Life's been weird, but we're working through it
WORKING THROUGH THE PANDEMIC…
Early into the pandemic I pitched the idea of a socially-distanced shoot with minimal production to Krewe Eyewear. I collaborated with their art director, Jory Lee Cordy, to align the look and tone of the campaign to reflect the feelings brought on by the limitations of the virus while still staying positive and hopeful.
LeBook interviewed me about the process and their writer, Lindsay Comstock, did an amazing job communicating why this one was special. For my first blog post ever(!), I’ve attached the interview and some images below.
“A self-pronounced “feelings” person, Steven’s shoots are born of his desire to connect with people and tell their stories. He credits the strong relationships he’s made with talent over the years as the reason the shoot was able to manifest during this time. Steven worked remotely with studio manager, Cameron Joseph, and longtime collaborator and Director of Photography, Matthew Roe, to produce a shoot that was safe for everyone involved. The two models featured in the campaign are a real-life couple and friends of the photographer who live two blocks away from him in Los Angeles. He knew that everyone on the crew had been adhering to the quarantine in a serious manner, and he felt safe working at a distance with the team. The shoot was a lesson in working with what was available. It pushed Steven to think outside the box and created an opportunity to pull from all of his interests and skills.
They shot with only natural light. They drove themselves to a remote location for the outdoor scenes. They used a room in the couple’s apartment with three walls of windows for the interior shots. It was conducted in open air, with masks, and from a distance. Steven commissioned a friend, singer-songwriter Jordan Tariff, to write an original song for the video—something nostalgic, warm, and simple to complement the visuals. He worked with a small mom-and-pop shop to process the film and a film colorist, remotely. With the help of his team and immediate network, he successfully and safely acted as both creative agency and production company, delivering something highly personal despite the restrictions of COVID-19.
Without the time constraints of a typical production schedule, Steven shot motion with 16mm film—a medium he’d always wanted to incorporate into his reel; he felt the aesthetic matched the warm, nostalgic theme. The distance enforced by pandemic protocols added to the theme. The still photos feature a couple walking hand-in-hand through fields of poppies, surrounded by the dust of the desert in a convertible car, wind blowing on their faces, the sun high, their eyes protected by designer shades. The couple is also shown lounging in a sun-soaked interior. The film shows them driving through the desert with the narrator speaking of learning to let go, taking things slow and enjoying the ride, the moment.
The final piece was considered, shot from a distance, and spoke of simpler times—a balm to the uncertainty felt by many during the pandemic. Respecting the extreme challenges of the times, Steven endeavored to put out a piece that was positive and aspirational.
It was rewarding for the artist to be able to strip himself of all the extras of a normal shoot and feel less control over small production details. It became a therapeutic process and a great proof of concept.”
– Lindsay Comstock / LeBook