If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. I am not a fan of portraits. The posey kind anyways. I started photography as a hobby and an outlet. I take mostly self portraits. Like everyone I wasnt great at it at first, but you get better and better as you practice; like with anything. As i began to progress more and more people asked me if I’d do family/couple/engagement etc. photos for them and what I charge to do them. Now, for me, I simply SUCK at posing people, and when it comes to lighting, locations, and poses, my mental default is stuck in my own personal style. So, when people ask me I usually say I’ll do it for free (for lack of confidence) and I make sure they have seen my work so they don’t expect something different than what I will be giving them. Maybe that sounds harsh, because of the whole “the customer is always right” thing. BUT I simply don’t have the same “Style” as some of the professional portrait photogs out there. That said, I do still do them on the rare occasion. When I do, I rely heavily on candid, and personal. like today. I had a friend reach out to me about her sisters boyfriend wanting to fake her out with a staged photoshoot that would turn in to a proposal. This one I obviously agreed to because it would be VERY candid. But i was still nervous. Fast forward to when it was over and I was IN LOVE! And thats when I realized. Maybe its not so much the posing I dislike, maybe its the fact that there isn’t much emotion behind posing people like mannequins. So everyone meet Victoria and Josh. These two made my life spectacularly easy because they had just SO MUCH love between them. They came in, got comfy, and I just captured it.
Today I was informed I was a highlighted artist in an article featuring a blog I have grown to love. this blog has been a literal game changer for myself and many photographers who have contributed to it. What Danielle has done is given artists like myself a platform to put our work out in the world for exactly what it is. I myself have battled depression in the past and seen my loved ones afflicted. I was a photographer before my personal affliction, but I fell into it like love for the first time while I was fighting my own battle. Even though I am no longer in the same place now, it tore open a part of me I never knew existed. Since then, I have pulled all of my inspiration from that place and never looked back. Many of the contributing artists have beautiful stories. And many of them are like me, they use their art as their outlet but they do not tell you that. I, myself always felt ashamed and embarrassed of my mental state. I created what I created for myself and myself alone. I never gave you a reason behind what you were looking at. Luckily, art is funny like that. You can conclude whatever you want about a piece of work but you may not ever know if you’re correct. Finding this blog ended all of that for me and allowed me to join a real community. All artists may see themselves as a collective community but it’s not like this. These people do not see your work and call it “scary” “creepy” or “off-putting” (which I have been told about my own work) they are uplifting and supportive. I was and still am honored to share my work and my story with this community and I think every artist should check out the blog. These artistic are working off of pure emotion and they all have a talent that should be seen. I highly recommend following broken light collective.
also, YAY FOR US BEING HIGHLIGHTED AND YAY FOR BROKEN LIGHT GETTING THE RECOGNITION THEY DESERVE!!!
Its been so long since I’ve sat in front of a computer with the intention of editing something that wasn’t a family portrait. I must’ve forgotten how much patience it takes. clearly by my tone I’m sure you can tell I am unhappy with this particular picture. But the point of all of this is to get back into the swing of things and I am happy with the progress I’ve made in my expression. In the past week or so ive noticed myself really acknowledging every little feeling I’ve had. and what’s more impressive is that I have found my self not only acknowledging them, but also turning them into metaphors, and imagining them in pictures.
I have so many ideas, and I’m really beginning to feel pieces of my old self returning. I just need to be reminded of how important patience is when it comes to all art forms.
What a wonderful blog!
Please welcome first-time contributor Shelby Hall, a 22-year-old mother from Dallas, Texas. Before her boys were born, she had a difficult relationship with her boyfriend (now fiancé) in part due to his struggles with drug addiction. She suffered from depression through much of their early relationship as a result of being unable to cope. Loving someone with addiction can feel hopeless at times. She felt lost and unsure about who she was, and who she was trying to be. During that rough time in her life she found herself comforted and consoled by her photography. Shelby’s fiancé is now two years sober, and they are wonderfully happy parents. She loves having her photos to look back on. They read like a timeline and you can see the progressions and pitfalls through them all. They also serve as a reminder of how much stronger she and her fiancé are today.
About this photo:
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I have felt for a long time I have lost what makes me unique. Which naturally, destroys me. I Love doing portrait work and meeting new people but when I feel the need to do something solely for me, I feel like I’ve run dry.
In an attempt to correct this. I have decided to take old photos of mine and recreate them. hopefully that will spark some hidden creativity.
This is a photo taken in april of 2010.
This is my “recreation”
the thing I like most is that I have completely two different emotions that fuel each of these photos. I enjoy looking at them both and remembering what I felt in 2010, and now seeing how different I feel now three years later.
I spent a large amount of my youth in perpetual awkwardness. Like everyone else I thought I was the most important person on the planet, I simply couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I was only one small person on a crazy populated earth. Every little problem I faced, was always the equivalent to the end of the world. Once I turned 19, I actually spent a year in the shoes of a girl who had real problems. And the shoes were my own. I realized how much I loved and relied on photography in that year. Every piece of work I created in that time was dark, strange, or flat out sadistic.
I’m not the type of person to pour my heart and soul to another person face to face. Most of the time I don’t even like to admit I’m having a rough time. But in my work, it all comes out. And I’m very thankful for having a camera during this time of my life. I can only imagine how much worse I would have felt had I not had a lock on my door and a wireless shutter remote. Some of my best, and favorite work came out of this year long period. Even being a completely different person now 3 years later, I still love these photos. They read like a timeline to me. I haven’t created anything as emotive as I did in 2010. I’ll take these frozen moments with me everywhere I go as a silent reminder of how beautiful life is, even in the hard times.
I think my little sister has always been my favorite model. Ever since she was 13 years old I’ve forcibly put her in front of my camera and directed her. She has never complained, I like to think she enjoys being apart of my work, and she is perfect for it all. Aside from such a photogenic face, and long pretty hair, she is very good at acting and portraying everything I want her too. She never complains about the odd or dangerous things I ask her to do either. She’s sat in a patch of cacti, jumped in the lake in a long white prairie dress while tons of people watched. She’s a trooper, and loads of fun. And its not just her. She has so many gorgeous equally talented and fearless friends. Having her and so many of her friends so interested in taking part of my photos is such a blessing. They never come out less than amazing.