Last year I ventured out of my comfort zone of photographing people on my tripod, an idea that first came to me when I photographed my friend John Wells for his musician portraits. Using a tripod is a rather structured approach that has many benefits but moving off it I've discovered a fair share of liberating results as well. Realizing this I decided to create an ongoing project I called "Exploratory Portraiture". I know how to light my sets like the back of my hand therefore I know exactly how my images will look before I even take the picture, but something inside told me there was more for me to learn, an energy that remained untapped. I needed to explore this curiosity but I also needed to create an experience for my subjects as well, in this case actors. So just as I pushed my tripod and rules to the side and began to move around on set, I instructed the actors along the same lines. I wanted them to explore their environment, their expressions, their characters... I would essentially turn my set into an actor's theater where they were free to explore their art. I was only there to document them through my own exploration. The first person I invited on set was my good friend Joshua Loren, a talented actor now pursuing his career in Los Angeles. I explained to him what my goal was and we went to work. By merely adjusting my lighting positions and traveling around the set photographing from different angles and distances I discovered new ways to tell one's story. The images we began to create were layered with raw emotion and intimacy while finely wrapped in a cinematic aesthetic. To me, this was satisfying my curiosity while maintaining an artistic style I've built my brand around. What we have now aren't just traditional images of an actor you'd see on comp cards or iMDB, these are genuine moments of a person, an honest chapter of their story told through actors portraits. A unique piece of work that's can be hung on the wall as art or used in their personal branding when submitting for auditions. It is imagery like this that will Josh apart as individuals. Josh, thank you for embarking on this exploration with me and for all the wonderful talks we've had. Cheers!
"I think one of the cool things about working on a project like this with Gary is as an actor I get to embody moments and glimpses of the human spirit versus aiming for the right expression and smile for a headshot. I get to explore the internal world and let Gary paint what he sees. It’s a great experience because you get to play in a different way as an actor. Then sometimes you get something unexpected and even personal. My favorite shot of the set is one where I’m looking off to my left with a subtle, poignant look of hope and peace. This was such an encapsulation of my own life at that moment as I walk the line without a net, coming from a darkness and now seeing a future filled with hope. That’s what Gary was able to draw out and capture in his own artistic way." - Joshua Loren
A personal journal about any given day in my photography career where I will write about anything from portraits and headshots to sharing my educational experiences. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, it's my pleasure to share my stories with you!