Weekly Roundup: G L Askew II, Doug Levy, Webb Chappell
In Los Angeles:
Photographer G L Askew II frequently works with musicians, athletes, celebrities, and large-scale fashion brands, so when rapper Joey Badass and his management company reached out to ask him to photograph stills for his new album, he was excited to work with a passionate artist again.
G L Askew II had worked with Joey on a publicity campaign about a year prior, and after getting along famously, he was the obvious choice for this project.
The shoot would involve a video production company that would capture film footage of Joey, while G L Askew II shot stills. Joey’s newest album is primarily centered around current events and social issues, so various concepts were being thrown around for the shoot. In the end, they picked a location outside of Los Angeles in the desert to film for a couple of days.
Often when shooting with a video production, time can be a huge factor. But I come from a production background so I more or less have a feel for when to seize a moment, and I try to work fast.
G L Askew II has received nothing but positive reviews of the work and has gotten an astounding reaction from fans all over the world praising him for the images. When asked about his favorite part of the shoot, G L Askew II responded:
Just collaborating with an artist like Joey – I was a fan of his work prior to shooting him, and I think every photographer dreams of working on a project that has the capacity to evoke a mood or message, and I think this was one of those.
See more of G L Askew II at gla2.com!
Ayer-based photographer Doug Levy attended the 2017 MassChallenge Minute to Pitch It event to photograph portraits of the entrepreneurs pitching to the investors.
MassChallenge Minute to Pitch It is an annual event where start-up founders have one minute to pitch their business to a crowd of investors, entrepreneurs, and community members in the hopes that they will attract interest to their businesses. Doug has frequently enjoyed photographing innovators, mainly due to his interest in running businesses and entrepreneurship.
I enjoy running the business side of what I do as much as the creative photography side. I’ve always been that way, from being the kid mowing neighbors’ lawns to completing my finance degree. In that vein, I’ve always been interested in startups and small businesses. All of the businesses we photographed were in various stages of newness, growth, and their ramp-up process, but it’s an exciting time for these entrepreneurs.
Doug reached out to Mass Challenge to see if he could shoot their presenters, and they were incredibly welcoming to the idea, especially since he has done previous portrait setups at events, such as the Boston Music Awards, in the past. He had a brief phone call with them to arrange how much space he would need, and then the project was rolling!
Doug created a simple black and white setup, designed to show each personality, nervousness, and excitement, and then he photographed them either before or after their pitch. The turnout was great, and Doug was often met with a lineup of entrepreneurs waiting to get their portrait taken.
The first founder we shot was 12-year-old Matthew Ciampa, the founder of Treasure Socks. He’s accomplished more with his business at age 12 than many startup founders do in years. Being entrepreneurial for a 12-year-old usually means mowing lawns or a paper route, but Matthew is right in the thick of it competing with 20-somethings from MIT. Right before I took the portrait of him, he asked me if I had to smile. I said no, and the next frame was immediately the winner, and is probably my favorite from the series.
Thankfully, Doug brought on his incredible assistant Meg Belanger, who conducted interviews to get people’s names and information on their businesses, which helped reduce time behind the camera. In the end, they photographed over 30 entrepreneurs, who were all thrilled to have photos that show a little more personality than a traditional headshot.
See more of Doug at douglaslevy.com!
In New Orleans:
Boston-based photographer Webb Chappell recently traveled to New Orleans to put together a personal project on the Mardi Gras festivities, entitled Creole Wild West.
On this trip, he attended Mardi Gras as well as the Saint Joseph’s Day parade, which takes place every March 19th and has a long-standing history in New Orleans, dating back to the mid-19th century. Throughout the parades, he captured images of the marchers and attendees to use on his blog and to flesh out his portfolio.
Webb enjoyed getting to interact with people, learn more about their culture, get into the spirit of the event, and appreciate the hard work that goes into the costumes.
Tribe members hand sew elaborate colorful suits of beads, feathers, and sequins, which can take months to complete. They create new costumes every year.
Walking through the parades, Webb had to challenge himself to capture fleeting moments and fast movements but was thrilled with the turnout of his images.
Marchers were very receptive to my presence, allowing me to weave in and out of the moving lines of costumed revelers and accompanying musicians. The energy, which I fed off of and participated in, was ecstatic.
The images have been extremely well-received, and Webb enjoyed getting to be spontaneous with his work. He hopes to continue to attend the New Orleans festivities and photograph them again in the future.