Enjoy an up-close glimpse of some of the magic that happens behind the scenes with our dream team.
Hair by: @hair.maiden
Makeup by: @dmartistry
Styling by: @the_owls_attic
I was a hustler. I was turning a profit from a very young age. Shaking my parents' friends down for quarters selling bookmarks at church or lemonade on the corner. I once found a vintage handbag in my grandparents' garage. It was a hard-case design and looked like a rolled up magazine you could hold under your arm. I sold it for $75 on eBay and was hooked. I sold everything. Even the laptop my parents gave me for graduation (sorry!). Most of my favorite childhood memories involve antics like those.
Do you remember your very first photo shoot? How did it go?
My very first paid gig was a wedding in 2009 on a borrowed camera. The groom ended up in the industry and is one of my video crew when I do weddings in Europe. Of course, you always look back at your work and see how much you've grown. But there are a couple shots I still love from that wedding.
What do you think makes a "good" photograph?
Technical precision is good. But nothing without soul. I've become less concerned with the equipment I'm using and more focused on the posing/expression on my model and the story we're telling with the shot. Paying attention to what's going on in the background is paramount. Is there something off about the way the model is holding their hands? In fact, I got so focused on these things during the Love & Leather shoot that I never changed my lens. I shot the whole thing on a single 35mm lens.
What's the story behind your favorite photograph you've ever taken?
My daughter has a disease called Rett syndrome. This starts with a regression whereby the kids who have it lose abilities they gained as infants. Grace eventually lost the ability to prop herself up on her arms. And for a while she stopped giving us eye contact. One day when we lived in England, I was giving her naked time in our garden. The sunshine was glowing through her hair and so I took this photo of her looking deep into my lens and holding herself up on her arms. I had no idea she was about to lose those abilities. If there was a fire, this photo would be the one possession I'd grab. In fact, it won a photography competition with the prize being a trip anywhere in the world for our whole family. We came home to Orlando to visit family because we didn't know if Grace was going to die. Little did we know it was just a touch of Rett syndrome!
Do you have any favorite personal photography blogs or accounts you turn to for inspiration?
You know, early in my career, I lived and breathed the work of others. Copying can be an excellent way to learn a craft. But eventually I realized it was giving me a personality crisis whereby I didn't know who I was as an artist. I needed to develop my own style. Now, my inspiration comes from storytellers. Writers, advertisers, journalists. And emotive disciplines like music. Sometimes a brand inspires me. Like Love + Leather. And I'm so fortunate that you reached back when I said I felt inspired to photograph the collection. Thank you!
What's your favorite photo shoot you've ever done so far?
I have a passion to photograph and video terminally ill people. It's amazing how many people pass without ever having been professionally photographed for their families. Equally, I'm a specialist at photographing children with special needs and people visit me from all over the world for this. So those shoots mean a lot to me, but they're not my favorite. My favorites are ones where my heart is racing the whole time. They give me shot after shot of adrenaline while I'm shooting and editing. They make me love sick. The pattern I've noticed is this: they always involve interesting light. They always involve eye contact from my subject to my camera or two subjects with each other. And they always have a storyline. Which may be why I love photographing weddings so much. Because there's a discernible story I'm telling from start to finish. But if I had to pick one shoot other than the one we just did for Love + Leather, it would photographing Maasai tribesmen in Kenya.
Where are you right now?
Home office in my new house.
Most embarrassing article of clothing in your closet?
A bodycon dress
What's playing on your stereo right now?
Keaton Henson. I'm prone to enjoying things of melancholy and his music breaks my heart in the most delicious ways.
Biggest pet peeve?
People not living with their eyes wide open to the fact "you don't know what you don't know" and offering others the benefit of the doubt. Know-it-alls, I guess I'm saying!
What celebrity do people say you look like?
Pink. I've gotten that a few times. I don't see it. Maybe it's my eff-it attitude!
Something most people don't know about you?
I cannot be touched by wet hands. Which makes playing in the pool with my kids comical. They just chase me around with their hands. It's a reflex - I will literally punch you if you try.