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.