Sam Kaplan: The Problem Solver

DPP:It’s all about concept and execution. It’s like a painter working
on a canvas. How did you achieve the stroboscopic effect with the handbags in the FORM section of your website?

Kaplan: The effect was done all in-camera. That was for New York Magazine. They wanted a shot that wasn’t a normal product shot. I rigged the handbags up on two C-stands with an arm across. I shot from underneath and did a slow exposure with multiple pops of my Broncolor strobe while I spun my Phase One digital back between the horizontal and the vertical position on the back of my Arca-Swiss.

DPP: It’s another example of problem-solving with clarity.

I want people to hire me for the more conceptual work. I want to develop things that are simple and well thought out and seem intelligent.

Kaplan: A musician named Starlite, who also attended Wesleyan University, cited as an influence Strunk and White’s grammar-usage guide, The Elements of Style, in an interview he did for Rolling Stone Magazine about his songwriting: “I like this idea in The Elements of Style that style is not embellishment, that if you try to say something as simply as possible, your personal style will come through… The simpler you get, the closer you get to something.” That’s what I’m trying to do with my photography. It’s about making everything matter. I think of Irving Penn like that, Mitch Feinberg, as well. He’s an amazing still-life photographer who divides his time between the U.S. and France. He’s definitely an inspiration. His work is as close to fine art as a commercial photographer can get.

Go to to see more of Sam Kaplan’s photography.

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