When my better half, and talented make up artist, decided to experiment with an idea for her Halloween costume, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to set up a quick photo shoot.
Very rarely can a photographer get away with specializing in just one aspect of photography. Sure, as a sports photographer, I especially shoot sports. But, there's a lot more than just action that goes into shooting a sporting event. In fact, one of the things I love most about photography in general is seeking out and showing the narrative of the game/contest/match/etc. I love piecing together the full story of whatever it is that I'm covering and I do so by capturing the essence of the ambiance, reactions to the subject matter (whether it be the athletes or someone or something else); and other telling images surrounding the focal point of the event.
Some of those other aspects include architecture, when I'm showing a sense of space and atmosphere (take a look at the photo on my home page for an example of this); photojournalism as I document the sporting event's place in history and the narrative(s) surrounding the event; and, of course, portraits.
Portraits especially excite me because they give me an opportunity to really get to know my subject. It's so much more than asking someone to stand in front of your camera, say cheese, and click the shutter button. I strive to capture the essence of the person in front of my lens. It gives me the opportunity to allow the subject to reveal something about themselves that I—and perhaps the viewer—never knew about this particular subject. And all with a pose, a look, one fleeting moment that will otherwise fade with time like so many undocumented instances of life.
A good photographer can bring that special moment out of her or his subject. No camera settings or lighting arrangements can conjure the emotions that a human being can elicit from another human being with the right conversation. It's about building trust and making the subject feel comfortable, at ease in front of the camera.
I had a blast creating with this shoot, but the credit goes to Alexa and her make up skills. It's a great perk to live with a terrific model who happens to be a talented artist.
I'll be sharing some more of my portraits here on the blog in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!