Do you ever look back at pictures you’ve made and say to yourself, “What was I thinking?” Surely you’ve got some weird pictures in your catalog. Surely there are some truly strange photos in there, right?

“What the pic?”

You might even throw down an expletive like, “WTP?” That’s what I said when I saw the picture above in my catalog. I made that shot about nine years ago.

“No big deal, Levi,” you might be saying. And I’d agree, except that I made multiple frames and even different lighting and posing. Of elbows. Yeah, now you’re saying, “WTP?”

It’s OK to make weird pictures

This is probably one of the strangest pictures I’ve made. And I’ve made some doozies. It’s OK to mess around with lighting and posing and practice various techniques. You’re bound to make some weird photos as you mess around. It’s good for you, and it makes you a better photographer.

But elbows? Don Blair would be rolling in his grave if he knew what I’d done, and please don’t share this post with Skip Cohen — he’ll probably have me expelled.

But honestly, if I had to do it over again, I’d make the same picture again.

The client is always right

I made this picture because it wasn’t my idea. I was photographing a quartet for their promotional materials, and one of them had this idea to make a picture of their elbows. Well, when you’re shooting portraits, the best way to ruin the mood is to say, “No.” So I said, “Sure!”

Now, not one of the photos was worth sharing — I probably shouldn’t have shared it here! — but it was a fun break during the shoot and it validated my client’s idea. When you’re in a session, there is not a bad idea (unless it’s one that makes your client or yourself uncomfortable).

And if your shoot is getting dull, you can always make a picture of elbows. By contrast, it’ll make the rest of your shoot look a whole lot better ;)

Oh, and I did make some decent pictures during the shoot, too.