Barrenger's career started with "creatives" -- the photos that agencies use for new models' comp cards. Since he couldn't afford a camera, he had to borrow one from Sheridan College (in Oakville, Ont.), where he was in his last year of the applied photography program. (He graduated in 2003.) In exchange for the use of lighting equipment, he occasionally assisted an established hair photographer who lived across the street from him. Barrenger's first creative was Marla Boehr, who has since gone on to work major runways, fashion shoots and ad campaigns. (She landed the September 2005 and February 2006 covers of ELLE Canada.) "We shot the creatives in my apartment [in Toronto]," he says. "It was so small, we had to move the fridge and table out of the way to make room."
Barrenger says his success was just luck -- "a lot of dumb mistakes that ended up working." Although he admires the photography of Peter Lindbergh, Steven Klein and Paulo Roversi, he says that while fashion can be art, fashion photography isn't necessarily so. "You have to remember that it's often about selling the clothes. Once in a while, a shoot pops up where you can play a bit more. It's important to have an image that says something or evokes an emotion in the viewer." Eventually, he wants to get into film and play more with cinematic approaches to photography. "My style is evolving," Barrenger says. "It's not anywhere near where it should be." For more info, visit www.geoffbarrenger.com.
Interested in fashion photography? Go behind the scenes at a fashion shoot!
Photo by Geoff Barrenger