Inspiration and Creation Behind Menswear Fashion Shoot

So how did this even start?

First, there was an email. I was contacted by Alex (model) about collaborating on a shoot. When it comes to fashion, I have to have a theme or concept so I asked if he had any ideas in mind. He sent me some of the following photos that inspire him...

Then it hit me. Literally, it just took an understanding of his direction and I flew with it.

These photos, to me, had very common themes: relaxed, effortless, and masculine. And for some reason, the FIRST thought in my head was -- musician/song-writer concept.

#1.) Concept - done

#2.) Inspirational board - Piano. I couldn't get that idea out of my head so I did some research. And that's when I found the glorious session with Robert Pattinson on Vanity Fair. Hey, hey, I'm calling the CONCEPT glorious -- not Pattinson boy.

k, done!

#3.) Make it happen. Find creative team, location, pick a date, and organize the little details (props, info sheet, etc.). Making it happen is sometimes the hardest part :)

The creative team only consisted of one other person aside from me (photographer) and Alex Lasheen (model)... Alexandra Evjen. Alexandra of AVE Styles was incredibly important to this shoot. A stylist, even when it's not a fashion shoot, solidifies the concept and picks articles of clothing that will enhance not only the theme, but the individual wearing the clothes (and as a result.. the photos!). I was blessed to have such a hard working and dedicated team.

Once I got permission from Geoff Trachtenberg to use his breath-taking home -- I was ready to go!

.... Well, almost.

The video. This is a bit hard to explain because Jose himself has asked me "where do you get these ideas from?" And the truth is, it's deep in my nature to be a story teller. I mean, that's the epitome of my photography. What I CAN explain is that the only way you can make this happen is with a storyboard.

Going off of my "musician/song-writer" character, I already knew the emotions I wanted Alex Lasheen to portray. He's a frustrated, in love, song-writer that dresses savvy without even trying. And he plays the guitar. I WISH I had a piano, but hey -- it worked out with the "effortless" idea. The plot line came to me from the character concept: a day in the life of this musician who struggles to write a song.

The next important element to this storyline is MUSIC. And that, my friends, is a personal thing. Driving home when I was in high school, I would glance at my rear view mirror and pretend I was part of a music video. Oh, the ideas I had. When music came on in my car, it just penetrated my emotions so strongly. My secret wish... to film a music video. I never in my wildest dreams imagined I could get this close with a photography camera. Staying up late with Jose and spending another set of hours the next day -- I found James Blake. When I heard the song, the images started to just POUR into my brain. I was already creating the video!

I wrote everything down. Model wakes up, messes with hair, shots of him on bed. Model starts to get ready for his day, etc., etc. Why I chose to film it the way I did? That's just my style. Intimate, up close, and with a shallow depth of field. I am constantly thinking about transition shots as well -- this is KEY to piecing a story together.

Once Alexandra showed me the outfits she styled for Alex, I could adjust my storyline based on her selection. However, keep in mind that this structure is to allow the concept to grow organically. I simply guided it -- just like my photoshoots. You set the mood, and the moment unravels itself. Do not force anything.

So... that's how this whole project evolved. How my ideas evolve. Hopefully that gave you some insight into my creation of a photoshoot :)

(In case you missed it yesterday, make sure to visit Monday's post with the fashion video :)