Anyone who has read my posts (silence) haha, will know that I am a fan of planning and preparation. I have task sheets, folders, mood boards, sketches, and the list goes on. I always try to make sure that anything that needs planning is set in stone. Although this is usually the best way to work, especially for me, it can be good to go against the norm, and do the opposite.
A weekend or so ago I flew to the Netherlands to host a photography and photoshop workshop with my good friend Dracorubio. The premise of this workshop was horror photography, at a location in the beautiful city of Amersfoort. The location of the workshop, built in the eighties, was a jagged building of angles and nostalgia. The plan was to freestyle using the location to create some images whilst the workshop attendees watched on. Now as you can guess for a planner like me, this was pretty goddam worrying. But not one to turn down a challenge it was game on!
The day of the workshop, and we got to have a quick wander around, to spot any nooks or crannies that may look like potential image fodder. As I quickly scouted, whilst my conscience shouted ‘You should haaaavvvve planned!!!!!!’ I spotted a an elevator! Straight away I knew this is the spot I would use…..but what to do. I had to wait for the models to turn up, who I had never met, or seen before. And slowly the attendee’s were flowing through the doors. The pressure kicked in.
As we did the introductions, my heart pumped fiercely. The moment of truth. It was now time to grab the equipment and find somewhere to setup and shoot. Gathering around the elevator, people stood chatting away. I took a deep breath, and began!
It is funny how the brain reacts to these situations. Instead of ceasing up, stuttering and not starting, it switched into creativity mode. Ideas were flowing freely. As I was talking the model through one idea/concept another one would form. As I stepped back to look at the back of the camera, I thought to myself HA this is actually okay. I was enjoying myself, everyone else was enjoying it too.
Sometimes we get so stuck in our ways, or comfortable with the way we shoot, that we hold back from trying new methods or techniques. The workshop pushed me to think on my feet, be creative on the spot. Something I hadn’t needed to do for a long time. I was so used to planning shoots out, that I had forgotten about the thrill of freestyle shooting. I guess what I am trying to say is, feel uncomfortable! Feel nervous, it is good for you. There is nothing like a hit of fear and excitement to get the creative juices flowing, and being the creatives that we are, our brains will adjust, and the images will come. Have faith in yourself….and sometimes just leap. The workshop was such a blast we are now planning a sequel in the UK.