Full body imagery is the cream of the crop, greatest, best thing you can possibly give me. I realize this is harder to come by than we realize. Photographs where ankles aren't cut off, arms aren't missing and faces aren't blocked by random things like tree branches (you'd be surprised how often that actually happens - enough where now it's a thing I say to people) make incorporating figures into work easier. It gives me more options to work, more angles to play with, more diverse perspectives to use.
When figures in images are cropped / cut off / obstructed it limits what you can do with them. Their missing limb then must become part of the composition in order for the piece to read as believable.
Here we have a classic case of amateur photography with an accidental ankle crop. With an image like this, the figure would have to always be in the foreground with ankles cut off. Or I'd need to find something for him to stand behind. A random rock, a bush, a car, a herd of wild geese, you get it - sometimes for it to make sense compositionally, it then fails to make sense in other ways.
Success! Too cool for school guy really does have feet! His Mom is missing the tips of her toes but I can work with that. Here is another good example of how the figures works in one way but are limited in another. Pink Lady could be used as a figure by herself but her son is missing an arm. So he needs to be used with his Mom or positioned with another figure in order to make anatomical sense.
We're going to be printing large! This is exciting but also means we need to be careful about the sort of images we use. High quality, high resolution is best if you send any digital copies. The more information I have by way of pixels, the better the print looks. That being said, the materials I use are predominantly old magazines from the 30s / 40s / 50s / 60s. With these, I have a super high powered scanner that I use to scan images at the size that they need to be printed at. The quality doesn't enhance but it doesn't suffer any losses if that makes sense. As far as stylistically, don't be afraid to include old / physical photos - they maintain the same sense of physicality that I like with the magazines. They're faded, the colors are nostalgic, it works.
We mostly just want to avoid iPhone photos. Though some would work.
I challenge you to think beyond a photograph or image. The more information and the more materials I have to work with the better. Like I said before, I like to create work and jam pack it with as many references as I can. And with my scanner, I can scan anything within a certain size - Handwritten notes, objects, patches, anything meaningful I can try to work in within every edge of the frame.
Other than physical materials - stories work too. The event room piece was created knowing random tidbits of information. Stories of rattle snakes scaring various key players, something that happened with a bear, hiking, wellness, creating separation from the Farm while paying homage to the very roots the Mountain sprang from and the man who dreamed big enough to get after it.
Daily affirmations. Things you tell your kids. What you wish for them as you raise them and watch them grow. There truly is no amount of information that is too much . So share as much or as little as you're comfortable with - there's also no amount of information that is too little. For the Mountain, I worked off of 3-4 emails Sam sent, heard a few stories over dinners with the Design team, spent time in Walland and on the Mountain by myself and received a lot of photos with body parts cut off. And from there, the event piece was born.
Like I said in my email - you are welcome to be as involved or uninvolved in giving me information to percolate around in my head as I create!