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We make do with what we have so we can journey, make art.

My brother is gearing up for an open ended backpacking adventure that will take him all across the U.S. so we decided to take a portrait to mark the beginning of a new chapter in his life. And although new gear would great, making the journey is what is important. So with gifts of equipment that have already seen many miles he has the ability to journey. 

I shoot in the front room of my house which I have converted into my studio. I am fortunate enough to have such a space to dedicate to photos but it does come with its limitations. Eight foot ceilings make it hard to raise my soft boxes as high as I would like and can also bounce too much light on my subject if I'm not careful. But it is what I have and I am grateful for it because although its not ideal, it allows me to create, to journey with my art. Which is far more important that 15 foot ceilings and top of the line, shiny new gear. I light with intent in the best way I am allowed by this space. I have room for a large backdrop but I often have to/prefer to shoot with my 17-40mm which can put the top of my backdrop very close to my subjects head. I gladly work with these and other limitations because in the end they still allow me to create.

I then take my images and their constraints into Photoshop and unapologetically continue on with my artistic journey. I clone, curve, dodge, burn, blur, sharpen, color, desaturate, composite, unphoto and rephoto my image until the journey is over and I am left with a story and art. I refuse to worry about camera specs or perfect lighting ratios, and I won't be held back by not getting it near perfect "in camera" or the stigma of a "Photoshoped image". I use what I have so I can take the journey, so I can make art. 

This is a three light setup. A big gridded octo-box for key, a big parabolic reflector behind the camera for a touch of fill light and a gridded strip box to tailors left to give just a touch of rim light.

This is a three light setup. A big gridded octo-box for key, a big parabolic reflector behind the camera for a touch of fill light and a gridded strip box to tailors left to give just a touch of rim light.

Traveler Breakdown

Choosing sucks, do it anyway.