For me, the wonderful thing about film photography is that there is always something to learn. After I learned how to load a camera and actually take a photograph, I wanted to learn how to process the film and make prints. Then I became obsessed with learning everything I could about light. So for the last year or so, I have been shooting primarily portraits in a studio setting, using a veritable grab-bag of continuous lights, reflectors, hideous DIY modifiers, etc.
My style tends towards emotive, high-contrast, and somewhat spare. I want my shots to tell a story and I want my subjects to draw the viewer into that story. Simply put, I want each portrait to feel like a complete person.
For the first Collection Inspiration Challenge, I was paired with the amazingly talented Amy Jasek. My Inspiration for the challenge also happened to be one of my favorite photographs from FSC ever.
I LOVE this photograph. Technically, it is amazing. But more important to me, THE STORY. The motion and joy of it just blow me away. And I was really taken with the contradiction of all the wonderful soft swirly-twirly lines with the sharp contrast. So these things were my inspiration.
At first, I thought I would leave the studio and actually try shooting street photography. But I knew that (a) my results would be less than sufficient and (b) I wasn't really going to leave the studio. So I decided to attempt to use my studio to recreate the look and feel of a night-time street shot. And once I had noodled that out, I thought about how to interpret the joyous chaos and motion of Amy's shot, considering my somewhat moody photographic tendencies. What I decided was to attempt to capture that contradiction of swirling lines with stark contrast, as well as the idea of a subject who is exactly where she wants to be.
My set-up was my giant DIY bookends with black fabric, a strand of old glass bulb fairy lights, two soft boxes, and my bad-ass Interfit tungsten head with beauty dish. I shot with my Mamiya 645 Pro TL and 80mm f/1.9 on the tripod, film is Tri-X at 800 processed in ID-11 stock.
And this is the result: