Sometimes I get an idea for a personal project or even a small group of images and can't get the idea out of my head. If you enjoy a craft or art form of some kind - hand lettering, design, cooking, whatever - you can probably appreciate this. I've found that if I ignore the idea or don't do something about it I have regret that I didn't push through the work and give life to the images swimming through my head.
The sisters is one of the visions I fought to give life to. I wanted to photograph two young girls in the snow in vintage clothing. Oh, and it had to be on film. It snowed a few days before new years and the urge to create this session grew. I started putting together the outfits in my mind and realized that I had two beautiful sisters that I could ask.
I wish I could say I called the girls' mom right away to get consent, but that's so not the case. I don't know if you've ever known an artist really well, but we sometimes struggle. The more artists I get to know the more I find this to be true on a massive scale. Whether creating more traditional art, photography or music, it's sometimes really hard to get out what we see and feel. I heard someone say recently that every photograph is, at some level, a self portrait. This is so true. A photograph, or really any work of art, is a reaction. It's the artist's expression of how they see or feel something. It comes from deep within. It's something that separates an elevates a work to a piece of art. Sure, it might not be technically accurate or beautiful to everyone. But to the artist who create that thing it is a labor of being honest and completely true to who that artist is.
So sometimes I fight to create what's in my head. This session was one of those times. I struggled with my fear of shooting film on a new camera with no digital "backups" to fall on should I fail completely. I struggled with the insecurities of asking to high school student to play dress up with me and hang out in the freezing snow on New Year's Day and whether or not they thought I was a bit nutty. struggled with how my styling for this session might turn out. I finally wanted to get the images out of my head and made the call to the girls' mom.
The girls were thrilled. They loved their outfits and the fact that I did their hair. hey were so patient. We worked through a more somber session with Victorian-inspired poses. We froze together. We laughed a lot. I waited for 2 1/2 weeks for my film scans to be ready. I could not have been happier with my first 2 rolls of film on my Mamiya! My exposures were great. The images were what I had in mind and the depth of field and feel of the images I created with the Mamiya was thrilling.
It was a lot to struggle through, but it was was so worth it. The girls were thrilled with the images. Their mom is completely in love with the portraits of her girl. I faced my doubts and created something I'm excited about. I'm looking forward to many more rolls of film in my future.