Let’s Try Some New Stuff!
If you know me at all, you know I like to try new things, experiment. If we’re just meeting for the first time… well hello! I like to try new things, experiment. Now we’re up to speed.
Last week, I went down to Southern California for a meeting – but I also made some time to go shooting. I stayed with my great friend Annette Biggers, who is an amaaaaazing photographer. (In fact, I did a Chat with her! If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out it here)
She gave me a choice. Did I want to go photograph a sunset or something landscapey… or would I like for her to set up a people photo shoot. “People!” I cried. Why go hang out with one of the top portrait photographers out there and shoot landscapes? I wanted to stretch my creative wings and always LOVE working with her any chance I get.
An awesome friend of hers, Nicholas Howard, needed some photos for his new website and printed materials for his new business. They’d agreed upon a concept, which was: that of being the investigator, solving difficult/ confused equations. Being very approachable, creative… and here as a change-maker. Someone who is foundational, solid and safe. Annette picked out some places – and we went to town. What a blast!!
Nick was game to try anything and just so much fun to hang out with. He even convinced this place that makes the most amazing chocolate chip cookies you ever tasted – fire up the oven one more time at the end of the day and make a batch just for us! Chocolate chip cookies are a sacred currency in my book. heehee!
Here he is in one of our locations…and naturally, I had to give it my own little processing twist. Of course!
Being Real (not “acting like”)
Since I was both an actress and an acting coach at various points in my illustrative past… Annette always asks me do a little directing. It dissolves into pure silliness a lot of the time, but the nice part of that is – between the two of us – we can get even a newbie like Nick to loosen up and give us some good, authentic reactions. He was actually trying to keep a straight face here… glad he got over that!
Experimenting with “Multi-Me”
When we got to our last location, I wanted to try a concept that isn’t necessarily new to everyone – but is kind of new to me, in that I’ve only ever done a couple of them before. I thought these stairs offered a fun opportunity to give it a shot. So I had Nick run up and down and pose in different spots, all the while trying to keep the map of it all in my mind so I’d have a properly spaced out variety to choose from later. It worked out pretty well! I processed it differently that my norm too, which made it a double experiment. I love how it turned out, if I do say so myself:
Channeling the Inner Male Model
By the end of the day – between Annette, me and Nick’s utter willingness to try anything… he was positively GQ! He’d learned to not push, to just let his eyes and feeling convey the message – and I loved where we ended up:
I didn’t actually shoot as many photos as Annette did… I assisted a lot of the time, worked with Nick, arranged furniture… we took turns holding her reflector for each other too. I chose these 4 images to show you some of our results… because they’re Nick’s favorites – and mine too.
But seriously – if you ever have a chance to go try something brand new, do it! Especially if you get to go do with someone who’s an expert in their field. I’m no fancy portrait photographer, but I always have fun and learn a TON when I hang out with Annette. And both of those things make me a better photographer overall – and even a better human. I get new ideas that just don’t occur when I do the same old stuff all the time. I feel refreshed and excited to come home and process these new brand new notions. Like the stairs shot… maybe it’s no biggie to you, but I’m still giggling with delight over it, because I really had to think it out and reach for different tools.