I’m always up for a challenge. I’ve always enjoyed blogging, and in the past have posted nearly every day (in another life on a different blog). Somewhere along the way, I decided that being too open was a bad thing and started limiting my blog posts to my images. Don’t get me wrong, I want to continue to keep my blog as a landing for my photography. However, a big part of my art is my personal emotional investment in my work. So, I will rise to the challenge to post every day (albeit mid-stream for 2012), and hopefully will inspire, entertain, and share myself and my work as I open up a little bit more.
Having said that, I thought I’d share one of my very first “portraiture” shots of my niece Maliabeth Johnson:
I took this shot back in 2009 during my first official photography course. The image is SOOC*, and I would love to change a few things in Photoshop. However, I don’t for several reasons. I love the way the light hits Maliabeth’s face. It was at least 105 degrees outside, and we were shooting at sunset. The shoot was rather impromptu, and I like the contrast between the bark on the tree with her hair; the slight depth of field. I feel like I’ve improved so much since this first shoot, so I love to look at it and keep it in my portfolio. I rarely use SOOC images anymore. I don’t know many people who do, and why would you? With Lightroom and Photoshop tools available, SOOC images can fix skin blemishes, white balance, a simple curves adjustment makes a huge difference, a little sharpening action brings out features, not to mention HDR processing… it goes on and on. Regardless, I think if you don’t have a great SOOC to start with, then it doesn’t matter how much post-production processing you do. It’s not a good image. It all starts inside the camera, as well as in the artist’s soul. Of course, having a fantastic model to work with never hurts either.
My niece is a rising actress and since this image was taken, she’s been in The Finder, a Jared commercial, and had a co-starring role on Cougar Town. Prior to that she was in an episode of Arrested Development, and had several other gigs. While she may very well be on the path to an incredible career in the spotlight… to me she will always be that sweet little girl who loved going to the zoo with me. The one I loved to buy a balloon for and watch The Little Mermaid with. She has grown into a beautiful woman both inside and out. Her talents in front of the camera, as well as her work as an abstract artist have no boundaries. I love her very much, and I think this image captures a bit of both of our personalities combined. Keep your eyes open and watch for her, because @Maliabeth is going somewhere big!
*SOOC: Photographers use this word as shorthand for “Straight Out of Camera”. This refers to NOT using Photoshop or any image editing software as of yet. Often used online and not in real life, to give quick information to other photographers. (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SOOC)