The past week has been embroiled in chaos as I packed up my belongings and embarked on that ritual rite of passage that touches us all when our primitive migratory instinct kicks in and we attempt, perhaps in spite of our own best judgment, to change our surroundings – That’s right. This week I moved.
The particular sorrows, laughs, trials, and tribulations of packing up my apartment and moving across town into a new townhouse will get some more attention in a post later this week, but in the meantime I wanted to share with you some images that were created right in the eye of the storm. Never one to let weather, illness, biblical plague, robot revolt, or the inevitable release of Drive on DVD keep me from working on assignments and personal projects (I’m pretty much a photography Terminator, only reducing me to my liquid metal form and strong magnetic fields can stop me from taking pictures) – I decided to take a break right in the middle of one of my packing days to work on some images of Emaleigh and experiment with some new ideas.
The image above is the result of one of my collaborations that day with this intriguing new talent. The goal was to create some very stripped down and simple images of her that really put her strong and unique features center stage.
The image below is what is left of an experiment gone awry. Experimentation and trial/error are a big part of how photographers grow, expand their repertoire, and sharpen their creative muscles, especially on personal projects such as this one. In fact, one of my favorite things about working on self-directed projects is that you have the freedom to fail, over and over again if need be. Failure is a great tool that lets you learn from your mistakes and refine new ideas. When those problems arise on a real assignment where your reputation, and more importantly a client’s, will be on the line – you know that through preparation and practice those mistakes will no longer be a problem. Just as importantly, you will be better at thinking on your feet and providing elegant solutions to those random problems that Murphy’s law likes to throw in your path. On this particular personal shoot I made an error in prop/product choice that didn’t quite yield the results that I wanted for the image – But you can bet that I will be revisiting the concept shortly to perfect it. At least I was left with this Instagram image of our pre-shoot prep that I am quite fond of.
I think failure is not just important but necessary to grow as an artist, as is the mindset needed to see failure as a tool of growth, and not a hinderance that discourages you from creating more and becoming better at what you do.