Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Outside my comfort zone

I firmly believe that pushing myself outside of my comfort zone makes me a better photographer. So while I love and prefer to work with cute and fuzzy birds and animals, I jumped at the chance to work with Michael Kern on some creepy crawlies owned by a private collector. Michael has been seeing the beauty in snakes, reptiles, insects and amphibians for years and has a great book out called 'Serpents and Dragons: Finding Beauty in the Beast' which showcases a number of amazing species.

As it turns out, my recent move into human portraiture (another departure from my normal comfort zone) really helped me figure out the lighting. Being able to run that on instinct freed me up to focus on the personalities of the creatures in front of me... and oh yes! They do have personality!! One snake was shy, hidding his head and peeking up at us from under some mulch, the lizards pushed themselves up as if to say "Yes, I know I'm beautiful" and the geckos... well... who doesn't love geckos?? Very high on the cuteness scale.

Stay tuned if you'd like to get outside your comfort zone and work with some of these amazing creatures. The private collector is moving to a larger location where he will be able to offer photo sessions of his collection and Michael is thinking of running a few workshops in the new building to teach photographers how to bring out the beauty of these unique animals. Interested? Let us know!


Mark said...

I love the last image of the pair of geckos (?). I wish I had more access to photograph these types of animals as well. I have always liked lizards, especially chameleons.

Rebecca Jackrel said...

I'll keep you in the loop, Mark! I think this is a great opportunity. The collector is building out walk-in cages for some of his bigger guys... one of his snakes weighs more than I do!! And his passion for these critters is pretty amazing. You could spend a week photographing there and not cover everything he has!