On Shooting For Your Own Series

By |2012-01-08T11:13:31+00:00Jan 8th, 2012|

There are all sorts of great ways you can challenge yourself when you go out shooting. For instance, you can choose to use only one lens or shoot only abstracts or only for black and white.

Another way you can challenge yourself and ensure more refined concentration while shooting is to build a series. Go on a shoot, either for a day or over several days/weeks with the express intention of building a cohesive grouping of images. The key, for me at least, is to portray a collection of images that each play a part of an ensemble cast. Each has its own voice and each shares its own part of the larger story.

This image is the first in a smalls series that I started during my recent trip home to New York City. I wanted to take everyday subway scenes and transform them into darker and grungier versions. The goal was to give a sense of what a solo commuter would see around the NYC subway system at 2AM on a Tuesday night. The series is going to be called Odd Hours. I’ve got a few more images to post for this series over the next few days.

So what about all of you? Have you ever gone out with the intention of shooting a series for yourselves?

In album Pic Picks Over The Years (107 photos)

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11 Comments

  1. Dave Veffer January 8, 2012 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Awesome dude! Love the ghostly looking people.

  2. Olav Folland January 8, 2012 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Very cool +Brian Matiash. Are you doing a short series, or an extended one?

    Personally, I haven't done more than a handful of short series, but I'm doing a street portrait set over the course of the year. It's a lot more involved to do them, but I can see myself doing more protracted sets (not shot on the same day) in the future.

  3. Brian Matiash January 8, 2012 at 10:51 am - Reply

    +Olav Folland At first, I was going to keep the Off Hours series to just the images I took from my recent visit home. But, I have images from previous shoots in the NYC subway system that would fit in nicely so I may expand on it.

  4. Olav Folland January 8, 2012 at 10:52 am - Reply

    I like the idea – hit a few stations at odd hours and just see what's going on. It'd be neat to see what you come up with if you were to go out and shoot expressly…

  5. Lester Lefton January 8, 2012 at 11:19 am - Reply

    love the idea. need an 8th day in the week. :)

  6. Blake Rudis January 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    I really enjoy these blog-esque posts, they really inspire me to get out there and shoot, I will definitely be shooting my own series sometime soon. Thanks Brian.

  7. Levi Moore January 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    This is a very interesting suggestion +Brian Matiash. I believe I'll look into doing this.

  8. Janice La Mere Hackney January 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    I discovered this accidentally, and have several going on right now (ADD). Themes here are giving us all projects. It's like Oprah's book club got a lot of people in the country reading the same book at the same time. Now there are photographers shooting grass and architexture and coffee and ourselves at the same time. People seem to be gravitating to not just what they like to shoot but also to what will make them reach. There are going to be some amazing series's out of this.

  9. Michael Murphy January 9, 2012 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Unfortunately the series I have in mind contains around 45 images to complete it. I have 1 image done so far…so it could be a while before it's complete :)

    This one is nice, and certainly captures the gritty atmosphere of the subway and an isolated feeling – the viewer feels that they are certainly on the wrong side of the tracks here. I look forward to seeing the rest of the shots you come up with in this series.

  10. Mark Gvazdinskas January 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    Love this, Brian!! And what a cool way to look at a particular shoot. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Photography Resources #6 May 19, 2012 at 8:30 am - Reply

    […] Shooting Your Own Series – Brian talks about how he decided to go out with the intention to shoot a series. This is short but so important because we need to think body of work and narrative with our photography today. […]

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