04/18/09 I have an “Open Studio” almost every month.
I’m a photojournalist so I don’t own studio space. I shoot on location. I go to where an event is happening and cover it. Shooting as a photojournalist is like playing tennis. Speed matters. Anticipation is also very important. Where is the ball going to land next and how do I get there BEFORE it does? Shooting in the studio is something like being a sculptor. Everything is slower and more deliberate. The photographer controls every aspect of the image. From light and shadow to wardrobe, expression and pose. Photojournalism requires strict adherence to rules about truth telling. Shooting in the studio is about inventing an image from scratch. It’s using a different part of my brain – like speaking in another language.
When I do rent out studio time, I try and pack as much work in as possible – hence the “open studio” concept. I invite the models and hire a makeup artist. Sometimes I use a photo stylist and sometimes friends of mine who are local designers bring along new clothing designs they’d like photographed. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere. While one model is changing, another is having her makeup done and another is having her photo taken and round and round we go. I shoot all day long. I keep it very simple. There’s a white background and a black background and a small outdoor area.
Here are some images from my April Open Studio. Make-up is by LaTonya Winter and photo styling by Indrid Ellmore.