2012 started with an upheaval of change. Painful, gut-wrenching, seismic change. From January 1st, my life began a new journey. Part of that new journey was my reconciliation with the way I see. The thing is, I’ve always been a little weird. I’ve been told my work is “edgy” since my college days. “Dark, mysterious, seductive, depressing, edgy, suicidal, achingly beautiful, tortured, cathartic”…..these are all words I’ve heard over the years describing my work. So I tried to conform, to shoot in a style that wasn’t mine but would appease the masses. I shot freckled girls in denim jeans on white backgrounds holding puppies and smiling toothy grins of teenaged innocence. I’ve shot long legged girls in itsy-bitsy bikinis on pearl sanded beaches with come hither eyes. I’ve shot commercially acceptable, masses approachable, clean, honest and totally sans “edge” fashion photographs.
But it hasn’t been my vision. This work was not mine! So with the upheaval of change that this year forced upon me came the renewed sense of my own Self, facing me again, asking myself, what’s it all about. I came up with this: if I can’t shoot what I love and how I see, what’s the point.
I flew to my hometown, Los Angeles, on January 9th and I threw myself into work. I know, ironic right? I leave NYC land of fashion uberness to go to tacky LA to throw myself into work. I find it very odd that NY’ers hate LA people but LA people LOVE NY’ers. I think when you’re laying in the sun on January 15th in the backyard sipping on a mojito planning the menu for your outdoor barbeque that evening, there’s really nothing for an LA person to hate on a NY’er. But that’s just one theory. Any way, back to me going home: I shot 4 editorials and 2 video commercials in 6 weeks. I collaborated with my dear friend Rodney Burns who styled all the shoots. Ben Trovato being one of them.
The technical specs on this shoot can’t be any simpler. I shot with no artificial light. I used a large window to the right of the set as my key. That’s it. I shot with the Nikon D3 with my 85mm at 1/160th of a sec at about F4. I shot anywhere from 400 to 1000 ISO. I was inspired by a picture I found of Keith Richards. One picture. That’s all it took. What really tied the shoot together for me was shooting the story on a Fashion Back Drop. I have mentioned my friend, Sedi Pak, in previous posts. Her back drops are amazing and really embellish my shoots! You can view the full editorial on Ben Trovato here.
I look at the results, the final pictures, and I’m pleased. But the feeling goes beyond being “satisfied”. I’m home. If that makes any sense. Shooting what I love and how I see fashion. My greatest wish for myself is that I can stick to this and not listen to people anymore telling me I must conform and change to shoot in a style that isn’t mine. I guess we’re all going to find out together if I can stick to my guns and stay true to my vision now. I’ve shed a lot of baggage so far this year. A lot of negative, heavy, cumbersome baggage. And I’m continuing to shed more. The excuses to NOT stick to my guns are getting fewer and fewer. Since my blog is very public (haha…. understatement of the century) you’re all along on this journey WITH me…….so as I like to say…..stay tuned.