The Red Balloon Project is based on Albert Lamorrise's 1956 French classic short the "The Red Balloon" in which a sentient balloon befriends a boy who, in the end, is lifted above the strife of an earthbound life. In this same way children's aspirations, if they are nurtured, can lift them above many of our daily limitations.
The pictures are tailored to each kid who is interviewed during and after the session so I can make them biographical in nature.
I am not sure what will become of this project but I just scheduled four more shoots and hope to complete a total of 10 bio-pics by the end of the year.
The project is my attempt to move beyond some of my professional limitations and find new challenges. Calling myself a photographer is too limiting, I feel, as I am beginning to see myself as creator.
For this project I had to learn how you use Adobe's 3D engine in Photoshop extended which allowed me to warp the text on the first image. I would have 10 images completed by now if I had not taken on the learning curve of 3D. That took about a month when I had free time and was quite a mountain to climb. Yikes!!! As if that was not enough I had to learn how to write mathematical equations and find a way to bring them into Photoshop.
Shooting non-pfofessional kids presents its own challenge since they respond differently to me than adults. I had to give more of myself to create an interaction. Oddly enough the boys were more of a challenge than the girls because they were as responsive and chatty. It is making me a better portrait artist.
The greatest challenge has been the conception of each piece, since I want each piece to be unique to each child yet stylistically similar. Also, keeping the "balloon" in each picture without being literal has been a challenge.
For the moment I am happy just to conceptually complete 10 portraits then we shall see where the body of work takes me. The images, along with some outtakes can be viewed at http://www.carreonphotography.com/clients/balloon/ The fourth and fifth image (boys) still need to have their interviews completed.
All thoughts and suggestions are welcome.