At the beginning of the summer, I wrote a post about doing more portrait projects. Mostly because it's just too damn hot to shoot outdoors in the summer. That idea finally resonated in my brain and is giving birth to something new.
After much thought and discussion with Lee, I finally have an idea of what kind of photographer I want to be when I grow up. That's leading me into another direction that may not be appropriate for this blog.
Collaborating on Portrait Projects
I'm getting a bit more ambitious with my ideas for portrait projects. All the gear I need is already in hand. There are many wonderful portrait subjects in the Central Florida area. My imagination seems to be flowing that way it did when I was a child and there was no limit to ideas. I was just letting other things get in my way.
The concept of finding locations used to baffle me. A usual, I was overthinking the issue, coming up with potential obstacles before I ever asked anyone if I could use their business or property for a photoshoot. If you don't ask, you'll never receive. The answer is pretty simple. Have sufficient insurance as any professional photographer should have, ask nicely and offer some of the results as thanks for use of the space.
Sometimes the answer is “No”, but it's surprising how many people say “Yes.”
There are plenty of people who are willing to collaborate on portrait projects with vision. Something that fills a need or raises the bar of their portfolio. It works for models, stylists, make-up artists and photographers.
Can anyone do this for free? It depends upon who you're asking to be part of your project. There's no sense in working for free with someone who is below your current level of work. If you need to work on your skills, don't expect people to join you for free. They want a result that raises the level of images in their portfolio, too.
Refining Your Style
It's one thing to think about what you can do. It's another to go out and make it happen. That's why I decided to begin work on a new site dedicated to a portrait niche. Having a dedicated project helps me focus on the results I want to achieve. It also helps me develop a showcase for potential collaboration partners.
The reason I'm not doing it here is because my intent for this site is a bit different. I still enjoy my travel photography and providing some useful information when I have a thought worth sharing. The new site is just about the images, though, not about explanations or tips.
I've also decided that the images I have in mind may not be suitable for everyone who visits this site. Some may be a bit more dramatic or adult-oriented than my current fare. I appreciate everyone who visits this site and don't want to alienate anyone who may find the new portrait projects outside of their taste.
As a result of concentrating on portraits, I expect to find some fresh material to share here. While I don't expect my style to change, I do expect to try different refinements. The objective is really the same as I've always had – to find ways to improve my creative efforts. New problems help my critical thinking abilities, so maybe I'll have fewer brain farts at the wrong moment.
I'll spend a few months building the new site and shooting some more material. When it's out of the oven, I'll be sure to announce the site here for those of you who want to check out the new work.