You mention the approach to style was more authentic during this time. Talk about the street style and culture at that time.
It was the 90’s: Army fatigues jackets, pants and hats, baggy jeans, big tee shirts and sweatpants, skully hats, bandanas, and Timberlands or military styled boots. This was also a time when it was the thing to sport a boldly labeled tee-shirt, sweats or jeans by young Black designers such as Karl Kani, Walker Wear, Mecca, and Enyce.
What was your career like at the time of this shoot?
I was about three years into my career at the time. I was shooting either artist’s portraits, studio sessions or events at the time.
What photographers/creative did you admire?
I studied the works of Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, Mary Ellen Mark, Chester Higgins, Lorna Simpson and Carrie Mae Weems.
What made you first want to become a photographer?
As I reflected later in my career, I realized that I was always the photographer in my crew. I just didn’t know the possibilities in terms of a career. I first got inspired to make this a career choice when I was interning at MCA Records back in 1992-3. I would admire the photos that would come in from the publicity shoots. One day, this photographer named Koi Sojer came in with a bunch of images. I had already been shooting images and realized that mine were not so different from hers. At that point, I decided to try it out. My first published image was a small picture of Busta Rhymes performing at the “Posse” film release party.
What was the process of looking at the contact sheet like?
The contact sheet would allow me to gravitate to which photos I actually wanted to print. Later on, I actually exhibited a series from this shoot and included the negative imagery.
How does it make you feel looking back on these?
I am a big fan of hip-hop music and when I look back at these images I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to capture historical moments within this tremendous and important movement.
Do you still shoot analog or make contact sheets?
I haven’t shot analog in a while, however, I recently bought a new film camera, a FujiFilm GF640, and I plan to shoot more analog very soon.