Failure? - The Dog - The Woman & the DivanTuesday, November 08, 2016
When I taught photography and that seems now a long time ago, I used to tell my students that bringing a beautiful woman into a studio (or a man) and placing her close to a gray wall (with a high ceiling) was the beginning of almost sure failure. To then use a large easy to use softbox (a rare item these days), to have your camera on a big heavy tripod (with you in back of it and your subject in front of it) would almost always result in complete failure.
The trick was to find a common ground, a common interest with your subject and to have a good plan of action. This plan of action did not need to be written in stone. Many times a smarter subject of mine would suggest something that was a lot better than my plan. I had to be ready to not sit on my pride.
Now in my new little and very intimate studio in my Kitsilano duplex my ability to do the stuff that might have come easy in my Robson and Granville studio (Alas! It is gone.) is now extremely limited. Even a head to toe shot is barely possible. And I have no boom light which was such a useful device when mimicking Hollywood lighting.
What I do now is to get very close and get my light very close and I work in revealing what I see in my subject (while knowing that my subject is the person who has to allow me to open that door).
In photography we used to have these two terms (if you were a professional). There were the studio shots and sessions and the ones that were on location. That location could be a beach, a forest, a home, railroad tracks (God forbid that cliché!) or if the photograph was to be more intimate a person’s home. My fave, of course was my subject’s bed and preferably with my subject in it.
Sometimes a love seat or divan could be useful as it was for this photograph.