Photographic Fiction – A Creativity Project

Photographic Fiction – An interesting concept.

Recently, on an episode of the LensWork podcast, I’ve come across the idea of photographic fiction and a work of creativity. I was intrigued.

The idea is to take a photograph, or a series of photographs, then write a story, long or short about that photo or series of photos. The story can be complete fiction or mixed with some truths about the photo(s). It doesn’t matter. The point is to create.

Looking back through my library of photos, I see lots of candidates for this type of story telling. I’m not going to use any of my clients portraits in these projects but I do have a lot of great ones that give me some ideas I can build on. I can see this as a project to carry me into the future.

Now, I’m not a writer but I do like telling stories. It’s going to be fun to work on this.

Chris.

 

 

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Don’t Stop Taking Portraits In The Winter – Winter Portraits

Portraits in the winter?

Living in Canada, there is that season that so many people hate. Winter. All the snow and the cold temperatures can really turn people off. A lot of the people I know would very much like to move somewhere warmer for the winter or at the least, hide away in the warmth of their homes.

Like it or not, if you live in Canada, you are going to see your share of snow for several months of the year.

Rolling with it.

I’ve always liked winter. As a kid we used to go snowmobiling and tobogganing all the time. The cold was never a big deterrent. Then as an adult I became less inclined to head out into the snow and cold just for the heck of it. Until I had kids that is then it’s all about the tobogganing again and recently snowboarding. But I’m getting off topic. What’s this nonsense about portraits in the winter? Who would want to do that and why?

Well, as it turns out I have decided that I love taking winter portraits! There are fewer distractions. No leaves to clash with clothing. No colors on the ground to be distracting. Just pure white backgrounds!

First winter shoot down.

Have a look these photos from a recent winter portrait shoot I did for a young lady in need of some portraits. They are so clean and crisp. They just look great. (click on the images for larger views)

 

    

 

 

I’m looking forward to taking more winter portraits. I love the look of them.

If your interested and you are in the Edmonton area drop me an email and maybe we can work together to create some winter portraits.

Chris.

 

My Photographic Style – A Realization.

I’ve recently decided to change the style of portraits I’m making. I’ve spent years trying to figure out what my style was. In the end it was there all along staring me in they eyes the whole time.

I’m a big fan of grungy, gritty photos. Photos that have an almost Indie feel to them if that makes any sense. I don’t like the clean smooth overly processed images that seem to be all the rage nowadays. So following that I give you the image below that was from the first shoot after coming to this realization.

It was just after this realization that I decided it was past time to get serious about photography as a business. Within hours of that, the decision was made to get the ball rolling.

A comment was made to me that my new found style might work well for teenaged boys but how about girls and adults?

I think it works well for everything!

In the end it’s got to resonate with me or it’s just not going to work. I think this new style is going to work out well.

Chris.

All You Need Do Is Ask.

My son and I were heading down to Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market here in Edmonton to take some more portraits and test the location for future portrait use. I got the idea to ask on Facebook if anyone wanted to meet us there. As fate would have it, an old friend was going to be in the area and was willing to be a subject.

We are having amazing weather here in early November. Normally it’s snowing and cold by now but it’s been record breaking warm temps and no snow. So what better thing to do than catch that late afternoon sun for some portraits.

I captured some great photos of Ryan. As you can see here. It’s not hard when your subject is willing and very good natured.

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Ryan, it was really good to see you buddy. We will have to get together for a drink soon.

I also got some really great shots of my son. He’s really getting into this whole be Dad’s model thing.

Jacob chillin' on the tracks for a bit.

Jacob chillin’ on the tracks for a bit.

Relaxed Made Him Smile Brick Wall Confidence. Black and Red.

What a great location and what great shots we made!

Decisions Have Been Made.

I’ve made a few of decisions over the last few days. I thought they would be hard decisions but they turned out to be quite easy when I got down to it. It was surprising.

Decision #1. The need for the Adobe Creative Cloud Photographers bundle.

I’ve been using Lightroom for cataloging and editing my photos for quite some time but I’ve come to realize that sometimes I really need to use Photoshop. So I’ve been thinking about signing up for Adobe’s photographer bundle of Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC. It’s really not all that expensive when you look at it. Only $10 US (ish) per month. So, I’m going to be signing up for that very soon. Getting all the updates and the support network is one of the deciding factors for me on this one.

Decision #2. I need to make the style of photographs I like.

Too long now I’ve tried to please others with my photography. I’m always worried about what others think of my photos. I never really take them the way I like them. I prefer a gritty grungy portrait. Not some smooth porcelain skinned high fashion model. People don’t look like that. Ever.

This is what I prefer…(click on these images for a new tab with a larger image)

Deep In Thought

Sup?

Smirk

Fall Shoot #13

Fall Shoot #11

Fall Shoot #17

As you can see, they are not warm and fuzzy with super smooth skin. With the boy, it’s quite the opposite. I went for a really gritty feel. He’s a 7th grader that wants to be seen as more grown up than his 4th grader sister. For her, I didn’t go quite as gritty but it’s still there.

Will this be my style for ever? Possibly not. But for now, this is how I like to make portraits. Oh, speaking of portraits, that’s what I like to shoot. People. I love making photos of people that their friends and family will enjoy. But if you want me to make you look like a high fashion model, well maybe we shouldn’t work together. Sorry. I don’t want to waste your time and money.

Decision #3. It’s time to start a business.

For a long time I’ve longed to start a photography business. What has stopped me? Fear and common sense. Well mostly fear. As I stated in decision #2 above I was always trying to please others with my photos and as a result I was never happy with them and doubted my skills. But desire to do good work and get paid for it has eroded my fear. I have realized that all the excuses I used to make, just aren’t going to cut it anymore. Things like, I don’t have time, I’m not good enough, my gear isn’t good enough, people won’t like my photos, etc, etc. These are all based in fear. So what if all these are true. What’s the worst thing that could happen? I don’t get any clients. Big deal. I don’t have any now! What a bunch of lies we tell ourselves.

So, I have begun the process of starting a home based photography business. Here in Alberta, Canada we need a simple municipal permit and we are good to go. I don’t plan on having a home studio so I’m not worried about any building permits.

There is a lot to think about with the idea of running a business. But, I need to begin before I ever get to ask questions like how much to charge.

Once the business is open I will start a Facebook page, Website and begin a new blog attached with the website. Once I start that blog, this one will most likely be left behind so I can focus on the new blog and my clients needs.

Chris.

 

Inspired By My Son

This is not a photographic post. Well not completely anyway. There are some pretty great photos if I do say so myself.

My son is studying Taekwondo. He’s been going for 2 1/2 years now and is close to his black belt. This past weekend he tested for his Red Belt. There is only 1 between that and black. He has spent 6 months at the Red Stripe level and was struggling with the board break. The self defense, pattern and sparring was all there within a month or two but that break just kicked his ass.

He didn’t give up though. He just kept plugging along practicing and practicing and going to class. A few weeks ago he mastered the break and was ready for promotion.

This was no ordinary promotion for him. It was the first time he was not 100% sure of himself. But, he went anyway. I’ve noticed something very inspiring about him. He knows how to be mindful and focus on the task at hand when the pressure is on. I struggle to do what he does naturally.

Focused. Calm. Ready.

Here he is calm and focused before the testing began.

Ready.

Even here as he just finished up practicing his pattern, he is focused and calm.

Moving In For The Kill.

Once it all began, he moved through the motions with focus and calmness. Bringing the power and skills he has within him.

Getting Ready To Spar.

Painfull Block.

The Bruce Lee Pose.

Too High.

That's How It's Done

In the end, his testing went better than any up to this point. He broke the board, mastered his pattern and gave his sparring partner a real run for his money.

So, what’s the point here? Well, how many times do we as photographers doubt our skills and maybe pass on some great opportunities that would push us through to the next level? All too often I think. Even as I took the photos at this promotion test, I questioned my skills. The light was not the best, the ISO had to be so high. Why was I questioning my skills? These photos are for me and my son, not a paying client. Even then, my skills were more than enough. I’m very happy with the photos and, more importantly, very proud of my son.

Thank you little man for inspiring me to be my best, have faith in my skills and improve when and where I can.

Snow Portraits

I’ve been giving some thought to doing portraits this winter. Plenty of people love winter and all the snow filled fun that comes with it. The more I think of it, the better it sounds. Why not take photos of people in the winter environment they love so much?

I had the chance this past weekend when we went out to the lake for the Thanksgiving long weekend. It snowed. It snowed a boatload! So, other than building a snow family, I took photos.

Dreaming of warmer days.

Dreaming of Warmer Days.

Tamarack Portrait

Tamarack Portrait.

I think, given the results I got this past weekend in the snow, I’m going to make a push for some paid gigs this winter and hopefully people will respond well.