shannon e reardon shenanigans studios videography

On my still life project

My Photo 2 class was awesome because we basically got to do whatever we wanted. But it was terrifying, for me, because we basically got to do whatever we wanted. I’m not always that good with projects that are so open ended; I like to have some sort of guidelines to find inspiration. When my professor asked what we were thinking of doing, I panicked and said still life, because that’s the first thing that popped into my head. Not a good reason, I know, but I had never really done still life, and it seemed like a fun challenge. I regretted that halfway through, but in the end I loved it. Here’s how I got to that point.

First, I knew I needed a backdrop. From there, I had little to no idea how to proceed. That’s how I ended up with these.


I was trying for a compare and contrast thing, but it wasn’t working. It just looked like two similar things next to each other. Also I pretty much ran out of objects after this. Also I’m pretty sure I was lighting this with my desk lamp. The tiaras are just boring, but I was starting to do something interesting with side light on the bottles.

Next, I took a look at color. I love bright colors, and started to grab random objects that were the same colors. I came up with these.

yellow still life v1
red still life v1


Getting better! They were still a little flat, both with the arrangement of the objects and the lighting. But I liked the color motif, and more objects were definitely more interesting. Took some advice from my professor, looked at 17th century Dutch still lifes, and did this.

red still life v2
blue still life v2

Definitely did a better job of creating interesting lighting, but it was a little inconsistent. I also wasn’t happy with the way the objects used the edges of the frame, especially in the red one. It was all blending together a little too much, and losing the point of the contrasting background. That’s when:

red still life v3
blue still life v3

I introduced a third color! I loved this idea. Some of the objects already had a secondary color, so this embraced that, and added more depth and interest to what was going on. I also worked harder to play with the light, and arrange the objects rather than just pile them. That’s when I took this.

yellow still life v3

The shape of the hanger was so fun to play with, I loved the natural leading lines of it, and thought it would be a shame to turn it parallel to me. But this image clearly had too much dead space and wasn’t working. So…

yellow still life v4

Vertical the image went! I reset my other scenes to follow suit, and I loved it. Check out the full gallery of the final images here!


#process #stilllife #shannonereardon #blog #shenanigansstudios #shannonreardon #photography

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