Tag Along Workshops:
MAY 25-26 LONDON, UK
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JUNE 13-18 MEDELLIN, CO
-2 day Tag Along
-LIMITED 8 PEOPLE
-how to pose models
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Photography Rules Get Thrown Out the Window
The so called 'Rules' go right out the window when I shoot. First, it's the experience or engaging with my subject that gets me jazzed about photography. Second, I make decisions about the vibe I want to create in the image while I'm interacting with my subject. I quickly consider the available light, color and mood on set; the time of day does not matter, I'm not afraid of shooting at high noon or any time of day for that matter. I can find something interesting that's happening in the moment to match the vibe I'm looking for. I don't care about being perfect or following some B.S. rules listed on a flickr group or similar forums. It's my shot and my artistry...there are no rules.
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I don't get excited about gear (you can look at my backpacker studio and realize I'm a minimalist). I get excited about the experience and the moment. There's so many things happening when you create an experience. I push myself and find exciting people and places; there's so much excitement and energy naturally happening on my sets. I'm like an extreme athlete that's addicted to an adrenaline rush; the experience creates the vision for the shot. There's so much emphasis on gear and I'm here to say that gear has always been secondary. I can make magic with my iphone, a Hasselblad or my battered D700. It doesn't matter, capturing the moment is the core essence for my art. Sure, gear can help mold the feeling for a shot, but gear takes a back seat to what's happening in the moment. I'm more interested in getting the shot. If there's time and I certain that the mood/moment will not disappear then I will take the time to break out the tools/gear needed to capture the image.
The shot below: I was shooting a model in Malibu Beach and the sun had already gone down and the shoot was a wrap. My assistant turned on the car headlamps and BAM...there's was another shot right before my eyes. Knowing that I had merely moments of ambient left in the distance I had to re-energize the model who was tired from shooting all day. I recreated a moment, my excitement and the energy I created had the model give me 'looks' that I needed for the shoot. Our chemistry had not been there for the last part of the day; it's the photographers job to bring out that energy in our subjects. In this case, it was something completely out of the ordinary that created that spark that I needed for something different/new.
Manipulation of light or creating light gets me charged while I'm engaging. I suppose I've been gifted with an eye and being able to visualize 'the shot.' I know what gear is needed to manipulate the light to create my vision or fantasy. But, if I'm lacking the equipment for the job I don't panic. I merely use what is available to me to create a similar interest. I'm like a detective on a shoot; constantly looking for light, color, textures, sound and paying close attention to all details...all while not forgetting to engage with the model.
Nothing special about the image below, other than I was not suppose to be in that particular spot when I took the image. I visualized the image while other photographers were shooting from the sideline. I ran out and nailed the image and zipped away before being captured by authorities. You also must be a little bit crazy in order to get the shot. No servants of the lord were injured in the making of this image:
I shoot prolifically because I have to. It's in my bones. The point of this post is to enjoy the magic moments in life or create those magic moments. Photography exists in your backyard...there are thousands of potential images that pass us by every day. What are you doing to capture those moments? Maybe you should come with me on one of my Tag Alongs so some of my mojo can be soaked up.
In camera action: there intentional moment creating a ghosting effect. I also intentionally gave her a hotspot with the light from above. What rules? There are no rules! It's your vision and your art.
The only difference between me and the majority of photogs out there...I search for the experience and live in the moment because I have to. I don't feel any judgement from society. I live for the moments I envision, then I pull the trigger to capture it forever.
Below: I used dappled light through the trees. Later I added a gradient of blue. I felt it needed color. It's crude, but it works for my art.
Enjoy these random shots where I turned nothing into something.
While waiting for my assitant to change batteries in the lights, I saw a moment with the cat and the model. I went for it.