Photo credit – Aisha Schliessler

Contrarians like to point out the immediate ascension and disappearance of talent discovered online. Reality stars, YouTubers, Social Media Influencers; these are not careers that necessarily require talent to become noticed and because of this, the vast majority dissipate into the ether. There is however a subsection of individuals who thrive online and even cross over into more traditional media and entertainment formats; people like photographer Evan Parsons. His unique and stylized photography led to a huge following on Instagram, many of whom included professional filmmakers and others in the production industry. Whether it’s a flat tire on a classic car, a somewhat aged man muscle-posing on the beach, or Oscar-nominated actress Juliette Lewis standing in the kitchen, Evan’s photography communicates what so many great photographers infuse in their work; the fact that there are several layers of story in this one image. It’s not surprising that cinematographers, artists,and prestigious companies like Park Picture shave enlisted Parsons to help them document and relate the stories they are creating on a variety of different productions.

Anthem – Other

Cinematographer Todd M. Duym (CSC and Leo award winner) had been a fan and follower of Evan’s Instagram for some time when he began preparing to work on the film Anthem of a Teenage Prophet. Blending the hint of metaphysical with the spectrum of teenage trials and emotions, the story has a small town rural America setting which mirrors a great deal of Parsons’ imagery and context on the photography app. When Duym reached out to Evan to inquire if he would take on the duties of Behind the Scenes Still Photographer as well as supplying media photos for promotion, Parsons eagerly accepted. Anthem of a Teenage Prophet stars Teen Choice Award winner Cameron Monaghan as the vision-receiving Luke Hunter who is dually troubled by his hyper awareness and typical teenage circumstances.

James Blake

Academy Award nominated actress Juliette Lewis also stars in this markedly darker than most teen movie. In contrast to the typical process which places the photographer on set for a short time, Evan was granted full access for the entire duration of the filming in order to immerse and capture the truest sense of the actors and characters. Evan relates, “When you’re spending 14 hours a day together for a month, you get to know people quite well. It changes the way you photograph them and creates better photos. I tried to take portraits of the characters where their surroundings took up just as much space or more space in the frame than they do. They’re still the focal point but their surroundings are equally important.” As with his Instagram account, the photographs Parsons provided for the poster and promotion of Anthem of a Teenage Prophet possess a depth that draws one in with a solitary image and beckons one to spend more time to absorb the emotion.

Sam Fender – Play God

Admirers of Evan’s talent are also found in the music video realm via productions such as Sam Fender’s “Play God” and “Barefoot in the Park” by James Blake featuring Rosalia. “Play God” director Vincent Haycock had been so boisterous about his admiration for the Canadian photographer’s work that Polydor / Universal Music Commissioner Semera Khan herself approached Evan to create something all encompassing. Parsons was to not only capture photos for promotion but to actually create the content that would be used for an entirely separate video for the Spotify app; blurring the lines between photographer and DP. The outcome was so exceptional that Semera enlisted Parsons again for the “Barefoot in The Park” video by James Blake. With eleven million views on YouTube, “Barefoot in The Park” was not only a big hit but also the first time these collaborating artists were being photographed together.

James Blake Car Crash

The promotional images Evan shot of James and Rosalia ended up being used for a number of media outlets promoting the song, including articles on pitchfork and Every project provides a welcome opportunity for Evan Parsons to engage his discerning eye for riveting images. He revels in the spectrum. It’s with a tone of bemusement that he notes, “The image of the girl in front of the burning car [“Barefoot in The Park”] seemed to take on a life of its own on social media and became the most popular photo I’ve ever posted. It’s such a strong, emotional image that was a relatively small part of the actual video but resonated so well on its own. It seems like a lot of people agree with me because even after a year, people are still reposting and commenting on that one. Really, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching music videos, it’s that people love burning cars.”

Anthem – Other

Author : Cecil McCoy