Yo Genius! This is my first blog post so bare with me as I am not sure what to say. I would say hello again but that's silly. Lets focus on why you are probably here: MY ART! If you haven't noticed, there is a Featured tab when you first enter the site. Under that tab you will find my featured shoot that I am highlighting. I plan on changing the work that is featured often so be sure to check back to see whats changed!
The current shoot that is being featured is my first photoshoot I did when I began to explore narrative photography. I come from the film and tv production world and always grew up reading fairy tales, so I wanted to explore the themes of some of my favorite childhood stories in a photo series. Let me explain my process of how After Ever came to be.
The first source of inspiration came from a classic Disney movie- Cinderella . I have always been intrigued by the portrayal of women in fairy tales because they always are in waiting.
Another story that influenced that shoot was the character Miss Havisham in the novel Great Expectations . I read that book in high school and it was a really good book about a couple dating and finding themselves and some deep message about life or whatever but that character in particular always stood out to me. In that story, Miss Havisham has never taken off her wedding dress from the day that she was stood-up at the altar. Her character dies in that dress! In the photo series, the model is wearing a wedding dress that is a direct nod to this character.
Another influence was the book Wuthering Heights . Again, another book I read in high school about a woman being trapped by what society told her being a women should be and finally breaking free and creating her own life.
Wuthering Heights was a major influence for me when I thought of location. I wanted the shoot to be in a location that felt free-very open, very wide yet very lonely. I wanted to create the feeling of isolation and captivity in a space that otherwise would feel enchanting. I love working in nature and using natural light so I also wanted a place that looked like it could have been anywhere in the world.
Working in the tv/film industry I am really good about finding great locations for free and there is normally always beauty in your own backyard, so I found my perfect location in Washington Park on Chicago's south side. It literally was perfect. I spent about a day doing some preliminary scouting and decided what specific location in this massive park I was going to use. Once I had that figured out I set the wheels in motion to create my shoot.
Again, the production background is very very important in my creative process. Before any shoot, I create a mood board which is basically a glorified clip art description of the shoot from the hair, makeup, location etc so that everyone is on the same page by shoot day. I got the wedding dress from the resale store for like $8 so that was amazing because I really thought I was going to have to buy an actual wedding dress that I was going to destroy stomping through the woods for this shoot lol. The day of the shoot I met with my friend, Meredith-who was my test model for the day (because like I said, I have never done this type of photography before so if I was going to mess up I would rather mess up with a friend than a professional). Anywho, she get dressed and boom we are ready to go. I am super nervous because I want to look professional and also I have this super cool idea in my head and I'm wondering if I can actually pull it off.
I'd say during any shoot regardless of the professional level, it takes about 20 minutes for everyone to warm-up. Everyone photographs differently and you have to learn how to direct and explain yourself in a specific yet general way that is clear to follow. Again, leaning on that production background is very very crucial in my photography.
I know a shoot is good when the model starts suggesting locations and doesn't mind getting dirty or doing something weird for the shot. The shoot lasted about 2hours and I have still the most footage from that shoot out of all my shoots. Granted most of that was due to the focus being off and other technical things that I learned as I progressed but you get the point-we had fun.