Of course when working on an assignment and delivering to a deadline a relaxed and playful frame of mind may be hard to come by so thank goodness we already know what we are doing!
But what do you do when you want to come up with new ideas?
I can't say I am a big fan of the 'think outside the box' concept. If you ask me, trying to think outside the box just won't work. You need to be outside of it to do that. How do you get there, outside of the box? Better to forget the box altogether and just Play!
A couple of weeks ago I decided I just wanted to play around with the studio lighting. I didn't have a specific outcome in mind. I just wanted to see if I could try some different set-ups & see what I could get. I also had a new Hair & Make-Up (H&MU) artist I wanted to try out; Kate Bonar, so that meant I needed a model too.
Of course once you have a model and a H&MU you start to find yourself in a situation where you have an obligation to deliver. Now there is nothing wrong with that, delivering great photography is my job. But I just wanted to 'Play' (and not worry about delivering too much). I started casting around for someone that might just be happy to spend an afternoon in the studio in like-minded fashion, happy to play with ideas and see what we could come up with. Fortunately an email from another H&MU artist popped into my in-box. Cool; its always nice to find a new H&MU & at the end of the email this H&MU just happens to mention she is also an agency model. I checked her profile (could possibly use some more shots...) & gave her a call. One model booked along with a promise of a H&MU test soon.
We started at three in the afternoon and ran through until a little after eight. Together we played around with three different light set-ups and a few styling changes on the model, Kate gave us two different H&MU looks to go with the styling changes.In the end we had a rather nice clutch of pictures from four distinct shots including a new head/beauty shot for Angela & Kate. And I now had some new lighting set-ups I knew I could safely work with on future projects; a lovely new H&MU who clearly knows her stuff & another H&MU in waiting.
Having been reasonably busy shooting look books of late, the next day at the studio I cheekily remarked that I didn't know I could (still) do four shots in four hours, I thought I could only do 44!
Playing in the studio turned out not only to be a great way to find new lighting set-ups, it also turned out to be a great way to recharge the creative batteries too. And what better way to recharge than doing what you love. Making pictures.
H&MU Kate Bonar
Model, Angela Thomas at Scene
Assisted by Harry Perlich.