I was down in Calgary this past weekend immersing myself in the world of environmental portraiture. My friend and super talented photographer Dave Brosha was in town. On Saturday, Dave shared his knowledge and love of environmental portraiture at an oopoomoo talk.
Samantha Chrysanthou of oopoomoo has this to say about portraiture – “The most powerful portraits are sketched with the lightest touch. A gifted photographer understands how to manipulate both natural and studio lighting to best turn gesture and glance into meaning.”
oopoomoo did a great interview with Dave a couple of weeks ago. In that interview he shared a piece of advice that was a major theme in his talk – “I think the key is not to get so hung up on the technical that you fail to make a connection with your subject, work with them, and really… just let your creativity bubble. Ultimately, your subject doesn’t really care if your light is diffused by a softbox, double-diffused, camera right or left, table-topped, or from a planet far, far away. They are there to work with you, and if you’re fumbling with light and settings too long, you’ll lose them.”
Most of us new to portrait work read that and say “Guilty!”. It’s no secret that connection/the moment/emotion trump technicals but it’s a continual challenge in photography. Technicals are like a loud out of control child demanding our attention. They are hard to ignore but if you lose your subject then you lose the shoot.
On Sunday, Dave, myself and a bunch of my Calgary friends went on an environmental portrait shoot. Our model was Talyn Stone. Talyn was fantastic with her posing and very patient with the inexperienced portrait photographers in the group. She was also hard core in how long she stayed out in the cold given her wardrobe. Thanks Talyn. You totally ROCK!
Here are a few of my images from the shoot…