With the end of 2017 the ideas of a new year’s resolution again began to swirl in my mind. Like many people, these have always been empty promises I would make to myself or achievements that I would intentionally set out of reach so I could always justify not following through.
This year I wanted to do something different. With the end of 2017 came an increase in photoshoots, whether it was to do with the warming weather or the amount young families of people I knew or am aquainted with (who knows).
Up until this point, for the last 2 years photography had been my hobby. Having two young boys, many of my prior hobbies went in the way of the dinosaur as I lost the time to dedicate to them. Now with my kids came the desire to document their lives, this quickly turned into a hobby of its own, then an addiction.
It wasn’t till I shot with my cousin where my shooting habits would change. Having been a photographer abroad for many years came a wealth of experience and knowledge that I would use as inspiration.
With the way I shot came questions of:
- Why was it shot in this way?
- Did you consider your composition?
- Did you consider the lighting?
- Why did you use the settings that you did?
- Do you know the rules of symmetry, thirds, using lines, shapes and patterns?
- Have you tried ambient balance?
- Do you know how to use HSS?
- Do you know about wireless triggering?
This drastically changed the way I viewed photography and changed the way I would photograph people, I also fell in love with the technical.
With all that shooting in the year, there was still something missing. Sure, I photographed my family regularly but I still found it difficult to approach strangers or other people to take their photo. For this reason, many of my photos remained public event photographs where you could take them without any issue (hence my instagram @thepicsniper).
Having watched many videos, one struck a cord (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcpRdrVrtz0). This workshop was held by B and H and taught by Brian Smith, a celebrity photographer in America. His challenge:
If you are still struggling to interact and take portraits, try taking photos with 50 strangers and try to get to know them.
I don’t know if I’ll make it till the year’s end, but I’ll give it my best efforts!
The first obstacle would of course be my time.
I have two young boys, one of which is starting school this year. A 9-5 job which also makes scheduling a nightmare and inevitably cause problems with my wife when I take time out of our weekends to shoot or edit photos.
The second obstacle was to get strangers to shoot.
Midway through last year, a friend of mine had mentioned a website he uses for casting when using models for his own business ventures. Having had no success previously on this site, I decided I would try posting a listing rather than replying to other listings. I would advertise for those who are willing to shoot in Western Sydney due to my first obstacle.
A couple of days passed, and there with zero notifications before I realised that my listing had yet to be approved. I contacted the website and found that a few parts of my profile needed to be rectified before they would approve my listing. Having completed my profile, they then approved the listing.
I was shocked, by the time I had dinner that night I had recieved 20 applications. Thinking about it, this made sense. New models need portfolio photos too right? Professional photographers cost money too right?
I decided I would approach these shoots as collaborations instead, this way it would allow me to shoot a range of different styles while getting to know and interact with the subject.
To date, I now have 62 applicants. Let the shoots begin!