Today’s post is a little different for me. I am usually sharing work here that I have done for clients–weddings, portraits, etc. Today, I am about to get Personal. As in the Personal Projects I do only for myself. I recently shared a couple images on Facebook that I did as personal projects, and lots of people wanted to know what the inspiration was and why I do personal projects.
So, first off, the projects I do for me are a space where I can explore in different ways–lighting techniques, Photoshop techniques, thoughts, etc. that I would not really be comfortable exploring with my clients for whatever reason. They are for me. I do not have to be constrained by whether or not the client “gets it,” or will “like” an image or think it is “pretty.” I feel like sometimes an image can be beautiful or arresting without being “pretty.” If that makes any sense.
This is first image is part of a series of images I captured in Colorado this past summer with my friend Chad Schiro. Chad is an actor, choreographer, dancer and writer who I have been privileged to call a friend for a number of years now. I love photographing him because he is able to express himself in so many ways. He was out in Colorado with some friends of ours teaching at a dance program, and I was out there photographing the program for a week. Chad had actually discovered the location last year with our friend Lindy–so he gets lots of credit for how these actually came about. His exact words to me were, “I found this really creepy location–it will be super fun.” Hmmmm. . . . I thought he was exaggerating, but it was like a cross between Lord of the Flies and the movie Deliverance. Mixed in with New Orleans Voodoo. The place seriously raised hairs on the back of my neck. So for this image, I kind of felt like he was a shape-shifter/spirit animal/shaman.
This next image was created in the same place. At first I was thinking about this image of a Renaissance painting of St. Sebastian that I had seen. When I captured it, that is all I as thinking. But when I got around to actually editing it, the image became something else entirely. I kind of got into the idea of Chad growing into the tree or the tree growing into him. This is a combination of painting and drawing in Photoshop. This image still feels religious/sacrificial to me, but maybe not as redemptive, and really not Christian. Definitely dark.
So there you have it. Up Close and Personal.