Tomonori Sugiyama is a fashion designer based in Japan. He was living in Las Vegas in 2012, working as the drummer of a musical project known as Light The Black Sky. After I did a photo shoot with the band for their upcoming release, Tomo approached me and asked if I wanted to photograph the fashion designs he had been working on. We decided to do the shoot in a hotel room, as it had the look he was going for to match the style of his clothing. Our first challenge was space. The room wasn’t that big, and there was a large bed in the middle that my assistant and I stood up against the wall just out of frame. The next challenge was composition, as there wasn’t much to work with in the room besides the wallpaper and the curtain. Right near the end of the shoot, we did this setup with the chair and table. Lighting was simple: two octaboxes, a reflector and a single hard light for the hair.
What Inspires Your Photography?
I was initially inspired to become a photographer mostly by the work of Jim Marshall and Annie Leibovitz. When I was in college studying calculus and quantum physics, I would escape into their large-format books in the library when I needed a break from the numbers. I also find the work of surrealist artists such as Salvador Dali and Jerry Uelsmann to be very inspiring when approaching more abstract projects and ideas.
How Do You Define Your Style?
I like to think of my work as clean, but with a hint of edginess to it. Over the last few years, my style has evolved from a truly gritty look to something a bit more elegant while still retaining its original sense of roughness.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Sigma 50mm, Alienbees strobes and triggers
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Fred Morledge’s work embodies the dual nature of the city he grew up in, as it exudes both style and edge. Much like the city of lights he was surrounded by his whole life, he has always had an appreciation for the finer things in life while still maintaining an attitude of nonconformity. In college, while working part time at a radio station, he found himself with a camera in his hand at 19 years old. After earning his degree in biochemistry in 2007, Morledge spent much of his time photographing local Vegas musicians both on and off the stage, which has helped him develop the look that has defined his work. In 2009, he decided to become a full-time photographer and hasn’t looked back since. www.photofm.com