Melanie Gabrielle | Snowy Winter in New York City

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I am so excited to introduce my new personal project for 2014: Art for Art. Once a month, I will find a fellow photographer whose work I admire, and I’ll photograph them; they’ll photograph me. We’ll get to see each other work; we’ll explore how different or similar our styles might be; and we can challenge ourselves to step in front of the lens rather than staying comfortably hidden. Best of all, we’ll get to walk away newly inspired by a fellow artist.

Art for Art: Creative Collaborations by Anna Wu Photography

Meet my first Art for Art collaborator: Melanie of Melanie Gabrielle Photography.

Anna Wu Photography x Melanie Gabrielle Photography | Art for Art

Our Styles:

I like to describe my style as a combination of the soft, pretty “fine art” look and a more documentary approach in capturing candid moments, while I was completely drawn to Melanie’s photography because she totally nails the “fine art” look. She has impeccable taste, and she creates such beautiful images, shooting mostly on film.

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The Shoot:

Both Melanie and I were visiting New York City over the holidays, and we had actually never met in person though we were connected via facebook, so we coordinated from there. We had a million logistical challenges, as we rented a film camera that neither one of us had used before; Mel had a short time window she could do the shoot; and it ended up raining atop the frozen ice and snow we were shooting in. However, it was great to watch Melanie work. I haven’t shot film in a very long time, and it was nearly impossible to manually focus with a viewfinder that was both fogged up and completely wet, but somehow she managed to get some awesome, tack-sharp photos. I love how they came out. For me, it’s just a good thing I also shot her on digital.


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Here is just one of Melanie’s portraits of me (expertly shot in the rain on film):

Anna Wu photographed by Melanie Gabrielle Photography

Lessons Learned:

This was definitely a big challenge to kick off the project, but I think our shared enthusiasm for the shoot was what enabled it to still be a success.
I have a newfound respect for Melanie and all film shooters. For a brief moment, I was lured into wanting to shoot more film again because the look is just so beautiful, but if anything, I think this still reaffirms to me that I should stick to digital.
One specific thing I learned from Melanie is that you should definitely shoot more frames to make sure you nail your focus. I had so many sad, blurry photos from my film reels that I hope will never see the light of day. =)

A huge THANK YOU goes to Melanie for this lovely kickoff to the Art for Art project. I am already so inspired and excited to see what comes next!