Jumping back in time yet again to just a couple months after the big bad haircut...
Life had thrown a handful of curve balls my way, and this was one of them that effected what I was pursuing... It seems like such a stupid thing, to have to care so much about something as silly as hair... but my job was to be in front of a camera, where appearance matters. I was not shooting nearly as much as I had been prior to the cut, but was slowly finding ways to work with my look or to work around it. The emotional drama that went along with it, and dealing with everyone's questions-everyone wanted to know why and how this happened but even I couldn't answer that beyond speculation-was also draining...It made me sick to my stomach that someone intentionally did this and I had to look at it every day wondering why. I did my best to just accept it, ignore it, and keep doing what I was doing while always pushing to be better.
I was supposed to assist- but Dan was still itching for something edgier, darker, more emotional... he wanted to use the same location we used in the previous shoot-it was amazing and inspiring! He pitched his idea to me. I loved it. We set a date, I picked up the necessary pieces and I met him at his house to get ready.
What I love about Dan choosing me for this project was he knew my love for dark, emotional work, and that I could deliver. The fact that I have blonde hair, and no tattoos makes me easy to overlook for something as edgy as this. But appearance does not matter nearly as much as the ability to emote. As I had learned very quickly with my hair, appearance can be changed... easily... Your ability to get into a role and make people feel deeply, that is not easy. It takes a combination of things to make a photo successful in this way...
I had bought a few wardrobe items that Dan planned to ruin. So we stood in his kitchen, I held up the wardrobe items as he attacked them with an exacto knife. Therapeutic in itself. ;) He had a few accidental cuts in unfortunate places, I wish I had photos or videos of his face! But no one was bleeding. We were pumped and would work around anything!
We talked about hair/makeup. This was unlike anything I had ever done before. This wasn't about being pretty and perfect. I'm not sure it could have been more opposite! We whipped out the black eye shadow and we darkened my eyes in a messy, raw, almost haunting way. Then Dan started with the rest of the makeup... he created what looked like bruises, cuts, scrapes, needle marks, dirt, etc. all over my exposed skin. It looked quite convincing and I was just in awe of the transformation. This beaten up look was symbolic, something we both could easily related to. This shoot was a great way to express those feelings we were dealing with. With my look complete, we were ready to roll...
We headed to our location. Excited. Once we arrived, I was reminded of how amazing this place was! There were so many beautiful spots all over the property, but we decided to stay in the abandoned house. I get pretty excited to explore these things and having someone like Dan around is perfect to balance things out...I'd say "Oh my gosh! Look at that amazing balcony!" And Dan would say, "Umm, we're not going up there... there are holes in the floor!" Thanks for keeping me from falling through balcony floors Dan! :) Although, seriously, how sweet was that?! hehe
Each room had something different. Dan scoped things out and I believe he primarily used the beautiful natural light that was pouring in... We got started. It was easy to get into character... I loved this stuff... We moved from room to room, we were like little kids in a candy shop.
To see more from this shoot, please visit www.facebook.com/NFGartist
To see more of Dan's work: http://www.frievaltphotography.com/
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
|Photo by Mark Anderson, in the name of art, |
When I started out doing this modeling thing, it was because someone asked me to model for them... I was just assisting for a shoot, and they had seen some of my own work, and just simply wanted me to model for them...someone who loved photography, the really artsy kind, and was simply passionate about creating. I was doing my own self portraits for similar reasons. The purpose was to create art. Purely for the sake of art.
Other photographers started to ask me to model for them. The more I modeled, the wider range of reasons popped up... Sometimes it was just for fun-maybe the photographer needed a break from their usual work to do something more laid back, or emotional, or creative, or crazy. They needed to do something totally different.
|Photo by Andrew Kufahl, his final image of his 365 project|
Some shoots were totally random, completely unexpected.
Some photographers incorporated their shoot with me into building their actual portfolio.
Some shoots were for clothing or jewelry pieces. Or promo images.
Sometimes it was a hair/makeup artist who needed a "canvas" -my face. Sometimes they just had creative ideas they wanted to try, other times it was for competitions for their craft.
|All-Star Studios, Rummele's winter |
catalog cover, modeling their jewelry
On a smaller level, I modeled for one-on-one lessons. This is where a photographer takes a private lesson with another photographer... My purpose for these is the same as it is for a workshop... just on a much smaller scale, usually catered to that specific student. They don't have to worry about shooting in front of others, or not being able to get a good angle because they're sharing one model with a group, they don't have to feel intimidated asking questions in front of a larger amount of people, and they can actually interact with me and the teacher more.
Photo by Casi Lark-Sitterly at a one-on-one
Every single time I've modeled, there was some purpose for it. And I think everyone involved learned something.
While you may not think you have use for a model, think about what you do... during a senior session or during a wedding, do you really have the opportunity to experiment? To push your work to the next level? To practice a new technique? To familiarize yourself with new gear? I am assuming your usual gig has a fairly tight time frame, and your clients have high expectations as they are expecting the most for their buck. Using a model gives you the opportunity to do all of these things in a very low pressure situation, with as much time as you need... where you can't upset a client, or screw up someone's big day, or bore the heck out of a senior. You may be great at what you do, but there is always room to learn and grow. And time/money is never wasted on something like that.
I won't go into it in detail now, but I have tried to continuously improve what I do to cater to your needs. From building a wardrobe (including clothes, accessories, shoes, belts, etc) to expanding my hair/makeup materials and skills, to practicing posing/expressions, and so on... As I mentioned earlier, I have done a bit of the photography side myself... so you don't have to worry about fumbling around with new gear, or spending time on a new technique-I won't get bored, I repeat, I WILL NOT get bored... I understand what goes into these things, and I'm there to help YOU. I've also assisted for various photographers, so I'm not afraid to set up a light stand or carry some bags, even in heels!
|Photo by Mark Anderson from a themed |
group photography event
|Photo by Brandon Swanson from a photography workshop|
Photographer: Kara Counard ...Began as a part of her 101 Women project,
and we just shot for fun afterwards with Seth Nayes
To wrap this up, no matter what your style or focus is in photography, there are so many resources out there for you to help grow and become the best photographer you possibly can be. So read, take a workshop, ask a photographer for a private lesson, approach a model... and push yourself.
If you would like to see more of my work: www.facebook.com/NFGartist