I have control issues. I love the thrill of putting together all aspects of a shoot…once we’re finished with the photos. Finding the right model, perfect location, choosing wardrobe and accessories, playing with lighting, selecting the right lenses, and perfecting the processing, I really don’t think anyone knows how many decisions go into each and every photo. Or what photographers actually DO, which is so much more than pressing the shutter. As intensely introverted as I am, the bigger the team we have to assemble the more stressed out I become. Stressed that people will be late, or cancel or get sick, or just be off their game, which is why it’s so intensely satisfying to complete a shoot like this one.
Porsha Terry is one of the best young models in Philadelphia. With her strong features that totally transform in photos, to her body which is a perfect combination of long angles and feminine curves, she is not only one of the hardest working and committed young models I know, but a consummate professional in every way. Porsha will never be late, will never be unprepared, and will always give 110%. She answers all of my excessive messages and is totally a part of making our vision happen. After 2 great shoots with her including a test shoot at Race Street Pier and a stunning nature Holi Powder shoot, I knew we had to step up our game. I contacted our friends Tattooed Mom, one of our favorite indoor locations, covered in graffiti, vintage furnishings, and some beautiful diffused light from the upstairs windows. In doing a little internet inspiration research, I came across some photos of Grace Jones in the 80’s, which reminded me of Porsha. Psydde Delicious of Delicious Boutique instantly saw our vision, offered to style the shoot and put together some amazing wardrobe and accessories loaded with their signature leather, torn edges and hardware, bad ass short jackets, hip hugging belts and leggings that look as though you were poured into them. Zarah Arlene did double duty as hair and makeup artist. (And for the record, anyone who can do both is absolutely invaluable at shoots). The blue, black and white wig she MADE by hand completely took the shoot into a whole surreal Studio 54 vibe that was just the bonus which makes collaboration the key. And the ombre lips? Don’t get me started. Makeup so flawless that you don’t have to touch it in post production makes me all giddy. Psydde’s assistant, and corset maker Bridgett Farrell rounded out the location team brilliantly. She took total control of all things clothing, helping Porsha change, draping belts perfectly on a hip, flaring out the hood on a leather hooding, a total pro who’s attention to detail allowed us to focus (literally) on the photography.
I’m in love with the photos Paul and I captured. A young, fresh, modern take on high fashion punk, with a healthy nod to Grace Jones and CBGBs without being a bad imitation. Porsha fearlessly transitioned from one look to the next, as Paul and I played with some of our favorite elements, urban decay, street art, nudity and fashion, while managing to create totally editorial and commercial shots, even taking time for Paul to set up some totally cool composite photos and his first attempt at working with levitation. So take a look and enjoy! And please feel free to like and share. We kind of live for that.