Today I wanted to share a peek inside how I develop my photoshoot ideas. But before we get into that, click here if you want to be the first to know when my next course is released, and if you want to enter the course giveaway! (ends 10/05/2018)

Today I wanted to share with you a look at the concept development process for the super cool celestial photo that I created.

This was a collaboration with model Amber Page. And when we had finally locked down a date for this photo shoot, we started talking about the concept, and we started both by pitching ideas.

I often go into a collaboration totally open because I want to see what ideas the other person might have before I throw my own in, and in this case, Amber shared this really cool very bright candy focused idea.

I was in love with this idea, and I would have been delighted to shoot it, and we did start chatting details about it before I shared my own idea.

I had seen some of Amber’s previous work and I absolutely love her aesthetic and her posing style, and I’ve also seen her do some custom work with tulle. For years I’ve been wanting to do a photoshoot using a lot of tulle. Three or four years ago I had a conversation about a photo shoot using tulle. I never got to shoot that, but I kept that idea in my file because I loved it.

After thinking about it, I realized that this shoot with Amber was the perfect opportunity, but tulle by itself was not enough. We needed to do something with the tulle to show it off and also to show off Amber’s unique approach.

At this point, I was thinking pretty abstractly, so I took a few days to mull this over, and over the course of that time I reviewed Amber’s body of work, I thought about tulle as a fabric, and I looked at Pinterest to see what kinds of things others have done with tulle.

What I noticed on Pinterest is that there were lots of skirts and dresses made out of tulle, and that in a lot of these images, the model was being lost in that tulle. I knew I didn’t want that, and I started thinking about parachute dresses, but in looking at those, I still found the dresses were tending to overwhelm the models.

I thought about all of this a little bit more, and this is where my brain did the thing that brains do. After looking at your ideas, and seeking out your inspiration, and gathering the elements, you have to give your brain time to process.

What my brain processing led to was an idea that I sketched out and shared with Amber. This was how I described the idea:

“This is the idea. You’re in the middle of a sea of tulle which rises up into your wardrobe, something flowing. The look I’m going for is ascending, you’re reaching up standing on a stool in the middle of the tulle for elevation. The backdrop is dark, and starry. I’ll composite that in, with a burst of light at your fingertip, as if touching a star.”

This had all the elements that I wanted. Tulle without Amber getting lost in it, a literal platform for Amber to show off her amazing posing skills, and a bonus of being a composite for me to continue to work on my Photoshop skills.

Between the two ideas, we settled on shooting the tulle, but we weren’t done yet. We needed to settle on a few things like wardrobe details, colors, hair, makeup, things like that. All of that came down to communication with both of us presenting and discussing options. I’m not going to give you the blow by blow of that, but I do want to share two more important things that happened in this development.

The first is that during this discussion, I was thinking about purple and black tulle for the ocean I had described. And in our conversation, Amber asked me a couple of times about the colors. And at one point I had that D’oh! moment where I really that my brain hadn’t quite processed everything yet.

Amber asked me if I was sure I didn’t want blue, and I responded back, “blue tulle?”

And she said, “You’re talking about an ocean up to the stars.”

It was there I realized I had been using this word ocean to describe this idea, but I still hadn’t fully connected to it. We settled on blue, which was the perfect color for the tulle.

Your camera is an amazing tool, but it’s no good to you if you don’t know how to use it!

If you want to take control of your camera and use it to take amazing photos like a pro, check out my Guide to Shooting in Manual Mode video course.

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