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Santa Maria by Dustin Damron

Lately there’s been a number of breathtaking black and white stories shot for Ben Trovato, and Los Angeles based fashion photographer Dustin Damron‘s debut story for us is the latest contribution to the trend. Santa Maria is a “modern rendition of a puritan arriving in the new world,” Dustin explains. “We wanted the story to have a fresh elegance to it, while showcasing some very unique pieces. We knew that we wanted to work in black and white to accentuate the many unique textures present and also to pay homage to the ‘old world’ feel.

The initial idea was brought to Dustin by fashion stylists Yuka Iwasaki and Mia Cirelli, and he was instantly inspired by their concept: “- This story was a ton of fun to work on because it was one of the very few shoots I  have done that were not produced on my own. Yuka and Mia came to me with the idea and after going over the concept I couldn’t wait to get started. It was a breath of fresh air getting to shoot an aesthetic outside of my own.

The trio was joined by hair stylist Rich Magaña, makeup artist Melissa Sandoval, assistant Drew Suh, and last but not least, the stunning model Ashlyn Pearce: “- Ashlyn rules. Period,” Dustin tells us. “She was a total sweetheart, very fun, laid back, energetic, and perfectly cast for the vibe we were trying to achieve I think. She brings a natural elegance to her modeling which is exactly what we needed to tie the story together. I’m looking forward to collaborating on future projects with her.

They have all worked together before, with the exception of Melissa, who according to Dustin “totally rocked it“. “- She was brought on by Mia and Yuka so I knew I was in good hands. I like to stick with my team as much as possible.  We all get each other, share similar visions, and have a downright good time on set. Rich is like a hair wizard and always impresses me with his style.

It’s like sexy photo party time, all the time.

When planning the shoot, stylists Mia and Yuka did an amazing job making sure the fashion was aligned with the overall concept: “- We were trying to channel the idea of a new world puritan look in to this shoot. La Maison De Fashion allowed us to pull great pieces from Adolfo Sanchez, Julia Clancey, and R&R. Along with designer accessories we felt it was necessary to capture the feel of the new world by making pieces of our own which included a black hood, and three collars. A ton of work went in to this shoot, it was great to see our vision come to life.

With Santa Maria Dustin’s year is off to a pretty fabulous start, but he makes sure to tell us there’s a lot more to come from him: “- I have a handful of projects in the works that I’m really stoked on. Some startup lines and campaigns…fresh cookin’ with a dash of experimentation.   I guess in a nutshell the 2012 mission statement is to get weird and have a damn good time doing it.

Life’s too short to be a square; I prefer nebula’s with intermingled dodecahedrons.

Photography by Dustin Damron
Hair by Rich Magaña
Makeup by Melissa Sandoval
Styling by Yuka Iwasaki and Mia Cirelli
Model - Ashlyn Pearce
Assistant - Drew Suh