Honestly, a month is not long enough to celebrate and uplift all the contributions women have made to -well- everything. This is a series to honor, highlight, and provide a platform for women killing it in their respective fields. To begin the series meet black female NYC Photographer and Creative Director Sage East. Who uses her lens to create beautiful visual stories.
Photography has always been my passion, but I can admit that it wasn’t always my sole focus. For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed shooting people and have constantly been inspired by different urban styles, fashion eras and the general attitudes of those time periods. The love was always there, but the career certainly didn’t come until later. Before joining the industry I was a bit intimidated by the lack of photographers and creatives that looked like me (young, female, black). In time I recognized that there was a need for it and the best way to see that was to be it.
About 2 years ago what started out as a hobby in college had slowly blossomed into a business as I learned that there was actually a desire to see more of my work. Soon enough my weekends were booked with back-to-back shoots, and I found myself looking forward to these projects even when they were taking up my free time. Upon graduation, I was PA school-bound, but I realized that if I wanted to do what I loved and be successful at it I couldn’t just dip my toes – I needed to fully dive in.
And so that brings us to present-day: Shoottocreate. Since honing in on my craft I have had the opportunity to work with brands that not long ago I had put on my vision board. These brands included Hugo Boss, Adidas Originals, Nike, Complex, Foot Locker, Finishline, and more. I’ve been able to take on projects that allowed me to step into the role of Creative Director. I’ve had the privilege of translating my clients’ needs into beautiful visual stories that both of them and I can be proud of. I have built out a network with other creatives to ensure that I am surrounded by like-minded individuals with the same purpose: to create work that makes our clients feel something. And I am only just beginning.
Photos + Blurbs:
Alpha Industries’ has a rich and authentic 60-year military heritage that many were unaware of. I was tasked with bringing awareness to their military influence in an engaging way, both visually and within a narrative written story. I believe that sometimes the “loudest” pieces of work can be created completely void of color and chose to present these two images in B&W for that reason. They feel far more emotionally-driven to me that way.
Extra Butter was seeking branded content for Ovadia & Sons and so I produced a lookbook inspired by a classroom. Everything from the models chosen to the setting was meant to connect back to a feeling for urban academia.
Family dynamics and my personal history often manifests themselves in my work so this project is near and dear to my heart. I grew up in a big family: 6 of us total. With my brothers, in particular, I had always felt protected and secure…there’s no relationship quite like it. I wanted to take that feeling of familiarity, home, and unconditional love and marry it with the inspiration from past decades. I use the style influence of the 1960s and 1970s – eras I didn’t actually live through but always found to be so damn culturally-impactful – and brought this story to life using 3 models who were able to really evoke that sense of family.
Soltau NYC approached me for a shoot highlighting their “Separation Collection”. The collection pieces reminded me of flight – words like flying, wind, air, all circulated in my mind as I tried to formulate a creative direction. I chose to make use of the sky and presented my subject as someone who was in their own element, taking in everything around them. It was important that I focused on one subject for this. I wanted it to be clear that this person was unique and individualistic….separate from everyone else.
Submission by Sage East