My plan for Negotiated Studies 2 was use what I had researched and learnt in Negotiated Studies 1 to create a series of unique newborn composites. A bespoke service that I plan to offer future clients, creating one-off pieces of art to be hung in their homes.
The concept for the triptych was developed around the birth of a baby using minimal props to symbolise different stages of that time.
Each image took several weeks to complete, the process starting with research of props, colours & the set up. Followed by photographing the background that I planned to composite the baby into. Once that was done it was time to photograph the clients baby at their newborn shoot, all babies were photographed on a beanbag to ensure comfort, safety and the least disturbance. Using techniques recommended by Cleare Photography from her Newborn Composite Workshop, the babies are laid and surrounded by material that match the colour and textures of where they will be composited into, making the blending process easier.
The editing process varied greatly between each image, with Creation it was a lengthy process because I didn’t have the clear visual of how I wanted the final edit to look. I knew the feeling and the meaning I wanted it to have but that’s all so when it came to the edit I wasn’t happy with it and ended up doing a full re-edit to remove everything that was distracting the eye from the baby. Thus leaving the raw minimal image I had intended. With Growth & Nurture the edit was much easier because I had the end result in my head so there was no experimenting needed. Nurture was more difficult technically because the baby wasn’t as settled as I would have liked. Time was running out and I was unable to finesse his pose and the material around him, this made the edit more time-consuming.
This lengthy process of creating a series of images with a concept was a really rewarding exercise. It’s something I’ve never done before and I feel emotionally attached to the images because so much time went into each one. A totally different experience to anything I have ever done before and I learnt a lot. Not only about developing the concept, but also in the edit to get 3 images from 3 different client shoots to work together, with every detail being crucial. I am really pleased with them and feel that I achieved the brief that I set for myself and if I was to attempt this again there isn’t anything that I would change.
In contrast to that series of images I also created a ‘non-planned’ composite. ‘Falling’ was created when I was having writers block, inspired by a falling petal that landed next to me. This lead to a burst of inspiration and an image that was made and completed in one evening. There was no concept behind it, it was purely the aesthetics of the petal as it fell and landed on my white desk that brought this image to my mind. It wasn’t shot with careful planning, equipment and good lighting, I seized the moment and used what I had and the limited light that was there. The ‘7 Days 7 Composites Challenge’ was great practise for this, making the most of what I have and with a small time frame. I am excited to add this to my Negotiated Studies 2 because alongside my time-consuming triptych of three dark meaningful images I have a light and airy one that was a flash of inspiration which shows diversity in my creative process.