Creative shoot with Massimo

I’ve taken many photos of my friend Massimo and his family and we had been talking for some weeks about doing something a bit different, creative and crazy. We had done one photoshoot earlier with a pineapple so I though I would take it a bit further and make multiple exposure photos by adding parts of him together with some fruit in a composite photo.

So we met up one day and I had my trunk full of gear, ready for anything. We ended up going to his place and looking at the paintings he had done of different pop-culture characters and his kids and I thought that this could be a great environmental portrait, showing him among the things that he is passionate about in his own work space, which was an upstairs corridor of an old farmhouse. I put him right by the window, arranger the paintings around him, chose a wide angle lens, all with the purpose of setting him up at the middle of the frame and to have every possible line in this corridor lead to him. Then I lit him up with a spotlight to highlight him and put a blue light at the back and get some incense smoke in the room in order to create a moody atmosphere. I dare to say, it worked out very well. He really pops out in the final photograph.

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Once we got an environmental shot I was now really into capturing something more abstract and wild so I set up a black backdrop in another room and thought that I would take 3 different, low key pictures of his face, all of them a bit different. I made him look on one side and I would put a red light on his face so that only his face would be lit up and it would quickly fade into black. I did the same with blue light with him facing the other way and finally just normal light with him looking straight into the camera. Later on I took it into Photoshop and combined it into this three-headed thing, added some smoke with brushes and it turned out really freaky, yet fascinating. I have to say, it was challenging to mix the three together because the one with him facing straight was just white light and I needed to do all sorts of tricks to add some appearance of red and blue light leaking onto different sides of his face.

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The final, last thing I wanted to try was along the lines of the original idea of combining Massimo with fruit but now the idea had evolved into something new. I wanted the object to mean something to him and tell a story instead of just being a random funny thing. So now that we already had a photograph of him as a painter, maybe I should use paint brushes. I took first a pic of him looking up into the distance and then I had him holding a handful of paint brushes with the same lighting and distance. Later on I went to Photoshop and thought what would be the best way of combining him and the paint brushes into one picture and immediately I thought of giving him hair using the brushes since he is bald. It ended up working really well. Then I added some effects and color grading and finally some paint splatter to bring it together.

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I was very satisfied with this project because it was very playful and creative and it challenged me into trying out new ways of expressing creativity. I’m now getting more and more into Photoshop compositing. It opens up a whole new, basically unlimited world of creativity.

Welcome, we are live!

I decided to update my website to a new, more clear and professional one. I also moved from calling it sakuraphoto.org to using my own name sakusuutariphotography.com to really own it and not to be confused with anything/anyone else. 

Welcome to the new site, please let me know what you like about it and if there is something that could be better or more clear.

I'm also going to start building a web store for my landscape photography so you can buy prints very easily. Meanwhile you can go and check out the galleries to see if there is something you like and you can order it by email or the contact form. 

There is also a plan to start a mailing list to update people about where I might be traveling and when there are new products available or new features to the website.

Here we go!
 

Invitation to creativity

I've gotten more and more into situations where people come to me with their own fun ideas for photo shoots and it has lead to some of the most fun and inspiring editing.

The benefit of doing photography for others has definitely it's benefits. I get invited and challenged into playful creations that would not have happened if I was not offering myself out there and was just shooting landscapes and traveling around. Those forms of photography are very dear to my heart and I love the nature in it's glory but the greatest expansion in me as a creator has happen via the medium taking pictures of people.

It's especially fun if someone comes in with a specific idea, or even just a strong feeling of what they want to show of themselves, what aspects of themselves they want to play with. It's a great chance to be part of that and to see the look on the persons face when they are genuinely excited and even surprised how well it turned out in the end and I'm always at awe at how easy it was, how flowing and graceful it can be when you just get in the flow.

I thank everyone who comes to me with something to offer like that and I invite the co-creation and participation. 

Here are some of the fun photos coming from that space: