I ended up re-editing the photos I shot in a couple of years ago . . . approximately 15 photos or so per look . . . but, this time, with the “less is more” approach: Color-grading + followed by light cleanup, dodging, and burning, + toning.
The only lighting I used back then was available/ambient lights and one large-ish reflector. And, those REALLY were enough!
Looking at these photos are like getting a strong wake-up call.
It’s a reminder that your vision, your composition, your ability to find and capture beauty, and your ability to find flattering &/or unusual angles matter more than the kind of gear you use
I don’t say that we should stick with natural light, that we don’t need to learn new skills and never get out of our comfort zone. Relying on natural light is not always a good idea because your productivity will be severely limited by factors that are absolutely beyond your control (i.e. sudden weather changes, early sunsets, harsher sunlight than you’re prepared for, etc) . . . It’s especially bad if you shoot for clients, and your clients need the images done by a certain date. It can also be horrible when you shoot your personal projects and you have to cancel it midway because the lighting is not ideal.
But, if the available light is wonderful, and you can create amazing images with it, by any means, use it. But bring your gear with you and have some backup plans.
Everyone is a critic; and, along the way, you’ll meet a few people who want to tell you what you should do, what you should not do, and what they personally think about your work. They’ll question your tastes, your visions, and your methods . . . some of them are well-intentioned people . . . some others, however, only want to assert their (sometimes, merely imagined) superiority over you . . .
Don’t let their critiques cloud your vision. The things that work for them might not work for you. You can try their methods, but always . . . always . . . make your own decisions.
What I learned from this is the importance of having a strong sense of self, and a strong trust in your aesthetics, visions, and preference. Because they are as valid as other people’s.
Some people are going to love your work, some people are going to hate your work, and some others won’t give a toss about your work . . . the same way you love/hate/don’t care about other people’s works . . .
Sometimes, we need to get through some rough patches in order to grow.
And, from time to time, it’s good to look look back, question, and re-evaluate things.
Photographer: MIU VERMILLION
Stylist: LEONID GUREVICH
Dress: Felipe TONETTE
Necklace: GBGH JEWELRY
Earrings, bracelet, rings: CLARA KASAVINA
Hair Stylist: TAKAYOSHI TSUKISAWA
Makeup: AYA KUDO
Model: ANASTASIA V