Recent Work - A Test with Valerie Landwehr and the importance of creative freedom.

A few Years ago when I tested for agencies like Wilhelmina, Click, Ford and Elite in New York, I learned how important it was to shoot new material all the time.  It’s critical to work freely in order to exercise your creativity, without project constraints.

When I met Valerie Landwehr a few months ago, she immediately struck me as a cross between Christie Brinkley in 1978 and Kate Upton.  This chance meeting immediately took me back to the time when I lived in New York and was actively testing for the agencies.  I called on style guru Kate Bennett of DetroitVogue.com to whip together some wardrobe and Mona Batayeh to handle makeup and hair.  After approximately three days of scouting and prep work, we headed up to a beautiful residence on Indianwood Lake for the shoot.   

I experimented with different lighting styles and gave Kate free range on styling; she’s a wizard, so I knew with very little direction she’d come up with great looks.  When you have talented creatives working along side you, my philosophy is to let them stretch their legs and not over manage a set.  

Kate, Mona, and I touched on vintage fashion from the 70’s (the turbin), some simple, current lifestyle/swimwear and even some east coast prep.  It was a fun and eclectic shoot with no agenda. In the end, I let the location, weather, and surroundings guide me for a change.  It’s easy to get caught up in trying to to control everything on a shoot, but sometimes that can take  away from the wonderfully unpredictable and insecure world of reaction and uncertainty.  

Fashion in Detroit Assignment

I was lucky enough to spend the day with Kate Abraham - Fashion Blogger @ DetroitVogue.com shooting the shows at Fashion in Detroit this past saturday.  You can see her overjoyed at being photographed candidly…   

I started my career way back in the late 90’s shooting runway in New York at Fashion Week for a small magazine.  It’s really great to finally see some fashion movement happening in Detroit. Our city has seen some tough times over the past couple years, and it would appear that there is a rebound on the horizon.  I’ve recently heard about a following that Detroit has in Germany and Italy - yup, you heard me correctly.  Writers, musicians and  photographers are getting noticed for their Detroit roots and influences in Europe.  Kate A. told me very simply “Detroit has a style all it’s own” and I truly saw that this past weekend.  I spent a considerable amount of time photographing the designers themselves and trying to really find out where Detroit was in each one of them.  I was left with a really great portrait series of wonderfully creative Metro Detroit Fashion Designers:

Above is Designer Dana Keaton and her astonishingly young students, ranging from 11 to 15 years old.  These fashionistas showcased their own designs at the event.

Highlighted below are a couple of the standout talent from Detroit.  Check out DetroitVogue.com, and you’ll find much more detailed information about each designer and their respective collections.  Emily was a delight to photograph and presented a focused collection and Natalia oozed Detroit Style all her own…