Brian Finke‘s ongoing series “Hip Hop Honeys,” which documents life on-set of hip-hop videos, approached the year mark in January 2014. The idea for the project came to Finke from a photo editor he works with at D la Repubblica, a weekly Italian style magazine. Finke tells PDN via e-mail, “the photo editor had seen a video about the models from the videos and said ‘Brian, this is perfect for you.'” He agreed and spent a few months reaching out to casting directors, producers, photo editors…anyone that had a connection to that world. Finally someone texted him asking if he was free the next day for a shoot in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood at a cigar bar.
“Photographing has allowed me to be in a lot of interesting places and situations over the years. With this project it’s been shooting in hotel rooms on Park Avenue, blunts in the room and towels rolled under the door.” One of Finke’s more notable shoots was a Busta Rhymes “twerking” video shot in both Brooklyn, New York, studios and mansions in New Jersey. However Finke prefers to leave the musicians’ information out of the captions so the focus is really on the models. The shoots have included both A- and B-list artists, which have allowed for a variety of shooting situations. “Higher end videos have large productions with stylists, wardrobe, amazing outfits…all the excess. The lesser know artists have small crews. I can pretty much shoot whatever I want on-set.”