The Concept Behind the 14 Days of Valentines & Book Release

Welcome to March, everyone, the month where we don’t know what the weather will bring us here, in Canada. We get either rain or snow, or sometimes both. Today, I am not writing a weather report, but what I am writing about might be of interest to you.

Approximately a month ago, I committed myself to 14 concepts to complete before Valentine’s Day. I started on February 1st and ended on February 14th, where I photographed 14 various shots of all the things that fall under the topic of Valentine’s Day. Each topic was carefully chosen and presented in a creative manner. I considered objects, people, and different kinds of love to be conceptualized for each day. This process simplified the order of images and what date to post each image. I quickly learned that photography is best showcased at the right time and place, therefore you have to be very organized and efficient. In this case, art has a deadline.

The quality of images improved with each day and so did the concept. Instead of showcasing every single day, I decided to focus on five images that were milestones for me in terms of skill and theme. Let’s start with day one. Flowers. This created many obstacles for which I could not foresee.

I focused primarily on the background to look alluring and contrasted, but what I did not consider is the glare from the sheen of the paper creating unnecessary reflections. When creating a background for a scene, always make sure it is matte and not reflective. I had to configure my manual settings to get the adjustments just right for this shot to work. Practice makes perfect right? The topic of flowers for Valentine’s Day is a worldwide phenomenon. Roses are always seen as a classic trope to give to your significant other as a form of romantic love. Let’s forward over to day four, Heart-Shaped Jewelry.

After learning from Days 1-3 about reflections and proper lighting, this particular capture prompted a new hurdle. I had to learn how to centralize the focus to highlight the different pieces of jewelry on display. I had to play with my shadowboxes and manual settings to get it just right. As for the topic about jewelry, it has both a personal and worldwide significance. I always loved heart-shaped jewelry, no matter what time of year. It reminds me to love myself first before I consider loving another, as well as, I find it cute. It is significant to Valentine’s Day because it is a common gift to receive besides chocolates and flowers. Beyond gifts, there are also items that add a sense of romance or ambiance, take for instance the topic of Candles for day seven.

When it came down to this topic, I finally was able to capture this scene in less than 10 variants of the same shot. These candles are two of my favorite scents: lilac and sandalwood. My favorite flowers are lilacs and there is something sensual about sandalwood. I wanted the light from the candles to be the central focus, but it did need a bit of help from one shadowbox light to see fine details. At this point, I was halfway through my topics where I realized my concepts needed to get a tad more creative. Let’s expand on the romantic notion of love which brings us to day 10: Family Love.

For Family Love, I used small robot figures I had to create a small family experiencing an outing. My art history book was a great tool in achieving this concept. People forget that Valentine’s Day can be more than just romantic relationships. Family, friends and colleagues are important as well. The final day that I want to expand on in this post is day 13: Kisses.

At this point in the series I wanted to try a scene without the use of my shadowboxes. I wondered to myself, if I could achieve this shot with just the light fixture in my room. It did take a few tries, but I managed to capture clarity and the right angle. I kissed a piece of paper with different lipsticks, multiple times to achieve this result. What’s Valentine’s Day without kisses?

All in all, this series did end in February but do not fret! I am creating a book with all 14 images ready to sell in two weeks! I will post all the information you need in due time. This project was a lot of fun to do and I have to admit it feels great to have a book showcasing all of my hard work.


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