Often times, I find my images developing into something much more than I originally envisioned. This is usually because the original image wasn’t as impactful to begin with.
My creative process usually flows like this:
- Before the shoot: I have an image in my head! Must…create…this……..now.
- Day of shoot: Okay, not what I envisioned. Let’s try this… YES!!!!
- Days after the shoot: Let’s just let those pictures marinate for a while. My brain needs a break.
- Day of editing: Hmmm. I just need one, for now. One magnificent one! Yes!!!! Come hither and let me amplify your magnificence.
- Day after editing: Ugh, I’m exhausted. I just can’t maintain this “artistic” pace… Must…stay…away…from…computer.
- Days/Weeks/Months later: Let’s try another one of those images from that shoot. Ehh, you’re…okay (talking to “ehh” photo).
- Next editing day: Ugh. This is just not as magnificent as the first one I chose. What can I do?
And then, my process shifts to create something that was never intended with the original shoot.
I attribute this “non-standard” workflow to my ever-growing knowledge of myself as a photographer. I know my niche; however, I haven’t been practicing in the genre of fashion and fine art photography very long. Therefore, things don’t just come all at once for me.
Enough of that! Let’s talk about an intended quick edit that turned into something much more valuable.
I recently posted a shot from a photo session with a friend from last year on my Instagram feed.
Caitlyn came to me last year, with this wild makeup and asked me to photograph it. 😊 Honored and excited, I buzzed around my room, moving furniture, returning furniture, moving plants, returning plants, positioning lights, shifting lights…. After a little staring and really gathering the mood of her makeup, I positioned her as such, asked for a troubled expression, not sad, but concerned. Tada!
I want all aspects of my images to make an impact, to attract the eye. I want the viewer’s eye to constantly move and observe and enjoy. The true success of an image is making the viewer want more.
“The true success of an image is making the viewer want more.” This is me. I enjoy creating a desire to see more. Desire, today, is often trumped by the immediate satisfaction we receive daily with social media and internet access. If we desire it, we get it immediately.
Not with Tasha Acosta! “Desire is the fundamental motivation of all human action.” A big part of my photography is to create desire, to create a sense of excitement with the expectation of an outcome.
Okay, I’m side-tracking. So! This post I made regarding the above post created a desire in a friend to see more. I sat down at my computer, grabbed an “Ehh” picture from that shoot and started working on it.
After some quick edits that I typically execute in all of my fashion images, I ended up with this image on the right here. It’s a good image, good skin, not too heavily edited, which is what I like (unless I’m paying you as a model and desire a more conceptual finish). Great makeup! *wink wink* cough, Caitlyn Shaw MUA, cough.
However, it’s just not as impressing as the first image (above). So, I pushed my chair back, crossed my arms and asked, “What can I do to make it…MORE?”
Studying it, I realized, Caitlyn’s gaze has nowhere to go.
Canvas extension. Boom!
Then, well, What do I do with this white space?
When I was doing my Project 365 last year, I happened across an Instagram following for blurred images (#projectblur). Lots of motion blur through Photoshop processing. I’m not sure how my brain made the leap from white negative space to motion blur, but it did.
Duplicate image. Motion blur, HIGH SPEED! Mask out hair, fine-tune selection at 200%. Oops, hair is flat. Liquify, poof!
Then, after all that, I push back from the computer. It’s missing…vibrance. What can I enhance?
Add blue color tone, reduce opacity, mask out what I don’t want “colored” and viola! Slap a watermark on it so there are no sneaky uses by companies, and I have a great editorial spread.
There you go!
My process is slowly working it’s way to a fast and efficient workflow, which I’m proud of. Baby steps. It’s a lot of work, mentally and emotionally….blooming, that is.
“Solitude is the soil in which genius is planted, creativity grows, and legends bloom.”
– Mike Norton, White Mountain