Look Book Shoot Process

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I sometimes have no idea what I’m doing. In fact, almost always I have no idea. Sometimes I think of myself as a person with no ‘ideas’.

I met up with someone yesterday, who is totally different from me, as part of my ‘reaching out’ exercise (more on this later). She is an idea person. She said so herself and while I was talking to her over my coffee and her Turmeric Latte, I could sense that she could be perfect to complete my puzzle. She has my missing piece! She comes up with ideas and I then make things happen. Do you get the picture? It would be perfect.

Danielle Marklew’s Visual Diary

That is not to say that I’ve given up coming up with ideas. I’m steadily building my idea muscles. This is how I tackled my lack of idea situation.

When I decided to give my time for lookbook shoots for Rena and Danielle I was in the same quagmire. I didn’t know what I would do with their garments. A part of me was thinking I should be doing something amazing but I had no idea of how to create something amazing. The fear set in and the frustration of not being creative enough to come up with brilliant shooting ideas was consuming me.

After a few hours of emotional struggle, my logical (troubleshooting) brain kicked in. This was my logical self at work:

  • It’s not about me.
  • It’s about their work.
  • Ask them what they would like to see / do with their shoot.
  • Work things out / analyse from there what is needed.

This is the beauty of allowing others to feed my creative channel. Understanding that I wasn’t alone in creating the shoot, I made myself available to receive, synthesise and produce photographs that are richer in context and feel because it wasn’t just about me (coming up with the idea).

Photographs resulting from collaborating with Danielle

The shoot was successful by any measure (although measuring such work is futile if not impossible). I could say that without any shame because Danielle made a comment that if it wasn’t for the photos we created together she would not have been in this (fantastic) situation (I cannot say what this is… You’ll find out soon).

Opening up for possibilities and enable others to feed my creative energy worked for me. If you feel stuck why not try what I’ve done. It might not work but it might be just what you need.

Visual diary to a Lookbook shoot – Rena Hermone

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Rena’s fashion & textile graduate collection ‘spoke’ to my former depressed self in a very intimate way when she started her presentation during the first assessment class, and all the way up to completing her collection garments for the graduate fashion show in 2015.

Looking at the images from her visual diary I learned that:

  1. Strong collections (high impact) of garments are created from strong concepts
  2. Creating and developing concepts cannot be outsourced or bought
  3. Fashion can be / is a form of Art.

These pointers are quite important in my own learning/practice as a creative. So if I were to translate these into my own practice as a photographer:

  1. Consider concept and intent before pressing the shutter
  2. Concept generation and development is part of what I see through my camera (rather than spending hours in front of computer processing images which could be ‘outsourced’).
  3. I get inspired by all manner of Art (e.g. Fashion) as a photographer not just by ‘photography’.

It’s fascinating looking at a visual diary getting translated into a collection of garments. The process could take 12 months or more. Then we had another process of translating the collection to a lookbook shoot. I’d like to talk about that in my next post to show Danielle’s visual diary as a similar process to what I went through.

There’s always learning to be had in all aspect of life it seems. I just have to open my eyes and look (properly).