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Trying to shoot months worth of work in one week

By on May 14, 2018

Last year was a very lean year in photography. So much so that I ended the year jumping on a TV show. A nice steady paycheck is great but the television industry is a life killer. I was scheduled 60 hours a week and sometimes ended up clocking in 65-70 hrs. Add some lovely Los Angeles commuting and you have just enough time to eat, shower and sleep before you have to go back to work; rise and repeat. Hence I didn’t shoot much personal work last year.

When my show wrapped in March we took a much needed vacation and then after I got back to Los Angeles and I tried to cram six months worth of personal work into one week of shooting.  Ever tried getting a drink of water from a fire hose? Despite my best efforts I left wet and thirsty.

I rented a pool and threw out my casting net. I ended up shooting 15 models over the course of week. It was great to be in the pool, meeting new talent and experimenting with new ideas but in the end, the work-flow stifled the flexibility I crave when shooting new ideas. I shot 15 different models, video, BTS… hundreds of gigs worth of data over the course of the week.  I also learned that as much as I wanted to shoot new talent there is such a steep learning curve for modeling underwater that I would have been better off shooting models I had worked with in the pool before.

A new model posted this little blurb on her instagram page:

Underwater modeling was incredibly difficult. Water was going up my nose almost the entire time. The camera was a blurry blob plus no communication with the photographer! I had no idea what I was doing! I had to learn how to keep my face looking natural and relaxed!

Did I come away with new and interesting work? Yes, did I meet new talent? Yes. But in the end, like my fire hose analogy, after I had all of the images edited I realize that I was left wanting and that the quick pace of the week was very confining. Lesson learned.

Ivanna Jackson
Kim Manning

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