Are you really going to shoot pictures here?
It was an incredibly warm day in January, and the sky was prone to frequent drizzles. I had pieced together this outfit and wanted to shoot it for the blog, but soggy earth and limited energy left me unable to go very far from home.
My solution? To walk out of my house and take pictures between my house and my neighbor’s.
I really worried about it at first. I thought it might be too normal of a background to be interesting. Was I being lazy and uncreative walking just outside my home and taking pictures?
I’m pretty strict about what the background contains—I have to have some form of greenery or neutral colors, and try to minimize the amount of human made creations seen in a shot (nature gets top priority).
But this time I liked the outfit too much not to document it. I figured that the background was minimal, and the colors were true to my style, so if there was one time that I could get away with shooting on the side of a house, this would be it.
Making Normal Beautiful
The whole conflict, while silly, really made me consider what I was trying to communicate with my photography. I prefer to shoot in places that have a sort of lonely and wild feel to them, partly because they allow my subject to stand out (me in my outfit).
At the same time, I’ve made it a point to take pictures in “normal” places—at least what might be normal to my near-rural corner of suburbia. I love seeing beautiful landscape photography, but it comes with a sting as of late, because I have no way to freely travel to grand places that will particularly awe people.
What I’ve tried to do is to look at the places around me and respect them with the beauty they have—even if it feels very normal.
I’m not going to shoot in front of houses every time (if I can help it). It isn’t my preference of location, but I understand that from time to time even house sidings have a place in my work.
In some ways I suppose it’s the process of an artist, recognizing what you like but being open to new creative work. I’m always caught between the realms of high art and creative entertainment. I have a high literary preference but I also enjoy things that aren’t deep or thoughtful at all, simply enjoyable and fun.
It was this same stress that kept me from admitting my love for fashion for several years. Being skinny and blond I was compared to Barbie on more than one occasion growing up (not in as a compliment). I also want to publish some novels I’ve been working on, and I was severely worried that if I posted pictures of myself in outfits people would interpret my writing as fluff (without reading it) and discredit my intelligence.
Eventually I realized I loved clothes too much not to start a blog, and eventually combined my love of writing, creative photography, and clothes together. I recognize that it isn’t the most high literary work, but that these creative stories I craft also has a place in the world—and perhaps the world would be more dull without it.
I felt that same process was mirrored in this shoot. I want to create beautiful content, but sometimes I have to embrace the fact that it will not be a sweeping cinematic shoot, but a simple celebration of the things I love. (Like the sleeves on this shirt.)
So, I’ll write about the ordinary with skills fit for the heavens, and craft novels with the same fervor. There’s a place for both in the world, and there isn’t a reason I should stick to one.
And somedays a photoshoot on the side of a house is more pleasant than the most richest of landscapes.
What are some of the conflicts you’ve had with creativity? I’m curious to know if you’ve experienced something like me or faced something different.
Tell your creative story in the comments below, and thanks for reading!