Monday afternoon I decided to shoot some portraits and did a fairly quick makeup job to get some done. But I was terribly bored by the whole process, and less than thrilled with what was coming out of the shoot. So I decided to take my frustration out on my costume and photograph the destruction.
That’s a wig I I cut a big hole in just to play around. Why wear them like normal when you’ve taken 8,000 + photos of yourself in them that way already? I’d also already seriously messed up my makeup by the time I took that shot, which was one of the last ones I took. Here’s a shot of the makeup before I destroyed it:
The eyeshadow was all glitter, but it was a rush job so it wasn’t all that thrilling anyway. And that’s the wig with the hole already cut in, and my real hair sticking out of the top. I actually kinda liked the way it looked when worn like this. One thing I’ve decided I don’t like, though, is shooting portraits against a white backdrop. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but it really does a number on my lighting and makes the colors weak. If nothing else, I need to learn some better lighting techniques when working against white. Working with gray or black backgrounds is easier for the type of portraits I like to shoot; much more dramatic results with better color and contrast. I am not skilled enough to know why, that’s just my observation.
Here’s one more, taken when I decided to rip into the black top I was using and just basically mess with it as much as I could beyond wearing it like, you know, a shirt.
That would be me sticking my head through a sleeve, or attempting to anyway. My husband walked into the office at this point in the shoot and I told him I was attempting to give birth to myself through it, which made sense at the time. I still like the description, as it does rather sum up what I was trying to do. Without getting whiny about it, I’m bored again.
Even though I found the shoot frustrating and didn’t enjoy taking them at the time, I found some nice ones to process, and in looking at them now I’m reminded a lot of the old portraits I used to do, back when my camera was incredibly old and I had no lighting or backdrops or costumes or makeup skills, and my lenses were so crappy I couldn’t take anything but portraits (full-length shots were out of the question). Back then, I’d throw on a t-shirt and a wig and grab whatever was nearby and just make it work. And I’d keep shooting until I hit on something interesting, like ripping up a wig or a shirt, and I’d just go town with that idea. Part of the problem is I’ve done it all by this time (including wearing tops the wrong way and ripping up costumes, although ripping up a wig was new) and so I get less excited about doing it again. But some of the photos actually were interesting, so it wasn’t a loss even if I felt unenthusiastic at the time.
I did sign up for an online class to learn how to create composite shots the proper way; as educational an exercise as it may be for me to take a little photoshoot trip back in time, I also need to keep moving forward, and I just can’t get there on my own. I really want to create more whimsical and fantastical stuff, which takes me beyond what I can do here in my studio. I’ve reached a point where, without knowing more, I don’t even want to try, because I don’t want to deal with the frustration of trying to figure it out on my own. So I hope these classes can help with that. In the meantime, I may do more playing around with the simple stuff like I did here. The end results weren’t that bad after all.