Monday, November 16, 2009

Assingment #6 - Portraits

 Ah, portraits. I love portraits. I CARE about portraits. I shoot people who mean something to me, and so I'm a little more careful about the shooting process, and I'm also usually more picky about what prints I choose to work on and share.

Overall, I think this was a pretty good assignment for me. I took time to shoot (and shot early!) and I tried to capture different sides of my subject. Of everyone I shot, I think my Merzl pictures turned out best. Good light, focus, etc., but she's also the person I know best. I've been around her literally since the day she was born.

If I do this assignment again, I definitely want to spend more time TALKING to my subject. I want to shoot people for longer periods of time (we'll see who can stand me...) and try to capture different parts of their personality. 

The coolest thing I learned from this assignment? Honestly, I think I started to realize that portraits aren't just pictures of people looking at the camera. People REACT to the camera. And that reaction - making a silly face, staring blankly at it, looking uncomfortable and shying away from it - is as much a part of the portrait as the face is. 

I was worried about how my Ashley photos would turn out at first, because a lot of them seemed really model-y, and that wasn't what I was after. This one looks like it's about to become a model shot, but she's in the middle of saying something, so it's not.

I like the writing on her hand and the strand of hair on her face. It makes her seem less perfect and polished and fake. 

I love traditional portraits. I love getting in close and showing only the face. I don't think it's boring because no two faces are alike - each one is interesting in its own way. 

Shooting portraits of other people is interesting. And they turn out well. Portraits of yourself? They suck. I'm a lot more comfortable with being behind the camera...

My favorite. I love the light, focus. That eye is spectacular (and I can see myself in it!). Slade was telling me about his friend who shoots for Nike or something, who told him that to make something interesting, don't show all of it. At first the contrast between the sides of her face really bothered me, but now I love them. 

I love this one next to the one above. I think they give two interesting, contrasting sides of Merzy's personality. 

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