comfort zone begone

Hello world!

Late winter and early spring in the years past have typically been a slow period for us. Outside of speaking at WPPI, PPA and other seminars I seem to mostly shoot for myself, start new projects, finish projects that have been long over due or just lay on the sofa and watch Coen Bros. or Tarantino flicks until I have them completely memorized or the beer runs out. This year seems to be a bit different though( I didn’t even find the time to watch True Grit!) I have found myself busy shooting more portraits and commercial type work than ever before. I’ve even been hired by several music groups in the past couple of months to create some conceptual PR images for them which is forcing me to step out of my photographic comfort zone. What I mean by “photographic comfort zone” is that I have really gotten used to showing up at a wedding and flowing with the day and shooting what makes itself available to me in my style and composition. Shooting these conceptual projects force me to create the moment, create the light, create the mood and relay the message of the subject. This is stepping outside of my comfort zone; and it feels great! I haven’t been nervous about shooting a wedding in years. No matter what happens, I got it. This other kind of work makes me as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rockin’ chairs! But then I remembered how good it felt to be nervous and feel that inspiration and drive pushing me to the next level. Somewhere I wouldn’t have journeyed had I not stepped out side of my comfort zone.

A couple of weeks back I had an outdoor, spring, airy, soft light commercial/fashion gig slated for a Thursday. A company that makes uber fashionable hair pieces and bridal accessories Fine & Fleurie had hired me to photograph her products with my vision. So i was thinking since it is spring time in Asheville we would go out into the blooming cherry trees with some beautiful afternoon soft light and create some soft beautiful images. Funny how the weather here in the mountains can push you into plan B or C or D! The forecast was partly cloudy with a 10% chance of precipitation. Boy did the weather guys miss that one. It poured all day! Thanks Brick Tamland. (did everybody get it that is gonna get it? Ok moving on) Since my client was out from out of town a reschedule was out of the question. So, with a saw in hand and a trailer on the back of the rover I started following in the footsteps of George Washington. I chopped down some cherry trees and drug them into my studio and made my own forest. Face; mother nature! All of the real talent that I pulled together for this shoot was starting to arrive; my models for the day, Trecy and Morgan; oh my! my stylist and amazing dress maker Brooke Priddy of Ship to Shore , Zack with Makeup at the Grove Arcade, Danielle with WestOne Salon, and my always trusty assistant Kelly G. 7 lights, 4 trees, some bird cages and a plate of sushi later, we were making images. I couldn’t have done it without this amazing troop! Here are a few.

In the next post I want to share some of those music oriented images. Stay tuned…

ALSO, there is a whole new gigantic gallery of images under the inspired tab!!

Keep on clickin’

Parker J