Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the day-to-day routine of my work that I forget why I got into photography in the first place. Sometimes I feel like I'm in it to please other people and not myself. But lately I've learned the best way to stay in it for the fun of it is to keep shooting what I want to shoot, in addition to shooting what everyone else wants me to shoot. I understand that it's about pleasing the clients sometimes. Each of us is an artist at heart and we all have our own ideas and we love it when we see our concepts brought to life. But I love it when my clients say, "I trust you, Lisa. Whatever you think is fine with me."
So I had this concept for a trash the dress session that I have not been able to convince any of my lovely trash the dress brides to try. Rather than abandon the idea altogether, however, I decided to do it anyway. To do it my way. So I met Jessica, a model from New Orleans who heard I was coming to town and wanted to work with me to create this series of gothic, creepy bride in a cemetery images.
We met up at the crack of dawn at one of the oldest cemeteries in town -- the one with the body of the voodoo queen Marie Laveau. It was a scary part of town to begin with but we felt pretty secure amongst the dead people. Moreso than the living a block away. Jessica had her make-up fixed perfectly for the concept I was going for. I pulled out a vintage wedding dress I found at a thrift store and we got to work -- or should I say "play." Jayme got to play with his infrared camera again, which we discovered was perfect for the vision I had.
It was tons of fun exploring the creepy old crumbling crypts. The voodoo queen grave had little obscure offerings all around it as well as XXXs marking the secret wishes of the living, praying for help from the deceased woman. Although I don't know what a deceased voodoo queen would want with a tampon or a tube of lipstick, but go figure.
The sun got high fast during our session and the heat radiated off of the white tombs so we ended our morning session as the tourists began to arrive. But the fun for me was just starting. I had a blast sitting down back at home to edit these images. The cool thing was that I could do as much as I wanted to them in Photoshop as far as adding the creepy special effects. They totally worked for this series.
This session did a lot to remind me what I love about photography. Having the power to create something in your mind and then bring it to life. I've made it my priority to continue to shoot what I want to shoot in addition to shooting what my clients want. My mind's eye has already started working on the next concept. I don't want to give it away but I'm going to need some help with it. Anyone know a good body painter?
Lisa On Location Photography