My old National Geographic traveler backpack has gotten pretty dodgy and it was time to make a change. But like a man who keeps dating women who all look the same, I didn’t want to make a HUGE change. So lo and behold, Amazon had an offbrand photo pack that was 1/2 the price and basically the same thing, which sturdier padding.
When I was a young photographer I would spend money on accessories left and right, under some false assumption that accessories made my pictures any better. But there is some truth that when you are comfortable with your gear, photography is that much more enjoyable.
Just a quick note that I have a 20% off sale of my ceramic masks on Etsy through Sunday evening. They are a mix of my Unpleasant People series of originals and pop culture Icons like Gollum, Admiral Ackbar, Batman characters, etc.
There’s art photography and there’s the kind of photos that are for brochures and websites. I’ve been getting a few jobs of the latter variety and when I talk with the person hiring me, they usually have a shrug of shoulders within their voice as if to say “it’s a boring subject but jazz it up if you can.” You show up and do what you can. You pray for clouds, you look for any unusual lighting, you make a pano when in doubt.
In the case of the shopping center images, I actually went back three times to shoot as the weather and lighting changed. It was a 10 minute session each time, on a 3 minute drive from my house, so it wasn’t like a lengthy waste of time, but I was soooooo happy to get just a bit of clouds at dusk.
model St. Merrique, embroidery by Vesna Miller, photo by me
When you have a plan you can shoot vastly different work with the same set of circumstances in a brief amount of time. The embroidery series, the scanner series, and my 4×5 “Dissolved Girl” series are all things I’m actively shooting for, and I’m honored St. Merrique was game for each one. To break down the time spent on each – about 5 minutes for the embroidery images on peg board; about 10 minutes of 4×5 material; 2o minutes scanning.
St. Merrique shot with a 4×5, contact printed as cyanotype, color altered after scan
St. Merrique scanned
2012 photo of model Anastasia Arteyeva that utilized textures I scanned from inherited family photos.
In the last year of cleaning out my mother’s house I’ve found a great deal of vintage photos/ slides/ albums/ paper materials from a deceased great aunt. Authentic vintage imagery that’s any good is something one has to hunt around for at flea markets, so to have a pile of it drop into my lap is a bit of making lemons from lemonade.
inherited family photo
Below are a few examples of what one can do with old photos and papers:
- Scan textures or other design elements. There is a big market for textures not just by photographers but graphic designers, illustrators, and mixed media artists.
- Recontextualize the stories within the photos.
- Use them as sources of inspiration- this hairstyle, these types of fashion, get an idea and recreate it in real life. Mark Klett revisits the location of old photos and photographs them as they are today, seamlessly blending in the old images with the new.
- Mixed media creations. Draw yourself into an old photo, cut them up and make interesting collages like Tomek Dakiniewicz.
turning racist postcards into political art