Hit Me with Your Best Shot

If a picture is worth 1000 words, then the right shot can create a media frenzy.  Calvin Klein proved this with provocative photos of Kate Moss, Brooke Shields and Scott King.  The photographers who shot those photos created magic and now American Apothecary has provided a group of shutterbugs the opportunity to capture lightning with their lens. 

On December 14, the avant-garde T-shirt brand held the first part of the American Apothecary Photographer Challenge.  Four photographers stepped up to the plate to showcase what they could do with a little bit of heroin and cocaine.  The photographers shot their muses in various locations inside and outside the Levi’s Photo Workspace, located on 18 Wooster Street.  PR Director John Thompson II stated he chose the location “because the artistic energy in the space was contagious, and inspiring.”  The photographers certainly seemed to be affected by the creative force flowing throughout this wonderful public space producing shot after shot of the T-shirt line.  The photographers also conducted a freestyle shoot to further showcase their originality and artistic vision.

The winner will be announced and displayed at American Apothecary’s “Got Snow?” charity event on December 22.  Their work will also appear on American Apothecary’s website and January 2011 newsletter.  F.A.M.E NYC wishes each paparazzo the best of luck.

Take a look at some behind-the-scenes photos shot by F.A.M.E NYC’s Editor

Pockets of Beautiful An Interview with Laura Salierno

FAMERS a few months ago I wrote about Raandesk Gallery, an online art gallery.  One of the artists I have been exposed to through Raandesk was Laura Salierno.  She is a photographer that takes the random flashes of life and turns them into framed eternities.  March 3:42 p.m. was the photo that drew me in.  The complexity of the picture wove so many stories in that one shot that I was compelled to look further into her work.  As I explored her work, I realized that all her photos shared that same complex frailty and depth, proving what a magnificent medium photography is.  Recently I was able to interview this vibrant young photographer and learn more about how she sees the world.

SKYLINE/BOOTS (2006), Two individual C-Prints, unframed, 16" x 20" each,

Was photography a passion you had since you were a child?



I was always very interested in art, loving to draw and paint, but I found photography later. I started to become interested in it at a young age, but it was not until college that I really developed a love for it.

At what age did you begin taking pictures?

 I am not really sure. I always took pictures, mainly of our pets and local squirrels.

At what age did you receive your first camera (Polaroid, disposable camera, etc.)?

I was probably around five or six. It was a bright pink point and shoot, and I loved it. I got my first SLR 35mm camera when I was eighteen.

PLAZA 8 (FROM THE PLAZA HOTEL) (2005-2006), Chromogenic print, 16″ x 20″

How did the darkroom influence your love of photography?


I really fell in love with the darkroom in college; it was a quiet place for me. The process of standing in the dark and watching your work come to life really enchanted me. I worked in the darkroom during my time in school and printing almost became therapeutic for me, it is such a craft and a labor of love.

As a photographer that works with different forms of photography, what do you believe are the drawbacks of digital photography?

I think that the biggest drawback of digital photography is that less people print out their photos and create albums. I would hate to see photo albums disappear; they are such wonderful tactile experiences of personal memory. I am also scared that people will slowly stop learning how to develop and print film. Digital photography has some really great benefits. You don’t have to (despite how much I love it) expose yourself and the environment to the caustic chemicals in the darkroom, and in a lot of ways digital photography is more accessible to people.

Seeing the world through a camera lens, how do you see the world?

I tend to see the world as a series of small moments, little pockets of beautiful, even if [it’s] sometimes ugly events. Plus I am always looking up; sometime I think I must look like a tourist on the streets.

MARCH 3:42 PM (2005), C print, shot on 645, 220 Fuji film, printed on Fuji crystal archive paper with a luster finish, 24″ x 20″

My favorite photo is March 3:42 p.m., could you tell me more about that photo?


This photo is part of a large body of work that is really about those in between moments in life, the times when you are not really doing much of anything. These pauses really make up a lot of a lifetime. I think of these shots as a kind of removed self-portraits, although they feature different people, they are all me observing the beauty in the still times during life. 

Could you tell me more about the SKYLINE/BOOTS series and what prompted you to begin that project?

I thought that it was important to support New Orleans after Katrina, so I went with a few friends for the first Mardi Gras. I thought it would be a gesture of both economic and emotional support, especially since this Mardi Gras was severely under attended. I did not have any real project in mind before I went down there. While visiting it hit me that I was there during such a strange moment, I thought that the juxtaposition of images of the damage from Katrina and the celebration of Mardi Gras was an important thing to share; it spoke loudly of the grace and spirit of New Orleans to me. It also struck me as a fleeting moment something that hopefully will never happen again.

Could you tell me more about the Plaza Series?

The Plaza Series was also a project that sort of found me. The initial concept behind The Plaza series sprang from a conversation with a friend about the ensuing liquidation sale of all merchandise tied to The Plaza Hotel. I immediately wanted to capture that moment especially since The Plaza was such an iconic hotel. I really wanted to make sure that someone captured it in this transitional stage. I joined my friend and went through the hotel trying to capture the eerie nature of such a scene. I am really happy that I seized that moment, I feel as though it is a special time in the history of The Plaza, one that may not come along again.

NEW YORK CITY AQUARIUM (BOYS) (2004), Chromogenic print, 16″ x 20″

How does living in New York influence your photography?

I think that New York influences my work in the same way that it influences anyone who lives here; it is a constant stream of information, visual and other. I think that being in NY you are exposed to such a variety of scenes and happenings that you can’t help but allow them to color your existence. 

To view more of Laura Salierno’s photos, visit www.raandeskgallery.com/artist.php?artistId=22.

Photos courtesy of Raandesk Gallery

The Journey Behind The Lens


D. Austin

Each day men and women arrive in Manhattan with their life savings in their pocket and a dream illuminating in their minds.  The dream is to be successful in whatever enterprise that brought them to New York City.   Like ole blue eyes says, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.

Even those who have achieved success in other ponds, crave to make it big in the city by the Hudson River.  This is the case for D. Austin who had a successful photography studio in Atlanta prior to coming to the Big Apple.  D. Austin’s lifelong exploration with photography began when he was 16-years-old.  “It started on a family vacation from California to New York and back,” he recalls as he selects photos to burn on a disk in a Midtown studio, “My dad had bought a manual film camera to document it, and I was the designated photographer.  I didn’t know how to work it, but after two or three days I began to take pictures.”  That was over 20 years ago.

Fast forward to 2010, D. Austin is now focusing on his NYC Powershoot and two coffee table books to be released later this year.  The NYC Powershoot takes place March 20 and 21.   “A Powershoot is an opportunity for anybody that needs pictures, promotional pictures primarily.  It started in Atlanta, and then it started growing in popularity,” D. Austin explains.  Generally a Powershoot involves several photographers, stylists, make-up artists, creative directors, and fashion editors and also serves as a networking opportunity.

The Untimely Pursuits Of Pleasure and Foto Obsessions are the two books D. Austin is currently finishing up.  “The Untimely Pursuits Of Pleasure is an idea I came across in my head where people don’t follow any set rules.  Nothing is like A to B to C, it’s more like A to F to C, so in that way it’s untimely and it’s always in the pursuit of pleasure” he says.  Foto Obsessions is a collection of subjects D. Austin has shot repeatedly and the title affirms his obsession with photography.  In fact, D. Austin’s obsession with the camera has taken him all over the United States before he made his current pit stop in Gotham.    

New York City is the place where some dreams die, some dreams transform into new ones and some dreams become reality.  A photographer often times blurs the lines between dream and reality; however one thing is certain about D. Austin’s photography, his talent is real and will be the vehicle to make all his dreams come true in New York or elsewhere.

To view more of D. Austin’s photography or learn more about the NYC Powershoot please visit http://www.facebook.com/people/Darren-Austin/1148208441, http://www.modelmayhem.com/159093, http://www.daustinphotography.com/

Photos courtesy of daustinphotography.com