Monday, October 22, 2012

Impossible Project Instant Film Class with Chloe Aftel

For those of you who know my work, you are familiar with how much I am in love with texture.  And it all started when I started learning how to shoot.  

For those of you who don't know the story, I had been actively doing photoshoots and borrowing equipment and studio time at FIT in NYC where I was studying Jewelry Design.  The thought that I may actually be a photographer never occurred to me until after I completed my second degree (the one in jewelry) and I thought, "Well, I'd be happy to never solder metal again. What now?"

I enrolled in 2 photo classes.  One was a lighting class and the other was a view camera class.  The large format class came first, and immediately, I was hooked.  Thank God for FIT remaining to be a champion of teaching film.  For me (and speaking as someone who shoots a ton of digital as well), there really is no comparison to film.  There is something tactile, something tangible, something warm about it that digital just does not possess.  I love it and it loves me back.

When I lived in Brooklyn, I was very fashion forward in my shooting style (and I remain to be as editorial, fashion, and fine art shooting is where my heart sings), and I almost exclusively shot film.  When I moved back to CT in '08, I only had film cameras and mainly shot my 35mm Vivitar and my Hasselblad.  Shooting events and shooting mostly digital was all new to me.  And it was an uphill battle to try to fit into this new community of shooters in CT. 

I was trying to keep up with the pack.  I felt that I had to in order to establish myself and try to get work.  Because of this, I was showing work that I didn't necessarily love or even always like for that matter, simply because I was trying to be competitive and be in the same vein as those I was meeting and networking with.  I was showing what I thought others wanted to see and not what made me feel good.

I did this because I didn't know if people would "get it," or "get me."  And those of you who know me and are my constant cheerleaders, you knew that me as such a strong-willed and creative person felt trapped by this environment, this thought pattern, this endless chasing of my tail.  I didn't want to do that anymore, but I didn't know how.

It wasn't until I started to find and reach out to others whose work is truly inspired, that I started to understand that it's okay to really put yourself out there.  The realization, at first, came on slowly and then at other times like a bursting epiphany.  When I saw these artists' work, and that they are making a living shooting exactly what and how they want to shoot, a desire burned in my core.  I wanted that.  How did they do that?  Artists such as Gia Canali, Chloe Aftel, and Noa Azoulay-Sclater I respect soooooo much for their artistry and fearlessness to stand by their art and not alter their style, their methods, the way that they capture.  Not only are they kick ass women, but they each have a signature style that comes straight from the heart.  Their work has feeling and texture. 

And now, more than ever, I know that it is not only ok, but absolutely necessary for me to operate as Artist first (thank you, Noa, for your inspired interview about your artist workshop and making me realize that this is how to do it).  I only want to create what I want to create.  And I am no longer taking on work that I do not want to do or work that doesn't make me feel good. 

I walked up to the edge and I decided to dive in.  And, ya know what?  It feels damn good.  I love the work that I am creating.  And I love knowing that there is a community of like-minded artists out there who are making it by walking to the beat of their own drum.  For me, there is no other way.

So, when I received an email from the Impossible Project  that Chloe Aftel was teaching an instant film class at their space in Soho, NYC, I immediately registered for it.  Now, Chloe is not only an amazing artist, but she is an amazing teacher as well.  We had 2 models, 2 packs of film (1 color, 1 black and white), and we shot inside and outside.  The 3 hour workshop went by entirely too fast, but I learned a ton and feel that I am now friends with the Impossible Film (which I had been struggling with previously). 

So, I wanted to show some of the photographs that I made yesterday.

I love them :) And I want to give a huge thanks to Chloe Aftel, the models Kalli and Constanza, and to the Impossible Project for such an awesome, fun, art and knowledge filled workshop.

Just awesome :)

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