study of solitude

Hello fellow Blogreaders!
In today’s post there will be not only photos, but also my personal reflection on group session, where several models and several photographers meet on one set. I’ve been considering photos as a way of telling a story or show certain emotions for a long time now, so in my case a lot of intimacy is required. Therefore, I’ve always avoided group photoshoots or photography workshops, where many people fight for the model’s attention, and each one of them will eventually end up with a variation of the very same photo. The whole situation reminds me more of shooting celebrities on a photo wall rather than searching for something unique on your own. On the other hand, I wondered what these kind of events look like, and after many years I’ve decided to give it a try. The opportunity for that appeared when Poznańskie Plenery TFP informed about organising an apartment session, but I think I would come to similar conclusions after attending to any event of this type.

This post’s title is of course related to the photos. First, ‘study of solitude’ Ania:

Modelka: Anna Krzyśko
Wizaż: Anna Krzyśko

Let me first tell you about the bright sides:
+ the apartment turned out to be a very interesting and challenging background for photos. We could use 3 rooms + 2 balconies, and an appealing staircase.,
+ the cost of the whole event was incredibly low because no one was getting paid for it, we only had to give money to rent the apartment, and the whole work was done on the TFP rules,
+ the people were very nice, we had a chance to talk about our experiences and to have some friendly conversations about things that are not related to photography.

– at the worst moment, there were 20 people squeezed in about 60m2 so it was very hard to move around the set (maybe a smaller group would eliminate this problem in the future?)
– pretty much every single frame arranged by someone made several other people come to take the same picture…

I’d like to focus more on the last issue. A little warning: this is my subjective opinion, I’m not trying to impose it on anyone, nor saying that such events are pointless, but what I’m about to say has been on my mind for the last couple of days and I can’t just ignore it. So please, consider the following part as information about how such sessions work, and maybe a warning for those, who are also concerned about the things I mentions earlier.

The goal of such group photoshoots is building up a portfolio, for both a model, and a photographer. I understand the profit of such situation (many photographers shooting the same scene) for models / make up artist, who get more picures (some of better ones from one photographer, other from another one). In all this madness, it is indeed a good methid, a way of getting several different photos from different people, who postprocess them differently, have different styles and different levels of sensitivity. But looking at this from my perspective – a perspective of a person, who needs time to build a relationship/trust, and who needs a relative silence to work comfortably – I honestly think that without the element of intimacy it’s not possible to take touching and emotional photos I like so much. The conditions of such group sessions, like noise and multitude of stimuli, in my opinion rule out chances of taking personal and touching photographs. This whole situation takes away what I like the most in taking photos – meetings with the other person. Meeting, in which the very meeting is the most important, and the photos are an incidental side effect. I’ve never felt it as intensely as I do after this session, so let me warn you: if you are a person, who also values the instant relation that appears between a photographer and a model during a photoshoot, and you can’t imagine a session without it, I definitely advise against participating in similar events. To sum up, and to take away some of the negativity, I can say that if you asked me whether I’d go to such event again in the future or not, I’d answer yes, but for the atmosphere, people and exchanging experiences, not for the photos.

The next, and the lat, part of the photos, ‘study of solitude’ Adrianna:
model: Adrianna Gruszecka
make up artist: Daria Zawada