The Photographic Journal

Chosen Family

Essay 412 • Oct 21st 2019

Emerging LA based designer Ryo Kanezawa invited me to photograph his latest collection and right away I began with a casting approach of “Chosen Family”, playing to the overarching theme of family in Kanezawa’s line and branding while speaking to the importance of self made familial structures, commonly found in lgbtq+ spaces. Capturing the likes of touring performing artist Body Meat and groundbreaking model and actress of the trans-experience Ava Grey, along with fresh faces Mandella Rey and brothers Alex and Eric Lopez, our chosen family is realized.


Marcus Branch, born 1991, is a photographer & artist whose work aims to celebrate people of color, encourage diversity, and to contribute a positive perspective of the often misrepresented. A true renaissance man with an affinity for portraiture, Branch graduated from the University of the Arts in 2014 with a BFA in Photography, is a rehearsal director & principal dancer in a dance theater company, an educator in high-school-level visual communications, a filmmaker & an internationally published model. Branch’s work has been globally recognized & featured in i-D US, i-D UK, i-D Japan & i-D Germany, Interview Magazine, Dazed, Afropunk, Polaroid Magazine, Gay Times Magazine, The Tenth Magazine, Vice Austria, Fotomania in Bulgaria and has been honorably deemed by Polaroid and Ryan McGinley as one of the “ New Originals of Instant Photography”.
Website | Instagram


Designer – Ryo Kanezawa

Prop Stylist – Natacha Melendez
Set Designer – Khiari Bakar
Photo Assistant – Emerson Aly Cedano

Chris “Body Meat”
Ava Grey
Alexander Lopez
Eric Lopez
Mandella Reynolds