REFLECTIONS ON WHAT I DO
(after 37 years – many of those in New York City)
I strive to MAKE photographs (as opposed to TAKING them), starting from blackness, nothingness and purposely adding all the elements: light, objects, background, foreground, etc.
I enjoy the CRAFT of creating photographs, examining every detail until it is “right”. Making a “simple” object look fantastic can be as challenging as putting together a complex set. It isn’t what I shoot that matters. Indeed, it is often more fun to make something dull and ordinary look interesting than it is a beautiful face or flower. Over the years, I have photographed an amazing variety of subjects: from food, to jewelry, cosmetics, and clothing, to electronics, appliances, sports gear and pharmaceuticals, to turtles, teddy bears and Chihuahuas, to bubbles and balloons. I primarily work in the studio, but I’ve shot on location in many wonderful places such as Maine, Hawai, Wyoming and Bermuda. My recent project, “Trunks of the Gunks”, has taken me out of the studio and into the woods in a search of the improbable, the peculiar and the amusing.
Still-life can have LIFE. I love creating an organic image, adding subtle touches that take it beyond being just another bland shot. If appropriate, I try to have fun with it. Often, the first 95% is created relatively quickly, but the last 5% can take seemingly forever, as I struggle to make it great. It is this last step that ends up distinguishing the image.
I work HANDS-ON. Frequently, I make backgrounds and create simple props. I’ve even grown plants from seed to be used in a miniature set, because I wanted that newly sprouted look. When beyond my capabilities, I access a network of great people who provide whatever is called for. Also, I always do my own on set styling, since composition and lighting are totally intertwined.
I believe in LISTENING to a client and hearing what they consider important, then incorporating that into the creative process. I never try to impose a given “look” just because it is the latest visual style. If a client needs help figuring out what to do with a photo, I am eager to do so – be it recommending a background or brainstorming a concept to illustrate an idea.
I have photographed primarily advertising assignments, working with many talented art directors on AWARD WINNING projects. Additionally I have created notable images for magazines, catalogues, annual reports, cookbooks, calendars and websites. My clients have been as diverse as my subject matter, and have included The Gap, American Express, Chanel, and IBM (the actual list would fill this page).
Recently the Trunks of the Gunks images were selected to be featured in the great room of the new Grove Lodge addition to Mohonk Mountain House.
The new hardcover book Trunks of the Gunks is now available at local retailers in the New Paltz area, including Rock and Snow, Inquiring Minds, Handmade and More, Barner Books, Dedrick’s Gifts, Mohonk Preserve visitors center and the Mohonk Mountain House gift shop. It may be ordered from this website or from that rather large online place that begins with an “a”.
Please feel free to CONTACT me to discuss a pending project, obtain a quote, license an image or just offer any comments. The photographs here (plus many more) are available as fine art prints.