David Hobby the creator of the great Strobist blog has created a worldwide, or so it seems, sensation by letting people know how to use small battery powered strobes on location where you would normally think that you had to drag out big studio strobe units. Well that's something that I've been doing for years and it's great to see so many people embracing an approach that gets around our gear head preconceived notions of how to light things.
One of the blessings of being a location photographer is that you, are constantly trying to be inspired by things around you that you didn't know was there until you arrived. I try to create a story in my head and then attempt to illustrate it, often with lighting. So yesterday a bunch of local "Strobists" got together at a small ranch along with some local models to do a shoot using their small flash/improvise approach. Now as I've mentioned, I rarely am hired to photograph people because of how they look but rather because of their importance to a story. I have a folio full of portraits of business guys but comparatively few fashion/lifestyle photos. It's just not my usual gig. So I packed up the car and drove out to the shoot to see what I could do with it. I figured that with a ranch and some attractive women I could certainly make something out of it, right?
Well I got super lucky. The first gal that I met, Jolene Pipkin was the kind of model that I hope for: a great blend of sweet and tough, pretty and strong and super duper nice. We hit it off and I made some pix of her that I'm rather proud of. It wasn't work at all and that's the way that it should be: you are carried away by the energy and it all seems to happen by itself. And to boot all the photos that I made with the intent of being "fashion/lifestyle", something that I don't consider myself to be that familiar with, still feel like I didn't compromise my high-falootin artistic vision. How'd that happen?