Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Desperately Seeking Style, Part I

I've been "seriously" taking pictures for about four years now, and I've got the basics more or less down. However, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up what kind of pictures are really my "style."

Mostly I take pictures of female models, because hey, female models. (I am nothing if not forthright.) If you're at all interested in the Internet photography thing, you'll understand me when I say to date the vast majority of my shoots have been TFP. (If you don't, click here.) However, I've just gotten very tired of the flighty Internet model cliché, and now I almost always either shoot models who I already know, or models I have arranged to pay a fee. While I'm fortunate enough to make a good living, I don't have huge amounts of disposable income so this means I shoot a lot less than once I did.

I think if I had my druthers, I'd shoot a lot of Gothic models, because I really like that look, and I find it very challenging as well. It's not easy to capture images with extremes of tone, and Goth models are all about extremes of tone - pale, pale skin, black hair and clothing, lots of saturated colors. For instance:

In LongingThis was a catalog shot for a friend of mine. (He makes industrial jewelry like the necklace the model is wearing.) I like everything about this shot:

1) The setting. I love shooting in strange places: this is the elevator of an old industrial building.

2) The lighting. Lots of light on the model, shows her and the product off, but fades quickly to give a little atmosphere.

3) The model. I just love exotic looks like this.

This shot went surprisingly well and the model was great, but unfortunately, most models who are "really Goths" live the sort of drama-filled lifestyle you would expect from someone who runs around looking like this all day. Not that most of them aren't absolute sweethearts, but they're not reliable, in several different ways, and I get very invested - again, in several different ways - in my shoots. If they don't show up or there's some other problem, it's hard on me. So there's the problem with shooting this kind of work.

That's "Style 1." Next up... "Style 2."


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