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Alchemy of Alignment

I recently visited Maui and met up with a local model for a photo shoot. We had great chemistry during the shoot and it led me to consider somewhat of a philosophy behind the concept of chemistry, harmonies and alignment, within art and in life itself. It was an alchemy of sorts. I feel like within that shoot we tapped into exactly what this art is, something I hadn’t ever nailed down.


I believe this art form is absolutely a collaboration and works best as a tripartite dance or balance between three components. The two creatives, the photographer and model, within the framework of nature and it’s creative expression. Within that dance is a feedback, a back and forth where the best art reveals itself and it can’t happen without it. It still can, but one of the trio (eye or observer, muse or subject, nature or canvas) has to pull some serious weight to balance out the equation.


For example, the model could be really stifled and not feeling it. But if the textures and movement of nature around them are especially unique, it could inspire the model to find new movement. The observer can see these opportunities from afar as they’re slightly separated from the immersive role of the muse and nature.


So in that case, nature is pulling the weight with its beauty ~ the two other parties are inspired and shaped through it and a great image is the result. The same could occur with very bland settings but excellent poses, or very creative framing, forced lighting, or other influences from the photographers end.


During my shoot in Maui, all three parts aligned perfectly and we captured some especially powerful images. I’m equally excited about the philosophy I’ve begun to observe and the potential of learning how to influence the balance of forces when seeking the best image.


I'm producing a book surrounding this concept and the images I've captured while exploring it. You can support my efforts and find the project at my Kickstarter and Patreon.


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Photography by Benjamin Sumner Franke