The Day’s Hello
A year ago, New York-based fashion photographer Joshua Pestka began shooting portraits of each model he worked with on commercial shoots. He then started uploading them to a blog he called The Day’s Hello. The blog became an opportunity to connect with his subjects on a more casual, direct level—it also served as a quick and easy way to remember his favorite models. The first 100 portraits on “The Day’s Hello” were shot following a strict set of rules: they were all landscape, black and white, and were left uncropped. Now into his second phase of the project, Joshua is incorporating color, cropping and varying distances and orientations to add additional flavor and creativity. However, he still adheres to his 5-10 minute rule, shooting each portrait quickly to avoid obsessive tendencies. The idea behind Joshua’s blog, along with his stunning portraits, caught my attention and I got in touch with him to learn more. Below is our interview; Enjoy!
– Maria Luci
How would you describe your photographic style?
I think that there’s more consistency in what I shoot than how I shoot. Depending on the concept, the job, the collaborations with artists, models, art directors and so on, how you shoot needs to be a fluid thing. I try to work on a feeling more than anything. Almost everything I’ve shot shows the subject in a self-reliant light. I think that there’s a strength in most people and I lean towards showcasing that.
How would you describe “The Day’s Hello”?
“The Day’s Hello” is a collaborative work in progress that’s a mix between a fashion and a personality blog. It’s a development project for me. Most of the images on the blog are shot within about 5 minutes. For me, with a tendency to be a bit too meticulous at times, relegating myself to 5 minutes to get it right or not get it at all has helped force me to grow.
You use Tumblr; why?
It’s such a simple tool to use, especially for showcasing photography work. I have a twitter account, for example, but don’t really have much to say that’s either amusing or that I feel would benefit the world at large. Most people like looking at pictures, though, so with it’s myriad of themes, Tumblr offers a great way to showcase new material in a way that isn’t too convoluted.
How has the project evolved over time?
“The Day’s Hello” started out with a rigid set of rules. Same lens, no cropping, minimal retouching, and entirely shot in black and white (camera settings as well) as opposed to being shot in color and converted. After 100 portraits, I felt as if that format was something I’d been able to really feel as if it was my own, but I was also starting to lose interest. Time for a change. Looser rules. Cropping, color, movement, different framing instead of only face-focus. So far, so good.
Have there been any challenges with the blog?
Light. I’ll usually try to shoot after the commercial work is done, but during the winter, especially, finding light can be hard. Also, if there’s a lot of makeup, it’s difficult to just pop outside during lunchtime and make something look natural. But overall, it’s been great to have The Day’s Hello as a reference for when I haven’t seen someone in a while and need to surreptitiously double check on what their names are (sorry!).
What has the response been?
It’s been great. I show my printed portfolios to potential clients quite a bit, and have brought The Day’s Hello around as a secondary item to show via the iPad. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback saying that it should be its own standalone print portfolio. This is something I’m seriously considering at the moment.
How do you see The Day’s Hello in the future?
The blog is showing the evolution of my photography outside the commercial and studio work I do. As I learn to shoot more for it, I’m learning to shoot more for myself. I don’t do it for anyone or any client, so I’m the one who determines where it goes in the end. It’s been a really freeing experience, and I hope to see it continue for quite some time. Maybe I will eventually take it into the studio to see if I can combine the two styles… we’ll see.