Getting back in the saddle. || A portrait shoot in my apartment

I don't know how many of you have noticed this lately, but let's just be honest. I've been slackin'. Not that I've meant to, but now that I have 2 jobs, it's almost impossible to find the time to do shoots, especially when I can't find anyone who's schedule lines up with mine. This whole 2 jobs thing is so not for me, so soon, my employment will be changing and maybe my life will be getting back to normal. But, more or less, that is also an excuse. If you're in any type of creative field at all, you know that it's pretty common to just go through times where you really aren't feeling it. I knew that when I took on this 52 week project, that it was going to be hard to make an image every single week that I was really proud of.

Well guess what? This week, I made like 15 of them.

Almost every day, I'll sit in my apartment and look at the dining room area, and think, "damn, that would be some really good window light for portraits." And then I go on with my business, and never actually do anything about it. Well, last week, when the only free time I had was half of a day before I had to go to work at 4, I decided I would follow through with my idea to do a shoot there! Whitney, my old roommate came over, and we shot for a couple hours in some bright, mid-day window light. 

I didn't think too much of the images I'd shot; I knew they were okay but I didn't think I would fall in love with them as much as I have over the past 24 hours editing them. The idea I had behind them was to create them in pairs; so each final image would be a diptych (2 images side by side) that complimented each other.  I had Whitney wear 2 different outfits: a plain white tank top with dark jeans, and a plain black tank top with light jeans, to create some variation in the pairs. I also tried to shoot a mix of wide, medium, and tight crops, so I could pair 2 different crop sizes together, knowing that it would make more visually pleasing pairs.

If you read over that, and thought "geez, that's a lot of thought that goes into photos that are so simple", yeah, it is. We plan out our images in much greater detail than I think people realize. A good photographer does almost everything intentionally. Sometimes, we do have happy accidents, but usually, every little thing you see in our photos, from light, to pose, to outfit, to positioning, and everything else, was thought of ahead of time.

For editing, I used presets made by Mastin Labs, which are based off of film scans, and are incredibly accurate. They're also super subtle, and in using them over the past month or so, I've really simplified my editing style and have strayed away from that super faded filter-y look. Honestly, realistic editing just looks better. The skin tones are on point, the contrast is nice, and if you shoot in good light, you don't need insane, color toned edits to make a photo look interesting. It stands on it's own. That was my goal for these.

The fun of editing these came in when I got to choose which images would be paired together. I spent easily a couple hours playing with a ton of different combos, narrowing down to my favorites, and finding out which two sat the nicest side by side. Creating good diptychs is just as complicating as getting a perfect edit on a photo. But when you put the right 2 together, it all just falls in to place. I truly truly feel that the little assignment I gave myself this week to create pairs made my work look so much more professional than it has so far, and I'm actually so happy with the outcome of these. Also, I have to say that Whitney is not a professional model, but she killed these. Good light looks so good on her. I LOVE having friends who are always willing to model for me, and be put through the paces of all of my crazy requests. 

I'm putting the images in full size, instead of a slideshow format, so you can see them in an even bigger, light filled goodness. Enjoy! And please let me know what you think down in the comments!

And of course, some bonus horizontals for you guys!

Jessica MummComment