Every once in a while I get to work on fun, non-wedding photography projects. The kind of projects that really push my creativity. Funny enough, most of those projects have ended up being with this alternative model, Saterra Rene. She's local to San Antonio and does a lot of different things within the creative community (including fire preforming!) and we've collaborated on so many different shoots together.
This past week she had some clothing on hand from La Santa Luna Boutique, a new-ish boutique here in San Antonio, and we spent a few hours playing around with the clothing! Our shoots tend to be very unscheduled, more of "Hey Parker, what are you doing this afternoon? I have some cool clothing / an interesting concept we can shoot". We ended up shooting these photos in her apartment (proof you can create images anywhere). I was first imagining a more traditional boudoir style shoot, with Saterra laying on the bed / floor at different angles, but in true Parker fashion I changed tracks completely when I saw the tapestry hanging on her bedroom wall. I actually even tried to stick by my original plan at first, but the images just weren't making me happy and this tapestry was calling out to me.
Once we got in front of the tapestry I knew exactly how I wanted to light it. Sadly, my idiot self forgot the one light modifier I really wanted to use but thanks to a little lighting creativity the lighting turned out just fine. The one thing I knew I wanted was to use direct flash. If you're a photographer you know, as a general rule, direct flash is NOOOOOOOO. It's very hard (unless you're Terry Richardson) to make it look good. So I did cheat a little, and took the flash off camera, on a light stand and aimed it down at her (notice the harsh shadows under her chin, nose, etc). I filled with a bit of flash bounced off the right wall and ceiling so the shadows wouldn't be quite as harsh, and I'm quite pleased with the results!! I've been wanting to play with harsh direct light in portraits for a while now and can't wait to do so again.
Obviously these photos are not wedding work at all, but it's shoots like these that let me practice different lighting and camera techniques that I can apply at weddings. For example, the worst time to photograph outside is 11am - 2pm, when there is harsh, direct, overhead light. While these images were shot indoors with flash to simulate the sun, it's the exact same principle. Wedding photographers have to be ready to shoot in literally any lighting situation at the drop of a hat and this is one of the many ways I constantly am honing my skills.
In other news - this was my last shoot of 2016. And, I've made a commitment to myself (and to the world in this blog post) that in 2017 all of my personal shoots will be done on film. Basically anything that is "for fun" or "for experience" or "for practice", etc. So .... it's with a heavy heart that I post these images because they're the last digital non-wedding images you'll see from me for 363 days!!!! It's scary, but I'm really excited to publicly begin my film journey!