composed- a new collaboration for a new year

last year was really great because i spent a lot- and i mean a looooooooot- of time on social media building connections with fellow photographers.  i studied their work, i asked questions, i developed friendships and consequently i was fortunate enough to grow.  a lot.  and not just as a photographer.  i took a lot of personal leaps as well, meeting up with women i had never met before to discuss our shared interests, joining in groups and projects and taking on leadership positions, however minor they were.  i'm enormously thankful for the changes last year fostered within me, and i set a goal for myself to continue growing both as a photographer and personally throughout 2017.

so, when my friend melissa hines approached me a few weeks ago with the idea to collaborate on a project that would push us both to think outside of the box with how we compose our images, i couldn't agree to it fast enough.  not only is melissa a photographer whose work i've followed and admired for 2 years now, she's also become a wonderful friend and mentor, helping me look more deeply at my work and discover where- and how- to improve and grow.  it's no wonder that the project she suggested for us is focused on exactly the area that i need to put more conscious thought into.  composition is one aspect of photography that i've spent very little time intentionally studying or working on.  i have my standard compositions that i tend to go for when i shoot, and while there's technically nothing wrong with how i compose, my work is missing out on a lot of variety and fullness because of this compositional rut i find myself in.

we've decided to name our collaboration "composed" and the concept is very simple- twice a month, we'll each work to create an image that is compositionally different from our normal style.  we will intentionally push ourselves to look at the scenes we are shooting in a new way to create a wider range of compositions within our individual bodies of work.  for me, this means composing my images in a more natural, organic way.  right now my images tend to be very linear.  i like my lines to be parallel to the edges of my frame and i like everything to fall neatly into place.  i frequently use leading lines in my images, which is a great tool, but i want to push myself to go deeper.  i want to use techniques like framing and layering, and i want the compositions of my images to reflect the reality (and sometimes chaos!) of everyday life.

once we have our images, we'll place them into a diptych (simply two images side by side) and share them.  melissa's image will appear on the left, and mine on the right.  

if you read all of that, you're wonderful.  if not, i forgive you ;)  here's our first round of composed: