The Daily Edit – Monday
10.3.11

- - The Daily Edit

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Out

Creative Director: Nick Vogelson

Photography Director: Annie Chia

Photographer: David Needleman

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Heidi:  Shooting groups of people is always hard because there has to be a common energy. Was that hard to create with these three?

David: Well, actually – that part was very exciting for me. I photographed Alexander in
New York, and Ryan and Dustin in Los Angeles, so maintaining that sense of
continuity of dynamic throughout both photo shoots, and knowing they’d
ultimately have to come together effortlessly and seamlessly, made the process a
very inspiring challenge with regards to recreating that common sense of energy
from one session to the next within each picture.

What were you asking Alexander or what has happening at that moment you took
his portrait. I love that image, you captured a beautiful person.
Firstly, thank you. I’m not sure if it was something I said. It’s hard to articulate,
but it was almost like a perfect moment between Alexander and myself. Perhaps, a
result of him letting his guard down and trusting me during that experience.

Did they accept you right away? Or was there a warming up period.
I feel there’s always a warming up period when photographing someone you don’t
really know and have never met before, but I think they did accept me right away.
Must say, on a rather fundamental and relatable level, I definitely felt very
comfortable with them from the start.

Did you know them already? How did you get this job?
I initially met the great team at OUT about 4 years ago, but it wasn’t until recently
once I connected with my new amazing agent, did all the pieces come together for
this assignment.

This is very non-conceptual shoot, did you have any concepts that didn’t fly? What
exactly was the assignment?
The concept was to photograph portraits of three powerfully influential
tastemakers of our time. It was important to maintain their integrity,
individualism, and presence within the imagery. I think I did it.

Your set is minimal. Describe the energy, was there music?
Yes, there was music, always. Before anything else, I want to make my subjects
feel really comfortable. I know it’s not easy for everyone to have their portrait
taken, but I believe it’s a matter of gaining their trust, and creating a mutual sense
of understanding and respect for each other. Once I accomplish that, the rest
inevitably comes together well.

Were they hard to direct?
No, not at all. All three guys were such a pleasure, I loved working with them!
Did you shoot all of this and color and then convert to B/W?
Yes, I did. But, with the full prior intent of doing so.

Did you specifically choose that color palette for the clothes so the cover lines would read?
We wanted to keep the wardrobe pretty closely connected to their actual personal
style, but like everything else involved, it was a collaboration in all aspects of the
project. So yes, the color palette was certainly taken into consideration.

Who was the stylist? Was there any?
Yes, we worked with Brent Coover in New York, and Neil Rodgers in LA. Both
were fantastic to work with.

What was your perspective and/or feelings on being presented with this particular
assignment in the first place?
I’ve always had the utmost respect for Out, and have wanted to work with them
ever since I can remember. Though, this particular assignment was probably one
of the most identifiable and meaningful projects I’ve ever been commissioned.
Being 33 years old, a New Yorker, and gay, I think it’s a really exciting time to be
alive with the propulsion of gay equality in our society. That being said, from
every element involved, and on every possible level, this project felt incredibly
relevant. For that reason, I couldn’t be happier.

Heidi Volpe

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