Saturday, May 18, 2013
Q/A Inspiration, Fundamentals, Model Direction and More
Landfall with Brianna. A combination of a few inspirations that have helped me lately.
Q: I really really like your work. I have followed it for quite a while now would like to know if I can schedule the workshop mentioned. My dream is to become a photographer! I am pretty tired of dreaming now! I have been shooting for a year now, have read what feels like a million books and studied so many images, but I know I am missing something that I am hoping I can learn from you after seeing the results of different photographers you taught. I would like your help if you would offer it, I am willing to pay just in hopes that I can get a date to have a session in June. I would also like to know how much more the one-on-one option for this course would be and what exactly I would need to bring in regards to equipment.
A: The one-on-one option is best described this way.
As far as equipment you don't need much. In fact you probably have everything you need. I recommend a 50mm and a digital SLR body. That's it. No lightmeter, no white balance cards, no doohickeys and whatchamacallits.
Let me know if you have any other questions I can answer! What specifically would we focus on?
Q: Thanks alot for the help so far. To answer your questions, I would like to spend working on connecting with the models and learning poses or if I should even be posing them at all. I'd really like to focus also on lighting and composition and I'd like to spend a good deal of time learning advanced retouching and editing techniques. Ultimately I would just like to understand why all of these things are done so that I'll have a good understanding of when to use certain techniques in different situations. I guess I also feel right now I am a bit hindered creatively, which has never really been an issue, and I would like to work on that. I see my images and ideas begin to form in my head but I never really see the full idea or image 100%. I feel it doesn't often time become what I thought, and I usually end up unhappy with the result! Oh, I would also like to learn about wardrobe as well!
A: Connecting with models (interaction-wise) is a case-by-case basis that really requires a strong foundation of confidence in not only your skills but also yourself in general. As a stand-alone topic of discussion I present 3 hours on just that topic on the Model Interaction Webinar. But don't get me wrong, I'm not pushing you to buy the webinar because we will cover some of that material live at the workshop and then implement what and how you specifically can improve yourself in working with models.
Posing (yourself) is something that you should have in your back pocket in order to salvage stuff if things go horribly awry. Like a stiff model (ugh!). Your best bet is to flip through some magazines and collect 3-5 "go to poses" that you can replicate for the model.
We can definitely cover advanced retouching techniques as well as lighting and composition. But I'm not going to lie to you and tell you we can cover everything that I do for retouching. If you add up the retouching webinars on my website, there's already 9 hours worth of retouching.
And then there's the Balancing webinar coming up. +3 hours.
Creatively-speaking I think my shooting style combined with the lighting setups and processing styles will all work in unison to "get going" again so-to-speak.
However let me be frank and suggest that there is no cohesiveness to your questions. When this happens, it's usually because we haven't gotten down to the "core" of the problem. And just as you wouldn't want your doctor to simply treat your symptoms, I too don't want to just give you a mixed bag of answers to your immediate questions without understanding the source of your frustrations. Particularly because we only have 8 hours together (3 hours of "classroom" time and then 4 hours of shooting). Trust me, the 8 hours is gone in a blink of an eye so I want to help you get the most out of the workshop. But in order to do so, I need more information from you.
But from your first email, you mentioned that you feel like you're "missing something". One of the things I feel you're missing is the genuine internally-driven inspiration that pushes us to try new things. That inspiration is a muse that comes and goes on a whim, and it sounds like she's temporarily left you. That inspiration is addicting because once you have a taste of it you never want to live without it. That inspiration helps you forget about what you think you know and what you've seen other people do and just be enamored and immersed with what you're doing and what you want to do. It helps you stay curious and just be amazed at little things... little things that help you get to the next thing, one step at a time. And before you know it you've created a book of amazing imagery.
Here's a general post on inspiration.
The other thing I hear is that you think you're missing some basic fundamentals. The lack of these fundamentals causes you to lack the confidence to try new things as well. Fundamentals in lighting, composition, retouching, working with models in general, etc. Yes, perhaps you're missing these fundamentals but the bigger problem is that you expect there to be some amazing and strong images at the end of each shoot. You feel like you're not getting something that you're looking for and yet you don't know what you're looking for and you don't know what the images should look like. So it's really difficult for the photographer (you) to create amazing images if you the editor/retoucher (also you) isn't sure what he wants to be editing. The problem is 1) misguided and perhaps lofty expectations combined with 2) lack of concrete visions.
Now if you tell me, "Charles you've hit the nail on the head with your summary", then I would say, "Good, now I know how we can best utilize your 8 hours of private workshop".
I'd love to hear more though. As I mentioned this is all leading up to a properly designed workshop for your journey!