The Birth of a Fantasy Concept
We've got lou freeman. She has been shooting for a wonderful amount of time. She is a portrait boudoir. Fine art photographers had done commercial work. She's won awards in both publishing and commercial work. Theo, be the addy she made history when she was a second woman ever to shoot for playboy magazine in nineteen eighty eight and shot for I believe twelve years, which is the believe the record at this point she knows women she knows photography and she's here to teach about creating a concept and really bringing that to life by working with a team and howto how to bring the most out of everyone. So we're very excited and we hope that you and everyone here in the room together will help us welcome miss liu cremant luke blue we watched you work so hard yesterday. How are you feeling now? I mean, you went the distance in terms of all the prep work that you did for this course. I feel I feel great. I'm ready. I think everybody here that's on my team is ready to a big team. We're going...
to meet some of those team members let's let you do that. I treated treated yesterday and today, just like it was a job for me, so and that gift is to show that it's gonna be so much fun let's do it like so first of all, I just want to thank you guys so much, there's so many of you here on such a a blessing to see all of you guys, they're interested in what I have to say, you know, as you get older, you do things quicker. That's my biggest thing I can bless you with as you get stressed out about creating things, the most awesome thing is it gets easier and easier as your flow gets going, so I thought I would share with you the very first thing that came to mind when they ask me to do this show the birth of women, women are messengers, women or the glue women deliver, I cast passion, they keep things together and related and almost every walk of life. So when I was given that topic modern women's portrait er I thought, what can I do? I can talk about women, I could show women I want to show how women to me feel so as I tell you my story today in the first hour, we're going to talk about how I work, how I get ideas, and I'm hoping that I can impart some energy with you that you can go if it'll make you feel like you have your own set of wings and you can create new ideas there outside your comfort zone, because when you get outside of that that's when you grow and the hardest thing to do is to get up and get outside of your comfort zone. So if you push every day, the next thing you do, you're going to turn around you go. Wow, I've moved forward. So every day of your life I look as a chance for you to make a first impression, so every in person first impression needs to be excellent. So every photograph you take, if you go at it with that attitude, every single person that walks out the door is going to love you and come back. You'll make more and more money with that attitude. So to create a fantasy I've been blessed with being to do that for me is an artist. I couldn't imagine taking photographs or doing anything without creating some sort of a fantasy. If you're making a headshot for someone a commercial actor had shot, you're really creating their fantasy dream as well. Every man wants to be handsome and sexy, no matter how well they are. Every woman wants to be sexy, so when I start my process, I have a little checklist and it's really coming simple. I use it for my jobs for commercial work used it for editorials if someone on the honest here were to call me and ask me to do a photo shoot, I asked the same syriza questions visualize ing concept ing constantly creativity has become a part of my life in every aspect, and I'm hoping I can share that with you today. So to derive a creative, authentic idea is something that I think is important in the world we live in if you just came from w p p I you see here and you see cards and you see background lights and it's like infinity ideas over there. But to me, no matter which one of those tools you choose to work with it's really about the idea behind it and how you want to create that work of art, if you can afford one speed light or you don't even have that you're working with flashlights, you still have to have an idea, right? If there's nothing being sad from the photograph, then you don't really have a story. So before I go too far into this, I'm known as being kind of a lighting expert in my previous creative life class that didn't november has extensive studies on lighting, so if I talk about something quickly and you want to revisit that lighting technique, you can find that in my last creative live in their own special I believe this week while w p p I's going on so you could save a little money and you can also visit my website I have all kinds of tools as well just extensive training and what I'm going to be teaching you I'm going to show you a couple of ideas today we're going to develop some kind steps right in front of you I also have extensive studies on commercial head shots that we just created I brought my full team with me today and you're going I'm going to introduce you them to you and we're going to talk about how we work together how we collaborate if you think that you cannot create a photo shoot that's is interesting some of the things we're going to show you I think you might be surprised when you finish today you'll have all kinds of different ways to think either hire somebody surround yourself with or you ll be able to create some things right on your own so as I said in the beginning every chance you take to photograph someone is a chance for you to be in the spotlight if you're a person that's repeating the same thing over and over and copying other people's work you're going to blend in and become one of the monday you have to be adversely different from everyone around you especially a competition in the city you live or you need teo be the cheapest and I don't want to be the hamster around the treadmill I'd rather be unique and individual of my ideas, so being bold and being authentic are also the other keys to this making sure that you have on idea that resonates with what's going on a current trans, but not exactly the same. So over the past few weeks after creative live, somebody said, what are you going to do next? And I said, I think my answer was I'm going to shoot for a little while, so I go through periods of time where I don't want to accept paying jobs and all I do is create all of those shots in a row and I spend money to make money if I am not creating work on my own for myself four, five times a year, I certainly don't have anything I can run out and show all of my clients that I'm excited about. So I researched a lot and I create idea folders for myself and I hold them till I have that time when I consent myself free from obligation and then I set into process of just it's like a painter with a paintbrush there's kind of bend over and concentrate on that and stop the world but the electronics away turn the tv off if you've got a lot of distractions in your life, I met someone yesterday they told me they had six kids and you know that's a lot of obligation and I'm sure those kinds of people say I have time to think for myself we have to go away find a way to get away from that so you can create for yourself so in my stuff my photo shoots whether I'm working for a magazine or an art director, I end up being the who so my clients come to me and they're like we have a new idea we have new product we're trying to sell or if someone calls me and says I want to do a boudoir shit, I'm already thinking you know what is funny together that information, the what is what the subject matter is concept a product of my selling carpet and my selling beer cosmetics one of my selling and the where is usually going to be the studio or the location on this? The w's khun go on from here and I'll explain in a moment when I'm shooting all those planned ideas are usually take notes I usually never answer the phone when the person calls me the first time I think about what I need to have the questions in order of call everyone back and then I start my process of gathering the information so to me there's really? Four kind for cunt for parts of a concept for me, I'm going to set out in any artistic endeavor light stylization, communication are really key essentials, but the concept itself has to be fully developed and everyone involved with me working with it has to understand what it is sometimes it's a good idea to show visuals to because people can't you'll think someone hears your words and you get to the chute and they brought something that's totally different than what you asked them to, so communication is key. Sometimes I find myself repeating things over and over sometimes three or four times in the beginning, I made sure that everybody brought what I was going to be shooting to me before I did the shoot it's like a guarantee it was going to get exactly what I was aiming for in a commercial world if I made a guarantee that I could pull off something and we get to the photo shoot and one element was off guess what would happen to the job it's kind of like when it when it rains, when I'm shooting a catalogue guess whose fault it is. So having your concept together is probably the most important no matter what it is you're going to be shooting, but today we'll talk about fantasy, so I took this class and broke it up into pieces that would put all together to make one big statement and they give you like the dictionary version of what some of the words mean that I'm using and then talking about how they relate to what we do every day so for fantasy to be created to mei is there's a fine line between the fantasy and the reality and getting somebody to look like they belong in that fantasy every aspect has to be covered from hair makeup styling photo shot background location set if anyone part of that is missing is what happens to my concept, it's cracked, it doesn't work the concept itself is a instance for me that happens I created when I take the picture I shoot it in every way possible then I develop it out finish it up in my photo shop following that so to me to be creative means that I have to really sit down and make something new happened every time it's like a forced action and in the beginning I was super intimidated when I shot for playboy it was the most intimidating thing in the world because I was overwhelmed with had a light, the pressure to get the lighting right in to make the images have that sparkle in that impact you can't imagine I never once question whether or not being a woman had anything to do with it I made it my game to be savvy with the light in my meter, I knew what I was doing, a new to gauge for ambient light and to add the speed of light or the strobe light or whatever like I was going to choose to use to make my art happen. Sometimes it would take me two hours to get it set, so once I achieved comfort zone with that, I watched my work go from seven much higher publishing if the images as well, I had the joy of going back to playboy magazine before they closed the office in chicago. I got to go inside the vault, where they keep all the film and the magazines and the books. They pulled out all the magazines, and later, mountain said here, pick from these were going to let you teach with ease and show how you do what you do, and it was a moment where the hair on my arm stood up and I was like, I can't believe I'm going to be here and this is going to close and this is such a big part of my life, but I opened all these magazines up, and it was the first time I'd had a chance to like, line them all up and see where I wise, and in the beginning I was like, I'm not so sure. What? Why? They actually asked me to do this more than once or twice I had like one or two pictures, then I started seeing three to five pictures and then it went from there in publication so it's kind of like sometimes you have to get it and getting what the creative is is important to understanding what the aspect is of what you're shooting when you're making a creative concept, so to captivate is the last part. So in your image making process, the most important thing to me is that you make an image that I can't stop looking at all elements have to be on point as well as thinking about this you're designing a work of art that exist in a rectangular format horizontal vertical magazines predicate vertical so we're more comfortable looking with a vertical images in a horizontal, although since we have websites now you seymour horizontal pictures you used to let's just gonna hang on the wall so captivating to me means I can't stop looking at it and all things they're considered to keep my eye involved with staying within that rectangular format so that comes with posing I'm going to talk about posing on wednesday and some of my ideas on that but it's all joined to keeping your body parts back into the center of the photograph, so for me an authentic concept, what does that mean I look everywhere backwards forwards history what are other people doing what's going on the magazines? What are the ad's doing? What color is the fabric going to be this year that avery is gonna wanna wear? How about the shoes? What about the local color? So sometimes for me, my researches and at only in a magazine that go shopping I get out of my comfort zone and make myself look at other things you have to get out in the world to see what's going on around you authentic to me means something that's original to you it can feel like what's going on around you without being a direct copy so never lie never still never cheat so much that you can't create it yourself maybe the first time when you're trying to become authentic, you do that maybe you take a photograph from history and try to repeat it that's how in the beginning you really learn how and where light is positioned if you haven't been fortunate enough to go to school like I have to study lighting, the next best thing you have is to try to recreate on your own so being authentic is important, so living your life creatively like thiss will start to spill over in every other part of your life you'll be consumed with it because suddenly you're goingto be concerned with everything that's going on in the picture with the clothes they're like was the texture of the clothes how does that contrast with the hair and the makeup of the nails look like are they finished is the jewelry on the opposite hand from the way the hair's falling on the shoulder there's so many rules that go on in the fashion world that all of us don't know I'm going to try to share a cz much as I can with you I talk about that a lot in my videos after you've packed your brain with all this information so you decided you wanted to do something that's like a renaissance painting you goto museums you take all that and visual and you need to give yourself time to not do anything when we were preparing for the show yesterday we packed our brains and everybody here with so much information to get ready for the show and I made everybody stop at five o'clock and shut the computer and I said the best thing you can do now is to let your mind rest and go to sleep because I solve everything when I sleep if I can't contemplate how to set a light up or make that last little tweak I can't decide what color's great that I want to see it on the paper on the background I might be using well you go wake up in the morning make that decision it will come to you while you're sleeping so if you open your mind to what khun b and live a creative lifestyle, I think you can openly start to let this stuff flow out of you, you will get to the point, which is awesome and I feel like that in my life now where you can talk to somebody and give ideas without even researching so the fear and what am I going to do and how am I going to do it goes away but you really kind of want to try to do it every day if you can you want to feed your creative brain just like food um it's your duty it's your life so you want to focus on that? I believe people tell me all the time I'm not creative, I can't I can't arrange I can't cook, I can't whatever it's really up to you to do what you want to dio you know it's like going to the gym you have to talk yourself through staying on the treadmill for thirty more minutes, right? Well, if you know you're not ready to be shooting something there's only one way to fix it, you must fix it you must learn you must force yourself to refinement so once you take the break and you rest the next very nothing that I would suggest this to start making some sort of organized plan there's five rules for me that macon image with concept first you want to ask, is my idea something that anybody that has anything to step to say if you take the idea of a photograph and think of it like a silent movie, a silent movie doesn't have any words but there's a story being told so your choices of what you can move about his clothes, hair and make up the pose, the body language, the way the person's projecting emotion from their face. Are they saying anything to may to mea blank stare is an empty photograph with no emotion in captivating means you connect with that person, so when you take a picture, the image needs to speak to us and needs to speak to us visually, colorfully, creatively on every impact. If you're doing an advertising campaign or shooting by report what you want to ask yourself, am I showing happiness, sadness? What kind of images my client trying to convey who were there trying to reach with the product? You know when you leave here this afternoon and when you get back on the plane to go back to where you are, look att magazine ads now and start asking yourself some of these questions, what were they trying to sell, who they're turned to reach what's going to move me to get up and buy that product you know, uh, these are conversations that go on between some of my commercial clients in ourself, and I've learned a lot about that and related that right back to the portrait I take when I'm shooting on my celebrity portrait's and my hollywood head shots that's exactly what I'm trying to dio people come to you wanting you to help them make an image that has impact so it's your duty to do it with light style color emotion is the most important part of it the eyes have to sell your image so creative composition is there a story line being told they're they're all the elements in there that need to be there? So that story reaches me or reaches someone else? You have to ask yourself that about your work in the beginning because otherwise how somebody could understand it. I've been surrounded in my life at different times when I had nobody to go to that I could say, can you tell me if this voter rough actually says something to you but you want to circle yourself with greatness just like for me? I don't want to work with justice wardrobe start what's that goes to the mall and polls close I want something that creates art because that's what I want to make this I want to create art, surround yourself with people they're great hairdressers because you wanna have fabulous hair if you allow a photoshoot to exist by somebody showing up with a bag of clothes, then guess what? You have a happy accident if you manage to pull something out that works for you so it's best if you really can go to the trouble to create something awesome and leslie, your technical aspects. If you are aware of how you came or works thoroughly, use your camera as a tool of creativity and not a device to take pictures. Use your lights to accentuate something's body in their face. Use everything you have to make the photograph more creative, so I'm going to start talking to you now about like being creative on demand, that's your job really more than anything creative on demand, it doesn't matter what the person looks like, and the other thing that I can't stand to hear the word no, I don't say no to anyone, I say, yes, I can do that, because if I don't know how to do it right now, by the time I get to take that picture, I'm going to be an expert use every chance you have as a challenge to learn and grow so process, hunter, gatherer, that's, what you're doing first, no matter what the job is, somebody hires me to shoot a wedding, I'm not going to shoot the wedding in the the lazy way I'm not going to go there I'm going to have the person come in advance I don't care if it costs me a little extra money little extra time to get that wedding portrait done beautifully because guess who's going to see that everybody if it's gorgeous so you want to take time but amazing pictures out in front of people while you come together gather all your ideas your minds reeling step back reflect you give you give yourself a couple hours if you give yourself a couple days go do something has nothing to do with what your job is at the moment then come back and innovate create in the beginning if you can make time to set up all your sheets the day before and test everything and then have the person walking in like a rock star, you sit in the room with the makeup while there had their makeup done. Don't be futzing around or of wracking tweaking, twitching, stressing it with your lights and your meter and all of that you gotta have your ducks in a row when they walk in the door. The photo shoot is an experience that they will remember for their lifetime is not just the pictures the emotion of the way they feel when they're in your presence in your studio is what they leave with and that helps sell the impact of your photo shoot so the birth of an idea start with an interview sally calls you up and says I'd like to have one of those boudoir photo shoot I saw you d'oh well, the first thing you do is want to sit down and talk to them to get to know them I can't tell you how many people call me from all over the country I want to do a photo shoot well what are my choices? I've got the internet I've got email and telephone so I start I could do something that I call it's kind of like I just engage them or let them relax I let them tell me about themselves tell me all about yourself tell me about your body tell me what you like to do what do you want to do with the pictures? You have a fantasy in your mind of how you see yourself in these pictures what do you want these pictures to represent in your life so why they're talking for thirty minutes they're telling you everything you need then you say where do you live? What do you like to dio? Sometimes it might be easier for you to go to them. So when I was interviewing susan to come to our program with me and when we were doing our photo shoots out in san diego I'm gonna show you some beautiful images we created I found a crown I decided I wanted to shoot a crown. That was my thing. I don't know. It's just fixated on this crown. I did my research and I must have said at my computer for a day and a half going where's this crown and who made it? I found susan life fica and I called her and I said, susan, I want to bring you to georgia. We're going to do a photo shoot and she goes no. And I was like, uh, why? And she goes, you don't understand I make these things out of steel and there's so many of them. And she went on to tell me about her story. And I flew there. And it was probably the best gift I could have given myself because I would have never learned are known of all of the world within which she exists. And her group of friends that also motivated me beyond the level you that you can imagine. So I was I was interviewing susan idea storming happened automatically. Then I started looking at paintings, he's and drawings had crowns, and from other times and other errors. And I work. When I worked in the advertising agency. My first job after I graduate from college was in an ad agency in again, I was the only woman there and I was working with a whole bunch of being counters trying to be creative and that was like trying to push a semi up a hill with no motor. So the only thing I knew was to show these people what creativity wass and in the beginning, people that don't don't think creatively, they don't understand how much trouble it takes sometimes to make things beautiful, and it does it's not easy, you know, some people can just walk through the world and be beautiful goddesses, but in the world I live in, it takes a lot of energy to make that beauty happen. So when I'm ideas charming on the phone, I'm making notes, I start out with bullet points just in a little notebook I care that note book with me everywhere. When I shot film, I had polaroids in it had all kinds of photographs if I see something I like, it goes in that folder and when I have time and that idea comes together, I pulled that research back out then at the end, when I'm working with creatives like the bean counters, I have to make a mind node or some sort of a image list that they can understand individuals love to see that and because they have this conversation with you and in twenty minutes you have completely convinced them that they have to shoot with you because you care you care about the photograph you're going to take of them, they're spending money, the person it calls you and says, how much does it cost and that's the first thing out of your their mouth, they're not going to shoot with you, the person that calls you and says I saw those photographs you did of susie, I have to have one, you could tell them whatever you want, it is the price point and they're going to come and do it. So put your heart in your passion into your work and it will pay you back times ten so listen, visualized, listen, visualize that my sister is a school teacher and she's very well educated, and when I started doing the teaching process she goes, you know, we don't take time to listen to each other. We're all moving too quickly and she said, in school, you have that one chance to teach people there are open listeners, but when you're on the phone and people's lives are in the way and you've got to gather that information, have your questions in order, so when you start to ask that you could be pinpoint and do what you need yesterday when we walked in, I was like, I need the background first so I can visualize my sense of space don't put the lights up till backgrounds hanging there once I see the background I could see how far away the subject needs to be I could build my set then I can light it like for the face like for the body down the ground buy myself an hour and a half on a shoot set up like that three in a row this speed happened to me from shooting catalogues the stove shooting three four shots in an afternoon like we do in portrait session I was doing twenty shots today the most I've ever done is forty I had two sets going to here and make up people a for assistance but l gotta put out we went to the manufacturing plant and shot this close because it was just no time they were being shipped out so be mindful of yourself trying to simplify things make sure your story is strong before you try to initiate a photo shoot if you're gonna line somebody upon a piece of seamless paper shoot like model your new york model shoes that's fine but the only way you could be creative there is simple clothes but the person has to speak so wherever your thought processes in your photo shoot you ask yourself what is the message and what am I trying to say in this photo? What am I trying to sell? Is it the person or a work of art so the concept, I just told you, will filter over into other things. Ask yourself those three, four questions. Put him on a note card, put him in your cell phone and ask yourself that. So the vision of your dreams is when you want to make every time, never accept the mundane in the ordinary.