Blacks is an up and coming hip hop artist hailing from right here in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He's got a new mixtape that's about to hit the internet very soon so he brought me on to capture some images of him in the recording studio and some portraits for the album and other publicity.
For the studio images we didn't have a whole lot of time so I went in with a fairly minimal kit---couple of speedlights, a shoot-through umbrella and a Lastolite LTP softbox. The studio itself was really lived-in (a nice way of saying "messy as hell") and I liked that about it. I only wanted to move the bare minimum of stuff around that would make the shot work, other than that I liked keeping things as they were. This shot of Blacks getting a drink of water next to the microwave is actually one of my favorites because of how ordinary everything looks---point being, making music, or any art for that matter, isn't usually a glamorous affair. It's work and it's done in spaces with shitty looking microwaves and water coolers. For the most part, at least!
We shot Blacks's portraits in my home studio. Just a beauty dish, speedlight and black flag. Even threw a little free lensing in here just to mix things up a bit. Because every once in awhile you why not shoot without your expensive lens directly attached to your camera body!