That and only that, has been the meaning of my existence.
The most important thing I care about is my inner self. I never tried to be anything other than a dreamer, until one day that I became a doer and everything changed.
My life has been a series of hustling, working for myself, building confidence and trying to get noticed. I mean, that is what you take on when you decide to become a professional photographer, or any type of artist. You work and work to tell your story, to try and design images that make an impact, with hardly any reward. That is the nature of the beast, as much as you hustle, you keep on peddling to keep up. At one point, you hope to be able to pace yourself, to coast along, and to finally be able to breathe.
I can finally say that is the point I am at now. Breathing. Often times I don’t take the time to truly celebrate the strides I’ve made thus far. For me, it’s simply because where I want to be seems lightyears away, far deep into new galaxies. Basically, all strides up until this point were baby steps, and now I am starting to take bigger steps. Steps that take me to being published multiple times in various fashion magazines. Published. Me. Should I expect a party to be thrown in my honor? No, but at least I can appreciate and capitalize on that little moment I so rarely get when I truly feel like I’ve done something that at one point in the past seemed like it was in fact, lightyears and galaxies away.
Today I can reflect on what truly has been a momentous year in my professional life, with more clients and more shoots that I ever could have imagined. Things are looking up, the hustle is paying off, and I can damn well smile when I think about my past and realize that the main thing I’ve ever chased, was pure passion.
With that said, let it be known – I am proud to be featured in the September issue of DETAILS Magazine currently on newsstands everywhere.
And here I am: not one, but twice in the same issue.
Besides being a pro skateboarder and major male model, Adam Crigler is a super talented musician and has written original songs that are still playing repeatedly in my head. I asked him to bring his guitar along on the shoot I had with him in New York City recently, and while walking through Washington Square Park, I wanted to take a moment and just let him rip. Here is this little video I put together for Instagram that brings back the greatest memories from that day:
Recently I had the pleasure of shooting a friend of mine, Chris Aiola. Chris has this natural retro vibe about him, and our styles fit together very naturally. He is a man of character, attitude and passionate about nostalgic things such as fine suits, bow ties, stiff drinks and fine beards.
I decided to build a set for him on this shoot, and I put my handyman skills to use. I built an entire walled backdrop, and was inspired by him to use old Edison bulbs and concrete walls. Simple but classic, same as I would describe him. Here are some standouts from the shoot!
Not long ago I had the opportunity to sit down with world renowned fashion photographer, TC Reiner.
He has been a leading inspiration in my professional life, reminding me why I became a photographer. In the business for over 20 years, he has been through changes in the industry as well as his personal life, however he remains steadfast in his battle to fight to remain a leading photographer in one of the hardest businesses to make it in.
Below is the article I wrote on him;
In the competitive world of fashion photography, TC Reiner stands out with fashion-editorial images that have graced the covers and insides of magazines around the world including Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, InStyle and British Cosmopolitan. A veteran in his field, he has had the pleasure of shooting various celebrity clientele such as Charlize Theron, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston and Milla Jovovich.
With a background in electrical and computer engineering, TC got his big break in 1995, when as a teenager, he was commissioned to shoot Rose and Ted Kennedy in his hometown of Cape Cod. He was always able to fix things, and figured that photography, like many things, was easier as long as you read the instructions. “People are often lazy and ask others for help”, TC says, “so when someone told me I was a good photographer, I didn’t believe them”. Of course he is well aware that there is more to just reading the directions, but once he set out on this path, his route to becoming a professional photographer seemed to fall into place.
TC is very aware of the pitfalls and stress that being in the fashion industry entails. “I’ve learned not to define style so narrowly as the industry would like”, he says. Subject matter does not define style for him. Instead, it is about the execution, which is a skill I believe a lot of successful photographers are truly lacking in these days. In other words, it’s about what you do to get the shot that really counts. Reiner believes that there are two groups of people who make up the fashion photography world. One group acts fabulous and struts around in the latest fashions, goes to parties, and hobnobs with others like themselves, blowing smoke up each others you know what. The other group that you rarely see actually does most of the work. Part of that second group, TC Reiner is insistent on separating the corporate control and the artistic endeavor.
Always evolving his personal style, his biggest advice to up and coming fashion photographers is to always say “yes” because you never know where that yes is going to take you. A lot of your work in this industry comes from who you know, not what you know, unfortunately. It’s very important to build contacts early on in your career and to always get to know potential clients in person. All the photography jobs he has gotten have been through people he knows or through referrals. “Cold calling or searching for jobs on web-sites is not something that you should focus on”, he says.
Currently, he is limiting his work to only projects he feels inspired by. “A project is interesting if the client is interesting and there’s inspiration seeping out of everyone involved to create something new”, he says, “If it’s only about the money, then there has to be a lot of money”.
Check out a little informative video that the talented cinematographer Dylan Cauchon created of him during his last campaign for Gabrielle Semerjian, an up and coming fashion designer.
Also wander over to his web-site and look at just how inspiring his work is!
Annabelle Magazine, the top women’s fashion magazine in Switzerland, flew their senior fashion editor and top fashion stylist to Los Angeles this past week to shoot. 3 models, 3 days, 3 editorials.
I was incredibly lucky to book these editorials, and the team I worked with were extremely talented, based out of Hamburg, Germany and were such a dream to work with.
Working with top models (literally Leela was a runner up on America’s Next Top Model) who were flown in for just 24 hours from New York, and having the most high end designer clothing at our fingertips, really produced such amazing imagery that I can not wait to see in print.