Friday, February 14, 2014

Photo Shoot: Brooke Waggoner

It's been a while since this shoot, but it was pretty memorable, so I wanted to share it. I did an interview with Brooke Waggoner for New York Minute Magazine (see the article here). First of all, her music is brilliant. The first time I heard Originator, I was sold. It was massive and adventurous.

I'm often guilty of putting artists in unpleasant situations for photographs: standing still in the freezing cold, jumping around in the sweltering heat, jumping in the lake, etc. Somehow, inspired by her music, I came up with an idea that was pretty unpleasant, just in a different way.

The idea was to have her smoke a really huge cigar. Her music contains a subtle vulnerability and femininity, spun on its head in a way that transforms these traits into a source of incredible power. I wanted to capture that relationship of disparate elements. So... a big cigar is what I came up with.

Luckily for me, Waggoner is open to creativity and although I'm not sure she was sold on the idea at first, she was gracious enough to humor me. I usually let artists see what I'm shooting while we're going. I want their input and want them to be involved in the process. They have to be sold on what we're doing or it won't work. We both liked the first shots, and so she put a lot more work into her part of the shoot, ie: getting as much smoke out of that thing as possible.

If you've never pounded down a huge cigar in less than 30 minutes, don't try this at home. It was hot, and we were in a stuffy parking garage. I'm still really impressed with how well she hung in there without getting too sick. I love these photos, and I think they were totally worth the physical misery that someone (else) had to experience for them.

You can take a listen to her new single, "The High Wind (Studio Version", here: