We spent an evening taking photos of each other, and planned to share the RAW files of our favourite images for the other one to edit, just to see how our different post styles would affect the outcome of the same images.
This was an interesting project for a few reasons.
One, I strongly dislike being in front of a camera, and never know what to do. It's good practice though, as it gives me some insight into what it's like to be the photographee, and helps me to figure out language and suggestions to use when working with clients. Also, Erica is great to work with and gave me a lot of great direction.
Two, I found that editing photos of myself is the most uncomfortable thing ever. In general when I'm editing I try to keep things as natural as possible, not changing much in terms of body shape or skin tone, for example. I never find this difficult when working on images of other people, but when it came to shots of me I was very tempted to get right in there and change all the things. It was hard to separate my own insecurities from what I was seeing on the screen.
Three, it was super cool to see what the two of us thought needed to be done to each image, in terms of cropping, colouring, and dodging and burning. When it comes to art, there is no right and wrong, only subjective taste, and that becomes very apparent when looking at the way two different people approach the same source material. Based on these few images, it's easy to see that we each have our own style for how we like to edit, with Erica leaning towards lower contrast and muted colours, while I aim for more vibrancy and coloured overlays. I should also note that I refrained from looking at Erica's edits before attempting mine. There are some similarities, sure, but that isn't totally surprising to me.
Four, just looking at the shots we chose to take and share with each other says a lot about our personal styles as photographers. When we started out that day six months ago, we shared ideas of the types of images we hoped to see of ourselves, which of course impacted the final outcome, but looking at these few samples of the hundreds of shots we took that day I think gives a pretty good indication of what we both like to shoot.
Overall, this was a very fun and extremely enlightening experiment, one that I would be happy to repeat with other photographers in the future, and one that I might recommend for other people to try as well.