31 August 2013

Speaking on Prints and Conformity


Incredible Art Model, Panda ©2013 Terrell Neasley
"The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you but yourself."

Incredible Art Model, Panda
©2013 Terrell Neasley
I've advocated the print for some time on this blog and it is still a big point of contention for me as a photographer. I love the print and believe it to be the end all to all ends. It should be the final culmination to an effort of composition and capture. Its been estimated that humans have taken roughly 3.8 trillion photos throughout all of photographic history. Since the advent and proliferation of digital cameras, prints have declined. Most images never even leave the computer and of those that do, Facebook, Flickr, web portfolios and other online media have been the last port of call to most of all images taken these days. How many actually get printed...couldn't find the stats on that.

What am I talking about when I say, the print? Essentially, it's hard copies of the images you take with your camera. Photo sharing is the mainstream now and most devices available to us are not built for the print. Everybody, including their mama's mama has a cell phone, just about. Nobody's taking these shots to create images to frame and hang on a wall. They are not shot to sell to a magazine, (unless of course you work for the Chicago Sun Times.)

Incredible Art Model, Panda
©2013 Terrell Neasley
And what is the standard for images when they do become hard copies? If you go to Wal-Mart, you can pick up frames in sizes of 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, or 16x20. But what happens when a print is irregular? What do you do? Crop to fit? Maybe. Sometimes I do crop an image to fit these standardizations. More often than not, I'm cropping with the image in mind. I'll compose and take the shot. During my editing, I use my eyes to judge the crop and lately I've been favoring an almost panoramic perspective such as 9x19 and it might not even be exact. It could be 8.72x19.04. The fact is that I like to let my eyes tell the tale and make my crops with the image in mind, rather than the frame. You can always custom build a frame yourself, or take it somewhere to have it done. I love helping clients with the print/framing/mounting decisions.

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”

Incredible Art Model, Panda
©2013 Terrell Neasley
I try to use the same principles in my life, but then again, often I'm not trying...its just the way I am. I've been called "different" all my life. It used to bug the hell out of me and I'd do what I could to try to fit in. But all that did was cause me stress because I was so busy trying to conform to what everybody else thought I should be and do. I think the world is more interesting to me now as I learned over the years that my differences in preferences and thinking made me much happier. Its not always a bed of roses, but I embrace it and take the good with the bad. Normality and Conformity are two words of enmity to me. Conform to the norm? Hate it. I don't fit in that life mold.

Incredible Art Model, Panda ©2013 Terrell Neasley
I know for fact, this is one reason I like shooting Panda so much. Nothing about this girl says normal or conforming. She's a young mom who loves her kid and husband, that's about it. She got married and has had a kid. That's about as traditional as you'll find her. She's easily top 5 of all the models I've shot and I'm pretty sure I've shot her more times than anybody else. I was very fortuitous to even meet her. Just before Trixie, who was my very first muse here in Vegas, moved away, she threw a going away party. I almost didn't go because I was so tired from working, but how could I miss Trixie's last day. That's where I met Panda, who was a friend of a friend who also got invited. One muse leaves....another one falls in my lap. I had no idea Panda was serious when she first expressed a desire to work with me. She gave me a call that very next morning...early, I might add, and the rest is history. Good girl. Expect to see more of her!

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