I’ve been art directing and styling shoots for Gloomth since it’s inception in 2007. Creating unique and inspiring photoshoots for the label has been fundamental to us since the start, but I only began operating as our sole photographer in 2015. Honestly, I wish I’d started handling the photography way sooner (for a variety of reasons).
I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my first shoots from 2015 and see how far I’ve come since then. I’ve still got a lot to learn about photography, and every time I create another series I learn something else! All cringe inducing aspects aside, looking back at your older work and seeing the evolution of your eye and skills can be really reassuring.
Above was my first ever proper photoshoot for Gloomth acting as photographer (on top of being the stylist, wardrobe stylist, art director etc) with Hexcelle. I shot it on a path behind my apartment building with the kit lens that came with my Olympus camera when I bought it. The cropping in these photos is super awkward and I wasn’t really sure how to work with the light conditions and the settings on that camera yet. (More from this shoot can be seen here). Not shown are the red ants which were eating my sandal-ed feet up as we shot…haha.
I was so excited to be able to create photos I could use on the site myself! No coordinating a photographer, no hoping to get the photos back in a useful amount of time. Full control and a whole new medium to explore!
At the very top of this post is a shoot I did with Sandra Von Ruin in a cemetery near me, they’re still some of my favorite shots I’ve taken and I hope to revisit that location and styling in future. Immediately above is Cindy M Yu rocking a gothic doll style look we shot in my neighborhood. As I got more comfortable with my camera and skills my shots became more complicated and lush. Below is a set I did with Cindy just last week!
Since 2015 I have invested in more equipment and lenses to improve the quality of my shots, and learned so much about photography and creating evocative images. You don’t need the newest fanciest camera to take great photos, you need a passionate and creative eye and the willingness to practice (and mess up a lot).
Everyone has to begin somewhere, and no one starts out as an expert. You have to find your voice and your method of creating and that will always involve a lot of trial and error. You can’t hold off exploring a new medium just because you fear it will be “too complicated” or that you might not be good at it (you won’t be at first). Part of the magic of creating things is that you improve as you do it!