Before this photoshoot, I was shooting in the city with Kat (full blog post here). I had scheduled these shoots back to back on the same day because I just did not have any other time this month. Anyways, before the BMC class of 2018 spring photoshoot officially started, I wanted to warm up and experiment a bit with Kat. Yes, we had just spent the whole morning shooting together, but this was more about figuring out how to work with the environment rather than how to work with the model. I figured that the modeling for this shoot wouldn’t be too complicated or out-there-creative; it would probably mostly be people wanting profiles and pictures with friends.
Before I move on, let me paint the scene. So, if you don’t know already, I’m telling you that I’m a Bryn Mawr student. However, I’m living off campus and majoring at Haverford College. For the past few semesters, all of my courses have been at Haverford, so I am almost never at Bryn Mawr. I mostly keep up with what’s going on at Bryn Mawr through Snapchat. During the days leading up to the shoot, I swear that I saw Snapchats from Bryn Mawr filled with cherry blossoms, but when I arrived on campus, it was barren. PLUS there was so much construction happening on campus. It was literally the ugliest I’d seen campus since arriving my first year.
Kat and I walked around to hunt for one tree in full bloom, and this pink tree you see here was the best we found. The blossoms were sparse and there was still way to much of the dry brown branches showing, but we made it work. I picked out the branches with the most blossoms and had people hold them in place for me. If you added me on Snapchat, you would have seen the shenanigans.
In the first set of photos, I was able to edit the photos so that the blossoms looked fuller (I didn’t paste in any extra blossoms, but I did brighten up the photos, which made the blossoms look like they were glowing). I was able to manipulate it to look like your typical cherry blossom photo. In this photo above, you see more of the dry brown branches, and that’s more like how the tree looked in real life. I like this photo for different reasons. There’s a bit of the cherry blossoms, but that’s not the interesting part. I like how the shadows fall on her shoulder, and there’s just the right amount of shadows on her face. The wind blowing her hair and that head tilt was too perfectly coordinated. The movement of the hand, in the middle of being raised to brush hair from the face. The earrings peeking through.
I personally had more fun photographing in this greenery. Working with the sparse cherry blossoms was too stressful, and it was even more stressful because everyone wants a cherry blossom photo from a spring photoshoot so there’s all this expectation to live up to.
komorebi ♡ “sunshine filtering through leaves” (♥‿♥✿ )
(Have you watched this short film by Wong Fu Productions called Komorebi? It’s beautiful.)
I always forget how much fun it is to be at a women’s college. The support we all have for each other is like none other that I’ve experienced. Even though we had people sign up for time slots so that we wouldn’t have people waiting around while I worked with individuals and small groups of people, there were some ladies who stuck around for almost the whole two hours. But just because they weren’t in front of the camera didn’t mean that they were off duty. Nah. They were my hype women.
As the beautiful ladies struck poses in front of the camera, you can be sure that there were several more ladies in the background ooh-ing and ah-ing and calling out to “werk it!” The ladies in the background also took over some of the art directing, leaving me snap-happy with nothing to worry about except to press that button. It was pretty hilarious when someone would call out “pretend to like each other!” or “pretend to laugh!” Of course it’s always awkward at first, but then you start genuinely laughing because it’s all so ridiculous.
Handed over the camera for a sec and snuck into a photo with some friends!
Thank you BMC class of 2018 co-presidents Ann and Connie for hosting this photoshoot and inviting me as the photographer! I was so honoured that they thought of me and asked me to do this. Last year they asked me to design our class poster (which you can see here) and made 200 12×18″ glossy-printed copies. These ladies are always coming up with unique ideas about how to treat the class of 2018; we’re spoiled!
Although I’ve been taking photos ever since I started blogging in September 2013, this was my first year of doing photoshoots. So far this year, I’ve been working with individuals on photoshoots. This photoshoot was the first time I photographed for a bunch of people at once and it was an interesting experience.
Usually I like to talk to my models beforehand and understand their vision and what they want from the shoot, but for this photoshoot, I went in blind; I didn’t even know who was going to show up!
The thing about this photoshoot was that it felt quite single-minded. You see a cherry blossom tree and say that you want a photo with you in it, not taking into consideration that our one tree isn’t that big and so is pretty constricting and doesn’t leave much room for a variety of experimentation, or that the branches up there are sparse and the majority of the blossoms are closer to the ground, or that the sun is too harsh up there. You see someone else posing in a beautiful place, and so when it gets around to you, you want to pose in that same place in that same way.
I couldn’t explain all of this every ten minutes when a new group of people showed up to the shoot, so I just went with whatever they wanted. On one hand, it was good that they had a clear idea of what they wanted. But on the other hand, I ended up doing the same thing over and over for different people, so it wasn’t exactly very stimulating for me. But I also understood that whilst it felt like the same old thing to me, to each of the models it would be new, and the people who came later deserved the same experience as the people who came earlier, if that’s what they wanted.
I just wish that I had more time to work with each of these ladies! There were definitely things I wanted to try that I didn’t get a chance to. I think a lot of the photoshoot was rushed, and many people didn’t get a chance to find what they were comfortable with. It was very just: “smile for the camera!” *click!* and then move onto the next thing. I also think I needed more time to figure out how to work with the harsh sunlight with each person.
But that’s just me–someone who was more interested in the creative aspects of this shoot rather than just interested in something pretty. I hope that everyone had fun and that they found at least one picture of themself that they loved! If I do something like this again, I will try to give myself more time and allow myself to take pauses, instead of just moving moving moving. No wonder I was so exhausted after the shoot! But a satisfying kind of exhaustion, the kind you get from being productive.