Melissa Marie Hernandez Reflects on Inspiration and Creative Control

Inspiration…

There is no rhyme or reason when it comes to inspiration. Wherever I am, I’m always writing down ideas and then I compile them into my little notebook. I call it “My Book of Bright Ideas”… and this is what I really get paid for. Photography is my medium, but the story or concept is what really makes it mine.
Ideas come at anytime… As a matter of fact, I’m inspired now as I sit in my backyard and write this on such a beautiful sunny day… birds chirping, bumblebees flying around, wind blowing in my hair, music blasting, probably disturbing my neighbors but hey, that’s how I love and need to work… I love chaos and drama.

I’m an artist… not just a photographer! I love to be bold and it shows through in my work. I’m a digital artist/photographer but that doesn’t mean that I don’t still go back to the basics. Although I love to manipulate my images digitally, I always incorporate my design background, whether it’s by hand-painting a backdrop or going back to the basics of photography and reinventing the wheel using modern technology.

Adapting to new technology is key, and with cameras being so accessible and affordable, there seems to be an overflow of hobbyist photographers trying to pass as professional. People assume photography is simply a matter of telling the model to work it, pushing the button on the camera and then sliding some buttons in Photoshop. It’s WAY more complicated than that! It takes creativity, intelligence, coordination, drive, psychology, planning, organization… you really have to LOVE a big production! This is a business, first and foremost.

What makes me and my team stand out is that with each project we push the boundaries. My creative director, Gregory Kochan, and I make that clear from the moment a client calls. We only take about 10% of the projects that call… projects that we believe in and that allow us to have full creative control. We don’t want to saturate the market to the point that it’s overdone and boring. Our style isn’t going to be for everyone anyway.

Sometimes, a client will see an image of ours and want to do their own version of that! Why would anybody ever want to do that?! Or, we’ll get a client that wants the images “RAW” and unedited. We do all of our editing in-house and would never give a client an unedited image. If you’re calling us, you’re calling for the entire package!

Workflow…

We recently had a shoot for Studio Teknik, a hair studio in Philadelphia, Pa. Studio Teknik is an established hair studio and the owner, Nichole Alpas, was looking for something eye-catching and different than everything else on the market… that’s where we came in.

The shoot called for a sexy pop star look with big, wind-blown hair! We used our trusty Verso A4 and Nano 2 powerpacks. Because of the fast recycle times, they allow us to keep shooting without missing a beat. The Verso A4 powered 2 Unilites with two 3’ softboxes and the Nano 2 powered a third background Unilite with a P-70 modifier.

We couldn’t have done the shoot without our broncolor! The light just has this glow!

Melissa Marie Hernandez
Photographer/Creative Artist

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