There’s nothing like the freedom of experimenting: nobody to please but yourself, and mistakes are fine. It helps you develop a repertoire of strategies, approaches, and ideas that come together in unexpected ways. And you don’t give up when something goes wildly wrong. That’s just what helped fashion photographer and digital retoucher Julia Kuzmenko McKim create this image for her Flames portrait series. When shooting for clients, she posts a Pinterest “mood-board” to get everyone on the same page. But this personal project required only experimentation. “I really enjoy improvisations where we just get together and play,” she says.