Thursday, 6 March 2008
The most important thing about portrait photography is an interest in your subject. The photographer has to be genuinely curious about people he has never met. He has to be able to connect with them in just few minutes, to focus attention on the subject and to avoid distracting elements in the frame. Margaret Thatcher once remarked: "I usually make up my mind about a man in ten seconds, and I very rarely change it". Time pressure is probably the biggest challenge, so I will try to comprehensively research every aspect of the person I am photographing and then hope that a bit of knowledge will help to set tone for the shoot. It is always about trying to eliminate all risks and looking hard enough at what you are photographing.
Unless using fast telephoto lenses with very little depth of field, finding a location where you can control the background and lighting is also very important. So I have decided to spend some time with some people to explore different places, ideas and personalities that could work together. So far I met already a transsexual working for the Royal Opera House who wants to work in the film industry with Pedro Almodovar, a big black woman designing and selling jewellery in Brixton and a smiley jamaican guy hanging out with a bunch of kids crazy about hair.