The Lounge is a virtual Art Gallery, updated weekly. This space will showcase emerging or underutilized photographers.
Eye Candy for Monday.
I think we’re going to ease back into the blog with some nice, pretty portraits from a young pup. Jaime Hogge graduated from Humber less than two years ago and, as a self-identifying terrible assistant, he’s eager to get on with it and has recently started showing his book. For Year Two post-school, it’s not a bad book at all.
Let’s find out a bit more about Jaime. We’ll start with his influences:
It might be cliche but hands down my biggest influence and photographic hero is Richard Avedon. I really appreciate the simplicity of his work and how it’s so focused on the subject matter but at the same time maintains a really distinct style. I also really appreciate that half the time you can’t tell his studio work from his location work because he just seemed to master everything so amazingly.
A little more local and a little more currently speaking I’d say that Chris Wahl is probably one of my absolute favourite shooters around. All of his stuff is again very simple but so detailed at the same time. His use of his surroundings and just what he brings out in his subjects is incredible too. Also, and not just because he’s been so amazingly helpful to me, I’m a pretty huge fan of Daniel Ehrenworth’s. I think you mentioned in your interview with him that it just looks like he is having a ball with photography – I don’t think I could say it any better than that. It’s actually quite hard to find many commercial photographers who are just truly still in love with photography and Daniel is definitely one of those guys as you can see with all the life in his portfolio.
You told me once you weren’t a good assistant. Explain.
I started assisting after my first year of photo school and I assisted for about a year and a half or so after graduating- it really wasn’t something I had an amazing time doing, though I did meet some great people and great photographers. I just always found myself wishing I was the one shooting no matter how great the photographer was to work with. I’d say that probably made me a bad assistant but at the same time I think a lot of assistants tend to lose sight of what they actually want in their careers because they become so wrapped up in other peoples careers. It was still a great learning experience nonetheless and I’d say a pretty necessary step in any photographers career.
Agreed. Let’s get back to the work. One of Jaime’s recent commissions was to shoot a portrait of local filmmaker David Battistella. I was struck by these first two shots. Jaime’s framing emphasizes an intense, almost creepy expression.
But wait, there’s more.
Though all of these shots were done in David’s loft, Jaime has made great use of what he found there (for eg. projection screen in lieu of seamless, above) to get different sides of David. I’m not as keen on the set below- I prefer Intense to Approachable, but it’s an interesting comparison and I like that he’s versatile.
I asked him about this assignment:
The David Battistella portraits came about almost a year ago. He saw an exhibition I had and really liked it so he gave me a call. We spent some time trying to figure out where and what to shoot when he invited me over to his loft space where I discovered it was perfect and so we shot there.
This shoot was a perfect example of why I love location work; there’s just so many possibilities for the outcome and it really lets a photographer put their own spin on things. There’s definitely something to be said for the time and space studio work affords you but at the same time there’s just a uniqueness to location shooting you can’t get anywhere else. For example, the shots in front of the projection screen were shot on the same day as the other stuff just to kind of switch gears a bit. I’m kind of sporadic and spontaneous and I tend to get a ton of ideas while I’m in the middle of things. Basically we did a bunch of available light stuff in around the place and then did a few more straight forward shots.
I always find that the best shots and the shots that make it into my book are the ones I get when things are super relaxed and we’re just kinda hanging out. There’s something really invasive about someone coming into your space with a big camera and I think wearing down that guard that people naturally put up is the biggest part in getting a portrait that really portrays the person.
Here’s another set of portraits (“just shooting around the place” says Jaime) of musician Jim Guthrie.
In another vein, Jaime has recently collaborated with the NFB on a film about high rises and suburban living. The filmmaker was looking for work that was not quite photojournalistic but not staged either.
Jaime seems to be in possession of several important attributes of a successful portrait photographer: The ability to find the moment and find the frame; to allow your subject to become unguarded. The ability to balance natural and artificial light; to be versatile.
Plus, I think that any shooter who can come up with this last one has lots of successful imagery in their future:
Good for you Jaime. It’s a great start.