Brittany relocated to the area just weeks after her graduation do she found herself packing all her belongings and moving to Texas to pursue her dream job with a marketing and promotions company in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. She’s a wonderful person who is absolutely fit for the position and the company that hired her and wish her all the best with the new position and her new home here in Texas. Not to worry about how she will do with the weather. She interned with the company last year, including the blustery months from June until September.
I’m a recently relocated to McKinney Texas from the New York City metropolitan area. There are times I miss the grunge of the big city. Not often but sometimes. When I need to do a bit of lifestyle portrait photography, all that graffiti serves as a nice backdrop to provide either contrast or to let you know something about the subject. In Haley’s case, it was definitely for contrast as she is more your typical girl next door that every mom would like their son to date and marry someday. However, she has a fun and quirky side that also matches the colorful backdrop offered by these painted pillars. It was not difficult to generate a laugh or smile from her before the shutter clicks. Which made my life a bit easier since I never tell my subjects to smile. I would rather pull it out of them some other way in order to get a natural look. I just don’t understand why I see so-called professionals ever tell their subjects to smile because the result is usually something psychotic looking as opposed to something spontaneous and natural. I don’t always want a smile. In fact, don’t even always want their eyes open all the time. It all depends on the emotion you want from your subject. In that regard, Laurie Klein and Peter Hurley both served as great mentors.
Photographed with a Leica M9 with a 75/1.4 Summilux set to ISO 160, f/3.4 at 1/350th of a second.
Lifestyle portraits are also known as environmental portraits. In this style of photography, the photographer places the subject in a specific location to let the environment or background say something about the person or people in the image. It is my favorite type of photography because it requires a little more intimate knowledge of the subject.
I was commissioned to create a portrait of this young woman who is a very talented musician. Not only is she an excellent flute player but she also has a beautiful voice. She was to be photographed before her performance at a Winter Concert in Central New Jersey so I only had a few minutes for the capture which was going to happen in the auditorium. The final image above was the image she, her mom and I all agreed was the best though her mom and I were partial to the one where she had her eyes closed. The image above had a happy and fun look while the other felt more of a tender moment captured during a performance.
There was an article in USA Today highlighting the drop in school photo sales as the cool factor fades. I can totally understand the premise of the article. All through my life I have never liked my school portraits nor the ones I purchased of my kids. School photos are generally rushed and must be accomplished in seconds or a minute at best in order to complete the project in record time. It is almost impossible to create a connection between the photographer and the subject. It is a one size fits all strategy.
You are better served by searching for a photographer whose style you prefer and can create an image that truly reflects the subject. Each photographer is an artist with their own style so it is difficult to force them into shooting what you want. It is much better to find a photographer who shoots the types of image you want as opposed to finding one that fits your budget first than forcing them to shoot the style you want.
While hiring a professional photographer on your own can be expensive, you will never regret that investment in 10, 25, or fifty years.