Back to Basics

Over the last couple of weeks I have taken a step back to focus on basic lighting practices. Working with no more than two lights and a reflector on this shoot, I wanted to remove all other elements from the equation to create a sleek look using a simplified set up in my studio. This was the result.

Thank you

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After taking some time to step away from the camera, clear my head and get back to a mental state that wasn’t reflective of post grad depression, I’ve finally started shooting and creating again, and god it feels SO GOOD!

It killed me to not pick up my camera every time I had an idea, but I knew I would be gaining more by giving myself a break (and a couple breakdowns) than what I would have lost had I continued to force myself to shoot. Going from being surrounded by a community of artists every day to bounce ideas off of and receive critiques, to no longer having that circling me on a daily basis, hurtled me into a confusing mental spiral faster than anything I’ve ever experienced before.

I once had a professor that would take long term sabbaticals every five or so years for up to two years at a time. I used to think that was crazy because how could an artist allow themselves to not create? But once explained, I learned It’s not that they weren’t creating work during those sabbaticals, but rather they were creating things without any expectation to be producing “good work” whatsoever. A few years later and I finally understand what they were saying. It’s ok to give ourselves a break. It’s ok to pause and be still for as long as we need to be. It’s ok to say no to projects that are presented to us if we choose because only we know how we’re feeling on the inside.

4 years of constant stress and project deadlines can really wear a person down. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by an amazing group of friends and family who did not question my decision to take a step back. Thank you to those people who listened to me rant and vent for hours, who held me up and continued to support me during this break and who have continued to believe in me when I started to doubt myself and my skills. Y’all are the real MVPs and I love and appreciate each and every one of you! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you all find and feel those connections with the ones in your lives the way Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” reminds me of the love and support I’ve felt from all of you! I’m so excited to start this new chapter and I’m more than ready to be back!

 

-Erika

Grey Goose rebranding

UPDATE: The first image has won a Student Silver ADDY award for Still Photography

Sierra Clark Design & Strategy contacted me and asked if I would shoot some studio shots for her Grey Goose rebranding project. I was more than happy to help contribute to this amazing project! Below are a few images from the shoot! 

Be sure to check out the final rebranding on her website! 

http://sierraclark.co/#/grey-goose/

 

Under my umbrella...

Before/After

I've been experimenting a lot this summer with simple light set ups. Testing different looks I can achieve with one or two flashes and a reflector. One of my professors last semester told our class that if you set the key light up in the right spot you will already have a decent photo thats 10x better than what most people can do. After seeing him demonstrate this time and time again in class, I knew over the summer I would want to play around with simple lighting in my free time, when all of the vast amount of studio equipment at school wasn't available to me. To be able to shoot something that looks like it was lit in a studio with expensive lighting tools, but was actually lit inexpensively has been my main goal. This photo was shot outside and achieved using only sunlight, a reflector and a Nikon SB 800 off camera flash. Lastly I did some cleaning up and adjustments in photoshop.

Before

Before

After

After

Gif experiment

In one of my classes I am experimenting with glitch art and gifs. Using multiple tools and programs I am able to create distorted moving images. This kind of medium isn't what I'm used to working in, however I find it very interesting how adding movement and "glitches" to some of my images changes the mood completely. The gif of the birds below is one I have recently completed. I will also include the original image so you can compare the before and after.

Personally, in this case I find gifs to be an interesting way to show a photographed moment, moving. The looping effect adds the look of a continuous never ending cycle as if that "moment" is stuck in time never able to escape or move forward (think of the 1993 film Ground Hog Day). I chose this image to turn into a gif because of the notion of being stuck. In the original photo a mother bird is feeding her baby birds, the thought of being stuck in mid-flight brings me an overwhelming since of exhaustion, and is something I would never want to experience (if I was a bird of course).

birdsgif
Original.

Original.