Who is Mr.D
I am Mr.D.
I am and I have created a full-service photography business to give clients a wonderful and memorable experience, producing exceptional quality and style of photography that is unlike any other. My goal is to create images that are more than a photograph; they should convey a feeling and elicit an emotional response ranging from “Wow, that’s really beautiful” to “Wow, that is really creepy” to “Wow, that really turns me on” and just about everything in between. I want my images to stick with the viewer long after they are done looking at them and I strive to constantly and consistently push myself beyond what I have already done.
Mr.D Photography and I aspire to not be your average photographer. My goal is to create images that are stunning, that push boundaries and that shake up comfortability. I specialize in creating images of models that are full of emotion, art, and sheer sex appeal. I aspire to create images that will have a true visceral impact on the viewer, touching them in places they weren't sure they had. If my work is forgettable than I have personally failed and I will challenge myself to work harder to let all of my work rise above the rest.
The journey of how I got to this point is a long and intense one, involving lots of pain, hard work, dedication, experimentation and necessity of realizing that I have no other choice but to be successful.
I do aspire to write a book delving into the entire development of myself, Mr.D Photography and all of the people that made it what it is today, however, in the meantime I will give you the quick and dirty version for you to take a peek behind the lens.
I have always been an artist and a creative soul, taking my first artistic nude photographs in high school. I found a passion to make art and enjoy beautiful women, and as it turns out, I was quite good at both!
Fast forward many years and I had the opportunity to shoot a Burlesque Show- Bing Bamboo Room Burlesque based in Albany New York. I met one of the performers Metal Mel and she provided me with the opportunity to be a lead photographer on a project called Dirty Rock Nation. She needed me to shoot model photos of “hot rock girls.” I jumped on the opportunity, immediately scrounged up what little cash I had, and rented a small unfinished office to turn into a makeshift studio… and thus The Lab was born.
The Lab was my studio to shoot the Dirty Rock Nation models also known as “Dirty Skirts” once I had shot a few I realized I needed to make money to pay for this studio space, so I reached out to some contacts I had in the Acting and Theater scene and I started selling Headshot sessions, then I started shooting Model Portfolios and my business took off from there.
Over the next 4 years, I became an unstoppable force in the photography scene in the 518. I worked tirelessly to always be shooting, always look at my work, others work, magazines and anywhere I could to see how and where I can make my business better. To be truly honest I had very little technical photography knowledge, I was a creative artist who was living paycheck to paycheck with very little disposable income. I did not have any money for fancy lenses or lights or any of the tools that are professional industry standards, so I had to rely on the things I did have- which was a strong creative mind, a drive to always be working, and a personality and environment that made people gravitate towards me and what to do anything they can to help and be apart of the vision I was creating.
The Lab and Mr.D had so many ideas to help the industry. I had a vision of making The Lab a hub for artists and models to come together to meet, collaborate, and help each other grow and develop as artists. I always had an assistant, or Robin, as the position was referred to as, a makeup artist and no shortage of models that wanted to come and shoot. My good friend Chris came to help me out one day, he saw what I was creating and decided to become apart of it. He is a true friend and has been the backbone of Mr.D Photography still to this day.
One of the other greatest advantages I had was my good friend and fellow photographer, Covey. He helped me with what I did not know about all of the technical and science parts of photography, which only furthered my art. His guidance propelled my business and was invaluable to moving Mr.D Photography to the level that it is.
For a good solid 5 years the Lab was the place to be and so many fantastic and incredible photos, stories and experiences came out of it. Sadly my lack of knowledge in small business management, my lack of decimal places in my bank account and some terrible struggles with some of the ugly sides of life eventually swallowed up The Lab and I had to shut the doors. It will forever be the home of Mr.D Photography and you can see a collection of all the Behind the Scenes and Shenanigans that it was HERE
Despite the closure of The Lab, Mr.D Photography lived on, I found someone that believed in everything I wanted and hoped for, and she put in her all to help me get to where I wanted. She was very creative, very important to me and helped me expand what I could do while also letting me shoot what I wanted to. She and I created some of the most amazing and iconic images that Mr.D Photography has to date.
My business still attracted the attention of many other small and national companies and they hired me to shoot their products, brands, celebrity personalities and advertising work. Companies and Magazines such as Inked and Sexy, Simply Spray, Ink'd Magazine, Orange County Choppers, Act-a-Fool, Goldwell Color, Cheek Cosmetics, as well as numerous others!
The Mr. D team, consisting of myself as the photographer, Robin, as the makeup artist and model coach, and Chris my best friend and full assistant to anything we needed photography wise became something completely evolved from the grass roots beginnings of the dingy makeshift studio in a half-finished office. Without a “home base” studio anymore we resulted in traveling all over, most notably Syracuse, Boston and Florida, and set up huge group shoot weekends. There would be a location or two and 6 to 8 models, businesses, or general clients shooting over the whole weekend. This adventure happened consistently at least twice a month for the following 3 years! All The while holding onto the values of what I have learned along the way and always pushing myself and my team to be the best that they could be, creating images and more importantly experiences unlike any other.
We taught models how to model, the science of it, what looks good and what doesn't and how they can better themselves as well as produce better art… because better quality ingredients will produce a better quality meal.
During this 3 year period, I met Dino Petrocelli, an amazing photographer, an inspirational colleague, a really great person and most importantly my friend. He opened up his full upscale professional studio to me to use any time simply because I was an aspiring professional in our field. He wanted to pay forward the experiences he was given and I will always be eternally grateful for everything and every opportunity that he has given to me. If it wasn't for Dino, I am positive I would not be shooting anymore.
The four years of this “Golden Age” of Mr.D Photography came to a screeching halt when a devastating break up ended my partnership with Robin, who was not only the glue that held Mr.D Photography together, she was also the love of my life, and when she was no longer there, my creativity, my inspiration and my desire to continue the legacy of Mr. D Photography left with her. I let so much of it fall to the wayside and found no joy or passion in it anymore. That was over 2 years ago…
However, after much soul-searching and healing time, I realized that Mr.D Photography was ME, it was in my soul and in my blood so I had to find the courage and strength to push on.
When the greatest tree in the forest falls, it can be devastating and completely upset, change and destroy the surrounding environment, yet given the time that tree will decompose and become fertilizer for a whole brand new environment to grow and thrive, which brings us to today.
Now I am changing the business of Mr.D Photography yet again, as it has always been a dynamic that needs room to expand and contract, to evolve once again into something new yet still holding on to the values that were my driving force when I first started this 8 years ago:
To consistently create exquisite images that affect the viewer, to wow them, to shock them, to inspire them. Photos create an emotion of a place, of a time and of an experience and I want to always push myself to rise higher than I have before. Only time will show how successful I have been, so I will continue to create, continue to dream, continue to teach and continue to love the art that I create… and I hope you do too.