Last week, I came to you on Instagram Stories with a question... how would you like to see these photoshoots in blog posts in future? You see, it's always quite difficult to know what to do with these shoots. Sometimes I've written a proper educational post alongside them, and it can work... but often I found that the content took away from the images. So I've always struggled with that.
On the flip side, it can be difficult to know what else to say. "Hey, here are some new photos I did last week. I hope you like them!"
And it got me thinking... why is it so difficult for us to write about our own creative work? Find me any artist on the planet, and I guarnatee that they'll tell you that talking about the art they make can be difficult. I guess, for me, it's because this work is quite self explanatory in my eyes. It IS me. It says a lot in just the images itself. So when I come to type... not much wants to come out.
So being the OCD planner that I am, I came up with a little bit of an idea. Rather than just say "Hey guys, hope you like these photos!" I figured I could go into a bit more detail about each shoot and share with you how they were planned, and created.
I put a new moodboard together at the start of every shoot I do. I create a new secret board on Pinterest, and depending on what initial idea I have, I start to gather imagery that inspires me. After a few minutes of pinning, I step back, and begin to save out my favourites. In pull them into Photoshop, and create a more refined moodboard. This acts as guidance for hair, make up, lighting, and outfits. Each moodboard is very different shoot to shoot, and I'm sure that I'll share many more of them in future!
*Disclaimer: I own the rights to none of the images displayed in this moodboard.
Hair and Make Up
This is where Ione comes in. Ione and I have been working together for about two years now, and thanks to that, we know each other quite well. Whenever we do personal work like this, we make sure that both of us are getting imagery we can use to promote ourselves. We work together to plan each look before the shoot date. This usually works by Ione looking over the moodboard I've put together, and suggesting ideas. Some shoots I take more of a lead and Ione plans around me, other times we're shooting with Ione in mind. We work together really well in this way.
In this instance, Ione and I both wanted to create a few different make up and hair looks, staying within the romantic, pretty vibe we both love so much.
As this was a personal shoot, I was lucky to be able to do almost whatever I wanted (within reason!). I made a decision last year to stick to my home studio throughout the Winter months, as I found that getting outside in the cold was just too much stress. So I took these months as some time to really hone in on building a portfolio of studio imagery that I really love. I'm lucky to live in an apartment with super big floor to ceiling windows, which I've used as the only source of lighting in all of these images.
I spent years feeling like I was "a fake photographer" if I decided not to use studio lights in studio, but after years of shooting with flash at uni, and then continuing to do so once I'd finished, I really found that natural light always gave me the softer, more romantic look that I was so craving.
Ione and I also worked together to source soft, beautiful, romantic dresses for this, and I we did a really good job!
As for the flowers, I've adored working with many florists in the past, but I really wanted the focus of this shoot to be on the dresses. Sometimes, adding in too many details cane quickly overwhelm an image, so I headed to the shops and bought a big bunch of roses. Picking one rose out for each look, and using the rose as a prop rather than a bouquet, added to the delicate, soft feel I was after for these images.
What I Learnt From This Shoot
Less Is more. It's so easy to try and over complicate things, but time and time again, I've found that when I remove the frills, keep the images simple, the teams small, and the lighting simple, I come away with images I know I'll love.