Early in my career I was very fortunate to be aligned with extraordinarily talented and connected people. Partnering with up-and-coming magazines and publications, talented makeup artists and unique personalities provided me with a never ending set of opportunities for creative photo shoots.
It also helped that, at that time, downtown warehouse spaces were so reasonably priced that even a rough studio could be located near the heart of Minneapolis. It was easy to meet interesting people by just walking down the street. And that I did.
I met Rana through a mutual friend and colleague. She was a working actress, which I find to be the best subjects to work with. I found her striking.
The most interesting, talented young people move fast. So as a photographer you have to move fast and get them into the studio before they vanish to another city or thin air.
We did two shoots together. This was our first one. I don’t think it was possible to take a bad photo of her. Every frame was good but I found this image to be the “one”. I wish we could have done more work together but…
For all the techies: I used a Pentax 6×7, Plus-x film, Broncolor mono-lights, one with a soft box and one small umbrella – both to camera left.
This is Sonya. My muse and one of my favorite art models. She inspired me every time we shot. Even if we planned a certain shot often something else would happen as well. It was always a surprise. This image was captured on a beautiful fall day with a Pentax 67, 165mm lens with Tri-x film.
Watching movies and Tv throughout my life I always noticed strong light and shadow that emanated from windows. Especially light filtered through venetian blinds. I often thought it was funny on Tv shows that had this kind of splash of light from venetian blinds but no reference to a window. Sometimes they would appear in a room that couldn’t have windows. It must have been a lighting designer’s joke to see if anyone was paying attention.
From the very beginning of my photo career as an independent commercial photographer I gravitated to what I then referred to as Hollywood Style lighting. Not for my corporate work but in my personal approach to portraits. I felt that this style. I am returning to that style of lighting but now I refer to it as Noire.
Hopefully in the future I will be able to create images that evoke hazy, dark rooms with streaks of light that reveal the subject matter in a a mysterious Noire way.
This is Michelle. I met her through a makeup artist, which happened a lot. Michelle had a really cool studio full of vintage stuff. At the time I was often carrying a long set of venetian blinds and a faceable spot light to shine through them. It was hard to get believable light if there wasn’t enough room to work. This time it worked out.
About this Image
This was shot on daylight Ektachrome. I liked shooting these type of images with tungsten lamps and daylight film to get a certain warm color. Now, in Photoshop, the image can be desaturated and controlled by me, not a lab.
One of my early clients was NuVo for Hair salon. The owner, Gina Zaffarano, gave me some very nice opportunities to showcase my creativity. Most of the time we would shoot NuVo’s ads on location but I wanted to do a studio portrait of Gina. I thought she had a Hollywood face. In this photo she reminds me a little of Judy Garland.
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.