Week 5-Symmetry

The inspiration for symmetry finally came to me after looking at Rodney Smith and Elizabeth Messina’s work. I have found that I really need to be looking ahead at the challenges to let the concept settle in, and the ideas start brewing. Looking at visual reference is essential to kick start my idea process. 

The idea for this week’s challenge came early but nailing down location and lighting scenario did not. Having to work with in the perimeters of using kid models and shooting on the weekend limited me. And then of course there is the weather….

The day before my shoot it snowed seven inches. I thought that would be ok but on the day of the shoot it continued to snow… not bad but enough to make it uncomfortable for my models and especially for me. I hate snow.

Once again the lessons learned are vast. I had been told about the location that I wanted to shoot at and even had seen pictures but I had not visited it myself. I made a lot of assumptions about the location the biggest one was that the pond would be frozen. It wasn’t-which I did not know until I arrived at the location

Before I left the house, I thought maybe I should cancel. Knowing I probably had a reshoot ahead of me I didn’t want to create any kind of hard feelings with the model or his parents. 

Despite this worry, the need to complete this weekly challenge overruled the other concerns. I could always make another plan but I couldn’t bring back the week.  I thought I would at least attempt my idea with the knowledge that once again, I would have to reshoot to make anything close to a portfolio image.

So as I forced my son and his best buddy into the snow along the shore of the slushy pond and attempted to execute my vision.


It wasn’t long before the complaints of being cold were heard coming from my son’s mouth. It was not only cold but difficult for all of us to move around without falling or getting cover in snow. Not only that… they were in there skates and not on the ice- a big no-no, I was reprimanded for later. 

I got a few shots that I knew would work for this week’s submission but nothing even close to what I had hoped for. 

I have a few minor rules for myself on this challenge- no cell phone photos, all photos must contain a human element and don’t over do it on the filters in post-production. Unfortunately, I broke the post-production rule on Week 1 and the seal has been broken.

I have to admit that I do not think these photos would be as strong if it were not because of the post-production work. Although I do find this post-production appropriate for the subject and it is often used with sports photography, I find it all to easy to cover my mistakes with this process.

As time allows and the weather remain cold I plan on shooting this again until I get closer to the vision I have in my head.  Luckily, hot chocolate with whip cream and a huge chocolate chip cookie quickly made up for the misery I put the boys through and they both agreed they would be willing to give it another go.