Reflecting on the Process

After a long, much-needed winter break, I’m finally back in the studio shooting! I couldn’t be more excited about this. I am going to try to get into the studio as much as possible while I still have access to it. I’ve been told many times to take every opportunity given to you. As students, we’re given many opportunities, which is only for four more months. (Eekkk!!) So this being said, if anyone needs me between now and May…you can find me hiding out in the studio.

When starting a photography assignment, I usually have every single detail figured out before starting. I have to have control. On my studio days, I try to experiment. This means I’m walking into the studio having no idea what might turn out. This makes me grow so much. I learn things from trial and error that I would have never known if I didn’t just go in blind. I would never do this for an assignment or job but I love doing this for my personal work. For these I’m usually trying things out of the box so it’s just an idea in my head. I usually can’t find inspiration that accurately displays the thought in my head. That is my favorite thing about these days; I walk into the studio with an idea in my head and leave with the idea physically on my computer. It’s like magic. Be vulnerable, turn on music and dance your way through the process of pulling the images out of your head & into the camera.

This week I decided to shoot glass reflections & shadows. If you follow my Instagram (cfrenchphoto) or see my photography at all, you’ll know I’m obsessed with all things shadow related. I grabbed a few colorful wine glasses, oil, water, and food coloring and set out for a day in the studio.

My mentor has told me that every single decision of a photograph should be a conscience decision. If you’re asked why you did what you did, you should be able to explain your thought process and reasoning. I strive to have a reason for each decision I make.

I would usually set up on a table but because of my height, I set up on the floor. I wanted to be able to see into my subject. I chose to put down plexiglass on top of my white paper for better reflections. I set up two strobes and put a snoot on them both. This reduces the light spread from the lights and makes it more direct and contrasty. I tried a lot of different glass items at first, but quickly decided to simplify and take a step back. Here is my set-up (I tried a few).


I shot wine glasses, wine bottles, glass jars, and light bulbs. After I shot the plain glass, I decided to put water in them. I wanted to try adding more colors and shadows so I put oil and food coloring in the water. Check out the results below!

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I can’t wait to share many more photo studio adventures.

| Crystal French |


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