I'm still working on my introduction for this project, for whatever reason I feel inclined to backtrack and let you all know what the project is about. Perhaps because I never really wrote a separate blog explaining the project... Either way, I don't want it being week 52 and I'm still going on a tangent of why Places & Spaces is important to me. Just know that it's going to really display my growth and bring this blog a larger crowd.
Anyway it's week 2 of the project, I'm proud to say I've made it thus far, it's about the only new year resolution that I've held on too thus far. This week I had the pleasure of shooting Jalynn Hamilton, a friend of mine who agreed to shoot with me. Again, she is no model, nor is she aspiring to be, she simply just wanted to make sure this lasted another week.
Our location for the week, The Z Lot, a newly constructed parking structure that was built last year (I think) my Detroit's GOD Dan Gilbert. I really want to talk more about the locations moving forward, so I'll do so now. The Z Lot is a unique parking structure, It's 10 floors including the rooftop, each floor has a been hand painted by artist around the world, the designs vary and like an idiot I forgot to snap photos of them, partially do to the cold weather. If I get the chance I'll take some pics and edited this post to include them later.
Our location for the shoot was expected to take place on the rooftop of the building, I had told Jalynn that I wanted her to wear a medium length dress, why? I have yet to figure that out, amongst all the photos that I stare at on a daily basis the ones of women in dresses really appeal to me, they look artsy and remind me of some type of fantasy world... I wanted to replicate that. Except, this isn't a fantasy world, in reality it was freezing outside, 9 degrees to be exact, but Jalynn was a trooper and she wanted my vision to come to life so she brought this dress with her.
As we unloaded the truck I think the cold wind really hit her, she made sure I was aware of the outfit she had on, and how it could possibly work for the shoot as well, I'm not sure if she had the best interests of my project in mind, or if she just honestly wanted to stay warm. In respect of her I told her that I would scout the location and try to mentally prepare for the shoot. I went out there and boy was it cold, I walked around for a few minutes, set exposure and tried to be mentally creative as possible, again this isn't my strong point so I guess it was a good thing that I was getting practice.
My ideas were pretty weak though, the space was flat and there wasn't a lot to work with visually, I would have to rely on bokeh and composition to make the shoot worth anything, the scenery on the rooftop really didn't "CAPTURE" Detroit, and the areas I did like had these mini mountains of snow. We talked about her possibly getting on the edge but I didn't want her to fall over, the amount of wind that was out made things far too risky... of course I could have just made her sign a waiver. Hmmm.
When I came back into the building I explained Jalynn my ideas, I told her that the dress was a ridiculous plan and she could keep the clothes she wore. I wanted her to appear cold in a couple of shoots, in a girly kind of way, hands tied together towards the head type of pose. I was excited!!! The first shot I wanted her to go to the very top plane of the parking lot, I would be on the lower tier photographing from below (obviously), when she reached the top I noticed this pole that completely ruined what I had planned and I made her switch places. By the time we got to our positions we were both freezing cold, I shouted at her to form a pose and when she did I couldn't even feel my shutter. After 15 seconds or so she looked at me and said "Did you get the shot?" I told her yes but I knew I hadn't, but it was getting far too ridiculous out. As I walked back down I was telling her where I wanted her next, when I looked up she was opening the door and running back into the building. Her first suggestion was lets do this another time, she was joking, but equally serious. I told her how important it was that we get something from this and she jus told me she needed a minute.
While she was warming up I began pacing, it's something I do to help me think. As I walked back and forth I noticed this staircase with a gorgeous window light, I told Jalynn to step my way and began to fire away. I then saw an opportunity to shoot beneath her so I took advantage of that too. Shortly afterwards we began doing a full shoot on the staircase.
Here is where I noticed a few things, if you all read the first series and introduction to Places & Spaces then you know that it's not just about creating great photographs, it's about the experience and education, it's about the repetition and how in the long run that alone will make you stronger... It's about noticing your flaws, and I did so here.
When we were outside and I wasn't getting the looks I wanted I used the cold weather as an excuse, but when we got inside and it was no longer cold I still wasn't aggressive enough. The shot above would have been so much more impactful had I gotten a little more of Jalynn's side profile, also the lens didn't have to be set at f/1.2, showing what she was looking at may have been a little more effective. I knew this while shooting, I could see it in my viewfinder, yet I went right along to the next location. I did the same thing in Week 1. I'm noticing my flaws, but not learning from my mistakes will only hinder me as a photographer moving forward. However, I would like to compliment myself, even though the shots lack creativity I still tried something new, I adjusted to the temperature and didn't 100% give up, at least I know I have those instincts instilled in me, I just have to gain the experience to capitalize more in the event that this happens again. Me and Jalynn snapped a few more pics, again nothing profile worthy but the experience left me looking forward to next week. I selected 6 images from this session. Below you can find the entire Places & Spaces series, as well as directions to the location from this weeks shoot.