Thursday, February 13, 2014

Finding the Groove in a Photo Shoot

Editor's note: In the following weeks, you will hear and see images from our students themselves: their thoughts and reflections on the course, their work, and the work of others. Come back often to see what is happening in the Lambton Digital Photography program.

Finding the Groove in a Photo Shoot
By Angelyn Smolders

It has been an exciting term thus far in the Digital Photography program at Lambton College. We are in our fourth and final term: at this point in our studies, we are applying the culmination of the knowledge we have gained to our photo shoots. We have learned and grown so much in the past year and a half. The professors in the program are not your typical teachers, but are instead mentors. The lessons and assignments are challenging, inspiring and creative.

As defined by Merriam-Webster, “Progression is a movement or development toward a destination or a more advanced state, esp. gradually or in stages.”

At the end of January, our mentor David Chidley brought in models Nolan and Lovely from a local modeling agency called ‘The Fashion Palace.’ It was a wonderful experience for the class as the models were eager to be photographed. It is such a joy when people like being in front of the camera!

A photo shoot is like a first dance with someone that you have just met…
It starts out stiffly as the photographer adjusts the lighting and the settings on her camera while the model is often guarded and needs to warm up to the photographer. Oftentimes, it is a good idea to give the subjects a ‘prop’ or something to hold onto in the beginning of the shoot until they feel more at ease. Ideally, in a short period of time, both the photographer and the subject become more comfortable with one another and the photo shoot flourishes… Poses, backgrounds and lighting are changed with more fluidity.  The photographer becomes more courageous in the dance that started out so rigidly while the model loosens up and softens his/her approach to the camera. There is a lot of dialogue between the subject and the photographer and oftentimes a lot of laughter. The dance is no longer awkward, but beautiful.

According to Carolyn J. Marr in "Taken Pictures: On Interpreting Native American Photographs of the Southern Northwest Coast", Native Americans from the late 19th to the early 20th century were wary of having their photographs taken, as some believed the photograph was stealing part of their soul. For many, the negative attitude towards photography eventually turned into a positive one when they realized that photographs are a link to their ancestors and the camera is a powerful tool for use in ceremonies and the recording of history.

A skilled photographer can capture the spirit of a person. One can see and feel it in a person’s eyes upon viewing the image. The soul is intact, but it is as though a window to it has been opened. The encounter may start out awkwardly, but in a very short amount of time it grows into a beautiful moment made permanent through the lens.

The results of a successful progression in a photo shoot are superior images that best capture the essence of the subject whether that may be a person or an object. This is especially true with regards to portraiture photography. David Chidley brought in the models to teach us this invaluable lesson and the results of the photo shoot on that cold January day are stunning!

Thank you to Lovely and Nolan for their time; I look forward to seeing the images that I captured used in a portfolio for their modeling needs.

To see more of my photography, please visit and like my Facebook page, Angelyn Smolders Photography.


Namaste.

Faculty member Dave Chidley photographs Lovely in a demonstration "warm-up" session before  the model took turns posing for the second year students in the Photographic Style and Design class.  Photo by Angelyn Smolders

Faculty member Dave Chidley shows the results of initial shoot to model, Lovely in a demonstration photo session before posing for the second year students in the Photographic Style and Design class.  Photo by Angelyn Smolders

Model Lovely, from studio photo session for the second year students in the Photographic Style and Design class.  Photo by Angelyn Smolders

Model Lovely, from studio photo session for the second year students in the Photographic Style and Design class.  Photo by Angelyn Smolders

Model Nolan, from studio photo session for the second year students in the Photographic Style and Design class.  Photo by Angelyn Smolders

2 comments:

  1. Looks great !!! Good work ! :)

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