My photo professor once told me (or rather, he told the class) that people do not really care how you arrive at a great photo in as much as they care about the photo itself. With that, he taught us some photography can be downright messy. Personally, I found this to be true from the first day I picked up a camera.
For me, this messy side primarily came in the form of tedium and pain working with inanimate objects. For someone who has never dealt with photographing an inanimate object, this might sound easy. However, the only “easy” part is the relatively unlimited time and opportunity one has to get the shot right (especially in the digital age). However, that is where the advantages stop.
It reminds me of a time one of my journalism instructors told me how some believe working at a weekly paper would be easier than working at a daily paper. On the surface it seems it would be easier to only have to deal with one edition a week as opposed to seven. However, it is the extra load of responsibilities underneath that surface, which often makes one scramble back to the dailies.
Properly photographing an inanimate object is similar in that it comes with extras. Unlike people, who you can tell where to sit, how to sit, how to move, where to move, and when to hold a pose, objects have to be moved, adjusted, secured, and posed entirely by the photographer.
The tedium comes from my undying need to connect pieces of the shot together to work as a perfectly-timed symphony for the eyes. The pain comes from me being hunched over objects for long periods of time trying to conduct said symphony. And it never fails, just about the time you believe the dust is gone, all the strings are hidden, and the shot is set, the heat from the modeling lamps cause minor fluctuations in the scene and something shifts.
My college years were filled with this on a weekly basis, as most of my art came from found objects both organic and not. However, I recently got to revisit this college routine in my own studio. A couple of weeks ago, Abanathy Photography, LLC was hired to create some product shots for a local gentleman who makes and sells his own, high-end, hand-turned wood pens and other items (his Facebook page, which includes some of our pictures, can be viewed here). Also, one may visit his website at inkwellgifts.com
As always, I was thrilled to work in the studio! Just like in college, the music was playing, the lights were glowing, and the camera was in hand. Unfortunately, just like in college, as I posed the pens, made the proper setups, and adjusted the lights, that familiar tedium and pain also made itself known.
While it took a toll on me physically that day (especially since I am no longer in my early 20s), it also gave a great flashback to my college days! Those times in the studio and darkroom were some of the best of my life. In fact, those tedious, painful hours in the studio were so rewarding that I never reflect on the discomfort in as much as I do the fun. And it is great to see this hasn’t changed one bit! I still enjoy it and I still look forward to doing it again and again!
Of course, I don’t mind getting out, standing up straight, and working with human models whenever I can. Last week we held our second, great photo shoot with the Gate 28 Gals who donned some of their Fourth of July fashion!
Our mild summer has given great opportunities to snap some wonderful outdoor photos and last Monday was no exception. We could not have asked for a better sunset that day to showcase the gals in their patriotic apparel. What was more, the foliage around the studio also contributed to the Fourth of July spirit with cornfields and other summery greenery.
Be sure to visit the Gate 28 website and Facebook page to see some of their great clothing and accessories!