Introducing The Reflection Project.
Let’s cut to the chase: I am now sharing the creative processes that go behind my photography work on Instagram (@char.lotte.lin). These processes include everything from pre-production to shooting to post-production to publishing. There is something to take away for photographers, retouchers, models, stylists, make-up and hair artists, etc. My goal is to give an honest and open account of what went behind producing these images and most importantly, to inspire discussions between creatives.
The idea of the reflection project came with organizing my portfolio for my upcoming group exhibition in Tokyo, Japan. I have been out of the professional scene for a couple of years so I’m a little behind on a few things, such as putting my work on Instagram. However, I don’t want to just join Instagram for it to become another frivolous bout of self-promotion, especially since I am not a “working” photographer anymore. (You can read the story on what happened in “About”.)
An idea came quite naturally to me. I have always wanted to give back to the photography community that has given me so, so much, even to this date. You see, six years ago when I started photography, I had no idea that it would take me on such an epic adventure. I entered the elusive industry by surprise. I went with the flow and embarked on this journey in the whirlwind fashion that only the entertainment/advertising industry can afford. For the most part I am grateful for what I experienced, but something that had always bothered me was the secrecy and competition between photographers. Sure, it comes with the business aspect of the game – you have to protect your secrets, your trademarks, and your connections, to maintain your competitive edge in the industry. But if you are a new/young photographer, how often do you look at an image you love and wish you could talk to its photographer on how it was made? Yet the disappointing part is that no pro would ever tell you (lol). If they do, it is often through the forms of expensive workshops. Free or cheap resources are, for the most part, surface level and not enough to take you to the next level. Again though, it is part of the game, the pros need to make money too.
That being said, I believe more photographers and creatives alike should be open about their creative processes. Not just superficial things like the camera and lens used. Instead, real discussions with other photographers (regardless of their levels of expertise) about not just what they did but HOW and WHY they did it to reach the final image/publication. I believe discussions between photographers would lead to better growth for all parties involved and the more deeply we reflect on what we did, the better it is for future creations. Now I am free from the constraints of the business, I cannot think of a better time to start promoting this kind of conversation between photographers or anyone else involved in photoshoots. Through this, I can also express my gratitude towards the rare opportunities that this tough industry has given me.
The tone of these “tutorials” is more like reflection of the creative processes that went behind these images. You will not find Step 1, 2, 3, in these tutorials. Creating an image is a moving, fluid process for me and there are no set steps. Think about it as reading the story behind the image. The way I want to talk to you is not to “teach” you something, but simply to share with you what I did to get here, and invite you to tell me about your work too.
So let’s start here @char.lotte.lin (link at top).