The year begins and so do my Challenges! This year I am going above and beyond last years weekly challenges and creating big productions every month. My ideas are so big they need a whole month to prepare and execute. This month's theme came to me in a dream. I was a bird sitting in a nest preparing for flight. Completely terrified by the idea of jumping out into the open sky and trusting that my wings instinctively knew how to keep me afloat. But I conjured up the courage and made the leap and that is when I woke up. I can only imagine what the outcome of my decision was. If I do happen to plunge to the ground I know I will fall with grace!
This year it is less about the actual photographic challenge and more about the challenge of putting together a big production and coordinating team of people. I was worried that it would be difficult to portray my vision to my team but once I got to talking about it I was confident that everyone could see it clearly. Bird Mc Cargar, a very talented costume designer, had once told me that she wanted me to model her bird costume for her. Remembering this I asked if she would be open to me photographing my model in it instead. Bird helped out with a lot of the initial brainstorming as we went location scouting in the East Bay hills. I wanted to see a bird in a fantasy like place with feathers floating in the air like fairies. The location I chose was a beautiful rocky creekside with green moss creeping up all around and the perfect amount of sun light peeking through the trees! When I saw it my heart stopped!
On the day of the shoot my amazing hair stylist (and best friend) Michelle created a master piece atop Stephanie's head while she finished the last touches of her make up. Meanwhile I had the help of Sari and Isabella to build a life sized birds nest. We collected sticks and twigs and went to work. The most challenging part of the day was figuring out the feathers. Isabella was on feather duty and after trying to fan them into frame then decided to climb up to the top of the rock to drop them down from above. We had planned on using fog with dry ice as well but that was an epic fail. Dry ice did not put out nearly as much fog as I thought it would so we scraped it all together. I have an actual fog machine on the way so I can use that effect in the future. Stu was there to capture it on film so we can begin to document the year and its challenges. Click on the link below to see the video fro the shoot!
At first I pushed for the image to hold some kind of meaning and emotion. But after some thought I realized that is not really my style. I am a dreamer and I want other people to just have the freedom to dream without imposing any feelings or opinions. I just want to create beautiful things and that is what we did!
My biggest challenge for the future is to clearly communicate expectations. A couple things went unnoticed this time around which is a great lesson to learn. It takes more then just a good idea to make it happen. It takes a lot of coordination and communication between everyone involved and this experience was a great start!