Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

Who's in the Crew? - Spotlight on Wheaton Mahoney

Name: Wheaton Mahoney
WEBSITE: http://wheatonmahoney.com
CREW PROFILE: https://headshotcrew.com/wheatonmahoney
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wheatonmahoneyphotography/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/wheatonmahoneyphotography/ AND https://www.facebook.com/wheatonmahoney/
LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wheaton-mahoney-b4aa5b6/

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?

I am from Greenwich, CT. I earned a BFA in Photography at RISD in 1993 and started working in commercial photography in Minneapolis, MN. My fiancé and I moved to Dublin, Ireland to start a weekly arts newspaper and then to New York City where I worked in the enormous Macy’s Department store studio and I collaborated on print photography books.

From NYC we moved to San Francisco, to Palm Beach, to Los Angeles, and most recently to western Massachusetts. I worked in quite different settings in each of these locations, and the experience has helped me evolve into the photographer I am today.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING HEADSHOTS?

When we moved to Los Angeles in 2010, I started creating headshots for the large community of talented actors in need of high-quality work. I also worked as a Unit Stills Photographer for film and music videos which was a great introduction to life on set and for meeting headshot clients.

WHAT IS YOUR LIGHTING SETUP FOR HEADSHOTS?

I love shooting with a higher contrast more edgy style for men; I like the rawness and the depth it creates. For gents, I typically use 1x3 (or 1x4) strip box/es, sometimes adding an egg-crate modifier for the hair/cheek highlight and an octa softbox for my main. For women, I prefer a flatter light and either create a clamshell effect with a reflector or feather my modifier. My go-to for a feathered main light is my Profoto Deep Large umbrella with diffusion, but I have varying sizes of modifiers I work with depending on the light drop-off I want on the subject. For both men and women, I make use of bounce and subtract on my portraiture and headshots to provide more dimensionality to the face.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIO. DO YOU OWN IT, LIVE IN IT OR RENT IT?

My studio in LA is a converted two-car garage with high ceilings and an attached office w/ bathroom. The studio has a separate entrance from the main house which has been perfect as I can be at home and still have privacy from the rest of the house when shooting. Of course, there have been times when the kids would pop in the studio and recognize my client from a tv show which always made them giggle.
My studio in Massachusetts is a stand-alone two-story studio on our property with plenty of room for my fine art and headshot work.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT?

My background in photography is fine art which has provided a good balance to my headshot work. I was signed with a gallery in West Palm Beach and now I have an agent who is based in Manhattan and shows my work in galleries, art fairs, and in private selections. My fine art pieces are mostly series based and cover a wide variety of subject matter such as large-scale portraiture, historic houses removed from all contextual locations, PEZ dispensers, spools of thread, and currently the landscapes of forest pathways. With such diverse avenues of photography that I enjoy, I feel lucky to be able to create a series on one subject and then move on to something entirely different for the next portfolio.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PH AND THE HSC?

I first heard about Peter in January of 2014, I think back then it was branded as PH2PRO.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO JOIN THE CREW ONCE YOU FOUND IT?

I believe the same day I heard about Peter I read up on his style and knew right away that this is who I wanted to learn from; his approach to the client and banter lured me in. I signed up on the spot and then joined what I think was his second workshop at that time. I was a student for his January workshop that was all online via Spreecast and lasted 2 months as Peter kept coming up with more scenarios and techniques to teach us. I stay in contact with several of these members even though there are some I have yet to meet in person! I was hooked on PH’s enthusiasm and lighting style and then signed up for another workshop, in person, when Peter, the man, the myth, the legend came to Los Angeles.

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU?

I didn’t even know this about myself until last year… I have for decades taken pictures of my feet along my travels. Never planned, just random until I noticed there was a pattern every few months or so. I recently created an Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/pedesmei/) giving thanks to all the adventures my feet have taken me on. *I am still coming across these feet pics on old negatives and on slides-

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU?

I enjoy the planning of a photograph and still get butterflies in my stomach the night before a shoot. For years now, I have taken pencil to paper and sketched out my model’s poses, lighting, and attire. Having these as a guide means I can focus more attentively on my subject and not worry about which lighting setup is next or what pose to flow into. All the pre-planning helps me relax and be present when the time comes to shoot; some of my clients have asked to purchase the drawings along with the final product.

As for the butterflies, I used to think they were nerves, but now I believe it is more excitement and this helps feed my energy.

5 Comments

GLORIA JOAN's picture
Protégé

I like your creative style.

Peter Istvan's picture
Protégé

Nice!

Barry Braunstein's picture
Associate

Impactful work!

Anita Watkins's picture
Mentor

You need to go a creep Wheaton. Her work is extraordinary. I am such a fan!!

Erik Daems's picture
Protégé

Followed you on Instagram right away!