Being a photographer 24/7 sounds like a great job, and trust me, it is. But it's still easy to burn out when you're constantly shooting assignments without time to explore and create images for yourself. Having to follow a set of instructions from a client or instructor can really suck all the fun out of shooting, and even if you're happy with the end result, getting there just wasn't a great experience.

So thats why despite having a vague idea to re-shoot some material for school, I blew all that off, created pictures the way I wanted, edited the way I wanted, and came out feeling like a load of bricks was lifted off me creatively. I saw light on my subject clearer than I have in days, and I knew how each frame would turn out before I even saw it on the monitor.

More about funks, getting out of them, and this one cool kid after the jump.

Felixx Ray (myspace) is a Massachusetts based R&B artist that had his manager contacted me to shoot a few weeks ago. We came up with a date and promptly did no pre-production. I was supposed to give him a general idea of wardrobe, but when I talked with Felixx to confirm the booking, I guess it slipped my mind. Bright orange and blue shirts weren't at the top of my list, but then I realized.

I was shooting for myself.

And for a client, but a client who wanted me to do what I think I do best. Just make a cool picture. Not worrying about lighting ratios (not that I worried much to begin with) or separation lights (which are evidently there for a reason), I had an idea of how I wanted the light to be, and I ran with it. I wasn't going crazy and making something selfish, Felixx and I had some good dialogue on which pictures we liked, which poses worked, and he seemed to really like the raw pictures on the screen.

While editing them, I even fell into a few old comfortable habits that I had left behind when I came to school. But they were different, a little better, and still me. If you looked at my old work compared to my new, you can tell it's me, but a more refined me. And that was one of my major goals in taking this year off for school.

When I book musical talent, I usually don't listen to their music before we work together. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or not, but I like to hear about their career right from them. Felixx and I didn't even get around to talking about his music, which I finally turned on while editing. And he's good. Real good. Get this kid a record deal good. He only has two songs on his myspace right now, and they're both Grade A awesome.

Check out the music portfolio on my site for pics from the shoot, and sign up for the mailing list to see even more.

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