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Golden Hour Photoshoot on a Green Algae Covered Pond

“If you are willing to do something that might not work, you’re closer to being an artist.” -s.g.

There’s sometimes a safety and unfulfilling hole in preparation and perfection and I’ve been feeling it. As I fine-tune my craft, failure no longer becomes an option and perfection is easily grasped when risks aren’t being taken. But perfection is boring.

I miss play. I miss reveling in my failures. I miss going out without the pressure of perfection weighing so hard on my shoulders, coming home with a camera full of experimentations, and digging for the little bits of gold amongst the files with the exhilarating chance that I will find none. I don’t want to ever get comfortable or stop taking risks with my work because it’s in the risks I find the magic.

I’d been eyeing up this fallen tree I pass frequently on my daily walks for a while now— I love the way it slips mysteriously into the depths of the algae— I always felt like it was just begging to be photographed. I wonder how far it stretches out into the abyss of the pond— peeks of branches whisper its secrets. I wonder what inhabitants call the deep murky underbelly of it’s bark home. What mysteries float just beneath the water’s surface. Ever changing from soft silver, to brilliant lime, to deep emerald as the sun shifts and shadows dance.

We threw all caution to the wind with this one (I feel like I was practically begging the world for a failed photoshoot so I could feel that satisfaction of risk again). I would typically have chosen a safe white dress for this but put her in lavender & frills instead. I shot in light that makes me uncomfortable but in turn offered me delicious shadows. I gave her a reasonless prop that didn’t quite makes sense, in a location I was unsure would even be possible to photograph well. Heck, I didn’t even know if we’d be able to get out onto the tree (the entire shoot was an hour long balancing act for both of us). But despite all the factors working against me, I left our shoot that evening feeling *to-the-brim* fulfilled— accepting that I might leave empty-handed, and ready to dig for the gold.

If you enjoyed this shoot and want to read more of my thoughts on taking creative risks, be sure to check out my blog post "10 Tips For Taking Creative Risks" Model: Leah Foster


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