Inspiration can come from many sources. Before most sessions, I generally plan the shoot loosely based on images that I see in magazines or on the web. I don’t go for replication; there is a difference between being inspired by an image and trying to copy it. I go for the former.
Doing this also serves as a communication vehicle between myself and the talent. It is much easier to show someone the look and feel I am after than trying to describe what are generally very non-precise concepts.
For the JCA shoot, I didn’t take this approach. This was after all images for client needs. Posing etc. was not under my control (other than minor adjustments).
However, this didn’t necessarily mean I went in with a clean slate in terms of planning. While my plan dealt with technical details – how I was going to light it, how the space was to be used, etc. – somewhere in the back of my mind must have been images I had seen of Lois Greenfield’s. In fact, the lighting design was loosely based on what my perception is of how she lit the ones that I had studied.
It’s interesting to me that in post production the images became heavily influenced by Irving Penn’s Small Trades. Again, not intentional, but when I saw my post processing materialize it seemed suited to how these were shot. The simplicity and “honesty” of the space seemed to demand this look.
So I suppose you can summarize the style of these images as Lois Greenfield meets Irving Penn.
This image from the shoot features Larris and Addie; it is a striking pose, one of those power/beauty dichotomies so prevalent in dance. It is what maekes the image and the experience of photographing it so compelling.