As anyone that has ever visited this site knows, this was formerly my graphic design site. And although it has never been a very popular site by anyone's standards, (630 hits a month) I hope to progressively change that. In an attempt to sharpen my skill set and evolve with my craft, I accidentally acquired a new found passion in the process that I never, in a million years, dreamed I would be pursuing. I know if someone came up to me a year and a half ago and said, "Hi, I'm from the future and three years from now, you will become a well known children's photographer," I would assume they just escaped from the loony bin. First, I'm horrible with kids! But more importantly, I've never used anything other than the camera on my smartphone before. And although I am far from being well known, the rest has fallen into place, and rather quickly at that.
It all started less than a year ago. I was surfing the web when I ran across a photo on one of the sites I ended up on. Not even sure what site it was or how I ended up on it but I do remember the photo. It was a picture of two Thai boxers. But it didn't look like any image I had ever seen before. It had a very unique quality about it. The subjects almost looked as though they were characters in a video game but the image was far too detailed to have been created from nothing on a computer. I thought to myself, "Wow, is this something new? Maybe a new filter or technique designers are using that I haven't heard of? And if so, this could add a whole new set of possibilities to my skill set!" I had to find what this was.
To make a very long story short, it turned out not being anywhere close to a new technique at all. It was HDR or High Dynamic Range, a technique photographers use, which combines multiple exposures into a single image in attempts to bring back more detail in the shadows and highlights of an image. Many photographers get their start through HDR and I was no exception to that. But fortunately, I didn't stick with HDR long at all. When I dive into something I become very passionate, almost obsessive, about it and the more I learned, the more I grew to appreciate other styles and other processing techniques of which I soon started incorporating into my work. But the biggest reason I transitioned from HDR was a little 3 foot tall, ball of energy, that I couldn't get to stay still long enough to take 3 exposures if my life depended upon it. Her name is Rhyme and she is my 2 year old daughter. I quickly learned that if I could photograph her, I could photograph pretty much anything. So she became my new practice subject and I eventually became halfway decent at photographing her. So decent that, before long, I had people requesting that I photograph their children for them. To which, I had to respectively decline, I must add. It was one thing chasing my own two year old around the park in search of that" perfect shot," looking like a complete fool! But someone else's child? Uh, no thank you! I was no where close to being confident enough in myself to take the chance of completely embarrassing myself in front of complete strangers and not being able to produce a single usable image for them on top of it. No way!
This all changed, however, after producing an image that I titled, "The Curious Companion." It was a composite of Rhyme facing with her back towards the camera walking away from it and right beside her was a little white duck. It's head cocked slightly to the side as if it were trying to emulate her every step. This image opened the door to so many possibilities for me. I had played around with a few composites before but upon the completion of this image, I proved to myself that not only was I capable of producing a composite, but I was also able to make the image believable. In case you are not familiar with what a composite is, it's an image that is composed by using elements taken from numerous photographs and arranging them into a single image. Composites are not easy to do, in fact, they are quite difficult to pull off correctly because there are so many variables working against you. For example, images taken at different times of the day will pose two color casts that are completely different from each other, not to mention the direction that the shadows and light are falling upon them will vary. And while we are talking about shadows I should mention that every element you bring into another image, needs shadows added to it that must be created from scratch and this is not an easy venture to tackle either. Those are only a few of the many problems you will run across. The list goes on and on. Trust me! So for me to produce a composite that was believable was a major step in my career. It meant, for me, that I didn't need to have everything "perfect" all in one click of the shutter. If there was something I didn't have right then, I could just shoot it at a later time and then add it in via photoshop. I know, I know, this is cheating and I can hear traditional photographers from all walks of life shrieking through my Ethernet! But here's the thing, I'm not, nor have I ever labeled myself, a traditional photographer, I'm an artist. And yes, there is a big difference. A traditional photographer captures while an artist creates. And that's what I am doing... I'm creating. That's what I have been doing ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon. Art is, and always will be, my my biggest passion. I cannot remember a time in my life that I wasn't in some way, shape, or form, creating and I firmly believe that deep down, we are all artists in some way. They say we are made in the image and likeness of God, or our creator. If that is so then it is inevitable. Creation is in our DNA and it's a part of who we are and how we evolve. I just believe we all have different ways we tap into this. But we are all creative and are always creating in some way or another. That being said, who's to tell me that I can't place an added element into my image for the purpose of creating a work of art? Not that I really care what anyone one has to say about this. It's my artwork, I am free to create what I want for a purpose that suits me, my style and my needs and there are many paths you can take as a photographer. It was for this reason I chose the path of Fine Art Portrait Photography. It gave me the freedom to produce beautiful works of art that both capture and add elements of mystery and fantasy into them and at the same time, tell a story. Everyone has had their picture taken at some point in their life. But not everyone has had themselves placed into a gorgeous, fairy tale like, fine art piece, that can be hung over the mantle and still admired twenty years from now. People like things that are unique and it's this rarity that I seek to produce through my skills as both and artist and as a photographer. This is only the beginning of my journey. I will always be striving to improve and my motto will always be, "I have yet to produce my best work," so that I may bring my followers and fans fresh, innovative and beautiful work.
Now that the new site has launched, I will also be making a point to share with you some of my tips and tricks of the trade, so to speak, for everything from the shot all the way to the editing. I have been fortunate over the last year, to have had some really great photographers that were kind and willing enough to share with me some of their processing "secrets" so it's only right that I pass that knowledge on to others as well. To often, artist won't share the things that they have learned out of fear that someone will produce work that surpasses theirs. I do not share this mindset for the simple fact that it is limiting. If I am sharing my tools then this only challenges me to find new and more creative ones and that is always the goal. Everyone wins and in term, the work produced by everyone does nothing but improve! So I invite you, if you haven't already to follow me on Facebook and follow this blog as well to see all of these tips and tutorials. You will also get to see newly published work as it is unveiled and hear about giveaways as they happen. I will be starting up an email list shortly As well to keep everyone updated on future plans, blog posts and promotions. So I hope that everyone welcomes this transition and many thanks to everyone that has followed my work thus far. It will only get better! Until Next Time...
My Facebook is: http://www.facebook.com/ShaunPostonPhotography