Spontaneity as a cure for mental blocks

October 15, 2017

Janelle and I have shot together for many years. Indeed I was the photographer who persuaded her to give modeling a try.  Over the years she has developed great modeling skills, and has also ventured into doing people photography herself, with excellent results https://www.facebook.com/photographyjanellelee/.  In her photography work Janelle shows a good, perceptive eye, and I like to think that she has been influenced by my style (her words!).  One thing that Janelle has not overcome, however, is her reluctance to or difficulty in envisaging themes for shoots.  So, at the beginning of Spring, I contacted Janelle and suggested we shoot.  That afternoon.  In fact, in 30 minutes.  No time to overplan, no time to develop complex theme lines.  Just a spontaneous shoot in the wild weather, in woodland somewhere.

We drove off, passed some local woodland and said “let’s try here!”.  And so, with nothing to guide us but our experience, the location and the light (which varied as the sun peeked between stormy spring clouds), we had a 90 minute session.  Enough time to capture some delightful images.  And not so long for Janelle to turn blue in the cold, cold woods.

We had very little wardrobe to work with.  Just lingerie, ferns and trees.  And little makeup (what can you do in 30 minutes).  Yet the results please me and do not look rushed or lacking in content or styling, to my eye.  Could I have done this with a new model, who was not yet comfortable with me and whose quirks and angles I did not know?  I doubt it.  It’s one of the reasons I love working on multiple occasions with models with whom I “click”.

Here are some images from that cold afternoon


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