Archive for February, 2011

In with the new February 28, 2011

Hi Friends. This is the first post of its nature on the JL blog. I think it’s time to come out with some of what’s been rumbling around in my heart for some time. Those closest to me have probably heard all of this 100x but since I am finally taking steps toward a couple of my goals I figured now’s the time to tell the world.

I just got back from an exhausting and awesome week in Las Vegas for WPPI. WPPI is a enormous photographer conference and trade show. While I was there, I had the chance to reconnect with fabulous friends in the industry as well as hear some of my favorite photographers speak. It was inspirational to say the least. As a result, a huge heap of coal has been thrown onto the fire in terms of things I want to accomplish.

So in an effort to gain accountability and potential collaboration I am coming clean with some goals right here, right now.

First and foremost, I want to slow down. Crazy, what? I don’t mean it in terms of booking less or working less, I just mean in terms of taking things in stride and practicing the elusive discipline of balance. I have never been great at any form of discipline but the stakes on this one are high so I think it’s time.

One of the ways I plan to do that is to begin shooting for myself in addition to client work. Yes, I realize that sounds like more work and less balance. However, I am convinced that in shooting with no rules, no obligations and no deliverables that I will find the freedom to explore my craft and grow as an artist. Here’s the catch, I am going to do it with film. There I said it. I want to learn film.

I know that sounds silly but to me it’s terrifying. I took one film class in college and haven’t touched it since. I know digital is working for me but there is one fact I can no longer ignore. That is the fact that every single time I fall head over heels for the work of another photographer, I come to find out that they shoot film. Time after time. I even just recently learned that my favorite images from our own wedding were shot on film.

At WPPI this week I had the chance to hear from three of my favorite photographers and the lab that processes their film. What I learned there confirmed my pursuit all the more. Here are the highlights. Film forces you to slow down, carefully compose and consider each exposure before you press the shutter. As a result, you are able to truly interact with your subjects in a more intimate way as you study the light, expressions and emotion. (Hello- so me right?) In addition to those benefits, someone else does the processing. You shoot, ship it off and in a couple of weeks, you have your images back, scanned in and ready to go. Yes, you pay for the service and yes, you may have to do some minor touch-ups to perfect the scans but the bulk of it is done and the hours you used to spend editing can now be invested into other things, like say, slowing down. Bin-go.

Do I want to use film to shoot a wedding? I don’t see this happening any time soon since it terrifies me but maybe someday it will become as second nature as digital has and then why not?

So I took one major step this week. I registered for a workshop called Film is Not Dead taught by amazing film photographer Jonathan Canlas. There were a small number of openings left for the Miami class so I bit the bullet and signed up. It’s not until December but I couldn’t be more excited. I plan to fumble around and try my darndest to learn all I can in the meantime.

Wow, ok next goal. Blog less.  Crazy, what, again?

I don’t mean less posts, I mean less images per post. It’s part of the slowing down thing. Blogging takes me an ungodly amount of time and the loudest message I heard from WPPI classes was that less is more. Just the nature of the word “less” forces you to be selective, to choose only your very favorite images that tell a story and define you as an artist. Sounds so much easier than it is. As the photographer, you are very attached to what you create and the client collaboration that goes into it. It is sometimes hard to tell a great image from a mediocre one. Well, “less” forces you to. So my goal, as the artist and storyteller is to always put my best foot forward and present only those images that  really move me.

There’s a big third goal but I can’t bear to make this post any longer. So that one will have to wait.

But since there are way too many words and not enough images here, I am including a scan. Proof of my first effort at shooting for myself, on film. These were taken in Red Rock, NV on a polaroid instax camera that I won at WPPI. They have more contrast on screen than they actually do but I still love them and was so enchanted by the experience of making them.

red rock polaroids