Start with Research

Most of the time with a new assignment all sorts of ideas and images flash through my brain. I write them down as this is what comes up first. Next it is a trip to the library and pick up whatever books or magazines attract. I look at a lot of images as images give me ideas. In “The Studio Photographers Lighting Bible” I saw an image of a woman blowing soap bubbles. I was drawn to this image because of the colours and reflections in the bubbles and the playfulness and lightness of it. I started thinking and researching bubbles. There are all sorts of tips on the internet.

I also had a model in mind, one of my classmates with short, dark hair that would suit the shoot I had in mind. She needed to have short, dark hair because I wanted her to wear a shower cap. I recently had seen photos of her doing yoga poses and I wanted to combine that to have some fun with the digital medium format camera. In the end we didn’t do this as it didn’t make much sense.

I bought different sizes containers with bubbles, including a fire engine bubble machine. When you turn it on, the siren starts to make noise, lights start flashing and you have to hold it, otherwise it drives around in circles. It blows nice little bubbles.

My idea was to have my model wear black and I would photograph her against a black background and wearing a shower cap (which I find relates somewhat to a bubble).The words I gave her to describe the effect I was after were: light, fairy tale, quirky, meditative, pantomime, and in some images I wanted her face to be stoic as a contrast to the playfulness of the bubbles. It would have been good to have a third person in the studio to actually blow the bubbles. Also for shooting bubbles it is good to be able to use continuous shooting, which the digital medium format camera doesn’t do. You’ll see the results of the shoot in my next post.

Meanwhile another idea had emerged: photographing stillness. More later.


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