Honolulu-based fashion photographer Kaveh Kardan recently made a trip to New York City to work with models there and to build up his portfolio – and theirs. He has graciously agreed to share his photos, and the stories behind them, with us. This is the second in his series.
Martina is a model I worked with during my previous trip to NYC in
September, and I made sure to contact her before this trip to arrange
for a photo shoot. She is a dancer, actress, burlesque performer, and,
like me, a math major. Not your typical waif of a model, Martina
exudes the sensuality of a 1940s Italian movie actress, a mixture of
Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida.
We were planning to shoot around the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but
changed our minds once we were on location, due to the construction
and large numbers of tourists and their buses. Instead, we headed
down to one of her favorite areas, the Lower East Side.
It was an unseasonably warm and sunny February day, with the
temperatures reaching the high 60’s. A friend of Martina’s owns a
restaurant in the area, so we used that as our home base, changing
outfits and traveling light. This allowed us to move around the
streets and shoot without drawing attention to ourselves, looking
like a pair of tourists.
I decided to use available light, taking advantage of the low sun
which poured down the streets. I knew some of the images would be
black and white, and I wanted them to feel like something out of a
Several hours and many outfit changes later, we decided to end our
shoot at the Brooklyn Bridge. Somehow ended up nearer to the
Manhattan Bridge, and ended up finishing our shoot using the Brooklyn
Bridge as a backdrop, along with part of the city skyline as the sun
disappeared behind the skyscrapers. For some of these final shots, I
broke out my light stand and flash, going for a more 1950s glamour
look and lighting.
This was the first of three shoots with Martina during my week-long stay in NYC.
– Kaveh Kardan