About a year ago I got a My Space message from my friend Justine in Boston. She told me she had always liked my work and enjoyed keeping up with my new pictures and adventures. BUT, yes there is always a BUT. She said the lighting in my studio shots seemed predictable. Had I ever thought of going darker and maybe adding more drama? Hmmm, she was right on target. My lighting was predictable and to be honest boring. It all came down to one thing, Fear. When I worked for other studios the lighting was either set up for us or when I was setting up and taking down the studio every day there was blueprint I was expected not to stray from. If there was ever a problem there was someone in the studio (a manager or owner) to fix it. When I went on my own I had no backup. No one to call when things went wrong. There was a certain fear of failure involved. So I never strayed far from the blueprint. When I got that email from Justine I really started to think. Why let fear of failure ever stop you from learning and growing. I really wanted to take the kind of pictures I saw my favorite photographers taking.
So the next time I had a model over to the studio I told her. “We’re going to try some new things today. We’re probably going to make some mistakes. Hopefully they’ll be good ones.” The results were great. She loved the shadows, contrast and overall dramatic effect they created. It was like being reborn. I started experimenting with different configurations. Moving the lights around and using one light instead of two, three or even four. I’ve been really happy with the results and I see a lot of growth and progression in my work and even confidence. I’ve gone from being afraid of making mistakes to looking forward to making and learning from them. It’s also helped me in gaining confidence in the studio. Something I lacked since deciding to go on my own. Thanks Justine, you gave me the little kick in the ass I needed.