Upper West Side: MILDRED
Often when this happens, we take our work back to its basics and strip away all the accessories and elements of surprises to focus on what we do best. And for me, it's a simple portrait.
As you can see from Audrey's shoot, and Ben's test shoot, there were no special effects or shock factors. Instead, I just took my time during the shoot and after the shoot to explore on what I can improve on with a simple portrait. Throughout the past few weeks of editing photos from New York and London, I learned to step away from my work and give it time to breathe. Upon returning, the images look so foreign to me that I was able to judge them as if I'm from a third party and didn't take them myself. This allowed me to be truly critical and objective with my work, and I was able to evaluate how good an image was and whether it was 'good enough'.
Often in creative careers, we get stuck at certain stages with a lack of inspiration. At times like this, it's as if upon reflection, all our work has started to look the same, feel the same, and it's just like another exercise drill. But that's not what we look for in this industry. We're constantly thirsting for new concepts and breaking traditional aesthetic values. And so, in perspective, it may seem that at times when we are 'stuck', we are no longer the artist that we aspire to be, because artists have to keep evolving right?
So when an artist like me (yes, I'm giving myself a little bit more credit than I deserve) is craving for cooler ideas to execute in some eye-opening fashion shoot, what we usually end up with, instead of dedicating our time to research and Pinterest boards, is trying to find our unique 'style' again and locate our 'artist identity'.
As part of my 'trying to find myself' artist process, I've learned to take my time and to research and reference my work to other artists I look up to - specific artist though and not just any artist who's work I find appealing. I realised that there are way too many different types of aesthetics to explore, and it's near impossible to be able to master all these styles, so why not just focus on what I like most? (I like pretty, dramatic, moody, flowers...) And strangely enough, another thing I've taught myself during this process is how to improve my post-editing. I spent hours watching YouTube clips and reading up on the different ways to retouch a photo, and it's really helped me with my work.
So I guess right now I've sort of picked my game up again and I'm ready to shoot more. Which brings me back to my second paragraph - I need inspiration and ideas! I guess it's time to click away on Pinterest now...