As a photographer it is my job to create – to emulate, to reflect and to originate ideas of my own accord. For me, I often spend hours, upon hours of researching, scribbling, noting, photographing and reading to come up with ideas on what I want to shoot next, how I want to shoot [it] and what is going to be ‘different’ about it compared to another photographer’s work.
The problem with an ‘idea’ is that everybody has an ‘idea’, it’s whether or not they act on it. For me, I had always dreamed of having my own studio; my very own space to create. But I was afraid; scared of price, scared of dedication and scared that once I committed I had to do it. But that was over a year ago. Three months ago, I made myself change my way of thinking about it; the studio didn’t have to be ‘expensive’ or a huge space. In fact, my studio is now in the garage, with new painted walls, recycled flooring, a DIY backdrop stand and almost four, DIY painted backdrops.
There’s something so profound about looking at a white wall or canvas; knowing that you’re about to create something.
For almost half the price I thought I had to spend, I had my very own space to create. I shoot in natural light, so there are no strobes or cords to factor in at the moment. Eventually I will incorporate a strobe into the setup, but for now I shoot after 1-2pm to really get the best light through the window – and I’m okay with that. Work with what you’ve got.As I’m writing this, my third hand-painted backdrop is dry and hung onto the frame. This one is bluey-green, with a white base. It’s textured, probably almost too much – but I like that I can blend it later in post if I have to. This morning, the next and final one for this year is lying on the studio floor with it’s white base coat drying.
There’s something so profound about looking at a white wall or canvas; knowing that you’re about to create something. I think and wonder to myself, “How do I breathe my style and creativity into a blank canvas?”. And just before the first brushstroke, or roll of a paint roller, I clench my fingers and my stomach sinks; knowing that whatever I paint is going to stay there for as long as I want it. Whatever I paint is going to be the backdrop to people’s memories; potentially forever. For when they look back on their photographs they will see themselves as they were and a textured coloured backdrop. And they might remember who took the photos some 40 years later, they might not. I just hope that whatever I create, no matter how I create it, it will exist in some way, somehow in some form, for a longer time than me.