Recently, I had the honor and privilege of working with an incredibly talented group of vendors to put together a beautiful styled wedding shoot. Check it out here.
This weekend, I had a very fun lifestyle shoot here in Charlotte.
Here are a few photos in a series for a longtime friend of mine, Maeve, who was recently looking to do a lifestyle shoot at one of the local parks in the Ballantyne neighborhood.
We picked a few outfits, headed towards the trees, and set up some beautiful shots. It's amazing to shoot with a mix of natural light and studio flash outside, especially during golden hour.
Well, you can see it. This is one of my favorite looks to put together for clients.
Wish there was more of a story to share here, but basically she just wanted some new photos and was set on working with me.
Here, she was reviewing the best captures on the back of one of my cameras. The other camera got to snap this fun shot! That gorgeous sunlight on her back was literally the backbone of a few shots.
I’m grateful she chose me as her photographer, and I hope that I captured the essence of her personality.
I really like what my Facebook group is becoming; a real community, where people of all different types and backgrounds can go to view photography, share their own, and learn.
Last night, a model posted one hell of a question about Image – this deserves to be categorized as 'Best Of' material, if you ask me really. Sometimes I try to keep my responses short; other times, I feel a little elaboration is needed.
This was one of those times.
Halfway through my second paragraph, I knew that I’d ultimately share this response on my blog.
The model’s question:
I think this is a phenomenal question, and one not often asked, but I think it should be. I think your mind is already on the right things, since it appears you have an idea of the direction you want to go with your modeling. A few things:
You mentioned "Career."
Whether it's a hobby or career for a model, either is good, but the fact that you identify it early on that you want a career, the fact that it's a conscious decision for you, especially this early in, that's great. So that makes the resulting decisions you need to make about your career easier.
When the line is blurred between career and hobby, it can be sometimes difficult to figure out what decisions you should make.
From a hobby standpoint, you can easily do whatever kinds of shoots you want to do, having fun with it all, with no repercussions. The minute you try to have a go at it commercially, looking at modeling as more of a career, the more you have to be concerned with how certain actions you take are perceived by potential clients, business partners and associates.
When you do shoots, you should really consider how not only magazine editors see your work and overall image, but also other photographers you may want to work with, clothing designers, and fans. What image do you want to portray? You are, after all, hired as a model for your image.
You are literally the face of the picture. Your image, and everything that goes along with it, from the genetics (the physical part you can't change and have little control over), to the things you have more control over (your expression, clothing, etc.).
Models who generally have success in their careers generally take pride in maintaining control over their image, as much as possible.
That's successful artists in general. Look at musicians like Janelle Monae, Prince, Michael Jackson -- they maintain staunch control over their image, and how they are portrayed. They do so to maintain control over the perception, not only to consumers, but also to business partners. I feel like these are good things to take note of, for other creative professionals.
So you asked how you can grow as a model and avoid these things? I'd say this. Any model wanting to grow as a professional, realize that YOU have control over your image, and you don't have to do things you don't want to do. Realize that your image and how it is perceived is bigger than any SINGLE shoot, regardless of what an agency, photographer, or designer may tell you.
You have control, and you should keep it.
Once you realize that and internalize it, the next step is figuring out a DIRECTION you want to go in, as far as genre(s), style(s). Which models do you look up to? Who would you want to emulate, to some degree? And where is there room for improvement, with your own style? These are good questions to get you thinking about that.
So in general, I'd say: 1) Figure out what you DON'T want to do, and then 2) Figure out what you DO want to do.
Then try to stay true to your decisions.
A friend of mine asked a poignant question in my Facebook group recently:
My personal answer: I used to, but no longer.
Reason being, my personal projects are what inspired me to initially BECOME a photographer, and at the end of the day, they're what keep me loving my camera and the art of it all.
Sure, I've moved into predominantly portraiture these last few years, weddings and fashion, but that doesn't change my love of non-human subjects. With or without a model, I love to shoot.
When I received my very first DSLR camera as a gift seven years ago, my very first subjects were bees and flowers.
This photo means a lot to me: I shot it in a French garden last Summer to practice my love once again, and to remind myself of how far I'd come in that time. This was also the first photo of my own that I ever printed and framed. I framed it not only because I love it, but also as a personal reminder to myself that I never want to 'forget my roots' as a photographer.
I could only hope that potential clients would appreciate my depth and versatility as a photo-artist.
I never plan to lose my love for the artistic side of photography.
What happens when you gather 100+ neckties, sew them together, and fit them to a model?
I just wanted to share these photos, and the story behind them.
Earlier this Spring, this amazing dress was featured in (and won!) the Goodwill Triad "Rock the Runway" competition, and was soon thereafter purchased by Carolyn (pictured right) and her husband.
I had the privilege of documenting via photograph these two in Carolyn's Greensboro home a few weeks ago. Studio B Designs and NiSi Lee of NiSi's Eyes MakeUp Artistry - MUA gave great support to our shoot, and it all came together beautifully.
I firmly believe that photography has the power to tell stories. With this award-winning dress switching owners in this woman’s very home, from the original model, to the piece’s official owner, there is very clearly a beautiful story here that should be told. I love that photography can capture this.
Thanks for viewing and supporting.