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Untamed by Travis John Hoffman

Los Angeles based photographer/DP/Director Travis John Hoffman found his love for photography while growing up traveling the world with his father. Some years later he attended Brooks Institute of Photography with fellow Ben Trovato contributors, Dustin Damron and Nicole Hill. “Since then I’ve been staying busy jumping back and forth from the still and motion world shooting everything from fashion editorials, music videos to feature films. I have had the opportunity to work with such artist as Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry and David Guetta. My client list includes Sephora, Dolce Vita, NBC, A&E and Emi Music Group.

Today he’s making his debut on Ben Trovato with a beautiful story featuring Lilian Maina from Pinkerton Model & Talent, entitled Untamed.

Lillian was great to work with and I think she’s gonna have a very successful career in this business. She reminds me of a modern day Grace Jones,” Travis tells us, adding: “Lillian, new to the game acted like she’d been modeling her whole life, a natural in front of the lens. She really evoked the mood I was going for and put her own spin on it. Which I think brought the editorial to the next level.

The story is a result of Travis getting lost in the moment and shooting what feels right, and his fascination for Sci-Fi: “- I’m a huge Sci-Fi fan and always trying to adapt that to my editorial work. I love the idea of what fashion will be in 10 years 20 years or even 100 years from now. The slow but bold evolution through the years defines a generation and inspires the next. So this editorial was a mix between that and the concept of not over thinking, to follow our instincts. I feel sometimes we can over prepare things and get lost in the technical side and logistics of the shoot. When this happens I feel it reflects in the images giving them a contrived look. In the words of Macgruber ‘there’s a big difference between winging it and seeing what happens. Now let’s see what happens.’

Even though the actual shoot went well, the events leading up to the shoot were less fortunate: “- Already running late we end up leaving LA at 12pm for Joshua Tree. Which is a good 2 plus hours if you don’t hit any traffic. So I’m already stressing that we are not going to have enough quality light to get all 5 looks in, but I’m confident we will get it done. As we are merging on to the 60 E traffic comes to a screeching stop. I slam on the brakes and we stop just in time. I look at everyone in the car and just as I say “WoW that was close”…BAMMM. We get rear ended by a semi. Luckily no one was hurt(except my car).

After 45 minutes of changing a tire and filling out a police report they continue towards Joshua Tree hoping to get there in time before the sun sets: “- At 4:30 the sun was getting dangerously low. We finally had to pull over 20 minutes from the original destination and make something else work. Then we found an abandoned construction site and decided this would be the perfect spot to shoot. So with 1 1/2 hours of quality light left we had to rock it out with haste. But thanks to my awesome team MUA Bethany Ruck, Stylist Chelsea Logan, Model Lillan Maina and all the photography gods looking out for us, we made it work!!

Stylist Chelsea Logan Holtzman brought on a wardrobe including pieces from Free People, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters and others, and says her “[..] favorite part of this shoot is how the model is able to stand out from the harsh desert terrain around her, but she doesn’t look out of place. She looks like desert warrior, battling the elements head on. I wanted to play around with the dichotomy between masculine and feminine-for example, pairing delicate floral tights with heavy pieces of mechanical looking jewelry and leather jackets and belts. If she really was a desert creature, left alone with no one around for miles, she would need to encapsulate both male and female characteristics, and we were lucky to have a solid model who was able to portray all these elements. Each piece that I used, even if it was embroidered or beaded or knit, was something that had an aura of protection or armor. I wanted to use different fabric consistencies that were reminiscent of what an animal would use for protection in the desert-heavy fur, slinky silver like a snake’s skin, and so on. I think she looks effortlessly sexy and capable of anything.

Photography by Travis John Hoffman
Styling by Chelsea Logan Holtzman
Makeup by Bethany Ruck
Model - Lillian Maina @ Pinketon Morgan

Silver Bell Necklace By Lia Sophia
Black Blazer With Leather Collar by Aristocracy
Silver Dress - Vintage Piece
Black Fur Jacket - Vintage Horse Hair
Leather Breast Cover by Free People
Beaded Chiffon Scarf - Vintage
Leather Jacket - Vintage
Snakeskin Leggings by American Apparel
Leather Belt Piece - Handmade From A Leather Maker In California Desert
Black Shirt With Silver Chains by Free People
Grey Tights With Roses by Urban Outfitters