Friday, January 9, 2009

9/365 Environmental Portrait

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My goal today was to photograph a stranger and I had a specific type of person in mind. I headed to our local international market which is often filled with exotic looking people from all over the world. Today of all days, I didn't see anyone who really struck me, so I headed back towards home trying to come up with my Plan B when one of my kids suggested I go to the local dry cleaners to photograph a guy we'd seen the day before. Well, this older gentleman with a wonderful face and gorgeous smile wasn't at work today! My youngest son had another idea and encouraged me not to give up. He even cheered for me when I began to approach my next potential subject! He knew I was somewhat nervous.

I found this lovely lady hard at work at a local restaurant. I showed her my business cards (my moo cards) and asked if I could take her picture. After taking a moment to think, she said yes! I wanted to show her in her environment and to pull in part of the background while making sure she was the featured one. I accomplished that by using a shallow DOF. When she faced me the light from the door reflected in her glasses, so I shot this one when she looked away briefly. This image would have been stronger--I think--if she made eye contact with the camera. However, I was shooting on the fly and snapped when I saw something that would give me the goal for the day. I photographed a stranger. Thanks Ms. I.

Lesson: If you respectfully approach strangers most are open to being photographed. Be sure to get them to sign a release and offer to send them a print! If you're after an environmental portrait find a creative way to pull in the environment. This is not the most creative shot, but I'll do better next time!

Tomorrow:Abstract complementary colors

7 comments:

Karen said...

I like how you put the tip jar in the forground and the kitchen in the background with Ms I sharp. It tells the stort well. I am painfully shy with people I don't know which makes this like of work hard if I don't know my subject. I'm proud of you. Nice mention on the model releases. I have a stack in my camera bag.

Dana said...

It's really kinda neat. While the lady in sharp focus grabs your eye, the out of focus background and activity back there leads your eye into the photo. You want to know what's going on in this place.

earthangelphotography365 said...

Very nicely done. It's great she was a willing subject.

shawna365 said...

I think this is a great shot! It caught my eye right away on my blog roll. Love the dof, and I think that if she had looked at you, it would have look staged or posed. I think you did this great!

Candy said...

This is an excellent shot! YAY for you!

Jo-Anne Price said...

Excellent shot! I have a problem with glasses when I shoot too.

Pam said...

I love this! I agree with Shawna--I like that she wasn't looking right at you. I hope I can get the courage to approach someone the way you did.