Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Ring Master

I don't get it. It's late/early again and I'm sitting here retouching photos. It's about five past seven and the sun came up a bit ago. I'm not a morning person at all, but I've found myself doing retouching as the sunrises. I haven't planned it this way, perhaps it's my subconscious mind pulling me closer to the earth's daily cycle of creativity. Maybe this is the time my photographs demand my attention. They get it for now.

This is probably my favorite photograph from the shoot with Phil Vassar. He's wearing a ring master costume to coincide with the "traveling circus" theme of his upcoming album release. The red coat is tasty to my eyes, and I thought it would look vivid in the drab ol' freight elevator shaft in the studio building.

So, sometimes posing people can be awkward. You're standing there thinking, "Well, I can only make this guy look like a badass so many different times before it gets repetitive. What else can I do with his hands?" Then... BAM!!! You pull the top hat off his head and just tell him to go to town flipping it up in the air and being crazy with it. He's a showman, so naturally, he 'get's it' and puts on a show for us, my camera his stage. And we dance back and forth, subject-to-photographer until the connection is made.

And... Snap. We got a cool "candid" pose with PV. I love it. Just look at the genuine smile on his face, and I don't think I could have Photoshopped a better top hat than the real one he's flipping in the shot. There are shots from this series that look much more sinister and are a stark contrast to this fun 'n' happy shot. Maybe I will retouch one of those when I get a minute. If I get a minute!


Elizabeth said...

Kiefer Sutherland looks SO much like Phil Vasser. Never noticed that before. Pretty cool though. I want that jacket. Cheers.

Doranne said...

Your photographs are all so awesome. I believe they are the best photos I've ever seen of Phil!! This one with the top hot is a favorite. Definitely captures his fun personality. I hope you will show more from the photo shoot. Such talent you have!

Wes Aldridge said...

Thank you for your kind comments! It was a ton of fun shooting this with him.