Experiments and Lessons

"Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit." -Ansel Adams

 When I started out in photography I was immediately interested in dressing people up and creating a story. Like theater.  Creating an idea rather than a person. Instead of commercial photography I gravitated toward fine art without even really knowing what it was.  I diverged from this path for a while because someone told me that I couldn't make money doing it. So I started shooting babies, weddings and families and it was nice but it never made my eyes water, my voice shake, or my heart pound. I was proud of what I had done after a family session or wedding, like the same pride I feel when I get a good grade at school or good review at work but it was always lacking that special sense of release and accomplishment. 

When I first started out with my little point and shoot I was too shy to ask anyone to model for me with the exception of some close friends, so I mostly practiced self-portraiture. I knew that I liked the idea of other worlds and trying to bring my dreams to life but didn't quite have the skill or determination to really pull it off the way I wanted. I lacked focus when building my creations. Just going off of the whimsical feeling I was having in the moment, which isn’t always a bad thing, just a young thing. I would grab a dress and some ribbon, go out into the back yard and shoot a million horrible photos, just to get one usable one. No real idea or theme, just loose experiments. I loved the process and I still do but my rhythm has changed. I have become more refined.

Now that I have learned how to make an idea come to life with meaning and purpose, like sketching out the photo beforehand, coming up with a solid idea, learning editing techniques from Photoshop tutorials, and how to pose models. I have grown in my skill, which is only making me hungry for more. I continue to grow because I consume as much knowledge as I have time for and I apply it daily. This is a learned skill. It really is true. Just pick something and do it. The more you do it the better you get. I’m not giving up. I’ll never give up. And I hope you never do either.

Here are some of the building blocks of my photographic path. My experiments and lessons. Some of them still have my old tagname etched in the photo forever because I didn't know about layers.