Love: Exploring A Relationship in Monochrome

This is a syndicated blog post from La Noir Image. All images by Nathan Hostetter. Used with permission. Don’t forget about our Kickstarter! Please consider donating to us if you want to see more content just like this.

“I wanted to show the relationship dynamic of a blue collar man and his white collar girl.” says photographer Nathan Hostetter when he emailed La Noir Image to showcase his project. This relationship isn’t a typical one though.

“The male subject comes from the working class and is adjusting to his new upscale life, and the woman is used to getting her way. The series reflects on the man alone, and the thoughts and emotions of two people that love each other, even if they don’t always understand one another.”

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (1 of 1)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.5

Nathan always took photos for fun more than anything–paid or not,” I’ll always have my camera with me. A few years back my girlfriend let me have her old Nikon D90, this was my first DSLR.” says Nathan. “I dove right in and learned everything I could about the camera and light. Later, I began asking my friends to model for me so I could work with people.” Nathan likes photographing people, and perhaps that’s partially why he wanted to do this project.

To that end, this project isn’t really about an actual couple. Instead, the woman (Dani Afori) in the set is actually Nathan’s girlfriend, and he had worked with the male model (Staffan Endenholm) in the past so it was easy to get him on board for the idea. Its conception started at the Gansevoort Hotel in NYC. “Initially I was just going to shoot with Staffan, but once I looked over the room and wardrobe I got the idea to show a working man new to an upscale lifestyle.” says Nathan about the creative direction.

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (1 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.0

“I knew from the start I wanted smoking in the shots, I don’t smoke myself, but I have a thing for capturing it on camera. Staffan had the perfect look for the shoot, and the models’ attitudes and personalities are opposite and fit the roles of the characters perfectly.”

Funny enough, the whole thing evolved as it was taking place. Hence they went about having a night on the town. Staffan was actually working on a construction project and communicated it during the creation of the series; and so this gave Nathan the ideas. Contrast the typical blue collar worker with the glam of NYC’s Meatpacking District and you’ve got quite a story.

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (2 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.0

“Neither of us lives in a bougie condo or anything, but there is a lot of passion, and a fair amount of stubbornness.” says Nathan about how the project is sort of based off of his own relationship. “Through all that we still love each other very much and wouldn’t rather spend time with anyone else, and that’s the attitude I wanted to capture.” This was conveyed by Dani–she’s a passionate and emotional person while Staffan is calm and almost disinterested.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how much hell she puts him through, no one makes him feel this good, and there’s no one he’d rather share a smoke with on the streets in the middle of the night.”

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (3 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.0

Nathan chose to do the project in black and white because of his the grain structure looked in the images.

“I usually just go with my gut on this, and as I was looking over the project I just wanted to see it in black and white.”

All images were shot with the Canon 6D and a 24mm f1.4L lens.

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (4 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 3.2

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (5 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.5

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (6 of 19)ISO 32001-80 sec at f - 1.4

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (8 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.0

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (9 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.2

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (10 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.0

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (11 of 19)ISO 32001-125 sec at f - 2.0

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (12 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 1.8

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (13 of 19)ISO 32001-125 sec at f - 1.8

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (14 of 19)ISO 32001-125 sec at f - 1.8

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (15 of 19)ISO 32001-125 sec at f - 1.8

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (16 of 19)ISO 32001-125 sec at f - 1.8

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (17 of 19)ISO 32001-125 sec at f - 1.8

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (18 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 1.8

Nathan Hostetter La Noir Image Love (19 of 19)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 3.5