I really love this project, it really gives you a behind the scene look at what it's like to become an up and coming professional photographer. We always hear about the success stories, or the failures, but it's rare you get someone who documents the in between moments, it's something I would love to read, so I hope you all are enjoying it.
Beyond a journalistic standpoint the project is extremely stressful, it gives me a perspective on what working full time would be like, but at the same time it isn't very gaugeable, primarily because my subjects aren't clients. What I mean is that the people I have modelong for my ideas are friends or random people I meet, they aren't individuals who take this craft seriously, that results in a shit ton of cancellations, which interferes with my creative process. This wouldn't be the case if these people were paying and putting down deposits.
Prime example was this week, I had a subject lined up for a very artsy style shoot, it was probably my most planned session... Except at the last minute I received a text that said "Let's shoot at night". Now this isn't a gripe at her, afterall she was going out of her way to do me a favor, however she was getting off a plane from her vacation and she was tired and unprepared to pose in front of the camera. I was only upset because it left me with no one to shoot, and only a few hours left in the day. I was frantic, I didn't know what to do, I felt like my project was going to be coming to a quick end!
My entire mood shifted, here I was getting prepared for a shoot that was no longer happening. After I calmed down I decided I was still going to leave the house, the plan was to go to Starbucks and just study some shots to make sure my next shoot would be fantastic, I've been contacting aspiring models so the future is bright, at least that was my mentality at the time, I needed something positive to reflect on. Except I skipped out on Starbucks and went to Potbelly's instead, only to find out they didn't have Wi-Fi! Talk about a shitty day... and my food was nasty, so thumbs down to that establishment.
I was at a loss, I got desperate and fired off a few text messages, and to my luck someone actually responded! Only thing is, is well, they were busy. I went off with my sob story about how everyone was canceling and that my project had guidelines, I was hoping for a positive response, I was hoping she had a heart... And as you all can see, she did. She told me we'd shoot at 5, which gave me about 30 minutes of light to work with.
To save us some time we went to a near by park in her area. I needed to make sure we had some available light left so the closer the location, the better. The park wasn't the most attractive but it had a lot of open field for me to work with. Had I had a little more time I would've utilized my 135mm for some distance type of shots and my 18mm for a wider angle to incorporate some of the trees in the area. Unfortunately all I shot with was my 56mm. This resulted in some rather boring images, quality ones at f/1.2, but boring none the less.
However that didn't' take away from Imani, she was a trooper, her bubbly personality really made me comfortable while shooting, honestly she directed the shoot herself. I don't work well in open spaces, I depend on backgrounds and scenery to sometimes compensate for my lack of composition so her creativity was a big help throughout the shoot, especially because we only had about 20 minutes. We went with some safe looks, I wanted to show off her sense of style and uniqueness. She gave me several different looks, according to my girlfriend she had the best facial expressions out of the project so far.
With each shoot I also try to focus on what I could have done better. In this particular shoot, I didn't have much time to really create a workflow, but when I got home to edit I realized that every shot came out looking almost the same. Sometimes as photographers we tend to not move around enough and play with different angles, or at least thats my case. In the picture above you can see I shot from a slight angle, and in every other shot you can see that I never moved. To compensate for that I tried to crop a few images. This is a tool I don't use often, but in this case I liked it but I'll let you be the judge to tell me if new look improved or took away from the image.
She was really a pleasure to work with, I almost wish our session could have been more planned out and less rushed so that we could have really taken advantage of the setting, but I guess I'm happy either way.
This week has really prepared me for the remainder of the project, I see how important scheduling is, and I really only want to work with people who are taking modeling as serious as I'm taking photographer. I signed up for a few websites that could make that happen, so hopefully the next few shoots will be a little more professional for the viewer. Below you can find the entire Places & Spaces series, as well as directions to the location from this weeks shoot.