Life in Mono

A recent fashion editorial and collaboration with my friend and hair stylist Chad Seale. KUED channel 7 documented this shoot as part of a feature they did on Chad for their show VERVE. Rachael Domingo did a fantastic job styling the wardrobe with assistance from Phoebe Davenport. The makeup duties were flawlessly executed by the incredibly talented Paula J Dahlberg. Gabriella Cale is a fresh face to watch, she is signed with NIYA management


Dexterity Salon NAHA Shoot

I teamed up with my friends at Dexterity to create a hair collection for the NAHA Salon Team category. This was definitely a team effort. The idea kept evolving up until the day of the shoot. We're all very proud of the work we did and all of the people who helped us bring this to life.

Dexterity team: Jeff Martin, Randi Schneider Hieb, Calla Hoover, Chelsey Frost, Sasha King.
Models: Nate Ries, Katy Kamahele, Mikal Moore, Calla Hoover, Jim Derrick.
MUA: Kristen Packard.


I've always been a creative person. It all started with music for me, that was my first love. Then I discovered and fell in love with design around the time I was attending college. Photography was part of the mix, but I didn't really devote all of my energy to it until after I was laid off from my job as a graphic designer at an advertising agency. Lots of people lost their jobs in 2010 when the economy tanked. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to really focus on photography and see if I can turn it into a living, a career. The first couple of years were devoted to just getting my feet wet and trying to learn what it takes to create a descent image that actually says something. I quickly realized that I wanted to stand out from other Utah photographers, especially in this day and age when so many people are trying to get into the business. To me, the way to do it is to create interesting visuals that tell a story. I wanted to make sure that I didn't go for the very first idea that popped into my head. I alway ask myself: "Has this been done? Is this cliché? Is this just a pretty picture?" It had to be more than that, it had to be different. Off course everything has been done, but could I put my own spin on it? Absolutely. So I worked hard on creating stories, coming up with concepts, location, interesting wardrobe, hair, makeup, etc. There are so many elements that go into making an impactful image, and you can really create multiple levels of viewership and different dimensions by combining those into one picture. I always ask myself: "Who is this character? What are they doing in this picture?" I want the viewer to feel like something has just happened or something is about to happen when they look at my work. I want to build a sense of anticipation and anxiety. I'm much more interested in raising questions than giving you the answers. After all, isn't that what art is all about?

- Phillip Istomin