I’ve been working hard to line up new portrait shoots recently.
This was the first of these new shoots, with the brilliant Leanne. It’s been a while since I did this type of shoot and I’m leaving the rest of the images from it until next week so I can come at it fresh, but this shot gave me a buzz, so I just had to work on it yesterday.
It’s an example of the unexpected shot that always seems to result from a fluid portrait shoot like this. I went in with an idea in mind, and came away with something even better, in my opinion. It just goes to show, that while it pays to have a good idea of what you want out of a shoot, it’s also highly important to be flexible and willing to stray from the path on occasion.
You never know what you may find!
- Cedar cones?
This is the next image in my Common or Garden series.
At first glance, the point of the work is to show the beauty in the “common or garden” plants and weeds that we ignore/destroy week after week through the year, but there is another driving force behind this.
The idea is to simplify the content of an image and play with composition and focus. It’s about de-cluttering my “eye” and thinking about the structure of an image in it’s most basic form. So I provide a white space ( most often a square) and inside that I place a simple object. Giving it the attention it deserves and seeing how it interacts with the space, the frame and light itself. I poke it in from the edges and see what it does. I rotate it, bend it, turn it upside down until I find a pleasing interaction with the space. I shoot, then I play more with it. I start with the established “rules” of composition, and then see if things work outside of those bounds.
I try and do this with a bare minimum of equipment ( you’d be surprised just how “Heath Robinson” some of these setups have been ( gaffer tape and blu tac are my best friends here ).
It’s all window-lit with the occasional reflector to lighten up the shadows. I’m not sure if it’s my hibernative*, contemplative mood in the winter. or if it’s the colours of the objects that I’m finding right now, but I seem to be veering away from the punchy colours I’d been using in the spring and summer towards far more desaturated, calm colours now. I can’t seem to make the spring ones work with this new colour approach, so I’m not sure yet, how to marry these disparate styles or if I even I even need to. .
*almost certainly not a real word.