I have never been the kind of person to be happy with the status quo. When Sidney Poitier said, “To simply wake up every morning a better person than when I went to bed” I could totally relate to what he meant. When it comes to my photography, I feel even more strongly about improving, evolving and ultimately becoming a more compelling and unique artist.
When I first started making photographs for other people, my priority was on the basics: I was fanatical about tack sharp images, perfect exposure and pretty pictures. It took me what seems like forever to grasp the connection between ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I bought books, I took online workshops, I joined a camera club, I went out shooting with other photographers who were far more talented and knowledgeable than me and I eventually GOT IT. It was not so much an epiphany, like in the movies, where the music hits a crescendo and rays of light shine down from the heavens illuminating our hero… it was more like working endlessly on a Rubik’s cube, sometimes getting one side perfect, but all the others would be a mess… and then suddenly one day, all the colors just lined up.
Once I had nailed the basics and was able to consistently produce pretty pictures, I wanted more. That’s when I made a commitment to myself that every year I would attend at least one major workshop to help me move forward as an artist. Each year when it comes time to choose, I think about the evolution of my style and the direction I want to take it. I think about what I want to learn about and who inspires me. Ultimately, I think about what I can do to bring my photography to the next level.
This year I decided that I wanted to work on creating more dramatic compositions. I wanted to attend a workshop with a photographer who thinks creatively, does not follow the crowd and would help me to see things differently too. When I learned that David Beckstead was coming to Canada, I immediately signed up for his 2-day Frame Design workshop in St. John’s. David has this amazing ability to create dramatic images in the most mundane of locations. I’ve seen photos he’s shot in grimy back alleys that could easily grace the pages of any wedding magazine. He sees beyond the obvious and creates stunning images from the obscure. Check out some of his work here to see what I mean.
David does cool things with lens flare and reflections and always has strong, bold compositions. I am naturally drawn to all those things too… yet I often find myself shooting the safe, pretty shots instead, because I know that’s what clients expect… and on many wedding days there is just not enough time to do both. During my two days in St. John’s, I had the opportunity to go beyond the status quo; to incorporate flare, patterns, lines and other graphic elements into my shots. We didn’t even shoot anywhere beautiful… I was expecting scenic seaside locations with crashing waves and lighthouses, but instead we shot in downtown St. John’s in a parking garage, by the side of a condo complex, in an alley, on the main street… and I LOVE what I created in those “boring” locations:
I made a decision sometime during my two days with David Beckstead: I decided that I am going to start doing more of what I love to shoot and less of the normal, safe, expected shots. So if you like what you saw above, then for a limited time Glam The Gown session fees will be 50% off. Contact me at email@example.com for details or to book a session.