I was recently honored to have been featured on the Facebook page of West 12 Ranch Studio. I was over the moon excited to see my work on their page with a very sweet write up and a link back to my post Lightbender. At the time I wrote the post, a month ago, lol, I was neck deep in learning about off camera flash. I was on all the blogs, facebook pages, and websites learning about this new and wonderful world and how it would change the way I look at pictures forever. When I first wrote my ‘about me’ on my website I was all about the natural light because I didn’t even know how to turn on my camera flash, then I went to thinking I knew it all until I starting seeing all these beautiful images from amazing photographers such as Jasmine Star and my very own hometown favorite Brooke Beasley Photography.
I knew then that there had to be a way to cross both worlds, lightbender and shade chasing needed to become a cross breed in my mind. Maybe a rebrand like Lightshader, lol. Why yes, yes I did just create my own word. I started emailing, asking questions reading blogs, all the things I did when I wanted to learn about flash and I quickly came to the realization I never really took the time to learn natural light and it is a whole other world when done right, like whole!! Natural reflectors for one, never heard of it until I saw a video of Jasmine’s sent to me by Brooke, and I was like “what? the cement is a natural reflector?” “Grass not so good”! What! You see I was reminded by a fellow photographer, who read the West 12 Ranch write up on me and clicked onto the Lightbender blog that a true artist knows both. She went on to explain she has choices when she does her photography and she chooses to go natural and when she needs to she chooses to use her flash on or off camera. In my mind I thought to myself, yes because you are gangsta!! Your images are sick and when I grow up I want to be your camera bag holder, lol no seriously I digress.
First I was so glad she wrote me and shared her thoughts on the blog post. But it also reminded me of something even more important, transparency and honesty. I was honest when I told her at the time I really was one dimensional. If I was stuck in a situation where I could only use natural light would I be able to produce images I would be totally proud of? So I started a quest right after I wrote Lightbender to learn both, understand both and be able to pick and choose when I want to use flash or not. Her message made me think I am on the right path, as I need to know both. I don’t want to be the photographer who has limited myself because I don’t educate myself.
Photography is ever evolving for me, and it may take time for some of us, like myself to develop our own style and it is a matter of preference. I have seen images using off camera flash that I am blown away with, but when it comes to my own work and the work I continue to follow it must feel light, airy, romantic, and most of all fun. Most of those images were created using natural light, or a very very subtle fill flash, it is more stylistically what I am drawn to. I have much more respect for the word photographer, because the good ones are master of photo’s, meaning they know how to create an image that they are proud of, wether they are lightbenders or wether they are shade chasers everything about their image draws you in. Captivates you, and speaks to you. Not one is right over the other, not one is better then the other. It is amazing how quickly within a month my tone has change, lol. Humble pie I eat!!