Wow! I had the most AWESOME evening after a rough day. I went to the monthly photo shoot sponsored by the Arizona Photograpers Group, and had some fun shooting the models (I have yet to look at them on my computer or process them). I had even MORE fun meeting new people and making some new friends. I had the chance to meet Mike Eller who has been in the photography business for over 35 years. We just started chatting, and I pulled out my Kindle Fire & started going through my portfolio with him to get his opinion on my work. He complimented me, and said I did good work… but asked if I saw a pattern. I wasn’t grasping what he was saying, and then he told me that my work was “safe.” In other words, I was going for the perfect settings, in perfect lighting, ensuring that I get a good shot.
I was like, wow, you’re right. We were discussing things I could do differently to take my photography to the next level, and then we came upon these next two shots. And he said that this was what I was looking for. And the light bulb went off in my head. These two photographs are two of my favorite in my collection (makes me sound like a creeper)… and I never realized why. I just liked them because a) the subject is really fun to shoot, and b) they have an edgy feel to them… but tonight, Mike pointed out the three dimensional look in this first one. I have more depth. The subject stands out because of the back ground…
In this next shot, my subject is moody, and the darkness surrounding him, with the white doors framing him really gives the shot something more than “safe.” I love this shot… the mood, the expression… but after tonight, I realized it was my composition that makes this shot speak to me.
In contrast, some of these earlier shots are “safe” pieces. I shot at the right time of day, with even lighting… and my images are two dimensional. I’m lacking depth, and shadow. The background of the bricks below actually detracts from my subject. Mike suggested that had I asked her to step forward 8 feet, it would be a completely different look. The brick would be more of a background, rather than a flat image. I love the shot… it’s why I keep it in my portfolio… however, I totally got what he was saying, and never saw it before tonight. I want to take her back to the exact same spot at a different time of day with different lighting, and step out of the box, and see what kind of images I get.
Same thing goes with this next shot. I love, love, love the texture of this broken down ramshackle one room building (not all the prickers on the ground that got stuck in my flip flops that day)… and of course, my model is beautiful and fun. I really wanted to capture the texture of the building, but in looking at it now… my subject and the building blend in two dimensionally… in even lighting. Had I pulled her forward two or three feet, I would still have captured the beautiful texture of the building, but would have separated her from the building, thus creating dimension…. a 3D image instead of a 2D flat image.
And again… playing it safe below. It would have been awesome to have light coming in from the left, and falling onto my subject, creating not only leading lines, but depth and shadows. I love the shot below, it’s part of my portfolio, but now I see where I can take my work to the next level. I’m so excited!!!
I love being part of the AZ Photog Group! My original goal was to meet people, and make friends so that I would have people to hang out with after my kids grow up & move away (which isn’t much longer…). Of course, I was hoping to learn, and grow, and develop my skills as a photographer. I’m not bad, I’m pretty good. I think I have a good eye (that’s what they tell me)… now I just need to get out of my safety zone, and take it to the next level.
I also met Miachelle DePiano who is a fabulous photographer. I enjoyed looking at her portfolio, and seeing things through her eyes as well. The three of us had a great conversation, and I just soaked in everything like a sponge. It was a truly moving experience.
“If you’re passionate about what it is you do, then you’re going to be looking for everything you can to get better at it.” (Jack Canfield) I think that’s my new mantra… besides, what is life without passion? B.O.R.I.N.G. Day by day, class by class, critique by critique, photo shoot after photo shoot, challenge after challenge, prompt after prompt, chasing lightning strike by lightning strike, I will get there.