As a photographer, I've always believed that every idea starts as a little spark. And if you nurture that spark, who knows what it could become? That's exactly what happened to me a few years ago when I was scrolling through Instagram after a long day at work.
It was then that I had an epiphany. I was sick and tired of all the gray, washed-out colors that were dominating my feed. There was a lack of saturation, warmth, and originality. It was like the graying of photography. On top of that, the memes poking fun at so-called "insta-photographers" only added fuel to the fire.
But instead of complaining, I decided to take matters into my own hands. On my 25th birthday, I decided to do a self-portrait to celebrate. The idea was to post a photo with a backdrop so saturated that it would literally pop off the screen. I went to my basement, pulled out my favorite forsythia yellow backdrop, and set up my studio. I got all the lights dialed in and began shooting with my remote control so I could see myself. Eventually, I got what I wanted and after a little bit of editing, I was ready to post.
The response was overwhelming. Within an hour, I had over 100 likes, then 200. Eventually, I topped out at a whopping 376 likes and 56 comments. Mind you, I only had 2200 followers at the time, so this was big. Everyone was raving about the detail and color.
A couple of days later, my good client Anthony called me. We had worked together for just over a year and he was always interested in colorful and outside-the-box photoshoots.
"I want one of those color shoots you did," he shouted. "How much? Can we book next week?"
We set a date, and it was all set. The pictures below came from that shoot. It took us about 2 hours, 2 backdrops, and 3 outfit changes. Needless to say, he was ecstatic with what came out of it.
People immediately started inquiring about the work. They were asking about how they could get a shoot done like that too. After a while, the ColorPOP Series was born. Businesses wanted it for their brands, actors wanted it for their shows, and even regular people wanting to spice up their LinkedIn reached out. I never thought it would be as popular as it's become. I had so many different color requests that my shelves could no longer hold the weight of all the backdrops I ordered.
The setup is simple: good, clean lighting, colorful backdrops, and good posing direction and technique to bring it all together. While there are photoshoots that are certainly more complex, I'm having so much fun shooting them that the day just flies by. And my clients have a blast too.
Now it seems that I'm not alone in my mission to fight the desaturation of modern photography. New people every week are contacting me wanting to add a slice of color in their life. Something that represents their unique individual personality and shows off who they are inside.
If there's one thing that I've learned from all of this, it's that you should always follow your instincts. That little spark of an idea that you have could turn into something amazing if you just nurture it. And who knows where it could take you