This is going to double as a photo of the week entry and a little bit of of a general post.
We have our skill set, we have our tools, and we do what we can to promote ourselves.. but how do we go about getting better? Sometimes it’s through our own desire to improve, or we work a gig that allows us to grab some better gear, but ultimately my most favourite way is being FORCED to get better. Acquire a new skill or drown in the fleshy mass that is the sea of other photographers that haven’t picked up the new lessons. It’s great to teach ourselves and I encourage that as well. It’s just that thrill of someone asking “Can you do that?” and replying to them is absolute certainty “Not yet!”. Other times the question isn’t even asked by anyone but yourself.
A while ago I decided that there was something I could do, but had never done. The “Invisible Mannequin”. I was asked to give a bid on a catalogue/live shoot and show some of my work. I had a decent catalogue sample but I knew it could be better. And the client deserved better. I thought that my weak point was the mannequin shots. So I forced myself to figure out how to get it done and if not, well, there was no if not. Turns out there were some challenges, and I’ll be sharing the technique as soon as the studio is done and I’ve got a proper environment to start pumping out real how-to videos, but in the mean time it worked out great and now has become relatively straight forward and even almost easy. It’s just that need to improve what you can offer someone or cut down the time it takes to do something that I love. As well, it turns out another almost identical job materialized and although my previous work wasn’t appropriate to use as a bid on the new job, I was easily able to take some fitting shots (see below) and send them to my (hopeful) client to for their consideration.
It always feels great to learn something, and as mentioned, I encourage that we all continuously strive to better our abilities as photographers. Am I a professional, yes. What’s always going to be my opinion of my own capabilities: I can be better. I will be better.
So new ventures in photography aren’t worth doing unless they pose a challenge? I disagree. Although I do think that any challenge is a venture worth doing. That is where we can always better ourselves. So don’t decline a job or opportunity just because it’s something you’re too familiar with or because it may not earn you as much profit as you would like. However do seek out those chance encounters that can find you becoming skilled in an area you didn’t even think about in the past.
As promised here are some invisible mannequin shots – big difference from actually having the mannequin in the shots, or keeping the garments on a bust, or especially just hanging or folded or lying on a table. Personally my favourite way to view garments – especially of a sporting nature.
Thank you for reading!