Does testing have an impact?
I love this career! I do. But at times we can all get stuck in a rut, and get burnt out from working. I love my craft so much that it is hard for me to really feel like I'm working when I am. I can be sweating, hungry, sleepy and stressed about school work I have yet to complete, but will still be excited and happy as ever during a photo shoot.
Shooting for clients, brands, and school is all fine, but sometimes we must just shoot for ourselves. I find testing to be much more fun than photoshoots I do for clients.
Matthew Jordan Smith (MJS) is my favorite fashion photographer. MJS defined what a "Test Shoot" is for me. It's defined as a photoshoot where a team of creatives comes together to create an idea or concept. For photographers specifically, it's fun because it's pressure free, it's excitingly experimental, and can become much more fulfilling than an assigned shoot for a client.
Out of all the inspiring, I've heard him say, the most impactful was this..."Testing feeds your soul...". And he is %100 right. When testing I can attempt crazy lighting setups, have my model, makeup artist, hair stylist, and/or stylist go crazy with creativity. It is stress-free because there are no rules.
Basically, test shooting allows us all to be free to express ourselves creatively and make mistakes with no consequences. The goal is to create and learn. Make the mistakes on a test shoot, not on a job. It just makes sense.