Luciano The Messenjah
If you’re an Old School Reggae fan, then likely you’ve heard of Jepther McClymont a.k.a. Luciano. Hailing from Manchester Parish in Jamaica, he’s released hit singles like ‘Give My Love a Try’, ‘Shake It Up Tonight’ and ‘Stay Away’ and spread his conscious vibes in countries around the globe.
I met Luciano while he was visiting Bermuda for an event and photo shoot organized by Hamilton Princess. We met early in the morning at the Crown and Anchor Restaurant in the hotel’s lobby, where he was accompanied by his band and management team. When I introduced myself as the photographer, he was ready to get down to business. His first words were “Nuff Respect – What’s the plan?”.
I wanted to capture him in his element (singing) in various locations around the hotel and then take him to a photography studio to get some more demure pictures of him.
After filling him in, he asked me to give him 30 mins to get ready and told me he would meet me back in the lobby. True to his word, exactly 30 mins later he came walking down the hallway, with guitar in hand, singing sweet reggae melodies for all to hear. I immediately whipped out the camera and started shooting.
We walked across the lobby and he kept singing and strumming with all onlookers in pure amazement. We walked over to the elevator – and there he was, still strumming and singing. In fact, he kept this up for the entire day, serenading us as we shot in three different locations around the Hamilton Princess property. The only time he put the guitar down was to give a General’s salute to the camera.
After wrapping up shooting at the hotel, we hopped into a cab and left for Windsor Place, a Whitespace Studio located just a few minutes away in the city centre. As we entered the building, all eyes were on Luciano (who, yes, was still singing and strumming).
At the studio, we got to take photos of him against a black background with a softer light to create a moody, contrasting image with a strong focus on his face and emotions. The thing that stands out for me about this shoot was his love of music and general positive vibes shown throughout our time together. I don’t think I’ve ever met a more down to earth person. We spent almost 2 hours together and he sang for 1 hour and 45mins; the other 15mins he devoted to cracking jokes and generally having a great time. This vibrant spirit came across in the final imagery. In fact, it proved extremely hard to even cull images, seeing he was so natural and engaging. Almost every frame was a story in and of itself.