The Art of the Personal Project: Hugh Kretschmer


This post is by Suzanne Sease from A Photo Editor

The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own.  I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before.  In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find.  Please DO NOT send me your work.  I do not take submissions.

Today’s featured artist:   Hugh Kretschmer

 

Normally, I steer clear of clichés in my work; it’s a bit of a rule of mine. But there was something about this series titled “The Perils of Being Ken” that was different. The concept relentlessly occupied my mind, inundating me with ideas. The decision to proceed was solidified when fate introduced me to Kristopher Ohlsson, a student who walked into my Portrait Class I was teaching at a local college – the living embodiment of the character in this series. It was an unmistakable sign to move forward, hitting me like a beautiful slap in the face.

This seven-image series is the only exception where my rule clashes with the creative surge. The initial concept sparked a torrent of ideas, resulting in more photos than we ultimately included in the final edit. Some worked well, while others fell short. Yet even the ones that didn’t quite hit the mark inspired new ideas that ultimately brought coherence to the project. Consequently, the shoot stretched over two days, with a six-month gap in between.

The series’ essence hinged on creating a “small world” appearance, achieved through perspective control lenses in real locations across Los Angeles. However, after testing an array of perspective control (PC) lenses on my DSLR under similar circumstances, I found the results weren’t as strong as I had hoped. Dealing with too many uncertainties, I opted to achieve the desired effect through post-processing in Photoshop. This gave me complete control over points of focus and allowed me to guide my audience’s attention precisely.

The production’s success rested heavily on the makeup and wardrobe aspects, making it essential to have the proper support. For this, I turned to the expertise of Make-up Stylist Isaac Prado and Costumer Gillean McLeod, two seasoned veterans with whom I had collaborated multiple times before. Their contributions were the linchpin of the project’s triumph, and their ingenuity and skills left me in awe.

Wardrobe, Gillean McLeod: https://www.instagram.com/gilleanmcleod/

Makeup, Isaac Prado: https://www.instagram.com/pradoisaac/

    

To see more of this project, click here

Instagram

Hugh Kretschmer’s work has been exhibited in Paris, Berlin, São Paulo, Montreal, Serbia, New York, and Los Angeles and was the subject of a retrospective at the Hoban Museum, Seoul. His photographs are permanently displayed at the 9/11 Museum at Ground Zero and in the Library of Congress archives. His work has been recognized by the International Photography Awards, American Photography, Communication Arts, Graphis, Siena Awards, and Society of Publication Designers. His client list includes Vanity Fair, New York Times, Fortune, National Geographic, Time Magazine, Old Spice, Penn & Teller, Sony, Honda, Purina, and Evian, among others.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world.  She has been involved in the photography and illustration advertising and in-house corporate industry for decades.  After establishing the art-buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999.  Follow her at @SuzanneSease.  Instagram