An editorial and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles with a quirky sense of humor and a cinematic lighting style, photographer Stephanie Diani describes some of her favorite images.
SD: This is the second image in a triptych that I call “The Disintegrating Housewife.” I made the series after a conversation with the model about the difference between appearance and reality on social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram. If one casually looks at someone’s curated posts about themselves, it will often seem as though their life is perfect: filled with travel, fun and freedom. The reality is often not so glamorous. In the series of three images, the model goes from perfection to mess in an attempt to peel back layers of artifice, and this image shows her just at the tipping point.
SD: This was an image that came together somewhat unexpectedly while photographing actor Jeff Torres off of the Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica. He had wanted to shoot some basic headshots and I suggested that, once we’d checked that off of our list, we shoot a series of images that could be read as a narrative of a businessman character with questionable motives waiting for an assignation of some sort. I found the skeleton while we were trying to get the last little bit of sunlight on a hillside covered in clover and filled with these small, hopping spiders. Swearing a bit, and completely bugged out by the spiders, we dragged it out of the weeds and put it onto the picnic table. Jeff gave me a number of variations, from ignoring the skeleton to casually adjusting his coat and tie next to the table, but I liked this shot best, where he’s contemplating the bones and you can interpret his look in a variety of ways.
SD: This is an identity photo for a band called LEVELS. They wanted to shoot a 70’s-inspired party scene with some sexy overtones so we created a series of single portraits of the band members, a group barbecue shot meant to be the start of the party, and this image, a morning-after scene. The band members are young and creative and more than willing to play which made this very fun to shoot, and set up. I’ve got a short, abstract behind-the-scenes-esque video on my website that gives a glimpse of our process. http://www.stephaniediani.com/#/Motion/CREATIVE MESS/1/thumbs
SD: These are two images from an assignment for Angeleno Magazine that I shot for a feature on Moby, photographed on the rooftop of his Los Angeles home. The magazine had asked for something environmental, and I shot some safer interior portraits of him, but when I scouted the location I absolutely loved this space capsule stairway to the roof. The first shot is fun because his trademark glasses give away his identity, and the second (which is the image the magazine chose) was a great deadpan option. I also like the randomness of the small water fountain mounted on the roof behind him. He was a great subject.
Diani’s clients include a cool group of discerning and talented editors, art buyers and art directors. She has scuba dived in Fiji and Belize; jumped out of an airplane; earned a black belt in Korean karate; graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Classical Archaeology; taken trapeze, fencing, Spanish, French and Italian; met TomKat (briefly); bumped into Mr. T in her local Whole Foods and been swept off her feet by Fabio. She’s awesome, generally funny and really good with clothespins. People ask her if she’s from New York all the time.