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Featured Work: re-Adorned


Ancestral Adornment Gets the Modern Treatment

Photographer Tina Gutierrez and designer Da’Mon Butler are a #TetherCincy dream team. Brought together by mutual fondness for each other’s style and sensibility, their “re-adorned” concept explores the celebration of color and ornamentation on the male form. 

So Tina, how did this project come about?

Da’Mon and I have been working together for about a year. We met in 2016 and I immediately fell in love with his work. He agreed to work together, and since then we have have been collaborating on many shoots.

What did you guys do to prepare for this shoot?

Da’Mon made some jewelry and clothing and cast the models. Then we looked at the jewelry and the model and how they looked together: Da'Mon dressed them and I asked each model about his background and the types of activities he might naturally do—we use that as a starting point for posing. I pay attention to the muscles in the model’s faces to find the angles that the camera seems to like the most, and we try to keep it real and natural by making sure everyone is constantly moving and interacting.


Did you do the shoot at your studio?

Yes, I have a studio at Pendleton Arts Center. Our shoots usually last two to three hours, and then there are countless hours of preparation and editing and retouching.

Oh yeah? What did you do when editing the images?

Oh god, that's a big question. So much! Mostly I try to to keep the skin pretty real, which is harder than removing everything. I only like to remove temporary blemishes and even out the lighting. I’ll clean up the background, and remove dust and other stuff that isn’t part of the picture. I also did some cropping. There's a bunch of other stuff, but it's different for each session.

How do the re-Adorned photos complement or contrast your usual work?

They absolutely complement it! My work is about people and some kind of connection. This project was about the connection between jewelry and its wearers, and about the connection to ancestral adornment.

Photographer: Tina Gutierrez, www.tinagutierrezartsphotography.com, @Tinalovesart
Designer: Da’Mon Butler, nomad3176@yahoo.com
Models: Devon Thompson, Seth Owsley, Max Julien, Jayy Rogers, Emanuel Shepard, Domonique, Ennomar J. Dandridge