“Sometimes simple can be better.” I think we have all heard this at one time or another, maybe we’ve even said it ourselves. Photographers in general are known for sometimes making their own lives miserable by just over complicating things. I think everybody has done it to some degree or another. It is a kind of “been there, done that” thing for all of us. Now with that said; are you still doing it? Sometimes we just need to take a moment and do a reality check and look at the way we are doing something and actually give it a little thought. Who knows maybe it could be done a little quicker, cheaper or better… There is no sin in just sitting and pondering something. One day while looking at fabrics I was trying to decide on a color that I needed for a photography project and I was standing there pondering… Ok so actually I was confused, but I like to say “pondering” because it sounds better. So while pondering this problem I got an unrelated idea; why not carry a few yards of some basic colors with me at all times? So that day I bought two yards each of black, red & white fabrics. Another day I purchased some light green, light yellow and some medium blue, again two yards of each color. Another day I picked up some see-though silk material, some black and some white. The fabrics do not take up hardly and space at all. I keep some in my bag with my softboxes and I keep others in the “fix it box” as I call it. This is the box I carry with me that has a mix of small props and basic supplies. I carry gaffers tape, hot glue gun, string, wire, scissors, and a knife ect…
Back on March 24th I posted a quick story about giving Kendall a piece of red fabric at the end of a photo shoot and it actually turned out that we came away with a really nice image and that was the reason for today’s post. I wanted to follow-up and kind of let the secret out that the red piece of fabric was not the only sort of “impromptu” thing I used at that photo shoot. Remember I started this post with “simple can be better” and while preparing for the shoot I already knew we had a specific piece of wardrobe and a floral headpiece we were using, but I wanted something for a second or even a third look. Just because something is “simple” doesn’t mean it is not creative, so I bought a bottle of white fabric paint and a black T-shirt. I went home and sat and pondered “what the hell can I put on this shirt?” Yes I can create something in Photoshop, but I am a total artistic cripple when it comes to painting something. So I asked myself (yes I talk to myself a lot) how can I be creative when I know whatever I do with this fabric paint is going to look ugly? That’s it… I can make “ugly” no problem at all, so I will make the ugliest T-shirt anyone has ever seen. And I did just that, I made the one dam ugly t-shirt, an original one of a kind ugly shirt and best of all I created it.
When we were done shooting the main look, the serious part of the photo shoot that is when I said “ok are you ready, because in this very box I just happen to have the ugliest t-shirt ever known to man” and I pulled it out of the box. Ambré the makeup artist started to laugh and I asked “is this not the ugliest shirt you have ever seen?” Her reply was that she thought it was ugly, but cute. And so Kendall put the shirt on and we started shooting. After that little session I pulled out the red fabric and she wrapped herself in it. She still had the shirt on and it was hard to not laugh at the sight of her with the ugly shirt and a piece of blood-red fabric as she posed so seriously. In the end we had fun, it was somewhat creative and it was simple.
In closing this posted I would like to say thank you to Lindsay Adler for planting the idea of “simplicity” in my head. I had seen her talking in a video and describing how she made some of her iconic images. I was truly amazed at how easy and simple some of her images were made. So yes “sometimes simple can be better.”
Thanks for reading and have a great day.