My first shoot of 2016, and surprisingly, it's not of myself!
I had the pleasure of photographing my friend Lindsay, something we've been wanting to do for a few months now. This shoot was planned to go a specific way when we originally came up with it, and absolutely NOTHING went how it was planned...something I'm learning is just bound to happen sometimes.
Not only did we have to postpone it multiple times for various reasons (weather, Holidays, health, etc.) when we finally were able to get together to shoot, my idea of a warm, pastel inspired boudoir shoot became impossible as it was a bitter, dark, and rainy morning, and it's safe to say we both felt the shadows closing in on our creativity.
While I was given a wonderful gift before the New Year of a studio light, I'd had yet to use it (...or learn how to use it...) before the shoot, so my trying to create a warmer, alternate light source also didn't go as planned, and that experience ended with me putting it aside with a heavy heart for another day.
I've learned that not only do I have an aversion to modeling in a studio (essentially for fear of feeling like I'm stuck in a box and running out of ideas), but I also seem to have an aversion to shooting in a studio setting as well. For the first few shots, Lindsay was against a wall in her living room as I attempted to angle lights this way and that, stood on chairs, sat on the floor, and did everything I could think of to make it a dynamic shot. It wasn't until I put the light aside and noticed an alcove by her door, lit only by a rainy window, that I stopped feeling trapped.
We moved to the dimmer lit area, and she just started looking out the window casually, watching the rain and all of a sudden, everything just fit into place. Neither of us was trying to force something that we weren't feeling, and she visibly relaxed, becoming less guarded in the dark as we let conversation occur like when we are talking over a cup of coffee on any other day.
My focus for this shoot was to show some of the stunning artwork she has tattooed across her body, hence my the reason for having her wear lingerie, to show off pieces that would typically be hidden under clothing. In the process of photographing all of these images, I found myself coming back to her eyes, and the intensity in her expression.
I've never worked on a shoot where I've felt such a strength from a person's stare before, and knowing some of the hardships she has gone through over the past few weeks only made it more powerful.
When I set out to do this shoot, I knew I wanted to take a pretty picture of my friend, but I never expected to see something so moving. I know that I put barriers up consistently for fear of being hurt - I think it's human nature to try and protect yourself - but it takes a lot to let those guards down...more than exposing yourself physically even. It made me realize what an amazing connection people can make when photographing something or someone.
Thank you Lindsay for not only modeling for this shoot, but opening my eyes to the experiences I can have, and connections I can make through photography...
...The journey is just beginning...
PS) ...of course it's not ALL serious all the time during my shoots, so I've included some outtakes from the day, most of which feature the hilarious and successful photo-bomber "Kitten"!