model: Mei Teng
makeup/hair: Madeline Roosevelt
I’ll admit it, sometimes it can be frustrating to work with an artist, especially the ones who are OCD and ADD. The best thing you can do when you work with someone like us is to just forget about it once the shoot is done, don’t check in on us (especially at odd hours of the night, like 3AM), we know. We know those images are sitting on our hard drives begging to be shown to the world, but as artist we have bills to pay and mouths to feed too, thus we prioritize paid work above all else. And once we do have free time to go back to the project, us OCD’s want to make sure that everything is perfect before we release it. I still laugh every time a model ask, “Does it need to be retouch?” No, not really, but I want to. It would help if you laid off on all the soft drinks and sugar because your skin is horrendous to edit. Ok, I got sidetracked…
Anyways, I bought this Superhero outfit 3 years ago because I love the whole Marvel Comics thing. I knew who I wanted to play that part, the ever handsome KC Guyer. He’s been in quite a few of my personal projects. For this project, I wanted to do something different, so I waited. Like a retired Superhero, the outfit laid in my office closet for over a year. One day, a model writes me and tells me that he loves my work and would love to shoot with me someday. I stalked through his photos and saw that he was an artist himself, a very talented one. I asked him if he wanted to meet for coffee so I could tell him about this idea that I had.
The idea was that my Superhero was trapped in a comic book world, his environment would be etched like one. Part of him and some characters would be half sketched and half real. Does that make sense? So essentially it’s a photograph combined with a drawing, but they bleed into each other so the line between his comic character and his real self is blurred. Kamyar Jahan (you should really get a website Kamyar) was really excited about the idea. We talked about perhaps doing a whole comic series in this style.
We sent some sketches and layouts back and forth, finally it was time to shoot! Here’s the sketch that we green lighted back in March of last year.
A year later, after sending it back and forth with Kamyar, it’s done. Well actually it’s been done since Christmas, I’m just finally getting around to blogging about it. =P I want to thank those that were involved in this project. Thank you for your patience and accepting that I’m an artist and knowing and understanding that I’m not neglecting our project, I want it done as much as you. Thank you for giving me the time and space to do it right. I wish you could see this in high resolution, it’s much better. Oh and the dying beauty is none other than Camille Collard.
BTS by Chris Goddard
Although I don’t follow the NBA anymore, ever since my heartbreak from when the Denver Nuggets crushed my Seattle SuperSonics. I’m now solely a Seahawks, one sport kinda guy. And even though I no longer watch the NBA, I knew who Derrick Rose was. Everyone knows about the NBA MVP. So when I got the call to shoot him along with a whole list of players in LA, I was pretty stoked! I was told that Derrick would be my last guy at the end of the day and that I had 30 mins max with him to do video and stills. The shots had to look like he was in a gym. So we created this 30×30 canvas of a blurred gym background, lit it so that it matched the ambience.
When Derrick got on my set, he was pretty much worn out by the long day of commercials and photoshoots, I was told I had 15 mins to do it all. Anticipating this, I had tested out the shots with my assistant and had her write down the settings for all the lights and camera, for both the video and the photography aspect. As soon as Derrick’s foot hit my floor, we pounced on him like Crouching Assistant, Hidden Photographer. After the video was done, we quickly switched over to photography mode. I gotta say, when you’re on a tight deadline and a big budget shoot like this, it’s a must to have a team that you can depend on because one error could ruin the whole production. Luckily everything went smoothly. Whew. We celebrated by hitting the pool.
A couple of days ago I did a photoshoot for Venus Allure Salon. They had been open for a couple years and Ann, owner of Venus, thought that it was time to create some imagery to promote her salon. Instead of using freelance stylists, we decided that it would be cool to use all the stylists that currently work at her salon. Each stylist gets a model to use and create whatever they wanted. 9 stylists, 9 models. No rules, no boundaries.
I’m sitting down to go through the images now. Pretty excited to see what we captured together. What a fun and wonderful collaboration! Stay tune for the BTS video and final images.
bts images by my new intern, Chris Goddard
I love being on-set. It’s a great feeling that is hard to explain. There’s an energy, a buzz, a whirlpool of creativity that I get a rush from. Many of us will never get to experience what it’s like on a live set first hand, but thank goodness for technology, now everyone can be a fly on the wall and see what goes on behind the scenes. Here’s a BTS of Mario Testino’s shoot with Jennifer Lopez for Vanity Fair. It’s not the best video in the world because it doesn’t really capture the energy of the shoot and it’s not educational, but hey, it has Jennifer Lopez and that’s good enough for me.
Going back old school again! Once again, this was before I started doing behind the scenes. Why the hell did it take me so long? Dang. Now looking back I wish I would have gotten all my shoots on video, okay maybe not all.
Here’s a fun shoot that I did with, of course, Jillian! Make-up and hair by Amy Gillespie. She rocks! This shoot was planned for close to a year because I was living in New York at the time and Jillian lives in Portland. Here are some shots from the shoot.
We’re going back old school. This was done before I started doing behind the scenes. Whenever I shoot Jillian, she would always have a flip camera on her and she would film everything. Wherever she went, there was the camera in her hand pointed at people’s faces. =)
Here’s a shoot that we did for Kerry Yu’s O’Pearl Designs.
Darren (my assistant) had just started with me. Look at the little fro he’s got going on. Hell yeah! This night turned out to be pretty epic. We had the fire trunk and ambulance called to our hotel room. Someone on-set pretty much had alcohol poisoning and was puking/passing out in the bathroom. She’s also diabetic and she didn’t eat anything all day. She pretty much drank the whole bottle of tequila by herself and some champaign. She will remain nameless.