Places & Spaces is my attempt at a 52 week project. When selecting this project I wanted to make sure that I displayed my growth as a photographer, not only through my images though, I also wanted to include the non-technical side of things, the scouting of locations, the networking, the directing and most importantly the planning. So many non-creatives never factor in the other aspects of this business, and as new photographers sometimes we don't either.
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.
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 because my subjects aren't necessarily 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 placing deposits.
Last week I updated you all on my Places & Spaces project, looking back at a months worth of photographs left me unimpressed. They lacked personality, they lacked creativity, it wasn't the growth I expected when I first planned this project.
Then I thought to myself, "It's only been 30 days". I'd be ignorant to think I'd be the master of natural light and portrait photographer in 30 days, especially shooting through the winter. However I did want to revamp things, this project was suppose to put a stamp on who I am, or at least help me come close to finding who I was.
Despite last week's hiccups and an introduction to a few new projects (you'll be hearing about them soon) I've still managed to keep my 52 week portrait project going. This week I reached out to Melissa Niemasz via Facebook, I use to work with her at a mortgage company and thought she'd be a perfect addition to the series. My message was very vague, something along the lines of "Hey would you like to shoot?", she agreed, but like any normal person she wanted more information...
This has probably been the worst week of my adult hood life, so many things happened, ones I don't care to explain, and others that deserve a good rant. One of the more prominent issues was my camera breaking on Monday, it was a tragic event. I'll probably have nightmares about it sometime in the near future, sounds funny but I'm so serious. It left me in distraught, it was my dream kit, and it's no longer with me, my XF 56mm took beautiful portrait pictures, almost effortless and now I was left with just my Fujifilm X100T.
2 months already... insane, it's been a wild 60 days. I've learned so much over the course of these 7 shoots, I'm not quite sure if the education has transferred over into my final images, but in due time. I've had 2 things that are really holding me back, for one, the cold weather. It's legit freezing outside, and I'm not the most prepared shooter when dealing with these conditions. The other complaint, well the models I'm shooting with aren't aspiring professionals, now I understand when I shoot people for money they likely won't be professionals either, but one of the benefits of this project was to build a profile, and through 8 weeks I haven't been able to do so.
The Places & Spaces project is getting more and more complicated as the weeks go on. I've hit the stage where I'm done asking my friends to shoot random portraits with me. Moving forward I want to do something a little more planned, and risky. I want the photos in some way to help people, rather they be creatives, or just someone who needs dope shots to further advertise their business. My thought process is that once they see how quality images reach a bigger audience that they'll come back hoping to shoot in the future.
This week I had an idea for a Winter styled yoga shoot, it wasn't an original idea, I was inspired through instagram and later Google, but I still thought it would be dope. I had a few people I reached out to, but no response. I did everything through social media, and maybe that's where I'm failing. I need to get out more, especially if my idea is based on businesses... Why not visit the businesses? Questions I wish I would have asked myself earlier in the week... You live in you learn I guess.
Ahhh proud to have internet again, had some issues that Comcast couldn't figure out and after a week or so it was just because a cable was loose in the basement... But I won't complain, after all I did receive free Showtime and Starz for 3 months, so it wasn't a total let down.
Now I could've went to Starbucks to upload this, opposed to having it a week late, but I wanted to wait until my internet was back up to write about my Places & Spaces series, partially because Week 10 was a total let down. If you've been following every post, you can see I wrote a lot about it here.
For those who didn't click the link, the previous post ended with me having an idea of why my notoriety of a photographer has fell off over the last few months. I figured out that I lost a personal human element that everyone was accustom to on my instagram.
Finally a project that actually went according to plan! Week 11 of the Places & Spaces project was one I was nervous about, I didn't want another week to go by where someone canceled, or the weather prevented me from creating, I needed to fulfill my that void, that void to create. And thanks to Korie, I was able to do so....
Slow & steady, typically the terms used when discussing yoga. It's a practice that not only subdues you physically, but mentally as well. I needed to gain that control within my photography, not let it take over, but instead relax me, both physically and mentally.
When I originally reached out to individuals about shooting with me while posing for Yoga it was cold outside, a lot of snow, wind, just overall harsh weather, but I wanted my pictures to convey a different message, that this harsh weather, or these obstacles shouldn't stop one from being at peace with themselves or their goals. Unfortunately after a barrage of cancellations I wasn't able to capture this imagery, instead I had to settle for a less subtle approach, the woods.
Now the woodland like scenery may not cast off the message I initially wanted...
Railroad tracks are one of the most cliche places to take pictures in photography, the leading lines it offers are too easy to capture. They say it's not creative and it's been over done, but who says photography always has to be hard, intricate or complex? I think people over think, and tend to forget about the emotion that railroads can produce. And emotion is exactly what I wanted from this shoot, I wanted the viewer to think who is this person? I wanted the pictures to tell a story, but not one that everyone would quite understand, a story that had an alternate ending based off the viewers life experiences.
Instagram might be my new best friend... Who would have thought scouting via the social media platform would result in me being able to actually shoot someone every week. When I started this project I thought people would be flooding my inbox, but I now see that sometime if you want something, you have to start the initiative. Every day I've been reaching out to people to see if I can help them in any type of way, most of them have their own business, starting one or just need professional shots to better their image, so in a way I feel like I'm helping the city, not just taking random pictures.