I am an extrovert. The Myers-Briggs test explains that an extrovert is a person who gains energy from being involved with others and collaborating. This couldn’t be more true for me.
In college, while others were rolling their eyes, I was truly happy to hear the words “group project”. I love working with others, throwing out ideas and coming up with something fantastic. I feel like the end result is so much sweeter when we share the experience of making of something great.
I think this explains why I love portrait photography so much. I have zero interest in photographing flowers or mountains. Inanimate objects are not exactly my cup of tea. I want subjects who can interact, inspire and energize me. Each person that steps in front of my lens has their own unique energy and personality which feeds my creative spirit. The way I shoot someone is a direct result of an interaction between the two of us. A portrait is something we are creating together. Often my clients are shy about sharing ideas they have for their shoot. Please don’t be. I love when someone has an idea they would like to incorporate into their images. It just makes it that much more fun to shoot and the resulting images that much more meaningful to you. Things like a location that holds significant meaning to you, a feeling you would like to convey, or an interest you have will help get my gears turning and my creative juices flowing. I love it!
In honor of “Collaboration” I thought I would share some very early, goofy images I shot with one of my favorite collaborators. My friend Laura and I have been friends for 17 years. We met when we worked together as counselors at Camp Gallahue Girl Scout Camp in Nashville. Laura isn’t a photographer, but when my interest in photography started to develop, she was always game to participate in my crazy endeavors and share her ideas for funny shoots we could do together. She lives in Pennsylvania, so we don’t get to see each other as often as we would like, but we never let that stop us from having fun. We can always be united, if only through photoshop…
This image is from 2008. Laura was returning home to PA after a visit in Indiana. I was sad to see her go so I asked her to take a picture of herself on the plane ride home and she came up with the image inside the airplane. At home, I laid across a cooler in my backyard and took a picture of myself flying “superhero style”. Together, we came up with this:
This image was made also made in 2008. The left half of the image was taken by Laura in her home in Pennsylvania, the right side was taken by me at home in Indiana:
And then there was that one fateful evening I was visiting her 6 years ago, and she and I decided to channel our all-time favorite TV duo, Laverne and Shirley. We watched and re-watched the opening sequence of the show and came up with these.
I have come a long way from these early images, but as you can plainly see, I’ve always LOVED collaboration!