Number Two in my series of my favorite images of 2010! I’m looking at individual portraits.
Portraits are at the same time very easy and very difficult. It’s much easier to get good lighting on one face as opposed to the interplay of light and shadow on multiple people, but the challenge is to capture the essence of someone in two dimensions when they are on the spot.
I love shooting environmental portraits. I love capturing someone in their element and including that context in the story of the image.
This year, I shot everything from an east coast Jewish hip hop artist to my very own grandma’s 100 year-old portrait. The common denominator is a fascination with capturing what is inside someone and make is show in an image.
So here are my favorite portraits of 2010:
I’m counting the above two images as one because I want to include them both. My Mom retired this year as a third grade teacher at Meadowbrook Elementary. I went over and did a portrait session at the school to celebrate the occasion. Frankly, I think more people should take retirement photos. First off, very few people of retirement age have recent portraits because by that point they have usually decided that they don’t want photos of themselves. I am so glad that we did it because I think they will be special images for her grandchildren that will show them where she worked and poured her heart out for those kids for so long. I love these photos because they really show who my Mom is. She is a loving, caring, happy person who genuinely loves teaching and honestly believe that nice matters. Enjoy retirement, Mom!
My favorite portrait of the year, hands-down is this one. This is my grandma, Phyllis Spencer, just weeks before her 100th birthday! I took this self assignment very seriously because it may be the only chance I ever have to take a century celebration portrait. There was really only one choice for a location for this one, right in her own home in front of her piano. There are two things Grandma loves more than anything, her family, and the hymns. Since she keeps all the pictures of her large family on top of her piano, this was the logical backdrop. I didn’t shoot very many frames, (she couldn’t do a long shoot,) but this frame was exactly how it looked in my head, the perfect balance of the age of her body coupled with the inner strength and spark that has pushed that body through 100 years of experiences. I feel like if this were the only portrait I ever took , my career would be worthwhile. Click for the full post.
To be honest, I’m not sure why this one stuck out to me. Obviously, Chelsea is beautiful and it was a very fun shoot, there were many great images from it, but I think it’s the serene, confident smile in combination with the blues from her eyes, the sweater, and the cross-process effect that did it. Click for the full post.
I LOVE vintage. I love classic poses and treatments. I study vintage photography so I can better capture that timelessness that all great photos have. This was definitely one of my favorites.
The two images above are from a shoot of hip hop artist Kosha Dillz that I did with Andrea Hanks of Andrea Hanks Photography. Kosha is a fantastic photography subject because he has a quirky imagination and basically just performs for the camera. He is a very genuine person and what you see is truly what you get. (The top image is going to be the cover art for his upcoming album.) Click to see the full post.
This photo was an assignment for Aastrom Biosciences. It is one of my favorites for two reasons. 1. I got to meet Patty, a true medical miracle. 2. She told me this was the best portrait of her ever taken. Yup, flattery works, kids.
The bright colors and big smile just make this image fun to look at! Click to see the full post.
Steve is a stud. When I grow up, I want to be Steve Jensen. It’s looking like a big part of these favorites is how well they portray the subject–call me Captain Obvious. Click to see the whole shoot.