Many times it is the set where you shoot that sets the tone for the photo. I think I demonstrated that pretty well when I turned my living room into a warehouse. With a similar Sci-Fi mood in mind, I created a rig to provide a Sci-fi cinematic look for a shoot.
As the New Year rolls in, I find myself looking forward to new things—new directions, new goals, new relationships. But with the start of a new year also comes a time for reflection (literally) of what I’ve accomplished and how much I’ve progressed. As I perform my annual “house cleaning”—purging old work which isn’t up to snuff, and transferring the remaining photos to yet another new hard drive (I’m amassing quite the collection)—I’ve had the opportunity to put a fresh set of eyes on everything I’ve shot over the past year or so.
For me, this is always an extremely educational experience. This year in particular, in conjunction with the typical photography and post processing learning curve, has been one of a lot of experimentation and attempting to define my “style”, and my portfolio has seen a lot of progress as a result. But I find reflecting on this old work is critical to moving forward; by analyzing what does and doesn’t work in the images I have produced, I can further understand my own style and instill it (or avoid it) in future work.
Furthermore, in reviewing old images which may not have resonated with me initially, I gain a fresh perspective and may now see some in a new light (particularly as my post processing techniques improve); and vice versa, what may have excited meinitially now appears outdated and amateurish. Even so, some of those may even be salvageable with a new edit.
A few months ago I began a photography series recreating the iconic X-men group with cosplay artists. My first character was the Dark phoenix. After completing this, I went to look for the second hero. Of course that called for another screening of the X-men (this time the X-men 2 movie).
I fell in love with The Nightcrawler – Kurt Wagner – and decided he would be my next project.
(And then Missy got all serious, referred to herself in 3rd person, and wrote the following…)
When my children were little they would collect things in their pockets. They were little pack racks; the kid version of hoarders. Anything that caught their eye would go into their pocket for safe keeping: a colorful leaf; a Skittle, a Happy Meal toy. And, like most moms, I would have to carefully search their pockets before putting their dirty clothes into the wash.
But, now and then, I would miss something, like the time I missed the rock.
Yes, my son had found a rock at the park and it called to him: “PICK ME UP AND PUT ME IN YOUR POCKET SO I CAN WREAK HAVOC ON YOUR MOM’S WASHING MACHINE.”
And wreak havoc, it did. It wasn’t a big rock, probably the size of a bottle cap, but it banged around in the washing machine until I stopped the cycle and fished it out. The washing machine was fine, of course; the rock wasn’t big enough to do any real damage other than making noise. When I complained about it later to the DH, he laughed and said, “Just be glad he didn’t decide to bring home more than one.”
Here is a great tip if you are using a studio and don’t pack a bunch of backdrops. Of course, not owning many backdrops does not mean that should deprive yourself from the benefits of shooting against backdrops in multiple colors.
Photographer Neil van Niekerk suggest a simple and effective way to tap into an almost infinite about of colored backdrop by coloring them with light using gels.
I am a stylist. I show up with thousands of dollars in wardrobe, so you didn’t have to provide it.
I am a makeup artist. I went out of my way to get trained on how to apply makeup for camera to make your job that much easier.
I am a creative consultant. I spend non-billable hours upon hours going through your proof galleries and offering the feedback you requested, because I care about the work that we produce together.
I am a travel agent. For every hour that I spend in front of the camera, I spent an average of 2 hours to that one hour of planning and logistics.
I am a master at marketing and brand management.
A Light Blaster is a device that projects slides or transparencies onto walls and models. There is a commercial Light Blaster version for small strobes out there and it does have a studio adapter. But I, as always, prefer to go the DIY route 🙂
Though this article will have a lot of build info, the reason I made this is because I had a photo in mind and wanted to create it. Of course that once the tool is built, it pushes me to use it in creative ways.
Short answer: Some Latex, A hat, cardboard and smoke. Hit the jump for the long answer. Be aware that it is mildly NSFW.
I want to propose a new school of photography called “personal photography.” Consider this letter as a way for me to work out some ideas, and to share some ideas with you.
Disregard what others do
Let me outline the biggest causes of misery for photographers:
- Feeling that their gear isn’t good enough
- Not having enough followers online
- Not having others appreciate their work
- Not making a living from photography
- Not having enough time to take photos