On Taking Assignments #37 - Still Life

Prior to this assignment I had never attempted to shoot a still life image.  It is an interesting and unfamiliar concept to me to stage inanimate objects to achieve a final product.  It's not to say that I haven't ever staged a photo, but I am more attuned and interested in extracting images from what's around me.

This is why assignments can be a good thing.  It can be really rewarding to step out of the familiar and try something you have never tried before.  There were numerous instances where the assignments pushed me out of my comfort zone and into shots that I never would have taken otherwise.

The idea of this shot came on the last day of the assignment.  I had no ideas coming to mind, and as you can see from other assignments, I try and shoot what's around me when ideas are in short supply.  I am surrounded by toys, and for some reason this small plush rabbit seemed to stand out in the room as a strong and simple element that could stand as its own subject for a photo.

Once the rabbit idea occurred to me, the rest of the image came easily.  I moved the table and tea set near a window and started building my scene.  I was very happy with the results, and that this tea set/stuffed bunny worked well in the composition.

While I likely won't transition to shooting still life photos extensively, this assignment changed my opinion of still life photography as a foreign and unworthy topic.  The subject matter here is engaging and reminds me of the simple joys a stuffed rabbit and toy tea set can bring if you are willing to stop for a moment and play with them.

On Taking Assignments

I frequently listen to the On Taking Pictures (OTP) podcast, which I highly recommend to anyone looking for good conversation about creativity, especially as it related to photography.  In January 2014 the hosts, Bill Wadman and Jeffery Saddoris, began a new segment of weekly assignments that they gave to listeners.  Results of the assignments are posted on the OTP Google Plus group.  I decided that I would commit myself to the assignments for a year without interruption, and that I would complete each one before the next assignment was announced on the show each Tuesday morning.  My 'On Taking Assignments' blog posts are the culmination of my year-long focus on these assignments.