Just making a note here that my portfolio has now seen an update that was long overdue. I’ve added four images from the past six months, and taken one very old one out. I’d like to take out a few more to strengthen my portfolio, but I’m happy with how it’s looking for right now. The front image remains the same simply to maintain the image dimensions for the following horizontals and verticals.
You can view these updates either by viewing the slideshow on my main page, or simply checking out the entire portfolio.
Just have a few photos here that I’d like to post before they get too stale, so to speak. I frequently shoot Starnes & Shah whenever I see one of their shows. (I try to make it to most of their shows. They’re good people!) I’m mostly posting these because 1) I wasn’t able to shoot their fantastic show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken this week 2) I’ve had them sitting around for a while, meaning to post them 3) Keep this blog alive!
So enjoy these few shots for the weekend. I probably won’t post shots from further live shows here too often, but S&S will usually have them posted on their website with my name attached if I took ‘em. However, we might have a portrait session sometime soon, so keep an eye out for that.
Update: I just saw via their Facebook page that they’ve been featured on Brooklyn Vegan! Congrats to them! They’ll also be playing a radio show on WDFH tonight at 8pm EST, if you want to tune in.
I’ve got a shoot tomorrow afternoon with friend and interior designer extraordinaire Tina Ramchandani, though not a shoot of the sort I’m used to. We’ll be taking some photos of an apartment she made over. I’m pretty excited to get the chance to light an interior — particularly challenging in the notoriously small space of a New York apartment, but I bet I can pull it off pretty well.
Finally, a face on this blog who’s not me, for a change! I’m back to business as usual with this post. Pictured above is Sarah Linton (née Nurbhai), whom I know from shooting her wedding last September. I was thrilled when she asked if I’d be willing to take photos for some upcoming EPs she’ll be releasing showcasing her vocal talent.
From a technical angle, this was a difficult shoot, since I had to pull it off in a pretty brightly lit room. The studio unexpectedly had windows, and Saturday was a pretty sunny day here in New York.1 Sarah, however, made the process easy and fun. She acted very naturally in front of the camera, and we had some good opportunities to improvise during the shoot. For instance, the piano shot was one I snapped just because she hopped up onto it while I was setting up another shot, and I loved the pose she found herself in. (I like them better at a bigger size, which you can see by clicking the images.)
It was also the biggest shoot I’ve ended up directing so far, since I had an assistant, and there was also a makeup artist in attendance, and Sarah’s husband Jermaine came along to offer moral support.2 All of them ended up being assistants, holding reflectors, backdrops, and flags. (Hey, if you’re not in the shot, you’re fair game.)
It was a short session, but we got a lot of material out of it. And it was my favorite kind, too: a collaborative process. Obviously that’s not appropriate for every shoot, but for this one it definitely was, and it ended up being a lot of fun because of it.
1To overcome this, I just looked for the darkest corners of the room, shot at ISO 100 with an aperture in the neighborhood of f/8, and cranked up the lights to full blast.
2He also came with a small bottle of Patrón, which I’m now thinking should be standard on every set.
It’s been a lovely month, and I have that woman up there to thank for it. (Bit of a cheat, since the photo is a little old, but it is heretofore unpublished. Also, I liked it. So nyah.) The whole project was her idea, and this isn’t the first time she’s injected a little life into my photography career. As my parents have said to me on a few occasions, Meena (my fiancee, if you’re new) is my muse.
I was a little daunted going into this project, and remained rather daunted throughout, really. It was an extremely valuable experience, though — I don’t think I’ve ever sustained a period nearly this long of shooting deliberately and with the intention to make my work public every single day. I took several photos that I really quite liked, a few photos that I was pretty disappointed with, and a lot of stuff in between.
Apparently, some people thought that I didn't take a photo at all for the post with the piggy bank. I offer proof that I did, in fact!
It was strange to be shooting so little of people. Images of people — their relationships, interactions, emotions, etc. — are some of my most favorite to make, and I really only did that effectively on a single day. Mostly, I was constrained by time and access, which forced me to think in ways that I usually don’t. That’s why I don’t think taking all those photos of stuff instead of people was a cop-out — it was genuinely difficult for me. Even on days when I wasn’t very happy with the end result, I had to strain myself during the process. Especially on a project like this, despite its openness, it’s much more about the process than the end result. So even though I’m not exactly thrilled with, say, the Food assignment’s image, coming up with that shot was a valuable experience for me.
I was amazed by the support I got from everyone around me, as well. People with whom I haven’t spoken in ages were telling me that they were having fun following my progress, and that Meena did a fantastic job coming up with the list of words. (She did, too — as soon as I saw the list, I knew it would be very challenging, but also just as much fun.) So if you left any comments, either here or on Facebook, said something to me in person, or simply just read the posts occasionally, that meant an awful lot to me — thank you.
I’m very happy to be able to slow down a little and refocus. This project didn’t leave me with very much time for many other pursuits. But it is looking like it might be a good year for business, and the funny thing about creativity is that the more you exercise it, the more you have. It’s like the opposite of a gas tank. So rather than feeling exhausted from this mile-a-minute project, I’m feeling quite the opposite. I’m excited to put all this energy to use.
In fact, I have a shoot this weekend — more in my typical style — that I’m really excited about. So please check back often if you’re curious to see what I’m up to, and thanks for reading!
If you’d like to see all 28 days of Meena’s challenge, you can view them all in chronological order with this handy link right here. If you’d like to keep on top of what I’m doing photographically, it’s pretty simple to find me on Facebook, or on Twitter, or to subscribe to this blog via RSS.