Portraits :: Artist Edition
Two of my favorite things in one place....Artists and Photography!
In my first digital photography class during college, I was allowed to select what I wanted to shoot for our final project. I knew right away I wanted to photograph artists. There were many reasons I selected this as my project. I wanted the challenge of meeting new people (if you know me, you know I am quiet/shy). I wanted to explore all types of art. I also wanted to test my ability to photograph people in different lighting scenarios and locations.
Meeting new people is very hard for me and reaching out to someone I barley know or do not know at all is a huge challenge. I knew actually finding and approaching my subjects would be the hardest part of this project, and I was ready for the challenge. I started writing out a list of artists I wanted to photograph and began to draft a letter. I was very pleased with the overwhelming support I got from fellow artists and their willingness to help. Photographing some of these artists was the first time I had met many of them in person! They were relying on me to know what I was doing and to direct them in front of the camera. Some of these artists were photographers, which posed an even bigger challenge. Shooting in front of other photographers can be scary! I had to be confident in what I was doing and saying, and luckily everyone I photographed was super helpful and patient, and even gave me pointers and tips! Every photo shoot is a learning experience. I enjoyed every minute of it!
Exploring all types of art was very important to me in this project. I did not want to stick with one type of art - I wanted to explore all types: photography, painting, hairstyling, music and lighting. Trying to decide what is or is not art, is one of those loaded questions that never seems to have an answer. I wanted to explore what art is for these artists and what makes them thrive in their art. I hope to continue this project in the near future expanding into even more art forms and artists (must get past the challenge of reaching out to people again!). I want to dive into the question of "What is art?" - a question I have been asking myself since starting my Bachelors of Art degree, and a question I struggle with often.
I have never been 100% confident as an artist, in truth I am not sure I have ever met an artist with 100% confidence in what they do. As an artist, I am always questioning myself and wondering if I am good enough. Going through art classes in college was one of the hardest things I have done. I never felt like I met the standards of my school. I often felt inadequate and undeserving of the degree I was perusing. In most of my classes I felt out of place, except one class! You guessed it... Photography! Photography has been the one art form I have always felt comfortable with. I know I have a long way to go in my photography, but enjoy learning and growing as an artist.
I took on this project as a way to challenge myself as a photographer. I decided to let my artists pick their location, somewhere specific to them. I knew it would be a challenge shooting in new locations and lighting scenarios. Some locations were very demanding for me as a new photographer. At one location in particular, my artist put the pressure on and gave me ten minutes to shoot. I had to think on my feet and make it work!
All of these guys are very talented musicians! There is no doubt they will go far with music. They were super fun to photograph! They were helpful and patient with me. They even bared the cold winds and temperatures to get the shot above. What I love most about the shot below is how it started out as an impossible shot. The bar was extremely dark with very soft mood lighting. Luckily I had an assistant, my husband, to help me nail this shot. I am so excited about the outcome!
Ashley West is an amazing photographer from Columbus, Ohio. She is so fun to work with and was so encouraging during this shoot! Ashley specializes in wedding photography and even shot my wedding! She is someone I look up to and is an inspiration for me as I move forward in photography. Beyond her talent she is so friendly and really makes her subjects comfortable.
Staley was amazing to work with! She really put the pressure on and gave me about 10-15 min to set up and get the shoot done. It was awesome practice for thinking on your feet and getting the job done. Thank you Staley for being so encouraging and a dream model to work with.
I loved working with Jordan! She allowed me to come into her salon and set up shop to get these images. Jordan was so patient with me as I learned how to use off camera flash! She was so willing and open to all my crazy ideas!
Erika Null is one of the best newborn photographers I know. She creates dream images of newborns and children. She is very creative and always trying new ideas. She also loves animals, which I can relate to! Can you spy her friend, Albert, in this image? (RIP Albert)
Devin is one talented artist! He has a one of a kind style that makes his art so unique and personal. He pours his heart and soul into his art, and it shows! He was kind enough to let me into her apartment to get a up close and personal look at his personal space where he creates his one of a kind pieces, one of which my husband and I have hung in our living room.
Ashley Wallace is an emerging wedding photography in Columbus Ohio! She is so talented and so much fun to work with. She was extremely helpful with this shoot and kind enough to explain and teach me a couple tricks when shooting.
This is one of my best friends, Chrystina... or Spaghetti...or Bean...or Overlord Skoog-lee-ety! She was born to be an artist. She was given a gift not many have! She is talented and always willing to help me!
This is my very talented husband Kevin. I have had the privilege of seeing him grown and learn as a photography and in turn teach me everything he knows. He accompanied me on most of these artist shoots in case I got in a bind and needed help. He is always so patient with me while I learn new techniques and when I have questions.
Sam Reese is a very talented hairstylist out of Columbus Ohio. She is always excited to try new and exciting color and cuts for those adventures takers. She was kind enough to let me interrupt her day and the salon to snag these shots. She was so friendly and patient as we tried many poses and ideas!
Megan is a very talented artist and painter. I was lucky enough to take several classes in college with Megan and got to see first hand her amazing talent! She was so awesome to work with, especially when I made her switch locations three times!
Breen is a very talented Musician out of Columbus Ohio! He was kind enough to come to my house to get these shots. He was so patient as I struggled with lighting setups and camera settings. Learning off camera flash was no easy task.
I loved photographing all of these artists. They all inspire me, even to this day. This is, so far, my favorite project I have worked on. I truly hope to continue this body of work and meet many other amazing artists. I hope to challenge the definition of art and what it means to others. I hope to seek out other art forms and learn as much as I can.
I hope you enjoyed this Photo Friday! I would love to hear what you would like to see for future Photo Fridays. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below!