I love photography because it condenses so many different mediums into one frame. You have one shot to work with and if it doesn't impress then you haven't succeeded. That challenge is the best part of it all.
If the final image isn't bold, gripping, or dynamic I'm never going to be satisfied with it. It has to say something because there are plenty of beautiful pictures in the world that are just boring.
I think my #1 concern is always the model's face. They really have to be giving me something or else I'm uninspired.
There has to be something in their eyes that says "Look at me!".
Some people have that and some people don't.
An heirloom is a valuable item that has been passed down from one generation to another. We liked the idea of using the current trend of 70's prints and silhouettes to tell a story about a girl who was putting her parents' old clothes back to work. Mixing her father's old button-down shirt with her own jeans or her mother's dress with her favorite ear cuff. I think we throw away old clothes far too often when they can almost always be reworked in the future. The irony here is that the only things in the shoot from the 1970s are the trailer and the car that we shot with. Everything else is available at ZARA, H&M or TopShop.
This shoot was a collaboration in every sense. My husband styled everything using Gucci's S/S 2016 collection as inspiration. Our makeup artist took the mood boards we gave her and expertly improvised on the spot. A lot of it was just trial and error.
I like planning ahead of time but it's important to leave room for spontaneous surprises and this shoot gave that to us in spades. Half of it was done in our garage and our backyard. It took three different days of shooting over the course of a month to complete.
Alyssa, our model, was the one who proposed going topless. I had considered it because her hair was long enough to cover her breasts but I felt uneasy asking her to do it.. While changing into one of the outfits she saw herself in the mirror and said, "What if we did it like this?". I was thrilled. That picture has gotten the most compliments thus far. I also think it is worth noting that Alyssa had never modeled before this experience. My husband found her and sure enough, from the very first setup, she absolutely blew us away.
This last month was the first time I was able to fully support myself with my photography so that is pretty awesome. It's still early in the game but I'm very excited for what the future holds. I'm starting to feel like I can do anything as long as I work hard enough, which is as terrifying as it is exciting. I had an art teacher in high school (who wasn't terribly kind or gifted) but she did say one thing that I've never forgotten.
"Find what you love to do so much that you forget to eat".
To this day, my husband has to remind me to eat whenever we're working. I feel very lucky to have found something that makes me feel alive after languishing for the last 10 years in jobs that did nothing to feed my soul.