Perspectives: Eric Harris from Tracy Locke shares his experience with Leigh Beisch



Who would have thought that a simple request to a recent client to share his observations about a shoot would lead to such a lovely reply.  It is not everyday that a client is able to take the time to reflect on their experience with the studio and then share it with the group.  Well, Group Creative Director Eric Harris of Tracy Locke did just that.   And for that, we are grateful.

Here is what he felt compelled to share:

Leigh Beisch is a rare breed of photographer. One who truly drives the creative process; one who goes beyond merely capturing the result of it. For many reasons, it was clear to me from the beginning that Leigh’s vision would define not only our time in her studio, but also the outcome of our entire project.

First of all, what a rare occurrence in this industry to stumble across a photographer/stylist relationship like Leigh and Dan Becker. They compliment each other so well, and they speak very highly of each other (even when they think the other isn’t listening!). As the line blurs from styling to shooting, one of them is there to complete the other’s sentence… Visually. I can’t count how many times Leigh – looking at the monitor – would ask Dan to move a shred of parmesan, or add a small puddle of sauce to the dish. Only Dan had already done just that. And the difference in the shot was night and day. It’s an art director’s dream.

Speaking of art director, it’s clear that Leigh’s wheelhouse sits on an AD’s foundation. She injects and demands the highest quality design into every single shot. She deliberately and carefully affects every element of every photograph, and she does it seamlessly and gracefully. I found it particularly interesting that Leigh did not have a prop stylist on set with us. Leigh is so capable and confident in her tabletop styling that she understands the physical presence of a stylist isn’t necessary. When sifting through the props on set, I knew they were meticulously combed over by Leigh with her unwavering eye for what would support the brief. Props that added life. Props that added soul. Props that told a story.

Just like in her work, at Leigh’s studio it’s the details that make the difference. The little things: The quarry of cordial glasses resting on the hearth. The herb garden just outside the kitchen. Bella, the bloated little pug that sits around all day licking her chops. A sushi lunch on the picnic table in the backyard. These are not typically things we see in studios. These are all the makings of a home. And that’s how I felt when I shot with Leigh.

At home. It was the icing on the cake of beautifully strategic (or strategically beautiful – depending on your stance) work. “

Hunter Freeman shoots on the moon – well sort of.

Recently,  Hunter Freeman donated his time to a photo shoot for  Melwood, a non profit agency whose mission is to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  In his own words, he describes how the shoot influenced him to continue his astronaut series.

” I didn’t think I would ever shoot on the moon, but when a friend called to ask for help with a pro bono client – and to shoot it on the Bonneville Salt Flats – I just had to help.  Melwood works with all kinds of companies and corporations, including NASA, and does a wonderful job of helping individuals with disabilities to find meaningful work and lives.  One of their specialties is receiving donated cars.  The commercial that was shot was a parody of the classic high end car commercial, with racing footage about a car that will “change peoples’ lives”, only the car ends up being a 1993 POS (Plymouth Sundance with 140K on it, to be precise).  So how could I not bring the Astronaut suit along and do some shots with that?  Everywhere I looked on the Salt Flats, there was another picture.

While the video crew was doing their thing, I shot the hero of the ad (the car) as well as one of Melwood’s clients, a lovely young guy named William.  He was great, and really got into being photographed with the Astronaut.  Interestingly, William and his caregiver left the next day – in “the car” – to drive east back to DC.  So far, so good, is the word.  Rumor has it, Melwoods’ agency SmithGifford will be posting their journey on YouTube soon.  We’ll keep you posted.”  Hunter Freeman

Tune in later when we show off the latest images in the astronaut series.