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IYA: Your work seems to gravitate toward the avant garde. What do you love about this genre? JOSHUA: I love the idea that garments and accessories can surpass their intended purposes and be joined together in experimental ways to create a new form or function. For example, we love using latex in a shoot because its intended function is to signify the person wearing it participated in acts of sexual taboo. We can take that material, and by changing the context of how or where it is worn, completely change how one would view the person wearing it and nullify said taboos. IYA: You work with a tight-knit team. How is it working alongside your wife as your makeup artist? JOSHUA: Without my team, no shoot would ever be possible. I’m extremely fortunate to be able to surround myself with incredibly talented people who are not only highly skilled at what they do, but also share the same aesthetic ideas that I do.

shoot the Factor Women model competition. How did it feel and what’s next? JOSHUA: It’s incredibly flattering to be asked by Factor to shoot their contest winner, which put me in the company of some of the best photographers in this town. I think it also shows that the style of photography that my team and I specialize in does have its place in the Chicago market. I’m being asked with ever-increasing frequency when I will be moving to a bigger photo market such as NYC or Milan. As of right now, we are very happy living and working in Chicago. I believe there’s an incredible talent pool here and this is a fantastic city where I can strengthen my book. For the immediate future I’d like to focus on shooting more editorials and produce more conceptual shoots for my portfolio. IYA: What was your inspiration behind the Kit Kat Lounge shoot for this issue? JOSHUA: Recently I became troubled with the idea that too many of my shoots left nothing to chance. The studio environment


incredible challenge for my team and me. In the end, the frenzy of the shoot was well worth it. IYA: How do you come up with ideas for shoots? JOSHUA: I try to take inspiration from as many different places as I can. An idea can come from a scene in a film that really impacted me, or something as simple as the way the sun is hitting a reflective surface. Modern architecture plays a big part in my set designs and my location choices. I’m drawn to very clean lines and graphic elements and have incorporated that into my style. I strongly believe in looking at other photographers as much as possible. I’m constantly learning new things by looking at the work of others. I don’t believe in the idea of plagiarism when it comes to photography. No two images can ever be exactly the same, and I believe that you can discover many things about your own work by trying to recreate what excites you. IYA: What frustrates you about the creative process? JOSHUA: Sometimes an idea can be too grandiose. Instead of focusing on the feeling or the story that you’re trying to create, you start to obsess over the way a light is hitting the background or whether or not the fake trees you’re using on set are placed in just the right order. I find myself getting frustrated in those moments when I lose sight of the goal. In the end, I think the benchmark for any good photographer is the ability to juggle all those details at once and create something that is provocative and beautiful. IYA: For highly-produced sets, what advice would you offer to models for test shoots?

Being able to work with my wife Kristina is quite possibly the most rewarding and satisfying part of my photography. I know her makeup applications will always be creative and skillful, but what might be more important than that is the trust factor that comes along with working side by side. I know that I can always turn to her and ask if what she’s seeing on the monitor is up to par or not. That level of trust is something that I get from every member of the team. Caitlin Marie Punschke is a stylist I know will always bring exactly the right pieces to a shoot, regardless of the concept. I know that when Jenna Baltes is on the set styling hair, I never have to look over my shoulder or check the clock. I believe that consistency is paramount, and when you have a solid team around you, the results are always consistently stunning. IYA: You have some notable achievements in your work, including being chosen to

is great and it allows my team and me to pour over the smallest details as we walk away with a very polished product. In most cases, I’m more than satisfied with the outcome. However, I feel that if the formula never changes, neither will the work. So I started to think about how we could do something that was really off-the-cuff. I began to envision this story of two women and a man out for a night on the town. I didn’t want any clear lines or definitions to be visible. Do the women already know the man? Is he there for their amusement or his own? Who has the power in the situation? I firmly believe that questions make a photo interesting. I wanted a subtle tone of sexuality to flow throughout all the images without a clear resolution. I’m incredibly happy that the photos have an air of voyeurism to them, as if we are stealing glances at situations we’re not supposed to see. There is a palpable energy within each shot that is a result of shooting in the midst of a busy nightclub. It was an

JOSHUA: I often tell a model that the feelings she’s expressing to the camera and the character I need her to portray are more important than how she looks. Nine times out of ten I will book a girl based on how well she can adapt and create, rather than the color of her hair or the size of her waist. I would advise a model to take a look around at the style of the set and what kind of mood the lighting and the styling is trying to create. Interaction with the set and the clothes is so important and can take an ordinary shot to someplace extraordinary. The best models I’ve ever shot had the confidence to own the set and the shoot. IYA: Who would you love to shoot? JOSHUA: I think Lara Stone is such an impressive model because she can embody a character so well on every single shoot she does. If I were given the opportunity, I’d shoot her for days on end.


Profile for The LB Group

ME: IN FOCUS Magazine 'S' Issue (July/August) 2010  

Dear Readers, Welcome to the long awaited S issue - the double issue that celebrates everything S, everything summer. My favorite season, su...

ME: IN FOCUS Magazine 'S' Issue (July/August) 2010  

Dear Readers, Welcome to the long awaited S issue - the double issue that celebrates everything S, everything summer. My favorite season, su...