Blog #163 6/23/16
Title page for the Editorial: “The Seven Deadly Sins.”
There are fairly standard, relatively easy ways to shoot fashion. Cast beautiful models, dress them in fabulous new designs, pose them in a well-lit studio, shoot for a few days, and send in perfect photographs. Like most working photographers, I’ve done this on rare occasion—it’s not particularly challenging or fun.
I’d much rather tell a story, create a narrative, produce a series of images with a common thread that runs through the pictures and holds them together; that is fun. Such a theme – be it modern, cinematic, weird, outrageous, completely fantastical, or even shocking (nothing like shock to stick in the memory) – not only works for those who see the photographs, but resonates especially for all of those involved in making them. In creating a scenario, and bringing it to life, everyone contributes – stylists, set designers, models, studio assistants, and sometimes even fashion editors – and that sense of collaboration is wonderfully energizing.
A particularly exciting fashion “story” I’ve done (hatched, prepared, executed and directed) was a fashion editorial playing on the ancient list of taboos known as “the Seven Deadly Sins.”
This shoot required an imaginative fashion stylist (Nikko Kefalas) who found the clothing and dressed the models, talented hair stylists (Marco Testa, Deycke Heidorn and Cecilia Romero), creative make-up artists (Roberto Morelli and David Tibolla), beautiful models and, above all, a brilliant set designer.
I am very pleased with the work we did on this fashion shoot (I’m careful not to use the self-serving “proud”); my main reason for writing this note is to express my great respect, even awe, for our extraordinary set designer, Michael Sturgeon. His incredible and dazzling designs and production made this particular thrilling shoot one of the most successful I’d ever done.
In publishing the work, I also conjured up fonts that fit the “sin.”
The finishing touch on the set of SLOTH came with Sturgeon dropping dust
everywhere to give it that particular telling detail. The model (Fabienne)
“got the joke,”and managed to seem profoundly inert.
Later, a second model, Sandrine Marlier, was photographed for Gluttony as well. She really got into it! Incredibly, Sturgeon baked the goodies!
Models: Fabienne and Charles DeVoe
Models: Natalia Costa and Charles DeVoe
Model: April Hutchings
I had two interpretations for Greed; Sturgeon fabricated both sets.
Models: Natalia Costa, Charles DeVoe, Alex Christensen, Tyler Kenyon, Adam Tock, CJ Richards
Wrath was great fun to develop. My instruction in the first
one was: “You are so furious that even though you’ve killed
him you are still fuming! Models: Natalia Costa and C.J. Richards
This one was a fight over who betrayed whom with (fill in the blank).
Models: Natalia Costa and Caitlin Lyon
I was ambivalent about where to place the envious one, and whether her envy was real, or just a tormenting nightmare. Models: Cristina Guillen, Silje Skolseg, Charles DeVoe
Model: Sasha Pavlenok
Model: Natalia Costa
Throughout the project, Sturgeon and his assistants worked literally night and day to finalize the elaborate sets.
Glitterati Incoprorated, the publisher of the Retrospective, Schatz Images: 25 Years is now offering the two- book boxed set at a discount from the original price. The set comes with an 11″x14” print of the buyer’s choice.