In the past few weeks I have received tons of emails asking me for help, or asking me about the models I work with and how to contact them. Everyone wants a "Kick Start" for their career. I have spent so much time answering these messages that I have gotten a little short with some of you, and occasionally rude. Sorry about that, but there is a reason for my irritation.
So I am going to explain something "en mass" using an example that I hope you understand.
The other day I noticed a photographer trying to copy my style of bodyscape images - it happens, but in this case he went past the line and any sense of "flattery" by taking almost the same picture I already did, using a model I work with, and then giving a speech about lighting such images.
Never a good idea, to imitate the work of another artist using the same model, use standard lighting techniques, and give a speech about how knowledgeable you are at your craft!
I've been doing these things for years, and when I started out with my first bodyscapes back in 2003, I didn't know what the hell I was doing, but I was never satisfied with the idea of imitating others... though I freely admit that my guide was Lucien Clerge! I wanted my own style, and I was willing to make mistakes and take the wrong paths along the way to get there. Which I often did! It was a painful process.
I finally started knocking it around pretty good back in 2005 -- here is a sample when I started getting closer to where I wanted to be.
In fact, this image was my first Daily Deviation!
I am never going to give you a speech about how I light something and pretend to be some master. I do my own thing, and I am proud of that. I do not need the accolades, or the storm of admirers. I do what I do, and hopefully I find a small audience that appreciates it.
Somewhere out there is a photographer who will want to find this model, and take this exact shot with her.
My question to that person is this: Why is your imagination so small? Don't you have your own dreams?
Lucien Clerge is my idol, but I have never tried to replicate a single one of his images. His work taught me better than that...
I choose my own path. My own dreams. You can imitate, steal, plagiarize, use the same models, the same lighting, take the exact same picture. You can be a vulture, and pick at my bones all day long. But you can never have what is inside of me.
And most important you can never have anything inside of yourself unless you find your own narrative, your own voice, and your own vision.