The fourth season of USA's Suits is back, airing new episodes starting Jan. 28, but fans of the show — and of photography — got a firsthand sneak peek ahead of time thanks to Suits star Patrick J. Adams' gallery of on-set photos. The actor, who plays Mike Ross on the legal drama series, recently had a pop-up gallery in the Meatpacking District of New York City to display his personal photography of behind-the-scenes photos straight from the set of Suits.
"My goal has always been to document my experience and that's never been a particular interest to other people until more interesting things started happening to me," Adams tells Bustle in an exclusive interview.
Adams started taking photos at a very young age, although he doesn't quite remember what his first camera was. "I remember growing up and taking pictures and being obsessed with pictures," Adams says of looking through his parents' albums, "I always thought it was amazing that you could get a sense of a different time and place that I've never been in." When Adams got his first camera — he suspects it could have been a polaroid — he immediately started shooting. "It's just been an obsession with documenting," he tells me. "Suits happened and it was a natural extension of my life at that point," which is when Adams started shooting on set.
Suits is set to air the final episodes of its fourth season in the coming months — with a fifth season on deck — with one episode especially dear to Adams' heart. The star stayed behind the camera for episode 14 of Season 4, and directed his first episode of the series. "I think if I took pictures for this long, it has just prepared me, visually, for stepping behind a camera and having some level of confidence for a) how a camera works, and b) how to make people look good in front of them," Adams says of the transition from photography to directing.
Some of the 30 photos that made it into the Behind the Lens: An Intimate Look at the World of Suits exhibit are available on Charity Buzz for auction, where the proceeds will benefit The Pablove Shutterbugs, a foundation that teaches photography to pediatric cancer patients. You can also follow Adams' photography on his Instagram. For those who aspire to produce photos of the same quality on the social media site, Adams tells me he doesn't "go beyond the sixth filter, it's just dark back there."