Young & Living
New York City and Montreal based photographer Frankie Perez got into photography through his other passion as a world class breakdancer. He defines his visual identity by trying to blur the lines between fashion images & creative portraiture with an intent to evoke emotion.
How did the idea for the series come about and how do you approach these intimate shoots?
The initial idea for this shoot came from the yellow rubber cleaning gloves. I’ve been styling a lot of my own shoots lately and wanted to experiment with creating a look around it. From there I built a loose concept that was meant to evoke this youthful/carefree kind of vibe in which the other looks and visual elements were included. After that the rest was pretty much a stream of conscious kind of approach where my instincts took over. I usually approach something like this by first just making sure everyone I’m working with is comfortable and we’re on the same page about what we want to get done. In this case I’ve shot with Michelle many times before and our relationship is one where we can feed off each other pretty organically at this point.
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
I think we can and in many cases it is already happening. When you look at the work of photographers like Vivian Sassen, Richard Kern, and Dana Tripp for example you see that it’s very possible to create an image where the female body is used in a powerful way that makes one think a little deeper than whats on the surface of what your seeing. In my own way I try to do the same in that the female body isn’t captured just for shock value. Even when there’s an erotic element to my work I try to make sure it’s presented artistically and in a way where the models themselves can feel proud about how they look.
What inspires you?
So much! Mainly music, but inspiration for me can really be anything under the sun and come at times that are very random like when I’m reading a comic book, to watching a film, having a conversation, walking on the street, etc. The trick to this for me is just being open to those moments because my mind is always racing about so many different projects at once!
How would you define beauty?
Generally speaking I see it as anything that brings positivity to my life.
Film or digital?
Mostly digital at the moment. Although I’m experimenting with polaroids and 35mm more and more lately.
What makes you happy and what’s next for you?
Creating makes me happy, as well as the people in my life who are closest to me. Up next is just to continue developing my aesthetic while trying to get my work seen by as many people as possible. I have a dream to shoot for i-D one day so I’m constantly working towards that goal! And also narrative filmmaking is also definitely on the agenda as well. I’m almost finished with the screenplay to my first feature length film and I’m extremely excited about it!