This collection of photographs is a study of the Bohemian Aesthetic. Instead of capturing the complete bohemian lifestyle, the goal was to photograph the state of mind. In today’s culture, Bohemianism is glorified as a style of clothing and has been reduced from its original association with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which often were expressed through free love, frugality, and—in some cases—voluntary poverty.
The idea was brought to me through the model. Loren Martz lives her life through the Bohemian aesthetic and was interested in taking photographs that would highlight her devotion to the practice. However, in my work, I always attempt to create a deeper concept as well as a story. Thus, during the shoot I had Loren act out several scenes to give the resulting images a feeling of wistfulness and adventure.
The location was a field a bit away from the major city of Charlotte, NC. Not that we couldn’t find a bit of land close to the city if we had tried, perhaps, but it helped the model get into character emotionally if she physically felt a sense of isolation. The clothes were provided by Loren herself, which I also felt was important. It created a sense of familiarity and comfort that I don’t believe could have been achieved if I had bought them myself. Post Processing was by far the easiest since not much of it was done other than create a cast of warmth over the images and exaggerate some of the details in the sky and field.
The camera I use is a Sony Alpha a77, and hardly used anything else other than a 32″ reflector with a gold and white side. I use Adobe Lightroom to organize my photographs as well as quickly apply previously saved presets. The efficiency of this program allows me to spend my time scrutinizing the details and plan out the overall look.
How I go about retouching an image always begins by creating a plan. Without a plan, I can spend hours just toggling and clicking without really achieving or liking anything which isn’t conducive to a creative atmosphere – not to mention it’s a waste of time. Once I have a rough idea of what I want the images to look like, I begin working on Adobe Lightroom to sharpen the image and either bring up or down the contrast. It is only then that I begin working with colors and color cast. I then transfer the image in Adobe Photoshop CC to retouch distracting fly-away hairs or the random tree branch. I don’t have a set formula as to what images should be black and white or color – I trust my gut.
The model herself was happy with the end result and many people liked the photographs. I learned that there is a very fine line between what I was trying to achieve and editorial. There were some individuals who totally missed what I was trying to convey and thought that it was solely a fashion shoot. That, in itself, might have been my fault and it taught me to plan my shoots more thoroughly. I truly learned the most during the post-processing in terms of what I’m comfortable with. I don’t believe that heavy retouching is necessary unless it is explicitly asked for by the client – I like the little imperfections such as hairs covering the mouth or rain drops cutting through a scene.