In that past, I've found I was happiest if I could model at least a few times a month, even if it meant taking self portraits. It was a way to stay creative and keep the "posing muscles" flexible (whatever that means...).
But more recently, I noticed that while I do still want to model at least once a month (if at all possible), I've been wanting to be the photographer more and more. After my last experience taking pictures for cellist and friend Carly Fleming, I realized just how much fun it is to be behind the camera and express my creativity that way. There are certain things you can do as the photographer for someone else that are a real struggle when you're attempting both roles.
Ever since the weather started warming up, I've been staring at this giant blooming bush in my front yard, filled with bright purple flowers. I knew I wanted to use it as the backdrop for some bokehlicious™ portraits, but felt it would be a struggle to try and run back forth from the camera to get myself in focus, but the flowers out of focus. This is just one of the reasons I'm so glad to have friends like Anerael, who let me use them as my subject so I can explore my photo concepts further.
It was a bit last minute, me randomly texting her around lunch about shooting after work, but we pulled it all together and it all worked out. The benefit of working in your backyard is the ability to run inside for wardrobe changes, so we were able to shoot a couple of different looks around the property. One of the downsides of shooting in a high traffic area however (IE: outside of an apartment complex) is the influx of viewers.
Granted, we didn't have too many interruptions, one or two people stopped to say Anerael looked beautiful (she did), and another leaned out his window to mention a different flowering bush we might be interested in on the other side of the property (we ran out of light before we could check it out), but the one neither of us will be able to forget is the gentleman who WE unintentionally viewed...while I understand everyone is entitled to doing whatever they would like in their own home, I think it should be noted - if you live on the ground floor near a walkway of a complex or community, maybe think about closing your curtains over, or more importantly, your porch door, before you decide to hang out in your living room sans a stitch of clothing.
...just a thought...
Luckily for me, I only noticed the gentleman as he was walking away, but boy did that still make for an unexpected surprise. We relocated ourselves to the opposite side of the (thankfully) full shrubbery, and continued our shoot before walking the long way back to my apartment for an outfit change. I guess you never know whats going to happen at a shoot, even in your own backyard...though it did make for a great candid shot of Anerael.
Another thing I'd like to note is how pleased I am with my decision to purchase a reflector. When we started shooting, it was pretty overcast, and dark, but I was able to do a lot by using my reflector for our flower shots. I even used it once we moved inside to try a few boudoir looks. I had just enough natural light coming in the window and used the reflector to catch the light in her eyes.
I still have plenty of areas to work on, but I feel like I can see the progress I've made when I look back at some of my older shots and compare them to work I've done this year. I'm grateful to everyone who has let me take their picture so I can better myself.
A huge shoutout to Anerael for letting me stand her outside on one of the coldest June days so far while the wind threatened to blow us away (well, myself in particular - those reflectors would make great sails)!
Make sure to check out the finished images, and keep an eye out for updates to Anerael's website in the near future!