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Creative Ingredients

Words and Images by Maggie Hood

If any of you are like me, one of the best parts of the holiday season is the baked goods. Cookies, squares, and cakes provide that nostalgic feeling and send you back in time to the first time you ate that beloved sweet treat. My grandmother used to make the most amazing molasses cookies and every time I ate one, it transported me back to when I was 4 years old in her kitchen. Even then, she was baking them from memory, the recipe forever engrained in her mind. She knew that the recipe was always a hit and that it worked every time. She had all these amazing recipes in which when she combined the ingredients, something amazing was created.

Inspiration For A New Year

Without a doubt 2020 took us all by surprise and on a ride we never anticipated. We’ve learned a lot, especially about our own resiliency as creatives, artists and business owners in an ever-changing world. As we turn the calendar to a new year, we wanted to explore the possibilities that lie on the horizon ahead. So, we asked our OFFBEAT Contributors the same question:

The Continual Location Hunt

By Maggie Hood

Choosing a location for a portrait shoot can set the tone and dictate the whole outcome of a shoot. The right location will fit the desired mood, have great light, and create an environment where clients can relax. Few things are more frustrating than shooting in terrible light in a busy spot where subjects are distracted or feeling like they are being watched by bystanders. Discovering locations in your area that fit your style, have great light, and provide a relaxed environment is important for portrait photographers. In my experience, clients generally are open to the photographer’s suggestions on where to shoot and sometimes only give a location style preference (i.e rustic vs modern). Having a small bank of location ideas to share with clients makes it easier and allows you to produce solid, consistent results for your clients.

Photography and COVID-19: Thoughts on Weathering the Storm

Written by Meghan J. Ward
Feature photo by Paul Zizka

You had ideas, dreams, business plans. You had a bucket list of places you wanted to photograph, some gigs booked, a conference you were looking forward to attending. You had a sense of possibility, of growth, of a bright future; that all your hard work was coming to fruition.

Then, COVID-19 changed everything. Everything.

What’s a photographer to do?

Finding Your Niche

By Lizzy Gadd

When I look at my work now, I admit I do feel very fortunate to have somehow fallen into this niche of ethereal self-portraiture/landscape mixtures that, I humbly also admit, I am kind of proud of.

It was a long process getting there. I don’t really know how it happened. But the moment I found it, it felt right. It’s what speaks to me, being able to express myself, and my love of nature, together. And so I’ve been doing exactly that for nine years now, and it still feels right.

Kyle McDougall OFFBEAT Photo Storytelling

What Are You Trying to Say?

By Kyle McDougall

What are you trying to say?

A question that I revisit often. It grounds me and gets me back on track whenever I’m pulled in different directions during this wild creative journey. But maybe even more importantly, the answer to that question plays a huge role in helping me make decisions in the field and later on while back home processing.

Thinking Beyond a Snapshot: 12 Key Components to Consider

By Kahli Hindmarsh

When I first started to take photos, one of my biggest hurdles I faced was figuring out how to take what was in front of my camera and turn it into a compelling image.

That should be the easy part, right? Find an interesting subject, point your camera, press the shutter and boom! Not quite… I was visiting these amazing places, but when I looked at my images, all I saw was “tourist” style snapshots. They lacked meaning and interest. They were cluttered and messy. They didn’t tell a story.

Finding Opportunity in Creative Ruts

By Elizabeth Gadd 

Creative ruts.

We all experience them. (If you don’t… you’re probably not human and I need to know your secret. Seriously.)

Some ruts last only a few days. Some are much longer and more intense. I often experience a 2-3 month hiatus in my work every year, usually during the late winter to early spring months.