Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Letting the Story Be the Hero

My first shoot in my new studio — I was surrounded by fabulous women and struck by silent panic. It was my first time shooting in Seattle's winter light, let alone in a basement studio, and I hadn't photographed a woman in over a month. My reflector boards were too tall to fit beneath the lowered ceiling beside the window. My model was staring at me waiting for direction and my camera settings just didn't feel right. I was trying to capture a beautiful portrait of Natalie but I knew I also had to feature the dress she was wearing for Kim McCormick — the designer who had contributed her clothes to our shoot. I was struggling to do both and then I realised why. 

Every shot needs a hero and I had two that were battling for my attention. I didn't want to focus on one and lose the other so I decided to blend them together into one hero. I created a story... Natalie became a hispanic bride waiting at the court house for her groom. The year was 1889. (Totally random, I know. it was the first thought that flew into my mind). For me, the story became the hero and it made it possible for the woman and the dress to function together as a single unit. That got me through my "photographer's block". Then, once I was sitting behind my computer I was able to separate them again — one shot that was all about the dress and another that was all about Natalie.

Hair & Make Up :: Hanna Mazur
Headpieces :: Serephine
Photography Assistant :: Cheryl Ford Photography