Tantalum: Hey Traver! Can you tell us a little about the shoot you produced four the 4th issue of TANTALUM Magazine?
Traver Rains: The shoot is called DARK NEIGHBOR. We started out shooting a men's Winter fashion editorial, but something about the light outside & the movement of the model led to an eery vibe in the shoot. We were on the sidewalks of a quiet suburban neighborhood. After seeing the first couple of pictures, in which the model was creepily lurking, "DARK NEIGHBOR" jumped out at us at the title of the story.
Tantalum: Describe "Dark Neighbor".
Traver Rains: This one is about a slightly off-putting, yet sophisticated neighbor that lurks around the streets - he may or may not be a bloodsucker - it is all about the mystery.
Tantalum: What kind of direction did you give the wardrobe stylist, hair and makeup artists?
Traver Rains: The accessories by 214 Designs were pretty much at the heart of our inspiration for the feel of the shoot. They are pieces that you could take in many directions, but the stylist Avo Yermagyan went a less predictable route & dressed them up - giving our model a refined look of sophisticated terror. We built on the darker aspect of the shoot as the day progressed. After the first few shots, we had the make-up artist Ashley Gomila take the vampire look a little darker & it sort of all came together at that point.
Tantalum: What inspires you?
Traver Rains: Clothes, & sometimes accessories, are key to my inspiration. I come from such an intense design background that it is natural for me to see the way pieces work together in telling the story & see the way that they add dimension to an image.
Tantalum: Do you have any mentors/muses?
Traver Rains: My muses are Montana, rodeos, & hot dogs at the Texas State Fair.
Tantalum: In general, during a session, how many pics would you say you take to find "the right one"?
Traver Rains: As many as it takes - we keep going until sunrise if needed - & sometimes we do.
Tantalum: How do you decide on locations & subjects?
Traver Rains: I love sidewalk junk! One of my favorite stunts to pull is a late night - often stumbling home - photoshoot with my friends on a pile of someone's old furniture, tv's, bath tubs etc. The mirrored headboard prop was just that. A perfect piece of sidewalk scrap.
Tantalum: What is the ONE lasting impression you want to leave in your photos?
Traver Rains: I love telling stories in my photos.