Lensman Phil Oh on shooting his first magazine editorial, which drew inspiration from his signature street style photography.
“ My blog [Street Peeper] was a couple years old, and I had just graduated from using a point-and-shoot camera to an entry level SLR. I got an email from Seventeen; they were doing a street style shoot in L.A. and asked if I wanted to [photograph] it.
I’d never done a photo shoot before, never [even] assisted on any.
They put me up at the SUNSET MARQUIS — this was before all the consultants slashed everybody’s budgets.
The morning of the [shoot], I went down to the lobby. A bunch of people and one of those giant [mobile] trailers were there. I went up to one of the guys and [said], ‘Hey! What are you filming?’
‘It’s a photo shoot for Seventeen,’ he said. ‘We’re waiting for the photographer.’
‘That’s me!’ I said. The looks on their faces were like:
WHO THE FUCK IS THIS KID?
The jig was up from the moment they saw me.
People spend years on sets as assistants before they actually shoot something; I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I started to think, ‘What happens if this sucks?’
[When] I turned on the camera [to shoot] the second or third look, I pressed the wrong button and [set] it on timer mode, and I didn’t know how to [switch] it back. ‘I’ve got to use the bathroom,’ I said, and went to the trailer to Google how to turn the timer mode off.
The pictures came out okay, [and] they didn’t kill [the story]. [That shoot] scared the shit out of me,
but you get used to it.”
— as told to The Thick