It amazes me how much more we can accomplish when we decide to actively seek help amongst our friends. my buddy Val has been working on really launching his career as a studio photographer and after seeing many of my photo shoots asked me if I would assist him in building his portfolio with more of the work that he was interested in shooting. As an artist with many artistic friends who are always in need oh photos we begin to talk about backdrops and lighting and artistic vs. traditional and I believe I learned just as much as he did in the process. As we begin to shoot and I directed the model and stepped in to fix her hair and make up between shots he looked at me in awe as to how I was looking at so many aspects of the shoot at once.
I never thought about it before, but I am kind of a one womyn show when I shoot. While he was focusing on the lights and camera angles I was giving her direction to dance, laugh, think of different experiences to convey the right emotions for the shoot, etc. This is clearly why photographers like working with a full hair, make-up, and styling team.
As the shoot continued throughout the afternoon I realized that this was not a one time tutorial and I was paying him a disservice to treat it as such. We needed to do a shoot where we focused only on lighting and angles, another where we practiced different ways to get the model to pose, smile, not smile, etc. to get the best shot. Then there needed to be an entire other class on touching up the raw product…ie the model, as much as possible during the shoot so that you are not spending hours after the shoot on the computer making them look the way you actually wanted them to. I have left so many shoots where the perfect shot had my eyes closed or my hair was flat on one side, or a huge wardrobe malfunction, that could have been re-shot if we only took a moment to fix these things.
So Val and I are still working on the best ways for me to teach all that I know about having a successful shoot when you do not have a huge crew to help you out. He thanks me for every opportunity that I have given him to practice what we work on and I thank him for helping me learn how to teach these different skill sets more effectively. Now the real question is how do I market these services to others. I find myself assisting my friends all the time to help them get their projects, businesses, productions, and personal growth off of the ground, yet I am still searching the want ads for odd jobs here and there to make ends meet. I realized I started this blog to help me document my growth, but am realizing that I must also use it to market myself as a multi-talented artist who is more than simply a creative muse.