A friend of mine posted that he was considering changing his look. The post triggered a visual in my head and I messaged him to see if he’d sit for me before he cut off his ponytail. His gracious yes let me play in a way that is rarely an option. I asked him if he had a good overcoat, a nice suit, maybe a hat… he said he had the right coat, a tux but no hat. Then he asked about having a cigar as part of the conversation. My visual adjusted favorably and off we went. After some discussion about where, we settled on the Little White Shed at the Cornelius Roadhouse. I brought my black fedora hoping it would fit. He strolled up the walkway in that cold silver light and we made our way to the shed. I had called for permission and we were grateful that the bartender had the wood stove rolling already. We had a great hour of quiet collaboration.
Scott Sakamoto runs a blog called Puff Sumo for cigar aficionados. It’s a passion he has rekindled from years back and now he takes it to a much different level.
People as Landscape
On a related tangent, I just submitted his photo to a portrait competition. Then I added a few more of the personal portraits I like. The underlying link is that none of these was work for hire… all of them were done in play. A lot of the work I do for hire feels quite narrow in comparison. The clients tend to have a defined end product in mind and that tamps down the play.
After a session last week another friendsaid “I’m curious to see how you see me.” That speaks to the dance between a person and a photographer. Every one of us has a face we assume when the camera is present. It’s just theway it is. The work of the photographer is to cut through a little of that drama to a truer version… to keep it real with as much grace as possible.
I’m a people-watcher from way back. Faces will always fascinate me…
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…”
Yesterday, I had a conversation with a prospective bride for next year. She said she was going to treat her wedding like a theatrical piece… if it were just about her and her man, they’d elope and call it good. She has decided to put on the “play” for their family and friends… to do it up right for them. To be fair, she teaches theatre to high schoolers so it’s how her mind works but, honestly, it’s a great way to look at a wedding. You write the script, design the set and hire some help for behind the scenes. The two of you also get to choose the players AND an appreciative audience… how cool is that?!
I love it that most of my clients are real and grounded people… they have a solid idea of what they want their wedding to be and the reviews are usually stellar by all accounts. ;0)
A thank you to Mr. Shakespeare for a marvelous quote, as always.
Whenever possible, I go out to a venue about a week before the wedding date to check out the light. Granted, our lovely Oregon weather can be a real game changer but soft cloudy days are fine… it’s the really hard bright days that you need to be ready for.
Large and rowdy group shots at 2:00 on a sunny afternoon? You bet… let’s go over where we can get the best light. Jac and Drew came with me to approve this location… the original plan would have been pretty awful. ;0)
Work with your professional photographer… good things will happen!