TheMOFMan’s Answer to Thursday’s Special: Street Photography/Portraits
I thought that I’d take on this challenge by Yvette on Paula Borkovic’s blog Lost in Translation.
I find photographic portraiture quite challenging as there is considerable effort placed on trying to capture and convey someone’s true character. It’s terribly hard to accomplish when you know that most others who see it may never meet the subject face-to-face in real time for a chance to try to get to actually know him or her.
For a recent example that caught the attention of much of the western world, we saw the glamorous portraits of Caitlyn Jenner by Annie Liebovitz. Rhetorical questions; without knowing the history behind those pictures – without reading the article in the July 2015 issue of Vanity Fair, did we see Caitlyn’s true personality in those shots (being a lifelong Star Wars fan, I also really dig the cast portrait that Annie shot for the cover of VF’s June 2015 issue)? If we did, can we take a camera and accomplish that ourselves? It’s a pretty high benchmark to reach when you really think about it, huh?
Now try street portraiture. If your intent is to convey how someone exists in their most natural public setting, doesn’t that make your job as a portraitist all the more harder?
Sure, I do the occasional street portrait that is the typical head or profile shot, and while they may be technically accurate, maybe bring out the personalities of people on the street and even be pleasing to the eye the results really are limited if I don’t get that environmental factor in place.
That’s the operative word right there . . . “environmental”.
If I want to make sure that my own street portraiture counts as street portraiture, I push myself to rely on the skills needed for environmental portraiture.
I don’t consider the above shot as top-notch but I think it is okay for this challenge, and illustrates my point.