10 Reasons for Primitive Light Photography (and why I chose this as my tagline)

Photography is such an interesting hobby and industry.  Equipment is now more affordable and accessible than ever before as well as the vast array of tutorials and information.  Speaking of information......

The specialty - "Natural Light Photography" and the wide array of opinions......

You MAY have noticed a new tagline on my header....Primitive Light Photography.  Here is my explanation:  I am in awe of those professional and hobbyist photographers who have mastered and are learning various forms of lighting including flash, speedlights, softboxes, etc.  but that is NOT me at this moment in time.  At the same time, I do not want to fall under the opinion of some that those who favor "natural light" are just afraid to learn their flash, cannot afford the lighting equipment, or simply choosing to make themselves sound elite.

NOPE...not me......

I choose to call my process "Primitive Light Photography" for these reasons:
  1.  I want to completely understand my camera's modes and settings through experimentation with the light that is available at the time.
  2.  I want to "study" light and watch how it transforms all that is around me from the early morning hours to just before dark.
  3. I want to study shadows and angles to find the best "mood" for the image
  4. I want to utilize light from various windows, interior spaces, candles, etc. in order to understand the styling/composition process
  5. I loved the sound of "primitive" rather than "natural" as it sounded primeval, simple, and basic
  6. I want to focus my still life photography niche on what feels right to me and not a title that I must adhere to according to the status quo
  7. I want to discover really unique ways of "painting my light" and sharing the process with you - I want to share my successes and failures as that makes this process "real" for me
  8. My photography style is "primitive" in that the props, styling, and settings I favor all lean towards a utilitarian and basic mood - taking the everyday, worn-out, cast-off prop, and staging it to appear stunning
  9. I want those who will view my images to "pause and feel" - perhaps a memory comes to mind or it triggers a new creative endeavor
  10. I want to take images that take the simple and make it special, the forgotten to be remembered, and the unique to be surprising
Whew!..... that was a lot of "I's" and I suppose breaks the blog protocol of speaking to your audience and not at them.....please know that using this method makes my goals real, makes ME accountable, and forces me to stay on track and focused.  Maybe making an "I" list of your own will guide/focus you too?

I have visited many many beautiful blogs produced by very talented individuals and often wondered how they keep their goals and plans focused as it all appears so effortlessly gorgeous.  How did they find their specialty/niche?  How did they choose the editing process they use most often?  Why LightRoom?  Why Canva?  Why weddings, or portrait, or newborn photography? The list goes on and on.......

All of this being said, I will watch the light, I will study the shadows, I will use my white/black foam core board to move the light, and I will always seek out the props that speak to me in the hopes they speak to you, my blog friends.

Which reminds fall/winter prop inventory/organizing will begin next week and at that time, I have plans to show you a couple of unique finds from this past summer....a handmade wooden rowboat (saved from a burn pile) as well as the most amazing wood utility cart with those awesome metal warehouse-ish wheels, and two chairs I am re-doing with a cold galvanizing compound and utility sacks!!

I am anxious to hear your opinions, suggestions, and recommendations!!


How it all came to be.....

Where does one start when sharing "how it all came to be"?  To start at the beginning would take far too long, to start at the middle would be awkward, so I guess the best place to start "how it all came to be" is from a picture I quickly snapped with a P&S after setting up my new world two years ago....

I had just reconnected with the love of my life and moved back to my hometown in Midwest WI and started life all over again.  This is the classic high school "Mr. Love of my Life" story and proves we do all end up where we are meant to be - that, my friends, is another post altogether.

As I began settling into this new life, I carved out space for a studio to work on photography shoots, re-doing furniture, crafty bits, and prop storage.  It was in this space that my whole "JoanMarie" world came together.....

Let me emphasize that these photos were taken before the Canon DSLR entered into the equation but I won't apologize for lighting or quality - I still remember that amazing feeling of "these are my treasures" as I took each of these photos.  

Let me emphasize even more strongly that these pictures were taken almost two years ago and the collection of prop madness has grown significantly larger.

So large in fact that I must take a day to re-organize and take inventory!  

I ADORE junk shops, thrift stores, antique shops, and even roadside piles as they each have their own variety of treasure.  I am drawn to what I call "used utility".  Used Utility is the simple, utilitarian, effective, and worn item that at one time served it's purpose and is now at a cross roads of "toss" or "this is really cool and would be great in a shoot!"  You can guess the latter ALWAYS wins for me.

Regarding the "studio" space I am currently working on, I have created a 4x4 room with a painted wall and hardwood floor for still life shots as well as utilizing a small spare bedroom with a white painted wood floor.  These will be in an upcoming post along with updated prop photos.

So, in closing, this is "how it all came to be" and is the foundation of all that is to come with this blog and my increasing love of photography.  

How did it all come to be for you??


Textures and Props

There is nothing more beautiful than a thickly woven textured fabric made for industrial use.

Wool that is made into warmth...

and ocean noises as water begins to chill and sea grass fades

Looking forward to the quiet winter stillness and sharing more images of the upcoming season.  

My love of photography continues to grow daily and I hope my skill level follows suit.  

Upcoming posts to include my photo shoot planning and  process along with a behind the scenes look at my "prop hoarding".  Being self-taught in all areas, let me know if there are specific areas you might like to hear more about and as always, I look forward to hearing from you.