I Understood the Assignment

October 09, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

"If Gwen Stefani and Robert Smith had a baby, that's what I'm going for"- Salome.

 

This gorgeous, creative, funny (woman feels weird...girl feels weird....chick?) lady is a MASTER at a winged liner.  That's neither here nor there, I was just continuously impressed with her skills. Salome has amazing blue eyes and the liner and lashes really made them pop. 

There's always a back and forth in the photographer world regarding "chimping". If I ever knew the etymology of that phrase, I have forgotten it. But it means looking at your camera as you're shooting to see how the shots are coming along. I think it's really bizarre that there is a negative connotation as lighting changes a lot, double checking on blinks, etc. I do it. I don't spend a lot of time going through everything, but I like to see that things are going well, and if I should try another pose in a location. 

THEN there's multiple discussions as to whether or not photographers should show their subject the in camera images. Some photographers over expose, under expose intentionally so they can edit as they wish in post and don't want to show those images to the customer. Other photographers don't want to show the in camera images as they may cull them and not offer them to the customer for whatever reason. 


Why do I choose to show the back of my camera to customers as I go? Because I'M excited and want to show it off. Because I want to HYPE THEM UP. Because I want to get a feel for what they're thinking. 

In all my time, even when I have seasoned models, there's always a warm up period. There's ALWAYS a "what do I do with my hands?!"  There's always the worry that they don't look good. You know what happened when I showed Salome the photo below?

 

"YOU WENT EDITORIAL ON THIS SHOOT!" Yep. She saw my vision. She dug it. She paraphrased Tay Money and told me that I understood the assignment. That, my friends, is the biggest compliment I could've gotten that day. 

 

When Salome wanted to her location to be Munsinger Gardens I got super excited. I haven't been there in YEARS. It is gorgeous. I was thrilled that the blooms were still looking pretty good and the colors were amazing. 

The variety of textures available, as well as the colors to mix into the foreground and background, well, I can't ask for much more. 

I first went to Munsinger when I was probably Salome's age. I was already a photographer (first wedding at 18 years old!) and when I saw these gardens, I immediately wanted to have an Alice in Wonderland themed shoot there. I still haven't done it, but I'm still hopeful that I will. 

I told Salome that she was giving me Gothic Little Red vibes. I wish I had a wolf.... While typing that I just decided I should see what I can find to do a creative piece for her. Hmm...

Pure bliss when you're happy shows through your eyes. Or even your eyes closed. Several times during the shoot Salome would close her eyes and smile. I do that, too, when I'm just vibing the moment. Maybe I'm projecting, but I would like to think that is what was happening for her as well.

Salome was accompanied by her boyfriend of two years. I know I sound like such and adult (hahaha) when I say that Larson is SUCH an impressive young man.  I know parents wonder how their kids act when they're not around. I was super impressed by the both of them. When I had Salome lay on her stomach and kick her feet up for a pose, Larson noticed that their were stickers on the bottom of her shoes and he stood there and picked them off. It's the little things that are the most impressive for me. 

Sorry to say it, Moms, but sometimes the Seniors actually do better without you there. I mean this in the absolutely most nicest way.  

 

My personal experience with this: My Dad did my Senior portraits. He's the reason I got into photography in the first place. I felt so awkward. And he totally Dad-ed me. "Stand up straight!" "Smile your real smile!" That sort of thing. 

I get it. These are things we all want. Real smiles and not slouching, I guess. 

 

But I GOT YOU.  Trust me when I say that my self deprecating jokes usually get laughs. If that doesn't work, I have a whole artillery to get some sort of real smile. 

I'm NOT saying not to come.  But perhaps give us a bit of space. ;) 

"This is why I watch America's Next Top Model". 

 

Yes. 

Watch the shows. Practice in the mirror. Know your sides. Smile with your eyes. When you hear the camera shutter make a slightly different face. 

 

perfect.

When I started editing the images, I messaged Salome and said, "I'm trying to decide just how Evanescence I want to go with this."  

I LOVE it when people do my crazy ideas. LOVE IT. Yes, it was cold. Yes, she got wet. YES, THESE PICTURES ARE LIFE.

 

Bonus picture of Larson and Salome because they're adorable.


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