I find truth and creative inspiration everywhere. I grew up in a large family in Haiti, where island life was simple. We had few toys, but the movies always ignited my imagination. Life changed when a friend showed me his camera, and what was possible creatively with film and still photography. I became obsessed with the medium.
It’s my greatest hope that when someone sees one of my portraits that a truth resonates and literally shines through—that they feel a sense of pride and joy.
After studying and assisting photographers in the United States, I began to hone my craft. It’s no surprise that my work led me to portrait photography. Shooting people became a way for me to escape my loneliness and make friends in a new country. Now, it’s my life.
What’s most exciting about portraiture is capturing someone’s essence on film, and knowing how to present them in their best light. It’s my greatest hope that when someone sees one of my portraits that a truth resonates and literally shines through—that they feel a sense of pride and joy. And maybe discover something new about themselves.
I have long followed the work of the portrait greats (Annie Lebowitz, Herb Ritts, and Richard Avedon) and marvel at how they reveal their subjects to the world. I also love Albert Watson, Marco Grob, and Platoon and their innate creative gifts. They lift me up.
My portrait work spans many industries and subject styles. I’ve had the pleasure of working with top names in music and fashion, including FUBU founder Daymon John. I became his photographer and traveled with him to do fashion shoots, many with rap music artists, like Jermaine Dupri, LL Cool J, Ludacris, and Nas. I also specialize in shooting curvy women for the plus size industry (MONIF C and Plus Models Magazine, and more). My body of work includes corporate, lifestyle, fine art and brand-specific projects.
No matter who my client, I seek to tell great stories through photography. I’d like to tell yours.
—Stanley Desbas, Photographer