Craig VanDerSchaegen Photography

photography

Finding a project in Paris

February 11, 2013

The opportunity to tag along with a friend on a trip to Europe came up last fall. For me, travel always means photography above all else and I was worried that I wouldn’t come home with anything I was satisfied with, mostly because I wasn’t going to be in any one place long enough to get comfortable.

To say I was anxious would be an understatement. There were sleepless nights and dreams of rushing around, desperate to find photographs. I had many talks with friends about feeling like I had lost my “eye” or even my passion for photography. I went so far as to consider not bringing a camera at all. Thankfully, I did.

Two days into the trip I woke up early to walk around Amsterdam with my camera. While I had fun taking photos and like that the camera gives me a reason to explore, I was taking boring photos. The best moments were when strangers stopped to talk to me. I realized that I wanted to do something more than snapshots or postcard style images. I wanted to find inspiration for a project to work on. I even wrote in my journal that day about being bored with single photos.

For the next couple of days I used my camera a lot, mostly documenting my trip and only occasionally feeling drawn to something I truly wanted to photograph. I had 100 gigabytes of CF cards with me, so there was no risk of overshooting. I kept at it, trying to find the inspiration to go deeper.

After another day in Amsterdam and a week of bouncing around Belgium (an amazing country, by the way), I was in Paris for the first time in my life and this is where things really changed.

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Hula hoop silhouette

June 3, 2012

The person I worked with yesterday brought along her LED hula hoop. I wasn’t completely sure how to shoot it, so we blacked out my studio and shot this silhouette with a one second exposure. It was most certainly a team effort and controlled accident, but I think this is nice.

Instagram

February 16, 2012

Since I got the iPhone 4S I’ve been doing most of my personal shooting with it. I’m really impressed with the quality and enjoy the limits of the square format that Instagram sets. Shooting like this also frees me of having to sit down to process photos, which usually takes a long time because I obsess over them until I’m satisfied.

In a moment of clarity, I summed up my feelings about shooting with Instagram in a message to @photojack:
For me, it helps let go of the idea of “perfect,” allowing me to enjoy the results of the moment and move on.

I sometimes feel guilty about shooting with a “phone,” but what matters to me is that I always have it with me and I’m getting good results with files that I can print at a decent size. I’ve started making prints for Art-A-Whirl and am also using some iPhone photos for a project I’m working on. More on that in another post.

Below are some of my favorite Instagram photos. If you want to find me there, my username is craigvanders.

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