Crowd-Sourced Creation Fodder.

There’s only so much non-photo work I can do before I either have a boredom-related breakdown or start obsessively photographing whatever’s within reach. The problem with the latter option is that everything you look at daily just seems boring. It might not be, but it’s just so ordinary you don’t even thing about its value as the subject of a image.

That’s why I implemented a tactic from a few years back: Crowd sourcing anti-boredom assignments.

The first run of this was just after I graduated with my Associate’s Degree. I was still fresh enough that I didn’t have constant work, and I was also so used to assignments that it was a bit tricky to think of one-off images that didn’t involve a full-blown project. After pondering the situation, I asked the folks of the internet to suggest everyday items of which I could create unique images. The resulting images from those suggestions yielded 6 pictures that are still in my permanent portfolio, and 3 of the most popular stock images I’ve ever shot.

Well,  I’ve had a ton of supplementary work lately and I’ve been gettin’ the ol’ photo itch. So, I put out the request and the feedback was just lovely.

There were a few that I’d certainly like to try out (lava lamp, pocket watch, tea kettle…) but those will have to wait for next time. One of the pleasant side effects of the project was that it got me pondering the visual value of other common items. As it is, I’ve been making home-made sausage lately and realized those should also be included in the lineup. PB&J was easily the most time-consuming.

If you’re ever in a pickle and need a bit of inspiration, be sure to turn to the internet.  The folks of the interwebs are full of interesting ideas.

Here are some of my favorites – enjoy the shots!

– Jon

Cosmetics Shmosmetics

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a project in the works that may or may not have involved assorted non-makeup like materials in place of actual cosmetics.

Well here’s the project.  But first – let me dig through a few minutes of back-story.

I was given an assignment to “create a project.”  … … OK – for all of you non-art people out there, let me lay this out.  When someone essentially says “Do something,” it’s a problem.   See, no many project ideas you have tucked away for a rainy day, that level of challenge instantly negates any of your previous concepts.  What they’re really saying is, “So, you think you’re creative, huh?  Think you got a head on them shoulders?  Fine.  Bring it.  Show me what you got.  It better be MIND-BLOWING.”

This invariably leads to panic attacks and a violent barrage of second guessing yourself.

But that is all leading up to the real point…. This dude –>   Caleb Charland.  He takes (what I like to refer to as) “pictures of science.”  Whether it’s actually science or just looks “sciencey”is irrelevant.  The point is that he inspired me to make things.  Things like catapults and dead-falls.

Then I thought, “What could I use such harmful devices for that would be photographically interesting?”  AH HA!   —-   Splattering my friends and acquaintances with assorted food and art mediums.

So it began.

But after a few days of though i realized that things I could fling really only came in lumpy, liquidy, flakey, or powdery consistencies and that I would quickly run out of delivery methods.  So, I racked my brain further.

That’s when I went to Rite Aid to get something (probably razors or soap or something).  BUT!  While I was there, I couldn’t help but notice the 5-foot tall posters of seductive looking ladies flashing their mascara-ridden lashes at me.

Then it just clicked in my head like a bad-idea shotgun chambering a round of inappropriate.

People flip through “Cosmo” and see models making ridiculous faces then say to themselves “if I use that makeup, I could look equally as stupid.”  OK, they probably don’t say that, but it’s sort of the unconscious process that goes on.

I got to thinking, what would happen if I got people to slather their visages with Alphabet Soup, corn starch, or pizza toppings?  Would marinara be the new black in next summer’s line up?

No.  Probably not…   But I still got people to do it.

That’s gotta count for something.

Here you go.

– J

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