Creativity breeds creativity, so when a photographer comes up with an enticing idea while brainstorming concepts for clients, that idea may blossom into a fascinating project of its own.
I definitely have a fascination with obscuring peoples’ faces when shooting conceptual work.
After people saw these images [from the handbag shoot], they all commented on how beautiful the color palette was. This sparked us to push [the flowerhead] idea a little further.
And push it further they did. Gavin and Kirsten focused on maintaining the strong color palette that made the previous shoot such a success when they were planning out the details of the project.
Another palette conversation involved the wardrobe, specifically for the last shoot day when the team went to a local pool.
Kirsten used [Gabrielle Swimwear] on previous shoots and suggested she design something for this series. We wanted a specific color palette as well as to create a style of swimwear that had influences from the past and future in a subtle way.
All of the flower bouquets were bought from a local florist and chosen based on style and color palette. Despite the freshness of the bouquets, getting the shots Gavin wanted was a race against the flowers’ lifespan.
The flowerheads were built and arranged on the day as we began each setup. We just had to be conscious about the time spent shooting once the flowerheads were ready to go. We probably had about two hours before the flowers started to wilt.
Time, however, wasn’t the only restriction Gavin, Kirsten, and the team were working under.
Once our models put their masks on, their vision was gone completely, as was some hearing. So, the directions we gave while shooting had to be clear and concise.
That may be an easy enough issue to manage while on a controlled set, but what about when shooting at the public pool?
Pool shots were taken at a local indoor swimming pool here in Cape Town called ‘Long Street Baths.’ The location is almost always empty during midweek work hours, but, of course, on the day we were there, some kid’s swimming clinic took place for a few hours. I had to navigate around a busy pool, which made it a little challenging!
And yet, despite all the challenges and restrictions, Gavin and company were still able to pull off some beautiful shots — including a few of the underwater variety.
We spent the day shooting there, about eight hours, and the underwater shot was executed by a friend who’s an underwater photographer. He arrived for the final hour and a half of the shoot to capture this underwater image for me.
You would think that to get quality images such as these — especially with as many challenges and constraints as Gavin confronted — there would be a huge sense of pressure on set. That was not the case here: “I felt a sense of calm and compassion [on set],” Gavin said. As he further explains, that disposition paid off.
This type of work not only is a fantastic creative outlet where I can explore concepts within my craft but also shapes and refines my point of view as an artist. And sometimes, these personal shoots get me the paid jobs when agencies and potential clients see the images. I recently shot a campaign for Weylandts [a furniture/interior store] after a creative director saw my flowerhead images from the studio.
See more of Gavin’s work at GavinGoodman.com
Explore our global network of photographers on our Find Photographers page!