I am inspired by many things, including other visual artists. I watch music videos, short films, fashion films, look at other photographers, go to art galleries and more to gain inspiration. Last year I discovered the incredible director and photographer Bruno Aveillan. Words can hardly describe how much I love this man's cinematic shorts and commercials. You may have seen his work in recent Louis Vitton campaigns. His visuals help you escape to another time and place. The lighting is stunning and the way the viewer is involved into the scene is absolutely captivating. He quickly became a visual hero of mine.
One of the things that most attracted me to his work was the voyeuristic feel he often employed. In many of his pieces it looked as though you were peeking through something... through glass, around a corner, through a crystal and more. I decided to experiment with this technique I loved so much. I went to Michaels craft store and eBay.com, and started looking for materials to shoot through. I tested bottles, candle sticks, ornaments, plastic sheets, crystals and more. I went right into craft stores with my camera, and held up trasnclucent materials to my lens to try to find something that resembled the Aveillan effect. After I gathered a small kit, I planned the shoot you seen here.
This shoot had less of a 'profound' concept than usual, instead was meant to be this model around Harlem utilizing this voyeuristic effect. For each image I would be shooting through my lensflare tools in order to create a mood that I was following her, and peeking around corners and through glass to see her. In addition, the lensflare blur was intended to give the feeling of a dream. The highlights and high key look help pull us away from reality and into a dream state. If you are interested in some of these lensflare tools, I have them available in my "Think Outside the Box" kit on my store. Without going into the technique too in depth, if you shoot with a lens at a wide aperture (f 2.8 or wider) you can put a translucent material up against the lens. This will create a blur that mimics flare or voyeurism... and I've been using this technique FREQUENTLY.
In the fall of 2011 I photographed "Urban Dreamer" for Zink Magazine, and it appeared in their December 2011 issue. My fabulous creative team and I based our shoot out of my stylist's Harlem apartment, and shot in and around 125 street in NYC. We photographed fences, brown stones, bridges, grunge textures and more. While we moved the model around, I utilized blur and lensflare as a way to provide cohesiveness to my fashion editorial. Below are the images that resulted and appear in Zink. I will be following up with some additional content from this editorial next week... some 'new media' surprises for you all. Enjoy the images! It was one of my favorite editorials so far!
My creative team:
Model: Milena from Wilhelmina
Hair and Makeup: Johnny Gonzalez
Wardrobe: LSC for 4 Season Style Management
Photographic tools utilized in this editorial: