Our first assignment in Portrait class was to photograph a classmate who our professor randomly assigned to us. I was to photograph Christina, and undergraduate commercial photography student. We had interview the student and make a portrait that showed something about the assigned student that the rest of the class did not know about.
Christina told me that she loves music, she loves Star Trek (she might go to a convention but she does not dress up). And then she told me that when she gets frustrated with school she will write a song about it, and play it on her key-tar. Sometimes she will take that key-tar out with her on Court Street to play and see the reactions of the passers by.
Since I am stronger at photojournalism than portraiture I decided we would do a semi-candid shoot with her and her key-tar out on Court Street. I would set up lights, she would play, and I would shoot. As I was setting up I asked her her favorite color - green - so I threw a green gel on the strobe just to play. I got a photo of her rocking out with a friend walking behind her that I was happy with, though I wasn’t happy with the color, which I found distracting, so I made it black and white to focus more on the expressions in the image.
But there was another image that I made which I felt was more her. I was about to reposition the light when I saw her in this weird stretch, I snapped the picture, and kept going with another idea. But later when I was going through the images, this one caught my eye, but there were a handful of things that did not work about it, our bags, the backs of the guys heads, and I wanted to add a but more neutral light as well.
Since this is portraiture and not journalism we went back to that corner and reshot. It was next to impossible to remake the candid expression of the last one, but I wanted to focus on body language and the interaction of the passers by, which I think ultimately created a stronger image which captured a different aspect of her personality.
almost but not quite there...
and so we went back...