One of the biggest questions I keep asking myself is "Where am I going with my photography?". I have to be realistic, the kind of model work and portraiture I'm doing is thoroughly enjoyable, it probably won't pay the bills. At least, not yet.
That said, almost every photoshoot feels like new ground being broken. I am experimenting with new framing, new lighting tools and techniques, varying the background, and drawing inspiration from so much of the media I’ve seen from painters, photographers and other creatives. It’s terrifying, but we always come up with something new. So I have to ask myself, each time I get a little further and a little closer to....what?
The experimentation is nearly endless. Lately I’m working primarily with one light source and really trying to hone it to a soft, beautiful yet dramatic style. I’ve made improvements to my post processing workflow that help to add an extra flair to my final edits, including the recent addition of VSCO Film Pack 06 (the first one that made me plop down some cash on presets). My recent changeover from Canon to both NIkon and Fuji has given me some more options as well, I have the D800 for studio and portraiture work, and the Fuji X100T for...well everything. That little camera is a godsend, and I try to take it everywhere. It’s a 16 megapixel camera full of glorious tones, great functionality, beautiful color rendition…..but I digress.
Gear, technique and workflow are all independent of the bigger issue: Developing my concepts and ideas and executing them with good compositional skills. This comes only with practice, researching and reviewing works of the masters that have come before me, and getting bored of doing the same old same old only to break down and try out new stuff. But again, the crux: What is the end goal?
I know that shooting and creating simply makes me happy. In a very twisted and yet understandable sense, it’s addicting; there’s a high I get when I create a shot that has something new that I haven’t made before, or something beautiful appears that I was hoping for somewhere deep inside my subconscious. It’s such a good feeling that I want it again and again, and I have a huge motivation to keep the wheels turning.
The high also comes with the low. The low is usually the day after, or, sometimes the week after depending on how well the shoot went, and how long it takes me to start loathing the images I created. Then comes the times when I'm doing client work primarily and have no time for the creative pushes. That's when I feel the wheels spinning, though this isn’t always terrible since it pushes me even harder to do more.
I’ve made the decision to start shooting weddings, and I am greatly anticipating creating fashion, portraits and photojournalism images throughout each and every wedding day that I have the opportunity to shoot. The prospect still terrifies me but it also feels right. I think the time might be almost right. The added income will certainly help as well, giving me some access to new bodies, lenses and software (in other words, creative options) that might previously have been unattainable, all in the interest of delivering bigger and better to my clientele.
Here’s hoping it gets me further down the rabbit hole, and opens new doors for creativity. Because I’m not going to stop. I couldn't even if I wanted to.