Clients Telling their story
Photography is an interesting skills set. The creativity that you are able to capture when clients wants to tell a story about themself. I love the art of concept planning when clients tell me about their story. It's a bit of journalism and conceptual photography in one. How can I make these images real and visible for viewers so they can understand the Client's art?
Here is what helped me
Understanding the clients needs
What is their vision
Are they vulnerable to hear your ideas?
Pick locations, outfits and talk about hair styles including grooming
Use images for inspiration
What I learned over my first project for 2021, is that you want to ensure you hear your client's needs and their vision to create a perfect visual and selective amount of images to choose from. The client sometimes will have an idea, but your job as the Photographer is ensuring that you are ready to give feed back and positive response to their needs.
This project was a two month project. It was an amazing experience to bond with my client and to see his growth! We pretty much grew up in the same area in our teen years.
The client is an Army Veteran. During the session, I can see that this was a growing pain from my client as we reenacted scenes of his hard times. Such a big reflection. This Veteran is a business owner who owns, American Wood Pics. He wanted to create a vision as to why his business exist. Andre, demonstrated to me that he wanted to share his story with the world and his overcoming of struggling within himself.
Andre's Reasoning for This Project
"This project is my moment to face one of my biggest fears of being vulnerable and to capture the transition to becoming the person I am today. To inspire others to face their inner battles with the use of creativity to reduce issues associated with mental heath such as depression, suicide substance abuse and other related issues. My use of alcohol lasted over a span of 3 1/2 years. Being a Leo, I had an extremely outgoing personality. I enjoyed going out and was comfortable enough with my sexuality that I did not care who knew and was happy with being me. Fast forward during my time in the Military, I was made very aware of how others felt about blacks or gays having no place in the military. I had to hide who I was and felt a need to prove that they were wrong and although I never expressed my sexuality, those comments played a major part in my excessive drinking. I started to shut down whenever I was sober because here, I was following one of my childhood dreams to become a soldier and do something that was not only going bring pride to myself but my family as well. However, the bigotry and discrimination that is often too common in the military, I am now having to face. My demeanor became more serious as I went through on-going training to prepare for the mission in Afghanistan.
Conflict with Self
I started to lose myself and confidence as if I were living a lie, I even at one point started to believe that because of my sexuality, my upbringing that did not involve camping and hunting, because of the negative way black men are viewed in today’s society, and because of my sexuality that I didn’t belong. Being in the military was one of my childhood dreams. I was good at what I did but somewhere along the line I lost myself in this spiral of self-hatred. I would only feel like myself when I drank. I would feel free to be myself and often would go a little overboard as a flood of built-up anger and depression would present itself. Once returning to the states and having had proved my worth by engaging in combat and receiving my CIB (Combat Infantrymen Badge) I felt that I would finally be able to be accepted by my peers.
I was wrong! My drinking became more excessive. I hurt many people with some of my actions while under the influence and “I’m sorry I was drunk” is not an excuse. I ended up getting put in jail for my first DUI after only being back for one year. Then received a second one in Feb. I spent a weekend in jail and a little over 4 days for the second one. There I was able to really reflect on my life. I went from being what one would call a respected hero to now this criminal. Fighting for freedom to losing my freedom. I reflected on the ones I hurt, impacted by the risk I put myself in and innocent people around me. My love ones that would be affected had I had hurt myself or others, my career in the military and pursing law enforcement after, my health, and of course all the legal fees that followed. That is when I decided it was really time to make a change.
I went to therapy and was on medication for a while. I stopped drinking but just felt like a zombie for most of my early and mid-twenties. I found wood working to be the greatest method to my recovery and on-going sobriety. I wanted to give back to others and find myself again. I’m now reborn as I am now able to feel like myself again, found a partner to invest in a future with, giving others a platform to share their story and fight their inner battles and most importantly be able to be themselves. “My battles are fought in silence but my war cry can be heard through talent” With that being said LET ME HEAR YOUR WAR CRY! Turn your story into art and let it inspire those around you!