Monday, July 31, 2006

3 1/2 hours in a 10' x 10' room


I've shot in nearly every hotel in Manhattan. And one in Queens (twice) and one in Southern New Jersey and one in Seattle and one in Portland. I've shot in friends' apartments, models' apartments, office buildings and Richard Avedon's former studio.

I like the challenge of shooting on location. I LOVE figuring out how you can make it look like the place you are shooting in or make it look like anywhere, somewhere, a studio, the moon.

I think that I'm pretty good at that. I've shot with the model standing next to her refrigerator (making crazy noises) which I cropped out. I've shot with the model standing next to her nasty kitchen with holes all in the walls and I intentionally included that. I've shot in a dead man's room where we (me, Angela Ryan, and Luis Santiago) were all scared to touch anything. Me less than them, but you know what I mean.

So Saturday night I was scheduled to shoot with Brittany from State College, PA. She was coming down to have some dude shoot her agency portfolio but really wanted to work with me. When we spoke earlier in the week, she told me that she was driving down to THE CITY (don't you love how us New Yorker's say that?) with her ex-boyfriend. Shit. Then I talked to her about the connection that model and photographer should make without a distraction and she agreed. I asked her where she was staying and she said the New York Suites - and much to my surprise I HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT.

I asked her if we could shoot there because of all the reasons mentioned above. She said that yeah, the ex would be gone and that we could shoot there. Location challenge!

She called me on Saturday and says "It's REALLY small." I say don't worry. I'm psyched because of all the reasons mentioned above.

I schlep all my shit up to 47th and 8th Avenue in the middle of a heatwave, walk past the desk guy who does not give a fuck (always a warning sign) and up four flight of stairs to room #404.

Brittany lets me in. She is gorgeous and 18. Her room, however, is 10 feet by 10 feet with a 5 square foot bathroom. And the air conditioner is really not working that well (think about it).

I reassure her AND for the next three and a half hours I challenge myself and sweat like a motherfucker (and I don't even sweat - really, ask anybody...).

Brittany is a great sport, beautiful and daring.

I haven't got the film back from the lab yet, but the digital test shots are sweet. They do not represent the reality. They are more magical than that.

This is what keeps me alive.

4 comments:

Chip Willis said...

You ever shoot at the Bedford Hotel. It's off of Park and I think 38th or 40th St.

Last time I was in NYC I shot there. Nice suite up on the 17th floor, and you could go on the roof.

That was a while ago.

The best was shooting in the hallway at 2am with a nude model.

I might have to dig into the archives and find a print

Sarah said...

You dont even sweat... such a lie.

; )

Anonymous said...

That's a helluva picture

Tanya said...

Err Chip, James shot Scar that day while you were at the Bedford with me and Nerlande, and Tito and Aeric......

Anyway, I expect nothing but greatness from this shoot, you work well in tight spots, even if it means back pain later. and Britney is an awesome model.