Winter is never an easy time of year. For a creative, the work slows to a screeching halt. Even with a ‘regular’ job on the side, the hours are cut. I’m in the dark and I feel like there’s no way out. I’m stuck here at this dead end job. There’s little to no work coming in from the studio. I can barely afford to go up to Boston to shoot a show. I could feel my creativity asphyxiating.
In late January, one of my dear friends had me take her headshots. After we finished, we started goofing around in the studio with some of the props. As she twirled around in a long tutu, the studio lights couldn’t keep up with how quickly I was pressing the shutter, causing the image to be strangely underexposed. Desperate for any kind of creative project, I was fascinated by the glitch and decided to have fun with editing it.
Once the photo was finished, I debated putting it on Instagram. For it’s caption, I wanted to use a lyric off AFI’s newest record that they released around the same time. I tried to figure out which song would fit best with the photo. I settled on a lyric from “Snow Cats,” but as I was about to post it, ideas started filling my head. Of course, I was listening to The Blood Album on repeat -- and while I can’t remember exactly which song it was -- I started envisioning each song as a photo. And so The Blood Project was born.
After I solidified each song’s concept, I moved onto to figuring out possible locations and props I would need. I invested some of my tax return to get the necessary props and slowly, but surely, I began shooting. Over half the shoots I did entirely by myself, which took me completely out of my comfort zone. I hate having my picture taken; it’s why I’m behind the camera. However, I had a vision I wanted to see come to life.
Despite wanting to put my own spin on a great piece of art, there are a couple reasons why I felt I had to complete this series. First, I wanted to grow as a photographer. While I have a degree in film making, I’m essentially self-taught when it comes to photography. With Lightroom, I didn’t see a need to really learn the ins and outs of photoshop, but after working at the studio for just over half a year, I understood it was a necessary skill. What better way to learn some new tricks than for a project I’m incredibly passionate about?
Secondly, I wanted to prove to myself I could see it through to the end. I’m quite literally my own worst enemy. It’s something that I’m constantly trying to work on. There have been other projects I attempted and just let them fall by the wayside. I refused to let that happen again. No matter how much drive I had to get these photos finished, I couldn’t shake the feeling it was something I meant to do. I rose above the self-doubt; I stopped telling myself I couldn’t.
So, now, six months later, I’m ready to share my interpretation of AFI’s The Blood Album.