I can't believe I never got around to posting my prior shoot with the lovely and stunning Voxy Shaw. I've been swamped to say the least. Make sure you're keeping up with the Dark Waters series because I usually post there. I neglect the blog, I'm a horrible person. But Voxy isn't! The images speak for themselves, enjoy some dark waters!
First, a disclaimer: This post has some slightly racy imagery at the end. Boudoir or implied photography can border on PG-13 to R. I think we're somewhere in the middle here, but to be on the safe side I'm considering this shoot NSFW. But I'm extremely proud of this work, which is outside my normal vision. Maybe that's why I like it, it's fun to stretch yourself.
I don't typically shoot boudoir or implied anything. I turn down more paid boudoir work than about anything else (sometimes to interesting and crazy results, but that's another story), simply because it's on the outside edge of my wheelhouse. Don't get me wrong, I love those styles of photography and follow many great artists that create it. Their work is amazing and I'll constantly refer people to them. But it doesn't mean I'm not gonna try!
I love a challenge that's creative, and I typically will do that when I have a partner in crime that I can gel with. If I'm going to do boudoir photography or implied photography, it's about creating art. The process is as important as the product when you're dealing with something vulnerable, sometimes controversial. If the product, the process, or the partner isn't worth the time and effort, then there isn't a point. Sydney is one of those partners that makes the point.
Sydney is attempting to build a career as an alternative model in an industry and time that are remarkably still very detrimental to women. That she would be able to bare her soul, be vulnerable, and take that risk is incredibly brave. She's gotten a bit of flack online because people on social media tend to push towards their worst versions of themselves. People hate or denigrate what they often can't do. That online lack of fundamental kindness is creeping into how we treat each other offline. Maybe one day as a society we'll have a more mature sensibility towards art and the human form. Maybe we'll even treat each other like human beings, complicated, brilliant, beautiful, flawed, brave. I hope so, because this to me is a thing of beauty.
I had an amazing time a little while back with a few of my lovely friends shooting boudoir. Happy Valentine's Day! Make sure you keep up-to-date with my facebook page and instagram for behind the scenes pictures that didn't make it here!
MUA - Cheyann Boyer
Studio - Atlanta Photoworks
Models - Tess, Brett, Rachael
And a few more because these women are amazing to work with!
It might be cliched, but I always go over my shoots from a prior year and reflect on them, pick out the images that have stayed with me. Great stories behind them all...
I got to do a lot of portraits this year, some of them with dear friends for years and some with new contacts that became friends. I look forward to what happens with all these wonderful people!
I got to shoot a few weddings and engagements. One engagement in particular is for my oldest and dearest friends, and I get to be at their wedding next year too! So excited!
Dragon*Con was a blast this year, and I was able to work with a few friends there and other great cosplayers. I also got to do a few other strong thematic shoots and really want to expand on this next year. Ideas upon ideas...
One of my favorite events is Dancers Unite Against Cancer. I have been a part of that charity for several years now, and I love every chance I get to be there. I also shot a few other events, and one spectacular day of celebration.
But the most powerful image of the year, the one that struck me the most, I took in the right place and the right time. The equalization of marriage for all was a big deal, and far overdue. I was down near 10th street and Piedmont Park that day taking pictures of the celebration. In the midst of it, I caught this image. It stoked some controversy online, which I hadn't expected. To me, it is a reminder of progress: both in how far we've come, and how far we still have to go. It's not that one issue is more important than the other. We just have to keep doing more, keep going forward.
I hope you keep moving forward next year. I hope to do the same. This year I let myself be defined by other people's expectations. Sometimes, my work, my expectations, and my overall self-satisfaction suffered for it. This year, I hope to regain that sense of self that I've misplaced. If I focus on images like these, ones that made me feel instead of ones that I do based solely on superficial expectations, then 2016 will be a good year to look back on.
We learn, we reflect, we apply, we grow. I hope to grow in 2016 as I did this year. I hope the same for you!
Just in time for Halloween is a series of pictures I shot one fun Sunday with two of my friends and frequent muses. Brett, Rachael and I had a free afternoon and a lead on a good location. I'd just gotten a cheap smoke machine off Amazon Gold deals that I'd wanted to try out, so we figured we'd mix it all and have some fun.
Huey Lewis & the News - Back in Time
I get general ideas when it comes to a shoot, colors I want to try, overall looks and feeling for a shoot, and sometimes poses. But when shooting with others, work with models, couples, or events, I enjoy capturing the moment and moving with the flow. I'd classify myself as a documentary-style photographer over a traditional pose and placement photographer. I think it's personally much more engaging and creates real images when you try to capture the moments as they happen instead of forcing your own editorial voice on someone else's moments.
But in portraits and studio style shoots like this, there's not that editorial voice, it's just straight up collaboration. And I love working with others to build a shoot that isn't just my voice but my partners' as well. Hope you enjoy!