Sometimes the CFO becomes the model. Especially if we all think he looks like a European baker.

We did an advertising shoot for a sandwich company a while back and the company provided us with an employee to use in the ad to represent an artisanal baker. The company presumed that this made sense because, well, the person they recruited was one of their bakers. But he was way too young and too cool to really pull of the idea the advertising agency had in mind = serious, experienced baker.

We tried to do some usable shots with the kid but mostly we were all standing around trying to decide whether or not to pull the plug on that day's work and buddy up with our local talent agency and find someone a bit more baker-ish. That's when someone notices that the CFO standing over to the side in a dark suit might be just the person we needed. With a bit of coaxing we got him to shed the suit coat and put on a baker's jacket.

We tried many variations but this one, with the wry (rye?) expression was the one I liked the best. It was shot with a Pentax 645 and the 150mm lens in our studio on San Marcos St. I printed up a few variations and sent them along to the agency. It helps to go into a shoot with a plan but it's equally helpful to be flexible when the plan meets reality. That day I felt like I was channeling the spirit of August Sander. One of my favorite photographers from the first half of the twentieth century.


amolitor said...

I love everything you do with people.

So so so many photographers working with a client wait patiently for the client to "be ready", which means the client has slipped on the mask I call Camera Face. This mask makes everyone look identical. It is the face we are taught, through some mysterious alchemy, to put on for photos.

I don't know much, but I know that you should wait for the moment when Camera Face vanishes, and that portraiture is to a degree about making Camera Face vanish, and being ready when it does.

Hendrik said...

Absolutely love it, the "I'd much rather be back at my oven (spreadsheet)" look on his face is priceless. Sander with a twist.

Grant said...

For some reason, this looks to me like a 'head-pasted-onto-someone-else's-body-wearing-the-clothes' photo.

I'm assuming that it's a coincidence that the human being involved is 'pasted into' the role that the photo presents, from his true life as CFO. Or maybe not?

Kirk Tuck said...

Sorry Grant. I don't get that at all.

Anonymous said...

I was drawn at first to the man's large hands—they appear to be "working" hands, yet they're holding the pans like the baked goods are babies. And his direct expression, for me, is of pride in his (supposed) craft, not boredom at being used as a model. I'm wondering—without the story behind the photo, would anyone who didn't already know him know he isn't a baker?

Anonymous said...

August Sander? He's my man! I'm just working up to writing a big block of appreciation of how he was trying to capture the riven and panicked Germany as a whole, on film. But does this look like Sander? Yes indeedy do. thanks a lot!

Michael Carrithers

Anonymous said...

Kirk, there are a lot of nice assymetries and variations in this photograph. The apparent different sizes of the eyes (lighting) counterpoising the different sized dishes in the hands. The tones in the hair roughly matching the tones in the darker dish. The different sizes of the dishes and their different levels of fill. I like the way the tones in this are similar to the Sander photograph in the highlights and different in the blacks. Really all wonderful.