While we featured historic sites on MarcusSamuelsson.com during August to promote Harlem Week, September on our site is dedicated to Food and Fashion in celebration of all of the fashion events in New York City. So what better way to feature both Harlem and fashion then in our Art of Harlem series.
Today for The Art of Harlem, we'll take a look at an up-and-coming fashion photographer who frequents Red Rooster and recently shot Marcus for his Centric TV Hot 10 interview- Romer Pedron. Aside from photographing Marcus, Romer has gotten to photograph some of the hottest stars in NYC. We caught up with Romer and asked him a few questions.
How long have you lived here in Harlem?
I've lived up in Washington Heights since 2007, I've had my place here (in Harlem) for two years. And I actually shoot at my apartment sometimes. It's a tiny little studio, but it works.
So how did you get your start? My family is from the Philippines, but I was born in Abu Dhabi, both my parents met each other there, they had me, my brother and sister there, working as nurses. In 1992, my family immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland and growing up I always had an interest in fashion and celebrities, you know watching TV shows on E and like Fashion File and Fashion Television on the Style Network. In 2005, it became time to apply for college. I wanted to go to New York, so I applied for the Fashion Institute of Technology and at first I wanted to be a fashion designer, but when it came time to apply I realized you actually had to sew. So I thought, "I don't really want to do that," but I've always taken photographs and I remember by dad gave me this canon film camera that I used starting from 2005.
I've been living in New York since, started interning for modeling agencies, I interned for photographer Steven Klein, my senior thesis in college was fashion portraitures, so I went around contacting different fashion industry people about photographing them in their environment, and that became my thesis. Since then, I kind of used my connections and saw who I could photograph, so I went to Vogue and photographed their vice president, I went to Elle and photographed their creative director, just different places like that and ever since college, I've been doing free-lance photography, working for different modeling agencies and now I've been shooting for Centric TV.
Are you planning to someday exhibit in a gallery?
First and foremost, photography is related to fine art, so wherever work can be seen I'd be very happy to. I think I found my niche in portraiture, but I'll always have a background in fashion.
We wish Romer a lot of luck during this busy fashion season. Check out a few of his portraits below, as well as a video of Romer's recent shoot with famous music producer Swizz Beatz.