Getting Inspired and Improving My Skills
There’s nothing like a little craft time to get your creative juices flowing. Except my craft time doesn’t usually turn out as “crafty” as I originally envisioned it. However, I’ve been working on a project lately that I’m super excited about.
My junior year of high school, right after I moved from Ohio to Nebraska, I enrolled in the school’s photography class. I’d always loved taking millions of photos, but hadn’t ever had any classes on it because, well, my school in Ohio didn’t offer any. I was overwhelmed and excited when we started jumping in to the information: rule of thirds, aperture, shutter speed, points of view, etc. All very basic but I was in love with it all. Some of it, like exposure, could really only be learned by doing, but other things, like lighting and composition blew me away.
I’ll never forget a project we had to do where we were required to go through magazines and find images that utilized a specific “rule” of photography. Shallow depth of field. Bird’s eye view. Motion. It was challenging, but looking back, analyzing the photos really helped me learn and grow in my own skills the most.
A major goal that I’ve recently decided I want to accomplish is that I want to step it up. I want to step up my game. Get out of my comfort zone. I don’t want to settle for the safe shot. The boring shots that I always get. I want to try and fail. And then try again until I succeed. A lot of the photographers I look up to get their inspiration from the fashion industry. And I think that’s why I love their shots. They’re different and edgy while still maintaining a classic look. So instead of passively looking at other photographers’ blogs (you know you do it too!), I’m going straight to the fashion/bridal magazines, tearing out images that inspire me or catch my eye, and analyzing them. That way, I’ve identified the little things that make the image great so I can then implement those techniques into my own style.
I’ve got a cute sketchbook that I’m sticking the images into and jotting down notes about it. I feel like I look at a lot of blogs and a lot of pretty pictures, but when it comes down to it, I never remember what it was that made them great, and I’m stuck with the same ideas I’ve been using over and over. By analyzing the lighting, posing, location of the photographer in relationship to the subject, I really feel like this will arm me with more ideas for different situations. Just what I want.
I wanted to give my little book a name, since I envision myself using it a lot, so I named her “Allure: the Lookbook.” I wanted to name her “Inspire: the Lookbook,” but the magazines I was looking in didn’t have the word “inspire” large enough for a title. So whatever. In fashion/photography, a lookbook is basically a fancy name for a portfolio. And that’s sort of what this project is all about – inspiration for my own portfolio. If that makes any sense.