A concept photo shoot experimenting with movement, light, and laughter:
As a photographer, I am always looking for new and beautiful ways to create portraits for my clients. Recently I had the opportunity to collaborate with another fabulous PDX photographer, Lindsay Bryant, on a conceptual shoot to see what kind of portraits we could create utilizing a trampoline, the wind, and a beautiful PDX cityscape! We borrowed a small trampoline/rebounder, found a nice cityscape on the east waterfront near OMSI, and we got to business right by the bike trail, and made a few people's days by creating a hilarious spectacle of ourselves jumping, laughing, and enjoying the beautiful Portland afternoon. It's during shoots like this that we get to release our creativity monsters and experiment with our craft!
When it came to capturing these beautiful shots, there was definitely a learning curve. As we continued shooting, we learned how to coach our models and set everyone up for success. Most clients and models appreciate a little direction and encouragement from their photographer, and in this session both direction and encouragement wer absolutely necessary. We found things that worked and tried a lot of things that didn't work; along the way we learned new ways to communicate direction and encouragement to one another.
Committing to the shot and working to create a culture in which both photographer and client feel comfortable "going for it!"
Along with images from jumping, we were also experimenting with fabrics and the wind, as well as the beautiful afternoon light the overcast weather and reflective river were offering us. I'm always amazed by the beautiful portraits that can be captured in Northwest natural light. Not only could we capture beautiful images of movement along a cityscape, but we also captured gorgeous portraits and headshots that can be appreciated for years.
I am always so grateful for the willing models who volunteer for photo sessions like this. Along with my own ideas, they bring their interpretation and individual beauty to the photo session, and together we make magic happen! I always love having someone attack a shoot along with me--with reckless abandon! With flexibility, laughter, and the guts to "go for it" in a photo, we can create lasting memories and images.
While schedules don't allow for these types of sessions to happen often, I am always looking for fresh faces and adventurous spirits to join me on concept photo sessions. If this is something you might be interested in, feel free to email your contact information to me! I would be happy to contact you if/when we have a need (my email: firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Part of what made this experience so exciting and enlightening for me was my time in front of the camera. Sometimes as photographers we forget what a vulnerable feeling it is to step IN FRONT of the lens because we're always busing working behind it. In all my pregnant glory, I stepped in front of the lens to jump on a trampoline, in the wind, with props. I kept reminding myself how intimidating this could be for some clients. Not only was I not feeling my best because I'm about 6 months pregnant and just feeling generally "large," but I also was feeling awkward because of the jumping, balance, and inability to know what the film was looking like; I didn't quite know what to do! Most of the time I know what to do in front of the camera because I spend so much time directing others. But this time there was a new element because I didn't know what I would look like while jumping. I have a lot of moving parts, so I definitely had lots of "outtake" photos of myself that looked ridiculous! What a fun challenge as a photographer, but definitely a vulnerable feeling as a subject!
Behind the scenes...
Here are a few snaps of me trying my hand at movement-modeling. Any time I am in front of the lens I'm reminded of how self-conscious it can make anyone feel. These photos show a more accurate reflection of what a lot of the photos ended up looking like. There was a lot of experimentation and really "going for it" with our ideas, seeking to grab the perfect shot composed of clarity, beauty, and movement. What a challenge! As models continued jumping and trying different poses, it was also a challenge for the photographers to capture the perfect focus and composition. Experimenting like this is one of the ways I deepen my own understanding of the emotions that go into both ends of a photo shoot, and I also get the opportunity to sharpen my skills and portfolio. This is one of the more challenging sessions I've done, including the low-light, high-movement dancing photo sessions I do on a regular basis. After it all, there were lots of photos that captured the beauty, movement, and laughter we were looking for.
Model: Megan Henson
Copyright Lindsay Bryant || http://pdxlinds.tumblr.com/ || http://society6.com/PDXLinds
Special thanks to...
PDX Photographer Extraordinaire/Model: Lindsay Bryant