Tuesday, December 27, 2011

30-50 Project

My 30-50 Project is coming along swimmingly... (assuming one can swim, of course... which I can't). I've heard some interesting stories from my subjects and made some interesting, new work in the process. I've noticed some interesting trends during these shoots... We, as people, are more similar than different.

My first subject was Melissa: A 30-something year-old single mom. She's a skier with a boarder's fashion sense and a total sweetheart. She likes to do modeling in her free time. We were discussing what we should do for our shoot and she mentioned that she never gets to wear dresses for her shoots... When she said that I knew exactly what we were going to do! There's a park nearby that I simply love: Crown Hill Park; It's a beautiful nature reserve on the West side of Crown Hill Cemetery. Being December, we waited for a warm day to shoot Melissa in a dress... which meant 29°F. :-)

I'll keep posting updates as I shoot them. I almost put everything in one post, but decided against it. Stay tuned for more!

Friday, December 9, 2011

I struggle with telling a story... OR "f8 and be there" ain't working for me.

(Hey! Look at me! I uploaded a vertical shot!)

I'm not sure what's been wrong with me lately. I feel like I can't create anything new. I feel like I'm not taking steps forward with my photography. I feel like I'm actually moving backwards.

Winter is always the slow season. Everything slows down except for retailers. Since don't normally book any clients for when it's Below Zero in Colorado I decided to start a new project this winter just to keep moving things along... to keep shooting... to try to work on my story telling. I'm starting the project later this week when an awesome model, Melissa, sits down in front of my camera... But I'm feeling like I'm lost. I want to tell the story of someone I've never met, and Melissa is giving me that opportunity. I can't help but to feel that I'm disconnected somehow.... That I'm completely missing something right in front of me.

I finished watching (parts of it...missed the beginning) Chase Jarvis Live for his talk about building a portfolio and getting it reviewed. I really felt that I was on the right track to getting some new work done to be able to send to Zack Arias and Chase Jarvis (and possibly others that have no idea it's coming) in order to see if I had taken a step forward since my creativeLIVE experience (you know, the one I'm always talking about because it was life-changing...). Watching the talk today I realized that even now I have further to go than I thought... That is road I'm on won't lead to being an "expert photographer" until 3 months before I die of old age. I'm going to be struggling with this stupid light-tight box until I'm dead... but for some reason I had the delusions of grandeur that I'd be really good right now. My clients are more than happy... but for me that hasn't been enough. I'm not happy yet. I need to push harder.

Other photographers could hold the measuring stick up to me and I'd fall way short in their eyes. I shoot darker sets... I don't light from every possible angle... I don't want "happy" photos.... I don't shoot photos that are perfect... I don't run them through the photoshop mill until they're unrecognizable. What's worse is that newer photographers think that they're good when they're awful. This new society of photographers is a mess. It's awesome, but everyone thinks that they're the next (your favorite photographer here). Am I awful and I just don't know it? Knowing how exposure works and how to get an image from my camera to print is one thing... but telling a story and communicating what I'm talking about.... it's so much harder. It's become apparent to me that I need to tell more stories... I need the practice... I need the depth in my photos.

Shooting Models isn't going to give me depth in my photos. I need to shoot Actors. Models might be able to stand there and look cute, but I need people who can emote... who can cry... who can feel something while I'm shooting them.

What will help me? I need to find regular people with stories to tell... but most people are SO FREAKING HESITANT to tell their stories! I mean, who wants to tell a story about what they had for breakfast? Who wants to tell a story about how they ripped their jeans on the way to work? Who wants to tell a story about the time that their house got broken into and their hard drives and electronics were stolen of their infant daughter... the same infant that was just diagnosed with a terminal disease? Some stories seem to mundane for people to even remember. Other stories are so painful that they might not want to think about them...

I'm lost. I know what I'm doing, but I don't know what I'm doing. Being able to push a shutter button isn't enough. I'm not moving forward from this point until I figure out where I should be headed.... even if where I'm headed isn't where I end up. I need to do something unexpected.