Me, My Mind, & My Camera

Being behind the camera is my thing, obviously.  But, sometimes, I don't have an awesome model to get in front of my lens when I'm ready to create.  So, I started using myself.  I invested in a good wireless trigger and started practicing.  I use my tiny makeshift studio sometimes, but when possible, I use the awesome nature that I travel to.  I have an ever-growing list of ideas and concepts for shoots and series to work on, sometimes the portraits relate, others do not.  A lot of my favorite ideas I reserve for model shoots so I can fully work the technical side and see what I am creating instead of hoping it's what I think it will be.  

I guess that I should start with the first ones and work my way through.  I should start by saying that I have not fully edited any of these sessions.  Maybe one day (ha!).  The first ones that I will share are from last fall.  The day that I created these, I came home from my morning job to a power outage.  I had planned on spending the day editing there and was not in the mood to find something to do elsewhere, so I got to work.  I tacked some things up for a backdrop and pulled out my trigger and tripod.  I was tossing ideas around in my head about how I wanted to style myself the whole time, and then it ht me.  I was physically surrounded by it in my studio, which doubles as photography and painter's studio.  And, have I mentioned that it's small and cramped!  I opened up my blinds and let the little bit of sunlight that was left of the overcast day and tore threw my wardrobe stock.  I pulled out a few pieces and decided to make them work.  With no power, I had no hair styling items, no extra light, and best of all, no help on the fly.

I didn't plan to share these at all at first.  Then, some photographer friends convinced me to show them a few of them and they insisted that I share them.  They still remain untitled.  I had a few working titles, but nothing has felt right yet.  Let them inspire what they will in you. 

The next time I attempted in studio self portrait, which is a stretch on it's own for me since I despise shooting regular portraiture in doors!  I had a few specific themes in mind when I decided I wanted to play with Halloween portraits, but they evolved into different things as I created them.  These are the two looks that I decided upon for Halloween day.  As most of you know by know, I work in a top notch haunted house every season so I had to scurry to my cast and crew and did not have much time to do many different set ups!  But, there will definitely be many, many more Halloween themes!  I have been collecting props, costumes, wigs, accessories, etc. nonstop.  

Red Queen

Red Queen

These were fun.  I love Halloween.  I love being out of the box, weird, whatever you want to call it! It's just another form of expression and art to me!  Editing projects like this is lots of fun, too.  You never really have to call it quits.  You can take it as far as you want to.  I did some more extreme edits and some less, but these stuck the most.  Again, I'll finish these sets eventually!  There are some fun ones!  

I finally did some in the mountains this time!  I wanted to the last time we were there, but the wildfires happened and we were there during their recovery time and I was in no mood, nor did we have time for things like that while we were there.  So, I saved it for the next trip, which was last month and amazing!  I already have a hundred ideas for next time and I learn more every time I experiment!  One of my very good friends and fellow artists made me some amazing capes for my shoots and I got to play with them out in the Smokies!  SO fun!  

Have I mentioned that I love the mountains?  Because. wow.  Do I!  Every single thing about them!  I bring all of my gear on any travel adventure, but this was the first time I had myself in the frame.  The only people ever in my travel shots are just either my boyfriend or best friend that I travel with just being and exploring, never posed or anything.  So, this was fun and new!  I would love to set up something with an actual model one day when I'm out there, but I love just kind of winging vacations out there, very loose and relaxed.  In the mean time, here's what I got to do.  It was cold much colder than it looks in these images.  There was a blizzard on one of these days actually.  That's how cold it was.  So, I was not able to really play with wardrobe.  These were all done very quickly in between gusts of wind that were uncontrollable.  I ran back to the car to warm up every couple of minutes and went back to it.  I was only wearing my red dress underneath to not have it seem bulky and give the capes lots of play.  Worth it!  I will also have freshly dyed hair the next time I go!  Bonus!  I might even bring wigs depending on the season it ends up being.  Maybe I'll get some wardrobe changes even.

Once I have an assistant to come with and at least guard the gear for me, maybe I can try some things in New Orleans!  I have a few other things in mind for now, so look out for other things in the near future!  Thanks for reading!  Have a beautiful day!

~Chelcie Marie