This year has been an incredible lesson in how I create. From an 8 foot box built with my own two hands, to the forest, to a stairwell in Vegas, I have been aiming my camera in all sorts of ways. March is here in full swing, which meant that I got to spend the first week of it creating in many different places. I started out in Los Angeles filming an underwater music video, and shooting stills, too! It was massively cold, but I’ll share more on that later. I went to Vegas and felt the itch to create, so I dressed my friend up in a costume and I took pictures in my hotel room as she balanced on a glass table and I turned a lamp on nearby. Finally, I had the privilege of hosting a photo walk for WPPI.
I was preparing to location scout the day before, just after arriving in Vegas, but between an interview and a Skype call, I was stuck in the same building for 2+ hours. While finding a quiet place to have a meeting (before I could check into my hotel room yet), I wandered into a stairwell. My first reaction was: “WOW! This looks like an insane asylum.” (Side note, it didn’t really. But it was painted white, which I found inspiring.) To top it off, there were nice lights mounted on the walls (re: “nice” as it wouldn’t look utterly horrible should I have to use it to light my subject). I decided I would use that space for my photo walk, and I’m so glad that I did.
The next day 30 of us fit into that tiny stairwell as I began sharing how to start simple and work your way up to a more complicated, thoroughly storytelling image. I was quite excited for many reasons: 1) I had white paint…in a white stairwell. AMAZING. 2) I was about to cover my best friend in white paint. SCORE. 3) I was with a whole bunch of weirdos! Weirdo is my term for AWESOME PEOPLE, so please read appropriately.
It really was a great time playing with paint with a whole bunch of new friends, and we ended up back in my hotel room in order to edit and talk business. The 90 minute photo walk turned into a 4-hour affair. I just couldn’t stop sharing! And everyone was so nice!
I love experiences like that because it proves that we can create anywhere. We can make the best out of any situation, even little old me trying to find an inspiring location in a casino in Las Vegas, of all places. It can be done, and sometimes embracing a space you wouldn’t normally be drawn to can be even more inspiring. I hope that no matter where you find yourself today you carry inspiration with you to create.
“The second vertebrae is my favorite vertebrae.” – If you were at my class, you get it ;-D
Model: Kelly McGrady
Assistance: KD Stapleton
Shot at WPPI 2016 at my Photo Walk “Creating the Fine Art Portrait”