Live Love Wins.
A Collaborative Photo Series
The last few months I have been giving photography and design lessons through the use of a live streaming app (Meerkat). This app allows me to live stream video and anyone from around the world can tune in to interact with me instantly. It feels like a modern day classroom (#digitalAristole). For those that don’t know me I’ve been teaching high school design for the last 6 years. Normal class sizes are about 24–30 students. On Meerkat the biggest audience/classroom that I’ve had has been over 2,000 people from all over the world and from different ages. The great thing about “live tutorials” is that it allows viewers to interact easily through the use of comments and emojis. The last decade our culture has had an exponential evolution in our Non-verbal communication habits. The combination of emoji’s and text to communicate feelings, thoughts and emotions is second nature. In my opinion this has greatly paved the way for a valuable experience on app Meerkat. It feels very natural to teach and communicate with everyone.
What I really love about “live tutorials” is the freedom to change my classroom lab as I see fit. Sometimes I live stream from my studio and other times I’m out in the city. The world is my classroom.:)
Today I got the opportunity to photograph and live stream the San Francisco Pride Parade. This gave me an opportunity to show my skills in front of a world wide audience and a perfect way to provide real world scenarios with the upmost rigor and relevance. I could have made it easy for myself by picking a comfy spot and taken photos of the floats or people passing but the audience gave me three challenges in which I was not going to back down from. I felt as if the students were testing the teacher.
- No floats. Just people.
- I would need to introduce myself and ask for permission from every single person I photograph.
- I would have an a 2 hour time limit to create 12 portraits and doing it without an assistant.
These three challenges would allow viewers to see all the different skills that are required to complete a real world assignment. Throughout the process I faced different problems that I was not anticipating. Space was very limited and for the style of portraiture that I wanted to achieve it was the worst environment I could have asked for. Also, leaving my strobe lights unattended on a stand would be too dangerous for both the lights and the safety of people walking by. Basically, this forced me to take a Guerrilla approach to the project. The success of this project would require many modifications to everything I had planned in my head. The first choice I made was to use minimal amount of equipment, everything else was placed back in my backpack. This allowed me to roam through the parade freely saving me a lot of time. The second decision I made was that I would work with a really wide angle lens (15mm), allowing me to get really close to my subjects and not have to worry about to many people walking into the shots.
All in all these problems and challenges added value to the experience, the audience had directly influenced the photo series. Wether or not my final portraits came out as good as I had hoped, just the simple fact that I was able to create a project together with a live audience made it a win win situation for me and everyone involved. #LoveWins #LiveWins
To see the complete photo series please check out my blog: http://www.digitaljeff.co/?p=3495