I have an upcoming workshop regarding “Documentary Portraiture.”
Based on a few comments I thought it might be a good idea to show a few images and talk a little bit about portraiture, and more importantly the idea of what a portrait really is. I’ve thrown in a few standard portraits here, but the project I’m primarily featuring, “Paradise, America” is a long-term story I started a few years ago. There are twelve towns in America named “Paradise,” in twelve different states, and I thought it would be interesting to have a look at what it was like to live in one of these towns. I made my way to five of the twelve locations before realizing I wasn’t entirely happen with how I was working, and that I liked the story so much I wanted to start over and begin anew. I was working with a Pentax 645, in black and white, which is a look(and camera) I really like, but I wanted to start the project over with a bit of color, as well as a more mobile format which would allow for quicker pictures. So much of this story was about landscape and context, in addition to the portraits. I also wanted to spend more time in each location, and I feel the Leica is better suited for getting close and reacting to life. I think color will be better in setting mood and place.
When the world ends, the financial markets close and we are all living in looted rubble I’ll have plenty of time to get back to this story………………………………………………………
The information and ideas I speak about in this clip will play a strong role in the portrait workshop. Shooting tight portraits with a 70-200 is a fine endeavor, but might not tell the story you are looking to tell. Sometimes context and story need to be created, and these might be better served by making images that provide a sense of place. A few things to think about.
Isn’t a landscape a portrait?
What transitional images might you need to tell a story made with portraits?
How do you engage someone you don’t know?
How will your equipment effect your portrait style?
Do you need audio or text to help tell the story?
For those of you signed up for the workshop, if you have specific questions…hit me up and I’ll address them.