Lately I have been fascinated with the use of fabrics in portrait photography. Inspired by photographers like Sue Bryce and Bambi Cantrell whose work I greatly admire I asked Slim and his girlfriend Hayley to model for me. Both of them are accomplished dancers who have studied and performed at Alvin Alley.
So with that idea in mind I made a trip to the Fashion District in Manhattan to look for fabrics. Sadly enough in the last couple of decades the Fashion district really declined, as more and more companies were forced to close their doors, or to move their production overseas. But despite that, 38th street still has a multitude of stores that sell an astonishing variety of fabrics. It was an eye-opening experience – I would have never been able to visualize such an array of gorgeous colors and textures without visiting the stores :). Since this was my first experiment using fabrics as props I decided to keep things simple and to go with a black and white motif. I got some stretchy lycra, in both colors that I later had my dry cleaner sew into a tube shape. Additionally, I purchased some inexpensive white fabric that had a nice texture and sheen to it. Finally, you will see a really funky fabric that we used as a skirt for Hayley that I just couldn’t resist getting a yard of :).
So the shoot was to provide some couple photos for the guys – for both professional and personal use and to allow me to play and experiment. So here is a mix of dance and more fashion inspired shots that were my favorite from the session. Would love to get any feedback on what you think and any suggestions on what could have been done better.
I can’t wait to get my hands on more fabric, and explore this in my future photoshoots some more, so for those of you out there who have wanted a photography portrait shoot that’s a little less traditional, so to speak – let me know! I am booking portrait shoots in my Brooklyn studio for several dates in March and April.
Some lessons that I learned during this shoot:
Don’t buy cheap safety pins – they bend and don’t even go through the thick fabric.
If you are playing with the stretch fabrics get them in as light weight as possible and as stretchy as possible – poor Hayley was feeling like she is having a workout while stretching fabric to its maximum 🙂