Brooke Shaden 20 Day Portfolio Challenge….Week 2

So Last week I brought you my responses to Brook’s 20 day Portfolio challenge – week 2 brought a lot of soul searching, we don’t always like the comments we come up with ourselves, but sometimes it’s hard to hear it from others too.

Day#6 What is My Dream shoot; I have so many. I have already done some, and have more planned. However there are things I would love to try even if they are not a dream shoot so much. Under  water photography of course. I want to shoot with a model in the snow (can’t stand the cold), red dress billowing atop a sand dune. I have been working a lot with my own models so I can create shoots as I dream them 🙂

Day #7 Identifying Business Goals, what do I want to spend my days doing? Too easy right? Not so long ago I used to make all the excuses in the world, just like Brooke said. Now I am actively spending my time doing mostly what I want. I Create EVERY day and I am working towards my goals, they are real, they are tangible. I have my first gallery exhibit in a few weeks, I now run my own studio part time, I direct and run my own shoots using my own models. I have just produced my second book of art and I have been published in magazines and online galleries. 2016 I went places and now I am going to go even further in 2017. I hope by the end of this year to have a few more exhibits and I will also be running workshops and training sessions, create more licensed art for books and CDs, perhaps quite my 9-5 job and make an actual living off my art. So create, teach, sell……………that is my dream days.

Day #8 Inspiration This was something I used to struggle with until I watched a few of Brooke’s videos on finding inspiration, it was extremely helpful in unlocking my imagination. These days I find inspiration in so many things, a song, a TV show, a movie, a patch of sunlight/ or shadows, nature. I find and endless source of inspiration in looking at what others before me have created. I also find inspiration in books and magazines………honestly it is everywhere. I can sometimes pick up an object in a thrift store and my eyes will light up and the ideas flood through me. My problem is more in remembering all my ideas; I have a journal that I carry around with me, as well as notes on my phone. I see something and I have a spark, so I write it in my journal. Sometimes it is a one off image and others are a whole series, like my Dapper Rabbit. I write various notes and plan, props, colours, tones, models and other stuff as well. Most of my shoots are so pre planned they only take a few minutes to shoot, the setup can often take much longer than the actual shoot.


Day 9- Light Theory Believe it or not I most often use studio lights, frequently in strange set ups and configurations. I have continuous and strobe lights and love the fact that I can shoot in the studio any time of the day or night, any time of the year. The weather is irrelevant. But it took awhile, and I am still learning. I seldom shoot with natural light, this is something I wish to do more of, and in perhaps harsher conditions – summer in Australia, now THAT is harsh lighting. On the other hand My Still Life (which I can be sometimes obsessive about) is almost always in natural diffused light. Depending on WHAT I am shooting I tend to be either warm or cold, rarely ever neutral. I play A LOT with lighting in PS, I love to alter or enhance light with overlays, adjustments, Dodge & Burn, I also ‘paint’ in alot of lot in my images, especially when making a composite or image manipulations. These two images were shot same place, same day, same time. I altered them both in PS. I also do quite a bit of light painting (Strobes, steel wool etc) which taught me so much about light and capturing it. I would love to shoot more at dawn, just before or after…..getting my lazy butt out of bed and finding a willing model 🙂 ………..or maybe that’s just an excuse lol

Day #10 Colour Theory I have two slightly different types of art, and two slightly different colour palettes. I have my fantasy images; which are warm, slightly hazing with surreal highlights. I used a lot of purple and magenta in the shadows, with cyan and yellow/orange in the highlights. My Surreal/Dark stuff has the blacks and whites clipped off, darker desaturated colours with sat a pop of red to add interest and intensity. I love exploring the dark sides of human nature, without getting into blood and gore so much. I have done a series on Masks, even wrote a paper (somewhere) about social masking and why people do it, and then I have done other shoots like my Vintage Circus…….although was full of bright colours on set, I toned them all down and added grungy/dirty textures to feel dark and gloomy and slightly eerie.

Stay tuned for week 3…

~ Julz