Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I chose...

I want to thank everyone for your input on my portraits. It was so fun to read everyone's thoughts and opinions. I really appreciate that you shared. It was like having you all in class with me.

After reading the comments and taking these pictures I learned quite a bit. About photography. About perception. And about myself.

I learned...

• I've always tried so hard to take pictures that do not look "posed." To catch the person doing something. But I found that I really enjoyed trying to take a portrait of someone that was more formal.

• that taking a good portrait is not easy. Giving directions is hard. And I'm not confident enough in my ability to take a good picture for someone else.

• that a good portrait conveys something about the individual.

• that things are not always as they appear. I've always strived to take photos that are "real." But I'm finding that, for me, playing with reality can be a fun part of photography. You can alter the viewer's perception simply by what you leave out of the frame. Or add in.

With that being said, this was my favorite photo of M...
because I had to "work" to create it. I chose that specific location for her. I loved the spray painted numbers on the wall. I asked her to sit on top of the weights.

And then I had to face my fears. Can I get her to look the way I envisioned? Can I convey to the viewer that she is young, beautiful, strong, confident and down-to-earth? Yes. She is gorgeous so that made it easier to get a pretty picture, but her expression and the location make it for me. It feels like a true reflection of who M is.

This photo was a close runner-up.

I love her concentration. I love what others mentioned in the comments also. Her incredible body. Her strength. The curl of her toes. The looseness of her fingers. And again. The location. While I love all of these things I think this photo, on its own, brings out a different perception than the first.

The teacher asked for a print of the first photo to be displayed in a show at the Contemporary Art Center. So cool!
I haven't yet shown the photos to M. But I did try to give copies of the photos of my artist friend to her. She took one look at them and said, "ewww!" Completely wiped away the high of being asked to display M's photo in a show. Perception, baby. Perception.

Next assignment...Self-Portrait. Perception, baby. Perception.
 

15 comments:

Jennifer Thompson said...

Congrats on displaying a photo in a show, how cool!
Good luck on the next assignment, I'm not a self portrait kinda gal, I would fail that one.

Nicolle said...

That is so cool that your photo will be displayed at a show. I think these photos are AMAZING and beautiful! I mean, seriously, they are sooooo good. I think one of the hardest things is giving direction when taking someone's photo. I think you did an excellent job!

Kristin said...

Congratulations on having your photo displayed at the show. That is so cool! And I'm glad to hear about all that you learned from the process. One thing that I love about photography is that it is an ever evolving journey and you never quite know where it's going to take you! Can't wait to see where you go with your self portrait.

sloan said...

congrats on being chosen to share your portrait at the show - i really love the one you chose - yay, kim! i have leaned the very same about my photography - i've been trying to 'specialize' in portraits (ie, practice practice practice) for the last year and a half - and if i've learned anything it's that's it's SO not easy! if it's any consolation, kim, you sure make it LOOK easy, your pics are always my faves :)

Kerri said...

Congratulations Kim! I love that you are sharing your class with all of us...it's so fun to see what you come up with. Your pictures are always amazing...heck, you could be the one teaching the class! :)

Pam said...

I too love that we are following along with your class...can't wait to see the self portrait!!

Gabe said...

so glad your teacher saw what we all saw. . .a great portrait!!

Can't wait to see your self-portrait!

Amy said...

you mentioned confidence - I think almost every photographer struggles with it. I was watching a class by Bambi Cantrell who is a HUGE photographer and someone asked her a question about her confidence and she said according to her she has never taken a good picture - yet people pay thousands of dollars to have her photograph them.

I think you are awesome - I would hire you.

Amy said...

SO cool that your photo will be displayed! Congrats!!! Can't wait to see the SP. You can do it!

Bridget said...

These photos are so good! I can't wait to see where this photo class takes you.

mandy said...

That top portrait is so beautiful Kim! I have all the same apprehensions about portraits that you do; you've inspired me. I'm going to try not to be afraid of the portrait shot! And congrats on your photo being included in a show at the Contemporary...very very cool!

Anne said...

It is a well captured, beautiful portrait. I'm so happy your work was chosen to be shown at CAC. Yea! Congrats!

Cathy M~(checkitoff) said...

congrats Kim!! note on artist friend~sometimes it is hard to look at photos of yourself~don't take it personally! good luck on self~portrait! so proud of you! hugs, cathy

Dani said...

Way to go, honey!!!!!

Beautiful work.

Kyria said...

I love that bottom portrait. You are right -- the posture, the background...everything just works. And shows us who she is!

I can't wait to see your self portrait.