Over the course of three years, photographer Brian Finke went behind the scenes on hip-hop video shoots for such artists as Jay-Z, Busta’ Rhymes, and Kanye West. But, he was not focused on the celebrities—instead his interest was in the professional models who act in supporting roles in the music videos. Hours on set can be long and oftentimes boring. Moments of high-octane action can be followed by long periods of just waiting around. What Finke enjoys most about the photographs is the range of emotions he was able to capture—from excitement to boredom and focus to flirtation. Finke employed his signature, hyper-saturated aesthetic to document video models in their everyday work “uniforms”—often focusing on the imaginative hair, make-up, and styling that give the videos their distinction.
The artist successfully established working relationships with the models he photographed, often consulting with them when choosing the best takes from each shoot. He comments: “As a documentary photographer first and foremost, I was there to observe and photograph the scene taking place. These are people doing their job, from my perspective.”