Before a shoot I normally spend a few hours brainstorming with a model about things they’re interested in exploring, and also looking at images they find captivating so that we can get ideas for lighting setups and locations and just the general look and feel we might be going for.
Alex drove this idea from start to finish. He and I loved the idea of working with taboo subjects and pushing the boundaries of art/editorial language to say something more substantial. But he really took the idea up and ran with it.
He’d been a cutter, so the chance to ‘speak’ about that in a visual medium was something he grasped fully. I try not to get too many preconceived notions before we actually get to the set. Everyone looks a little different in the lights and I try to allow for exploration within a framework.
Obviously we knew that we wanted to do something grungy since the subject matter was going to be both delicate and disturbing. I actually hadn’t considered not using a backdrop until we shot a previous idea that way. When I played with the edits on those I really knew it would be better that way.