I was watching a movie today. I had seen it before, but I liked it and wanted to see it again. The movie is called “Ramen Girl”. Academy award winning? Maybe not, but I don’t care. It contains in it a pearl of wisdom that resonates with me. The girl is learning to make ramen in a ramen restaurant (for those clueless about ramen, just think ‘soup’ for now). But the girl is unable to make great ramen because she is missing a key ingredient. She follows the recipe and the procedure perfectly, but it still doesn’t work. Her teacher says that she’s missing “spirit”. The magic ingredient is something that is felt inside, but that comes through to the recipient through the ramen.
Why am I talking about this? Is this a cooking blog? Well, a while ago there was a photographer who wrote me to ask me to critique his work. I examined his work, and I wrote him back with my advice. The pictures were well lit, had great use of color, and of course all the other basics like focus, cropping, etc. But they were flat…they lacked that magical ingredient. Like the ramen girl, his product lacked “spirit”.
So as an artist, it is my job to capture that “spirit”. Once the props are all set up, she’s in her outfit (or lack of outfit!), the lighting is set…then the real work begins. The mechanics of what we’re doing have to happen (tying rope for bondage, pulling her leash for puppy play, etc.) but at the same time, I have to be creating the emotional environment and the interpersonal tension and focus and whatever else the magic requires. So I’m photographing “spirit”, and the other stuff just happens to be there! 😉 Maybe instead of Fetish photographer or Fetish artist I should call myself a Spirit photographer or Spirit artist. Cause that’s really what I’m after, and what I need to present to you.