I recently added a “Behind The Scenes” section to my website (under “stories”) for two reasons:
They tell as much of a story as the final photos themselves, and when I go to photography exhibits, those are often my favorite images on display.
It completely dismantles the artifice of formal fashion and beauty photography, and reveals that it is, in reality, just another job. Sort of.
Ok, it’s not exactly “just another job”, but fashion photography has a long history of dancing the inspirational/aspirational line, often at the cost (or exploitation) of women. Unrealistic expectations are established and rarely met, when the reality is that even the people involved couldn’t meet those expectations, it’s all smoke and mirrors. Maybe other shoots are uber-glamorous, with everyone wearing sunglasses inside, champagne flowing like water, and nobody dares to touch the catering table, but those aren’t my shoots. My shoots are essentially just a bunch of weirdos, listening to David Bowie or Sonic Youth, having a good time and getting a job done. For me specifically, I am probably doing this while covered in cat hair.
I like the idea of a collection of formal, behind the scenes photos since it elevates the process to be of equal importance to the final works themselves. I cannot do what I do without amazing teams, and these photos get to celebrate everyone involved. I’ll still post informal, sneaky snapshots on Instagram (because they’re hilarious), but moving forward, I want to collect a formal record of what my shoots are really like, shot with just a modicum of gravitas.
And if I ever become famous, and have a museum retrospective of all my works, including these behind the scenes photos, there better be KILLER soundtrack playing in the background.