Appreciating Growth: A Fashion and Film Session With Chantrelle LeNoir

Promo Video for Chantrelle Noir's "Wanderlust" (Shot on the iPhone 7 Plus, Edited by Jonathan Chatten.)

How does one really know when they have achieved their best work? How does one know that a certain audience will like their work or that piece will lead to the big assignment that you’ve worked for your entire career? Why is it that many artist ascribe to a set of rules or unspoken guidelines that make us fearful of sharing what makes us special- our journey to achieve beautiful work? 

There is beauty in our mistakes and growth. So why does it often feel no one cares to take that journey from where you started? Growth should be embraced, not shamed. 

As I sat on the couch, our model, Chantrelle, prepared.We vibed out on music, and I talked to Chantrelle’ s partner, Atom Gray. We contemplated the above questions about journey, growth, and change. It sparked a thought on the way that I wanted to approach this and other shoots in the near future. The conversation helped birth a philosophy of self to become comfortable and positive about sharing my work as well as my process. 

On this particular shoot, I had two goals in mind. 1: This was going to be my attempt at my first fashion short using my iPhone only, and 2: I would going to take photographs entirely in 35mm film. There was no concept, no storyboard, but there was an idea. I wanted it to show my fears, my vision, my first time. I wanted this to be an inspiration to other artists who think about expanding deeper into their craft but were halted because the fear of error or blunder stifled process. I wanted the film photographs to reveal the same as the video. I wanted this shoot to become a blueprint of an artist sharing his process.  


We all start somewhere, and make gains as we go. We create work not only for ourselves but for our communities, our fans, our bills, our dreams. Your portfolio shouldn't be a collection of work that displays the many ways you are perfect and magnificent. In my opinion, it should show your development and reveal the conversations that you’ve had with your art, flow, tools, and skill. It should display the risks you’ve taken and be full of texture, depth, and meaning. Each shoot should enhance your skills.

Show your work. Let people see inside of your beautiful mind.