Photographer Chuck Lang prides himself in creating raw and honest images, capturing the pure essence of his subjects natural appearance. In Chuck’s most recent project, “Restoring American Beauty,” he is traveling across the U.S. in search for different muses to photograph and expose in their most organic form. While not all of his model’s are nude, they are naked in a sense by wearing minimal make-up and simple clothing. His intention is to impact the way we look at the modern aesthetic of beauty and empower people to feel comfortable in their own bare skin.
We got a chance to meet up with Chuck along his journey, and get an update on his adventures and inspirations. At the end of Chuck’s trip he will make a photo book of all of the best images he snapped along the way. Make sure to grab a copy of “Restoring American Beauty” when it releases.
LF: When did you first pick up a camera? Do you remember what your first photograph was?
CL: My first camera was a kit rebel a friend gave me two and a half years ago. The first photograph I remember taking was of a street sign in San Diego. Within that first year I was hooked and I got a DSLR and the 5D Mark 2 I still shoot on today.
LF: Describe your style in 5 words or less
CL: Moody, Natural, Raw, Optimistic, Vulnerable
LF: Explain “Restoring American Beauty.” What inspired this project?
CL: Restoring American Beauty is all about getting back to basics and empowering who we are in our natural skin. The project derived from my fascinations with light and dark places and the concept of beauty in a breakdown. When I started taking photographs of models I realized that I wanted them to be styled simply, wearing no make up. Our culture is craving genuine beauty, so I feel inspired to make a movement out of this idea. I decided to plan a trip across America and photograph the different people I meet. At the end of the trip I’m going to take the best images I captured and create a photo book called “Restoring American Beauty.”
LF: Where do you find your models?
CL: Through agencies and Instagram. As far as “Restoring American Beauty” goes, I ran a Kickstarter where there was a chance for anyone to book a shoot with me while I’m on the road. One of the options guaranteed a page in the book, giving it diversity in styles and walks of life.
LF: Who are your biggest influences?
CL: Matt Fry because he subconsciously gave me my love for raw beauty in women, Laura Marii because of the warm styling she uses in editorials, and Demien Vignaux because his simple yet beautiful use of light and tasteful post production.
LF: Besides photography, what are your other passions?
CL: Music is my biggest passion next to photography, I went to school for it right out of high school at the University Of Oregon. I still love music but realized I wasn’t being lead into the direction of creating it. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not looking for new music to drive to or create atmospheres to photograph to.
LF: That leads us into our next question, What’s on your current playlist?
CL: Flume, Brudes, James Vincent McCmorrow, and Paper Route.
LF: What gets you off?
Women’s beauty in its natural form. Particularly a women’s body being respected and empowered, something I admire and am inspired by especially when I see others do it in a beautiful way.
LF: Finish this sentence: A good image…
CL: A good image is not only beautiful aesthetically but has emotion that draws you in and tells a story.
LF: What is the best piece of advice you can give to aspiring photographers?
CL: Shoot a lot, and a lot of different subjects. It’s hard to know what you’re good at, at first, so practice and gain experience. When you find yourself shining in a certain area, stay focused and make it your own style.
LF: How fast do you live?
CL: Faster than I can edit photos.