Ricky Lesser is a photographer and filmmaker living in L.A. who shoots all kinds of awesome content. He is comfortable shooting in natural light, studio settings, in the desert, or underwater.
Ricky spoke about a series he was conceptualizing recently and I was dying to see what he had in his minds eye. A few weeks later these images came through and although he calls them a “test” I think they are much more than that.
Enjoy the series that for now is un-named and check out a brief conversation I had with Ricky about these images and his art.
photos by Ricky Lesser | words and interview by Dersu Rhodes.
WT: Where did the idea come from for the shoot?
Ricky Lesser: While out in the desert with a head full of bourbon my wife and I were lost in a tangent conversation about the clear skies above us, much different than LA. I could not retrace the origin specifically but boiled down, the idea was “how could we incorporate a galaxy into a personality”, visually. I had seen some other images that touched upon what I had in mind but nothing nipped it directly. So we decided to give a test a go.
“Generally we don’t have a grand back story but rather we strive to simply create an image that demands the attention that lasts longer than what a person would give an Instagram photo.”
– Ricky Lesser
WT: What is your creative process for coming up with shoot concepts?
RL: Most of the more unique images our little creative team pulls together is based upon what each one of us (stylist, make-up, hair and myself) has a fire to create. Generally we don’t have a grand back story but rather we strive to simply create an image that demands the attention that lasts longer than what a person would give an Instagram photo. Make a person feel something. When you work closely with other creative minds it’s a skill and a pleasure to open the doors to what can and should be executed. Allowing yourself to see beyond the personal walls of a projects “constrictions” is such a treat and I love having that surprise every time we put our heads together.
WT: What is your favorite part of the process?
RL: It may sound kitschy, but my favorite aspect is the building of and on another thought. The whole two heads are better than one. Its the foundation of constructive building. The discovery of some crazy angle proposed by someone who thinks completely backwards from myself. That, those windows and elements I am blind, too. So my favorite aspect is different eyeballs.
WT: Is there any part you dislike?
RL: TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THE KITCHEN. You can craft a certain range of looks and style with a small crew but if the berth to opinions is too wide nothing productive will get done. I’m fan of roles when larger productions go down.
WT: Who are the photographers you are watching the closest for inspiration these days?
RL: @sir_neave @ryan.moss @markmannphoto @travisburkephotography @stevenlippman @davidbellemere @juansharks @christianblack to name a few.
WT: Any big ideas/plans on the horizon?
RL: Our little collective always has some odd shoot on the horizon. Besides doing a nude black light shoot, In the near future I have a plan to shoot a series of nudes underwater with colored dye. So in a sense it will be a floating beauty amongst a cloud of smoke underwater. I have done a test and it has shaped out to be impressive. We will see how it works.