Influences & Trying New Things

I cannot deny that while I love shooting client work, part of me absolutely craves something that is wholly myself. Since graduating art school and since moving out of my studio about a year ago, I haven't done a lot of my own concept-based work, and the more I make art for other people, the more I deeply desire to make art for myself. My medium in the past has mostly been sculpture, but my medium as of late is a camera and I feel a conviction that I need to start using it with more direct intent. 

I realized over the course of the winter doing shoots in the snow that I actually really dislike shooting in the snow. And the reason is that it acts as a huge reflector, sandwiching light and making people look a little washed out. Normally I fight that and have to add back in a lot of contrast and definition, but I wanted to do a shoot embracing what the snow does to skin tones and work with that type of bright, directionless, all-over-the-place light instead of fighting it. 

I've never worked with models before and I wasn't sure how I was going to go about making this shoot happen, but then my good friend Rachel came to visit us and happily obliged to letting me take photos of her. I give major props to this amazing woman for standing topless in a snowstorm without a single break of focus or complaint. It probably helps that she's a yoga and fitness instructor and seems to be impervious to pain. Honestly though, this woman's discipline and focus not only in instances like this, but also in daily life is such a huge inspiration for me. 

These photos were also an opportunity to test out some new coloring ideas I had. I've been working on some Lightroom presets that are pretty different than what I normally use and I've been nervous to start using them exclusively. I'm really happy with how they look and I'm so excited to start exploring them further.

I've been getting a lot of inspiration from other photographers lately. Hugh Forte is a big influence for me. I love the minimal tones and the compositions he makes. All of his work has a consistent natural look which I really want to strive after in my own work. Another big inspiration for me is Ben Sasso. I've learned a ton of technical things just from his blogs alone and seeing his out-of-the-box work as of late has really challenged me to begin pushing my own boundaries as well. I also love Ryan Muirhead's portraits, they all are filled with such deep emotion, but they maintain a subtlety that that proves so poignant and beautiful. 

Other photographers I consistently look to for inspiration when I'm stuck are A Fist Full of Bolts, Andrew Czap, and Katch Silva

I've also always been inspired by modern sculpture (duh) and I don't think I will ever escape its hold on me. Artists like Kiki Smith, Eva Hesse, Giuseppe Penone, and Donald Judd. I have a growing collection of modern art books and those are some of the best places for me to be inspired and start thinking about concepts for new work. 

Thanks again to Rachel for always being willing to help make my weird ideas happen. 

Comments & critique are welcomed and encouraged.

-Megan

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