© SanchezAriasPhotography.com
© SanchezAriasPhotography.com

RECLAIMING YOUR CREATIVITY
THE IMPORTANCE OF CONCEPTUAL SHOOTING

“If you think being too adventurous with your photography is dangerous – try routine, it is lethal!”

 When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change! -Wayne Dyer
A quote that pretty much sums up my attitude towards my photography and many other aspects of my life!

© Sanchez Arias Photography

© Sanchez Arias Photography

In this extremely competitive photography market, every photographer needs to have an edge. Something different that they can bring to the table…something extra that can make them stand apart. Once you have the equipment you’re comfortable using and have the technical lighting skills under control –  what else do you offer? What extra talent do you provide that would make a client pick you over a competitor? If you’re just waiting for clients to bring interesting concepts and ideas to your studio…you might find yourself waiting a long while. You need to showcase your creativity, get involved, let the client know that you can participate in the brain storming, and have great ideas of your own to contribute.

When a client comes to our studio, they usually come expecting something a little extra…even when they have an existing concept, they know that we approach every assignment with fresh eyes and a different perspective. They are always waiting to see what extra creativity we can add to their project that could take the image to the next level. It might be some dappled lighting, a different camera angle, a prop that is the perfect color or makes the right statement, or maybe a background that they may never have considered. We always try to step outside the box, and we encourage our clients to do the same, because we know that great teamwork and creative collaboration on every project are the ingredients that make it all work.

© Sanchez Arias Photography

© Sanchez Arias Photography

Being a creative thinker takes practice, especially when you are constantly being told what to do by the client. You know a client trusts your opinion and welcomes your creativity, when they ask you “What do you think?” or “What would you do to make it better?” The more the client respects your opinion the more they will involve you in the entire process and that just leads to more creative possibilities.

So many photographers are doing free work for clients hoping that it will open the door for more assignments and better paying shoots. Hate to burst your bubble guys and gals: Free Work = More Free Work = A Portfolio Filled With Boring Free Work!

If you’re going to shoot for free do it for yourself – go play, test yourself, collaborate with other creatives who want to test an idea. Don’t wait for a creative assignment to drop on your desk, if they’re not coming, create your own brilliant project. Give yourself an assignment, become your own demanding client, and force yourself to do things you may not have the courage to do under normal circumstances. Practice makes perfect! At the very least you will try something different, and create exciting new images for your portfolio that represent the kind of assignments you’d like to land. And the people you collaborate with, will be far more grateful, than any client whose work you shoot for free. 

© Sanchez Arias Photography

© Sanchez Arias Photography

Some photographers think that being too adventurous and pushing the envelope is dangerous and will scare away clients. Trust me,
if you think being adventurous with your photography is dangerous – try routine, it is lethal! As a photographer the worse thing you can be is complacent, you might be consistent –  but the work is going to get boring really fast. I don’t care how good you think you are, there is always room for improvement and something new to learn, not just technically but creatively! 

“You have an eternity to think inside a box when you die….so don’t start just yet!”

The images in this post are an example from one of my conceptual shoots.
In this new body of work titled “Reclaimed Beauty”. I wanted to create ‘beauty shots’ with a twist. Instead of going the traditional route and using designer accessories and head wraps. I chose instead to make accessories out of materials that people normally discard and throw out as trash. I wanted to make the statement that with a little creativity, ingenuity and a different point of view “The possibilities are endless”.  I used black garbage bags, brown paper bags, plastic shopping bags, foil, brown packing paper, twine, wire, and old ball chains to make the accessories and head pieces for my Eco-Goddesses ; ) I have always enjoyed the challenge of repurposing and transforming discarded materials – and actually have a site dedicated to my recycled work

I collaborated with a beautiful model Leann Crupi who was happy to get some new beauty shots for her book, and an amazingly talented make-up artist Rochelle Lee who was willing to collaborate with me on some creative make-up for my “Reclaimed Beauty” images. It’s always a pleasure when exceptional people trust my vision and are willing to work together to make that vision a reality. 

© Sanchez Arias Photography

© Sanchez Arias Photography

As a photographer, photo stylist and photo art director I am always a work in progress, always growing, always learning, always inspired by the possibilities. I always experiment with unusual subjects and materials and constantly try to bring something different to every shoot and collaboration. If my work has a mission, it is this: To see the beauty and potential of all things, and the possibilities that a different point of view can create.

“We must remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it,
and no one has ever approached the full possibilities of the medium.” – Ansel Adams

CREDITS:

Rochelle Lee – Hair & Makeup (crazy talented – a joy to work with)
Leann Crupi– Model (the total package)
Sonya Sanchez – Concept, Art Direction, Styling and Photography
Fernando Arias – Photography, Lighting, Retouching
(My Partner In Crime – the other half of the Dynamic-Duo that is Sanchez Arias Photography ; )