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.