Recently I took several weeks off to refocus the direction I wanted to take my photography and Five and Five. I had office work to catch up on, a website to build, and branding to finish. During those weeks the one thing I didn’t really do was actually go out and shoot. I didn’t expect it, but between the lack of shooting and the winter weather that rolled in, I came down with a big giant case of Artist Blues. I wanted to be lazy and not go out and work. I didn’t want to stand in the cold trying to get the images I wanted. Most of all, I didn’t feel like I wanted to invest in planning and conceptualizing any kind of creative outlet. I felt like a hack with no vision, no talent, and an overwhelming apathy towards creating.
Luckily for me, a dress I had ordered before my slump, finally arrived from eBay… and I had to start planning. The dress itself isn’t something I usually would be drawn too… covered in sequins and jewels… when I proclaim to be one of the non-glittery female type. I was challenging myself to get out and work with something that was out of my comfort zone. I hung this shimmering dress up on my dress form and stared at it for about a week before I started to see the model I wanted… blonde and pale, someone who could pull off poses inspired by Vogue. Finding a model that fits a vision in your head is harder than it sounds though. I scoured different modeling sites, and went through the model applications I had on file. None were just right. I posted a model call on my page and went without the right response for a couple of days. Then Ashley’s application came in and she was perfect. She was completely on board with my concept and we had the entire session planned in 4 days.
When I’m planning a fine art shoot, it’s so important for me to have the right team. It takes so much more than a pretty dress and my camera to bring a concept to life. It’s the right model in the pretty dress, a hair and makeup team that coordinate with you and can figure out what is in your head and bring it to life. Kaitlin Hartung, from the Electric Chair, is amazing at that. She and I have been working together on my clients for awhile now, and I am so excited to have her as one of the backbones of my team. She is amazing at listening to my very un-eloquent ramblings of an idea, and refine them until they resemble the images I’ve already started forming as I plan out a shoot. For this particular session, because we knew the texture we wanted in Ashley’s hair was going to be complicated and take awhile, she brought along Haley Sjomeling from the Aveda Institute Boise. Haley ended up being instrumental in the entire session, going way beyond hair and makeup, and assisting me during the shoot to make sure everything looked perfect. I also was extremely blessed with the weather… despite the forecast calling for heavy rain, we decided to go ahead and risk being rained out. Seriously, could the skies have been more perfect? It rained all around us… we could see storms on the mountains and landscape in every direction. But our little location stayed dry.
I needed this session – I needed to make art, and feel creative again for me. There was no deadline, no one to impress or make happy, except for me. You’ll be seeing a lot more personal fine art sessions from me this year, as I invest my time back into feeding who I am as an artist. This year it’s time for me to be awake, to let myself create for no reason other than wanting to. It won’t be about others finding joy in my work, or thinking it’s beautiful. It will be about capturing something that brings me joy, and makes me feel as though I’ve contributed something beautiful to the world.