Tyrone "Syranno" Wilkens
How/when did you get your start with photography?
I bought a camera in 2009 to take pictures of my son and document his moments growing up. I put it down for a period, and my child's mother began using it. She got good enough to pique my competitive nature, so I picked the camera back up and never put it back down. A year later, a friend introduced me to owners of the event company, Hush Society, and I began shooting different socials, mansion parties, and celebrity events. During that time, I did some photo work for Carlos Allen, who later became one of the people who crashed the State Room Dinner party during Obama's first administration. Jet Magazine reached out to me to request imagery of the party crasher. I took a chance and inquired about other opportunities for work and got assigned to photograph entrepreneur Mike Humes for Ebony Magazine. Around 2011, I met Aaron Williams, Editor in Chief of Iconography Magazine and he became somewhat of a mentor to me. My interest in fashion photography began through his guidance.
How would you describe your photography style?
My style is more industry standard at the moment. I'm still developing and grooming my style, but I try to stay within the higher market industry standard. I try to step out of the box and use my childlike imagination to bring a twist to my photos.
Where do you draw inspiration for your photos?
I am an avid Pinterest user. I look at a lot of history photography from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I draw a lot of my inspiration from vintage fashion photography. History always repeats itself, and it shows itself in style on a regular basis.
On notable features:
My work has been featured in Huff Magazine, Elements Magazine, and some work I did for a makeup line was featured in Fader. I also snagged the cover of ECHO Magazine, a biweekly publication located in Arizona. In March, I will have a feature layout in Elegant Magazine.
How have other photographers influenced you the most? How has their influence shaped your craft?
Initially, Richard Averdon was a huge influence. More recently, John Ellis, a fashion photographer in New York and also a friend. Danessa Myricks, she is a beauty photographer and also owns a makeup line, and she's a beast. They each have helped spark creative ideas for my work.
What particular technology/software do you use to help with your photographic process?
Lightroom is the only technology I use outside of my camera. My team is important to make sure I don't have to retouch a lot. I feel Photoshop is overused at times.
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a photographer?
Finding good models and wardrobe stylists in my market. Some people say they are experts in particular areas, but when it's crunch time, they can't produce.
On upcoming projects:
My primary focus for the entire year is a seven editorial project. I'm looking to have them all published throughout the year. I'm excited to take on this challenge. I know it's going to be great.
What is your dream project?
I want to work with Nick Knight on a fashion film. I want my work to be featured in Harper’s Bazaar as well.
What quote or affirmation do you live your life by?
It is not always about you.
It's hard to separate business from personal but a lot of times. When things do not go your way in business, it's usually not about you; you are just on the receiving end. You have to have tough skin.