Well, it happened…I missed last week’s post. I told myself that keeping up a single blog post each week would be easy, but as all my fellow parents and photographers know, life can get in the way of best laid plans. It all kind of works out though, and so here we are with a few extra portrait images to share, and another project to talk about.
How Many Words?
One thing that this portrait project with the kids has taught me is that every portrait, no matter how constant the subject, can tell it’s own story if you want it too. One of my fears with this project was that it would wind up being too familiar by the time I got to portrait 100 (or sooner) but here I am now over the 200 mark and as I look over these as a collective whole, I feel as though they all have their own identity in ways I never imagined possible. It has pushed me to constantly be trying things from different angles, emotional inflections and POVS as well as crops and conversions. Sometimes a single image can bare multiples impressions depending on where you crop it or how you edit it. Moody black and white images convey a different feeling than the bright vibrancy of a color image, sure, but it’s more than that.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what to make of this project. When I started it, on a whim mind you, back on January 1st, I had no real intention other than to take their picture every day. At first I thought I’d make them more documentary style and take pictures of their daily activities, but then I started playing with finding new and interesting ‘editorial’ ways to take their portraits and then we just started creating things together to where I don’t know what each day will bring half the time, but I’m generally always pleased with the outcome.
I’ve contemplated making them their own photo books of their ‘year in portraits’, but something tells me to try and do more with this.
So, feel free to call me crazy, but how interesting would this project be as a coffee table book?
Hear me out, because I don’t think it’s that crazy. Sure, it would be a book containing hundreds of pictures of some random guy’s kids, but if this project has taught me anything, it’s that everyone should be doing this. It has giving me something to really work on with my kids and has given us adventures we wouldn’t have had otherwise and has helped prop discusions and creative interchanges and has pushed me in my own skill to where I feel like ten times the photographer I was six months ago.
And I want to share that with others.
A book that shares my experiences this year, as well as shares my tips, tricks and pool of creative references as well as my own feelings on what this project has meant to me and what it’s helped me to achieve…I think that could be something worth reading. I think that as photographers we need that kind of interchange and encouragement. Sometimes we get stuck in our own heads and in our own feelings and fail to see what’s right in front of us, easy to attain if we just stretch a bit. And sometimes we need the insightful eyes of another to help us see what we are blinded to.
I had that myself this past week when I was talking to a fellow photographer that made a suggestion I took to heart and am so happy I did. She mentioned that I should try and expand my idea of portraits to encompass more of the scene than just the face. In fact that conversation caused me to reshoot the portraits I had already taken for the day and I was so glad I did because the result (below) was all the better because it showed more of the story.
I think that’s the thing that is so fun about a project like this, and kind of what I was hinting towards in my opening paragraph. There is so much that can be done to create something unique every time that as long as you are willing to reach, you can achieve.
Anyways, that is my current musing, and I’m strongly considering it.
One day, I hope my kids pick it up and realize that as much as those 5-10 minutes a day meant to me, and I hope they mean just as much to them, if not now, then.
Strike a Pose, Sing a Song, Tell a Tale
I love conceptual photography. It gives a purpose to what I do and it also adds a layer of intent to my projects with the kids and gives us something to actually work on together. I’ve done a few of these with them, but this is the most complex we’ve gone. In honor of reaching the half year mark with our portraits, we wanted to create something special. As you are aware, if you are a regular blog reader, music plays a big role in our little family. The kids and I listen to a lot of it, and so we decided to construct a series of portraits inspired by some of our favorite songs of the year so far. Originally it was intended to be my personal ten favorite songs, and then it shifted to ten songs that represent music the kids and I enjoy together. As the project deadline approached, ten was just too many and so we settled on seven.
Seven days, seven songs, twenty-one pictures.
It was a project that pushed my creativity and proved itself to be so much fun, even for the kids (who tend to get annoyed with how many pictures I make them pose for). A lot of Photoshop fun, and photos that involved dress-up, props and smoke bombs, and inspiration that ranged from Florence + The Machine to CHVRCHES.
I’ll have that portfolio up in a few days, but until then, here are their test images from our last day of ‘shooting’.
Song of the Week: Harvest Love
Tash Sultana is, in a word, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Her style seeps all over every single she drops. She snagged all my attention last year with tracks like Jungle, and Murder to the Mind, and her latest single Harvest Love is just as entrancing. With guitar work that calls to mind greats like Santana and Hendrix and a voice that is as soothing as it is coarse and honest, Tash is set to be one of the best things about modern music. Her album drops in a month and I am waiting with baited breath.
Other noteworthy releases this week include the full album from Meg Myers, who seethes with real angst and creates a cohesive and exciting album, start to finish. Amy Shark also released her debut album, and it reminds me of Christina Perri, back when she dropped her debut and was full of promise.