Monday, October 01, 2007

Portraits, Philosphy, and Praise (aw shucks)

I wanted to share some of the responses I got to the "Trash the Dress" photos - it's always nice to get feedback, thanks!

"I definitely think some of these photos would make people want to do trash the dress! it makes ME want to do it...Jessamyn you better still be in the bay doing weddings in a few years when its my turn ;)

i hope one day i get to roll around on the beach in a huge fancy time we might have to bring in the stomping grapes idea - so fun!"

"Hey Jessamyn,

I'm one of your blog readers and I have an opinion on the trash the dress sessions.

I totally love it! And, I'm bummed that I didn't do it (but maybe I still could??)"

"I just wanted to point out that this:

is a fantastic photo. straight up, no doubt, perfectly composed, ... dreamily lit. and all around hott.
... this particular foto borders on abstract, as far as the human subject... but sh*t man, the sash and the skirt with her hand right there.... it's just killer. double bonus golden gate in the background. wow. just wow. okay.. So you've gotten the point now that this shot has sucsessfully knocked my socks off? good."

"Jessamyn!!! Wow, those pics are so fabulous. i LOVE all the fun stuff you did with the lighting....I don't understand it, but it is so cool! those ones where there is more (?) light and the colors are almost surreal? so amazing. Colin got home last night and we made him look at it right away, he was also super impressed.
That was such a fun day, and I'm SO glad we did it. Thanks!!!! "

And, from Meeghan after we did the shoot:

"I had SO much fun at the shoot yesterday...I had a momentary freak out before you showed up, like "what am i doing?? i am not a model, is this going to be really weird??" and instead it turned out to be so incredibly fun and not weird at all.

your pictures were just so incredible, looking at them makes me relive the wedding and it was, by far, the most fun party I've ever been to. so thanks!!

...Do you always make all of your clients totally fall in love with you?? ; ) "

Um, I try, I guess! : )

For the record, ladies (and gents), there's no particular time frame for the "trashing" of your dress, or for what could be called the "day after the wedding" photo shoot (even if it's months later), so feel free to ask me to do one whenever you'd like! They'd be great as a first anniversary present to your husband. Heck, you don't even need to have been a "bride" to trash the dress - nothing wrong with rolling around on the beach or in the grass in whatever you'd like to wear! How about doing portraits for no reason at all...

One of the topics that came up on my last blog post's comments was that maybe the dress needs to be more thoroughly destroyed. I am definitely open to that (and to trashing ideas), but I also feel like my style aims to be fairly natural, so I didn't want to introduce gimmicks for the sake of a more full-on trashing. This doesn't mean I won't help you trash the dress even more ;), but in general I'm just hoping to use the beautiful juxtaposition of this elegant gown in a natural (or urban) setting to help bring out some subtle drama and loveliness in a portrait of you.

If you want to really TRASH the dress, let's play around with some ideas! I loved Richard's idea of green slime like in Nickelodeon's 80s heyday. Awesome!

I got some great responses to the questions from the last blog - although many of you still are too shy to post comments, and email me directly instead, that's fine. I have lots of ideas rolling around in my head and am trying to focus them into some more select ideas.

What's really standing out for me is the reminder that people are often too shy to get portraits taken for no particular reason - in our culture they tend to be tied to things like yearbooks, senior portraits, marriage, maternity, and family holiday portraits. Which is all great, cause those are big life events you want to remember, but I feel that it is absolutely important to have photos of yourself that you love from throughout your life.

I realize that just sounds like a sales pitch, but quite honestly, it's part of the reason I got into photography - I played around with taking a LOT of self portraits. I like to think it's because I was the most ready model available, and not because I'm an egotist, but it was also (cliche, but true) an exploration of who I am and who I seem to other people. I wanted a photo that captured who I "really" was (in a good way, for the most part)... so I just keep looking for that, because that changes every minute.

I had these senior portraits taken in high school, and though some of them turned out well, I tried in my shy way to tell the photographer that certain backdrops just weren't "me", and I didn't really feel that my personality was captured in the final proofs. I don't know what 17 year old knows who they truly are, or whatever, but I really want my work to make people feel that I have seen them, and have honored some of the essence of who they are. Is that too lofty of a goal? : )

In fact, a lot of photographers use the term "making a photo", rather than "taking". I understand the reasoning here (trying to change the language to represent the artistic and technical process of creation, rather than the more thief-like "taking"), but I still say I "take" photos. Because while my vision does get involved, I definitely try to capture what is already there, that most beautiful and unique part of each subject that reveals itself to me. It's definitely a collaboration in that way!

So, I'd like to figure out a way to make a "just because" portrait available to anyone who's interested! I do shoot portraits for no special reason all the time, and I want all of you shy models out there who would like to hire me to take their portrait to holler at me and let me know what I can do to make it worth your while to do a portrait session. What kind of things might appeal to you:

-a discount for single or couple portrait sessions?
-a "day in the park" mass portrait session, or another family and kid portrait day somewhere??
-a "buy one get one free" portrait session for family members?
-a gift certificate so you can give a portrait session to a sister/ brother, daughter/ son, or parents for their anniversary?
-a "birthday portrait special" package to make it easier for birthday kids of every age to have a lovely photo done of them once a year?

Help me brainstorm! : )

Sorry for such a wordy blog with not enough photos - MANY more pix (some goofy) are coming soon!

No comments: