I don’t do impromptu.

The fickle (and brightly colored) parts of my brain that controls my nerves don’t appreciate being rushed. They tell me that everything must be planned out, in perfect order, first. For my comfort, things must be thought out, from every angle, planned, dissected, and then written down. If I could make an itinerary for every day of my life, I would. 

I like lists too.

Bu sometimes things just happen.

And by happen I mean my cousin coming over and saying, “Hey I brought my camera, let’s take some pictures”

WHAT?! Pictures?? Right NOW? What about my lists!? We haven’t planned anything out yet! We don’t have outfits, or makeup or even SOME kind of direction! We just can’t! 

Of course I didn’t say that….Instead I cooly shrugged my shoulders and said “Sure”

Meanwhile my anxiety had an aneurism and died on the floor. 

So yes, this photoshoot had no direction, or aim (I know! Awful right?!), but it still somehow turned out to be pretty gosh darn amazing.

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Katherine and I got half naked, slapped on some cool makeup and brought out my trusty (and well used) bottle of fake blood.

Folks, it was messy, it was sweaty and the fake blood burned our skin after a while.

We took turns using each others cameras so that all the good shots would be on both of them. (I think there may be some blood on my lens. meh)

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Shots of me courtesy of the lovely Katherine.

For editing I threw beauty out of the window. These shots were incredibly raw from the start, so I continued that theme when I sat down to edit. I didn’t edit out the flaws: The bags, freckles, pimples, age spots, blackhead, what have you. (It wasn’t laziness I swear! It was VISION! Honest…)

Instead I amplified the flaws. Mostly because I didn’t want these photos to turn into glamour shots, but also mostly because that’s just how I roll. There is a time and a place for blood and glamour, this night was not one of those times. 

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I didn’t want editing to take away any of the detail, to smudge, and heal the rawness from these. To me they are messy, and ugly, and REAL and beautiful.

And no, they don’t have a message or a meaning, because I didn’t plan them. But they SPEAK!

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This was one of the last shots and I think it is fitting. It was after 1am by the time we filled our memory cards.

After showers, we crawled into bed with visions of blood and awesomeness.

Amen peons.

Amen.

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Imagination. And editing organically.

IMAGINATION-the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

To be a successful Photo editor you MUST have imagination. This is key.

There are certain parts of the brain that have to be activated in order for imagination to play a part in photo editing (I think being a mother helps. I play Barbies a lot).

Superman could fly, see through walls and shoot laser beams from his eyes. Me? I can see things that aren’t there. 

What do you see when you look at this picture?

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I see a woman, battered and abused by her husband. She gave up her friends and family to be with him. He started off with just harsh words but it soon escalated. It wasn’t long before his violent words became a tangible thing, and his frustration showed itself on her face.

My dad had surgery on his arm. I begged him to let me photograph the stitches.

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Gross right? I used them to enhance my photo of a battered wife, to give that shocking effect.

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But he loves me

You have to be able to see passed a boring picture, to see what it will become. 

When I have a concept in my head I will do anything to make it a reality. Sometimes that means holding out my hand with nothing in it. Or looking at something that isn’t there, because I can see it in my head.

A good solid mind has the ability to bend. A lot of times the concept in my head starts to take a different turn when I start to photograph it. Sometimes I go to start the editing process and a different creature takes over me and forces my idea in a different direction. I used to get frustrated. DELETE. START OVER.

It took me a while to see that my concepts were organically transforming into something different. And that it was okay. I forced myself to relinquish control, and magic happened.

Now I let the photo create itself. If my picture has a story to tell, it will tell me. Don’t fight it. Bend.

FORCE your mind to see beyond the picture.

Don’t limit yourself to what is, instead of what can be. 

Do you know how silly I felt posing for this shot? Only a lot. But I believed in my mind and let the editing process flow, gave my imagination free reign, and was open to the idea that the outcome might be different than I imagined.

You can’t force imagination. But you CAN aide it. You CAN nurture it. And I suggest doing so before you start shooting/editing.

Happy shooting! Happy Editing!