I have had the itch to get back to conceptual work for some time.
Recently, Brooke Shaden (photographer) posted a challenge on her blog called White Wall Challenge – “It is about taking that blank and boring wall and making it work for us.” The challenge pulled at me because I have always wanted to do a conceptual piece inspired by the short story, The Yellow Wallpaper.
I had always been afraid to do it, because I consider myself a natural light photographer – and I haven’t done any conceptual pieces without natural light – and the image I had in mind for this had to be shot without natural light. But when I read Brooke’s challenge post, I thought, why not? What have I got to lose?
When my youngest sister came for a visit this weekend, I told her she had to model for me. At least if it turns out terrible, I can have a good laugh with my sister about it.
So I gave her lots of her favorite drink (Dr. Pepper) and convinced her to let me let me do her hair (although the complained via SnapChat the entire time – teenagers! :P), and I dressed her in my old prom dress.
And then I put her against a wall in my bedroom.
And while it wasn’t a white wall (the walls in my house are all this beige color), it still was a plain old wall. I moved a giant lamp I have in my bedroom off to the side of her and shot for maybe 8 minutes.
Out of the shots I got I fell in love with two images: I liked her body in one, and her right arm and the shadow in the other. Original two images:
I loved the shadow of her hand in this one – like she was holding hands with something in the wall.
So, I mixed the two images, made the frame larger, blended/cloned and added texture (amongst a few other edits).
And below is the end product, which I have entitled, Not Alone. It’s a rather simple image. But it speaks volumes to me. I think the thing I love most about it is how the shadow of her hand makes it seem as though she is holding hands with something in the wall, and she looks at peace – not scared.
The challenge wasn’t so bad…I think the idea of shooting indoors scared me more than it should have. Thanks Brook Shaden for always challenging and inspiring us – and thanks Liv for modeling for me.
P.S. I am doing some more new pieces this summer, and I have a few friends who are helping me out with that in August/September – which I am pretty stoked about [more on that coming soon].