Brooke Shaden’s 15 Day Content Creation Challenge, Part 1

As you all know I love a good challenge, and I particularly like Brooke’s, she makes you think and pushes you to go beyond your boundaries; well I think so. So when Brooke announced another challenge this year, I signed up, 40% of the proceeds go towards her charity as well; win win.

Each day we receive an email with tips and ideas, the 15 days worth of themes and challenges, as well as a comprehensive 50-page booklet we received. I am quite busy with workshops and things and I was a little hesitant, but I vowed to give at least one hour per day to create. And I really wanted to explore various themes and compositions I had not really done before. The idea is not to have 15 amazing, perfect images at the end, but instead 15 inspired creative pieces. Some of which we may choose to re do at a later stage.

Day 1 Theme – Rebirth, Challenge – Use an enclosed space

I really wanted to attempt some Self-Portraits for this challenge, but I am not comfortable in front of the camera, this is something I have been trying to work on and overcome. I’m not some young, skinny, pretty little thing like Brooke (or my models) and I wanted to convey a rebirth of my creative side. I got to thinking about a chrysalis and butterfly emerging from it and had the idea of wrapping myself up in a sheet hanging from the ceiling and using my hands against it to break free, with a small butterfly emerging from it.


JuliePowell_Day 1 Rebirth, Chrysalis


Day 2 Theme – Emotions, Challenge – Don’t show any faces

Again, I wanted to explore the self-portrait idea and decided that a rose held in my hand, with a thorn cutting into my palm, with blood dripping from the cut to depict Pain. Pain is a new emotion for my images, sure I do creepy, dark and moody and occasionally horror, but apart from a couple of images, I have not really explored pain. Physical pain I know, and of course, I have had my heart broken, but I have not really endured extended psychological pain and torment.


JuliePowell_Day 2 Emotion


Day 3 Theme – Endings, Challenge – Use a door

I wanted something a little happier than the first two images, I love dark and moody, but can only do so many before I feel the need for something a little brighter. So I wanted to convey opening a door onto a brighter future exploring how I felt looking back on my random decision to get into photography. I wanted a creative outlet, something to inspire me, something beautiful and powerful, I thought I wanted to shoot landscapes (I still do and love them), but I never imaged my passion would be conceptual portraits and digital art.


JuliePowell_Endings_Step into the light
Open Doors


Day 4 Theme – Spellbound, Challenge – Use Warm Light

Spellbound to me, brought back childhood memories of stories and books, and long lazy Summers. I adored the Enid Blyton books like The Faraway Tree, and I wanted to try and capture all of that. My image is slightly blurry, as well. I do not normally create abstracts, and I feel that this image was heading down that path, granted not overly abstract, but for me, new territory. I wanted to capture the feeling of running with childish abandon through a secret enchanted forest, finding a sun lit glade to play in. Squint and you may see it too.


Enchanted Forest


Day 5 Theme – Breaking, Challenge – Use something shattered

I erred a little, but that is OK too, I read broken not breaking and came up with Broken Doll, this shot was already planned to be shot on Day 5 – Kismet!

I loved the idea of the Broken Doll, I think I would like to explore this in more detail at a later stage. I even created the gold key for this shoot. The Doll has wound down and is no longer working, I have felt like that at times myself. I am sure we all have. I would love for someone to wind me up and give me boundless energy.


Broken Doll


So that is where I will leave this for now, another five images next week. So far the very first image and the last are my favorites; which one do you like…and why?

~ Julz