Annie Leibovitz released a Masterclass where she shares all of her photo-taking wisdom in these beautiful, to the point, 10 minute videos.
Firstly, let me say that her aloof attitude isn't how I imaged her, however I'm TOTALLY into this calm, wise demeanour she's got goin' on. She's got this aura of wait-for-me-to-finish-my-thought-because-it's-worth-hearing attitude that makes me want to listen to what she has to say. It's also probably because she's photographed for Rolling Stone, Vogue, Vanity Fair and not to mention that famous photograph of John Lennon nakedly clutching onto Yoko Ono's body in their NYC hotel room right before John Lennon was shot and killed....Yeah she's a big deal and her advice is broken down into easily consumable material in her Masterclass.
Her advice is simple and straightforward. Using a single light setup on your locations...I know first hand that lugging heavy stands, light modifiers and strobes around can be seriously time consuming and frustrating, especially when things don't go well. Keeping it simple will also force you to become creative in using your location or maybe seeing things differently to force the location and subject to work for you. It's not always about working with the most gear but making the gear you have work for you.
She spent a lot of time shooting with only her 35mm in order to push her perspective and force her to become more creative in getting the shots she wanted. It's so easy to get sucked into a "gear" hole when it comes to shooting (trust me I've been there!) and often I think we forget to chase the process because really that is the everyday reality of shooting. You will probably be in more situations that not that are not exactly the most ideal in terms of location, lighting etc...So really remind yourself that you can make an image anywhere, under any circumstances - sometimes it's just a matter of looking for that natural light and moving your subject, or finding that texture in a brick wall and using that. Even seeing the coloured window and using it as a gel...whatever it is, make it happen, and keep shooting to keep pushing yourself beyond your own creative limits.
Here are some Annie photos that I dig :)