A natural intimacy sort of oozes out of “Afternoons,” Danny Lane’s first hardcover photo book. The carefully currated black and white photographs of his muses in various states of nudity are relatable and refreshingly underproduced. A quick flip through its pages yields a sophisticated glance at women doing every day things inside their apartments. Shooting with natural light and the absense of over-styling aided in the aesthetic Lane succesfully created.
Look no further for your next provocative coffee table book.
Lane has shot with Playboy before for both print and digital, so we caught up with the actor and photographer about the release of Afternoons and what led him to photography.
Can you tell me about the inspiration behind your first hardcover book?
I’m inspired by everyday, almost mundane things. I’ve been wanting to make a book forever. I was inspired technically by painting, line drawings and sculpture mixed with the basic concept of the ‘portait.’ Cinema is always a large inspiration to me as well. Old Woody Allen movies, Ingmar Bergman movies, John Cassavetes movies. I love that stuff.
What attracted you to featuring only black and white photos?
With nudity, black and white just feels a bit more tasteful to me, and I really didn’t want this book to feel like a 'book of naked girls.’ Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Subtle was one of my highlighted motivations. Black and white is also just very cinematic and romantic, and it leaves a lot of room for emotion.
There’s something incredibly intimate about the way you captured these photos. How did you go about shooting these women?
I’m sure a lot of the explanation is technical. The girls aren’t really wearing makeup or clothes, and I’m shooting with mostly natural light. When I shoot like this, there is nobody there besides me and the model. Naturally, this is just an intimate situation. We talk, we shoot, drink coffee and listen to music. Then I go home to my girlfriend and my dog. I also know a lot of the women in this book personally, and we’ve shot several times before.
What made you choose the title Afternoons?
I shot one roll of film with each girl. It only took an hour. Then I went to a one-hour photo, had the photos developed and everything was finished within one afternoon. Each shoot generally took place between 11am-2pm. The title is obnoxiously literal when I explain it. But I like it — it’s fitting.
How did you get into photography, and how has your career led up to this book?
I was an actor first. I still am. About five or six years ago, I played a photographer in a movie and fell in love with the craft. I started shooting my friends and people from the Internet. The first photographers I loved were Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, David Bailey, the really famous guys. I naturally fell in love with the idea of nudity in photography. At first, I loved nudity in a fashionable way. Now I just love the more artistic aspect of it.
Can you tell me about some of the women you featured? Was there a certain personality trait, or look, you were interested in featuring?
I try to shoot every kind of woman, but let’s say Afternoons was a movie or a play. I just put together an extremely large cast. Some of the women have more lines than the others. There are comedic moments, and sometimes even frightening ones. Surprisingly, most of the women I asked to be a part of this cast were completely into the story. That’s what I am interested in - strong, open-minded, interesting women. I’m extremely appreciative of all my collaborators in this book.