creating

Male Boudoir Photographers - It's NOT a Man's World

Now I am fairly new to boudoir photography and when I say new I mean I have done a handful of shoots.  I know there are lots of guys out there who aren’t photographers at all but think wow that is so cool and what a great gig that would be. Believe me I have even heard that from a few friends. You get to photograph half naked women in lingerie, look at sexy women all day and so on. While yes this is true I photograph women in lingerie this is not what it’s all about for me, not at all!

When I am shooting a session I am not even thinking about how sexy the woman is or anything like that because I am too busy focusing on posing her.  I am making sure the lighting works for the shot and ensuring my camera settings are correct in order to make certain I get the shot as close to perfect “in camera” as possible. I really don’t have time to be concerned about the other stuff especially when I am in the zone shooting, interacting with my subject.

I know that some people would balk at that and say I am bullshitting and it must be at least part of the intrigue and interest but it really isn’t. In all honesty for me it is truly about making the women who get in front of my camera feel comfortable in their own skin.  Feel beautiful, help them build their confidence, help them love their bodies.  Ultimately I want them to be happy with the images/art I create for them and if I can do that for EVERY woman that gets in front of my camera then I know I have done my job as a photographer.  I will have helped another person to realize their self-worth and beauty and that my friends is the icing on the proverbial cake!

Applications, Submissions and Rejection

Fear of rejection is a huge thing and I believe it lives in all of us. For some it hides in the deep recesses of our minds and for others it is right there, constantly in the forefront. It’s there in varying degrees depending on the individual and there is nothing wrong with that, it’s natural. Nobody wants to be rejected be it by a member of the opposite sex, not getting a job we applied for or in an artist’s case, not getting accepted to exhibit in that art show or gallery or even a magazine submission.
The result of this fear can be absolutely paralyzing to some that it can even prevent a person from going after what they really want in life. Now to me that’s heartbreaking! We have all faced rejections in our lives at some point and survived the trauma to talk about it. Hell, maybe some of us have even laughed it off. My point being: it will not kill you, it will only strengthen your resolve! In fact, I have had a recent string or run of rejections. I didn’t get my work accepted by a gallery. I didn’t get a job I bid on and I didn’t get accepted to exhibit at a show I applied to and all of this taking place in less than a month’s time. Lo and behold, here I am still standing and talking/writing about it.
You are going to get rejected but you will also go on runs of good things happening and feel like you just can’t lose or be stopped. You have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. As Chase Jarvis says “get used to hearing the word NO”. In this business and in life, the sooner you learn and accept that the better off you will be.
There are always going to be people that don’t like your art or what you are doing but don’t let it discourage or dissuade you. There will also be people that love your work, your style, and your art. Just don’t let rejection and disappointment get the better of you or get in the way. Never stop creating and go after what you want in life. Make it happen, make it work!

 

Image courtesy of nuclearchowdermarketing.com

The Importance of Printing Your Work - Preserving Memories

As photographers, printing our work is or at least should be a big part of what we do for ourselves AND of course our clients. In my humble opinion, preserving in print the work we create is a necessity. Photographs are meant to be seen on paper not on a screen. Remember the days of film photography? That is all we had. Shoot your images on film. Take that film into the darkroom and watch your images come to life on a piece of photo paper right in front of your eyes. It was like magic! If you didn’t have access to a dark room, you would just drop your images off at the lab to be processed then headed back in a few days to pick up your images. The excitement you felt when opening up that envelope that contained your images…ohhh the anticipation and excitement! It was a tangible thing. You could touch it, feel it AND look at it. There is something almost romantic about a printed image. You just can’t quite recreate that film look when you are shooting digitally. One could say printing emancipates your photographs!
Nowadays we just take the memory card out of our cameras, slide it into the slot on our computers and start browsing the images in the program of our choice for viewing/editing. You can just edit your images in a program on the computer, export it, attach it to an email and send it off to whomever you want. You can also share your image with hundreds/thousands of others by simply throwing that digital file onto the Internet and instantly have an audience. Digital photography is incredibly convenient for sure but it’s not the same.
There is still something to be said for physically holding in your hands a moment captured in time that was printed on photo paper. To be able to see something you created hanging on a wall framed and in print...you just can’t beat that feeling it gives you. To be able to stand back and admire that gives you an indescribable feeling.

Photographers - Making Pictures vs Taking Pictures

Is there a difference between “taking” a picture and “making” a picture? I have heard this debate/discussion a fair bit lately and I find it quite an interesting topic. I would have to say without a doubt, there is a difference. Those two little words are also what distinguishes a photographer from someone who happens to own a camera, a machine operator.
Taking a picture is essentially a snapshot whereas making a picture requires forethought and planning. You have to envision the photograph, think it out, plan. It captures emotion, it makes someone feel something, elicits emotion as they look at the image. The photograph tells a story!
When I first started out in photography back in high school and even into my late twenties, I can see I was only “taking” photographs. When I look back on my work, as I sometimes tend to do, I just want to see how much progress with my style has been made and how much I have improved. I can clearly see a progression or evolution and am not ashamed to admit it. We all have to start out somewhere. Not many people jump right into making photographs, it takes practice and hard work to get to that point.
Look at other photographers work, admire, study it, see what they are doing differently than others. This will help on your photographic journey to “making” photographs. With practice you will begin to develop your own style. Shoot what you love, things you are passionate about. If you are passionate about something you are photographing, it will definitely show up in your images. This will go a long way in helping you with the journey and to define your style.

Creative Slumps - How Can We Dig Ourselves Out?

As an artist I am always seeking ways to be and stay inspired. This can prove to be a very, very tough thing to constantly maintain. It’s very important to remain on track and not get discouraged, otherwise you will end up falling down the proverbial rabbit hole known as the creative slump or creative block.

How are we supposed to stay inspired you ask? Well for me as a photographer, I take to the internet and peruse the millions of images out there for ideas and inspiration. I will sometimes listen to music that I love, of all different genres. Music, I have come to find, can inspire a mood, thought or idea which in turn lead to creative bursts. Pinterest could be another source for inspiration. Take a look at other artist’s boards and it doesn’t have to be an artist who works in your particular medium. You can find the inspiration for creativity in many places, you just have to open your eyes and mind and pay attention to your surroundings sometimes. Your next great work of art could be staring you right in the face and you aren’t even aware of it.

Some other possible avenues to explore are just plainly talking to people. Conversation can be a great initiator for ideas. Try reading the newspaper! It may spawn an idea from current events which could turn into an idea to perhaps work on a charitable project. There are many ways to pull ourselves out of those horrible dark creative slumps, we just have to be willing to do the work to pull ourselves up and out.

I will be the first to admit, it’s not always easy to cut through all the noise, focus and come up with ideas but if you just take a moment, step back and are ABLE to see the forest for the trees, you just may be pleasantly surprised with what you can create.

Image courtesy of stellarjunk.blogspot.com