Craig LaMere’s artistic portraiture has a distinct fashion style which is in marked contrast to the man himself. CTPPA was fortunate to have him share his techniques and philosophies this Monday but we learnt so much more than lighting patterns. I liked his non-pretentious manner: he doesn’t take himself seriously yet he is definitely serious about understanding his craft as was evident by his speed to become proficient in just 5 years from picking up a camera. This is a man determined to succeed.
I really enjoyed his quick slide show that contrasted his early work with current sophisticated images. As he says, “we all start somewhere” so anything is possible if you have the determination he does. Craig evolved from being a self-taught photographer to studying with the best so he can deliver edgy photos for his clients. Even when he doesn’t have scheduled bookings, he creates the opportunity to make new images and constantly try a different look.
Thanks to the hard work and resources generously supplied by Peter Dylag and Yolanda Christine, those who stayed on for the hands-on workshop in the evening had the chance to photograph 6 lovely ladies in 5 different sets with a variety of costumes ranging from sassy and scanty to demure vintage. In this concentrated hands-on activity we could experiment with posing women and or using multiple light modifiers while our instructor guided us good naturedly.
The workshop pushed me out of my comfort zone as intended and offered the opportunity to try new techniques with specific coaching. While I appreciate the patience and co-operation of the models, personally I found it hard to relate to some of the stances or formality of gesture. I know it’s my personal bias but some of the poses or outfits seemed like 1940s Vargas. In my mind it was a little contrived. I actually felt far more relaxed when I asked the beautiful model to kick her shoes off so she could move more freely and swoosh the dress.
As the folds of fabric floated and draped in a more sensuous manner, I sense the model actually relaxed too and had more fun. My style is definitely more natural and fluid. Judging by the way her expression opened up and the tension left her body I think she was fully engaged too. Remember, it’s just a photograph (hopefully a treasured keepsake) but you need to enjoy the creative partnership if you are going to discover that authentic style.