Brian To, photographer
Thank-you so much for taking time to visit my website. I feel very lucky and grateful to have become successful as a photographer since 1990. After graduating from UCLA Film school, I had the fortune to work with mentors such as Greg Gorman, David LaChapelle, and Steven Meisel, who photographed me for the L’Uomo Vogue, CK ONE campaign, and an Italian Vogue Cover. Herb Ritts, a good friend, strongly influenced my style with his clean, understated elegant approach to beauty, fashion, and commercial photography.
There is nothing more beautiful than capturing a truthful moment. Often what people consider mistakes are the most interesting. I simply try to create a free environment, which allows subjects to enjoy the purity of the moment as it happens. One of my first assignments was photographing Antonio Sabato Jr. for his book NO EXCUSES – WORKOUT FOR LIFE, which I approached by having an assistant hold a light and then followed him around the gym as if I was not there.
For many years, I pursued art photography, appeared in several group exhibitions, and exhibited two solo shows of self-portraits. I became a member of Cinematographer’s Guild LOCAL 600 after shooting still photography for several of Randal Kleiser’s films and various independent features. Photographing directors Bryan Singer and John Schlesinger inspired me to direct my first film AUDIT starring Judy Greer, which premiered at LA FILM FESTIVAL, and won Best Short Film at the WIN Femme Film Festival. More recently, I shot music video still photography for hit songs "Brick" by Paramore and "Airplanes" by B.o.B.
My background in film directing really helped me understand how to bring out the best with actors, models, and celebrities. Aside from covers, catalog, fashion, and celebrity editorial work for magazines such as INSTYLE, I have enjoyed shooting beauty ad campaigns for PURE BEAUTY, JAPONESQUE, JOHNSON & JOHNSON, GARNIER, WALGREENS, VH1, and THE WB and CW shows such as BEAUTY AND THE GEEK 2, which won a Promax/BDA Silver Award for outdoor print campaign.