Portraits of Hip-Hop’s Video Vixens

Behold
The Photo Blog
June 6 2013 8:00 AM

Guns, Bling, Money: Portraits of Hip-Hop’s Video Vixens

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_001

Brian Finke

In music videos, the artist is the star. But in hip-hop, there are other people vying for the spotlight—the beautiful women who populate the bars, clubs, and hotel rooms of hip-hop music videos.

In his series, “Hip-Hop Honeys,” Brian Finke seeks to give them the attention they are due. How he goes about it, he said, is really quite simple.

“A lot of the stuff I do is very straightforward: Pick a subject matter and just obsess about it for a period of time, whether it's a week or a few years,” Finke said.

Advertisement

Over the last 10 years, he’s done that with bodybuilders, flight attendants, and cheerleaders, among a wide variety of unique and distinctly American groups.

“It will be interesting another 10 years from now to connect the dots to see the common threads,” he said.

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_028

Brian Finke

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_018

Brian Finke

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_021

Brian Finke

Finke first got the idea to dive into the hip-hop world at a photography festival in Italy last summer, when a magazine editor suggested he take a look. He started calling casting directors that August, and began shooting in January.

He has attended five video shoots in New York City since then. One was in a hotel room on Park Avenue South. Another was in a cigar bar in Harlem. Most are in traditional photo and video studios.

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_035

Brian Finke

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_039

Brian Finke

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_037

Brian Finke

 “I always want the pictures to be about the people I’m photographing: the subtle expressions, the gestures, the little things that give insight into the personality of the person. I describe it as a stylized documentary,” Finke said.

Of the shoots he’s attended so far, Finke said that he prefers the less polished, B-level shoots, because he gets better access to his subjects. Once he gets on set, though, Finke generally finds the women open to being photographed.

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_022

Brian Finke

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_002

Brian Finke

BrianFinke_HipHopHoneys_025

Brian Finke

“It's just one more camera. They're there to be seen and photographed. It just plays into that,” Finke said.

You can follow Brian Finke on Twitter and Tumblr.

  Slate Plus
Slate Archives
Nov. 26 2014 12:36 PM Slate Voice: “If It Happened There,” Thanksgiving Edition Josh Keating reads his piece on America’s annual festival pilgrimage.