I set myself a goal to make 50 portraits of the people I’ve not shot before by the end of 2016. The number sounds low but these 50 portraits will be shot for the portfolio page. So, in other words I need to add at least 50 photos in my portfolio page by the end of this year. That means at least 5 portraits each month. Suddenly the task start to sound daunting to me when my friend pointed the numbers out to me. I have had a poor shooting rate last year. Hence this goal.
I asked my friends if they’d let me photograph them and they graciously agreed. I didn’t have a plan yet. They thought I did but I didn’t. I was still wrestling with the idea of how to make these 50 portraits look like they are part of one theme. Do I use the same background I’ve been using recently and liking or do I make it environmental. Could I make portraits with different backgrounds and yet keep the look consistent throughout? Do I want them moody and dark or happy, etc..? Or do I leave that to the experience of the moment and trying to get that out of my subjects? Shouldn’t I have a script ready to guide them? How’d they know what I’m looking for? They’re following my directions and will look up to me to tell them what to do. The idea is to shoot on regular basis even if I fail miserably at getting the best shots. I’d want to fail and learn after shooting 100 pictures than not being able to shoot enough to stir the creative juices.
The portrait above is one of the first of the 50 that I’ve planned for this year. If I had to rate myself on this shoot I’d give myself a 3 out of 10 simply because I had great subjects in front of me and I think I let them go easily. They, however, were awesome and very helpful. Like friends are. I’ll continue to share these portraits as I get them out of the edit process.
Above is a portrait of a friend of mine who’s naturally photogenic. He’s got one of those faces that get in front of the camera and they immediately start to look good. Again, one light set-up with light on camera left in a softbox with the same background that I love to use. Camera settings were 1/125, 4.5, ISO 200.