While plaudits for his writing are numerous and stories of his high-society schmoozing infamous, Matt and I were attracted to the rumpled elegance that defined the aesthetic of Truman Capote, and paid homage to this in a photo series dedicated to him. Teaming up creatively, we combined my affection for the writing and frippery of Truman with Matt’s eye for detail and passion for that Slim Aarons look, and came together on something that is both fitting tribute and uniquely its own.
Our focus was on Truman before he fell into caricature of himself, taking particular influence from his youthful good looks and the rakishly tousled demeanour that only a burgeoning alcoholic can pull off. We shot in and around Saratoga Springs, NY, the home of artists’ community Yaddo, a spot that was of particular importance to the development of who Truman Capote was to become. Credit to Yaddo for letting us use their gardens, the astonishing Adelphi Hotel, the National Museum of Dance, Hall’s Antique Wooden Boats, and our Truman-esque subject, Marc-Andrew Smith.
Hold the phone while Matt gets technical - “I wanted to keep things simple. I wanted to shoot with a camera that would allow me to shoot natural light very well (even at dawn and dusk) and one that enabled me to shoot interior stuff at a high ISO, using only lamps in dimly lit rooms. Thanks to Headshots, I did some tests with the Nikon D800 and really liked how it looked - at 6400iso and even 12800iso. I haven’t shot with a Nikon in years and it took a little bit of getting used to, but after a day of testing I was really loving the camera. I loved the size of the D800 files and how well they took my rich vintage colour palette editing, with noise that looked quite filmic. The mirror image in the series is shot at 12800iso and the sharpness and quality of the file was awe-inspiring. I look forward to using the Nikon for more of my creatives, as it really gave me everything I wanted in a camera.”
A nod to taste-maker Lawrence Schlossman and Four Pins for the love. We’re glad that you feel the work is tiré à quatre épingles.
Ride the jump for the entire series.