I met Boom, yes that’s his awesome name, years ago when I first starting my photography career in SF. He’s a lofi music making, skating, SF dude who’s also a full time model. He’s always had such great energy on shoots that I wanted to spend an overcast morning skating around his home in Ocean Beach, SF to capture more about him than a fashion story. The amazing stylist Annie Palmiotto styled the shoot pulling looks inspired by skate culture with brands like Roark and Stussy. Here’s the images from that morning!
I was lucky enough to travel with Japan for the first time this year with my buddy Lucas (first blog post here) and even more amazingly I got to go again for two weeks later in the year for a commercial gig with PayPal in November. In between the scout days, shoot days, and travel days I was able to do a bit of personal street photography which is this collection here in the post. After the first week was done shooting my girlfriend Kelsey flew in and we spent a week together around Tokyo and Kyoto.
Before my first trip to Japan in May I came across the work of Joel Meyerowitz with his new book “Where I Find Myself” and his work mixed in with a new realization of how important it is to photograph life and not just the work you’re hired for really put me in a new state of mind for photographing my own life and how I draw from it. If you photograph your life as you go along then at the end of it all you’ll have a body of work that’s extremely important to you, but none the less a body of work that you can share with people. The book also led me to another avenue of learning which was Annie Leibovitz’s Masterclass and she brings up the idea that one of the most important things you can do as a progression of a photographer is photograph your life and share it with the world. What does it mean to be a working photographer and also what is a photographer’s life? I’m still in the process of what those both mean but I hope that by sharing and writing about my commercial and also personal work then we can figure those out together.
Below is a collection of my images from the second round in Japan for two weeks.
Earlier in 2018 I wanted to put a small personal portrait project together that I could shoot to just push myself creatively and make some new work. I came up with something that I called the “Denim Project” where models could come to the studio with their favorite pieces of denim and I would photograph them on white with whatever they brought. Asaba was brought to me by Scout Models and he was my favorite subject in the project. He had such a laid back personality but when he was in front of the camera he embraced making interesting shapes with his body and he gave me a range of emotion. What he gave to the camera was a gift that any photographer is lucky enough to receive from a subject every so often. Here are my favorite images from the session.
The great thing about this shoot was it was one of the first times lately where I wanted to create my own spin on a brand that I really looked up to. For a long time I've always wanted to shoot something for Levi's but I didn't want to make an image to send them that was probably like everything that they already get in the mail. I wanted an image that was more about a lifestyle and who the woman was the wore the pair of jeans. She's an adventurer who loves the quiet moments alone wandering in an unknown landscape but full of contentment. The first image in this series was the image for me that really captured what this embodied for me and it also being shot on film helped me to slow down during the shoot and really become more aware and intentional in what I was creating that day. I think as artists we lose the sense of focused and in tune thinking while the camera is in our hands because we are shooting to fast to get as much as we can. And slowing the process of taking/creating a photograph is something that I strive to get towards on each project as of lately. I hope you enjoy the images as much as I wandering around the hills making them.
A few BTS images from the day of the shoot where we tackled both medium format film and digital imagery. More behind the scenes shots on my Instagram here: @theadamdillon
Model : Sophia Jackson @ SCOUT. Stylist : Anne Palmiotto. Assistant : Edward Lie.
I am blessed to have had the opportunity to become great friends with an incredible singer and musician, Rebecca Peters, over the last three years. We met at an open mic night in Sacramento and from then on, our friendship grew over five shoots together and blossomed even further when we both moved to the crazy city of Los Angeles.
Music has always been close to my heart; one of my favorite passions as a photographer is to give an artist's voice a visual representation in the most interesting way possible. Therefore, Los Angeles is a busy, fast paced, and slightly terrifying city initially, as everyone seems to be running around at the rate of a million miles an hour and networking for the sake of networking. It can be rough, roller coaster of emotions for anyone who chooses to start a career in one of the most diverse cities in the world.
Rebecca and I, one day, were both sharing our experiences regarding how lonely such a busy city can feel when you are new in town and still attempting to get your feet wet in the industry. So, on a whim, I came up with a crazy idea to take Rebecca to the middle of nowhere and represent her small frame and her music within such an intimidatingly large landscape. We ultimately decided on the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes in Death Valley about seven hours outside of Hollywood.
We trekked with two cars (mine with a persistent 'check engine' light on the entire journey), an assistant, and a single stylist out into the abyss with the goal of finding the perfect canvas. Thankfully, we all made it to our destination without any car trouble and proceeded to capture one of my most favorite images to date. I knew instantly that once this shot was in my camera, this image was greater than I originally expected and gives rise to one of the best feelings - having a vision, creating something from that vision, and watching the results. After seven treacherous hours of driving back home to Hollywood, we were all exhausted but it was well worth it since we knew we had the ideal shot.
Rebecca is also an avid social media goer and I had to share our ceremonial "on set selfie."