pleather shorts/boyfriend blazer, Forever 21. black tank, Express. watch, Target.
Photography by Benny Pinto
It was a cold cold night, way back in, I dunno January or something. I parked my ridiculously unnecessary SUV on one of the garbage bag infested side streets downtown. I think it was beside a Crazy Mocha, but who knows, those things are to Pittsburgh what Starbucks is to Manhattan anymore, could’ve been on any street. Dialed up Benny and proceeded to walk, wind blown, arm laden with a bag full of shoes, bits of black clothing and a bottle of hairspray, until I found the studio tucked away in Market Square and Benny standing outside shivering in nothing more than a hoodie.
Though we were all merely playing, so to speak, Tak and Benny with their respective lenses and lighting equipment, and me with the black clothing and tableau blanc of the studio backdrop, we were all also working. Tak asked me how much time I had; I responded as long as he needed, my longest shoot has gone on over 3 hours. “Oh, I won’t need 3 hours,” he says. Three hours later, we were still playing.
I really think that the fuel to these shoots that go on and on and no one notices the clock, or the sun setting, or their stomachs growling, is the music. Yeah, that sounds like some creative person cliché, I know, but it’s an absolute truism; if the music being pumped during a shoot makes me move, makes me dance, then I’m going to model better. If the music is something I can get lost in, then I’m definitely going to forget that I didn’t eat dinner yet, forget about being under 90 degree lights in a sterile white studio, forget that I have a hundred pages of reading to finish, forget about the pain of heels or the discomfort of holding a pose. For this photography duo it was all alt-metal and Santigold, indie-pop-dance-metal…changed up, made me dance, made me groove, and made me angsty. It’s like some sort of inverse Brechtian drama, instead of the songs interrupting, the songs made everything flow.
Each photographer I’ve worked with has introduced me to new music, their tastes, which translate into the kind of images that they want. The music played becomes an equalizer between photographer and subject, a universal language that says, “hey, this is what I’m feeling right now, go.”