By Fall 2009, I started taking portraits of my friends and loved it so much more than what I had been doing previously.  The frigid wind and constant icy precipitation of Binghamton made it difficult to schedule photo shoots.  My first photo shoot was outdoors.  My first mistake?  Well, not only was it freezing outside but I scheduled the shoot too late in the day (by the end, I was shooting with the daylight).  Looking back, I definitely approach photo shoots much more differently – in a good way!  I never really thought about what I wanted to achieve.  I never asked the subjects questions prior to the shoot.  I never asked myself important questions.  For example, what is this shoot for and what am I trying to get out of it?  What do I want to practice and become more proficient with?

Besides the actual field work, there’s another front that I needed to advance with.  Photoshop, or, rather, post processing.  I didn’t need to worry about having an efficient workflow at this stage.  I wasn’t required to grind through hundreds of photos to make it absolutely necessary to be as efficient as possible.  Similar to how I taught myself photography, I did the same for post processing.  I read.  And read. And read.  Sometimes, I watched videos.  Then, I applied.  There’s a million ways to edit in Photoshop and after a while, I do what works best or what seems the most intuitive for me.

Here are some photos from some of my first shoots inside my college apartment.  As you can see, there are some dark edges that were not visible to me on the computer I used to post process these.  I need to invest in a pro monitor with calibration capabilities or to just learn to work better with what I have.

Technically, these are shots from late 2009.  On the next part of this post I will include 2010 photos.  Stay tuned!

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