Let life surprise you
How many times have we heard stories of products that were discovered by accident (viagra anyone?). For some reason it is easier to see the causality of accidental events being key to a great outcome in others’s stories that our own. Are you aware on how chance is playing an active role in your work today? If not, take a step back and try to connect the dots and by doing so release any frustration you may be experiencing if things are not going as you expected them to.
Let me share a short story about a photoshoot I was looking to do a few years back. I had shot a portrait of a strong, lean and powerful black man. He did not have a shirt on and his arms were crossed as in a defiant pose. The background was black and the image was striking. I wanted to complement this very masculine image with a feminine one and thus was looking for a black woman to shoot a portrait of. The nature of the first image called for the second one to be just as strong and raw, and to create this I needed the model to be topless as well.
I contacted a number of modeling agencies I was working with at the time in Miami and there were no dark skinned models in town who felt comfortable doing this shot. So the next logical place to find a woman who would feel comfortable doing a topless photo shoot was in a strip club of course. Now I must admit I am not at all a regular at clubs and felt so out of place I even asked a good friend to accompany me. The lessons learned from visiting four or five strip clubs in one night merit a blogpost of their own, so I will only say I did not find what I was looking for.
A few nights later I was sharing my frustration over dinner at a french restaurant and the waitress, a beautiful black woman from Senegal I had known for a while heard the story. To make the long story short she volunteered to do the photoshoot and the results were simply outstanding. I was absolutely surprised at the outcome and the portraits now hang in the walls of art collectors. One image from that shoot is included below. When things are not going the way we planned them it is important to allow for chance to play its part, you never know, the results may be better than what you envisioned.