We all play it safe sometimes. That’s how we know we’re human. Well, that and our opposable thumbs are dead giveaways. Fear and busy schedules can be effective at distracting us from pushing our own boundaries. Film photographers, Brooke Schultz and Samantha Kelly, teamed up to break through their comfort zones and get closer to the essence of their individual voices. Together they joined forces to risk doing something different than their usual. The result is a collaboration of the highest order.
As Brooke eloquently put it,
“We wanted to break out of our own boxes, challenge ourselves, and collaborate. With so many photographers in competition with each other, we wanted to instead feed off one another and bring double the creativity to a shoot. We also wanted to get closer to the core of what we want to do photographically, and the stories we want to tell; independent of Pinterest, outside influences, or what we think clients want. We enlisted an adorable family in a home with great light and fired away, celebrating the weird, the sweet, and the serendipitous in family photography.”
With the gorgeous Jones family on board with their plan, Brooke and Samantha let loose. They approached the session with the intention to shoot more creatively and to NOT shoot safe. Behold the magic that ensued.
“It’s a constant struggle for me to find the balance between being consistent and being creative. I found myself too much on the side of consistency with what I was producing and started to ask why I was creating those images. Was it because I thought they would Instagram well, because they were similar to something I saw on a blog or Pinterest? Or was I creating from my guts, with all the passion and presence that got me into photographing in the first place?” – Brooke Schultz
“It’s pretty thrilling to examine your own rules and break them.” – Brooke Schultz
“It felt so freeing to break from the comfort zone of shots I knew would work. I left feeling exhilarated but having no clue if I would have a solid set of images or if they would be garbage. It was also a break from my comfort zone in working with Samantha, seeing how she works and letting ourselves feed off each other for even more inspiration.” – Brooke Schultz
“The model family for this shoot LOVED the images, and that was a huge comfort that more than anything, clients hire a photographer for her vision and the way she sees, not for a set of predetermined photos.” – Brooke Schultz
“I didn’t allow myself to worry for one second about whether or not the client would “get” the images. I just did whatever I wanted to do in the moment and let myself off the hook for all the rest.” – Samantha Kelly
“It never feels comfortable to try and walk that fine line of attempting to be everything to everyone while also wanting to have fun and be creative for myself.” – Samantha Kelly
“When I shoot for me and push myself to be that fun, quirky film photographer I know I can be, everything feels better and the images turn out better.” – Samantha Kelly
“Staying inside of a comfort zone and being safe is actually, in a lot of ways, harder and more stressful than just throwing caution to the wind and being the REAL Samantha Kelly. Being me feels great and actually comes pretty naturally if I just allow myself to be…myself.” – Samantha Kelly
Sometimes we have to intentionally plan to set ourselves free and hold ourselves accountable. Brooke and Samantha demonstrated with poignant words and images what we can all reap from carving out the time and space to be wild and real. As they have proved, doing so with another wonderful human can only enrich the ride. Let these women be a reminder to all of us mortals to partner up and schedule in some risks.