Art

Portraits of Preservation.

I wanted to preserve a group of people that represent humanity. Blake Little

images by Blake Little - interview by Tiffany Credle
Tao 2012 © Blake Little

Tao 2012 © Blake Little

Citizen Brooklyn: How did you begin exploring the world of photography and what made you want to go into this field?

I was studying science in school, but I did not have direction or specific interest in science. In my third year at the University of Washington, I switched my major to communications. There, I discovered I really wanted to study photography and dropped out of the UW and enrolled at Seattle Central College in their photo department. I developed my passion for photography and committed study in school.

Sarah front 2012 © Blake Little

Sarah front 2012 © Blake Little

CBK: How did you get the idea to explore preservation in relation to the human body? What was your inspiration for this series?

The Preservation photographs came organically from a small detail of a shoot. I was fascinated by the way honey looked on a man’s hands and started experimenting with honey on bodies in different ways. The first few shoots I did in my home studio including the cover of the book. Eventually, I rented my favorite place to shoot in LA called The Studio and shot for 3 weeks with a full crew.

Paul 2012 © Blake Little

Paul 2012 © Blake Little


CBK: The creation process for one image seems very intricate, how long did it take to create just one photo and how long did it take to shoot the entire Preservation series?

There is a fairly elaborate set and production for shooting my subjects with honey, A day to setup in the studio and preparing the lighting with acrew of 4 people. I photographed each person or couple for 45 minutes to about 2 ½ hours. We did 3 weeks of shooting for the book.

Jessica reclining 2014© Blake Little

Jessica reclining 2014© Blake Little

CBK: What are some of the challenges of using honey as a medium that the average reader may not realize?

Honey is like shooting glass, every surface is reflective. So there is fairly elaborate lighting set up. And it is a big mess.

Catherine 2012© Blake Little

Catherine 2012© Blake Little

CBK: How did you select what models would make great subjects for this portrait series?

Honey has a way of diffusing the subjects features. It has a way of democratizing people and making everyone equal . I chose subjects with strong phycsical features and included all ages, races, and body types. I wanted to preserve a group of people that represent humanity.

Angelina and Paul 2014 © Blake Little

Angelina and Paul 2014 © Blake Little

CBK: What is the secret to capturing the essence of a subject and creating an exceptional portrait?

The key to a great portrait is connecting with your subject and allowing them to reveal themself.

With the Preservation photographs the subjects eyes are almost always closed. The physical emotion of the experience of being covered in honey replaces the emotion that you normally see in the eyes of the subject. Everyone reacts differently to the experience but there is something universal about the photographs as a whole that refer to the human condition.

Devion back © Blake Little

Devion back © Blake Little



CBK: What can we expect from you in the near future?

I am continuing my advertising and editorial work.
My next series will be photographing LGBT homeless youth in Los Angeles.
We are working on traveling the exhibition to the London and Europe.

Riot 2013 © Blake Little

Riot 2013 © Blake Little

Moxie 2014 © Blake Little

Moxie 2014 © Blake Little

Preservation by Blake Little Cover © Blake Little

Preservation by Blake Little Cover © Blake Little

 

For more of Blake Little’s work, visit:

http://preservationbook.com
http://blakelittle.com
http://www.kopeikingallery.com

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