I recently had the pleasure of working with my own lovely family on a few concept shoots for a competition. These were created for an online photography community contest: Project Shoot Out from the I Love Photography site: (www.ilovephotography.com). This challenge was my way of inspiring new creative thinking and truly pushing the boundaries of my own photographic abilities. I wanted to really challenge myself and push beyond my normal shooting. For four weeks, I worked with a team of photographers and an amazing mentor to develop images releated to each weeks theme. I will share my final images, as well as a few "in-between" shots and detail each week's theme and my take on it. I did not win the overall competition, but I did win first-place in Week Three's category.
Week One: Color
I chose to use the color yellow. Yellow to me symbolizes light, sunshine and hope. I wanted to give the feeling of emerging from darkness, into the light and overcoming a bleak time. It's a little heavy, but hopefully worked well.
Image Two (and the final image I submitted for the competition):
Week 2: A Different Perspective
There were many ways to have interpreted this theme. I chose to use this theme to highlight the differences in a military child's lifestyle from that of a child outside the military. It's tough on a kid. We also happened to be right in the middle of packing to move from South Korea to Fort Polk, Louisiana. My oldest son was a little disappointed to be leaving all his friends, yet again, and I tried to allow that and the stuggles they face with our lifestyle to show through (and even got my hubby to participate in a shot). Now that we are with family in Louisiana, he is singing a different tune. :)
Image One (final image submitted for competition):
Image 2 (close call but didn't submit this one):
Week 3: Time & Motion
So for this week's challenge, my inspiration revolved around my daughter once more, but in a different setting. In the middle of our move, just one week before we were supposed to be on a plane heading back to the United States, she got horribly sick. She had a gastroenteritis stomach bug that just wouldn't let up, so we took her to the ER. It's a scary thing to be in a foreign country relying on doctors that cannot speak to you except through a translator. She was hospitalized for a total of 4 days and made a complete recovery, praise God! Since we had nowhere to go, I used my iPhone to snap a few pictures of her as she went around the hospital room and then combined them in Photoshop to make one image that showed "time passing". I placed first in this week's competition! Image (finally and only image created):
Week 4: Light & Shadows
For this week's theme, I promised my youngest son I would use him for the project, as I'd used every other family member previously. So, we were in a small hotel room in New England and I used available window light to capture my little dreamer. His beautiful blue eyes amaze me with their kindness and joy for life!
Image (final and only image created):
So, even though I did not win this competition, I truly enjoyed experiencing it with my family and expanding my knowledge of thinking outside the box. Doing these themed shoots has helped me look at light and composition in a whole new way! I encourage you, fellow photographers, if you have the means and opportunity to participate in competitions that challenge you and your abilities, to do it! Get active, creative and inspired as you push yourself and your abilites!