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    Photographer Gunner Stahl Shows Us How To Be Candid

    with young thug, miley cyrus + more

    by Sydney Gore December 28, 2015

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    Gunner Stahl is a 23-year-old photographer that's changing the way we view celebrities with his film portraits. Based in Atlanta, he's gained access to some of the most relevant names of our time as far as pop culture is concerned, like Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa, Rae Sremmurd and Big Sean. Stahl recently published some of these images in a personal photography book titled For You Mom. Today, we're publishing a handful of intimate photos that Stahl exclusively shared with us of Young Thug.

    On getting the special opportunity to shoot the rapper, Stahl told us the following: "I had been trying to shoot Thug for almost a year now. I was finally introduced to him by my friend Mike Will one day at the studio. I was able to sit in his session for two days where he recorded. So many pictures were taken over those two days than I could possibly imagine. My book was never going to come out unless he was in it. [I'm a] Firm believer of speaking things into existence because a week after announcing my book, I shot Young Thug. "

    Check out the photos in the gallery and get to know the man behind the camera in the corresponding interview. For You Mom is available to purchase here.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    How did you get into photography? What type of photography do you prefer?
    I really got serious about photography when I was 18 and brought my first camera. I taught myself everything from editing to shooting. I prefer portraits. Up close and personal moments.           
     

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    Tell me about yourself! Where were you raised and where are you based now?
    I'm from Atlanta. Born and raised. I love it here. I'm 23 years old. I'm a Pisces, so basically I'm super emo at times. I'm in school studying film. My favorite movie is Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. My waist size is a 25 and I weigh 105 pounds. I think I'm going to finally stop being scared and move to New York soon. I love wrestling. I want my life to be just like How I Met Your Mother. I think that about sums up my life.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    Why did you decide to release a portrait book?
    It was just time for it. I took soooo many pictures this year, more than I even imagined. Why not drop a book? I have so much content all throughout the internet. I wanted to make something physical, something you could go to any time of the day and just flip through.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    For You Mom is a tribute to your mother who passed. What was your relationship like with her? How did she impact your life and your career?
    My mother's been gone for about 10 years now. She passed when I was 13. She was everything to me and my little brother. I miss her every day. It was only right my first photo book was dedicated to her. She's the reason I picked up a camera. We both modeled for a while so a camera was always near us. I still have her first Olympus film camera and the film she used with it. I've been trying to get that camera fixed for years so I can use it, but can't find anyone that can.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    If you had to pick, what would you say is your favorite song of 2015?
    God, this is the hardest question ever. There are entirely too many to pick.
     
    Young Thug, "Halftime"
    Rae Sremmurd, "Lit Like Bic"
    21 Savage,  "Red Opps"
    Jamie xx Ft. Young Thug, "There's Gonna Be (Good Times)"
     
    I could go on for days.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    What's the key to capturing candid shots?
    Vibes. It's all in the vibes. Trust me.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    How did you link up with all of these rappers and cultural influencers?
    They're usually friends of friends. Some I know. Even before I take pictures of them, I always make sure I introduce myself, let them know what I do, and try to get some kind of vibe from them. If you just randomly run up to a person and say, "Yo, can I take a pic?", you'll either get "no" or their generic go-to pose. I try to get a feel from the subject to get a more genuine shot.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    Which artist has been your favorite to shoot so far?
    Definitely Wiz. He just has all around good energy that I enjoy being around. Great guy there.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    Do you have any idols?
    The people around me that are doing what they truly love to do. Those are my idols. It makes me want to work harder and push myself more to get to where I know I want to be. 

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    Is there anyone that you want to photograph before you die or has that already happened?
    I really, really, really, really want to photograph Stone Cold Steve Austin. I know that sounds farfetched, but I mean he is Stone Cold. I'm always watching old PPV's when I'm free. WWE or Stone Cold, If you're reading this, we need to shoot ASAP.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    What is your ultimate goal as a photographer? What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
    My goal is to create work with feeling. I want my pictures to make it feel it like you took it. Like you were there in that moment with that artist. 

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    What are your plans for next year?
    My plans for next year... I'm already working on my next book. This isn't going to be a traditional photo book though. Something a little different that I think everyone will enjoy. I want to be published next year, so that's a goal. I'm doing a lookbook for one of my all-time favorite brands! I can't wait. My first photo shoot with my favorite photographer. I might make my own clothes. I don't know; I just think off improv. Nothing's ever really planned with me.

    Photographed by Gunner Stahl

    Tags: music, art
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