31 August 2010

Do What You Like or Lose That Creative Outlet

Both of these just seemed appropriate today...

Sometime last year, I made the call to stop doing nudes for a while. It actually may have been the year before and I was just settling down in 2009 as I still finished up some promised gigs. Oh-9 got pretty darn hectic which also made slowing down easy... to a crawl in fact. I was working a job with the State that took up a really good chunk of my time. I wasn't shooting anything of much during that spell. There were other projects that kept me busy and some that threw me for a loop. Up til recently, I've worked with 2 models since October of last year. Before then, for all of 2009, I may have worked with 5 total models.

Rework of 2007 version of Dana

I'm not stopping my nude work ever again. This has been the pits getting started back up again. As I said, I've worked with 2 models this year and they were both by request. That sort of jump started me to getting back in the game again, but now I realize just how rusty I am at it. Since March, I'm pretty sure I've had at least 7 maybe 8 models that expressed an interest in doing some work after I initiated the contact and asked them for their consideration. Actually, I should down play that number a bit. Three come to mind who were also ones that contacted me first. All of them however have backed out, for one reason or another. Two chose to not model for anyone at all. One had a husband that objected. One was in school and between working and a toddler, just no longer had the time. Two gave no real reason other than to say they had a change of heart on the matter. Only one was just absolutely rude and wasted my time, by being a no-show twice. I'm not making good selections.

Rework of 2007 version of Elizabeth
Models I've worked with in the past have also not panned out for different reasons, whether that be no time to do it, no longer doing nudes, or they moved away like two Brittanys have done this year. One to New Jersey and another to New Orleans. Good Gracious! What's a photog to do? Keep at it, I guess. Part of the problem has been mine. Aside from quiting doing nudes to begin with, I no longer cultivated the relationships I already had nor did I try to build fresh relationships. I have a tendency to stop looking for new models when I get one that I really click with and get great material. Then when that model isn't available, I'm stuck without anybody to call up. I noticed that last week sometime. I can go through my phone contacts and there's no one to call as opposed to the options I had when I got her in 2007. I know I had listened to some friends who told me they wanted to see more of my work besides just nudes, which is understandable. I don't solely shoot naked women. I'm very proud of my other artistic endeavors as well, especially emotive portraits, landscapes, and abstracts. I love shooting, period. However...Nudes are my thing. Take away a painter's brushes and canvases and see how he feels. Leave a musician without his instruments and see how she behaves after a month. Granted, no one has taken away my camera. So rather, I should say tell the jazz musician he can only play bluegrass.

A simulated scream, Samantha
My point is that I need to stick to my core. I can do everything else as well, but I can't give up my core. It doesn't matter if my core doesn't make me money or win me critical acclaim. It doesn't matter that my nudes won't see a mag cover or centerfold. Its not hanging up on exhibit in exclusive art galleries. The Bellagio Art Gallery has not extended that offer to me yet. Will they ever? Who's to say. The good thing is that I don't do my nudes for recognition from the Bellagio. I do it for me and my model. I care not who else likes or appreciates it. If I achieve the objective I set out for in my head and the model likes what is produced then that mission was a success. I don't want to be in this spot again. While I don't need a bunch of models, I'll make sure I keep relationships cultivated. I'd rather have one to shoot all the time, but even when that one isn't available, there needs to be somebody on the depth charts. The rejections and the change of hearts is just part of the cost of doing business. All this used to come really easy to me and I let it go. I'll get it back.

....Patience, Grasshoppa...

"One of these things is not like the other", Joanie
On another note, I'm killing the ability to make anonymous comments on this blog for a while. I've come up on somebody's spam list and I hate getting all excited about a comment that shows up in my inbox only to find that its spam. That blows. So rather than do the word verification, I'll try this for a while. So, you don't have to have a Blogger ID to comment, but you can't be unknown.

Interestingly enough, yesterday, another guy and myself where commenting on a nude image that was a "behind the scene" type shot. My eyes were drawn to the camera the photographer was using. It was a 50MP Hasselblad H3DII-50. I stated that I wasn't sure why it was necessary to use a $50,000 camera for this shoot and I brought up the fact that there were no elaborate light set-up, no dramatic color scheme that needed the extra capture potential, and the model wasn't especially made up by a make-up artist. The other guy responded, "Dude, you do see the nakkid chick in the picture, right?"


Joanie said...

Wait, am I one of the things that's not like the others or were you referring to my breasts being of unequal responsiveness? lol

While a dry spell with models and shooting may suck big ones, just remember this moment when you get crazy busy shooting again. It'll happen.

As for our location options Friday (maybe Saturday, too??), I think we should also consider the temple and my new room. Oh, and there are big sofas to play with here. We can push one into the room if necessary.

Photo Anthems.com said...

1. Dang Joanie...I was referring to your ELBOW! There are two boobs and an ELBOW, which is similarly shaped because of the foreshortened perspective. However due to the fact that it does not have a nipple, then by comparison, it is not like the other prolate-spheroidal shapes in the composition that DO possess the aforementioned nipple along some point of its latitudinal plane.

2. I've had the problem of too many models and I'd much rather prefer to deal with that issue as opposed to too few. Is the same with a financial analogy.

3. Your idea(s) for Friday/Saturday are acceptable.

Karl said...

I discovered that photographing nudes is like physical training. When I get away from either, I get a bit rusty and weak when I start up again. Photographing nudes successfully needs constant practice and training. This constant need to practice also keeps you in contact with models and other needed resources.

Photo Anthems.com said...

I'll agree with that Karl.I guess I just took this thing for granted. In 5 years, I've never hit a dry spell like THIS! Sheesh!

unbearable lightness said...

I hear you, T. I've only had five shoots this year, and three have been since the end of June. But I didn't feel rusty or weak coming back. Sometimes the creativity needs a chance to replenish, and I learned so much shooting with Carrie in February.

In a little over a week, it's A. J. Khan and Fitness101. Hola!!! I am on a roll!

So are you. Just feel it, baby!