I have probably made over two million images in my career. Portraiture is a large part of what I do because clients need to illustrate ideas and events. When I started photographing for Thiof Magazine in 2007 the models were often filmed against any available wall and then strip out of the background in photoshop. This didn't make any sense to me. I convinced the art directors to find hotels and restaurants to loan us their spaces. And using battery powered strobes and umbrellas I was able to create very flattering pictures on location. The results were immediately felt. Some popular covers I made for them were sold out within days.
"G-Money" and my main man Dave. The image on the left was made in Washington Square Park in 1984-5. The man is wearing a shearling jacket (popular back in the days) with rings made from folded paper money. The t-shirt says it all. Dave on the right posed for a piece called "Blood Money" from my Nation State series. We are on the Lower East Side and someone had recently painted a rest in peace mural with hand-prints marking the wall. Drugs, addiction, and the violence that accompanies it are suggested in the bloody hands.
A director for Human Rights Watch and Larry-O, formerly of the Harlem Riders motorcycle club. I paired these two men because they each have a particular take on the human condition. Human Rights Watch is an international organization concerned with the dignity and protection of all citizens, and Larry-O is a man firmly fixed in his beliefs that a man is only as strong as his ability to protect what he loves.
The Coney Island Mermaid Parade is a Brooklyn tradition I attend as regularly as possible. It is outrageous, campy burlesque fun. Women wear shell bikinis and men often use pythons to hide their junk. Meta, in the wedding dress, is in contrast, more subdued and traditional. This was an ad for the designer Onslow Carrington filmed at Central Park.
Paros, Greece 1987 and Ngor Beach, Dakar 2017. There are women who are just very comfortable in their skin. My first day in Greece I was taken to a wet t-shirt competition on the beach. Women from Spain, Italy, and Germany vied for the greatest appluase with women from the island. Two men walked to the beach and filled a huge garbage can with seawater. The contestant stood on a chair and was given a very early version of the ice bucket challenge. As the shirt clung to her body, overweight men with Heineken's in hand voted by clapping and/or burping.
Models China and Karyn, filmed in Brooklyn.
Belle Isle, Detroit and a model for Tommy Hilfiger on the Brooklyn Promenade. I did my graduate studies at the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. U of M was great but very insulated, far removed from the daily struggles of Detroit. Every weekend I find myself on this tiny peninsula surrounded by young hipsters and the Gangsta chic.
Musician and song-writer Daniel Gomez filmed on location in Toubab Dialo, Sénégal 2016. Yes, I still say filmed because when I learned photography we shot large format 4x5" sheets and medium format film for Hasselblad and Mamiya cameras.