New York singer/songwriter/model/actor Shamar Forte is on the scene promoting his new promo album "The Inside Man." I've known Shamar for a couple of years and I watched his growth as an artist and human-being as he battled it out in the New York City music scene. Quiet and humble by nature, when he opened his mouth, one could not help to think of sounds of Anthony Hamilton and John Legend. But Shamar wants to carve out his own Forte sound.
I've photographed Shamar in the past for his portfolio and each time we've worked together, Shamar always wanted to do something different and push the envelope. One of my "famous" pictures were actually taken of Shamar (the Silverman). At the time, he just got back from Chicago doing a run of The Wiz and he was the Tin Man. They painted his face silver and it gave him the idea. What would it look like if I covered my whole body? He sought me out to take that photograph.
I told him that if we did that, he would have to be nude. It would look odd to have his face and hands painted and him be clothed in any way. He said; "let's do it. When I photograph with you, you make me feel comfortable, that I can do anything." That session, I broke out the body paint and had the pain-staking task of painting him literally from head to toe (almost two hours). I didn't want to show all his nakedness in the photograph, so I found an old dryer exhaust hose and wrapped it around him. The effect was nothing less than amazing.
When he approached me this time, he wanted something different to promote his album. Something a little more "grown and sexy". He wanted a photo session that gave you the feel of the R&B singers of the 80s a la Johnny Gill and we set off to do just that. No studio backdrops, nothing modelesque. Just something moody, contemplative and sexy. I teamed up with New York stylist Kareem James and with a simple beauty dish, we set forth to create a feeling of R&B hotness. Ladies and gentlemen I present to you Shamar Forte your "Inside Man."