• AlanaG

#30DayPhotoChallenge Day 2 What I Wore

Updated: Dec 1, 2018

I didn't initially believe that this day's challenge was going to go as deep as it did, but I'm glad it did. It had me confront a challenge that I had grappled with for a long time. I am a portrait photographer mainly because I can connect to people or animals on an emotional level. I feel like stock photography, event photography, landscape photography have never been something I've been able to connect to emotionally. Sure, I love going places and seeing things but the chaos of the world around me can overwhelm me and I lose my emotional focus. That is where my art comes from.

Today I chose to photograph something that I have worn but so did my good friend, Kaley. I lost her year's ago and when she passed her mom gave me all of her clothes. I've incorporated an article of her clothing in every photoshoot I've done since to keep her memory alive and to honor her. She loved photography as much as I do.

These shoes are special though. At this point, there's four of us that have worn them. Kaley, Serena, Jennifer, and myself. All for different occasions. All for different reasons. I had put an entire outfit of clothes together that Kaley and I both wore but something about the shoes inspired me. Shoes tell such a story. They walk down a path with each of us.

When I first started photographing them, I put them in the corner of my room. They looked sad and alone. It was crazy. Picture #1 and once again I find myself so emotionally connected to the inanimate object. We as people have a weird way of doing that though. Putting attachment to something unattached to us. Something that we feel we share a memory with. I found myself wondering where Kaley had walked in these shoes. What had she seen? What had she done? Then I stopped asking those questions. I just remembered that she had done something and that's all that mattered.

Here's my first image.

After this I felt like this didn't represent me or the shoes or Kaley or anyone else that had worn them. I felt like the shoes were beautiful and bold. They have their own life. They have scuffs amidst their shine. They were showing their true colors that people are sometimes too afraid to.

This is when I saw the change in me clear as day. The creativity and life started to flow through my veins. The vignette is natural. I didn't add it in editing. Everything was done in camera and I loved what I saw. Then the next image happened...I still can't explain it.

I'm not sure if the aperature had a malfunction or what but I didn't intend for this and I couldn't recreate it with what I was using. I'm just going to say thanks Kaley for this one. It's my favorite one and it was an accident. In my experience, some of the best things in life usually are. Sure, we can plan and try to do everything according to that plan but sometimes when you just let things happen something magical is born. Behold, the birth of my favorite photo from the set.

The last photo I took I went a little more artsy. I just wanted to see if I could play with the mirror, flash, and angles and get it to look alright. I'm happy I tried something new. No, it didn't result in my favorite photo from the bunch but that wasn't the point. The point was to step outside my zone and learn. I did that.

I love the shine in the shoes. I love that this picture looks somewhat happy to me and that is the photo I want to end with. Today taught me that photographing something other than people can be just as meaningful to me. It can be just as artistic and thoughtful. I just need to put my mind in the right place. Isn't that what we need to do in everyday life though when we're doing something that we don't love. Find a way to love what you do, no matter what it is. Life is short and there's always room for more love.

Thank you to each of you for reading this. I have so much love in my heart for each of you.

Tomorrow's challenge: Clouds

This one scares me. I've only taken one photo of clouds that I'm proud of. I find them so majestic and difficult to properly captivate, especially as a portrait photographer. I will be reaching out to my photographer friends for advice on this one. Wish me luck!