They say that a photo’s worth a thousand words and I couldn’t agree more. As a blogger, understanding photography has become extremely important to my craft. However, most influencers will admit that they’re nothing compared to the pros. While we may use photography as a tool to better our online businesses, photographers shoot for an entirely different reason: passion.
This medium of art has always fascinated me since the nostalgic days of disposable cameras. I’ve always wondered how photographers could capture a moment that tells a story almost instantaneously. A recent opportunity gave me a chance to figure that out.
I was asked to cover a photoshoot event that included creatives from my area. Not just photographers, but designers, stylists, basically the works. I’ve always been fascinated with what makes people who they are and why they make the decisions they make whether it’s the careers they choose, the clothes they wear, or the hobbies that interest them. Photographers are no different and this event pulled me out of my comfort zone and required me to really pay attention to my raw environment—individuals creating art.
The Winter and Slim Shooting Experience was curated by Courtney Winter (@artbycourtwinter) and Johnathan Robertson (@theslimcreative). This was not your average photo shoot, but an event where creatives could come together and collaborate with one another. Today we’re going to dive into the craft of photography and see things from a shooter’s eye view.
I was able to get a few words from Courtney and Johnathan about their photography journeys and how #winterandslim2020 became a reality:
Q: What’s your history with photography?
C: I’ve always had a knack for anything creative but photography really stole my heart. I took an interest in capturing images first as a hobby but shortly after, it became my whole life. I decided to dive in and teach myself all there was to know about photography and in 2016 I went professional with my photography business.
J: My history with photography isn’t that long. I’ve only been shooting professionally for about 2 years. Before, I just took photos for myself and family. A while ago, I was given an opportunity to shoot with a model friend of mine and now I’m here.
Over the past few years, I have shot a lot and learned from some incredibly dope creatives. Every shoot was a step towards me finding my style and vibe. Honestly, I just really love to create and capture beautiful imagery and that’s was the driving force behind the Winter & Slim Shoot Experience.
Q: How did Winter and Slim Shoot Experience become a reality? What inspired you all to put on this event?
C: I just moved back to the area around April 2019. While I was preparing to relocate I wanted to see what the photography scene had grown into since I had initially left NC. I had seen Slim’s work and we began following each other on social media. We later ran into each other at a photography gig and then continued to keep in touch and support each other’s work.
Slim (J) ended up bringing the idea to my attention and asked if I wanted to be a part of the planning and hosting the event. From there it all just happened! I think we both wanted to create a space where talented individuals could come together, network, and just have a good time doing what they love. We both have a lot of passion for what we do and there’s nothing better than connecting with other individuals who feel the same.
J: What originally inspired me to create this event was attending a few photographer meet-ups in the Raleigh-Durham area. Some of these were great and filled with amazing talent, but they were very unorganized and didn’t create an open environment for creatives to truly be themselves. So I started to think about doing my own, but I didn’t just want it to be anybody and everybody. I wanted it to feel like an experience that was created with a plan and purpose in mind.
Our event was created to be a place where creatives can come to create quality content and network with like-minded individuals. I had this concept of an exclusive invite-only event where I’d control everyone that participated, from the models to the stylists. That way I could make sure the experience was that of quality from top to bottom.
As a creative I love to network and collaborate with others, I feel that is one of the best ways to grow as an artist. Knowing this, I knew I wanted to team up with another creative by the name of Courtney Winter out of Durham, NC, she’s extremely talented. We weren’t close before, but we knew of each other’s work. Sometimes that’s all you’ll need.
Once I found my partner in crime, we needed date and a team. Choosing a team was pretty simple to do since we both knew so many high-level creatives. After putting together our themes and stations for the event, it was a waiting game until showtime.
Q: What’s a common misconception about photography and photographers?
C: Sometimes I find photographers shying away from the “community over competition” mindset because they feel there’s not enough room for all of us to thrive. Photography is a huge industry and I truly feel that there’s a place for each and every one of us. We all have different ways of seeing life through our lens and our unique vision is what sets us all apart but makes us all necessary in the industry.
J: I feel like a huge misconception of photographers is that all we do is point the camera and hit a button. In reality, a lot of us are stylists, coaches, creative directors, and set designers. All of this work goes in before we even get to editing photos. There’s so much more to photographers than what’s seen on the surface. A lot of us run full-time businesses from front to back, and it would be nice if it was treated as such.
Q: What’s your favorite part of your craft?
C: My favorite part is the fact that no session/gig is the same as the other. I truly love being able to switch up my creative flow on the regular. Sometimes its weddings other times its fashion-based or editorial work. Photography is not a cookie-cutter career where every day is the same—there’s always something new, exciting and challenging happening.
J: My favorite part of creating photographs is the end result. I don’t mean after I’ve done all of the editing and such, but when it’s in front of the intended client or the public and they’re happy, astonished, and appreciative of the work that was put in. I really just enjoy creating.
The team that Courtney and Johnathan hand-picked included a group of photographers, stylists, MUAs, brands, and more. They also produced some of the most beautiful images I have seen in a while.
During the event as I was grabbing shots here and there, I noticed something. Often times, we see the end result of a photoshoot the image. We don’t see the environment the model is in or how the photographer is bending their bodies at just the right angle to capture a certain perspective.
With my most polished behind the scenes shots (I kid, they’re basic), I aspired to capture those interactions and ultimately show you what it produced. Some things aren’t what they seem on the surface, but it all becomes clearer from a shooter’s eye view.
Court Winter (@artbycourtwinter)
I hope you all enjoyed this piece! I haven’t done a feature in a while and I am so thankful that Johnathan trusted me enough to talk about this amazing event and I want to thank everyone involved who made this possible. Credit goes to:
Kitty and Rhodes (@kittyandrhodes)
Personality LLC (@personalityllc)
Capo Vintage (@capovintage_)
Pyro – @pyro.__
Court Winter @artbycourtwinter
Kaela Jenai @kaelajenai
Ashauntae (Hair/MUA) @tresses_collection
Fashion Junky (stylist/brand/MUA) @fashionjunky919
Miriam Johnson (stylist) @thevintagepictureshow
Pharin G (stylist) @pherin_brielle
Angelica (media/blog) @genuinely_aa
Sean Kyd (DJ) @seankyd
The White Space (Venue) @thewhitespace_nc
What inspires your creativity? How do you like to capture your craft?