Photo Editing: Adam Lerner’s Vision
Monday March 24th, 2014
by Hong Le
Adam Lerner is drawn to shooting people in their environment. Whether it’s a portrait shoot or fashion shoot, he has a unique way of letting the viewer into his subjects’ world. Although Adam’s site is chock full of beautiful portraiture and fashion work, he was showing too much. He came to me for help with a web edit that would present his work in a more concise way, attracting both editorial and commercial clients. Adam said it best when he told me he wanted “a tight edit with content and direction to showcase a strong editorial and portrait photographer with a voice and a vision.”
With this in mind, I went to work.
After receiving about 200 portraits from Adam, I knew I had to ruthlessly edit that number down. This meant removing images that weren’t on par with the rest of his portraits, taking away images that weren’t intentional portraits (more like snapshots), and setting aside any images that looked more like fashion than portraits. Because Adam sent us multiple images from different shoots, I picked the best ones from each shoot and removed the rest. Once I had a solid group of portraits, I looked at them as a whole to see if there were any trends or commonalities between them.
When it comes to specific galleries like portraits, I let color, body position, gender and composition guide me. Something that jumped out to me about Adam’s work was the many different types of people that he shoots, ranging from designers, chefs, restauranteurs, models and businessmen just to name a few. I wanted to select images that exposed the essence of each person, as well as a mini series of the chef images.
Up next was fashion. The main issue with Adam’s original fashion gallery was that he was showing every type of fashion image. He had multiple images of people on seamless, as well women holding handbags. Though they’re nice images, they weren’t aligned with the editorial fashion clients he wants to market to. He is interested in shooting more lifestyle fashion and less product fashion in the future, as he wants to engage with the people and the environment. I removed the images that were obviously selling something and focused more on experience and lifestyle. I also integrated a few of his studio images to show that Adam is a versatile photographer who can shoot fashion on location as well as in studio.
And finally, I directed my attention to Adam’s personal projects. Although he has several, I wanted to show only projects that compliment his branding while at the same time displaying his passion in a way that can’t be shown in his main portfolio.
Adam’s trip to Havana, Cuba had a profound effect on him, and after looking at all the images I realized that the best way to tell this story was through the people. (That is his anthem, after all.) Adam is also a motorcycle enthusiast and we wanted to share that passion on his site through his series of custom motorcycle builders. I loved his detailed shots of the motorcycle parts and created a gallery showcasing the bikes and their owners.
I am drawn to Adam’s passion for photography as well as his dedication to honing his craft, and I feel that this edit clearly shows that. It was a pleasure working with Adam because he was very aware, committed, and curious. I love when photographers are not only open minded but really question the choices of the edit. He wanted a tight edit that showcased his strong portrait and fashion work as well as his “voice and vision,” and I am thrilled that we were able to achieve this together.
To see before and after videos of Adam’s site, and to hear my analysis, please check out the screencast below: