digital photography tips with Digital Photo Mentor Darlene Hildebrandt

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Personal Projects Boost Creativity And Passion

Something new I will be doing on the web site is featuring new and upcoming photographers, and Her View Photography readers. This is the first of many such features. I want to tell your stories, and show your images! I want to hear about your struggles and your successes. I see this website as a community. My goal here is to:

Educate – Inspire – Support – Encourage

Darcy Evans is a part-time photographer in Edmonton, and a personal friend of mine. When I first heard about his Doll Collection Photography project I was intrigued with the idea and I wanted to know more. The amount of work he put into it is incredible, and the results show it. I highly recommend doing a project of this nature, something just for yourself with no other agenda. It's something that I discuss in my free ebook “10 Challenges to Take Better Pictures Without Buying new Gear” (get instant access by signing up for email updates, look for the red arrow in the right hand column). So without further ado, read on for more about Darcy's photography project.

The Doll Collection Project

photography project, doll collection by Darcy Evans

Inspiration For The Shoot – Serial Killers

The inspiration from this shoot came out of my longstanding fascination with the psychology behind serial killers what makes them break from accepted social morality, what motivates them and what attracts them to each victim; how each is special. One day last year, I was just driving to work and passed one of those self-storage places that rents out bays by the month. For some reason I had this image flash into my head of how many of these facilities across the world could hold answers to missing people and murder cases. The images in this shoot are a representation to me of what a serial killer might envision his victims as; living dolls waiting for him to visit and play with…..

The Shoot Took Over 6 Months of Planning.

First order of business: to find a team of people that could help me accomplish this to the standard I wanted to attain.

I found a makeup team at Kazmetix Makeup Artistry, a hairstylist in Bella H Hair Design and a corset designer Sweet Carousel Corsetry.

Next up was casting the models: I wanted to have at least 1 blonde, 1 brunette, and 1 redhead. I wanted to use models I had worked with in the past and that would be able to get along as we would be spending a very long day together. I chose the final 4 based on my experience with them in the past. I used resources such as Facebook groups, and models I have previously worked with to fill the four roles.

doll collection photography project by Darcy Evans

Lastly, and I think most importantly, was scouting a location: I prefer the depth and realism that shooting on location gives versus trying to duplicate in post processing. I was looking for something stark, industrial in nature. My first two choices were actually not where we ended up doing this shoot. The location we used had 4 or 5 spots that allowed for different looks while keeping the same overall mood I was looking for. As it turned out, it was a turn of fortune that these locations refused us access, because where we did end up shooting, could not have been more perfect.

The day of the shoot was a very long, arduous day for the hair, makeup and models. We started at 8am and we did not wrap up until late in the evening. The resulting images are still one of my proudest moments since venturing out on this journey that is my photographic experience.

These images are 95% done in camera.

Only minor retouching was done to enhance lighting, etc.

photography project, doll collection by Darcy Evans

doll collection a photography project by Darcy Evans

doll collection a photography project by Darcy Evans

doll collection a photography project by Darcy Evans

doll collection a photography project by Darcy Evans

doll collection a photography project by Darcy Evans

doll collection a photography project by Darcy Evans

There was a total of 13 people involved in the project and total costs for this shoot were approximately $800. This was even with having the Makeup and hair people donate their time.

Lessons Learned

I would definitely do this photography project again, but I would be asking all involved to contribute financially as an investment in their portfolios. I got a huge sense of artistic satisfaction. From an image in my head to the printed images was an amazing sense of accomplishment. The project has been featured in a couple small online publications and has gotten me exposure in the Edmonton community. It has not resulted in any paid work or commissions.

Darcy Evans Pet Photographer in EdmontonDarcy Evans bio bits:

I have always been fascinated by the creative process, but have zero artistic abilities as far as drawing or painting goes. The camera allows me to use my eye and not my hands.

I have always loved the beauty that can be found in the simplest things around us. Capturing the nuances of light and shadow fascinate me and it is my desire that my photography to reflect this. Candid moments of my clients and their pets doing things they love are a passion for me.

I am an Edmonton Pet Photographer but also do portraiture, wildlife photography and boudoir. Along with my website, more of my images can be found on my 500px portfolio.

Boost your creativity with a photography project

Part two Matt Leitholt portraits of photographers

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