If you are a photographer, you know just how wonderful it feels to see your images in print. In the days of social media often our images as seen on a tiny screen and appreciated for a fraction of a second. When our photographs are in print, a viewer takes their time in exploring the image, appreciating the detail, and interacting with the art you've created. Seeing your images in print feels like taking the image to its final conclusion-- its finished product.
A bit more than a month ago I became a Canon Explorer of Light and was invited to help shoot a series of photographs to celebrate 'the print' and the launch of Canon's newest line of printers.
For the launch of this printer, I was invited (along with 2 other photographers) to create a series of images over a two-day time-frame that showed my obsession with and attention to detail from concept development to final print.
The types of images I had to create? A series of at least ten different images that expressed my style, creative vision, and attention to detail. In other words the perfect assignment... 'shoot what you want!"
Over two days I would create these images from start to finish — building sets, lighting them, hair and makeup on the subject, shooting, retouching, all the way through the print. The end result would be a media launch event where the photographs would be displayed in gallery-style during a panel discussion between myself and the other photographers at the event, Joel Grimes and David Bergman. The most intense part of the process would be a 1.5 hour timeframe at the event where I would be shooting two elaborate sets, retouching, and printing from start to finish in front of the live audience that was invited. Talk about a time-crunch and pressure!!
To begin preparing for this event, I created 20 mood boards (inspiration boards) that gathered ideas that I had wanted to shoot that showed the range of my capabilities. Some proposed shots were dramatic editorial fashion images with exquisite wardrobe, others were colorful and textured macro shots, others focused on rich colors and elaborate props. I focused on creating attention grabbing elements and then presented these concepts to the client to choose from.Click images to enlarge
The client (Canon and Grey) selected 10 concepts for me to execute, and I began the process of coordinating my creative team. I reached out to hair and makeup, wardrobe, prop stylists, and model agency to gather together the perfect elements to bring my vision to life. Over a span of a few weeks we discussed concepts back and forth, gathered necessary items, cast our models, and prepared for success on the shoot.
This two-day shoot was definitely INTENSE. Lots of time crunch, a big crew, and a lot of coordination. Each day was 12 hours of shooting, culminating with a party/event to celebrate image creation.
My team consisted of nearly 20 people when counting creative team, assistants, assistants for hair/makeup/wardrobe, prop styling crew, model talent, and more. I even had one of my wonderful retouchers, Tetyana Mykhalska, on set to retouch out blemishes and improve my shots before sending them to print.
Wardrobe Styling: LSC for 4 Season Style Management & team
Prop Styling: Ivie Joy Flowers & team
Hair and Makeup: Griselle Rosario & team
Retouching: Tetyana Mykhalska
Photographic assistants: Steven Turner, Amanda Powell, Raquel Nese, Andrea Sabo
Here are some behind the scenes of the team in action.Click images to enlarge
When all said and done my team and I created 13 completely different looks over the two days, culminating with two elaborate sets for the live shoot. For the first live shot, we had an absolutely stunning and rich floral wall of pinks, purples and lush orchids created by the insanely talented Ivie Joy Flowers and her team. After shooting this set in front of the event attendees, I shot a red on red on red set consisting of red background, props, clothing, headpieces and more. Both of these shots we built, lit, shot, retouched and printed in just under 1.5 hours time. I'd love to share some of the images we created and have you take a peek behind the scenes of the event.Click images to enlarge
One of the things discussed in the panel, moderated by RC Concepcion, is the idea that people don't always understand all of the effort that goes into the creation of a shoot. There could be location scouting, building a set, finding/casting talent, gathering elements like mood boards, hours of culling and editing images, and much more. Hours, days and even weeks can go into the creation of a single image.
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for sharing our images to an international audience otherwise unheard of. I love the ability to connect with passionate people around the globe, and share my artwork with them, and the use of social media has been integral to my growth and success as an artist. A downside, however, can be the limited life or attention given to an image that may have taken my heart and soul to create. Social media is a brilliant place to share, but taking an image through to a print has another type of reward all-together. The two processes together-- sharing images across the globe through social media AND printing your favorite shots-- are a powerful approach to appreciating and sharing your vision.
This event was incredible, and I loved seeing my final prints on display to enjoy each detail and all of the work that went into the creation of these photographs!Click images to enlarge