Lauren is a singer-songwriter from North Carolina who was in town doing a music project with some mutual friends. She came over to my old apartment studio and we walked around Harlem and did some portraits in Trinity Cemetery as well. She was a delight to work with and we all had a blast that chilly day!
I did a series of portraits of actor/TV host Oliver Trevena for Downtown Magazine this summer. What a nice guy, and what a lot of fun we had in TriBeCa doing this shoot. It was a spontaneous decision but we came up with some fun portraits.
Nate is such a great, supportive friend. He’s someone I can always count on for a solid second creative opinion. Nate works as an actor and is a fellow alum of UCB. You may recognise him as one of the writers in the room on 30 Rock, but he’s done tons of other stuff and he’s great in all of it! I did some portraits of him when he visited NYC this spring. We wandered around Central Park for a bit and had some coffee, and then some man behind us had a whole flock of pigeons land near him, so we documented that. Good times!
Trish and I had a mutual friend and met during a showing of 1973 version of The Wicker Man, which is my favourite movie (and as it turned out, also completely apropos). Trish is a writer so we made use of my ostrich quill after deciding to do a shoot in the East Village. We shot around Rivington for this series and it ended up being a lot of fun!
Courtney Yates, whom millions know from Survivor, has been one of my models and besties in NYC after we met at a protest in 2016. We share a love for skeletons, politics, the stars, and philosophy. A couple of years ago we did a series in her home to promote her work as a physical therapist. True story: she literally saved my back. Years ago I was hit by an SUV and had suffered from back problems for years as a result. She calmly said “I can fix it.” And she did, using cupping and massage. I am so grateful to this amazing woman for giving me back my full mobility and proud to call her my friend.
Wes, who I had met at some political rallies, wanted to do portraits in Green-Wood Cemetery. One pleasant November day we made the trip down on the R train. The weather was perfect and we had a great time exploring the place, talking about metaphysics and enjoying the day. A lot of changes have happened since we did this shoot – Wes is trans and had yet to go through the metamorphosis of physical changes. One of the nicest humans I’ve ever had the pleasure to photograph.
Adrian’s stunning Celtic beauty, reminiscent of Maureen O’Hara, were inspiration for this series of portraits, shot in my old Harlem apartment.
My cousins Winter and Bella modelled for me in their backyard in south Philadelphia a couple of years ago. We had a lot of fun playing dress up and I let them use their imaginations to play pretend. They were such amazing little models. These were all shot on iPhone.
One of my more unusual shoots came about by chance when I was heading back to Central PA for Christmas. I happened to be on a bus with Serge, a musician who was returning from NYC. (He currently lives a town over from my parents.) I asked if he wanted to do a shoot and he asked if I could do one with his ex-wife Monica for their podcast about co-parenting after divorce. They remained friendly and were both a blast to both photograph and chat with. It’s funny how these portraits look more confrontational than the subjects actually were! Side note: Serge told me a couple months later that I photographed him smoking his last-ever cigarette. Hope he’s still holding up!
It’s always such a treat working with Leah. We did these portraits in my bedroom in my apartment in Harlem. I had the good fortune to live for 9 months in a place that served well as an indoor photo studio, and could do some more conventional portraits. Leah, who’s trained as a dancer, brought some great fabrics and outfits for the session. One of my favourite models to work with!
My friend Andi and I were both going through some very difficult situations, so one day we decided to do an impromptu shoot in our Flatbush apartment living room. Andi hardcore channeled her Italian strega ancestors in this series.
The band Bear Hands licensed a black and white version of the featured image from this series for their song Backseat Driver (Spirit Guide), released in 2018.
Model: Nina Isabelle
November, 2015 Woodward PA
One of the most important influences on my work ethic is Nina, a painter and performance artist in upstate NY. We grew up over a field from each other, but I never knew her growing up (although I went to high school with her sister). We met officially almost a decade ago at a craft show. We have since collaborated on many projects and I did a performance art residency with her in 2016. Her life philosophy has helped shape my artistic focus and I am very grateful for her support and guidance over the years.
Nina and I did this interesting shoot in her parents’ backyard in our home village. Using her mother’s vintage furs and boas and a giant spotlight from the stable, the backdrop of the pine trees serve as a great David Lynch-y vibe.