A while ago I did something that I haven’t done since I was a student. I partook in a group shoot. I am a ‘loner’ when I’m photographing. I don’t participate in photo-walks or group shoots. I need to be totally free and independent to enable my total involvement with my subject. If I’m in the street I need to be part of that street and that can’t be done within a group. If I’m doing a portrait or whatever, it’s just me, camera and subject.
An opportunity arose to be one of eight photographers shooting in a 3-hour studio nude shoot. I thought quite long and hard about it, eventually deciding to do it. I saw it as a challenge because it went against all my ‘loner’ instincts as well as my ‘natural’ light thing. I decided to play it by ear and see what happened.
The other departure from my norm was the decision to shoot both on B/W film and digital with a minimum of equipment. One Nikon F100 with 28-80mm. lens and my compact Nikon P7000. I must admit that there were some strange looks and raised eyebrows when I opened my tiny camera bag and started to load a roll of XP2 into the F100. My P7000 seemingly ‘toyish’ amongst all the D800’s, 5D’s and other biggies with their biggy lenses.
Before the shoot started, the model Eden went around and spoke to each one of us and asked if there were any specific poses we wanted, as did the photographer who was running the shoot inquire as to lighting set-ups. My answer to both was that I’d just go with the flow. No need for specifics from me.
The shoot started and I shot the first roll of film. Changed to the P7000 and clicked again then reloaded the F100 and shot with that and thus 3 hrs flew by, 4 rolls of Ilford/Kodak and 400+ P7000 RAW later.
My conclusions after the shoot was that even though the time flitted by too quickly and I enjoyed myself. Even though I went with the flow and did my own thing, I shot between 500 – 600 shots and I knew that some of them were good, my excitement and satisfaction seemed diluted by the fact that there were seven others around me doing much the same thing under the same conditions and circumstances.
Next time it’ll be me, model and camera in a mutually agreed environment.