By: Emily Dammeyer
Cory Dawson is known for his food, product, and still life photography. In June 2015 he attended an NYCFotoworks Event in the hopes of making a meaningful connection and to get his work in front powerful people in the industry. At this particular portfolio review he met Mary Fletcher, Sr. Photo Editor for Refinery 29, who was working for Teen Vogue at the time. When she moved to Refinery 29 in December, she remembered Dawson and called on him for some editorial and advertorial work she needed done. Due to their meeting, Dawson has had six shoots with Refinery 29 over the course of the last 12 months. While he had previously shot for the company, he credits the power of connections with this latest work.
"The most relevant tidbit about this project is that I got the shoot from a meeting I had at a Fotoworks event. The stylist, Chloe Daley, was the first stylist I worked with in NY after moving to the city. She has styled every Refinery 29 shoot I have done except for one. Working together is really natural."
Dawson first arrived in New York in 2014 and is currently represented by Elizabeth Pojé + Associates. He believes that working with familiar faces definitely affects the flow and efficiency of the shoot. "The shoot went very smoothly. We had great direction from Mary and because of how much Chloe and I have worked together, we are familiar with each other's approaches. We had eight shots total with variations so we had to be extremely efficient to fit everything into a single day shoot."
One of the biggest challenges for Dawson on this shoot was to let go of his clean and structured style. He checked his natural instincts at the door and relied on Daley to do all of the initial layouts and styling. Dawson recalls, "I contributed only to help keep the space and subject matter balanced in the frame." The fabric backgrounds had the potential to add a layer of difficulty to the shoot, but he shot with a Multi Shot Hasselblad to avoid back moire.