Tag Archives: Work

“The Stories BEHIND the pictures”

Along with being a place for my photographic observations and AWESOMENES, I feel like the Shoot With Personality (SWP) blog is a place for the stories behind the pictures.

There are a number of places on the internet where folks see a lot of my photos, such as Flickr or Facebook. Most of my photos you see on here aren’t exclusive to SWP. However, I enjoy the SWP blog as a venue for giving you behind the scenes insight into these photos.

For example? If you know me on Flickr or Facebook, you may see the following photo:

And you may get bits of the story behind this and the other photos of my friend Jason from this session. But you won’t hear the whole story if you see these photos somewhere besides this blog.

Part of the story for this photos series is about how I and my co-workers sometimes have too much time on our hands and like to blow off steam by taking ridiculous pictures in one of the studios that isn’t being used for clients at that moment.

Another part of the story is, there was this sign that was made by someone in our department as a reminder for another member of our team. Jason liked the sign and kept it for himself. It was good for a laugh. Then, I had this flash of inspiration before work yesterday, and let Jason know that I had envisioned photographing him holding the sign whilst wearing his prescription Ray Ban sunglasses. Killer. This is how it looked in my head when I thought it up:

I knew I would be posting these online at Facebook, as kinda goofy pictures for our friends to see. I upped the comedic anty though, when I had another flash of inspiration: I could say that the photos of Jason with the “Stay Calm” sign were photos for a public service ad campaign, similar to one running in Memphis called “Chill, don’t kill.” This campaign includes both TV commercials and billboards throughout the city.

It would probably be a better story if I could say “So I had this brilliant idea: I’ll take pictures of Jason as a spoof on the Chill, don’t kill ads!” and proceeded to do so. But I really didn’t think of it until after I’d already taken the pictures.

Yet another aspect to these particular photos is the type of portrait session they would be considered if Jason had been one of my customers as a portrait photographer. It’s called the “black-and-white” session (duh) and, along with the “white-on-white” session, is the only type of portraits I took during my stint as senior portrait photographer that I actually felt were “Amanda-style.”

When I first began the portrait studio job, I struggled because all these studio lights and posed photos felt like the polar opposite to my normal, photojournalistic/documentry-style of shooting. Having to pose my subjects felt counterintuitive for me. However, there was something about the black-and-white and white-on-white portraits that felt like they answered the question “if Amanda were going to do pictures in a studio, what would they be like?” (not that I or anyone else have ever asked that question.)

It’s been strange for me to be producing SO much photographic work all summer, but none of going into my online portfolio. This is due to the fact that a) most anyone who was a customer here was under the age of 18 and I’d need permission to post their photos online and b) the studio pretty much owns the rights to said photos, not me. I wanted to show you guys what I learned on summer vacation though. Which is one reason I chose to shoot the “Stay Calm” session of Jason in the black-and-white style. Jason’s not a minor and my job doesn’t own the rights to these! I’m free to show them to you!

Ray Charles? I had said something ridiculous, and Jason threw his head back in laughter.