Lesson Learnt

This week I wanted to go over an idea I have been pondering over for a while now which is the title of this blog post: ‘Lesson Learnt.’

I have come to the conclusion that with every photoshoot, I learn something. Every photoshoot of mine that I’ve done I can say I remember learning something, whether it be something crucial to my creative process, the marketing side, or even something little like always bring a baseball cap on self portrait shoots I think it’ll rain!

Either way, there is always something I am able to take away from the experience. And I wanted to reflect on that with you today, and hopefully help you see some of the experiences you went through as learning curves, and how you can grow on them…

some photos from the first couple of years of shooting, where I learnt the fundamentals and what it means to create. The first photo took me two days to edit. It was my first ever big composit, a technique I haven’t tried again but am keen to re-invite with what I’ve learnt. 

The second is one that was just playing around with a Brooke Shaden technique, I only created this photo to try and replicate her style and learn, I now know my style better, but can definitely make a leaf dress thanks to this! 

The next is a photoshoot I did with my friends, this patch of daisies was stunning, and this day helped me learn about self-confidence and creating with loved ones! 

The last was trying a new technique involving wrapping a broken tree, and myself in red wool. I had shot this before hand, but didn’t like the result as I was wearing the wrong thing, and the way I shot it was all wrong. I then took the time to assess the situation, go back and shoot it again, and inevitably create a really personal image that I took the time to craft, something I never really gave myself permission to do before.

(This might be a long post I’m sorry!)

I think so often we think that a shoot is just a shoot, and thats it. But now more than ever,  I have began to recognise how there are learning curves to everything. I can take away something from every opportunity. 

I find it so important to acknowledge the good and the bad that we go through, and recognise when those moments bare lessons for us to learn. When I look back on certain shoots, I see things I wish I did, or know I can do next time. 

Sometimes it’ll be something technical like a spare memory card, bring a flask of a hot drink, a towel or arrive earlier to scout out certain locations and for traffic e.t.c. Other times it’ll be something I wish I had shot at the time; if you’ve been with me on a shoot, you’ll know how just after the shoot, I can’t really think about anything else until I have properly gone through the photos on my computer and sometimes even until I’ve finished the edit I can’t think of much else. This is mostly out of fear that I haven’t got what I needed. So I have gradually learnt to take my time when shooting, shoot more then what I think I need, and to take photos on my phone of my favourite photos on the back of the camera so I can keep looking back to the photos easier.

1) My first shoot underwater, learning how to embrace my fears, and turn them into beautiful art with loved ones by my side.

2) My first shot shooting in RAW. Embracing harsh light and a cinematic atmosphere

3) Trialling a flash gun in a shoot. I will never know if it actually worked or not, but I learnt how its capable of transforming a shoot.

4) Shooting a behind the scenes video whilst shooting, and creating with bold colours.

The lessons are sometimes a blessing, and sometimes a harsh reality. I can had some lessons be kind: take your time on shoots, appreciate every moment before, during and after, hang out with the people you work with or even bring lunch and eat!

Some lessons were harsher to learn: not every idea will work out, strangers will call the police on you if you look weird and the harshest, sometimes you really shouldn’t meet your heroes.

1) I shot nude in a stunning heather field, it was so much fun, but none of the photos rally worked- except for the very first one I had shot! I had shot for probably 45 mins and it was the very first one I liked. Despite it being out of focus, it still tells the story so perfectly. 

2) The iconic police story!

3) Learning a new technical process and the joy of collaborating with fellow artists.

So I guarantee you, if you pull a photo of mine, i’ll be able to pull a lesson I had learnt from that whole experience. I fondly remember most of my shoots and can always say theres some sort of outcome that has come from each one, thats isn’t just the final photo. 

I encourage you to go back through your work and see what you may have taken from that experience, or what you can learn from that photo now as your future self. Or challenge yourself when on your next shoot to consider what and why you’re doing what you’re doing and how that might be hindering or helping your creative process. 

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