Jordan Hollender, a New York-based conceptual photographer, was contacted by AKA New York to capture some ’80s rock star looks for the Broadway show Rock of Ages. In case you didn’t know, Rock of Ages is a musical focusing on ’80s rock music—and some serious ’80s hairstyles—especially music from famous glam metal bands like Styx and Poison. It also features popular songs from Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar and Journey. The show has been nominated for five Tony Awards and was recently turned into a movie featuring Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin. The idea behind these AKA Rock of Ages promos was all about embracing one’s inner rock star. Jordan says he was charged with producing and executing the shoot so that it would capture “the idea that during the day one might be a boring working stiff, but at night, they let loose.”
One of Jordan’s favorite things on any assignment is to photograph lively, energetic people. And this was the perfect shoot for him to practice his energy coaxing skills as he needed to pull some fun, wild, and energized rock stars out of his models. This ended up not being much of a challenge though as the subjects were quick to get into character and work the outrageous styles and hair of the 1980s. The only real challenge with the shoot ended up being the condensed timeline.
The production was really rushed. I had to help out on that end and scramble a bit. But Bashan Aquart, the art director, was super helpful in keeping me on track as well as collaborating in directing the models.
To help out, the team pulled in the talented Callista Wilson for styling while AKA handled the post/retouching themselves. In the end, it all came down to “patience and remembering to enjoy the process, even when rushing.” Jordan and the AKA creatives succeeded in this while also creating some fun and memorable promo shots for the show.
The client was very pleased with the final shots and they’re now posted in subways across New York City.
Check out more of Jordan’s work on Instagram.