Upon me leaving the security of my 8-5 gig just a few weeks back an email from Dead Oceans came in for a landing asking if I would be available for some press photos with Winston Yellen of Night Beds. A few things lined up well, I was available and Winston was in town from Nashville for a week or so while visiting family. The shoot marked my first week as a full time creative.
Going into each shoot there are so many variables and that is what makes me both stoked out of my mind and nervous to my bones when arriving for a shoot. A few interesting things revolve around this shoot in particular. Mr. Winston had mentioned he couldn’t stand being photographed. We also needed to decide on a location in Denver within a day… I’m not much of an urbanite but was excited to find some good light in and around buildings. Third, is I was out my 5d which I was going to have to use as a main camera on this shoot because of multiple reasons, including cost of film and time of delivery.
Well, Winston was a champ and super easy to shoot with, so that took care of his lack of interest in being photographed. We also found a pretty open neighborhood to shoot in with some natural foliage which I tend to be drawn to. Then the afternoon light was great and we finished off with some shots in a dark bar while toasting with a glass of whisky in hand.
The only kicker is since I wasn’t able to shoot digital I was then defaulting to my main camera, the Contax G2. Well, 15 minutes into the shoot I dropped it. First time I’ve ever dropped a camera and I hope the last. It died right there on the spot which only a few frames taken, so I was left to shoot the entire day with the Mamiya RZ67 and Polaroid 195… since those were back ups I had only about 40 frames left that I could shoot. Enough, but not nearly what the record label was expecting to choose from
Its a funny thing when you’re wanting to refine your process as an artist. Its a hard thing to do especially because most often it means giving up your crutches that are so easily fallen back on. For me that was digital. Well, I was instantly refined in gear which made me further refine my process and zone in on the interaction and relationship between me and Winston which above all else is the most important anyway.
We got some good stuff, I hope you enjoy these.
I was very excited to hear that Dead Oceans were stoked on what was delivered. It confirmed the necessity of refinement for me.
Contax G2, Mamiya RZ67 all Kodak Portra 160 & Ilford 50. Polaroid 195 with Polaroid 669 and Fujifilm FP3000-B (some being positive scans, some negative scans). P.S. I dearly miss my G2.