This year I had the pleasure and honor of again working with my friend Wale Oyejide on the visuals for his menswear line, Ikire Jones. This shoot was different from the many I’ve done with him in the past, in that for the first time there were other gents modeling Wale’s looks. Once I got to the location, it was really exciting to see these guys walking around in his pieces - the patterns and colors are really something to behold, and- seeing them swirl around one another and really come alive- I knew the images would come out dope without a ton of work from me.
After we shot the primary images, I pulled out my trusty Yashicamat 124g twin-lens for a few photos of my own. Between the 12 frame limit on my single roll of 120 Portra 400 and the below freezing temperatures and wind chill we were fighting, I didn’t have much luxury in getting my shots, so I moved as quickly as possible, set the guys up and made 7 photos (7 looks). The meter on my Yashica broke during an unfortunate fall a few months ago, so I metered with the pretty solid Fotometer app on my iPhone and hoped for the best.
The more I shoot film, particularly in a fashion sphere, the more my respect for early photographers shoots through the roof. The limitations these men and women learned to fluidly work around were tremendous. Manually focusing, changing film backs, finding interesting compositions, keeping the talent engaged and game - it’s amazing to think that people did this all year long and were really good at it. After a shoot like this, it’s hard not to wonder whether I’ll ever get to that point.
Photography truly is a lifelong practice.
I’m pushing myself to get to the point where I can rely totally on my film cameras for professional work like this, and it’s a huge gamble because of turnaround times and the aforementioned limitations. I know I’m not totally there yet, I’ve still some learning to do with my equipment, but I think these next few months will provide ample intense concentration to help move me up the ranks.
(You can check out Wale’s designs and get some pieces for yourself at his site, Ikire Jones.)