I just wrapped up 4 days of shooting around Vancouver, British Colombia, and Portland. This was a “model shoot only” art making trip and it was a complete blast, and lots of great images got shot because I was 100% focused and got new ideas from each shoot which I could utilize in the following shoot. This happy photo was with model Verronica Kirei and hmua Jodi Vaughn in Portland, a model I absolutely highly recommend to anyone. Helpful that that sparkly background was a “designated selfie” area in the basement studio we shot in!
Imagine a school portrait- it’s a subject in front of a background, plain and simple and boring. The photo can be jazzed up to some degree- for example, these vintage ethnographic images, or any of Richard Avedon’s classically minimalist portraits- but my personal feeling at the moment is, I want to create portraits that involve a person with an environment.
This interaction means some touching, some elements in the foreground as well as the background to give the illusion of depth on a 2-dimensional plane.
The overall effect is to make use of more “real world” settings and create more of a scene in the sense that old movies had big practical sets that the actors rampaged around and everything had an aura of authenticity.
These were all shot on March 7th at the Chandler Ostrich Festival, a local event where people race ostriches via chariots and bareback. They also have your typical carny atmosphere which I’ve shot panos of on-and-off over several years. The slowness of photoshop’s “photomerge” tool made it annoying to shoot panos, but modern cameras do a pretty good job with a fraction of the effort!
My very first Texture Pack is put together- live animal fur and skin textures, shot this week with the very handy Fujinon 200mm lens (300mm equivalent). It’s 14 high quality 9×13″ 300 dpi jpg textures of 7 live animals I photographed- camel, tortoise, ostrich, giraffe, zebra, llama, and antelope. There are 2 textures per animal. It’s $4 on Etsy as an instant download.
I’ve shot textures for years and never thought about releasing them commercially, but it has to be said scrolling endlessly through Google looking for hi-res textures is a pain in the ass. I prefer to make my own or buy them from people who I know made their own.
All my new tech gets broken in with Maggie, and we took some new battery-powered monolights to our backyard to get this shot. Maggie now gets $1 when she models for me, which means she asks to go take pictures even more frequently than before.
Magdalena in front of our house with her beloved Ducky. She earns dollars “modelling” for me. Interesting what the kids pick up. Sometimes they make little comics to “sell” at our art tables. Taken with the Fujinon 35mm 1.4 prime lens, my favorite.
Magdalena, still age 5. Combination of my new Fuji X-E1, the 35mm 1.4, new portable monolight, and my favorite model. I think it’s an enormous leap in quality.
Some of my favorite photographers used their family as art subjects… Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Sally Mann, Harry Callahan. You’ve got a subject that you have strong feelings about and access to at all parts of the day, and that subject knows the photographer well and family members get to be creative together. Definitely a path worth exploring.