This Photo Series Is Out of This World

A kind of common thing I do is orchestrate large photo shoots with sets that take months to prepare. My last big “set” was the shoot I did with the gas masks last November. This time, my friends and I had one last hurrah before I move to Chicago and start my adventure there. We just kinda partied in outer space, or as I call it, the vacant lot near my house where people smoke joints and kids go dirt-biking. Not like that matters or anything.

I spent six months planning and gathering the things I wanted and needed for the shoot. It turned out much different than I was anticipating, but hey, when does that NOT happen? Story of my life, my friends. I was able to play with some of my lighting tricks, something I was not anticipating a few months back. Can you say SUPAH NOVA THROUGH AMBIENT AND STROBE LIGHT MIXING? Because I can.

SUPAH NOVA THROUGH AMBIENT AND STROBE LIGHT MIXING.

There.

So the idea was there were these alien enthusiasts, kind of like conspiracy theorists, who strongly believed in aliens or whatever (my eloquence is overwhelming, I know.) So one night, while hanging out at their campground for weirdos, looking out for aliens, they have a surprise encounter and everything is awesome.

I busted out the Instax Mini and some special film (Shiny Stars, I think? I got it from eBay.) I was taking pictures of the set, things lying around, and a group shot of my homies throwing up a peace sign.

Oh, and I took a picture of the pile of clothing that needed to be laundered after the shoot.

I have the Lomo Instax Mini, which gives you MX capabilities. It is seriously my favorite, and if you are thinking about getting a Mini, I HIGHLY suggest the Lomo one. Do it and be happy and live life with no regrets.

We had a blast with this shoot, it took 4 hours to set up, and we got done past midnight and went for milkshakes. I would have to say it was a great way to close my summer and days in Michigan. Shout out to everyone who was able to make it special.

Good things come to those who wait. Unfortunately for me, I can’t wait six months to do one shoot while in grad school, so, uh, wish me luck friends.

Happy Shooting!

Photographer of the Day: Bernard Faucon

Bernard Faucon

b. 1950

Today we’re going to have our minds blown by the photographer/writer Bernard Faucon. Or, rather, you’re going to read about just how in love I am with his work. Because, get this, Faucon’s work is about childhood, presented in a dreamlike manner.

Sound Familiar?

Bernard Faucon was born in Provence, France, and studied philosophy (which explains why he’s a writer, since what else can you do with philosophy? I kid, I kid…) He was initially a painter, but like other painters he switched over to photography. His work has won numerous awards (most notably, the Grand Prix Nationale,) and has been in hundreds of exhibitions. So, what’s the big deal about this guy? I’ll let his work speak for itself.

I only chose images from Les Grand Vacances, but call me bias because these are amazing. What draws me to his work is attention to detail, the obvious planning these shots took, the construction of the scene, and the tension between the real child and the mannequins. What is not to like?

Also he set things on fire. Yasssssss.

There are a few interpretations of this work, mainly centering on the play of childhood and the play of adulthood. An interesting thing I found out was Faucon ended his photography career in 1996, and some speculation is due to his work being centered on childhood, and how all childhoods must come to an end. Another speculation is the increased paranoia over children and safety, either imagined or real. For example, Sally Mann’s nude images of her┬áprepubescent children. People have the tendency to make things into things they are not. (This happens frequently in art.)

So, he took up a much more objective career: writing.

I wish I knew of this guy when I was working on my Domestic series, because I had a couple dummies in a shot. It’s one of those things: when you think you came across something brilliant, someone probably has already done it– but as a professor told me, WHATEVER it hasn’t been done before because it hasn’t been done by YOU. How’s that for uplifting?

Well, I’m feeling inspired to go create some tableau images myself, so that’s all for Bernard Faucon. The next PotD will be Alexander Gardner.

Happy Shooting!

This Photo Shoot was Amazing

I had the most remarkable photo shoot, and it had nothing to do with the photographs.

The shoot was planned twice. The first time, stuff happened and too many people had to cancel at the last minute, which meant the shoot couldn’t happen. This time, the tremendous effort of others made it possible, and I am honestly overwhelmed.

My friends Ian and Kaiden drove about an hour and a half to come do the shoot. Ian works full time, so he’s tired, and Kaiden had an extremely busy (but fun!) weekend at a convention, and was also exhausted. And, Kaiden’s friend, Alec, didn’t know me, never met me, but was cool with coming along to help.

My friend Sarah works five jobs, is in the honors college, and always does her work on time and to perfection. She had work later in the day, but she took what little free time she had to come pose for me.

My friend Lisa is also in the honors college, takes her studies very seriously, has a job, and is going through the tumultuous process of applying to graduate programs. She has papers and lab reports and god-knows-what else due this week, but she woke up early in the morning to get started on those things, so she would have the time for the shoot in the afternoon.

I met another wonderful person today, Sheena, who knows Ian. She had never met me, but was willing to model for me. That’s a big move, especially considering the odd things I put people through on this shoot. And, she wore high heels in the mud. That’s hard core.

So, I had an amazing shoot, because most of these people didn’t know each other, they just knew me. I had friends from home meeting college friends, college friends meeting one another, and friends of friends meeting each other. Everyone got along so well, the shoot went awesomely, and it was fun. I’m so fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life.

But enough with the mush. Let’s look at some pics:

Shout out to my mom for painting the boxes black. Shout out to Lisa for finding the location. Shout out to everyone for wearing tulle on their heads.

I honestly love these photos, which means a lot. Yes there are things I could make better next time I go shooting, but for now, these have my heart. I think the people in them have a lot to do with it.

Alec, bless his soul, took some behind-the-scenes shots of the shoot. I love behind-the-scenes shots. I’m in my own little world while I’m shooting, so seeing what’s actually going on around me is a treat. So here are some of those:

Forever squaring up my shoulders to take a shot.

This shoot is one of eight of a dream series I am working on. I’m focusing on that theme a lot this semester, but for this particular series I’m doing something interesting in post-process. But, more on that in a later post.

Hug your friends today. They’re important.

Happy Shooting!