Thursday, October 16, 2008

Labor of Love

So this past weekend my friend Don Giannatti was here in Atlanta holding one of his lighting workshops and asked me to come and hang out. I told him I certainly would as long as I was not booked out elsewhere -- but mentioned that I may not even bother with shooting -- just kind of come and socialize and hang out. Well he insisted that I bring my camera and some lights and shoot. I am soooo glad he did -- because by doing so I realized how much I loved shooting again.

I rarely shoot these days without having to answer to somebody for the outcome of the shot if it is not up to expected standards. Even while shooting my friends and family I feel tremendous pressure to do a good job because I want to make them feel good about themselves. So I guess by going and shooting this weekend I was afforded the option to truly not care what the outcome of the shots were. Of course I always want to please myself with my work -- which can be hard to do, but that was the only person I had to worry about pleasing. I shot a number of production stills while Don was teaching and just kind of fell into my groove.

The one goal I set for myself was to get a great portrait of Don -- to me he was the most interesting person there. So that is what I set out to do and managed to get this:

I also really wanted to get a good one of him with my old Canon T70 -- which was my first SLR given to me back in fourth grade. I love that camera and the 100mm portrait lens I shot this with:

This one made me actually miss shooting film. It was shot on Fuji NPH 400 -- I think the color tones and depth in it is awesome -- minimal work was done to this in Photoshop by the way. So mission accomplished as far as getting the great portrait of Don I think. I also managed to get a few others I really liked the first day of the workshop including these two:

And check out this one candid /production still that I caught using the modeling lights while another photographer was shooting her:

Day two of the workshop was great as well. After Don returned the favor by insisting on doing a portrait of me, too, I happened to be walking by a church and saw this dude and his afro. Of course I had to go and introduce myself and ask if I could do a portrait of him. His name was Kevin -- he said yes and it came out looking like this:

So I finished up shooting him and saw that the pastor of the church had shown up. His name was Logan -- he also happened to be a professional MMA fighter. He looked like this after I ask him to take his shirt off to show off his tattoos:

His back looked like this:

I love the way the tones came out on that. The contrast between the ink and his skin just seems awesome -- the background fits it well too. It just seemed to fall into place for me - but only because they were both willing to let me do portraits of them. They were both really nice guys.

You know it kind of blows my mind that I had more interest in shooting three guys over the course of the weekend than I did in photographing the three highly attractive girls we had posing for us. The girls were all great, I just feel drawn to photographing random people though -- people that interest me. I guess the way I see it -- there are tons of pretty faces in the world to photograph -- but there is only one Don, one Kevin, and one Logan.

If you care to see some more of my favorites from the workshop you can check em' out here.

So shooting this past weekend felt kind of like a breath of fresh air after being held under water by all that can go along with being a self-employed freelance photographer. So THANK YOU Don for insisting that I come up for air -- hanging out with you this weekend made me remember that I really do love photography.


Don said...

I had a fantastic time hanging with Keith and the students. Fat Matt's rocks and Atlanta was amazing.

Scott said...

Really wonderful work Keith. Excellent job man.

Anonymous said...

Cool shots you inspire me

Keith Taylor Photography said...

Thank you y'all, and I am glad I am able to inspire you anonymous.

Keith Taylor

Anonymous said...

nice images!

Anonymous said...

I want to meet you, I need some shots of me in a bikini