Monday, July 27, 2009

Everything is Inspiring

It feels nice to be back on track, but it's hard not to feel like it is problematic that every time something bothers me I bow out of my photography for 1-3 months. I want to shoot steadily, as opposed to having these surges of inspiration and then bouts of nothingness.

Joseph T., one of my favorite photographers ever, advised me to shoot through it. And he's right. It's all part of a growing process, isn't it? And if happiness is inspiring, shouldn't sadness be too? If love is inspiring, shouldn't hate be inspiring as well? And if you are feeling sad, or feeling hate, shouldn't doing something that makes you happy help remedy it?

You know how sometimes, something is really bothering you, and all of your friends are going out - you don't really feel like going, but you know it'll make you feel better so you go anyway. And then - imagine that - you end up forgetting your woes, at least momentarily, and have great time. And overall, it helps a little bit, doesn't it?

Shooting should be the same then, shouldn't it?

I'm fine now, but next time I am in a personal rut, I'll give it a try. I want to see myself projected into my work. I want a piece of me to be in it, and I want a little bit of it to be in me. Sighh, photography, you are the love of my life. I know guys, I am a nerd.

So no more three month breaks after just two months of shooting with three months of break before it!

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Yesterday I went to a Goodbye BBQ for my friend and her husband. She is continuing her dream and moving to New York to pursue Creative Writing at NYU. They're leaving in about two weeks, and she shall be sorely missed (she's a good friend of mine, and as Ann of Green Gables would say, a "kindred spirit"). She was giving people stuff from the trunk of her car so I picked up a few things for my room but more to take pictures of.

(1) Strange Box
(2) IKEA Star lights
(1) Chinese Print on Tin

I have to admit, as soon as I saw the box and lights, I knew I wanted to take a picture of them. The tin I am still not sure about. It was supposed to be a still-life photo but ended up sort of being a self-portrait once my legs got in there:

Opening Pandora's Box

Click to see it bigger!

I tried hanging the lights up in my room thereafter as a normal person would, but they just look odd to me. I think I am going to take them down, wrap them around more things and photograph them, and then eventually wrap them around my furniture and leave them that way haha.

This picture is called "Opening Pandora's Box." Yep, you should open it. Because while all the world's evils may be inside of it, all the world's blessing may be in there too. And you'll never know if you never look inside. And if you unleash something amazing - well, that's fabulous. And if you unleash something awful you'll survive. Living is worth the risk, isn't it?

In addition, my best friend and I went out for a late night coffee and chalking session. We haven't went chalking in soooooo long so I decided that I ought to document this.



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Lastly, Sarah asked me about how us poor photogs are supposed to do our own styling (Sarah, I commented after you on the last post in response). I figured I'd blog a little bit about it too.

I don't like letting the models do the styling, and this is for several reasons. One is that they don't like it and it makes you look unprofessional. If you let them do the styling, there is always a grave possibility that you won't like what they bring, or maybe it just doesn't match your vision. And isn't it a huge waste if you take a beautiful picture of someone in front of a lovely background and that person is wearing...an American Eagle t-shirt? I think that poor styling is the number one way new/poor photogs kill their photos. So I think it's really important not to skimp out.

The easiest and most sure shot way to get good clothing is to get a stylist of course, but in my experience they are few and far in between that are good and willing to do TFCD. Having a stylist of course also makes scheduling all the more difficult because it adds another person to the mix.

I have several methods of procuring clothing for my models. First of all, I scour thrift stores on a regular basis for myself, so if I find something cool I'll pick it up for a shoot. Sometimes the clothing itself inspires the shoot. I also sell crap on ebay and etsy as well, so sometimes, when the shoot is done, I sell the item on either one in order to make back the money lost, often using the photos from the shoot haha.


I thrifted Grace's dress for this shoot.

Hannah 04

I got this Pixie Hopkins top from a thrift store. It was originally sold in the victoria's secret catalog for about $48.

The Garden 07

I bought this beautiful vintage dress from the thrift store. I ended up selling it on etsy for $50.

In addition, I sometimes just use my own clothes. I can sometimes share my tops with the models, and I often have them wear my shoes or those of my best friend's. Most models range between 8-9, which is around what me and my best friend wear. Shoes are pretty important in an outfit and it is hard to thrift fashionable shoes, and you can't return them once they're worn. I also let the model's bring stuff if they want to because sometimes it is good to have the option.

A Spring Thing - Brooke 02

Brooke wearing her own playsuit, my shoes and sunglasses

Crystal 04

Crystal wearing my shirt and necklace and my best friend's shoes.

The one I try to stay away from but is the most cost efficient is buying clothing and then returning it. I just feel really bad about it and there's always the fear that if something happens to the garment you won't get your money back. But sometimes I do it because I do not wait to sacrifice the quality of the shoot to bad styling. This is especially true of bottoms because it is hard to procure pants that are long and yet are a size 0 to 2, as most models are.

To do this one can either leave the tag on or get a tagger from ebay for like $6. I do both. Another option is to slip the plastic thing through the hole (assuming the hole is big enough) and then slip it back in after the shoot. I wish I had enough money to keep this stuff or give them to the model so I wouldn't have to return them, but I just cannot.

And lastly, sometimes you just get stuck with stuff. You just have to buy them and keep them, because you got them off ebay or something and can't return them. At the same time you couldn't find them at a thrift store or borrow them from anyone because they're that esoteric.

Antique Dream 01

I ended up getting stuck with this gigantic petticoat I used for my shoot with Sharlene and thus lost about $25. The top was about $30, and I returned it after the shoot.

Just Shoot 02

I had to have these nerdy wayfayer glasses for my shoot with melissa. There was nothing I could do but buy them - $8 off ebay. As a consolation, I may wear them myself or use them for another shoot.


In relation to this topic and my shoot with Georgia and Hanh on Saturday, I did a lot of shopping last Saturday with my best friend Shaz and I have pretty much finished the styling for the shoot. It was really tiring, and the clothing overall came from three different stores. Seeing at this is my biggest change shoot ever, I spent over $100 on it. Hopefully it is worth it. I'm feeling rather proud of myself. I feel like Georgia is going to rock the look! We're all pretty excited!

1 comment:

Sarah Balderas said...

Thanks for answering my questions here and in the comment you left. :) Unfortunately, there aren't many stylists or thrift stores in San Angelo, so I'm out of luck in those departments.

I always end up using eBay as my main wardrobe resource, which is fine, but it sure would help having something close to home. I can't always get the pieces I want because a) someone outbids me at the last second or b) the clothing bid gets ridiculously high for something I'd only use once. *sigh*

I've been on etsy these last few weeks to find cool jewelry. I actually found a feathered headband that i LOVE and plan to use in a shoot on Friday. Yay...can't wait! :)