By Aurelia Brun
Eric Hason specializes in editorial and commercial fashion, beauty, lifestyle and portrait photography. He’s a photographer from Manhattan, based in New York City, where he shares his unique style. Eric loves collaborative synergy, getting the most out of his team to create beautiful, compelling photographs.
Our team at Production Paradise talked with Eric about his work and inspirations.
Production Paradise: How did you start your career as professional photographer?
Eric: Photography is a third career for me. After graduating college I was a computer programmer for 3 years. Staring into a screen for 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week was not for me. I transitioned into real estate and started a property management company. The business grew quickly, as did the stress level. When my relationship with my partner soured, we decided to sell the company.
During those years I needed an outlet. I took an adult education photo class at Cooper Union called “Point and Shoot”. The course was conceptual broken down into 4 modules: industrial landscape, street, portrait and still life. At the beginning of a module students were presented with works of a master photographers, then asked to go out and shoot and present edited work for critique. I quickly became obsessed with looking at and creating images. Along with a few other students we created a group and continued meeting after the class was over. I found myself sitting in my office formulating my next photo project and researching galleries to submit my work to. When the business was finally sold I vowed never to have a job I didn’t enjoy and chose to make my avocation my vocation. I am very pleased with my decision!
Production Paradise: How would you define your style in a few words? And who inspired you?
Eric: Clean with an edge. The photography of Bernd and HIlla Becher intrigues me. Beautifully executed “portraits” of industrial buildings… I can get lost exploring the details. As far as fashion photographers: Mert and Marcus, Richard Burbridge (and the list goes on).
Production Paradise: If you had to choose one photo and only one out of all your shoots, what photo would it be and why that one in particular?
Eric: The first year I started shooting an acquaintance asked me to cover fashion week for his online magazine. Initially shooting runway was fun and exciting, but that quickly wore off. However I fell in love with the strength and beauty of Omahyra who seemed to be walking in every show. A year or two later I booked and produced a fashion editorial and cover assignment for Neo2 (a fashion magazine published in Spain). I was able to book Omahyra for the job. Her energy on (and off) set was incredible. Years later the issue remains on my coffee table and continues to make me smile!
Production Paradise: You’re very involved and committed to your community through the NYC Flashes of Hope, the NYC Board of Ed, Catholic Big Brothers, and AFS; does working with children and teens somehow contribute to some new inspiration to your work?
Eric: Working with kids has always kept me young, relevant, and genuine. As the years pass, this becomes more important. Living in Brooklyn and being schooled by kids: what they are listening to, where they shop, how they are communicating keeps me privy to the cutting edge. I love it when the models are surprised that the playlist they are listening to belongs to me. However I can only take it so far… if I start having too much fun with my hair cut or color, my son will disown me.
Production Paradise: Last year you were featured in an advertising campaign for a department store in Tokyo; how did you feel about being in front of the camera and not behind it? And what were your thoughts when you saw your photo in that department store for the first time?
Eric: The photographer Kentaro Minami, is a friend and former assistant who moved back to Japan. We are close friends. He returned to NYC to shoot the campaign for Isetan and was casting real people in their homes. Being the frustrated Zoolander that I am, how could I say no?
The crew came to my home on a Sunday. I provided craft services (bagels and lox). The shoot was only a few hours. I had a great time. My only regret is not being able to see the billboard/posters in person.
Photo by Kentaro Minami
An aside, during the time Kentaro was New York assisting me he had a personal project taking polaroids of photographers. After a year he showed me his project which was displayed in a photo album. I was thrilled to see my portrait in between polaroids of Bruce Davidson and Stephen Shore. I happened to meet Bruce Davidson at a lecture and related the story to him. Bruce replied “In a few years someone looking at the book will ask, Who are those two old guys on either side of Hason?”
Photos by Kentaro Minami
Production Paradise: What is the next project you are currently working on?
Eric: Next week I am working 4 days shooting advertising and catalog for a large outerwear designer. We are shooting both in studio and street location guerilla style! They are a new client. I am very excited.
Production Paradise: What have you found most useful about being a Production Paradise member?
Eric: I love receiving inquiries about my photography. When replying I usually ask how they came across my work. When they answer “I found you through Production Paradise” you know they are doing something right.
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