Aye Ok Alright: Portraits of Flexinfab

Flexinfab is a 19-year-old hip-hop artist from 'Nawf' Dallas I profiled for the Dallas Observer. You can read the story here. He's an interesting guy to say the least. His music is catchy, his style is outrageous and he has a team around him who are working hard to see him succeed. Anyway, this blog post is about the portraits we shot together. When I met up with him and his friends for the interview I wasn't sure where we'd be shooting so I brought a light setup with me. That idea went out the window rather quickly when Fab wanted to shoot inside a 7-11 around the corner. 

We did a few shots in the store but I wasn't really into it. On the way back to the studio we shot at a closed taqueria that provided some colorful backdrops. We got some nice shots out of that but I had a tough time working with Fab's glasses. They reflected everything so harshly that most of the shots were useless because I couldn't see his pupils. And, since I'm working with a couple new Sigma Art lenses that have F1.4 I shot wide open like a noob (for the bokeh) and ended not getting tack-sharp images because the focus was locking in on his frames and not his eyes. That was a huge mistake on my part and I won't be shooting with that shallow of a depth of field again for portraits. 

When we were back at the studio Fab works out of he asked one of his friends for his gun and he really wanted to get some photos with it. I wasn't a huge fan of the idea because I always feel like things like guns, weed or anything else similar comes across as exploitive or corny. Like "hey look at this rapper and he's waving a gun around" type of corny. But... Fab was really eager about shooting with it and he picked out this hilarious spot covered with flowers that provided a decent enough juxtaposition that put me at ease. We also made sure the clip was completely empty and nothing was in the chamber. Overall, I think we captured the spirit of Flexinfab, who is a young, brash rapper who's really into the edgy tropes hip-hop has to ever.