Updated: Sep 2, 2020
As we all know, the world is a strange place right now. I won't babble on about it because we are all probably tired of hearing about it at this point, but I will say that during this time, we have to try extra hard to create positivity. I have been on furlough for one week, so without my full-time job to keep me busy, this left me with valuable time to recharge and reset. For me, this looked like setting a photography challenge for myself to reinvigorate my creativity!
I know you're probably not supposed to enjoy being furloughed, and that for some, it can be more difficult to cope with. As someone who has a looming move out date set for the end of the month, had jobs they interviewed for freeze hiring, and is temporarily not making an income, I'm aware that this is not a fun thing to deal with... I'm just trying to count the many blessings that I do have that allows for me to be able create positivity during this time.
All that said, I can't help but feel like I was able to reignite a creative spark in myself that has been dormant for too long. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for my full-time job and the provision it provides, but the office life from 9 - 6 every day can make it difficult to make room for other things, even the things that make you happy.
If my plans are going to be wrecked because of a worldwide pandemic, then I'm going to go ahead and try and make the most of it.
I called this one "Doctor Sarah!" If you love the Avenger's as I do, you know exactly where this is from. Aside from being a very underrated Marvel movie, Doctor Strange is just so cool! A special shout out to a photographer by the name of Marc Klaus for inspiring me to try out and put my own spin on this concept!
I love it when photographers give us a behind the scenes look at photos. It's the best way to stay inspired and educated. With a lot of patience, The help of my dad to push the shutter, Affinity Photo editing software, Adobe Light Room, and the desire to create something cool, this photo came together!
The next set of photos I took was inspired by none other than the popular app Tik Tok. There is a trend going around on the app that challenges you to take photos using a toilet paper roll and a flashlight to make a cool circle affect. Thanks to my mom who has helped entertain my potentially annoying and weird ideas, these photos actually turned out great and I was pleasantly surprised!
It turns out toilet paper has more uses than we thought! This was definitely a fun one, and given that the lighting situation is ideal with just a flashlight, the vintage old noisy film look was the way to go in terms of editing on these. I also cut it real close on time and took thees very late at night. However, true to the challenge, I got these taken and edited just before midnight!
Below is a BTS photo of the very humble setup of bathroom items that were stacked up to hold the toilet paper.
When you can't take pictures of other people, the best and most reliable subject you have is yourself. A lot of these photos ended up being self-portraits in one way or another. For this next set, I literally rolled out of bed, put my eyeglasses on, brushed my hair a little, put on my nana's old and oversized denim shirt, and went outside to take self-portraits.
There isn't much to these... Just a girl and a tripod working together for a good Instagram post. The outfit and backyard location are below. You can honestly do a lot with a little.
This is the same girl with the same tripod creating a much less instagram worthy photo! This next set was another "late night, I need to hurry and take a picture before time runs out" kind of photo set. I have been wanting to do a variation of this for a while now, and I still don't think I am willing to give up on this idea yet.
These photos are only lit with toy lightsabers that I got while I was working in Disney World.
Shout out to my pal Kristin for being apart of this one via Face Time! This may be a flawed concept, but I don't think I'm ready to give up on it just yet!
This set took a bit more planning and was a little more tiring to execute, but it was totally worth it! I had a lot of fun putting this picture together and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I call it, "Quarantine Activities"
I want to be sure that everyone knows that I did shoot that basketball... I may have air-balled it, but the shot was authentic! I have proof below. Check out the BTS shots of the phots right out of the camera before I went into Affinity Photo to merge them all together. also, another shoutout to my mom for entertaining this wild concept and helping me out with it!
This particular Friday happened to fall on Good Friday. I knew I wanted to take a more spiritual approach and that I definitely didn't want this one to be a self-portrait. Good Friday is the day we are even more reminded of the outstanding sacrifice Jesus made for us.
This one is quite a bit more simple, and the metaphor is nothing new. However, this picture did allow me to dabble with some new gear I got and to try something new. The white candle represents purity and cleanliness, the fire represents light, and the black background represents darkness. He who was clean and pure came into a dirty and broken world to be the light in the darkness. Not only did he willingly take on death for us, but he lived his entire life for us.
All my photos before this have required the heavy use of tech and gear to accomplish the desired look or effect. The Doctor Strange inspired shot as well as the "Quarantine Activities" shot would not have been possible without my Affinity Photo software. (Affinity Photo is software similar to photoshop that I prefer) Even my simple self-portraits have a Lightroom edit that dramatically uplifted the original shot. Because of less than ideal lighting situations for the toilet paper roll set, I edited the photos in Lightroom to accomplish the retro feel because the lowlight situation made the photos difficult to make look good otherwise. I say all of this to portray the importance that technology plays in my work, whether it be a simple portrait or an elaborate photo with several effects.
My goal with this photo was to do the opposite.
Technology has come unfathomably far. We can take stunning photos with a phone camera nowadays! I decided that I wanted to do something with the polaroid camera that my friend Paige gifted to me. There is just something about physically being able to hold the only copy of a photo, imperfections and all. The feeling of limited attempts and one copy of a picture has been lost on us. There is just something that feels more personal about a polaroid. These are a few polaroids I took today of my quarantine buddies, but more importantly, a good portion of my family! They are all doing the things they would normally be doing on a Saturday. Mom is working out in the year, Dad is smoking his cigar, the animals are living their best lives, and I'm taking pictures! I wish I could have been able to take more photos of my family who I can't be close to right now, but taking a polaroid through video chat was a failed experiment. This accomplished the personal feel not only in the subject matter but in the medium I used as well.
As a photographer, we rely on being able to take several shots, fix imperfections, or even dramatically alter a photograph. We also rely on being able to share that photograph with several people on several platforms. It's amazing. but less personal.