aaron lee fineman is a freelance professional photographer based in new york city. a graduate of NYU's tisch school of the arts, aaron's portfolio includes work for a long and impressive list of esteemed publications and major corporations, including but not limited to the new york times, forbes, newsweek, times, mother jones, coke, and IBM. aaron and his wife nicole (also a photographer and illustrator) are good friends of the husband and i...we met them during our time living in nyc in the mid-2000's.
over the past several years, aaron was working on an environmental portrait project featuring designers in their workspaces. a few of the portraits for said project are shown above (top to bottom): kayte terry, whitney mero, and linda permann. see the rest of aaron's designer portraits here.
a while back, i briefly interviewed aaron, asking about what inspired him to do this designer portrait series, how it came together, and so forth. some of the discussion we had about photography and this particular project is excerpted below.
me: what was the inspiration for the [designer portraits] project?
aaron: a few things...i was sick of the lack of choices for [interesting] menswear options in "regular" stores, another was going to markets like the market and the edge (in NYC) and seeing all the amazing designs there. i wanted to show people that they can get great clothes and other goods without shopping at the mega marts. they can instead support small designers and in doing that, they can look great and avoid looking like anyone else in the process.
me: how did the project get started?
aaron: i found most of the designers through you and mia kim [a fashion designer friend of aaron's who sold her work at edge NYC, a designer's market/store located on bleeker street]. i also sourced some of the designers via the internet.
me: is the project completed, or do you plan to add to it over time?
aaron: the project is mostly completed...but if i can think of some way to expand on the designers project then i would really like to. if i could find a real cohesive group of designers...and not have to pay $ out of my pocket for travel to do the photos then i would like to expand on the project. possibly with video interviews and footage of them working.
me: what do you like about photographing people and their work? what do you find fascinating or interesting about these people you have shot?
aaron: i am facinated by photogrpahing humans in their own element. i did journalistic work for many years but now i think that environmental portraits are a great way of getting a larger story [within the confines of] photograph. but again, essentially...i am just curious about people. one thing that always bothered me about a lot of portrait photos is when they put people up against a studio wall and you miss out on the environment. the environment can say so much about a person.
you can explore more of aaron lee fineman's work on his website, www.aaronleefineman.com.