What does the photographic image mean to you the professional photographer? How does it really make you feel? Naturally I am writing to you as Aspire’s conceptual stylist, a stylist that often styles for you on our photography workshops too.  I am writing to your heart as much as I am writing to your head, the heart is where all the creativity unfolds within me, the head is where I become rather more practically minded. You may be wired differently, this is certainly how I approach my craft yet I do know the design process is different for us all. The one thing we do have in common though, even if the process differs, is the combination of the head and heart in the recipe for photographic creation and styling.

I couldn’t wait for the image collection to arrive from our Italian Business and Photography Retreat with Jenny Heyworth and Graphistudio. With anticipation, excitement and intrigue I awaited the arrival.  Why was I so full of excitement? It’s all about the heart felt memories, the captured concept and expectation. And naturally the importance of people.

The heart felt memories ~ we had an amazing time, the sort of trip that’s hard to leave behind. The castle has a magical atmosphere that’s hard to describe, the views, fragrant air, stunning location, hospitality, special moments which are hard to decipher, as you can so easily get lost in your own inner journey. So much laughter, magic, wine! Visual conversation and heart felt styling. All this to be sealed within imagery. Images that compress ideas, daydreams, My hopes and creative aspirations, not just as the stylist for Aspire but also as a trainer, and dream catcher for the photographers who joined us on this year’s tour. I was bursting with excitement, yet I was also nervous, nervous because all my eyes witnessed had to be sealed within the images, not just sealed as a two dimensional format, I needed to feel the emotions, atmosphere and expression caught too. This for sure must be how every bride feels on her wedding day. A year of planning simply captured in one day by a photographer who has to have not only the ability to read the story, hold the concept, but understand the meaning behind the hopes of every image caught. Your job is incredible and I have huge respect for you all.

Captured concepts ~the concept started with the people, what would be perfect for them, who they are and how they live. The castle’s backdrop from the architecture, Italian colour palette, the soft light which is a huge influence, the dreamy colour tones to our current wedding trends and to what I believe will inspire Jenny and reach right into her heart as a wedding photographer, this is a huge consideration and is never far from my thoughts. A conceptual stylist is like a farmer to a chef, we have to provide only what will inspire the taste buds.

Expectation ~ this is the most frightening of all – expectation. I often feel nervous, the first time you unveil your thoughts, the first time you share the scene. What are they thinking? How is it making the engager feel from models to photographers? This always makes me nervous. Not only because I have huge expectations, I also don’t like to fail. Failing those I serve is not a pathway I want to walk.  Do you feel the same? I really would love to know. Sometimes I torture myself in the process, thank goodness for Jen, my sounding board and pal! It’s hard having the courage to release your taste and opinions. Tastes that are all designed to enhance a business’s performance, marketplace reach and activity, portfolio, happiness, creativity and inspiration – it’s a long list and because of the list I am always nervous.
These nerves can be calmed by conversations shared as the concept builds – I frequently test the waters, listen to the reactions when ideas are being nurtured.  Sharing and testing ideas is a great process to generate better ideas

Pinterest ~ what would we do without Pinterest? Its my visual translator, we are visual people we think in pictures, its the method that communicates my most inner thoughts and conclusions. Take a peek at the completed board, https://uk.pinterest.com/aspiretraining/italian-training-workshop/as it, might support your creative mind map too.

With all agendas and so many to please the ultimate nerve calmer has to be preparation as dull as this sounds. Allocating the right time, time to think, time to play with thoughts, time to nurture ideas. This is vastly important, I operate well ‘by the seat of my pants’ as the saying goes, yet winging it is not a territory I would encourage anyone to follow when so much is at stake, Its a big deal.  As a creative we are all generally driven. Driven by the need to tell the tale well, driven by our creative spirit, the pleasing people factor, we are all driven by something if not a combination of all. Whatever your motive, remember the image has a story to capture and record and you have all of the skill and ability to tell it when you apply everything you have got as a professional.

I want you to treasure all that you capture far more. Jenny not only gave Eddie, Abi and William a gift, she gifted me too – She gifted me happiness and fulfilment and as a fussy soul I hope she is bursting with pride to read this as she should be. I salute miss Jenny Heyworth for making daydreams come true in her capture – thank you xx

Words by Catherine Connor of Aspire  and http://whitefeatherand.co/

Images by Jenny Heyworth of Aspire and  http://whitefeatherand.co/

Pinterest https://uk.pinterest.com/aspiretraining/italian-training-workshop/

Courses of interest

Wedding Styled Shoot – http://thedesignspacedev.co/aspire/events/wedding-styled-shoot-may17-2/ 

Getting Started with Photography – http://thedesignspacedev.co/aspire/events/getting-started-with-weddings-nov17/

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