Last weekend me and the Intern Army spent Friday & Saturday photographing Anime Weekend Atlanta (AWA). Our general goal was to make different ‘con photos. Other than that – I didn’t really say how it needed to be done, I just didn’t want to see shots resembling these. Natural light isn’t bad. On-camera flash is bad (generally). Other than that – the Interns were free to run around with their staff badges and make awesome photos.
I also told them that we were competing. All of us.
I asked them to take shots in the hallways – not just using a blank wall or empty space. That’s too easy. And while I’m sure the Interns were often frustrated with all of the people walking into their shots – the halfway spoken idea was to incorporate those people into their compositions. I know. It’s difficult. But if they could nail this down – just think how much easier everything else will be. Wax on, Wax off.
After shooting about a hundred photos this way – even I got bored. So I went with natural light. And I aimed for headshots.
I was hoping that some of the Interns would go back and forth between natural light and off-camera flash, especially since we were all competing for different looks. While I did tell them to use the flashes and go for that first setup – since they were all going to end up with shots like those, it should have been a natural thing to go the opposite direction and aim for really great natural light looks. Fulfill the requirements and then go outside of the box.
I took a step further and went only for headshot-type photos. Because I need practice.
Because one day I’m going to be presented with an awesome photographic opportunity – and one of my worst fears is that I’ll waste it; that I won’t be ready skills-wise. So everything, and I basically mean everything these days is practice for some unknown shot in the future.
So I asked people to look right here, right into my lens. In a public setting – many starting photographers tend to shy away from interacting with their subjects, preferring to shoot from the outside, across the room, stealing looks and shots. If you can’t stare people right in the eyes then you’re always going to miss connecting with your subjects. I’m not saying stare them down – but you need to connect with them on a level without the camera between the two of you.
So I practiced. Over and over again.
More photos from Anime Weekend Atlanta later this week.
Anime. Weekend. Atlanta. 2010. Photos. Cosplay. Leah. And. Mark. Steampunk.