Awhile back a friend of mine, Brendan O’Shaughnessy of Ocean & Sea had an idea that involved a ton of glitter and himself as a glitter sacrifice. He didn’t exactly know how the two were going to mesh but he shot the idea my way. The idea sounded ridiculous and I thought to myself, who the hell would photograph that idea? I’m that guy that would photograph that idea. And it was a fucking nightmare.
A nightmare that I was glad to be a part of without a doubt. Brendan was releasing a black Heart T in gold and he wanted the heart of gold to resonate with some magic. A concoction of one part ridiculous, one part free spirited, overall fun and experimental. I’d never dealt with glitter in my imagery, he’d never really considered showering himself with glitter. So we took the simple concept of “why the hell would anyone do this” and used it to set our creative vibes toward unknown territory.
why the hell not? That’s fucking why.
When we started out we were trying to be very careful with the glitter. Applying liberal amounts and trying to keep it really contained because glitter is just a nightmare to deal with. After photographing a few rounds we realized that being liberal with glitter doesn’t even translate as glitter at all. Just a few strange and distracting specs on a photograph even though it seemed obvious to us in person. The idea only translated if we exaggerated the living crap out of it.
Being careful soon turned into bomb.
But something great happened when we decided to go crazy. Our creative minds went to overdrive. What we thought would work or what made sense didn’t work and we just took on whatever ridiculous idea we had at the moment. Experimentation turned into Brendan and I just shooting ideas back and forth and we ended up with a far better product in the end than just a simple portrait with some glitter on a beard. We took what was going to be a safe and easy “shoot this product” and quickly turned it into a bigger collaboration of “what if we did this, what if we did that” and each idea piggy backed the other and soon we were creating things we probably wouldn’t had if we stuck to a simple plan.
Sometimes the best idea is to go apeshit and just run with it.
As the glitter bomb we created started to diffuse we were left with a god awful mess of glitter. We probably spent the same amount of time trying to clean up what we could as we did the entirety of the shoot. I honestly have no idea how Brendan got rid of the glitter than blanketed his existence because I was cleaning glitter off of everything for the next few days.
Also, Brendan’s beard holds a shit-ton of glitter.
Embracing the obscene was awesome. I created some imagery that I would have never really accomplished without collaborating and just rollin with some crazy idea. Letting go of what is or what should allowed me to just truly create. And I’m not saying I ended up creating something so truly unique, I’m simply stating that I haven’t felt like I’ve just let go and allowed myself to just truly and organically create something in a long while.
Here’s to the ridiculousness of life.
Here’s to collaborating with others.
Here’s to creating.