Belgian photographer Bert Stephani posted a video last week that hits on a lot of cylinders for me. Taken at face value, it is a cool series of hard-lit shots of a gas-masked runner.
But before you watch the video (after the jump) take a moment to notice all of the things that Bert and his buds are accomplishing with this group shoot.
A Little Stone Soup
First off, Bert is making a cool series of pictures for a photo contest, which is always nice. Second, he is doing a photos to highlight a good cause: Environmental Awareness.
But more important, he is corralling a little peer power to help him create something in a group environment. I talked to Bert in Paris about this idea of freelancer working in somewhat of a vacuum as far as camaraderie is concerned. He lamented the fact that he does not get regular contact with a group of creative people.
I miss that environment from The Sun, too. Not that you guys aren't creative, of course. But it's not the same as working person-to-person with, say, the same group of Saturday shooters for a few years.
He rounded up his shooter friends Ake, Pieter and Didier, and also got help from Dirk, a local model. So, what's in it for everyone? Let's see:
Bert and Dirk get photos that they would not have otherwise gotten. Ake, Didier (who shot video) and Pieter assist, which is always a learning experience. They all have Bert pretty much in their pocket for a later assist, too.
Everyone gets a session of creativity in a group environment, which is always a welcome change of pace from the day-to-day grind of working as an individual freelancer.
It's basically a meetup, using just a few people, wrapped around a specific series of photos. This is a win/win situation that more photographers should employ whenever they have the opportunity. I plan to be doing some of this myself, starting in January.
(Hey, Ake, Bert, Didier, Pieter and Dirk: You free to come to Baltimore to help? Beer's on me.)
Here's what they did:
Bert's Blog Post, w/his edited pix
Didier's Flickr Page, w/his pix from the day
Dirk's Model Page (streaming music warning, for those at work)