Two men I was supposed to photograph disappeared and Lass was happy to fill in, so I started prepping him for the shoot. Normally I try to avoid shooting people I know, I don't like it ( a story for another blog post). But there was enough of a grey area where I felt it would be fine, this time.
I explained all that would be required of him to bring; a well fitted suit, tie, shirts, watch, belt etc.
Lass admitted that my clothing requirements where outside of his normal comfort zone. His normal clothing style is a t-shirt, jeans, accompanied by a sports cap, nevertheless he was willing to try something different. He'd seen my work, liked my style and was willing to trust my vision.
The day of the shoot he showed up with, most, not all, of what I asked him for. He had a nice suit, a few well pressed button down shirts, belt, and watch.
What he didn't bring was a tie or black dress socks. What seem to be small details that ended up changing the whole concept of the shoot.
Although I do edit my images, I really don't like having to spend hours in photoshop. So to compensate I would have to keep in mind that I would have to crop white socks or avoid shooting his feet altogether.
And, never one to back down from a challenge, I was able to take what he had and put it together in ways Lass had never realized his clothing could be arranged.
The gift of being a woman.
Hopefully after this shoot, I was able to convince him to upgrade his wardrobe a bit.
I wanted to make some high contrast vintage black and white portraits (which I love!) but in the end found that the clothing he bought didn't have enough visual interest or tonal ranges for a very dynamic black and white image that pleased me. So this shoot ended up being all in color.
Lass is very tall with large hands. When taking portraits of someone with these feature traits, one has to remember that whatever is closest to the camera will be the largest element. So I had be very careful of where I placed his hands in relation to his face to make sure that they would not become competing elements.
This shoot was all about being mindful and balancing his specific body features. Lass was a good sport throughout the whole session, which I have to admit was a bit of a work out for someone of his stature. The poses I had him in, I know would felt more awkward than usual.
To add to it, I really had to factor in my height compared to his, I'm about a third of his height which drastically changed my angle of attack. I did bring a small step stool that helped even me up to his height, but, if you've known me for very long, you'd know I have the grace and balance of an elephant and can quickly get so focused on shooting that I can easily forget about not falling off the tiny platform.
So the first time I almost fell off, I decided it was best to bring Lass down to a more manageable height and did a lot of sitting and crouching poses, which ended up working really well for balancing his features in the poses.
Working with Lass was great. He was a goof-ball on set, made a lot of jokes, mostly regarding the akward poses I was directing him into, but kept the shoot really light hearted.
Currently you can find Lass starring in the hit web series 90 Seconds on youtube and starring in the independent, crowdfunded, movie KOPP - Chapter 1, where he plays Kopp, a famous, self made french rapper and his story of rags to riches. He'll be filming part 2 this Fall in between Miami, Florida and Paris, France.
To find out more about Lass' globetrotting adventures, behind the scenes footage and everything in between check out his official Facebook Fan page and website.