Images in the Fancy collection are grouped in a thematic virtual disc, but can be purchased individually. How do you plan a shoot for images that must stand in a group and alone?
I work with my art director to come up with a concept that will be interesting to photograph, and we tailor the idea to suit the needs of the collection as a whole.
What do you do to capture diverse tastes and a global sensibility in your work?
I try to make sure the wardrobe styling feels timeless and choose locations that look like they could be found anywhere in the world. I also try to use an ethnically diverse cast. Ethnicity is one of the most difficult factors to balance. I never want the cast to be so diverse that it feels contrived, so I typically look for models who are ethnically ambiguous to appeal to a wide variety of customers.
How do you make sure you capture an entire narrative thread to fill a disc?
If the concept is interesting, I’ll be able to create more scenarios or stories with it. It’s the scenarios that make up the overall plot of the virtual disc. I think the key is choosing concepts that aren’t too basic. For example, shooting a collection about women in business rather than just business. Although as a subject, business in general might seem more diverse, women in business has a focus and direction that can be more interesting and will result in a stronger narrative.
How do you put your signature on your work?
Stock photography has a reputation for sometimes being stiff. I try to marry the wardrobe and models so that everything looks as natural as possible. And get real emotion from the talent when I’m shooting. I’m always trying to get authentic smiles. It’s these little details that distinguish the work from what some people traditionally associate with stock photography.
I always want things to feel natural and look authentic — and for the light to be just right.
Have you ever seen your work used in a way you found surprising?
I saw one of my images on a billboard around Christmastime. It was a shot I did a while back of a couple outside during winter and they were having a moment. The image was being used in an ad for a jewelry store, and it happens to be one of my favorite shots because of the authentic look the subjects share. I was thrilled the company had chosen that shot because it wasn’t about a guy putting a ring on his girlfriend’s finger. It was about a moment that looked genuine between two people. This kind of thing validates the instinct to capture real moments.
How do you achieve this natural feeling in your work?
I tend to shoot from certain distances in my work. I don’t usually shoot from far enough away that I get the whole body. I always like to get in a little tighter. I like the intimacy you can create when people are close to you. Whether it’s two people interacting with each other or a single person interacting with the camera. I gravitate toward closer, more intimate shots that have genuine expressions. I always want things to feel natural and look authentic — and for the light to be just right.