Every once and a while I get to shoot a subject that is really exciting and very cool - like the time I shot Dirty Ghosts, a super rad Canadian band that lives and plays in San Francisco. Though these days my focus is photography - you may not know I also play drums, and used to play in a bunch of bands back home in Toronto before I relocated here to San Francisco. So you can imagine I was pretty excited to spend some time helping Dirty Ghosts get the shots they needed to support the release of their second album.
Band photography can be pretty tough. As it was for this shoot, it's usually high concept. Plus you have the added challenge of three (or more!) people in the photo who all need to look good at the same time. It's a difficult thing to make a group look good (read: cool) naturally, and we knew we wanted to skip all those old "standards," like shooting by the railroad tracks, standing in front of an abandoned building, or using a fish eye lens.
Allyson Baker, guitarist, singer, and songwriter for the band, was very inspired by a Devo photo and wanted the lead photo to be in black and white. She was also drawn to the fact that my primary work is as a fashion photographer, and wanted the final output to have a real editorial feel, so we looked at loads of fashion photos. For a shoot like this wardrobe is very important - no showing up in your favorite concert t-shirt, boys.
In the end we decided to use multi-level block painted white, with everyone dressed in black and white, and it worked really well. The result was exactly what Allyson and the band were looking for. The shoot was also super fun, which meant that the whole band was really into each shot.