The 3 L's

Why ‘Meet-Ups’ Will Never Be My Thing

10344810_10152394407335469_5886637062078756043_n

This evening, with a rare moment of time of my hands, I decided to spend it well, strolling through Green Park, here in lovely London, reading Richard Branson’s Like a Virgin (which I highly recommend to anyone with a business.. or a future business.. or any job at all for that matter.. or no job at all.. so anyone, really!) I was happily minding my own business, absorbed in my book, and then quite possibly the only thing that could have dragged me out of my meditative read-and-walk state in that moment was the click of a shutter – or rather – the continuous click-click-click of about two hundred shutters.

I had stumbled across a Brooke Shaden ‘meet up’ group, here in London. For those of you who are unaware, Brooke Shaden is something of a Flickr celebrity, whose portfolio can be seen here. While her editing skills and her constant steam of ideas are both equally impressive, I must admit, I find her work too gloomy and ominous for my taste. I’m personally more of a lens-flare/light-and-airy style girl. Nevertheless, I can see why she has such a large fan following, and the figures certainly show just how popular she is: 382K likes on her Facebook page, 12.3K Twitter followers, each photo of her Flickr account is littered with hundreds of likes, favourites and comments. I guess it shouldn’t be surprising, then, that she can so easily convince a couple of hundred Londoners to gather in Green Park one cloudy evening for a ‘totally free’ meet up with ‘lots of hugs, models to photograph and the love of the craft’, with a single Facebook post as an invitation.

I lingered for a while, curious. I had my camera with me after all. Who doesn’t enjoy a spontaneous photo shoot, after all? What I saw, however, did not strike me as the polished, well organised workshops that I imagine when I see behind the scenes images from the various Facebook fan pages of the photographers I admire, complete with agency signed models, rails full of beautiful garments, and an amazing set that no one but the workshop-running photographer would ever otherwise be able to afford.

Instead, I can only describe the scene as being reminiscent of vultures picking at the same rotting corpse for hours on end. That is the big problem with meet ups and workshops – there is no privacy. In the short time that I lingered, watching from a park bench, I saw the same scene on loop: one photographer would tentatively approach one of the volunteer models, distinctive only from their wearing one of Brooke’s trademark vintage dresses. They would briefly discuss an idea, wander off to find a patch of grass to call a studio, and approximately five clicks of the shutter later, the vultures would flock.

Next thing you know, that one photographer’s idea has been photographed a thousand times by fifty other people from every possible angle. Those images will undoubtedly pop up on Flickr in a day or two – if some of them have not already – each edited with varying degrees of skill, yet all undoubtedly almost identical. Originality… obliterated.

That is why ‘creative meet ups’ will never be for me, she whose idea-sharing skills are fairly limited to my introvert evenings alone with my thoughts, or bouncing ideas around a room with a creative team of stylists, makeup artists, designers, etc etc etc. She who will tackle anyone who dares to photograph my idea over my shoulder. At meet ups, there is not idea bouncing, no collaboration. Instead it’s a silent, mutual agreement of, ‘whatever happens here, is ours for the taking’. One person will shout out instructions to the model, and everyone will begin to capture the same shot in a strange, almost zombie-like trance.

They’re not entirely negative experiences though; I can see the value of these meet ups to others; they can be a great place to network, make new friends, gain inspiration. Everyone looked to be having a wonderful time. But personally, I think it’s surely better to network over ‘portfolio sharing’ events rather than ‘photograph mimicking’ events’.

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Google+ – Pinterest – Polyvore

Standard
Workaholic

Kateryna

Kateryna

Everyone knows the importance of experimentation, especially when trying to work your way into a creative industry. I prefer to carry around a little moleskine, jotting down any ideas that spring up on me unexpectedly, sometimes drawing sketches to better explain my ideas than words ever could. I’m fortunate to have met so many creative individuals since I began building my portfolio, so long ago, and so I have reached a point where I have a wide network of people who are willing to help me bring my ideas to life. Equally, of course, i tend to step in to help them with their ideas also.

This photo shoot was an opportunity for myself and my makeup artist Emma to go crazy with makeup and push the boat out a little more than we tend to. The idea came from a dream in which I had a lovely discussion about the state of the world’s economy over tea and biscuits with a toucan and an owl. Yes, it was one of those dreams. It just goes to show, however, that ideas for great shoots can literally come from anywhere, and we just have to alert enough to notice.

_MG_3166 _MG_3184 _MG_3233 _MG_3241 _MG_3252 _MG_3291 _MG_3296 _MG_3303 _MG_3367 _MG_3368

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Google+ – Pinterest – Polyvore

Standard
Workaholic

Vintage Rose: Caitlin

Last Sunday I had an amazing shoot with Caitlin who as soon as I saw her modelling portfolio, I knew that I had to work with her. She reminded me of a model of the Pre-Raphaelite art movement, such as Elizabeth Siddal, with her long red hair and freckled, pale complexion. She’s a very peaceful, serene person, and she definitely gave my images a dream-like quality.

We decided to work on Caitlin’s first look in my apartment courtyard, sunbathing on the grass, which was much nicer than being cooped up in my little university flat, trying to work with bad lighting and little natural sunlight. We then adjusted her hair and makeup in the grounds of Derby’s Kedleston Hall – again in the lovely sunshine.

image
image
image
I can’t help but notice that while there are strong Pre-Raphaelite influences, a few streaks of Alice in Wonderland-esque fantasy elements came into the images too, which was completely unplanned, as well as a few less surprising Art Nouveau tweaks. The grounds were laden with flowers, and we made sure to make the most of them all in as many ways as possible.
Caitlin 1# Caitlin 2#
Caitlin 4# Caitlin 12# Caitlin 11# Caitlin 10# Caitlin 9# Caitlin 8# Caitlin 7# Caitlin 6# Caitlin 5#
Model: Caitlin Colder
MUA & Hair Stylist: Emma Grant
Styling: Everyone
Photography and Post Processing: Me

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Google+ – Pinterest – Polyvore

Standard