Thursday, 22 July 2010

Magazine Magic

First, a slap on the wrist for going a whole two weeks two days without a word. I did try to keep it to at least one post a week of updates. In my defence, I have been working really hard on the biggest image I have ever done, another photoshoot and the christening of my nephew. The other two I will talk about in a future post when they are fully wrapped up, but the photoshoot is definitely a fun place to start.

Sometimes the best feeling you can get from a photoshoot is feeling like you are getting to know someone. Angel came to me with a design brief. She needed some images for a magazine feature and for a great blog she has started - The Natural Lounge. After searching for hair care information for natural afro hair, she was just a little bit disappointed to find out most help and information was US based for US people. So she did something about it!

The shoot funnily enough came about because the scheduled future date was cancelled and we spontaneously had an earlier date free. Unfortunately for me, that date was the day we found out we had to cancel. As in "Shoot, we have to cancel. Are you free today?!" Now... like most professionals, I like to plan. I like to do my research, come up with ideas, then flow on the day. Smoooooooth. Ish. Unplanned shoots are like when people ask me what do I prefer, weddings or portraits? I love both for completely different reasons! An unplanned shoot makes you make the best of what you have and think creatively under pressure with often not very much around.

I came with my ideas. Angel came with her ideas. We chucked them in the idea generator, and ran with it. And after a number of mad facial poses and some cracking up, we came up with some magazine magic...

Well, some may have been magic, but maybe not for the same magazine article!
Thanks Angel. I had a great time!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

What's the score?

It's an amazing journey. With joy and nerves you agree to one of the biggest steps in your life. You both go through the headaches, the energy and expectation of organising your wedding. The venue, the chosen people, the catering, the photographer. All take time and more time to select. You do this possibly over a year in advance as you know the best choices will go as summer is a prime wedding time.

Everything is sorted. All invites are out. Only thing left (ideally) is to get yourself ready. Then, as the day approaches, the inescapable truth hits home. You shouldn't be getting married. Not on that day. Why? What's wrong?? What nerves or superstitions have thrown you into chaos???

It's the World Cup.

Or worse, it's the finals. Suddenly the people that you invited are starting to make excuses to either not come or leave early. It's a terrible moment for anyone to realise that you have organised something during the World Cup. I hear that even in hospitals, the phones go quiet when a game is playing. They go absolutely silent when England is playing.

I did hear of a funeral that went on during a previous World Cup. As soon as the burial had finished, a group walked off, in tears, back to their cars. They seemed to group around one car in particular. Maybe just saying their goodbyes. A couple walked over a little later to the group. There wasn't much discussion going on. The couple walked up to the person sitting behind the wheel at the center of the group. Through red, welled up eyes, arm around his partner, he stared at the driver blankly and said,

"What's the score?"

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The birth of an idea

Completely unexpectedly, I start writing this listening to Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror on radio. His music is truly amazing.

Anyway, I just completed a test shot for a client.

I was given a very broad idea of what they would like. My job is to put the idea into print. While lying in my bed at 1am, letting the mind drift, I had been casually thinking of what image to create. With the design brief I had, it was evident that the idea had been covered many many times, so the challenge for once wasn't actually where to take the picture, but how to differentiate it from the many others out there.

Suddenly but gently, an idea dropped into my sleepy cranium. Then it got refined. And complicated. What I thought of creating would probably stretch me quite a bit. I smiled with the prospect, then slept.

Morning came. I was excited. I had to wait a few days to get the right conditions for the image. I went to The Spot, about 30 images and 3 hours later, I was in my car driving home wondering if many of the problems I encountered would completely wreck the image. Either way, I said to my lovely partner who came along, it has educated me no ends.

I drove with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.

The following morning, I began to do a quick draft to see if either I or my trusty computer could handle what I was trying to do. (My old computer caught fire when I pushed it too much!) I completed all the pieces and the computer was left to put them together before I went back to tailor the image. I clicked "Process". The phone rang. I was glad for the distraction.

The CPU started getting hot from processing the numbers. The screen flickered fragmented images up then went black repeatedly. I tried not to notice. For trying to complete something you have never done before, this was like waiting to hear if your cat was going to live!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the final process bar reaching 100%... Still on the phone I turned to the computer, preloading a touch of disappointment to try to balance my nerves. It didn't work.

The image flashed up. Immediately I knew... IT HAD WORKED!!! The phone flew out of my hand as I jumped from my seat as if England had just won against the Germans. I did my little rain dance of happiness. Sat back down. Stared at the computer. Felt good. I had been vindicated. Of sorts. :-)

And this was only a proof of principle!

A sample of the draft. I can't show the full version until the client gets the final. But stay tuned!