Tag Archives: FujiFilm X100S Mirrorless Camera

December 2013 Cover of PDN Magazine

Janelle Monae PDN Magazine Cover

Janelle Monae PDN Magazine Cover December 2013

Janelle Monae PDN Magazine Cover

Pitchfork Media hired me to photograph Janelle Monae for a web cover story. Some of the images I photographed for the Pitchfork article were later published by PDN Magazine.

The Process

I photographed the magazine cover photo with my FujiFilm x100s mirrorless camera. I have the silver model but I really want the all black edition.

I really like this camera because it is three times smaller and lighter than any of my Nikon DSLR cameras.

Sometimes it is hard for the subject to hear my directions  because the larger DSLR cameras create a barrier between me and the.

The smaller size of the FujiFilm X100s makes it easier to communicate with the person that I am photographing. I think that the photos come out better because there is a deeper connection made. The difference is like a face to face conversation versus a conversation through text messages.

Another great feature of the Fuji X100S is that it does not make any noise. This is a great feature  because the sound of the camera shutter can prompt subjects to change their expressions causing the photos to look unnatural.

I used the sun as my light source and and a round reflector for fill light.

Hair, makeup, and wardrobe were provided by Janelle Monae’s team. I must mention that her team was awesome because behind the scenes professionals don’t get enough love.

Janelle Monae PDN Magazine Cover

Rants & Tangents

I really enjoyed working with Janelle Monae because she is chill. She was quiet at first but she came alive when she stepped in front of the camera.

Sometimes (a lot of the time) celebrities arrive fashionable late to photo shoots. This means that I get less time to capture the shots. Fortunately, her management gave us more time to shoot.  I still had to get the shots really quickly but we got the job done!

 

Janelle Monae Profile Portrait

Janelle Monae Profile Portrait Janelle Monae Profile Portrait

Janelle Monae Profile Portrait

This is a Janelle Monae Profile Portrait. I shot this in NYC for Pitchfork Magazine. Pitchfork is The essential guide to independent music and beyond. The found me through my natural hair photo book called the Coiffure Project.

The story eventually was picked up by PDN Magazine. One of the top photo magazines in the world!
My images made it on to the cover of PDN Magazine! You know I was hype. It still feels like a dream for a dude from Baltimore. It was a moment were all of the the hard work appeared to pay off. But we know that its just the beginning and the grind never stops.

These images where shot with my FujiFilm x100s Mirrorless camera with a wide open aperture so that I could blur out the background. I cant remember but I think i was at f/2. Im sure I can open up light room right now to figure out the exact aperture but one thing at a time.

Side note. I have the silver FujiFilm x100s Mirrorless camera but I want the black one! One more step to being incognito!

We were located in a community garden in Tribeca New York. We did not use strobe lights for this shoot because the sun was just right so all we needed was a reflector.

The subject (Janelle) was really cool. She was a chill person. I wish we had more time to chat about the universe but we were on a tight schedule. Celebrities tend to be very busy so we had to get the shots quickly.
I think we established that we were both Sagittarius which I thought was kind of cool. Searching for some kind of connection. Maybe im over thinking things. Hahaha!

Janelle had a beauty staff making sure her look was crisp. Her makeup was on point and her natural hairstyle was a piece of art.

Janelle Monáe Pitchfork Media cover story

Janelle Monáe Pitchfork Media cover story

Janellle-Monae-Pitchfork-Magazine-Glenford-Nunez

Janellle-Monae-Pitchfork-Magazine-Glenford-Nunez-2

Janelle Monáe for Pitchfork Magazine Cover Story later featured on the cover of PDN Magazine.

Janelle Monáe Pitchfork Media cover story

I got a call from a guy at pitchfork media to photograph Janelle Monae. If I was not already familiar with the contact that reached out to me I would have thought it was a cruel joke. Pitchfork found me through my natural hair photo book The Coiffure Project which had gotten some press from major sites like The Huffington Post.

The Process

The setup was simple. Natural sunlight. I round reflector for bounce and fill. Shot with the Fuji Film X100s.

This was one of those situations that you never see coming. You never know what past interactions will manifest themselves in the present. The contact that reached out to me was a guy that I had a brief interaction. Long story short the contact reached out to me for a previous shoot. Unfortunately the company he was representing did not have the budget for the shoot. We both agreed and then went our separate ways.

A year and some months later I get an email from the same contact almost forgetting who he was. He said that he has changed jobs and now was working for Pitchfork media. He asked me if I knew who Janelle Monae was and if I wanted to photographer her. I was super excited but I had to play it off. “Yeah, Ive heard of her. I wouldn’t mind working with her.” Inside I was bursting.

The budget was in line for the project so everything was looking great. I caught a train or the Bolt bus to NYC and I shot with Janelle Monae.

Free Thought, Rants, Tangents

Ok! Tip. Create, create, create! Become great. Share your work in the process. People see your work and if it fits with what they need they will hire you. Stick to what you love and create the work that you want to get paid to do. Find out who else does the type of work you do. Figure out how that person does it. Learn from them. Borrow from them then make your own improvements. There is always room for improvement and the student always exceeds the teacher. No one is built like you. Only you can add the twist that you can. The most important things is to keep creating and never give up. You can take a break if you want. A long break even but always get back to you do.

There are no rules make up your own rules.

Janelle Monáe Pitchfork Media cover story by Glenford Nuñez.

An award winning commercial photographer on the East Coast.