Last week I went toCafe Coco in Nashville, TN (I live about 20 mins away) to meet up with Glynnis Garcia my best friend. Glynnis was doing a work-cation and I’m always happy to catch up with her. I of course took my camera. Sitting there I took a few shots of Glynnis and a friend or two as well. Just quick candid things. Sitting there I see two people come in, one a woman the other a black guy dressed in a button up shirt and bow tie. Tattoos one his forearms and large silver rings adorned his fingers while larger ones were hanging from his ears. To top it all off a black bowler hat sat squarely on his head. His manner, grandiose. I watched for a second, then pardoned myself from Glynnis for a second. I found the bowler bearing guy on the back porch and asked if I could grab a quick shot of him.
“Why” he asked and my reply was
“Your manner and way of dressing make you stick out, people will want to know who and what is behind the the photo”
Reader, while I like this photo here is my question to you
“Does it looking at it make you wonder who he is? What does he do”?
if so it’s successful.
Always take your camera, you never know what or who may strike your eye.
In a previous blog I wrote about not being able to sleep because I was too wound up about shooting a nearby sea of Sunflowers. I was determined to shoot there again this time including model. I put up a blast and got a few “Yes! Let’s do it” responses but inside I was not feeling that any of these were solid responses. There is one model I can always count on and her name is Dale. I got in touch with her and last Monday Dale drove from the Belmont area of Nashville all the way to Murfreesboro and by 640 am we were shooting! Dependability and punctuality! They are qualities to bank on! Why was I so quick to shoot? Because right now that sea of Sunflowers is dying. Everyday the blooms are drooping a bit more. Everyday a few more lose their luster. By the end of next week will they still stand? I don’t know. What I do know is that by moving quickly on this and with the aid of a model who always brings her “A Game” I got the shots I wanted.
I was driving by a field the other day, one I drive by often but today it was different. Today what had been green was now a yellow sea of Sunflowers! It was 7 or so in the morning and the sunlight was bathing those flowers with it’s life giving life and damn if it was not gorgeous! I made a note to swing by the field and shoot it within the week.
I went to bed Monday night at Midnight and could not sleep. I tried the usual stuff to make myself sleep like counting sheep, drinking a beer or two yet still I found myself looking at a darkened ceiling . Finally at 5:30 am I got out of bed grabbed my Canon 1d Mark II jumped into my car and drove to the Sunflower field and spent the next hour or so shooting away! It was hot, it was humid and bees flew around me constantly but god damn it was worth it! I landed up with some really nice shots, shots that I think translate the experience I had and hope to share with you the viewer. Enjoy 🙂
Coda Riot. The name was cool enough, but what really got my attention was the hair! C’mon! That color job was amazing & the cut too! I fired off a friend request and we spoke about getting together about a shoot. We ended up at a few location around Nashville but my favorite shot which is at the last of this blog was taken in a broken down trailer off First Ave. I hope you enjoy the end results. Shout out to her BFF for the assist, she was great.
When I shoot I’m not necessarily looking to make a pretty picture. No. Rather I want my work to invoke wonder. I want my work to tell you a story. I want my work to fire up the imagination of the viewer to write their own storyline when looking at my work.
What is TFP? TFP stands for Trade for Print. Originally it was a model & photographer and sometimes others coming together to help one another build portfolios and or an Artistic Vision. Today it’s become code for I don’t pay. Which is great if you can do it and if you can deal with the drawbacks.
What drawbacks am I talking about? First off there is the Flake. This is the person(s) who either cancels the night before a shoot, the day of or even worse just never shows up. Unless there is an injury or a death involved this is pretty much a fast track to getting black balled.
The value of the trade may not be the same for all. This happens when a Photographer shoots a model and initially everybody is totally psyched about the shoot and are itching to see a final product! Then the photographer falls off the face of the earth. It happens. Why? Perhaps the cause is that TFP has to take a backseat in to paid work. Maybe the photographer is really slow at post? Perhaps he/she is trying to find a publication that will pick up the shoot? Or perhaps because there is no monetary incentive and though the shoot went well it’s not going to add their portfolio and they’ve decided to catch up on a favorite tv series.
The bait and switch. What is this? It’s when a model who either does not wish to pay or can’t pay does a TFP shoot then later finds their photos have been sold by a photographer to a Stock Photo company. Is this legal? Depending on the Model Release signed you bet it is. It may not be the most moral thing in the world to do, but the model got a free shoot and photos and the photographer can stay in business.
The Casting Couch… yeah, ’nuff said?
What’s the best way to avoid these traps? Do your research. This goes for everyone. Pay. Yes, pay for your shoot. It gives you more control of the shoot. Especially if the shoot is being used to get bring you money. Demand a receipt and make sure there is a contract outlining what the shoot will entail and what happens with the finished work.
Questions or comments? Feel free to contact me below
Sometimes my illustration work creates itself from start to finish within my head. I can close my eyes and see a piece forming. I often think this is when my work is best. This is true whether it’s a logo, an illustration, design work and photography.
Let Sleeping Gods Lie inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos is one such piece. Simple almost childlike yet it stays with the viewer. If it makes the viewer smile, so much the better. If you’d like a print of Let Sleeping Gods Lie by all means leave a reply. Prints will be about 12×18 Signed and numbered. Price $40.00