My photo assistant Kentaro Minami had a personal project taking polaroids of photographers. A couple of months after he took my polaroid I asked him to see his project. Kentaro brought me a photo album. Leafing through the pages I found my picture flanked by portraits of photographers Bruce Davidson and Stephen Shore. Talking about being surrounded by greatness! I was quite flattered!
During my fashion and beauty shoots I have a good amount of downtime. It never ceases to amaze me how much time it takes to make beautiful women beautiful… talking about hair and makeup. For most shoots I allocate one to two hours for my team to prep the model for set… sometimes more, depending on how complicated the look is. This leaves me time to have some fun.
I have been documenting the process of prepping the models using my Holga (a plastic toy medium format film camera) and my newest camera body, a Toyo Robos (large format 4×5″ sheet film view camera).
The Holga is a blast to shoot with. You don’t know what you are going to get, focus, exposure, light leaks, etc, but that random effect is what makes the images beautiful!
With the Toyo 4X5 view camera, the process of shooting is slowed down. The camera is on a large tripod or camera stand. It takes a while to frame and focus using a loupe through the ground glass with a dark cloth over your head. Once you are satisfied with composition and focus, you then load a film back into place, obscuring the ground glass viewfinder so you no longer can see what is in your frame. You wait till you feel you have your moment and press down on the cable release to fire the shutter. The process is counter-intuitive to typical behind the scene photos, typically taken with a dslr or an i-phone.
Here are some images I have captured using both cameras, along with one taken using my Canon 5D Mk III.