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When The Light Fades by Joshua Pestka

NYC based photographer Joshua Pestka appeared on Ben Trovato for the first time in 2010, and then again early in 2011 when he shot his first beauty story for us entitled Hello Innocents. Today, just about two years since we first introduced Joshua to our readers, he’s back with a new story featuring Paris Macaulay from Muse. “It has been quite a while since I’ve worked with Ben Trovato, and a bit has developed since then. A lot of artistic soul-searching has taken place, and I have a much clearer sense of who I am as a photographer, as well as a much better idea of the direction I want to take my work in,” Joshua explains. A new studio in the heart of NYC has also helped him continue to grow as an artist: “- It’s been a dream for me, it really completed the major developments in 2011.

More than anything, Joshua’s goal for 2012 is to continue working on the refinement of his style. “I am absolutely in love with what I do, and the energy I get from the intensity of focus it requires...”

Although we’ve loved Joshua’s work from the start, When The Light Fades is very much marks a shift in Joshua’s artistic approach. Internally we’ve tagged it Joshua Pestka 2.0, and we can’t stop loving all of the soft and sensual frames of When The Light Fades.

Like the majority of my work, it was the girl that led the story. Having seen Paris, I hoped to work with her to create a juxtaposition. Specifically, her look naturally lends itself to harder or more tomboyish narratives, and a focus instead on that hidden, subtle vulnerability, was a real draw for me,” Joshua says.

The personality and depth of the subject is what really pulls the story together, and in this case, it became a story about realization. There’s an understanding that unfolds throughout the work, and it culminates in an expression Paris provides of that outside-looking-in perspective. Self-awareness, from a third person perspective. It remains one of my characteristically loose ideas, but in a solid, visual format.

As mentioned, Paris’ look would fit a tomboyish approach perfectly, a narrative that was well represented in her portfolio: “- Her portfolio at the time of the production for the shoot consisted of some great work, but most of it depicted her as strong and forceful. I didn’t know what to expect,” hJoshua reveals, but is quick to add: “- Paris was a sweetheart. She showed up, was super easy-going, relaxed, and down to both take direction and provide her own. I loved it. Great, great girl, and an amazing collaboration.

Rest of the team on set consisted of stylist Sara Cooper, prop designer Jennifer Tran, makeup artist Seevon Chau and photo assistant Randi Alegre.

My team, first and foremost, was on point. Jennifer Tran single-handedly created the sets in multiple locations simultaneously. We had a shortened day due to the location’s availability, so it really set the pace. Everyone was amazing, though, so the timing wasn’t really an issue.

Stylist Sara Cooper, who did an amazing job mixing pieces from brands such as Cheap Monday, Wildfox and others, says she’s always most inspired by the atmosphere and the model herself: “- When I saw the story coming to life I pictured a girl all alone in the top floor of her dollhouse. The styling is in keeping with the fair skinned and fresh faced Paris, and is youthful, soft and feminine.

Photography by Joshua Pestka
Prop Styling by Jennifer Tran
Styling by Sara Cooper
Makeup by Seevon Chau
Model - Paris Macaulay @ Muse
Photo Assistant - Randi Alegre