It was only a year ago that I took my first montage portrait of Irate (of Modu Designs) at Red Mutha’s fashion fair. At the time I was going take Irate’s portrait I wanted to record all the details of his fabulous threads. I very rarely shot photos in a portrait orientation and if I had shot him in landscape I would lost all the details when the photo was blown up. Then I remembered seeing an Austrian Photographer at the Lomo World Congress in 2003 taking a montage with his Lomo LCA and I thought it would be perfect for this situation. For the record I can’t remember the Austrians name but I am pretty sure he was the designer of the Super Sampler.
After putting together the 1st one I did not think much of it. In October 2009 I went to Phoot camp in California and shot portraits of the attendees using the montage technique. Once I was back home I slowly uploaded them to Flickr where they got very positive feed back from the Flickr masses. Shooting in this style was something I was going to continue.
Then in December 2009 I discussed doing the trend spotting for the 1st issue of Brighton Source Magazine of 2010 using the technique as a one-off with the editor and chief The James Kendel. It turned out the Source liked what I did for them and I enjoyed doing it so much that it’s now turned into a permanent feature. I am now 6 issues in and going strong! I had only shot 3 sets of portraits for Source when Photo Pro Magazine approached me to write something about what I was doing for Source. I am really enjoying it as I am getting to meet so many people I might not of met otherwise.
In May my wife Rockcake and Partially Obscured hand an open house together. For the show I wanted to shoot something new so I decided to shoot the people who make Brighton the special place it is using the montage style rather than hanging some pre-shot work. I Shot people ranging from paramedics to cabaret performers to fashion designers. I arranged and shot 14 portraits in the month before the show, all with the added complication of a 4 week old baby at home! The show went down really well and I have already accepted commissions to shot family portraits in the style.
It’s One year on from when shot my first montage portrait of Irate and I have a little mental to do list of things to do with my montage portraits. I am going to producing a Blurb book of the best of the 1st years portraits as there are quite a lot to choose from. There are 67 on Flickr and 200+ on my computer. Some have not been put together, some are waiting go into Source and there is all the stuff from my Brighton project which I have simply not got round to posting to Flickr yet! I am also going to start a Tumbler blog just for the montage’s and I am having a custom theme being built watch this space.
What made me write this post was hanging out with Irate at another one of Red Mutha’s fashion fairs 2 weeks back. Seeing as he was the one that started it all I gave him a framed version of the 1st one. I think he was happy with it! (sorry about the crappy iPhone photo)