NEW YORK, UNITED
is known for his high fashion couture editorial work.
Before he became this high fashion photographer, he was
humble, and I’m sure honored to have assisted great
photographers such as the icon, Helmut Newton and Robert
Mapplethorpe, to name a few. Richard had a great
opportunity, while living in
to work on a 30 page Couture editorial in the Italian
Bazaar Magazine, photographing icon Valentino among
other couture fashion designers. Some of Richard’s
client list includes: Editorial clients:
Australian Vogue, French Glamour,
Magazine, Maxim, Glamour, Greek Cosmo, and Details.
Non-editorial clients: Bill Blass
Lingerie, Donna Karan, Vera Wang, Cover Girl, Macy’s,
Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Coach.
The Tango Ad -
How did you get into the world of Fashion Photography?
I decided that I wanted to do fashion when I was 19
years old. I was
shooting landscapes obsessed with photographing beauty.
My best friend at
the time was called in to be an intern photo assistant
at a local model agency and when he showed me the photos
from the shoots I was hooked. I began buying books by
Helmet Newton, Richard Avedon, and Francesco Scavullo.
EFM: Did you attend
college, if so where?
I went to
but I was a graphics arts major not photography.
self taught then I moved to NY at the age of 22 and
learned more by assisting for 5 years.
EFM: Have you always
had a passion for Photography?
Yes, My parents bought me a toy darkroom kit when I was
10 years old. I
was first amazed by the chemical process: orange lights,
images appearing in the dark, it was very fascinating.
EFM: What inspires you
to create an image or get prepped for a photo shoot?
I do a lot of research and planning before a shoot.
It all starts
with either the clothes or the magazine requirements.
For example the Tango story on my site was for a
French magazine where the theme of the issue was
asked my fashion editor what was a general theme in that
season’s shows and he said there was a heavy Spanish
had done some long black lacy gowns.
Chanel did a
cropped Matador jacket.
I asked myself what is Spanish and performance?
The result was a Tango story.
Where are you
EFM: Describe what
your day is like during a photo shoot?
As mentioned before much of the prep is before the shoot
day. I try to
keep shoots on a 9-5 schedule.
Usually its 3
hours of hair and makeup during this time myself and my
two photo assistants build the set or tweak the
lighting, order lunch etc.
EFM: When you first
became a fashion photographer, did you feel that it was
hard for you to find work?
Finding work does not end when you become established;
it just makes it a bit easier.
It was easier
back then to find work than it would be now, because
with digital really anyone can take a photo. Before
Digital you actually had to know how to expose film and
make color prints in a dark room.
If you did not
know this it showed in your work.
But to answer
your question I did follow somewhat of a formula:
assist, move to
Then come back
and get and agent.
process took ten years and I got work when I was ready
to get work.
How long have you
been a fashion photographer?
Professionally, 23 years.
You have already
achieved so much in your career.
But, where do you
see yourself in 5 years in this fashion industry?
Books are a natural progression to an editorial fashion
photographer and I am working on one now. I also teach
at workshops so as I get older I suspect I would like to
do more of that, “passing the torch” as it may.
EFM: What advice can
you give to other inspiring fashion photographers?
Really a couple things.
beginners I would say experiment and shoot until your
photos look like the ones in fashion magazines.
When you have achieved this then you will have a
standard of excellence to follow.
Later and most
important, is to do whatever you can to make an income
but always have a personal project going on.
The latter will satisfy your creative needs
should the commercial aspect of making money fail to
meet that need.
Interview by Rochell “E” James