Lately I have been taking the time to reflect on my old work to see how I have evolved as a photographer, and to re-inspire myself with some ideas from the past that I may not have turned into an image yet. It has been a fun journey and the realization is setting in of just how many years I have put into my career, and what directions I can still grow in. I have been in the field since 2003, and somehow have ended up exactly where I dreamed I would be when I was a student all those years ago.
This is the first image that I ever took on a white background, and it certainly changed the course of my career.
After getting my BA at Gettysburg College I decided that I need a practical skill and decided to attend The Hallmark Institute of Photography and learn how to photograph objects. The commercial photography career path really spoke to the historian I had become at Gettysburg and seemed like the perfect skill to earn a living with.
This image was taken as part of a run of the mill assignment fairly early on in my education at The Hallmark Institute of Photography. It was called “Drop & Pop” teaching us how to create a layout to follow and use it to take a photograph on a completely white background. It is not as simple as it might look the first time around, and I remember playing around with the lights and my light meter with a partner to get everything just perfect. Most of the other students were studying portraits so they were not nearly as excited about this assignment as I was and had objects that fit the layout and were simple to shoot. For this shot I took the time to pin together this set of speckled beans to fit the required space just right. I imagined how the speckles would translate into black and white and couldn’t wait to develop the film — yes film it was 2003 and I was working with film and a 4×5 view camera.
I loved the results, and the entire process of creating this image. Now shooting on white is the bulk of what I do and I couldn’t be happier. I enjoy shooting crisp product photographs for a variety of small business and Etsy clients as well as vibrant saturated stock imagery that is sold all over the world. There is something about a clean white background that gives a certain modern pop that is visually satisfying to my eye. It has also turned out to be a very practical skill for this artist at heart. Product photographs sell images, and pricing myself to work with small businesses has let me meet so many innovate and creative business people and help them increase their sales. I get to be useful, and creative while working with other creative individuals. It is a win win situation!
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