I'm busy - or at least trying to be - with portrait shoots of friends. I'm trying to push boundaries; my own and also theirs.

Recently I photographed my friend and clothing designer, Sheila-Madge Bakker. You can read about it over here.

I had also been tossing around another idea to have a portrait sitting with my friend Dietmar Gerber. The idea behind it was from the film, Bronson; based on a true story. Dietmar kind of reminded me of Tom Hardy's character in the film and I wanted to recreate the imagery from the film.

A happy accident, whilst testing my lighting.

Earlier this week when our schedules finally aligned we met up at StorySpace to make some images.

I started off with him in a suit and tie, to just get some sort of flow going and to get comfortable; we had some time, otherwise I would've gone straight into the setup like the one above.

I like these images, but they weren't the end goal. I wanted grittier, darker, harder light with an element of intimidation to it, so we moved on to the next setup and got out the body paint. I believe in the film he might've used shoe polish, but I wasn't going to put Dietmar through that much hell :)

I want to reiterate how great it was to have Dietmar as a subject and how he took what input and coaching I gave him and ran with it. Especially in the final image I wanted him to give me a scowl, however to make it come across as real I asked him to laugh almost maniacally.

It's always gratifying creating new work and I need to keep reminding myself of that; to create more often, practice this craft, become better, get off my ass and get the f*ck to work, like Zack Arias would say. So that is a bit of a call to you reading this; friends, strangers. Let's get together, conceptualise and make images and get to work!

Thanks for reading,

Adapt or Die

Well, that sounds a bit gloomy right? Adapt or die. Thing is, we need to constantly evolve as photographers and creatives. Good isn't good enough and and if it ever is you know you're in trouble. We need to constantly push ourselves to be better.

I meant to blog about this much sooner, however I've been going non-stop since the beginning of August. This has been really good for my confidence and it's also been flexing my creativity and I think this specific shoot was the main catalyst for getting me off my ass and creating again.

My favourite image of the day..

In mid August my friend Karien and her husband came from Dubai to visit family and friends. She had reached out to me some time during June about doing a shoot with her and of course I immediately said; yes. I wanted to do something a little more conceptual than the usual portraiture stuff and I knew she'd be keen.

I had a very specific concept in mind, but I quickly realized that I was going to have to approach the idea differently. My initial concept wasn't going to pan out and I needed to adapt it slightly. As a photographer this happens more often than you might think. You have a pretty solid idea in your head/written down/drawn up, but there are so many variables at hand and often times you need to make a judgment call and kinda hope for the best.

We were running slightly late and I had to skip the location for the first image idea I had. This was okay, because I really wanted to make the image at the top of the page. Here's what went into the retouch.

Speaking of retouch; click here to see the details about my upcoming workshop. Please note: Dates might be changing for the workshop.

Here are several more images from the day including some scribbles of what I was thinking in terms of how/where/when I wanted to shoot etc.

I really wanted to shoot the selection of above images with Karien enveloped by branches and leaves and ivy, however it just wasn't possible, so again, some adaptation was needed and I am really stoked with the final results.

I always feel it's essential to have something written down or drawn on a piece of paper/napkin or whatever, just to get your initial idea out there. From there it will change shape or remain exactly as you envisioned it. The point is; sometimes you'll go in with an initial idea and come out the other end with something completely different.

Adapt or die as they say.

PS: Go view Karien's work hereShe's awesome!

Thanks for reading.