Get to know Phillip "ToucheKvlt" Reardon
SKYN: If you had to describe who are you to people what would you say?
PR: I'm a washed up musician turned full time creative via the recording industry (writing and recording, then music videos) then pivoted into the apparel industry as a designer and creative director. One day, about a year and a half ago, I decided to start my own apparel brand and wanted to do the entire project by myself without any funding from the umbrella company I worked with. That lead me to need to shoot photos of my products on models for lifestyle lookbooks... and that turned into publications and traveling everywhere shooting beautiful people.
SKYN: Wow - that's wild! What inspired you to do all of that?
PR: It just happened, completely unplanned. Now that I appreciate the art of photography I'm def a Helmut Newton fan, Guy Bourdin, Annie Leibovitz, Ellen Von Unwerth.
SKYN: Those are some great artists. We bet they're fans of yours as well. Did you have any mentors who really helped mold and guide you?
PR: I wish, but then again maybe I dont... I feel my ideas from my cinema background came into play to give me some of the characteristics that define my look. If I'd have had someone guiding me, they might've just guided me to be a 2nd rate version of them.
SKYN: That's an interesting take on it, and one we definitely get. Super glad you decided to become a first rate version of yourself, because you're actually unreal. What’s your favorite picture (or video) that you’ve taken over the years? Do you even have a favorite?
PR: I dont really know that I have a favorite, I love and hate them all fairly equally. there's def a set I shot right when I first got my new sony A7R and stopped shooting on Canon that speaks to me heavily... I feel that camera made me have to relearn how to shoot and where things were, so I had to think again.
SKYN: Dope. It's great having those kinda game changing moments or shots that really force you to evaluate who you are and what you're doing. Who was your favorite subject to work with?
PR: My best friend Angela and I have pretty much shot a million photos together, She's been my muse heavily through my growth. We never have a bad shoot and are always willing to try anything together. Jeana Turner and I have a very similar relationship that way, except she's not tattooed so we shoot much more commercial stuff and lifestyle shit a la the mens magazines
SKYN: Wicked stuff. Sounds like you've got a great team around you. Now you've taken so many shots over the years, we'd love to know what the most difficult shot was?
PR: A Christy Mack shoot in the desert in Las Vegas in pitch black darkness.... Mind you, even now I've only been a photographer just a bit over a year... That shit terrified me as she had so much attention on the web and a lot of people waiting to see her come back. I was nervous the shoot wasn't going to turn out how it needed.
SKYN: But it totally did - you nailed it! Besides being able to shoot in near darkness, could you tell us something random about yourself.
PR: I have one of the largest Garbage Pail Kids cards collections known to exist (a lot of rare foreign sets people didn't know existed I used to get while touring all those years overseas)
SKYN: Ha, that's hilarious - and pretty cool. Besides growing that collection, what was one big challenge that you had to overcome?
PR: Reinventing myself, not allowing past successes or failures to define me in whatever I'm creating today... it's like poker players/gamblers.... you have to learn to play the hand in front of you and not make decisions based on good or bad hands before, just what's in front of you at that moment
SKYN: Good advice for sure. Do you have any more advice or tips for aspiring new photographers in the industry?
PR: Don't focus so much on social media platforms being a currency, or likes defining if you are a good or bad photographer. some people love Picasso, some people hate him, but he did what he loved exactly how he wanted to... that's success.
SKYN: Absolutely! What are some of your goals for 2016?
PR: I want to travel away for a while and get back to my cinema roots, and pull it into my photo work more. I want to delve into very clean fashion stuff, find someone I can love and that loves me unconditionally and create till I pass out every night.
SKYN: When it's all over what do you want to be remembered as?
PR: An honest creative that did his best to not infringe on anyone elses creativity and did his best to inspire others to achieve their greatness.
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