The brief -in simple- was to conduct two shoots (one location, one studio) in the style of "Buffalo". I started by looking at modern references to the movement that stood out to me and my interpretation of buffalo. Two main references that I came across was the designer Nasir Mazhar and photographer Bo Brinkenfal
Nasir Mazhar I feel recognised the importance of streetwear/sportwear on innercity youth-culture and designed garments that was a relevant reflection to what is being worn by a new generation of kids in the underground UK scene - very inspired by late 90s/early 2000s hip-hop culture. The specific picture above, a flash photo behind the scenes of a show, I really liked too. I liked all the bags on the floor and to me it resembled a picture of two well dressed friends taken at a club.
(the street casted models from Nasir Mazhar x Topman)
Bo Brinkenfal Buffalo shoot on the other hand, was a style of photography I really wanted to explore, it was almost surreal, really shiny with a strong flash. That style, with Nasir's stylistic designed to me gave me an idea of a New Generation future of buffalo.
With this in mind, I began conceptualising the theme of the shoot, and started to put together a moodboard:
After seeing on Nasir Mazhar's page FKA twigs wearing garments from his line, I re-visited many of her works and put her in as a key reference to the theme as I felt both her style and musical persona is a good example of this strange beautiful postmodernist feel I wanted the shoot to have. Then I looked at past British subcultures and selected the late 80s/90s rave scene and DIY punk as main references too.
I already knew I wanted to style the shoot with garments from my label "NiNE8 COLLECTIVE" as the theme of the current collection is "Dystopia" and features all DIY custom garments, I thought it would tie in perfectly with the new buffalo theme.
We were only given 2 days to conduct the shoot after the brief, so the casting process was tricky as I really wanted to use two black male models who were also good friends of mine, but they were not available. I felt it was very important for the feel I was going for to use models who could emulate an underground London vibe -and people iI knew well, part of my own Buffalo gang so I grabbed my own wavey NiNE8 children Orla and Sid (to my good fortune, Sid was also in my group for the day.) This was great cause I knew the chemistry would be great, there would be no barriers or restrictions of trying to make my models comfortable and perform naturally cause I just needed the pair to do what they do best in order for me to get the kinda shots I envisaged.
There was a lot of trial & error moments during the shooting/styling process which is always beneficial to learn from. Mostly getting the studio flash to work but also the realisation that placing the models infront of a white wall worked more effectively to the kind of images I wanted rather than a studio background. In terms of the technical aspects of it, it was interesting watching Darren (photographer) look at the moodboard I created and his method of playing with angles and lighting to create the look we were trying to achieve. Overall the shoot ended very positively (I think giving my models optional outfits and letting them self-style elements of themselves helped them comfortably portray the adolescents-with-attitude I wanted them to be.)
The rest of my group had taken a more literal visual approach to Buffalo, so for the location shoot, I let them take the lead in styling and conducting the shoot as i was satisfied with what i'd taken in the studio and cool to work with whatever additional shots they will get on location. Out of convenience they conducted the location shoot around the corner from the studio, which is a very polished, under construction central part of London. I wasn't sure how the aesthetic of this part of London would contrast with the style they had styles themselves with - however i was excited to see how i could incorporate this in my final layouts.... (next blog post)