The Purpose of Finding Your Style


Commercial Fashion Photography


Lesson Info

The Purpose of Finding Your Style

So in section we're going to be moving on to talking about I guess, the business branding, marketing all of those things that we are thinking about in terms ofthe when we're selling ourselves as photographers on dh how we find us, how we find out ej as photographers when we're making our work into that product to give to her people. So this section's called your style your purpose in your journey or photography, so to start with, I just want to go back to thes labels that I was thes two labels I was using fine art and fashion on the the difference is I was giving between them in terms of fashion and fine are what these two genres want what these two worlds actually want from you, andi I mentioned it on the first day and I went through how these air two different worlds now I'm to show you this because I also want to now put in there a third category, so just flick through these so in commercial work this is another label that we give photographers commercial photographer what does that...

mean? How does that stand alongside fashion and finer so in commercial instead of a sequence or a series of images, you have something that is basically collection of work it could call show real these images are like finance standalone pieces they're not necessarily story but their images that asked given that I've done for a certain situation for a certain clients of their stand alone piece is whether that stand alone project might be the end game is different so it's not necessarily for a magazine it might be for a magazine but it's for anything that the client say's it's full so it could be in essence it's a form of advertisement on you've also got a different shelf life it's not necessarily the same as it is in fashion fine art the shelf life is that you are doing something that is licensed for particular usage in it in all kinds of different ways that the client is stipulating and then you've got exclusivity that's different as well it's built in to whatever the client is asking for it involves a team very much like fashion but then again it on dh is could also involve an agency no in all cases but it's something that is basically whatever much is the brief of what you're given a warm in my brief is that what the client is asking for what they want you to do a magnificent shoot that involves a lot of these ingredients are simple one model shoot perhaps on that involves very simple location on dh the terminology that we've come to associate with commercial tends to be words like breach from budget you might have a director, a director working alongside you not even agency you're working through whereas in fashion and finite you've got this vocabulary was talking about like seasoned and trends in fashion and a finite you've got there's shows critics okay so just okay then once come through again that's why I wanted to highlight that between all these labels what because these are essentially labels you have fashion for talk for fine after talking a commercial photographer but between all of these different genres what what essentially is being told us a story in all of them so in fashion you've got a story that's unfolding over a sequence of images in finite you've got a story that can in my case as I was showing being one picture but that's just the way I use find not it could be that because finalize anything so it could be that you have a story that is unfolding over a series of pictures but that's serious is intended to be more in a gallery context not the pages of the magazine to sell a product on commercial as well you have this element of story as well I mean advertisements some of the most story laden images out there in the way in which they often use compositing to put together something in an image that's telling a story to the potential customer s o you have elements from fashion of fine art that could potentially go into commercial work on dh I work in aspect of all three of these columns so in terms of the label I give myself I can be pretty much any one of these because of different situations that I've used my skills and abilities in we've bean organizing a commercial shoot lately which involves aspects of both fashion of fine art in a strange way it's a hybrid of all three on because they are interested in what is the story in these images and how this story comes to life where they want to know why we're putting things in the image what do they say? What is going on holistically with a picture and there was someone fashion elements coming through is welcomes the fashion theme to it but it's so this elements of fine art in the themes and psychology of the image fashion is the aesthetic what commercial is the intent? So you have these hybrids going on and so these labels they mean things, but they also cross over and overlap on dh it's important to consider that because you never really going to be just one of these I think there's going to be elements of story telling throughout all of them and that's ultimately I think what you want to be aiming towards is how do your messages how'd your pictures speak the message that you're intending so this moves me onto talking about style because style and label the two very similar concepts on dh when people talk about style one of the major things to realize is why do we want to talk about style? Why do we want to talk about? I don't, why do we want a style? Why do we want to be known to us now? We're the main reasons, and probably the main reason is that the purpose of defining style is to ca modify your work, because it's, ultimately how it's perceived that you're being considered to have a style, so arguably you could say that if we were to sit in our, you know, in our house, just kind of making work for our own pleasure all our lives, and we would never necessarily need to ask ourselves what is our style, because it would just be something we're doing for ourselves, and it would never be putting the I in front of the eyes of other people. So first of all, the purpose ofthe style of having a style is mostly for other people's benefit and that's going to become more apparent as I go on and talk more about situations of my own on dh epiphanies of my own. When it comes to looking at my work, how do we form a style? Um, that sounds pretty obvious, but you do it by making work, you do it by shooting in this case, in photography, on dh. That's that's how you form a style you can't sit and figure out your style before you go and do it you have to you have to work inspiration exists but it has to find you working is the quote from the cast I gave on the first day I think it was how can we define our style is another thing because that's when we're trying to think what is uh style we've got all this work out laid out in front of us that we've been doing how do we kind of like, you know, moving around and wonder where were tryingto what we're trying to do in this work that have created because along the way we have notions of what we're doing, but until you have like a selection of working for all of you, can you then start to think how come what's going on in my work you know and start to kind of analyse it and figure out what's happened in those right brain moments that I can actually figure out with my left brain and get that balance between the two? So going back to when I was talking about inspirations and I was talking about how all these different things inspire you on an unconscious and on a conscious level well a good thing to do would be to list you know, the things that come to mind like I did in the kind of a brainstorm I did of all those different things that I can consider some form of inspiration in my own life and you could list ten things that is by you but try and think about what inspires you about um what this is really good because it reminds us that when something when we like something it's not that we just I want to be it you know there's something about it that we're taking from it that were internalizing and remixing like I was saying in my inspiration on dh secondly the other day so think about what you like and what you don't like so much about the thing that inspires you so for example just really try and think of one because it always makes more sense when I given it an actual example of one I put on my list the chronicles of narnia as one of my inspirations on one of the things that inspires me the most about that is when I think of the illustrations in the books illustrations of as land the line drawings they're kind of interesting texture of the the images illustrations in the books but something that doesn't inspire me so much is maybe the film versions of the books where the way which as long as depicted in there in there and that to me is a little less kind of interesting to me so as soon as I pointing out to myself, I realized, ok, well, what is it about the line drawings I like? Is it that I want to introduce some form of texture, lighting my work and what? What is it about? And you can identify the thing that that the spark like you like, because you won't like everything about someone work. Tim walker's work. I love his work because there's so much of it on this so much to take inspiration from this particular pictures of his, I'm drawn to more than others, so I'm drawn to maybe some of the more darker every ones and the ones using that's, one of the woman in the room, with lots of butterflies around her on, whereas ones that are more fairy tale. I don't like what you like as much once where you've got, you know, women with more typical elements, like balloons or in fields with huge swans and these images, I don't necessarily put my mood boards as much as the other images, so hone in on what it is about something that you like, not just the thing itself. Define your video, synchronizes by comparison alongside others, so idiosyncrasy defined as a mode of behavior or way of thought peculiar to an individual, so it's like a quirk, basically so. This is a really good tip. The first time I first started to think about what my style is was when I saw it alongside other people's work, and in this case it was a good few years back where my work was in a book off other female self portrait work on day was like a collaborative thing where we self published it together like a lot of us on it was interesting to see my work along side these other women's because I started to see qualities about my work that I had up to there, never really bean thinking about like these two images I've put those examples are images that most show that idiosyncrasy I'm referring to, which is boldness and color on the way in which I was using form in the images where is by comparison, other people's images in the book seemed like kind of softer, fainter on delicate I'm not saying I never use elements of delicacy, but there was this kind of boldness that was coming through in the way that I was using subjects and color, so that was the beginning of my journey and thinking about differences also not just viewing your work visually alongside of others, but working alongside of the photographers. Is an interesting experience as well, because then you get to define the way thatyou work not just the look of the final image, but the way you go into your shooting on the way that you progress for your shooting compared to other people's approaches. That's why I think you know much in creative lives interesting because you're seeing another photographer in the way that they work on dh it helps you to find how you work because it may be that you're different or it may be you find commonalities and as a pleasure in finding both differences on commonalities, look at your work collectively. One of the things I really liked about sharing my work through social media, I'll talk more about it's a little bit later about one of the reasons I really liked putting my work on to flicker initially when I first started making my images is that not just not just that people were seeing them, but I was seeing them collectively buildup and I finished a picture? I put it out there, but I also saw it collecting like a tapestry of of color and form, and I could see, you know, like I was zooming out of all my images and seeing them all build in this is kind of grew like former which is one of the reasons why I don't like flickers new format because you don't have that square so much so you don't see them all lined up like that, you see them all in their different dimensions, which I know it just changes. It looked for me, but but that gave me a lot of pleasure because looking at my work collectively could give me a sense of, you know, I was saying earlier I work on my own, which is very individually, that is important, but I also like to see them buildup collectively once I do finish one and put it, call it, call it finished and put it alongside the others, and I can see where I'm going with these images because ultimately images are all about where you're going with them. It's not just about the pride you get within, which is important, but it's about where they're going as well, and that could give you clues as to where you might be headed with your style. How do your audience react? So this one again is a little bit keyed into what was saying about social media? What will the people think about your work, not just about the directions that people give you online but when you're exhibiting your work for example or showing your work to somebody in you know, in real life physically having someone kind of talking about your work in front of you so for me it's been interesting both in social media but also when I shared my work and exhibitions and had people coming remember I was exhibiting my work and london couple years ago and this guy came in I was kind of invigorating my own exhibition and this guy came in and said, oh, is this your work? I said, yeah oh ah lovely sense of humor and I was like, okay, I don't think my work was really hilarious, but it was interesting how he reacted to it because I realize now there is humor in my work and I didn't really realize at first I've heard other people say that couple of times as well so looking at how your audience react is is not something that you should be doing completely let you have to think about what you want but see how they reacted interesting because ultimately the reason why we're photographers were making something visual on the whole point of it is that you're showing it to other people to say something but that's to sell a product or whether that's toe put across some kind of message in your finer so it's all about visual communications or help people react is important and it may be that the pictures that people most like are going to be your most successful images in another area so people pictures that people like online I found that there's a picture of mine that's really popular that was really popular online unpopular of art collectors so it's interesting to get that that kind of information from people through social media but you are the boss of your own evolution so you ultimately are in charge of where you're going because otherwise there's no point doing what you're doing if you're not in charge of where you're going you are you have the final say your opinion is the most important one you could get other people's opinions but you have to decide ultimately for yourself where you want to go um the next line I'm going talk about lack of my images but I just want to mention here that an anecdote to go in with this is that once when I was showing another artist my black and white images and asking him do you think I should do this more? Do you like them? And I kind of expected him to give you some kind of yes you should do them or no you should not answer which it wasn't his place to say and he actually you know he said that himself so I knew that ultimately you have to decide where you're going with your images and with your direction, but it is certainly very hopeful to get the impulse of people because they help you gauge where you stand as a communicator, so he's example of black and white image as I just mentioned there on thie caption I've written here is try as much as you want, but sell something specific now this is another case of balance everything comes down to balance, really, but in photography, I think the way to be successful ultimately in a commercial sense is to be known for something in particular a particular element of your style that you're selling, because then you're more likely to be thought off when somebody's doing something particular on wants, for example, the best car photographer they could get or, you know, the best fashion photographer that they know is does a particular style that they want a band. So you I think I think that's the key to success but that's not always the way to happiness because happiness is about you being able to try things and do different things, so you're not pigeonholed as well. So this line between being pigeonholed and specialising is kind of blurry, but it means that you might be trying things you might be trying different things you don't have to show all of these things on reason I've shown this picture here is because this image is in line with my work in the sense that it's, surreal and it's making the body into a form that's slightly on human, but ultimately it's, also black and white, and I found that black and white images tend to get cast into their own category, where you kind of like it or not. So I find, like in an exhibition, for example, even presenting work to a gallery owner, they tend to want just see no cholera images, all black and white that I want to see both that certainly don't be confused with both. I mean, I'm saying that from experience, I'm not saying it's a rule, but that's just what tends to be at least of the moment in that scene so it's something that I would not necessarily put in the in the face of people. The other day I did a pdf made a pdf first for a client asked for a pdf of certain type of images in my portfolio, and I put together twelve images and I said to matthew, what you think of this twelve and he said, you know, take the black and white one out because it just he just felt like it was going to throw them, often confusing, so again, that's, another reminder to me that black and white images but they like it or not sometimes have a little category going on their own but it doesn't mean that you can't do them because you should always follow your heart and try things you like and find how it fits into your repertoire and you might find that you've become so good at black and white you want to specialize in that and you want to show that off as a mainstay but I would say that commercially they tend to be less relevant because they tend to be more of a fine art thing people look at them and they instantly think it's something a little bit more fine art like because it's more mystical and less related to the real world so just bear that in mind your limitations may go toward defining your style um the reason I put all these images on here is because in all of these images a woman is facing from facing one direction which is something that I found I do in a lot of my images in this particular siri's where I've got a woman planted in a position facing one way on dh I kind of them realise that us after I've made a few are for god I gotta start mixing up a little bit with the direction of the models looking in that's just example of something that is crops up in my work a few years ago had a meeting with quite famous art dealer called michael hoppin in london that was arranged for me by a gallerist of mine that was really fortunate to have the opportunity. This was before I created all of this work that you see on the screen. So this meeting was mainly about my self portraiture, but he was noticing that though he was commenting on there was things in my work that that looks like it was almost a limitation, I guess he was saying, oh, you always shoot from the same angle, the same kind of human eye level angle, you know, why not try make self a bit with high and low angles in your work, which I'm not saying necessarily is a bad or good common, I think it's it's just a neutral comment you khun you could take that advice and certainly go and diversify. I wouldn't recommend being to kind of like I would recommend being offended. It is good to not be offended too easily by what people say about your work and just to take what they say as a tip. Having said that, I I also think that the is a bit problematic because photographers out there that are being that really successful and doing really well, there aren't perfect photographers they're just photographers who've got to a point where there is so well known so trusted and they will have limitations about the way they work they will have thes quirks that you could call kind of like bad habits even orjust habits that they've fallen into I mean the way in which for example, andi since named the photographer that shoots models just against the white background terry richardson I forgot his name than eso his style is very particular about simple, you know, no there's, nothing particularly great about the way you shoots if he showed his portfolio to michael hoping I'm sure plenty to say about in terms of limitations are trying new things. What has become recognized for so soto have limitations is ultimately part forming a style thes invitations might be things that you just do instinctively or it might be about happy I mean it's, I wouldn't recommend kind of I would always endorse on willingness to learn and trying new things, but but but these ultimately you are still going to always make mistakes I'll just do things that are maybe, you know because you have to make a piece of work ultimately you have to finish it you can't keep pouring over the possibilities of how much you khun change in perfect a picture so you have to be able to put something out to the world and say this is me you know every different level of your evolution but then I've said that there's a fine line between style and stubbornness so you can also find that there are points where you don't want to do something you prefer to do something certain way, but then by opening your mind and let yourself learn a new technique when you're shooting, for example, or using lights in a particular way, I found I found it very hard to start using um, artificial lighting at first, especially flash five kind of persevered with it and found that it helps serve my vision on it's a tall, ultimately to use on maneuver to help better the vision I'm trying to put across and it took a while to kind of accommodate that as part of my vision and sometimes it doesn't work. Sometimes I need natural light or constant movie night on dh, but I'm willing to learn and that's important as well because that makes you happy. I think when it comes to be able to expand your mind, I think we naturally want to try different things be the unusual remember that many artists on our were beyond their time, so this includes not just photographers but musicians, directors, painters and I love this point because it reminds us that amongst all this hype that we have around figures that are big in creative industry, whatever that is, where that's director who's now dead. I'm thinking here of alfred hitchcock and how it became really apparent when I watched the film lately, I think it's called hitchcock the one that reaction of his life around the time of him making psycho on dh. I realize that all the struggles that he went through when he was trying to make cycle and get it out there and how he was starting to be pigeonholed as a particular type of director on people expected something from him what he wanted to make something a bit different. So even though we kind of piping up these days, is this master of suspense and pretty much good think of him as this, you know, person that got to the top and achieved many things and is, you know, now spoken ofthe infamously he was going through these struggles at the time to be recognized and to do these unconventional things in the film psycho, where he had this shower scene that was unheard, or that he had to show it in a certain way with the rig, you know? Short bursts of clips do not show any nudity on dh also you have to get around the whole shock of showing this murder scene and he was trying to push the boundaries and it was hard for him to push the boundaries people didn't you know people were some people loved in some people controversial reaction basically tio from his audience because some people didn't like it, so if you want to be different if you want to be ground breaking, then you've got to accept that not everyone is gonna like it and you are going to be controversial people love this word controversial it's kind of romanticised but ultimately is part of being that there are people are not going to like your work and you have to deal with a lack of reception, perhaps from certain parts of your audience so that's all about balance as well because you want enough of an audience to be able to sell what you do. I mean, hitchcock got to where he was by making films that were successful but then when he got to a certain level and you're starting to bend the rules and play and be quirky as you might have bean in his earlier student days and that's a difficult balance because you want to give people something they like, what you also want to challenge them as well but it's no easy to be both and I think it's a bit of both, you have to feed into each other for a successful career in photography, but remember that it's good to try things that unusual on to take risks because you want to yeah, it might not give you extreme popularity in every sense, but that's part of you expressing yourself, which I think is much more important than just being as popular as you can in every respect and don't forget, obviously, as people say, you can't please everyone anyway, so there's gonna be something about what you do that many people won't like. So what? Keep moving on and welcome the milestones so there's a great pleasure in completion, the sense of completion in completing something, not just a piece of work itself. I've talked about high put piece ofwork online through all the years, and I feel like it's finished, I feel genuinely moved on time to work on the next piece, but not just with work, but also when you're making like, for example yourself publishing a book off a collection of works, perhaps, or you're making a website, or you're making some form of printed portfolio or any kind of project that involves the making of a siri's of work. Being able to complete it and call something done, even if you feel like you could work on it for another ten years. This again about balance, because some work does need your time to nurture it over however many years amongst our years, you need to do that. But when you get to a point where you can, I call it done there's great pleasure from that ondas that's a milestone. So I looked back up things that I've done like books I've had published in books, that I have self published exhibitions. I've had all of these things that I look back, my kind of thing, I would change that now if I did it now, I change that. It doesn't matter because we're always evolving, always changing whenever gonna be completely happy with something you've done in the past. You've got to just welcome the milestones, ultimately reputation, unnamed, trump, everything. So we talk about style. We talk about how style is important, and it definitely is important for you to think about what you want to put in your work that might be different from what is already out there. But then when it comes to fashion, it's a bit more difficult to do exactly something ground breaking because they do expect you to to abide by the convention's a lot of fashion magazines pretend to want something that's risk taking, but actually they ultimately want you to obey the rules because that is fashion, and if you do something that's come out out of the box, then most of time we'll just be rejected because people won't get it so and was talking the other day about how passion has a conventional idea of beauty. You know, if you start using unconventional models, you might get, you know, a token publication here or there where they think, oh, yeah, you know, your story is great, but then the sad fact is that you won't be able to make it sustainable because people not used to seeing on conventional fashion subjects are used to seeing a certain type of expectation filled. And so, um and so really, it comes down to the way you fulfill the conventions of the genre to give yourself at least a head start in success in that particular field I've written here, ultimately reputation and named trump everything. Um I had a meeting with an ad agency awhile back where I've been waiting quite well for a meeting on guy was showing them my work on dh I was at a stage where I was confident with my work. I was fairly confident with a portfolio. We were in the way. I was presenting it as well, but they were. It was a bit of a bad meeting. Well, it was okay, but they were pointing out things that I felt, what irrelevant to the point of being there. They were pointing out things about my portfolio presentation. And then they put a portfolio in portfolio from somebody else in my lap to look at. So here I was after waiting six months for this meeting. And I was looking at pictures of babies and children in this person's portfolio thinking what the hell's going on here, I was thinking, and so this person style in this portfolio is just no anything special, it's a very conventional way of shooting this children or ever was in the portfolio in studios. This was an ad agency that was very well, I thought, at least to be quite innovative and different and out of the box. So for them to be kind of telling me to learn from this portfolio was very odd. And it told me that to them, this photographer has obviously got a very good reputation, a very good name for me to come in with a style that's. Unusual for them was a risk for them because they don't want to take a risk with a photographer who hasn't been proven to get tons of commercial work. So for them, it was important that despite this person's kind of lack of creativity and his work, it was very kind of formal. It was it was good, good photography of children, but it wasn't anything like what I was trying to put forward to them, so I didn't see the relevance of showing me it, but to me it showed that my style didn't mean anything to them because they wanted to see me actually go out and just get reputation and getting name first so they can trust me. So when it comes to being successful, you have to be able to prove you can do it. You prove you can actually get work with what you do, it's difficult balance, because I wouldn't recommend, you know, just trying to take the boxes of the conventions because that what kind of a life is that going to be if you're not happy following and doing something a little bit different? But it's about balance, you have to be able to assure people you can do what they're clients ultimately won, but this agency wants to keep the clients happy s o I have to. First of all, prove I could make clients happy before they trust me and my style goes back to the michael hopping meeting as well, because once you do get in with a job and you have someone recommended you personally and you get that job, these people can't start looking at you and critiquing your work anymore because suddenly there's no case for that they're not. They're not kind of positioned on this high horse giving you their opinion, giving you their opinion on your work, you're actually already doing it, so they've got a kind of respect you and they can't start critiquing your work. When you go to some of these meetings, you'll find that they allow themselves to be in a position where they think you need a critique because they think you haven't got the work yet. So it's a bit of a catch twenty two I talked a little bit more about that later when it comes to getting work and not appearing desperate for it, but also being able to do the necessary groundwork to get those meetings in place. So it's a very interesting industry I found in that respect, so fine tuning what you do, so I made this like kind of four point diagram too show how it's about balance between these four things, so you've got on the one hand there, what you enjoy this is what you are good at so what you enjoy us and what you like making there's moments in it when I'm processing and I talk about this spark of inspiration I get when I put something on a picture or even the shoot itself in I'm shooting a model and she's doing something unexpected you know, those moments you enjoy and then you put their picture together based on that spark of right brained nous that came to you that spontaneity and then you've got versus what you are good at so you might do something that is a bit different for what you're usually doing and you know, that's a bit different and you don't know whether to put it out there or not people think that you're good at, you know, a certain type of image I've had people kind of come to me sometimes and say I think you should carry on doing levitation pictures forever and ever and I'm liking you because they think that's my strong point but it's just impossible to tell someone what direction to take because you've got to take your own direction, you can't just stick to one thing otherwise you're just I get really frustrated and miserable but again it's a balance because other people do also have good advice on how you can actually put your workout there on dh where your strengths lie and then you've got this other part the diagram trying to be different versus what's popular or in trend, as I was saying earlier about being the unusual and thinking outside of the box or being controversial, being different, I think is is really important. I think you should look at when I when I see people doing stuff, I kind of want to do something a bit different, whereas sometimes tendencies to want to do also what's in trend or what people like remember, I mean, I I generally I do images that some summer more popular than others, you know? And like that's, the case of everybody, I was really surprised when I put a picture online a few months ago, and I don't know the goal with kind of book pages flying around her, which is actually a commissioned suit I had on dh there was this overwhelming reaction on facebook to it more likes than I ever expected from this particular picture, and then I got the message that this kind of thing is popular. You know, this thing is in in trend at the moment you could say to have these kind of book pages flying around this very whimsical set up, and so it was interesting to me because I didn't. I realized that I hadn't on the picture for my own pleasure although I really enjoy doing it I just thought I'd put it out there and I could see that there was an overwhelming reaction and it was very tempting very tempting in those situations to think to yourself should I do just more pictures like that, you know, keep feeding them and just goto tipping point with my followers or shall I work on this that's a little bit weirder but actually I'm more interested in so it's always about always about balance because being doing something popular is getting recognition is you know, it is a thrill it's a buzz is exciting, but you also have to get the balance right between do I do I like it as well? The sailors on the red dress of the image I was showing you before I think putting the sailors on would have made it less popular an image because it would have been a bit different a little bit too kind of people probably thought them and look it looked and thought, well, what's going on here the flow of the dress was interrupted by these sailors and it turned out that I'd thought in the end the sailors didn't work but if I did get to the point where I was really happy with the sailors than I would have to have that compromise with myself and think well do I go with what I like, or do I go if I know people will appreciate more, and ultimately only you can answer that, and you have to answer it case by case we love hearing about about all this? Michelle bae says, this is what I love about fine art story the author tells may not be the same story the reader gets from it beauty of creating I love how hearing, how different, people's ideals of the same piece, it's, fascinating how life experiences affect each of us differently to how we view things. So it's really interesting to hear how he can turn limitations into strength, and all of these different approaches to that, that perspective of learning about style, yeah, that's, great, how this morning I've actually been wondering this the whole class. Excuse me, on the first day you were talking about how inspiration, when your word busting inspiration, and that you kind of unconsciously taken all these different things that you see in life, and I'm wondering about just with regard to your style, the storms, the birds, some of these themes that we see over and over the water, and just are those things that your conscious of using in a particular style, or those things from your life, um, actually, I think it has to come down to the picture ultimately, like I was saying earlier, about concentrating on the picture itself, I think, and I use birds quite a lot. I think they become this thing that's, um, because they can be in and around a picture in any place they can be perched somewhere that can be flying unlike, you know, big, heavy animal that has to take a big space in an image and not be so kind of footloose through the composition. So something nice and nice about birds in terms of how they go into a picture, but there's also the symbolism of them as well. There's, you know, home that they're quite in terms of putting in a picture that quite popular in terms of the way people receive them. That doesn't mean that I put them in there for the pictures to be popular, but what it means is there's something that I, too like about birds, just as everyone else likes about them in terms of how they symbolize all these different notions of freedom and strain and so fragile and yet so so free as well. So, yeah, it is interesting, because sometimes I have to look at my work and that sees question to myself. Because I tried to let the image take what it wants from from the compositing elements that I I prepare for them, if you like on by trying to force things that don't work. This image on the screen here that you see, was a very over ambitious, I think, endeavour that I started out with, and actually they did this in a workshop life to to the people in front of me, not on online, but just to the people there. And so it was a bit of a strange moment for me to do that in front of them. But then I saw the synergy between the tones of the woman and the positioning also of the two us they were there on dh I kind of thought to myself, is it the old tohave, an animal who was obviously very heavy and very scary on the back of the woman who looks like she's kind of in the middle of a dream? But then I thought, well, as long as it can work, technically, then we can have this kind of contrast between her, um, her willingness to be able to stand there, and almost as if the tiger represented fear that she's withstanding the weight off so I looked, I looked at the picture and decided that it wasn't something that necessarily was odd, on doubt with place, I felt like it really worked in its strangeness and it's those moments that I really like, because it means that there's something genuine about the fusion between the two, rather than take taking the over ambitiousness and actually making it into something that works on, reaches a new sense of normal in the picture. Quick one from cosmo b somebody might like or hate a picture of yours, but how can they critique it when they don't deeply share or understand your vision? How much do you feel that understanding your intent is important for receiving good critique and feedback from other people? Yeah, that that's a good one, because if you go into a meeting like I was just talking about with the ad meeting or the meeting, the art dealer, people are just seeing your work on face value when they I don't really know often what's behind them or journey into making them there's. One picture in my portfolio, doing the art dealer meeting, actually where it was a self portrait in an abandoned hospital, and there were words printed on the wall of the hospital, but they actually thought the image had bean photoshopped like that. They thought that the words were photoshopped on, so it was maybe confusing that there were pictures in my portfolio that were photoshopped on dh pictures that weren't on maybe kind of threw off his his interpretation off those pictures that were supposed to be a little bit more organic than they may have come across as so, yeah, they can be a problem with that, but I think ultimately you have to let go of that bit, because because people will have different interpretations of your work, and when it comes to fine are if you're using your fine art to attract commercial clients, which can often be the case, you find that they there will be things that they think about your work that you did necessarily intend. But it works in a way that benefits you because you get a job with them because they've interpreted your work in certain way that relates to how they're going to commission you. So I've had that, you know, play times and that's that's fine, because that's, the purpose, my fine art plays in getting me a job with them. I just hope that the commercial work I do with them can actually fulfill the vision they had when they saw my work. So that's that's an issue but that's? Fine, because I don't expect to and kind of teo load the viewers brain with my own interpretation. I think that's a bit, limiting way, too looking. So you've gotta let your work free a little bit, especially when you're putting out for lots and lots of other people to see and hope who will come to them with different experiences.

Class Description

Are you ready to break into the magical, vibrant world of fashion photography? Join renowned fine art and fashion photographer Miss Aniela for this class on everything you need to know about creating vibrantly artistic and commercial fashion images.

Miss Aniela will:

  • Take you step by step through a location photo shoot
  • Show both lo-fi and high-production budget approaches to a fashion set-up
  • Walk you through her post production process 
  • Share her insight into the business of fashion photography 
You will learn how to concept, produce, and style a shoot — including finding inspirational details and creative locations.

After reflecting on the shoot and reviewing the raw images, Miss Aniela will walk you through her compositing process. You will learn how to choose images that both highlight your personal style and appeal to stylists, editors, and commercial clients. Miss Aniela will also reveal her own professional journey, explaining how she turned her Flickr stream of amateur self-portraits into a thriving fashion photography career. 



I LOVED this course!!! Very informative, I thoroughly enjoyed it!!! I realize I probably won't get to shoot the 'hi-fi' shoots, especially in such grandiose locations, but I loved looking in, behind the scenes, and what all goes into these shoots. Miss Aniela was a fantastic instructor. Thank you for this course!