Politics aside, 2017 has been quite a year for me. Mostly notably has been leaving New York after seven years to find a new life in Seattle. But right now I want to look back at some of my favorite shoots from 2017 and share some thoughts about them with you.
Some of you who have been following my work for a while, may know that up until the summer of 2015, I have all but given up on photography. Life certainly has a way of getting between you and what you love. It wasn't until I took a full time job and got my Home Stage project featured on several news sites that I regained the motivation to start shooting again. And the peak of that whirlwind of photoshoots was around the end of 2016 and through out 2017. Between January and October I did forty-eight shoots. Which, if you really think about it, is kind of a lot for someone working 45-50hr weeks. And that doesn't include my landscape photography! So with so many shoots, which ones are my favorites? Lets take a look!
Probably my first favorite of the year was my incredibly shoot with Aoi Ohno. This was our first shoot together and it was pretty fun. I had decided to try something different with my lighting, usually I keep things pretty simple, but this time I wanted to play around with some color. The results were great.
Aside from Aoi's obvious incredible talent and control of her body, what I love about this set is how the colors work together against her skin. Subtlety is key in my work, what what's great about how the light worked out here is how subtle the hues are. Given the limitations I faced in my tiny apartment studio and lack of equipment, being able to create something with a level of finesse is not always easy or even possible. And going into this shoot, I really didn't know if it work.
Next on the list would have to be my Home Stage shoot with Eila and Isa. What happened during my session with these two is a rare occurrence. Not only did the space work fantastically, but the chemistry between these two is palpable. I've been photographing dancers for a decade now, and i can honestly say it's very rare to find two dancers who are not only dating each other, but also capable of expressing their love for each other so naturally through movement.
As mentioned earlier, a key theme of my work is subtlety. Something else important that plays into that motif is the concept of 'the moment.' Something that has always drawn me to an image is feeling as though you, the viewer, are seeing something that perhaps you weren't meant to see. A glimpse of something private and personal, a moment that the subject is having with themselves. My next favorite of 2017 is a great example of what that moment looks like.
It was my third time photographing Kara Cooper. The first two times were in her apartment for Home Stage, this was our first time in the studio together. The original intent was to shoot for my Split Ends project, a series of portraits focusing on dancers hair, hands, and body. But before we did those shots, we had some fun with the various costumes Kara brought.
One of the best reasons to create an image is to create a connection with those who will someday see it. And there is no better way to connect with another than to share a moment.
The final set of images are actually from different shoots, but the setup is one that I grew to really love, and has been pretty popular since I first shared them. Earlier last year a friend gave me a baby blue background that she had left over from a shoot long ago. I took it not really knowing what kind of work I could do with it because most of my work is rather dark in nature. But after looking at some various inspiration in my massive collection of random images, I came up with an idea for something light and airy.
The first time I used it was for a fitness shoot with Mindy Lai. This was when I realized the potential it had. As simple as the set up was, it proved to be very versatile. If I wanted to I could push the image in photoshop to create something more like Mindy's images, or I could keep it simple and use just the in-camera image, like I did with Gabriella.
I also photographed Aoi and Selina Shida with the same set up.
So there you have it! A quick look at some of my personal favorites of 2017. I don't know what exactly will happen during 2018 now that I'm in Seattle, but if you keep an eye on my instagram and blog you'll be the first to know. And if you'd like to see more from these shoots and all the others from the last year, stop by my Patron page to see what other kinds of great exclusive content you can get!