Canon 5D Mark III Styling by Gladiola Girls Hair/Makeup: Bethany Jane
I'm relatively new to photography and videography, but I think a lot about "staying fresh."
Until 2013, the only creative work I'd ever done had been in writing and newspaper design, so branching out into a new medium reinvigorated my artistic flames to such an extant that I want to continue stoking the coals to see what happens.
Working with Matt has taught that me that if you want to stay sharp in anything, you have to keep pushing your limits. That way, each time you set out to shoot, write, run, stretch, or play becomes a brand new experience. It helps you maintain a "beginner's mind" as opposed to an "expert's mind," the latter of which leading only to stagnation.
For this shoot, we wanted to do something different. We've taken thousands of photos in natural scenery over the last year, so instead of bringing the charming and talented Kristina Petrick out to the tall pines we've been drooling over for the past month, Matt did the unexpected and picked up the blue-grey muslin cloth you see in this set. (*These are the digital selects. Film scans are coming soon.)
The plan was to start somewhat traditionally — a studio shoot with a model in front of muslin, but from there to begin breaking the form by having Kristina interact with the backdrop, first in the studio and then outside.
I shot digital (and some 35mm) while Matt used his minty Contax 645. We experimented with light sources and fill lights, and stumbled upon some odd mixtures that we'll definitely be duplicating and expanding upon for upcoming projects.
This outdoor location is an abandoned library less than a mile from our studio. Kristina said wearing a somewhat cheery floral print in such unkempt scenery felt incongruent, almost like she were a ghost haunting the place she'd died. (Not shown: Photos of Kristina making creepy poses. Perhaps we'll bring those out later.)
We spent the day experimenting with locations and poses, eventually using the muslin as more than a backdrop. Trying to figure out how to use something that I've considered to be from an era of photography with less-than-refined tastes (see 1990s rec sports photos) was a challenge, and one that has helped me reconsider my tendency to dismiss an idea before really giving it a try.