new regular column I am both creating imagery for and writing in Auxiliary Magazine. The new regular contribution, called Aesthetic, is a breakdown of the hybridization of various counter culture styles with the aesthetics and mindfulness of well styled fashion and beauty editorials. It is an attempt to break these subculture style trappings out of their own stereotypes in order to create something new and impressive. Its been a pleasure to be working on this new column as Auxiliary has given me a great deal of creative control to work with my stylists and various fashion figures in trying to predict these new hybrid styles based on trends in both the alternative and mainstream fashion industries. This installment of Aesthetic, featuring Kerry Quaile and Lauren Mentkowski is featured in the April issue of Auxiliary, and the first installment Metropolis Androgyne, ran in the February issue.