Friday, April 9, 2010

Getting Personal on Shoots

Personal photographs come from a lot of places.

Most of the images in my new book (Hellas, Photographs of Modern Greece / Hudson Hills Press) came from shoots done over a 15 year period for Conde Nast Traveler.  On a commercial or editorial shoot, I'm always looking for photographs to make for myself--to complete or continue a body of portfolios that are often, ongoing, life long projects.

On a shoot I did this week for Ralph Lauren Home, I was fascinated by a crystal skull that Ralph Lauren offers.  Natalie Han, the Art Director, John Davison, the Stylist, and I collaborated on a small still life trying to make the skull work but in the end decided to use something else.

It's a great object.  Someone on the shoot said it looked like something a wealthy rock star would own.  It reminded me of a Robert Mapplethorpe self-portrait done shortly before he died as well as still lifes of his and Irving Penn's.  It reminded me of a lot of things.   After we were done with the photograph we needed to make, I decided to make the skull mine.  It might work with a series of images I'm making called Flesh+Bones.

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