To craft: putting heart and effort into your work

“To craft: putting heart and effort into your work”

Now this blog title came to my head one day, and today I want to dissect it and see why it feels prominent in my way of working (this doesn’t have to be the same for you, but it may be something I hope you consider considering.) 

Before I was a photographer, I guess you could class me as an artist- not necessarily defined to one medium, just a lover of art, someone who creates. So once I found my love for photography, I began to move away from feeling like an artist. This resulted in a new side of me, one that was meant to think about equipment and technical jargon that- to this day- makes no sense to me! To me, when I decided to become a photographer, there was a little spark of creativity that went. I found how I wanted to create, but everything started to appear more about the technique, and not the story. 

So when I started to dive further into why I chose photography as my medium a couple years back, I went deeper into what I wanted to create and where my voice could carry to. I realised that I still held a lot of fondness towards my artistic days, before I worried about apertures and making money!…

As I began to develop my style; creating more for myself (at last!) I realised that I wish to craft my work, instead of taking photos. I found that I was less about getting a ‘decent shot’ and more about what could create a new world, where my imagination can sore.

Now this is a many-layered concept I have come to learn, but the layers all mean something. I love the idea of bringing the art back into photography. We all become so worried about getting the focus or the lighting just right- but what about if we worried more about making sure we convey the right mood, or how can we connect to strangers we otherwise wouldn’t. And leading on from this: what about if we can bring different elements, or mediums into another?..

In this last year alone, I have began to create more and more props, sets and costumes to go into my work. I truly believe in working with what you have or what you can make, and never limiting your creativity to whats easily accessible to you. What if we opened our minds to the possibility of creating anything and everything? What could we unlock if we built the image from scratch, crafting what the viewer will see, and in what way.

making a toy box and drum for a nutcracker concept I am waiting to shoot, and a rocket I built for a concept I shot on Halloween.

The reason I wanted to talk about this today is as follows: I often find myself dreaming up concepts that seem way too extreme to bring to fruition. I would search for designers, sets, props and locations that were not easily accessible or often not exactly what I was after. So I decided to do it myself- with the help of some amazing people!

I love working with other creatives, the designers I’ve worked with have been a particular dream, their creativity sparks a different side of my imagination! I’ve worked with some amazing artists that have helped bring my visions to life too, doing a lot of things I don’t (yet) have the skills to do. My friend and I (Eleanor Williams Designs) recently created a fashion mermaid tail look, her incredible sewing skills helped to bring in new elements that I couldn’t have done alone. It’s also incredible to work with people you respect, and having their valued input adds another layer of creativity into what you’re doing. I also find this with my best friend/MUA on my shoots, Nicole Dawn MUA. She brings her own ideas to the table, transforming my vision beyond what I could say or write in words. 

An example of working with a team- Nicole my MUA brought her own ideas to enhance my original idea. I totally respect her vision and together, we crafted a beautiful image. 

As creatives, we can work together to bring our visions to life, creating unique props, costumes and sets. So I challenge you to craft. Whether its with someone you trust with your vision, or on your own. I guarantee you’ll find a stronger sense of ownership in what you’re doing; we can create what we thought was once impossible, and allow our audience to see our vision in its truest form.

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