Monday, December 22, 2014

Postponed introduction

Hello everyone and thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. This blog was actually launched a long time ago however I deleted all the posts and left it inactive for several years. I let work take over my life for many years and have decided to make time to write about a topic I truly love. My topic of choice is photography. To be more specific my passion lies in art nude photography.

Let me introduce myself, I’m JW Purdy. I have been a shutterbug since I picked up my first 110 cameras as a child. I held onto my old small format 110-film cameras until I was about eleven or twelve when I received a 35mm as a gift. Since I wasn’t processing my own film and was used to printing small photos so I didn’t really notice a big difference. All I knew was that it was easier to transport a large amount of film canisters at one time. I continued shooting off and on all through high school and college. Finally after college I moved to Houston, Texas and due to an accident had to change careers. One day from out of the blue that old film itch started at me. I came into a little extra money and decided to buy my first DSLR. As a kid I watched Andre Agassi dominate on the tennis court and wanted to be just like him. I had always wanted a Canon Rebel, the camera he sponsored, and didn’t give any other brand a second thought.

Prior to purchasing my DSLR I read continuously about photography and how to master the art of shooting. I started with NationalGeographic’s Field guides. I highly recommend them to anyone that is interested in photography. Try to find the old film guide and then move on to the digital guide. The film data is still relevant and will better help you understand the art of photography. While reading countless books I started searching online for photographers I liked. I discovered a few but one really stuck out to me. I began to follow his work and even sent him personal messages about his work and my interest. He was so kind and wrote me back with very detailed information about shooting and was very encouraging every step of the way. Finally after having received my new camera and shooting around for about two weeks. MarcusRanum, who I admire, told me I needed to just jump in and give figure study a try. He told me not to worry just find a model and shoot what I thought looked good. So two weeks into being a DSLR owner I booked my first shoot with two models. I was so nervous I didn’t know if I could go to the shoot location.

Waiting for the first model to show up my wife and I sat and discussed the ideas I had for the shoot and what I wanted to try and capture. Shannon was very supportive and tried her best to keep me from looking like a nervous wreck when the model showed up. Within the hour the first model pulled up into the drive of the model home I had commissioned to shoot in. Jennifer R came to the door and we sat and talked for about ten minutes. After having her sign the proper model release and getting a photo of her driver’s license we decided to start the shoot. Jennifer, who had modeling experience, undressed and stated she was ready to begin. I told her the shots I would like to start with and she got into pose. Raising the camera to my eye all my fears disappeared and I found it easy to push the shutter release.

The moment my eye reached the viewfinder my whole personality changed into work mode and everything else fell away. A lot of people hide behind the viewfinder but that was not the case with me. I felt just as comfortable with the camera in hand as I did when I was directing her or just talking while taking a break. I don’t know if that is how it is for everyone but it was for me. Something about shoot just came natural to me. Having wrapped up the shoot I was ready and eager for the next model.

Little Liz showed up and did not look completely comfortable. I asked her if she had ever modeled before and she told me she hadn’t. Now my confidence was already high from the first shoot but I had to elevate it even more so that she would relax and work well with the photos. I took a few shots and showed her the best of the photos we had just taken while talking to her the entire time. After see the photos she completely relaxed and I captured some of the best photos I have taken. I still feature some of those photos in my portfolio.

After the shoot Shannon and I came home and looked at the images I had taken. I was really surprised at how good some of them looked. A friend of ours came by and gave me a few quick pointers on how to work in Photoshop. I did my best to edit the photos but it was my first time using the program and it has a huge learning curve. I did what I could with the knowledge I had acquired form a book overview and sent a copy to the models. Little Liz was very pleased but Jennifer wished I had captured a few from a little different angle. Over all the experience was fantastic and I have never looked back since that first day of March 2008.


Two of the photos from that first shoot have been published on different sites and in the next two posts I will break down each photo and why I think it works. Thank you again for the visit and I hope this will encourage you to step outside of your comfort level and just shoot. Every shoot is a learning experience and you can never know it all lets Figure it Out.

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