When Breezy the rapper called me to photograph him for his CD cover I wasn’t really interested in doing anything more than a documentary shot of him. Mainly because he didn’t have any ideas except that he wanted to wear a suit and his CD was going to be titled “Billionaire Dreams.” After some brainstorming I started to get an image of what could be a fun shoot. I imagined a person that acted like they have it all yet their surroundings say they don’t. I liked the contrasting ideas so things started to gel and I felt the Henryton Facility would be a cool backdrop.
On location Breezy was a little stiff, he needed lots of encouragement and instructions before he found his groove. He liked to point at the camera a lot, which works for the first 5 shots, but you have to mix it up a bit. I told him “Breezy, forget the camera, forget about getting your suit dirty, forget about answering your phone and forget the cops could show up here and arrest us.” I walked over to the scene and pointed to the ground, “here, right here, dance like you LOVE your life and you LOVE what you are doing. If you can’t convince me right here you’ll never convince your fan club.” Breezy laughed, then pulled it off very nicely.
Here’s Breezy in the burned out floor doing what he loves.
I walked into this room and the first thing I noticed was the tile floor. The tiles had drifted from their original position and in some places they were on top of other tiles but all the tiles had shown similar movement. That is strange, maybe vibrations permeate the building at night. With the amount of decay going on, it was also strange that peeled paint and debris wasn’t piled up along the edge of the floor, especially around the window, but there was little. It look like the spirits hired to clean the room did a pretty good job, I’m thinking they worked for Merimaids.
I’m on facebook now so you can look me up there or you can email me: ferrellmc[at]comcast.net
I’m always impressed with photographers that can take a scene that is neither beautiful nor unique and through careful composition create thought provoking art. These are typically the scenes or subjects that most of us walk past and never look back. But what happens when you find something that catches your eye, what do you do? I tend to slow down, walk around, see how the foreground elements line up with the background elements. I never drop and shoot without looking at all the options, unless I need to work fast. Sometimes I even walk away from the scene for a short time then walk back and see how it feels. This is how I prepare to shoot but by far the most important step for me is the mental process of deciding what I want from the shot. What exactly am I trying to capture, to convey, to express in this pic. I actually visualize the final image, then I begin to shoot.