Emily & Isa

Prior to my portfolio review with the photography program, Emily & Isa offered to do a shoot with me to add some newer photos into my portfolio. These were from the end of April and they're finally finished now that I have the stress of getting into school off my back. I'm more than grateful that they offered to be my models because my portfolio was horrendously outdated and I hadn't had any new work in months!

A few things I learned from this shoot:

1) When scouting locations prior to the shoot, think of exact poses and composition in the found locations OR scout with a partner. I went to the park to look around a few days ahead but I found that the area looks completely different when you put an actual person in the shot and having someone there would have been much more helpful in getting a better idea of how the shot would look.

2) Have a specific set of poses, looks, mood, and composition for each location and model. Most portrait photographers don't do this and don't advocate doing this and would normally go into a shoot with a general idea but not exact shot ideas (a workflow more akin to fashion photographers). BUT I think this would help me immensely. I tend to get flustered when trying to coordinate location, pose, composition, the settings on my camera, light, and focus all the while trying to make small talk and prevent awkwardness (something I'm not good at normally already).

3) Change up the angles! I didn't realize until afterwards that I had waaay too many close-up headshots and not nearly enough full body shots or shots of Emily & Isa together! I tended to shoot straight-on as well, either with them sitting or standing. With all the crazy ideas floating around in my mind, I definitely could have been more creative.

4) Assistants are ridiculously useful. I bossed Wilson around as our assistant for the day and he was such a help. As I said in point #2, I have trouble coordinating everything at once and so having someone carry all our bags, hold the reflector, hand me stuff, hold things into the shot, and ease my nerves was indispenable. I don't know how else I would have done it! Thanks Wilby!

Gotta learn from experience, right? I learned a whole lot from this solo shoot and maybe those points will help someone else in the same position. Here are some of the photos!

This is the diptych that made it into my portfolio! One of my favourites.

TELL ME Isa/this photo doesn't belong in an AE ad?!

Thanks so much Emily, Isa, and Wilby for all of this!

Armed With Cameras


Don't guess, I'll just tell you. I'm happy to announce that I won't be a confused university dropout for the rest of my life. I got accepted into the photo program that I applied to for September! I had my entrance exam, interview, and portfolio review with them Tuesday & Wednesday of this week and I just got my acceptance tonight! They told us there were 128 applicants for 28 seats in the program and that 2 people were already accepted on the spot on the first day of interviews. Pretty depressing odds. But whaddayaknow! They had room for this awkward little girl too.

I'm beyond excited! Before Tuesday, I was starting to doubt whether I wanted to be in the program at all because that just means paying more money for two or three more years of school when I could probably learn almost everything I need to know on my own from books/internet/experience. But after the orientation, I want to be there more than ever. It made me realize that I have SO much to learn and I NEED the connections they lead you to at the school.

These are a few pictures I took out of the roll of film I shared with Wilson on Sam's Nikon F80. It was my first time using a manual film camera and I'm proud to say that I'M HOOKED. There's something so special about film that I think only people who have shot in it will understand. The feeling of holding prints that you made, the action of translating what you see into a physical item on paper, not knowing what you're going to get until they're developed.... it's magical! We used a roll of Kodak BW400CN for these. I'm majorly disappointed that these scans don't represent the actual prints at all! The quality, contrast, and detail is so different and so much better in person! These are not great pictures but because they were my first and because I have the physical prints & negatives next to me, they mean more to me than they probably mean to anyone else. Part of the magic of film, I guess!

Now that I have the stress of getting into school off my back, I'll won't neglect the blog as much. Or at least I'll try! Tomorrow, I'm going out to dinner and going to see the grad show from the photo grads of this year at the same program I'm going into. Should be an eyeopener!


Hi, I'm Gail. I'm a 20 year old student in Vancouver, BC. I dance and I take photographs. I have a wishbone where my backbone ought to be.

This is a place for experiments and mistakes and inconsistency and trying to find out who I am and what I want to do. This blog is a collection of bad pictures, great pictures, good luck, real food, run-on sentences, happiness, inspiration, beautiful things, and moments in time.

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