Wish I had seen this a couple years ago when I was entrenched in the Teen Identity fight against over-sexualization of teen girls in high school portraits (senior portraits, pageant portraits and otherwise).
The message is not simple, as we would like it to be. The answers are complex and require courage and persistence. But his words bring hope, a new perspective, and a clear call to men … the ones we know and love, the ones who know and love us … to take a stand, speak up and fight back.
If you want, you could sing that list to the Christmas song… “and a partridge in a pear tree.” While you’re singing, scroll down and see the new images!
It was a couple months ago when we released the first set of images from our fashion magazine-style photo shoot in Atlanta at Lullwater Park. The truth is that anyone can plan a styled shoot like this. In fact, celebrity and humanitarian photography Jeremy Cowart believes that everyone should. And so do I!
Not only will creating a styled fashion photoshoot inspire and challenge you, it will stretch your creative muscles, give voice to your unique style and vision, and invigorate your creativity. You don’t have to have a big budget, all the latest equipment, professional models, or perfect props. The stretching of your creative muscles can come from putting something together with what you have and can procure with your imagination and resourcefulness.
SIX ESSENTIAL STEPS TO PLANNING A STYLED FASHION SHOOT
As you look at these images, remember that these are junior high and high school girls… regular girls who spent a Saturday experiencing something that most girls dream their whole lives of experiencing. They are amazing and we are so proud of who they are and the confidence they exude from their very core!
Are they “real” models? Of course! They model for us and have been featured in magazines, national presentations, films and videos. Their images have been seen across the world and have been selected for gallery showings.
Are they “professional” models? No! They’re regular teen girls getting up early to go to school, braving the world of drama, bullying, technology and life as a teen girl in 2011. That’s what makes them so amazing! If you haven’t seen their new short film, you gotta jump over and see that!
Much has been written and talked about in reference to taking action, including productivity and making ideas happen. For those in the creative professions or aspiring creative professionals, how can we harness this power of action to move our businesses forward… or at the very least move one step closer to the fulfillment of bring the vision in our minds to reality?
A couple weeks ago, we took action on an idea that had been brewing for a while. We wanted to do a fantasy shoot with our Media and Model Team of teen girls from Teen Identity. They are a group of girls we meet with at least twice a month. Once a month we have a photo shoot or video shoot, but October 22nd we decided to combine the two to create something different, something that none of the girls would have ever experienced before.
Location secured, styling and outfits procured, ideas cultivated, inspiration binder created, storyboard drafted, and music selected. The title and voiceover would come later, but we knew the direction we were going.
Was it a lot of work? Yes, without a doubt. Was it worth it? Yes, without a doubt.
Sometimes I have to admit that I question why we do what we do. I know that’s normal, but it’s never fun to question all the work you invest into a project, group or even person. It’s hard to feel that maybe you care too much or that the outcomes of any particular project, shoot or business mean more than they should. But that is the case with the creative heart and soul. As much as I’ve tried to stay distanced or create a work boundary, I never succeed since I do really care so much about each and every one of the teen girls on our team.
But when I sit back and look at what we create practically and the experience we offer, I know that it matters, the work matters, and the experience changes lives, futures, and therefore, the world. Doubt that?
Think about this.
When you were a teenager…
Did you struggle with wondering if you were valuable?
Did you wonder if you were pretty enough?
Did you question whether people really liked you?
Did you wish someone would “see” you… really see the core of you and accept it?
Did you ever secretly hope someone would “discover” you and that your life would be forever changed?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions… or maybe all, WHAT IF… that had all happened for you… at 12, 13, 15 or even 18? What difference would it have made on your choices for school, friends, relationships, career, life?
Really think about it. That’s what keeps me going. I KNOW if these questions had been addressed in the affirmative for me with caring friends and adults, a close team of girls and visual evidence with photos and videos, my ENTIRE IDENTITY could have been affected.
So that’s why we took action to change the world with our photo shoot… Tribe Quest. Watch the trailer now. See more images. Film coming soon!
You may have heard the news and speculation that Barnes & Noble will be taken over. Its stock soared last week over the news. Well, today it actually happened. But not in the way you might think. The B&N cafe at the Mall of GA was taken over by girls, Teen Identity girls.
Today I met with the Teen Identity team of girls. I think they were a little giddy from finishing their first full week back in school. We took over 4 tables and thirteen chairs as the 11 girls, me, and my ever patient hubby met for about two hours to plan out the semester’s activities. As you can see, they had a blast. And so did I. (I even think Ron had a lot of fun, although he may never admit it.)
One of the greatest joys of my job as a photographer for teen girls is to make their dreams come true. An incredibly high number of girls dream of being models. My belief is not that they really want to model, but they want the feeling of acceptance, worth and esteem that they believe might come from being chosen as a model. If that’s the case, then giving them a chance to “try out” being a model, embracing that identity for a time in a safe, healthy way is a chance for them to live a dream and most likely move on to bigger dreams.
So when teen girls, especially high school seniors hire us to do their senior portraits, we make it a model experience. For those who join our model program, we even use their images in our ads, books, videos and marketing. Seeing the look on their face the first time they see they are in a “real” magazine is priceless.
The latest Rangefinder issue arrived on our doorstep today so I’m thrilled to be able to share this new ad with some of our new models and team… they’re almost famous!
Positive space is where the action is… where shape, form and function live.
Negative space is the empty space around the action, shape, form and function.
There is a place for both in our images. In fact, there is a place for both in our lives. Positive space shows you what is going on, forces your focus and attention to a particular subject and that’s good. Equally good is the negative space that serves to balance the positive. The open space of “nothingness” is an important visual element and not to be neglected in your images.
Perhaps you didn’t necessarily know the official definition of negative space before, but you inherently would understand the principle. A new Fast Track photography friend emailed me today about what she had learned from studying negative space:
For some reason I didn’t think I understood negative space. So I looked it up and realized that I have actually shot a lot of photos using this technique anyway, I just wasn’t aware of it (don’t look now, but I think someone is learning).
This is exactly why a 365 photography challenge can improve your images 300% in one year. It’s the details, definitions, understanding, and daily revelations that you learn learn with a click of the button in a few spare moments.
I have a deeper question for you now… where is the negative space in your LIFE?
Speaking from experience, it’s so easy for me to get wrapped up in whatever my latest creative endeavor might be. I fill my schedule until it’s overflowing, then wonder why I’m exhausted and overwhelmed. It’s a position I put myself in with a constant tendency to always want positive space… always something newer, better, quicker, faster… you get the idea.
This theme couldn’t have come at a better time as I was just reminded of the script/poem I wrote for the Dream. Create. Inspire. series of videos for Pictage PartnerCon.
Would you take a minute to slow down, watch this, and B R E A T H E …
I just discovered a new photo blog called iHeartFaces. Have you seen it? They have weekly challenges and contests for amateurs to professionals. It’s a great way to challenge yourself to shoot something new and try a new approach.
I decided to jump in on this week’s challenge to submit an image with a hat included. This was a hard choice because I have so many pics with hats in them. I just love photographing people in hats. I think they pose differently, even act differently when wearing a hat. It’s almost like the hat gives them that extra bit of personality.