Dove Shore: Being a “Film Nerd” Helped My Photography Career
Los Angeles-based photographer Dove Shore recently shot a portrait session of acclaimed Russian director Timur Bekmambetov for a feature about the director’s recent movie adaptation of the novel Ben-Hur. The portraits were featured in the August 2016 issue of Russian Vogue.
The portrait was taken at the director’s home in Los Feliz, California, (which just so happens to be the former home of the late Walt Disney). Shore, who studied directing and cinematography at Emerson College before transitioning to photography at Santa Monica College, is a self-proclaimed “film nerd” and says he likes taking portraits of people in the film industry because “I can talk film for days. It’s great when you can sit down and have a discussion with the subject and create a relationship,” which is how he formed his connection with Bekmambetov for this shoot.
The biggest challenge—or perhaps, opportunity—that Shore faced in this particular shoot was staging the scene. “When we walked in to the office where the portrait was going to be shot, there was nothing in there,” he says. Bekmambetov keeps his office very organized with no clutter and “nothing to tell the story about him as a director,” Shore recalls.
To add interest to the scene, Shore says he channeled his experience with prop and set styling—a job he had for three years prior to taking up photography full time.
“I asked the assistant to bring me a pile of scripts and notes that the director kept while making the movie,” he says. Shore was also able to find blowups and stills from the movie to add to the background, giving the scene a greater sense of purpose.
He then posed the director with a pair of glasses, and flipping through an open script. “I wanted to make it look like we were capturing an authentic moment,” Shore says. “Like maybe we’re in between shots on the movie set. I wanted the portrait to give a sense of him at work.”
This story was adapted from the article “Dove Shore Photographs Acclaimed Film Director Timur Bekmambetov for Russian Vogue” published on PhotoServe.