The Color Collaborative

The Color Collaborative almost didn’t happen. Like any artist, a photographer’s creativity ebbs and flows and late one night two friends, Erin Konrath and Dani Vest, were lamenting their rut.

Dani: I’ve completely stalled, photo wise. I need something. (Free preferably…)

Erin: Personal project?

Dani: Let’s start a blog circle.

Erin: Our mission statement can be, ‘To have something to hold us accountable to shoot so we don’t shrivel up and die as photographers.”

It was a start.

Since then, the Color Collaborative has become a wildly creative and fun endeavor for all nine photographers involved. Who knew shooting silver could be so difficult? They have begun to recognize color patterns within their own work that they didn’t even realize was contributing to their style. It’s been a wonderfully refreshing project and as John Ruskin once said, ” The most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”

And that they are trying to achieve.

1_picture of young girl hair and shoulder yellow strap blue sky by dani vest

I have always loved color. Unless an image is screaming, “I’m BLACK AND WHITE!!!”. I will always shoot with color in mind. Since I know BW isn’t an option, I’ve come to appreciate light in a new way. Am I going to highlight the color? Will it be a back lit hue to compliment a feeling? You become creative in ways you might not have considered. Subtle hues can evoke different emotions and change the entire feel to an image. It’s been fun contrasting opposites and looking for ways to keep one color as the star. It’s a lively, happy challenge and I love the girls I’m working with.

Dani Vest: website | facebook

2 photo of young boy yellow sunglasses looking through screen door by erica collins

I have to be honest, color is something I rarely think about when shooting an image.  I’m usually more focused on capturing the moment or that perfect light.  But, I’ve always been drawn to those photographers who can easily incorporate color into their images, some of whom are even in this group.  With the help of these talented ladies I am looking to push myself to use color more creatively in each and every image and in return capture a year’s worth of colorful moments.

Erica Collins: website

3 image of young girl with bubble in hands yellow shirt by erin konrath

Taking time to stop, observe and be thoughtful about color in my world has been surprisingly therapeutic and inspirational. This project has reignited my love for shooting, as I was quickly drowning into a rut before it. I am eternally grateful to color and to this wonderful and talented group of women for the rescue.

Erin Konrath: website | facebook

4 young boy with mouse ears hat smiling at camera by heather chang

I love using color in my work, especially as a tool for composition. So this project is something I super passionate about. It so interesting to see how each of us interpret the use of each individual color. And how each individual is drawn to certain colors over others. Focusing on an individual color has pushed me to look for the unexpected, to seek out new things, and to find new ways to use color in my images.

Heather Chang: website | facebook | instagram | twitter

5 picture of young girl in front of yellow wall with heart sunglasses by jennifer conley

Taking on this project has given me balance. I’ve always been drawn to pops of color in my photography, but by focusing on a specific color each month and shooting with a more defined purpose, I’ve been able to push my boundaries creatively. I am taking more chances and trying new things, and as a result I feel more energized and excited about my work. I also love the support of our little group, and get giddy when our circle goes live and I get to see the unique interpretations that everyone comes up with. It’s just so fun!

Jennifer Conley: website | facebook

6 photo of child under table legos everywhere by jill cassara

I love group projects because it’s a fun way for me to connect with old friends and make new friends while motivating me to keep shooting even when life feels complicated! My favorite aspect of The Color Collaborative is the serendipity of traveling through our blog circle and seeing how each photographer interpreted the color theme. I primarily photograph my kids so I try to use the color assignment as “homework” and ask them to help me with my assignment which gets them more invested in the creative process and less likely to dodge my camera!

Jill Cassara: website | facebook

7 young boy with yellow lion mask in house by June&Bear ColorCollaborative

I love color. I can’t quit color. I shoot my daily life to document it for posterity and I find that color images maintain a different kind of authenticity. Details aren’t lost and nothing is left to the imagination. The images I create transport me back to a particular moment in its entirety so that I have thousands of little time capsules. I’ve always considered the technical aspects associated with the use of color in my shooting process and it is an integral part of my planning. But this project has allowed me to be more thoughtful about the emotional impact of different hues and more mindful of how color can be used to guide visual storytelling. It has been fantastically rewarding to take on this challenge and to journey with other photographers who use color sosuccessfully.

June & Bear: website

9 image of back of african american woman head with yellow braid by sarahroemerdavis

I joined this collective because it is a simple directive: one color for one month. But what I’ve found is that it’s not always that easy. Living in NYC I often shoot street photography in black and white so while this project allows me to boldly search for a particular color in my daily life, it also forces me out of my comfort zone. Not to mention the talented women in this group are wildly inspiring.

Sarah Roemer Davis: website | facebook | instagram

8 picture of yellow wildflowers by nina mignioni

At this point in my journey as a photographer, the images I produce are almost exclusively in color. I love this project, because it lets me hone in, and explore each color with a purpose. This is a wonderful creative motivation!

Nina Mingioni: website

The Color Collaborative stands apart with a clear mission and a driven, talented group of women who bring us a literal rainbow of rich imagery and a testimony to collaboration in artistic pursuits.

The Color Collaborative has already taken on PINK, SILVER, and GREEN. Start at the links here and follow their circle around.

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