I've recently begun a new adventure in my photographic career: People. I've rented a studio space with a friend of mine, Enrique Aguirre, in a building full of artists... painters, sculptures, wood workers and welders... you name the art medium and I'm certain there is someone in the building to fit the bill. I'm still meeting everyone and learning what they do but already two of the artists really stand out, Eric Joyner and Rebecca Fox (and not just because she is named Rebecca!). Check out their work when you get a chance! I'm sure you will be as impressed as I am.
But on to my PEOPLE! For the longest time I have avoided photographing people... in snapshots they always look away at the last second, close one eye, tuck their chin or squint... you name it... I can make the most gorgeous person in the world look horrible in a snap shot! In my work with animals I have found that shooting captive animals is actually harder than true wildlife. I think the reason is just in the fact that expectations are so much higher in captive shoots. If you have a willing wildlife model and you don't get the PERFECT SHOT, well..... you've failed. Whereas if you have a wild critter people will forgive a few misplaced twigs or a bit of shadow int he wrong spot. I thought it would be just as hard for "captive" people. I couldn't have been more wrong. For people it's all about the light and the rapport. If you can make people laugh just a bit, they loosen up and relax and eventually they stop being so conscious of the camera.
My wonderful cousin and his fiancee were so kind as to be my first studio guinea pigs. Practicing with people I know and love took a lot of the pressure off. We spent the entire day, made costume changes and backdrop changes... played with the lights and really had a fun time.
Next, I got brave at my salon and asked one of the girls working there if she would mind coming in and spending a couple hours in exchange for some prints. She brought her boyfriend along and they were both such good sports!
It's really beginning to gel and I am having a ball with it. I can't wait to sucker... I mean... convince more people to come in for sessions. So many ideas rattling around in my brain - this is a whole new world of opportunity! Don't worry, I'm not abandoning the wildlife! Just to prove it... I was in Elkhorn Slough this past Sunday working with Otters and Birds! You can see more about this outing at the CalNature Blog.