This image was made early in my photo career and as a business owner. A lot of people I knew were starting businesses at the same time and often we would help each other by lending our skills to build our businesses. Sometimes I would do something for no fee if the result seemed worth it.
Mike Olson is a composer who was one of these new start-ups in the creative industry. He came to me with a great idea and something few people have: access to an unusual place to shoot. In this case a power plant on the Mississippi River in St. Paul. It was a simple shoot to execute but access to the location made the resulting image so compelling. It’s worth pointing out that this photo was done before photoshop was around. Because of the type of lighting I used it seems like it could have been composited using a computer. It was entirely done on location and in camera.
This was Mike’s first effort as art director. This photo was used on a poster for one of his performances.
Cityscapes, or what I call the urban landscape, is a departure from what I usually photograph, which is people. I have been experimenting with portraits in natural light but with a studio feel. This kind of shooting required that I work with less (equipment) and work within the constraints of being lightweight and simple set of photo gear.
This led me to an interest in photographing the urban landscape. For me, this subject matter ranges from wide shots of many tall buildings to the close up drama or banality of a street corner. I try to capture the pathos of the location and the moment.
Cheryl Nick is one of the best make up artists I knew then and to this day. One day she brought to my studio an extraordinary young woman who had beauty and drive.
Stephanie did Marilyn Monroe impersonations and was a very popular model.
All three of us worked together quite a bit until Cheryl moved to LA. After that, Stephanie and I continued to work together doing Hollywood-style portraits and some fashion.
The file of negatives I have of Stephanie is the thickest of anyone I have photographed.
For this portrait I used a 1K focusable spot on her face and a 500 watt spot on the background. To create the shadows on her face and in the background I used a combination of strips of foamboard and a plant I had in the studio.