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Monday, January 31, 2011

Another kind of design

A well known photographer whom I greatly admire advised an up and coming fashion photographer that he should not shoot everything and stick to his trade "fashion". What I mean by everything, is portraiture, club events, glamorous, landscapes, and all the other types of things we label under photography. Suddenly, I found myself at a cross road because I admire this well known photographer quite a bit. However, becoming a photographer for me meant being an ace with my camera no matter the situation. I am passionate about shooting fashion, but I eat, sleep, drink, think photography around the clock. The large variety of what, how, where and when I can put it to use is just too much to abandon, to buckle down to one style. Yet I was hearing it from someone who I really admire. My conclusion; be yourself, and do it how it pleases you first.

With that being said, a couple of days ago I got a phone call from designer Erica Plank; owner/designer of Unseen Hands (, a custom quilt making company. Our story is interesting because this was a second time around for us. I had gone out to take a photo of her work to be used on her website in her early days of going into business. It was also my early days as well and I don't think I made a lasting impression because I was probably at the time still finding my way through the fog. But I mention this because it had such a huge impact on how bad I wanted to be a professional photographer, and in reality I was still in my crawling stages. Everything I had learned in business school was on the line here and I walked away feeling like I had failed. On the inside, this angered me and made me hungry. On the outside it made me become one of the most determined shooters walking around the Seattle area. As I read about photography I kept my camera close at hand and practiced what the source was preaching. But I went further than that, because I tweeked everything in the settings, looking for better results. In my unortahdox approach I was reinventing my own wheel; and it showed. I soon had an impressive enough portfolio and it eventually brought me a bit of noteriety. Back onto to the subject, I get this phone call and Erica; immediately stating that she needed my help badly. I was flattered because I knew that my first impression wasn't a good one, so I knew she had to have seen some of my recent work thanks to a really good friend of mine who constantly talk about my work to everyone and he and Erica know each other well. I could hardly sleep from anticipating this shoot because I knew the second time around will be so much better than the first time. I climbed out of bed and drove to the studio at about 4:00 A.M. that morning. When I got to the studio, I handled my planning and staging for her product shoot, and Erica showed up at the appointed time of 9:00 A.M. This time the results ended with an agreement to shoot all her products. Now that is Bluestilling 101. Be sure to check out her website and let her know that you found out about her products through Bluestill Photography.

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