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The Sketches Behind The Photos – Part 2

A couple of years ago I posted The Sketches Behind The Photos, which you can see if you click on the link below

Now, 2.5 years later, I thought it would be a good idea to do a follow up. Normally, wherever I go, especially on holidays, I take with me a little Moleskin Storyboard Sketch Book, which I use to put onto paper ideas I have for photo shoots that I cannot complete right at that time. I chose that particular notebook because I liked the little pre-outline storyboard panels which helped in conceptualising composition.

My inspiration comes from so many places. Dreams, magazines, TV shows, movies, books, advertisements… wherever, really and instead of doing tear-sheets I like to sketch things. Sometimes it’s quite hard to sketch what was in a dream and make sense of it, and sometimes it’s easy to see a pose in a magazine, do a quick sketch and then aim to make it my own by changing it somewhat. Sometimes I get so focused on a sketch it becomes somewhat details and other times they are quite crude, if only to help me remember what I was aiming for.

Sometimes the shots come out exactly as I have imagined them in the sketches and sometimes they turn out completely differently because of angle, light, space or simply who I’m shooting. But in every case, it’s been helpful to have a little reference book to refer to, especially when I am not quite communicating to the Couple (or whoever) what exactly I am asking them to do. In some cases, it’s just easier to open up my little black posing book and point to the sketch I am trying to recreate. Then I get that “OHHHHHH” from the client and end up nailing what I was going for.

The shot below was probably one of my earliest and most classic shots since I started my business. I’m sure almost every photographer has a shot almost exactly like this and it is always a classic. Sometimes I change it up and have Mum or Dad’s hands wrap the baby’s feet instead of the blanket.

Two shots that turned out almost exactly as I had hoped, if not a little better.

I’m sure this drawing was inspired by a Jasmine Star photo I once saw. The resulting shot was made at Stockholm’s Grand Hotel in their Mirror Room. Looking back, I would recompose the shot to include the buttonhole and try and shift some things around in the room so I could have stepped back for a better, wider image.

The first shot of the Bride is my take on a very classic fashion pose, which I really love. Both images were taken on the city gate steps in Valetta, Malta. The Groom’s own take on the shot  was going for made it even better!!

This is an example of a drawing that was inspired by a fashion pose I saw in a magazine. Then I visited the venue, the Japanese Pavilion at Edogawa Japanese Gardens in Australia. I visited the venue before the wedding and looked for a space to recreate the pose, so the sketch then included the location of the shoot.

I can credit Elizabeth Messina with this particular pose. I once saw, in a book or magazine her image appeared in, this pose which was in black and white with very little contrast (that’s her style) and decided I wanted to include some sun in my interpretation.

This was originally supposed to be a ring detail shot, but during the shoot I thought it would be better, composition wise to include the rest of the couple to make it more complete and less “hands full”. LOL

I think I saw a similar shot to my sketch in a book on Engagement Photography and decided it would look great under a huge old tree with backlighting.

This sketch was inspired by another photographer’s shot, I wish I could remember who and which shot. When it came time for the shoot, the sun (which was not in the image that inspired this) dictated we flip the composition and it worked out well.

This sketch originally didn’t include all the background, but this gorgeous girl’s apartment just HAD to be included, especially that unique lamp!

Sometimes, the sketches have a tendency to turn into something else during the shoot, like the two examples below. During this Boudoir session, she couldn’t seem to get comfortable in the position in the sketch so I asked her to sit up and shake it off. The resulting shot was because she laughed at herself after trying to relax. I think the photo turned out great and it remains one of the most natural shots from the shoot.

A similar thing happened here with this Pre-Wedding Shoot. The couple were incredibly fun and playful and sometimes I joke around and ask them not to smile, which ALWAYS ends in almost hysterical laughter. Again, I think the change from the sketch is really fun and possibly a better pose because it ended up being more natural.

So, what is your inspirational process? How do you remember ideas that pop into your head? Do you snap an iPhone shot to remember later? Do you write down a description? Do you also sketch? I’d love to hear from you if you feel like sharing. 🙂


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