by Peter Clark
For our latest print promo, we choose an interesting shot by Seattle-based photographer Andy Reynolds to fill that dark void that is the month of March. Printed by Modern Postcard, the card went to clients all over the US and Canada. We had been considering Andy’s work every month since he joined us last year and finally got a chance this time around. I asked Andy to explain his process behind the work, which he had shot as a personal project for his portfolio.
The image is loosely based on a line from a Tom Waits song, “…he dyed his hair in the bathroom of a Texaco.” When lyrics stay with me, I start to imagine a screenplay or a visual plot and sub-plots to a song. Then that turns back into a still from this imaginary film I’ve made from this image of the “movie.” It’s my process… These stills happen from other sources too, like a book, or from watching and listening to people. So now it’s a guy changing his identity, that’s the theme of the photo. He is altering his appearance and hiding. Maybe he did something wrong or maybe his face is hidden just because he is dyeing his hair. I do have this recurring theme of people putting heads in things. The model in the image is my friend and video editor, Darren Ebert.
I wanted a crap hotel or gas station, so I looked for the sink at locations, but they were too small and I don’t like using wider angle lenses—so I decided to build it out. That way I could put the camera in the right spot, level with subject and neutral in its presentation to the viewer. I decided on the Eastern European look for the bathroom. This is the type of hotel I’d stay at… So I painted some flats, put vinyl floor covering on the walls, hung the cabinet and the practical fluorescent fixtures with daylight Kinos. The sink and fixtures were salvaged, and I shot it at Chalk Studios in Seattle.
Before photography I was a union set electrician/gaffer, and the exposure to the processes of movie making has had a definite affect on how I approach the production of some of my photography.