Category "The Daily Edit"

The Daily Edit – AFAR: McNair Evans

- - The Daily Edit

 

Afar Magazine

Director of Photography: Tara Guertin
Photo Editor: Lyn Horst
Design Director: Jason Seldon
Photographer: McNair Evans

 

Heidi: How long where you down south?
McNair: When AFAR Magazine’s Director of Photography, Tara Guertin, received a story pitch about a Thelma & Louise style road trip through North and South Carolina, she emailed me immediately. Tara knew that I’m from North Carolina originally and had hired me for a project there four years earlier. AFAR Magazine takes an off-the-beaten-path approach to travel and photography. To provide in-depth glimpses from remote locations, Tara strives to find local photographers who will share a true sense of place rather than an outsider’s perspective. Not only did this story traverse my teenage haunts, it was pitched by British journalist Emma John, with whom I worked in 2012 on a project titled Playing By The Heart. Tara wanted to know how soon I could schedule the shoot. Working with an assistant to help with driving and equipment, I scheduled five days to retrace the story’s route and make pictures that would share the author’s experiences as well as my own sense-of-place as a native Southerner.

Was this a road trip?
The story Two For The Road consists of first-person experiences and revelations along an 800-mile road trip through the American South. Beginning in Charlotte, North Carolina and driving east to Pawleys Island, South Carolina, Emma and her host Genny crossed the Eastern Coastal Plain, a sandy, prehistoric sea floor currently quilted with large-scale commercial farms and dilapidated agricultural towns. From Pawleys Island they traveled south through tidal washes of the Atlantic Ocean and to the colonial cities of Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. Finally they drove northwest into the Appalachian Mountains for a visit to Genny’s home and to conclude their trip in Charlotte, NC.

While road trips have long been the means and subject of American photography, photographers have mostly focused on expansive geography in the American West, notions of Manifest Destiny, and isolation or dislocation of photographers navigating disparate locations. This trip was different. The route circled through places often overlooked or challenged me to find greater significance through a manicured veneer of historic preservation.

How do you string together your narrative arc for these travel stories?
Emma had not yet written her story and would not be able to return to the United States to accompany the shoot. Instead we connected via Skype so I could learn more about her personal experiences and her vision for the finished piece. I needed to know the locations she had visited, where she had stayed, and the people she had met. Emma shared specific encounters with people and places, and I extrapolated the broader significances of these anecdotes. I was interested in the relationship between Genny and Emma and what they had learned while traveling together. What feelings did particular encounters evoke and how did their perspectives change throughout the trip? In addition to photographing their itinerary, Tara provided key restaurants and activities that might accompany the article. I made two lists. One consisted of specific places and activities and the other outlined broader themes, such as complex social remnants of a plantation society, challenging gender roles, race relations, social privilege, and generational expectation. My narrative goal was to find the latter in the former while maintaining a sense of discovery and movement through the landscape.

How many of these are set up shots and how many are you observing?
While trees, mountains, and buildings may not visually acknowledge the presence of a photographer, most people do. The idea that I might photograph people, regardless of how discrete, without influencing their behavior is something I’ve mostly given up. In most cases I prefer an opposite approach that begins with my introduction and explanation. Once a scene or scenario unfolds, I tend to photograph with little, if any direction. Portraits of individuals and still-life images often require complete direction. Otherwise, the instant a person realizes that they are being observed can provide a picture’s punctum. In this last scenario, I then explain my presence and intention in order to receive their permission to publish the image. This project required a variety of image making processes, from completely set up shots to found objects and fleeting moments.

Did the writer wrangle the subjects?
Emma, the writer, was in another time zone and on a different continent, so ‘the subjects’ were subjected only to direct enthusiasm and mutual respect from my assistant and me. I mean, projects like this, when a photo editor provides a loose shot list and then instructs, “just go and do your thing,” are a complete dream. Sure, all the details regarding where, when, who, and how to shoot become my responsibility, but with that comes the creative freedom to explore metaphor, symbolism, and allegory within every shoot scenario.

Tell us about the sharing a ride component, how did you address that photographically?
To photograph six cities and 800 miles in five days is no joke. Luckily Mark Quinnes, the San Francisco-based photographer who assisted me on this project, was a quick study on driving manual transmission. Mark would drive between locations and when the light was good. I’d look for interesting stops along the route or photograph through a sunroof. Each night, while downloading and backing up the shoot, we’d use the internet to search local newspapers and websites for interesting events during the days ahead. Mark would drop these onto a Google map previously loaded with our itenary. We’d always have a destination, even if just finding unexpected photographs along the route was our main objective.

The main character of this story, Genny, Emma’s road trip partner, met us on the last day. I rode shotgun while she drove and told stories connecting landscape to memory. We visited the site where she was born, her school, a favorite diner, and a site-seeing spot she believed Mark and I would enjoy. Using photography to simply illustrate a story has never interested me much, so a literal picture of her driving didn’t really appeal. Instead, I looked for pictures that might feel like shared moments between her and the absent author. I made pictures that might communicate her belonging, abandonment, and perhaps rediscovery of the place she defines as home.

How were you received in these out of the way places?
Born in Daly City, CA, lovingly dubbed Little Manila by its large Filipino population, Mark had never been to the American South. Likewise, most of the people we photographed had never seen a Filipino. As if cued by a teleprompter, approximately thirty-minutes into each shoot the same question arose in a slow Southern drawl, “Excuse me, but where are you from?” If inquirer was female and over the age of 65, they’d quickly justify the question, “You are so handsome.”

Back in the Bay Area and sharing stories from our shoot, a fellow photographer asked how we could spend so much time with ‘those types of people,’ ie. people so different from us. Rarely are people as binary or different as they appear from afar. Photography, like all art, provides a vehicle and voice to cross these divides. The history of slavery and a persistence of plantation ideology certainly clouds the American South, as well as many places across the United States, but collective guilt and shame can unite us in action as much as they separate us in anger. Photography might not be capable of really changing the world, but at least assignments like this one provide an opportunity to describe underlying nuances that define how we see each other.

The Daily Edit – Trupal Pandya: Tribal Portraits

- - The Daily Edit

Trupal Pandya: Tribal Portraits

 

Heidi: What is your process for gaining trust in these different subcultures?
Trupal: When I am traveling, I make an effort to be accepted and slowly assimilating their ways of life. The first few days that I spend with them I don’t photograph them, but instead wait until they accept and understand why am I there. Sometimes, this would mean I live with them in their houses, sleep where they sleep, eat what they eat and talk to them, show them my work from other parts of the world so they understand what am I there to do. It’s about making a connection. It’s very important to me that they feel comfortable and let their guards down before I start photographing them. I also carry a Polaroid camera which is my only camera for the first few days so I could share my photos with them. I feel if your intentions are right, people can sense it. I am also a big believer of the universal language where one doesn’t need words to communicate.

You mention “when your intentions are right” what are yours?
I find it more important now than ever to spread awareness of all that is contained in these precious tribes. I believe that man was meant to live on the earth, joyous and free, in harmony with his surroundings. These are qualities I’ve seen in the Konyak, the Huaorani, and the people of the Omo Valley.  Installed in all these tribes that are slowly being dissolved, is a peace of mind and heart that the people of the industrial societies are forever longing for.  It is ironic that the cycles of civilization have us forever coveting the lives of others.  The people of the western world, after centuries-long reliance on technology, are now beginning to look again toward nature. Herbal medicines, organic, sustainable farming and even wild foraging are coming into vogue in the major cities. Meanwhile, for these tribes there are repercussions of invading philosophies, removing from the “primitive” people their methods and magic, and their sacred ways have now been replaced with antibiotics and accusations of ineffectiveness and unsophistication. When the day comes that the developing nations find that modern is not always better, will the knowledge still be there when they return to seek it? I don’t know if it will, so it is with great care that I do my best to fulfill this inherent feeling of duty, this calling, that through my photography I may lend a voice to those who can’t always speak loud enough for others to listen. What I hope to be heard is, that no matter what the opinion may be of certain rituals or ideals, as a whole these communities, closely tied to the earth, closely tied to the wellbeing of their tribes as a whole, embody a greater happiness and wealth than could ever be found in the isolating madness of the material-driven world. 

.How do theses tribes benefit from your work?
I don’t really think I go there to benefit the tribes specifically, nor am I there to change the way they live or stop them from changing. I don’t think I am anyone to decide who changes and who doesn’t. What might seem like a loss of culture to you and me might be a better way of living for them. More facilities and a brighter future. I am not sure if my work benefits a particular tribe. What I am there to do is honor their culture and preserve a record of it so that it can benefit our whole human family. 

How much time do you spend with a group before you pull out the camera?
I usually spend 3-4 days with the tribe before I take out my camera. However, I use my polaroid sooner.
 
What tools do you use to make sure they don’t feel exploited?
I have a very close bond with every tribe I have photographed. I have made it a point to go back to them and give them back their photographs, do small exhibits for them in their villages. A lot of the people I have photographed have seen themselves on a printed form for the first time. It’s extremely rewarding. Hitting a shutter is only 5% of my job. I feel there’s a lot more than that. I don’t necessarily have any tools. It’s all family for me.
 
Tell us about the other 95%
A lot of research and planning. Finding the right person who speaks the right languages and understands what I do so they can convey my messages to the people I am photographing and get me access to certain places. There’s a lot which happens after I photograph them. I am very sensitive about where my photos go afterward, how are they printed and how are they presented. Their journey doesn’t end till they reach where they belong. 
If the roles were reversed, would you be open in having someone live with you and document you as well?
Yes, absolutely. My life goal is to have an exhibition in a space which has hundreds of portraits of people from around the world on a white backdrop. I want the distractions of culture and geography to fade into the background. I want to have no name tags, no location, no country name and call the exhibition ‘Human.’ Aren’t we all the same in the end? Of course, I would let someone come to my house and let them document my life.

The Daily Edit – Dan Tobin Smith: Alphabetical

- - The Daily Edit

 

 

 

 

Alphabetical:  Dan Tobin Smith 

Heidi: Is there a secret message/anagram in the letter forms you’ve photographed thus far?
Dan: No, but its funny being able to spell more words each time you make a new letter, especially rude ones!

Where did your love of type come from?
I think there is something very satisfying about making the form of type but in reality. The form exists already so in a sense you are just filling in, and that can be done in so many ways.

Typographically what inspired you to create the 16 letters thus far?
They are all Helvetica, although they have been distorted somewhat in their photographic interpretation. I wanted to use a simple font that acted as a conduit for the different treatments. Sometimes there is a reason behind the letter and the content and sometimes there’s no reason apart from visually I thought they would work together.

 

 

All are stunning though I particularly enjoyed the textural and tactile quality of X. How did that specific idea develop?
We (the set designer Nicola Yeoman and I) liked the idea of marking a spot and we thought marking by cutting open would work with wood really well. Once it was done, it presented lots of visual opportunities by changing light and perspective.

Was there a thrill to the destruction into something beautiful for the X?
It was definitely fun watching it take shape from an outline in masking tape!

For your mesmerizing film T, how big of a space did you need for that?  and what was the genesis of this piece?
The space was a railway arch in Shoreditch, East London. The letter T is symmetrical back to front, ie you can flip it horizontally and it looks the same. Because of this I wanted to use the light very specifically so that two different light treatments could be achieved in one moment . This meant it could be filmed from two sides at the same time.

 

What exactly is exploding in that lovely form?
I’m pretty sure it was talcum powder! which is very fine, but wont kill you if you breathe a bit in.

Do you have a favorite font?
I think what I love most about typography is the variation, so pinning down one in particular would be impossible.

The Daily Edit – ESPN: Ramona Rosales

- - The Daily Edit

ESPN

Director of Photography: Karen Frank
Senior Photo Editor:
Kristine LaMana
Creative Director: Chin Wang
Art Director: Eric Paul
Associate Art Director: Linda Root Pouder
Photographer:
Ramona Rosales

Heidi: How did the project develop?
Ramona: Originally I though it was just a shoot with Chloe Kim, the other 2 assignment came later. It was mentioned in the early stages that this was for an Winter Olympics issue and that a female athlete was to be featured, which I believe was a first for the Olympics. I just shot my first Body Issue project with ESPN and was thrilled they considered me for this project since my editors thought it would be a great match.
Tell us about the set design and approach.
I liked the idea was getting her in mid air, so I studied tons of footage of her during competitions and took note of the conditions of the half pipes and environment. There wasn’t very much press or photos out in the world about her (yet), but from what I could find, I wanted to bring her personality and age into the mix and was able to pitch the idea of hoisting her in a harness with this specific body position in mid twist. I was able to present a mock up that ESPN approved and made sure the athlete was comfortable flying with ropes and able to get into the pose. It was risky since she had never done it before but her great attitude and adventurous spirt was into the idea. I collaborated with my set designer to build the top corner section of a halfpipe and chose to create at sunset sky gradation with light on a larger cyc. I didn’t want to go overall girlie with the colors and feel more environmental but also very current in color pallet to tie in her aesthetic.
What were some of the challenges?
Once we got her in the harness, I could see there was going to be challenges since it’s not the most comfortable thing to do and holding a pose can be difficult. I knew we would have little time for this shot, we did it in two 10 minute tries. We got it on the first run luckily, because by the second round you she couldn’t hide the discomfort as easily. We did another 4 set ups, including the halfpipe, cover portraits with variations, trampoline jumps and quick fun loose shots at the end. It was a full day but so rewarding in collaborating with such a fun & amazing athlete with a strong team backing her along with my team & ESPN helping me achieve a great series which forever will be a favorite.
How Important did you think it was for a woman to photograph this?
I don’t think it was necessarily important that a woman photography this project. There was a genuine connection I had with all three of the subjects on our shoots, which I think was the intention  of my editors choosing me for this project along with my style and ability to pull it off. Collaboration and camaraderie with subjects are a high priority in my approach and is a big component that comes through in my work. The collective goal was to present our Olympic Athletes in a strong heroic way without striping away their personalities and only aiming for an authentic point of view, which I believe we successfully delivered.

The Daily Edit – DRIFT Magazine: Dedicated to Everything Coffee

- - The Daily Edit

Cover by Adam Goldberg

Photograph by Fabian Martinez

Photograph by Daniela Velasco

Photographs by Adam Goldberg

Photograph by Adam Goldberg

Photograph by Daniela Velasco

Drift Magazine

Creative Director: Daniela Velasco
Editor: Adam Goldberg

Heidi: How does Drift decide which city to feature?
Daniela: It’s a combination of a few factors. We have a running list of cities we feel have either an established or developing coffee culture. We then look at the list and make an assessment as to which city has the best “coffee story” to tell right now. Feedback from our readers is particularly valuable to us: when there’s overlap in the cities readers suggest, we tend to emphasize those cities. It also helps if we have a personal interest in visiting and learning more about the particular city since we spend so much time there putting together each issue. We also try to vary regions so each Volume of Drift feels very different from the previous one.

Once a city is determined, is all the photography assigned?
Generally, we first plan and assign the written content, using it as a guide to direct the photography. But there are exceptions, for example in Volume 5: Melbourne we ran a piece about the interior design of Australian coffee shops. This piece began with photographs we shot in-house, reaching out to writers afterwards. We love receiving pitches from both photographers and writers, each can lead to interesting, well-developed content.

What do you look for in someone’s work in order to be considered?
We try to hire as many photographers local to the city we are covering as possible. The local perspective is particularly interesting to us. Many contributors are ones who have previously reached out to us. Others are ones we’ve stumbled across on Instagram, who we feel could show a particularly interesting angle. We take photographers’ work seriously: their portfolios should show good use of light, a subtle editing process, an understanding of unique perspectives, creativity, and a strength in the type of coffee and travel lifestyle photos we are looking for.

Do you art direct the shoots and go on location?
We used to take almost all photos in the magazine therefore we would always be on location but as we’ve been growing we’ve been able to hire more local photographers that plan their own shoots following the creative direction we provide in the brief for each city.

What’s been your most memorable cup of coffee thus far?
Probably the “Angel Stain” at Bear Pond Espresso in Tokyo–espresso as thick as maple syrup and dark as ebony. Or perhaps the Natural-process coffees coming out of Yemen, roasted by Oakland’s “Port of Mokha” – but you’ll have to wait for our next issue to read more about that!

The Daily Edit – Kitchen Toke : Frank Lawlor

- - The Daily Edit

Kitchen Toke

Creative Director: Joline Rivera
Photographer: Frank Lawlor


Heidi: Have you worked with Kitchen Toke before?

Frank: I was fortunate enough to work on the inaugural issue of Kitchen Toke. While we had all worked on food editorial projects before, this was the first magazine in the world dedicated to culinary cannabis. While similar in many ways to previous projects, Kitchen Toke presented creative, brand and legal considerations as the cannabis-friendly landscape is continually changing here in the US.

How did they find you, or did you pitch this idea?
I had worked with Joline Rivera, magazine creative director, on previous food projects for US Foods. She asked me if I wanted to help out with photography and video on their first story about Holden Jagger in LA.

What was the biggest challenge for this shoot?
I didn’t quite understand what it was all about at first – I thought he was going to cook with cannabis oils like the other chefs featured in the magazine. Holden is an experienced chef but he doesn’t cook with cannabis, he pairs cannabis strains to smoke along with a meal, much like a wine sommelier. This presented some challenges and opportunities, particularly in the way he prepped meals and rolled joints for guests. Kitchen Toke is a beautiful publication, by no means a typical stoner mag. The Kitchen Toke brand is carefully considered and tastefully executed. The challenge for the entire team was to capture Holden’s entire process while avoiding the urge to take the stereotypical “WHOA DUDE, LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT SPLIFF” shot. Joline’s vision and leadership was clear throughout the shoot, the goal was understood by the entire team: Keep it classy.

Were you an art director first, and then became a photographer?
My creative career is an ongoing disjointed mess of wonderful opportunities. I worked as an illustrator, designer, art director, creative director, photographer – not necessarily in that order. My client list includes large tech companies, small tech startups, fashion brands and charitable organizations. Whatever the client, the work is always better when I understand the story behind the image. I think getting to know the subject matter and the people behind the story is the most rewarding part of the job. Having a camera in your hand gives you an opportunity to learn about people’s motivation for starting a business, their passion for excellence, their fear of failure, everything that makes them interesting. Educated conversation makes the subject feel at ease and multiplies their expressions beyond the uncomfortable smile.   

Tell us about the shoot.
We shot Holden as he shopped for ingredients at the Santa Monica farmers market, as he farmed his marijuana crops, and as he prepped meals in a kitchen. These three very different situations posed challenges, especially on his farm at noon in the southern California sun. I shot with different cameras (Sony A7RII, Canon 1Dx mkII), and used polarizers, scrims, and a variety of lenses. A simple macro lens is a photographers best friend when shooting food, but a fast 35mm adds to the story by showing the environment. While Holden was shopping, cooking or farming, I had to be ready to capture things as they happened. The optimal method is constantly changing, and you have to be prepared. Real life is what makes editorial projects so exciting – the story is most important.    

 

The Coolest New Magazines about Food

- - The Daily Edit

 

For every print publication that dims the lights, another one flicks on the switch. Check out the coolest new magazines that focus on food and the budding cannabis industry and it’s relationship to food. Granted these are not published monthly but needless to say print is alive and well. We are looking forward to bringing you photo stories from some of the issues listed below.

 

 

 

Eaten

Eaten is a lovely magazine focused on everything food history. Published quarterly each new volume is filled with a cornucopia of old recipes, enlightening gastronomic essays, and the fascinating and forgotten tales of the people who have grown, cooked, and enjoyed all things edible over the centuries.

 

 

 

Kitchen Toke


Creative Director: Joline Rivera

Kitchen Toke is the first nationally distributed food magazine focused on exploring and understanding cannabis for recreational and medicinal use. The magazine covers cooking and entertaining seasonally with cannabis along with the chefs and individuals advancing marijuana in food and health. 

 

 

 

Broccoli


Creative Director:  Anja Charbonneau formerly of Kinfolk

Broccoli is an international magazine created by and for women who love cannabis.
Offered free of charge, Broccoli explores and shapes modern stoner culture by looking at cannabis through a global art, culture and fashion lens.

 

Drift

Drift is about coffee, the people who drink it, and the cities they inhabit. Their collection of writers and photographers, alongside coffee shop owners, baristas, streetcar vendors, and patrons, capture a glimpse of what it’s like to drink coffee in a city at the time the magazine is printed. Each issue highlights a different city.

Creative Director: Daniela Velasco

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – 000 Magazine: Justin Page

- - The Daily Edit

 

 

000 Magazine

Editors: Pete Stout, Alex Palevsky
Creative Director: Justin Page

 

Heidi: How did this project come about for you?
Justin: I got a message one day from my childhood best friend whom I hadn’t seen or spoken to in decades. He and his long time associates in the auto magazine game were going to start their own magazine and were looking for an art director. They actually already had someone, but felt like they wanted to look around for just one more option before committing. While they were picking their brains on who that last option might be, Pete (the editor, owner and my long-lost childhood BFF) recalled that a mutual friend of ours, whom I had recently caught up with at a our high school reunion, had told him that she had seen me, and that I was also in the magazine game. In fact, I was an art director at Playboy (at the time). Pete looked me up and hesitantly clicked on my portfolio. That’s when I heard from my long-lost buddy. We spoke about the project, did a lot of catching up, (this went on for months). They had me do a few spec designs based on what they were looking for so they could measure my work up against the person they were already almost working with. We did a couple back and fourths on the fundamentals of the book, mocked up some story designs and they decided to bring me on. Shortly thereafter, Pete and I were working together in his office in Marin developing page templates, type styles and a production plan to launch 000.

How much is assigned and how much is sourced?
It’s a combo. Our goal is to show people images they’ve never seen, so we want to assign as much original art as possible. but we’re also very deep into historical documentation and vintage images that we’re able to source from various collectors and archives. The feel of the book is very much a blend of original and historical. We have a section that is comprised of photographed factory documents, translated from German to English in captions. I love the archival materials, the discoloring of the documents and tones in the old b&w prints look beautiful when you get the combinations right on the page

Since you are a quarterly, are you shooting all your covers? and have they all been shot in one location?
The covers have all been shot on separate locations from Germany to Palm Springs.

Where are you sourcing the vintage images from?
The vintage images come from various collectors and archives. The Porsche factory archive has been incredibly helpful, as they have a number of private collectors, in allowing us to source their personal pieces.

Tell us about the logo design?
The logo design is based on the letterforms of an early iteration of the Porsche insignia: rounded, modern, geometrical. Since the name itself (000) is based on Porsche’s developmental numerology, my guys felt that the Porsche early font style was the right basis for the design. They had done a few font studies, but weren’t quite sure where to take it from there. It seemed to me that they already had the pieces but just needed them dialed in. So I picked it up, went through a few exploratory options trying different flourishes, geometry, color devices and those sorts of things (because that’s what you do) but we ended up going with the single color, underlined trio of rectangular zeros.

How many Porsches have you driven and in one word describe the experience?
I’ve driven 5 or 6 since we started this journey – some on track, some on the back roads of Austin,Texas. My most exciting ride though was as a passenger at the thermal raceway in Palm desert. We work with one of Porsches factory race drivers and he took me out for some hot laps. I think we did about 6 laps at break neck speeds. Every time I looked over, my man was a cool as a cucumber. So what’s the single word that means “it turns out my personal car isn’t that fun after all”?

Are you doing any illustration for the magazine?
I’m not personally doing any illustration for 000. We do work with an illustrator on our build section. In each issue, my editors work up a sort of dream car configuration and have it visualized by an automotive designer. We’ve talked about how to utilize original illustration more, but given the nature of our book, I don’t see too many opportunities. What our readers are really here to see are beautiful photos of cars and genuine artifacts that they haven’t seen anywhere else.

The Daily Edit – Billboard: Joe Pugliese

- - The Daily Edit

Billboard

Creative Director: Shanti Marlar
Photography & Video Director: Jennifer Laski
Co Director of Photography: Jennifer Sargent
Photo Editor: Samantha Xu
Photographer: Joe Pugliese

Heidi: I know the band has a particular aesthetic, did they have any requirements?
Joe: Since this was my third shoot with them, I have sort of gotten to know some of their preferences, but having said that I think they probably prefer to be surprised and maybe like to hear that the photographer has good ideas. It’s hard to know what to expect, which makes it fun and challenging in equal measure.

The band has been heavily photographed, did that fact play into your approach for the shoot? Did you want to do something different that hadn’t been done before, is that even possible?
For sure, they have not only been photographed by all of the top music and portrait photographers over the last decades, but the sheer volume of shoots they have done have made it hard to think that you’re going to wow them with anything that you do. It helped me to not try to mine the archives for inspiration and/or for things to avoid, and just approach it honestly as I would any other shoot. In the end I just wanted to make interesting photos and I wasn’t too hung up on whether it had been done before. I’m not a high concept photographer, and since I started my career in photojournalism, it’s important to me to just build a world they can be in and shoot organically once they are in it rather than have exact compositions and arrangements in mind beforehand.

What made this shoot unique as you’ve got a stellar gallery of subjects.
The most unique thing about shooting U2 is how much I respect their creative output and the fact that Bono especially is incredibly involved in the process (in a very good way). He’s a tough critic and it can be hard to hear when he doesn’t like something, but it always leads to better images because he cares enough to communicate what he thinks is and isn’t working. The challenge of this of course is that if the magazine is not involved in this conversation, a cover edit can be made that does not align exactly with the band favorites. It puts me in a difficult situation because while I definitely take their preferences into account, the magazine has other needs and we can’t kill an entire setup if it’s not the band’s favorite. The previous shoot I did with U2 was for their own publicity and they had final say in the images, so I think it was a bit of an adjustment to shoot again for editorial where the magazine really had final say in cover choice from what we shot (and what I turned in).

Did you play music on set?
Haha. Good question. It’s definitely not easy choosing music on any set, but music legends make it even tougher. When I showed up on set in the morning the props department had already put on a U2 Pandora station that was fun for a few minutes but obviously the last thing we would ever play during the shoot! Luckily one of my NYC assistants makes amazing Spotify playlists and we played a mix of classic R&B and funk that seemed to work well.

How long did you have with the band; what was your interaction like?
We had about 90 minutes to do 2 cover tries, two spreads, and singles of each of the four members twice (two looks for singles). See above for interaction

How did you prepare for this?
I started conversation with Jenny Sargent, the photo director at Billboard, and discussed some approaches to the shoot. Jenny suggested that we work with the set designer Shawn Patrick at Acme Studios in NYC and he and I came up with some great ideas together. I would start on an idea for a look and he would riff on different ways to achieve it and we went back and forth from there. He was really key in putting together some of my loose ideas and making them into the final set we ended up with. Even on the day of the shoot we tweaked the set and he made suggestions to make it have more depth, etc. He suggested a single neon light in the background and together we decided that two vertical lights of different colors could provide us with a lot of options especially for the singles. It’s fun to be open to collaboration on something like this, I feel that if I was too rigid about my initial ideas, I could have missed out on some of my favorite images of the day.

 

The Daily Edit – Portland Monthly: Holly Andres

- - The Daily Edit

Portland Monthly

Art Director: Mike Novak
Fashion Editor: Eden Dawn 
Writer: Margaret Seiler
Photographer:
Holly Andres

Heidi: How difficult was it to reach Tonya?
Margaret: There are a lot of fake sites and fan sites for Tonya Harding that claim to be official, but I found one that seemed like it might actually be connected to her, and had been emailing a contact I found there every few months for more than a year. I wanted to talk to her about growing up in Portland and her life today, not rehash “the incident.” I had read and seen plenty of interviews with her and knew her responses on that tended to sound kind of canned and repetitive. With the movie coming out at the end of 2017, we were finally cleared to set up an interview in October. Since we were all in such close proximity we made arrangements to watch her skate at her regular rink just over the river, with an interview and photo shoot to follow at a nearby country club.

Why did you choose  Holly?
We hired local talent Holly Andres, who has made a career out of telling complex emotional stories through her photography. We photographed Tonya Harding in the club members’ private wine room.

How did the styling direction unfold?
Her manager suggested our style editor, Eden Dawn, just take Tonya shopping at the mall for something to wear. But Eden and I wanted her to look like a movie star. I could remember seeing images of her on TV when I was a skating-obsessed kid (well before “the incident”), and it had often seemed like people had gone out of their way to get unflattering shots or to cast her as a certain type of character. There are people who view her as a villain, a hero, an antihero, a rebel, a criminal, washed-up—in Portland, where she’s from, a lot of people had had encounters with her and had their own varying views. We wanted to transcend all that and just show her looking really beautiful, befitting the red carpets she now finds herself on with the award attention for I, Tonya. Earlier that day our art director, Mike Novak, had gone to Eden’s house to jump-start her car, and just after I left the rink I got a message that it was dead again. “Can Tonya jump you?” I texted Eden. “She’s kind of a gear head.” I made a U-turn to rejoin Eden, and was just digging the jumper cables out of my car when Harding and her friend emerged from the rink. I was embarrassed to not know where my Volvo’s battery was or where the cables connected, so we definitely needed their help. Tonya had her friend pull up next to Eden, and then she leaned under her hood to put the clamps in place.

Tell us about Tonya on set as this is a coming out of sorts for her.
Hair and make-up shared some of Tonya’s experiences as a kid living in not-quite-Portland. Sheri could even talk hunting with her. (There also may have been a few cocktails involved.) Tonya said she felt like a movie star, just like Marilyn Monroe. We told her to look up pictures of Veronica Lake when she got home. Tonya really wanted to keep it, but it was most definitely not in our budget. She had to settle for keeping the heels she wore with it, which Eden had picked up at Target. In the end, even though it was an all-day event, the actual shooting had to happen very quickly due to time taken up by the interview, hair and makeup, and dead car batteries. We probably had about an hour of actual shooting time before we had to break down the set and be out of the country club.

Tonya told us we were the first media people she’d consented to talk to in a long time, and the end of the day was all tears and hugs and thanks for treating her with such kindness and respect. Since the movie came out, she’s done loads of other interviews inspiring plenty of similar stories, so maybe we were her gentle entrée back into the spotlight.

The Daily Edit – Golfer’s Journal: Tom Shaw

- - The Daily Edit

 

 


The Golfer’s Journal

Art Director: Jim Newitt
Photo Editor: Grant Ellis
Photographer: Tom Shaw

Heidi: What was different about this course that was a challenge for you to photograph?
Tom: The biggest challenge with this course was the Wind and the light. The course, and this particular hole, is quite exposed so you get your share of wind and rain. I love this kind of wild weather though – it feels good to spend a day walking in it.

Did you purposely choose to shoot more end of day?
Yes I did. I tend to plan these shoot around and evening and a morning – this gives me two chances at getting the best light. I was lucky as an old school friend lived within yards of the course so I stayed with him and had a very short walk to the course.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
They explained about the detail of the course and pretty much gave me free reign to shoot it in all its elements – from wide DPS views to the fine detail such as the cut grass. Because Summer in Scotland the late evening light lasts so long (almost until 10pm), I had plenty of time to really walk the hole and see all the details.

When you are approaching such a legendary course which is heavily photographed, is your process any different?
I don’t really do much research – I’m not the biggest golf fan, but I am a fan of the landscape in which it sits, so I won’t look at other pictures, as I need to see how and where the light is, and I want to see it with fresh eyes.

I enjoyed your sporting landscape gallery, would you say these image fall into that category or does there need to be some type of architectural element to anchor the image.
These Images do fall into the sporting landscape category, but I feel that they do need people in the image to give it scale and context. Some of the images do have that and I think that it is important. But this image is shot with a specific brief to be about the hole, not the people. In some of my other work with surfing and cycling – the people play a very small but important part in the image as it is all about scale and context.

This kind of work – the sporting landscapes – is pretty new to me as I have spent a lot of my career shooting athletes and sporting events, but this is going back to shooting what I love, landscapes. I grew up in Scotland and my love of photography started by being out in the hills and mountains, and seeing the light dance across the hills. I’m looking to combine these two passions of sport and landscape so it seemed a natural progression to shoot this way.

The Daily Edit – AFAR: Dina Litovsky

- - The Daily Edit

AFAR

Director of Photography: Tara Guertin
Art Director: Jason Seldon
Assistant Photo Editor: Rachel McCord
Photographer: Dina Litovsky

Heidi: How do you approach travel stories?
Dina: I always like to do a fair amount of research beforehand. That involves reading up about its culture, people and landmarks. A useful place to start is past travel articles, which are also great for initial photo research. Looking at previous images of a city both gives me an idea of what to expect as well as what to avoid. It’s fun to be seduced by certain things when at a new location – everything seems exciting – but then it’s very easy to unwittingly repeat existing images of an over-photographed place/landmark. 

Once on location, I like to have a first day where I walk around the city only with an iPhone, getting a feel for the city and making quick images of locations where I’d like to come back to.

In certain cultures locals are leery of being photographer, how do you deal with this?
Learning the rules of that culture and respecting them. Even if there is no big language barrier, I like having a local guide who can help me navigate the intricacies of unspoken street rules.

How many days was your shoot.
6 days.

Do you give yourself an extra day to fill in any gaps or round out the full narrative?
I try to do that as much as possible with each assignment. I always start editing my work after the first couple of days, during which I allow myself to shoot on instinct. After that, I approach the shoot with more intent, filling in the gaps daily and fleshing out the story. 

 
 

 

The Daily Edit – Powder Magazine: Tal Roberts

- - The Daily Edit

Powder Magazine

Photography Director: David Reddick
Art Director: Tyler Hartlage
Photographer:
Tal Roberts

Heidi: Who were you photographing for this story?
Tal: I joined three siblings, McKenna, Axel, and Dylan Peterson who happen to all be amazing skiers for a road trip through Southern Idaho with a plan to ski some of the smaller ski hills where you can still get a lift ticket for under $50. I got the chance to do the assignment because I had lived in Sun Valley, Idaho for a long time and had been a regular contributor to Powder.

What type of direction did you get from the magazine?
Drive around to these smaller ski hills, get a feel for the area, ski with the locals, and show that you can still find great places to ski for under $50 in the age of the $100 plus lift tickets.

Tell us about the opening spread image, how did that come about?
That shot is from an early morning at Pebble Creek Ski Area. On the shot before this I had the skier make a turn really close to me, and because it was really cold the snow was spraying up really high and got all over the front of my lens. Since the sun was still really low I decided to leave the snow on the lens and try a backlit shot next which creates that aperture shape print on the image.

What is going on in the shot with the snow explosion, was that luck?
The snow exploding like that isn’t really luck. It’s a result of communication with the skier to know where and how they are going to make their turn and having a good idea of what the snow condition is like and how it will react. Where we did get lucky was with the light. On our first chairlift ride up the mountain lightning struck an electrical tower really close to the chairlift while we were on it and shut down power to the whole mountain for a few minutes. When the chair began to move again we had ski down and stay in the lodge for the next hour until the thunder and lightning passed. The wind blew the storm clouds away and when we got back on slope this was the first image we shot.

How many takes for the shot with the nice line and the basin down below?
Just one, but I shot it in high-speed continuous mode so I had a few to pick fro

How many days a year do you ski and do you deliberately ski/train to garner these types of shoots?
Counting days that I was shooting and days just riding for fun I think I was on snow around 40-45 days last season. That’s a bit lower than it used to be since I used to live in Sun Valley, Idaho 2 minutes from the chairlift and now I live in Portland, Oregon. I wouldn’t say I train directly for shoots like this, but I do work to stay fit as it helps out a ton when hiking and riding with a heavy camera pack on. I wouldn’t really look at this as training either, but I have done years and years of snowboarding and without that experience I wouldn’t really be able to keep up and navigate more difficult terrain that we often shoot on. For example, this week I have been in British Columbia on a heli-skiing shoot in pretty wild, remote terrain with some of the deepest snow I have ever ridden, which would be a major struggle without a bit of experience in the backcountry.

The Daily Edit – DestinAsian: Jeremy Samuelson

- - The Daily Edit

 

DestinAsian

Editor in Chief and Photo Director: Christopher Hill
Photographer:
Jeremy Sameulson


Heidi: Did you travel with the writer?
Jeremy: The writer did not join us but instead I traveled with my family, though not on the shoot of course.

 

Is the magazine both print and digital?
Yes

Are you familiar with Chiang Mai?
I lived in Chiang Mai for 4 years when my kids were younger, we took them there so they would have a bigger world view. We knew no one,  we just arrived with 2 suitcases apiece (2 kids and wife) and made it work. I would commute back and forth to the USA for shoots. I did do some magazine shoots while there and hence had a relationship with the magazine but really it was a place for personal work. The timing just happened to be right when they asked about my availability for the shoot, as I was planning a visit anyway.  We still have a small place there and are starting to spend time there again as my kids are off to college.

What inspired you about this shoot?
A
s you know magazine budgets are low (especially in SE Asia ) but stories like this are one of the reasons I became a photographer. It gives you an opportunity to meet people and places that you would otherwise never meet or see, especially in a foreign country.

Tell us about the color treatment in these images.
The color effect was done in camera with gels not in post and is a technique I’ve been playing with for awhile, it’s influenced by James Welling and his work at the Glass House.

Did you have any language barriers?
I used a Thai assistant for some of the shoots as my thai skills are not very good, it is a tonal language and quite hard to master. 
But these artists are working on the international level and were often quite english proficient. 

How did you integrate with the community while you were there?
While I lived there I had a column in a local expat magazine, Chiang Mai Citylife, called Ti Naa ( face, in english) 
where I did double page spread of portraits( large face shots done in my little studio) of  interesting Thai people. For example, Miss Chiang Mai ( beauty queen), local singers and artists, the head monk for all of Chiang Mai province. Below is a jewelry designer I photographed. Again it served as a way for me to meet people whose paths I would never cross,  especially there.

 

 

 

The Daily Edit – The Big Life: Nick Kelley

- - The Daily Edit

Big Life


Editor: Ryan Waterfield
Creative Director: Britt Johnson
Photographer:
Nick Kelley


Heidi: How did the story come about since it was a collection of stock images?
Nick: Big Life, a magazine based in Sun Valley, Idaho, reached out as they were hoping to do a feature on my longtime girlfriend, Maddie Brenneman, who is a fly fishing guide in Colorado. As a photographer, and after 12 years together, I have quite a large archive of Maddie images. I’ve shot her for some commercial projects over the years but I’m also always taking pictures during our travels, which are more often than not focused on fishing.

As opposed to doing a concentrated, one-time shoot, I think Ryan Waterfield (Editor) and Britt Johnson (Creative Director) of Big Life liked the idea of having images of Maddie from all over the world—especially since the photos already existed.

Did you submit a wide edit to the magazine or did you pitch this as a package?
The creative director, Britt, had actually flagged a few images from Maddie’s instagram and my website that she was interested in running and we went back and forth a bit from there. In the end, I think we were working from a selection of about 20 images that they made their final selection from.

Are you always shooting stock with these projects in mind?
When I’m shooting outdoor activities, I certainly make an effort to shoot with brands and future usage in mind. Outdoor brands seem to always be looking for imagery of their latest gear in the field and they often want several options, angles, and setups based on where and when the images are being used. Maddie also has a handful of sponsors through her large following on Instagram and work as a guide, so I know some of those companies are always looking for images of her using their gear.

Was this all done during one trip with your girlfriend?
No, the images that made the final cut were a mixture of images from Argentina, Colorado, and New Zealand.

 

The Daily Edit – Bon Appétit: Dominique Lafond

- - The Daily Edit

Bon Appetit

Photo Director: Alex Pollack 
Photo Editor: Elizabeth Jaime
Photographer: Dominique Lafond

 

 

Heidi: How many days did you have to shoot this project?
Dominique: The magazine gave me the assignment a few weeks in advance so I could schedule the restaurant visits to my liking. I really wanted to take my time on this one: Montréal is my city, I already knew most of the restaurateurs and LOVE their restaurants. It was important to me that the photos showed them in the best light possible, I didn’t want to rush anything.
It took me 8 days to complete my visits. Shoots in restaurants need to be carefully scheduled when you have to shoot dishes: you don’t want to bother any clients so you have to arrange to shoot the food when the place is empty. I then stayed longer to capture the restaurants in action.

What specific direction did you get from the magazine?
Bon Appétit gave me a list of 12 restaurants + dishes to shoot in every place. I also had to shoot busy interiors, details, etc. They already knew I would give them a lot of choices since we had worked together before (I sent them about 600 photos for this shoot). I also had to be careful about the season: the shoots took place in September and the story was coming out in winter.
The exterior shoots (ice skating) were taken last winter.

How much directing are you doing during the shoots?
The directing only happens on the food shots when I have time to decide where every element will go.
There’s no directing on the people shots: I only ask them to continue about their business as if I wasn’t there. I’m also very careful not to disturb any client and work very discreetly.

Are you turning in all your edits with captions?
The magazine only asks the captions for the photos they take to be published.

How did the magazine find you, did you send them promos?
I have been a Bon Appétit collaborator for about 8 years now. They found me when they were looking for a photographer in Montréal. We have worked together a few times over the years, always on shots where I had to capture food and the spirit on the places/restaurants.

Did you submit black&white and color?
I always like to mix color and b&w photos in projects so I included a few b&w options when I sent the selection. I’m very happy they kept the idea and used both in the article!

 

The Daily Edit: The New York Times Sunday Magazine: Christopher Griffith

- - The Daily Edit

The New York Times Sunday Magazine


Design Director: Gail Bichler
Director of Photography: Katherine Ryan
Art Director: Matt Willey
Deputy Photo Editor: Jessica Dimson
Associate Photo Editors: Stacey Baker, Amy Kellner, Christine Walsh
Photographer: Christopher Griffith

Heidi: You shot Sean Hannity for the cover of the NY Times magazine? Where did the shoot happen and what was the mood on set?
Christopher: We set up an entire studio on the set of the Hannity show at Fox News in midtown Manhattan. Since we were shooting for the NY TIMES there was initially the sense of entering the belly of the beast, but frankly that was our own bias as everyone was incredibly accommodating and pleasant.

I really had no idea what to expect. I have on occasion watched Hannity show with all its accouterments and became increasingly on edge with every minute that passed as we awaited Mr Hannity’s arrival. I found myself pacing all over his TV set that could easily be mistaken for The NFL Today. Sean finally burst into his set an hour late with a ready to go attitude that I must admit was a relief. His duality of frat boy charm and bravado gave me the sense it could change at the drop of a hat, but at that moment I felt I might get something decent out of him.

From the moment he sat down, he is off and running. We had built a table for Sean to ‘lean in’ on and lean in he did. I am sitting no more than 3 ft from him when he leans in and says ‘Right… so you want to get up in my grill’? Indeed I do and off we go. It is a rapid fire frenzy. At 3-4 frames per second bursts, I could barely keep up. I had told all involved on set that we were shooting untethered as the computer can’t keep up, when in truth I just did not want any preying eyes, nor opinions. 29 minutes and 700+ images later Sean walks out and turns to Kathy Ryan and Stacy Baker and says, ‘I have done this a lot over the past 30 years and this is the best guy I have ever worked with’

It rang as a sort of complement, not dissimilar to certain candidates on the campaign trail fishing for local endorsements.

Were you surprised by his reaction to the cover once the published story was released?
So, yeah. He clearly would appear to not have loved the cover; so much for compliments? He complained about it for days and there were multiple knocks on articles I turned up on-line. I found myself listening to his show 2 days after the cover had gone live and he mentioned the cover and the ‘liberal media bias’ 3 times in half an hour. Maybe it is me who is naive. I thought he might love it, because a lot of his followers did. I can understand that he might personally not love the image as it might not be an image that you care to live with forever, but this was business. He either does not understand his brand identity, or he understands it well and has used this cover as a means to attack the assumed liberal media bias and thus only strengthen his appeal to those ears that are listening.

What is interesting about this cover is the extended coverage it got in the press due to his complaints. Do you think he has a justified complaint, or was he scaling the exposure by complaining?
When I initially saw the image in question in my initial edit, I imagined it could be a front-runner for the cover as it personifies a significant part of Hannity’s media persona. The cover illustrates the power of a photograph when compared to motion. Hannity gesticulates this kind intensity to camera at some point of his program each and every week. These moments are fleeting and live solely in our memories.  The beauty of a photograph and maybe this cover image is that it captures an accurate depiction of his on-screen character and what is a major component of his viewer appeal.

My take on his reaction against the published images is that he is either super naive or he is kind of clever. I am leaning to the latter because he has got a bunch of liberal media bashing out of it. His reaction has been all about how he has been depicted as angry and that this is all part of the liberal media bias against conservatives. That said, I might be over thinking, it might just be vanity.

I’ve read that he feels he was misled. Once you sit for an editorial image, the subject takes part in the creation of the image, it’s a collaborative process.
All things said and done, and whatever your opinion is of Sean Hannity, he was in no way manipulated or misled by anyone. He gave a performance and a very good one at that. As Director of Photography Kathy Ryan has said ‘We have never seen anyone so animated during a photo shoot’. Maybe it was my brilliance as a photographer in making him so comfortable, but sadly I think not. I actually think it had little to do with me. He knew exactly what he was up against and what he was giving to us as a portrayal of his character. If he wanted to play it safe, he would have done so. He gave me (us) everything… and I for one think he did on purpose. He might not like it, but it is totally accurate. And he knows it.

The Daily Edit – Sassoon Dock Art Project: Akshat Nauriyal

- - The Daily Edit

 

 

 

St+Art / Sassoon Dock Art Project


Content Director and Photographer:
   Akshat Nauriyal
Assistant Photographer: Pranav Gohil

St+art Urban Art Festival has transformed Mumbai’s Sassoon docks Mumbai’s oldest fishing community into an exhibition space with graffiti and art installations. Their mantra is ‘Art for All’ aims to showcase art projects in public spaces making art accessible, removing the experience from conventional gallery space and embedding it within our cities making art truly democratic and for everyone. Arjun Bahl, co found and festival director said, “the whole idea was to bring art to a certain sect of the community who usually don’t interact with art.” A photo installation in association with the Inside Out Project covers the warehouse walls as you enter the show.

Started by French artist JR, the “Inside Out Project” celebrates local identities and stories using large-format street paste-ups. In this case, roughly 300 blown-up portraits of locals were pasted on the warehouse walls and shot by photographer and artist Akshat Nauriyal who is also a cofounder of the St+art India Foundation, along with assistance from Pranav Gohil.

“When we approached the dock workers for the Inside Out project, there was some mistrust. Many photographers and journalists had come before us and misrepresented the people, only focussing on the lack of hygiene and the indoctrination of children in the economy, while missing all the amazing things the place stood for. We got in touch with community leaders to help gain their trust and make the people understand the project through them. We created a pop-up studio in one of the empty rooms in the dock itself so we could maximize on the number of portraits we could make since the people all spent their day there working.  Initially no one came, but slowly some people started tricking in. As word spread about the studio though, people started pouring in and eventually we made over 350 portraits of the various fishermen and women communities of the Sassoon dock,” says Akshat about the project.

Heidi: Tell us how this idea developed, I know you were poised to take a boat ride with one of the fishermen.
Akshat: Initially as part of my research I was excited about the prospect of going on a boat with the fishermen. I’ve always followed a gonzo approach to my stories and wanted to truly immerse myself in the lives of other people.  I made friends with some fishermen who offered to take me with them.  I got up at 4 am and prepared for my journey. It would be a hard and grueling experience and I wanted to be prepared for the worst so I carried supplies of extra batteries, water, power bank and even food, incase we got marooned in the middle of the sea.

Armed with all these and ready to go on the boat Pranva and I arrived at the dock only to be told that the fisherman was busy selling fish and hence would not be able to take us anymore. So with that my dreams of being a fisherman came crashing down. But instead of going back, I decided to spend the morning at the dock, my first of many such mornings and spent time talking to people and understanding the different layers in the micro economy. This would become an important part of my visual and content research.

I also immediately noticed was that the docks were dominated by women, dominant women. They were the peelers, porters, buyers and sellers. They were as fierce and assertive as the men around, most times even more. Which kind of also put into perspective how women are more than equals in shared public space and yet we cast this impression of the weaker sex upon them. This was a major takeaway from that days for me.

After many such mornings, I met with community leaders regularly to understand of the space. And what emerged was that the space had 3 main communities who were dominant in the I and had been so for decades. These were the Koli Fishermen (they went out to catch the fish) , the Banjaras (men help in hauling the fish off boats while he women help in peeling and transporting) and the Hindu Marathas (they cart the fish). These three communities would become the main focus of our project.

What surprised you the most about this project?
There were many surprises;  from the complexities of the space which I experienced first hand and how different they were from everything I had researched online. Most of what I read before alluded to the Koli’s being the most significant community, almost the only significant community at the docks. But upon reaching and doing on ground research, the reality was a lot more different from what I had initially imagined.  The reactions were also surprising. Most people were very happy with the project, many identifying their friends and relatives from the community. But the most surprising reaction was one day I was told that some Banjara ladies were unhappy with the project. I immediately went to the dock.

They had reservations on their photos being next to a man who was not their husband. I told them that when they work in the dock, they all work together – men and women as equals. In those moments it doesn’t matter if the man next to them is their husband or not, which is exactly what we wanted to represent through the paste-up. Eventually I even offered to remove the paste-up because if the people whom I intended to represent through the project were not happy with it, then the project was futile. All the ladies immediately asked me to continue and gave me their blessings.

How did you evolve creatively?
Documentary, as a format for me is a chance to have a unique experience. It is a way of getting  access into people lives and scenarios. It is an insight into a completely different knowledge pool, of insight about life, which I try to access through the people and document- more as a means to understand how people perceive life and exist in the world around them, which I hope to learn from for my own life.

This project was a culmination of all the work I have done in my life in many different capacities. I started as a drummer playing drums for bands in the independent music scene in India. That led me to documenting many of the emerging subcultures I saw around me in Delhi more than a decade back, and that was done from within those communities as a part of the scenes . I’ve done portraiture and fashion work and also several ngo/ community based projects and eventually I founded this public art foundation.  I feel in a way everything up till now was a learning process to be able to do this project.

I like my work to be a true representation of the people I document and hopefully I have been able to do so with this project. I have met many wonderful people as a result who have welcomed me into their lives giving me an insight into worlds I would never have access to, and the honest and genuine connections I have made will go with me through my life. The portraits may not stay forever, and may not really impact their lives directly. But for me, in a city of stars, where only celebrities are glorified on large hoardings, the memory of seeing their own face blown up on the facades of buildings they themselves work in, and inhabit, will hopefully be something they keep with them forever. In the city of Bollywood, where one usually has to be a celebrity or a famous person to be on a large size poster, the representation of the everyday workers of Sassoon was a way of acknowledging them and letting them know that they all matter and are of value and are the real stars, irrespective of their standing in society.