The best part of being a photographer is the opportunity one is given to meet and photograph cool people doing interesting things.

Whether your subject is a celebrity or not is immaterial; when people are in their own space, they exude a confidence that comes through in their look, posture or perhaps in a simple gesture.

I always strive to be in rapport with people I work with. I usually meet with individuals prior to a shoot and try to form some sort of relationship. Often scouting the location is the best way to achieve this. As they discuss their environment, the pride comes through and you discover common interests. The scout is also important to design the lighting and plan for any inevitable last minute challenges!

During the shoot I like to suggest that our space is “a sacred place” and that within it anything goes; there is no judgement as to something being a good or bad pose or expression. That is evaluated later during editing. I find that giving people this permission is crucial and have often been told that it relieved a lot of stress prior to shooting.

I take great pain over lighting. Even if I am using just the sun and a bounce card, I know going in to the job when the light is best for the image. Such was the case for the portrait of Father & Son, owners of Dufferin Motors. I will always add fill light for the smallest reason but usually try to make the light logical and not phony. There can be exceptions of course. The image of the yoghurt lady is over lit by choice. The setting was to be one of wholesomeness and reminiscent of “Leave it to Beaver.” The lady renovating the hotel had a vision and so it was important for the portrait to convey the sense of looking to the future, that the current construction was a work in progress. The portrait of Josh is classic in that the out of focus motorcycle is a silent background telling you something of the man in the leather jacket. Finally, the image of Jane expresses who she is and how I see her. She is an author writing about family relationships and the stresses exerted on them when one member works in the movie business. She is also an avid runner. I saw her on a running trail interacting with me as her children spun wildly around her.

A portrait seems most successful to me, when it speaks as much about the photographer as it does the subject. Selfish on my part perhaps but if done with respect, a very unique and out of the ordinary image. Being a photographer really is the greatest job in the world you know.

 

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