I am currently planning an over the top themed shoot with a concept I have avoided really exploring for the last ten years because it just felt too predictable. It got me thinking about my “rules” for photoshoots and what themes and concepts I avoid and why. These are all my personal preferences, I’m definitely not suggesting anyone else follow these rules! I just thought it’d be fun to actually look at what I dislike shooting concept-wise and why.
A Dead Octopus- For a while there it felt like everyone had a dead octopus in their shoot. Why? It’s proper icky and that poor brilliant octopus, you’re not gonna eat it after its been draped over a model are you? Gross!
Domestic Abuse Victim/Chopped Up Dead Girl- There are **so** many alternative photographers rehashing the theme of a bloodied up dead girl sprawled in a grimy scene. Sometimes it’s creative or the special effects work is really unique, but mostly it makes me uncomfortable. One in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, we all know a woman who has. It’s a little too close to reality for too many of us. I also think many of these shoots render the women inert, they don’t have agency or a voice in the photo, they’re usually reduced to a gory prop. That is not at all how I imagine a Gloomth Girl. If our models are bloodied I try to imply it’s from battle or they are monster-girls, they have power, they are resilient and fearsome.
Zombies- I don’t know if there is a take on zombies at this point that’d be remotely interesting. They’re the most boring of monsters. Sorry zombie fans! Shoot me your ideas for creative zombie shoots, it just hasn’t inspired me at all in the last decade but I am not against the idea…
Guns– I have a lot of opinions about individual gun ownership which I will spare you.
Queen of Hearts Lipstick- That weird trend of every makeup artist using the hashtag “doll” applying lipstick to the cupid’s bow and a bit on the lower lip in a heart shape. It just sets my teeth on edge. This is definitely a stupid personal preference rather than a rule, but it’s a bad look (to me).
Most rules are meant to be broken, and I am not saying I won’t ever explore these themes but they’re my big “no probably not” ones. For a very long time I said I wouldn’t shoot in a real cemetery but we have broken that rule (more than once) so…. 😛