Monochrome Monday #42

“Hey, I just met you! And this is crazy! But here’s Monochrome Monday, so read it maybe!” Happy Monday, everyone! I hope that I didn’t scare you away with my Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe” parody. It’s not like it’s actually stuck in my head considering how I’m currently listening to Three Days Grace…anyway. As was promised to you all last week, I am back on track with Monochrome Monday. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of details and props:

You might be wondering what a pair of shoes has to do with details. Well, let me explain This was one of the pairs of shoes Felicita wore in her recent session with me (you know, the one with all the balloons). Shoes seem so trivial. Why not just walk around barefoot? I normally do unless I’m in a public place that could lead to my demise disease-wise (like, say, a bathroom in a college dorm…also, check out that awesome alliteration/rhyme scheme). But shoes are actually great, not just because they protect your feet from sharp objects or the billions of earth worms that surface on campus on a rainy day (true story), but because they are a fashion staple. They can complete the perfect outfit. They are a detail that can make or break an ensemble.

Making or breaking it. That’s important.

As a growing photographer, I’m finding that details are just as important to the images I take than the models themselves. Sometimes it’s a good idea to make sure that you can see some of those details in the context of the model and his/her portrait. But sometimes it’s nice to focus on the details themselves, like I did in this photo, using them as props. Instead of focusing on Felicita, I chose to focus on her shoes. Sure, Felicita is an interesting subject (I wish you all could spend one day with her. She is one of the most entertaining people I have ever met), but not all subjects must be living organisms. Some of the best photography is of the most random, non-living specimens.

So what does this really have to do with anything? Well, I’m going to be embarking on my next big photo session this time next week (so if Monochrome Monday doesn’t happen, it’ll be due to my editing the newest batch of images), and it’s not going to be the easiest task. I’m challenging myself and my models to embrace our imaginations and capture what it’s like to be a child (again). And with that challenge comes the importance of capturing details. Part of this stems from using props. I’ve been collecting various items to build a “Props Box” for my models. The thing about children is that they are always moving, always playing with something, always using their imaginations. What better way to do that than by providing my models with props that they can use?

In doing this, providing my models with balloons and bubbles and stuffed animals, it gives them a way to use their imaginations and construct their own details and stories. It also gives me something else to focus on aside from the models themselves. And that’s what I love so much about the above photo. Felicita’s shoes act as a separate entity. When she wears them, they are a full part of her. But when seen as something else, something more, they are a different piece. They stand alone with their own story to tell about the roads they’ve traveled and the places they’ve been stored. These shoes are the epitome of details, a prop worth noting all on its own.

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