HotShots: Shannon Brooke
HotShots: Shannon Brooke
Photo Gallery Follows the Text
While we love, love, love tattooed women, often there is a star on the other side of the camera. Meet Shannon Brooke, a passionate shooter from Los Angeles that specializes in capturing a retro vibe and enhancing it with a contemporary twist. We pick her brain in the interview below and show why she’s the cat’s meow in the gallery that follows.
What message do you try to get across with your photography? What do you want to portray to viewers? How do you get your photographs to do that?
All women are beautiful. There are assets and characteristics that are unique to each woman, and I love to capture that for them. I want my girls to radiate power and confidence. I try to achieve this by shooting from a lower angle, and always choosing the best outfits that define the shape of their body. Gotta dress that shape right! It makes a difference in how the model will shoot if they feel good in their skin.
What inspires you to create the looks you do in your photographs?
Each model/woman I photograph inspires me. Each woman is unique, and that jogs my creative mind instantly.
Where do you draw your inspiration from for all your different shoots?
I look at Tumblr, art books, and artists. I love looking at fantasy art like Mark Ryden, Brandi Milne, Dale Sizer, and watching movies by Wes Anderson, Baz Luhrmann, and Quentin Tarrantino. Photographers Ellen Von Unwerth, Rocky Schenck, and Tim Walker also inspire me.
How do you choose the location of the shoot?
Locations are always the most difficult part of planning a shoot for me. I can make anything work, but I like to shoot in open nature; desert, forest, lake, open sky, etc. As long as we are out of the view of the public. About ninety percent of the time I shoot women in their undies.
Many of your models feature bright hair, makeup, tattoos, and clothing. How do you choose the look you want to use?
I enjoy working with professionals that have a mellow, easy-going personality. As long as the model is well groomed and understands how I like to shoot, we can style them to fit the character/bill. I love tattooed models, but virgin skin is awesome too!
You also shoot in black and white. Do you use a different approach when using color vs. black and white?
Yes. Typically, if I am shooting in natural light, I like to keep it in black and white. The contouring in the model’s makeup will differ as well. Studio work stays within the color realm ninety-nine percent of the time.
How do you use light to your advantage when trying to capture the models best assets?
I know what qualities of light will suit the model depending on their skin conditions. A good overexposure with any light source sans shadows does the trick.
How do you decide on color combinations and decide which works best for the end product you’re trying to achieve?
I love monochromatic imagery. If I can help it, I like to limit to three main colors for a photo. It makes the subject pop so much more.
Do you have a vision/direction about what you want to achieve before your shoots, or do you just go with the flow?
Both. It depends on the client, and on how I feel if I want to shoot just for fun. I can me very organized and specific, and then sometimes I will show up to a location and everything will change depending on what my eye sees.
You obviously prefer to work with the female body, why is that?
I feel purposeful when I make women feel beautiful. I never felt beautiful growing up, and still struggle with it. Making others feel amazing in their own skin makes me feel beautiful.